Results tagged ‘ Spring Training ’

Pineda Pessimist

I don’t want to be that obnoxious person that’s all, “I told you so.”

But I really did tell you so.

I really don’t want to be that fan who feels overly-bitter towards a player so soon, but I really can’t help it. It’s not like I wanted this to happen – I just had a feeling that it would. Am I glad I’m right? Am I right, or am I jumping the gun here? I’m not glad, because I want what is best for my team. And I hope I’m just overreacting.

It’s all just so confusing.

Okay, I admit it: I never really fully accepted the Jesus Montero/Michael Pineda trade (what a surprise!).  I still think my tears and fears were justifiable. Surely, I understand that you have to give if you want to get in trades. But from the beginning, I felt this trade wasn’t equal. Jesus Montero – in very limited Big League action – went above and beyond my expectations. It’s not so much that he hit .328 with 4 HR in 18 games with my Yanks last year. It was the way he hit: raw power to all fields. The ball just jumped off his bat in a way I’ve never seen from any other 21 year old rookies. I can’t get his opposite field line drive home run out of my head.  And obviously, being the most highly-touted prospect in New York meant that the pressure was on. But that wasn’t any kind of excuse for him. Montero still performed. It would have been a lot of fun to see him grow as a ballplayer on the Yankees.

Michael Pineda’s stats from 2011 appear to have been impressive: a 3.74 ERA, a 9-10 record on a stinky team, and a guy in the conversation for Rookie of the Year. Looks pretty good. But after digging deeper into the stats and discovering that his ERA post-All Star break was an A.J. Burnett-reminiscent 5.12, and his ERA away from the pitcher-Heaven SAFECO Field was a mediocre-at-best 4.40, his “good” doesn’t look as “pretty.” What annoyed me about this trade wasn’t that the Yankees traded away Jesus Montero – it’s that they traded away Jesus Montero for a guy who was good for about half a season in SAFECO Field. Obviously, Pineda has great potential. But so does Montero. For the Yankees, I believe Montero had higher potential than Pineda does, simply because he fit the Stadium so well. And power to all fields that he possesses is something beneficial no matter what ballpark you play in. Again, I realize that both players are young and need time to develop, but if they are willing to wait for Pineda to develop, I don’t see why the Yanks weren’t willing to watch Montero grow. They needed pitching (which it’s hard to have enough of), but they do appear to have an abundance of starters as it is right now. And they have the luxury of being able to sign guys via free agency, like they did with Hiroki Kuroda, who are proven pitchers. This trade bothered me because I didn’t think the Yankees got the talent back for Jesus Montero. Pineda too has a lot of potential, but I think that for the Yankees, he won’t be as beneficial as Montero would have been.

But here’s what scares me: now, I don’t think Michael Pineda appears anywhere near as good as Jesus Montero. I thought this trade wasn’t equally balanced before. Now I’m really worried, and I know it is early, but this definitely looks like a problem.

Last night was actually the first time I was able to see Michael Pineda pitch from the beginning of a game (pitiful, I know, but I’ve been so busy between work and school that I’ve barely had time to do anything fun). I haven’t really been following Spring Training too closely, and that really bothers me because I love Spring Training (rookies galore!). I’ve only been able to get the gist of it, and all I knew about Pineda was that he wasn’t doing well. I saw it last night, and it wasn’t pretty.

My brother had told me that Michael Pineda came into camp in not-too-great shape. He was a little fat, and supposedly, Pineda has the potential to get big like CC if he doesn’t control himself. I’m sorry, but there is no excuse for coming into camp out of shape. You’re on the New York Yankees for goodness sake. Show a little respect, or some work ethic. How a young man whose job it is to play baseball can let himself go like that is something I don’t understand. I was so annoyed at Phil Hughes for being a fatty last season, but apparently he learned his lesson. Look at Hughes now – he looks like a different pitcher, just as I was ready to write him off as lazy and stinky for good. I’m proud of him. But Pineda…really? Everyone’s eyes are on you, you’ve got a lot to prove here in New York, and you have the nerve to start out your Yankees career by not being anywhere near physically prepared to pitch? That alone makes me think he’s not Yankees material. First impressions mean a lot. That’s just unacceptable.

CC Sabathia is chubby, but he can still pitch. If Pineda happens to have a larger body type that doesn’t interfere with his performance, then that’s fine. But that’s the problem: he’s not pitching well. At all. Last night, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew Pineda was a guy who was struggling, but what I saw was a guy who could not locate (Martin’s target was never hit), who had no velocity (most fastballs between 88-91mph), and who had horrible body language on the mound. He allowed 6 runs in 2.2 innings, he threw 70-something pitches, and his ball to strike ratio was awful.

Oh, and now his shoulder hurts.

Really? REALLY? Try being physically ready to start playing baseball. What did you think was going to happen? And his attitude on the mound last night showed me that he’s not mentally ready for this either. Even David Cone made a note of that during the broadcast. Michael Pineda might not even make the starting rotation – that’s how bad he has been. Imagine that: the Yankees traded away their best prospect for a guy that might not even make the team. So much for wanting to win immediately, Yankees – like a Triple-A pitcher is really going to help you out. This is the New York Yankees. If you’re not going to perform, you’re not going to play – end of story. Nothing is guaranteed just because you’re supposed to be a good pitcher – you’ve got to show it. Sure, it’s a competitive, high-pressure atmosphere in Spring Training, especially because the Yankees have the pitching depth. But that is absolutely no excuse to suck. It’s competitive for all the guys who are trying to prove their worth, and some guys have stepped up. I mean what did you expect? You’re going to pitch for the Yankees; it’s not exactly an easy ride. If you can’t handle Spring Training, how do you expect to handle Yankees/Red Sox games, or postseason games where everything is amplified and means so much more?

I can’t believe this. I didn’t think he would be this bad. I finally was able to see Pineda pitch last night, and I thought I would see a little something to get me excited, to get him on my good side. Nope. The complete opposite happened.

Am I being too harsh? Perhaps. It is only March, but I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not….only March and already having physical, performance, and maturity issues with this kid who was supposed to be so great. My brother jokingly said that the Yankees should try and swap Pineda now while he still has some value. I wonder how long that will be a joke for. I just knew this was going to happen. I really didn’t want it to. I want to win this year. But I didn’t think this move was right, and so far, it’s showing.

Michael Pineda, I know it’s early, but it’s wearing thin already. You’ve got a lot of work to do. I don’t want to hate you, but if you’re going to make me hate you, then I have no choice but to hate you. I know you didn’t mean for this to happen, but it’s up to you to fix it.

Show me you can do it.

 

*Update: MRI showed that Pineda has shoulder tendinitis. He’ll begin the year on the DL. WOW. :(

ANDY PETTITTE IS COMING BACK!

How long has it been since my last post? Really, it’s been THAT LONG? The combination of trying to remain on the Dean’s List, and the fact that I just couldn’t fully get over trading Montero left me with a lack of time and a lack of desire to post. My spring break is winding down now, and I told myself that I wouldn’t put off my biology and political science papers any longer, but this is way too important.

For the first time since the Yankees traded away my baby Jesus, I’m excited again.

And it’s all thanks to a familiar face: Andy Pettitte.

Surely everyone is aware of the news by now: Andy Pettitte is out of retirement, and he’s coming back to the New York Yankees. I don’t care what anyone else thinks – I love this.

I first heard the news when I logged into facebook yesterday afternoon. My brother was beside me on the couch, and I gasped, “Whaa? Huh? Oh my God…dahh oh my GOD…”

He didn’t respond. He probably thought I was looking up pictures of Guns N’ Roses (I usually have a somewhat similar reaction…don’t judge). He made me say it.

“THE YANKEES SIGNED ANDY PETTITTE!”

Doubtful, he responded, “What? Virginia let me see that. You’re probably reading some fake thing.”

We proceeded to go to RiverAveBlues, but of course, Optimum Online failed me. After making the trek to the downstairs computer – and achieving the small victory of having internet access  – RiverAveBlues confirmed that it was indeed true: Andy Pettitte was coming back.

Everyone in my house was elated over this news. Andy Pettitte has been a favorite of ours for as long as he’s been in pinstripes – and that’s a pretty long time. We all knew he could still pitch, and his retirement left us all with an empty feeling inside. He was my favorite Yankee pitcher, and one of the guys who was there since I started watching baseball.  I vividly remember going to a baseball card shop as a young girl and buying just two cards – both really pretty shiny cards of Andy Pettitte. Saying goodbye was extremely difficult, especially because I knew he wasn’t a finished ballplayer. At age 39, many wonder what he can still do, but I know he can still do plenty to benefit my team.

I know a few people who are annoyed by Andy’s coming out of retirement, and I don’t understand that at all. Anyone who knows Andy Pettitte knows that he is a great man: a good Christian, Texan, family man, and teammate. He may not be perfect, but I avidly admire him. Andy, as far as I see it, has never been one of those guys who seeks attention. So when people criticize him for wanting to come back, I’m confused.

Andy Pettitte is not Roger Clemens. The Yankees didn’t “come and get him out of Texas.” Andy asked to come back, because he has the heart and genuine passion for this game. They didn’t pay him $28 million and make a big fuss over his return during a game. A mere $2.5 million is fine for him, although we all know that’s a steal if he pitches the way he did in 2010. Andy Pettitte is not coming back for any other reason than because he has the desire to pitch for the Yankees. Why should he hold back and miss out on something he wants, and something I know he can still do well?  That’s another concern people have about Pettitte – that he won’t pitch well, or that he will disrupt the rotation. There is no doubt in my mind that Andy Pettitte will be successful. In 2010 he was an All-Star with an 11-3 record and a sparkling 3.28 ERA, which was his best since 2005. He did have an elbow issue, but he assured us that his retirement after 2010 was influenced by his heart, not his arm. At age 39, health concerns are not unreasonable. But injuries can happen to anyone in baseball. Pettitte works hard and is smart enough to keep himself in shape. And if he wants to come back this badly, he knows what he’s getting into – the vigorous workouts, exercise, practice – and he’s ready for it.

Pettitte wouldn’t start the season in the Bigs because he needs a full Spring Training of his own. I’m not worried about where he will fit into the rotation. The Yankee rotation may seem all well and good right about now, but a lot can change over the course of the season. Injuries and ineffectiveness must be considered, and that is why you can never have too much pitching. The safety net of knowing you have a crafty, veteran, future-Hall-of-Fame lefty who knows how to win in New York is quite comforting. Who knows when he’ll make his appearance in pinstripes? All I know is that when he does, he’ll be ready, I’ll be ready, and we’ll both be happy.

Another reason I just love this news is because Andy Pettitte is synonymous with championships. He is the best starter in the history of postseason baseball. When the pressure is on, Andy buckles down and gets the job done. If the Yankees make it to the postseason this year, Andy will definitely be a key player in the postseason rotation. I’ll never forget how he won each clinching game in the 2009 playoffs for my boys. I say it’s about time my Yanks get back there. Sure, the teams have been very good since then, but they were just lacking something to push them over the top and make them go all the way.

Andy Pettitte is just what the Yankees need.

And he’s just what I need, too.

It’s March, I’m on spring break, the weather has been giving me a tease of summer, and baseball is back – and oh, does it feel good to be excited for my Yankees again.

Thank you in advance, Andy.

New Spring Styles

With the clocks now sprung forward, the calendar officially saying spring, and the snow gone, baseball really is right around the corner. The dawning of a new season is very close. 

Spring brings so many good things aside from baseball. I always look forward to the new spring styles in fashion. I’ve noticed several Yankees sporting some new styles this spring. Some I like, and some….ermm…not so much.

- The New Slender Sabathia

sabathia-yogi.jpg
 

Well, more slender than before. Coming off knee surgery, CC decided it would be beneficial to drop a few pounds before the season. He accomplished his goal and lost around 30 pounds. I think Sabathia looks fabulous.

And not only does he look good – CC might even pitch better now that he won’t have that extra stress on his knees.

I like this new CC, but I sort of miss the old one…I mean can I still call him nicknames? Like my Hefty-Lefty, or CC my Chocolate Chunk? His belly was cute, especially since he pitched so well with it.

thin cc.jpg
 

Look at him…trying to find his old belly and failing. But I guess I shouldn’t be too down. He’s smiling here – he has embraced his new slender(er) self. I can still call him cute names if I want.

Oh, and that picture just reminded me of a new style that I DISLIKE:

- Sergio Mitre’s New Uni

brewers.jpg 
sergio mitre sexy.jpg
 

Mitre was having himself a pretty solid spring, but the Yankees traded him anyways, explaining that they felt they had a “surplus” of pitching (which I think you can never have). I loved Sergio Mitre and I feel bad for him. But what’s done is done.

In the trade, the Yanks got Chris Dickerson, an outfielder. In his Yankees debut in the game today, he went 3-3. I wish him luck.

Chris-Dickerson.jpg 
yankees batting practice.jpg
 

And of course, Dickerson will look better in a Yankee uniform.

- Joba Chamberlain’s New Hairstyle


longhaired joba.jpg
 

Brian Cashman didn’t want to discuss Joba’s weight GAIN, so I’ll refrain from that. I will just note that I think his body looks good…he doesn’t look fatter, but rather he appears stronger. So that’s nice.

But the hair…it sticks out of his cap. It’s long, curly, it’s…it’s almost resembles the Phil Hughes hair of a few years ago!

hughes hair.jpg

Okay…I’m not too fond of this messy look, but it worked for Hughes. If it works for Joba, I might learn to really like this look.

-Mariano Rivera’s High Socks


Mo's high socks!.jpg
 

Yes, yes, YESSSS!!!! This is my FAVORITE new style of the spring, and I hope he continues to wear it into the season. God, he looks awesome. I wonder why he didn’t try this earlier. High socks make every player look better. It made A-Rod look better.

Speaking of A-Rod, I don’t know what’s up with him…

- A-Rod’s Stuffed Face

                           a-rod's stuffed face.jpg

It’s a little unflattering to say the least.

Every time he’s at-bat, Alex stuffs handfuls of sunflower seeds into his mouth, and stores them in his cheek, chewing and spitting every few seconds. It looks ridiculous. I don’t know how he can possibly play like that without choking himself.

alex's seeds.jpg

Who am I kidding, right? Pshh…”how can he play like that…” A-Rod is having an AMAZING spring! He’s hit like 6 home runs, and the one I saw today went about 440 feet to dead centerfield. He’s a beast!

Alex, if you wanna stuff your face, that’s fine. Just keep hitting!

Overall, I think my Yankees look very very good…aesthetically, of course. But baseball-wise as well. I think it’s going to be a fun season. I can’t wait for it to begin!

GO YANKS!

Let the Games Begin!!!

Ahh I don’t even know where to begin. Once the clock struck one and I had the YES Network on, I felt right at home. That offseason that was so long felt like a thing of the past. That’s because it is! Ha! I still can’t believe it. I watched the Yankees today. And it wasn’t a Yankees Classic that I had seen a thousand times. It was LIVE ACTION! And boy, was it fun.

The opening ceremonies were lovely, the field was gorgeous, and Haley Swindal’s rendition of our national anthem was amazing. Christina Aguilara WHO? Before I knew it, the game was underway. Hearing Michael Kay and Ken Singleton’s voices made me shiver with excitement. Then I knew baseball was back. The Yankee announcers are as much a part of my family as the players are, and it felt great to hear them again.

I was so excited for the game to be underway that I forgot about the starting pitching situation. Then I remembered when I saw Bartolo Colon jog out onto the mound. I decided to be fair and not judge the guy – I mean it was his first time pitching for the Yanks, I didn’t need to hate on him just yet. I thought, “Okay, I’m not judging this guy. Maybe he really can be good and help my team.”

I tried. But as I focused on his jiggly belly, triple-chin, and heard he’s 5’10” 260 lbs, I couldn’t help but to exclaim, “WHY DID THEY GET THIS GUY? HE’S NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO PITCH!”

I even thought of a perfect lookalike for Colon:

bartolo-colon.jpg
bartolo colon's lookalike.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They’re twins.

To be honest, I didn’t hate Bartolo Colon today. He may have been on the chubby side, but that’s okay – the Yankee pinstripes have a knack for making even the most homely look hotter. And today, Colon didn’t look as ugly as I had expected. In his two innings of work, Colon allowed just a run on two hits. But he did look pretty good. He’s no ace, but he proved to me today he knows what he’s doing. He CAN pitch. And for a fourth or fifth starter, he looks like he’d be fine.

Over at FanVsFan, another site I write for, my buddy Eric and I made a bet surrounding Joba Chamberlain. Eric thinks he will be good, and I think he’ll have another disappointing season. Naturally, I looked forward to seeing Joba’s outing today. He said he gained weight, but it didn’t look like Bartolo Colon weight – it looked solid. And his stuff looked as solid as I’ve seen it in awhile. Joba tossed a scoreless inning. You proved me wrong so far, Joba. Now just perform like that for the majority of the next 8 months or so, and I’ll make my apology official.

Another highlight of my afternoon was getting to see my darling sweet Francisco Cervelli behind and at the plate. I still have to get used to his new number, 17, and try to get over the fact that my precious shirt is outdated.

Snapshot_20110122_4.JPG

I didn’t have to be too sad for too long. My Cervelli looked as cute as ever today. And when he drove in the first Yankee run with his sharp double down the line, my customary Cervelli shrieks and smiles filled the room.

I also enjoyed seeing Mark Teixeira, who is known for his slow starts, crush a ball for an RBI triple. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for Teix.

Everyone who knows me knows I go absolutely bananas for rookies. I just adore them. When I hear people go, “Oh I hate Spring Training games…the regulars play like 2 innings, then it’s just a bunch of nobodies,” I am dumbfounded. I look forward to seeing the cute new guys every year.

Today I saw a bunch of cuties pitchers including David Phelps (#87), Hector Noesi (#74), Eric Wordekemper (#89), and Luis Ayala (#43). I was very impressed by fist baseman Jorge Vazquez. I remembered that name from last year’s Spring Training. I knew he was a big guy with a funny (in a cute way) looking face. And today, I got to see him shine. Vazquez went 2-3, with a MONSTER 2-run homer, and a single.

Another newbie who really impressed me today was Justin Maxwell, whom the Yanks acquired in a trade with the Nationals earlier in the offseason. He may be my rookie-of-choice this Spring. First of all, he’s kinda cute. He’s 6’5”, and can run. And to me, on the baseball field speed is just as, if not MORE sexy, than home runs. Maxwell made a lovely play in the field to end the 7th inning, and he singled in the 9th. I hope he does well. The Yanks have a few spots open on their bench, and I think Maxwell would be a nice fit.  

    

Mmmm…Justin Maxwell lookin’ mighty fine…

This game was so much fun that I didn’t even realize or CARE that my Yankees lost. It’s Spring Training. It’s fun. Would I have liked for them to win? Of course, but I don’t want to be too picky.

Heck, to be honest, one of my favorite parts of this game was the sight of grass. I haven’t seen that stuff in awhile.

   

PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT!

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a winter this winter-ish before. It has been the longest, most boring and depressing winter. My area has experienced record snowfall, and my school has closed so many times that my spring vacation now ceases to exist. My 200 foot uphill driveway is still covered with a 3 inch sheet of ice. Every day is gray and I miss seeing the sun. In a panic, my teachers have been assigning boatloads of work, realizing that the year is half over and the AP exams are approaching, desperately trying to make up for the lost time due to snow. Do I have anything to smile about?

The Groundhog says spring is on the way. The other day, bright and early, I left my house for school. Although bitter cold and gray like every other day, I sensed something was different. The outside air had that light scent of spring. I can’t explain it. It just smells so good, and it only happens in the spring.

Maybe the groundhog was right. I heard it’s going to get up to 50 degrees later this week. HEAT WAVE!!!

Last week was my first full 5-day week of school since BEFORE CHRISTMAS. I’m starting to get back into the rhythm of things. And things are finally looking brighter.

Today is the day I’ve been waiting for, and it’s finally here: PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT!!!!!!

spring training.gif

Ahh…It’s a beautiful thing.

Pitchers and Catchers Report. My Yanks have a lot of new faces this year who are pitchers and catchers. But one face who’s been part of the Yankee family for a long time will not be there…

andy.jpg

Aw, Andy…I’m gonna miss you Andy.

Pettitte, along with Tino Martinez, was my first favorite. Saying goodbye to him is not an easy task – but at least he went out on his own terms. Knowing he can still pitch makes it even harder to watch him hang up the spikes. Andy Pettitte was the best pitcher I’ve had the pleasure of watching. It just doesn’t feel like it will be the same without him.

I think Andy is on his way to the Hall of Fame. I was challenged to a debate, where my opponent claimed that Andy WON’T make it. I say he will, and I have amazing reasons why. I suggest if you agree, vote for me! http://fanvsfan.com/claims/pettitte-won-t-make-hall

I can’t wait to actually SEE a baseball game again, even if it is Spring Training (where the Big Guys play like 3 innings). I don’t mind that. I like seeing the rookies.

I’m getting SO EXCITED! Spring Training is here! Which means SPRING is almost here! Which means WINTER is almost OVER!!!

WHICH MEANS MY YANKEES ARE COMING BACK TO MEEEEE!!!!!!!!

gms_field_love_this_photo_dcqd.jpg

:)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.