The Times Are A-Changin'
These are not your slightly older uncle's Yankees. The winds of change are blowing in the Bronx and it signals a possible changing of the guard. The Yankees have gotten younger and should continue to get younger and might not be the Yankees of old who would bid on a player and pay as much as needed to get the deal done. They truly seem committed to building a team the right way.
They have said they will not pursue A-Rod if he opts out and they might not. Even if they do get involved with the bidding, they probably will not just keep bidding until everyone is trumped, which likely means he will be gone. Despite how vital he is to the team, I can see them just holding tight and sticking to a number and if someone blows them out of the water, so be it. Mike Lowell will be out there and there were rumors that Aramis Ramirez might be available opening up a spot (and cash) for A-Rod on the Cubs.
Regardless, there is always some darkhorse team that comes out of nowhere to bid some ridiculous amount and it is clear there are teams with glaring needs and some cash that could jump into the A-Rod sweepstakes and outbid the Yankees. It would not surprise many people to see someone put their next ten years of financial flexibility in jeopardy out of desperation.
As old adage goes, it is insane to do the same thing over and over and expect different results. Well, what the Yankees have been doing is not working which is why they will probably do things uncharacteristically. They might be in a bit of transitional phase while they cleanse their team of the Giambis, Damons, Matsuis, Mussinas, etc. They really cannot go after any top tier talent (not that there is any out there this off-season) with every position taken with the exception of first and possibly third and catcher and they need to bring along their youth.
You might see the Yankees hold tight this off season and go back into battle with the same crew with the idea that a full year with Duncan, Hughes, Kennedy, and Chamberlain might provide that extra spark. Lowell might be a possible acquisition and a trade might be in the works with their sudden glut of pitching talent, but I cannot see anything gigantic happening. The wildcard is how Posada and Rivera might be affected if Torre leaves, but I think they will ultimately be back and I will make a bold prediction now. If A-Rod leaves, the Yankees team will not make the playoffs in '08. That is not to say that is a bad thing as their young pitchers will be taking lumps and team will be gearing up for 2009.
Who would have thought that headline would have ever been printed about Kazuo?
In Colorado's three-game sweep of the Phillies, the second baseman went 5-for-12 (.417) with a double, two triples and six RBIs. His Game 2 grand slam in Philadelphia was, in Matsui's words, "very cool, my best moment in baseball."
50. Zimmer charges Pedro, Game 3, 2003 (Yankees vs. Red Sox): A Yankee (Karim Garcia!) gets plunked by Pedro Martinez. Pedro then gestures to the Yankee dugout, possibly indicating he's going to throw at their heads. Fast-forward to a high-inside Roger Clemens pitch to Manny Ramirez. Benches clear and 72-year-old Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer tries to take out Pedro, only to be thrown to the ground.
It has it all. Drama, comedy, brawling, excitement, a fat guy....
Out of the top fifty though, a team that has not been to the playoffs all that much surely was involved in a lot of intense moments. Come to think about it, that does not surprise me at all the Mets would check in so many times. Nothing is ever easy with the Mets and good or bad, the Mets bring out some pretty intense emotions.
The White Sox, Tigers and Mets are among the teams that could be interested in Eckstein — and Eckstein would figure to be open-minded if the Mets or another club wanted him to move to second base.
Please God. Not him.
Rather than trade left-hander Johan Santana, the Twins might be better off moving closer Joe Nathan, whom they could replace internally with righty Pat Neshek. The Twins are certain to exercise Nathan's $6 million option, and the scarcity of quality closers on the open market could bring the Twins a substantial return. The Yankees might be first in line for Nathan if they lose Mariano Rivera as a free agent. The Mets could not ignore Nathan, either, even with closer Billy Wagner signed through 2009...
Trading Nathan would be a smart thing unless they decide to just go for it. However, going for it would not be the right thing to do since they direly need to acquire some pop if they plan to actually make some real noise. Frankly, they should explore trading Johan and Nothan to see if they can bring in a monumental haul.
If that does not satiate that voracious appetite of yours of laughing at Suzyn Waldman, enjoy this one.