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Some Thoughts On This Week's Signings

By Karley Ziegler Mott
12.10.09


I've been paying close attention to the off-season and was thrilled when the Yankees resigned veteran pitcher Andy Pettitte to a one year, $11.75 million contract Wednesday morning. As a Pettitte fan for years, I am thrilled. If anyone had any questions about Pettitte's return last season, he clearly answered the naysayers by proving himself to be an invaluable member of the rotation during the playoffs. The 38 year old horse came through even on three days' rest during the World Series and helped the team clinch their 27th World Series. Pettitte had fun just playing the game and it showed. He's still got another great season left in him.

While the hoopla seems to be over the acquisition of Curtis Granderson, signing Pettitte for one more year will give the Yanks a greater return on their investment in the 2010 season. I'm not knocking Granderson. He is undoubtedly a good center fielder. Michael Kay will have plenty of chances to yell "See ya" while Granderson is hitting them out of the park at Yankee Stadium. He can't hit lefty pitchers, though. He's well under .200 when it comes to facing lefties. This could pose a problem.

While Granderson is known for being a class act--easy going and a true team player--that doesn't guarantee him being the right fit for this team. That will be great for the Yankees clubhouse, although the chemistry shared among the players this winning season was obvious--right down to the pies in the face. That said, New York is a different market than Detroit. How will he fare under the microscope with overwhelming expectations? I think it's going to take a good couple seasons for him to adjust.

Maybe it's just the fact that I still, in my hearts of hearts, compare each guy playing center to Bernie Williams in his prime. I may be proven wrong, but I'm thinking the Yankees are making a mistake. Is landing Granderson an upgrade over Melky Cabrera? At hitting homers, yes. Offensively, though, it's pretty much a wash. Cabrera also struck out much less than Granderson. I am eager to see how it all plays out.

Speaking of how things play out, I would like to see Johnny Damon back as DH this season. Yes, he's getting older. He can't be out there playing defense daily, but hitting is something he can do. If I had to choose, I'd keep Damon and sign him for a year and thank Matsui for his years of service and have him go off to the White Sox. So much of the Yankees success each season comes down to chemistry. The winning Yankees under Torre back in the last 90s had that special chemistry. They had it last year's championship season, too, and Damon played a key role in that. Yes, it's a business and players often seem expendable. One thing the higher ups have often failed to realize, though, is that when you chip away at that chemistry, you take away more from the team than just a smiling face. This was evident the past years when so many different personalities were pieced together without any thought to what the puzzle would look like in the end.

Next time I post, I'd like to take a deeper look at the Yankees starting rotation.

3 comments:

  1. Who'd have ever known you were such a Yankee's fan! So great to see you writing here, Karley!

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  2. Thank you, Diana. Most people would never guess I used to be a tomboy--playing with cars out in the dirt early on...and enjoying baseball, too.

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  3. nice blog, the thing with damon is he wants to get his 3,000 hit as a yankee, he need four more years for that, he would be lucky to get two more years from the yanks, matsui only wants to play for two more years, the thing with matsui is that the japanese spend alot of yen on the yankees. chemistry is overated the yankees of 77 and 78 had poor chemistry, and recently the 04 and 07 red sox had one of the worst clubhouses. as long as jeter,posada,and rivera are around the team will be fine, granderson will be fine the k's will go down, he is an upgrade over melky, the melk is a good player, but granderson is an allstar, remember this the new york yankees are the longest and greatest running off broadway show, and the boss loves allstars,rings,and money.

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