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State of the Yankees

We are nearly though the first two weeks of the season. Very happy to see MLB celebrate Jackie Robinson Day today. Very classy and it should be done every year. Only disappointing part of the celebration was that I wish EVERY player wore #42. I like that a few players from each team wore Jackie’s jersey, but it would have been a great sign of solidarity if everyone wore his uniform as tribute.

As you probably know, Flash and I are HUGE Yankees fans. Neither of us live in NY, but we make the pilgrimage to the Stadium every year for opening day. The Yankees are pretty much all we think about, and we obsess over the team like crazy. Throughout the season, from time-to-time I will write a State of the Yankees post to cover various topics concerning the greatest sports franchise ever assembled. So, here goes my first shot:

Starting Pitching

Not sure I’ve ever seen a collection of sallies this large and this well paid. Leading the charge of my angst is, of course, Carla Pavano. Is there a worse athlete?!?!?! Ever?!?!? His latest stint on the DL began today with Carla mysteriously injuring his forearm. How does he get away with this?!?!?!? He looked great in his last start-probably his best pitching performance since he shat on the Yankees in the 2003 Series. So, he must have injured the said forearm doing something else that wasn’t related to his last start….I can only imagine what that was and it fits his sorry MO. Here is my first plea to Cashman: PLEASE CUT HIM NOW!! Pretty please! We are better off bringing up a new starter from the minors every fifth day than to let Pavano take the mound again. Remember, this is the same guy who missed a start because his girlfriend was sick. Nothing against his girlfriend (I hope she was OK), but c’mon!!!!!!!

Speaking of his girlfriend, as an aside I’d like to give herprops for doing what we want to do-kick him to the curb. For those of you who don’t know her, her name is Gia Allemand and she booted Carla right at the beginning of the season. Of course, she is an aspiring model and has her own website. Check her out at www.giaallemand.com. A little warning, the site is horrendous and if you visit, turn the volume on your computer off. There is cheesey, 70’s porn theme music that relentlessly plays over and over again. Again, terrible site, but she deserves our respect.

Also, take a look at this article from the NY Post: www.nypost.com/seven/03302007/news/nationalnews/pavano_gal_pal_drops_bomber_nationalnews_richard_johnson_and_david_k__li.htm

This could be the funniest thing I have ever read. Especially her quote of “I was the one that trained him and got him there all year,” she told Steppin’ Out’s Chaunce Hayden. She trained him?!?!?!?!?!??! Please tell me that is true!!! Please!!!! Would help explain many things about Carla. Back to the Yanks….

Unfortunately for the Yankees, Carla is not the only clown on their pitching staff. Wang has yet to make a start. Joining him on the DL (and Carla, too) is Mike Mussina. He walked off the mound in his last start because of a bum hammy. He’ll probably be out until the all-star break. I do like Moose  a lot. However, now hat he is on the DL, too, I wonder if Carla will now be giving him grief for “not wanting to be a part of the team,” “or not proving to his teammates that he wants to pitch”? If you remember, Moose publicly blasted Carla before camp started about his stints on the DL for seemingly minor injuries. I guess that doesn’t apply to everyone. Nice showing, Moose.

Kei Igawa…I don’t even need to write more. He needs to be gone immediately. I rip on Red Sox fans I know for spending too much money on Nomo II, but the Yankees signing of Igawa (almost $26 mil total) may be worse. Cashman jumped the shark with that signing and I can only imagine he did so as a knee jerk response to losing out on Nomo II. No other explanation. I’ve seen him pitch a few times. Joe Kerrigan throws better warm-up in the Pen.

The state of the current pitching situation leads me to conclude one thing: the Philip Hughes Era needs to begin today. Call him up to fill one of the three DL spots they have. Give him a spot and shot to try it out. He is young and cocky. His confidence is not going to be ruined if he gets roughed-up. He is tough. In fact, guarantee his spot and let the the four clowns mentionedin this post compete for the job whenever they decide it would be good to earn their checks. After-all, Torre guaranteed a spot to Mientkewicz (I don’t care if that is spelled wrong-he is terrible) and that turned out super (I think through today’s game, he wasn’t hitting his weight).  Why not do it for someone with talent?

Offense

#13 (still not calling him by name) has started the season with a flourish. Absolutely killing the ball. However, I’ve seen enough of him in clutch situations to know that the other shoe could drop at anytime. For now, I will compliment him and say that he has looked DAMN good at the plate and in the field (notwithstanding the bonehead play on opening day). He has popped out a lot with the bases loaded. he is still leaving a lot of runners on. However, it is a great start so far. Hopefully he keeps it up.

Giambi has started slow, but recently he has been hitting the ball hard. He had a good series in Oakland. Hopefully he will capitalize on that momentum. Jeter is Jeter (except for his glove). With the exception of Vlad Guerrero, there is no other hitter in MLB that I’d rather see at bat than Bobby Abreu. He pummels pitchers. Absolutely eats them up. His ABs earlier in the week against Ponson were priceless. The ESPN announcers calling that game even commented that after Ponson faced Abreu, he was sweating so much they thought he was going to pass out. Plus, his swing is a thing of beauty. Posada is starting off well. So is Cano and Melky is finally starting to show that last year was no fluke.

Bottom-line is the offense is looking good. Hoping it will be even better once warmer weather sets in.

Defense

The defense has been atrocious. This is not a good defensive team, but no one thought they would be this bad. Leading the way, very surprisingly so, is Jeter. He is already halfway to his error total for the entire 2006 season. Very unlike him. Hopefully it is a fluke and he puts it together. I think he will. This team has a good offense, but not good enough to overcome the errors on a consistent basis to win games. Definitely not enough to win the Series. They need to improve.

Bullpen

Has been the best part of the club. Bruneytime is legit and will unseat Proctor and Farnsworth as Torre’s main set-up man for Mo. With the exception of Mo’s blown save today, the pen has been phenomenal. Very happy with their performance to date.

Overall Grade: I know it is only the first two weeks, but I will give a grade for each State of the Yankees post. For the first two weeks, I’ll give them a B-.Their offense has been good, their pen has been amazing, but both are heavily outweighed by the piss poor defense and the sallies on the starting staff (with the exception of AP). They need to get better in both areas if they hope to compete for a long October run. This team should be much better, but they are underachieving big-time.

So that’s my first shot. I’ll keep them coming.

Runny

April 16, 2007 Posted by | Derek Jeter, Dice-K, Gia Allemand, Hideki Matsui, Jackie Robinson, Joe Torre, Kei Igawa, Kyle Farnsworth, Mariano Rivera, Matsuzaka, Mike Mussina, MLB, Pavano, Scott Proctor, State of the Yankees, Yankees | Leave a comment