Saturday, January 21, 2012

Checking In With The Horse

I linked to this story yesterday afternoon, but when The Horse speaks I'm contractually obligated through the name of the site to not only mention it, but to comment on his comments.  It's also been a while since anything A-Rod-specific has been mentioned here, so here's a quick take on what A-Rod had to say to ESPNDeportes yesterday.

"I think the vision for us as a team is now ... you want the DH spot to be one that's kind of a revolving door.  I think a lot of us at some point or another, in such a long season, are going occupy that spot."

I wouldn't quite say the Yankees want the DH spot to be a "revolving door" as A-Rod put it.  But their reported $2 million cap to fill the position does signify that the team isn't looking to fill it with a full-time player, and kudos to The Horse for recognizing his age and the age of some of his teammates and being smart enough to realize that keeping that position open for them is important to the team's success in 2012.

"... I'm conditioning myself right now ... to help the team win a championship and play a good third base."

Hopefully those conditioning efforts are better and different than the ones he's used before the last couple seasons, because a healthy A-Rod and a healthy A-Rod at third base are both big for the Yankees.  For the same reason that Jesus Montero's value was lessened by the Yankees using him as a full-time DH, the same holds true for The A-Taur.  The more time he spends at the hot corner, the more valuable he is.

My favorite bit from this interview was definitely A-Rod's comments on Michael Pineda, who he faced one time in 2011 and said of the encounter, "it wasn't a lot of fun."

"He has 3-plus pitches and throws up in the mid 90s, and again he's quite a figure out there, he's 6-7 and has a long reach and I'm glad I don't have to face him anymore."

Normally comments like this about new players would just be chalked up to guys being PC and saying what they have to say about a new teammate.  But when the words are coming from A-Rod's lips, I think a little more weight has to be given to them.  A-Rod has a reputation for being one of, if not the smartest baseball player out there and having a great feel and understanding for the nuances of the game.  If he can describe facing Pineda as not fun and give a very positive scouting report on him, chances are there are plenty other players out there who feel the same way.  And that bodes well for the Yankees to have a guy like that in their rotation.  A thumbs up from A-Rod is like the baseball equivalent of getting a 4-star movie review from Peter Travers, and that's just more support for the trade being a win for the Yankees.