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New York Yankees: How Does Jorge Posada Still Have a Job?

Courtesy of Yankees ‘n More

As I watch Jorge Posada live on the 1nterstate while serving as the New York Yankees, um…, well…, “designated HITTER” (much for irony?), I am left asking myself one simple question:

Exactly what does Posada have to DO to finally lose his job???

Sucking every single day hasn’t been enough to cost Posada his job.

Throwing a tantrum in the manager’s office hasn’t been enough to cost Posada his job.

Even QUITTING ON THE TEAM and causing a MAJOR distraction hasn’t been enough to cost Posada his job.

Hell, after that tantrum/quitting/distraction thing, the Yankees not only refused to take a stand with Posada (who balked at being asked to bat 9th), they actually CAVED to him! The next time Jorge hits 9th this season will be the FIRST!

UN-FREAKIN’-BELIEVABLE! And a real nice message to send to the rest of the team, too.

By the way, in case you haven’t been paying attention, the Yankees currently have a big slugger at Triple-A who is pounding the ball FLAT on a nightly basis. No, I’m not talking about Jesus Montero.

I’m talking about Jorge Vazquez (29) who hit his 18th home run of the season for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday night. To go along with those 18 bombs (in only 43 games), Vazquez has 45 RBI, a .303 avg. and an OPS of .984!

Yet NONE of those things… Hell, for that matter, ALL of those things, is still not enough to cost Jorge Posada his job.

So just exactly how do the planets have to align for Posada to be replaced???

More troubling still, if the Yankees refuse to stand up to Posada, despite EVERYTHING screaming that they should, what are the chances they will EVER stand up and do the right thing with Captain Crap?

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New York Yankees: Derek Jeter’s Contract Far More Damaging Than Rafael Soriano’s

Courtesy of Yankees ‘n More

Caught this New York Post story Tuesday morning about New York Yankees setup man Rafael Soriano and his aversion to cold weather, which makes him just like every other baseball player in the history of the sport.

What caught my eye in this story was this line from Brian Costello: “The Yankees cannot afford for this partnership to fail. Soriano is armed with a three-year deal. He can opt out after each of the first two seasons…”

REALLY??? THIS is the deal the Yankees cannot afford to have go bad???


New York has already received more in return for the $36 million they, potentially, have invested in Soriano than they EVER got for the $39 million they wasted on Carl Pavano. By the way, in case you don’t pay attention to the news, the dollar bills the Yankees pay Soriano aren’t worth NEARLY as much as those they handed over several years ago to Pavano.

Moreover, if this Soriano deal has the potential to be a back-breaker for the Yankees, imagine the damage that will be done by the Derek Jeter contract. New York owes Jeter at least $15 million MORE than they owe Soriano, and over the same time frame.

The Yankees only WISH Jeter had opt-out clauses in his deal. Preferably one that kicks in the day after he finally limps past the 3,000-hit mark. At least Soriano is still a quality baseball player, one who is more than capable of performing at an All-Star level. Jeter could not be more done. He can’t hit mediocre fastballs and his range is nonexistent.

The reality, of course, is that NEITHER deal will significantly harm the Yankees baseball operation, at least not from a financial aspect. If Jeter and Soriano never play another inning, the Yankees can write those checks and never miss the money.

The only real issue is having to cater to Jeter’s ego and managing team morale and the temperature of the clubhouse. Only because Jeter is Jeter, the Yankees have to continue to start him at shortstop every day and bat him at the top of the order, neither of which is merited by his current level of play.

If Soriano completely flames out, at least the Yankees can, without the slightest hesitation, do what’s best for the team and toss him out with the next load of trash. No such luck with Jeter.

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Phil Hughes Pathetic Again, Buries New York Yankees Early

Phil Hughes was born on June 24, 1986 in Mission Viejo, California. A little less than 25 years later, the sorry sack of dog**** went to Boston and gift wrapped the first win of the season for the hated Red Sox, who beat the New York Yankees 9-6.

Everything had been ailing Boston early on this season. They couldn’t pitch. They couldn’t hit. They couldn’t win a single game out of three against the Texas Rangers, and then they couldn’t even manage one win against the awful Cleveland Indians.


That’s how bad things were for Boston. But no matter how poorly things are going for you as a team, there is nothing that cures all of baseball’s potential ails like Pathetic Phil Hughes showing up to pitch (for lack of a better term) against your nine.

The Yankees actually gave Pathetic Phil a quick lead, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning on a Robinson Cano double. Red Sox Nation was more than on edge. All of Fenway Park was ready to pounce on their not-as-good-as-advertised team. But there was no need to fear. That’s Pathetic Phil going to the mound for New York.

Hughes allowed a Dustin Pedroia homer in the bottom of the first, drawing the Sox to within a run. But then the Yankees stormed back, grabbing that run right back in the top of the second. Pathetic Phil would have none of that, though. He allowed five runs in the bottom of the second inning and was not allowed to answer the bell for the bottom of the third.

After two starts, Pathetic Phil’s ERA stands at 16.50 and his WHIP at 2.67. The most amazing thing about his year is that he’s only 0-1. Think baseball is fair? Think again.

Check this out.

Pathetic Phil started for the Yankees on Friday afternoon. He lasted only TWO innings while allowing SIX earned runs on SEVEN hits and a pair of walks. He struck out nobody. And for his (complete lack of) effort, Pathetic Phil got a no-decision.

Bartolo Colon followed Pathetic Phil to the mound. He pitched 4.1 innings, allowed only ONE earned run on only TWO hits and one walk while striking out five. It should also be mentioned here that Colon single-handedly saved the Yankees’ bullpen and gave the team a chance to get back in the game. For his effort, Colon gets the loss.


Only time will tell if Pathetic Phil is allowed to rape the Yankees any more this season. But we are quickly getting to the point where Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi get the blame if he does. Of course, the Yankees don’t really have any great options.

$200 million doesn’t buy what it used to. Especially when Cashman is the one doing the shopping. But that’s another issue for another day.

Courtesy of Yankees ‘n More

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New York Yankees Send Jesus Montero Packing, Then Lie About Why

I’m getting dizzy from all the spinning the New York Yankees are doing on catching prospects Jesus Montero and, to a lesser extent, Austin Romine. In case you missed it, both were dismissed to the minor leagues after each failed miserably during spring training.

Last winter, Montero was the odds-on favorite to be the Yankees‘ starting catcher this season. Even after Brian Cashman signed the just-released Russell Martin (no great shakes himself, this spring), Montero had the backup job in the majors waiting for him on a silver platter.

But Montero was nothing short of pathetic this spring despite being given chance after chance after chance. Romine was no better. So, the decision everybody who paid even casual attention knew was coming was finally announced on Monday.

Jesus Montero and Austin Romine have each been reassigned to the minor leagues.

But now the Yankees want to pretend it’s because they want those guys “playing every day.”

“We thought it was more beneficial for them to play every day instead of maybe just getting a couple starts in the month of April,” manager Joe Girardi said. “When you look at those two young guys, we consider them front-line catchers in the big leagues some day.”

BULL ****!

Nobody in the Yankees organization gave a DAMN about Montero and, to a lesser extent, Romine “playing every day” when they were convinced one, if not both, would make the team out of spring training. It only became a very convenient excuse, uh hem, I mean ISSUE, after they each sucked so bad during February and March.

And as if all of that is not bad enough, Girardi actually had the nerve to say Montero has “showed a lot of improvement since last year.”

WTF?! Did Girardi actually WATCH this dude play??? Montero was AWFUL! HORRIFIC! PATHETIC! And not just defensively, he sucked with a bat in his hands, too! Yet Girardi actually has the NERVE to say Montero IMPROVED?

That’s an absolute slap in the face and insult to the intelligence of every single person who watched Montero play this spring.

By the way, for those who have lost count, that’s also about the 273rd time the Yankees have claimed Montero has “shown a lot of improvement.”

The guy would be the best catcher in MLB history by now if he had improved even HALF as often as the Yankees claim he has.

About the only truth to come out of the Yankees regarding this situation is that Montero and Romine have each been reassigned to the minor leagues. Everything else is P.R. bull**** spin because Cashman and Girardi don’t want to admit the truth.

Both guys positively SUCKED all spring long.

Courtesy of Yankees ‘n More

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Bartolo Colon Likely Locks Up Spot in New York Yankees Rotation

The battle for the bottom two spots in the New York Yankees‘ rotation is coming to a head, and Bartolo Colon might have just clinched a spot for himself with a very strong outing against the Tampa Bay Rays.

While the Yankees eventually lost, 3-1, to Tampa, Colon did everything he could have possibly done to win a job as a starter in the Bronx. Featuring pitches with plenty of “life” on them, the veteran righty pitched six nasty innings, allowing only one run on two hits and no walks while striking out five.

Spring results are rarely important, and this game was no exception. It’s not the results, it’s how Colon got them—specifically how he threw the ball—that matters most.

According to one scout, Colon reached 93 with his fastball on Monday. But there was more than velocity on the four-seam fastball to get excited about, if you’re a fan of the Yanks. He also had wicked movement and location on his two-seam fastball, giving both righties and lefties fits with the offering.

There were also multiple broken bats and some sort of filthy splitter/slurvish sort of offering that dropped straight down off the end of the proverbial table to rack up another strikeout. Overpowering would not be too strong a term for what Colon did to the Tampa lineup on Monday evening.

The Yanks might not be ready to announce any final decisions just yet. But with only a week and a half until opening day, and with Colon pitching this well (his spring ERA dropped to 2.40), and with rag-armed Freddy Gacia having imploded in his most recent start, it’s difficult to imagine Colon NOT having locked up a spot in New York’s starting rotation.

Courtesy of Yankees ‘n More

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New York Yankees: Mariano Rivera Calls Manny Banuelos ‘Best I’ve Ever Seen’

Top pitching prospect Manny Banuelos pitched another pair of scoreless innings Wednesday evening and looked as dominating as ever while doing it.

But that only ranked second for the day on the ManBan newswire.

The top story involving the soon-to-be-20-year-old phenom came courtesy of New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera, who referred to Banuelos as the best pitching prospect he has ever seen.

And the praise from Mo didn’t stop there.

“I like everything about him,” Rivera said of Banuelos.

“The makeup and how he keeps his composure. I notice situations and how you react in situations. Where you make your pitches in tough situations, where you spot your pitches, he has the ability to do that.”

That validates what we’ve been saying around here about Banuelos, and it’s the reason we don’t think he should be wasting any more bullets in the minor leagues.

Were Banuelos simply overpowering people with raw stuff, that would be one thing; that’s not what this kid is doing.

He’s pitching at a level that belies his age. In fact, he’s pitching at a level that belies Dellin Betances’ age (soon-to-be 23).

Banuelos has good command of three plus pitches—a mid-90’s fastball, a sharp curve and a changeup that reminds of an in-his-prime Johan Santana—and has no issues consistently throwing his secondary pitches for strikes when behind in the count.

Again, he’s PITCHING, not throwing.

If you didn’t know his age or his story (limited experience) and just watched him pitch, you wouldn’t think, “there’s a guy who needs more seasoning.”

If you are one of those who continues to insist that Banuelos “needs more minor league innings,” that’s your opinion and that’s fine.

But it sure sounds like Mariano Rivera disagrees with you.

You’ll forgive us for choosing to side with Mo on any issue that involves pitching in the major leagues.


Courtesy of Yankees ‘n More

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Attention New York Yankees: Manny Banuelos Is Ready for the Show

Earlier this spring, New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman insisted that Manny Banuelos, who won’t turn 20 years old for another few days, had “no chance” to make the major league team out of spring training. 

The young left-hander, says Cashman, will begin the 2011 season at Double-A Trenton.

This would make sense if Banuelos were your normal soon-to-be 20-year-old pitcher; which is to say, somebody in desperate need of more seasoning before being ready to even dream of pitching in the major leagues.

But to watch Banuelos pitch, even in spring training, is to know the minor leagues have nothing to offer him but innings. We see no rational reason to waste those innings in the minor leaguesespecially when the major league team is in such desperate need of quality innings from the rotation.

While Banuelos possesses overpowering stuff—he has great command of three plus pitches—he is not simply overpowering batters. Even at the tender age of 19, the lefty is anything but the proverbial “thrower.” Banuelos is a pitcher, and an advanced one at that.

“(He’s a) special kid,” a former MLB scout told Yankees ‘n More. “This is the product you get when a guy learns to pitch first with pretty good stuff, and then picks up a couple ticks.”

And what about keeping Banuelos on the majors from the start this season?

“It’s incredibly tempting,” said the former scout. “Most young talents, you can see where they need seasoning. He (Banuelos) already has the moxie of a major league pitcher.”

For proof of that “moxie,” look no further than Manny’s performance Friday evening against the Boston Red Sox. Banuelos pitched two scoreless innings, but it’s not simply the results that impressed. It’s the way he achieved those results.

Banuelos twice spotted a nasty changeup for a strike when behind the count 1-0. He also dropped in a nasty curve for a strike when he fell down in the count 2-0 to a third batter.

And what did young Manny show when he found himself in a bit of trouble with two men on in his second inning of work? This kid, who had been sitting at 93 with his fastball most of the evening, reached back for 96blowing away the batter to end the inning, while registering his third strikeout of the night.

So what’s the problem with allowing Banuelos the opportunity to pitch his way into the major leagues? Would this be any sort of issue if he were pitching as he is at the age of 22 or 23? Can Brian Cashman really be so blind as to not recognize a special set of circumstances when he sees them?

Seattle‘s Felix Hernandez was pitching in the major leagues at a younger age than Banuelos is now. In fact, “King” Felix pitched 84 innings in the major leagues the year he turned 19. He pitched 191 more the year he turned 20. If memory serves, that worked out okay.

That worked out okay because Hernandez was a special case. And when you watch him pitch, you know Banuelos is as well. To just blindly apply a strict set of rules to every 20-year-old for no other reason than because they are 20 is, at best, silly.

No, don’t misunderstand. The Yankees should be very protective of this young arm. But you do that with pitch and innings limits. Where those pitches and innings are thrown should be determined only by Banuelos’ performances. Period.

There is one other thing that must be considered with Banuelos, or any other pitcher for that matter: injuries.

Tomorrow is not promised to any of us, especially not to pitchers. God forbid Banuelos is one of those unfortunates who only has a very limited number of bullets in the chamberthink Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, etc.

But whether young Banuelos proves to be the next Mark Prior or the next Nolan Ryan when it comes to health, the question still has to be asked:

Just how many of Manny’s bullets do we wish to waste on the minor leagues?

Brian Cashman might not be ready to see Manny pitch in the major leagues, but the kid is sure enough ready to pitch at that level. To send him anyplace else would be a waste.

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Ivan Nova and Dellin Betances Impress in New York Yankees Win

Strong pitching and a two-run homer from Curtis Granderson helped push the New York Yankees past the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 in their second Grapefruit League contest of the spring.

The pitching staff was led by Ivan Nova, who started the game and worked two scoreless innings in his initial bid to win a spot at the back end of New York’s rotation.

Manager Joe Girardi seemed impressed.

“He looked good,” Girardi said of Nova. “His ball was moving, he had a good curve. You could tell by the ground balls he got that he was keeping the ball down in the zone.”

The highlight of the day, perhaps, was the appearance of the highly regarded Dellin Betances, who struck out the side in the bottom of the fifth inning around a two-out walk.

Betances was explosive, reaching 97 miles per hour with his fastball. If there’s a knock on the 22-year-old’s performance, it’s that he had trouble locating his secondary pitches, often leaving them well up in the zone.

The Yankees blew the game open with a four-run bottom of the sixth, as Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada each had RBI hits. Jesus Montero added another RBI on a broken-bat single to left field.

Jorge Vazquez closed the scoring for the Yankees in the top of the ninth with his second home run in as many games this spring, this one off a brand name: Phillies closer Brad Lidge.

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New York Yankees Drop Spring Training Opener to Philadelphia Phillies

The New York Yankees lost their first spring training game to the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-4, after a late rally opportunity was wasted.

Trailing by what would prove to be the final score, New York had the tying run on third and the winning run on first with only one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. However, Brandon Laird struck out, and then Kevin Russo grounded to shortstop to end the threat, and the game.

Bartolo Colon started for the Yankees, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk in two innings of work. Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson followed with scoreless innings before prospect David Phelps was knocked around in his lone inning of work, allowing a pair of runs on three hits.

Another of the Yankees pitching prospects, Hector Noesi, allowed two hits in two shutout innings before Eric Wordekemper allowed a pair of runs and the loss for New York.

The Yankees offense came alive primarily from the bats of Jorge Vazquez, Mark Teixeria and Fransisco Cervelli. Vazquez hit the Yankees only home run, a two-run shot that gave New York the lead in the seventh inning. Teixeira and Cervelli each provided RBI doubles.

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New York Yankees Sign Cuban Shortstop Yadil Mujica

Courtesy of Yankees ‘n More

The New York Yankees might have an heir to aging star shortstop Derek Jeter.

According to Baseball America, the Yankees have signed Cuban shortstop Yadil Mujica, who is reported to be 26 years old. Obviously, Cuban ages can be a bit shaky. YouTube has this extensive video of Mujica.

Here’s what Baseball America says about Mujica:

“Scouting info on Cuban defectors can be scarce, but Yadil Mujica appeared on the nation’s preliminary roster for the ’09 World Baseball Classic and batted .358/.432/.440 that season before defecting.” has a more extensive bio:

“Yadil Mujica was emerging as one of the top young infielders in Cuba before defecting.

Mujica debuted as a teenager with Matanzas in 2003-2004, hitting .217/.299/.237 while playing almost every game. In part-time action in 2004-2005, he batted .306/.363/.333. He hit .302/.362/.392 in 2005-2006. In 2006-2007, his batting line read .300/.344/.350.

Mujica made major strides in 2007-2008; after 4 home runs in his first four seasons, he went deep 9 times. He hit .358/.418/.514 with 60 runs in 83 games. He did not finish among the league’s top 10 in any category but was close in a few. He made the league All-Star team at shortstop ahead of national team mainstay Eduardo Paret.

Mujica was on Cuba’s preliminary roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic but did not make the final cut. In 2008-2009, he batted .358/.432/.440 and tied for 4th in the league with 22 errors. He defected following that season.”

No word on where Mujica is expected to start the 2011 season, though it’s expected to be with a full-season team.

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