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Sunday, January 29, 2012

WHY KURODA'S THE YANKEES WILD CARD

The Los Angeles Times has some quotes and a good story about Hiroki Kuroda and why he chose the New York Yankees and left the Dodgers. Read the full story HERE.

“They were unable to ever make a formal offer, I couldn’t wait any longer.”

On the Yankees Kuroda said: “They have an incredible tradition... They contend for the championship every year. I wanted to play for a team like that. When you get to my age, you don’t know how much longer you can pitch and I wanted to experience that before my career ended.”

Now look, it's nice to hear and I wish Kuroda well on the Yankees this year. There is no question, he could contribute nicely, but I’m not going to hide the fact that I didn’t like the idea of signing Hiroki Kuroda and I’m sticking with that. BUT…and there’s a big but to all of this; having Kuroda there as some extra stability will be better with someone like Michael Pineda also being acquired, and the solid stability of him, CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova and company is much much better. Kuroda alone in my mind is a no go… now it’s a go.

There are some positives. Kuroda was able to get his ERA down to a low 3 every single year. In 2011, his record stood at 13-16 with a 3.07 ERA. In 2009 it was 3.76. In 2010 it was 3.39.

Yes, he’s older. Being an older pitcher goes 2 ways, you’re seasoned and know how your body works OR, well, you’re old and times almost up. Kuroda is in the middle in my opinion. He knows what he’s got to do out there, but I also think he’s winding down. He can however offer something very important in our quest for 28…wins. The Yankees have bats and there is no doubt they can get runs for every one of their starters this season. It’s one of the strongest teams offensively in all of baseball. All our pitchers need to do is keep us in the game and we will knock in runs. Kuroda, in turn will get it done. I suspect struggles and adjustments because, let’s face it, Dodgers Stadium and Yankee Stadium are much different parks. If Kuroda can keep the ball in the ballpark, I believe he will be a success during his time in pinstripes. One can only hope, because if Kuroda shows signs of not adjusting adequately to being a New York Yankee, the Yankees will get the hook out. I have no doubt. This will be a no nonsense year for the Yankees. The Yanks last championship was in 2009. Once we got a taste of that, 2 years of loss is way too long. No doubt, with the help of Kuroda, the Yankees can and will win the whole thing in 2012. I feel it… do you?

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