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


Pinch hitting: Ryna May

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 20, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Batting leadoff in our Pinch Hitters series is Ryna May, a professor of literature and philosophy at a college outside of Baltimore. Ryna grew up watching the Yankees with her grandfather. She still considers Don Mattingly her favorite player to watch, and says her favorite memories “are actually of listening to baseball games on the radio during those warm, Tennessee summer nights.” She says if she weren’t teaching students how to write about Hamlet, she’d probably be writing all about baseball.

This is Ryna’s first turn as a Pinch Hitter, and her topic is a big one: If necessary, is Derek Jeter ready to take on a smaller role? And in its own way, wouldn’t that be a perfect part of the Jeter persona?

Derek JeterIn Derek We Trust
“I trusted him more than any other player I had managed. I trusted him to be prepared mentally and physically every day, and to prioritize winning above all else.”
– Joe Torre on Derek Jeter, 2011

July 1, 2004. Boston Red Sox versus the New York Yankees. All Yankee fans know this play. Trot Nixon hit a foul ball into the stands behind third base and Derek Jeter went face-first into the bleachers to make the catch. Not a playoff game, just a July game, but the Yankees went on to win 2-1 in 13 innings. Beyond the significance of the game (which actually wasn’t that important), that moment perfectly encapsulates what we have all come to believe and revere about Jeter.

He always gives himself up for the team.

Fast forward now to January 2014 — almost a decade later. First, you might wonder if Jeter still has the speed to make that catch. Next, given his recent injury history, you might want him to just let the ball drop into the stands.

Jeter is not the same player physically that he has been. Mentally, I think we all still believe in his toughness. It’s become harder, however, to believe in his defense. Stats aren’t everything, but they do mean something. The data is not kind to Jeter. His Fielding Runs Above Average (FRAA) was a bleak -7.8 in 2012 (according to Baseball Prospectus). So equated to other shortstops, Jeter is significantly below average. Compare that to the outstanding FRAA score of newly acquired center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury at 11.6, and you get a sense of what that stat means. Historically, 40-year old shortstops do not improve defensively. As much as I would like to believe it, it is doubtful that Jeter will defy those odds.

When healthy, Jeter is a great offensive shortstop. He may not ever be fully healthy again. The question this season will be: Where does Jeter bat in the lineup?

Jeter likes to lead off and has done that with some success in the past. But the Yankees just signed Ellsbury to be their leadoff hitter. Perhaps Jeter can bat second. Perhaps. But Baseball Reference has Jeter at No. 3 among active players grounding into double plays at 272. What difference does it make for Ellsbury to get on base if he consistently gets erased?

The three hole is a place for a guy with a combination of average and power. Jeter just doesn’t fit this profile. And since he is not a power hitter, he doesn’t fit well into the four or five spots either. Could Jeter bat sixth? Could his ego handle it? Think back to May of 2011. When dropped to the ninth spot for the first time in 12 years, Jorge Posada threw a tantrum and took himself out of the lineup. That is not the kind of leadership we had come to expect from our all-star catcher.

So what will Jeter, recovering from several difficult injuries, bring to the table in 2014? The Yankees hope he will be healthy and bring those magical intangibles — the preparation and mindset Torre spoke of — and one more thing above all: leadership.

Derek JeterIt is easy to be a leader when things are going well. It is harder to be a leader when faced with real adversity. Time is the adversary now. Jeter has been the biggest star on the biggest stage since 1996, but he is what he is now: An older player. But if it really is about winning, if it really is about the team, Jeter needs to be willing to take a lesser role and like it. He has to show the other guys in the clubhouse that he is okay with it. If Jeter hits sixth and is out of the lineup a couple of days a week, everyone will be watching to see how he handles that.

Everyone is always watching Jeter. In a New York Newsday article by David Lennon, Russell Martin is quoted as saying, “If Derek Jeter does it, then you should do it, too… He’s so consistent, day in and day out, same personality, same guy, in his approach to the game and approach to people. That’s why he’s a good leader.” Jeter needs to display that consistency of attitude more than ever. The narrative about Jeter is all about leadership — always has been. He leads on the field. He comes up with big plays in big moments — remember “The Flip” against the Oakland A’s in the 2001 ALDS? I bet you do. He is a presence. Jeter exemplifies focus and competitiveness and claims not to be impressed with the image others have of him, saying to Men’s Health Magazine, “Character is who you are.” We are about to learn what kind of character Jeter is.

In my fan fantasy, I want to believe Jeter will come back healthy, play serviceable defense at shortstop, and knock about 200 hits. But we are all facing the dawning of a brave new world in the Yankee Universe. Jeter probably can’t play at that level anymore. But he might be more important to the Yankees this year than he has ever been. Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for the entire year. Mark Teixeira may or may not bounce back from injury and, frankly, several down years. Mo and Andy are retired. There are a lot of new faces who will have a lot to learn about The Yankee Way. We have to trust in Derek to do the right things. Be a teacher to the younger guys. Probably swallow some pride. Be the classy guy he’s always been.

No matter what happens, Jeter will still be the heart of this team, but this year Jeter will get to demonstrate the kind of leadership he has become so famous for — the guy you want to watch and emulate, a humble team-first guy, the guy with the same attitude day in and day out.

The real test will be if that is still true whether he’s hitting second or sixth.

Associated Press photos

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158 Responses to “Pinch hitting: Ryna May”

  1. Yankee Trader January 20th, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Good morning

    7/160 would make him , what, the third or fourth richest contract for a pitcher?

    What’s the latest on Jeff Baker

    Is there a decent arm for the BP, that doesn’t have injury concerns?

  2. Revenge of Stoneburner January 20th, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Again from over the weekend:

    According to a baseball source, the Dodgers still are not pursuing Tanaka with the aggressiveness they showed last year, when they outbid every team for the right to sign Hyun-Jin Ryu.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl…..y=news_mlb

  3. Revenge of Stoneburner January 20th, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Well, now we probably know even more why Tanaka will probably stay away from the Cubs – according to the following article – they will not be able to fully compete until 2019 (Theo has a sweet job – low expectations until the end of the decade).

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports…..build.html

    Kenney boasted Saturday about the Cubs’ fifth-highest revenue in the game, and the Cubs are ranked first in profitability by Forbes. But Epstein told fans Saturday that a big reason for a quiet winter is that he reserved payroll for a run at one big move (read: Masahiro Tanaka). If he doesn’t get him, he said he might roll the savings into next year’s budget — an eyebrow-raising admission considering the resource deficit it suggests. Especially for a team in need of players just to field a representative big-league club and the rarity of a practice that wasn’t allowed with the previous regime.

    So where’s the money going if it’s not going to baseball?

    ******

    The promise is that spending will flow when new TV and stadium money start to flow. But one source cautioned against expecting the TV money to come next year. The big flows won’t start until the currently split deals can be consolidated after 2019.

    ********

    NOTE: Despite reports that continue to call the Cubs front-runners for Masahiro Tanaka, signing the 25-year-old right-hander is a long shot for the team, which remains skeptical of its chances even with an aggressive effort.

  4. Kelvin January 20th, 2014 at 9:05 am

    I still think Jeff is coming to the Yankees. But they told him only after tanaka, will they get back to him

  5. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Stones-

    It does not make sense for the Men in Blue to be overly aggressive for MT.

    They just shelled out the biggest AAV contract for a pitcher ever, and they have yet to re-ink another
    expensive player who they need more than MT.

    Hanley.

    Their rotation is just fine the way it is.

    It really doesn’t make sense for them unless they can get a bargain due to factors like climate or proximity to Japan, etc.

    I don’t think they will.

  6. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 9:08 am

    YT-

    Trade Romine or Murphy to the Nats for Storen.

    They need a BUC and have an excess of RP.

    ;)

  7. Abe Peterham January 20th, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Good read on Jeter. You kind of forget he is the quintessential Yankee way , that will be missed when he moves on….
    ( though I was a little bit disappointed when he said he’d go to Seattle for that kind of money, I thought he was a better liar :)

  8. pkyankfan69 January 20th, 2014 at 9:10 am

    I’d prefer more of an everyday option at 3B (Headly/Aram) than a Baker/Johnson platoon BUT I much prefer Baker to Nuney so I would be happy with a Jeff Baker signing. You can’t always get what you want but Nuney in AAA or on another team would put a smile on my face.

  9. Revenge of Stoneburner January 20th, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Trade Romine or Murphy to the Nats for Storen.

    ******

    There is support for this – good call:

    a) The Nationals have interest in free agent reliever Grant Balfour, major league sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Nats already have three relievers with closing experience in Rafael Soriano, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen, but the addition of Balfour could make sense for a variety of reasons, Rosenthal writes.

    According to sources, GM Mike Rizzo & Co. would like to trade Storen, who will earn $3.45MM in 2014.

    b)The Nationals remain in the market for a backup catcher and that piece will likely come in a trade, according to MLB.com’s William Ladson.

  10. mick January 20th, 2014 at 9:12 am

    There is never Jeter Doubt.
    Whatever it takes is what he will give.
    If he can’t play SS, I do doubt he can play 3B.
    He’ll know when it’s time and won’t embarrass himself if it is..

  11. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Stones-

    I’d rather have a guy like Storen than Balfour anyway.

    Much younger. More long term potential.

  12. Revenge of Stoneburner January 20th, 2014 at 9:17 am

    I’d rather have a guy like Storen than Balfour anyway.

    ******

    Agree – plus it would have a nice little side note story as the Yanks originally drafted Storen out of HS, only to have him continue on to Stanford.

  13. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 9:19 am

    I’d like to have Clippard back.

    ;)

  14. Ys Guy January 20th, 2014 at 9:23 am

    excellent job leading off, Ryna!
    i hope jeter can handle being subbed for defensively by ryan, too.

  15. blake January 20th, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Jeremy schap just called Arod “the greates financial criminal mastermind of our time”

    Lol!

  16. Ys Guy January 20th, 2014 at 9:25 am

    what happened to storen last year? he really lost something.

  17. pkyankfan69 January 20th, 2014 at 9:28 am

    I like Storen but he did have a pretty lousy year last year.

    He was great in ’11.

    He had elbow surgery right before the ’12 season and missed about half of the season… When we came back in ’12 he was great the rest of the year.

    And then in ’13 he was pretty inconsistent

    April – 5.23 ERA
    May – 3.65 ERA
    June – 2.70 ERA
    July – 13.03 ERA
    August – 2.25 ERA
    Sept – 0.79 ERA

    He did finish strong after a pretty bad July.

    Didn’t see any injury stuff about him last year… Maybe just a down year for a guy that does have really good stuff.

    He might be a pretty good buy low candidate… I like the idea of him as a guy to target.

    Unless of course there is something physically wrong with him that we don’t know about.

  18. J. Alfred Prufrock January 20th, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Ryna,

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    I don’t think it gets any better than Hamlet and Jeter, myself :)

    I actually had a Shakespeare acting professor (who looked remarkably like David Cone, and who now happens to head up an acting program at a Tennessee university, it so happens) who taught the Alexander Technique to his students for them to employ while speaking Shakespearean dramatic text.

    Among his pearls of wisdom was “if you get a chance, watch Derek Jeter or Fred Astaire. Both are among the most present and relaxed people in action; they are always relaxed and in a state of readiness.”

    Upon hearing this, I would often engage this professor after class and discuss baseball with him. He was hilarious, too, and went along with my game that he was actually David Cone. We had one student going, that he actually was Cone, because he would deadpan: “Yeah, I like teaching Shakespeare to relax before I pitch.”

    :)

  19. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Don’t know Y’s.

    Maybe a sign of arm issues ?

  20. Doreen January 20th, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Ryna,

    Well-thought out and well-written post.

    My thinking is that the Yankee will give Jeter a bonafide opportunity to show what he’s got left. Probably they do allow him to start the season in he #2 spot in the lineup. From there, we see what happens. (This is assuming no physical setbacks in spring training.)

    I also hope that if he is not up to the task, that Jeter will do what is best for the team. Anything else will be a disappointment of sorts. This is potentially Derek’s most difficult season.

  21. J. Alfred Prufrock January 20th, 2014 at 9:32 am

    macintosh,

    Thanks for posting about and observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

  22. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Doreen-

    Maybe it is just the optimist in me but I think Jeter is going to surprise a lot of people.

    He has been working out hard this season getting himself back to where he needs to be.

  23. Poetkiosk January 20th, 2014 at 9:33 am

    I think I read somewhere that only 3 other players were able to be full time short stops at the age of 40 – Honus Wagner being one of them.

    “Only three shortstops—Honus Wagner, Omar Vizquel and Luke Appling—have logged 500-plus plate appearances in an age-40 season. Even if we dilute the criteria down to include Barry Larkin’s 2004 season, Jeter is chasing his past as his present becomes a murky issue around the win-now Yankees.”

    http://bleacherreport.com/arti.....ers-health

  24. pkyankfan69 January 20th, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Looking at Storen last year compared to previous years… K’s were about the same as usual, BB’s were about the same as usual… The big difference was he just gave up a lot more hits last year. Diminished stuff? Hiding an injury? I really have no idea.

  25. Yankee Trader January 20th, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Ryan

    Really enjoyed your post.

    I have a question. Does Jeter have the arm to play third? I remember Teixeira digging his throws from SS out of the dirt, on routine plays, not his jump throws deep in the hole. It happened enough times in games that I watched to make me wonder if third base is even an option, if he unlikely would agree to the move?

  26. Yankee Trader January 20th, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Ryna

  27. tomingeorgia January 20th, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Ryna,
    Nice job. I think Doreen’s scenario is the likely one, but I hope Jeter goes out (whenever he does) with a blaze of glory.

  28. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 9:36 am

    69-

    Other possibility is just an off season.

    Maybe a good buy low candidate ?

    I don’t know if he had any DL time last year. Didn’t check.

    ;)

  29. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Yankees need to look around for a SS of the future.

    Maybe they can trade for one if things fall right.

    ;)

  30. macintosh January 20th, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Martin Luther King day is supposed to be a day in the spirit of service to others so this post by Ryna May could be looked at as derek jeter’s chance to step aside for the good of the team.

    the problem i have with this is that baseball is mostly an individual sport played in a team context.

    hitter’s hit alone, pitchers pitch alone. fielder’s catch the ball alone.

    that said , all the individual efforts add up to a team effort.

    personally i defer to jeter to decide if he can play shortstop. he’s never had a bad overall year , ever.
    the last full year he played he carried the yankees . when his ankle broke from the load , the yankees season was over.

    i say let him try it and go for it. i think if he can’t do it, he will not keep playing.
    it’s really as simple as that.

    with all due respect to Ryna, jeter deserves to make the call. there is no one who knows the Yankee Way more than him. no one.

    jeter may be the last connection to what is the Yankee Way for awhile.
    this is his call.

  31. Revenge of Stoneburner January 20th, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Nice read Ryna.

    Following Jeter through the limited time in the minors brings back memories – of when the Yanks had quite up the middle with Jeter, Ruben Rivera, and Brien Taylor – shame 1 out of 3 turned out but a .333 BA is not bad. To think, this is what the pre-1995 top 100 prospects looked like at one time from baseball america:

    1) ARod
    2) Ruben Rivera
    3) Chipper Jones
    4) Jeter
    5) Brian Hunter

    You just never know – and it takes a lot of eggs to make an omelette.

  32. Revenge of Stoneburner January 20th, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Yankees need to look around for a SS of the future.

    ******

    ‘Zona

  33. j9d January 20th, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Ryan – Great guest post. No doubt this topic will generate much discussion this season.

  34. j9d January 20th, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Sorry…meant Ryna….autocorrect got me…

  35. J. Alfred Prufrock January 20th, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Jeter may be the last connection to what is the Yankee Way for awhile.
    ///

    Yep. Polar Vortex coming to the Bronx :(

  36. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Stones-

    I think if the Yankees load up on enough pitching this year they might make Nova available.

    Perhaps the Snakes, Rangers, or M’s would surrender one for him.

    Owings/Greorius, Andrus, Franklin ????

  37. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Apple-

    You get excited again if the Yankees wind up w MT.

    :)

  38. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Hike day today.

    :)

  39. J. Alfred Prufrock January 20th, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Abiatal Avelino, who, ATM, profiles as the projectable SS in the Yankee system with the highest ceiling (and highest floor, if you want to go on Patrick Teale’s recommendation) will either again be in short season (Staten Island’s not that hard to get to for NY metro area baseball fans; that starts in June) or Charleston, SC.

    If the latter, fans can see him down in Lakewood, NJ in April, for the Riverdogs’ 3-game set there.

    If you have a sub, Teale did a comparison between NYY and Boston SSs in their respective systems. Abiatal is ATM considered the class of a deep pool. How many actually stick at SS of course remains to be seen as they move through the system.

  40. Revenge of Stoneburner January 20th, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Stones-

    I think if the Yankees load up on enough pitching this year they might make Nova available.

    Perhaps the Snakes, Rangers, or M’s would surrender one for him.

    Owings/Greorius, Andrus, Franklin ????

    ******

    Agree – I would add Sardinas and Odor (2b though) from the Rangers – and they are desperate for pitching – plus might want to upgrade over Martin in CF – what does Nova/Gardner get you from Texas. Additionally, he strikes out a bunch, but if develops, I would love to see how many HRs Joey Gallo would put up in YS short porch with his left handed big time power potential – plus he is playing 3b currently for the Rangers – though not sure he stays there.

  41. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 9:52 am

    JAP-

    Hasn’t Culver made progress with the stick since he stopped being a switchy ?

    What level is he at these days ?

  42. Revenge of Stoneburner January 20th, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Yankeesource ?@YankeeSource 9m
    Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez can find employment very shortly. #Tanaka

    David ?@dHeit361 7m
    @YankeeSource announcement soon?

    Yankeesource ?@YankeeSource 5m
    @dHeit361 Wednesday is what I’ve heard but it could be later.

  43. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Stones-

    Since Holland went down they are.

    Rumor was they wanted a lefty but beggars can’t be chosers.

    Nova would be a great get for them IMO.

    We tend to not play well with other though.

    I think one of the others might be a better bet.

    Especially the Snakes who still need pitching.

  44. blake January 20th, 2014 at 9:55 am

    I have a question. Does Jeter have the arm to play third? ”

    I’ll say this again. You need more arm strength to play SS than 3B

  45. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Stones-

    What YS is tweeting seems obvious.

    Nothing there.

  46. Revenge of Stoneburner January 20th, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Especially the Snakes who still need pitching.

    ****

    MTU –

    agree. And Towers did select Nova in the rule 5 draft when with the Padres. Plus, maybe he sees something in some of our 2013 under performers that he helped draft when he was with the FO for a year (such as Williams and Gumbs).

  47. Revenge of Stoneburner January 20th, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Stones-

    What YS is tweeting seems obvious.

    Nothing there.

    *****

    yeah – just looking for any info at this point – this is Cliff Lee 2.0 – and this time we have to win

  48. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:00 am

    While the Yankees have been waiting on MT I’m hoping they’ve put their time to good use and gotten their ducks in a row on other options.

    I suspect they weren’t just sitting on their hands as we’ve heard they requested medicals on at least one of the alternatives.

    A major part of the DD process.

    Be ready to pounce just in case MT goes elsewhere.

    ;)

  49. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Stones-

    From what I can recall Towers loved MW and also Betances.

  50. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Stones-

    I think the Yankees are doing all they can to come out on top.

    It’s MT’s call.

  51. Revenge of Stoneburner January 20th, 2014 at 10:03 am

    MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:01 am
    Stones-

    From what I can recall Towers loved MW and also Betances.

    ********

    You are correct sir, from a year ago:

    GM Kevin Towers likes Yankees prospect Mason Williams, but he is several years away from the show and unlikely to be enough to headline a trade package (all Twitter links).

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....upton.html

  52. macintosh January 20th, 2014 at 10:04 am

    “You get excited again if the Yankees wind up w MT.”

    yes, i would.

    it’s hal’s chance to give derek the chance he didn’t give mariano and pettitte last year.

    it’s hal’s moment to see if he has it in him to rise to the occasion.

    it will take more than tanaka, but if hal signs tanaka it will show he’s evolved from pinching pennies to investing dollars to make more dollars.

  53. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Fuji apple-

    We’re about to find out.

    ;)

  54. Yankee Trader January 20th, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Time for Tanaka to make a decision, get on a plane and get whatever other medical tests, labs the club needs to make sure their 140 plus million dollar investment is not going to be money thrown down the toilet. If he waits much longer, and it might already be too late, any medical red flags, if they show up might not have time to sort it out and he’ll find the deadline has come and he’ll be gone, back to the Rakuten Eagles. Casey Close is cutting it way too close, no pun intended.

    Have to go.

    Have a great day everyone.

  55. GregD January 20th, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Ryna……nice job pinch hitting………:)

  56. Doreen January 20th, 2014 at 10:12 am

    In my heart of hearts, I’m hoping and pulling for Jeter to have a good year. And in my heart of hearts, I do not think Jeter will be one to hang on for himself.

    The thing about it is the fear of the unknown. What is in store? I’d love to fast forward a few months in this case.

    I would also like to take the moment to reflect on the life of Martin Luther King, and his work, and the hope that his dream will continue to inspire, and not be in vain.

  57. Can of Corn January 20th, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Revenge of Stoneburner January 20th, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Thanks for posting that article

    Now if you wouldn’t mind forwarding it to Close and Tanaka for their review ?

    Then they can ix-nay Clark and his Cubbies off the destination list

    TIA

  58. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Time for Hal to overcome his Riskophobia.

    Chapman, Soler, Cespedes, Puig, and Darvish calling out to him.

    MT is the latest do over.

    ;)

  59. blake January 20th, 2014 at 10:14 am

    “I would also like to take the moment to reflect on the life of Martin Luther King, and his work, and the hope that his dream will continue to inspire, and not be in vain.”

    Retweet :)

  60. J. Alfred Prufrock January 20th, 2014 at 10:14 am

    MTU January 20th, 2014 at 9:52 am

    JAP-

    Hasn’t Culver made progress with the stick since he stopped being a switchy ?

    What level is he at these days ?
    ///

    MTU,

    I have seen Culver twice in my life. At Brooklyn, when Hughes pitched a rehab game there, and then last year at Lakewood for DePaula’s first start in the SALLY.

    He made a great play ranging close to and behind 3B and then bounced a nice throw to 1B (the runner beat the throw, but the Culver showed both impressive arm and range, nonetheless) and he and Gumbs were smooth as a unit that day. He had some awkward looking LH swings, however.

    Next time I saw him, he was strictly a RHB, who pulled a pitch into the seats and who hit the ball nicely up the middle, and looked way more compact from the right side. They were facing a guy with a flat fastball who was basically throwing Charleston BP that day, but he looked mechanically sound. Reports though are that he is way more comfortable just focusing on RHABs.

    I would imagine he will be in Trenton soon. He did well in Tampa in SSS last season.

    I’ll certainly have a better take once we get him here. It would be great, obviously, if that kid could be the heir, or at least, a bridge, to Jeter. He certainly can play the position.

  61. Revenge of Stoneburner January 20th, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Now if you wouldn’t mind forwarding it to Close and Tanaka for their review ?

    ******

    LOL – I was going to write the same thing – but then I thought – they must know the %^&%%* state of the Cubbies – right – hopefully (only the Cubbies would hold a convention and tell their fans to wait ’till 2019 – well maybe the Mets at the pace they are going as well)

  62. HungerGames January 20th, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Excellent post Ryna. Jeter is the heart of this team and hopefully he can come back and defy time like Mo did after his injury.

  63. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:17 am

    JAP-

    Thanks.

    I had no idea he was that far along.

    If he continues to progress and becomes an adequate hitter he’ll be a great young SS.

    As you say, he can play the position.

    :)

  64. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Thank you for doing a fine job of PH Ryna.

    PH homers are kind of rare.

    ;)

  65. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I agree on MLK.

    Hope his dream becomes a reality someday.

    :)

  66. J. Alfred Prufrock January 20th, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I meant bridge to Avelino or someone worthy, if he can’t be more than just a stop-gap between Jete and the future.

    We’ll see.

  67. blake January 20th, 2014 at 10:23 am

    If the Yanks want to be the best they can be in 2014 I will continue to say they should talk to Jeter about moving to 3B and sign Drew…..it could dramatically improve their left side defense which currently might be the worst in the league

  68. Can of Corn January 20th, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Revenge of Stoneburner January 20th, 2014 at 10:15 am

    I was thinking of a couple of quick billboards in Japan and the ball pin hammer across the knuckles a few times to really have the point strike home.

    Eliminate the Cubbies and Theo so they can eat crow

    Just cuz he came from the hated Sox more than anything else

  69. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Yankees need to clone a good glove man with a good stick man so they have a viable SS replacement.

    :)

  70. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:28 am

    I’ve a great marketing gimmick. Get this one Levine. Mark it down.

    I think the Yankees should create a two-headed bobble head of Kuroda and Tanaka and then have a
    “Typhoon twins” bobble head day.

    It will be a sensation.

    Double your pleasure. Double your fun.

    :)

  71. J. Alfred Prufrock January 20th, 2014 at 10:28 am

    If they were really interested in being “the best they (could have been”) then they would have made an actual effort to re-sign the best 2B in their history, their best player, and the head-and-shoulders best FA on the market.

  72. sjb23 January 20th, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Nice read. Considering Jeter’s last full season showed he still had a very productive bat, my guess is Girardi will give Derek the benefit of the doubt and pencil him in the #2 spot until results dictate a move might be necessary. I remember Mickey Mantle’s last season (1968), and he wasn’t removed from the #3 hole even though he clearly was no longer a #3 hitter. Respect has to come into play here, I would think. If the front office is willing to give Derek a $3M raise out of respect, they’ll surely keep him in the #2 hole until the public outcry is deafening.

    I have a comment on Jeter’s attitude regarding his defense and his role as captain. IMO I think he should at least volunteer his willingness to move to 3rd base during spring training if Girardi thinks the move would strengthen the team. This would really lay the groundwork for a team player attitude that all the players could follow, fill the hole at 3rd, give the Yanks more depth in the infield, and allow for better defense at shortstop via Brendan Ryan.

  73. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Blake-

    Since they are going over one way or another why not try this ?

    Drew has said he is willing to play other positions.

    Have him start the season at 3b and Jeter at SS.

    If Jeter falters he moves to 3b and Drew slides over to SS.

    Either way Drew should be happy.

    ;)

  74. blake January 20th, 2014 at 10:32 am

    If they were really interested in being “the best they (could have been”) then they would have made an actual effort to re-sign the best 2B in their history, their best player, and the head-and-shoulders best FA on the market.”

    Well that’s another story….I wouldn’t have given 235 million to Cano…..but I wouldn’t have given 153 to Ellsbury either so I do think it’s interesting that they were willing to grossly overpay Ellsbury and potentially Tanaka but set a firm limit on Robbie……think it’s pretty clear they decided to move on from Cano for whatever reason

  75. blake January 20th, 2014 at 10:33 am

    MTU,

    Yup….or that….Drew gives them a lot of options

  76. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Ryan is nothing more than a SS BU.

    He is not an everyday player IMO.

  77. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:36 am

    “think it’s pretty clear they decided to move on from Cano for whatever reason”

    I hate to say it but I think you are right.

    It certainly wasn’t based on his ability.

  78. blake January 20th, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Ryan is a worse hitter than Chris Stewart….let that sink in for a minute

  79. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Darvish must feel incredibly screwed.

    :(

  80. Tar January 20th, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Great job Ryna!

    I would just change the word “some” to great in the following sentence.

    “Jeter likes to lead off and has done that with some success in the past.”

    Thanks

  81. rynamay January 20th, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Personally, I think Jeter should consider the move to third. Like Ripken, it could extend his career by a few years and give him a legitimate shot at Rose’s hits record. J. Alfred Prufrock, that’s a great handle. :) Thanks for the feedback, everyone – this has been fun!

  82. blake January 20th, 2014 at 10:37 am

    MTU,
    It’s obvious…..when they drew the line in the sand at 175 on Cano they had to know he was gone……I said that all winter. It was always gonna take 200+ million and if they never were gonna pay that he was always leaving. They made that choice…..I don’t know all the reasons why……but my guess it was a lot of things

  83. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Blake-

    “I don’t know all the reasons why……but my guess it was a lot of things”

    Like I said, I don’t think ability was part of the equation.

    We aren’t privy to all the info.

    Maybe it was just the length of the contract as a major factor ?

    10 years is a long time. Even for a great one like Robbie.

  84. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Time to start getting ready soon.

    Breakfast club rocks !

    :)

  85. Revenge of Stoneburner January 20th, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Love for DRob this morning

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

  86. Ys Guy January 20th, 2014 at 10:43 am

    belechick said that welker’s hit that knocked talib out of the game was deliberate and was one of the worst plays he’s seen.

  87. blake January 20th, 2014 at 10:43 am

    MTU,

    I think his age was a big factor…..and I think it would be naive to think that his association with Arod didn’t have something to do with it. The Yankees have shown they will go above and beyond for players they believe are essential to their fabric…..they didn’t see Cano as being that going forward

  88. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Blake-

    If they KNEW it they should have traded him.

    At least they would have gotten something substantial for him.

  89. blake January 20th, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Ys Guy says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:43 am
    belechick said that welker’s hit that knocked talib out of the game was deliberate and was one of the worst plays he’s seen.

    It was pretty dirty

  90. Revenge of Stoneburner January 20th, 2014 at 10:44 am

    We aren’t privy to all the info.

    *****

    Just have to wait for the Randy Levine tell-all-book – complete with e-mails, text messages, and skypes

  91. blake January 20th, 2014 at 10:46 am

    “If they KNEW it they should have traded him.”

    Well that’s what I was sayin in July…..but they refused to sell even though it was obvious to anyone watching the games that they weren’t good enough

  92. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Blake-

    I think they likely did but did not want to go that long.

    The Yankees appear to have a new policy on 10 yr. contracts to older players.

    Especially after the AR nightmare.

    If Cano were in his mid 20′s I’m pretty sure they would have done it.

    I can easily see Tanaka getting a very long contract for that reason.

    He’s young.

  93. Ys Guy January 20th, 2014 at 10:47 am

    drob is way undervalued on this blog. they need to extend him now, he’s going to be great.

  94. blake January 20th, 2014 at 10:48 am

    “I think they likely did but did not want to go that long.”

    Yes but to me that’s kinda like saying…..yea I want that Ferrari but I only have 50k to spend …..you should know you’re not getting it unless you come up with another 100

  95. oak2455 January 20th, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Levine has the best haircut…. Looks like he lets five year olds do his sideburns ….

  96. blake January 20th, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Ys Guy says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:47 am
    drob is way undervalued on this blog. they need to extend him now, he’s going to be great.

    He’s great….depends on the money. Id certainly have discussions with him though as he’d be a lot chooser now than if he goes out and saves 45 games

  97. Ys Guy January 20th, 2014 at 10:51 am

    the yankees totally misplayed both cano and hughes. both should have been traded last offseason.

  98. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Blake-

    In my heart of hearts I think I know that the Yankees would never trade a star like Cano.

    The PR hit would have been massive.

    They had to play a certain game because of it.

    They don’t operate like a lot of other Teams in that regard.

    It takes huge cajones to do a thing like the Cards did with AP and just let him walk w/o a serious bid.

    That’s not what happened w Cano.

    It might also just be a sign of loyalty.

    They do need to reconsider some of their policies if they are really serious about the budget.

    i.e., extensions, etc.

  99. blake January 20th, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Cheaper

  100. mick January 20th, 2014 at 10:53 am

    traded cano and hughes for what?
    if there were any offers don’t you think they were entertained?

  101. blake January 20th, 2014 at 10:54 am

    “It takes huge cajones to do a thing like the Cards did with AP and just let him walk w/o a serious bid.”

    The cards bid over 200 million on Pujols….that’s gotten lost in history but they tried hard to sign him. I would argue they probably tried harder to sign him than the Yankees did Cano

  102. MTU January 20th, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Yankees should consider extensions for guys like D-rob, GGBG, and possibly Nova.

    ;)

  103. blake January 20th, 2014 at 10:55 am

    mick says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:53 am
    traded cano and hughes for what?
    if there were any offers don’t you think they were entertained?

    There was a report that the Rangers tried to trade for Cano and the yanks woukdnt even talk about it…..Hughes had very little value but they could have gotten a good return for Cano IMO.

  104. Can of Corn January 20th, 2014 at 10:56 am

    ‘Well that’s another story….I wouldn’t have given 235 million to Cano…..but I wouldn’t have given 153 to Ellsbury either’

    =========

    Agree with both, OTOH an $80 million difference between the two is huge. Cano could have had a very substantial payday in NY. The years were the issue and the Yanks didn’t want to go to that length

  105. Ys Guy January 20th, 2014 at 10:57 am

    there absolutely were offers or at least inquiries. and they would have been able to get more than they got which is nothing. badly played.

    i was just talking about last offseason. they should have extended him before that.

    current policy regarding extensions is ridiculous and it indicates poor long-term planning.

  106. mick January 20th, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Hughes had very little value but they could have gotten a good return for Cano IMO.
    =================================
    Would Texas have kept him ?
    Most likely Sea. outbids them, right?
    Why would they give up any value for 2 months of service?

  107. Ys Guy January 20th, 2014 at 10:59 am

    and they are going to either lose drob or end up paying him ridiculous money to close after the season. and letting gardner play out his last season is another short-sighted manifestation of this ‘plan’ (or lack thereof)

  108. mick January 20th, 2014 at 11:00 am

    sure they could have got something but a couple of low level prospects is not enough and would have been looked down on by the fanbase when they were still in WC contention.

  109. Ys Guy January 20th, 2014 at 11:01 am

    i said nothing about the trade deadline last season, again i was talking about last offseason.

  110. mick January 20th, 2014 at 11:02 am

    i think they want gardner back but are most likely to play it year by year with him depending on their needs next year.

    most guys want to see their value in FA anyway, as he will.

  111. Can of Corn January 20th, 2014 at 11:02 am

    ‘Yankees should consider extensions for guys like D-rob, GGBG, and possibly Nova’

    ==========

    They should, but ……………

    You know what happens to young guys on the Yankees ?

    Unless you are a superstar you get to walk to plank into free agency

  112. mick January 20th, 2014 at 11:03 am

    even in the OS, he would have been lost to Sea. in 2014.

  113. mick January 20th, 2014 at 11:05 am

    trading cano in the OS better bring back some big name prospects .

  114. Ys Guy January 20th, 2014 at 11:05 am

    it is possible that drob or gardner might wait to become an FA.

    but then again, a guy like gardner who hasnt made that much money comparatively, might well prefer the guaranteed money now rather than the later payoff. of course, if you don’t ask and make an offer (because of some stupid policy or because of 189) you will never know what’s possible.

  115. Ys Guy January 20th, 2014 at 11:06 am

    ” mick January 20th, 2014 at 11:05 am

    trading cano in the OS better bring back some big name prospects .”
    ===========================================
    well NOT trading him brough them….?

  116. mick January 20th, 2014 at 11:07 am

    extending superstars like kershaw makes sense but not for most.

  117. mick January 20th, 2014 at 11:08 am

    well NOT trading him brough them….?
    =========================
    nothing right now but there is always tomorrow.

  118. mick January 20th, 2014 at 11:09 am

    gotta run, 2 for 1 at cosi..

  119. Ys Guy January 20th, 2014 at 11:11 am

    just wait till drob saves games this year and see what he costs vs. what they could have extended him for last year.

  120. mnmboys January 20th, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Why would they think about trading Cano in the OS? They believed Jeter would be ready, they didn’t know Granderson and Tex would both miss most of the year, they believed ARod would be back and healthy by midseason. They didn’t know CC would pitch like crap. They believed they had a chance to compete and win another WS with what they had going in. Trading Cano at that point made no sense. They were hanging around at the trade deadline with some hopes of getting some guys back. Yankees way is live for today and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow .

  121. pkyankfan69 January 20th, 2014 at 11:15 am

    It would be awesome if Heathcott would really emerge in the minors this year and just slide into GGBG’s spot next year. I doubt we will bring Gardner back after this year, someone will value him much higher as a CF then we will as a LF. Signing Ellsbury probably ended much of any chance of Gardner being with the team long term.

  122. Jerkface January 20th, 2014 at 11:15 am

    extending superstars like kershaw makes sense but not for most.

    ??? It makes sense to extend any player. It all depends on the cost to do the extension. Most extensions are NOT Kershaw 30 AAV deals. They are usually team friendly. The Yankees rebuffed Cano’s attempts to get an extension 2 years before his free agency. They messed up.

  123. Howler January 20th, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Nice job on the pinch hitting…
    I don’t think Derek should step aside until we learn what he can do…it might be for the good of the team that he doesn’t.

  124. Howler January 20th, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I’ve thought a player like Gardner would be able to be replaced from the minors and there was no need to extend him going into his 30′s…it’s what you have minors for, I think they have capable players that will be able to replace his production.

  125. Revenge of Stoneburner January 20th, 2014 at 11:20 am

    It would be awesome if Heathcott would really emerge in the minors this year

    ****

    it would also be awesome if the guy could stay healthy

  126. macintosh January 20th, 2014 at 11:23 am

    ” I remember Mickey Mantle’s last season (1968), and he wasn’t removed from the #3 hole even though he clearly was no longer a #3 hitter”

    mantle led the yankees in OPS and homers in 1968.

    he had a 143 OPS+ which also led the team.

    mantle was still the best hitter on the yankees in 1968.

  127. Ys Guy January 20th, 2014 at 11:23 am

    wfan is giving away a pair of SB tickets on the benigno-roberts show. they’re giving out 3 letters of an anagram each day and you have to guess the super bowl mvp.

    today’s (first day) letters are R L and T.

    save yourself the work the rest of the week, the winning answer if fred biletnikoff. (terrell davis is the only other possibility but there aren’t enough letters…)

  128. macintosh January 20th, 2014 at 11:24 am

    “The Yankees rebuffed Cano’s attempts to get an extension 2 years before his free agency. They messed up.”

    yup.

  129. CCBiggs January 20th, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I doubt Jeter is willing to take on a more limited role. Let’s face it, he is a very selfish player. He took a pay raise for 2014 despite missing almost all of last season and despite the fact that the Yanks are desperately trying to get under the luxury tax threshhold. It’s all about him.

  130. Ys Guy January 20th, 2014 at 11:36 am

    yes, timing-wise 2 years ago would have been perfect to extend cano. they likely could have kept the length to 7 years and paid alot less than seattle. even if it were at the same aav it could have been a great contract for both sides.

    had the yankees signed him after the 2011 season to a 7 year extension, even at the seattle AAV of $24M, they’d have him now for the next 5 years @$24M, which is a very good contract (at an extra cost of $14M for 2012 & 2013). they could have guaranteed cano $160M and he likely would have taken it back then.

    water under the bridge but hopefully lesson learned.

  131. Ys Guy January 20th, 2014 at 11:43 am

    sorry, the extra cost of 12 & 13 would have been $24M ($48M vs. $24M).

  132. Ys Guy January 20th, 2014 at 11:50 am

    ” CCBiggs January 20th, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I doubt Jeter is willing to take on a more limited role. Let’s face it, he is a very selfish player. He took a pay raise for 2014 despite missing almost all of last season and despite the fact that the Yanks are desperately trying to get under the luxury tax threshhold. It’s all about him.”
    ================================================
    players, especially on the yankees, separate the ‘buisness side’ from the inside-the-clubhouse and on-field issues. every player at least publicly supports every other player getting everything they can.

    jeter hinted he’d have taken seattle’s money to support his friend cano taking it.

    its the mlbpa way and he’s been a team player with the mlbpa, too.

    its not up to jeter to help hal steinbrenner save money.

  133. macintosh January 20th, 2014 at 11:51 am

    just like mantle, there’s not going to be another jeter.

    mantle quit when he had to. he still finished relatively strong compared to the league average in 1968.

    i think jeter will finish relatively strong too .

    the only thing i’ll give to the anti jeter people is that mickey did move to first base.

    as an aside, pepitone moved to center from first base.
    maybe in spring training, the yankees should move teixeria to short and give jeter first base just for an experiment :)

  134. Ys Guy January 20th, 2014 at 11:56 am

    never gonna be another babe
    never gonna be another gehrig
    never gonna be another dimaggio
    never gonna be another berra
    never gonna be another mantle
    never gonna be another mariano
    never gonna be another jeter

    The great thing about Yankees baseball is that there’s never gonna be another one of whoever the next guy is…but there’s gonna be a next guy!

  135. Cashmoney January 20th, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Ys, there are 30 years in between Jeter and Mantle, just saying.

  136. J. Alfred Prufrock January 20th, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    and guess what – there is never gonna be another Yankee 2B like Robinson Cano.

  137. Cashmoney January 20th, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    As Yankee fan, in terms of future, I just want to know how and where will the Yankees be able to acquire young and impact talents going forth?

  138. Howler January 20th, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    If it wasn’t for a stupid locker room wrestling match there would’ve been Mattingly

  139. Frankg January 20th, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Enjoyed the article, Ryna. Look forward to your book on baseball. Regarding Jeter, I was disappointed to see that he recently admitted coming back too soon last year from his injury. That is a rookie mistake and shows he was putting himself above the team. His ego has gotten too big and I hope he can handle playing SS this year. I guess we’ll have to wait on that one. I hope he will call it quits before he embarrasses himself and ends his career on a bad note.

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  158. http://www.massive.ph/?id=17 September 1st, 2014 at 5:35 am

    Baggallini handbags are not only stylish, attractive and elegant; they are well designed for practica . Yet despite its importance in functionality, the vintage handbag is also one of the most essential and stylistically telling pieces in fashion. So it’s important to consider various features when choosing a vintage handbag, to ensure you get the most out of both its functionality and style. When we see the celebrities and WAGs in the pages of the glossy maga . The Handbags are amongst the most significant accessories women can never survive without. They may put aside bracelet or even necklaces on some days but trendy handbags or tote bags can never be missed the moment they step out of their homes. These days, buying a handbag itself is a pleasing experience. A necklace or a bracelet can be dismissed if the dress doesnt need one but bags are something that can never be forgone. Buying a bag is not as simple as it used to be. Today women have a choice between sleek clutch purses, Santiago tote bags, Hobo international handbags, jute shopping bags, Horizon shoulder bags and many more varieties in hundreds of colors and designs. Every occasion demands a certain type of bag and there are scores avai . Whatever it is, the reality that the style world is an endless cycle is inevitable. Furthermore, as this clothing doesn’t ever really change (even though the latest ‘big thing’ might appear and disappear), it means it can never fall out of fashion. It is the clothing’s timelessness that sets it aside from current trends in fashion. Therefore, for anybody who is among those f . There is no doubt that they stand a class apart. But, they never come inexpensive all the time which means that if you want a designer handbag, then you want to shell out a really good sum of funds. Though they are tough and beneficial looking, they can definitely get costly.

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