Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Morning Linkaround

Good morning, Fackers. As much of the East Coast recovers from the winter storm that swept over it last night, the Yankees are down in Tampa beginning Spring Training in earnest. While we celebrate pitchers and catchers as the beginning of camp, as Joe Girardi said earlier this week, it doesn't really kick into full gear until the position players arrive.

Most of the new arrivals had already went through their physicals and took off by the time the writers hit the clubhouse yesterday, but today they will start doing their first drills as a full squad. Of course, we've still got a while to wait before any action appears on our televisions. A week from today, the first Spring Training game (against the Pirates) will be televised on YES. Marc Carig from the Newark Star-Ledger has the full TV schedule.

Here are some other links to start off the day:
Cliff Corcoran from Bronx Banter put out his annual Camp Classic. In it, he examines every player not guaranteed a spot coming out of Spring Training from the 40 man on down to the non-roster invitees.

Similarly, Matthew Pouliot from Hardball Talk continues his "Diving into the Depths" series with a look at the Yankees and organizes a depth chart by position.

Dan Novick from the Hardball Times spotlights an especially sabermetric statement Joe Girardi made about Robinson Cano's performance with runners in scoring position, via LoHud.

On XM Radio last night, Brain Cashman acknowledged that Brett Gardner might be one of the best center fielders in baseball, but said that Curtis Granderson was likely to be their center fielder this season. Ben from RAB thinks that Cash's statements might be an indication that the Yanks don't see Gardner as a long term solution.

On Twitter, Joel Sherman reports that the Yankees are converting Kei Igawa to a reliever in a last ditch effort to extract value from his $46M contract. Considering Joe Girardi is almost certainly going to select two lefties for his bullpen and Boone Logan might be the front runner for that spot, it appears that Igawa will be given a real chance. You can't blame them for trying to make use of him, but the reaction from fans won't be very positive if he stumbles out of the gate.

It's about the time of year that ESPN typically starts stacking new baseball "analysts" - read: past players and executives - on top to their already bloated crew. To wit, they announced that Aaron Boone and J.P. Ricciardi will be contributing to Baseball Tonight this coming season. We Yankee fans like Boone, and Ricciardi seems like a bright, sabermetrically-inclined sort of a guy, but they might need to add a second row of seats on the set of the show.

Larry from Wezen-Ball put together an interesting graphic showing the history of every Major League park marked with the Championships and Pennants won by the team that in habits it.

The ubiquitous Jonah Keri recently appeared on two podcasts that are worth checking out. The first is FanGraphs Audio, which as host Caston Cistulli proclaims "is like a bald eagle: less endangered now than it had been until recently". The second appearance is on Kissing Suzy Kolber's House of Punte. The relevant portion begins just after the 18:00 mark and there is a bit of overlap with the FanGraphs interview. The typical crowd over at KSK will probably not take kindly to the decided lack of poop humor, dick jokes and NFL character sketches, but you folks will likely enjoy the material.

Ozzie Guillen is on Twitter and already dropping gems like "going to eat in half hour why dye no have a job ?". In honor of his presence, Jonah compiles a list of the 9 sports figures who aren't on Twitter but would be in a perfect world.

Baseball America released its Top 100 Prospects list. Jesus Montero is 4th and they his his power a perfect 80 on the scouting scale. The only other Yankees was Austin Romine and he is 86th. Austin Jackson is 76th. Pat Andriola from the Hardball Times lists a couple of things he disagrees with, including ranking Jackson higher than Fernando Martinez.

We might have linked to this already, but for a more detailed and Yankee-centric prospect picture, check out Mike from RAB's Top 30.

Josh from Jorge Says No! wonders if the Yankees reluctance to give Johnny Damon a two year deal foreshadows their interest in Carl Crawford.

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