"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Category: Yankees

Happiness Is…

I have a friend who’ll watch the NFL and occasionally check in on a hockey or basketball game but who really sits around all winter waiting for baseball to return. He’d watch a channel that just showed a still picture of a baseball; that’d be enough to keep him warm.

I spoke to him  yesterday and he was so excited to see an exhibition game on TV.

So happy, in fact, he got busy with photoshop and sent this.

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Ah, baseball.

Springish

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You guys know all about the great Lo Hud Yankee blog. Pete Abraham started it and Chad Jennings keeps it purring along. For all the latest spring training whatnot, look no further than your one-stop shop for Yankeeness. 

[Picture by Lucy Eldridge via It’s a Long Season]

It Ain’t the Meat it’s the Motion

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C.C. weighs in.

B-B-Batter Up

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Pitchers n catchers and dreams of someplace warm. 

[Photo Credit: Francis Miller via It’s a Long Season]

The Miseducation of Alex Rodriguez

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J. R. Moehringer on Alex Rodriguez:

PEOPLE HATE HIM. Boy, wow, do they hate him. At first they loved him, and then they were confused by him, and then they were irritated by him, and now they straight-up loathe.

More often than not, the mention of Alex Rodriguez in polite company triggers one of a spectrum of deeply conditioned responses. Pained ugh. Guttural groan. Exaggerated eye roll. Hundreds of baseball players have been caught using steroids, including some of the game’s best-known and most beloved names, but somehow Alex Rodriguez has become the steroid era’s Lord Voldemort. Ryan Braun? Won an MVP, got busted for steroids, twice, called the tester an anti-Semite, lied his testes off, made chumps of his best friends, including Aaron Rodgers, and still doesn’t inspire a scintilla of the ill will that follows Rodriguez around like a nuclear cloud.

Schadenfreude is part of the reason. Rodriguez was born with an embarrassment of physical riches — power, vision, energy, size, speed — and seemed designed specifically for immortality, as if assembled in some celestial workshop by baseball angels and the artists at Marvel Comics. He then had the annoyingly immense good fortune to come of age at the exact moment baseball contracts were primed to explode. Months after he was old enough to rent a car he signed a contract worth $252 million. Seven years later: another deal worth $275 million. Add to that windfall another $500 million worth of handsome, and people were just waiting. Fans will root for a megarich athlete who’s also ridiculously handsome (body by Rodin, skin like melted butterscotch, eyes of weaponized hazelness), but the minute he stumbles, just ask Tom Brady, they’ll stand in line to kick him in his spongy balls.

Rodriguez’s defenders (and employees) are quick to say: Sheesh, the guy didn’t murder anybody. But he did. A-Rod murdered Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod brutally kidnapped and replaced the virginal, bilingual, biracial boy wonder, the chubby-cheeked phenom with nothing but upside. A-Rod killed the radio star, and his fall from grace disrupted the whole symbology and mythopoesis of what it means to be a superhero athlete in modern America.

[Image Via: Mark Murphy]

Chicolini, Take A Letter

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The Yankees retire so many numbers and give out so many plaques that reading about the latest immortal to be honored always feels like something straight out of The Onion. But there you have it, the hits keep coming.

For more Stupid Human Tricks, here’s Alex.

And we’d be remiss if we didn’t salute our ol’ pal Jason Giambi who announced his retirement today. Giambo is five months older than me to the day and I suppose I always liked him because he was in my grade.

He was a good fella. I’m sure we’ll see him as a coach soon enough.

[Photo Credit: Stephen Anzaldi]

Enthusiasms

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James Shields head for the sunshine and there’s plenty to be enthusiastic about in San Diego.

Wait a Second…

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Head on over to the New York Times where David Waldstein takes a look at Rob Refsnyder:

At some point this year, whether in spring training, on opening day or later in the regular season, Refsnyder is likely to be introduced to Yankees fans for the first time, and some of them may look at him with the same bemused expression that the players and coaches at those California showcases wore.

Amy Mihyang Ginther with her birth mother, Park Jeong-hee, at Park’s home in Gimcheon, South Korea.Why a Generation of Adoptees Is Returning to South KoreaJAN. 14, 2015
Refsnyder is a top Yankees prospect, a gifted hitter who has been invited to his first major league spring training this month and hopes to soon become the team’s starting second baseman. He was adopted from South Korea by parents with German and Irish backgrounds, as was his older sister, Elizabeth, who was a talented softball player in college.

While you’re at it, check out Mike Axisa’s recent appreciation of Willie Randolph. 

[Photo Credit: Dan Farrell/N.Y. Daily News]

Wanted

MLB: Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals

Over at SI.com, Jay Jaffe’s winter report card gives the Yanks a preliminary grade of B-:

New York has exercised atypical financial restraint this winter, yet managed to shore up trouble spots by adding younger and less expensive players. Gregorius and Headley are the two youngest in the lineup, with McCann, who turns 31 in February, the only other regular younger than Drew. Meanwhile, the influx of new pitchers over the last two years leaves Sabathia and Capuano as the only pitchers over 30. Payroll will still be well over $200 million, but Cashman has ensured the Yankees more flexibility down the road, and the farm system is much improved thanks to better drafting and a burst of international signings. Whether or not they deviate by adding Shields, it’s a coherent philosophy that better sets them up for the long haul, even if they fall short of the postseason again in 2015.

[Photo Credit: USATSI]

After the Fire

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The latest on John Sterling, from Michael Kay’s radio show.

[Photo Credit: Julio Cortez/AP]

All Together Now

LOS ANGELES DODGERS WORKOUT AT CAMELBACK

Coaches.

[Photo Credit: Jon Soo Hoo]

Insurance Plan

Stephen Drew

Happy?

[Photo Credit: Frank Franklin III/AP]

The Quiet Man

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Hiroki Kuroda pitched three seasons in New York. He was a quiet yet sturdy performer.

And, he was a favorite around these parts. We certainly appreciated his toughness.

Happy trails, hombre. And, thank you.

What Happened to Brad Halsey?

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Over at the USA Today, Josh Peter has a takeout piece on the late Brad Halsey. 

[Photo Credit: Kathy Willens/AP]

The Paper Chase

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Will Chase Headley be a Yankee?

The City That Never Sleeps

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Meanwhile, in L.A...BOOM.

And, this.

[Photo Credit: Jon Weisman]

Shape of Things

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Via the ever-intrepid Chad Jennings, here’s Brian Cashman:

“You saw how quickly the (Ian) Clarkins and (Aaron) Judges have climbed the prospect list,” Cashman said. “Once we got (Andrew) Miller, it created a circumstance for us where Miller plus the draft pick weighed out for us as we move forward as a better buy than having to go all-in on (Dave) Robertson.”

It was not by random chance that Cashman used Clarkin and Judge to illustrate his point. By letting Robertson leave, the Yankees will get a sandwich pick at the end of next year’s first round. Clarkin and Judge were sandwich picks just two years ago — compensation for losing Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano — and they have emerged as two of the top prospects in the system. Judge is the team’s No. 1 prospect according to the latest rankings from Baseball Prospectus. Clarkin is No. 4 on that list.

There seems to be a sort of turning of the page happening with the Yankees system. Aside from Brett Gardner’s extension during spring training, there has been no effort to keep the most recent homegrown core in place, but there has been a renewed focus on building a new core that might trickle onto the big league roster in the next year or so.

Francisco Cervelli has been traded away. Same for Shane Greene. Robertson was allowed to leave via free agency. So were Phil Hughes and Robinson Cano. It’s not that the Yankees are intentionally getting rid of these players — and let’s not pretend they had some new version of the Core Four in place — but the Yankees are not putting overwhelming emphasis on keeping the homegrown players who have already reached the big leagues. Being homegrown is not reason enough to commit.

“I wouldn’t say we let Cano walk,” Cashman said. “He was taken with a significant offer. I don’t really look at it as if we’ve let anyone walk. In this case, I don’t think Robertson had anything to do with Cano. Robertson we did not make an offer. We made a significant one on Robbie. Obviously Seattle stepped up and blew the field away.”

And more, here.

Oh, yeah, and: Lester. 

[Photo Via: Gloss Trotter]

S’Long, Thanks for the Saves

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As expected, David Robertson will not return to the Yankees. Instead, he’s signed a 4-year deal to pitch for the Chicago White Sox.

Robertson was a fine Yankee, a damned good one. Sorry to see him go but at these prices, I get it, both from him and the Yanks.

[Photo Via: Southern Belle]

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver