Sunday, March 27, 2011


If you haven't read Daniel Barbarisi's Wall Street Journal piece titled EMBRACING THE STOLEN BASE, then you need to, because it's everything I've been talking about in my lifetime.Running will help you win, especially if you can do it well. You can't just assume you're going to get a stolen base every time. You need to follow the pitchers routine, know when the run, don't miss a sign and do damage with your speedy legs. You can't just steal home for example. That art form is strictly for the professionals. But yes, speed is key to winning ballgames and that's why I like Brett Gardner as the leadoff man.For years, the Yankees loved having speed at the top of the lineup... Rickey Henderson was my favorite and as you know, they tried players like Kenny Lofton, Curtis Granderson and Tony Womack. Unfortunately, those examples never really worked out, but again, the Yanks gave it a shot.
Other great players that have lead off are players like Wade Boggs, and Derek Jeter. This is the alternative, IF, in my opinion, you don't have speed on your side. Boggs always got on base, usually a hit, usually working a walk. Jeter subscribes to the same formula, although, is fairly quick, just alittle older now. Ultimately though, with a lineup like the Yankees have, I feel it right, that Girardi is concentrating on speed at the top of the lineup.

Barbarisi says: "In Girardi's three years at the helm, the Yankees have ranked in the top 12 in the majors in stolen bases, with a success rate of 77.38% compared to the MLB average of 72.58% over that same period."

Today I cracked opened the Record, in addition to the MLB preview, I noticed what is being thrown out there as the Yankees starting lineup for 2011. Now, I know this will change a dozen times before Opening day as well as through the season, But I like this lineup:

1. Brett Gardner- Owns the fourth-highest stolen base % (85.1) in the AL since 2008.
2. Derek Jeter
3. Mark Teixeira
4. Alex Rodriguez
5. Robinson Cano
6. Nick Swisher
7. Jorge Posada
8. Curtis Granderson
9. Russell MartinBaseball is an interesting game. You can't win championships with bad pitching and homeruns. You can't win championships with no speed and decent pitching and you can't win championships with no homeruns and a shaky rotation. You need speed, power and great pitching. It all helps. It's the perfect blend, perfect formula. At this very moment, I like what my 2011 New York Yankees have become. Do you?

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