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Derek Jeter
Hey! My name is Zachary and this is my site, Yankee Mania, where I explore the games, players, and transactions of the greatest team in baseball. Hated by some but loved by others, the New York Yankees have dominated the world of sports for over a century. This year I follow their noble quest to win yet another World Series Championship. Click here to send me an email!

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Friday November, 03 2006.
Rivera: Rodriguez has "done a good job"
By mvyb, 11:43

"They didn't give the guy a break. New York, the town," Rivera said of Alex Rodriguez. "He's done a good job. If you ask me who has hit in the playoffs, I am going to say two or three guys. Alex is one guy, he is not the team. You can't win with that on one guy. A team is 25 guys."

"It's not up to me whether he is here or not or whether the Yankees want him here or not," Rivera said. "He wanted to be a part of the team, part of a winning team. He's done everything. He works so hard, it's amazing."

.
.
I have nothing really to add here... Even though Rivera is absolutely right, New York fans will continued to run down Alex Rodriguez.
.
It's hip.

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Thursday November, 02 2006.
Jeter Wins Gold, Again
By mvyb, 20:36

For the third consecutive year, Derek Jeter wins the Gold Glove award for his position, frustrating Yankee-haters everywhere.
.
American League managers and coaches are the ones who decide where the awards go, so if you're annoyed with the Gold Glove results, get mad at them.
.
Jeter makes one of the greatest defensive plays
of all time during the 2001 ALDS.
.
This year,  the competition was very tough, and there were several players who could have walked away with this award.
.
My top 5 AL defensive shortstops:
.
player fielding percentage total chances errors
1. Michael Young .981 747 14
2. Johnny Peralta .977 710 16
3. Derek
Jeter
.975 610 15
4. Alex Gonzalez .985 475 7
5. Juan
Uribe
.977 604 14
.
While Alex Gonzalez the best fielding percentage and made the fewest errors, he also had the fewest opportunities to mess up. Juan Uribe has the fewest innings played in the field and the fewest assists.
.
The top three are actually pretty close. Each committed 14 or more errors (Young committed the fewest), each had a fielding percentage of .975 or better (Young had the highest), each played 1,275 or more innings in the field (Young played the most), each had 380 assists or more ( Young collected the most), and each turned at least 80 double plays ( Young turned the most). See a pattern here?
.
Michael Young deserved this award, but Jeter is the more popular player among managers and coaches. Jeter also makes the highlight reel plays and clutch defensive plays. I think that is the reason why he continues to collect the Gold Glove awards while other shortstops play better all-around defense.
.
Fair? Nope. Does it upset me much? As a Yankee fan, not at all.
.
But as a baseball fan, it does bother me just a bit.

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Keeping an Eye on Daisuke Matsuzaka
By mvyb, 12:17

It appears that Seattle has given up on Matsuzaka, leaving the door wide open for the Yankees. The Mariners pulled out of the posting process ( for the right to bid on Matsuzaka) because the asking price is expected to be $25-$30 million dollars. Of course this shouldn't stop the Yankees who are on a hunt for top starting pitchers to mend their rotation.
.
.
Over the past years it has become more and more apparant that solid pitching wins championships. The chamionship Yankees of 1998-2000 had remarkably good starting pitching ( David Wells, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettite, David Cone, etc...) But New York ( 2004-2006) has found itself in a terrible train of thought- "load our lineup with All Star sluggers, hope that they beat the tar out of every other team." This strategy works during the regular season, but the postseason is a different thing.
.
Pitching wins championships.

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Wednesday November, 01 2006.
More Baseball Awards
By mvyb, 10:44

Although there are dozens of rumors floating around, nothing is actually happening in the Yankee camp. We'll probably get a few months of silence before the actual winter deals start happening.
.
In the meantime, we have some awards to vote on this month.... I don't really love the idea of having the winners of these awards ( like the Aaron and the Delivery Man) chosen by the fans. These awards become popularity contests, destroying any meaning the award was intended to have.
.
But, if it's gonna be a popularity contest, a Yankee might as well win.
.
Chien-Ming Wang, nominated for MLB Starter of the Year.
.
The 2006: This Year in Baseball Awards voting opened a couple days ago. You can vote on the Starter of the Year award ( nominees are Bronson Arroyo, Roy Halladay, Johan Santana, Justin Verlander, Brandon Webb, Chris Carpenter, Roy Oswalt, John Smoltz, Carlos Zambrano, and or very own Chien-Ming Wang)  and the Closer of the Year award ( nominees are Mike Gonzalez, Joe Nathan, J.J.Putz, Francisco Rodriguez, Takashi Saito, Trevor Hoffman, Jonathon Papelbon, Mariano Rivera, B.J. Ryan, and Billy Wagner).
.
Johan Santana won the Starter of the Year in '04 and Chris Carpenter won it in '05. Rivera, of course, has picked up the Closer of the Year award for two consecutive years.
.
Oh, and for those who are interested, the 2007 Ford C. Frick award ( broadcaster of the year) are also open. Among the nominees are Yankee broadcasters Michael Kay, Ken Singleton, Jim Kaat, John Sterling, and Phil Rizzuto.

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Tuesday October, 31 2006.
Jeff Suppan to New York?
By mvyb, 12:56

According to the New York Post, the Yankees may sign free agent Jeff Suppan as their number 3 starter. Suppan played a huge role in the Cardinal's '06 postseason triumphs (3-1, 2.49 ERA).
.
The Yankees continue to hear from teams asking about Gary Sheffield, but it doesn't appear they expect to get a starting pitcher in exchange for the slugger if they pick up his option with the intent of trading him.

That's why they are open to seeing what soon-to-be free agent right-hander Jeff Suppan, who played a big part in the Cardinals' improbable journey to a World Series title, is looking for.

"His name is on their list of pitching possibilities," a member of another organization told The Post yesterday.

.
The Yankees haven't done a great job signing free agent pitchers of late. Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright, Sidney Ponson, Kevin Brown, Jose Contreras, and Javier Vazquez  have done no honor to the pinstripes they wore ( or are still wearing).
.
.
But, I think this will be a smart move for the Yanks if they can nail him down for a 3-4 year, $20-$25 million dollar deal... Suppan has been a very good starting pitcher for several years now. In 2006, he went 12-7 (4.12 ERA) and averaged almost 6 innings per start.
Thumbs up.

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Monday October, 30 2006.
Top 30 Free Agent Starting Pitchers
By mvyb, 13:42

The Yankee front office needs to bring in two, or maybe even three, new starting pitchers this off-season. Chien-Ming Wang will make a decent #3 starter next year, and Randy Johnson will be New York's #5 starter. But with the death of Cory Lidle, the free agency of Mike Mussina, and the disappointment that is Jaret Wright- the Yankees have some work to do.
.
1. Daisuke Matsuzaka
 
Current Team: Seibu Lions (Japan)
2006 Numbers: 17-5, 2.13 ERA, 186.2 IP, 200 K
 
Scouting Report:  Matsuzaka has a nice fastball ( 90-96 mph) with good late movement, along with a decent splitter, changeup, and slider. His ERA has been under 3.00 for four consecutive years.
 
2. Barry Zito
 
Current Team: Oakland Athletics
2006 Numbers: 16-10, 3.83 ERA, 221 IP, 151 K
 
Scouting Report: Former Cy Young award winner, Barry Zito, has handled the tough American league lineups very well over his 6-year career. He's the best left-handed pitcher available from the free agent market.
 
3. Jason Schmidt
 
Current Team: San Francisco Giants
2006 Numbers: 11-9, 3.59 ERA, 213 IP, 180 K
 
Scouting Report: Jason Schmidt has one of the best changeups in the majors, along with a nasty slider and a decent fastball. On June 6, 2006 Schmidt struck out 16 batters in a game, setting a new San Francisco Giants record.
 
4. Mike Mussina
 
Current Team: New York Yankees
2006 Numbers: 15-7, 3.51 ERA, 197 IP, 172 K
 
Scouting Report: Mike Mussina's excellent command and ability to hit the corners of the strike zone, make him a dangerous starting pitcher in either league.
 
5. Mark Mulder
 
Current Team: St. Louis Cardinals
2006 Numbers: 6-7, 7.14 ERA, 93 IP, 50 K
 
Scouting Report: Mark Mulder missed most of the 2006 season due to a left shoulder injury. But when he's healthy, he comes after hitters with a variety of weapons ( 93 mph fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup).
 
6. Jason Marquis
 
Current Team: St. Louis Cardinals
2006 Numbers: 14-16, 6.02 ERA, 194 IP, 96 K
 
Scouting Report: Jason Marquis has the ability to be a great starting pitcher, but needs to start taking advice from his pitching coach. Marquis is very stubborn, which as a result, makes him an inconsistent pitcher.
 
7. Kerry Wood
 
Current Team: Chicago Cubs
2006 Numbers: 1-2, 4.12 ERA, 19.2 IP, 13K
 
Scouting Report: Wood was plagued with injuries during the '06 season, therefore limiting his playing time to only 4 games. Wood's best pitches are his fastball and curveball.
 
8. Adam Eaton
 
Current Team: Texas Rangers
2006 Numbers: 7-4, 5.12 ERA, 65 IP, 43 K
 
Scouting Report: Eaton is a well-armed pitcher. He has a good fastball ( 92-97 mph), a slow breaking curve, and a decent changeup and slider. He got hit hard during the '06 season by throwing too many fastballs over the heart of the plate.
 
9. Greg Maddux
 
Current Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
2006 Numbers: 15-14, 4.20 ERA, 210 IP, 117 K
 
Scouting Report: Greg Maddux is a sure Hall of Famer with 333 career wins and 3,169 strikeouts. He's not an over-powering pitcher, but he does have excellent control and effective offspeed pitches.
 
10. Roger Clemens
 
Current Team: Houston Astros
2006 Numbers:  7-6, 2.30 ERA, 113 IP, 102 K
 
Scouting Report: Clemens is another sure Hall of Famer, but he's leaning towards retirement.
 
11. Gil Meche
 
Current Team: Seattle Mariners
2006 Numbers: 11-8, 4.48 ERA, 186.2 IP, 156 K
 
Scouting Report: Gil Meche uses both a two- and a four-seamed fastball, accompanied by a slider, curveball, and a changeup. Meche has improved drastically, since his terrible '04 season.
 
12. Tomo Ohka
 
Current Team: Milwaukee Brewers
2006 Numbers: 4-5, 4.82 ERA, 97 IP, 50 K
 
Scouting Report: Ohka's pitches are nothing spectacular, but he does mix them very well.
 
13. Jeff Weaver
 
Current Team: St. Louis Cardinals
2006 Numbers: 8-14, 5.76 ERA, 172 IP, 107 K
 
Scouting Report: Weaver had a rough season, but really came around when it counted. He carried a 2.43 ERA over 5 starts in the postseason, including the final game of the World Series.
 
14. Randy Wolf
 
Current Team: Philadelphia Phillies
2006 Numbers: 4-0, 5.56 ERA, 56.2 IP, 44K
 
Scouting Report: Wolf has a fastball, curve, changeup, and slider, making him a valuable back-end-of-the-rotation starter.
 
15. Brian Moehler
 
Current Team: Florida Marlins
2006 Numbers: 7-11, 6.57 ERA, 122 IP, 58 K
 
Scouting Report: Moehler is coming off a rather unsuccessful year. Should be a cheap pick-up.
 
16. Orlando Hernandez
 
Current Team: New York Mets
2006 Numbers: 11-11, 4.66 ERA, 162 IP, 164 K
 
Scouting Report: Hernandez has an arsenal of pitches and an unusual delivery that keeps batters off balance. If healthy, he could be a very valuable pitcher for a contending ballclub.
 
17. Steve Trachsel
 
Current Team: New York Mets
2006 Numbers: 15-8, 4.97 ERA, 164 IP, 79 K
 
Scouting Report: Trachsel doesn't really have a put-away pitch ( only 79 Ks in 164 innings pitched), which means he does allow a few runs every ballgame. But he doesn't waste pitches and always goes deep into the game.
 
18. Tom Glavine
 
Current Team: New York Mets
2006 Numbers: 15-7, 3.82 ERA, 198 IP, 131 K
 
Scouting Report: Glavine will most likely re-sign with the Mets as their ace.
 
19. John Thompson
 
Current Team: Atlanta Braves
2006 Numbers: 2-7, 4.82 ERA, 80 IP, 46 K
 
Scouting Report: Thompson has a good fastball which he uses to jam hitters. His sinker, down-and-away, may be his most effective pitch.
 
20. Woody Williams
 
Current Team: San Diego Padres
2006 Numbers: 12-5, 3.65 ERA, 145 IP, 72 K
 
Scouting Report: Williams has an outstanding command of his pitches- fastball, cutter, and a straight-change. One thing to note- Williams only pitched into the seventh inning twice this season.
 
21. Jeff Suppan
 
Current Team: St. Louis Cardinals
2006 Numbers: 12-7, 4.12 ERA, 190 IP, 104 K
 
Scouting Report: Suppan's stock flew up during October, as he pitched brilliantly throughout the postseason. The NLCS MVP should pick up a hefty deal during the off season.
 
22. David Wells
 
Current Team: San Diego Padres
2006 Numbers: 3-5, 4.42 ERA, 75 IP, 38 K
 
Scouting Report: "Boomer" will be a well sought after pitcher throughout the winter. His experience and success in both leagues will make him a very valuable starter in 2007.
 
23. Andy Pettite
 
Current Team: Houston Astros
2006 Numbers: 14-13, 4.20 ERA, 214 IP, 178 K
 
Scouting Report: Andy Pettite had good success with the Yankees, and I'd love to see him back with the organization. The only thing that worries me is his home run total. Twenty-seven homers allowed in 35 games started- and that's just in the National League.
 
24. Mark Redman
 
Current Team: Kansas City Royals
2006 Numbers: 11-10, 5.71 ERA, 167 IP, 76 K
 
Scouting Report: His mid-80s fastball is very vulnerable in the tough American League.
 
25. Vicente Padilla
 
Current Team: Texas Rangers
2006 Numbers: 15-10, 4.50 ERA, 200 IP, 156 K
 
Scouting Report: Vicente Padilla tosses a 96 mph fastball, a sharp breaking ball, a slider, and a changeup. But he is not the All-Star pitcher he was in 2002.
 
26. Ted Lily
 
Current Team: Toronto Blue Jays
2006 Numbers: 15-13, 4.31 ERA, 181 IP, 160 K
 
Scouting Report: Lily doesn't have a great history with the Yankee organization or its players ( especially Posada), so I doubt he'll be returning to New York.
 
27. Ramon Ortiz
 
Current Team: Washington Nationals
2006 Numbers: 11-16, 5.57 ERA, 190 IP, 104 K
 
Scouting Report: Ortiz has acceptable stuff, but fails to throw good pitches consistently. ( But on September 4th, Ortiz took a no-hitter into the ninth against the World Series champion Cardinals. )
.
28. Mark Buerhle
.
Current Team: Chicago White Sox
2006 Numbers: 12-13, 4.99 ERA, 204 IP, 98 K
.
Scouting Report: Buerhle works fast and throws strikes, setting up with a fastball and finishing with something off-speed.
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29. Tony Armas Jr.
.
Current Team: Washington Nationals
2006 Numbers: 9-12, 5.03 ERA, 154 IP, 97 K
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Scouting Report: Armas usually keeps his team in the game, even when he doesn't have his best stuff. Armas throws a good fastball, slider, and changeup.
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30. Miguel Batista
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Current Team: Arizona Diamondbacks
2006 Numbers: 11-8, 4.58 ERA, 206 IP, 110 K
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Scouting Report: Batista throws a good 4-seam fastball ( up to 95 mph) along with a cutter and a sinker.
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So, who would you like to see in the Yankee rotation come April? Who do you definitely not want to see alongside of Wang and Johnson when the season begins?

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Saturday October, 28 2006.
2006 World Series Champions: St. Louis Cardinals
By mvyb, 23:01

Congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals and their fans on a remarkable postseason run. While their regular season was nothing to brag about, St. Louis defeated San Diego, New York, and eventually Detroit in a hard-fought World Series.
 
(Getty Images)
 
It was a total team effort, as St. Louis produced pitching masterpieces by Jeff Weaver, Anthony Reyes, and Chris Carpenter. Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, and David Eckstein did most of the work with the bat and the glove.
 
For complete coverage of St. Louis' victory check out these blogs: Viva El Birdos, Go Crazy Folks!, and the Gas House Gang.
 
For now, the St. Louis Cardinals are on top of the world.

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Friday October, 27 2006.
Johnson's Surgery Successful
By mvyb, 14:22

But were you really worried about it?
 
This guy's selfishness helped kill our playoff dreams- instead of reporting his back injury as soon as it occurred, he continued to pitch ( seeking win number 300). As a result, his condition worsened and by the time October rolled around, he was about as worthless as Kevin Brown was in '04. 
 
I think Jeter needs to talk to the Unit about his "winning for the team" concept. Maybe he can get that mentality through Johnson's skull.
 
 
For those of you who do care, here's the story:

"The surgery went fine. The doctor said he was thrilled," said Johnson's agent, Barry Meister. "Randy will return home to Phoenix tomorrow."

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had not spoken with team physician Dr. Stuart Hershon following the operation, spokesman Ben Tuliebitz said. Cashman has said he expects Johnson to be behind the other pitchers when spring training starts in mid-February.

 
Johnson should be nothing more then a #5 starter for the Yanks in 2007. He gives up way too many homers, earned runs, and screaming line drives to be anything else.
 
Some people have suggested sending the Big Unit to the bullpen. But while I wouldn't mind having Johnson taken out of the starting rotation, I can't see how he'd would help the bullpen. The Yanks will have Villone and Myers as lefty specialists, so there's no need for Johnson in that department. He could be used as a long man ( the most expensive in baseball), but again, he's aging fast and we don't know how many pitches he could throw. Plus, you want your long man able to keep the game close. Somehow, I can't see this as Johnson's role.
 
I don't think Johnson fits on this team at all... He doesn't have the right attitude( that guys like Jeter, Posada, Damon, and Abreu seem to have). He's been nothing but a disappointment since arriving in New York. If I was the Yankee front office, I'd be looking to dump him anywhere for anyone ( if possible, for someone 20 years younger).
 
What should the Yankees do with Johnson in 2007? Bullpen or back end of the rotation? Can you see a possible trade in which the Yankees can dump the Unit? Or am I just dreaming?

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Mattingly's Been Promoted
By mvyb, 10:50

Don Mattingly moved one step closer to managing the Yankees last night, when reports came in that he had replaced Lee Mazzilli as New York's bench coach.
 
The move puts Mattingly one step closer to manager Joe Torre's job, making him the favorite to take over when the long-time skipper leaves, according to the report, posted Thursday night on Newsday's Web site.

Torre's contract expires after next season. Mattingly has been the Yankees' hitting coach for three seasons.

 
Nothing surprising here, although some Yankee fans are none too happy about the move.
 
 I'm just wondering what's going to happen to Mazzilli. Are the Yanks gonna keep him on as a lesser coach or is he gonna move on?

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Thursday October, 26 2006.
Jeter Wins Hank Aaron Award
By mvyb, 11:24

More regular season awards for Yankee players. Man, I would've given these all up for some rings.
 
 

Fans broke tradition with their vote for Jeter. In his best individual season since 1999, the Yankees captain batted .343 in falling just short of the American League batting title won by Minnesota's Joe Mauer. Jeter stole a career-high 34 bases, hit 14 homers, had 214 hits, scored 118 runs, drove in 97 more and provided an important offensive consistency to a team that wound up with its ninth consecutive American League East title.

"I sort of feel out of place," Jeter said to the amusement of all attendees. "With Hank Aaron, the first thing that comes to mind is home runs. Ryan Howard the same thing. So when people said what award I was going to win, I stuck my chest out, and I said, 'You know, the Hank Aaron Award. What do you think?'"

When asked later by reporters if he would be surprised should the AL MVP Award go his way as well instead of to expected competitor David Ortiz of the rival Red Sox, Jeter said, "I'm surprised I'm here right now."

 
I agree with Jeter, I was really surprised to learn he won the award. Look at past winners, all powerful sluggers- Barry Bonds ( 3 time-winner), David Ortiz, Andruw Jones, Alex Rodriguez ( 3 time-winner), Manny Ramirez ( two time-winner), Albert Pujols, Todd helton, Carlos Delgado, and Sammy Sosa.
 
 
So what was so impressive about Jeter's year that made the fans break away from tradition?
 
Home Runs RBI Runs Scored Stolen Bases Batting Average Hits
  14  97   118   34   .344  214
 
It's not that Jeter did one thing ( like hitting homers) well, it's that he did everything well. He hit everyone ( .390 against lefties, .328 against righties), everywhere ( .354 home average, .334 road average). Jeter was clutch ( .381 batting average with runners in scoring position ) and dependable ( .345 batting average before the All Star break, .342 batting average after the All Star break).
 
Plus, you can't forget that he came in second in the AL batting title race, stole a career-high 34 bases, and smacked 200+ hits for the fifth time since entering the big leagues in 1995.
 
The Hank Aaron award is "awarded annually to the best overall offensive performer." In my humble opinion, the voters made the correct decision... but then again, I'm a very biased Yankee fan.
 
 
However there are also other bloggers who can prove why DJ did deserve the Hank Aaron award.
 
Choose your side and start reading.

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Wednesday October, 25 2006.
DHL Delivery Man of the Year: Mariano Rivera
By mvyb, 10:21

For the second consecutive year ( and the only two years of its existence), Mariano Rivera has taken home the DHL Delivery Man of the Year award. The award,  now officially sanctioned by MLB, is given to the most "outstanding relief pitcher in baseball." 
 
Rivera had 34 saves and a crisp 1.80 ERA in 63 appearances this season.
 

This year, the field of nominees was very strong. Just take a look at the runners-up: Jonathan Papelbon ( 35 saves; 0.92 ERA), Trevor Hoffman ( 46 saves; 2.14 ERA), Bobby Jenks ( 41 saves; 4.00 ERA), Joe Nathan ( 36 saves; 1.58 ERA), Francisco Rodriguez ( 47 saves; 1.73 ERA), B. J. Ryan ( 38 saves; 1.37 ERA), Billy Wagner ( 40 saves; 2.24 ERA), J.J.Putz ( 36 saves; 2.30 ERA), and Joel Zumaya ( 97 Ks, 1.94 ERA).
 
This award is voted for by fans, so I can't help thinking "Rivera won a popularity contest, that's all." I'm not saying he had a bad year, but his numbers are not quite as good as Papelbon's, Ryan's, Nathan's, Hoffman's, or Rodriguez'. Plus, Rivera missed an entire month with an elbow injury.
 
In my opinion, the "Delivery Man of the Year" was Joe Nathan, a guy who was a rock at the back of the Twins' bullpen. His 36 saves were part of the reason the Twins were able to climb out of that 11 game deficit, and actually win their division. And you have to admire his 1.58 ERA, when you remember he had to face the tough American League lineups every night. Very impressive.
 
Jonathan Papelbon's numbers are probably the prettiest, but I don't think he deserved the award for two reasons: his team went no where and he missed alot of time near the end of the season.
 
Who's your pick for this award? Remember, it doesn't necessarily have to be a closer, it could be a setup guy like Joel Zumaya, or maybe even a 7th inning guy like Scott Proctor.

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Tuesday October, 24 2006.
More A-Rod Rumors
By mvyb, 11:52

 
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the White Sox may be seeking to trade for Alex Rodriguez during the offseason. The Sox aren't sure who they're going to have at third base in '07. Their 2006 third baseman, Joe Crede is having surgery on his back this month. Crede is coming off of a very nice 30 HR, 94 RBI season- his stock is higher then ever.
 

With the offseason posturing and hustling ready to begin next week, that all-too-familiar scent is emanating again from the South Side. The New York Yankees are rumored to be interested in shopping Alex Rodriguez, and the Sox are being named in New York newspapers as one of the teams supposedly pursuing him.

''Every time you mention [Rodriguez's] name, it seems like our name also comes up,'' Guillen said in a phone interview. ''This kid is one of the best in the game. I don't know the exact direction we're going at this point because we're not sure about the [Joe] Crede situation.''

 
Now of course, Alex has that handy no-trade clause in his contract, allowing him to veto any possible trade the Yankees might want to include him in. On October 11th, Alex wrote this on his personal website:
 
"I am 100 percent committed to being a Yankee now and in the future. I don't want to play anywhere else. I never have (and never will) run away from the responsibility I have to this team."
 
From the side of logic, the issue of trading A-Rod anywhere seems ridiculous. He's averaged over 35 homers and 120 RBIs each year he's been with the Yankees. He was the '05 league MVP, and has been a starting-lineup All Star for three straight years. Why would the Yankees trade him? Or, perhaps a better question would be- who would we trade him for?
 
Jim Thome- a guy who hits just as many homers and drives in just as many runs as Alex, while playing no defense? Jermaine Dye- an All Star outfielder? ( Keep in mind that we have our '07 outfield set up.) These guys wouldn't fit... Crede, Podsednik, and Anderson are too inconsistent to come to the Yankees.
 
What about Chicago's pitching? Want to try Contreras, again? How about Vazquez? I really don't want to go there...
 
And don't dream about getting Garland- Guillen said in the Times article that he wants to rebuild the starting rotation. You don't do that by trading away your ace.
 
The only ChiSox player I'd like to see in pinstripes is Bobby Jenks ( as a 7th or 8th inning guy), but still, he doesn't come near the value of Alex Rodriguez.
_______________________________________________________________
 
In other news, Sal Fasano and Nick Green have become free agents. I guess this means that Wil Nieves may be seeing some time in the big leagues.
 
Heard the expression "everyone hates the umpire"? Well, this is why. Rogers should have been tossed immediately... Disgrace for baseball.
 
Ok, enough of me for now, what do you'all think? Should the Yankees trade Alex, and if so, for whom? Also, please share your thoughts on the Kenny Rogers' "foreign substance" incident, I want to know if you're all as outraged as I am.

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Friday October, 20 2006.
New York Lets Us Down Again
By mvyb, 13:24

 
First it was the Yankees, exiting the playoffs with a whimper. Now the Mets, who were trying to carry their fans' hearts to the World Series, are heading home.
 
You have to congratulate the St. Louis Cardinals who played better then anyone could have imagined.  Who would have thought that Yadier Molina would bat over .350 and hit the series-winning home run? Who would have thought Scott Spiezio would lead the team in the first three games? Could anyone see Suppan and Weaver coming out and pitching like aces against the powerful Mets' lineup?
 
It's results like these that make baseball special, and better then other professional sports.
 
We've seen this October magic a lot lately:
 
2001: The Arizona Diamondbacks somehow find a way to beat the mighty New York Yankees.
 
2003: I'm still shocked that the Marlins beat the Cubs, and then the Yankees.
 
2004: Down 3 games to 0, the Boston Red Sox mount the greatest postseason series comeback of all time.
 
But this year, the Yankees and Mets were denied that magic. Hearts were broken. Tears were shed.
 
All you can do is pick yourself up, and move on...
 
Maybe next year.

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Thursday October, 19 2006.
NLCS Game 7: St. Louis Cardinals v. New York Mets
By mvyb, 17:16

 
Not much going on in the Yankee Empire, so like everyone else, I'm gearing up for tonight's Game 7 of the NLCS.
 
What a series it has been for the Cards and Mets, both teams have played admirably and with a lot of spirit ( something that you didn't see in the Yankees, Padres, Dodgers, or Twins). A week ago, I would have laughed at you if you had told me the Cardinals would play well enough to challenge the Mets for the National League title.  St. Louis stumbled into the postseason, carrying the worst record of all 8 playoff-bound teams. Somehow, they regrouped, thanks to great pitching ( by Weaver, Suppan, and 'pen) and decent offense ( led by Eckstein, Spiezio, Pujols, and Molina).
 
And how about those "pitcher-less" Mets? How can they continue to play so well? 
 
If you took away two top starting pitchers from the other playoff teams, they wouldn't survive:
 
Imagine the A's without Zito or Loaiza, the Tigers without Rogers or Verlander, and the Cardinals without Carpenter or Weaver. The teams would be creamed. But the Mets somehow found a way, and are on the verge of heading to the World Series for the first time in 6 years.
 
I'm sure you'all know that I am an avid Yankee fan, but part of me roots for the Mets every time they play. When the '06 season started, I wanted the Yanks to win it all, but if they couldn't, the Mets were the team I'd cheer for through October.
 
The pitching matchup tonight does favor the Cardinals:
 
Jeff Suppan (1-0, 0.00) v. Oliver Perez ( 1-0, 7.90)
 
Suppan is 3-1 ( 2.27 ERA) in 6 regular season starts against the Mets. He shut them out over 8 innings in Game 3 at St. Louis. Suppan hasn't pitched as well on the road this year as he has at home, which should serve as a slight advantage for the Mets. The Amazins' are going to have to put together good at-bats, score first, and hold the momentum throughout the game.
 
Oliver Perez was a late-season pickup for the Mets, and is now making what is probably his most important career start. Last time out ( in Game 4), he pitched well enough to win, even though he allowed 3 long balls over 5.1 innings pitched. Perez has the stuff to pitch brilliantly, he just needs to hit his spots consistently.
 
Tonight's Starting Lineups:
 
SS- Eckstein
LF- Wilson
1B- Pujols
RF- Encarnacion
CF- Edmonds
3B- Rolen
C- Molina
2B- Belliard
P- Suppan
 
 
SS- Reyes
C- Lo Duca
CF- Beltran
1B- Delgado
3B- Wright
RF- Green
2B- Valentin
LF- Chavez
P- Perez
 
Do or die for both teams. It doesn't get better then this...
 
Go Mets! 

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Monday October, 16 2006.
Alex Rodriguez- To Trade or Not To Trade?
By mvyb, 22:07

 
On February 16, 2004, the New York Yankees landed Alex Rodriguez in a blockbuster deal with the Texas Rangers. The Red Sox had been the front-runners in the race to sign A-Rod, but just as it seemed they had reeled him in, the Bombers snatched him away.
                                       
George Steinbrenner on signing Alex Rodriguez:
"This is a great day for the New York Yankees and for the City of New York. In acquiring Alex Rodriguez, we are bringing to New York one of the premiere players in the history of the game. But, as I have always said, the way New Yorkers back us, we have to produce for them. The Yankees are in the toughest division in Baseball and now, with the team we have assembled, we have to go out and produce on the field."
 
Joe Torre on Alex Rodriguez
"It's tough to come up with the words to describe how you feel when a player of Alex' ability and class is so suddenly in your lineup. I know that the fans of New York are going to love having him here on an everyday basis. I couldn't be happier."
 
How weird these comments sound three years later... A-Rod has seen no love from the New York fans, and has been the  scapegoat for every failure the team has had.
 
And it's not like he's played that poorly in New York...
 
2004
Home Runs 36
RBI 106
Runs 112
Batting Average .286
Stolen Bases 28
 
Ok, this wasn't his best year, but a lot of players would beg to have these numbers each year.
 
2005
Home Runs 48
RBI 130
Runs 124
Batting Average .321
Stolen Bases 21
 
Most. Valuable. Player.
 
2006
Home Runs 35
RBI 121
Runs 113
Batting Average .290
Stolen Bases 15
 
Again, decent numbers. Very decent numbers.
 
Alex Rodriguez has not had ONE bad offensive year as a Yankee!!!  
 
So if A-Rod's been so good, why do Yankee fans want him gone?
 
Supposedly, it's his postseason performance...
 
2004 Postseason
Matsui .353 BA, 3HR, 13RBI
Rodriguez .320 BA, 3HR, 8RBI
 Williams .296, 3 HR, 13 RBI
 Sheffield .291, 2 HR, 7 RBI
 Sierra .272, HR, 5 RBI
 Cairo .256, 4 2B, 7 R
 Jeter .245, HR, 9 RBI
 Posada  .244, 2 RBI, 6 R
 Clark  .136, RBI
 Olereud  .115, HR, 2 RBI
 Lofton  .071 BA, H
 
Yeah, logical argument....
 
2005 Postseason
 Giambi .421 BA, R, 2 RBI
 Jeter .333 BA, 2 HR, 3 RBI
 Sheffield .286 BA, R, 2 RBI
 Cano .263 BA, 5 RBI
 Posada .231 BA, HR, 2 RBI
 Williams .211 BA, RBI
Matsui .200 BA, HR, RBI
Rodriguez .133 BA, 2R, 6BB
Sierra 1 for 3
Martinez 0 for 8
 
Besides Jeter, no one had a good postseason. But you don't hear fans railing against Matsui, Williams, or Posada- each who played just as poorly as Alex in the ALDS.
 
2006 Postseason
 Posada .500 BA, 2 HR, 2RBI
 Jeter .500 BA, HR, RBI
 Abreu .333 BA, 4 RBI
 Matsui .250 BA, RBI
 Damon .235 BA, HR, 3 RBI
 Cano .133 BA, 2H
 Giambi .125 BA, HR, 2 RBI
 Sheffield .083 BA, H, RBI
 Rodriguez .071 BA, H
Cabrera 0-3
Williams 0-3
 
Again, no one had a good postseason! Cano only had 2 hits! Giambi, Sheffield, and A-Rod only had 1 hit a-piece!
 
What's happened to A-Rod over the past two Octobers? He's run into good pitching. The ENTIRE team has. Alex isn't the only one to struggle against the Angels and Tigers, and therefore, it is unfair to blame him for the Yankee failures!
 
In Conclusion:
 
Alex Rodriguez has had three very good offensive years as a Yankee. He played very well in the '04 postseason, but struggled, along with the rest of the team, in the '05 and '06 postseasons.
 
You want to trade A-Rod? Fine. But it makes as much sense as trading away Matsui, Posada, Cano, Cabrera, or Giambi.

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