Thoughts on a random Wednesday

Cano and Mo lead Yankees to a win on Jackie Robinson Day
Pineda, Cabral, and Rapada continue rehabbing in Tampa

Twelve games down, 150 to go (or, I guess about 93% of the season remaining). I thought I’d take a page out of the Axisa Book of Introspection, and jot down a few thoughts on the season thus far on this random Wednesday. Anyway, you know the routine…

1. Who else has been pleasantly surprised by Vernon Wells? Be honest. He’s batted .300/.391/.600 (good for a 170 wRC+). Obviously it’s very very very early in the season, and I still think two years of Vernon at any amount of dollars is probably two years too long. Still, the guy does deserve a bit of credit for taking advantage of the opportunity. The same has to be said for Kevin Youkilis too. Hopefully, the Yankees can continue turning the league’s various retreads into useful contributors – especially now while the team is working through so many injuries.

2. On the other hand, wow, Ichiro Suzuki has sure looked cooked early on. Anecdotally, it seems as though every single time he makes contact with the ball, it results in a soft grounder to the opposing team’s second basemen. Now, just as Vernon could morph back into the pumpkin we’re all anticipating at any moment (and he probably will), so too could Ichiro regain some of the spark he displayed at the end of last season. Of course, given Ichiro’s age, I’m not overly bullish on that happening. Alas, keeping Nick Swisher would have been a fantastic alternative this past offseason, but as we all know, that ship has long since sailed.

3. Injuries, injuries, injuries. The walking wounded have dominated our attention this season. I keep telling myself that eventually the team will not be able to sustain the next one that happens. I mean, you know times are a bit desperate when a Eduardo Nunez plunking causes us to cringe. Mike discussed his concerns about Andy Pettitte the other day. I think one could probably show justifiable concern about all of the injurious for various reasons honestly – age, severity, etc. We’ve seen teams such as Toronto and Boston basically crash after being decimated by injuries in recent years.

With that being said, I think every team in the AL has obvious warts. There really isn’t that “complete” team (though the Tigers maybe the closest thing to it at the moment now that they’re finally giving Benoit a shot as their closer) — especially in the AL East. So, if New York can stay afloat and weather the storm for the first month or so, you have to like the team’s chances to capitalize down the stretch … at least as much as anyone else’s.

4. Ivan Nova really needs to get himself together and keep himself together. The team seems more than willing to show him patience as he figures things out too. Perhaps this because they still see potential in him. Or, perhaps it’s because they are desperately avoiding apprehensive about their alternatives. Or, perhaps both to some degree.

In any event, Nova needs to be a positive part of the rotation and fast. He and Phil Hughes have been a huge burden on the bullpen. The problem, as I see it, is that Nova may not be a very good pitcher in actuality (his own real sustained success was limited to the second half of 2011), and may never be more than a fifth starter kind of arm at best. I guess time will tell. In any event, last night certainly helped the cause in terms of runs surrendered, though it would have been nice if he could have logged another inning and not given up so many base runners. Let’s hope the trend continues upward.

5. I’m not sure if this final thought is really appropriate for this post, but here goes nevertheless. What happened in Boston a couple days ago was completely horrific. Tragedies such as this impact us all differently. For me, as a 28-year-old newlywed, events such as this tend to discourage me a bit about having children someday. It also makes me fear for the safety of my friends and family. In any event, my heart goes out to all those affected and I hope we, collectively, can find the resolve to move on as gracefully as we can as often as we can, despite the sinister efforts of those who would wish to do us harm.

Cano and Mo lead Yankees to a win on Jackie Robinson Day
Pineda, Cabral, and Rapada continue rehabbing in Tampa
  • JLC 776

    I’m still bullish on Nova being a back-end or middle rotation guy, but at some point we need to figure out who’s going to take over for Hiroki. Nothing kills my long-term confidence for this team more than knowing that our number 2 and number 3 pitchers are done after this year and are only a sore back away from missing a few important starts.

    As for point number 5, don’t ever let anyone dictate to you if and when you’re going to start a family. It was a horrific event but it did show off the best of humanity, not just the worst of humanity. Our brains tend to get anchored by extraordinarily rare occurrences, but we do have to keep in mind that they are extraordinarily rare.

    • the Other Steve S.

      Dude you are absolutely correct about point 5. This event has gotten play way out of proportion to what actually happened. This was a horrible event but it doesn’t issue in some age of random destruction. We lose about 50 people a DAY to drunk drivers. Three dead is known as a bad weekend in Chicago. Have your family, raise and love and protect your kids. Turn the TV news down.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Agreed on the last point.

      However, there’s a balance we all need to draw between understanding our big cities are relatively safe and feeling for those who have suffered and are feeling less than that at the moment.

      • JLC 776

        Absolutely – in fact I think 90% of what people are feeling is a foreboding sense of vulnerability and helplessness. And that’s completely understandable; especially given that this was a heinous act probably perpetrated by an individual person.

        I don’t want to go into soapbox mode, but I do think the non-stop media coverage on the event has fed into the public near-hysteria a tad bit. This was a very rare event, we’ll learn from it, we’ll likely overreact a bit as we tend to do with ‘black swans’, but ultimately we’re no less safe today than we were last week. And frankly, we were pretty damn safe last week.

    • Greg

      Srsly @ #5

      There are a lot of reasons not to have children if you ask me, but there’s no reason for this of all things to deter you. Sure, it was a terrible thing, but but we’re talking rain drops in the ocean of terrible things. I hate saying stuff like this, but for a casual observer to be overly shaken by this is a little too White America. Three people were killed, over a hundred injured, dozens pretty severely, but at the risk of sounding callous…shit happens. Worse shit. Continuously. It is deeply irrational to be particularly afraid of terrorism.

      • deadrody

        MUCH worse shit happens in more than half the world every day. Half the world doesn’t even know where their next meal is coming from and every day is a struggle. Being directly affected by something like Boston is a 1 in a million proposition. If it really affects you that much, you may need a little broader perspective on things.

  • Eddard

    1. I thought the Wells pick up would be a disaster so he has definitely been a surprise. All of the pickups have performed as well or better than could be expected and that’s a big reason why they’re 6-1 in their last 7.

    2. They need to start giving Boesch more looks. They started him Sunday night and he had 2 hits so I figured they’d keep playing him. Ichiro can’t do anything but single and he isn’t even doing that anymore. I think he leads the league in infield fly calls.

    3. The injuries are an opportunity for others to show what they can do. This is an above average offense without the injured players so when Jeter, Grandy and Teixera return they’ll be one of the best in the league.

    4. He needs to be more aggressive. He’s falling into the Phil Hughes throw 100 pitches in 4 innings syndrome. Throw your sinking fastball more and get groundballs. The slider is a complement pitch but the sinking fastball is his bread and butter.

    5. I didn’t know you were 28 or married, Mike. I thought you were at least 33. It was a nice tribute yesterday by the Yankees. What should restore your faith in having kids is all of the first responders and marathoners who rushed to help in a crisis. There is definitely more good than bad in the world.

    • Eddard

      LOL! I didn’t even notice Matt wrote the post and not Mike. I knew Mike was a little older but I’m so used to him writing the posts. Anyway, congrats on the marriage Matt.

      • Sweet Nuney

        Is that what you think of me too, Eddard?

  • Grant

    Good post Matt. As a father of two young children, hang in there. The only way I know how to cope with tragedies as these, is to try to be as good and positive as a can to others to counter such evil.
    I think Nova and Hughes will a thorn in our sides all year. If not, we will be able to compete for the division if Andy can hold up. But I doubt they will improve and be consistent enough for the long haul.

    • Hubward

      I agree with this first paragraph absolutely. I was a newlywed in London at the time of 9/11 and it turned our thinking in exactly the opposite direction to you Matt. Made us think the that family was what mattered most and about bringing up a generation that don’t hate to counter the crazies that do.
      Just shows how folks see things and draw different conclusions I guess, but as Grant said the only response I can see is to go all in on the good & positive.

  • Jim Is Bored

    I hate to trumpet the same message you hear everywhere else, but once you let the events such as what happened in Boston start to dictate the way you live and make decisions, you let the horrible, disgusting people win.

    Life doesn’t come without fear, without risk of heartbreak; but the best moments in life are made even better because of that.

    And congrats on the new marriage!

  • Johnny O

    i’m at peace with the 2014 payroll plan. which makes the vernon wells and ichiro deals all the more frustrating. Vernon does get 12 games worth of credit here, and it’s not his fault he was acquired in a stupid move. I can live with the newfound austerity but not with dumb moves hurt the very plan they’re trying to implement.

    • Jim Is Bored

      Vernon Wells doesn’t hurt the 2014 payroll plan.

      Ichiro certainly does, though.

      • LK

        I don’t think he’s saying Wells hurts the 2014 plan, but rather that Wells was acquired because of the 2014 plan (and that the Wells move was stupid). He could turn out to be right, though I think the Wells move is far more defensible than Ichiro.

        • Jim Is Bored

          I don’t know; he says he agrees with the 2014 plan, which makes Vernon wells frustrating.

          If he meant what you’re saying, he phrased it incorrectly, because by your meaning, he wouldn’t be at peace with the 2014 plan if it caused moves like that.

          • LK

            I took it as meaning that he didn’t think the Wells move was the best execution of the 2014 plan, not that the move hurt the plan itself or he didn’t like the plan per se. You could very well be right though.

    • LK

      If you squint hard enough, Wells makes sense as a move (once you take the payroll plan as a given), since he can fill in while guys are injured early this year and is practically free next year, when the money starts to really matter.

      Ichiro looked like a terrible move at the time. It’s only been 12 games, which is practically nothing, so the outlook hasn’t *really* changed, but it certainly doesn’t look any less terrible now.

    • mt

      The impact on 2014 plan for Wells was actually the only thing that recommended this (before actual play seems to indicate a possible Wells turnaround) – don’t remember exact figures but with his AAV at $18 or so and his actually salary $21 milion, the Angels $18 or 19 million contribution next year brings his impact to almost zero (assuming they can credit the 2014 actual Angels subsidy against his AAV, not his full salary).

      The Ichiro thing is still troubling – he would have had ti completel reversed his 2011/2012 performance to start getting close to 3,000 hits by end of 2014 and with so many new Japanese players(are people in Japan really still all over the moon for Ichiro; I thought the focus had moved on to Yu Darish) I wonder what the marketing revenue impact was going to be anyway. Yanks had so many decisions and lack of action seemingly to avoid 2014 liability yet this is the one player they extend themselves as far as 2014 (as opposed to a second year of a right handed, younger, less “iconic” outfielder). I also think they get caught up in the fact that he had other similar offers (Phillies were one) so they could tell themselves they were not overpaying.

      With the Yanks inflexibility as to large contracts and the need to fill Arod gap desperately with a big one year Youkilis contract, the Ichiro replacement (which turned out to be Ichiro being resigned) was one area where if they were to spend 2014 money they could have gotten younger or more flexible.

      • vicki

        didn’t the wells deal actually yield us a $2M aav credit for 2014? is this official?

        • Preston

          No, the Yankees will be receiving 2MM for him in 2014, but MLB ruled that his cap figure will be zero.

  • LK

    Once Granderson comes back, I’m not sure what role Ichiro has on this team. I certainly wouldn’t start him over Gardner or Wells, even though Wells is due for some big time regression. I don’t think the Yankees actually signed Suzuki with an eye toward 3K hits, but he doesn’t look like a guy who can justify playing every day for the next two years at all (and he probably wouldn’t get to the milestone even then).

    • Kosmo

      I think the OF situation comes down to who has the hot hand. Gardner has been just OK.

      • LK

        Gardner hasn’t hit all that well, and obviously hasn’t hit his stride stealing bases yet, but I don’t think I’d bench arguably the best defensive OF in baseball unless he was really struggling.

      • WhittakerWalt

        Without looking at any numbers, it feels like Gardy is striking out a TON. Am I wrong?

        • vicki

          it seems that way today because he k’d three times last night. but he’s around his career rate on the season (17%-ish).

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    keeping Nick Swisher would have been a fantastic alternative

    Yes, if they could have kept him for only one more year (max 2). Although I liked Swish, I am happy the Yanks didn’t give him the contract the Indians did.

    When his career is over, 4 of his best years will have been with the Yanks.

    As Branch Rickey said, it is better to let a player go a year too early than a year too late.

    • Eddard

      Yeah, the Indians overpaid and the Yankees were smart not to match. Ichiro never should have been signed for 2 years and if Cashman had his way he probably wouldn’t have done the deal. Damon and Matsui begged for a 1 year deal after they helped us win a WS and couldn’t even get it so I don’t know why Ichiro got 2.

      • Preston

        We’re paying Wells/Ichiro 26 million the next two years. Are we certain that we’re getting a starting OF for either year with that investment? Swisher at 4/56 (or 5/70) would probably have been a safer investment.

        • vicki

          yep. indians got a bargain.

          and branch rickey died six years before flood v. kuhn.

          • Stan the Man

            Right now Wells is a legit starting OF and Swisher is a first basemen, so the Yanks are getting the better part of the deal. Swisher is a good player, not great so the pining over him is getting quite old.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Swisher could play right field for the Yanks right now without a problem.

              • Preston

                Or 1B for that matter

  • Vern Sneaker

    Nova has great stuff but inconsistent command and a plan that sometimes looks like no plan at all. If Nova had Pettitte’s pitching smarts, command, and confidence, we’d have a world-beater. Still hoping he’ll mature into something beter than the #4 or #5 he looks like. The potential is there.

  • Kosmo

    “extraordinarily rare occurences“ you need to re-examine human history. Just consider the carnage on a global scale in the last 100 years to animal (humans included), plant and mineral.

    • Bob Buttons

      I’m not saying we deplete the resources at a sustainable pace, or that horrible stuff don’t happen faster than extraordinarily rare, but I can’t bring myself to call anything but living creatures “carnage”.

    • Jim Is Bored

      And then compare the (human) part to every era of history before it. It’s not even close.

      Humans are in much, much, MUCH better shape(health, life span) right now than they were at any point in history before 1913.

      Morally you could beg to differ, but it’s just fact that more humans live longer and healthier now than at any point in history.

      • Now Batting

        I don’t know what health has to do with it. The last 100 years have produced more war and carnage than any 100 years in human history.

        • Jim Is Bored

          And yet people are living longer and better lives than in any 100 years in human history.

          It’s not just a hell hole, and only focusing on that part of it is short sighted and a really poor way to look at life.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          That’s incredibly oversimplistic an analysis.

          Jim is Bored and Correct. Look at lifespan. In most parts of the world, people live longer. These incidents, while awful, and hard to fathom, are blips.

          If you have the wonderful fortune in life to grow up in a country or place where you have means, you are still almost 100% likely to die of old age or natural causes.

          That doesn’t mean we should ignore the world we see around us, and give a hell of a lot of thought to our own role in it, of course.

          • Now Batting

            Why were advances in medicine even brought up? What’s that have anything to do with global carnage?

        • pinch hitter

          A lot of that has to do with technology and the size of the world population the last 100 yrs. It certainly wasn’t from earlier centuries lack of trying.

        • Havok9120

          Not relative to global population or military capacity.

          Sure, industrial warfare is more grandiose and more destructive overall, but we’ve seen nothing like the nonsense that occurred during the European Wars of Religion or the Mongol pushes across Eurasia. The Second World War, specifically the Holocaust and the fighting on the Eastern Front, are the only conflicts that approach the size and devastation of something like, say, the Thirty Years War or the constant, inconclusive “warfare” (read, pillage) that marked southern and western Europe, not to mention Asia Minor and the Levant, throughout the 11th-14th Centuries.

          Large scale conflict is rarer now than it’s been throughout most of the last two millennia and small scale conflicts are no more common than it ever has been- if anything it’s rarer as well. Relative scale is important when judging humanity’s homicidal urges.

          • Now Batting

            Larger military scale is a reason why there’s more carnage. It doesn’t disprove what I said but reaffirms it. In the 30 year war six million people died. In WW2 70 million died over 8 years. Which one was more of a slaughter?

            • Greg

              I guess it’s always “more of a slaughter,” when more people die more quickly (and then only because it’s more time consuming to stab people to death than drop bombs on them or shoot them with a machine gun) but you’re glossing over the point on purpose. Never in history have people been less likely to die violently than they are now, and I can’t imagine that it’s remotely close. War on that scale is a thing of the past anyway.

              • Now Batting

                “I don’t know what weapons WW3 will be fought with but WW4 will be fought with sticks and stones.”


                • Greg

                  And that’s why war on that massive scale will never happen again (at least not unless we all die off and have to start over for some other reason). Weaponry has advanced to the point that the people who start global wars won’t be able to escape the consequences. If nobody’s profiting, nobody’s fighting.

            • Havok9120

              The Thirty Years War, for instance, killed off between half and two thirds of northern Europe. The Mongols slaughtered the entire population of Persia, and the populations of every city they overran from the Urals to Warsaw. The Second World War didn’t depopulate large swaths of multiple continents.

              “More” in absolute terms is an almost meaningless measurement in terms of judging the relative violence in the world. Ignoring progress in technology, diplomacy, politics and agriculture, the very things which have both minimized the outbreak of wars and ensure that any major war that does break out is far more destructive in absolute terms is a completely circular argument.

              The last hundred years have seen two, perhaps three, truly large-scale conflicts, only one of which was really global despite the size of military forces used in the others. The hundred years before that saw two fully global conflicts (one of which lasted over two decades), and between half a dozen and a dozen large-scale regional conflicts between major powers which make the brush and national-scale wars which have dominated this century look like pissing contests between children. Major nations don’t fight direct wars against each other anymore (though that’s certainly subject to change), and that’s an enormous advance.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                Question for all of you: Where does genocide, whether it’s Nazi Germany or Africa in the last 20 years, fall into your thinking, no matter what side of the argument you’re on here? Just curious.

                I still think this is all silly beyond belief.

                • Havok9120

                  I count it in all the stats as I think about it but I don’t put it in a special category. Genocide is nothing new. We’ve got a new name for it and the motivations (or at least justifications) and methods for it have changed somewhat, but it isn’t as if genocide only suddenly became a thing during the 20th/21st Centuries.

                  And sorry for the silliness, but I love these kinds of debates. I’ve got no real emotional investment in it as an argument, it’s just fun. :D

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Also, DINOSAURS. I mean, come on.

  • MannyGeee

    Credit where it’s due… Eduardo Nunez has been everything we could hope he would become as a Jeter injury fill-in so far this season. Zero(!) errors in 59 defensive innings, and has not been an automatic out.

    • Jim Is Bored

      If he avoids the errors, he’s probably a better defensive SS than Jeter. Not that that’s saying a lot, of course.

      • MannyGeee

        In 2012, Nuney had 4 errors in 109 defensive innings at SS ALONE.

    • Yogiism

      I think what we are seeing with Nunez is exactly what the Yanks and a few fans (such as myself) viewed in him. I’ve been a Nunez supporter, even with the errors, as aggravating as they were in the past. The Yanks called it right by keeping him at SS and his game has massively improved. You can’t fault the kid for his errors last season. He was being moved around the field daily and some players are just not the right person for that type of job. I’m very happy with Nunez to this point.

    • Eddard

      I accept your apology. It’s good to see Nuney finally getting a chance to show the fans what he can do. He’ll be a big part of this franchise’s future.

      • Pat D

        I only accept apologies like this:

        Therefore, I accept your apology.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Manny, how is it that I can see your middle finger on my screen?

        • MannyGeee

          It was actually a wanking motion, but the sentiment is there.

      • MannyGeee

        TIL In EddardWorld “eat a dick” translates loosely to “sorry”

  • mitch

    Ichiro obviously looks washed up, but he still could be a handy 4th outfielder/pinch-runner/defensive replacement. Hopefully Joe just rides the hot hand in the outfield and limits Ichiro’s starts if he’s not hitting.

    • Kosmo

      I don´t think Ichiro looks “obviously“ washed up. He´s been batting way down in the order which is new to him, having spent most of his career as a leadoff hitter. Playing the hot hand also applies to Wells,Gardner and Granderson.

      • mitch

        Granderson is going to play no matter what if healthy…probably Gardner too. The hot hand will be between Wells and Ichiro (and maybe even the 5th outfielder if there is one once the regulars get back).

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Not to Granderson, and probably not to Gardner. They’ll play every day.

      • WhittakerWalt

        You actually think the reason he’s hitting so many pathetic groundballs is because he’s batting down in the lineup? That makes no sense. It’s not like Ichiro used to work the count when he was leading off, and is now doing something different when batting down in the lineup. He looks like he’s trying the exact same thing as always, just not getting the results.
        Maybe he’s finished, maybe he’s not, but using his place in the lineup as an excuse is silly.

        • Stan the Man

          I think we have plenty of time to figure out what the Yanks will do with Ichiro. Saying he is done or washed up is pointless since it is so early in the year, but if he is done then he becomes a veteran piece off the bench that can play the field and run, which is s step up from Andruw Jones last year.

  • Monterowasdinero

    As a father of 3 teenagers and one going to college in Boston next year, I can say that nothing warms the heart like the joys of parenthood. The highs far exceed the lows. There will always be risks-having your kids drive on their own is a pretty big one.

    Mike, I hope your fiance is a huge Yankee fan-otherwise she will have alot of free time on her hands.

    As for Jeter and Grandy improving our defense when they come back….maybe

    Overbay is very adequate defensively at least.


    Good post Matt.
    As far as the “raising kids in a world like this” thing, people have been saying that for as long as I can remember (back in 60s). When tragedy strikes it makes all of us question what is wrong with people today. Fact is the world has always been full of evil people and always will be. Our only hope is for good people like you to bring kids into the world, teach them well and know that they will be part of a goodness that will, in the end, overcome the evil.
    The good will always win out. That is why the NYY have 27 Championships and the RS only 7! :)

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Amen to that.

    • The Real Me

      The world will always have evil people. I don’t think you really meant that it is “full of” them. That’s the reason good will always win out; there are simply far more good people in the world than there are evil people. By bringing more good people into the world, we enhance humnity. Raise your children to be tolerant, to understnad that people have different points of view and perspectives, to respect all of the resources we have here on earth and the world will continue to become a better place, however slowly that change may occur.

  • Jersey Joe

    1. Vernon Wells’ arrival has been fortuitous, but I hardly expect it to last. I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

    2. I never understood the Ichiro signing. I get why signing Swisher was an obvious move, but I don’t know why they didn’t go with Dickerson or Boesch.

    3. Yankees are no complete team, but no one is in the AL East right now. Totally agree.

    4. Nova is super important next year with budget cuts. Really want him to figure this out and get back to 2011 form. 2013 is a super important season for Nova.

    5. Prayers are going out to victims and their families in that Boston tragedy.

  • Stick to sports

    “5. I’m not sure if this final thought is really appropriate for this post, but here goes nevertheless. What happened in Boston a couple days ago was completely horrific. Tragedies such as this impact us all differently. For me, as a 28-year-old newlywed, events such as this tend to discourage me a bit about having children someday. It also makes me fear for the safety of my friends and family. In any event, my heart goes out to all those affected and I hope we, collectively, can find the resolve to move on as gracefully as we can as often as we can, despite the sinister efforts of those who would wish to do us harm.”

    Let me help you out: Inappropriate. It’s a Yankees blog.

    You don’t want to have kids because of one bomb blast? Tell that to someone in Waziristan. You sound pathetically sheltered.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      And you sound like someone who should find some other blog to comment on.

    • Jim Is Bored

      Oh my god someone has a comment on life! I don’t know how to separate it from my own beliefs and now he’s forcing his on me! WHAT AM I TO DO! I’ve never heard other opinions before! AHHHH.

    • MannyGeee

      Obvious troll response is obvious

    • Pat D

      All kinds of fail.

      It’s not a Yankees blog. It’s his blog. He can say whatever the fuck he wants.

    • jsbrendog


  • Mike HC

    I’ve given up on Nova turning the corner. It think he is what he is at this point, a fifth starter. I still think Hughes can be/is a 3/4, but have given up on him turning into an all star.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    As a 39 year-old with a close-to-two-year-old son, the biggest impact the world will have on your child is the impact you will have on your child. I know what I want for my child, and that is to deeply respect those are less fortunate than him and to never turn a blind eye. Also, apparently, I want him to have the subway announcement memorized before the age of two. Stand clear of the closing door. POOM POOM.

    We already know you’ll raise your child a Yankee fan, Matt. The battle is already halfway won.

    I assume not even name value will save Ichiro from spending some extra time on the bench with Granderson is ready. Also, can you blame the team for being apprehensive with their alternatives pitching-wise? There’s Pineda, and there’s prospects who could certainly overperform, as Nuno seems to be, but starting pitching in the next couple of years is not this organization’s strong suit at the moment. Hopefully that changes soon as guys move up and drafts occur.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I actually haven’t turned 39 yet. I guess I must be trying to ease into it.

      • Pat D

        Are you going the Jack Benny route once you do?

    • Yogiism

      Well said, man..

    • MannyGeee

      What I want from my child, as it turns out, is for him to recognize that he’s being a pain in the ass. What I don’t want is for him to repeat to his mother that SHE is being a pain in the ass…

      (in his defense, she was)

    • The Real Me

      And I also assume you want your son to be a lefty, either a starter or reliever, at the MLB level. :-)

      I know I’m still working on that with my 20 year old daughter, but something about being a righty for the first 20 years of her life keeps getting in the way, among other things.

      • vicki

        a switch-hitting catcher would do.

  • nycsportzfan

    My thoughts on this random wednesday are about the Catching.. The same people who are saying they were right on about Swisher shoud of been resigned are the same ones who were against letting Russ Martin go, but they seem to only bring up Swisher and Ichiro.. Well Cervelli is playing wonderful baseball and Russ Martin is hitting worse then most pitchers ever could , and if Ichiro looks cooked, Martin looks well done..

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Russell Martin has a much lower ceiling than a professional baseball player than Ichiro does. He’s also much younger. It’s very hard to say what “cooked” is with Russell when “good” doesn’t look drastically better. It’s easier to compare what we see from Ichiro now to what we saw from him at his peak. There’s very little parallel between the two.

    • LK

      Even with the terrible start, Martin has been significantly better than Ichiro since the start of 2011, while also being much younger and playing a far more important and demanding defensive position.

      There is still plenty of time in this season for Ichiro to look like a good move and letting Martin go to look like a bad one. I still think the latter happening is far more likely.

  • patrick

    Matthew Warden….To have fear is normal. But, to have it alter your
    life, and your thinking is not. They, the Boston bomb makers want you
    to fear them, followed by you accepting their reasons for what
    they want.
    Push back ten times harder than they push you.
    Stay strong, young man. We have your back.

  • mick taylor

    russell martin is hitting .086 with no home runs. i wonder if yanks miss him .

    • Jim Is Bored

      I’ve been one of the biggest supporters of moving on from Martin, but even I don’t believe Martin will continue to hit like that.

      • Yogiism

        +1 on both points. Like you, I was definitely supportive of the Yanks passing on Martin. I’ll say it again, for the 10th time, I have to imagine that the Yank pitchers had some input on the Martin thing. It is possible, that a few of them didn’t like throwing to him. We’ll never know, but the fact the Yanks didn’t even remotely make a play for him makes me still wonder if CC for example, (off the record) or another guy said that they didn’t like his game calling, etc.

    • NYYROC

      Yeah, but what about his pitch framing!! Ha ha! :)

    • Pat D

      I dunno. Do the Stones miss you?

  • Yogiism

    Don’t worry man, I’m 36 and constantly grapple with the no-kids theory. I’m getting up there and it’s something that my girlfriend (who is possibly more) have discussed. This one episode in Boston isn’t the reason, as there are many, why having children isn’t right for a lot of people these days. The point is; one man to another, you’re not alone in this thinking. It’s responsible for you to consider the pro’s and con’s. Lots of young guys need big brothers, which is often what I feel is a great alternative to having kids or you can just get two really great dogs. There are lots of worry warts out there like us. It’s ok.

    As for the Yankees: Nova is very weird to me. I’m sure I am not alone in saying that his post game interviews are frustrating. I just think he is very immature. He does have some decent stuff and would make for a fine back-end option for a lot of teams. I just don’t think he has the “burning” desire to compete at a high level. It’s weird. I think there is a 100% chance that either Nova or Hughes is traded by the deadline. The Yanks have both Phelps and Warren and while Nova’s stuff might project a little better than Warren, for example, I think Warren has a better baseball make-up, at least for a team like the Yanks. Nova won’t bring back much, but with the way Montgomery is pitching, you have to wonder if the Yanks could package Nova and Joba (considering he’s a free agent after the season and I think the Yanks have had all they can take of him as well) to another team. Considering both have some field value, cost little, there should be a fairly good market for them. One way or another, I do expect one of Joba, Hughes or Nova to be shipped out in the next month or two. We’ll see who goes. Not expecting much in return, but it’s got to be worth it to make a deal happen.

  • nsalem

    I think Wells approach has been brilliant up to now and don’t see him to turning into a pumpkin I know it’s unlikely he will stay on an 1.000 OPS pace, I don’t see any reason for him to regress back to what he has been the last several years assuming he stays healthy. A return to his 2006 sumbers would not be surprising to me.

    On your last point: My daughter is a marathon runner. She raises money for charity though her running. She was going to run in the NYC marathon (which as wisely cancelled). Unfortunately she received some very vile and dangerous threats for even planning to run. She was thinking of running in Boston, but because of a job change that relocated her to Vermont changed her plans and she is running in the Vermont marathon on Memorial Day weekend and is planning on running in New York in the fall. It is so odd that so much tragedy and controversy has cast a cloud on such a loving activity. I would never suggest to her or anyone to change their life plans due to such cowardly acts. If you do so,
    they win. I would hope you will never let these people deter you from your life plans.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I hope people are out there getting ready to make next year’s marathon the biggest ever.

      Not related, but I truly felt I had overcome my post 9/11 fear when I went and got on a plane three weeks later. It was an amazing feeling for me.

      • Jim Is Bored

        My gf(a boston native) has had zero desire to ever run a marathon. Even a 10 miler seems like forever to her.

        Yesterday she called me and told me we’re training for a marathon.

        The galvanizing effect of disasters is remarkable. Not a promotion of them, obviously, but the good that can come out of evil is always wonderful to see.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          “Jim Has Shin Splints”

  • Vinnie G

    I’m just so bitter we didn’t try harder for Jupton. I may be wrong but I don’t remember reading one confirmed report on Jupton Yanks rumblings.

    I would have such a different outlook on this year if we we’re able to trade for him, forget the MVP year he is having this far in, we really missed the boat on him. These players like Wells, Hafner they wont sustain this success. Wells was on base 26% of the time in the last 2 years, and all of a sudden as a 34 year old hes going to maintain close to a 40% OBP? No way.. This is a 15 game hot stretch, you cant tell me you expect him to finish the year with an OBP north of .330.

    I always backed up Cash on his passive never panicked style. But this year he really didn’t do whats necessary to compete this year. He got low risk band aids to aid the problems. Yeah we are over .500 but I just don’t think its sustainable even with Grandy, Tex coming back. Just because our brand is viewed as perennially playoff contenders doesn’t mean that this 2013 team can continue that success. I understand that everything that comes up must come down… 20+ years of competing eventually we need to have dark years. But this years off season strategy was a failed approach to compete, it was a ‘throwing in the towel’ mentality to get below the luxury tax. And that is completely unacceptable given the Yankees resources.

    I go through free agency for this year and there wasn’t ONE new guy I wanted. But its the trades for players like Morse, or Jupton that could have helped replace the Swish HRs / Martins HRs / Tex / Grandy/ Arod (not so much lol

    I’m not a cynical Yankee fan, I love the franchise, I support the decisions they make, I back them up unconditionally, but this product is not entertaining to watch.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Just because you see one guy wanted traded to another team doesn’t mean you can fault your team for not going after him. Players, star or not, are traded often. We can’t pursue all of them.

      Upton would have drained the system at a time the system needs to produce multiple pieces. Perhaps it’d still be worth it, but let’s not forget that.

      • Vinnie G

        I’m more upset about not attempting to acquire or inquire about him.

        • Preston

          The Yankees definitely inquired on Upton. If I remember correctly the word was that the D-backs didn’t like a Yankee package because all of the pieces were to far away from the majors. The fact that they ended up trading for Prado an established MLB player as the center piece confirms that they weren’t focusing on acquiring prospects. Gardner is a similar talent to Prado with a year extra of control, but he was coming off of injury and is an OFer. The D-backs were trying to unclog the OF and were specifically looking for SS/3B help. I just don’t think there was a deal to be made.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          You don’t know that, though.

  • Mark L.

    When Granderson comes back, it seems our best alignment would be Gardner – Granderson – Wells with Francisco (??) taking some scattered ABs against LHP. Ichiro does look awful, and I’m worried that if he becomes a part-time player, he will revert to being the surly distraction the Seattle media claimed he was for much of his past 2-3 seasons as a Mariner. If he is content with the Dickerson role of pinch-running, late inning replacement / spot starter vs. RHP, fine – if not, he’ll just have to be baseball’s most expensive 25th man.

    • Yogiism

      I think just about everyone on here can agree that despite Ichiro’s slow start he isn’t going anywhere. He might see a few extra days off, but no chance that he is released or kept on the bench for an extended period of time. Just isn’t happening considering the marketing and corporate aspect involved. I’ve already thought about future roster moves and it seems almost certain that Francisco is the first to go regardless if it’s Tex or Grandy that comes back first. I’m actually liking Overbay at 1st for the time being and I’d like to see the Yanks hold on to him until the roster is maxed out. Quite frankly, as I posted above, my feeling is that a roster spot or two will open at the back end of the rotation or bullpen as well. At some point, they’ll add another lefty reliever. They won’t carry both Phelps and Warren in the bullpen for much longer. One of Nova or Hughes will be shipped somewhere and there is one extra roster spot with Boesch, who can be optioned down to AAA for a short period. Things really get tricky when Jeter is ready.

      • Preston

        You think Ichiro will play everyday over Wells when Granderson returns. If there production levels are anywhere near where they currently are, that would be incomprehensible. They have the same amount of years/money invested in Wells and it’s not like he’s a no-name.

        • Jim Is Bored

          He didn’t say Ichiro would play over Grandy or Wells. He said we aren’t cutting him. That’s a massive, massive difference.

          • Preston

            To me saying “no chance that he is released or kept on the bench for an extended period of time” means he will start most days. I don’t know if that’s what he meant, and I hope that’s not what they do. I do think he’ll be the 4th OF, especially since Boesch has an MiLB option.


    How’s Chien-Ming Wang’s extended spring going? I read a little blog about him throwing to 40 batters in extended spring training games and he looked ok. anybody think he may be an option soon?

    • Kosmo

      I believe Wang starts on friday for Scranton

  • Yogiism

    I’d like to have a serious discussion about the starting rotation options:

    Phelps continues to impress. Warren pitched a few really good innings out of the bullpen last week. Wang is actually a legit option to get back with the team at the MLB level. If everything goes as planned, Pineda could be an option near or right after the All-Star break.

    I can’t see at this point how one of Nova or Hughes isn’t traded. Hughes would probably have slightly more value, despite having less cost control. He is a free agent and with his fly ball rate and just having a fan base that is collectively tired of him, he seems to be a solid trade option. Yanks aren’t going to make him a qualifying offer at this point, not when the league average will likely approach $14mm this offseason. I can’t see them giving him a multi year deal at this point. I mean who is a good comparison? Mid rotation stuff, but very inconsistent? Jeremey Guthrie comes to mind and he got what $25mm over 3 years? I don’t even think the Yanks would offer that at this point, so in my opinion, he does seem like a solid trade candidate.

    Nova is just weird, as I’ve already stated. His level of maturity just isn’t right for the team I feel.

    Who seems to make the most sense to move in order to open rotation spots for other guys that might be better for the Yanks? Hughes or Nova?

    • Preston

      I doubt Hughes is moved. He’s either going to be good enough to be a 4/5th starter or he’ll be moved to the pen. He’s a FA next year and not cheap, so if he’s not an effective starter he has no trade value. I think the Yankees would put Nova in AAA before trading him.

  • Guns

    If you don’t have children then the terrorists win. Spread your seed and multiply until your wife cries, “Please God, no more.” Children are the greatest gift God can give us.

    Always remember there is nothing worth sharing like the love that lets you share your name (Avett Brothers).

    • Pat D

      When are people going to realize that the terrorists did win?

      Seriously. I hate to say that, but it’s true.

      • Jim Is Bored

        I say this with the utmost respect possible, but how the HECK do you know the terrorists won? We have no idea who did this, much less what the hell their motivation was.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I think we’re going to be mighty surprised by who did this.

        • Pat D

          I was referring to 9/11, not Monday.

  • RetroRob

    We can’t draw conclusions on Wells or Ichiro.

  • Chien Ming The Merciless

    Holy Crap you are young, Mike! I would’ve thought you were in your 40s or so. Cheers to so much baseball knowledge at a young age!

    • Chien Ming The Merciless

      Oops didn’t realize it was Matt….

  • Nedro

    Dear Matt:
    Knock up that wife or the terrorists win.
    Love, Nedro

    • Robinson Tilapia


  • Eric

    Hi – nice article and appreciate your concerns but don’t let this terrible event hinder your desire for kids. Don’t let some sick people ruin your desire for a wonderful life.

    Enjoy the blog and your writing.

  • http://riveravenueblues mississippi doc

    Go ahead, Matt, and have children. The eleventh Jewish commandment is to grant Hitler no posthumous victories, which is meant to say that we need to confirm our faith in the face of evil. To do otherwise is
    to allow evil to win. We and Boston will prevail, and so will your future children. I was very proud of the support and ceremony at YS on Tuesday. I went to medical school in Boston and it is a great place. They desrve our support. Our rivalry with them is all in the family.

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    Your articles are a welcome addition to RAB.
    Nice job

  • Pasqua

    Matt, never let the terrible acts of a few cause you to change who you are or what you want. As the parent of a 5-year-old, I don’t lament that he will grow up in a world of horrors when unimaginable things like this happen. Instead, I am grateful that he will have the opportunity to help make the world a better place. The good will always outnumber the bad, and, as a parent, I’m proud of the fact that I can contribute to that in a small way.

    Apologies if this sounds too much like a sermon. It just sort of happened.