-Derek Jeter has ditched his ‘no-stride’ batting stance that Kevin Long worked with him on this spring after just 7 games in the regular season. While I understand its tough to change something he’s done since little league, Long wanted him to change his stance for a reason. If he plans on doing things the same way he did last year, I guess we as fans should expect the same results. If he hits this year the way he did last year, he’ll be batting 8th by the end of July. Once #3000 is out of the way, there will be no reason to keep him at the top of the lineup.
-Ian Kennedy pitched beautifully last night against a potent Reds lineup, giving up just 1 ER in 8 IP while walking 1 and striking out 9. He also pitched fairly well on Opening Day, giving 3 ER over 6 IP. No regrets over Grandy deal, I’m just a fan of IPK (always was) and wish him well.
-Personally, I’m going to miss Manny Ramirez. The Yanks and Red Sox need characters to keep the rivalry vibrant, and no one was more colorful or more potent with the bat than Manny. I know he killed the Yanks more times than any of us can remember, but that’s part of what made Yanks-Sox rivalry so great from his tenure with the Sox from 01-07 . I loved the contrast he provided from the more corporate, professional Yankee image. He was a perfect foil, a great story and a great player. I’ll have a farewell piece going up tomorrow morning.
-Speaking of Manny, Robbie Cano is to Sox fans what Manny was to us Yankee fans. Career .367 hitter at Fenway, which is the highest ever for any Yankee with more than 200 ABs.
-I’m not ready to declare Russel Martin back to his pre-2009 form just yet, and won’t be for at least another month or so. But there are two obvious implications if Martin is back to being the All Star player he was back then. First, the Yanks have a surplus at the Catcher position and everyone above Gary Sanchez (who is years away) is expendable, including Jesus Montero. Next, Brian Cashman had a much better offseason than anyone gave him credit for. If Martin, Chavez and Andruw Jones just stay healthy and productive, he will have bolstered the team in depth and production at a very low cost.
-Link title of the day-”Yanks’ see a Silva lining”
-Keep an eye on Zach Britton, who is getting raves off his first 2 starts and dominated a potent Texas lineup yesterday. We all know the O’s can hit, but if they have now have a legit ace they become much more dangerous, and the AL East gets that much tougher. I’m not putting them in the mix for the division or Wild Card, but another tough opponent can pull down the win total for the favorites and make the Wild Card a bit more dicey. If you do the math, with the unbalanced schedule and a division of all .500 teams or better, it gets hard to break 90 wins unless you’re dominating the rest of the league. In past years, the Yanks and Sox always had a few cupcakes in the division (O’s, Rays) while they played each other to a standstill, which allowed them to win their 95+ games. That may not be the case this year.
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