Sunday, December 30, 2012


I, like so many of us feel kind of lackluster, exhausted, in a food coma and disappointed with the Yankee off season all in one. Christmas was magical, but now it's over. The Winter Meetings were here and they ended. I'm tired, I'm sick and as we wait for the New year, we wonder if Matt Diaz was the guy the Yanks have been waiting for this entire off season. Many of us Yankee fans say "that's it?", while others like my Twitter buddy Nick says to "be patient" as Yankee fans. Even some dude named Shawn, who I'm convinced is Brian Cashman, accused me of "boycotting" my Yankees, something I would never do. Will I stop paying to go to games and instead watch them on TV? For a little bit, Yes, but one thing is very clear with me; the non-signing of Raul Ibanez was much, much bigger than a 40 year old guy and all about this new small market mentality the Yankees have entered into...a kind of ball I'm not too fond of. Whatever the case, here we are on December 30th with Matt Diaz.
Brian Cashman is in a tough spot. I think I'm the only one in America not blaming him.  He's the marionette in this mess. I think he truly has no power to sign anyone like it was stated in that Wall Street Journal piece a while back. Read BEFORE YOU BLAME BRIAN CASHMAN, READ THIS. It was a year where Cashman didn't walk into the winter meetings with a boat load of money. Why? Because Brian Cashman suddenly doesn't have say.  Brian Cashman suddenly needs permission and "clearance" to do things these days and it seemed to have really started a few years ago, when the Yankees overruled Cash and went out to grab Rafael Soriano.
Now, in the end, Soriano made a name for himself in Yankeeland, but the Bronx was a temporary stop for his next "official" closer gig...the one he's currently looking for.

Then I got to thinking about all the guys I want in New York to help our team win in 2013 and there are so many looking for big contracts and I know for a fact it's just smart to not shoot from the hip.  Shane Victorino? He went to the Red Sox for what? A 3 year, $38 million deal? Um, the Sox can have him. Cashman was right to not throw that kind of dough at him.
Sure, the world knew that Nick Swisher in right field would have been the right move for the Yankees, but not at 4 years and $56 million.  Plus, Swisher needed to test the free agent waters, he deserved it, you can't fault him...and you can't fault Cash for not offering that.  He was smart in that regard.
For me, it all goes back to Raul Ibanez.  Not the fact that he wasn't signed as much of the fact that he contributed in the clutch last season and that alone should have gotten him an offer. But the Yankees never made an offer and that surprised me.  Raul Ibanez is exactly what the Yankees have wanted, guys who can contribute but are "cheap".  Eric Chavez was another one, there's no denying that, but nothing happened with him either. Look, I get it, we turn the page, but my only point is, if the Yankees want to go in that direction and state that they are... then they don't... isn't that a big fat contradiction?
So if you can't find a free agent, you find a trade, Right? The Yankees have pulled them off before... some aren't always fan favorites, like when Jesus Montero went away, and some we love, like Ichiro Suzuki.  But at this point into the Yankees off season...well, that's what you end up with. We wrote about a simple solution to losing Ibanez, trading for Jason Kubel, read WANNA REPLACE RAUL IBANEZ? TRADE FOR JASON KUBEL  Smart idea and one the Yankees should consider.  How about this? Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wrote something that I've been writing here for a while about and I was crucified for it for weeks.  
He wrote today that many teams have reached out to the Marlins about Giancarlo Stanton and Ricky Nolasco even though the Marlins have stated that Stanton was off limits. The Yankees are in on that, I know it.  My take has always been no one is "off-limits."  Not superstars, not one in this world of greed and baseball is.  It's all business and at the end of the day, if there is a fit... if there is a team willing to give up new players for a guy, a deal gets done... always.  Nick Cafardo wrote about the Yankees interested in Stanton back in November, read HERE. No one said a thing.  I write SNAGGING GIANCARLO STANTON WOULD PROVE CASHMAN GENIUS, and I'm the idiot. Then, couple all that with a great piece from a blog I check out from time to time, Fish Stripes from right around that time suggesting why Stanton "can't be traded" and you have to think, many in Miami are "uneasy" right now.  I get it, I totally get it, Yankeeland is too. But again... here we are, December 30th, still talking about Giancarlo Stanton.

Finally, I'll throw this out to all of you.  While the Yankees have a great team on paper, you have to know that that was how we looked last year too....great on paper, great bats, great arms.  Yes, we made it to the playoffs in 2012, but we didn't have enough to get over the hump.  Plus, that's when the Blue Jays and Red Sox stunk.  Well, the Blue Jays and Red Sox made big changes this off season to become competitors again.  The Yankees have not.  Anyone with logic knows, you don't just watch your competition improve while you sit silent.  No... things will change in Yankeeland, things have to...for the better of the Yankees, the happiness of the Yankees fans and the pleasure of our boys in pinstripes.

At the end of the day, come Opening day, we root for our guys no matter what, but sitting around wondering and waiting isn't the way I thought it was going to be this off season. That's my take.

Happy Sunday... enjoy it.

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