I’ve been away for a while. School has been horrendous this semester and priorities are priorities. I will make a more regular return after I get back from Jamaica later this month.
Until then, I have much to say, but I’ll keep things brief for now:
1. A-Rod returns tomorrow; let’s hope it brings big changes for the overall performance of this team. This may finally be A-Rod’s chance to step up into a leadership role.
2. Jeter’s deterioration is being noted; I hope to never see him in another uniform, but he may want to consider some other fielding options. Cashman and co need to start shopping for an understudy.
3. We always do better with a healthy Jorge; come back soon.
4. What happened to our stellar pitching? C’mon guys, you can’t blame Girardi for this mess. Wang is not Joe’s fault. CC’s underperforming is not Joe’s fault. AJ and Pettitte are doing decent, but nowhere near what we need them to be doing.
5. Joba is doing precisely what he was projected to do, but c’mon, why pull him after 12 consecutive Ks? That was dumb.
6. Bullpen — WAKE UP! PLEASE! You are better than this.
7. Swisher is in a slump, but then again, who isn’t? He’s still the best offseason acquisition we’ve gotten so far. Make sure you go to http://www.voteswisher.com and put him in the ASG lineup.
8. We’re only a fraction of the way through the season, there is plenty of time to turn this around and be the Yankees team of old. We need the boys to get pumped, this has to be just as depressing to them as it is to us (aside from the whole them getting millions and us paying to watch them play thing). Maybe someone needs to charge the mound and pop Beckett in the piehole — or kick Jerry Meals in the taint for being a horrible ump.
9. Manny is being Manny. I feel bad for Dodger fans. I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt, the same way I did for Alex. Unfortunately, Alex didn’t come up hot for a current drug test, it was a past one that was questionably brought out by his hack-journalist stalker, S-Rob.
10. Make sure to add me on TWITTER. There is a group of Yankee fans/bloggers who frequently share our thoughts on Yankee games through the process. Sometimes we get live reviews, sometimes TV reviews, others watch on MLB’s gameday. Join the fun! http://www.twitter.com/roshkoch
For a guy who takes everything said about him so personally, I would suppose Alex Rodriguez would have wanted to disappear for a few weeks until the media feeding frenzy moves on to some other victim.
But I doubt he’d want it to have happened this way.
After reporting a stiffness in his right hip, Rodriguez has found himself in a dangerous, potentially life threatening situation involving a, thankfully, benign cyst.
However, after consulting with specialist Dr. Marc Philippon in Vail, Colo., Rodriguez had the cyst aspirated on Thursday.
While having the cyst examined, it was revealed that Rodriguez was also suffering from a torn labrum.
According to the Mayo Clinic website, “The socket of your hip joint (acetabulum) is lined by cartilage
called your labrum. This cartilage provides stability and cushioning
for your hip joint, allowing the ball of your thighbone (femur) to move
smoothly and painlessly in the socket.
“A tear in your labrum, known as a hip labral tear or acetabular
labral tear, can result from injury, repetitive movements that cause
wear-and-tear on your hip joint, or degeneration, such as from
For an active ballplayer, this looks to be a routinely plausible in jury. The Mayo Clinic also says, “When treatment for a hip labral tear is necessary, it may consist of
physical therapy, medications or a combination. Less frequently,
surgery is necessary to treat a hip labral tear.”
If Rodriguez needs the surgery, it would have to be a pretty serious tear.
He has subsequently been yanked from the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic, which should further to raise the ire of his former Dominican fans who felt snubbed when Rodriguez opted to play for the United States in the ’06 Classic.
Should Rodriguez choose to undergo the surgery, who will the Yankees use in his stead? Obviously there is no player who could completely fill the void that would be created by the absence of the former 3-time MVP.
This brings me to a bit of a hypothetical situation.
Let’s play a game I like to call EXTREME GEE EMM.
It works like this: I feed you a few hypothetical guidelines. You make the moves necessary to build the best team. You post your thoughts in a response. We bicker about it. We hope it never happens.
If Rodriguez requires surgery and opted to undergo the procedure now, he would, hypothetically, be ready for a return near the time of the all star break. In the meantime, there would be a vacancy at third base.
Since we are playing with hypothetical situations, let’s also suppose that trading for an outside player is not an option. This is a big hypothetical, because this is rarely ever the case. But if we want to play EXTREME GEE EMM, we have to be able to play with the highest stakes possible.
So if the Yankees have to replace possibly the best baseball player in history (that should churn some fires in of itself!) with a prospect or current position player already in the organization.
Do you move Xavier Nady to third and put Swisher in right field?
Do you put your chips on a daredevil stunt of putting a natural outfielder like Shelly Duncan in the corner?
Do you move Tiexeira from first to third and pull Swisher to the front?
Do you put your hope in former rookie of the year, Angel Berroa?
Do you give the reigns to, as Johnny Damon claims, the “best athlete on the team” in Cody Ransom?
Do you try shifting Juan Miranda across the field?
Do you bypass juggling players and just slot Nick Swisher in the corner and hope for the best?
What would YOU do? How would YOU solve this puzzle?
Mayo Clinic – http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hip-labral-tear/DS00920
MLB.com – http://www.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090305&content_id=3921752
MLB.com – http://www.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090303&content_id=3914670
MLB.com – http://www.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090304&content_id=3915572
When the Yankees announced the acquisition of Nick Swisher from a trade with the Chicago White Sox for Wilson Betemit, I was curious. With the impending loss of Bobby Abreu to free agency, I was looking for any way that the Bombers would bring back the patient hitter. I figured Swisher would play first and Bobby would be brought back to platoon with Damon and Nady. (Photo: Getty Images)
I was excited at the prospect of having baseball’s most patient hitter in 2008 in a lineup with Abreu (another of baseball’s top three most patient hitters) and the Yankee elite. I was stoked on Swish’s almost immaculate defense guarding the right corner bag. I was excited for another switch hitter to be in the every day lineup.
I was, as is now apparent, wrong.
Instead, Brian Cashman ignored my pleas and signed Mark Teixiera for first base, ultimately letting Abreu join our west coast nemesis (The Yankee devils HAVE to hate Angels) for a steal.
No one is going to complain about Tex being on the team. I’m glad he’s here (and not in Boston). He will make Mattingly proud, for sure. His bat and glove will fill both offensive and defensive voids for the next several years.
So now we come back to a dilemma. Forget about Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner for a few minutes and look at the contest being fought for Bobby’s Right Field Roost between Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady.
I’m pretty unoriginal when it comes to making strong arguments based on anything but stats, so here are a few factors for Joe Girardi to consider when making his decision for the everyday right fielder position.
THE EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT:
Nady hit 25 HR’s last yea; Swisher hit 24. But in six full seasons, Nady has only hit 87 HRs. In only four full seasons, Swisher has amassed 104 homers.
But in batting average, we see Nady’s .280 career AVG (.303 in ’08) overcome Swisher’s dissapointing .244 (.218 in ’08). Nady also struck out less, had a higher OBP, and pulled in more RBIs. He also had many more hits (but somehow less runs?)
Swisher stole 3 bases last season, Nady stole two. Whoever is going to replace Bobby needs to be able to gank some bags. Bobby stole around 20.
Both have commendable defensive percentages. Swisher has a near immaculate career record of .990 (.975, 5E in OF in ’08) to Nady’s .984 (.985, 4E, in OF in ’08). Bobby Abreu carries a career .984 (.993, 2E OF in ’08).
ADVANTAGE: YANKEES (You can’t go wrong any which way here.)
The White Sox have won a world series this decade. The Pirates, well, they existed this decade. Kind of.
Nady was born in 1978 and is 30. The much younger Nick Swisher was born
in 1980 and is 28. The free agent market dictates that Nick Swisher,
being in his twenties, is automatically better than the 30-something
year old Nady.
Swisher throws left handed and bats as a switch hitter. Nady is right
handed all the way around. Being right handed in right field makes for
an awkward throwing situation.
Nick Swisher has a website. Xavier Nady, does not. Hey Nady, get with the
20th century 21st century.
Two words: Swish’s Wishes. You cannot get much cooler than that.
Nady used a pink bat on mother’s day to promote breast cancer
awareness. Nick Swisher dyed his facial hair. Nady had a weapon that he
can carry over to the Yankees. Swisher had to lose his pink with the
ADVANTAGE: NADY (unless Swisher grows a pink moustache.)
Swisher has only played in the almighty American League (A’s, White Sox). Nady has played almost his entire career in the National League (Padres, Mets, Pirates). Yuck. The National League is gross.
Nady’s agent is Scott Boras. He’s a jerk.
I believe the evidence here is overwhelming. It is time to put Nick Swisher in the corner pocket and let him play every day baseball. Keep Nady around for damage control when/if someone goes down. You never know when Matsui’s knee may implode or Johnny Damon needs to be put in protective custody from his hairdresser, who is obviously trying to kill him.
I, for one, really enjoy reading what the players are doing, in a philanthropic sense, with their big pay checks. For me, it eases my ire that some lucky jerks get to make multi-million dollars each year to play baseball.
I understand the hard work that goes in to making a career out of a sport, but nonetheless, it is nice to see some “paying it forward” going on.
The Yankees take a lot of flak from people across the country for their big pay days, but a good number of current, and former, Yankees are quick to share.
Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixiera both gave back to their alma maters in the forms of cold hard cash.
Teixiera signed a girthy 8-year $180M contract with the Yankees two days before Christmas. This past week, Tex made an appearance in conjunction with a $500K donation to Georgia Tech University.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Teixeira has donated to Georgia
Tech every year since he was the Rangers’ first-round selection in
2001, but the $500,000 pledge marked his largest offering yet.
Rodriguez, on the other hand, dropped a weighty $3.9M donation to Miamu University for their baseball facilities back in 2002, during the time period he admittedly used performance enhancing substances.
Well known as the highest paid baseball player in history, Rodriguez was honored for his contribution by the school at the annual “Dinner on the Diamond” event at the university. The UM facility now bears the name “Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field” and will be home to the Hurricanes baseball team.
A-Rod and Tex aren’t the only cheerful givers. Yankees captain Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation has raised over $8M from its various events to help disadvantaged children in New York, Western Michigan, and Tampa, Florida.
Long time catcher, Jorge Posada, also has charitible work. The Jorge Posada Foundation, named after his son, is an endowment to help families with children diagnosed with Craniosynotosis in affording necessary surgeries, as well as help fund research for hospitals in this particular field. The Posadas have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to various hospitals and individuals to help others in need.
Nick Swisher is another individual with a generous heart now covered in pinstripes. Swish is involved in more organizations than I could count. He spends time hanging out with kids, gives money to medical and educational organizations, supports the troops overseas. and even once dyed his goatee pink for Breast Cancer Awareness on Mother’s Day. Although, he won’t be doing that with the Yankees and their “high and tight” folicle policies.
Bobby Abreu was another frequent contributor through his Abreu’s Amigos and Abreu’s Finest Charity Wines. In 2001, during his stint with the Philadelphia Phillies, Bobby was awarded the Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross Blood Drive. He was honored as the Phillies recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award in 2004.
Another big giver is lead-off hitter Johnny Damon, who in 2008 was the Yankees recipient of the Roberto Clemente award with proceeds going to the Children’s Health Fund. He has also worked with Wounded Warrior Project in bringing relief to wounded veterans. Damon, like his new teammate Nick Swisher, has also donated his long hair (from days with the Red Sox) to charitable causes.
But the Evil Empire needs an Emporer and George M Steinbrenner III is there to lead the charge. The multi-billionaire has donated so much money to various charities and civic programs that Legends Field was renamed Steinbrenner Field by the Town and County Councils. They are also opening a Tampa area school that is named after “The Boss.”
There may be a lot of money floating around the Bronx, but there is a lot of money going even further toward making this world a better place to be.
Information courtesy of:
A-Rod speaks at University of Miami
A-Rod has Teixeira’s Support
Turn 2 Foundation
Jorge Posada Foundation
Damon Yankees’ Clemente Nominee
This Purist Bleeds Pinstripes: There’s Some Good in the World
* found this article after I wrote out everything here. Tons more info in here too. Get away from the steroid crap and read about some heroes!