The worst eight weeks of the year

Yankees claim Brian Schlitter
Mailbag: Posada a DH too soon?

It might not seem that far away. Pitchers and catchers report in 39 days — 38 if you’re reading this after waking up this morning. That’s less than six weeks until baseball returns! Sam Miller of the Orange County Register put it best, while mixing in a Yankees rumor:

No, I don’t care much about Freddy Garcia or Kevin Millwood, though there’s a chance you’ll see a post on one or both of them in the coming weeks. Why? Because we are indeed in for the worst six weeks of the year. But really, it’s longer than that. Having a date for pitchers and catchers is nice and all, but it’s the most anticipated date of the year on which nothing happens. We really have at least eight more weeks of winter.

Baseball is mostly done right now. Even the winter leagues have stopped play. College baseball will return soon enough, and there are various leagues that do run year-round, but we’re not going to see anything resembling big league baseball until early March — and then we’re watching the starters play a couple of innings before giving way to guys who won’t be gracing our TVs in April. So, if you think about it, we’re 10 weeks from seeing starters pitch four or five innings.

Yes, this is the worst time of year for a baseball junkie. In a way I admire the people who can put baseball out of their minds during this time of year. But people such as Mike, Ben, and me, who write sites like this, and you, who read sites like this, don’t have the luxury of an off switch. It’s baseball all the time. That means we’re going to follow every bit of news, and we’re going to write about possibilities that seem, well, impossible. It’s how we fill the lull between the height of the Hot Stove Season and the start of real baseball.

Many of our readers won’t like reading posts examining possible mid-season acquisitions or musings on lefty relievers. I understand that. We’re putting it out there, because we love doing this so much. We think about baseball all the time, and the only way to contain the itch is to write about whatever we’re thinking. Sometimes that will bore. Sometimes that will inspire outright rage. Sometimes we’ll hit on something that people want to talk about. It’s the nature of this time of year.

Through this lull, we’re going to continue pumping out content. It’s what we do. Thanks for sticking with us through this difficult time. Dealing with this together makes it just a bit easier.

Yankees claim Brian Schlitter
Mailbag: Posada a DH too soon?
  • bexarama

    Thanks for all you do, guys, even when it’s slooooow like this. Let’s ride this shit out, y’all.

    • jim p

      Until I found this site (thank you Newsday’s Kat O’Brien) winters were hopeless. Checking the local sports pages every day, going days without even a morsel… this site, and ones it led me too, are just invaluable.

    • Brian in NH

      Why not all suffer together? Misery loves company

  • Stratman9652

    Even when its slow this site remains my number one cause for being late to work. Keep up the good work.

  • Kiersten

    What makes it even worse is that college football is essentially over and so is the NFL regular season. For people like me who hate basketball and don’t like hockey, January and February are the worst.

    Props to you guys for thinking up enough stuff to write about during these slow months. I don’t know how you do it, but you do a fantastic job 12 months a year.

    • Brian in NH

      No love for hockey?

      I enjoy watching the Sabres, Les Habs, and the Bruins losing. And also UNH is a big hockey school (top 5 in the country this year) so I at least have that until UNH chokes on it in March like they do every year.

      • FIPster Doofus

        I also enjoy watching Les Habs and the Bruins lose, but I enjoy watching the Sabres win. However, they haven’t done much of that this year.

      • B-Rando

        Boo Wildcats!!!!!!!

        Let’s go Northeastern!

  • Ray Fuego

    I’ll always be here to read all the incredible stuff you guys write. Although I only comment time to time, I’m on here for hours daily. The posts are amazing and I’m looking forward to what the new RABis have to offer. I’ll maybe start commenting more. New year, new experiences. Keep it up guys, you’ll always have a reader in me. We’ll survive this slow time as we always do, forgetting what lies behind and fighting forward to what lies ahead.

    • Bob Stone

      My thoughts exactly. Thanks for making another off-season tolerable.

  • YankeesJunkie

    This is the time of year that I like another sport than football, but I guess my school’s basketball team plays a couple times a week and $1 beer night at the game should make me forget about the Yankees for a few hours at least.

  • MikeD

    An Andy Pettitte return would make it a good few weeks, as we’ll then head into the 2011 season with the mass-media writers now assuming the Red Sox are the greatest team ever, with the Yankees having no chance to win, and then watching the Yankees beat the Red Sox yet again.

    • mbonzo

      Unless the Yankees get Cy Young himself, the Red Sox somehow end up always being the favorites. They have a great team, but they are overrated and far from lock in the east. The Yankees still have a better batting order in my opinion, and the Red Sox pitching rotation has a lot more question marks than fans like to think.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        Well you’re wrong on all accounts. The Red Sox are as close to a thing to a lock as it gets. The pitching rotation was actually pretty good last year by FIP and xFIP with Lackey and Beckett, even. Their rotation may have question marks but it doesn’t have Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre at the back end of it. If the Yankees beat them, it would be awesome…but that’s likely not going to happen. Unfortunately, that’s the price you pay when you can’t develop your own pitching.

        • mbonzo

          By 2010 standards, the Red Sox have improved their team by 1 WAR. (Agon/Crawford replacing Beltre/Martinez) No doubt they’ll be a healthier team but how can you call them a virtual lock? You just can’t predict baseball folks.

        • Shaun

          Have you ever believed the yankees aren’t doomed? Jimmy you can’t be this negative all the time, have some faith in our yankees will you?

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          The pitching rotation was actually pretty good last year by FIP and xFIP

          Without analyzing it, I’m going to guess that most of that was due to Lester and Buchholz.

          For 2011, Beckett is coming off an injury, Buchholz will likely regress to the mean, and Lackey and Dice-K generally suck (Lackey’s peripherals last year were only slightly better than AJ’s), so their rotation is anything but a lock.

          • bexarama

            I think guys like Beckett actually had a really good FIP and stuff, but IMO – and I’ve heard this from Boston fans, too, so it’s not me being a homer – Beckett was simply not pitching well and getting hit hard for it, like Joba when he had amazing peripherals but a 5+ ERA or Andy in 2008. He can rebound, but I’m not using FIP to judge his 2010.

        • bexarama

          Of course.

          Unfortunately, that’s the price you pay when you can’t develop your own pitching.

          The Red Sox have two homegrown pitchers in their rotation. So do the Yankees. If Pettitte comes back, it’s three.

  • jim p

    Well, there’s always the “Joba to Starter” bit if you run out of topics or just want to stir things up.

    • YankeesJunkie

      Not worth it at all.

    • Mattchu12

      At this point, with Mitre and Nova set to start, could even the B-Jobbers argue with it?

  • Jimmy McNulty

    I’ve came to terms with the Yankees sucking (by their standards) this year.

    • mbonzo

      Ignore the fact that they’ll probably have the most potent offense in baseball and that might be kinda easy for some people somewhere.

      • Mike Axisa

        And are the clear favorites for the wildcard.

      • Poopy Pants

        “they’ll probably have the most potent offense in baseball”

        The Sox say hi!

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          You’re right. That Dunn/Konerko combo will be lethal.

  • Ty

    This is the 6 weeks where I go into fantasy baseball mode to keep sane. Not sure how those that don’t play it survive Jan/Feb but keep up the good work guys the site had another great year.

  • Juke Early

    Any Yankee baseball and/or baseball, is still better than any other sport. While I understand some having interests in sports other than baseball – I am a baseball only fan. I don’t like wasting my slow dial up page loads to see news regarding any other sports. Networks such as E$PN & Fox$ports can $uck up to football & basketball & they prove it when they bump baseball segments to do it too. At least I can reasonably expect baseball at RAB. It’s why I come here. Having the RAB podcast is a life saver for a poor old guy from the Bronx stuck in South Pole VA where everything revolves around VA Tech & HS football.

  • Yank the Frank

    No, thank you for what you do. You keep Yankee baseball alive during these cold gray times.
    Adding insult to injury the Giants miss the playoffs…ugh.
    I’m going to Spring Training first week in March. Can’t wait.

  • theyankeewarrior

    Here some annoying jargon on a slow day…

    Via MLBTR, the Rays signed Chris Carter to a minor league deal. Chris fucking Carter. Not the guy that “just catches touchdowns” but the guy that Omar Minaya traded Billy Wagner to the Red Sox for, straight up.

    Why does this piss me off? Because the Sox netted 2 draft picks for Wagner that winter. I’m still not over this. Why in Mo’s name would the Mets trade Wagner when they had K-Rod locked into their closer’s role? They could have kept Wagner for 2 more months, offered him arbitration, and got two first round picks for him instead of CHRIS CARTER who is absolute garbage. Hell, even if Wagner accepted (which he clearly would not have because he wanted to close and was sick of the Mets) they would have had a nasty 1-2 punch of lefty/righty closer action at the end of their pen. It’s a win-win Omar!

    How do people like this man get their jobs? And why does is seem like the Red Sox always have 5 draft picks before the Yankees have 2? They might even get a pick for Freddy Sanchez!

    Chris Carter! wtf??

  • Matt :: Sec105

    I agree, I’m baseball 24/7, 365, but as a Jets fan, I’m pumped for the playoffs.

    Also the Knicks are hot, and as much as I love baseball, New York City is, and always will be, a basketball town.

  • Mike HC

    I love baseball (yanks), basketball (knicks) and football (jets), all just about equally. But flat out, this blog has made me love following the Yanks year round and it enhances my fan experience ten fold during the season as well.

    Speaking of the Knicks, I was just partying with them “all up in club” last night, with the city dancers and all the hot groupies too. Gotta love living in NYC.

    • Mike HC

      “all up in *the* club” – – serves me right for using some played out retarded saying.