Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Write this Down: My 11 Predictions for '11

1. We will face a "Shortstop Situation." Simms v. Hostetler. Morton v. Staubach. Jeter v. Nunez. It's gonna tear the fabric of the Yankiverse. Before August, Jeet will tweak a donut hole or go 0-20, and everybody will be happy and sad by the performance of his replacement. That's because Eduardo Nunez is a damn good SS, Jeet's equal with a glove, faster and -- well -- don't gemmie wrong: Cappy's our boy. But a dispute is brewin', and depending on how Jeet deals with the Maddens & Feinsteins... might not be pretty. (Who was it Ryan Leach was trying to oust?)

2. Jesus is goneth. If you read IIH, you know I hate those words, because at some point, we as an organization must stand behind our farm system -- or it'll collapse like it did in the 1980s. But Montero is history. How do I know? Aint rocket science. On the YES website the other day, they ranked Yankee prospects and put low-level catcher Gary Sanchez No. 2. That's absurd. To put a half-season wonderboy over Betances and Baneulos et al. -- ridiculous. They did it with something in mind: Soften us up for Jesus' betrayal. He's gone. Only question is what will Pontius Cashman receive? King Felix Barabas?

3. Jorge will fizzle as DH. As Cher said, "You better siddown, kids." This will suck. Jorge Posada is a great, proud Yankee and - urine-scented hands notwithstanding - a future Yankee manager (Except Don Mattingly, now learning Managing 101 in LA, will move east for the job in two years.) But what can we expect from Jorge: 20, 90, .255? Thirty GIDP? He's slower than Barbara Bush. (The old one.) His body's a wreck. He'll bat 7th. No guarantee he'll like DHing either. Only a matter of time.

4. AJ Burnett will be AJ Burnett. What's with the questions about who AJ Burnett is? He's AJ Burnett. What we've seen is what we'll get. He'll amaze us, then disappoint us, amaze us, disappoint us. Lights out in his head, then lights out on the mound. He's not the worth the money, but since when is that our concern? Fourteen wins? Maybe 14 losses. Take the wins and be happy. He's ours.

5. No Killer will B a factor this year. Sad to say it: The kids are not all right. The best is Baneulos, and we'll ruin him by rushing him. Betances needs a year in the coal mine. Brackman might make it in our bullpen, but he'll probably come up next year too. If any make it, it's for Folger's. And their innings counts will be on everybody's minds. Think Phil Hughes in 2007. They're not going to be ready. 

6. Our prince will come. We have a wave of young pitchers. One will help us. I'm betting Ivan Nova. It might Noesi, Phelps, who knows. This is why you don't trade young pitchers. If you have five, you might get one. We have five. We'll get something for it.

7. Bartolo golon by May 1. Colon rhymes with Ponson. Listen: He's made a heartwarming little comeback, but it speaks volumes that Girardi won't let him start. A few spring zeros against the Mud Hens don't make a bullpen ace. And if he does pitch well, he'll pull a tit and that's it. Only a matter of time. As usual, we'll be caught holding the bag on old fart's career.

8. Arod will have a great year. Barring injuries or Madonna. Clearly, Alex he has gotten himself into physical shape, recognizing this might be his last shot at a great, awesome MVP year. Barring injuries or Jessica Simpson... this is his 40-120-.320 season. Evan Longora stays home July 7.

9. Brett Gardner will steal 70 bases. He should have led off last year. Neither Jeet nor Swisher causes pitchers to become twitchers. This is his Gardner's career year. This is peak age for a speed player. Now or never. Now. Unless he busts another thumb. Can we have them removed?

10. Boston will win the division by 10 games. Look at the lineup, look at the starters, look at the bullpen -- seriously, if you had a choice, who would you prefer: Aceves or Colon? Yeessh. How did we let that slip through? Our chance is the Wild Card. But WE WILL WIN THE WILD CARD.

11. Kevin Millwood will win 10 games for us. Listen: This guy knows how to pitch. In a month, when he is ready, we will be moaning for a serviceable starter. This is the best insurance policy Cashman could buy. Don't knock this guy. He's the classic veteran who will excel in NYC. Ten wins can be the Wild Card. Game three starter in the playoffs against Texas. Revenge? Let's hope.

There you have it, my stones on the block. Your move, readers... time to speak...


David Ballela said...

I feel Jete will have a decent bounce back year, hitting about .290, but declining with the glove. Other than that I'm pretty much in agreement.

Alph the Seer said...

I disagree about the Jeter prediction. Not this year, anyway.

I always felt that Jesus was a fraud. I was being persuaded otherwise, until this spring where he was lousy on defense, and couldn't hit dick.

I think he might be a useful DH if he proves able to crunch at AAA. Thus, the controversy becomes Jorge vs. Jesus, not Jete vs. Nunez.

AJ won't win 14 but he could well lose 14.

I can't forgive Cashman for allowing Aceves to go to Boston. Is he always asleep at the switch?

Mark Prior could prove our secret weapon out of bullpen, later in the year. He looked really good.

I'm glad we signed Milwood, but will be amazed if he wins 10 games. If he showns signs, we will call for him to replace AJ.

Joe De Pastry said...

1. Nunez doesn't understand that a walk is a good thing. He'll have a lousy OBP no matter how much he plays, and unlike Jeter he won't hit 10-15 homers. Girardi won't have the guts to use him as a late inning defensive replacement when he should. I probably wouldn't either.

2. Starting Nova is gonna be a problem. Either he will have the same problems as last year after 4 or 5 innings, or if he lasts longer in games they'll be using Nova Rules in August to limit his innings. They should be using him as Ramiro Mendoza II.

3. Colon should start until he starts to stink or gets hurt. Then they can call up somebody or make a trade.

4. Gardner peaked in June of last year. No decent pitcher will walk him anymore because they all know he's not getting more than a single anyway. Expect a lot of 0-2counts. He still hasn't learned to bunt for a hit, which is inexcusable for someone with his speed and no power. Infielders and outfielders will play him shallow, cutting down on his infield hits and bloop singles. He will suck.

5. Andruw and AJ will be the pleasant surprises of the season