Read It And Weep….Or Just Read

One of my favorite Yankees blogs is “It Is High, It Is Far, It Is…caught,” which is where I go whenever I need a good laugh. A couple of days ago, “El Duque,” their blogger-in-chief, posted the following. Keep in mind that Duque is a professional pessimist; he has a notion that if he keeps his expectations about the Yanks nice and low, he can only be pleasantly surprised. What I’m saying is, don’t hold his “predictions” against him.

Time to put up or shut up: 10 Yankee predictions for 2010

Commentators, readers, children of all ages… Lay down your Mothman prophesies…

It is time to separate the true prophets from those fools who are blinded by bloggery egoism.


1. The Yankees will finish in second place in the American League East. They will not win the Wild Card and they will not play in the post-season. This is because Baltimore and Toronto will be much improved. (The Jays didn’t, as has been popularly reported, give Halladay away for nothing.) As a result, the AL East will be one tough somebich division. And second place will not offer a Wild Card.

2. Johnny Damon will hit more home runs and bat higher than Curtis Granderson, who nevertheless will have a fine season and be popular in New York. It will not be Granderson’s fault that the Yankees fail to make the post-season. But Damon, as a point of personal pride, will make sure his numbers exceed the man wrongly viewed to be his replacement.

3. Mariano Rivera will pitch into August, then break down from age, and the Yankees will not have an adquate closer. If you saw me now, you would see tears in my eyes as I write these terrible words. But it can’t go on forever. He will tweak a muscle or something will fail, and when Mariano is not right, our whole team is not right. Who is going to replace him? Joba? Maybe someday. Not this year.

4. The Yankees will trade Jesus Montero and Brett Gardner for Carl Crawford at mid-season. The trade will backfire, as Crawford suffers adjustment pains in New York, and then, they have nobody to deal for a relief pitcher, down the stretch. But Jesus Montero will face growing pains at Triple A, when smart baserunners steal on every pitch. It will affect his hitting, and the Yankees will have no place for a DH. Tampa will be looking to trade Carl Crawford, and the Redsocks will be sniffing, and there will be no middle ground. Worse, we won’t just give up Montero and Gardner. It will also cost at least another top prospect. Yeow.

5. Javier Vasquez will pitch well for the Yankees, with an ERA of about 4.40; but he will not be offered a contract at the end of the season. It was never in the cards. They only traded for him because he was one-and-out. I don’t know how this will affect him, but I think he will give his heart and soul for this team, trying to win back fans who will never forgive him. He won’t get a shot at post-season redemption, and then he will be gone.

6. A-Rod will have the first off-year of his career, and questions will surround the future of his hip and the past of his bloodstream. He grew tired last year and really lost his swing for a while. Because of the great post-season he had, and that last game, when he drove in a pile of meaningless runs, we forget the ebbs and flows of his year. Also, he won’t have Hideki Matsui behind him in the order. We took Matsui for granted last year. We’ll miss him more than we think.

7. John Lackey will lead the Redsock pitching staff and become a notorious Yankee killer. He is a great pitcher and competitor, the closest to a Teixeira-type mentality that was on the market. I said it in December: Cashman is trying what Theo Epstein attempted in 2009 — to be too clever with his tinkering and outsmart everybody. The Penny/Smoltz/Baldelli/et al follies blew up in Epstein’s face, even though, just like Cashman’s moves this year, they were roundly cheered by the “experts.” This may be the year Cashman learns his lesson: If you got the cards, lay them down.

8. Nick Johnson will hit .300 and 20 home runs, but with nagging injuries to other key Yankees, his fulltime DH presence will prove a poor fit, and he will end up platooned. We will often lament the fact that he is slow on the bases, and we will look for a base-stealing benchplug, a Freddie Guzman, for the late innings, which will mean having to pare our outlandishly large pitching staff down to 11 or 10. This is the folly of a full-time DH on an old team.

9. Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes will pitch hot and cold, finishing the season as question marks for the 2011 rotation. Seriously, can you imagine either of them ever being a sure thing? Even though it seems as if they must be pushing 30, they are still years away from their prime. That’s because we long ago began marketing them as future stars. Hell, we treatthem as if they are all-stars. We turned them into china dolls. They’ll come of age around 28, and I think they’ll be good. But that’s two-three years away. Question: Will they still be Yankees? Or will we be sick of them?

10. Kei Igawa w
ill return to Japan by the All-Star break. 
Everybody wants him gone. It was amazing that he was one of the first slobs cut from spring camp. He must have been awful. First, they announced that he would get a looksee as a situational lefty. Then he had a fine 1-2-3 outing. Then he got tagged. And then he was gone. No word yet on whether he’ll be a starter in Scranton. But really, can you imagine them paying all that money to a situational lefty out of the bullpen in Triple A? Nahhh. He’s gone.

My personal message to El Duque is this… Last February my Tarot card reader predicted the Yankees would win the 2009 World Series and they did. It’s time I paid her another visit and only then will we know what 2010 holds.



  1. mikeeff

    i’m fine with #10. it’s been wonderful kei– a “true yankee” but it’s time to head home. sayonara kid…

  2. bklyntrolleyblogger

    I don’t see Baltimore or Toronto being a factor. Somehow Johnny Damon is going to hold on till he gets 3000 hits. I think Mo will be fine in 2010. I can defintely see #4 and #5 playing out. A-Rod isn’t worth my words. Lackey will be an A.L. East BullDog! Nick Johnson will miss up to 6 weeks this season to injury. I can see Joba and Girardi having a Reggie-Billy moment in the course of the season (more joke than real speculation)…..And finally KEI IGAWA should be arrested for stealing money from the Yankees.

  3. Jane Heller

    Duque, I’ve been meaning to call her and have a reading, but I’m scaaaaared. What if the answers aren’t what I want to hear? I’d have to withhold the information from everyone and make stuff up.

    I don’t know about Lackey, Mike. He’s a bulldog for sure. But the AL East is a much tougher division than he’s used to. Will he rise to the challenge? I guess we’ll find out. I also think the Nick Johnson injury stuff is overblown. Who can predict injuries? Did anyone think Denard Span would hit a foul ball into his own mother’s chest today? (Glad she’s OK. Whew.) And yeah, Igawa should be arrested.

  4. Jane Heller

    I actually feel sorry for Kei, Mike. I still think he could pitch for another team. I mean, he did great for Scranton – the international league pitcher of the year! That has to count for something.

  5. Jane Heller

    The amazing thing about the reader, Austin, was how specific she was about different players – particularly since she knows nothing about baseball. So I wonder what she’ll say about this season – with trepidation.

  6. scofid

    I’ve always been the optimistic with a pessimistic pull, so I can definitely appreciate each of El Duque’s predictions. I do think that the O’s and Jays will be improved. The AL East is going to be very tough and the lower tier will have a say in the eventual champion. Many people may disagree with one or more of the points raised, but I have to say that all are within the realm of possibly. I hope not…


  7. Jane Heller

    I hope not too, Scott – especially the big point about not making the postseason. Not possible! I also expect A-Rod to have a good year, if his spring has been any indication.

  8. redstatebluestate

    Tarot cards, Jane? Really? I got some land I wanna sell ya in Florida if you’re interested 🙂 I disagree with most of the predictions, but I understand the idea of remaining a pessimist to be satisfied in the end so I won’t judge.. I don’t think Lackey is going to lead anyone or anything, but that’s just me. No team stands up to the Yanks this season. Not until the playoffs 😉

  9. ooaooa

    I read Tuesday that someone predicted the world was coming to an end on Wednesday. Hear we are and what is it, Thursday? So much for predictions! I can guarantee you this, the season will start in a few days and end when it’s over because Yogi said “it ain’t over till it’s over”. Now there’s a man we can trust.


    Whoooa, Nellie…Mothman, indeed…!
    Wow, Jane — and I just THOUGHT I was a pessimist! Much as I’m tempted to blow it all off, a la Mr. Guzzetta, there’s more than a few things to worry about…
    Mostly, I agree that the division will be MUCH tougher — but I’m not so sure that another division will steal the wild-card away. Interesting prediction about Grandy versus Johnny D, but I don’t see Johnny hitting more taters in Motown. I do agree that we’ll miss Matsui more than we realize…and just hope hope hope that the pitching all holds up…
    After awhile, though, you get so weary of all the predictions…let’s just set ’em aside & PLAY BALL!!!

  11. Jane Heller

    So you don’t think Damon will have a better year than Granderson, Peter? Good! (Nothing against Johnny.)

    Jeff, she predicted the Yankees would win it all last year. How can I not be a believer! But I’m glad your crystal ball bodes well for the Yankees.

    People predict the world is coming to an end everyday, John. And while the crazy weather sometimes makes it feel that way – hope you’re doing OK in Connecticut with all that rain and flooding – we’re still here, as you say. So let’s keep an open mind and hope our boys get off to a good start Sunday night. (Not too happy about Cervelli’s injury though. And Posada has another stiff neck? Can’t somebody find him some decent pillows to sleep on????)

    I couldn’t have put it better myself, Christy! Give us your predictions. I bet they’ll sound very different.

    I’d never seen that card trick before, jojovanb. Man, that guy talks fast. He could probably sell me anything and I wouldn’t know what hit me.

  12. Jane Heller

    You’re right, Paul….as long as you predict that the Yankees will win another World Series in 2010.

    See, Dave? There’s someone more pessimistic than you. I don’t see Damon getting all those big hits at Comerica Park either. He’s the one who’ll miss Yankee Stadium. As for the rest? I’m trying to think positively and hope that everyone – including Nick Johnson – stays healthy.

  13. Jane Heller

    Email me, Jenn, and I’ll give you her contact info! She’s an equal opportunity tarot reader. 🙂

  14. wetfeet

    If the 10 predictions start comming true, I can see the headlines now “SHE FAN GOES ON SHOOTING SPREE DURING YANKEES GAME” I am sure you couldn’t hit anyone but would cause a riot!

  15. Jane Heller

    HAHAHA, wetfeet. I’m not locked and loaded, but I’d certainly do a lot of screaming.

    Thanks for the video link, jojovanb. I think the Venditte Rule is the right one, otherwise it wouldn’t be fair to the batters. Even so, watching him on the mound is probably incredibly confusing – to everybody.

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