So here’s an interesting if typical late January story: George Steinbrenner stopped by Steinbrenner Field late last week and spent four hours in the office. He said he is “feeling good” and is excited for the upcoming season. It’s a typical story because this seems to be the extent of the media’s exposure to George. It’s interesting because this is the first we’ve heard from Steinbrenner since the season ended. Clearly, the Boss is not at full strength anymore. His days of roaring are over.
On July 31, Brian Cashman sent Chase Weems to the Reds in exchange for Jerry Hairston, Jr., and for three months, Hairston got the job done. He served as a versatile utility player with decent speed and hit .237/.352/.382 over 93 plate appearances. He scored the winning run in Game 2 of the ALCS and filled in during the World Series when both Melky Cabrera and Johnny Damon went down with leg injuries. Today, Ken Rosenthal reports that the San Diego Padres and Hairston are “closing in on [a] deal.” Hairston will be joining his brother Scott who arrived in San Diego yesterday, and the Yanks will be out a potential bench player.
With 11 wins in their last 11 games, the Chargers are the hottest team in football. The Jets, however, come in with some momentum, beating the Bengals twice to make it this far. Can Darrelle Revis shut down Vincent Jackson? Can the defense that allowed the fewest points this year stop the offense that scored the fourth most? Well, they say defense wins championships. Let’s see if the Jets’ takes them closer to one.
We have a few Cowboys fans who read RAB, so there will be some interest in this one. We also have some Jets fans who are a bit bitter over the way Favre ended last season. Any Vikings fans in the house?
While Jorge Posada‘s compatibility with A.J. Burnett came into question during the 2009 season, that’s not the only pitcher-catcher combo on which we commented. Jorge also had a hard time working with Joba Chamberlain, though many of us pinned that on the younger of the pair. That was understandable. Joba spent too much time shaking off Jorge’s calls, and not enough time throwing strikes.
In his blog entry today, Buster Olney points us to the blog of former catcher Brent Mayne, who has been writing about catching. It’s promotion for his book on the subject, but he does offer up useful tips for catchers. Today has to do with the basics of setting up around the plate. His advice for catchers:
This is how you can help. Work fast. Put the signs down quickly and intuitively. Get the pitcher in a good tempo and remember the less time he has to think, the better. DO NOT set up too far on the corners! Unless your pitcher’s name is Greg Maddux or Cliff Lee, setting up away from the plate is an excellent recipe for a walk-a-thon. Only split the corners of the plate with your crouch when you are way ahead in the count. Make the pitcher throw good low strikes yielding weak ground balls. Set up around the plate and make the offense put the ball in play right now.
Easier said than done, of course, and your pitcher can always mess up the rhythm by shaking off too many signs. Still, it’s advice I like. Whether it actually works I’m not sure. But I’d feel a lot better about Joba if Posada handled him like this.
Ray Lewis and his homies murdered the Patriot’s dynasty last week, and now they’ll deal with the team that was too cool to go undefeated. This should be a good one, chat about it here and enjoy.