We’re just a few hours away from first pitch in Arlington for the ALCS and here’s what’s swirling around my head on a rainy Thursday night after a fourteen hour work day (you, of course, will be reading this on Friday morning).
Just to get it out of the way, I’m predicting the Yankees will win the ALCS in five games. I’m not sure which game they’ll lose, I just think they’ll lose one. Winning in five would be nice because it would mean a second straight ALCS victory at home, and the more the team can celebrate in Yankee Stadium the better. I wanted the Yankees to play the Rangers instead of the Rays and I’ve gotten what I wanted. Hopefully, the Yankees can follow through on their end of the deal. Of course, I’m very confident that they will. Still, one thing is puzzling me.
I’d rather the Yankees start CC Sabathia on three day’s worth of rest in Game Four instead of A.J. Burnett, regardless of the score of the series. This really has nothing to do with Burnett–okay, mabye a little–I just want the Yankees’ best starter lined up to start in Game Seven. That’s also not to say that I don’t think Andy Pettitte could handle pitching in a potential Game Seven, I’d just rather have the team’s best pitcher out there when the season is on the line. However, the way they have it set up is that no matter what, the worst SP of the bunch will only pitch once in the series. That’s fine with me.
This article by Brendan Prunty is a must read. It just goes to show (again) how great a hitting coach Kevin Long is and how hard even the most talented players, like Robinson Cano, work on perfecting their crafts. If I ever again hear anyone say Robinson Cano is lazy, I’m going to slap that person in the face with a tire iron. Who’s with me?
Lastly, there’s this tweet from beat writer Mark Carig. Answering that question is nearly impossible and you could make a case for each one. For example, Adrian Beltre didn’t lead the Red Sox to a playoff spot, but he had a fantastic season and provided great value considering his relatively low cost.
For the Yankees, we could argue that A.J. Burnett, CC Sabathia, and Mark Teixeira paid for themselves by winning the 2009 World Series. The value/cost argument also holds true for the 2010 Yankees in regards to Marcus Thames. He was signed to a Minor League contract and ended up performing at a much higher level than we would’ve expected.
My ultimate answer, though, would be combining the value/cost versus raw performance arguments. After all, raw performance is what you really want, right? No matter how much or how little you sign a player for, you want him to put up big numbers. If the team doesn’t make the playoffs, that’s really not his fault, is it? I mean, do we blame the aforementioned Beltre for the Sox missing the playoffs? He did everything he could to make sure the Sox DID make it. If you can get a guy to play well AND have a relatively low cost, then you’ve won that signing in every way possible.
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TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees