This blog will focus on the DH spot and the next will be about the trade of Melky
However, because this blog is a tribute to The Genius Maker, it would be appropriate for me to congratulate our savior, who was named the Sporting News 2009 Pro Athlete of the Year! I have to admit, I have no idea what this award was for, but I am sure it had something to do with being the greatest closer this world has ever seen! Congratulations Mo, you deserve every award out there.
I still miss Matsui and I am convinced the Yankees messed up their negotiations or lack thereof with him. I said it before, he pays for himself with the Japanese income and the cheap contract was well worth it. I know he had his knee drained 3 times last year and it probably won’t get any better, but the guy can still rake.
My belief is that the Yanks focused on getting Lackey and when that fell through, by the time they switched to Matsui he had already taken care of his own business. That is a shame. Boston is a better team this year than last. Even losing Bay, they should pick up a few wins which makes them a mid to high 90 win ball club. That is pretty darn good, although we should be approaching 100 ourselves.
The Yanks signed Nick Johnson and the messages from fellow blog readers I received were clearly not positive. That being said, I do think this was an excellent signing (that was only needed because of the Matsui debacle). Johnson will replace the Damon spot and I would put Granderson in the Matsui spot (5th). Johnson is an on base machine and in front of Texiera and ARod this should be very valuable.
Johnson will give you an OBP over .400 and I think will show more power in the Yankees lineup with more threats behind him. Over his last 2 years (he missed all of 2007) his OBP was .424 and his slug was .410 for a total of .834. I think his OBP will probably drop some to perhaps around .400 but his slug will move up to make up the difference, let’s say .434, although if he can stay healthy I see his slug and OPS moving higher. My feeling is based on Nick playing on weak offenses in the past made walking him more appetizing and having Tex and ARod behind will make it much less attractive. Therefore, less walks and possibly better pitches to hit should increase his slug. The real question is whether or not he can stay healthy. Some of his injuries were fluky types of things, a broken leg after a bad collision and a broken cheek bone after getting hit by the pitch. But, he has also had numerous wrist injuries over the years that have sapped some of his power. The Yankees probably feel that putting him at DH will limit the opportunities for injuries and I hope they are right; because when he is at the plate he is a valuable hitter. He hits both sides identical so he never has to be replaced.
I like Nick Johnson (NJ) and think he will add another guy who works the count to get into the bullpen faster. Texiera and ARod have to love having him in front of them. His contract is only for one year and is reasonable at 5 mil so he was a good signing with the DH spot opened up.
I do want to close with the comments that were made by Girardi and even Cashman. If you remember, after Matsui left or was about to leave they made comments about how they wanted the DH spot to be a rotating one because Girardi likes that to give players a rest once ion awhile. At that time, I said it was baloney and the logic was misguided, especially when you need a deeper bench with guys like Granderson on your team (platoon). Obviously, Girardi's comments were just a "cover up" because they went out and correctly signed NJ. That being said, I dislike the false comments they make. I have no issue with misleading other teams in trying to fill your roster correctly (part of the game), but those comments hit me the wrong way. Hard to explain but I took it as, how stupid do you think we are? That is the fake part of Girardi I don't like. Just shut up rather than blatantly lie to us.
The Genius Maker tm is a tribute to Mariano Rivera who makes coaches look a like a genius...