Notes from around the league

… Because I definitely feel 13th after a very busy week.

?    The Cubs signed Esteban German to a Minor League contract, so those that wrote suggesting he’d make a good depth addition for the Yankees and a possibly useful Alex Rodriguez substitute, forget it. I don’t think it’s a huge loss unless he’s going to go back to walking 50 times in half a season.

?    Remember last week I said that A-Rod’s injury wasn’t the last injury, just the first, and the Yankees would have to survive the cumulative weight of those losses? Now, we have Robinson Cano’s sore shoulder and Damaso Marte’s pectoral muscle. In both cases, the injuries could be nothing or could be something. There’s no reason to worry too much about Marte because the Yankees have the pitching depth to get by without any one reliever, but Cano would force the Yankees to fall back on some pretty weak choices. For any team, as ever, the emphasis must be on the farm, the farm, the farm, the farm, or eventually you’re going to get hit and not be able to cope. Thank you, Uncle WBC!

?    Has anyone who was lukewarm on the Mark Teixeira signing before the event yet conceded that in the absence of A-Rod that signing may very well save the offense, and thereby the season? By the way, Chase Utley had the full-on version of the surgery that Rodriguez is splitting in two back in November. He has yet to get into a game.

?    A-Rod replacement speculation: the guy the Yankees should be looking to make a force majeure kind of move on is J.J. Hardy of the Brewers, who may lose his job to Alcides Escobar at some point in the near future. He can hit enough to play third and is young enough to play short after, just in case, you know, the Yankees ever have any defensive weakness at that position.

?    Before someone asks about catcher Rob Bowen, who the A’s are shopping, there is no evidence he would out-hit Jose Molina. Yes, Molina is a better hitter than somebody.

?    Big loss for the Rays in having Fernando Perez hit the bench for three months with a dislocated left wrist. Perez isn’t an impact player but is a nice complimentary part. Matt Joyce hasn’t played yet due to his own injuries, and B.J. Upton is still working his left shoulder back into shape. Gabe Kapler is going to end up playing a lot more than might be good … Too much of Justin Ruggiano and his amazing capacity to strike out, too.

?    Transcript from today’s chat, with lots of Yankees questions, some politics, and scattered other baseball musings.

?    Those of you in the District of Columbia, I’ll be making two appearances there next Wednesday, along with BP compadres, Clay Davenport and Jay Jaffe. First, I’ll be hosted by the Georgetown Lecture Fund at 4:30 p.m. (open to the public). Following closely on the heels of that talk will be one of my favorite yearly events, a trip to the Politics & Prose bookstore at 7 p.m. For address info, see this page.


  1. richinnj

    There was no disguising the Yankees’ extreme need for Teixeira with or without A-Rod and Cano.

    Utley’s recover time strengthens the case for thinking that A-Rod chose the best surgical option.

  2. hateslibs

    Well Stevie, I hate to say I told the fans so, but I was begging the Yanks to go after Orlando Hudson, and Adam Dunn. Cano doesn’t tell anyone that his shoulder hurt. Beside javing no hustle it seem like he got no a brains. The Yanks need to quit letting the players go to the WBC. If dummy Cano is hurt or out for some time. Oh well, hopefully we can make it thru…..

  3. richinnj

    The Yankees have been unwilling to have their payroll exceed last year’s level because they don’t want to give the anti-capitalists any more ammo in their quest for a salary cap, so Dunn and/or Hudson really weren’t options.

  4. iamanycguy

    Do you still think it was a good idea to let Bobby Abreu and his lethal and clutch bat get away to the enemy ?

  5. wnybirds

    A-Rod replacement speculation: Has anyone been watching this Michel Enriquez from Cuba swing the bat? Plus he’ll be in San Diego soon? hmmm… I wonder if we can convince him to stay:-)

    Is it just me, or is the most disturbing development of spring training the fact that Tomko is pitching well… ugh… and he’s not on the 40 man, so that means DFAing for someone… ugh… Does anyone know anything about Eric Hacker? Why is he on the 40 man? I can’t even find any minor league stats on this guy… what did I miss?


    I predict the Yankees will acquire a 3rd baseman shorty after the season starts due to the fact they will realize just how much they will struggle early on to score runs. Tex is a very good player who will probably perform to his expected level but keep in mind he is an extremely slow starter. It will take till the end of June early July for him to get into his usual red hot summer splurge, in the meantime he will feel the pressure from A-Rod’s absence and the big contract. If you take A-Rod & Tex out of the equation that spells trouble scoring runs. I ‘m just thankful they signed some pitching which if healthy will allow us to hold on til the bats get hot and make a run late in the season.
    I wish they kept Abreu because he brings intangibiles to the team that I think Swisher lacks.
    Remember when the Yanks were winning WS that we never had an MVP winner on our team (96-00) we had guys who knew how to perform as a team. Unfourtunately it doesn’t look as if we have many of those types of guys anymore.


    “Remember when the Yanks were winning WS that we never had an MVP winner on our team (96-00) we had guys who knew how to perform as a team.”

    –Steve, could you get your webmaster to fix it so that any time somebody types some version of those quoted sentiments, they automatically get an electric shock through their web connection? thanks!

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