In a very unexpected piece of news, I’m very proud to say that Sal and I will be packing our bags and calling a new blog our home. Rob from Bronx Baseball Daily has given us the opportunity to be a part of their staff and we were absolutely overwhelmed by the offer. You can check our our new digs at http://www.bronxbaseballdaily.com/ .

I highly encourage everyone to follow us over there and see what they have to offer.  They boast a very deep staff and pump out both quantity and quality.

At this time I’d like to thank everyone for being a part of The House that George Built.  If it weren’t for you guys I would have never stuck with this blog and missed out on the opportunity to write over at BBD.  I hope you all continue to follow Sal and I at our new home and give the other authors there a chance, they don’t bite.  At least I hope not..

Thanks everybody.


Opportunity of a Lifetime

UPDATE: We’re all set.

In a last minute hail mary attempt, I’d like to see if anyone is interested in playing fantasy baseball with yours truly.  I know you must be confused as to how people don’t line up to play in a private ESPN fantasy baseball league with me, but fear not, this is no hoax.


It’s a ten team rotisserie league on ESPN, standard (I think) 7 x 7 scoring.  The draft is currently set to Friday at 5PM EST.

We need three or four ONE guy.  If you’re interested then post your email in the comments or send me an email ( thtgb.blog@gmail.com ).

As you’ve probably heard, Phil Hughes has ousted Joba Chamberlain as the fifth starter for the New York Yankees to start the 2010 season.  Having been a member of Camp Joba and now looking stupid for what I said, I’m obviously not overly enthused about the decision.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy for Hughes; he deserves to get the chance to prove himself as a starting pitcher, but as I’ve said before, so does Joba.  Joba played by the rules, let the Yankee brass toy with him, and now what does he have to show for it?  The promise that he might get to start next season?  That’s gotta be tough to stomach.

I’ve got my fingers crossed that the Yankees have Joba penciled in as a starter for the long term, but I just don’t feel too comfortable about that.  It would be a very pleasant surprise to find that the Yankees send him to AAA to keep his innings up, but I’m extremely doubtful they would do that given that he will be pitching one inning on Saturday.

If Joba wants to ultimately take over for Mo if/when he eventually retires, I’d feel a little bit better about the whole situation on strictly non-baseball reasons, but it doesn’t even appear as that’s the case.  I could be wrong here, but I’m under the impression that Joba’s stance all along has been that he wants to start.  I’m aware that there was a report last week that Joba had jokingly said to Mo that he was ready to take over the reigns, but a) I don’t trust a report like that from the clubhouse in spring training and b) it could be exactly what it seems, a joke.

Getting past my Joba-love, I’m very excited for the season to start and to see Hughes starting.  Only ten days ladies and gents.

So how do you feel about the Yankees’ decision? Let me know via poll / comments section.

As promised, here are the big guns. Before we get started, I’d like to thank the experts for their picks and the readers putting up with this silly little game.

Number Category Matty Andy Will Eric Sal Consensus:
0.5 World Series won Over Over Under Over Over Over
92 Yankee Victories in 2010 Over Over Over Over Over Over
5.1 Runs per game Over Over Over Over Under Over
4.4 Runs allowed per game Under Over Under Over Under Under

As you can see, the experts are all pretty optimistic Yankee fans. The Yankees will earn their 28th World Series, have more than 92 victories, score a ton of runs, and allow very few runs. Well that was easy.

Why is everyone so hopeful? The word most commonly used to describe the 2010 Yankees in the responses I got was revamped. The outfield is younger, the line-up will remain as dynamic as ever, adding Javier Vasquez to the rotation is a boost, and the bullpen remains one of the most talented in baseball.

Did reading that last paragraph get you as pumped as it got me? If not, you’re probably worried about the veterans staying healthy or that the AL East is as tough as ever. Not to worry, we all know that the front office will be ready to make for mid-season moves to ensure that Joe Girardi’s number will be over 28.5 at the start of the 2011 season. (Hello, Carl Crawford)

So I was recently informed about this whole “Streak for the Ca$h” thing on ESPN by a source, and obviously I love it.  I haven’t even picked a single game yet,  but just the prospect of picking things correctly got me hooked.  For those of you unaware of what it is, you basically pick the winner of that days games  and you want to build the longest streak of correct picks for the month.  If you do so you win $100,000.  There is also a prize (I think) for picking the most wins in a given month, so you could go for that if you want.  The official rules can be found here.

Naturally, I created a group for anyone who wants to join in on the fun.  It’s free to join and there’s no real competition between group members, it just brings everyone together and shows how each person is doing.  If you’re interested either send me an email ( thtgb.blog@gmail.com ) or let me know in the comments.

Come on guys, WE’RE GOING STREAKING!!!!

I’m sorry, I just had to. Bring your green hat.

For today’s posts I’ve got some light-weight predictions before I bring out the big guns tomorrow. “Bigger guns than the ones you have already brought to the table?” you ask. YES.

Number Category Matty Andy Will Eric Sal Consensus:
0.5 Yankees in Baseball Tonight’s Web Gem Leaderboard at the end of the year Under N/A Under Over Under Under
100 Number of games Jorge starts at catcher Over Under Under Under Over Under
5 Swisher will face this many batters as a pitcher Under Under Over Under Under Under

The first category up is probably the only stat that you will find very few places but here. Allow me to explain: Baseball Tonight, everyone’s favorite nightly show that features baseball writers, former athletes, occasional current players, and John Kruk, shows the best defensive plays of the day. (John Kruk is NOT a former athlete. Proof here, here, and here.) Anyway, BBTN counts up the number of times each player makes it into the highlight and puts the totals up for all to see. The obvious Yankee that has a shot is Brett Gardner, AKA The Quickie (I come up with nicknames in a quantity over quality manner.) Just to be clear, Eric is the only person who thought that Gardy has a chance. A quick look at last year’s results (scroll to the bottom)  showed that all leaders were third basemen. Last I checked, The Quickie does not play third base. QED.

For a little seriousness, let’s talk catching. FACT I: Jorge is not young. FACT II: Eric loves Frankie Cervelli, as do a lot of other, more influential people. The experts were split on this, but the majority went under. I thought 100 was a little low; not catching 62 games means taking more days off than just day games after night games and the occasional “coincidental” AJ Burnett start. I’m not worried about the situation though, the youth is the future.

Last year, Nick “The Swishbuckler” Swisher faced five batters, earning a strikeout in the process. I have nothing to say on the matter, so I will let Will explain why he took the over, on top of the fact that Will is a man who makes picks without caring what’s popular and makes no apologies. And I learned that after meeting him only once. “If I know anything about Joe Girardi’s managing style, Swish comes in to face Gabe Kapler every time he’s up late in the game. And we’ll see Gabe Kapler more than 5 times.” Tough to argue with that. Also, rumor has it that Swish is perfecting his gyroball.

Come back tomorrow for the thrilling conclusion of the Pre-Season Over/Under Expert Picks’ Poll.

And we’re back for day three! Today we have a couple categories regarding three players that have something to prove to the Yankee Universe. Let’s take a look at the results:

Number Category Matty Andy Will Eric Sal Consensus:
0.207 Cano’s BA w/RISP Over Over Over Over Over Over
100 Times you will hear Granderson is a nice guy Over Over Over Under Over Over
36 Gardner will steal this many bases Over Over Over Over Over Over

Everyone is expecting Robbie Cano to improve on last year’s miserable .207 batting average with runners in scoring position. The feeling amongst the panelists is that a hitter as good as Cano can’t struggle with runners in scoring position this poorly; he’s just too good at putting the bat on the ball. I think he’ll take a page out of the A-Rod book and relax at the plate. Everyone but “Wrong-Answer Communiello” agrees that we are in for a long season of announcers praising Granderson’s kindergarten report card like “plays well with others.” For a team that won last year due, in part, to great chemistry, I think that Mikey Kay and company will make sure that everyone knows how great of a teammate Curtis Granderson is. Look at this smile:

Lastly, we have Mr. Gardner and his amazing wheels. His nickname is Brett the Jet, not Brett the Slow Guy. I also wouldn’t mind “Brett the Corvette,” but that’s just me. He’s projects 36 steals via PECOTA, but Yankee fans are hoping for something much higher. The hardest part of stealing bases for this kid is getting on base.

Come back tomorrow for some more predictions that are guaranteed to be right, or your money back.

There really are more predictions tomorrow, the over the title is referring to is the high number of “over” picks chosen by the experts.

We have the top four ninths of the Yankee batting order in today’s discussion.

Let’s dive right in to today’s poll results:

Number Category Matty Andy Will Eric Sal Consensus:
0.317 Jeter’s batting average Under Over Under Under Over Under
0.414 Nick Johnson’s OBP Over Over Over Under Over Over
36 Tex’s Home Runs Under Over Over Over Over Over
113 A-Rod’s RBI Over Under Over Under Over Over

Just a heads up, all these numbers came from professional projections. Overall, there was a lot of disagreement between the panelists on a number of the categories. While most of the experts chose a lower batting average for Mr. Jeter, Andy went as far to give Jeets the 2010 Batting Title. Coming off a great year, it’s hard not to give Jeter the benefit of the doubt, but age is, as always, an issue. When people hear Nick Johnson, they think OBP king. 4/5 experts agree that a 0.414 OBP is too low for the number two hitter in a line-up as dangerous as the Yankees. Matty, going against the grain, took the under on 36 home-runs for Mark Teixeira. Otherwise, the panel foresees another monster year for Tex, especially with a full year of everyone’s favorite non-tennis playing A-Rod, Alex Rodriguez. Also, Andy and Tex agree that they ❤ the right field porch. Another split decision for the number of RBI for A-Rod, 3-2 in favor of over 113 RBI. We shall see.

Finally, the results from the Preseason Over/Under poll have been compiled and counted! A couple weeks ago, I asked some of the most knowledgeable baseball insiders (read: some of Eric’s friends) for their opinions on various Yankee statistics for the 2010 Season. The categories range from total wins and average runs scored to A-Rod’s RBI total. We did this over/under style, with numbers being picked from a mix of last year’s numbers and “expert” predictions. We’ll be rolling out a couple of categories each day, so look out for some fun, insightful Yankee predictions.

And now for today’s analysis:

Some interesting notes about these results:

Unanimous agreement that the opening day fifth starter will not be Phil Hughes, which bodes well for Joba. Interestingly, Matty was the only one bold enough to predict that the fifth starter job coming out of the All-Star Break will be over 63 (Phil Hughes fits the bill). No one thought that last year’s walk-off number will be surpassed. Last year was too good to be true. Everyone but pessimistic Will thought CC will have over 18 wins. The man can flat out pitch. With the run support behind him, 18 wins will happen before the leaves start turning colors. (Bold, I know). Andy went with the push on the number of times Eric will profess his love for Frankie Cervelli, but everyone really knows that Eric can’t resist a young, handsome catcher like Fransisco. Add the fact that Eric is somewhere around 7 by now mid-way through spring training, and this one becomes a lock.

After being plunked in the head last week and suffering a(nother) concussion, the Yankees are making Francisco Cervelli wear the extra padded Rawlings helmet.  You know that one right?  We all cracked up when it surfaced in Queens last season.

I still smile when I see this.

So now we’ve got a suave guy like Cervelli donning the big head gear for his own safety.  He’s not happy about wearing the “ugly” helmet, but he knows that he has to take care of himself.

“I think when I get to first base, I’ll change the helmet, because it’s a little heavy,” he said. “It’s not about how I look. I’ve got to take care of myself.”

Yes you do sir, yes you do.   I look forward to watching you for the entire season, so you better stay healthy.

The Yankee clubhouse has apparently been giving him a hard time about it and have begun calling him “Gazoo.”  I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping someone photoshops Cervelli’s face onto the real Gazoo and puts it on a t-shirt.  I’d love to get my hands on one of those.

[Props to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com for breaking the story]