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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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Monday January, 08 2007.
Cairo Back for '07
By mvyb, 11:39

The Yankees continue to fill their remaining needs for the 2007 season, coming together with infielder Miguel Cairo on the preliminary terms of a one-year contract.

The deal will reportedly be worth $750,000 and has not been officially announced by the team.

Cairo, 32, fits the bill, having played five different positions for the Yankees in 2006, including all four infield positions. He batted .239 with no home runs, 30 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 81 games last season, returning to the Bronx after a one-year detour to the Mets in 2005.

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Personally, I'm a fan of Cairo, so I'm glad to hear he'll be back with the Bombers for at least one more year. I think it was his game-tying hit (with two outs) in the thirteenth inning on July 1, 2004 (against the BoSox) that earned him my allegiance. We all remember that game- Jeter's dive into the stand, A-Rod's brilliant double play (5-2-5), and of course, Flaherty's hit into the left field corner to win the game. Cairo's double (and his triple in the eleventh) were unfairly hidden by the other highlights of the night. But I haven't forgotten...
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Cairo is always a tough out (he very rarely strikes out) and is a decent fielder (one who can play short, second, or first).

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Friday January, 05 2007.
Yanks Dump Unit (Finally)
By mvyb, 19:44

Remember our excitement two years ago when the Yankees made a blockbuster trade for Randy Johnson? It was all over ESPN and the internet blogging world.  It even made the front page of my local newspaper here in the Garden State. Yankee fans rejoiced and the players themselves could almost feel a new ring on their finger.
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And where did all our hopes and dreams go? Down the drain...
.
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So this news, which would have depressed us two years ago, actually brings us happiness and hope for next season.
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According to details, the Yanks have shipped the Big Unit to Arizona in return for middle reliever, Luis Vizcaino and minor leaguers- (P) Ross Ohlendorf, (P)Steven Jackson, and (SS) Alberto Gonzalez. The way I see it, New York got rid of an aging, inconsistent starter and came away with several new young players. Definitely a great move.
.
First of all, the Yankees have plenty of pitchers capable of starting in Johnson's place- Kei Igawa, Darrel Rasner, Jeff Karstens, Humberto Sanchez, Phil Hughes (and possibly Roger Clemens). And secondly, the Yankees need a reliever, not only to boost the 'pen but also to alleviate Scott Proctor's tremendous workload.
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I want to take a quick look at the players who came over to New York in this trade: Luis Vizcaino is a decent, right-handed reliever who pitched in 70 games last year. He struck out 72 batters while walking only 29, and allowed 51 hits in 65 innings of work. Alberto Gonzalez (23) was one of the best players in the Southern League last year, batting .290 and playing an above-average defense. Ross Ohlendorf, a former fourth round pick out of Princeton, had a solid season in '06. Steve Jackson (24) held a 2.65 ERA (second best in the Arizona Fall League) and held opponents to a .239 batting average. For more on these players, visit The Journal News.
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The Yanks have done very well this offseason, in my opinion. They've dumped the two biggest thorns in the clubhouse (Gary Sheffield and RJ) and stockpiled their once depleted minor league system with future stars. Last year, the Yanks had all the parts to win the Series, but were lacking determination, guts, and team chemistry. With Sheffield and Johnson gone, and Pettitte back in pinstripes, the Yanks are just about ready to take on 2007.

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Saturday December, 09 2006.
Eight Good Things Pettitte Brings to the Yankees
By mvyb, 18:24

In this morning's New York Post article, Joel Sherman discussed the eight benefits the Yankees now have with Andy Pettitte on their team.
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1. Under the best-case scenario, the Yanks would have the veteran quintet of Pettitte, Mike Mussina, Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano and Chien-Ming Wang starting and import Kei Igawa either in the bullpen or at Columbus. But how often does the best case play out? Johnson and Pavano are coming back from significant injuries. Pettitte's presence enables each to rehab without pressure that they must be ready to start the season.

2. The stress is lessened around Igawa. If he needs to be in the minors for an adjustment period, so be it.

3. Scott Proctor can stay in the pen, where he proved so valuable, rather than being forced into the rotation.

4. The team's prospects get more than a great role model to see in spring training. Pettitte's arrival also means the Yanks can keep all of their prospects, notably Phil Hughes, in the minors to begin the season to continue their education. No one has to be rushed now. This also provides a stockpile of options for when the inevitable injuries occur. Between Double-A and Triple-A, the Yanks should have Hughes, Humberto Sanchez, Tyler Clippard, Jeff Karstens, Darrell Rasner and Steven White vying to be summoned. It is the best Yankees depth in a while.

5. With Pettitte enabling the organization to have greater minor-league depth, the Yanks are in better position to use the depth to make a trade now for, say, a first baseman, or in spring training, or in the June/July trade market when a need arises.

6. Now if Pavano really does come to camp in shape and pitching well, the Yanks might be able to trade his whole contract. He has two years at $23 million left and, in this runaway market, that might be viewed as a worthwhile gamble for a club desperate for a starter.

7. The market must be factored into all of this. The Yanks needed to add a proven starter. Does Pettitte come with risk? You bet. He has a touchy elbow and he is returning from the NL to the AL. But the whole landscape is filled with risk. And at two years and $32 million, Pettitte is a better risk than Ted Lilly at four years ($40 million), Gil Meche at five years ($55 million) and Barry Zito at what probably will be six years (near $100 million). Pettitte could turn out to be a mistake, but it goes away in two years, maximum.

8. Pettitte's arrival also might serve as inducement to bring Roger Clemens back to The Bronx. Pettitte's departure from Houston severely dampens the chance the Rocket goes back to the Astros should he again, as expected, decide to play. The Red Sox appear the favorite because Clemens was trying to get back there in July last year for all the marketing and nostalgic reasons associated with going full-circle with Boston. But the Yanks, should they decide they even want Clemens, are now better positioned to get him because his pal, Pettitte, has done his own full circle.

.

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Friday December, 08 2006.
Yankees Sign Andy Pettitte
By mvyb, 23:15

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A familiar face is on his way back to the Bronx.

Andy Pettitte and the Yankees reached a one-year, $16 million agreement on Friday, adding the left-hander to New York's rotation for 2007.

The contract also includes a player option for 2008, also worth $16 million.

"We have preliminarily agreed to terms with Andy Pettitte on a contract to pitch for the New York Yankees, pending the passing of a physical examination," general manager Brian Cashman said in a statement. "At this time, I will have no further comment."

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I feel nothing but excitement at the news that Andy Pettitte, one of my favorite Yankees of all-time, is rejoining the team. Sixteen million may be a bit much, but the Yankees can afford it.
..
The Yankee rotation for '07 looks solid:
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Chien Ming Wang
Andy Pettitte
Mike Mussina
Randy Johnson
Carl Pavano/ Igawa/ Karstens
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Back tomorrow with more!

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GMs Discuss Red Sox' Misconduct
By mvyb, 12:42

Heads up by Peter's Red Sox Forever on this one.   *evil smile*
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The Boston Red Sox might think of the Yankees as the Evil Empire, but other people in baseball now seem to view the Red Sox as a team that feels it can operate outside the rules.

According to executives of several clubs, the Red Sox were a hot topic of private conversation at the general managers’ meeting last month and at the winter meetings this week. Several officials who work for Major League Baseball said there appeared to be good reason for the talk. Many of those interviewed did not want to be quoted by name because of what they viewed as the sensitivity of talking critically about another team’s conduct.

Exhibit A for the disgruntled is Boston’s signing of J. D. Drew, who walked away from the final three years of his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a move that his agent, Scott Boras, said was aboveboard and precipitated by the marketplace. The signing of Drew could lead to an investigation by the commissioner’s office into possible tampering by the Red Sox; one baseball official said the commissioner’s office would vigorously investigate the matter if it received a complaint, but added that no complaint has been forthcoming.

One general manager said that many people at the general managers’ meeting, after hearing that Drew would sign with Boston, urged the Dodgers to file a tampering charge.

“We haven’t reached a decision yet,” Ned Colletti, the Dodgers’ general manager, said by telephone yesterday before leaving the winter meetings in Orlando, Fla.

Others described Colletti as angry about the Drew development and said that relations between Colletti and Theo Epstein, Boston’s general manager, had become strained to the point where Colletti wasn’t returning Epstein’s telephone calls.

Epstein denied tampering with Drew, whom he tried unsuccessfully to sign two years ago and then signed earlier this week to a five-year, $70 million contract.

“That’s not true,” Epstein said by telephone yesterday. “There’s nothing to that.”

...An executive of one club said the Dodgers’ owner, Frank McCourt, was certain tampering had occurred. McCourt’s office said he was traveling yesterday and was not available to comment....

Even closer to the opt-out deadline, several days before it, Drew told Rich Donnelly, the Dodgers’ third-base coach, how much he was looking forward to the 2007 season and talked about what the Dodgers needed to do for the season, saying he couldn’t wait for it to arrive, according to a baseball executive.

A few days later he left the Dodgers, walking away from a guaranteed $33 million.

.
This is a really interesting article by the New York Time's Murray Chass. There is definitely something fishy going on, but it could be nothing more then JD Drew becoming greedy. Or... it could actually be tampering by the BoSox who have been accused of doing such things in the past (remember the Millar incident four years ago.)
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I think the commissioner should look into this and find out what really happened....

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Astros Back in the Race for Pettitte
By mvyb, 10:43

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At 10 o'clock yesterday, the Astros believed they made a move that would have forced Andy Pettitte out of Houston. Less than an hour later, a deal that would have sent right-hander Jon Garland from the White Sox to the Astros for Taylor Bucholz, Jason Hirsh and Willy Taveras was boxed. White Sox officials were furious at the Astros for telling people a press conference was being put together to announce the trade.

According to several people with knowledge of the crash, Bucholz failed a White Sox physical. However, the trade isn't completely dead because the White Sox are intrigued about Hirsh, a 6-foot-8, 250-pound stud right-hander who a Yankees official said is the Astros' Phil Hughes.

"There is still something to it," said an Astros source.

The fact the Astros were, and still are, willing to take on the 27-year-old Garland, who has two years and $22 million left, strongly indicates a couple of points about Pettitte: 1) They don't want to match the $15 million-a-year price the Yankees have set aside for Pettitte; 2) Pettitte has already told them he is heading to The Bronx. That could be a ploy to get the Astros to up their limit of $12 million for one year to keep Pettitte home.

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Ok, some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that Houston is back in the hunt for Andy Pettitte. There are only so many available starters out there, and Pettitte is one of the best. The Astros would be foolish not to want him.
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But the good news is that the Astros are leaning more towards Garland then towards Pettite. This could be a result of a decision by Pettitte to go back to the Bronx.
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I'll update you when I learn more.

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Thursday December, 07 2006.
Yankees Close to Signing Pettitte
By mvyb, 12:47

With the Astros trading for Jon Garland, the chances of Pettitte becoming a Yankee grow much stronger.
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Randy Hendriks (Pettitte's agent) told reporters yesterday that, "if they (the Astros) make a trade Andy is out." So when this deal for Jon Garland is made official, the Astros won't have anymore room for Pettitte in their rotation or their payroll.
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So he's not gonna retire and probably won't go back to Houston. Boston's busy with Matsuzaka, Texas has stepped out, and the Mets are disinterested.
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Who's left?

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Cashman Shows Interest in Barry Zito
By mvyb, 10:58

The Yankees have finally shown some interest in the biggest free agent starting pitcher available, Barry Zito.
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...Barry Zito was on the table last night when Brian Cashman and Scott Boras spent four hours together outside of the Dolphin Hotel.

"Cash is trying to improve his team every year and you come to the (Winter Meetings) and you chat about things," Boras said upon re-entering the hotel. "We talked about Barry, (Ron) Villone and Bernie (Williams)."

Cashman initially refused to discuss specifics but later confirmed Zito's name surfaced....

Since the Rangers have told Boras they are willing to pay the stud left-handed, free-agent Zito $96 million over six years and the Mets didn't flinch when those numbers were relayed to them, it's generally assumed the Yankees aren't going to swim in those deep waters. However, they waited on Johnny Damon, another Boras client last year, and landed him.

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If you ask me, this deal won't happen. I hate to say it, but from the Yankee front office' perspective, there's really no room for Zito on the team. Look at the Yankees potential rotation in '07:
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1. Chien Ming Wang
2. Andy Pettitte?
3. Mike Mussina
4. Carl Pavano
5. Randy Johnson
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Backup:
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1. Jeff Karstens
2. Darrell Rasner
3. Roger Clemens?
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Now, I'd love to see Zito on the team next year, but I don't think the Yankees are too worried about signing him. I don't think they'll go as high as the Rangers have just to bring in a guy they might not need.
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But then again, will Zito want to pitch in Texas? It's a terrible ballpark for a pitcher, and he won't get as much offensive support there as he would in New York. Maybe he'll settle for less....

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Wednesday December, 06 2006.
Andy Pettitte Could Be Back in Pinstripes by the End of the Week
By mvyb, 10:32

Just following up on my previous post here.
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I was scanning through this mornings headlines and came across this article in the New York Post.
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With the winter meetings buzzing about a report that Andy Pettitte could be a Yankee by the end of the week, Phil Garner said the likelihood of Pettitte pitching another year exists.

"He indicated to me that maybe he would pitch again," the Astros manager told The Post in the lobby of the Dolphin Hotel.

Asked if Pettitte told him if it would be for the Yankees or Astros, Garner shrugged. Informed the Yankees, who have let Pettitte know they are willing to pay him $15 million for one year, are waiting on Pettitte's decision and would welcome him back to The Bronx, Garner said, "They would be crazy not to want him."

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The Post also got some good stuff out of Hendriks, Pettitte's agent.
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Agent Randy Hendricks said yesterday that Pettitte's deadline for deciding is Dec. 22.

"Andy has yet to tell me he has decided to play, but the trend line is toward playing," said Hendricks, who added the Astros and Yankees have shown a lot of interest in the left-hander.

The Astros, who spent heavily on outfielder Carlos Lee, believe Pettitte is looking for close to $15 million to pitch the 2007 season. According to an Astros source, that's too much for them. Another predicted Pettitte would be a Yankee for $15.5 million and a one-year deal. The Astros have informed Hendricks that if they can acquire a starter through a deal, then Pettitte wouldn't fit.

"The Astros told me that if they make a trade Andy is out," Hendricks said.

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I really believe that the only team that could stop Andy from re-joining the Yankees are the Astros, but now it sounds like they are losing interest. They aren't willing to pay the money (which they Yankees are willing to), and may not even have a place for Pettitte on their team. Yeehaw!
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According to Hendricks, Pettitte thought about sitting out the 2007 season but not officially retiring. However, he didn't think about sitting out the first half of the season ala Roger Clemens a year ago.

"We talked about that," Hendricks said of Pettitte not pitching this season and returning in 2008. "As for the half-year thing, he laughed at me when I said that."

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If you want to hear more on this topic, you should check out some of these other Yankee blogs:
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I'll be back later with updates!

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Tuesday December, 05 2006.
Pettitte's Return to New York, A Real Possibility
By mvyb, 20:27

As I've said before, I'm a huge fan of Andy Pettitte and would love to see him back in pinstripes for a couple years. I know he's not as young as he used to be and his stuff wasn't all that overpowering last year, but I still think he has a place in the Yankee rotation. I think he'd make a big difference in the postseason, not only with his skill but also with his determination and desire to win.
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The Journal News just published another article on the chances of Andy Pettitte returning to the Bronx. To my great excitement, the article says that Pettitte's rejoining the Yankees is a real possibilty.
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Andy Pettitte could be on his way back to the Yankees, agent Randy Hendricks said this afternoon.

"Andy hasn't decided for sure he wants to play next season, but we are negotiating with the Yankees," Hendricks said. "So obviously that is a possibility."

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It's great to hear that the sleeping giant (our beloved Yankees) is actually doing some negotiating this offseason. They've been oddly quiet of late, letting Boston sieze and hold on to the spotlight. But hopefully, these discussions with Pettitte are serious and will continue until he agrees to come back to New York.
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Yankees general manager Brian Cashman would not comment directly on Pettitte. But he said he was seeking to upgrade the rotation and that signing Kei Igawa would not deter him from doing that.

Asked whether a player who wanted a short-term deal would be more attractive considering the state of the free-agent market, Cashman smiled.

"That would depend on the player," he said.

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Ok, so there's defenitely stuff goin' on here, but as always, Cashman is staying tight-lipped.
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Astros manager Phil Garner said he spoke with Pettitte last week and was given the impression that he wanted to play again.

"(The) most recent conversation I had with him, he was more than leaning; he's really considering coming back to play," Garner said.

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Still more good news... If Pettitte wants to play in '07, there's a great chance the Yanks can woo him back to NY.
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For those interested in this story, I urge you to head over to the The Journal News and check out the article. It's the very latest stuff on Pettitte, and the first article I've seen on the subject in almost 3 weeks.
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And give me some feedback here, do you want Pettitte to return to the Yanks? How long should the contract be? Will a deal be reached? I want to hear from you guys...

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Monday December, 04 2006.
Yankees 2007 Schedule
By mvyb, 21:45

The Yankees released their 2007 schedule on Friday, and it looks pretty good. My only problem is the Home Opener against Tampa Bay. No disrespect to the Rays, but it would've been much funner to open against Boston, Detroit, Chicago, or even Oakland.
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Anyway, here it is:
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April 2, 4-5: vs. Tampa Bay
April 6-8: vs. Baltimore
April 9-11: @ Minnesota
April 13-15: @ Oakland
April 17-19: vs. Cleveland
April 20-22: @ Boston
April 23-24: @ Tampa Bay
April 25-26: vs. Toronto
April 27- 29: vs. Boston
 
May 1-3: @ Texas
May 4-7: vs. Seattle
May 8-10: vs. Texas
May 11-13: @ Seattle
May 15- 17: @ Chicago (Sox)
May 18-20: @ New York
May 21-23: vs. Boston
May 25-27: vs. Los Angeles (Halos)
May 28-30: @ Toronto
 
June 1-3: @ Boston
June 4-7: @ Chicago
June 8-10: vs. Pittsburg
June 12-14: vs. Arizona
June 15-17: vs. New York
June 19-21: @ Colorado
June 22-24: @ San Fransisco
June 26-28: @ Baltimore
June 29- July 1: vs. Oakland
 
July 2-5: vs. Minnesota
July 6-8: vs. Los Angeles (Halos)
July 12-15: @ Tampa Bay
July 16-19: vs. Toronto
July 20-22: vs. Tampa Bay
July 23-26: @ Kansas City
July 27-29: @ Baltimore
July 31- August 2: vs. Chicago (Sox)
 
August 3-5: vs. Kansas City
August 6-8: @ Toronto
August 10-12: @ Cleveland
August 13-15: vs. Baltimore
August 16-19: vs. Detroit
August 20-22:@ Los Angeles (Halos)
August 24-27: @ Detroit
August 28-30: vs. Boston
August 31- September 2: vs. Tampa Bay
 
September 3-5: vs. Seattle
September 7-9: @ Kansas City
September 11-13: @ Toronto
September 14-16: @ Boston
September 17-19: vs. Baltimore
September 21-23: vs. Toronto
September 25- 27: @ Tampa Bay
September 28-30: @ Baltimore
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A couple of notes here.
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- The Yanks play 72 games with American League East teams, 18 with each one.
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- The Yanks play 6 series with Boston ( 3 at home, 3 on the road)
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- The Yanks play 41 games with American League Central teams.
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- The Yanks meet up with their old pal, Sheffield on August 13th. They play 8 games against the Tigers, I'm not looking forward to these.
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-The Yanks play 31 games with the American League West teams.
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- The Yanks play 6 inter-league series, two with the Mets and one with the Giants, Rockies, D'Backs, and Pirates.
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- The hardest stretch of games will be May 15th-30th when the Yanks play Chicago, New York, and Toronto and host Boston and Los Angeles.
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- The easiest stretch of games will be July 20-29 when the Yanks play Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and Baltimore.
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What are your thoughts on the shcedule? Too tough? Too easy? Do you like the spacing out of the Yanks-Sox series, or should they have been closer together? Which series are you looking forward to watching the most? The least?

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Tanyon Sturze Has Moved On
By mvyb, 10:22

Hopefully, he find luck with his new team, the Atlanta Braves. If he recovers well from his surgery, he might be able to regain his former '05, mid-season glory, but otherwise, I have to say, I'm glad he's not gonna be wearing pinstripes next year.
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Still waiting for something exciting to happen concerning the Yanks. The winter meetings are finally beginning, so we may see some big deals soon. If anything happens, you can learn about it here.

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Tuesday November, 28 2006.
Yanks Win Bid on Igawa
By mvyb, 21:04

After missing out on star Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka earlier this month, the Yankees made sure not to let history repeat itself when Kei Igawa became available via the posting system.

Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday night that the Yankees had won the rights to the Japanese left-hander, who has pitched the past eight seasons for the Hanshin Tigers.

Published reports put the winning bid at $25 million, which would be less than half of the $51.1 million it cost the Red Sox to acquire the rights to Matsuzaka. The Yankees would only pay Hanshin the $25 million if they sign Igawa to a contract.

"We have been following Kei Igawa's very successful and accomplished career in Japan," general manager Brian Cashman said in a statement. "We are excited about the opportunity to begin the negotiating process with him."

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According to this MLB.com article, Igawa is a very succesful starter for the Hanshan Tigers. He was 14-9 with a 2.97 ERA last year. Good stuff!
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Igawa features a 90-mph fastball and a very decent curveball. The Yanks have 30 days to work out a deal, and I really hope they can get this done. Igawa would be a great (and unexpected) addition to the Bomber rotation.

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Wednesday November, 22 2006.
Congrats, Morneau
By mvyb, 10:21

Wow, what a terrible job the baseball writers of America did... I don't necessarily mind Jeter losing, but to Morneau? He's not even the MVP on his team! Santana and Mauer were the reasons the Twins surged back to the division lead!
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Oh, well... I'm sure Jeter doesn't care. Maybe he can bring in a ring next year, that'd be a lot more satisfying than any silly postseason award.

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Monday November, 20 2006.
American League MVP Award Winner to be Announced Tomorrow
By mvyb, 23:21

Well, tomorrow we'll see if Jeter can make a clean sweep of the postseason awards. He's already picked up a spot on the Sporting News All Star team, a Hank Aaron award, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove. The MVP award would fit so nicely on the shelf with the others...
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NBC Sports takes a closer look at the nominees, and predicts that Derek Jeter will be the winner. Newsday also thinks the Captain's chances are strong.
..
Justin Morneau and Johann Santana have really picked up steam over the past two weeks, and I think they hold a strong shot at winning the award.
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Go Jeter!

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