Hitting One Out of The Ballpark ……

Hitting One Out of The Ballpark ……

By tophatal

Although we are a mere two and half months away before Spring Training starts the world of baseball still remains in place where deals are still being made between the teams , albeit that many of these transactions are not really thought of as ground breaking or for that part truly major. However, any time the New York Yankees tend to be involved in any such deal fans of the game tend to have their interest piqued by a deal .


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Obviously with the death of the late George Steinbrenner a great deal changed within the organization with the Steinbrenner family still retaining control of the team . Hank and Al Steinbrenner , along with their sister Linda Steinbrenner-Swindall are the main proprietors as custodian and owners of the ball-club. They in conjunction with GM Brian Cashman have looked to bolster the competitive edge of the organization .

There’s no doubt that 2011 was a major disappointment for the New York Yankees with the team missing the postseason having failed to either win the AL East or gaining the lone wildcard berth within the AL . If anything there was more to excited about concerning the team with short-stop Derek Jeter joining the 3,000 hit plateau and supplanting himself atop of that list within the Yankees’ organization of the team’s heralded greats . Beyond that it 2011 was a year of missed opportunities for the team and a failure of any leadership being shown a number of seasoned veterans on this roster .

There’s no denying that the main issue for the New York Yankees was the lack of pitching depth on the roster this past season . Beyond CC Sabathia the problems that the team faced were remarkably glaring . Phil Hughes , AJ Burnett failed to live up to the expectations in spite of the monies spent on the roster . Once the behemoths of the game in this specific criteria given the largess of the big market teams such as the Philadelphia Phillies , Boston Red Sox , Los Angeles Angels and the beleaguered Los Angeles Dodgers .

For Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi and his coaching staff this season will be one where the team will have to be assertive in every aspect of the game if they are to succeed within their division and the AL as a whole . Certainly the team now maintains the offensive output we have come to expect with the likes of Robinson Cano , Alex Rodriguez , Mark Teixiera and Curtis Granderson guiding the team in the aspect where they still remain strong.

In this off-season it was thought that the New York Yankees might have made a big splash by trying to land one of the eminent free agent pitchers on the market but it would appear that the front office felt it prudent to follow a much tamer route . In doing so the decision to trade catcher Jesus Montero (four player deal) a young player that many felt had a bright future within the organization bringing a great deal to the game with his defensive and offensive productivity . In a surprise move the organization has traded their young catcher to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for the young pitching sensation Michael Pineda while having also signed former Dodgers’ starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to a one year $10 million contract . As to whether or not the duo can add to the productivity of the pitching rotation remains to be seen but it is clear that Girardi and Cashman felt this has to be the first of a slew of moves that will be made by the team this off-season with the hope of contending for the World Series this upcoming season .

The New York Yankees I believe will be hard pressed to contend with the pitching rotation of their divisional rivals the Tampa Bay Rays whose roster of starting pitchers might be the envy of MLB . The Rays behind the arms of David Price , James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson spearheads what manager Joe Maddon and his coaching staff will pin their hopes to this season as they once again challenge the likes of the New York Yankees , Boston Rex Sox , Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles within their division.

With Pineda coming to the New York Yankees where he will no doubt be the number two starter behind CC Sabathia and in no discerning order Phil Hughes , A J Burnett , Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia vying for the remaining places to fill out that starting day roster . If this Yankees’ team cannot get itself over the hump then there is liable to be a major upheaval at the end of this season . With the money being spent by this organization on the staff in question if they cannot make a seriously contend then not only will the upheaval be amongst the playing personnel but quite possibly we may well see Joe Girardi’s tenure with the Yankees being brought to an abrupt end .

So All Star first baseman Prince Fielder still remains the marquee free agent still unsigned and that is even with the player’s agent Scott Boras signalling the fact that his client is worth his weight in gold . Well with the price of gold simply skyrocketing nowadays because of the inclement cycle within the economy I am not so sure that the asking price of a first baseman being signed to a multi-year contract as envisaged by Boras can be now commanded in today’s present economic environment . And that is with due respect to the contract signed by Albert Pujols with the Los Angeles Angels which was presided over by team owner Arte Moreno .

I have no doubt that Fielder will find a team with the Washington Nationals said to be looking for a first baseman who can provide the team with the added offensive power it seeks. Prince Fielder for his part had a successive season with the Milwaukee Brewers and was amongst the most productive first basemen within the game in 2011 . GM Mike Rizzo and team owner Theodore “Ted” Lerner need to make a big splash given the lack of real excitement to had at the team’s ballpark (Nationals Ballpark) this past season. They simply failed to contend within the NL East and even with the team’s drafting of Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg who were expected to bring some added excitement because they were viewed as a major draw . And will attendance for the team’s home games have been in line with the league average it has to be said if there is not a viable and competitive product on the field of play then there is no real chance of success for this organization.

As it is , the Washington Nationals face a tough task within the .NL East where they will have to contend with the Atlanta Braves , Miami Marlins , Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets . And amongst those teams it has been the Marlins who have been the most active bolstering their roster with some major acquisitions which has seen the team’s payroll has increased exponentially . A far cry from where organization was amongst the lower tiered pay-rolled teams in in MLB recent years. Marlins’ GM Michael Hill , alongside Larry Beinfest , David Sansom and team owner Jeffrey Loria with a new ballpark set to be opened to the public on Opening Day the organization wanted to bring a great deal of panache and publicity to the newly revamped team . That inaugural opening should bring about a great deal of interest to the Miami Marlins as no doubt some major league dignitaries will be on hand when the team takes to the field in its inaugural game .



How do you view the New York Yankees’ acquisition of Michael Pineda and do you see the team vying for the World Series this upcoming season ? As to the other points raised within this piece what thoughts do you have ? By all means do leave a comment as you see fit .






Picture and slide show details below .

(1) TAMPA, FL – FILE: Jesus Montero (83) of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait on Photo Day at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 23, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. According to reports on January 13, 2012 the New York Yankees have traded catcher Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners for pitchers Michael Pineda and Jose Campos . Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images …

(2) Michael Pineda (36) of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait at the Peoria Sports Complex on February 20, 2011 in Peoria, Arizona. According to reports on January 13, 2012 the New York Yankees have traded catcher Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners for pitchers Michael Pineda and Jose Campos. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images …

(3) Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda delivers to the Colorado Rockies during the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles. A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press on Friday, Jan. 13, 2012, that Kuroda, a free agent, has agreed to a $10 million, one-year contract with the New York Yankees. The person says the deal is pending the 36-year-old former Los Angeles Dodgers starter passing a physical . AP Photo/Danny Moloshok ….

(4) Jorge Posada , Mariano Rivera , Derek Jeter, and Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees pose on the pitchers mound after winning the last regular season game at Yankee Stadium 7-3 against the Baltimore Orioles on September 21, 2008 in the Bronx borough of New York City. According to reports on January 7, 2012, Jorge Posada will announce his retirement in the next couple of weeks. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images ….

(5) Jeremy Hellickson (58) of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the New York Yankees on September 21, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Getty Images North America / Jim McIsaacs ……

(6) Pitcher James Shields (33) of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the New York Yankees during the game at Tropicana Field on April 11, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Getty Images/ J Meric …….

(7) Milwaukee Brewers’ Prince Fielder grounds out during the eighth inning of Game 6 of baseball’s National League championship series against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011, in Milwaukee. The at bat could be the last as a Brewers for Fielder. Now an unrestricted free agent the player still remains unsigned and there now seems to be wavering interest in Prince Fielder’s undoubted talents . AP Photo/Jim Prisching ….




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Author: tophatal ...........

Brit ex-pat living C Florida . Now working with a consultancy firm in the field of corporate governance on the international front , concerning economic policies . Also covering the area of finance , banking, international banking. An MBA graduate from the (LSE) and UCL (London) , M&A (mergers & acquisitions), economics , risk management & assessment . Martial artist (tae-kwondo, karate, savate , muy-thai) & an vowed sports ' fan , sports' junkie. Served in armed forces British ... Royal Marines . Taught unarmed combat to members of the military and also competed in tournaments prior to joining the Royal Marines . Also an avid motorcycle junkie & free running enthusiast . Tech geek and computer repair technician. Entertainment: Musical tastes _ reggae, r&b, soul, hip-hop, rap , jazz, classical. Film genres , Preferably thrillers , crime dramas Hobbies ..... reading biographies & anything by John Grisham Just a lil' something to make me feel comfortable ! Tophatal

16 thoughts on “Hitting One Out of The Ballpark ……”

  1. Nice write up Al.

    Pineda = outstanding upside. People can knock NYY pitching, but they have the one of the best starters(CCS) in the game and the best reliever in history in Mo Rivera.

    Enough of the sports…………….WOMEN NOT VISIBLE ON MY SCREEN. wtf happened?


    1. Ronbets

      You’re right Pineda will add something to that Yankees’ pitching roster which last in terms of stats last season was their “Achilles’ Heel “,. But you have to depth beyond your number one and two starters and that’s where I still believe that the team will suffer !

      I believe that this part of the “new service” now as a selling point at Hooters ? However if your gratuity is more than 15% of the bill they will show you their breasts . Nice ! .

      I’d rather have Salma Hayek ” Tebow for me ! Va-va voom !

      tophatal ……………..


  2. I can only assume the “delay” in Prince’s signing is that he really, really wants Albert money but doesn’t seem to be getting quite that much from the various offers. I suspect he’ll wind up with the Nats. Really thought that would be done by now. I do agree this is a huge year for the Yankees. They simply must get to a World Series or they will set out to reinvent themselves once more as the Yanks do whenever they hit a dry patch. Girardi is out on a ledge also. They look like they’ll have to outslug the opposition this season and also squeeze another year out of The Closer.


    1. sports’

      When you have a greedy bastard like Scott Boras as your agent and the general managers around the league not only despise the guy but they see him as a bloodsucking leech there’s not much left to be said ! There’s no way in hell that any team should be paying the guy in excess of $20 million year for ten years (top paid first basemen) . That’s financial suicide for any team not in one of the major markets within baseball . If the Nationals pay out that amount they’re doomed to fail because the addition of Fielder won’t do a thing for that team which was woefully inept last season within the NL East .

      “It’s just business ” ! Scott Boras uber-agent to the stars within baseball …. ‘nough said ! rta r0d

      If Girardi fails to deliver this season for the Yankees he won’t be only one whose head will be on the chopping block that’s for sure ! Cashman was given a contract extension by the organization to a rather lucrative contract and he will also have to bear just as much responsibility for any type of failure seen .

      tophatal …………


    2. sports’

      Not only is Joe Girardi a man on a ledge but if he fails to take this team into the postseason no amount of rhetoric will save him from being fired . He’s way too docile and not animated or passionate enough as the manager of the Yankees . This roster of players team are still mentally soft ! And it’s portrayed in Girardi’s demeanor .

      tophatal …………


  3. Chris

    That’s the best that the front office could’ve hoped for concerning BJ Upton . When he’s hot , the kid is amazing and that’s what the team will need throughout this season with Johnny Damon being let go . I understand that they see Luke Scott as a better fit he is definitely not a guy who leads by example .

    This upcoming season I am not so sure that there’s enough “pop” in the lineup when adjudged against last year !

    tophatal …………….


  4. I think the Yankees got a good deal grabbing Pineda. I watched him pitch quite a few times last year, and he was great until he hit his rookie wall down the stretch as he pitched more innings than he was used to. Plus he strikes guys out witch is exactly what you need in Yankee stadium. If Ivan Nova turns into something good, that’s a pretty formidable rotation!


    1. chappy 81

      Yep ! Grabbing Pineda is one thing but let’s see how things pan out with regard to the rest of that pitching roster of the Yankees which was not that impressive last season .

      Girardi has his work cut for him this season and if they should fail to make the playoffs then he and Brian Cashman will have a great deal of explaining to do considering the money being lavished on the team in terms of payroll .

      tophatal ……………


    2. chappy

      I find it hard to believe that the Yankees simply weren’t interested in either C J Wilson or Yu Darvish but yet they found it some might say prudent to give up Montero in order to get Pineda ? This being the same team who years back weren’t afraid to throw money at the likes Hideki Irabu , Randy Johnson and Carl Pavano . Guys who proved to be considerable ” busts ” wearing Yankee Pinstripes ! And less we forget they still have on their roster AJ Burnett ?

      tophatal ………….


  5. Hey there, stumbled across your blog through sportschump and i figured to get in the conversation if you don’t mind. As always, I think the Yankees will once again make the playoffs. To me, people are quick to insert Michael Pineda as the 2nd starter in the rotation, but he hasn’t proven himself yet. New York is a whole different beast and some players are just not cut out for it. I think the Yankees season is going to depend a lot of Hughes as well, will he be consistent? His ERA will need to take a nosedive. Barring any injuries and/or setbacks, Yankees should be true contenders once again.

    I encourage you to join our community as well. You’d be a great addition. Feel free to check us out and share some of your ideas. Hope to see you soon.




    1. Blog Surface

      I totally agree with you with regard to Pineda as he is by no means that sure of thing because what’s said to be one impressive season . If the New York Yankees are to be successful then he’s going to have to be truly consistent over the course of a season and as of yet we don’t know if he can be the player that the Yankees will no doubt desire .

      I’ll definitely come over to your site to peruse the content .

      tophatal …………………


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