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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives...

By Paul Semendinger

February 14, 2023

***

The moment that Steve Cohen purchased the Mets, I started writing about how the Mets were going to look different, act differently, and that they could (and probably would) challenge the Yankees for the hearts of New York baseball. There was a time, and it wasn't that long ago, when the Mets were New York baseball's number one team. I think they're on their way to recapture that again.


Of course, die-hard Yankees fans will stay with the team. But for the younger fans, the ones who first see a team and fall in love with it and stay with that team forever, the Mets just might be the more attractive team. They definitely seem more fun.


I love the Yankees. Of course. And I love Yankee Stadium. But, truth be told, Citi Field is the nicer ballpark. I think it would be difficult for someone to argue that Yankee Stadium is a better venue to watch a baseball game from.


The Yankees used to, at least, have history on their side. "Babe Ruth played right field in that same spot..." But Ruth and all those legends played across the street. The newer Yankee Stadium doesn't have any of that history. I still love the place, but it's not a great ballpark. I never see any lists where it ranks as even a Top 10 stadium in the Major Leagues. And that's a shame. The Yankees' brand is built on being the best. But the Yankees haven't been the best and aren't the best in so many ways.


The Mets also just seem to have more fun. Their ad during the Super Bowl was great. It was a classic. When was the last time we saw the Yankees doing anything like this? When was the last time the Yankees had fun?


Here are two of the Mets' new ads:




I hope that the new Yankees - Anthony Volpe, Oswaldo Cabrera, and the other kids bring some added fun (and success) to the Yankees. They Yankees need that. They need energy.


I will always love the Yankees, but if you were nine years old, which team would you first gravitate towards, the Yankees or the Mets?


I'm afraid that the Mets have the momentum here.


***

The Yankees released their promotional schedule and they'll be giving away a lot of bobbleheads... all sorts of bobbleheads.


Is anyone else tired of bobbleheads?


I'd love for some new and original giveaways.


I'd love for some originality. Even with promotions, the Yankees seem to be in a rut.


***

Ok, I'll go all-in right now.


If the Yankees don't go big-time to try to acquire Yoshinobu Yamamoto after the 2023 season, assuming, of course, that he becomes available, I won't be happy. The Yankees should always be going aggressive for big time pitching and Yamamoto might be the best pitcher yet to come from Japan. He's already won two MVP awards in Japan, and he'll only be 25-years-old.


I know Shohei Ohtani is great. And, yes, I'd want him on my team. (And no, I don't see him ever signing with the Yankees.) But, in 2024, Ohtani will turn 30-years-old. (Yeah, players get old quickly.)


Yamamoto is five years younger. Five years. That's a huge difference. For immediate dividends and long-term goals, Yamamoto is probably the better bet. This would be especially true if the Yankees are looking to build a dynasty around their super young talent.


***

And, if the Yankees need a left fielder next year, they might want to look to Jung Hoo Lee from Korea.


I love to hope on players like this! (He owns a .342 lifetime batting average.)


***

Thanks to Prof. Robert for sharing this great article on a connection between Buck Showalter and Thurman Munson and the Cape Cod League. Take a look, it's worth reading.


***

The other day I wrote about John Riggins, my absolute favorite non-baseball athlete. My favorite fictional athlete is, of course, Rocky Balboa. I want to meet him one day. (Yeah, I know...)


Creed 3 comes out in a few weeks. I can't wait to see it. Rocky won't be in that film, but it carries on the franchise. As such, I'm eager to see it.


***

The NFL Hall of Fame did it right this year. They had NFL Hall of Famers show up at the door of the new players who got inducted. I was a big Jets fan in the early 1980s. Seeing Joe Klecko's reaction when Joe Namath showed up at his house was awesome. Take a look (it's at about the 3:30 mark):


***

Pitchers and catchers have reported. Nestor Cortes is injured with a hamstring problem. He's now out of the WBC already.


Here we go again? The Yankees have a great rotation, but only if all their pitchers are healthy. Frankie Montas is already out. One down. Now Nestor is out. That's two.


Of course, both of these could be temporary setbacks, but when players reaggravate the same injuries they had a season ago, it's a troubling sign.


***

MLB has reinstituted the fake runner on second base in extra innings. It seems that that rule is now permanent.


Why can't they just leave the game alone?


I dislike this rule immensely. It feels cheap and it changes the game.


***

Baseball also adopted a rule about position players who come in to pitch. It's convoluted. I didn't even know this was an issue.


The more baseball makes these different rules, the less fun the game becomes, at least in my humble opinion.


***

The Super Bowl was great. It's wonderful when it is a good game - and it was a good game. But now it's time for baseball.


I'll put my Riggins jersey away until next year and hope and root root root for the Yankees!





20 comments

20 Comments


Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Feb 14, 2023

Although it offends the Baseball Purist in me, I do think the Ghost Runner has added strategy and excitement to the game. It creates an incentive to prioritize fundamental baseball: move the runner by hitting to the right side or bunting, score runs with outs. It is a much more exciting brand of baseball than the tedious Three True Outcomes.


It also addresses a problem with how pitchers are now universally used, an inning at a time. The days when starters regularly went 9 are long gone, and even with seven-man bullpens, you're out of relievers after the 12th. Are you going to risk the arms of either a reliever by having him throw multiple innings, or a starter pitchi…

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Feb 15, 2023
Replying to

I'll disagree on this. It's just not that easy to do. This is especially true with the over proliferation of relief pitchers.

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yankeerudy
Feb 14, 2023

How about this to keep games from going too long? After 13 innings of tied score, the managers meet at the mound for a winner-take-all round of rock/paper/scissors?


(OMG I'm channeling fustersnark!)

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Mike Whiteman
Feb 14, 2023

I do not care for the “fake runner“ rule….unless I’m the blogger of the game and it’s a night game going into extra innings :) I do wonder if setting an extra-inning limit (say 10 or 11) innings before implementing the rule would be a good middle ground for us old timers.

Of courea, players and management like this rule, so I don’t see it changing.

I‘ve enjoyed the Creed movies too. I think it will be tough to beat the drama of defeating Drago’s son, but I’m lookin forward to it the new flick!

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Feb 14, 2023
Replying to

I like that too.

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fuster
Feb 14, 2023

as i said, I don't care for the ghost runner. it's a poor attempt at a solution for a real problem.


They've already paid for tickets, parking....


you're thinking of the wrong revenue stream. it's not the fannies in the stadium seats

it's the larger audience on the couches

when that audience tunes out, it is reflected when the league has to negotiate that next multi-billion contract

Like
yankeesblog
Feb 14, 2023
Replying to

The advertisers care about prime viewing hours. The only advertisers that care about overnight hours are info-mercial hucksters, And you're ignoring the fact that there aren't enough long extra inning games to matter that much to advertising revenue.

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Andy Singer
Andy Singer
Feb 14, 2023

I agree with a lot of your sentiments, Paul.


A couple of quick corrections, though. Pitchers and catchers playing in the WBC are the only players who had to report for Spring Training on Monday; the full Pitchers and Catchers report date for the Yankees is on Thursday (I've had it circled on my calendar for months).


Second, the hamstring injury is a different injury for Nestor. Last year, Nestor pulled his groin, an injury which he stated had healed by mid-offseason. The hamstring issue is new, suffered upon the early report date for Spring Training for pitchers playing in the WBC. It doesn't appear to be serious, and Nestor should (fingers crossed) be ready to start the season.

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Feb 14, 2023
Replying to

Thanks for the clarifications Andy!


Great work, as always!

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