Sunday, September 30, 2012

I'm Sick Of Andruw Jones

See the look on Andruw's face? That smile? Chances are this isn't the first time you've seen it. I'm sure you've seen it after every one of his 46 hits this season. Which is great. I love seeing players have fun playing baseball, which is one reason I love Nick Swisher*. But the thing that bugs me the most about Andruw Jones is we've seen that same look, that smile, another 71 times... the number of strikeouts he has.

*Yes, Swish has been seen smiling after striking out, but I've seen Nick mad at himself as well. Whereas Andruw always seems amused by his failures.

Although I've seen Andruw fail a number of times before, it was Saturday that really pushed me over the edge. It was the top of the 3rd inning, and the bases were loaded with one out. Jones had worked the count full. On the 6th pitch of the at bat, Ricky Romero reared back with his nearly 6.00 ERA and threw a 4-seam fastball, Jones swung and... whiffed. And what look did he have on his face as he started walking back to the dugout?

Not exactly like this, but not too far off either.

Like I said, it was only in the 3rd inning, so it's not like the Yankees lost due to that strikeout. But after seeing the Yankees, as a team, fail over and over again with runners in scoring position, it really ticked me off that the Jays were one out away from getting out of a bases-loaded no-out situation (which they did after Eduardo Nunez lined out one pitch later). The fact Andruw smiled afterwards made me want to jump in my car, drive to Toronto, find Mr. Jones, and beat the ever-loving **** out of him. He didn't have to break his bat over his knee, a la Bo Jackson, but being just a tad upset over striking out in that situation would have sufficed.

It doesn't help that Andruw's batting line this season is .198/.295/.409, including .202/.294/.411 against left-handed pitchers. Oh, and Andruw's only reason for having a job is to hit left-handed pitching, so that batting line against them doesn't fly with me at all.

It also doesn't help that Andruw Jones' fielding leaves a ton to be desired. His fielding percentage in RF this season, where he's played 131.2 innings, is .963. Compare that to a league average of .985. Which is crazy since his fielding percentage in LF, where he's played 321 innings, is a perfect 1.000.

Don't get cocky about that, because I'd still much rather have Brett Gardner out there.

I think my biggest problem with Andruw is the fact that the team has an option... Chris Dickerson. Not that Chris crushes lefties, but his MLB career line of .253/.344/.316 is better than Jones' (sans the power). Looking at his minor league numbers, I'm not really sure why he has only gotten 94 MLB plate appearances against lefties, as opposed to 503 PA vs. RHP. Chris hit .289 against left-handers in 90 AAA at bats. 

It would be one thing if Andruw Jones was having a good season, and therefore holding Dickerson back, but that's not the case. To be frank, Andruw has stunk. And I, for one, can't wait to be rid of him. I don't even think Joe Girardi would want this guy back, and that's saying a lot seeing as how the current Yankee manager seems to have some sort of man-crush on the guy.

The Irony Of Being The Second Wild Card

The Yankees have been more hot and cold then Katy Perry since about the middle of August and has seen a 10 game division lead dwindle to nothing. The Yankees, barring an epic collapse, have at least a second wild card spot locked up this season. Do not get me wrong I would rather have the best record, home field advantage, and the AL East but also do not get me wrong that I would rather get in the post season then watch it at home again. The playoffs are a new season and commonly referred to as the second season and if you have watched baseball in the wild card era you cannot argue against the nick name. Just get in and we will worry about the rest later.

While the sky was falling in Yankeeland, especially on twitter, I got thinking of how ironic it would be if the Yankees won the second wild card this season. It would be ironic because, trivia alert, the Yankees won the first wild card spot in 1995 after Bud Selig implemented it. Granted they lost the division series against the Seattle Mariners that year but they also did go on to win 4 of the next 5 World Series after that. I am in no way comparing the two teams nor am I thinking we're about to start a new dynasty, I just think it would be ironic to get both of the new wild card spots in their first year of existence.

I'm not a very big irony kind of guy though so can we start winning some games? Now preferably? Thanks guys!!

- Daniel Burch

Yankees Magic Number

The Yankees magic number to clinch the AL East
Their number to clinch a playoff spot becomes 1 using the Angels losses.

They play one more game tonight against the Texas Rangers. 

Yankees @ Blue Jays 9/30/12

Erich Chavez homers to bring the Yankees back. 2-1 Jays
Cano scores on a wild pitch to make it 5-2 Jays
Ichiro sac fly makes it 5-3 Jays
Cano double brings the Yankees back to 5-4 Jays
Wild pitch ties the game at 5-5 each!
Eduardo Nunez sac fly makes it 6-5 yankees
Jeter rbi single scores Gardner to make it 7-5 Yankees
Granderson adds two insurance runs with a single to make it 9-5 Yankees
Yankees win 9-6 #untuck

This season has come down to four games, four games to determine whether we are AL East champions, wild card winners, or watching at home for the second time in the Joe Girardi era. The Yankees will send Phil Hughes to the mound hoping that he can even the series and get out of Canada with a split of the four game series. The Blue Jays will send Henderson Alvarez to the mound to try and play spoiler. The game will be televised at 1:05 pm ET on YES.


Derek Jeter SS
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher 1B
Curtis Granderson CF
Raul Ibanez LF
Russell Martin C
Eric Chavez DH

Go Yankees!!

Obligatory David Adams/Corban Joseph Post

We found out today that the Yankees will be without Jayson Nix for the next 10-14 days with a strained hip flexor. That leaves us in quite a predicament because now our only healthy middle infielder on the roster currently is Eduardo Nunez. Now while he has more then held his own with the bat and on the base paths the defense has been questionable and shaky. The Yankees have both Corban Joseph and David Adams on the 40 man roster and both are coming off of overall healthy and bounce back seasons. If the Yankees can justify losing a guy, Steve Pearce, to call up a guy simply to run the bases in Brett Gardner then how can they not call up either Joseph, Adams, or both for defense? This would do nothing but help their game and their confidence to be on a big league bench during a pennant race and would help us if we need a middle infield replacement late in a game, if we go into extra innings, if we have another injury, etc. Unless of course we believe that Casey McGehee, Eric Chavez, etc can handle it in a pinch, which for the record I do not.

This Day In Yankees History 9/30/12

In 1927 Babe Ruth hit his, at that time, record breaking 60th home run of the season on the next to the last day of the season.

Jayson Nix Out 10-14 Days With Strained Hip Flexor

This must change the look of our post season roster and the next four games just a bit. We now only have one healthy back up middle infielder and that is Eduardo Nunez. Jayson Nix , as we know, went back to new York to get an MRI on his hip yesterday and the news was not great. He will miss the next 10-14 days with a strained hip flexor which will mean he will miss the rest of the regular season, any potential wild card game, the American League division series, and some of the AL Championship Series if we were to get that far. He has been clutch and a great back up to have off the bench and this has to hurt a little.

What Do The Yankees See In Andruw Jones?

Our friends over at Sliding Into Home asked the question: What do the Yankees see in Andruw Jones? I have been asking myself this same question and blasting it all over twitter for months now. It especially picked up when I took a second to look at Chris Dickersons MiLB stats before his impending call up in September. Joe Girardi is turning into the guy, Joe Torre Version 2.0, that we all wanted out from under just 5 seasons ago. At first we all got what we wanted the young guys were being used, the bullpen was rebuilt from within and being managed well, and we had a world series ring in our back pockets. Now we see guys like Cody Eppley, Clay Rapada, David Robertson, Boone Logan, and Rafael Soriano up in the pen or being used 28 days out of the month. Anyway I digress, let's look at what the SIH boys had to say about Andruw.

There is no measurable statistic that supports Andruw Jones’ spot on the 2012 New York Yankees roster. None.  There has to be something that I am missing so if somebody can explain it to me, I am all ears. More importantly though, someone needs to tell it to Girardi. Don’t get me wrong, he was fantastic last year in his role. Against southpaws, Jones put up an OPS of .923 as well as an OBP of .384 in 126 at-bats.      

                   It is now September (almost October) 2012, and for the life of me, I cannot wrap my head around the reasoning behind him getting playing time. He should have been shown the door a long time ago but if he is still here on September 29th, I do not expect him to be cut with only one series left in the regular season. What the Yankees can do though is not put Jones on the postseason roster. It won’t excuse the ridiculous amount of leeway that he has received from the organization, but at least he won’t be able to hurt them when it matters most.     

                  Against lefty pitching, Jones is sporting an OPS of .713 to go along with an OBP of .297. Since the All-Star Break, those numbers turn into .524 and .262. Just for kicks, check out his numbers in September. If you don’t feel like it, .593 and .259. He has walked more than he has struck out but when you are putting up numbers like that, there is not even a way someone can say “Well at least, he has drawn a couple walks.” The more you break him down, the worse he looks, and that is not even taking his lack of hustle when he does play. On the rare occasion when he has to hustle, we’ve seen him strolling down to first seemingly without a care in the world. I know that is just pseudo-psychology on my part, but I am just sick to death of watching this guy play.                

     I just cannot understand what the Yankee brass sees in this guy. I would kind of understand if he was a lifetime guy like Jeter or Posada but if the Atlanta Braves can let him walk, I don’t see why the Yankees can’t. Let Melky Mesa get some at-bats, he is an upgrade over Jones. His base running blunder aside, he has excellent speed, can swipe a bag, and play great defense while showing some good power. I would be fine with Chris Dickerson playing, I don’t really care who it is. When you consistently do the same thing over and over again while expecting different results that is insanity.             
Thanks to Trevor Wolfe for the article and letting me know that I am not the only one...

Thinking About 2013: The DH Spot

The Yankees biggest issue over the last what feels like 800 years has been hitting with runners in scoring position. The Yankees want to keep the DH open to give aging guys like Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter days off but we have to do what we have to do. I only mention this because I am willing to sign ANYONE who fits two key pieces of criteria for the 2013 season, they sign a one year deal and they help the team. With that said I want the Yankees, again if they fit those two pieces of criteria, to go out and buy low on the Red Sox DH David Ortiz.

This seems very unlikely, I know, but the off season frenzy and free agency is a time for any fan to dream. The Red Sox as an organization has a slight black eye after signing David Ortiz for a arbitration deal and not giving him the multi year deal that he wanted due to financial reasons but they do not have that excuse anymore. After the Red Sox dumped around $200 million in the deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers they kind of have to sign Ortiz, don't they? Also it will surely cost them, or anyone who signs him, more then the $14.575 million he signed for in 2012.

Let's face it David Ortiz has had a down and injury riddled 2012 season with multiple trips to the DL with an Achilles issue but who hasn't for the Red Sox this year? For that matter who hasn't for the Yankees? I kind of hate to sign a guy entering his age 38 season but, again, for a one year deal and for primarily the DH position I think we can get true value out of David. It is kind of funny how the Red Sox fans hate the Yankees but respect Derek Jeter and, and by no means am I comparing the two whatsoever, it seems like the Yankees fans respect David Ortiz. Even with the down year David still managed to hit over 20 home runs, hit over .300, had an OBP .100 points higher then his batting average, and a 3.0+ WAR.

David has post season experience, World Series experience, experience playing in a big market, and hell you could even argue that he has experience playing in New York as much as these two teams have played each other since the mid 2000's. I have really targeted specific issues when I have written these and David Ortiz screams the end of the #RISPFAIL.

Playoff Predictions : The Lineup

1 - Derek Jeter (R)
2 - Ichiro Suzuki (L)
3 - Alex Rodriguez (R)
4 - Robinson Cano (L)
5 - Mark Teixeira (S)
6 - Nick Swisher (S)
7 - Curtis Granderson (L)
8 - Russell Martin (R)
9 - Chris Dickerson (L)


1 - Derek Jeter (R)
2 - Ichiro Suzuki (L)
3 - Alex Rodriguez (R)
4 - Robinson Cano (L)
5 - Mark Teixeira (S)
6 - Nick Swisher (S)
7 - Curtis Granderson (L)
8 - Russell Martin (R)
9 - Chris Dickerson (L)

No real surprises except for Alex Rodriguez in the 3rd spot and not in the clean up spot. I know a lot of people out there think that your "best" hitter absolutely needs to be in the 3 spot in the lineup but I totally disagree with that. You, in my opinion, use your best hitter in the clean up spot and give massive protection to a "lesser" guy batting in the 3rd spot. Let's face it Alex Rodriguez is getting old and obviously deep in decline, especially in the power department. With Robinson Cano, rather then a .250 hitting Mark Teixeira, batting behind him  and these obvious signs of decline he is going to see a ton of fastballs. Alex can still catch up to a fastball and I think we get the most out of A Rod with him batting there. Also I am kind of a sucker for the whole L,R,L,R,L,R thing in a lineup.

* Note these are what I would personally do more-so then what I think Joe Girardi will do. Unfortunately you will not see much of Chris Dickerson and more of Andruw Jones, Eric Chavez, and Raul Ibanez.