Sunday, April 04, 2010

Jusssst a bit outside: the New York Yankees

Duty calls to preview the MLB season, providing up to 30 things somewhat about each of the 30 teams. At bat: the New York Yankees.
  1. Shallow men believe in luck: And with that being said, they outperformed their Pythagorean W-L by eight games last season (their run differential factored out to 95 wins, not 103) and

  2. Parks and rant creation: Keep an eye peeled for how many home runs are hit at the new Yankee Stadium, which yielded 237 last season. Small wonder the Yankees have more lefties than the typical Canadian national team.

    Jeff Passan termed it the "poke-and-joke show." It bears reiterating that the baseball establishment would scream bloody murder if someone built a park like that in Houston.

  3. Charting their downfall: A.J. Burnett and Javier Vazquez have off-seasons, age starts catching up to Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter and the fielding is only-OK when awesome is needed.

  4. Not to mention: CC Sabathia chucked 266 1/3 innings last season, counting the World Series run.

  5. Perish the thought: Albert Pujols could be a free agent in two seasons. It seems worth mentioning in the Yankees preview.

  6. Over-under: 95½ wins.

  7. Take the ... Under. The East is too tough.

  8. Reasons No. 1 and 1A to hate them: That $1.5-billion stadium they didn't need and the fact any traces of the original Stadium have been wiped away.

  9. Reason No. 1 not to hate them: The way It's About The Money keeps Yankees fans accountable.

  10. Total schaden-fail: Hating on Derek Jeter went out of style around 2005 or '06.

    Besides, just ask his closest comp, Robbie Alomar, what happens to 36-year-old middle-infield maestros. That'll be fun to watch. The Captain could play two more seasons, get the 253 hits he needs for 3,000, and head off into the sunset and the inevitable embarrassing public divorce from Minka Kelly. That'll be funner to watch.

  11. Free Joba: If the Yankees are so bent on salting the earth for Joba Chamberlain the Starter, why not deal him while he still has potential to start? One pictures Chamberlain brooding to himself it would all be different if he could have just been drafted by some derelict team that just pockets revenue-sharing cheques.

  12. Missing out on Joe Mauer: Yeah, GM Brian Cashman might hear about that one.

  13. Dumb question answered: Centrefielder Curtis Granderson's fielding overrides his human frailty vs. left-handed pitching. Platooning in centrefield just seems like an overthink.

  14. Really, New York magazine, really? Mariano Rivera's 70-75 innings pitched is more vital to the Yankees than anything the everyday players regulars do?

  15. Granted ... anything to avoid putting Alex Rodriguez first, AMIRITE?

  16. The voters lurve him: AL home run champion Mark Teixeira was runner-up for American League MVP last season, but didn't get a single first-place vote.

  17. How soon they forget: They were just treading water (38-32, six games above .500) as late as the third week of June last season.

  18. Hip hip, Jorge: One or more of Austin Romine, Francisco Cervelli or Jesus Montero is waiting in the wings for when 39-year-old catcher Jorge Posada finally fades to black as an everyday player.

  19. Acronym alert: Second baseman Robinson Cano has a very high BAIR (Big Apple-influenced Reputation). He's a good player, but the Yankee gloss masks a somewhat empty batting average.

  20. Future Hall of Very Gooder: Left-hander Andy Pettitte, possibly in his last go-around, will have a thorny case someday, since he was pretty much forgiven after he 'fessed up to using PEDs. He does score 117 on the HOF Monitor.

  21. Fun Jeter stat: Do people realize only three shortstops are in the 3,000-hit club, and that the only one who was still playing shortstop when he reached that plateau was some guy named Honus Wagner almost a century ago?

  22. Killer line for the captain: Incidentally, Jeff Pearlman once described Jeter as being "as guarded as a Social Security check."

  23. Instant rooting interest: Right-handed reliever Mark Melancon. Explanation for any U.S. readers: Canadians will root for any guy with a French-sounding name.

  24. Maybe John Sterling's head will explode: Rodriguez is 17 homers away from 600 for his career.

  25. Info that could save your life one day (or not): A.J. Burnett is one of 19 major leaguers who goes by his initials.

  26. For anyone wondering: Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte writes with his right hand.

  27. Not a coincidence: All the eras of competitive balance in baseball occurred when the Yankees got tired of meat-and-potatoes pennant-winning and went for a piece of strange. See World War II, the CBS era from 1965-72 (then as now, being owned by a TV network is counter-productive) and that period in the 1980s when George Steinbrenner was certifiably insane.

  28. This explains the sucking up to the Yankees: They can't be all bad if Nick Swisher could tickle Robin Scherbatsky's fancy.

  29. PECOTA says: 91-71, third AL East, 859 runs scored, 749 against.

  30. In English, please: They still have to play the games, dammit!

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