Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 1/4/13

The Linkapalooza returns for Round 1 of 2013!  Hope everybody's New Year's celebration was as enjoyable as mine.  For as much as I was dreading coming back to the office this week, I've actually been really productive.  It's almost like the parts of my brain that function as an adult subconsciously drove me to work hard and smile at people to get the new year off to the right start, or some crap like that.  Not sure how I feel about it.  Now onto the links!

- On Monday, Brien Jackson of IIATMS wrapped up 2012 with his Top 10 Worst and Top 10 Best moments of the past season.  Hard to argue with a lot of his picks.

- On Tuesday, Derek Albin of Pinstripe Pundits made a case for the Yankees trying to snag Mike Napoli out from under Bahhston.  I'd be really wary of it given the now increased health concerns, but Derek's idea of 1-year offer to minimize risk is a good one.

- Vizzino of NoMaas started comparing the Yankees and Blue Jays by seeing how their planned 2013 rotations stack up.

- Delia E. of Yankees Fans Unite had a list of ideal Yankee New Year's resolutions for 2013.  I can't argue with the list, but I'm predicting that they'll all be broken by August 1st.

- On Wednesday, Jimmy Kraft of Yanks Go Yard asked if the Yanks should go after FA pitcher Shaun Marcum.  It'd be nice, but I think Cash will have to stay away because of the dollars.

- Daniel Burch of The Greedy Pinstripes mused on the possibility of the Yanks trading for Giancarlo Stanton, a possibility that seems extremely remote because of their lack of high-level prospects.

- On Thursday, Steve Skinner of Bleeding Yankee Blue expressed his optimism that Derek Jeter will return better than ever from his ankle injury next season.  Wish I shared the vibe, dude, but props for being an optimist.

- Mike Axisa of RAB had a very interesting take on the idea that the Yankees have a competitive advantage when it comes to signing veterans for less money, something that could help them get to the $189 million goal.

- El duque of It Is High... had an absolutely hilarious rant on how Mark Teixeira chooses to use his Twitter account.

- Andrew Mearns of Pinstriped Bible discussed the possibility of Mark Montgomery and Slade Heathcott making the show in 2013.  It's aggressive, but it'd be fun to watch.

- On Friday, Mike Eder of TYA poked fun at the stupidity of the BBWAA, a well-timed joke now that news is trickling out about there possibly not being a single player voted into the HOF this year.

For the first Friday Jam of the year, HOLY TITS YOU GUYS THERE'S NEW ALICE IN CHAINS!!!!!!!!  I know this has been out for a few weeks, and I'm woefully behind the times for what is supposed to be one of my favorite bands, but I stumbled across this last night and it rules.  Seriously, Alice In Chains is the fucking balls, even with DuVall instead of Layne.  Alice In Chains is always going to be awesome and if you disagree you're wrong.

Yeah.  You kids like that?  I know you did.  Enjoy your weekends, everybody.

Are The D-backs Gearing Up To Trade Justin Upton?

 (Still want.  Courtesy of Getty Images)

At the beginning of this offseason, Justin Upton was easily the hottest trade target on the market.  He was and still is practically a picture-perfect match for what the Yankees need, and after some waffling earlier in 2012 when rumors first started coming up about him I am fully on board with the idea of the Yankees going after him, even if they aren't.  The problem is that talks relating to Upton started quieting down as teams started signing other OF options, to the point that I had just assumed everything was off and Upton was staying in Arizona.

Now things seem like they are heating up with Upton again, especially after this tweet from Buster Olney yesterday.  With the rumor mill surrounding Upton ramping back up and the recent moves made by the D-backs, it's time once again to talk about the Yankees getting involved.

Saying Goodbye To Swish

 (He wasn't a Yankee lifer, but that still doesn't look right.  Courtesy of the AP)

After 4 very good years in New York, any last chance the Yankees had of freak dumb lucking their way into Nick Swisher ended yesterday when he was formally introduced as the newest member of the 2013 Cleveland Indians.  Swish was the first real casualty of the 2014 payroll crunch, with it basically being understood long before last season ended that the Yankees would let him walk in free agency.  They did that without making Swish a real contract offer, and find themselves with another possible platoon outfield situation now that he's gone.

I said "very good" to describe Swish's time in New York, and truthfully that's what it was.  He didn't win many awards (any, really), and only achieved 1 All Star Game nod in his time in the Bronx, but Swish was constantly one of the most productive and flexible bats in the Yankee lineup and gloves in the field.  He could be plugged in wherever Joe felt like he most needed him on a given day with confidence that he could get the job done.  In his 4 years as a Yankee, Swish hit .268/.367/.483, good for a 124 OPS+ and a .370 wOBA, with 105 HR, 349 RBI, 331 R scored, and above-average defense in right field.  And even though his postseason numbers are rough, he was a part of a World Series-winning club.

Sadly, it is that postseason failure that will be freshest in people's minds now that Swish has moved on and not the 4 straight years of 3.0+ WAR output he produced or the refreshing dose of fun and humanity he brought to the Yankee clubhouse.  I've heard behind-the-scenes stories of "shut up, Swish" being a common phrase in that clubhouse, but his teammates all always seemed to like him and Swish always looked like he was having a blast out on the field.  He wasn't around for very long, but that's what Swish's Yankee legacy should be- an underappreciated, productive player who loved being in New York and was fun to watch play.  I haven't checked the schedule to see when Cleveland is coming to town in 2013, but Swish is more than deserving of a big standing O from the Yankee Stadium crowd before that first game.