Friday, July 27, 2012

Joba's Return Right Around The Corner

(A Joba fist pump right now would be the kitty's titties.  Courtesy of Audrey Tiernan/MCT)

It would be super mega-awesome if Joba returned to the bullpen (and the mound) this weekend.  From a storyline perspective, it wouldn't get much better than having him return at home against the hated, struggling Fraud Sawx, blow them away with some high-90s smoke, and walk off the mound with a triumphant fist pump.  The newspapers would eat it up, fans would eat it up, it would provide some much needed positive energy after the Yankees' rough West Coast trip, and it would make it fun to watch the BBTN guys try to spin the story in a way that poo-poo'd the Yankees and made excuses for the Fraud Sawx.

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 7/27

One of, if not the single worst thing about working in the corporate world is meetings.  People always want to have meetings, are constantly scheduling and re-scheduling meetings, and are leaving meetings early so they can go to other meetings.  My company thrives on meetings.  Not in the sense that we do good business because of our ability to have good meetings, but in the sense that people around the office flat out cannot function without scheduling meetings.  You can be in the middle of a discussion with one person or multiple people about some topic, working towards a solution, and out of the blue some mouth-breathing manager will say, "let's schedule a meeting" and boom!  Conversation over.  It's maddening.  If you have to schedule a meeting to better prepare yourself for a topic that you were just discussing, you should not be in charge of people.  You should be driving an ice cream truck or working as a ticket taker at the county fair.  Anywho, onto the links!

- It's from last Saturday, but Josh Norris of Minor Matters scored another interview with Yankees' pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras.  Definitely a must-read to get Contreras' take on guys like Jose Campos and Mark Montgomery.

- On Tuesday, William Juliano of The Captain's Blog did what he does best and composed a well-reasoned, logical analysis of the Ichiro trade.

- Fishjam25 of Yankees Fans Unite interviewed 2012 1st-round pick Ty Hensley.  Lots of good self-analysis by Hensley on his stuff and commentary on the shoulder abnormality MRI.

- Joe Pawlikowski of RAB examined Hiroki Kuroda's numbers this year and how they've helped disprove, at least for Kuroda, the belief that NL pitchers can't get it done in the AL.

- Mike Eder of TYA broke down the changes in Phil Hughes' pitch selection and arm slot since April to show how he's improved since then as the season has progressed.

- Vizzini of NoMaas had a pretty good idea for a minor trade that could shore up the Yankees' catching situation, and sound support for why it makes sense for Cash to do it.

- On Wedneday, Kate Conroy of LLP started looking ahead to the month of August and the tough schedule that awaits the Yankees.

- Matt Imbrogno of TYA built off of JoePaw's post and compared Kuroda's results on his sinker and slider from April/May to the results from June/July to ID one of the sources of Kuroda's turnaround.

- Greg Corcoran of Bronx Baseball Daily mused on a couple of potential replacements for Swish that the Yankees could target at the deadline.  It would be against their usual MO, but still sound strategy.

- William Tasker looked at Curtis Granderson's ridiculously bad defensive metrics this season and wondered how they could influence the Yankees' future plans for him.

- On Thursday, Jimmy Kraft of Yanks Go Yard gave his thoughts on the Ichiro trade and why Ichiro is a good addition in the outfield for the Yankees.

- Andrew Mearns of Pinstripe Alley issued an open letter to Joe Girardi on his problems with Joe's bullpen management this season.  As someone who is always harder on Joe for his 'pen mgmt. than everybody else, I approve Andrew's message.

- On Friday, Chad Jennings of LoHud got some quotes from Ichiro on his thoughts about playing in Yankee Stadium as a member of the Yankees for the first time this weekend.

For the Friday Jam, I'm going to play a huh-YUUUUGE nerd card here, almost as big as the nerd card I could play by mentioning my comic book knowledge, and admit that I am picking this weeks' song, "This Fire Burns" by Killswitch Engage by the way, because of WWE.  I watched the 1,000th episode of "Monday Night Raw" on Monday night (duh), and when CM Punk jumped back in the ring and clotheslined The Rock I marked out HARD!  The Rock blows these days and I'm ashamed to admit I used to root for him when I was 13, so it was awesome to see CM Punk upstage him and completely wreck his shit to close the show.  I'm praying that Punk's clothesline was the start of a huge heel turn, and him coming out to his original WWE entrance song, which is not a bad song by any means, would be a great way to get that storyline going.

There you go, people.  I work 40-50 hours a week in a lowly cubicle monkey job, I worship and write about the Yankees, I drink a lot of beer, I use way more movie and TV show lines in my everyday conversation than any grown man should, and I watch wrestling.  This is my life.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.  Be on the lookout for a live blog for Yanks-Sawx on Sunday night.

Nick Swisher's Return & Adjusting A Horse-Less Lineup

(Hopefully this guy returns tomorrow.  Courtesy of Barton Silverman/NY Times)

The lineup was already a bit short without Nick Swisher this week, and it got even shorter with Tuesday's injury to Alex Rodriguez.  The Yankees managed to get by on Wednesday thanks to Jayson Nix's big 8th-inning double, but the team has a glaring lack of right-handed power right now with by Swish and The Horse riding the pine.  Swisher took some BP earlier in the week and all signs point to him making a return to the lineup this weekend against Bahhston, likely Saturday.  A-Rod, of course, is going to be out much longer than that, which still leaves the Yankees with just Swisher, Teix, and Andruw Jones as the only real sources of righty power in the lineup.  With a shortened lineup and a lack of right-handed pop, now would be an appropriate time for Joe to do some lineup juggling and match up even more against RHP/LHP.  If I were calling the shots, here's how I'd do it.