A Quick Look at What's Gone On in Yankee-Land Since the Offseason Began:
-Brian Cashman re-signs as General Manager of the Team- When he moved Tony Womack to centerfield in May and promoted Robinson Cano, I thought he was crazy. Since Cano worked out so beautifully, I'll let him off the hook for the Womack debacle, and he really did an amazing job securing guys like Shawn Chacon, Aaron Small and even Al Leiter. So all-in-all, I'm quite happy to see Cashman return; I just don't think things are going to change behind the scenes the way he seems to. But what do I know...
-Longtime Yankees Pitching Coach Mel Stottlemyre Retires- The only pitching coach the team has had during the Joe Torre Era, Mel will certainly be missed and is not an easy guy to replace. Seems the pressure from Steinbrenner and the front office finally caught up with him.
-Yankee Bench Coach and Former Catcher Joe Girardi Leaves Team to Take Over for Jack McKeon As Manager of the Florida Marlins- I' m so happy for Girardi to have only served as a coach for one season and then be highly sought after for managing positions...He always was and always will be one of my favorite Yankees (I'm a big fan of the role players, not really the superstars). It's just sad to think that poor Willie Randolph had to wait so many years for someone to finally give him a chance, and now he's stuck with the Mets.
-Coaches Upheaval- For some reason, the team has decided that replacing Roy White and Luis Sojo should take priority over re-signing Matsui, a new centerfielder, and an overhaul in the bullpen. I don't get it!
-Lee Mazzilli Returns as Torre's Bench Coach- It will be good to have Mazzilli back as Joe likes him and he's used to the climate. He did a hell of a job in Baltimore for about half a season, but then things fell apart.
--Gator Named as Pitching Coach- Ron Guidry joins the fray after first-choice Leo Mazzone headed off to the Baltimore Orioles. This could be a risky move considering Louisiana Lightning has no prior coaching experience, but with guys like Mariano Rivera, Mike Mussina, and Randy Johnson heading the staff, there's not too much teaching that needs to be done anyway.
-Yankees Decline 2006 Option on Tino Martinez- I can't say I'm really shocked about this, but that doesn't make it any easier for one of Tino's biggest fans (me!). I don't care what his numbers looked like last season- As far as I'm concerned, he single-handedly carried them through May after they hit the low point at 11-19. Still, I'm thankful to have had him back for one more year as a reminder of the "golden years" of the Yankee Dynasty. We fans will never forget Constantino Martinez!
-Plenty of New Free Agents- Hideki Matsui being the most notable.
-Alex Rodriguez and the Poker Fiasco- It's just far too easy right now to jump on the A-Rod Bashing Bandwagon, so I"ll save that for a later date...Like the next time he grounds into a double play and kills a rally/season...Whatever...
-Derek Jeter Wins His Second Consecutive Gold Glove- I was a little surprised by this because I thought Alex Rodriguez had a better chance to win at third than any of his teammates, but I'm happy for him nonetheless!
And Stay Tuned For...
-The progress of the Matsui deal that needs to be finalized by Tuesday (He's reportedly been offered 4 years at $50 million, so we'll see how that goes over with him and his agent...)
-Who should stay and who should go during the Offseason
-And a (potentially) lengthy rant on the anti-Yankee bias that far too many members of the media have, especially when it comes to "Awards Season"