Archive for the Yankees Category

New York Yankees 2013 Preview

Posted in Yankees on March 20, 2013 by EAST SIDE RYNO

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…And we’re back. With the conclusion of the World Baseball Classic last night, the 2013 Major League Baseball season is just around the corner. To be honest, the 2012 New York Yankees season seemed very lackadasical. The Yanks finished on top of the AL East, but there was a feeling around the city that this team was doomed in the postseason. With injuries looming and old age being a tremendous factor, we were all waiting for a collapse. The Yanks were able to sneak by the Baltimore Orioles in the Division Series with almost no offense (with the exception of Raul Ibanez). But after Jeter’s playoff-ending injury in Game 1 of the ALCS, it was over. Did the Yanks even score a run after that? Can’t remember.

What was also sad about last year’s postseason was the lack of attendance. I’ve mentioned it before on how the Yankees must lower ticket prices in order to get the real fans back. I was  delighted at the fact that the organization received criticism around the country for the lack of energy and fans during the playoffs.  You would think the front office learned from the humiliating attendance numbers last season. Unfortunately they didn’t given they decided to break their partnership with Stubhub…

I love the New York Yankees – which is why I’m saying that I hope they miss the postseason in 2013. This franchise needs a fresh start – a whole new look. Maybe a fourth place AL East finish will an under .500 record could spark the front office to make changes (and I don’t mean in free agency). If I were Brian Cashman, I would start the rebuilding process today. Look at the Red Sox last season. They tried to hold on to their best players (riddled with injuries and had chemistry) and it completely backfired. By August, GM Bill Cherrington finally cleaned house. Boston might suck this year, but they are headed in the right direction.

So instead of preview the Yankees this season, I’m going to show you might starting nine and rotation if I were running the organization:

2013 Opening Day Lineup w/ 2012 Stats

CF Brett Gardner (.323, 10 H, 2 SB – 16 Games)
SS Derek Jeter (.297, 6 HR, 61 RBI)
RF Ichiro Suzuki (.283, 9 HR, 55 RBI)
2B Robinson Cano (.313, 33 HR, 94 RBI)
LF Vernon Wells (.230, 11 HR, 29 RBI)
3B Kevin Youkilis (.235, 19 HR, 60 RBI)
DH Travis Hafner (.228, 12 HR, 34 RBI)
1B Lyle Overbay (.259, 2 HR, 10 RBI)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  C Francisco Cervelli (.246, 2 HR, 39 RBI – AAA)

Starting Rotation
1. C.C. Sabathia (15-6, 3.38 ERA)
2. Hiroki Kuroda (16-11, 3.32 ERA)
3. Andy Pettitte (5-4, 2.87 ERA)
4. Ivan Nova (12-8, 5.02 ERA)
5. Phil Hughes (16-13, 4.19 ERA)

Bullpen:
David Phelps
Joba Chamberlain
Boone Logan
David Aardsma
David Robertson
Mariano Rivera

Get ready for the 2013 Mets Preview tomorrow…

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Greetings from Sunday Night Baseball

Posted in Yankees on April 15, 2012 by EAST SIDE RYNO

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When Was the Last Time the Yanks were 0-3?? Oh yeah, that’s right…in 1998

Posted in Yankees on April 8, 2012 by EAST SIDE RYNO

So apparently everyone thinks the season is over since the Yanks got manhandled against the Rays this weekend. I can already hear it on 660 The Fan tomorrow, “They’re too old…Kuroda can’t pitch in New York…Girardi can’t manage…Rivera is done…” Now I totally understand why people overreact during the first week of the season. We’re all still in football mode where a three game losing streak could potentially ruin a season. Plus, the last time we all watched baseball was in October during a five game playoff series. So let’s all take a step back and breathe while I drop some knowledge.

The 1998 Yankees started the season 0-3...they went on to have the best single-season record in MLB history

The last time the Yankees began the season 0-3 was in 1998. Yes, the same year the Yanks won an American League record 114 games. I still remember that first series at Anaheim that season. It was very similar to this past series against Tampa Bay – the offense was unproductive while their top two starters had less than stellar starts. The Yanks would go on to drop to 1-4 that season and there was great concern Joe Torre was going to lose his job if they didn’t turn it around. In the sixth game of the season, the Yankees blew out Seattle at the Kingdome and they never looked back.

So why can’t the same thing happen this year? The pitching is there, the offense is electric, and the bullpen should be stellar. Rivera had one bad outing, it’s going to happen. He’s old, but he still has the stuff to be the best closer in the game this season. A-Rod has already shown he’s in better shape than last year. Teixeira will have his usual 30+ homers and 100+ RBI. Jeter looks like he’ll be perfectly fine in the leadoff spot. Granderson will continue to drop bombs and play a phenomenal center field. This team has depth offensively and on the mound. Mark my words – they will win the division. Now let’s just forget about this weekend and move on to the next series. The Yanks take on the Orioles for a three game series starting tomorrow night.

2012 Yankees & MLB Preview/Predictions

Posted in Yankees on April 2, 2012 by sammywestside

Believe it or not the 2012 season is actually underway, but excitement and drama from the A’s and Mariners in Japan wasn’t quite there. Both the A’s and Mariners both sport clubs that are likely to finish 3rd and 4th respectively in the NL West. This year the power of great teams seems to be skewed towards the American League.

The playoff format should end up making the end of the season more exciting, but I disagree with the way they have designed it. A one-game playoff is just way too quirky and doesn’t reward teams for playing well all year. I say make it a 3-game series. Back the games up tight so we don’t lose those days and push back the other teams. You’d put strain on the two wild card teams by hurting their depth of starting pitching but would give a better chance for the better team to win. Baseball is a wild game and anyone can win anyway, a one game playoff for two teams that don’t finish with the same record necessarily doesn’t seem fair. It’s possible that you could have a 95 win team as the first wild card and an 85 win team as the second depending on divisions, and one-game doesn’t seem fair to the 95 win team which might be the second best team in their league. This becomes clear with unbalanced division like the AL East, which is far stronger than other divisions.

Lets move on to this year’s New York Yankee team. With Michael Pineda going to the DL with tendonitis the starting rotation is set for at least the next month. At this point the rotation is solid, and if each of the pitchers lives up to their potential then it could be very successful. The question becomes what happens when Andy Pettitte and Michael Pineda are back? I’d suspect at least one rotation spot will open because of performance. It’ll be tough for everyone to pitch great for a month and not give one of those guys a chance. An injury can always pop up and it’s nice to know the Yankees have so much depth and hopefully things will work themselves out as the season progresses.

1. Sabathia

2. Kuroda

3. Hughes

4. Nova

5. Garcia

The bullpen is going to a strong suit in for the Yankees in 2012. They have potentially the best pen in the majors. Beyond the reliable Rivera, David Robertson was amazing last year, while Rafael Soriano is due to have a strong bounce back year after a mediocre 2011. Boone Logan and Mike Rapada will start as the Yankees lefties in the pen, while Cory Wade and a long reliever will finish off the rest of the pen. The Yankees have a bunch of injuries in the pen right now that could end up helping them down the road. Joba Chamberlain, David Aardsma, and Pedro Feliciano all could end up back with the team in the second half of the season providing some extra valuable experience.

The Yankees on the other side should be pretty set and strong. A starting lineup that will look the same as last year with the exception of Raul Ibanez replacing Jorge Posada, and a bench that will be as well. Andrew Jones, Eric Chavez, Eduardo Nunez and Francisco Cervelli should be a nice supporting cast. The depth is there to support extended injuries just in case, and the Yankees should score runs as well as anyone in the Majors.

Overall if the starting rotation does well and the bullpen lives up to expectations this team should be as good as anyone in the majors. I think this is the strongest team they’ve put out on the field to start a season in quite a while. Injuries can always ruin any good team and the Yankees are still susceptible despite possibly having the deepest team in the majors.

The American League has six teams this year that really stick out. The depth of the league is the best its been in a while and one team is going to miss the playoffs that is very good. The Tigers appear to have the easiest path to the playoffs in the weaker AL Central. The AL East will once again sport the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays battling. Even a pesky Blue Jays team is almost lurking around. Finally the Rangers and Angels look strong out in the AL west. Here are my AL Predictions:

AL East:

1. Yankees 97-65

2. Red Sox 93-69

3. Rays 92-70

4. Blue Jays 80-82

5. Orioles 67-95

AL Central:

1. Tigers 94-68

2. White Sox 82-80

3. Twins 77-85

4. Royals 74-88

5. Indians 73-89

AL West:

1. Rangers 97-65

2. Angels 91-71

3. Athletics 73-89

4. Mariners 69-93

The National League is quite as deep and the gap between the leagues might be the biggest its ever been, especially at the top. The NL East is the haven for the best teams in the NL though. The Marlins, Nationals, and Braves are all up and coming to try and take down the strong hold Phillies. The NL Central will have the Cardinals, Reds, and Brewers as top contenders but some teams lost some big pieces from last year. In the west the Diamondbacks will look to defend their surprise title and hold of the pitching heavy Giants and Padres. Here are the National League Predictions:

NL East:

1. Phillies 91-71

2. Braves 89-73

3. Marlins 88-74

4. Nationals 82-80

5. Mets 69-93

NL Central:

1. Reds 86-76

2. Cardinals 84-78

3. Brewers 83-79

4. Cubs 72-90

5. Pirates 71-91

6. Astros 65-97

NL West:

1. Giants 85-77

2. Diamondbacks 84-78

3. Rockies 77-85

4. Dodgers 76-86

5. Padres 73-89

Playoffs:

1st Round:

Red Sox over Rays

Braves over Marlins

Division Series:

Yankees over Tigers

Rangers over Red Sox

Braves over Giants

Phillies over Reds

AL/NLCS:

Rangers over Yankees

Phillies over Braves

World Series:

Rangers over Phillies

Random Late March Thoughts

Posted in Yankees on March 28, 2012 by sammywestside

Will Freddy be in or out of the Yankees rotation next week when the season starts?

Today I will talk about a few different New York and national sports topics, starting with the NCAA Tournament.

This year’s NCAA Tournament has kinda been a dud. Not to say that people aren’t watching, but it hasn’t been a classic year. The final four has no cinderella, and the tournament has lacked any instant classics. With that said, it’s still the greatest tournament of the year and I’ve enjoyed watching it. The final four is not too surprising to me as I picked three of the four, but Missouri and Duke losing to 15 seeds was very entertaining. Kentucky has looked like the best team so far and is most likely to take home the title. I will not be rooting for the Wildcats though, as they are my least favorite of the final four teams. I picked Ohio State and will stick with that pick, to advance to the finals to face Kentucky. We’ll see what happens this weekend, my hope is that the tournament will give us three very exciting games.

Jim Nantz will be on the Mic this weekend, but his wonderful voice will be more readily used next week at the Masters. By far the greatest golf tournament of the year at the prettiest course, this year’s Masters is due to be epic with the current state of the PGA tour. Tiger Woods has finally broken through and looks poised to be the favorite but Rory McIlroy is playing just as well and will look to revenge last year’s collapse.

In New York the sports scene is getting pretty exciting these days. The biggest story this week was the trade of Tim Tebow to the Jets. It’s hard to not believe they did this for the publicity, but at the same time Sanchez isn’t exactly Peyton Manning. I predict that Tebow will start for the Jets by midseason due to the pressure to replace Sanchez who will have his share of struggles. This works out well for  a Giants team as well, who are happy to have the crosstown rivals receive all the attention for a third straight year. The Giants free agency saga has lost Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs, but their departure shouldn’t be too big a deal. The Giants will return multiple players from injury on defense, as well as a deep and well renowned defensive line. The Offensive Line needs help and a big time Tight End would be nice. The Giants will look to address some issues in draft as well as the remaining free agency period. While the Giants won’t be favorites to repeat, they should be considered one of the top NFC contenders for next season.

The Knicks are back on the upswing after Mike D’Antoni’s departure, and this time its due to defense. While the offense has been inconsistent, a renewed energy on the defensive end has led them to a 7-1 record since Mike Woodson took over. Jeremy Lin has continued to perform but will miss a second straight game tonight against the Magic due to a sore knee. Amare Stoudemire is now going to miss 2 to 4 weeks and this is a cause for concern. He had just started to turn the corner, but now the bulging disk in his back could cause him to be out the rest of the way. Carmelo is going to have to step up and start scoring more efficiently, while the rest of the team does as well. The Knicks face a tough schedule the rest of the way and must continue to win to just make the playoffs. If they can continue to play well and get healthy then perhaps they could make some noise come playoff time.

The Rangers are even closer to the playoffs now and they’re battling for the top seed in the east. The second place Penguins are only 3 points behind with 6 games to play. Falling behind the Penguins would drop the Rangers to the 4 seed and a likely matchup with the tough Flyers. Either way the Rangers need to find their flow again and try to make sure they are playing at a high level come playoff time. The Sabres are currently in the 8th spot and are firing on all cylinders and would be a big challenge for the Rangers as well.

Finally baseball season is right around the corner, and spring training is wrapping up this week. The Mets are in trouble this year as they are arguably the worst team in a tough division. Their training camp has been quiet so far, and the expectations are the lowest they’ve been in a while for the Mets. Maybe they have a little surprise in them, and that will have to start with good pitching and situational hitting. The Yankees biggest headlines have centered around their rotation. The spring has been good for the starters and the decision will be tough who will get the nod. I’m not sure who I want to see out there, and Andy Pettitte’s return in a month or so should complicate things even more. Injuries might end up working things out, but we’ll see what happens soon enough. The Yankees are looking the best they’ve looked in a long time coming out of spring training and if things can mold then this could be the AL favorite. The Red Sox, Rays, Rangers, Angels and Tigers all look like good teams too though, so we’ll see.

I Know Sports is Awesome Right Now, But It’s Time to Talk 2012 Yankees

Posted in Yankees on February 20, 2012 by EAST SIDE RYNO

Newly Acquired Yankee Michael Pineda Arrived Early to Tampa

With the Giants winning the Super Bowl, Linsanity taking over the city and the Rangers staying on top of the Eastern Conference, New York has had plenty to cheer about these days. But what’s going to happen when this Big Apple sports honeymoon comes to an end? I guess we will have to move on to baseball. So while we continue to enjoy our recent success, let’s get ready for the 2012 Yankees season:

Ever since that terrible night in October when the Yanks were eliminated by the Tigers in Game 5 of the ALDS, I’ve wanted nothing more than the 2012 season to begin. This year, the Yankees will have some new faces on board but the core of the team will still be around. Brian Cashman overall has had a quiet, yet very productive offseason. The big noise this winter was the Jesus Montero – Michael Pineda trade. I understand Yankee fans have had mixed feelings about this. Montero looked like a blossoming star in the final month of the 2011 season and seemed to be on his way to having an outstanding career in pinstripes. But with this current Yankees team, where could Montero play in the field? He’s not good anywhere defensively. Plus with A-Rod’s health amd Jeter’s age, it wouldn’t be wise to have an everyday Designated Hitter.

I have full confidence in Michael Pineda, even though he hasn’t thrown a single pitch in a Yankee uniform. In Seattle, he was 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA. That’s not too shabby pitching in the American League while having no run support. He’s only 23 years old and has one of the best sliders in the league. According to the Daily News, Pineda felt a little overwhelmed yesterday when pitchers and catchers reported, but apparently Robbie Cano has taken him under his wing.

The big offensive news in the off-season came this morning when it was announced that the Yankees signed Raul Ibanez to a one-year deal. Raul will not be an everyday starter, but he will have plenty of at bats in the DH spot. He had a disappointing season in 2011 only hitting .245 but his power numbers have remained strong throughout his career. He’s now 40 years old, but his lefty power swing should work very well at home. If Ibanez stays healthy, look for 25-30 home runs from the guy. As for the rest of the offense, here are some quick notes:

– Let’s hope Jeter can start right where he left off the 2011 regular season (he hit .327 in the second half of ’11)

– Expect another MVP-like season from Granderson. The guy is right in the middle of his prime.

– Cano is my pick for the 2012 American League MVP

– Apparently A-Rod’s health is 100%, but who knows? Don’t expect huge numbers from him, but don’t expect an off-year either.

– At 31 years old, Teixeira is poised to have another explosive year

– I will be disappointed if Brett Gardner has less than 50 stolen bases

Let’s give the pitchers some time in Tampa before we discuss the staff. 44 days until we’re Rockin’ the Bronx…

CC Remains a Yankee

Posted in Yankees on November 1, 2011 by sammywestside

CC will be a Yankee for at least 5 more seasons after signing an extension last night

Last night the Yankee signed a contract extension with CC for an extra year and 30 million total. He will also have an option for an extra year dependent upon the condition of his shoulder at the end of the contract after the 2016 season.

This is was step 1 in the Yankees plan for this offseason and it now complete. There was never a doubt CC wanted to remain a Yankee and he proved it by stepping up and getting this done before even opting out of the original contract.

The Yankees also are close to signing a new contract with Brian Cashman, and they picked up the options on Swisher and Cano as expected. Now it’s time to go out and find someone else to pitch in the rotation, perhaps two. CJ Wilson doesn’t look like he’s coveted by the Yankees (which I am happy about), but names like Mark Buehrle and Roy Oswalt might make more sense because they’ll demand much less money and years of the their contracts.

For now the Yankees are headed in the right direction, but this is just step 1 of many.