No one knows the answer to what may come in 2011, but one things for sure, the Yankees had a heck of a 2010 season. They battled for the AL East only to lose it to Tampa Bay; they battled in the ALCS against the Rangers only to pack up and go home yet again, but some memorable events occurred which makes 2010 one of the most memorable Yankee season to date.
6. A-Rod’s 600th Home Run: This was talked about for a long time. It had taken A-Rod a couple of games to finally muster his 600th home run, but as soon as he did fans were cheering, his team mates were going bonkers and he himself realized what he had accomplished, number 600 in the bag. This was one of the most talked about events in 2010 and it may still continue buzzing into 2011.
5. The Rise and Fall of A.J Burnett: In the beginning of 2010, A.J Burnett was consistent, able to locate his pitches, striking out batters in order and was living on the top as one of the most beloved go to guys in the league. Then trouble came when Ex-Pitching Coach Dave Eiland left for a personal matter for a couple of weeks, and around that time was when A.J started to struggle. A.J wasn’t making his pitches, he was struggling and was leaving games early because he either couldn’t maintain the lead or he had let too many runs score for the opposing team. But A.J was soon showing everyone that he was getting ready to rise to the occasion when the Yankees needed his help in the ALCS. Burnett was pitching fine, but the Yankees were unable to continue their quest to number 28, leaving A.J’s hopes dashed. But A.J Burnett proved that he was able to bounce back, and is planning a full time comeback by practicing early for the 2011 Spring Training.
4. Brett “The Jet” Gardner Speeds To The Top: When we think of the Yankees we usually think of Derek Jeter for his services to them for the last 15 years, or Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada. But when we look through the lineup card a little bit longer we realize that someone on that lineup card stands out, and that is none other than Brett Gardner. Starting in his first season as the starting left fielder Brett Gardner changed the game with his speed and confidence. With his legs alone he was able to swipe 47 bases, 5 of those bases coming from a Yankees/Red Sox double header and led the Yankees in on base percentage with .390. While he shot out to the races in the first half of 2010, his numbers slowly diminished after he was hit by a pitch in June, with him getting the surgery that he needed in December. With the Yankees having a new weapon in their arsenal, they are hoping Gardner can steal bases just as consistent in 2011.
3. George Steinbrenner & Bob Sheppard Gone But Not Forgotten: When a child went to a Yankees game prior to 2010, the voice that you heard in the Yankees P.A Announce box was none other than Bob Sheppard. He had worked for the Yankees for many years, announcing the games. With his voice so iconic, Derek Jeter requested that they had recorded it and playback every time he goes to bat for as long he is a Yankee. But when you thought about who owned the Yankees, or how they become today, there is only one name that you can think of, George Steinbrenner. He had led the Yankees to World Series plenty of times before, his last one in 2009 where the Yankees had taken on and beat the Philadelphia Phillies. Steinbrenner died in July, the morning of the All Star Game, the same one Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano were to play in. Sheppard died 2 days before. Both of them were honored by the Yankees after the All-Star Game wearing patches on their uniforms to commemorate and pay signs of respect. Steinbrenner’s monument is now featured in Monument Park along with Sheppards plaque and with past Yankee legends.
2. Derek Jeter’s Contract Dispute: This had made headlines for majority of November and December as Derek Jeter was discussing his contract with Brian Cashman. Cashman had gave Jeter the run around, with both of their asking prices to be totally different. In the end they were able to settle for approximately $55 Million dollars for 4 years but Jeter expressed his feelings about the whole entire dispute. He argued how he was ‘mad’ about the entire ordeal and wished that his contract was never made public. Now Cashman has to learn one thing. In order to get prize possession of people in the free agent market, he has to treat one of his veterans the way he would want to be treated.
1. Cliff Lee Goes To: Philadelphia?: The prize during the off season was none other than Cliff Lee. After the way he had shut out the Yankees while he was on the Rangers, the way he was in control with his fastball, the way that he had made every team want him. But he was special to the Yankees, in the main sense that they wanted Lee to join their organization no matter what his asking price. The same had applied to Boston who had recently capped Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez to be apart of their team. The Yankees were willing to give Cliff Lee 7 years, the Rangers 6 years, and the asking prices were a major difference. But this story ended with a twist. Apparently Lee and his agent spoke with the Philadelphia Phillies, asking if they were still interested in him. It turned out that they were, and with that they were able to sign Cliff Lee to a 5 year deal, leaving Yankee fans, players and managers flabbergasted with the results. It had turned out that at the end of the tunnel, Philadelphia swept in like Spiderman and saved Lee from joining the Yankee Organization. With Cashman unaware of what to do until Spring Training starts, he suggested that now his new plans are patience, hoping that will be key into signing some key players.
The Yankees had an unbelievable 2010 season, only for it to end in disappointment, but one thing is for sure, the Yankees are hoping for when the ball strikes in Times Square on New Years Day their luck will change as well, and they will come out victorious in 2011.
Many Yankees fans were in shock Tuesday morning when they found out they lost the Cliff Lee Sweepstakes. They were even more in shock when they found out the Rangers didn’t win either. The Philadelphia Phillies came from behind to clinch Lee, adding power to their rotation. As of now, the Phillies have Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. The Yankees only have CC Sabathia, A.J Burnett and Phil Hughes, which means the Yankees have to ask Pettite for his return for one last season.
After Plan A and Plan B flew out the window, Cashman revealed another Plan “B”: Patience. Many reasons were speculated as to why Cliff Lee decided to join the Phillies in the first place. Lee answered that he enjoyed his time there and was heartbroken when he was traded to the Mariners during the 2009 off-season. Cashman is known for keeping negotiations out in the open. An example would be dealing with “dirty laundry” when he attempted to resign Derek Jeter. The speculation of his contract was made known to the whole world, even non-baseball fans knew Cashman’s tricks. After the contract was discussed and inked, Jeter revealed he was angry of how his contract negotations went. Maybe one reason that Lee didn’t sign to New York was that he was afraid the same thing would happen to him after his contract expired.
Even though Cliff Lee had disappointed many baseball fans, he still did right by his family, making sure that he chose a place where they would be comfertable. Even though Cliff Lee took a lower amount from the Phillies; 5 years, 120 Million, he was a smart man for making the decision the way he did. Cliff Lee is one smart man, and this just proves that not all the money in the world can buy him.
The Rangers and the Nationals are also the front runners in getting Cliff Lee, but the Yankees 7 year contract might be enough to nip this in the bud and get Cliff Lee. If Cliff Lee decides not to join the Yankees, the Yankees might think of Plan “B+”: Trade one of their outfielders for a starting pitcher. The original Plan B was to snag Carl Crawford if Lee said no, but Crawford joined the Red Sox late Wednesday night. One of the outfielders that have teams in a frenzy is Brett Gardner, with his speed and his money friendly price range. Nick Swisher contains power and is in the last year of his 4 year Yankee contract while Curtis Granderson has the speed, the power but his contract is least impressive, since it deals with a lot of money. For Brian Cashman getting Cliff Lee is a major deal, because if he doesn’t then Plan “B+” will look messy, which he hadn’t thought out.
Every year, the Yankees empty out their lockers, wish each other luck, say their goodbyes and hope to see each other again in the off-season, but for Andy Pettite he may have emptied and closed his locker for the last time. According to reports from Brian Cashman, Andy Pettite was leaning towards retirement after he had contacted him recently. Understanding Pettite’s situation, Pettite claimed that he had found it difficult for him to go from New York to Texas during the off days that the Yankees had and earlier in the season claimed that he didn’t want to miss his sons go through High School and graduate. While Pettite has a lot to think about so does Brian Cashman. If Pettite decides to retire, Cashman will have to push for Cliff Lee during the Winter Meetings with still Carl Crawford as the Plan B just for back up.
Would you like to see Andy Pettite retire or come back for one more season in 2011? Post your comments in the box below.
So it appears that Kerry Wood, Nick Johnson and Lance Berkman are heading somewhere else for the 2011 season. It had been made official that Brian Cashman had declined the options for the three players above. Kerry Wood who had optioned for $11 Million apparently isn’t getting it from the Yankees which seems kinda unfair since he was an effective part of them making it into the Post Season this year. Lance Berkman had a rocky back and forth outing with the Yankees since July and Nick Johnson can’t be trusted to stay healthy. I wish luck to Kerry Wood to find a team that will pay his demand, cause honestly having Wood in the Yankees bullpen would have been the grenade that the Yankees needed to blow to the top of the standings for 2011.
In other news, Cliff Lee pitched against Tim Lincecum in the series premiere of the 2010 World Series and the Giants? They knocked Lee down, and took the win away from him. Despite that, the Yankees are still hoping that they are going to get Cliff Lee this winter since Lee has either one of two options. He can stay with the Rangers for the next season or he can sign a 5 year $151 million dollar contract with the Yankees. With reports coming in from his wife saying she was spat on and heckled at a ALCS game at Yankee Stadium, Cliff Lee shrugged that off saying “Fans will be fans.” Which might mean that Cliff Lee is seriously thinking of joining the New York Yankees. I’m going to say that if they do get Cliff Lee then they will have a major weapon besides CC Sabathia and Andy Pettite (If he decides to return to baseball for another season) who both had pitched well last season. Sabathia was 21-7 at the end of the season and Pettite was on the verge of the greatest season of his career when he pulled his hamstring in July. He had to settle for 11-4, which isn’t bad for him whatsoever.
But the point is that Cliff Lee has only 2 major teams in the running to sign him, the Rangers and the Yankees. The Yankees have the upper hand because they have more money to offer Lee than the Rangers do. If the Yankees do sign Lee and he accepts then his wife should get used to living in New York, and maybe this time she won’t be bothered by the fans cause she could be sporting a Yankees pinstripe jersey.
Just 3 days after the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs, trades, contracts and releases are flying all over the place, and it may be a little too hard for Hal Steinbrenner to deal with.
Let’s start with the contracts shall we? Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettite’s contract expired on Friday after the Yankees lost to the Texas Rangers, and the head of the Yankees expects to sign all three of them, if Pettite is still interested in playing next year that is. He is back to square one again, trying to contemplate whether to play another season or retire to spend more time with his family. Jeter is expecting a contact raise for him to play for another 4 or 5 years. Jeter is already 36 years old, which means if they extend his contract he will be at least 40 or 41 when his contract will expire again. Mariano Rivera has no problems with being sign, so there’s no drama there even though he is 41 years old.
For Kerry Wood, the Yankees would LOVE to sign him for his amazing pitching performance before the bullpen went to Mariano Rivera, but other teams are interested in him. Another prospect that they are interested in is Carl Crawford who is now a free agent after spending his season with the Tampa Bay Rays. In my opinion, I wouldn’t want the Yankees to sign Carl Crawford for the main reason…he’s a LEFT FIELDER, which defeats the whole purpose of having Brett Gardner there. Gardner brings more to the table than Crawford does. Gardner has a strong arm, is very fast and has the inside swing perfected. The only thing that Gardner can perfect this off-season is his bunting. Another prospect that the Yankees plan on getting is Cliff Lee. After the Cliff Lee deal went out the window in July, the Yankees will try again during the off season. I think if we get Cliff Lee, we will definetley see a 2011 World Series, but I am getting ahead of myself. We would need Cliff Lee to accept the New York deal first. And with Andy Pettite contemplating his decision of returning to baseball, Cliff Lee would be an excellent replacement of Pettite decides to retire.
The Yankees released pitching coach, first baseman and starting pitcher Dave Eiland, Lance Berkman and Javy Vazquez. Eiland had proved he wasn’t capable of commanding his pitchers, Lance Berkman only had July to October on his contract and Javy Vazquez wasn’t the starter anyone had hoped for. He was 10-10 during the whole year which was horrible. We all realize that A.J Burnett was just as bad, but there is a difference between Javy and A.J: A.J had a HUGE contract ahead of him. The Yankees may be out of the 2010 season, but 2011 brings more huge prospects, better pitching and who knows, maybe the Core Four (Jeter, Posada, Pettite, Rivera) will all return next season and help us through a Yankees World Series victory. There not getting any younger you know.