Thursday, January 28, 2010

Goodbye Johnny! I'll Miss You!!!

With yesterday's news of the Yankees signing Randy Winn to play the vacant spot in the outfield (no offense Brett Gardner), millions of fans hearts broke, including mine. 

I'll be the first to admit that I was never a fan of the original Johnny Damon back in 2006.  In fact I was down right mad that Brian Cashman had the nerve to sign the hated Damon of the Red Sox.  I thought he was arrogant, plain right disgusting with the Caveman look, and very full of himself. 

That all changed when he began playing for my precious Yankees. (Plus, let's be honest, the haircut helped too). 

Damon was one of the most selfless players to play for the Yankees over the past four years.  He brought laughter to a clubhouse that was once too business like and provided some of the best sound bites that reporters could often not print if they wanted to still have a job. 

Let's face it too, the New Yankee Stadium absolutely loved Johnny too.  His swing was perfect for a home run to right.  He provided us with so many walk off wins with that ugly left handed swing of yours, the fans of the Yankees will truly truly miss you. 

We'll always remember your hustle play during the World Series, and there's a distinct possibility you single handily won  that game.  

I do wish you well Johnny, wherever you end up.  I pray for the Yankees sake that it's not in the AL East, because no one wants to battle you for 19 games in the season.  

We all know you'll be coming out seeking revenge against the Yankees.  But, just think for a moment.  Maybe you should be lashing out against Scott Boras.  

I mean really, how many of his "superstars" has he screwed over recently? 

Call up your buddy Alex Rodriguez, Johnny.  Listen to him for once, he actually knows how to handle the diva that is Boras. 

- Courtney 

P.S. I promise you'll receive a better reception in New York your first time back then in Boston :) 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Is Barroid next?

Jose Canseco ... check
Gary Sheffield... check
Jason Giambi... check
Andy Pettitte ... check
Alex Rodriguez... check
Mark McGwire...check

With Mark McGwire's recent, although not shocking, revelations of his use of steroids throughout the '90s the public can finally begin reconciling with Big Mac in the same way as they did with Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi and Andy Pettitte.

McGwire, spoke publicly for the first time of his performance enhancing drug use in an interview with Bob Costas for the MLB Network.  He claims he began using the drugs because his body kept breaking down.  McGwire claimed the steroids did not have any effect on his home run production, because steroids "do not help with hand-eye coordination," according to McGwire.

The summer of 1998 was one of the most exciting baseball seasons in recent history with both McGwire and Sammy Sosa chasing after Yankee great Roger Maris' single season record of 61 home runs.  Both McGwire and Sosa destroyed the record, with Big Mac passing Maris in early September.

McGwire did call Mrs. Maris and apologize for everything, which was very noble of him.  She was disappointed in him, but was she surprised?

Now it has been revealed that both sluggers used some sort of performance enhancing drug. But that's alright. We already knew that. Besides, neither one of them hold the record.

Guess who does?

Yep. You guessed it.

Barry Bonds.

Bonds is the man who claimed he inadvertently took steroids, claiming his former BALCO trainer Greg Anderson injected him with it without Bonds knowledge.  Meaning Anderson injected whatever he wanted in Bonds in order to improve his game.

Would anyone really be that stupid to allow another person to inject anything into their body without knowing the consequences of what health concerns could develop?

I wouldn't but apparently if you're a seven time MVP common sense just flies out the door.

With an admission of steroid use from Bonds, Commissioner Bud Selig should restore the records to the greats that set those them without any help from science.  That means giving Maris back his single season record as well as reestablishing Hank Aaron as the all time home run king.

Hammerin Hank deserves better at this age, and I'm sure he'd welcome his record back with open arms.

Otherwise Selig needs to establish two records.

Who wouldn't want to walk through the hall of fame in Cooperstown and see this?


- Courtney

Monday, January 11, 2010

Yankees Offseason Update

Well with the New York Giants unable to continue its streak of postseason appearances I figured it was time to write about the Yankees and their offseason thus far.

The Yankees have made several trades in both adding and subtracting from last season's world champion roster. I'll go over a few of the trades and/or signings that have occurred.

1. The trade for Curtis Granderson.

The Yankees traded a few relievers and prospects to get outfielder Curtis Granderson in a three team blockbuster in order to improve their starting outfield during the Winter Meetings for the General Managers.  The Detroit Tigers traded Granderson for relievers Phil Coke and minor leaguer Austin Jackson, one of the highest rated prospects in the Yankees organization.  The Diamondbacks received Yankees starting pitcher Ian Kennedy and Tigers pitcher Edwin Jackson for two minor leaguers that went to the Tigers.  
Granderson will wear #14 for the Yankees because Joe Girardi will change his number from 27 to 28 in order to reinforce the Yankees goals of winning another championship.  Granderson was introduced to the media on December 17th.  He will not only bring major league experience to the outfield with his bat and glove but he'll also be a great edition to the New York area.  He is very involved with charities and intends on expanding his personal charity, "Grand Kids" foundation to the area.

2. Yankees trade for Javier Vazquez 
When Brian Cashman made this trade on December 22, I was at first very disappointed with him.   Although Vazquez had a relatively successful first stint in New York I am forever scarred of his performance in game seven of the 2004 ALCS, the series otherwise known as the most epic fail in sports history.  But after rethinking the deal, I realized Cashman made a very smart decision.  Javy has been one of the most reliable pitchers over the last five years, and gained his confidence back after becoming  the ace of the Atlanta Braves staff this past season.  The Yankees did not have to give up too much to get Vazquez either.  They traded under-achieving outfielder Melky Cabrera, reliever Mike Dunn and a pitching prospect to Atlanta and got back Vazquez as well as reliever Boone Logan, who is expected to take the vacated position of set up man Phil Coke. Vazquez should be the third or fourth starter for Girardi in the rotation, a low pressure situation compared to his last go around in New York. 

3. Yankees sign 1b/DH Nick Johnson
Another former Yankee returned to the Bronx this winter.  This was my least favorite signing thus far in the offseason.  Living outside of the DC Metro area, I experienced first hand Nick Johnson and how often he was injured for the Washington Nationals and how much money he was still making while on the DL.  Johnson missed almost two seasons after a freak accident while playing the New York Mets when he ran into former teammate Austin Kearns and broke his femur in 2006.  He made $5.5 million while rehabilitating the entire 2007 season.  Johnson was traded from the Nationals in the middle of the 2009 season to the Marlins.  Two good things about the Johnson trade.  The short porch in right field should allow his home run total to go up and we never have to see his awful beard ever again thanks to the Yankees no facial hair policy. 
However, by signing Johnson the Yankees essentially ended all hope of resigning OF/DH Johnny Damon. 

4. Yankees re-sign free agent pitcher Andy Pettitte
Almost everyone in Yankee nation knew this was going to happen even if Pettitte didn't know it himself yet.  This signing was the one of the most important signings the Yankees made over the offseason because Cashman re-solidified the starting rotation by keeping everyone from last season's powerful rotation and with the addition of Vazquez .  

5. Trade of Brian Bruney to the Nationals for Jamie Hoffmann (rule 5) 
The Yankees essentially dumped Bruney on the Nationals after a disappointing season filled with injury and an inflated ERA. In retun the Yankees received OF Hoffmann from the Nationals, a rule 5 pick.  It will be interesting to see if  Hoffmann is kept on the active roster throughout the season or if he'll be returned to the Nationals midway through the season.  The trade will be good for the Nats who desperately need relief pitching and is just a dumping of Bruney for the Yankees. 

Finally the only other topic I'd like to touch on is the Johnny Damon issue.
I personally am still hoping that Damon will return to the Yankees but my hopes are dwindling as the days continue to pass in January.  Damon thinks he should receive a two year contract worth $13 million a year.  Damon is well past his days of making that much money and the sooner him and his super agent,  Scott Boras realize that, the better.  For now, the Yankees are planning on moving on and saying Brett Gardner will be the starting LF and Johnson the starting DH.  But Cashman we've heard your bluff before, back in 2006 when you said Bubba Crosby was going to be the starting CF and you went out and brought Damon in.  For the sake of the Yankees clubhouse, I really hope Damon comes back.  He keeps the clubhouse loose and with the help of AJ Burnett last year, made the Yankees feel like a team on and off the field for the first time since the Dynasty Years.  Lord knows, we could all use another dynasty. 

That's it for now. Check back in soon!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Six Consecutive 10 win Seasons

On New Years Eve the Virginia Tech Hokies rolled into the Georgia Dome for the second time this season. Unlike the first game of the season, the Hokies managed to find a way to win in Atlanta, on their third try, defeating the Tennessee Volunteers 37-14 in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

The Volunteers were completely shut out in the second half. All 14 of their points were scored in the second quarter by tying the score at 14 with 30 seconds left to play in the first half.

The Hokies regained momentum going into the half following a hail mary pass of 63 yards from quarterback Tyrod Taylor to receiver Jarett Boykin. Boykin caught the ball just a few yards outside of the endzone. With two seconds remaining on the clock Tech kicked a field goal, leaving them with a three point lead going into the half.

Ryan Williams rushed for 117 yards despite not playing the fourth quarter because of a lateral sprain. He was named the offensive player of the game.

Williams set the ACC record for most rushing touchdown's ever in a season. He also set the Virginia Tech single season record for most yards rushing. He finished with 1,655 yards.

Linebacker Cody Grimm, a senior, was named the defensive player of the game with seven tackles. Grimm, the hokies most consistent defensive player all season will be missed next year by fans, as he became a fan favorite.

The Hokies were finally able to defeat a team from the SEC. Although, Tennessee was one of the less talented teams Tech has played over the last three seasons, the Volunteers simply looked overmatched for the majority of the game.

Next season, Tech will look to get back to winning the ACC, which will not be an easy thing to do with Georgia Tech becoming stronger each season. But, the offense should in good shape with Taylor returning as QB and the return of running back Darren Evans. He will compete with Williams for the starting role, which as of now they are expected to split time at.