Sunday, December 29, 2013

AB4AR's 2013 "Best And Worst Of The Year": The Preseason

(Joe, Randy, Lonn, and Hal at the Jorge retirement presser.  Courtesy of Getty Images)

The 2013 calendar year is winding down and there's little going on in the way of Yankee news right now, so let's take a look back at the year that was for AB4AR.  2013 was another record year for the site, more posts, comments, and pageviews than ever before.  A big thank you goes out to everyone who read regularly and commented to help make that happen.  I know I'm woefully behind the times when it comes to blog design, layout, social media tie-ins, and all that, and it really just comes down to the fact that I don't have or want to have the time for all those other things.  I'm just a Yankee fan who likes to write about the Yankees and do as much as I can in the time my day job and social life will allow me, and to have more people than ever recognize and follow that basic, rudimentary format this year means a lot to me.

As we did last year, we'll break the 2013 review down into 3 parts: preseason, regular season, and postseason/offseason.  Today we'll tackle the preseason, the block of time from January 1st through the end of March, when the hot stove season was winding down and Spring Training was ramping up.

- "Hal Steinbrenner Does Not Compute."  The first of many anti-Hal posts I wrote early in 2013 , when he was bashing us over the head with statements that insulted our intelligence.  I liked his approach this offseason, the one where he actually spent money on good players to improve the team's needs, much better than his approach to last offseason.

- "The 2012-2013 AB4AR Top 30."  All the rankings 30-1, and all the writeups to explain why each guy was ranked where he was.  The 3rd annual AB4AR Top 30 is coming next month.  Be on the lookout for announcements.

- "Yankees' Plans This Offseason Could Be Setting Them Up For Future Failure."  Or it could have set them up for the rude awakening they needed to realize that spending on the FA market was the best way to rebuild their team.

- "It's Still Important To Stay Grounded With Ichiro & Gardner."  I tried to tell everybody that Ichiro was going to suck this year.  I told you all and many of you didn't want to believe me.  I don't hear anybody chirping at me about dumping on Ichiro now...

- "Is Michael Pineda Ahead Of Schedule?  Should We Be Excited About That?"  No he wasn't, and no we shouldn't.  I won't write that post or anything like it before next season.  I promise.

- "Slowed Down Spring For CC Continues And It's Downright Brilliant."  Except for the part where he completely lost his feel for his fastball.  "At this stage in his career, he doesn't need to throw a lot of pitches in ST to get ready for the regular season regardless of what kind of shape his elbow is in."  One of the most incorrect sentences I wrote all year.

- "The Vernon Wells Trade Spits In The Face Of Everybody And Everything."  I hated the idea of Wells before he became a Yankee, I hated the idea of him when he did become a Yankee, and I hate the fact that he's still a Yankee.  A .279 wOBA/-0.8 fWAR season will do that.

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