Opening Week: The Quest For Number 28 Begins
So The first week of the 2010 baseball season is in the books, and the Yankees stand at 4-2 in the Al East. They are second only to the Toronto Blue Jays who are 5-1. First and foremost, the Jays shouldn’t get too comfortable with two things. Vernon Wells’ sudden ability to hit the baseball again, and standing in first place. I think it’s pretty obvious after this week that the Yankees, Red Sux and yeah THOSE DAM RAYS are going to be the most likely people to sit a top the AL East when it’s all said and done. What?? Your Confused?? Look don’t’ mistake April woes for an easy regular season. Forget those pipe dreams my fellow “Pinstripe Fanatics” of 10 game leads or running away with the division. The truth is it’s simply NOT going to happen despite taking 2 out of three from both of these teams. Including handing the Rays their heads in the two wins at Tampa; these two teams are rock solid and WILL contend with the Yankees this year. More importantly, the Yankees are far from perfect
themselves. I mean lets face it folks, we’ve replaced Johnny Damon and Hediki (Godzilla) Matsui, with Nick Johnson, and Marcus Thames. Throw in a Chen Ho Park, and Jasvier Vazquez, and there are plenty of things for us Yankee fans to worry about. Of course not all of it is bad. Curtis Granderson is showing us that he was born to play in the Bronx. With that said Lets take a look at how our newest Yankees did this week. The Good, the Bad, and the HOLY CRAP DO I HAVE TO WATCH!!
Curtis Granderson his first week has been everything the Yankees and us fans were hoping for and more. After a full week of Yankee baseball he is hitting .348 with 2 HR, 4 RBI’s and 3 Stolen Bases. If he keeps this pace up there won’t be much question as to whether he can make it in New York. Now mind you one week, a season does not make and I doubt that Mr Granderson has suddenly learned the fine art of hitting Lefty pitching in just one spring training. He will at some point hit a slump and that’s when the real test begins. When the NY Media suddenly starts roasting him like a Thanksgiving Turkey in a deep fry vat then we will know if he can handle New York Baseball. Let’s just hope A-Rod is not giving him pointers on how to handle the NY Media.
Next lets discuss Nick Johnson. When it was announced that Nick Johnson was signed as as an everyday player and was going to once again be the Yankee DH I’m sure many Yankees fans had similar reactions to myself. Hey Nicks back that’s nice um… But why?? Seriously folks, WHY?? Nick Johnson, as much as I love the guy was almost as much of a health hazard as Carol Pavano. I mean seriously, insurance companies see these guys coming and they screech in terror. All this aside Nick is a healthy ball player is not a bad pickup. He has a good bat, is not bad with his glove, and is a good clubhouse guy. The problem is HE IS NEVER HEALTHY!!! He is hitting .111 after one week of baseball and has 6 strikeouts. He is not exactly lighting things up out there. Hopefully things will change and Nick will find his stroke. Of course when that happens a freak fly ball will find its was to the dugout and knock him unconscious, he will then be dropped from the stretcher three times by the EMTs (like something out of three stooges) landing him on the DL. That is assuming the darn ambulance door stays shut and Good Old NICK doesn’t roll out down the street and into a lake. Now mind you I’m not saying this because I don’t like Nick., I love the guy I really hope he stays healthy but come on sometimes you simply have to see that the guy is cursed to the Disabled List.
IF Nick goes down with what ever injury will befall him Randy Win is just chomping at the bitto take his place and to be honest I’d love to see the guy get a chance. He is a good contact hitter much like Nick, but with the added bonus of speed on the base path. Mind you he is 35 years of age now so his speed has lost a step or two but he is I dare say faster in the base paths then the former Yankee Johnny Damon right now. Win would also be a better number 2 hitter then Nick is but the line up would loose some power as a result. Randy as it stands has been hitless in 2 AB with 1 strikeout so it’s still way to early to tell how he will perform in a limited role but if or WHEN Nick goes down he should be the first to take his spot in the line up because I just don’t see him not taking full advantage.
Then there is Marcus Thames who is 1 for 4 with a walk and a strikeout for the season so far. Truthfully I’m simply not impressed with the guy. I mean sure there is potential for power there but the guy strikes out more then the cast of Revenge of the Nerds at a Sorority Mixer. I mean, I swear there simply is not a pitch this guy won’t swing at. He also has never hit higher then .256 in his career. All this does not make a good pinch hitter, and without consistent play his average will probably be worse
When Yankee Fans saw Javier Vazquez pitching on Friday many had the same thought all at once “ O-Crap Not Him again”. Many of these same fans later that night were telling everybody that would listen that they were right about this guy and he was not Bronx Worthy. Now although I will not disagree that Fridays 8 run whipping at the hands of THOSE DAM RAYS, was far from impressive, and I will not disagree Vaz does not have to set the bar much lower for expectations less then rosey. The thing is thou I REALLY REALLY think this kid is going to be worth it in the end. I truly believe his first stint with the Yankees was marred by so many other pitchers getting injured and him feeling so much pressure to step up was more then the guy could handle. Truthfully that season we were simply asking to much of the kid. Add to that the dismal circumstance that ending THAT season and Vaz’s part in it. No wonder many fans are less then thrilled to see him back. All that aside thou the kid has got good stuff and if he can take command of it he can be one hell of a starter for us. As it stands 5.2 innings, 8 runs 2 walks and 3 strike outs leaves him with a lot to improve upon
Chen ho Park is a guy that I keep scratching my head and saying HOW THE HELL is HE still in the Majors?? Well First of all on opening night Mr. Park showed us exactly why I would ask that question: pitching 2 thirds of an inning and giving up 3 runs and a BIG Yankee lead to boot. Then on Wednesday, Park showed us why the Yankees wanted to keep him around pitching 3 scoreless innings while giving up only 1 hit and mowing down 9 out of 10 batters he faced. So the question remains what does that mean about Park?? Well honestly it don’t mean squat because it’s TO DAMN EARLY to tell with any of these players. I’ll tell you this much, I’m less likely to cringe when I see Park warming up on the mound at least till he blows another big lead like Sundays. Then I can go back to ridiculing him.
Last but not least lets talk about Bret Gardner, not because he is a new Yankee; because unless you have been living under a rockyou know that he has been a Yankee for at least two seasons now. This is Bret’s first full season as a regular everyday player thanx to the trade that brought Granderson to the Yankees and sent Melky to the Braves (along with a boat load of prospects to the Tigers). So far Bret has done well with the opportunity that has been handed to him. He is currently hitting .294 with 4 RBI’s 4 Runs Scored, and 3 Stolen Bases. He also has proven that much like Melky he poses the nack to be smack dab in the middle of most Yankee Rallies even starting a few of them himself. Bret’s blazing speed and excellent plate discipline make him a perfect number 9 hitter. I would love to see him take over as the leadoff hitter allowing DJ to go back to the number 2 slot again. That likely won’t happen this year and so long as he continues to swing a steady bat and swipe bases he could very well find himself at the top of the Yankee batting order.
Ok that’s a look at some of the Newer Yankees this season and how they have done in their first week. As you may have noticed I’m not exactly excited about this new crop of players. Don’t get me wrong I don’t want any of these guys to fail or perform poorly and as you may have noticed a few of them I even have some pretty good expectations for. In the end thou some of these guys are what they are. Putting on the pinstripes and a Yankee hat will not suddenly make them better baseball players or any less likely to be injured. The Yankees will be in the thick of the Al East race and could very well win it. I’m simply saying that they are not going to walk away with it because they have their own set of problems that need to be worked out this year. There are three things I know for sure. 1) This season the AL East and will come down to the final week of the season. 2) When that happens the Sux, THOSE DAM RAY’S, and our Yankees will be fighting for playoffs spots. 3) Lastly what I know for sure WITH OUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT is that the Yankees WILL BE in the playoffs. It may only be as a wild card or they could clinch the Division. In the end it doesn’t matter how it happens just that we get there. Once that happens number 28 is only 11 wins away.
Well That’s my Two Cents
Who Wants their Change??