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News Update – 1/11/10

Today’s update is powered by Mr. Billy Taylor (no, not THIS one):

After months of speculation that the Yankees’ hunk and his sexy steady Minka Kelly are headed to the altar, The Post has learned that the super couple may have settled on a wedding date — Nov. 5.

And while it may bring little solace to Jeter’s legion of female admirers, fretful Yankees fans will be glad to note the date is at least two days after the World Series ends.

It appears Damon’s hopes of getting a multi-year contract are almost nonexistent. The Braves, Giants, and Mariners all have some interest, but it is starting to look as though he is going to have to go back to the Yankees with hat in hand after turning down a two-year offer from them last month.

Back on Thursday.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 Sliced Bread   ~  Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am

I really hope they get Damon back.
Nick Johnson and Gardner are nice players, but Damon is an offensive cornerstone,and a perfect number 2 hitter.
Show him the Yankee love, Cashman.

2 RagingTartabull   ~  Jan 11, 2010 9:17 am

Damon is gonna be pretty much an exact re-play of Pettitte's situation last year, which I'm totally fine with.

3 rbj   ~  Jan 11, 2010 9:25 am

Derek understands the role of the groom: just tell me when and where to show up.

51-45. Damn, whatagame.

4 Sliced Bread   ~  Jan 11, 2010 10:00 am

I can see it now... Jeter and his bride riding away from the ceremony in a centaur drawn chariot.

5 Diane Firstman   ~  Jan 11, 2010 10:04 am


LOL ... well-played!

6 OldYanksFan   ~  Jan 11, 2010 10:08 am

"....but Damon is an offensive cornerstone.."
JD Posted a career OPS+ last year of 126.
Over his 4 years as a Yankee, his average OPS+ is 115.
Over his career, his OPS+ is 105.

Yes, YSIII inflates his numbers.
But the guy will be 36 next year.
Do you expect 126 again? How about even 115?

Meanwhile, NJ (who is 5 years younger) has a career OPS+ of 125, and has average that over the last 4 years, and better then that over the last 5 and 6.

So... you really expect JD will out OPS+ NJ?

One never knows what will happen, but statistically (and especially considering age), NJ should post much better numbers in 2010.

7 ms october   ~  Jan 11, 2010 10:16 am

[6] i think rather than focus on damon/johnson, the key point is damon>gardner.
also nice to have insurance if nj gets hurt and to not have to depend on gardner as an everyday player.

[2] that was my thought too.

[3] that was a helluva game and an awful way for the packers to lose.

8 Sliced Bread   ~  Jan 11, 2010 10:22 am

[6] Damon carried the team the first few months last year, and I expect his hands not to break when he hits the ball. I prefer his power, too.

[5] thanks, D!

9 Sliced Bread   ~  Jan 11, 2010 10:23 am

[7] right, that's the key.

10 ms october   ~  Jan 11, 2010 10:25 am

as to some other teams' news:

1) i am a bit surprised about chapman to the reds - didn't see that coming

2) i thought diasuke's problem was his lack of shoulder savings - now it it was a leg injury that led to bad mechanics?

11 a.O   ~  Jan 11, 2010 11:21 am

[7] Well, Damon > Gardner offensively. But Gardner >> Damon defensively. And I'm sure I don't need to recite all the reasons why even without Damon we already have the best offense in MLB. Why shouldn't Gardner at least get until the All-Star break to see if he can establish himself as an everyday CF?

12 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 11, 2010 11:32 am

[11] For starters, Granderson is going to be playing CF, so Gardner, if he plays, will be in LF. Also, we don't really know if Gardner is/will be a better LF'er than Damon. Even the most ardent UZR proponent acknowledges that you can't really look at one year samples, so Damon's awful 2009 has to be weighed against his very good 2007/2008 in LF. Similarly, Gardner doesn't even have one full year of data, so his real ability as measured by stats can't be known.

If the Yankees can get Damon for their price, there is absolutely no reason to pass him by in favor of Gardner.

13 a.O   ~  Jan 11, 2010 11:44 am

[12] Agreed, we don't really know what we have in Gardner yet -- and that's why I think he deserves a shot.

As for UZR, it seems to me that, based on the above, you're implying or assuming that it is a comprehensive measure of defensive ability in the outfield. It is not. And I'm sure you will correct me if I'm wrong about whether you make that assumption.

As for UZR itself, when a 36-year old player turns in declining UZRs, that tells us more than the fact that he once had a good UZR. I agree that you look at more than one season, but you weigh the decline at a late stage in the career more heavily. At least I do.

And then there is Johnny's inability to throw to the infield with any speed whatsoever. I watched runner after runner last year take an extra base on Johnny. He was definitely an offensive plus in both the regular and post-season, but there were innumerable plays where Gardner, Granderson, or almost anyone else would have had a shot at the runner trying to score and Damon had none. He should not even bother throwing home. Given our offensive, I'd rather have a guy who can make some outfield assists and who teams think twice about trying to score on.

Finally, I am aware that most people think it will/would be Gardy in left and Grandy in center, but I have not heard any actual Yankee employees say that. If you have, please enlighten me. I would do it the other way around, because of the easier load on Grandy and his larger expected offensive contribution.

14 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 11, 2010 12:09 pm

[13] Damon had very good UZR numbers in 2007 and 2008, so his 2009 is a one year decline, which is far from a trend. Other explanations for his poor season could be getting used to the new Stadium or even those eyes problems he supposedly had.

As for Damon's throwing arm, while it is very weak, Gardner's isn't much stronger.

As for who will play CF, Cashman has stated that Granderson will play CF, according to LoHud (see excerpted blog entry). Because Granderson has played a very good CF in the past and figures to be at least a medium-term part of the team, it makes much more sense to install him in CF and then use a revolving door approach in LF until a permanent solution can be found. Gardner might not even last a season, so I see no reason to subplant Granderson based on limited defensive data.

LoHud - 1/2/10

Frankly, I think they’re both pretty good, but I know there are several who completely disagree. Bottom line is (I think) both can handle the position, but the Yankees have made no secret of their plans to start Granderson in center, leaving Gardner as the current left fielder.

15 a.O   ~  Jan 11, 2010 12:24 pm

I agree that Gardner's arm is not great, but it is much stronger than Damon's arm. Damon cannot reasonably be regarded as having a major league arm. I've seen high school kids with better arms. He has avoided a hard evaluation of this part of his game by having good outfield range (before he hit his late 30s), great speed on the bases, and being a very good hitter.

16 thelarmis   ~  Jan 11, 2010 1:35 pm

[0] um, i believe it's ... Dr. Billy Taylor! (ahem) : )

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