Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 12/28

I'd like to use this final Linkapalooza of 2012 to make a declaration, to take a stand for what is good and right in this world, and to state definitively that the word "epic" needs to be retired from all forms of communication in 2013.  If you're one of the people who still uses it in your everyday conversation, I'm sorry, but epic's time has come and gone and you need to stop.  It was cute for about 3 weeks when the whole "epic fail" craze caught on, but when it's being used in reference to the Pizza Hut 10 Buck Box, arguably the worst collection of food a human being can willingly purchase and consume for 10 dollars, and by Morgan Freeman in voiceover ads for the Visa card, that goes way beyond jumping the shark and straight into full-on lunacy.

Epic is a word that should only be used to describe things that are historically memorable and incredible, not shitty mass-produced pizza and fucking credit card rewards.  It also shouldn't be used to describe whatever you just ate for lunch that you felt the need to take a picture of and post on Instagram.  So for all the regular AB4AR readers out there, I beg of you, take these words to heart and do your part in 2013 to end the rampant and incorrect use of the word "epic."  Together, maybe we can help bring a small bit of respectability back to the English language.  Now onto the links!

- On Monday, William Juliano of The Captain's Blog discussed Nick Swisher's departure in the context of other recent hitters the Yankees let leave via free agency and how it could come back to haunt them.

- On Tuesday, Benjamin Orr of Yanks Go Yard asked if Hiroki Kuroda should be the #1 starter next year over CC.  It's worth checking out Ben's thoughts on the matter, but the answer is obviously, "No."

- On Wednesday, George S of Gutty Gritty Yankees expressed his displeasure with Cash's comments on the Yankee offseason.  While I don't agree with George that this offseason has been "dreadful," I can definitely get on board with the sentiment that the front office comments have been less than honest.

- Josh Norris of Minor Matters, the resident Trenton Thunder expert, put together his first 25-man roster guess for the 2013 season.  That'd be a pretty damn good outfield, that's for sure.

- Vince Mercogliano of LoHud pondered the idea of the Yankee offense improving in 2013 despite their age and lack of offseason moves.

- El duque of It Is High... commented on the "beggars can't be choosers" mentality that Cash has taken with the payroll constraints set by ownership.

- On Thursday, Greg Corcoran of Bronx Baseball Daily looked ahead to the 2014 free agent class to see what good fits were out there for Hank and Hal's limited budget.

- Brien Jackson of IIATMS wondered if sign-and-trade deals could become more common in baseball.  It's an interesting idea given the way the new free agent qualifying offer rules played out this offseason.

- Matt Imbrogno of TYA had a measured take on the Yankees' supposed "punt" strategy on the 2013 season, pointing out that the team they have intact is still a pretty damn good one.

- Mike Axisa of RAB suggested the idea of the Yankees making a Joel Hanrahan-esque trade as a way to help manage their chock-full 40-man roster.

- On Friday, Tanya Bondurant of Pinstriped Bible looked back at the 10 longest Yankee home runs of the 2012 season.  I always love list posts like this, and this one is no exception.

- Steve Lombardi of Was Watching looked ahead to possibly the most important stretch of games in the upcoming season.

SJK of the newly-renovated NoMaas put together the best career retrospective on Hideki Matsui that I've seen besides my own.

For this week's Friday Jam, I'm gonna hit you with something to get the toes tapping and hips moving at your NYE parties.  Say what you want about his ability to rap, pretend to be a "rock" guy, or design clothes, but when he was on his game there wasn't a rap producer out there who could touch Pharrell.  He actually managed to top the beat to the original "Drop It Like It's Hot" with this beat for the remix, which is no easy task.  Hov's verse is pretty sick too.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.  And more importantly, enjoy your New Year's celebrations next week.  Get drunk, kiss somebody you probably shouldn't, and stay safe.  The Linkapalooza will see ya on the other side of the calendar.

Looking Back At Hideki Matsui, Underrated Yankee Great

(One of the great moments in recent Yankee history.  Courtesy of the AP)

Hideki Matsui announced his retirement from baseball yesterday, ending the most successful Japanese-American baseball career this side of Ichiro Suzuki.  After 10 years with the Yomiuri Giants in the Japanese Central League and another 10 in MLB, 7 of them with the Yankees, Matsui decided to hang 'em up at age 38 after various leg injuries and just the natural wear and tear of 20 years of baseball sapped him of much of his power and physical skills.  Matsui doesn't have the career MLB accolades and awards of a Derek Jeter or an Alex Rodriguez, but he is undoubtedly one of the most memorable and popular Yankees of the 21st century.  If he does end up in the Baseball Hall of Fame, something William Juliano made a very strong case for yesterday, it's very likely he would go in with a Yankee cap on his head, a fitting ending to a great baseball career.

An Alfonso Soriano Reunion Wouldn't Suck

(Remember this guy?)

The Yankees officially kicked off their scrap heap picking for right-handed hitting on Wednesday with the signing of Matt Diaz to a MiL deal.  Almost as soon as everybody was done commenting on that deal, they let it be known that their search for a right-handed bat wasn't over, which isn't surprising in the least considering Diaz's recent track record.  The trade market continues to be an attractive and potentially deeper pool of talent to choose from, and another name that has popped up lately as a possibility is a familiar one.  It's been almost 10 years since Alfonso Soriano last wore the Yankee pinstripes, and he's a bit longer in the tooth than he was when he left.  But with Theo Epstein looking to rebuild the Cubs and Soriano still having plenty of right-handed pop, there's clearly a match to be made between he and the Yankees.