Opening Day ’10 means a lot for Yanks, Sox

I thought I would return today to celebrate Opening Day 2010. When I left MLBlogs, the countdown on my blog was at about 50 days. Now, it’s at a little over six hours. It went by quick, and thank god it did.

Opening Day 2010 is just around the corner. The excitement won’t take long to appear, as the Yankees and Red Sox are set to face off to start the season. Taking a look at the schedule, I noticed something interesting.
The Yankees and Red Sox will play in Boston two times early in the season (April 4-7 and May 7-9). Then, they will have three straight series at Yankee stadium in May, August and September, before closing out the season in Fenway for the last series of the year.
This is not typical scheduling. The Yankees and Red Sox will not meet up in Boston all summer. In fact, all the series are clumped together. There will be a long wait time between series at Fenway and series in general. 
So, that means that both teams better make their mark early. If you remember, it did not loom well for the Yankees when they were 0-8 against the Sox last year. It was tough playing with that over their head. Although they overcame it, they probably would like to avoid it happening again, as would the Red Sox.
This year, there won’t be a lot of time to make up for mistakes in the rivalry. The Yankees better make their mark early, or their going to be jaded all summer.
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Goodbye MLBlogs.com

Just a day after learning that I made the top 55 for 2009 — in a year that I was only around for five months — I must sadly bring to your attention that I am leaving MLBlogs. I have received two offers from two great up and coming sports websites in MLBCenter.com and ClassActSports.com. I will start out as the MLB Center Director of Content, and it is likely that a position as a columnist on ClassActSport.com will soon follow. I encourage you to check out these new sites.

While I am not going to completely leave MLBlogs, there will certainly be a decline in my presence. I just want to tell you that these great new writing positions could not have been made possible without each and every one of you. I cannot express in words how much I appreciate your loyalty.

Thank you for everything,
– Jess Coleman

A-Rod vs Pujols

It’s a fascinating debate. The three time MVP against the three time MVP. Alex Rodriguez or Albert Pujols. It’s not even worth it to talk about which player you would rather have on your team, because both are incredible. But, a good question would be: When it’s all said and done, who will have had the better career? So, let’s answer it by looking at the home run totals of both of these players. Here is a graph showing the home runs totals by age for each of these players.

A-Rod vs Pujols.pngA-Rod had the head start. That in itself already gives you the idea that A-Rod is the more incredible player. Pujols came in at 21, like most great players. A-Rod came in at 18, like most historic, iconic players.

Pujols did get off to a quicker start though. In Pujols first season, he hit 37 home runs, quickly bringing his total to half of A-Rod’s, who had already been playing for three years.

For the next four seasons, Pujols kept pace with A-Rod. In fact, they both stayed at a somewhat constant rate.

The next season, though, A-Rod spiked up, and continued to do so, while Pujols stayed at the same rate.

Since A-Rod is older, we already know what he has done. He has continued to stay at the same rate after that spike around age 28.

So, if Pujols is going to catch A-Rod, his is not only going to need to keep up his own rate, but he’s going to need to throw in either a good 70 home run season, or a couple 50 home runs seasons. For a guy that has never hit 50 home runs in his career, that’s going to be tough to do. So, to all of the people who say that Pujols will pass A-Rod, you better hope he’s got a record breaking season in him.

Here is a table comparing both players:

A-Rod vs Pujols Stats.pngThe choice is yours, who’s the better player? Keep in mind that Pujols is in a much weaker division than A-Rod is in, so he faces worse pitchers. But also remember that Pujols is in a much weaker line-up, so he gets pitched around more than A-Rod does. And most importantly, A-Rod has done this for seven more seasons, it’s not a sure thing that Pujols can keep this up for as long as A-Rod has.

Poll of the Day:
Who will end up with the better career?(polls)

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The Buzz: Damon, Baldelli

Olney predicts Yankee, Damon reunion
Buster Olney says in a video blog, that he feels Damon will end up in New York because “he’s running out of other options.” He mentions that the Braves, Giants, and Tigers have pulled out of the race, making the Yankees chances even greater for obtaining Damon. He says that two things would have to happen, one being that “Damon would have to greatly reduce his salary demands,” and the other being that “Hal Steinbrenner would have to essentially rewrite his budget.” He adds that sources tell him that Hal is unlikely to do that, although many team executives say that they think Damon will end up in New York.

Balldeli never signed, although is still an option
Anthony DiComo says via the Hot Stove Blog that a report yesterday about Baldelli signing with  the Yankees was incorrect, according to Brian Cashman. He adds that the Yankees are still very interested in Baldelli, should Damon not work out.

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Damon almost out of options

Damon 1:15.jpgWith everyday Damon remains a free agent, I struggle to understand where things went wrong. With the thought of the game changing, season changing steal of two bases in the World Series, it’s hard to think that that player would have so much trouble finding a team.

There are a few interesting pieces of information today, all of which lead me to believe that a Damon return to New York may not be impossible.

The two front runners for Damon as of yesterday were the Tigers and Braves.

Today, we learned that they are very weak front runners. The Braves have reportedly pulled out of the race for Damon, unless it was for $1-2M. The Tigers GM also said that they have not expressed any interest in Johnny Damon.

Add all of that to the fact that the Mets signed Jerry Hairston, and you have a set up for a Damon return. The Braves could offer $1-2M, but the Yankees have that much available too, and Damon would pick New York over Atlanta.

Should this come down to the wire, I wouldn’t be surprised for both sides to compromise, and for a one-year, $4-5M deal to surface. Just putting that out there. There’s no evidence of that yet, but the stage is certainly set for it.

The Buzz: Jeter, Damon, LF

  • NBCSports.com reports that Derek Jeter is not getting married. Instead, it is his sister, Sharlee Jeter, who will be getting married in November.
  • SportingNews.com points out that agents are saying that the Yankees only have $2 million left to spend, and that will not be enough to bring back Johnny Damon.
  • MLB.com says that it is possible for the Yankees to go beyond their budget to haul in Xavier Nady, who they are very interested in. They also say that they would not go far enough to bring back Damon.
  • MLB.com also points out that their are still remaining options for the Yankees in left field, beyond Jerry Hairston Jr. and Reed Johnson. Among those still available are Rocco Baldelli and former Yankee, Marcus Thames.