Monday, April 6, 2009

Yanks 09 preview- Whiteboy style

So I'm kind of annoyed at life right now. 2008 was great except for the fact that my beloved Yankees missed the playoffs for the first time since before I could vote. As my preview will demonstrate, the year of 2009 will be amazingly shitty.... except for the fact that the Yankees will be awesome.

Part I: The rotation

C.C. Sabathia- 20-8 3.35 ERA= This guy is good. He throws strikes and throws the ball hard with movement. He is a consistently great pitcher. I see no reason why he can't get 20 wins with this offense behind him.

A.J. Burnett- 17-9 3.55 ERA= I'm not sure what I am happier about, The fact that he is no longer pitching in the division or the fact that he now dons the pinstripes. Either way, he has had a great spring. He hits 95 on the radar gun without much effort and has great movement on his pitches. He, much like his hard throwing southpaw counterpart in Queens, seemed only to struggle in meaningless games against bad teams. Well there are no meaningless games in the Bronx A.J. So dominate like we know you can.

Chien-Ming Wang- 18-10 3.6 ERA= My favorite pitcher. I have always had a man crush on CMW. I will never forget his dominant 7 inning performance against the Jays in some random game in April of 2005. I had never heard of him until this game but was enamored with his strike throwing and ground ball inducing ways. He has been a benchmark of consistency since then his injury riddled 2008 aside. He should pick off where he left off in 2007.

Andrew Eugene Pettite- 13-9 4.2 ERA= Andy is of course a fan favorite. He has won many big games and has the moxy of a 13 plus year veteran, which of course he is. He should fare much better this year now that he does not have the pressure of carrying a weak rotation like he had last year.

Joba Chamberlain- 13-7 3.7 ERA= I figure he will have a low decision total for 1 of 2 reasons: (1) he will get hurt (2) he will leave a lot of games early. Joba has the stuff of an ace but throws too many pitches and has the tendency to get injured. If he is healthy all season he could threaten the ballyhooed 20 win mark but expect him to have at least one stint on the DL.

Mariano is G-d. Next issue.

Part II: The everyday position players

(1) Derek Jeter- .305 BA, 13 home runs and 69 RBIs (but wayyy less double plays)- Colin Cowherd is a moron. Yes I know I am not breaking any major ground here but moving Jeter to leadoff is as brilliant as it is critical. Derek, G-d love him, has developed a bad habit of hitting balls very hard into the ground and right at middle infielders in the first inning of games. This ruins the often crucial first inning and sets a bad tone for the game. Now, the same ground balls that would have been double plays with infielders shaded up the middle will become leadoff singles with infielders playing at normal position.

(2) Johnny Damon- .315 BA, 22 home runs and 87 RBIs- Batting Johnny second will allow his 1st inning home runs to count for more than 1 run on the scoreboard. Look, I like having the first batter of the game hitting a home run as much as the next guy. However, there is something more unsettling to a pitcher about having the leadoff guy get on base. It distracts the pitcher and makes him fear a big rally. So I'd rather not waste Damon's underrated power in the leadoff spot thank you very much.

(3) Mark Texiera- .285 BA, 30 home runs and 105 RBIs- Rumor has it that there is a wind tunnel that blows out to right field to make it even easier for power hitting lefties to lift fly balls into the short porch. If this is true, expect Tex to have a great season. Mark may start slow but I don't see it. He will become more and more relaxed as his seemingly shallow fly balls to right suddenly turn into 316 foot home runs. Oh yea, he is the best defensive player at the position to wear the uniform since Devo's boy Donny Backache.

(4) Alex Rodriguez- .306 BA, 40 home runs and 110 RBIs- Pro-rate these numbers over a full 162 game season and you approach his 2007 MVP statistics. Alex will find that coming onto a team that is already 16-5 will allow him to ease into the lineup. Had he started the year he would face the intense pressure as the guy who had to carry the offense of a 3 trillion dollar team.

(5) Hideki Matsui- 285 BA, 20 home runs and 84 RBIs- I wouldn't expect to see the artist formerly known as Godzilla to be in this spot very long. His best years are long behind him. He is a hard worker and by all accounts a class guy. However, his knees have taken a pounding over the years and he never quite lived up to his billing as a lethal power hitter anyway. He will be a nice 7th hitter on a good team however.

(6) Xavier Nady- 288 BA 23 home runs 90 RBIs- The X man figures to be a solid 6th hitter. He won't awe you in any one phase of the game but his professional fielding and productive and timely hitting helped the Yankees stay afloat until Joba's injury sunk the team last year.

(7) Jorge Posada- 283 BA, 20 home runs and 82 RBIs- Jorge will put up solid catcher numbers and probably play about 100 games at the position. He will need some time at DH and more days off than normal in order to keep his legs fresh and to prevent his body from breaking down.

(8) Robinson Cano- 313 BA, 25 home runs and 92 RBIs- Robby will have a strong bounce-back season. He will still have an underwhelming OBP of about 355 but will up his power and will get 85 plus RBIs purely by hitting behind the aforementioned guys.

(9) Brett Gardner- 250 BA, 2 home runs, 45 RBIs (330 OBP and 35 steals)- Brett will not make anyone forget about Bernie Williams in his prime. He probably will have weaker numbers in terms of production than Melk would have accrued had he been named the starting center fielder. However, Gardy will get his walks and will make the most of his times on base stealing at about an 88% clip and keeping pitchers focused on him rather than on future hall of famer Derek Jeter. So yes, I think he will have this position all year and Melk will probably be traded sooner than later.

Part III- Win loss

96-66= I think this team should win the division by 4 to 5 games as it has no real flaws. It has a legendary closer, solid middle relief and setup men including fireballers Jose Veras and Brian Bruney and changeup artist Edwar Ramirez. It also has the great lineup and rotation discussed above.

Part IV- Ultimate destination

The Yanks will win the Al pennant but will fall victim to yet another curse being lifted. The Yanks will lose to Lou's Cubs in 6 games. The NL will win the all star game and Chicago will win the World Series in Wrigley. I was going to do my whole playoff bracket but the last time I filled out a bracket I picked Michigan State to lose in the 2nd round to USC. Whoops! Whatever, LETS GO YANKEES!

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