According to the NY Post, The Yanks denied a published report that they have let teams know that Swishalicious is available.
I commented on Swisher a bit in yesterday’s post. The Post states that Swish isn’t expensive (well, baseball-wise). $6.75M in 2010, $9 M in 2011.
More importantly, the Post says that Swish’s personality is a big hit with Girardi and Cashman.
Between Swish and AJ, the Yanks did seem to lighten up a lot this year. They seemed to have fun again. You saw the change in A-Rod when he decided to make baseball his focus and to have fun doing so. How many times did he tense up in past postseasons?
For many years, the Yankees corporate on-the-field image (the off-the-field corporate image, with the megabucks, will ALWAYS be there) was used to ridicule them. Who can forget the phrase that “rooting for the Yanks was like rooting for GM”? (That is, when GM was kicking ass instead of what the auto industry has become today)…
That phrase really irked Tony Kubek. Kubek once remarked about that phrase by stating something like this, “Do you think we just throw our gloves on the field and win? A phrase like that makes us seem like robots. We all worked hard to become as good and consistent as we have been.” Well, not in those exact words, but you understand what I am getting at. It seemed like all the hard work was being pooh-poohed with no credit given to that.
But that corporate image could be suffocating. The pressures of the Northeast (I use Northeast because NYC isn’t alone; try Boston or Philly pressure) can suck the life and joy out of a player, especially when the team is EXPECTED to win every year.
It’s still a game, although one with major implications money-wise. But by having a little levity in the locker room, be it Swisher’s joy or AJ’s pies, the Yanks finally breathed this year, and it paid off.
In other news, LoHud has an article about the Yankees prospects in the Arizona Fall League now that the AFL short season has ended.
If the allegations against Kansas football coach Mark Mangino are true, he should be canned immediately. By the way (and not to be cruel), how can players be motivated to stay in shape when Mangino, Andy Reid, Charlie Weis… well, you get the point.
Our friend Mike F. has a post up on going after Halladay. I comment a bit over there. Frankly, I’d like Andy back, and would like a nice solid #4 (Lackey?) with Gaudin #5. A killer bullpen of Aceves/Joba/Robertson/Hughes and Mo? Goodness for the LOOGY. I do wonder if the Yanks have interest in Mike Gonzalez. They did have interest in him a few years back but Gonzalez may command $4 to $5M a year. He did have a good season (5-4, 10 saves, 2.42) for the Braves and has only had one real “blip” year in his career (2008 Braves).
I don’t feel as if the Yanks will make a big free agent splash this year however. Maybe I just feel as if they went for broke last year. Maybe if they lose $13M in Matsui or Damon they will re-allocate the money towards someone. Randy Wolf went through the Phillie wars so he is used to the northeast. Just average, though but good for a #4 spot? 12-10, 4.13 162g average. ERA+ 103. All NL though, and you wonder how he’d translate to the AL East. Would probably cost only half of what it would take for Lackey, though.
Goodbye, Shelley? Chad Jennings of LoHud reports the additions (and one subtraction) to the 40-man roster. No surprise in protecting A-Jax. Shelley Duncan didn’t make the cut.
Update: Jennings has more on Duncan.
Shelley Duncan was outrighted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but that doesn’t mean he’ll end up there.
The first time a player clears waivers and is sent outright to the minor leagues, he has no choice but to accept the assignment. The second time, he has the right to refuse the assignment. Duncan was outrighted off the 40-man last winter and went to Triple-A. If Duncan clears this time, he will refuse the assignment.
“I’ll wait and see,” Duncan said. “I might clear on Monday or something, and if do, then I’ll become a free agent.”