Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day Linkapalooza

Southeast Wisconsin got hit by a  major blizzard last night.  As a result of what everyone is referring to as the "snowpocalypse" (I know.  Lame, right?), work was shut down today and I've had more time than usual to peruse the Yankee blogosphere and see what everyone else is talking about while I was busy posting Lil Wayne videos in my blog.

- el duque at It Is High... has some bumper stickers for the 2010 Yankee offseason.  Put me down for 20 of the A-Rod ones.

- Joe Paw at RAB analyzes Buster Olney's list of 11 pitchers who could become available in the 2011 season and how they might fit with the Yankees should the need for another starter arise (hint, hint: it will).  Not an inspiring list, if you ask me.  I would be in for Shawn  Marcum (track record of success in the AL East) and Felix Hernandez (best pitcher in baseball), but that's about it.

- If you're still in mourning over the 2010 offseason, you might want to steer clear of Jay Jaffe's post at Pinstriped Bible about how February 2 is a dark day in Yankee history.  When you really look at it, it's not that bad, but still a very interesting read.

- EJ Fagan at TYU has some criticism for Bleacher Report's Top 20 Yankee Hitters list and comes up with a Top 20 of his own.  I must say, I like EJ's list far more than that of Bleacher Report.

- In today's Hardball post, Joel Sherman of The Post comments on the ManBan and Betances starting situations and how the Yanks are doing all they can to hold these guys back by bringing in the Colons and Garcias of the world.  I'm all for not risking the future, but at the same time why try to bring a past that was dead years ago?  And why bother mentioning Carlos Beltran in the column?  The Mets suck.

- Finally, we conclude with a pair of gems from Larry Koestler at Yankeeist.  First, a damn good graphical analysis of Andy Pettitte's career showing just how good the guy has been.  It makes for more compelling HOF arguments, though I still don't think he quite makes it.

- Secondly, Larry took a look at the 2011 projections for Ivan Nova and Hector Noesi to decide who would make the better addition to the 2011 rotation.  I think Larry seems to be in the camp that sees these 2 battling it out for the 5th spot with Garcia getting the 4th to start the season.  As a start I could live with that, but I'd personally rather see both of them there instead of Arm Dead Fred.

So there you, people.  That should get you through the rest of your work days.  Suckers.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go dig my car out of the snow in the parking lot and see if there's any chance I can even drive down to the street to buy beer for the UConn-Syracuse game tonight.

Larry Rothschild Is Putting In Work (And Using Up His "Anytime" Minutes)

Wallace Matthews put a post up yesterday talking about Larry Rothschild visiting A.J. Burnett this offseason at A.J.'s home in Maryland, and there were quite a few points that stood out to me.

First, the fact that Rothschild went to Burnett's house and spent a few days there talking with him, watching tape, and watching A.J. throw.  I don't know about you, but that just seems like a big deal to me.  We all know that A.J. is a bit of a mental midget, and if you don't believe that then you're just lying to yourself.  The prevailing thought last season was that his season went downhill when Dave Eiland left and Eiland would cure him of his ills upon his return to the bench.  Well, that didn't happen, so maybe it shows that Eiland wasn't that tuned into Burnett and didn't know what made him tick and maybe, just maybe, didn't know or care that much about him at all.  Rothschild taking time to not just talk to A.J., but to make a trip to A.J.'s  home and spend a few days there working with him and talking to him shows me that he really does care and really does want to see A.J. succeed.  More importantly, it probably showed A.J. those same things, which could be a big help in getting A.J.'s mind (and stuff) right for this season.

The second thing that I noticed was this line:

"Rothschild said he has made has made contact with all 32 pitchers expected in camp beginning on Feb. 14 -- make that 33 with the addition today of Freddy Garcia... "

All 32 pitchers?  All of them?  Really??  Maybe I'm just being naive about what goes on between pitching coaches and their staff, but this seems like a really big thing to do for a new pitching coach with a whole new set of pitchers to learn about and handle through the season.  Sure they all report a few weeks prior to the rest of the team, but Rothschild sounds like he's hitting the ground running in getting ready for 2011 and isn't wasting any time in getting to know his pitchers.  Some of these guys aren't even going to throw a pitch for the Yankees in 2011 and Rothschild STILL made a point to call them.  That kind of commitment doesn't go unnoticed by players, and I see that as a sign of good things to come for the Yankee pitching staff.  When you know your coach cares about you, it makes you try harder and makes you want to succeed.

Lastly, as if Matthews knew I was going to love this, he drops in the line about Rothschild already working with Beastances and Brackman in Tampa, helping them refine their deliveries.  I have no shame in admitting I started giggling and clapping my hands like a 10-year-old girl at a Jonas Brothers concert when I read that.

A lot still remains to be seen once ST starts and the season really gets going, but Larry Rothschild is already looking like the man in my book.