Tag Archives: Posada

Yanks to honor 4, retire 3 numbers.

I was going to write a column looking at 2020, and look to what we can expect in the future, but that will have to wait.

For this column is to honor the past.

Today, the Yankees announced that #51 for Bernie Williams will be retired on May 24 (I’ll be there that day. I was there for #23, Don Mattingly and for #42, Mariano Rivera). On August 22nd they will retire the number of #20, Jorge Posada (I think I have to work that day) and on August 23rd they will retire #46 for Andy Pettitte (I will be there for that one).

In addition, on Old-Timer’s Day this year, Willie Randolph will join recent legends Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez and Goose Gossage by getting a plaque in Monument Park (no retired number).

No word on when Jeter’s #2 gets retired.

So the Yanks are going to have a serious problem. Once Jeter’s number is retired, that will be 20 retired numbers. Now, there are a few I believe should NOT be retired. I know I’m opening a can of worms here, but here goes. Should these numbers be retired? For the way things are going, the Yanks are 1) going to look like a football team with #82 playing CF, or 2) need to go to 1A, 2A, 3A, etc.

#1 Billy Martin (I believe it shouldn’t be retired. Billy was a major factor in three WS titles as a player, and hit .333 in the WS. He was WS MVP in 1953 when he had 12 hits in six games. He made a WS saving catch in Game 7 of the 1952 Series. He managed the Yanks to a WS title—-but in comparison, Ralph Houk managed the yanks to TWO WS titles, and Houk’s #35 won’t be retired —. Billy was a .257 career hitter. He wasn’t even the best player to wear #1 (Earle Combs, a HOF, was). No).

#2 Derek Jeter (Not officially retired yet). 3465 hits and 1st ballot HOF screams yes.

#3 Babe Ruth. Ummmm…. greatest Player ever. Yes.

#4 Lou Gehrig. Yes.

#5 Joe DiMaggio. Yes.

#6 Joe Torre. Interesting question. The Yanks have so many numbers retired, that you have to ask, players only? Or include managers. If you include managers, then Torre is a Yes. If players only, no. (BTW, Miller Huggins and Joe McCarthy never wore a number).

#7 Mickey Mantle. Yes.

#8 Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra. Both Yes.

#9 Roger Maris. No. Honor Roger’s 1961 with a plaque, but not the number. .260 career hitter. GREAT for 1960 and 1961, very good in 1962, above average 1963-1964, not even average in 1965-1966. Sweeney Murti argues that Graig Nettles, who also wore #9, should get a plaque in Monument Park. Speaking of, Willie Randolph is getting a plaque. How about Tony Lazzeri and Joe Gordon getting plaques? Both are in the HOF. Willie won’t be. Love Willie, but….

#10. Phil Rizzuto. No. Plaque yes, honoring his 56 or so years of service, but not retire the number.

#13… just kidding. Based on his suspension and turbulent relations with the Yankees, I’ll be shocked if the Yanks honor A-Rod.

#15 Thurman Munson. Yes. Esp. considering the circumstances of his passing.

#16 Whitey Ford. Yes.

#20 Jorge Posada. No. No Offense to Jorge, but unless you are HOF, it’s hard to justify retiring the number.

#23. Don Mattingly. No. I was there when they retired his number. I loved Donnie, but is he more worthy or better than two people who each got a plaque but whose numbers aren’t retired? O’Neill or Tino? I think not. Also, no HOF. Should have the same treatment as Paul and Tino. Plaque, no retired #. Hey, with so many retired numbers, we have to be tough here.

#32. Elston Howard. Plaque yes, retired number, no. 1st black on the Yanks, 1st AL Black MVP, but not a HOF. Tough call, but no.

#37 Casey Stengel. See Torre above. If you want players only, no. If you include managers, yes.

#44 Reggie. No. Only was with the Yanks 1977-1981, not long enough. Plaque yes, retired number, no.

#46 Andy Pettitte. Close call. No. Chuck Knoblauch, who is in the Mitchell report along with Andy (HGH) blasts the selection of Pettitte. I’d argue yes, but it’s a close call. By the way, Red Ruffing #15 and Allie Reynolds #22 both have plaques, no retired number. Of course, #15 is retired for Munson.

#49 Ron Guidry. No. Tough Call. I loved the Gator, but no HOF and not even 200 wins.

#51 Bernie. Tough call, but no HOF. The only difference between him getting his # retired and Paul and Tino getting just plaques is that Bernie spent 16 years as a Yankee while Paul and Tino spent considerable time with other teams (Cincy and Seattle).

So I eliminated 10 numbers, 12 if you think players only should have the numbers retired. This isn’t to disrespect the players whose numbers I want to “unretire” but to state which I think should be retired vs. those I think the Yanks went overboard on.

The Yanks could have a problem in years to come. Hopefully I am alive to see it. It means I would have lived through one more dynasty.

 

 

Yankees re-sign Headley

The Yanks re-signed Chase Headley today to a 4-yr. deal worth $52MM. With the signing, the infield should be set with Teixeira at 1B, Prado at 2B, Gregorious (with Ryan) at SS and Headley at 3B. A-Rod appears to be the DH.

One thing is apparent. The infield defense should be better than last year. Last year, the Yanks had Solarte at 3b for half the year, a 36 year old Brian Roberts at 2B for most of the year, and the 40 year old Jeter at SS.

It appears as if Rob Refsnyder or Jose Pirela will either be on the bench or at AAA for depth in case of injury.

Headley, 30, is a switch-hitter who hit just .229-7-32, OPS+ 90 for SD for most of 2014 (77 games) but then did better with the Yanks, .262-6-17 in 58 games (OPS+ 119) to finish at .243-13-49, OPS+ 102. He had a dream year in 2012 for SD, .286-31-115 (led NL in RBI), OPS+ 145, GG, SS and 5th in MVP balloting.

His 162 g. average is .265-16-70, OPS+ 113. If he gives the Yanks that, fans should be happy.

The starting 9 appears set. C McCann, 1B Teixeira, 2b Prado, SS Gregorious (Ryan vs. lefty pitchers), 3B Headley, LF Gardner, CF Ellsbury and RF Beltran with DH A-Rod. Headley, Teix and Beltran are switch-hitters.

There are a couple of lineup scenarios. Here are three:

Ellsbury/Gardner/Beltran/Teixeira/McCann/A-Rod/Headley/Prado and Gregorious.

Ellsbury/Prado/Beltran/Teixeira/McCann/A-Rod/Headley/Gardner and Gregorious.

Gardner/Prado/Ellsbury/Teixeira/Beltran/McCann/A-Rod/Headley and Gregorious.

Just a couple of examples.

In other news, a couple of former Yanks may be suing to get back $$$$ they were bilked out of by their financial advisers. Jorge Posada apparently lost $11MM and Jose Contreras $2.4MM to these “advisers.”

Earl Weaver dies

Earl Weaver, the HOF manager of the Orioles 1968-1982, 1985-1986, died yesterday at the age of 82.

Weaver led the Orioles to four World Series (1969-1971, 1979), winning one (1970). Five of his teams won 100 games in a season, one—the 1980 Orioles—not even making the playoffs (in that pre-wild card era, they won 100 but the Yankees won 103).

He also guided the Orioles into the ALCS in 1973 and 1974.

His lifetime winning pct. was .583, which would be equal to an average of a 94-68 season.

Meanwhile, the LOHUD blog states that Jorge Posada will be in spring training camp as a guest instructor. Considering the current state of the Yankees’ catching right now, it’s a good thing that he will be. He may have a lot of work to do (Cervelli, Stewart, Romine, etc.).

Yanks sign Mo, but now need a catcher

The Yanks and Mariano Rivera reached agreement on a one-year contract worth $10 MM + incentives on Mo’s 43rd birthday yesterday.

It’s expected that the 2013 season will be Mo’s swan song.

But the Yanks now need a catcher. Russell Martin, who hit .211-21-53, OPS+ 92, has signed a two-year contract with Pittsburgh, leaving the Yanks with Francisco Cervelli (who spent almost all of last year in AAA), untested Austin Romine, who missed most of last year with a back injury, and Chris Stewart, Martin’s backup last year.

Stewart hit .241-1-13, OPS+ 67 in 55 games last year. Romine, 24, was 3 for 19 in 2011 in a brief callup with the Yanks, but got into just 31 minor league games last year due to his back injury, hitting .243-4-15. It’d be a stretch to suggest he is ready.

Cervelli, who’ll be 27 next year, hit .246-2-39 at AAA last year. In 490 MLB at bats, Cervelli is .271-5-71, OPS+ 84.

Martin only hit .211 last year (and spent most of the year in the .180’s), but it’s still a dropoff.

Gary Sanchez, who’ll be 20 soon, is far from ready. He hit .290-18-85, and could be the catcher of the future, but he hasn’t played any games at all above High-A.

So do the Yanks trade for a catcher?

The two free agent catchers out there are Mike Napoli, 31, who is more of a hitter than a catcher. Napoli hit .227-24-56 last year for Texas, OPS+ 110 (but wags (like me?) would say his low average/high HR would fit in with the Yanks’ lineup). He had 30 HR for Texas in 2011, has postseason experience (10 RBI in the 2011 WS). But his defense isn’t good. He is a .259 career hitter with a very good OPS+ of 126. However he doesn’t seem to fit defensively, as Girardi, a former catcher known for his defense, would want someone in the same defensive mold as himself.

The other free agent catcher is A.J. Pierzynski. Pierzynski hit a career high 27 HR his past season, .278-27-77. OPS+ 118. His average year is more like .284-13-60, OPS+ 96. He, like Napoli, has postseason experience (and, in his case, a WS ring from 2005), but I don’t see his personality (he can be grating) fitting in with the Yanks.

The Yanks said that they didn’t have the money to compete with Pittsburgh on Martin’s deal. Like one friend stated on his blog, read that again.

It’s too bad Brian Schneider isn’t five years younger. Schneider comes from my hometown, and is a lefty bat. But he hasn’t played regularly since 2008. Since then he hasn’t played in more than 59 games in a season, and has hit just .214. Schneider, a fine defensive catcher, if he were 31 instead of 36, could have platooned with Cervelli until Romine is ready. But even if he were in his prime, and gave you 100 games, the best you would expect from Schneider would be .247-8-40 or so.

Maybe the Yanks force-feed Romine now into the starting role, but I doubt it. But instead of getting the year in AAA he needs, Romine could be force-fed into the backup role. But as of now, I see Cervelli #1 and Stewart #2.

That could change over the next few months. It most likely will, but who would be the new catcher? In any case, it appears that that new catcher would just be a stopgap. But you never know.

No, I don’t see Posada (41) coming out of retirement. Remember that Jorge hasn’t caught regularly since 2010, and his defense in the last few years of his career was highly suspect.

But considering the age of this team, with Jeter, Mo, Pettitte, A-Rod, Kuroda, and possibly Chavez and Ichiro, Jorge would fit right in, wouldn’t he?

Game 44. Teix back to 3rd in lineup today

The Yanks try to stay above .500 today. Teixeira is back up at 3rd in the lineup.

22-21, 4th in A.L. East, 5 1/2 back. Even with the Pythagorean mark, OPS+ 108, ERA+ 102.

Jeter SS .341-5-16  3/4  130  Hit count: 3149
Granderson CF .250-13-24  1/3  134  Still want him to RUN!
Teixeira 1B .229-5-20  1/2  78   Needs to get it going. 
Rodriguez 3B .276-5-15  5/5  109   See below
Cano 2B .304-5-17  1/1  127
Swisher RF .239-7-27  0/0  102  See below.
Jones DH .217-4-8  0/0  93    See below.
Martin C .179-4-10  1/1  79   See Below.
Nix LF .263-2-4  0/1  129  5 for 19. 

Pettitte LHP  1-1, 2.51. ERA+ 171.   3rd start of his comeback.

Jeter leads the AL in hits. 3 behind Waner and 5 behind Brett on the all-time list. But since May 4, hitting .231 (15 for 65), with last night’s RBI as his only RBI in that period (16 games). All hits are singles except for one double, and there have been 6 GIDP.

A-Rod has just 1 HR since 4/27. Of his 43 hits, only 10 are XBH. Where’s the power?

Swisher:  .177 since 4/28, 1 HR, 4 RBI.  11 for 62, 17 strikeouts in that span (compare lack of HR to A-Rod; same time period).

I have to wonder if Mustelier, at this point, would be a better option than Jones. Mustelier in 42 games AA/AAA? .337-8-29. 5/9 in SB.

I also have to wonder if a 40 year old Posada could hit better right now than Martin. (Not catch better, mind you…)

Pettitte is looking for career win #242, Yankee win #205.

Game 6 lineup

Against the Orioles tonight. Yanks off tomorrow, home opener vs. Angels on Friday.

Jorge Posada will be throwing out the first ball on Friday, per Jack Curry of the YES network. You can imagine the applause he will receive. No word as to whether Jeter will catch it.

Tonight’s lineup (and let’s hope the bats are better w/risp!)

Jeter 6
Granderson 8
Cano 4
Rodriguez 5
Teixeira 3
Swisher 9
Ibanez DH
Martin 2
Gardner 7

Sabathia LHP (0-0, 7.50)

Posada retires today.

Jorge Posada announces his retirement at a press conference at Yankee Stadium today. See Bronx Baseball Daily (link at right) for a review of Posada’s career.

Cody Ross signed with Boston. He most likely will platoon in RF. Boston still has holes to fill.

Kevin Millwood signed a minor league deal with the Mariners. Omar Vizquel signed with Toronto. Vizquel, the active leader in games, PA and AB, will be 45 in April. He has 2841 hits.

Besides Ibanez, Damon, Vlad, Matsui… forgot another DH still out there: Derrek Lee. One off the board: Wilson Betemit, who signed with Baltimore.

Ex-Phils broadcaster Andy Musser died at the age of 74.