Friday, February 27, 2015

Some burning questions about the Yankees that have nothing to do with A-Rod

For all the complaining that Yankee sportswriters make about Alex Rodriguez being a "distraction," the fact is that these writers literally cannot seem to come up with anything else to talk about than A-Rod. Think I am exaggerating? Look at these numbers from yesterday's media opportunity with Joe Girardi after the team's first full-scale workout.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes about the Yankee manager's encounter with the ink-stained wretches:
He took 23 questions.
It wasn't until the 15th question until someone asked about any other player than Rodriguez, with the exception of one about Derek Jeter, who was not in Yankees camp for the first time in two decades.

By the time the 22nd question came along, Girardi lost his cool.

"Are you happy to see him in camp here?" 
I don't understand what kind of question that is, to be honest,'' Girardi said, his voice slowly rising. "He's a player of ours. Of course, I want him back.''
When the follow-up explained that not everyone in the Yankees' front office shares his opinion, Girardi didn't respond.
Brian Cashman got similar questions from the media, with him finally saying this, as Newsday's David Lennon reports:
"I don't really want to talk about the Alex stuff like this anymore,'' Cashman said. "I mean, at some point, hopefully, you guys can let it go, too. I think most of this stuff has been asked of me already. I don't feel like dealing with it too much longer.
No wonder Alex is an egomaniac. Stalkers pay less attention to their prey than the media does with A-Rod.

I got into a bit of a Twitter tiff the other day with Brendan Kuty, the Star-Ledger's beat writer for the Yankees, after he wrote in the paper about Rodriguez being a "distraction." Here is the exchange:

Anyhow, since neither Brendan nor the rest of the Yankee press corps members seems to be able to come up with questions on anything not related to A-Rod, I have written some down for them. I'm helpful that way.

So, the next time these folks need to come up with a non-Alex question for Joe Girardi or Brian Cashman, they can refer to my crib sheet! Here are my questions:
  1. CC Sabathia's 2014 season ended with knee surgery. So how is the fact he put on weight -- he is now 305 pounds -- going to help his knees, when weight gain actually exacerbates knee pain?  
  2. Why did you spend $5M for another season of Stephen Drew? Was it his .150 batting average or his .219 on-base percentage as a Yankee that most impressed you?
  3. Why did you spend $5M on Chris Capuano for 2015, more than double than what Boston paid him last year, when he had a 4.35 ERA in 2014 and is 36 years old?
  4. You spent $30M on unproven 16-year-old international players last year. Why couldn't you beat the Boston Red Sox's $30M offer for a 19-year-old Yoan Moncada, when he is much further along in his development? 
  5. How can you be so confident in the upcoming players in your farm system when you haven't developed a position player for the Yankees since Brett Gardner, or a starting ace since Andy Pettitte?
  6. Why do you keep on including opt-out clauses in players' contracts when they never work out for the team? Did you know that if you hadn't done so for CC Sabathia, that his contract would be ending this year?
  7. What do you think will get Yankee fans to come out to games this season? Who or what will be your biggest draw? If it is Masahiro Tanaka, what is your contingency plan when he needs to get Tommy John surgery?
  8. Why does Hal Steinbrenner keep on saying that the Yankees are spending $235M on players when the actual payroll is closer to $210M?
  9. Why did Brian Cashman get a contract extension for his mid-season moves, including trading for Martin Prado and Brandon McCarthy, when he let both players go after the season?
  10. What is your plan for the future? If you are in a rebuilding phase, then why did you take on $500M in new contracts after the 2013 season? If you are competing now, then why did you let Robinson Cano go?
What do you think? Tell us about it!

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