Weeks ago, I asked PA readers to submit your questions to Yankee beat-writer and author of the must-read LoHud Yankees Blog, Peter Abraham, on the current state of the Yankees as well as the off-season and 2008.
Our questions were submitted to Pete back in mid-July but he was unable to get back to us until now due to his heavy workload before the July 31st trade deadline.
A few of our questions involved the deadline, Kyle Farnsworth's fate with the Yankees, and Joba Chamberlain, but these questions have already been answered by recent events and I didn't include them here.
We want to thank Pete very much for taking the time to answer our questions.
Last season, much was made of Damon's personality loosening up the clubhouse. What's your feel on that being true and effecting the team's performance carrying over to this year?
I think it was certainly true. I don't believe it impact performance, however. At least not for anybody other than Johnny.
We hear a lot about the young arms on the farm, but are there any position players do you think might get the "September call up"?
Maybe Brett Gardner. They'll bring Nieves back as an extra catcher.
Do you believe this team will be in the post-season?
They'll win the wild card by three or four games.
Do you think Mike Mussina would consider being a knuckle ball pitcher to extend his career since his knuckle curve is pretty effective?
I'm not sure he wants to extend his career beyond next season. I can't see him becoming a knuckleballer at this stage if he does. That would be a big change in style. Plus he has nobody to teach it to him. A knuckle-curve is a long way from throwing a knuckleball like Wakefield.
Who will be the Yankees' skipper next season and why?
Don Mattingly. I don't think he took the hitting coach job without knowing there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
Will Brian Cashman be back? Who do you think has the inside track to be his successor if replaced?
He will be back, if for no other reason because there is nobody with the inside track to succeed him.
Will A-Rod be wearing pinstripes next season?
Yes, the Yankees have every advantage in giving him the most money.
Is there any chance Mariano Rivera or Jorge Posada will be wearing anything but pinstripes next season?
There's never no chance. But I'd be shocked if either went somewhere else.
Not including the no-brainer FAs (A-Rod, Mo, and Posada), who should be the Yanks #1 target?
Hard to say without knowing if Melky can play CF going forward. A set-up man, most likely.
Who do you find to be the most fun Yankees to interview? How about not-so-fun?
Fun: Damon, Mussina, Rivera, Giambi, Clemens, Pettitte.
Not so fun: Igawa (his translator sucks), A-Rod depending on the day (he rarely answers the question asked, he answers something else), Andy Phillips (just a mean SOB ... nah, only kidding).