Feb
14

Well, that was a quick off-season

By

It’s October. The Yankees lose a stunner to the Indians when former Manager Joe Torre fails to get his team off the field in the face of a Biblical plague of blood. Fade out on the season.

Except this is New York, and while the Giants won the Super Bowl, while the Knicks are epically bad, we never really fade out on the season. After the Yanks’ last game in October, Joe Torre left as manager and A-Rod opted out of his contract. Then, the World Series ended.

A-Rod came back. The Yanks re-signed Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera. They almost traded for Johan Santana, and then, they didn’t. The Mitchell Report hit, and we’ve been inundated with steroid news for the last two months. Now, Andy Pettitte, who hopefully won’t retire, won’t report to Spring Training until Monday.

Meanwhile, on the blog, we debated A-Rod, replacement third basemen, Johan Santana, Joba’s role and the future of Melky Cabrera. We saved the Big Three and had our biggest day for traffic during the cold days of December.

And here we are on February 14, and the countdown on the right just hit 0. I used to say forget Opening Day; life can begin again when pitchers and catchers report. But this year, baseball season never ended. It’s just a circle that keeps on going.

For a few minutes, we can forget about steroids. We can forget about yesterday’s circus or tomorrow’s hordes of reporters. We can forget about bullpen make-ups and starting pitchers on pitch counts and innings limits.

For a few minutes, we can remember opening day — six weeks away. We can remember the joys of a nine-inning baseball game on a warm summer night. We can remember the thrill of a pennant race and the tenseness that surrounds a pivotal three-game series when the Red Sox come to town. We can remember the electric air of Yankee Stadium in October (and forget that this is the Stadium’s last year).

We can remember this and smile because today, the action moves on the field, for today pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. And everything is good again.

Categories : Spring Training
  • E-ROC

    Derek will win the MVP. Wang will be a 20 game winner, finally. Before the season is over Brett Gardner will be the Yanks leadoff hitter. Trade for Brian Fuentes because of lacking confidence in the bridge to Rivera but it’ll be nixed at the last second because somebody lit a fire under Humberto Sanchez and Mark Melancon. The Big three will win at least 10 games each. Yanks will be a WildCard team that wins the WS. :) We can dream, right?

    • marc

      in your dream world we dont win the division too? WTF

      • E-ROC

        LOL, yeah, I guess so. My bad.

  • http://Www.Samiamsports.blogspot.com Sam

    Great write up,i actually found myself smiling when i was done Reading

  • matthew

    Those last 3 paragraphs were beautiful, brought tears to my eyes

  • http://Www.Samiamsports.blogspot.com Samiamsports

    Amen to e-roc

  • LiveFromNewYork

    We don’t want no damn wild card.

  • Marsha

    Who can you forget that it’s the last year in Yankee Stadium when every time you go to a game the new stadium stares you in the face? And how can you forget it’s the last year in Yankee Stadium when you are sitting behind third base on the third deck and you feel like you’re right in the game when you know that sitting in the third deck of the new stadium will make you feel like you’re miles away from the action? And how can you forget it’s the last year in Yankee Stadium when you’re paying more this year for tickets than you’ve ever paid before and you know that next year, if you can even get tickets, you will be paying exponentially more than you paid this year? Savor every moment of this season. Things will never be the same in the Bronx.

    • steve (different one)

      i agree with you about the upper deck.

      but prices have been VERY high for several years now. it’s not just this season.

  • Count Zero

    Pitchers and catchers — the day when it’s all good. Everything is still possible and the promise of Spring seems not so distant. What drama will unfold? Who among all these kids will step up and earn our hearts?

    Man, I love this day! :-)

  • NYY99

    I know this isn’t really related to this piece (sorry) but I thought some of you may find this funny.

    http://www.theonion.com/conten....._forced_to

    • Count Zero

      OMG that was funny on so many levels!

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      The only problem with that article is that Debbie Clemens’ ERA isn’t 0.00. Since she pitched zero innings, her ERA technically doesn’t exist. Any time you divide a number by 0 you get an undefined answer. I’ll stop now.

      • Count Zero

        Don’t over-analyze — when Joba had his streak going last year in relief, nobody was showing it as “Undefined” — they posted it as 0.00. :-)

        Plus while the calculation used to arrive at ERA may yield an undefined result, the purpose of the statistic is to measure how many earned runs a pitcher gives up every nine innings. If he hasn’t given up any earned runs, then the answer is 0 — that may not come out of the equation, but it’s consistent with the purpose of the statistic. ^_^

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          Ah, but you see, Joba’s ERA was 0 because he had thrown some innings. So if he had given up no earned runs in 8 innings – as he had at one point -, his ERA would be 0/8*9 or 0. But Debbie gave up 0 runs in 0 innings which is 0/0*9. You can’t divide by zero.

          That’s enough :)

      • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Theoretically, whenever you divide something by 0, the answer is infinity.

        • Malcard89

          Actually if u use calculus graphing, it doesn’t equal infinity, it APPROACHES infinity.

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  • wayne’s world

    Nice post. As I’ve often said (I love to quote myself), baseball is not a sport that one follows–it’s a way of life.

  • zack

    Between Pitchers and Catchers and giving my students a midterm today, it really is a great day :)

    I’m waiting to soak in those fluff pieces about Scott Strickland’s mother’s uncle’s dog’s battle with the forces of evil and how that gives him a different perspective on pitching which just might allow this wily vet to make the team…

    • zack

      OMG, I didn’t expect it THIS soon, via Pete ABe:
      Spoke to Scott Strickland who relayed an interesting story. The Yankees signed him last May and assigned him to Class AAA Scranton. But as he was headed that way, his wife gave premature birth to twins. So he returned home and didn’t play again the rest of the season. Jaden and Call Strickland are doing well now and Scott says he’s ready to pitch. He could be a sleeper.”

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I thought the new stadium is supposed to be the same as the old stadium and that you’d have the same view from the same seats. Is that NOT how it’s going to be?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      That is not how it’s going to be. The new stadium will fit 53,000 instead of 56,000+. Worse though is the news that the upper deck will be more recessed than it is now.

      • LiveFromNewYork

        Thanks Ben. I had no idea. A friend of mine has tier mvp seats 620 I think and it’s just like sitting over 3rd base. I can’t figure out what 30 feet will do to that.

  • It’sMeSNITCHES!!!

    Mike and the Mad Dog brought up the possibility that Pettite bails out this season. Is there some provision in his contract that would allow him to do so? That would be straight up devestating. Even having Andy come in after the All-Star break would be better than nothing.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      No need for a provision. A player can retire at any time, but it’s just like quitting. He would be forfeiting $16 million.

      • It’sMeSNITCHES!!!

        Ah ok, wasn’t quite sure about that. Thanks

      • Whitey14

        As much as he seemed to struggle with the decision to return it does seem feasible that he could decide to give it up.

        Ben what would you say the odds of this are? I’d place them squarely at 50-50 right now, but I’m basing that on his delayed arrival and that could be meaningless….

  • http://dunnp@bc.edu paul dunn

    After watching those damn hearings yesterday thinking about the upcoming season is the perfect antidote to all the politcal posturing . While everyone is discussing pitching I’m more concerned with the day to day lineup. Morgan Ensberg was a good pickup but overall this is a woefully unbalanced lineup that also has only one decent arm in the outfield. The Yankee offense has faltered in the last two playoffs. Melky has to play every day and Damon should be the fourth outfielder. Despite the great regular season stats this team hasn’t produced in the post season. And at best, the Yankees are a very ordinary defensive team, especially when you look at the outfield. Is there some hitting talent in the minors ? (Shelly Duncan is not the answer)

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Damon is a much better left fielder than Hideki Matsui and will head into April as the Opening Day starter in left. The odd man out here is Jason Giambi unless he shows he can hit again. The Yanks may just end up sticking him at first until he breaks down.

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