Man-Crushing on Granderson, Part II While Staying Warm

A few warm thoughts as I again employ coffee with a lump of sugar and a spritz of egg nog to defeat the cold–6 degrees this morning in The Heartland, with a wind chill of -14.  Effing burr.

Hat tip to Mike for e-mailing this post from Joe Posnanski’s blog, a strong, detailed entry running through various point about Granderson that reveal the strength of the upgrade the Yankees made to CF.  Well worth the read.

Cliff Corcoran at Bronx Banter has a good but more balanced entry in which he expresses some concern that, should Granderson not improve against lefties and cut down his K’s, he risks reduction to part-time status.

For good segments of an interview with Granderson, see Chad Jennings at LoHud and Tyler Kepner at The Times. A couple things stand out.  The first is that Granderson not just says the right things, but appears to be genuinely humble, especially when he discusses learning from Cano and other lefties about hitting lefties.  This reveals not just the characteristic willingness to improve, but also this facet from a proven major-league, all-star ball player.  That impresses me a lot.  Additionally, this is an intriguing bit at the bottom of Jennings’s post:

If Johnny Damon were to be re-signed, Cashman said Damon would likely return to the No. 2 spot in the order and Granderson would move into a more run-producing spot in the lineup.

Not a bad idea.  Should JD return, and I would welcome that for the right terms, why mess with what has worked, as I posted the other day about Jeter remaining the lead-off hitter?  Plus, Granderson has power plus speed, allowing him to hit say fifth through seventh (probably sixth or seventh given his high K numbers).  I would prefer to see his speed used near the top of the order but, with JD back, keeping JD second would certainly not be a bad move.  His bat control is sharp, he slaps the ball the other way but can yank it out to right, and that combination with Jeter is as formidable as any atop an order in baseball.

Speaking of JD, Buster Olney just posted on the ESPN CoverItLive chinwag that the Yankees are negotiating with JD right now, hoping to settle something quickly.  Based on his and Boras’s exceedingly sanguine rhetoric, I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen fast, but would definitely welcome him back.

The Rays dealt newly acquired righty Jesse Chaves, obtained from Pittsburgh for Akinori Iwamura, to the Braves for reliever Rafael Soriano.  Boston has dealt Mike Lowell to Texas for catcher Max Ramirez, and agreed to eat $9 million of Lowell’s $12 million salary for 2010 in a clear dump and move to become both younger, more athletic, and better defensively after Lowell’s struggles last season.  [Edit:  ESPN is now reporting that the deal is still being worked out, pending mutual concerns about each player’s physicals.  Also, Olney reports that should the trade go through, they may pursue Adrian Beltre to play third.] Orioles Yankee punching bag Chris Ray is gone to Texas for the perpetually overrated Kevin Millwood.  Texas also signed talented but oft-injured Rich Harden.

No offense to The Mighty Abe, who did yeoman’s work establishing LoHud as the premier blog that it is with his hard work and wit, but the work in these segments from Chad Jennings reminds me that I don’t miss Pete Abe at all.  Jennings does very good work, people.

Published in: on December 10, 2009 at 9:42 am  Comments (18)  

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  1. LoHud is doing a great job. Pete got it started but now it’s become the place we all go to for news and info. I’m thrilled to hear that the Yanks are negotiating with Boras for Damon and have my fingers crossed that a deal will happen. I loved JD in the #2 spot. He and Jeter were a great combo in the lineup and I’d leave them there and use Granderson elsewhere.

  2. Sorry about the cold, btw. It’s in the 30s here in California!

  3. 27 degrees in alabama last night, but I think Illinois might win the “freezing my ass off ” award.

    if they do manage to pressure Damon into signing soon then one could make a case that IF Granderson continues to fail against lefties then that’s when you put Melky in CF against a Lester or other top lefties, but in the AL east there really aren’t many tough lefties anyway…

    i think they should trade melky while he has value. the cubs seems to have some interest.

    I think everyone is thrilled that all the snark from LoHud has moved onto Boston– LoHud is better than ever!

  4. Mike! Good to see the problems trying to post a comment appear to have subsided. Yeah, it has been freezing here but, thankfully, will be a bit warmer this weekend. It also happens to be cookie weekend with my wife and sister-in-law making several hundred cookies for sampling. With some spiked egg nog and my cooking a turkey for dinner Saturday night, it should be a lot of fun.

    I agree about sitting Grandy if need be, but am optimistic (I know; no kidding) that he will be better on that front next season. I too have heard rumors about Melky being moved.

    The lack of snark at LoHud has been good, and a good reminder for me to minimize by capacity for snark as well. Chad and Sam are doing a bang-up job.

  5. testing with safari

  6. I am inclined to agree with that should JD return, Jane. Although JD would also fit well hitting 5th or 6th, I don’t think it’s wise to break up that one-two punch with Jeter; it’s too good, despite my fondness for Grandy’s speed atop the order.

  7. yes -still no luck with safari, but so be it…

    if it were up to me, i’d play Granderson against every possible lefty for at least half the season before even considering sitting him. even damon said yesterday that working with K Long is going to help him out considerably ( paraphrasing )

  8. I bet SOSH is totally trashing Theo for picking up Boof Bonser…

  9. I was thinking the same thing, Mike, when I read that earlier this morning. Talk about trolling! As if they didn’t learn their lesson last off-season. Now, however, they don’t have Gammons on ESPN shilling for them with effusive praise for the boldness and vision to acquire a mediocre recovering pitcher for the back end of the rotation.

  10. Hey when it comes the cold rain snow I think I top the list here.

    I don’t miss Abe one bit I hear he bitches about the Yankees allot on his blog he even called Granderson “a downsized Ellsbury” in his Hot Stove Chat on Sam and Chad are so much better they don’t even attack the commenters.

    After getting Hoffmann in the Rule 5 Draft I think its certain one of Melk or lil G will go. I read on MLBTR that the Royals want lil G if we can maybe work out a deal for Dejesus I know we were linked with him last year.

  11. Mike, I see that your comments from Safari were going to right to a spam folder; sorry about that. I just found them, and approved the ones I saw. On Granderson against lefties, I agree. Let the guy play, and work out the kinks against the lefties. My gut tells me he will be better this year against them.

  12. I don’t miss Abraham a bit. One thing about him…he was one of the biggest Torre ass-kissers there was. My feeling is this. Torre was great. But come the end of 2007, Torre’s time had come. It was time for a change.

    Now we sometimes have issues with Girardi, like when he pulled Robertson (too soon, I thought) for Aceves in the ALCS game.

    But the guy does have a WS ring now. He’s managed three years, winning a Mgr. of the Year award (then getting canned) in his freshman year (so to speak) with Florida, then a WS title in year #3 as a manager. It is too bad Abraham did not cover the 2009 WS on his blog, considering how much he was still kissing Torre’s ass (and ripping Girardi’s) in 2008.

  13. …and yes, I had questions with Girardi sometimes overmanaging in the offseason, but…

    let’s just say I was tired of Pete kissing Torre’s ass and making excuses for some of Torre’s questionable moves.

  14. overmanaging in the offseason, but…

    meant postseason (still pissed at the Steelers’ loss!)

  15. mike i’m surprised that the biggest problem you had with him was his apparent favoritism towards joe torre. my main problem with him was his petty attacks on his own commenters. anyway- i’m glad he’s gone…

  16. This is purely speculative, Mike, but I can’t help but think that part of why Torre was so beloved among reporters was all the access he provided them in addition to being “good copy.” The guy played baseball politics extremely well, was natural with the media, and his relaxed demeanor was endearing. I think such relationships allowed Torre to tamp down some of the criticism, especially for his wringing certain relievers dry like human dish rags (Quantrill the most glaring but not the only case, all the worse since he had a bum knee throughout 2004), that most managers would otherwise have received.

    I liked Torre a lot, but think that a good case could be made to move on after 2007. Torre did a terrible job with that SI story with Verducci in 2006, showing a serious lapse in judgment by allowing that lens into what was obviously a dysfunctional clubhouse, especially with its publication coming just as A-Rod was hitting his stride and the team was getting ready for the playoffs. For a players’ manager, that was a bonehead decision, appearing all the more self-centered given that he co-authored a book just over a year later with the same author (and I like Verducci’s writing a lot; he’s very good) in no small part centering around how dysfunctional the Yankees became at the end of Torre’s tenure. Although I like much about the book, I don’t like the way in which it came about at all. It was fishy.

    What bothered me was the way that the Yankees handled Torre after 2007. It was condescending and quite frankly silly for them to make this specious argument for an incentive-laden contract for Torre, trying to say it wasn’t a pay cut when it was, trying to contend that Torre needed some prodding to get the team back to the World Series. What a steaming pile. They would have been on far safer ground, certainly with me, just saying that they wanted to make a change, that it was time, that they felt another manager could do better with players and the bullpen, and doing so with the requisite thanks for everything. Instead, they dragged out the process, left a good (if flawed) manager dangling, then concocted flimsy fabrications to belatedly justify a non-firing firing. Just fire the guy. He had some flaws, as we all do, but Torre deserved far better than that. All he did was guide the greatest sports dynasty in (most of) our lifetimes, with no shortage of grace and decency.

    Definitely agreed about Girardi. Getting the hardware was huge, regardless of critics claiming that it was a given with their off-season acquisitions. There are no givens in sports. Ask the 1968-69 Lakers, getting Wilt to go with West and Baylor and they STILL lost to an old, banged-up Celtics team. Girardi over-manages, but on the whole has done a terrific job managing the workloads of the relievers, way better than Torre ever did.

    Sorry about your Steelers, Mike. I saw the score in the 2nd and 4th quarters, and knew you wouldn’t be happy. You’re right; their OL is not what it used to be. Polamalu out has really hurt the defense, too. I think that people rightly look from back to front regarding what defenses need to do to shut down teams; that is, they stress the front and what pressure it needs to put on teams to stifle them. Yet what Polamalu gives the Steelers is a rover-type who covers well, but also can be moved up front for blitzes and run support. The Steelers look a lot less flexible and innovative defensively without him.

    Jeez, that was a long comment.

  17. Agreed that the way they let Torre go was very flawed, but it happened that way with Casey in 1960 as well.

    Had more issues with P.A., and Mike F. hit upon some of them.

  18. Exactly what I was thinking, Mike. Casey got the shaft as well after one of the all-time great runs in sports history.

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