This update is powered by the Peanuts gang, cause its still a kid’s game (smile):
- MLBTradeRumors provides a capsule summary of the Yanks off-season.
- Christina Kahrl examines some Spring Training questions:
. . . Will Joba Chamberlain start or relieve? Or will Phil Hughes get the job? Or will both tyros be in the pen, opening up the rotation slot to a more classically defined fifth-starter type like Chad Gaudin or the reliably bad Sergio Mitre? Or will Alfredo Aceves swap places with Hughes and Chamberlain and get the skippable fifth man’s job? . . . With the decisions to acquire Javier Vazquez and retain Andy Pettitte, the fifth starter’s slot ought to be skippable given an expensive quality front four; a quick run through the Yankees schedule suggests that the they could avoid starting anybody on short rest and reduce the fifth slot to 25 turns on the year. . . . it also has the nice advantage of having the fifth starter face the Red Sox or Rays just once in 13 September games against their two most likely rivals, and they could easily turn that number into zero if they felt the need.
Of course, any such proposition relies on the front four being healthy and delivering, and I’ve already expressed my doubts about Javier Vazquez. . . .
. . . If the Bombers were to leave Hughes and Chamberlain in the bullpen for a combined 150-160 innings, it isn’t hard to envision a dramatic improvement, and if Aceves ends up manning the middle innings, that might add up to a historically outstanding unit by any flavor of relief metric.
As for the outfield, I don’t really see the contest as that dramatic, since I expect an initial job-sharing arrangement not unlike what happened last year between Gardner and Melky Cabrera. However, Winn’s the sort of hurdle Gardner should be able to beat out over time, and regardless of the outcome both players should get plenty of at-bats, especially once the Yankees decide there’s not much to be done about Curtis Granderson’s issues against lefties.
- The South Bronx is still waiting for the return of their parks/ballfields.
- CC Sabathia’s advice to the newbies on the squad:
“Be yourself, be yourself,” Sabathia said. “That’s all I can say. That’s what I try to do: answer questions as honestly as I can and have fun out on the field and enjoy it and then go and win the World Series.”
- Boxing, or a Bar Mitzvah, at the ballyard in the Bronx?:
Bob Arum, the boxing promoter, has seen his share of great fighters: Muhammad Ali, Ken Norton, Manny Pacquiao. He can add Jonathan Ballan to that list.
Ballan, the lead bond lawyer for the financing of Yankee Stadium, reserved the stadium for his son’s bar mitzvah on Saturday, June 5. In addition to providing lounges, the Yankees promised to give the Ballan party access to the stadium’s giant scoreboard in center field for 30 minutes.
But now the Yankees are negotiating with Arum to hold the first boxing event at the new stadium on, you guessed it, June 5. The 30,000 or so fans expected at the bout would probably not enjoy seeing a montage of Ballan family photos on the scoreboard.
Back on Monday!