Tuesday, October 30, 2007

One Down, Six To Go

Joe Girardi made it official today when he signed a 3-year $7.5 million deal to become the 32nd manager of the Yankees and the 17th former Yankees to take the helms.
OK, we have a manager now, that don't impress me much. (Neither did my Shania Twain impersonation.)
Joe Torre has left the Yankees with some luggage. Don Mattingly. Both of whom may end up together with the Los Angeles Dodgers by year's end.
This opens the bench coach slot that may be filled with wither Tony Pena or base coach Larry Bowa.

In addition to that, four Yankees have filed for free agency. Closer Mariano Rivera, catcher Jorge Posada, reliever Luis Vizcaino, and first baseman Doug M
Andy Pettitte still hasn't decided to use his option for 2008 and the Yankees still haven't picked up the team option for outfielder Bobby Abreu.
The worst case scenario is upon us Yankees fans.

If Pettitte goes and Clemens retires for the fourth time, the most expierenced pitcher will be Chein-Ming Wang, who last season was a rookie.
Jose Molina would be the everyday catcher.
Wilson Betimit will be the staring third baseman.
Joba Chamberlain may very well be our new closer.

This off-season will be a busy one as the free agent market has exploded with talent. Aside from the five Yankees that filed for free agency, Andruw Jones, Johan Santana, Bartolo Colon, and Eric Gagne are projected to file.

The Yankees have enough to fill the position slots, but are in short hand of pitching and catching.

In my opinion:

Sign one veteran pitcher that can mentor the younglings, and sign Posada, no matter what deal he asks for.
A veteran battery is key to growth and success.

Best case scenario 2008 line-up:

C- Jorge Posada
1B- Doug Meintkvchzivfdh
2B- Robinson Cano
3B- Wilson Betimit
SS- Derek Jeter
RF- Johnny Damon

CF- Melky Cabrera
LF- Hideki Matsui
DH- Bobby Abreu
SP- Chein-Ming Wang
SP- Andy Pettitte

SP- Phil Hughes
SP- Joba Chamberlain
SP- Ian Kennedy
RP- Kyle Farnsworth
CL- Mariano Rivera

Worst case scenario 2008 line-up:

C- Chris Molina
1B- Wilson Betemit

2B- Robinson Cano
Eric Duncan (AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees)
SS- Derek Jeter
RF- Shelly Duncan
CF- Melky Cabrera

LF- Hideki Matsui
DH- Johnny Damon
SP- Random big-name pitcher
SP- Chien-Ming Wang
SP- Phil Hughes
SP- Ian Kennedy
SP- Kei Igawa

RP- Kyle Farnsworth
CL- Joba Chamberlain

Join the fun, next season will be interesting.

In the meantime, enjoy this random picture.

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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 4:37 PM 1 Heckles

Monday, October 29, 2007

Girardi In, Mattingly Out

Rumor has it Joe Girardi was offered the managerial seat for the Yankees. This is coming after a week of interviews and the completion of the World Series.

Mattingly, the current bench coach and favorite to manage, was not offered the job and may most likely end his coaching career with the Yankees. This opens up the bench coach slot on the Yankees staff.

Stay tuned for the 2008 projected line up.


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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 4:40 PM 2 Heckles

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A-Rod Opts Out

After winning two awards this off season so far and the front runner for the American League MVP, third baseman Alex Rodriguez calls it quits with the pinstripes.

Rest assure that possible replacement Wilson Betimit will have a much more productive post-season.

So long A-Rod. I won't miss you.



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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 10:30 PM 0 Heckles

Friday, October 26, 2007

And The New Manager Is...

...coming up after a brief World Series.

The Yankees interviewed Joe Girardi, Don Mattingly, and Tony Pena during the past week to find out who is best suited to replace Joe Torre as manager.
Mattingly is still the front runner as he was a coach for the Yankees since November of 2003 and has learned the trade from Torre.
Girardi won the 2006 Manager of the Year in his one-year stint with the Marlins and has a possible job offer from the Los Angeles Angels.
Tony Pena, who also won Manager of the Year with the Kansas City Royals, was a last minute selection and may replace Mattingly as bench coach if Mattingly is selected.

Game seven of the World Series is November 1 (if necessary), after which, the Yankees will make their announcement.

Stay tuned.


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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 4:35 PM 0 Heckles

Thursday, October 18, 2007

BetUS.com Yankees Manager Odds

I saw this on our sponsers page BetUS.com and thought it would be interesting to share.
These are the odds of who will be the next Yankees manager on Dec 31, 2007:

Joe Torre +250
Don Mattingly +150
Joe Giradi +200
Tony LaRussa +1000
Buck Showalter +1400
Bobby Cox +2500
Terry Francona +10000
Don Zimmer +25000
George Steinbrenner +50000


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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 11:40 PM 0 Heckles

Farewell #6

Joe Torre will not manage the New York Yankees in the 2008 season.
The Yankees manager has declined an $5.5 million offer from the front office brass for a guaranteed full-year contract.
This is the ultimate end to a rocky two seasons as his job was in jeopardy after the 2006 season in which general manager Brian Cashman saved.
This past season, more specifically the playoffs, Steinbrenner mentioned that if Torre and the Yankees did not advance to the League Championship series, he would be fired.
Turns out the Yankees did not advance, but there was no word of a release from the front office. With the surprise of a one-year offer, and even a larger surprise of a decline of that offer, the Yankees are now out of a manager after the completion of Torre's current contract.

There are four names that have been tossed around to fill in the manager shoes: bench coach Don Mattingly, former manager John Valentine, Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, and 2005 Manager of the Year Joe Girardi.

The chances of LaRussa, a four-time Manager of the Year, coming over to the Yankees are very slim. LaRussa has years of experience with big name ball clubs with big name players. He has managed the Oakland Athletics to a title with the names of Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco on the staff and in 2006 he led the St. Louis Cardinals backed by Chris Carpenter and Albert Pujols to a title.

In his lone season as manager of the Florida Marlins, Joe Girardi was awarded the 2006 Manager of the Year with his club finishing fourth in the NL East. He is currently working as a broadcaster and a baseball analyst with various corporations.
He was on the 1996, 1998, and 1999 Yankees squad when they won the World Series. His odds for a managerial seat in pinstripes are greater than LaRussa, but I would not count on it.

Bobby Valentine managed the 2000 New York Mets to a National League pennant and led the 2005 Pacific League Chiba Lotte Marines of the Japanese League to a championship title. He has managed many veteran players. Yankees brass will notice the blank spot on his resume after the 2000 season, but even with that, the chances of a hiring are small.

The best odds for a new manager for the Yankees is current bench coach Don Mattingly. He was signed in 2003 as the Yankees hitting coach, promoted to bench coach in 2006, and may very well be the new manager of the Yankees. Mattingly is a career Yankees coming up in 1982 and setting a record six grand slams in a single season in 1986, more notably, those six slams are the only ones of his career. In that same season, Mattingly won the AL MVP award.
With Torre at his side, Mattingly has learned the managerial role and even took over the reigns when Torre was ejected from a few games.
There are three big names in the front office, including two Steinbrenner's that are Mattingly fans, one of them being Sir George himself.
The chances of Donnie Baseball sitting in the manger seat are close to 80%.

Joe Torre will leave a mark in Yankees history. In his 12 years as manager, he has won two wild cards, six American League Pennants, four World Titles including three in a row. 12 season as the manager, 12 seasons in the playoffs, only Braves manager Bobby Cox has a resume that can rival that. Torre is also a perfect 6-0 as the All-Star game manager.

Joe Torre will be missed, and we will one day see the Yankees retire #6 on Joe Torre Day.

One day, the National Baseball Hall of Fame will send him a call...

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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 4:29 PM 2 Heckles

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Season May Be Over, But Not My Mouth

The American League Championship Series begins tomorrow at Fenway Park as the Red Sox host the Cleveland Indians.
What I am going to be doing is watching and analyzing the series and take some last stabs at our rivals and 'heckle' their rotation, line up, and managerial decisions.

I'm in New York, and this should be fun.


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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 10:16 PM 0 Heckles

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Props and Flops

The season is over, again prematurely, but I am not done yet. There are a few people that need to be recognized for their excellence and not-so-excellence.

Props go to:
Carl Pavano - Actually starting a game.
Chein-Ming Wang - second in the majors in wins with 19.
Kei Igawa - earning a rare win on my birthday, against the Red Sox too!
Joba Chamberlain - 'nuff said.
Alex Rodriguez - 54 home runs and 156 RBI could lead to a possible third MVP award, second in pinstripes.
Jorge Posada - One of the greatest offensive season by a catcher (.338/20/90)
Joe Torre - Will defiantly get some Manager of the Year votes for leading the Yankees from a write off to a wild card.

Flops go to:
Carl Pavano - 'nuff said.
Kei Igawa - The worst import pitcher since Hideki Irabu.
Roger Clemens - A waste from the start, age finally caught up to him. RETIRE!
Mike Mussina - The most unreliable pitcher this season.
Alex Rodriguez - Yet another horrible post-season. The home run was too little, too late.

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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 4:33 PM 0 Heckles

Monday, October 08, 2007

Choke '07

Good bye World Series, good bye New York, good bye Joe Torre.

The Cleveland Indians defeated the Yankees 6-4 in game four of the Division Series, also the final game for New York.

For the third year in a row, the Yankees could not advance past the first round of the playoffs marking the seventh year in a row in which there is no title.

We know this is the last year Torre will be the manager, but next year, will we have a new catcher? Will we have a new closer? Will we have a new third baseman?

Opening Day 2008 is six months away. Now I need another catchy slogan for a title run.


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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 10:33 PM 2 Heckles

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Torre's Last Hurrah?

Joe Torre could possibly manage his last game today.

The Yankees manager said that he spoke with George Steinbrenner that if the Yankees lose today, and are eliminated from the playoffs, he will be released.
Torre does not have a contract entering 2008 and will become a "free agent" at the conclusion of the playoffs.

Torre took over the managerial reigns in 1996 and reached the playoffs every year since then winning six league pennants and four world series titles. However, the Yankees have failed to win the World Series since their last title in 2000.
Since then, the Yankees won two league pennants, six division titles, and a wild card. But in light of success, Steinbrenner is still waiting for a trophy, not a flag.

No trophy, no Torre.


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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 1:52 PM 0 Heckles

Thursday, October 04, 2007


I rarely turn the game off while the Yankees are losing. Even more scare is turning it off during the playoffs.
In 2004, when Johnny Damon hit the grand slam in game seven, I turned off the TV, put my beer back in my fridge, and took the flag off my car.
2007, so far it has gone far as turning off the TV.

Today's game was absolutely pathetic. I understand that Wang had a bad day, but why leave him in and give up eight runs?

Yankees were 6-0 against the Indians this season and, C.C. Sabathia is a career 1-7 against New York. This goes to show that stats don't mean a damn thing in the playoffs.


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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 10:28 PM 2 Heckles

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Let's Get Ready

The 2007 Playoffs start tomorrow with the Sox taking on the Angels and on Thursday the Yankees play in Cleveland.

Although Cleveland finished with the best record in the season, the Yankees still have the upper hand, even with the schedule chosen by the Tribe.

I am not going to go on a tear and talk about the Yankees having a great season against their first round opponents. Last time I did, the Tigers won.

The problem this year may be the starting rotation. Joe Torre has said Phil Hughes will not pitch in the ALDS leaving the Yankees with two quality starters: Andy Pettitte and Chein-Ming Wang.
Mike Mussina is still up in the air, his last three starts were a huge lift, but the three before that were haywire.. Roger Clemens tweaked his hamstring; that usually happens to old athletes trying to compete in a younger league.
As for a fifth starter, its a toss up. Looks like the Yankees will need to keep the series a short one.

The main concern is the bullpen,as it was this past year.

The Yankees only have two reliable short relief men, Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera.

They also have the pick of Kyle Farnsworth, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, Luis Vizciano and Brian Bruney, all are unpredictable. Again, only two reliable.
Seeing as Ian Kennedy and Hughes are not going to start, they should be the perfect fit in middle to long relief roles, right?
Let's hope Torre sees it this way.

We all know Mussina and Clemens won't last past the fifth inning, but rather than throw in a few pitchers with inconsistency, use a starter who has proven themselves and prepare them for later playoff rounds and give them post season experience.
However, seeing as the pitcher rules have virtually been non-existent this year ("We will not use Hughes this year", "The Joba Rules"), we will likely see Hughes and/or Kennedy in a starting role before too long.

Alex Rodriguez, thought I wasn't going to talk about him(?), is the one person with the most pressure on him this October. With a combined three hits in his past two years of playoff appearances (.103 AVG), and with the season he just had, there is a heavy burdon of success riding on him. Granted the MVP voting will be tallied (winner announced in November) by the time he takes his first at-bat, he still needs to perform. It's one to hit 50+ home runs and 150+ RBI, its another to go one-for-the-series.
Let's see what happens.

Yankees, behind the arms of Pettitte and Wang, will win the series in four games.

Don't kill me when I say this, but I do want the Red Sox to advance to the Championship Series ONLY IF the Yankees advance.
Everyone knows the Yankees can not and will not beat the Angels in the playoffs. Think back to 2002 and 2005.

As for the National League I have the Phillies (what happened Mets??) topping the Rockies in four and the Diamondbacks over the Cubs in five.

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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 10:32 PM 0 Heckles


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