Thursday, January 17, 2008

What to look for in '08 and breaking down the schedule - April - June (Part 1 of 2)

Yankees 2008 Schedule

Some random things to look out for in 2008:

Jeter starting his decline?

The knee injury really sapped him at the end of last season. Lets hope he works out hard this offseason (banging Jessica Alba type chicks doesn't count Derek) and can continue at the peak of his game for a couple of more seasons

Jorge regressing to the mean?

Lets face it, his BABIP has been astronomically high the past couple of season (.389 in '07, while his career BABIP is .320). The good luck is bound to wear off sometime, right? The age is going to have to show eventually right? Lets hope not!

Will Mariano earn his keep?

I think we can ALL agree that Mariano's 3 year 45 million dollar deal was a bit absurd. The Yankee bullpen will be more reliant than EVER on a dominant Mo, so he better be ready to pitch like he is 28 instead of 38.

When will we hear the first boos for A-Rod since he became the 300 million dollar man?

I say April 2nd in the second game of the season when he strikes out in the bottom of the 8th with the Yankees down by a run and the tying run on second. Did I mention he hit a walk-off game-winning HR in the first game of the season?

Will Joba make a smooth transition to the rotation? Will innings pitched restrictions limit his impact on the team?

We all know he was unstoppable as the 8th inning bridge to Mo (except for when midges are present). In the minors his stuff was lethal even late in games and he had four nasty pitches. Will he retain the stamina and the stuff in the bigs? Cashman has already confirmed that there will be Joba rules II this year. We'll just have to see what effect they have on the team over the course of the season.

Will the Joe Torre haters be correct in their thinking that Torre was sapping the life out of the bullpen and will Girardi have the magic touch?

I can't pretend to know the answer to that question, but his early insistence that he will unlock the potential in Kyle Farnsworthless has me a bit concerned

This can go on all day, but one final thing to look out for this season - will we see a comeback from Bernaby Williams?

The late 90's nostalists out there are already starting the We Want Bernie, clap clap clap clap clap chants. I leave you with this picture recently posted on Peter Abraham's blog of a public appearance that Bernie was at:

Now, let me ask you, is that Bernie Williams standing next to Chi Chi Rodriguez or is it the new Yankee Stadium? Damn, Bernie has really let himself go. I think that about quells and rumors of Bernie ever stepping into the batters box again!

On to the schedule breakdown:

March -

1 @ home vs. Blue Jays

Ross Says: Interesting that they are starting at home in March. Maybe Bernie will make that comeback after all and wear his ski mask again (bonus points if ANYONE can find a picture of the snowstorm at the stadium on April 9, 1996 where Pettitte pitched and Bernie wore the ski mask under the hat. I can't find it anywhere on the interwebs).
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18 of 28 games on the road
EVERY game will be freezing cold temperatures except for maybe the final 2 games at home against Detroit
5 of the 19 season meetings with the Red Sox

Ross Says: April looks to be brutal - they get the Red Sox and Indians on the freezing cold road (the good news is that the midges don't like the cold so that hellhole Cleveland should be bearable as long as their isn't a blizzard). The only games that look to be comfortable for the Yankees or any fans are the 2 measly games in Tampa Bay the 2nd week of the season. two thirds of the games on the road. This is gonna be rough. I wouldn't be surprised if the Yankees get off to another "cold" start. The only good news is that they only have the one day off right after the home opener and then they play on 19 straight days. That should get them in their groove quicker.


16 of 28 games at home
6 home games vs. Seattle
The Mets come to the Stadium in the middle of the month

Ross Says: Also look out for Johan Santana's homecoming when the Yankees visit the Twins at the end of March. Phil has something to say about that: image. The good news is that the Yankees play something like 9 or 10 games against Baltimore between April and May. That team has no hope, especially if the rumors about Bedard being traded are true. The Yanks should beat down on them.


KC, HOU, CIN, PIT - some bad teams on the schedule
random 3 game road trip to Oakland squeezed between KC and Houston
3 game home set against SD

Ross Says: The Yankees better not label SD coming to town as "premium games". That is about their most interesting interleague matchup outside of going to Houston. Maybe a juiceless Rocket will suit back up for the Astros and make things interesting?

Check back for part 2 breaking down the 2nd half of the schedule. Please leave any comments you may have under this post or at the NYY Stadium Insider Message Boards.
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