LADY AT THE BAT: December 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tough Year Ahead For Yankee Fans

With the signing of Mark Teixeira, the Yankees have added fuel to the fires of Yankee-haters around the world. While it looks like it'll be a good year for Yankee fans on the field in 2009, off the field will be another story entirely. Yankees Universe had better make sure there's no trace of thin skin on its body, because things are going to get really bad.

Actually, they already are. Case in point: The charming Lizzy over at the blog Babes Love Baseball wants everyone to know that she's through with baseball. You may or may not know that Lizzy is a die-hard Red Sox fan, though she lives two subway stops away from Yankee Stadium. She has posted another of her anti-Yankee rants and has received over 50 comments in response to it.

I can guarantee that this is only the beginning, Yankee fans. So, get ready. Put on the whole armour of the baseball gods and steel yourself for battle, because it's only going to get worse!


Monday, December 22, 2008

This Just In: Roger Clemens Is Clean

I was just reading Jane Heller's great blog Confessions Of A She-Fan and she has some breaking news! Forget all that steroid crap. Roger Clemens in clean:

Now, that's funny. Good stuff, Jane!


Monday, December 15, 2008

Buster Olney: Yanks Still Farming

If you read my previous post and didn't believe me when I said the Yankees haven't given up on their young prospects, read what Buster Olney said yesterday in his blog. He does a much better job of explaining it than I ever could. Click here to read the post.


Friday, December 12, 2008

What Happened In Vegas Went To New York

If you weren't convinced before the Winter Meetings that New York is the baseball capitol of the world, you are now. The Mets signed K-Rod and acquired JJ Putz. The Yankees are in the process of signing CC Sabathia and have the inside track on AJ Burnett. Neither team appears to be finished, either. The Mets will probably (or, should) go after some offense. Yankees are working on a trade of Melky Cabrera to the Brewers in exchange for Mike Cameron. They're also working on bringing back Andy Pettitte, hoping he'll accept less money to return for another year.

As far as the Yankees are concerned, it looks as if they've done away with building from within and being embarrassed about having the highest payroll in baseball. But looks are deceiving. They still have all their top prospects; none of them were traded away this week. Their payroll has not increased; over $80 million came off the books at the end of this past season. The addition of Sabathia has not increased their payroll.

Speaking of Sabathia, if you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that I was opposed to his signing because of his weight and because of all the innings he pitched last season. I'm even more opposed to it now because of the extra year they tacked on. I don't understand that at all! Weren't the Yankees bidding against themselves when they did that? And the opt-out clause doesn't make me feel any better; if Sabathia doesn't want to opt out after three years, the Yankees are stuck with him, whether he's a boom or a bust.

I'm hearing that the Yankees will keep a close eye on Sabathia's innings count, that he won't have to pitch as many because of the bullpen the Yankees have. I haven't heard anything about whether or not his weight issue will be addressed; I've only heard that it's not an issue and that being over 300 pounds is completely natural for him.

Good luck, CC.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

From Joel Sherman: Sabathia Chooses The Yankees

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, CC Sabathia has decided to accept the Yankees 6-Year $140 million offer. ESPN's "Mike & Mike In The Morning" just had Sherman on and he confirmed his story.

If this is true, will my worst fears come true? God, I hope not. I had a chance to ask a former professional baseball player about my fears the other night, on the internet radio show that I co-host. Jalal Leach was a former 7th round draft pick of the Yankees and made his ML debut with the SF Giants in 2001. Here's what he said when I asked him if Yankee fans should be concerned about Sabathia's size and the number of innings he pitched in 2008:

"Yes...the arm wasn't made to throw overhand...any pitcher can break down at anytime. I mean, yes, he did throw a lot of innings, yes he's a big guy [but], I mean, the guy is a competitor...It's all a risk. There's no guarantee if you go after a hitter instead of him that the hitter's going to hit, especially, as we know, playing in New York...."

So, we'll have to wait and see what happens. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Waiting Continues In Las Vegas

There are 155 un-signed free-agents this off-season. The Winter Meetings end the day after tomorrow. Will even one of them be signed by then? I'm starting to have my doubts.

Just who are these 155 guys? Jeff Passan of Yahoo has once again posted his Ultimate Free Agent Tracker. Jeff's comments next to each name make the list a pretty entertaining read ("Hey Joe, you're passe. This country needs Sal [Fasano], the Plumber.")


Friday, December 5, 2008

Cold Stove = A-Rod Gossip

As the Hot Stove struggles to heat up during these tough economic times, we can rest easy with the knowledge that, at least, there's always Alex Rodriguez.

Today we hear that A-Rod is once again trying to decide which team to play for in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. In the last classic, after much flip-flopping, he ended up playing for the USA;

People are still talkkng about that weird scarf he wore to one of Madonna's concerts; and,

Speaking of Madonna, A-Rod says the two of them are just friends.

The Winter Meetings start on Sunday. Why do I get the feeling we'll still hear more about A-Rod than about what's going on out in Vegas?


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Goodbye, Bobby Abreu

The arbitration deadline came and went yesterday without the Yankees offering arbitration to any free agents. That included Bobby Abreu. Abreu had a good season in 2008 but the Yankees are trying to manage their payroll better so Abreu, who likely would have gotten a pay raise, was sent packing, so to speak.

Abreu's upset, but not so much about not being offered abritration. GM Brian Cashman says the team is still "engaged" with Bobby Abreu, but Abreu's people say that is not true; they have not heard from the team since the season ended. Who's telling the truth?

Abreu is very close to Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera. During one YES postgame interview this past year, he called them his "boys." His "boys" had terrible seasons. Abreu's veteran presence seemed to do nothing to help Melky and Cano. Could the Yankees be thinking that Abreu was a bad influence on them? I think it's entirely possible.