Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 1/18/13

I can't get enough of this Manti Te'o story.  It's one of the sickest/craziest/most hilarious stories I've encountered in my lifetime and I absolutely cannot stop reading and talking about it.  I mean, what a fucking loser.  I don't care what the reasons are, being a starting middle linebacker for the most widely-recognized football team in the country and then going through with a plan to create and kill off a fake online girlfriend in an age where there was no way you were going to get away with it is absolute lunacy.  It's bizarro world shit of the highest order.  And just so we're clear, if you honestly buy this "victim of a cruel joke" excuse that Te'o and Swarbrick are selling, you are a complete moron.

What really gets me, and what I think isn't being given enough attention here, is that he and his little Twitter buddy waited around until his grandmother died in real life to kill off the fake girlfriend.  Were they sitting around planning the end date for the fake girlfriend like writers for a TV show?  Were they always planning on doing it after the grandma died?  Did Manti Te'o WANT his grandma to die just so he could piggyback the dead girlfriend on top of that?  I'm a pretty cold, tasteless dude, but that's low even by my standards.  Now onto the links!

- Mike Eder of TYA had a pair of great posts on individual hitters' swing mechanic problems.  On Monday, he covered A-Rod and his bad hip, and on Tuesday he looked at Kevin Youkilis and his hands.

- On Tuesday, Josh Norris of Minor Matters posted some early details on the Yankees' 2013 MiL Spring Training schedule.

- Greg Cohen of Sliding Into Home got back into the blogging groove by stating that he did not like the idea of Andy Pettitte pitching in the WBC this year.  Based on Andy's recent health track record, I'm inclined to agree and am glad he's off the roster.

- Bryan Van Dusen of The Greedy Pinstripes put an interesting spin on the "slow offseason" complaint that many have had by looking at the Yankees' activity compared to other teams.

- Alex Pugliese of Yanks Go Yard asked who from the A-Rod-Youkilis pairing made the most sense as the everyday third baseman this season.

- On Wednesday, Mike Axisa of RAB looked at early projections for Derek Jeter based on his ankle injury for 2013 and beyond.

- William Juliano of The Captain's Blog broke down the dollars on Rafael Soriano to determine who was a winner and loser in him opting out of his Yankee contract and signing with Washington.

- On Thursday, Chad Jennings of LoHud discussed Eduardo Nunez's middle-of-nowhere situation and brought up an interesting high-ceiling career comparison.

- El duque of It Is High... is getting tired of waiting for Cash to make his customary January move, and tired of waiting for the kids in A-ball.

- Brien Jackson of IIATMS pointed out the lack of compatability in Hal's "getting under the luxury tax but not being open to extensions" payroll policies.

- On Friday, Steph Bee of Pinstriped Bible mused on the idea of trading Curtis Granderson.  It's an idea that almost everybody out there has had come across their mind at some point.

This week's Friday Jam comes from Nine Inch Nails.  Trent Reznor is pretty damn boss these days, winning Academy Awards, recording with QOTSA for their new album, and reportedly considering bringing NIN out of retirement.  I saw Linkin Park cover this at a concert one time and a bunch of younger mid-teens kids in the crowd had no clue what the song was.  That was sad.  Those kids should have been slapped.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.  Say hi to your fake internet girlfriends for me.

2012-2013 AB4AR Top 30 Prospects: 10-1

 (Courtesy of Tim Priddy/Four Seam Images)

It's all been building to this.  The past 54 calendar weeks since the first AB4AR Top 30.  Suffice it to say this is arguably going to be the greatest moment of this year, and 2013 is only 17 days old.  The last group of players, the top 10, of the 2012-2013 AB4AR Top 30 is released today.

From the new kids on the block with upside to the guys transition through the levels to this crop, each group of 10 has had some defining characteristics and the top 10 here is no different.  This group of players consists of upper-level guys right on the doorstep of making the Major League roster, some of them with the chance to be long-term fixtures at their positions, and also the elite group of lower-level guys who are fixing to be future All Stars at their positions.  If they aren't traded, the next core group of homegrown players could be sitting right within this top 10, and many of them play positions at which the Yankees are going to have a need in the next couple of years.

Not A Prospect Yet (But Worth Watching): Adonis Garcia

 (Courtesy of Mike Ashmore)

There was a period of time 10-15 years ago when the Yankees dominated the international free agent game.  They brought in El Duque, they brought in Hideki, they brought in Contreras.  That last move didn't really work out, but it was still the Yankees using their financial muscle to bring in high-ceiling international talent.  Right around the time that Bahhston signed Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Yankees started to drift back to the pack on the international market, and recently they've been in the news more for losing out on or not even getting involved in the biding for players like Yu Darvish, Yoenis Cespedes, and Jorge Soler.

They did make one move last year that could produce some upside, though.  In early May the Yankees signed Adonis Garcia, a then 26-year-old bat-first Cuban outfielder, to a 1-year MiL deal worth $400,000.  The move didn't sound like much at the time, and it still might not be, but Garcia hit the ground running upon making his US debut and has already shown he's no slouch with the bat.  His ceiling is low, but there might be something there worth watching.