By Sweeny Murti
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A few notes, nuggets, and thoughts after the first 10 games:
*Carl Pavano won at Yankee Stadium. Ever think you’d live to hear that? He claimed Monday night it wasn’t extra motivation, but hard to believe he doesn’t hear the boos that rain down every time he’s introduced here.
Even Derek Jeter had to give it up afterward: “He knows how to pitch, Carl’s always known how to pitch. The only problem he’s ever had is health. When he’s healthy he pitches well.”
*The Twins had won only five regular season games in the Bronx since 2002. A win Monday night? That’s baseball, Suzyn. You can’t predict it. I mean, why would you try?
*Mauer and Morneau that important? Try taking Cano and A-Rod out of the Yankee lineup and see how that works.
*Approximately one-sixteenth of the season is now complete. That’s like one game of the NFL season. Can you really make definitive judgments on a team that soon?
*The middle of the order will start to hit. Don’t worry. Do we really think Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira will be this bad all year? Doubt it.
*Derek Jeter is now over 3,100 hits. Remember a year ago when you wondered how long it would take him to crawl across the 3000 mark? Plenty left in the tank it looks like.
In 10 games and 45 at-bats, Jeter has seven extra-base hits. Last year it took 40 games and 171 at-bats to get his first seven extra-base hits.
*Jeter will be honored next month with an honorary degree from Siena College. I wonder if I can start to call him Dr. J?
*Andy Pettitte could be back around May 10 by my calculations. I was told his fastball was around 87-89 the start before last in Clearwater. But with control, movement, and command of his off-speed pitches he has the stuff to compete at the big league level again.
*Johnny Damon signed with the Indians. Glad he’s giving it another try. I’ve spoken with Johnny enough over the last year that I know he has considered retirement, but isn’t ready to quit yet. Getting to 3000 hits would be nice for him, but not essential. That’s a guy that’s comfortable with the career and life he’s put together.
*CC Sabathia’s turnaround is key to the Yankees season. His ability to stop a losing streak is what the Yankees need. He hasn’t pitched that way the first two games.
*Raul Ibanez has been a pleasant surprise. His average isn’t anything special, but he was brought in for his power and he’s flashed that pretty well so far. They kept telling us all spring the bat speed was still there, and he has come up with some pretty big hits in the first two weeks.
*Phil Hughes to the bullpen? Sounds like a good short term solution, but the Yankees still have long term plans for Hughes as a starter. When he’s had success in that role, its hard to stop trying to get it back, especially as hard–and as costly–as it is it to get good starting pitching.
*Remember way back in February when Jeter and A-Rod were the ones Bobby Valentine was having trouble with? Now it’s Youkilis and Pedroia. Oops. Good luck with that.
Your thoughts on the Yankees? What needs to change over the next 152 games? Sound off below!