Results tagged ‘ Brian Cashman ’

Subway Series Spark!

In all honesty, I really have to give my Yankees some credit. After an exceptionally long, lackluster offseason and kickoff to the season that consisted of losing our closer, losing our new starting pitcher, and well – losing in general, I was just about ready to accept the “fact” that my boys just weren’t going anywhere in 2012. Ready I was to rant about using rookies, vent against the long-contracted veterans, and strangle Joe Girardi.

I find myself exceptionally busy for being on summer vacation, so I haven’t been able to actually watch games as religiously as I have in previous seasons. In the games I saw, the team looked lifeless, dead, beaten before they even stepped on to the field. But that was then.

I don’t know when things changed, how they changed – or even if anything really changed at all. What’s different now? It’s the same old guys, but now these old guys that I thought were getting too old and too stinky seem to have new life. I look at the Yankee record, 34-25, just ½ out of first place, and I wonder: WHEN THE HECK DID THIS HAPPEN?

Surely, I feel like an idiot.

Okay, maybe I wrote my boys off a little too early. But it’s only June 10, and I don’t want to get too cocky, either. Then again, I actually watched this Subway Series in its entirety, and the Yankees looked fantastic in all aspects. The power bats surged, the starters dominated in lengthy fashion, and perhaps most importantly, the team had that all-important fire that has been missing.

The whole team has exceeded my expectations recently, but three guys especially I think deserve some special recognition and apologies.

Ever since the second half of 2010, I have been relentlessly ripping on Phil Hughes. I was mad at him for being fat and worthless in 2011. I thought he was done, and I was mad because I have his rookie card and would like it to be worth something someday. Constantly, I ridicule my Yankees for getting rid of their prospects, but I felt that Phil Hughes was one guy that they held on to for far too long.

Finally, I think I’m seeing the real Phil Hughes.

A 6-5 record with a 4.76 ERA may not seem too wonderful on the surface, but let’s remember, Hughes, like the vast majority of the Yankees team, didn’t exactly burst out of the gates when the season started. He sort of scuffled along, to put it nicely, racking up a frightening 7.88 ERA in his first month. Just when I thought all faith was lost, he started to improve. Take away that one bad start against the Angels, and Hughes has been fantastic from May onwards. He has lowered his ERA in 8 of his last 9 starts, proving that he definitely has something left to offer. He bounced back from his worst start of the year in LA – 7 runs on 11 hits in 5.1 innings – with arguably the best start of his career in his next time out against the Tigers – a complete game, where he surrendered just 1 run on 4 hits.

So Phil, I’m definitely sorry for hating on you. I forgot you were only 25. You’ve really stepped up this season. While I previously thought our starting rotation was God awful this year, you’ve shined a light. Keep it up!

When the Yankees were in Anaheim a few weeks ago, I wanted to kill Brian Cashman. It was the first time I saw the adorable, amazing rookie Mike Trout in action. God was he cute…and he seriously impressed everyone in my home. I wanted him, and I made it clear that I wanted him, prancing around my house saying, “Let’s trade for Mike Trout! Take him, and pay the Angels to take Teixeira!” Little did I know, he could have been a Yankee. Supposedly, he was set to be the Yankee’s first draft pick in 2009, but they lost that draft pick to the Angels due to the signing of their free agent. That free agent was Mark Teixeira.

I was livid when I learned that. During the Angel’s series, I was probably at my height of my “I’m sick of Mark Teixeira sucking with a huge contract” phase. He just made me so mad, promising to bunt but never doing it, popping up or grounding right into the shift, and making that annoying face when trying to hit. He was the perfect example of what was annoying me about the Yankees: veterans with giant contracts that sucked but were still getting paid, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Mark is a historically slow starter. At June 10th, maybe he’s just now getting his groove on. He’s actually hitting almost .250, which doesn’t seem like much, but he had been hovering around .220-.230 for so long that it was sickening.  Teix has definitely shown glimpses of improvement at the plate, and still is arguably the best glove over at first.  I’m looking forward to seeing how he performs going forward.

The last guy I feel the need to apologize to is someone I’ve never come out and openly criticized. I have underestimated him, and perhaps neglected him. I don’t think I’ve shown Russell Martin nearly enough love, and today especially, he reminded me why I love him.

I admit it, I’m not over the whole Jesus Montero thing, and I probably never will be. And all my blabbering about that little catching cutie probably made it seem like I had absolutely no faith whatsoever in Russell Martin.  I never said it, but he worried me, spending practically the whole season under the Mendoza line.  I mean seriously – Chris Stewart was hitting better. I know a catcher’s primary focus should be on assisting the pitchers, but when the Yankees were stinky, the pitching was too, along with Martin. So I didn’t feel like he was doing very well overall.

When the calendar flipped to June, something sparked in Martin. All of a sudden he’s insanely good. Martin is hitting at a hot clip of .333 so far this month. And today, he was literally my hero, hitting 2 home runs (one to right field and one to left), WALKING OFF, and winning the Subway Series finale for my boys in style. Coincidence that Martin and the starting pitching have been hot simultaneously? I don’t know.

All I know is that I don’t know what has changed with my Yankees, but I’m liking the results very much. Winning is fun. But more importantly, thinking you can win is even more rewarding. This series against the Mets opened my eyes, as everything seemed to work out for my boys. The Subway Series brought the best out of my Yankees, sparking my team and myself once again.

I just hope we can carry this forward.

Go Yankees!

The Worst/Best Trade Of My Life

Ohhh, Cashman, you don’t make blockbuster deals on Friday the 13th. You just don’t.

And you definitely don’t make this deal.

I’m sure the entire baseball world knows the news by now. I was supposed to have this post up right away, but every time I started it, I had to stop. I figured I could just type through the tears, but then I thought an overly-emotional post would be irrational and unfair. So I waited until I regained some composure. Here I am now, still in shock, but over my initial state or mourning. I haven’t cried yet today, though that may be because I depleted everything I had last night.

This is without a doubt the hardest thing I have been forced to go through in my life as a Yankees fan.

I don’t even know where to start. There’s so much running through my head. I guess I’ll talk about what happened when I found out that the Yankees traded Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda (along with Hector Noesi for Jose Campos, but it’s the Montero part that sent me over the edge).

I saw the news on facebook first on a baseball page that I liked. It wasn’t official then. But my heart stopped a little, and I gasped. I immediately headed over to MLBtraderumors, they had it up with the little times next to each sentence, as if they were monitoring every move. I knew that was a bad sign -that meant it was legit.

I began to panic.

The Yankees website had nothing, just as I feared. Throughout my life as a Yankees fan, being surprised by Brian Cashman and his stealthy moves became quite a regular thing. He never lets you know what’s up. I went on some other site about the Pineda/Montero swap, and it wouldn’t load – too much traffic.

I knew right there that it was happening. I admit it: I started to cry a little.

Aww, who am I kidding. My brother wrote it on facebook anyway, so everyone knows: I was bawling like a baby. The kind of tears that flow without you even knowing, then you rejoin reality and think, “What the heck, I’m crying?”

Yeah I’m a nut. But I can’t help it.

I’ve been hearing about Jesus Montero for God knows how long. The highlight of the 2011 season was the 18 games that Montero played in during September. The .328 avg, the 4 HR (some of which were opposite field line drives, which totally turned me on to the kid), the 12 RBI, the handsome young man with the high socks and the boyish smile, I was swept off my feet. He looked like everything I heard he would be.  And I thought it was just the beginning of what would be a 20-year superstar successful career in Yankee pinstripes. A home-grown, superstar Yankee to be part of a new core of young Yankees. I figured, since they held on to him for this long, he was safe. I penciled him into my 2012 lineup. I said goodbye to Posada, which was tough, but the thought of Jesus Montero eventually catching eased the pain of losing one of my favorite Yankees. In my public presentation class, I even did my persuasive speech on the claim “The Yankees should not trade Jesus Montero,” and I got an A. I never thought he would be traded, because frankly, the Yankees did nothing up to this point in the offseason.

Losing Jesus Montero – I can’t even believe this happened. I just can’t trust Brian Cashman anymore. I never know what’s going to happen. I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll ever see this new generation of prospects play in the Bronx. Everyone knows what his potential is. Shouldn’t we want that kind of talent on our team, especially because he’s home-grown? This trade is an example of the things I don’t like about the Yankees. The immediate-gratification thing, where they don’t want to wait. Sure, Montero’s not a full-time catcher yet, but he can be eventually. Now I heard that the Yankees are thinking about expanding payroll a bit. Although Michael Pineda is at a bargain price, I’m worried now that Montero won’t be the DH, that they’ll go out and sign someone. Like Prince Fielder. Which is exactly what I don’t want: a big free-agent contract, probably ridiculously expensive and around 8-10 years, for a guy who will probably decline soon who we’ll be stuck with. Like A-Rod. Like Teixeira. Partially why I was so into Jesus Montero, was that he was different. Young blood, a new start. He can’t decline. He can only improve. So even if he didn’t start out like the superstar I believe he will one day be, if we wait, he’d learn and improve. I wanted to see that happen to him as a Yankee.

Never in my wildest nightmares did I ever suspect that this would happen. That’s partially why I don’t like this trade, because I’m a little embarrassed. I’ve been saying how he’s going to be on the team in 2012, despite the frequent debates with another Yankees fan. So not only was I upset that the one thing I wanted for the 2012 season was gone, but I was also dreading the remarks of this fellow Yankees fan. I mean it’s not like I’m stupid. No one expected this. I thought Cashman was serious about doing nothing. He let all the other pitchers go by, but little did I know that he’d go for someone that we didn’t even know was on the market. Losing Jesus Montero has left me bombarded with the worst feelings: anguish, dismay, disinterest for the coming season, distrust of the organization, and humiliation for being wrong about it all.

So from a purely emotional perspective, this is the worst trade of my life. And on Friday the 13th, I can’t help but to think it may be bad luck for the Yankees.

But this girl knows that there shouldn’t be any crying in baseball.

I feel bad about feeling bad about this trade. It’s unfair to Michael Pineda. It makes it seem like I hate him. I can’t hate the guy, he didn’t do anything. I mean sure, if asked if I would make the Montero/Pineda trade, I would have said NO (maybe that’s why I’m not in charge of the Yankees). But that doesn’t mean I don’t want Pineda. He’s almost 23 and he had a pretty fine rookie season. Okay, maybe he’s not as cute as Montero on the surface, but maybe he’s got a cuter personality – I heard rumblings of Jesus Montero having an attitude.

And who am I kidding? I know the Yankees needed pitching. I didn’t think they’d get any, but I shouldn’t be upset that they improved in the area that they needed to most. Michael Pineda, as well as Hiroki Kuroda, who I found out was going to be signed about five minutes after the big trade, can definitely strengthen the rotation. And Pineda will be under team control for years to come before he gets to make the big money, which will give him every reason to play heard and reach his fullest potential. I should like that, since I hate the long contracts that I feel create laziness and a sense of entitlement. Another good sign: according to my brother, the Red Sox fans are nervous about the moves the Yankees have made.

That’s always a good sign.

This deal, as with all deals, is a risk. And on Friday the 13th, you know…I can’t help but to think negatively.

Last night in the midst of my meltdown, I was seeking distractions from the news. I had 5 conversations going on facebook, I was blasting Guns N’ Roses in my headphones, hoping the song “Don’t Cry” would actually help my cause (“…there’s a Heaven above you, baby…”), I was contemplating hitting the liquor cabinet (kidding, underage over here!), and I was just trying to avoid reality. Then Grandma comes in my room (brave of her when I’m unstable), and asks if I’m busy, and if not, if I could check to see what the numbers were to see if she won.

She didn’t win, but the number made me a little happy anyway. It was 777.

A sign of things to come? Maybe this is a lucky trade for the Yankees. Maybe the good can counteract the bad here. Maybe I can like, get over this? Maybe there was something about Jesus Montero that I just didn’t know, and maybe this was for the better. Maybe I should trust Brian Cashman, after all, he’s done pretty well for me in my lifetime.

And maybe I should get excited for this upcoming season again. Maybe Pineda will help my boys reach their next goal: #28. And maybe Michael Pineda can be one of “my boys” the way I thought Jesus Montero would be.

Maybe this’ll actually be the best thing that’s ever happened in my lifetime for the Yankees.

We’ll see.

Offseason Is On: Infield Acquisitions?

Nothing much is happening in the world of the Yankees, as I’ve become accustomed to all winter long, but I feel like writing something. Actually, “nothing” is “something” for the Yankees this offseason.

Lately, it seems that even the non-exciting moves aren’t happening. When I thought of Japanese players that the Yankees would win the rights to negotiate with, I had my fingers crossed for Yu Darvish to be that guy. No. Although starting pitching was, as Cashman has tirelessly noted, the team’s number-one priority this offseason, they didn’t go wholeheartedly for Darvish, or for any other top starters, for that matter.

But what the Yankees did do, was they won the bidding for exclusive negotiating rights for Japanese shortstop, Hiroyuki Nakajima. Since the Yankees are playing the fiscal responsibility card this offseason, that’s probably why Nakajima appealed to them. They won his bidding with just $2 million.

Now I wasn’t excited about this at all, I mean aren’t there enough suitable utility infielders that already have Major League experience that they could have gone after? Why go after Nakajima?

Oh well. On Thursday, it became official that the Yankees had not reached a deal with Nakajima, so he’s going back to Japan, and the Yankees get to keep their $2 million.

I wonder, though: will they spend it?

$2 million isn’t enough to get a #2 starter, that’s for sure. But they do need a backup corner infielder, so why not bring back Eric Chavez? I know they signed Jayson Nix to a minor league deal in November, but Chavez is a better value in my eyes.

I was extremely pleased with Eric Chavez last year. Although me missed a huge chunk of the season with that foot injury, he produced in the 58 games he did participate in. He hit a respectable .263 avg with 2 HR and 26 RBI. More importantly, Chavez played perfect defense, ceasing to make any errors at third base or first base. One thing I like about Chavez is that he knows his limits. Even though he’s just 33, he understands that his role now will most likely be a part-time player, because he’s very fragile and has been worn down by various injuries over his 14 year career. He’s fine with being a bench player.

I definitely think the Yankees should bring him back. He’s a quality veteran ballplayer who when healthy can be productive at the plate, and his smooth defense is a guarantee. And he only cost $1.5 million last season. The upside is huge for Chavez, I mean why didn’t they bring him back yet? Not for anything, he also happens to be one of the most handsome men I’ve ever seen on the baseball field. He looks fabulous in the Yankee pinstripes.

My tone towards the Yankees organization this offseason has been one of disinterest, simply because I’m getting bored with predicting what they’re going to do – or what they’re not going to do, rather. It’s getting annoying. So they probably won’t bring back Eric Chavez, simply because it makes a ton of sense to do so…

The winter is wearing thin now! I want to see some baseball!

Offseason is ON! Little Signing Here, Little Signing There…

As much as Yankees fans may try to convince themselves that they are okay with GM Brian Cashman doing nothing, parts of us are just not ready to fully accept that nothing will actually happen. I’m okay with it, but I still can’t believe that it’s going to be this way. All I’ve ever known in my lifetime were the Yankees that went out there and made moves, whether via free agency or trades. I haven’t liked every move my franchise has made in my lifetime, but overall I’d say they’ve done a pretty respectable job, considering in my 18 years they have won 5 World Series Championships, and I only remember them not making the playoffs once, back in 2008.

And it’s hard to believe that they’ll do nothing. I’ll never forget the day the Yankees signed Mark Teixeira on December 23, 2008. I went on the Yankees website during my last period in school only to find this article titled, “Hal: No Yanks offers to Tex…” and I left school thinking that my Christmas would be ruined. 6:30 later that night, an article was posted saying that they had signed Teixeira. It’s impossible for me to forget these kinds of things. How can one really take the Yankees organization seriously?

Sure, there are no free agents that appeal to the needs of the Yankees right now. Starting pitching, as Cashman has tirelessly noted, is the number one priority of this team. As each player – Wilson, Darvish, Buehrle, Danks, Gonzalez – found a new home that wasn’t New York, the frustrations of some fans boiled over, and rightfully so. We have to wonder what they’re up to if they let all of these players go by.

Sometimes I wondered if Brian Cashman was even conscious. Where has he been this offseason?

Although not incredibly exciting whatsoever, Cashman has made some moves for the Yankees – small, miniscule things that don’t change much – but at least he has proven to me that he is indeed alive, and may actually be working.

The two relatively recent signings were that of former Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima and returning right handed bench player Andruw Jones.

The Hideki Okajima signing doesn’t do much for me. He had three great years in Boston and then became less and less effective. At 36 years old, the lefty was awarded with a Minor League deal from the Yankees and will compete for the otehr lefty-specialist spot in the bullpen. Boone Logan has managed to hold his own with that job for the Yankees, so even if the Yankees aren’t satisfied with their second-lefty options, I don’t really think it’s the end of the world.

I expected the Yankees to bring back Andruw Jones, so I’m not especially excited about this move, but I am very pleased. Andruw Jones exceeded my expectations last season, hitting .247 with 13 HR and 33 RBI, but really picking it up after the All-Star break, where he hit .291 and earned more playing time. I thought he would go off to another team and try to be an everyday player, but I’m glad he’s still with the Yankees. He has 15 years of experience, but he’s still just 34 and still has a baby-face and charming smile. And for just $2 million with additional incentives, I’d say Jones is a steal.

As I noted earlier, neither of these signings will satisfy the hungry Yankees fans. They aren’t spectacular, but they are practical, wise investments that are low-risk and high-reward. You really can’t go wrong with either Andruw Jones or Hideki Okajima.

Speaking of low-risk and high-reward and not going wrong, and keeping mind the number one priority of the Yankees this offseason, I’m wondering why the Yankees aren’t going after Roy Oswalt. Like Jones, Oswalt is a 34 year old veteran with over 10 years of experience in the Bigs. All he wants is a 1-year contract anyways, so even if he sucks, after the one year, he’ll be gone. With a career ERA of 3.21, it’s highly unlikely that he will completely flop. The Yankees are concerned with his back issues, but really? A one year contract, you won’t even do that? They signed Bartolo Colon last season, who had more than his fair share of injuries, and he was fantastic for them.

Oswalt is definitely someone for the Yankees to think about, but they better hurry. If they think for too long, he might be gone like the rest of them…

I’m not going to get my hopes up, because I don’t want to be disappointed. But this will remain in the back of my mind until I hear otherwise.

42 days until pitchers and catchers report!

I can’t wait to see my YANKEES.

Offseason Is On: Inactivity For The Win?

A year ago at this time, I was just beginning to accept that the Yankees didn’t get Cliff Lee. That pained me for a long time, but I slowly convinced myself that it was okay, and that I had other things to look forward to in the season. I later said that I wouldn’t care how well the Yankees did – I just wanted to see some of the young guys come up and play and make an impact. I waited and waited, and finally, Jesus Montero debuted on September 1. To the surprise of many, the 21 year old got hot quickly, without letting the pressure of being the best prospect on the best team in the best city get to him. Although the season was cut short as the Yankees lost to the Tigers in the ALDS and the ultimate goal of bringing home #28 was not accomplished, I can look back on 2011 and smile. The rookie brought me hope.

I’ve been extremely busy finishing up my first semester in college, and I knew I wouldn’t have been able to follow the events of the offseason the way I would have liked to, but I made sure to check up on things every once in awhile to see if my Yanks did anything. CC Sabathia received a contract extension and Freddy Garcia was signed – moves which were either expected or not all that exciting. No major changes have been made to the Yankees yet, despite Cashman’s claims that the starting pitching is in need of improvement.

Awhile back, I did a debate saying Yu Darvish should go to the Yankees. At first I didn’t really think so, but when formulating my argument supporting that claim, I wound up convincing myself. I though Yu Darvish made a ton of sense for the Yankees. CJ Wilson didn’t appeal to me because I am not fond of giving up draft picks, and when CJ Wilson is the best pitcher on the market, there’s a problem. I didn’t want the Yankees to overpay for him.

Now I know Darvish isn’t going to be cheap, but I still think he made sense for the Yankees. The posting fee wouldn’t have counted towards the luxury tax threshold that the Yankees are trying to get under – it’s just disposable money, and the Yankees have a fair amount of that. Besides, since they didn’t do anything else this offseason, they could have put in a better bid than one that was described as just “modest.” I don’t know what Darvish’s actual contract would be, but what I do know is that many are wary of giving a rather large deal to a guy who is unproven in America. Still, there’s risk with every player. Who knows if CJ Wilson would have been able to succeed in New York? And the rookies, as much as I want to see them, they’re unproven as well. Granted, they don’t have the same kind of price tag…

I know Yu Darvish is a risk, but I wish the Yankees pursued him more actively. They’ve been scouting him for years now. I know so many people who say just that because he’s from Japan, they don’t want him. And yes, I know teams have been burned by international signings before – I remember Igawa. But Darvish is supposed to be ten times better than all the other international signings combined. To me, if you can pitch, you can pitch no matter where you are on the globe. Darvish is extremely, incredibly dominant in Japan. Maybe in the United States, he’d be just regular-dominant – perfect for a number-two starter.

Yu Darvish was all I wanted for Christmas this year from Cashman, much like Cliff Lee was all I wanted last year. The free agent market for starting pitching is pretty dry this year, and Darvish to me was the best free-agent option. And if nothing else, it would have been exciting to have him on the Yankees. Darvish is headed to Texas, and the better free agents are no longer available, but the Yankees are still in need of pitching. What’s going to happen?

They could either sign low-risk and high-reward guys like they did with Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia last year, or they can trade for someone more suitable for the top of the rotation. Neither of these ideas is too appealing to me.

Or, the Yankees can do nothing.

To my surprise, I support the latter option.

Yu Darvish was kind of like a checkpoint for me: if they signed him, great, I’m beyond satisfied. I would have known that their earlier inactivity was because they were focused on him. To me, he was the deal of the offseason. Since he’s not coming to the Yankees and there’s no one else to sign, I don’t want anyone. I don’t want to trade just to trade. The rookies gave me hope last year, and the more time passes, the more the prospects are getting more ready to play in the Bigs. I want them to do so as Yankees. I don’t want them to be traded away. And like I said before: sure, trading is perhaps less risky than signing Darvish, because you’d be trading for someone who had success in this league. But success in the Majors does not by any means guarantee success on the New York Yankees. I’ve seen countless good players come to New York and underperform beyond belief. In this case, I don’t think trading for a guy is any better than letting the rookies pitch. They have the same upside – but the cost is way different.

Trading for a starting pitcher wouldn’t guarantee a championship anyways, and trading away the prospects that I’ve been dying to see wouldn’t make me any more excited. Since Darvish is out of the picture now, I want the Yankees to try out their prospects. Keep Jesus Montero, and Manny Banuelos, and let’s finally see what these guys, and other guys of their caliber who we’ve heard so much about, can actually do. Sure, they definitely don’t guarantee a championship. But watching them would create a heck of a lot more excitement than any trade can do for me.

Cashman, since you’ve decided to do nothing so far, is it a lot to ask from you to do nothing for the remainder of the offseason?

Sometimes it’s the moves you don’t make that help you out the most…

The Offseason Is On! Thoughts on the Hefty-Lefty

The World Series has been over for awhile now, and I’d like to express my congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals. They had the most heart out of any team I’ve seen in awhile. I said that if my Yankees couldn’t win, I’d be pulling for them, and I’m glad they took the title home. I hope the Cardinals can keep Albert Pujols. As much as I love the guy, I don’t want the Yankees to get him, and they have no need for him, so I don’t even know why I’m mentioning this. The Yankees still have a lot on this year’s offseason agenda, and a bat and price like Albert Pujols, or Prince Fielder for that matter, is not on the list.

So now that baseball is officially over and I don’t have to deal with the pain of other teams playing while my team is not, I’m feeling a little bit better. The offseason can be pretty exciting, at least through the holidays. I think this offseason will be more rewarding for Yankees fans than last season’s was, because the already crossed off the big #1 on their list: bringing back their ace, CC Sabathia.

I had mixed feelings about the CC Sabathia situation. Now I love my Chubby Chunk, but I feared that this lefty was getting a bit too hefty. I remember how he lost about 25 pounds last offseason, and progressively gained it all back by the time the season ended. To me, that’s a sign of laziness. An athlete of Sabathia’s caliber (and price) should be doing whatever possible to maintain tip-top shape, and stuffing your face with Cap’n Crunch isn’t acceptable.

At first I was unsure to whether or not I even wanted Sabathia- he has been one of the best aces in the bigs and has worked a tremendous amount of innings – but even so, I felt his weight gain and lack of success at the end of last season was worthy of concern. Since the Yankees have an excessive amount of long term contracts, some of which I don’t want (ahem, A-ROD), and CC was starting to get on my nerves and I thought he would want a huge contract, I felt that maybe it was better for the Yankees to just let him walk.

But then I wondered: what would the Yankees do without CC? Was it really worth it to let him go, just because we didn’t want those extra few years, and to not have the rest of the prime years? On the other hand, were the prime years worth the giant contract?

Luckily, I didn’t have to worry after all. The Yankees gave me the best of both worlds: an extended contract, but not too huge.

Instead of the 4 year/$92 million he had left on his original deal, CC now has a 5 year/$117 million deal with an option for a sixth year. I recently said that I don’t want any more contracts greater than 5 years, so this deal made me happy. I feel that long term contracts create laziness, just like with many teachers I’ve had who have tenure: their jobs and money are guaranteed, and in the case of these big money guys, it’s hard to move them, so they kind of have a free pass. But this deal is just the right length. Hopefully, Sabathia will come into camp in solid shape at the start of the 2012 season.

Another huge priority has been crossed off the offseason to-do list for my Yankees, and that was bringing back Brian Cashman, one of the architects of the organization. He’ll be back for another three years at least, meaning that he’ll be around to craft #28.

Let’s make it 28 in 2012 my boys!

106 days until pitchers and catchers report.

Jesus Is Just Alright With Me!

That was a Byrds reference in case anyone cares.

But that’s beside the point. Point is, Jesus Montero is a friggin beast. And I’m still in disbelief about everything.

Jesus Montero has given me so much hope since I heard about him what seems like many years ago. Way back at the beginning of the season, when everyone was counting the Yankees out and saying there was no possible way they could win, because the Red Sox were so amazing, I thought to myself, “That’s okay, I don’t have to win every year. We Yankees fans still have a lot to look forward to. If I get the chance to see Montero play this year, no matter what, I will consider this season worthwhile.”

God. I mean Jesus…

IT’S THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS!

Currently, the Yankees have a 2.5 lead over those anointed champion Red Sox, which is relatively roomy considering how tight this division has been all season long. They have had possession of first and lost it many times this season…but with every game that passes, there is less and less time for the standings to change.

Not only are the Yankees winning – but now Montero is part of it! And I truly believe he is the real-deal.

Jesus Montero stole the show yesterday by hitting his first 2 homers in the Bigs. They were both of the opposite field variety, and they both earned him curtain-calls. I found that somewhat surprising, and also a little relieving. I thought maaaybee I was the only one who was so excited about the kid, and when he didn’t get a hit in his first game, I thought maaaybee my excitement was silly, but then when he had that huge game yesterday, all the fans embraced him, so now I don’t feel stupid for being his biggest fan already.

I’m tempted to go buy myself a “Montero #63″ Yankees jersey, but I think his number might change soon. He’s too good to be #63 for much longer. But I’ve learned the hard way about those player jerseys…all of mine are out-of-date: I have Cano as #22, Melky Cabrera as #28 (lol), and Francisco Cervelli as #29. I had a Gary Sheffield #11 jersey, but my Grandma took off the lettering, so now it’s a #11 shirt WITHOUT a name. Ohh yeah.

But yeah, back to that Jesus Montero guy….okay not gonna lie, I really like him. And those of you that know me know what that means. He’s only 21….I’m 18, there’s hope. He’s soooo adorable.

Fangirl commentary needs to be put on hold…I’m sorry.

So yeah, Jesus Montero. In all seriousness, Jesus Montero, in the short time he has been with the team, has made me so happy. He has given me that desire to watch games again with that intensity that I can’t even describe. He’s helping us now, and I’m confident that he’ll be here for the future. If Brian Cashman didn’t move him yet – and he has had his fair share of golden opportunities to do so – I don’t think he’ll move him now. Not when he gave us a glimpse of why he was meant to be a Yankee. His swing is perfect for Yankee Stadium. That short porch in right was BUILT for him. The fans already adore the kid, hence the curtain calls. And hey, I know it’s a small sample, but he’s hitting .385 and has shown awesome power. Every once in a while, a player really does live up to his expectations. Can Montero be one of those guys?

I definitely think so.

I hope the Yankees continue to keep on plugging him into the lineup. Jesus Montero in the BOTTOM THIRD of the lineup? That’s quite a force. They should use him every day, because after all: they have to win, and they have to put their best guys out there. Right now, I think Jesus Montero is a better designated hitter than Jorge Posada.

Even if he struggles, I say pencil him in there. Sure, he may worry about slumping, he may lose a little confidence – who cares about him losing trade value, he’s here to stay in my mind. Bottom line, Jesus Montero has spent 2 seasons in Triple-A. He can hit. The defense will come. Too much hope and excitement has been invested in the guy. The Yankees owe it to the fans to use him.

I can’ t wait to come home and watch the game tonight – and I hope Jesus Montero is playing.

GO YANKEES!

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