Greetings, TYA readers and fellow Yankee fans. I’m Brad. As you may or may not know, I’m the founder, President, CEO, and sole writer over at An A-Blog for A-Rod. Recently I was invited by Larry to join the fine team here at TYA and I accepted the invitation. I figured that being the new kid in class, it was only right to introduce myself and give you all an idea of who I am and what I’m about before I just started firing posts up and giving you reasons to call me insane.
First off, I’m 25 years old, single, and I live and work in Wisconsin. So I’ve strayed a little far off the bag in terms of being near the Yankee fan motherland. Because of that, I go out of my way to watch the Yankees every time they’re on TV, even if it means having to sit through the likes of Joe Buck, Tim McCarver, Nomar, and Bobby Valentine, because the opportunities are much fewer and farther between than they used to be when I had the luxury of the YES Network back home in Connecticut. I’m talking shutting the phone off, bailing on people’s birthdays, ignoring girls trying to talk to me on Facebook, taking PTO from work to catch an afternoon game, whatever I have to do to make sure that nothing interferes with the 3+ hours I needed to watch/scream at the game on TV.
I’d say I first became a “real” Yankee during the 1996 World Series. Being a horrible baseball player growing up, and eventually ditching the game for lacrosse completely around 5th grade (insert your jokes about lacrosse here), I admittedly wasn’t as passionate a baseball fan as many other American boys my age. But the more I watched the 1996 Yankees, particularly 2 young players on that year’s team named Jeter and Rivera, the more I started to appreciate the skill they possessed and the skill it took to be a really good baseball player in general. By the time the postseason rolled around in ’96, I had taken to actually sitting on the couch and watching games from start to finish instead of running around outside at night playing Manhunt or Kill The Carrier with my friends. And by the time the World Series started, I was hooked for life. I can still remember leaping off the couch to watch Charlie Hayes make that catch in foul territory for the final out and jumping around my living room like I was actually part of the team.
Since then, I’ve become a much more serious baseball fan and a diehard Yankee fan. By the early 2000s, I was finally smart enough to understand and appreciate the statistics of baseball and what they meant. It also helped that stats was the only form of math that I was ever any good at and so I fully embraced that as my one shred of actual intelligence and fully embraced statistics as the true method of measuring baseball skill and value. As sabermetrics spent the past decade rising to prominence, I was already on board with the new ideas and new values they showed and took to that type of evaluation almost immediately. To this day, I still get strange looks from some of my friends and family when I start dropping FIP and WAR into our Yankee-related discussions. My personal style is usually to use stats to form my opinions and interpretations on what’s happening on the field rather than actually crunch all the numbers, and it looks like the guys here are already doing a better job at that than I could ever hope to. So think of me as an idea guy, but not one who’s going to sit here and tell you how a player’s look, heart, and grit is what makes him such an effective player. We’ve already got John Kruk for that.
As for my personal Yankee allegiances, I worship at the alter of Jeter and Mo. I’ve got more Jeter cards than I know what to do with, which is a bit of a bummer considering how far off the map the baseball card industry has fallen. That being said, I’m not a mindless, mouth-breathing Jeter fan who refuses to accept the truth, and I am smart enough to recognize that Jeter has been declining as a player for a few years now. I have no problem talking about him in a negative fashion if/when his play warrants it. As for Mo, I really don’t have to worry about talking about him that way because he’s not human and could probably continue to be dominant until The Rapture. I’m a huge fan of Robbie Cano, Brett Gardner, and Dave Robertson, I’ll be a bigger fan of Curtis Granderson if he can put up good numbers again in 2012, and Phil Hughes was my first big prospect crush, so I still have a soft spot in my heart for the kid even though everybody else is jumping ship on him like he just hit an iceberg. I like Hank and Hal but I despise Randy Levine. I’d love nothing more than for Cash to be able to be able to punch Levine in the face and fire him. And I would not call myself a fan of Joe Girardi by any stretch of the imagination. I think I’m definitely in the minority group of fans who think Joe does a bad job managing his bullpen, and I could throw a beer bottle through my TV every time he puts the sac bunt on. So fair warning, get ready for a few anti-Joe rants in the future.
So there you have it. That’s me in a nutshell. I’d like to thank Larry, Moshe, and all the guys for bringing me into the fold here at TYA and I’m looking forward to being able to start posting and hopefully creating some good discussion as we get ready to move into Hot Stove Season and start the chase for Title 28 in 2012. Go Yankees!
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