This Week’s Fan Confidence Poll

Rosenthal 1, O'Connor 0
Yanks assign four to minor league camp

So, we picked a good week to start this thing, huh? Since last week’s poll we learned that Alex Rodriguez had a cyst in his hip that would keep him out of the WBC, and that has since evolved into a hybrid surgery to repair a torn labrum that will keep A-Rod on the shelf for 6-9 weeks. Cody Ransom is the main fill-in for the time being, but there have already been some Mark Teahen rumblings.

On the bright side, CC Sabathia made his first spring appearance and pitched very well, as did AJ Burnett two days later. Phil Hughes continues to impress this spring, and Mo took the bullpen mound found for the first time since undergoing minor shoulder surgery in the offseason. Losing A-Rod hurts, but having a dynamite pitching staff for the first time in years helps ease the pain.

Anyway, please take a second to answer the poll question below and give us an idea of how confident you currently are in the team. Once we have enough data (about two months) I’ll create a permanent link on the site to a graph showing how the fanbase’s confidence has changed over time. Thanks in advance.

Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
Rosenthal 1, O'Connor 0
Yanks assign four to minor league camp
  • Jeremy

    Ian O’Connor votes 11 (until May).

    • Mike A.


      • steve (different one)

        “Ian, why don’t you just make each number worth a little more and keep 10 as the highest measure of confidence?”

        “This poll goes to 11.”

  • Nady Nation

    My confidence really hasn’t wavered one bit for the season on the whole, even with A-Rod’s injury. With the insanely massive upgrades of our pitching staff, and with plenty of good bats still in the lineup, I just can’t foresee falling SO FAR back in the first month of the season that it would really affect our playoff chances.

    • steve (different one)

      i’ll take the other POV.

      i only lowered my outlook slightly, from 8 to 7.

      i’d be lying if i said that my future expectations for A-Rod haven’t been lowered a hair since last week. he’ll probably be fine, but he will still be having a pretty serious surgery after the season.

      • Moshe Mandel

        Yeah, I did the same. Assuming 2009 is included in “the future,” I dont see how anyone could have the same amount of confidence that they had last week. No matter how good the pitching is, last week I expected great pitching and great hitting, and now I am less certain on the second part.

      • Reggie C.

        Nate Silver’s take on A-rod’s future looks borderline prescient today.

        • Rich

          I have been thinking the same thing. The guy is a genius.

  • A.D.

    I stayed steady, A-Rods only out a month. Though I have yet to risk-adjust my feelings along the lines of if the surgery will be successful & thus can play the whole season as we expect him to.

  • Reggie C.

    Mark Feinseid (nydailynews) had AJ Burnett hitting 98 on the radar gun yesterday. That little tidbit made me feel pretty good. Amazing how that kind of velocity comes easy for him. AJ actually apologized afterwards for hitting that mark…

    • steve (different one)

      he has a ridiculous, ridiculous arm.

      take that arm, and combine it with the strides he made last year with his maturity and “learning to pitch, not just throw” and we could be in for a very fun year.

  • NYFan50

    I don’t understand how people can be so confident…I’m a fan and I want them to win, but things don’t look that great. The Yankees have a ton of questions, far more than the Sox or Rays do, and in what could be a very, very close race they are already without their best hitter for the first month.

    * Posada is coming off surgery. Can he catch? Full time? The whole season?

    * Matsui has two gimpy knees and can’t play the outfield.

    * A-Rod is having surgery. When will he get back? How healthy will he be? Will he be “A-Rod” when he returns?

    * The team is old and much of them well into their decline phases. How will the older players perform?

    * The entire rotation has questions. Sabathia has thrown over 500 innings the past 2 years – what if that catches up to him? Burnett is a perennial injury risk. Pettitte pitched with a hurt shoulder last year. Joba was injured last year and is probably capped at 150 innings. Wang was injured last year (yes, I know this was not an army injury). Hughes was injured last year. There’s some question about all 5 starters and the #1 backup.

    * Rivera is coming off surgery. He can’t be unstoppable forever.

    * Teixeira is a slow starter and while A-Rod is out he’s going to be expected to shoulder the load.

    How can anyone, ANYONE, be confident in this team? With so many concerns, we have to bank on not ONE problem. We already have A-Rod out, and the Yankees have to hope not one other thing goes wrong.

    On the other hand, Boston has what kind of questions? Maybe Lowell isn’t healthy enough to play? Maybe Ortiz isn’t 100%? Is that it? They are in much better shape than the Yankees are.

    What of Tampa? Percival isn’t healthy? Is there anything else? Also much better shape than the Yankees are.

    People with a confidence of 8-10…are delusional. If you told me everyone else is going to be healthy all season and A-Rod is coming back in April and he’ll be A-Rod and fine the rest of the season, then fine. But that takes a healthy dose of unrealistic optimism (“Nothing else is going to go wrong!”). So many questions, and the Yankees need everything to work out to remain competitive in a division in which both Tampa and Boston are very capable of winning 95+ games.

    Player hatreds aside, who here would really NOT swap rosters with the Red Sox? Who here would really NOT swap rosters with the Rays?

    I love the Yankees as much as anybody, but let’s face reality – this team is fragile and full of question marks. They could win 100 games or they could win 80 based on how things break for them. The odds of 80 seems far greater for the Yankees than it does for either Boston or Tampa.

    • Mike A.

      Wow. Let’s see, there’s Lowell’s hip, Ortiz’s wrist/shoulder, JD Drew’s back (which is already acting up), Brad Penny’s shoulder (which is already acting up), Jon Lester’s workload, John Smoltz’s elbow, Jason Varitek’s suckiness, potential declines from Pedroia and Youkilis, Ellsbury being a .650 OPS player …

      I agree the Yanks have some issues to be concerned about, but you can do this with every team. It’s fun.

      • Phrancis

        Watch Team USA, Can’t agree on Youk & Pedroia.

        • steve (different one)

          yeah Mike, did you see the 2 games in the WBC?

          they are a lock to repeat their career years in 2009.

          • Mike A.

            Heh, Youk hit a two run homer with a five run lead in the 6th inning yesterday. If A-Rod does that it, what is called? Stat padding.

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Because it IS stat padding if ARod does it. He only hits homers for his own self-aggrandizement, he doesn’t want the team to win. He prefers that the team loses, so that there is no chance for any shared glory of victory and that all the glory must be given only to him for his stat-padding homerun.

              Youkilis didn’t even want to hit that homer, he would have much rather bunted for a single and slid into first base so that he could get his uniform dirty and keep the rally going (because we all know homers are huge rally killers, they empty the bases), but his manager Davey Johnson asked him to hit a homer for the sake of the team, so that the US would have some insurance runs in case Venezuela mounted a comeback. Youk only did what his manager asked, because he only cares about winning.

              And yes, Davey would have asked Pedroia to hit the homer, but he can’t get around on those high-and-tight fastballs.

            • Chris C.

              “Heh, Youk hit a two run homer with a five run lead in the 6th inning yesterday. If A-Rod does that it, what is called? Stat padding.”

              I hear AROD has not been talking to the press lately. Does that mean he’s maxi-padding?

        • jeremy

          You’re right two games in the WBC, with pitching not up to MLB standards, clearly indicates production levels over the course of a 162-game season for two players coming off career seasons. What was Mike thinking?

          The truth is both Youklis and Pedroia will be productive, but Youklis essentially compensated for Ortiz’s significant production dropp-off with a career season. I would say its a safe bet Youklis doesn’t match that, and it’s likely that Ortiz while productive, never reaches his MVP levels of 2-4 years ago. Couple that with losing Manny, the question about Drew and Lowell, Ellsbury and Lowrie, and I’d say that the Sox just like every other baseball team, have plenty to worry about. Not to mention it seems as if American League teams have figured out Beckett and Okajima, and Matsuzaka strike zone woes are eventually going to bite him in the ass.

        • Chris

          Robinson Cano currently has a 1.747 OPS in spring training. I think it’s safe to say he will be far better than Pedroia this year. The fact that it’s only 22 PA is irrelevant.

          • Chris C.


            (sorry….couldn’t help myself….you’re being sarcastic, right?)

      • steve (different one)

        * Matsui has two gimpy knees and can’t play the outfield.

        why does this matter?

        he’s the DH.

        • Chris C.

          Here’s why it matters…….when a guy plays DH and can’t do anything else, then he is taking a position that could be used for a regular player who may be nursing an injury and can’t play the field well until he heals.

          Suppose AROD comes back, and he’s cleared to hit, but is a bit slow or not ready to play 3rd quite yet. It would be a nice idea to have him DH a few games……..but to do that would mean Matsui goes to the bench.

          Big deal? Ehh, maybe/maybe not. But you’d much rather have a guy who can play the field in a pinch, then one who can’t play it at all. Hopefully Matsui can go to left on an occasional basis.

      • Thomas

        Let’s do the Rays.

        What if everyone in their bullpen regresses to their 2007 numbers? What if their rotation has injuries and thus all 5 starters don’t make at least 27 starts? What if David Price isn’t ready like Phil Hughes or Kennedy in 2008? Does Dioner Navarro wOBA .330 like in 2008 or .280 like in 2007? Same can be asked for Pena .430 in 07 and then .374 in 08? Does Matt Joyce hit enough to warrant being an everyday player? What if Longoria getting hurt become a pattern?

        This can be done with every team, as Mike A. said.

      • NYFan50

        Point taken. Boston has more questions than I listed, even if many of them they dealt with last year with no problem.

        Player hatreds aside though, would you keep the Yankees roster right now or take either Tampa or Boston?

        • steve (different one)

          not Boston, but maybe Tampa.

          only b/c they are so young and cheap that if you combined that roster with the yankees’ financial strength, you would create an unstoppable powerhouse.

          of course, the time to swap was before this offseason started…

          still, you’d have the Rays’ farm system and the yankees’ cash, you could make whatever trade you wanted.

        • Mike A.

          I’d take Tampa’s 40-man roster over any other team’s and wouldn’t think twice about it.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Can I have their farm system as well? I’d take Tampa’s 40-man, but I’d also like Wade Davis, Tim Beckham, Jeff Neimann, Reid Brignac, Jake McGee, Kyle Lobstein, and Desmond Jennings too…

    • Joe R

      I wouldnt want to switch rosters. Im quite happy with the Yankees. You can create what-if questions for any team. Does Beckett continute to pitch poorly? Can Youk continue to hit like he has? Is Ortiz done as a big threat? How is Lester going to perform after throwing so many innings? What if Bay slips in the shower and is out for the year?

      Matsui is already hitting well and showing his knees are holding up alright running the bases. Wang has recovered from his injury fine. Hughes is fine and pitching well. Theres alot more young players now than old. Theres alot less going on than you make it seem like imo.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      “The Yankees have a ton of questions, far more than the Sox or Rays do…”

      -How long can Dice-K continue to outpitch his ghastly peripherals?
      -Will Josh Beckett ever pitch an injury-free season?
      -When will Jon Lester’s arm fall off?
      -Is Jacoby Ellsbury a real major league starting CF, or his he just another Melky Cabrera?
      -Is Mike Lowell finished?
      -Is David Ortiz finished?
      -Is Brad Penny finished already?
      -Will J.D. Drew ever be able to play more than 100 games in a season?
      -How hard will the inevitable course corrections for Pedroia and Youkilis be?
      -What the hell are we going to do about this massive black hole at catcher?
      -Can Clay Buchholz be salvaged?
      -Will any of these arms we have (Bowden, Masterson, Hagadone, etc.) actually become a real legit starter, or are they all destined inexorably to the bullpen, since none of them possess any great diversity of pitch arsenal?
      -Why is Dustin Pedroia the only MVP who can’t hit the high inside fastball?

      -When all of our young players who were playing over their heads last year come crashing back to earth, will our fans keep coming to the ballpark?
      -What the hell are we going to do about this massive black hole of a bullpen?

      • jeremy

        “Why is Dustin Pedroia the only MVP who can’t hit the high inside fastball?”

        Well done sir… finger on the pulse indeed.

      • Reggie C.

        C’mon TJ. You should know that Ellsbury won’t be afflicted by “LDS”. (i keeed).

      • Moshe Mandel

        The Rays have plenty of questions. Upton coming off surgery, can they count on Matt Joyce, can they get any sort of value from Bartlett (poor offensively, overrated defensively), is Kazmir going to miss 50 innings for the 3rd time in 4 seasons, can Sonnanstine sustain his performance, can Aki bounce back, who is the closer, what can they count on from David Price?

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Thanks, I knew I was shortchanging the Rays on their question marks…

    • handtius

      Can you say pessimistic? Every team has issues, you can choose to look at them as a precursor to a free falling team, or look at them as every other team does, as possibilities. Every team has issue. i don’t need to restate them because many have beaten me to it.

    • Chris C.

      “I don’t understand how people can be so confident…I’m a fan and I want them to win, but things don’t look that great.”

      Oh, cry me a freakin river!
      If you’re so worried, go move to Kansas City…….where even if every single player in the organization is pain-free for 162 games, they still stink!

  • Doug

    love the confidence poll. question though, why do we have to wait 2 months to see how the votes have been going? would love to see how things are trending even this week vs. last week after the ARod injury.

    • Chris C.

      I just cannot imagine a Yankee fan not being confident in this team. I mean geez, what do you want? They got rid of dead weight in the offseason, signed the top three FA’s, have a slew of young, strong arms coming up the chain, and have some key injured players returning to action.

      If you don’t like this team, then you are spoiled rotten, and should be sentenced to sit through film of the 1989-1991 Yankee seasons, when it was a treat to go to a ballgame that they won, and they were out of the race by the All-Star break!

  • steve (different one)

    * The entire rotation has questions. Sabathia has thrown over 500 innings the past 2 years – what if that catches up to him? Burnett is a perennial injury risk. Pettitte pitched with a hurt shoulder last year. Joba was injured last year and is probably capped at 150 innings. Wang was injured last year (yes, I know this was not an army injury). Hughes was injured last year. There’s some question about all 5 starters and the #1 backup.

    you can do this with every rotation in the majors.

    Lester saw his innings jump significantly from his career high, what if that catches up to him?

    Beckett, Matsuzaka, Penny, Wakefield, and Smoltz were all injured last year.

    maybe you forgot Beckett getting shelled in the playoffs last year?

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      When Cashman acquires starters with injury histories, he’s a stupid moron asking for trouble.

      When Theo acquires starters with injury histories, he’s a gutsy, ballsy risk-taking riverboat gambler who’s smartly always looking for a competitive advantage, just like Brett Favre, the greatest QB ever.

      • Chris C.

        What starters are Epstein acquiring with injury histories?

        Smoltz and Penny are making a few bucks over one season each. That’s hardly a Jaret Wright type of deal.

  • steve (different one)

    speaking of future outlooks, Brackman was assigned to Charleston, not Tampa. anyone else surprised by that?

    • Reggie C.

      Kinda surprised. Brackman’s had a busy off-season with Hawaii ball and now ML spring training. I know the Charleston assignment isn’t a guarantee that he’ll spend the whole season there, but yeah … are hitters really that much weaker in low-A?

      So the Tampa rotation looks like what– Bleich and McAllister for sure… Who else?

      • Thomas

        I’d suspect we see Brackman move up mid-year. They probably want to have him build up confidence in low A and then when some graduations occur he’ll move up to Tampa.

        I’d assume Betances and Heredia are in Tampa, too.

        Also, you may see the fifth starter in Tampa as a person who spent most of last year hurt, but is advanced (e.g. Horne), who may just be there for a month before moving up. Then Brackman may take his spot.

      • A.D.

        McA could start in AA. But it depends, there are some wild cards out there in if Aceves/Coke make the ML team and if not if they’re both starters in AAA.

    • A.D.

      A little surprised on that one. As long as he gets his innings, that’s what matters.

      Probably comes down to some SP crunch with the number of arms through the system, we know AAA & AA is packed

  • Bobby

    Having been a wise beiseball sage since around 8 1/2 years old. I say , “Yanks do the wild card because Rays stay strong.”


    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      My prediction pre-ARod steroids revelation and hip injury:

      1) Yankees
      2) Rays
      3) Sox
      4) Orioles
      5) Jays

      My prediction post-both ARod stories breaking:

      1) Yankees
      2) Rays
      3) Sox
      4) Orioles
      5) Jays

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    I still have all the confidence in the world for this team and the entire organization. Injuries happen. Every team will suffer through them. So I’m not so worried about Alex’s hip.

    Just a bit off topic, but we had a mini-earthquake today in Florida. My guess, Melvin Croussett has landed on U.S. soil.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I heard that Melvin’s fastball makes the sound of the Wilhelm Scream.

      • steve (different one)

        i’ve heard that Melvin’s fastball is actually his changeup and that they haven’t invented a word yet to describe his actual fastball.

        • Andy In Sunny Daytona

          The name of his fastball is “767”, as in the speed of sound.

  • Joel

    Just A Thought… I would like one Of the RAB guys to post an “Opinion On How The Yankees Lineup Would Look Like Without A-Rod”
    I’m really curious to see what the people come up with.
    I’d appreciate it If you guys can do that!
    Since I’m talking about it,

    Johnny Damon
    Robbie Cano
    Derek Jeter
    Mark Teixeira
    Hideki Matsui
    Jorge Posada
    Xavier Nady/Nick Swisher
    Cody Ransom
    Brett Gardner/Melky Cabrera

    I put The Captain 3rd because he has been there before and did very well batting 3rd. (Don’t Have Stats Sorry!!)

    What Do you guys think of this Lineup?

    • pete

      switch cano and jeter

      • Chris C.


        Yeah, bat Cano third. The Yankees would love to have a guy who DOESN’T reach base hitting in front of Teixeira!

  • Malcard89

    I know that everyone has their own opinion, but how can one be confident about the Yankees future management when they have like $70M tied up for 2012 for like 3-4 players? Not to mention those players will be in their late 30s.

    • Chris C.

      Having Randy Levine and Lonn Trust sitting in on player negotiations is definitely a red flag.

      I mean geez, Levine is a guy who asked the state for an additional 250 mill in bonds for the new palace, then showed up with half the required documentation to get it done.
      Then gets mad at people for wanting to view what he didn’t bring.

      I can’t argue your point at all…….some on this management team definitely treat people like shit……..and that’s not even including the fans.

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