Yanks at the break


Heading into the All-Star Break, the Yankees are sitting pretty with a 56-32 record and a two-game lead in the brutal AL East. It has been an up-and-down first half to say the least, but, obviously, winning cures all.

In addition to the best record in baseball, the Yanks (469) are second in the Majors in runs scored (Red Cox – 481), second (5.33) in the Majors in runs/game (BOS – 5.47), tops in the Majors in OBP (.353), tied for first in the Majors in OPS+ (114, BOS) and third in the Majors in WHIP (1.248). Not too shabby.

Before I forget, here are the first annual Yanks Go Yard Awards for the first half:

MVP Award: Robinson Cano; .336(fifth in AL)/.389/.556, 115 hits (third in AL), 16 home runs, 58 RBI, 27 BB (career high is 39) and 61 runs (fifth in AL). Everybody expected a solid year from Robbie, but nobody expected this. Granted he is only hitting .191/.264/.319 since June 29 but did you really expect him to keep up his .370ish average the whole year? This guy has proven to be a steal at $9 million, plus with a stellar second half he could make a push for the elusive batting title. Maybe getting rid of Melk Dog was for the best.

Cy Young Award: Andy Pettitte; 11-2, 2.70 ERA, 1.147 WHIP (lowest since 2005), 150 ERA+ (best since 2005) and 35 walks in 113 1/3 innings pitched. Did I mention he’s 38 years old? Honorable Mention: Mariano Rivera; 1.05 ERA (four earned runs in 34 1/3 IP), 20 saves, 390 ERA+, .641 WHIP and 5.50 K/BB ratio. Did I mention he’s 40 years old? What the hell are the Yanks going to do when this guy retires?

Came Out Of Nowhere Award: Brett Gardner; .309/.396/.415, 37 walks, career-high five homers and 29 RBI, 123 OPS+, 25 stolen bases and 56 runs. If Cano is a steal at $9 million then Gardy is grand theft at $452,500 for 2009. With him playing like this the Yanks can avoid signing Carl Crawford in the offseason and go after Cliff Lee or another big-time pitcher. Honorable Mention: Swish Dog; .298/.377/.524, 15 homers, 49 RBI and a 144 OPS+. He failed in the Home Run Derby but there’s no debating he deserved to be an All-Star. I’m looking forward to a great second half from Swish. Side note: was Swisher the biggest heist Cashman ever pulled off? I know the ChiSox were itching to get rid of him because Ozzie hated him, but Wilson f’ing Betemit?

Son Of A Bitch Award: Nick Johnson; did anyone expect this guy to stay healthy the whole year? No. But many of us expected him to surpass 24 games and 98 plate appearances. The Yanks took a shot on him at $5.5 million, but as the award goes ‘son of a bitch.’ There’s still time for him to make a comeback and play an important role in the 2010 season, but with a setback in his recovery from wrist surgery it’s not looking good. Honorable Mention: Bernie Williams Randy Winn; this guy just couldn’t hit lefties, though he was solid against righties. Then again, not much was expected from him. Regardless, you have to wake up pretty early in the morning to finagle the SOB Award from Nick The Stick.

I Hate This Guy I Love This Guy Award: Javy Vazquez; 3-5, 6.86 ERA, 42 IP, 46 H, 36 K, 22 BB, while opponents were hitting .288/.371/.538 against him from April 9 — May 27.//4-2, 2.55 ERA, 53 IP, 32 H, 44 K, 16 BB while opponents are hitting .172/.244/.301 against him from June 1 — July 10. Has there ever been a better Jeckyll and Hyde showing than 2010 Javy? Probably, but this turnaround is remarkable. To steal a line from Biggie, “He went from ashy to classy, I like that.” Let’s hope he keeps it up in the second half…like a bizarro 2004.

“Good AJ” or “Bad AJ” Award: Tie. AJ and Joba. I feel like I should give it to AJ because the award is named after him, but Joba has been just as shaky. Let’s start with the enigma known as Allan James; he has shown signs of greatness this season but you never know what you’re going to get with him. He could throw a two-hitter or give up five runs in an inning. It’s frustrating to say the least. Let’s hope that he straightens up and flies right now that Dave Eiland is back.//Joba started off pretty good but since the end of May it seems like he puts three good appearances and then completely shits the bed for a game. Look at his game log, it’s eerie. Plus, take a gander at his home/away splits, they’re pretty bad.

Biggest Loss: George M. Steinbrenner III; not much can be said about The Boss that hasn’t been captured in the news over the past day. GMS built the Yanks into what they are today, and Yankee fans will never forget his passion for the team. RIP Boss, there will NEVER be another quite like you. Honorable Mention: Bob Sheppard; The Voice of God would’ve gotten the award if not overshadowed by George’s passing just two days later. I can’t say I’m surprised by his passing because he was 99 years old and battling sickness for a while now, but you can never fully prepare yourself for the pasing of a legend. Look out because they say they come in threes…

There you have it, the first annual YGY Awards for the first half. Tune in tomorrow for some predictions on the second half and other good stuff.

LET’S GO YANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!