Wednesday, March 30, 2011

From the Other Side: New York Yankees

I'm beginning a new feature this year at Tigers Amateur Analysis called From the Other Side. A lot of blogs do this, so I thought I'd try my hand at it. Basically, I've tried to get in touch with bloggers from all the other teams the Tigers will be playing this season (the other AL teams plus the six NL teams that they'll be playing in Interleague play this year) and I'll be asking them a series of 4-5 questions about both their team and the Tigers. So far, I've lined up contacts for all except for about three to four teams. I'll be posting the Q&As either shortly before or during the Tigers' first series with that team. With that in mind, first up is the New York Yankees. I interviewed Gregg Snyder, a Yankees fan who runs the site Double G Sports. It was founded in 2009 and covers all New York and New Jersey area sports teams. You can also follow him on Twitter.

1. What is your take on the Yankees' offseason and what are your expectations for them this year?

Gregg: A lot of people were disappointed that the team missed out on Cliff Lee. I was more disappointed that they put all their eggs in one basket and missed out on other free agents like Carl Crawford for example. Andy Pettitte retiring hurts a bit but I like the addition of Soriano to the bullpen. The Yankees have a very good lineup from top to bottom. The bullpen should be a strength and I think the starting rotation will hold it's own. I fully expect this years team to challenge Boston for the AL East and Wild Card.

2. What is the Yankees community's perception of the Tigers and how do you think they'll perform this season? 

Gregg: I think a lot of people are unsure about the Tigers entering the year. Personally, I think they have the players to make a serious run at the AL Central title. I like their starting rotation. The lineup has some speed and power. Austin Jackson will continue to get better. Victor Martinez was a big pick up and will bring added power to a team that already had the ability to knock the ball around the park. 

3. The big story of last offseason was the blockbuster three-team trade that netted the Yankees Curtis Granderson and the Tigers Austin Jackson and Phil Coke (along with Daniel Schlereth and Max Scherzer). It may still be too early to tell how things will pan out, but what is your assessment of this trade one year later?

Gregg: Because the Tigers got more players making contributions I think you could say they got the better deal right now. However, with that said, I think Grandy will have a big year for the Yankees. He started playing much better toward the end of last year, has been having a very good spring so far despite recently suffering an injury. Granderson looks more comfortable and has said he will be more aggressive this season. That will help him in a big way. Big things from Granderson this season, write that down!

4. Which player (on either or both teams) is currently flying under the radar but could end up making a major positive impact?

Gregg: Hard to think the Yankees have a player flying under the radar but again I have to go back to Granderson. With all the talk about the rotation questions marks, who will bat leadoff, the catching situation and so on...I think Granderson will sneak up on people and have a big season.  For the Tigers, again hard to say. I don't really have a reason, but my gut says Rick Porcello will bounce back. He didn't have the season a lot of people expected last year but he is a very talented pitcher. Look for him to solidify the middle to back of their starting rotation.

5. Do you have any random predictions for this season?

Gregg: Yankees and Tigers both make the playoffs. Sabathia and Verlander will both be in the Cy Young discussion. Don't think either will win it, but they will be in the discussion.

Again, a big thank you to Gregg for taking part in this feature.  

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