Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Putting Some Early Spring Training Storylines In Perspective

Storyline: Rafael Soriano Isn't Getting Along with Anybody

Perspective: So?  Should this really come as a surprise to anybody?  The guy looked miserable as hell at his introductory presser, and he looked like Debbie Downer when he got to camp.  He's a mope and most people don't like to associate themselves with mopes.  If Soriano wants to sulk around and be a surly guy, who cares?  As long as he performs well in the 8th-inning role it shouldn't matter if he's hanging out with the guys and playing cards on road trips.  Let him be a bum and listen to his Dashboard Confessional records.

Storyline: Derek Jeter Still Isn't Hitting

Perspective: Yeah, Jeter stumbled out of the gate, going 1-6 in his first 2 games with a bunch of groundballs, which is not what any Yankee fan wants to see.  But you have to take into account that Jeter is still working on refining his swing and getting used to his new motions within that swing.  This is a guy who's had the same swing since '96.  He's not going to just automatically jump back up to a .330 hitter when he makes changes to that swing.  Give him some to work out the kinks in ST.  If he's still beating the ball into the ground in June, then we can start getting concerned.

Storyline: The Yankees Are Going to Trade for Francisco Liriano!!!

Perspective: Calm down, people.  It's nothing but a bunch of rumors going around, none of which have stuck or been confirmed by anybody legitimate.  Would I trade Joba or Ivan Nova for Liriano?  Hell yeah, I would.  I would trade both of them for Liriano, pack up their ST lockers, drive them to the airport, and pay for their tickets to Minneapolis if it meant getting Liriano back.  But the Twins aren't making that trade.  They would be nuts to.  This option is definitely something to keep an eye on as the season progresses, but there's no reason to go buy a custom 47 Yankee jersey just yet.

Storyline: ZOMG!!!!!!1!!1111!!!  Betances and Banuelos Were AWESOME in Their Outings!!!  The Yankees Should Let Them Compete for a Spot in the Rotation!!

Perspective: Pump your breaks on this one, folks.  Were they awesome in their outings?  Yes they were.  And they justified all the praise they've gotten as top prospects and made the Yankees look smart for holding onto them in the process.  But we're still dealing with guys who have never thrown more than 100-120 innings in a Minor League season.  There's no need to rush them into the rotation now, knowing you will have to get creative with innings limits with them, and risking screwing up their development in the process.  After the debacle that has been Joba's career path, the Yankees should never rush anybody to the Majors again, especially not these 2.  Just be patient.

Storyline: The Horse is in Great Shape and CRUSHING the Ball So Far

Perspective:  Now this IS something worth getting jazzed up about right here.  For the last couple seasons The Horse has been bigger, bulkier, and banged up.  Now he looks slim, trim, and in racing shape.  His pasterns are good to go, his hooves are healthy, his coat is shining, and he's straight up murdering the ball all over the park right now.  For a player/horse of his caliber at this older age, these are all signs pointing towards a huge year for A-Rod, and that is some damn good news.

If Charlie Sheen is an F-18 Vatican warlock with tiger blood, then The Horse is some sort of mystical Illuminati battleship wizard that can deploy ordinances from the ground, the air, and from other dimensions that don't even exist in this human realm.


A.J. Takes The Mound Today (WATCH OUT!!!)

Today's the big day.  We've seen CC go out and look solid for a first start, we've seen Phil do the same, and we've been blown away by the performances of ManBan and The Beast.  But today A.J. takes the hill for his first Spring Training start and I don't know about the rest of you out there in Yankeeland, but I am ready for anything to happen.

I wouldn't be surprised if he went out there and struck out all 6 batters he faces.  I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't get an out.  Will his pitches be sharp?  Will he be able to locate the curveball?  Will he give up a few hits and start crying on the mound?  Will he hit any batters?  Will his head explode?

One thing you can say about an A.J. start is at least they are exciting.  The fact that literally anything can happen does make it a bit more entertaining, so I guess that's a positive that comes with all the negatives related to his "wild card" status.

So what do we get today?  Good A.J. or Bad A.J.?  Stay tuned!!