Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kennedy, Melky, Wang for Santana?

Buster Olney on ESPN Radio just blew me away regard for one last call from Twins GM Bill Smith to Brian Cashman yesterday. Bill Smith asked Cashman:" How about Kennedy, Melky and Wang for Santana?" Man, Sorry for away from being a Yankee fan for a moment. As a Taiwanese, Thank God! Cashman said "No, Thanks". After a while, I am glad to hear Cashman said" No, Thanks" even though I am being a Yankee fan after wondering this ideal again. But, How about you?

P.S Just Rumors... I have no idea what kind of degree the truth of these rumors reach... I believe we will have tons of rumors flying around continuously on following days as well.

Hopefully...Brian Cashman will be able to keep his job...

No one is perfect, the same goes to Brian Cashman. I have been talked a lot how much I like the combination of Brian Cashman and Hank Steinbrenner. I will say one more thing, Hank Steinbrenner actually respects and listens to his baseball professionals' advices and suggestions. Good Boss so far. Let's see our new Boss(Hank Steinbrenner) will take his next step to become even better one by taking responsibilities on his shoulder if Yankees have bad year in 2008 because of not good performance of the big three. In my opinion, You have to bite the bullet for your employees if you are a great boss because basically you agree with that idea and no one force you to do. If he does that one day, I will be the first to applause him.

I am not saying Brian is perfect or great general manager without making any mistake for Yankees. There is no way to know exactly how all kids from Yankees, Red Sox and Mets will perform in the future, what kind of deals three teams actually put on the table and how well Santana will performance the rest of his career, so that's why we don't know which team come away the best result of this trade. Only thing I know for sure I for one couldn't be happier to root for homegrown Yankees no matter how Yankees kids will performance in the future. I will say this, I won't call for Cashman's head if big three struggle in 2008.

If my memory is right, Brian Cashman and Omar Minaya are all on the final year of their current contracts for their GM jobs, right? I bring up part of this argument on my binch-hitting article on Peter's blog. The bottom line is it takes guts to not to make a deal instead of making a trade when your jobs are on the line.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wang's 2008 goal

I will keep updating some Wang's news or reactions which they didn't occur at English prints throughout the whole year because obviously I am able to watch and read Mandarin news from Taiwanese media. This is the first one which is the latest interview when Wang left Taiwan.

Wang's 2008 goal? 20 Wins? No. Well, he has the same goal every year. Don't get hurt and be able to pitch the whole season. His repertoire for 2008? Of course, main pitch still remains at sinkers. Contract Issue? He feels happy for Cano to get one. Of course, it's nice to have one too, but it doesn't effect him at all no matter he gets one or not except adding protection. Basically, Wang said he doesn't care. Only thing he care now is building up the strength and endurance for 2008 season. His agent will help him out for that contract issue.

Finally...Here come ending of Santana's episodes...Hopefully...

I was about going to write something else, but Santana trade news came out. I have mixed feeling and reactions about this Santana trade. That's why it took me so long to write about this trade.

First of all, you guys know my stand which I am glad to hear that Yankees keep all their kids. I don't know how kids from Yankees, Red Sox and Mets will perform in the future and how well Santana will pitch the rest of his career, so I am not going to justice this trade. But, I just feel Twins will regret not to take Hughes and Melky deal from Yankees when they have that chance at the winter meeting.

Secondly, I am right Twins have to deal Santana before season starts, but I am wrong on Yankees will get Santana because obviously I miscalculate two things which Cashman didn't make any offer at all and how badly Twins wants to send Santana out of AL.

I am more curious about some details. Did you guys surprise at Yankees didn't make any offer at all even though Santana may end up with Red Sox? I guess Yankees really change their philosophy. Did you guys surprise at Twins take Mets' offer instead of Red Sox's offer? I guess Twins really want to send Santana out of AL. Does it mean Nathan on the trade block?

I can't stop thinking how dominant Santana will be in the NL. How many AL pitchers are glad to see Santana out of AL CY young race when how many NL pitchers hate to see Santana joining their NL CY young race.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

One thing from tennis I don’t understand

I know...I know... This is a Yankee blog and I shouldn't talked tennis this much. But, there are a lot of common grounds between different sports.

In Baseball, Fans always play important role on the outcome of baseball games. That’s why mental toughness is essential when we come to justice a baseball player. They have to be able to deal with pressure and hostile environment. The better one player deal with this, the better player he will become.

But, In tennis, they require fans not to stay in one player's side in order to not to effect their performance on the court. Throughout the whole Australian open, tons of players get upset and angry at fans' support for their opponents. I am watching Australian Open Men Final now, Novak Djokovic's father even complained about fans' reactions with official staff and then Jo-Wilfried Tsonga complained about Novak Djokovic how much time he took for his serves.

No excuse, guys. Where are these tons of complains coming from? Just play game and deal with that.

Updated 11pm:Novak Djokovic overcome nerve, pressure, less support from crowd and a hamstring strain injury happened during game to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7-2).

I just hope Yankees has injury-free 2008 season when I saw Novak Djokovic injuring his hamstring.

Really? WoW

I read this piece about 2008 Yankees Bullpen by Steven Goldman from The point I want to bring it up is this part:

The replacement won't be LaTroy Hawkins, who had a low strikeout rate in front of a terrific defense last year. Want to measure the difference between Derek Jeter and a good glove at short like Troy Tulowitzki? Last year, right-handed batters hit .097 when they pulled a grounder to the left side off of Hawkins. By comparison, Chien-Ming Wang allowed an average of .163 on grounders to the right side.(Goldman later said it was his mistake. He means left side) It doesn't sound like much, but we're talking about a lot of extra runs.

My question for you guys is “Is Jeter’s defense this bad?” I am not one of statistics guys. That’s why I search my mind and try to recall my memory. My answer? I have to say this first, I haven’t watched Troy Tulowitzki playing too much, so I couldn’t compare him with Jeter. I think Jeter’s defense slip a little bit in 2007 because of series of injury. Once Jeter stays healthy in 2008, I think Yankees will be fine.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Roger Federer may lose this time…

Roger Federer has 10 consecutive gram slam final appearance record....Now... That record may be in jeopardy....Federer is down 2 sets now…

I am just wondering it may help Yankees out for winning a champion if Yankees becomes underdog this season. Sometimes it gets boring for people watching sport if someone or some teams just keep winning.

Updated 10:20pm in Sydney:Novak Djokovic(Serbia) just beat Roger Federer in a 7-5 6-3 7-6 semi-final. The last time Roger Federer lost three straight sets to opponents is 5 years ago. The last time two players are going to play in gram slam final for their first time is ten years ago. WoW!

You know what...Novak Djokovic is just 20 year old. When I saw Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer, One picture emerged from my mind. Phil Hughes outpitch Josh Beckett in the American League Champion Series and "Young" Yankees Rotation bring us 27th World Series Title.

Mo~a legendary closer and human being.....

That’s why We all love Mo, right? Mo said He might retire if Yankees win the World Series. Don’t do that, Mo. How about getting another one? I still couldn’t image we may not see Mo pitching one day.

Cano's long term deal.....

How about Wang??? Just kidding.... Nice signing for Yankees if it is true(not official yet).....This is nice gesture for Yankees front office to show their prospects on their farm. Basically, they tell them you guys are very important for us. If you perform well, you will get nice reward.

Cano also shows his ability to make adjustment when opponents make adjustments to him. The proof is he doubles the walk total in 2007. From Business perspective, it saves money for long run. Even though money is not an issue for Yankees, it doesn't mean they don't need to save money.

In addition, if Yankees want to trade Cano in the future, this 6-years deal will be a big plus for Yankees and his trading partnesr because other teams don't have to worry about arbitration years and the possibility Cano will be a free agent soon.

As for Wang, he will have his long term deal eventually as long as he stays healthy. We certainly can't blame Yankees for concern of pitcher's healthy. Of course, it's nice for Wang to have long term deal on his hand. No matter Wang gets long term deal or not, he always works hard and wants to improve himself. You can see that when he fought back to pitch again from injury in 2005. One more proof, Wang left Taiwan today after he just got his visa few days ago. When I saw news from Taiwanese media, he is in top shape. From a Taiwanese standpoint, It's better for Wang gets into free agent earlier and gets his salary rising every year.

Hank Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman........

Welcome to my blog, friends from Peter's blog. This is a honor to be able to have a piece on Peter's blog. Hopefully, you guys can understand what I try to say.....This is the post I have.....


New episodes between Hank Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman keep coming. Well, most of you guys probably think I hate Hank Stein's big mouth, don’t you? How come he just can't stop talking? I disagree with that. I like the combination of Hank and Cashman.

My major is Mass communication and had worked at TV Station for few years. From Public Relations’ standpoint, Hank does his part. Hank shouldn't refuse to answer reporters' questions and shouldn’t refuse not to take any opportunity of public exposure for entertainment purpose. Sport is part of entertainment businesses. As an old saying goes among entertainment businesses, no news is bad news.

But, I really don't think there are many conflicts between Hank and Cashman as news implied. Some people like to face media and others don't. Cashman understands his boss and let him talk. They also may just play their supposed roles in front of media. Cashman is acting as the one doesn’t want to trade prospects. Hank is acting as the one want to make a trade with Twins. In the End, If Yankees make a trade with Twins, they may just try to lower the price they need to pay. On the other hand, If Yankees don’t make a deal for Santana, they may just want to drive up Red Sox’s price or increase the chance for Twins to keep Santana.

I have been worked with different investors as a film producer. There is no way you can get investors who just give you money without saying a word or making any decision. The only difference is how much investors get involved and how much they reveal to media. As a film producer, when you have big budget to work with, you try to make films as good as possible. No film producers will ever complain too much money to spend because you never have enough money. In contrast, when you have small budget to deal with, you try your best to make it work. Ultimately, When you are on your film premiere, no one care how much money you spend. Only thing they talk about is your film and how good or bad it is.

The same goes to Cashman. People only care what he has done when Yankees win a champion. That’s why I don’t think money will be the reason Cashman wants to leave when people say Cashman wants to go to smaller market teams in order to show his true ability. He couldn’t find any better boss like Steinbrenner family who is willing to spend money on their team.

It seems Hank, Hal and George all share power in decision making. There is always more than one person to make decisions nowadays, especially for big companies. This just shows Cashman is good fit for Yankees because he has dealt with this problem well.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hideki Matsui Condition Updated.....

I looked through some news from some Japanese websites. This one is from official Japanese MLB website ( updated on Jan 17th about Matsui. I asked my Japanese housemate to translate for me.

Matsui is going to go to USA 10 days earlier in order to check his right knee condition with the doctor in New York who help him operate his right knee surgery. He will then go to Tampa to check his right knee condition with Yankee Trainers again. This is not a normal action which go to USA earlier for Matsui. He usually trains with his formal Japanese team and then reports in spring training.

Right now, Matsui doesn't feel pain about his right knee, but he can't run . He is not sure he can run or not when he reports to Tampa. He understands he has to fight with Johnny Damon for left outfielder job and wants to do his best. That's why he decides to go to USA earlier.

That's why you don't trade Melky

Did you guys hear the news about Hideki Matsui? According to news on Taiwanese media, Matsui didn't recover very well from his right knee surgery and may not get well in time for spring training.

Updated: Or.... That's why Yankees are interested in Brad Wilkerson.....No...No...No....

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Something still is not quite right....

Recently, I have been watched Australian Open. Australians root for their Australian players crazily no matter who their opponents are. The perfect example is the match between Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis. The Australian crowd did everything to support Lleyton Hewitt and can't appreciate any good performance from Marcos Baghdatis. This even infuriated and distracted Marcos Baghdatis from game. In my opinion, that's why Marcos lost that game.(When I posted this, Marcos was losing.)

I guess this is homefield advantage, but I don't think this is right. As a sport fan, you should support all players with good performance no matter where they came from, shouldn't you? The same thing goes to some Taiwanese fans toward to Wang. I think I am one of them, hopefully not as crazy as them. Nothing is wrong about that, but I just think that We should try to destroy national borders physically and mentally. If we are able to accomplish this, I believe we will have a peaceful world eventually.

Updated 4:39am in Sydney:Well, the match went to five sets and took 4 hours and 45 minutes to complete. Lleyton Hewitt finally won. Actually, Lleyton Hewitt almost won in fourth set, but Marcos recovered from crowd pressure and pushed to the fifth set. It is a great game. In the end, both players are so emotional. Marcos even was crying when he left the court. I tip my hat to Marcos, he pushed the game to the fifth set without crowd support.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Unstoppable Santana rumor

A Blogger called Chris posted a great article about Wang on Made in 1903 Yankees Forum. If you are interested in, please click here to check it out. But, I want to share this quote with you guys,

Give it time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a great pitcher. It takes time and can be frustrating when some on other teams experience instant success.

Because Yankees pulled off their deal "for sure" on the newest Santana rumor, it means my lovely homegrown rotation may come true. But, I want to use this quote to reminder everyone don't jump over the bridge when our homegrown talented young pitchers don't perform well this season and don't rush to judge or sell them all for Santana again before trading deadline.

Updated at Jan 15th: Obviously, my headline is right. It's not possible to stop Santana rumor until he wears someone one's uniform. It looks like my prediction on Jan 6th is right on the money and I still remain my observation on Santana trade I had on Nov 28th 2007. By the way, I am one of pinch hitting bloggers on Peter's blog at Jan 25th. My topic is a little bit related to this whole situation. Please look forward to reading that post at near future.

Monday, January 14, 2008

My Favorite Taiwanese Pro Basseball Team May come Back....

I told some Taiwanese baseball history before. Go to check it out if you miss out and have some interest to know a little bit. In Taiwan, People love baseball which is the most popular sport not just because of Wang. Japan, Korea, and Taiwan remain the most powerful baseball countries in the Asian. However, gamble scandal keep damaging the foundation of Taiwanese baseball and fan base. My favorite pro baseball team called China Times Eagles Baseball Team dismissed because of that.

Since 1997, Star players who are from my favorite team have been came out to address their mistakes to young players after time or probation. During this ten years, they went back to one high school to teach young players how to play baseball. That high school team is not strong baseball team. Surprisingly, they help them win the second place in a high school tournament recently. Those high school players use their the passion to overcome lack of strong skill ability to beat tons of strong high school teams for that honor.

The photo is their celebration with supporters and their coach staff who are those star players from my favorite team (picture is from Taiwan UDN news). During the celebration, reporters speculate China Times Eagles Baseball Team may come back which will be a good news to me. Even though they all say it's premature for that but they will keep supporting and helping young players and enjoy playing baseball with right mind-set. Great News!!

Playing hard with passion is the most important thing for me when I watch baseball games. Yankees certainly can use that for 27th championship.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Would you guys please do things which is more important than steroids?

All international players can't go back to USA to start their personal training in order to get ready for spring training, including Wang because they haven't gotten their employee's cards from MLB. Wang told Taiwanese media before Christmas that he wants to go back to USA earlier than he did last season even though he keeps workout through out whole winter.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

What's wrong with Yankees recent years in playoff????

Most people keep saying lack of Ace pitchers is the reason why Yankees couldn't do well in playoffs recent years. I disagree with that. I think the reason is the combination of defense, offense, starting pitchers, bullpen, manager and mental approach.

Let's make it simple. I won't throw you guys tons of stats. This is just my observations.

Defense... Somehow come up with better(maybe average) defense

Offense... Do better on situational hitting, such as moving runner and sacrifice fly or bunt,etc...

Starting pitchers... Better no.3~5 starters(create depth of rotation)

Bullpen...Throw strikes

Manager...Better in-game tactics(I love Joe Torre. Don't get me wrong, but this is his weakness)

Mental approach... Relax. Having fun on playing games . Don't think we must win and put too much pressure on yourselves. I think this is the reason why Red Sox can win 2 champions in 4 years. In 2008, this won't be easy for them to repeat since more pressure and expectation on them. If Yankees somehow become a underdog team this season, this may help us out on this perspective

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

School Time…Please help me out….

As you guys know, English is my second language. Some terms just keep showing up during the time I follow MLB recent years. If someone has enough patience, would you guys please explain some of them for me. I know most of them related to my poor English. Thanks. I am very appreciated.

Q1What does “my 2 cents” mean?

Q2What does” I will land on my feet”mean?

Q3Yankees went over slot recent years for draft pick and spent more money on signing them. What does “went over slot “ mean? What does “spent more money on signing” mean?

Q4Clemens said ”I was eating Vioxx like it was skittles”. What “Vioxx and Skittles” are? What does this sentence mean?

Q5I Know these are abbreviations. What do them mean? WTF? BTW? LOW? FWIW?

Q6How revenue sharing works? What kind of percentage they get from big market team? What kind of percentage they give to small market team? How do they contribute during this whole revenue sharing?

Edit 2008/1/9

Q7If Yankees trade for Santana and Twins grant a 72-hours window for Yankees to negotiate an extension with Santana, but Yankees and Santana can't get an extension done in 72 hours. Does it mean this trade dead and incomplete?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What are they doing?

I don't know who is telling the truth and who is lying. I don't care. Actually, I for one who doesn't care much athletes take steroids as long as they play hard. You guys will know that if you guys read my opening post for this blog.

We all have this kind of experience when we are at school. When I was in university, some of my classmates cheated in exams in order to get higher score. Some of my friends were so angry at this kind of situations. Me? I don't care. Only thing I care is what and how I do in exams. If I study hard, I get high score eventually. The difference between those who cheated in exams and me is I got knowledge on my head, right?

This whole saga between Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee. I just have one feeling. What are they doing? Don't look into the past. The whole focus should be how to improve or fix this situation which more and more athletes take steroids. What are they doing? If Govnerment turn McNamee from suspect to witness, should they protect McNamee from exposures to the public? I don't try to protect McNamee. I just wonder at why powerful people on the society always do something which gets them on the page of newspaper, but not for something challenges the real bad guys on the society.

Basically, Mitchell just put McNamee on his report and let everyone know who is his source. Mitchell should just try to come up with good idea how to change this situation instead of putting tons of athletes names on his report. Ridiculous.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Finally...We got some lefty relief pitchers

Yankees just signed these players below for minor-league deals
RHP Scott Strickland
LHP Heath Phillips
LHP Billy Traber
C Jason Brown

I think the most interesting signing is Billy Traber. The past three seasons, Billy Traber got killed by right-hand batter, but left-hand batter hit just AVG .213 OBP .294 SLG .348 OPS .642. I think We may got our lefty specialist.

Santana episode...

As I wrote earlier regarding Santana,I still think Twins will deal Santana before spring training and Yankees remain the best suitor for him. Even though adding Santana to Yankees can form a strong pitching staff, I still hope Yankees not to make this trade. Twins will take a big risk which Santana may get hurt if they wait trading deadline or draft picks.

Hank Steinbrenner talks about Santana again. I still believe Hank and Cashman will trade for Santana at right price, so they are waiting Twins to come back to them. That's why Hank keep talking to media regard to Santana because they want Twins to know they are still interested in and they also don't want Red Sox to get Santana at cheap price if they don't get him. If Hank want Santana this badly, He can overrule Cashman during winter meeting. If he chose to listen to Cashman during winter meeting, there is no reason for him to overrule Cashman now. There are three quotes from Hank Steinbrenner below and lead me to believe the more Twins wait, the less Yankees want to make this trade. Yankees may be in Santana trade now for driving up Red Sox's price and forcing Twins to keep Santana. We all have experience on shopping. Most of stuff we bought are on impulses. The more we wait, the less we want to buy,right?

"An offer hasn't been put back on the table"

"But because of the players involved, I wouldn't be crying if we don't get it done."

The reason to not to bring back Roger Clemens in 2008"We're moving in a different direction."