A commentary about sports, media, and interpersonal relationships encountered throughout everyday life.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Nick Swisher's Impact on Yankees Offensive Plans

Nick Swisher to the Yankees... hmm...  I thought I read something about that over a month ago.  Oh, that's right... I did... on this blog.

Despite the contention of readers that Nick Swisher was not a "Girardi Guy," he was acquired this past week by the pinstripes to play a little centerfield and a little first base (as forecasted by yours truly).  Where does this deal leave the Yankees?  Well, there's a couple different avenues they can travel to solidify Swish as either a first baseman or an outfielder.

As it stands now, Melky Cabrera is on the outs.  He's really never been anything more than a 4th outfield that the Yankees tried to make a CF.  I don't know if it was because of the "Got Melky?" shirts or the "el Leche" calls by John Sterling, but either way, the Yankees were stubborn in not realizing what this guy was: a AAAA baseball player.

Next we have everyone's new Flavor of the Week, Brett Gardner.  It's uncanny how much Yankee fans don't learn.  Starting Brett Gardner in center next year is starting Melky Cabrera all over again!  Different name, same game.  I know Girardi loves the kid, but love him off your bench in a pinch-running, defensive replacement role.  This kid is seriously Dave Roberts with less pop.  I know that Yankee fans remember the 2004 play-off collapse against the Red Sox (yeah... sorry to bring that up again).  Do you remember what killed the Yankees near the conclusion of each game?  Obviously, David Ortiz's bat gets most of the attention, but it was Tito Francona's use of Dave Roberts in the late innings.  Roberts would steal second base, and Papi's prowess for clutch hits would bring the speedster in to score.  This happened two nights in a row (Games 4 and 5).  Ironically, the two games that turned the entire series around for the Red Sox.

The trip down memory lane wasn't designed to have you start tearing up in frustration.  It was just used to show you HOW Brett Gardner should be used: off the bench, in late innings, to put pressure on the opposition.  So please, please, please stop with this non-sense about Garnder's role as a starter next season.  Case closed.

Next, everyone's favorite prospect, Austin Jackson.  This kid really, really shouldn't even be considered.  But, as we've seen with prospects like Alex Escobar, after hearing about a young player so much, his name is worth than his ability.  The guys over at WasWatching detail Jackson's minor league report card, noting specifically that Jackson's good... but not what we've all come to expect from such a prestigious Yankee prospect.  With all that said, Jackson may be more valuable to the Yankees in a Padres uniform.  That's right, San Diego, reportedly, would require Austin Jackson in any Jake Peavy deal.  To that I say, sayonara.  

Now, because the Yankees have a noticible lack in CF talent, I motion that they use Swish exclusively as a CF.  He played his entire career at Ohio State there and is more athletic than industry sources give him credit for (though he is a bit shaky at 1B).

If you use Swish in CF and move Johnny Damon to 1B (again, as I suggested here), which he is willing to do, you clear the Damon-Matsui log-jam in LF and open up the Designated hitter position.

If the Yankees do this... they now have the option to bring back Jason Giambi at a discounted rate, or make a run at Manny Ramirez.  Both of whom would look very good in a offense that's shaping up to look something like this:

1.  Damon, 1B
2.  Jeter, SS
3.  Rodriguez, 3B
4.  Ramirez / Giambi*, DH
5.  Matsui, LF
6.  Nady, RF
7.  Posada, C
8.  Can0, 2B
9.  Swisher, CF

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Manifesto

Last night I could barely sleep.  The feeling was reminiscent of the nervousness/excitement I used to get every Christmas Eve... but, a little over a month away from December 24th, I looked with excitement to 8:30 AM, when I would wake up and vote for Barack Obama.

8:30 AM

Like every morning, my Home Medics Pro Alarm Clock disrupted my sleep with the sounds of waves crashing onto a shore that I've never been to.  I hopped out of bed with an extra pep in my step as I hustled to the shower before letting my dogs out for the first time today.  I looked in the mirror at a day's worth of facial hair growth and decided not to shave... if there was a day 
to look like a hippie-college-grad-Democrat... it was today (thought not hippie-college-grad-Democrat enough to skip the shower).

8:45 AM

Dogs are out and I'm going for the instant gratification of some Honey Nut Cherios.  CNN's Morning Election Coverage blares off my television as I inhale my breakfast and hastily make-up a a few cups of coffee.  I change to News-12, Long Island and wait for the right moment to begin my journey around the block to Bay Shore Middle School, my designated voting center.

That's my dog, Bernie.  He's actually watching the Election coverage with me (the television's across from the wood burning stove in my living room) as he sits on his perch.  While continuing morning routine on this most un-routine of days, I open my laptop and discover the people over at Facebook.com provide a friendly reminder to everyone who's been living under a rock for the past year:

9:45 AM

Now seems like the perfect time to vote.  I will miss the morning rush and avoid the lunch-breakers.  Plus, it's too early for the voting machines to malfunction.  So, I switch off the television, log-off of Facebook, and say 'adios' to my puppies as I trot out of my house and down the walk-way to my car.  It's time to vote.

9:50 AM

It's "go-time."  I roll into the parking lot at Bay Shore Middle School and notice a small sign "prohibiting" any "campaigning on the premises" during Election Day.  Ten feet past the sign, there's a man wearing a business suit with a rubber Barack Obama mask on his head.  I laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation and slowly roll along down the entrance.  He raises his fist to me, his fake rubber eyes meeting mine, and I return the fist raise out of my car's window.  It was a true moment of solidarity...

...I then looked around to make sure no one saw the intimate moment between the masked supporter and myself...

...No one did.  Moving along.

10:10 AM

My guide.  "Vote Aqui," welcome to Bay Shore.

10:13 AM

I'm immediately confronted by a large man who demands my district.  Obviously, my youthful look has already discredited everything I should know.  He might as well of asked my age as I blew past his ignorant, girthy body and entered the Middle School lobby.  The table for District #169 was empty and I hastened my steps until I reached the table.

Perhaps a visual learner, the large man watched from a distance as I passed his "What-To-Do-On-Election-Day" Test.

10:15 AM

My name is signed, and I'm ready to roll.  There's one person ahead of me and I look at the photocopy of the voting booth taped to the wall.  I look through, make up my mind on several candidate (though I already decided on everything weeks beforehand) and nervously tap the wall with the toe of my shoe and pretend to read some dedications on the wall of the school.

10:17:28 AM

The curtain opens.  My turn.

10:20 AM

I click down my last vote and stare at the "Democrat: Barack Obama, Joe Biden" one last time.  To it's left was the 'red-X,' signifying my support.  I stared long and hard wishing I had that ability from the "Cam Jansen" books we read in Elementary School.  This was definitely a different experience from 2004.  I care more.

I gripped the red handle to register my vote and took a deep break.  Crank.

10:30 AM

This is my attempt to look extremely stoic.  Or to have the "Man on a Mission" vibe.  Either way, it does the trick (to me anyway... and don't any of you attempt to say otherwise...).  My vote was cast, it was out of my hands, and I have one thing on my mind:

10:40 AM

Gotta love Election Day.  Exercising your rights and Free Coffee?  What a country!  I walk into the next town's Starbucks and, once asked by the barista for my order, exclaimed: "I just voted.  May I have a free cup of coffee?"  The barista acknowledged my vote (by no official means... I'm sure if I really wanted to I could drive around to every Starbucks on Long Island and do the same thing) and gave me a free "tall" (small for those of us who refuse to use Starbucks lingo) coffee:

The Starbucks was actually out of Whole Milk... but on a day like today... who can complain.  I'll take Free Coffee, Skim Milk, and Barack Obama any day of the week.

11:40 AM

There's Bernie, again, with his brother, Ziggy.  They're both obviously very excited to see me... but only because they both are Obama supporters at heart as well.  It's time to settle in, watch the Election Coverage, and prepare (finger's-crossed) for a huge night for Barack Obama and the Democrats.