Don’t Ya Know?

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Who would have thought that at any point in the 2010 season, Robinson Cano would have as many home runs as Ryan Howard and Matt Holliday combined, as many steals as Hanley Ramirez, a higher on base percentage than Joe Mauer, a higher slugging percentage than Albert Pujols and the best batting average in the majors?

I mean, I thought he’d be pretty good this year, but this is ridiculous.

The sweet swinging second baseman has always been known for having outstanding potential but never quite reaching it. While the production from Cano has been solid throughout his major league career, he’s always found himself considered less valuable at second base than popular players like Chase Utley, Ian Kinsler, Dustin Pedroia, or even Aaron Hill last season. Cano was always a good hitter and fielder who was just not quite good enough to be considered top tier.

Now, Robby Cano is 27, often considered the prime age for a major league baseball player, and the numbers only back up that well-known theory. Robinson Cano is leading the league in average and OPS+, while putting up other notable numbers like 34 hits, 8 HR and an OPS over 1.000. To add to that, Cano’s been stellar with the glove, committing only one error and showing great range and a great arm to go with that efficiency.

Robby has suddenly entered contention for the MVP award early on, as well as being the favorite to start at 2nd in the 2010 All-Star Game in Los Angeles, California. While it may be a bit early to make statements like that, it would most definitely not be a stretch to think Cano could at least stay very productive for the remainder of the year. Cano typically does not hit very well in April, but he tore it up this month. May has been the most difficult month in Cano’s 5-year major league career, as Cano only hits .269 in the second month of the baseball season with a .296 OBP along with that. Look to see if Cano will hit well this second month; if he cools off significantly, do not be too worried as Cano hits well over .300 in June, July, August and September. If he stays relatively productive, this could be Cano’s year. If he stays as hot as he did in April, Cano is almost certainly the favorite to win AL MVP.

Here are some notable performances that Cano has had in 2010, in order of earliest to latest.

  • April 6, Yankees at Red Sox – Cano goes 2 for 3 with a home run, 2 RBI and a walk, helping the Yankees to their first win of the year against arch-rival Boston.
  • April 10, Yankees at Rays – In a 10-0 rout of Tampa Bay, Cano collects 2 hits in 5 at bats with a home run and 3 runs driven in.
  • April 15, Angels at Yankees – Yankees win a 3-game series against Anaheim as Cano hits 2 home runs in 4 at bats and drives in 3.
  • April 24, Yankees at Angels – Yanks win 7-1 as Robinson Cano goes 4-for-5, scores 3 runs and drives one man in.
  • April 29, Yankees at Orioles – Cano leads the Yankees to a 4-0 victory with a 3-for-4, 2 home run performance as well as a very nice back-hand, off balance throw up the middle defensive play.

Cano, to go with these strong performances, has been consistent in almost every game. With offense like this coming at a premium position like 2nd base, Robby Cano has definitely been highly valuable to the Yankees.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid

Oh, Geez.

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As if my allergies were not enough to depress me.

Javier Vasquez welcomes himself back into the Yankee ballclub by sucking. Tremendously.

I mean, that was a trainwreck of an outing. He couldn’t get anyone to make an out at a certain point, which was a shame because he had started off the game so well. Still, it was a very inconsistent and poor game for Javy, and if that’s what we’re going to see all season long this year, I doubt he’ll be a Bomber by July.

With that said, do I think he’ll be this terrible all year? No, I think he’ll have many outings that are considerably better than today. I don’t believe, however, that Vasquez is going to be the dominant starter he was in Atlanta. It’s obviously different, facing the Red Sox and Rays rather than the Nationals and Mets. That’s why I always got skeptical when people thought he’d have a terrific year for the Yankees. It just wasn’t going to happen.

By the by, Javier Vasquez happened to be solid in that one year he had with the Braves, but when he was with the White Sox before, he wasn’t nearly as dominant. I doubt that he got so much better from suddenly having great command and poise. Obviously the ballpark and competition he faced got worse.

What We Did Right

Ehh, not terribly much, to be honest. You had a few decent offensive performances; Derek Jeter had two base knocks and a run scored, Nick Johnson finally came through with his first two hits of the year and an RBI, and A-Rod had an RBI triple and a run scored. Pitching-wise, Sergio Mitre wasn’t horrible, going 2.1 innings and giving up one run in his first performance of the year for the Yanks.

That was it.

What We Did Wrong

Well, a lot of things.

Namely, Javier Vasquez’s 8 earned runs surrendered in 5.1 innings of work was pretty bad. You had some bad performances with the bat for New York, like Teixeira’s 0-for-4 outing, and Curtis Granderson was 0-for-4 as well. Plain and simple, we just couldn’t play effective baseball today, and so the Rays, who are a good team, took advantage.

Next Game

The big man, CC Sabathia, will make his second start of the year against Wade Davis of the Rays. I wouldn’t treat this as an easy win as most Yankee fans are. First of all, Wade Davis is a young right hander with very good stuff. I’ve been following him since 07 and he really can blow away a competition with his arsenal of pitches. Second of all, the Yankees seem to struggle against pitchers that they haven’t hit against in the past. Third of all, it’s on FOX. The Yankees suck on FOX.

Other than that, there is good reason to be optimistic. Just hope Sabathia can put on a very strong performance this afternoon, that the offense can start to warm up, and that all generally goes pretty well.

Around the MLB

Jose Reyes is back with the Mets. As my mom would put it, “Por fin!” Finally! Jesus, he was getting injured every five seconds. I got the feeling he just didn’t even want to come back sometimes, and I wouldn’t blame him. These Mets are a trainwreck.

Hot hitters? How about Edgar Renteria, who has 11 hits in 15 at bats? He’s doing pretty well, wouldn’t you say? It’s strange to see the veteran Renteria, who is long removed from being an actual good big league player, start hitting again for the Giants.

You’ve got Jason Heyward, who hits a three-run, go-ahead, 451 foot big fly in his first ever MLB plate appearance. He could have just retired there and made the Hall of Fame, but I get the feeling the Braves and Heyward both would like to keep that success going for a long period of time. By the way, Heyward is hitting .176 on the season including that homer. He’s struck out 8 times. What a bum, huh?

Beats my NL Rookie of the Year prediction, anyway. Madison Bumgarner is in the minor leagues. I don’t know why I make the picks that I do.

Around the World

We have an international tragedy of giant proportions, as the president of Poland, his wife and several officials have died in a plane crash in Russia. I’d add more, but I’m not sure there’s a need for me to do that at this point.

Tiger Woods is back. Am I the only person on the face of the Earth who doesn’t give a damn? I’ve never liked golf.

What You Need to Look At

I typically detest sensations like this, because they go on for a little while, annoy the hell out of everyone, and then die down eventually. But this is kind of cool.

This Taiwanese boy has a voice like Whitney Houston. And I mean that.

http://tv.yahoo.com/blog/chinese-susan-boyle-channels-whitney-houston-becomes-internet-star–1137

Make sure that you read it by the end of this weekend because I’ll be sick of it by Monday.

The Song of the Day

I love this song and have loved it ever since I saw it in a commercial. The lyrics are great, the melody is great and the music is great. It’s just an overall terrific song and it’s my favorite right now. I’ll leave it at the bottom under the signature.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

THE BOYS OF SUMMER HAVE RETURNED.

We lost, but it’s okay.


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Look, are we glad the season’s back or not?

I’m a big Yankee fan, so of course I’m upset we blew a lead on Opening Night against our biggest rival, the Red Sox. But it’s all good, it’s all good. We lost a handful of games at the beginning of 2009(against the Orioles, moreover) and we kind of won the World Series then. You see that? There’s always a bright side of things.

I’m too optimistic to wallow in the despair of a loss. I can’t stand pessimism. I really can’t.

Anyway, allow me to break down what happened in that game.

What We Did Right

We hit like the Yankees should. We hit like our mommas told us we should. First of all, a few guys were swinging away early in the count early on against Beckett, which I didn’t like much, but in the 2nd inning we got Beckett to throw a lot more pitches by getting four consecutive hits. Oh, and by the way, the first two of those four hits were back-to-back jacks from Jorge Posada (pesky pole line drive) and Curtis Granderson (just a good ol’ fashioned atom bomb). Posada had 3 hits and 2 RBI. Robbie Cano had two hits, including a double. Jeter had two knocks and drove in a run, and heck, Nick Johnson even walked twice. Our pitching didn’t let Ellsbury get on base (he was 0-for-5) We worked Beckett with hits and deep counts until he was taken out in the middle of the 5th inning. That’s when things got ugly.

What We Did Wrong

The bullpen surrendered 2 walks, 6 hits and 3 earned runs, 2 of those coming from Chan Ho Park, who did not impress in his first outing with the Yanks. Place your bets on when he’s getting cut(sarcasm).

Sabathia’s start was not much better, as although he had some bright spots, he gave up 5 runs in 5.1 innings. We let Youkilis beat us (3 hits and 2 RBI). We let Pedroia beat us (2 hits and 3 RBI). And how do you give up 2 hits, a ribbie and a walk to the number nine hitter (Marco Scutaro)? Our arms just didn’t go out there and give us the good stuff, and that’s why we sucked.

Next Game

Flamethrowing AJ Burnett gets the start for the Yankees against Jesus–I mean, Jon Lester. Why do I risk blasphemy by calling Lester Jesus? Well, a lot of baseball minds(Tom Verducci being one of them) have Lester winning the Cy Young award this year. He has electric stuff, he came back from cancer, won the clinching World Series game, pitched a no-hitter, takes no crap from nobody and by the way, he’s a lefty. It seems like the only thing he’s missing is the Cy Young at this point.

Do I think he’ll win the Cy Young? No, I don’t. I think Jake Peavy will win it and I have a good argument for that. But is it far-fetched to predict Lester to take home the trophy? It most definitely isn’t. He’s the real deal.

As far as Burnett goes, he’s an enigma, as are 2 of the other Yankee starters (Vasquez and Hughes could do a number of things). We know he has great stuff. We know he’s performed in tough situations in the past. He had a solid postseason. He has freakin’ awesome tattoos, and he was in a rock band. Okay, maybe the last part is a little irrelevant, but still, you see what I’m getting at. It’ll be interesting to see how Burnett starts off his ’10 season against one of the premier pitchers in the MLB.

And it’ll also be interesting to see how Granderson fares against the lefty starter Lester. We know he bites against southpaw hurlers.

You sure know who I’m rooting for.

Around the MLB

Right now, life is good. In fact, if life was any sweeter, I’d have cavities in all my teeth. It’s a bright day outside, I’ve got MLB Network on the big ol TV with round-the-league coverage, and I don’t have school for the entire week. Oh, and pomegranate lemonade. Good stuff.

As for the MLB, we’ve got Barack Hussein Obama(he’s kind of the President) throwing the first pitch in Washington DC in a Nats-Phillies game where Doc Halladay is making his first Phillies start. The Nats lead 1-0. The Mets are leading 2-0, but they’ll blow that in a couple innings. I’ve already called it, so it’s going to happen. Aaron Harang was looking fantastic against St. Louis, striking out two batters, and then Pujols came up. 2-2 count! Here’s the pitch! Down the middle! There it–goes? Yeah, that’s the reigning NL MVP, boys. If you’re not used to it, get with the program.

And these MLB 2k10 commercials are the shizznat. The game sucks(The Show for the win) but they’ve definitely got it going on with the commercials. Nelson Cruz talking about making Andrew Bailey cry with his boomstick. Kendry Morales and Felix Hernandez trash talking in Spanish. There are few things better than trash talk, especially when it’s from Latino people.

Around the World

March Madness. National Championship Game. The incredible story of Butler University against the top-tier long time power and definite favorite Duke University. 9:00 PM EST tonight. I don’t care if you don’t like basketball. Watch it.

Oh, and Donovan McNabb has been traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Washington Redskins in an absolute horrible trade for the Eagles. I mean, come on, Philly. How do you trade one of the better QBs in the league to a divisional rival for two low round draft picks? Congrats to Washington for such a steal. Look out for how the draft is impacted by this. Jimmy Clausen was a favorite to go no. 4 to the Redskins, but now that they have a quarterback, they’re a franchise left tackle away from being a serious playoff contender. They can draft Bryan Bulaga there and have their blindside, or they can get Russell Okung if the Lions foolishly pass on him. And Jimmy Clausen could go to the Browns at no. 5, the Bills at no. 9, or heck, everybody else has a quarterback, he could go to the Cardinals late in the first round. Interesting stuff.

But the Eagles are idiots today.

What You Need to Look At

John Sterling is an odd man.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Granderson-goes-yard-in-first-at-bat-inspires-o?urn=mlb,232016

Song of the Day

Oh yes, it’s back. The Song of the Day is All The Right Moves by OneRepublic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI87yRroj4I

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Vampire from New York

 

The Answer.

Some of you may ask me, “EJ, who is the most vaunted prospect in the minor leagues? Who is the man that will step up and become a force for the Yankees in 2010?”

Well, after all of my soul searching, I have found him.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Answer

Happy Easter, guys. Let’s beat them Sox tonight.

-EJ the Kid

A New Dynasty?

 1927

1928

1932

1936

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1951

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1977

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2010?

 

EJ’s Award Predictions

For the three awards…

http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/8879/predictionssofar.png

Now, allow me to explain, because I’ve made some interesting choices here.

AL MVP – Alex Rodriguez – A-Rod is baaaaack… after recovering from an injury, answering most criticisms from New York fans with a stellar postseason, winning a World Series and having another 30 home run/100 RBI season in ’09, all signs lead to Alex Rodriguez coming back and hammering the baseball, perhaps not as well as he did in ’07, but certainly quite close.

NL MVP – Albert Pujols – I really don’t need to explain this choice. Last year, I picked David Wright of the Mets to win the NL MVP, and was promptly slapped in the face by Albert Pujols. He’s had back-to-back MVP’s and I don’t think there’s heavy enough competition to stop him from another one. I don’t know why I’d ever doubt the man. He’s from Santo Domingo.

AL Cy Young – Jake Peavy – Now here’s gonna be my bold prediction. Jake Peavy has a much better lineup than he had in San Diego here with the ChiSox, he’s coming back from injuries, and he’s facing a league that pretty much hasn’t seen him very often. There won’t be many things expected of the former NL Cy Young winner, and I’d expect him to be eager to thrust himself back on the scene as an ace pitcher. Peavy is still 28 years old, in the prime of his career, with sharp stuff. And by the way, if you’re doubting Jake Peavy can hurl the ball as well in the American League in a hitter’s park in U.S. Cellular, consider the 3-0 record, 1.35 ERA(344 ERA+) and .850 WHIP that Peavster had towards the end of ’09 in his brief return with the White Sox. Now consider that he’s pitching in the American League Central, facing such devastatingly tough lineups like the Minnesota Twins’ and Kansas City Royals’ and GOLLY GEE WILLIKERS them Indians are tough, huh? No, not really. He’s back, folks.

NL Cy Young – Roy Halladay – Doc, Doc. Easily one of the best pitchers in the game, quite arguably the best due to his consistency, stuff, mentality and command. This guy is a beast, and he’s going to have a beastly year in a league that really hasn’t seen too much of him. This was a very tough decision for me, because Tim Lincecum’s won the past two National League Cy Young awards, but it’s just so hard for me to speak of a threepeat for anyone but Pujols. I think Halladay is going to dominate, rack up 20 wins, and that’ll be just too much for any voter to deny. Maybe Lincecum will be deserving, but I think Halladay comes away with it.

AL Rookie of the Year – Neftali Feliz – Feliz will make the Rangers very, very Feliz.

I’m sorry, I had to.

But honestly, how can you deny a guy like Feliz who came up to Texas and promptly struck out batter after batter with high octane stuff? He’s a rookie this year with some seasoning from last year and is going to give American League batters more fits and nightmares than any Final Destination movie could.

NL Rookie of the Year – Madison Bumgarner – San Fran’s number 5 rotation spot is his to lose, literally, and with stuff, command and poise like his he’ll easily be able to do well against weak NL West lineups. Bumgarner is a solid pitcher, and while he’s not going to instantly make the impact he’s capable of in my opinion, he’ll certainly be sharp in his rookie campaign and come away with the big trophy.

I just can’t wait to be wrong.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid from New York

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The Bullpen Jumble

Good evening, faithful readers.

As most of you probably know, a good bullpen probably should have more than one lefty reliever to give both lefties rest and add some extra depth for ballgames. With that being said, the Yankees acquired their second lefty for the bullpen in Boone Logan in the Vazquez-Cabrera deal with the Braves.

But I’m not sold on Boone Logan. Obviously. Why would I be?

And the Yankees still need to sort out who’s going to be in that last ‘pen spot. Here’s how the pen is looking out:

 Alfredo Aceves – A dominant Mexican pitcher who can pitch multiple innings. Aceves was pretty darn reliable for most of the year save for about one rough patch or two. He looked unimpressive for the most part in the playoffs, but he capped off his season in the World Series with two shutout frames in Philadelphia, and I’m still quite confident in his ability.

Boone Logan – A mediocre left handed reliever.

Damaso Marte – A consistently inconsistent lefty with great stuff. Dominated in the playoffs but still can’t really be depended on at this point.

David Robertson – A strikeout specialized righty who is dependable and pitched great in the playoffs. This was his first year of dominance, however.

Joba Chamberlain/Phil Hughes – I’m surprised I’m saying this, but I’d rather Joba be in the bullpen at this point. He struggled for the most part last year, the Yankees appear to never stop babying him and I’d like to see what the young Hughes is gonna do as a starting pitcher after his dominant 09 season as a relief pitcher. I’d be fine either way here though, because you can basically say the same thing for both guys. So much for Generation Tre, by the way. Ian Kennedy is a new member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Look for me to do an article about Generation Tre later on, too.

Mariano Rivera – No explanation necessary.

But who will fill out that 7 hole? Last year, it was Coke, Marte, Hughes, Robertson, Chamberlain(in the playoffs), Aceves and Mariano Rivera. But Coke is long gone and only one of the Hughes/Chamberlain duo can return, leaving us with 6.

Will the Yanks even go with 7? Some teams decide to stick with 6, I suppose. But I’d prefer a 7th, because I need a little more depth, a little more cushion in case the bullpen goes through a long stretch of a lot of work.

So the choices are Jonathan Albaladejo, Edwar Ramirez, and Mark Melancon. Perhaps you’d go with someone else I didn’t name.

Tell me what you think in a comment below, because I always like to see what you guys think.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas

It’s the best time of the year!

I got me the most awesome laptop the world has ever seen– complete with webcam, Windows 7 and BIG AWESOMENESS. I remember last year, during the offseason and during the Christmas season. the New York Yankees acquired Mark Teixeira, and throughout the baseball world you could hear the phrase “Marry TeX-Mas” being uttered. At the time I felt a little uncomfortable about the Yankees spending so much money all over again, and possibly being a failure despite the acquisitions.

But Teixeira, Sabathia and Burnett– who most definitely proved a lot of haters wrong by posting a healthy, effective season, especially in the playoffs– proved that the money spent by the Bombers was not an unwise investment. The Yanks acquired guys who led their team to an absolutely dominant season last offseason. Now, the real question is, will the Yankees’ new acquisitions and future ones be quite enough to bring a second consecutive trophy to the Bronx?

The simple answer is– time will tell.

In the 3-team trade between the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Tigers, the Yankees made their first real notable acquisition, getting the 3-big money-tool center fielder Curtis Granderson, giving the Yanks outfield depth and allowing them to be more “free” so to speak in negotiations with Johnny Damon as well as Hideki Matsui, who eventually(and most heartbreakingly) signed with the Angels.

Curtis Granderson

However, in this trade, the Yankees gave up highly talented outfield prospect Austin Jackson, who the organization and its fans had been quite high on for years, as well as Phil Coke

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Austin Jackson

The Yankees’ next move was to sign former Yank in the early part of the decade Nick Johnson. The first baseman has had a history of injury problems since 06, but he can contribute to the team with veteran leadership, average defense at first base, and being able to contribute with runners in scoring position (.970 OPS, .313 batting average in such situations). He therefore allows the Yankees to have an almost-everyday designated hitter, a great backup for the slugger Mark Teixeira, and a guy with consistency when hitters start to slump. He’s the kind of guy Girardi would love, because you know he’s big on resting starters, and Johnson is ideal for resting Tex.

However, Johnson is of course injury-prone, but that’s why they have the DH.

The latest and most intriguing acquisition by the Yankees was acquiring starter Javier Vazquez from the Braves along with reliever Boone Logan for fan-favorite Melky Cabrera, prospect Michael Dunn and another minor league prospect(I forgot his name and am too lazy to look it up). Javier Vazquez pitched extremely well in 2009, with an ERA below 3 and in the league leaders in strikeouts. However, Vazquez isn’t as popular among Yankee fans– in 2004 Javy was an all-star in the first half for the Bombers but collapsed after the all-star break, and it all culminated in game 7 of the ALCS when he gave up a grand slam to Johnny Damon in relief of Kevin Brown.

And when you add giving up Melky Cabrera, you end up with some pretty ticked Yankee fans.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

EJ the Kid From New York

Gasp.

:O

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