How Many Outfielders Does It Take To Screw In A Light Bulb?

Or, to put it another way, how many outfielders will make the Yankees’ Opening Day roster? Now that we’ve added Jamie Hoffmann, the Rule V Draft Pick who was half of the Bruney-to-Nationals deal, we have five – count ’em, FIVE – viable outfielders. And that doesn’t include Damon, who could still sign, plus one or two Hinske/Hairston utility types yet to be on our radar. Sounds like a game of musical chairs to me.
While it’s true that you can never have too many options, given possible injuries (hello, Xavier Nady) and mediocrity (that would be you, Shelley Duncan), the Yankees have some decisions to make and one of these guys is bound to get left out. Let’s look at the outfield as it stands tonight….
* Curtis “Grandy” Granderson *
He looks awfully snappy in his newly Photo Shopped cap and uniform, doesn’t he? Obviously, he’s not going anywhere. I hope he patrols center field for a long, productive time.
* Melky “The Melkman” Cabrera *
I assume Melky will move to left field with the acquisition of Grandy. He has a better-than-average arm and hits in the clutch. Is he the greatest player to wear the pinstripes? No, but I love saying the name “Melky” and having non-baseball friends go, “What?”
* Nick “Swishalicious” Swisher *
The presumed right fielder who started his Yankees life as our presumed first baseman before Tex came along and Nady went down, Swish has a decent arm, gets on base (except when he strikes out in key situations) and lightens up the clubhouse. He can also turn a routine fly ball into an adventure, and performs needless somersaults. 
* Brett “Gardy” Gardner *
Gardy, not to be confused with Grandy, runs like crazy, as we all know, and covers a lot of ground in center. His arm won’t blow anyone away. But if he gets on base, his speed causes the opposition to spazz out. The word “if” is key here. He doesn’t get on base often enough.
* Jamie “Hoffy” Hoffmann *
The new kid looks a lot like the old kid (Shelley). Apparently, Hoffy played a lot of hockey and was even drafted by the NHL. According to Mark Feinsand of the Daily News, Cashman said of Hoffman: “He’s got a hockey mentality – a very athletic and hard-nosed outfielder.” I guess that means he’ll be good in brawls?
There they are – five candidates for three spots – with the possible addition of Damon. So who gets traded? Anybody? Hoffy could do time in Scranton. And The Melkman and Swishalicious could handle the corners. But where does that leave Gardy? There’s no one more fun to watch on the base paths.
And who could forget the story of how he went to NY-Presbyterian Hospital to read books to sick kids as part of Project Sunshine? He was given a “lucky” bracelet by a girl awaiting a heart transplant, remember? She said, “Maybe this will make you hit a home run.”
And then he played in the game later – only because Damon was ejected – and promptly hit an inside-the-park homer….and the girl suddenly received a heart from a donor. Talk about “meant to be.”
Destiny-Calligraphy-Poster-C12331207.jpegI know this will seem like I’m just echoing my post from last night about Joba/Hughes, but can’t we keep every single one of them? Right now all I want to do is hoard players. Isn’t that only natural in winter?


  1. dadlak

    Scranton would be a great place for Hoffman, but as a Rule 5 pickup he has to spend the whole season on the major league roster, or the Yankees have to offer him back to LA. Based on what I’ve read, the Dodgers would take him back.

  2. Jane Heller

    He has to spend the whole season with the big boys, dadlak? That’s so restrictive. I read the Joel Sherman item about him, but what was up with that remark somebody made about his swing not being good enough for the Yankees? It did sound like the Dodgers are expecting him back in their system.


    I’m sure he major factor in decision making for he outfield will be performance in spring training. Granderson is a lock, of course, but I think that’s the only real set player. The Yankees have been shopping Melky over the years but never made a deal. I know they will have to sedate Cano if Melky goes anywhere — they’re so close. Damon is not going to be an issue — although negotiations are going on now, I’m pretty sure he will be our primary DH for 2010 – occasionally giving the starting outfielders a rest when we need to DH Posada, A-Rod and probably Jeter. Time will tell.

  4. thefreak

    Who wrote this blog, John Sterling? You have a nick name for everyone.

    Two things…. First, Don’t go poo – pooing on Shelley. Something about that kid I like. Too bad he sucked.

    Second, Hoffy as you call him will be back in Dodgers blue.

    Third, Gardy (not confusing him with Grandy) will be …… buh-bye “IF” Damon signs.

    I think we should let Damon go ………. C-YA! Put swishalicious in the 2 hole behind Jeter-riffic and use Grandy (not to confuse him with Gardy) in the 5 hole to protect A-Rodian. Then Girardi-ers can send a TEX-message to Rivera-rama to close out the game and hug HIP HIP JORGE while C.C. Sabo-soldiers pick up the win.



    Dear Natasha,
    Like you, I’d like to keep ’em all…even Squirrel…and old Godzilla too…but like Rocky The Flying One once said, “That thing NEVER works!” Okay, outa context, but you get it. One of the ESPN wags predicts that Swish will lose out on all this, which would be truly sad and hopefully so untrue. They had Swish on as the Celebrity Jock on the big college football pregame show before the Bama-Florida game, and he looked like One Happy Camper in love with life. Which, of course, he is. So I hope this ain’t goodbye. Let Shelley Jr. go back to L.A. if it comes to that…keep Moose and Squirrel…
    Regards (and Happy Holidays), Boris Badanov

  6. Jane Heller

    Diane, those spring training auditions never seem to carry through during the season. Gardner won the CF job over Melky last spring and then Melky ended up getting the job back. So I don’t put much stock in what happens there – at least in the long run. I also think somebody will be traded before we get to Tampa. As for Damon? Who knows.

    I was into nicknames last night, Mike. I write late, so I can’t be held responsible. 🙂 I know you loved Shelley, so I’ll try not to rag on him anymore. I’m not at all sure that Gardner goes if Damon stays. We’ll see.

    I thought I pledged to have a moratorium on jokes about Wilson and Farnsworth, Jeff. But if not, it’s OK by me! I’m happy to use them as punch lines.

    Funny how everyone’s heard/read a different rumor, Dave. You heard it’s Swisher who might be going. It’s possible, but with his on base percentage and ability to play both the outfield and first base, I’d rather keep him. Plus, he’s so happy, as you point out. Shipping him off would be like taking candy from a baby. Or something like that.

    See that, denyankfan? You heard the Gardner rumor, not the Swisher rumor. And Diane mentioned that Melky has been rumored to be traded. So our outfield is very uncertain right now. One person will get voted off the island.

  7. Jane Heller

    Nobody said Hoffmann was brilliant, Paul. We got him for Bruney, remember? But he’s a right-handed outfielder who could help us off the bench.

  8. thefreak

    denveryanksfan. I read on the hot stove that a couple of teams (chisox and royals I think) were “inquiring” about Gardner. Don’t know how much water that holds. I’m just the messenger
    ps. Rag on shelley all you want, he’s no longer a yankee. So we can treat him like a traitor now. lol

  9. Jane Heller

    Actually, I thought Shelley was fun to have around, Mike. He had such energy and enthusiasm. If only he could catch the ball!


    And now, a Voting Update (outfield, schmoutfield for now)…
    At this late hour (well, it’s after 4pm in the east) on Friday afternoon, GUESS WHAT…Our Fave She-Fan is STILL AHEAD in the voting for the Best Blog!!! With some 270-plus votes being cast, Miz Jane has 90 of ’em, almost ONE-THIRD…and this is for Blog Of The DECADE?!? How totally AWESOME!!
    Okay, now, I know what Yogi says…but hey, even if it ends more like ’01 than ’09 (slap me for even bringing that up)…how GREAT is it that Ms. Heller is THAT well regarded? If you somehow hold on, dear lady, it’s almost like having your movie released in December of Year X and winning the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year…but so so “apropos” as it often is…and ALL KUDOS 2 U!!!

  11. Jane Heller

    Dave, I’m sure the only reason I’m ahead at the moment is because my husband voted a few times. LOL. Also, I’m probably the only blogger who actually solicited votes from commenters. The others are much too busy reporting on the Yankees. But thanks for the sentiment. 🙂

  12. Jane Heller

    Hmm, that’s a good theory, Renegade, except I doubt the Jays are salivating over Hoffmann and Swisher. I thought they wanted pitching (Joba or Hughes) plus a prospect (Montero). But I agree that somebody’s going to be moved. Just waiting for the next cleat to drop, so to speak.

    You don’t think Granderson will handle the pressure, Peter? That’s the one thing I’m not worried about! He may have an adjustment period – most players do when they come over – but he seems like a total pro to me. And I thought the Phillies were sharpening their pencils for Doc?

  13. raysrenegade

    I guess I am looking beyond the box here in that Hoffman might actually be a nice present to pop into the Roy Halladay Christmas package to show to the new Toronto GM.
    Put him in the same package with maybe a Nick Swisher and you got two viable player who can play the corner outfield for Toronto in 2010 and beyond.
    Plus Swisher could give them another option at first base and DH.
    So my thought are that the move was more for the “future” dealings than for a possible 2010 roster spot.
    But, these are the Yankees, and maybe Hoffman is just Johnny Damon insurance for now.

    Rays Renegade

  14. devilabrit

    I think Granderson won’t last in a Yankee uniform, not sure he can deal with the pressure or live up to expectations that go with the uniform… Hoffmann has to be a carrot to snag a bigger prize, not sure what but who knows this time of year… and why are the outfielders screwing in the light bulbs, are the Yankees cutting costs saving up for Halladay maybe….:-)
    Outside the Phillies Looking In


    Since yesterday I’ve been trying to remember the word that John Sterling repeated a million times when they put Kennedy in to pitch. I finally had time to google it and found this on

    “Are you flabbergasted?” Sterling asked Waldman, or some imaginary friend in the booth. Waldman said she was. That, except for a few attempts to calm her partner, was the last you heard from Mama P on this matter. Sterling proceeded to wig. Girardi’s decision to use Kennedy was a personal slight. Either that or Sterling actually thought Girardi was sabotaging his own team.

    Sterling continued: “Flabbergasted. If somebody from the Angels asked me, ‘Would we see Kennedy?’ I’d say, ‘You’re kidding.’ I’m flabbergasted. I really am. I don’t see how he pitches. I’m amazed. I’m utterly amazed that they would bring Kennedy in,” Sterling said.

    “Am I amazed about Kennedy? I think that’s the most amazing thing I’ve seen this year. He’s the last guy in the world I think would pitch in a game this important, this big for the Yankees in this situation,” Sterling said. “I’m absolutely flabbergasted. Well, I’m flabbergasted they would use Kennedy. You can knock me over with a feather.”

    I remember listening to this and just cracking up over how many times Sterling said flabbergasted!


  16. Jane Heller

    NOW I remember that, Melissa! He did use “flabbergasted” a million times. It was so over the top – sort of like when Suzyn did her “of all the dramatic things….” thing when Clemens came back. When Kennedy came in, I was surprised but I wasn’t FLABBERGASTED!


    i listened to the audio of the flabbergasted last night. it was fun. i was fairly shocked at the time and it is a fun memory because it turned out right.
    so these decisions about who to keep remind me that while i think cashman should call me before he makes any trades, it might be hard for me to be objective. the players i love, i want more than perhaps someone who might be better at this stage in their career. with that said, i want the melk man. i love hearing the melkman delivers–but that might not be a good reason. i love gardner’s speed but you can’t steal first i’ve heard. swisher i could do without and i know people love his energy but i hate his outfield adventures. i don’t trust him to hit in the clutch. all he does is get a walk from time to time. i also think he was fun this year but couldn’t that over top energy get annoying after a while. i don’t think we need damon and i think he’s got to be on the decline. and as i always say, spend all money on pitching.
    by the way, i had a dream that i got the award for yankee of the decade because i led in all sorts of categories. so andy p, paul o’neil came over to me in the auditorium to give gave me various awards, and when jeter came to give me more, i said no no you are the player of the decade not me. then someone tossed me a soft yankee ball that i pleased myself by catching and i shouted, that’s don mattingly. don mattingly just threw me the ball. i’ve been way overworking so my dream life is bringing me some smiles.

  18. Jane Heller

    Barbara, I’ve had so many dreams about the Yankees it’s insane. I always figure it’s because I blog at night, before I go to sleep, so they’re on my mind. But I’m glad to see I’m not alone. Your dream is quite populated with Yankees. (I usually dream about one at a time. LOL.) I love that Mattingly threw you the ball, but I also love that you relinquished your award for Jeter. That’s a true fan.

  19. pagevalnat

    Well, let’s see. Melky Cabrera in Atlanta…so, that makes it FOUR outfielders, right? LMAO
    Christ, now I have to worry about THAT in the NL East. Oh well, our OFers are better than theirs (okay, the jury’s out on Elijah Dukes, I admit…lol). And our pitching is improved; witness Jason Marquis coming to D.C. instead of anywhere else.
    OK, I’m done.
    Nasty Nats Live Here (and Everywhere)
    P.S. You MIGHT want to check out my MLBlog on the last Senators game (in ’71…against the Yankees), to understand why Peter Angelos isn’t the ONLY baseball owner I despise. I come by it easy…lol

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