Mailbag: Jeter, Fowler, Clarkin, Hensley, Black

The River Avenue Blues Podcast: Episode 15
6/27-6/29 Series Preview: Boston Red Sox

Seven questions in this week’s mailbag. If you want to send us something, use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar. We get a lot of questions each week, so don’t take it personally if yours is not answered.

(Al Bello/Getty)
(Al Bello/Getty)

Paul asks: What would happen if Derek Jeter decided he wasn’t retiring?

I think we all know what would happen. The Yankees would re-sign him to a contract similar to this year’s (one-year, $12M plus incentives) and he’d play shortstop everyday next season. I know it, you know it, Jeter knows it, the Yankees know it, everyone knows it. He has the organization wrapped around his finger.

What should happen? The Yankees should walk away if Jeter un-retires because their goal should be to put the best possible team on the field. Not the most marketable team, the team with the best chance to win. It’s hard to see how the Cap’n at shortstop accomplishes that at this point of his career. The upcoming free agent shortstop crop (Hanley Ramirez, Jed Lowrie, J.J. Hardy, Asdrubal Cabrera) is deep and there are better options. It’ll never happen though. Jeter’s going to retire after the season and this is all hypothetical.

Masamyhiro asks: I know it’s ridiculous but what’s the real limitation to NYY signing even more of the international free agents this year? Is it purely financial, do certain players prefer other teams, or do the Yanks simply believe that some of them won’t translate well to MLB? Following up on that, is there heavy recruiting in international free agency a la Masahiro Tanaka this past offseason, or do the kids simply follow the money?

It’s a combination of everything, really. Every team views these players differently and not all think they’re worth the money. The Latin American market is very secretive — teams find players when they are like, 13-14 years old, hide them at their academies and keep them out of sight from the other scouts. It happens all the time. You can’t spend money on talent you don’t get a chance to properly evaluate it. I suppose that’s similar to a Tanaka-esque recruiting pitch — many times these players will agree to sign years in advance, occasionally with under-the-table payouts up front. Remember, a lot of these kids live in poverty, and signing to play baseball is the best way to help their families. They jump on whatever money they can get.

Preston asks: What do you think of Dexter Fowler as a trade target? He would slot nicely into the 2 hole between Gardner and Ellsbury and would be signed through 2016.

That would be three no-to-low power outfielders for a team already short on power. I’m not sure it fits. Fowler is a switch-hitter who consistently gets on base (.377 OBP this year and .380 OBP from 2012-14) and is a 15-20 steal, 10-15 homer guy at his best. The defensive stats hate him in center and he has one inning in right field in his career. Giving up some prospects to get him for right seems like a poor fit for both the offense and defense to me. The on-base ability to awesome, but the current roster is begging for another power hitter, not another speedy leadoff type.

CS Yankee asks: Good to see that Ty is finally pitching again. How did Ian Clarkin and Ty Hensley compare when they were drafted? Who had the higher scouting grades, BP rankings, and how did you (Mike) rate them?

In my opinion, Clarkin was the better prospect at the time of their respective drafts. Hensley threw harder and they had similar quality breaking balls, but Clarkin’s changeup was much more advanced. He’s also left-handed, which is a plus. Again, that’s just my opinion. Here is how they were ranked by the various scouting publications in their draft years:

Keep in mind that they’re being ranked in different draft classes. The 2013 draft was generally considered to be stronger than the 2012 class, so Clarkin ranking higher than Hensley despite the tougher overall draft class pretty much confirms he was considered the better prospect at the time. That’s fine though, that doesn’t mean Hensley wasn’t a good prospect. He’s obviously been derailed by injuries, but taking him 30th overall was perfectly reasonable.

Black. (Jason Miller/Getty)
Black. (Jason Miller/Getty)

Sandeep asks: If Bud Black is let go from the Padres, should the Yankees look into finding a role for him? He seems to be one of the smarter baseball managers out there and I believe he’s often received praise on this site. What would his role be?

I like Black as a manager because he always seems to make good strategic moves — maximizing the platoon advantage, putting his players in good positions to succeed, etc. — whenever I watch the Padres. I have no idea what he’s like managing people in the clubhouse, though I doubt he would have remained on the job for 7+ years if players didn’t like him.

The Padres are terrible and they just fired GM Josh Byrnes, and there are rumblings even more moves will be made as the new ownership group cleans house and brings in their own people. Black is a pitching guy who played 15 years in the big leagues and was the Angels pitching coach under Mike Scioscia from 2000-06. Unless the Yankees were to fire Larry Rothschild (I don’t see that happening at all), I’m not sure where he’d fit in. Minor league pitching guru? Would he be open to doing that after being on a big league coaching staff for a decade and a half? I like Black based on what I’ve seen but I’m not sure there’s a role for him with the Yankees.

Pounder asks: With defensive shifts becoming more and more engrained, how will this affect the game in the long run? Will the “science” of hitting start to be taught among the lower levels of the sport, including Little League, high school and college? Could these shifts de-emphasize the power game as well, making Punch and Judy hitters more prevalent?

I’m pretty sure the art of hitting to all fields is taught at every level already, especially in the minors and in college. It’s up to the players to do it though, the coaching staff can only do so much. Some players refuse or are flat out unable to adjust — it drives me nuts whenever Michael Kay talks about a player refusing to go against the shift and act likes it’s a piece of cake. If it were take easy to hit the baseball exactly where you want, everyone would hit about .500 — or are simply at their best when they pull the ball. Brian McCann already has eleven opposite field hits this season after getting between 10-15 every year from 2009-13. He’s hitting against the shift more often, but is it doing him any good? At some point don’t you have to consider letting him go back to being himself?

Anyway, eventually hitters will adjust to the shift just like they adjusted to curveballs and sliders way back in the day. There will still be players who can’t beat the shift just like there are players who struggle against breaking balls. The game evolves and those players either adapt or get run out of the league. If anything this should make power hitters more valuable. If baseball is going to devolve into a league of singles hitters, the guys who can put runs on the board with one swing will be even more important. That’s just my opinion as a fan of the long ball. Trying to consistently score runs with extended rallies in an age of infield shifts and advanced scouting reports and specialized relievers strikes me as a fool’s errand.

Brian asks: Have we seen anything from the 6th, 7th and/or the 8th starters to indicate that the Yankees may have a long term answer amongst them?

Vidal Nuno (12), David Phelps (ten), and Chase Whitley (eight) have only combined to make 30 starts so far, so we haven’t seen a ton of them yet. (We have seen plenty of Phelps the last two years, obviously.) At this point, I think it’s fair to say Phelps has the best chance of being a starter long-term while Nuno has the smallest chance. He is left-handed though, a niche in the bullpen always awaits. I’m not quite sure what to think of Whitley yet, but I feel better about his ability to pitch in the big leagues in some capacity than I did three months ago. The one thing I know for certain is that I hope the Yankees never need all three of these guys in the rotation at the same time again in the future.

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The River Avenue Blues Podcast: Episode 15
6/27-6/29 Series Preview: Boston Red Sox
  • nycsportzfan

    If you actually look at all the short stops in the majors, Jeter is not nearly as bad as people make him out to be. As far as at the plate, i’d probably pick him to bat in last out situation with game on the line over 75pct of the other SS’s in baseball.

    Of course, going into next yr would be different as there are decent longer term options, but as for this season, Jeter might not be Jeter, but hes far from the worst thing we could have at SS in 2014.

    • Cheval Anonyme

      You write as though hitting is the primary role of a SS. Jeter is replacement level (actually below, but close enough) at defense, in a defensive-oriented position. He used to be a great hitter, now he’s just an ok hitter, and that’s not good enough for him to be even an average SS.

      • Preston

        Hitting is the primary role of ANY position player. Jeter’s defense is below average, but no so much so that it’s been a problem. He’s 17th in UZR 150 with a -4.9. The Cubs are building around 24 yo SS Starlin Castro and his -8.9 UZR/150. Some of the upgrades the Yankees want to pursue in the off-season are Hanley Ramirez (-17.1) and Asdrubal Cabrera (-10.8). And Joe Madden and the defensive minded Rays are running Yunel Escobar and his almost Nunezian -21.8.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          It almost makes me wonder if the replacement level defensive value for a SS might need to be adjusted.

          • Preston

            Replacement level is not the word. UZR is a function of average. Jeter is below average, but far from terrible. As a player as a whole he’s been worth .6 WAR in less than half a season. He isn’t a great asset at this point, but he isn’t weighing the roster down by any stretch of the imagination.

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

              Shit I knew that, but it ends up being the same point.

              I wonder how they’re calculating average. Are there an equivalent number of amazing UZR rated shortstops that balance out Jeter, Castro, Escobar and Cabrera? Too lazy to figure it out.

              • Preston

                Yes, Andrelton Simmons has a +21.1 but I think the average is calculated over several years, not just this year.

        • nycsportzfan

          Good post.

      • RetroRob

        You probably should review what “replacement level” means. It refers to a very specific level of production. It’s a bar which even the 40-year-old Jeter easily clears.

    • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

      the problem is that he is below average in both aspects of his game. You got the Andrelton’s of the world who can pull off any play, and the Hanley’s of the world who can hit. Jeter has neither at this point.

      • Preston

        He’s a below average player. But not below replacement level. Beltran, Ichiro, Roberts and Kelly Johnson are all regulars who have been worse than him, and if you think the last month is more indicative of Yangervis Solarte’s talent level than the first two, Jeter might be better than him too. Throw in the fact that SS is probably the hardest and potentially most expensive position to find an upgrade at and the fact is that Jeter isn’t anywhere close to this teams problem. Most of the people saying otherwise are malcontents who wants to bash Jeter for whatever reason. Even him batting second isn’t crazy as I pointed out below.

      • RetroRob

        You just used two extreme type of players to then come to a conclusion on another player.

        The problem with many Yankee fans (and I’m not talking about anyone specifically here, although they are here, too) is they grew up with Derek Jeter, and while they recognize he is a HOF talent, they have very little understanding of what it will take to replace him. It was the same thing I was saying about Posada. You will miss him when he’s gone because only then, over a period of years, maybe even a decade plus, will it become obvious how good he was and how hard it will be to replace him. Even this year, the Yankees went out an paid a ton of money for McCann, who had Posada-like qualities with the bat, and it has not gone well. I still believe he’ll come around, but we can’t be sure.

        Jeter is actually still a plus. The team should be better next year if they add a decent SS. Yet it’s going to be harder than most think, and no matter who they add, many will dislike when they see him day in and day out.

        So I am enjoying Jeter’s retirement tour, simply because there is no obvious replacement and I know what’s coming and it won’t be good.

  • nycsportzfan

    There is a coach out there that I would love to get some day either as our pitching coach or Manager(if Girardi left for some reason), and his name is Rags.

  • Darren

    Un-fucking-believable. You just can’t stop yourself from piling on Jeter can you? What is it, jealousy? Click views. Pathetic.

    • BigDavey88

      I don’t see how he piled on Jeter here. IMO, nothing he said in this piece was outrageous, just simply the truth. If Jeter unretires for whatever wacky reason, the Yankess SHOULD walk away. It’s been a magnificent run, but at some point it’s gotta end.

      But like Mike said, this is hypothetical, Jeter knows he isn’t what he was and is retiring because of it. I’m sure as hell enjoying his last season for what it is.

      • BigDavey88

        To add, and this is mostly a gripe with a lot of folks on this board, countless people on here that are calling for Jeter’s head because he can’t hit, because he can’t field, that he shouldn’t be hitting in the two spot, that he shouldn’t be starting against righties, etc., are mostly the same people that have already given up on this season and team.

        If that’s the case, why does it matter if this team that is going nowhere play their legendary player the way they are? All hope is lost anyway, right? This constant Jeter whining is going nowhere for either argument, so everyone drop it. It’s old, it’s tired, just. let. it. go.

        At some point soon, he’s gonna have his last game at Yankee stadium, it’s going to be sold out, he’s name is going to be chanted, and I’m gonna have some sliced onions in front of me.

        • Cheval Anonyme

          I don’t think anyone should be blaming anything on Jeter. But the Yankees are a business, and the team wants to optimize their value, which is a combination of current competitiveness, future competitiveness, current star power, nostalgia, whatever. Obviously the Yankees feel it is the best thing for the BUSINESS to have Jeter out there. This has little to do with Jeter’s ego– he does not fill out the lineup card or determine the roster, and the Yankees would sit him or cut him if they thought that would benefit their business interests.
          Personally, I get no pleasure out of Jeter’s farewell tour, so I would rather they make decisions purely to optimize current and future competitiveness. But if the Jeter tour makes you happy, that’s fine, and helps prove that the Yankees’ decision to play him makes some sense.

          • I’m One

            the Yankees are a business, and the team wants to optimize their value, which is a combination of current competitiveness, future competitiveness, current star power, nostalgia, whatever. Obviously the Yankees feel it is the best thing for the BUSINESS to have Jeter out there. This has little to do with Jeter’s ego– he does not fill out the lineup card or determine the roster, and the Yankees would sit him or cut him if they thought that would benefit their business interests.

            Repeated for emphasis.

          • BigDavey88

            Don’t disagree with anything you stated. Derek is pretty awful now, but I’m the sentimental type and I’m 25 – I’ve never had baseball without Derek Jeter.

            Shits gonna be weird.

        • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

          It sounds like the whining is coming from you. For everyone that complains about Jeter, there’s an equal amount that take those complaints as personal affronts that send themselves into a tizzy because Jeter is Yankee royalty. Every single Yankee legend was dropped in the order at the end of their career, or unceremoniously dumped, or traded for younger parts to Kansas City, etc., etc.

          Nobody is tarnishing his legacy. Get over it. His lack of production and defensive inefficiency is a talking point for this team. Whining about “whiners” isn’t going to change that.

          • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

            Reply fail. Screw it. Can’t even remember which one I was replying to

          • Broll the American

            What’s the alternative on this roster? Who else would bat 2nd? Solarte? Nope. Ichiro? Roberts? You going to call someone else up from the minors? Last I checked there’s no MLB ready infield phenom waiting in the wings. Who would you trade for that is A) a major improvement and B) obtainable given the limited trade chips the Yankees have? Reality is he’s actually not that bad… there are bigger holes on the team… and he’s the ONLY option at both SS and the 2nd spot in the lineup.

            • BigDavey88

              You could bat gardner and ellsbury 1 and 2 interchangeably I think, however, with current performances we then wouldn’t have a three hitter. Maybe Tex.

              • Preston

                I don’t have any problem with Tex batting third. But do we really need to move Beltran (wRC+ 82) or McCann (wRC+ 76)up in the lineup over Jeter (wRC+ 82). Neither Gardner or Ellsbury have huge platoon splits, but they do have a platoon split and Jeter splits the lefties and still gets on base a little to score some runs in front of our best hitter, so I’m fine with the lineup as is, unless we get a clear upgrade to slot into the 2,3 or 4 holes and move him down.

      • nycsportzfan

        It does kinda suck that people pile on Jeter so much. He really isn’t that bad when put against most players at his Position. I’m talking everything taken into consideration. I’ve seen many legends go out much worse then Derek is going 2.

        Shoot, Bernie had about 4 straight mediocre(ish) seasons in a row to end his career.

        • RetroRob

          I still think Bernie could have helped if he wanted to stay on to bat against lefties and serve as a DH/back-up/platoon LFer. The problem was he wasn’t up for that, Torre wouldn’t have used him just that way, and the Yankees didn’t quite have a roster constructed for that type of player. Yet he wasn’t finished. He just had to be used differently than he was.

    • Liam in Albany

      Piling on Jeter? You realize that was a hypothetical question in which Jeter un-retired after going through an entire farewell tour?

      We all appreciate Jeter for what he is and has been for the organization. But remember what the final days of Bernie were like? Sometimes its just better to go quietly into the night than to hang on in desperate denial that you can still contribute at the major league level.

      Like Mike said, Jeter knows what he is, and he knows his time is almost up.

      • Darren

        Entertaining the question and putting it first are trolling of the highest order. I really did expect more of Mike. So much of the work he does is incredibly impressive and then he stoops to this kind of garbage.

        • Cheval Anonyme

          Nothing is more troll-like than people who object to a particular discussion point because they just don’t like to hear it. Free speech is more of a hot button that Derek’s feelings, so there is a question here of just who is the greater troll.

          • Preston

            People throw around the word troll too much on this site. A troll is someone who purposefully makes inflammatory comments to get people riled up. Creating a hypothetical future controversy about Derek Jeter does kind of qualify, although I’m sure Mike is just answering the question he was asked. Being mad about it is just taking the bait, not being a troll. Most of the people that get labeled trolls just hold wild opinions or at least a wild opinion to the person calling them a troll. The only true troll is Eddard in all his iterations (maybe Wayne, although I reserve the right to believe Wayne is just a crazy old man in his basement who just gets really worked up and uses exclamation points).

            • Cheval Anonyme

              Here in America, we takes our “Freedoms of Speech” most serious. Bigger even than Derek Jeter, if you can believe that!!!! So man wants to put that down, them’s fighting words!!

      • Derek Jeter

        Im sorry for my performance.. I am just getting old!

      • RetroRob

        Well, yeah, but he selected the question out of the many and led with it. Certainly wasn’t an accident.

    • MB923

      Mike said absolutely nothing wrong. He answered a simple question, and IMO gave a good response.

      • Goboh

        He treated a stupid question as though it was an interesting or illuminating hypothesis, and then proceeded to add his special blend of snark (which is too sour, stale, and dyspeptic for my taste). Good ole Son of Debbie Downer, he’ll always bring you down.

        • Cheval Anonyme

          His comment didn’t bring me down, so perhaps you should see someone about your possible depression. It seems as though you have a problem; the first step in addressing it is to admit it.

    • mike c

      he’s always been bitter towards jeter. axisa and his RAB groupthink minions. don’t forget this is a guy who called jeter an “albatross”

      • BigDavey88

        When?

      • I’m One

        While I’ve felt there are times where Mike comes off as “anti-Jeter” (as a huge Jeter fan, admittedly), this isn’t one of them. Most of the time, he’s stating the facts and Jeter’s fans (me included) just don’t want to hear them.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          Same here. Just don’t see it with this particular response.

  • Liam in Albany

    In the last question, Phelps, Nuno and Whitley have combined to make 30 starts by those numbers, not 20.

    The entire Jeter un-retiring thing wouldn’t be only bad for the team, but for Jeter’s reputation imo…Go through nearly half a season ( or an entire season if he unretired at the end of the year ) of getting goodbye gifts and ceremonies from teams only to play another year? I’m sure a lot of other teams would be anywhere from confused to angry. Would make for some pretty bad PR I think

    • MB923

      30 is the correct number. 12 by Nuno (tonight makes it 13), 8 by Whitley, and 10 by Phelps. Small typo.

      • Liam in Albany

        I figured that was the case.

        I’m still amazed Chase has made 8 starts already. This season is flying.

    • Kosmo

      for a 14-16 team WL.

      • The Great Gonzo

        Which is not horrible considering how many of those were Nuno based stompings. Its actually goddam good considering that the offense behind him has been garbage.

        • Kosmo

          8-14 if you subtract Whitley´s starts.

    • Cheval Anonyme

      Jeter is all about the PR. He will not un-retire, for the reasons you so accurately state.

  • md

    I’m sure the whole Jeter retirement thing was worked out with the organization way prior to his announcement. The Ryan signing for 2 yrs at that money, the re-working of his contract, all part of an orchestrated ending (probably some marketing discussions too). Whether you believer him to be an all-time player or an overrated, overpaid singles hitter, no one would call him flighty or off-the-cuff in his decisions. It’s final.

    • mike c

      who “believers” him to be an overrated singles hitter besides yourself?

  • Cheval Anonyme

    On the question as to why the Yankees don’t sign even more of the IFAs this year, there are two more aspects of this. One, they WILL sign more IFAs than have been mentioned publicly, just not the big-bonus ones– there will be low-bonus sleepers as well. Second, there are only so many development slots available. It does the Yankees little good to sign top-tier players if they can’t give them regular playing time in the DSL. The Yankees are tied to FIVE top-30 shortstops, four outfielders, one 3B and a C. That’s one catcher shy of two complete teams worth of “skill” positions, plus a weak-fielding slugger per team. Given that there needs to be some room for moving defense-challenged players downward in the defensive spectrum, plus there will be a few sleeper signees and hold-overs from the current DSL teams, this is about as much as the system can handle. A more interesting question is why the Yankees aren’t targeting top-tier pitchers, but I believe Mike has addressed that well in earlier posts. The aforementioned sleepers will certainly include a good number of pitchers.

    • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

      Many of those ss won’t play there. Is just in HS where the best players are often ss or catcher.

      • Cheval Anonyme

        Oh yes, that’s clear. Some of them will move to 2B, 3B, even the OF. One of the OFs may move to 1B. Perhaps a SS will get converted to C. The point is, the Yankees are rumored to be signing 11 top tier position players, and two DSL teams have only so much room. In fact, the very reason you don’t sign 16 top-ranked position players is that some of those players WILL have to change defensive positions, and you need to have some flexibility. Most players who do change tend to move towards less-challenging defensive positions (Rob Ref is a rare exception). You need to have a few gaps, since if a player needs to move down from SS to CF, for example, you can’t promote the CF to SS to fill the gap. Note the Yankees are not signing any top-tier first basemen.

        • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

          Can always wait until they get to gcl, staten, or charleston to move them. Not ideal, but someone playing short that needs to move to 2b or cf will be fine. It is if they stuck them at 1B, then tried move them to ss.

  • Vern Sneaker

    Phelps, Nuno, Whitley: 30 starts, something like 162 total innings = 5.4/start. Relievers start coming in with approx. one out in the fifth on average three out of every five games. Not cool. At all.

    • Vern Sneaker

      The innings are as starters only, btw.

  • Breddard Gardner

    Jeter knows he’s done, that’s why he’s retiring. He won’t unretire. You think he likes going out there playing the way he is?

    Michael Kay is right on the shift. Ballplayers are giving up an easy hit because they want to hit the HRs. The Jays hit the ball the other way just fine. Encarnacion had 2 strikes down by 3 runs, let me slap a single the other way and get on base. Our hitters don’t do that.

    Nuno is an automatic loss. He’s a soft tossing lefty in the AL East. There’s not much future there. BGDP and Chase the Ace have bright futures with the club. We could see both in the rotation next season.

    • Kosmo

      BGDP has up until now always been a 50/50 proposition. He´s at best a league average pitcher. Bright future ? A bit generous IMO.
      Yanks will need two decent SP to fill out next years rotation.

      • Cheval Anonyme

        If he’s league average, that would make him an average #3. Average is good!

  • Derek Jeter

    Chase Whitley is barely a #5 rotation guy. I said we will see a “stat correction coming” a week ago, right before the blue jays raped him. Just like Mark Buehrle, who will also see the same thing. Buehrle will not even be in Cy young talks before the season is over.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      Great, 1 bad start is all it took for you to jump out of a building while covered in flaming gasoline.

      Seriously. Do you get off by being right about negative shit happening? Go root for the damn Cubs.

      • I’m One

        jump out of a building while covered in flaming gasoline.

        That created a great visual in my head. :-)

      • marv fan

        Get em

  • Paisa

    Whitley has a more effective 3 pitch mix and he locates better than Phelps as well. That combination is what will make him the more effective rotation guy in the long term.

    If they had to choose, however, I’d prefer to see Chase sent to Scranton because at some point this whole learning on the fly in the big leagues situation he is in now is going to catch up to him.

    • TWTR

      I’m not sure that he is learning on the fly more than any young starter as much as he is being stretched out on the fly.

      • Paisa

        One in the same. ..

        • TWTR

          I don’t think so. His pitches are good enough, it’s merely about arm strength.

    • marv fan

      If I had to choose one of the 3(Nuno,BGDP,Whit), i’d prob go with Phelps, as hes a bulldog out there and ultra competitive. I think the stuff is about on par with Whitleys but i’ll give that tenacity and competitive nature to BGDP as the decider.

  • mt

    The above comment about balancing current competitiveness, future competitiveness and nostalgia because Yanks are a business is spot on. How individual fans balance those issues are another story. For example, I am a rabid Yankee fan but I care not one iota who wears which number (the whole no one can wear Paulie’s 22 number ), retired numbers, and “iconic status” – in other words, I would prefer Jeter be moved down in order regardless of what he has done in past – the only thing that should impact this particular decision is 1) will it help Yankees now? 2) and (less important) can the player handle it? I think Jeter can handle it (he is no mental midget) but certain fans/media may not be able to handle it.

    I think Yanks need some sort of spark now and not when CC comes back (who knows what CC will be like then and Yanks still will be starting 2 out of the 3 headed monster NunPhelLey) or waiting for some type of trade from Cashman. (I have no confidence that Pineda will come back – how likely is he to avoid any type of inflammation setback over the next four weeks of his recovery; if he has any future setback, he is out until at least late August or September) – I am looking for the spark that can come from shifting line-up a litle or promoting someone (which means cutting someone).

    Yanks need something else than “they have hit before and will hit again” mode or “rotation is set until CC comes back”.

    The next 17 games has Nuno scheduled to start against Sox, Rays, Indians (at Cle) and Baltimore (at Balt – yikes – over/under on homers probably 4) and could be season defining. Also there are no off days during that span that might help Tanaka (or even Whitley/Kuroda) until the respite at All Star Break. The division may be at risk if we lay a 5-12 or 6-11 egg with our record.

    • Deep Thoughts

      You’ve got the story twisted. It’s that no one can wear LaTroy Hawkins’s #22.

      • Preston

        If we’re going to be doing this joke can we at least get the number right? It’s 21.

    • CS Yankee

      Keep Jete in the 2-hole…it’ll likely net him another 30 hits and secure #6 alltime while not costing anything really.

      If they secured Price it would mortgage the future too much but provide a decent chance this year if the bats waken…or decent bats along with CC and Pineda; they will need to pitch more than a few weeks for any chance at success.

  • nycsportzfan

    Looking forward to the chat today. Orioles playing at 1pm. A double dip for them today. Hopefully Rays can at least steal one of the games.

  • cooolbreeez

    I don’t see Jeter unretiring. He knows he’s running out there on fumes, that’s why he announced his retirement in the first place.

    In the hghly unlikely event he un-retires, I’d sign him, with the understanding he’ll be a role player ala Ichiro.

    • Deep Thoughts

      They could just show him on the Diamond Vision standing in front of a waving American flag during the 7th-inning-stretch rendition of “God Bless America.”

  • nycsportzfan

    Gausman all ready sucking for the O’s. Sweet!

    • nycsportzfan

      JJ Hardy has one hr on the yr.lol Guess what SS is showing more power and has a better OBP then good old JJ hardy? Yup, our Captain.

    • nycsportzfan

      Gausman is not impressive. For a dude whos not overly tall, he sure is clumsy out there. Kinda goofy if you will.lol

      Heres to hoping hes another crap pitcher drafted by the Orioles.

      • Paisa

        He is 6’4″………

    • nycsportzfan

      Gausman is one clumsy dude. Hes not even overly tall but hes got one ugly delivery and slips and slides everywhere. Kinda a goofball.lol

      I wonder if he’ll be another crap pitcher picked by the O’s.

  • RetroRob

    Actually, I disagree. If Jeter unretired, the Yankees would not bring him back.

    This year is the end for the Captain, one way or the other.

    • md

      Me too. Jeter isn’t bigger than the Yankees. Cashman played tough with him after his big contract expired. They were handing him his hat at season’s end either way; Jeter was smart enough to go along with it for his legacy’s sake.

      • RetroRob

        There are so many things that could have been going on behind the scenes that it’s all just guess work.

        When Jeter and Hal met and the Yankees gave him a few million more, there was something else that happened that we don’t know and probably never will. Hal is just not going to toss an extra few million Jeter’s way. I suspect at some point, maybe not quite as bluntly and I’m not even saying in that meeting, but the Yankees told Jeter they were looking forward to him returning in 2014, but his injury reminds them they have to start looking for the long-term solution at SS, so we can’t make any commitments beyond 2014. They don’t have to say coldly “2014 is it,” but they could send a message before things got ugly, and Jeter could go out on his own terms. He may not have told the Yankees he planned to retire officially until he made his FaceBook post, but I believe discussions had occurred between the two sides.

        By season’s end, all the gifts will have been given, all the niceties exchanged, all the parades marched. That Captain is heading out, and there is nothing he can do now to stop that unless he wants to go play for another team, and both sides know that’s not happening.

  • BostonBlackie

    Jeter un-retiring is totally hypothetical.But,if that did somehow happen,the Yanks shouldn’t make an offer.He’s been GREAT,but the Yankees real marketability is WINNING.PERIOD.

  • RetroRob

    BTW McCann and shifts. He is trying to beat the shift and it’s not helping him. Giambi and Teixeira both went through phases where they tried to beat the shift. Eventually, they both gave up and decided their success is pulling the ball and that they should hit through the shift. Sure, they’ll lost hits, but they’ll hit the ball hard, and a number of the balls will leave the park.

    McCann needs to do the same. Stop trying to go the other way. Hit into and through the shift.