Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring training time

I've been watching the Yankees on YES, and they are looking ready for a great season. The young pitchers seem to be maturing at just the right time, and the older guys like Moose and Pettitte are pitching like they did a few years ago. Wang has the most wins over the last 2 years in the AL, and I have no reason to think he won't crack the 20-win mark this year. Joba was supposed to be a starter, but I'm not sure he is ready for that role.

As far as the regular lineup, it's hard to find any weak spot. In no particular order:
Cano is coming off a terrific sophomore season, and should be even better this year.
Jeter is once again ready to do what he does best--win. I'm looking for a big year from the Captain. A-Rod even made him the earlky season favorite for the MVP award.
And speaking of MVP, can A-Rod repeat his MVP season of 2007? Can I get a hell, yeah? He is just reaching his prime, and may be even better this year.
Melky just gets better every year. While he may not be a power hitter in the Yankees centerfield tradition of Mantle and DiMaggio, he plays a great defense, and his arm has earned respect around the league.
Damon looks to be over his nagging injuries from last year, and gives the Yankees a lead off batter with pop and speed. Rickey Henderson without the attitude.
Godzilla should be back with his usual dependable play and decent power, along with the clutch hitting that has become synonymous with the name Matsui.
Abreau at 34 should give us the OBP and keen eye that drives opposing pitchers crazy.
Even the bench looks strong with Duncan and Betemit.
My only concerns are Giambi and Posada. They are both coming off decent seasons, but 36 year-old catchers can be injury prone. And Giambi, although he looks pretty good, is coming off a year in which he only played 83 games.
I'd love to say I'm looking at a team like the '98 squad, but sadly, not. I expect the team to challenge for the division, probably even win it. But this year, the playoffs will be different. I expect to sweep through them like a hot knife through butter. This team is built for the playoffs. Just as long as those freakin' bugs don't show up in Cleveland. Photobucket