This Just In: Todd Jones Needs a Hankey!

Todd Jones is whining about the Yankees making moves that are perfectly legal and within the rules of the game. Poor Todd never mentions that they Yankees payroll actually went down this year. Poor Todd never mentions that these rules actually make sense for the Yankees. Boo Hoo, this is what Todd has to say…

I wonder if Yankees fans ever blush. What’s so special about pulling
for the bully at the end of the street who beats up on the smallest kid
in town? What’s cool is when you’re rooting for a team that comes from
nowhere. Most of us like the underdogs, and they still have their day
in baseball, as we saw with the Rays this past season.

I’ll answer for you Todd. I do blush occasionally, but never about the Yankees. If I were a Pirates fan, I’d blush about my ownership. If I were a Marlins fan, I’d blush about my ownership. As a Yankees fan, I blush when I have to read drivel like yours.

HT: Yankees Chick

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I Love Andy Pettitte

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andypettttt.jpg

One of my favorite Yankee Stadium memories is from when I
was in college. We drove to the Stadium at the last minute.  I snuck down from the nose bleed sections to
the right field wall. Shawn Green still played for the Blue Jays. He missed a
ball that should have been an easy out (after striking out on three pitches in
the top half of the inning) and we rode him really hard. He actually pointed to
us, uttered a few words about wanting to have “special relationships” with us.  That clip of him pointing at us actually made
it on ESPN, the world wide misleader, that night. Clemens was pitching for the
Jays. There was this little girl that came to the game with her dad. She wore a
pink dress, patent leather shoes, and had a poster hidden against her body.  During one portion of the game where there was
really not all that much going on, the fans started booing and chanting. I
turned around and sure enough her poster said, “I love Roger.” I have no idea
what her dad was doing bringing her to that portion of the stadium. That is a
fond memory.

Another fond memory was this large guy making fun of Bernie
Williams. Now, I love Bernie. There was no need for him to be making fun of
Bernie at this time (I think it was ’97) so I turned around to see who was
heckling Bernie. The guy looked like Newman.

newman2.jpg

So I turned around and went after
the poor fellow. I asked him if they charged him for two seats and told him to
let Bernie alone. The entire area of the stadium cheered me for that. (I know
it was mean and I can only claim the lack of judgment that comes from youth).  

None of that was my favorite memory from that game. My
favorite memory from that game is the fact that Andy Pettitte pitched. Even as
I sit and type this post I can still remember his pitching. It was magical. He
was so fluid. Each body-motion was loaded with power, yet the overall motion
was like a dancer performing a fine classical tune. Andy Pettitte is my
favorite Yankee of my life time, maybe of all time…but

…it’s time for him to accept the fact that he isn’t worth 16
million dollars in this market. Is there another team out there that is going
to give it to him? Maybe, maybe not, no one knows for sure. At what point
though, does that become a moot point. Andy has said before that it’s not just
about the money for him. I believed him. Now, I’m starting to wonder.  He has a chance to be part of one of the
potentially greatest rotations in a long time to wear the Yankee pinstripes. When
he left last time, I was crushed. It physically hurt and I imagine that this
time will hurt some as well but he needs to be realistic.

I suppose with the Red Sox signing of Brad Penny may give
Andy some more room to negotiate with the Yanks but not much. I really hope he
comes back. I think his leadership and personality will be good for the
Yankees. He’s one of the best post season pitchers of all time.  The Yankees could use him, but they don’t
need him.

9 Things I learned About Life at a Baseball Game #3

This
is the third installment of a 9 part series of things I’ve learned over
the years about life whiling playing, coaching, watching or umpiring
baseball. You can find principle #1
here and principle #2 here.

Principle #1 is “Losers Make Excuses, Winners Make Changes”

Principle #2 is “Don’t Worry About What Just Happened; Focus On What is About To Happen”
   

Principle #3 is “Without the Will to Prepare, the Will to Win is Pointless. Nothing More Than Glorified Hubris.”
Baseball3
   
Most
of the time baseball is a game that is won before the first pitch is
ever thrown so preparation is the key (Note: I only say most of the
time because I shudder at universal statements). Sure the walk off
Larry gets the most attention but how much preparation goes into that
moment? How many decisions over the course of the game lead to that
moment? Recently I watched a game end in a 2-0 shut out. The losing
pitcher gave up zero earned runs. He still lost. I wonder if the short
stop or the right fielder put in enough practice time to be confident
in that game situation.
    It always amazes me how people seem to
think that successful people just wake up one day as successful people.
It just doesn’t work that way. It takes hard work and preparation. The
will to win without the will to prepare to win is useless.
   
Success follows preparation, period. It’s true in baseball and it’s
true in life. I used to work in the food service business and nowhere
was this principle more evident to me than there. The difference
between successful servers and non-successful servers was the fact that
the successful ones prepared. The difference in a good shifts and bad
shifts was the level of preparation that went into each shift.
   
No one can step up to a plate and just hit successfully. No pitcher can
be successfully over the long haul if he doesn’t prepare. If he doesn’t
hone his skill and study his opponent he will not succeed on pure
talent alone. It’s in the preparation that we hone those skills. How
does a guy who can’t hit a curveball learn to hit it? You guessed it,
preparation. So baseball has taught me that preparation is the key to
success. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Study, study, study.
    Hone
your skills. If you try something and fail, study what you did. Look at
what went right, what went wrong. Schedule time in your day to look at
what you’re doing. Take time to prepare. Have a will to prepare, at the
end of the day that is far more important than your will to win.

Bloomburg on Melvin: “Here’s a baseball man moonlighting as a businessman. And failing miserably.”

Bloomberg.com has an interesting article concerning Doug Melvin. A discussion that I have been having for years regards the fact that many, if not most of the guy’s running the MLB teams have no idea what they are doing. They don’t know how to be competitive and successful. More of that later. Here are two of my favorite quotes from the article, which can be read in its entirety here:

[Melvin]…shows a complete lack of understanding of a
superior athlete’s desire to feel wanted and the business behind
baseball in the Bronx, especially at this moment in franchise
history.

and

Let’s hope the businessman explains the basics to the
baseball man.

Heading in the Right Direction…

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One of the realities you learn to live with when you cheer
for the Yankees is everyone complaing about the Yankees “buying a championship.”  It  usually
sounds like this:

Me: I like the Yankees

Them: OH they just wah wah wah wah wah, buy, wah wah wah,
cry cry cry, their, wah  wah wah,
championships.

 

I get so tired of hearing it. As if it’s the Yankees fault
that half the world buys their stuff and that they are the most successful
franchise in the history of the world.  

This year is no exception. Of course with the signing of
C.C. and AJ this year is no different. But is it true? Of course, the Yankees
haven’t won a world series in years despite adding to their line-up and their
payroll. This year, things seem a little different though, the Yankees are getting
younger and their going after pitching.

The Yankees farm system is stacked with pitching talent and
they are building the talent on the fielding side.  They currently have in the system Ian
Kennedy, Austin Jackson, and Philip Hughes–all potential big timers

Next years starting rotation looks something like this:

1.      
Sabathia, 28 yo

2.      
Burnett, 32 yo

3.      
Wang, 29 yo

4.      
Chamberlain, 23 yo

5.      
Pettite, 36 (I am speculating here)

This is where the Yankee haters are most bothersome. If this
rotation were the Mets, or the Red Sux the world wide miss leader would be
heralding it as one of the greatest potential rotations ever.  Yes, the 2009 Yankees have some holes to
fill. Yes, they may not be where they want to be yet, but they are moving in
the right direction and the last few months have proven that.

The Yankees may well be the team to beat in ’09.