Happy Friday, everybody! Let's take a tour of the Inter-Google this morning for what is being written and said about our New York Yankees.
The Boston Red Sox may have "won" the Baseball Winter Meetings, but Yankee pitcher CC Sabathia reminds everyone that while some may have crowned the Red Sox 2011 champs already, they have not won anything yet.
"You want me to say the Red Sox are the favorite?" Sabathia said. "I play for the Yankees. I always feel like we have a chance to win. If you look in our clubhouse and look at our lineup and the things we can do, it's hard not to side with our team."
What, you expected a concession speech? By the way, what is that ugly-looking thing CC has decided to grow on his face? That right there is reason enough to keep the Yankees' no-beards policy in place.
They are giddy in Boston, of course, and the Boston Globe has come out with a position-by-position comparison of the Yankees and Red Sox.
Opined the Globe: "It remains to be seen whose roster - the Red Sox' or Yankees' - is better, but in terms of who has significant players heading into their prime years, the acquisitions of 28-year-old Adrian Gonzalez and 29-year-old Carl Crawford seem to put Boston in a better position for the next few years."
Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York thinks Boston's signing of Carl Crawford should not really matter to the Yankees.
The Yankees didn't make it to the World Series in 2010. They fell two wins shy, and it wasn't because of lack of production from their outfield. And I will tell you that if Crawford had been playing left field in the ALCS instead of Gardner, the Yankees still would have gone down in six games and the Texas Rangers still would have gone on to their skull-dragging by the San Francisco Giants.
Because for all the advanced metrics now applied to the performance of baseball players, all the VORPs and WARPs and WHIPs, the oldest one is still the most relevant: ITPS.
It's The Pitching, Stupid.
The Yankees need pitching. Period. Starting pitching, relief pitching, batting practice pitching. They need Cliff Lee. They don't need Carl Crawford. Never did, and never really wanted him.
When asked about Crawford on Wednesday, Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters, "It is not a need for us. We have Gardner. We have Granderson. We have Swisher. I have a certain amount of money that I can spend. I'm going to attack the areas of need for us.''
It is basically the same thing he told me in October, right after the Yankees got bounced by the Rangers in six games. Crawford was never a need, never a priority.
Lee was and still is.
I agree. Sort of. Lee has always been the guy the Yankees have to have this offseason. You can't ignore the fact that Boston has gotten better, however.
Speaking of Lee and that seven-year contract offer that is on the table, the New York Times examines the history of seven-year offers to pitchers. As much as the Yankees need Lee, you might not want to read it.
It' About The Money says the Red Sox have become what they used to complain bitterly about.
I have bad news for Luke Skywalker: baseball has generated a second evil empire, headquartered just 220 miles northeast of the original. The new evil empire, a.k.a. the "less evil empire", the "evil twin" or the "Boston Red Sox", just took Jayson Stark’s award for best Winter Meeting performance by committing more than a quarter of a billion dollars to sign Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford.
No bitterness here, not from this Yankees fan. The Red Sox have money to spend and they're spending it. They're trying to get better. They're acting within the rules that apply to the richest of baseball teams. That's the nature of the game. It's just that, only a few years ago, the Red Sox were known to criticize the Yankees for playing the game this way.
Finally, Howard Megdal of SB Nation New York has a unique way of pointing out that the Yankees are old.