NESN does an amazing job with Red Sox broadcasts as well as off season programming like Red Sox Classics, Red Sox Hot Stove, etc (THANK THE GOOD LORD ABOVE that NESN cancelled Sox Appeal).Now they have hired one of the all time great baseball minds....read more. The news that the New York Yankees are near completing a deal for Detroit’s Curtis Granderson caught a lot of Yankee fans by surprise. Casual fans may know little about Granderson. Most talk of the deal has focused on the fact that Granderson is an All-Starcenter fielder. But former Tigers 1st base coach Andy Van Slyke has seen Granderson up close. A former major league center field himself, Van Slyke doesn't think much of Granderson's defense. While Van Slyke praised Granderson highly as a person and a teammate if he had a daughter he would want her to marry Granderson his thoughts of the outfielder's skills were not as positive. In today’s New York Post, Van Slyke was quoted as saying that Granderson is not a pure center fielder and would be better positioned at one of the corner outfield positions. If Van Slyke is right about Granderson, then the question has to be asked whether the Yankees will be better defensively with him roamingcenter field instead of Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner That makes you wonder whether Yankees' General Manager Brian Cashman has already thought about putting Granderson in left field to replace Johnny Damon if he is not re-signed. Analysts at ESPN were asking some of the same questions today. They pointed out that Granderson was not great in center for the Tigers in 2009, often having trouble tracking the ball. So if Granderson is not an upgrade incenter field, is his offense such an improvement that it warranted the Yankees giving away a promising stud in Austin Jackson, a first round draft pick in Ian Kennedy, and a left-handed reliever in Phil Coke Comparing Granderson to either Damon or Melky Cabrera still leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Over the past three seasons Granderson has had fewer hits, doubles, home runs, and RBI than Damon. He has also walked less than Damon, had a lower batting average, on-base percentage, and OPS than Damon. The only area where Granderson has surpassed Damon is in runs scored with 30 more runs over the three year period. The biggest advantage that Granderson seems to have over Damon is that he is eight years younger and might have a brighter future than the aging Damon. Granderson’s comparison with Melky is not much better.
In 2009 Melky hit 25 points higher with a better on-base percentage, and his OPS was only one point less than Granderson's. Melky had 485 at-bats compared to 631 for Granderson, but Cabrera's 68 RBI are almost as good as Granderson's 71. On top of that, Melky struck out only 59 times compared to Granderson’s 141. So it would not appear that Granderson is going to be a major upgrade offensively over Cabrera. The only place where Granderson is significantly better is in home runs, having hit 17 more. For the second season in a row Cashman has brought in an outfielder coming off a down year, is prone to strike out too much, and has serious questions defensively. Nick Swisher won a lot of fans in New York, but undoubtedly would have had a much smaller role if Xavier Nady had remained healthy. Serious concern has to overcome fans who consider the number of strikeouts that Granderson and Swisher will rack up in 2010 if they play in the same outfield. Neither general managers nor fans have crystal balls. Only time will tell how good a deal Cashman made in acquiring Granderson. Many questions will remain until that time unfolds.. Before we get started, check out this week's round table debate on the top three fantasy basketball rookies (click here from the article ). Now, here’s a look at some fantasy basketball players that blew up the box score last night. Jarrett Jack, Toronto Raptors 37 MIN, 17 PTS, 3-8 FG, 11-12 FT, 7 REB, 8 AST, 2 STL, 2 TO After not reaching double-figures for three straight games, Jack bounced back in a big way filling in for Jose Calderon. Calderon is day-to-day (hip) so don’t get too excited over this line.
Of course, Jack has value even when Calderon plays, so he’s definitely worth a roster spot. DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors 25 MIN, 15 PTS, 4-10 FG, 7-7 FT, 6 REB, 2 TO DeRozan is averaging 15.8 points per game over his last four. He’s worth a roster spot as well. Nazr Mohammed, Charlotte Bobcats 23 MIN, 15 PTS, 3-7 FG, 9-10 FT, 5 REB, 2 AST, 1 BLK Nazr continues to produce off the bench. He’s worth a roster spot in deeper leagues. Ersan Ilyasova, Milwaukee Bucks 43 MIN, 19 PTS, 6-17 FG, 5-6 FT, 2 3PM, 8 REB, 1 AST, 3 STL, 1 TO Ersan’s numbers took a hit when Andrew Bogut returned, but he’s still a solid fantasy option, especially in daily transaction leagues. Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls 36 MIN, 20 PTS, 8-12 FG, 4-8 FT, 6 REB, 2 AST, 3 BLK, 1 TO Sweet game for Taj, but he’s way to up and down to concern yourself with. Josh Howard, Dallas Mavericks 26 MIN, 20 PTS, 6-13 FG, 6-6 FT, 2 3PM, 6 REB, 1 AST, 3 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TO Howard missed 13 games with an ankle injury. He appears safe to get back in your fantasy lineup. Jason Williams, Orlando Magic 24 MIN, 16 PTS, 6-11 FG, 4 3PM, 2 REB, 3 AST Assists weren’t there last night, but he was a nice source for points and threes Originally published at LestersLegends .. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post , the New York Yankees have re-signed LHP Andy Pettitte to a one-year, $11.75 million contract.The $11.75 million for one-year is a nice increase in base salary for Pettitte. If you remember, Pettitte signed an incentive laden deal last winter with a base of $5.5 million.Pettitte earned a total of $10.5 million in 2009, so he got a slight raise in 2010.After having a disappointing 2008 season where he went 14-14 with a 4.58 ERA and gave up a career high 10.3 hits/9 innings, Pettitte enjoyed a nice bounce back season in 2009.Pettitte finished the year 14-8 with a 4.16 ERA and his 1.38 WHIP and 8.9 hits/9 were the lowest of his career since 2005.
Of course, as usual, it was in the postseason where Pettitte earned his money.Pettitte was his usual stellar postseason self going 4-0 with 3.22 ERA. Pettitte became the first pitcher since Derek Lowe in 2004 to win the clinching game in all three rounds.Behind Mariano Rivera, I believe Pettitte has been the most important player in the Yankees’ postseason success. His 229 wins are third most amongst active pitchers.The Yankees could officially announce the acquisition of Curtis Granderson and the re-signing of Pettitte this afternoon.You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter theghostofmlg This article is also featured on The Ghost of Moonlight Graham. And the hits just keep on coming.Just weeks before UFC 108 is scheduled to take place, an injury to welterweight Carlos Condit has forced him to withdraw from his co-main event bout with Paul Daley.MMAJunkie received the news from sources close to the former WEC welterweight champion.There is no word on what Condit injured, only that itoccurred during training.At this time no replacement has been named.I wrote about the many injuries that have decimated this card just a few short weeks ago.Anderson Silva, Brock Lesnar, AntonioRodrigo Nogueira and Shane Carwin have all at one point been scheduled to fight on this card.With the rash of injuries that UFC 108 has sustained, the UFC has been forced to move the light heavyweight clash between former UFC light heavyweight champion, Rashad Evans and Thiago Silva to main event status.At this point, Dana White and Joe Silva really need to find an attractive replacement for Condit, especially if they want to capitalize off of Daley's new-found fame, which he acquired by knocking out Martin Kampmann at UFC 103.My suggestion would be to remove Josh Koscheck from his UFC 109 rematch with Paulo Thiago and put him up against Daley.Koscheck is always down to fight, and is already training. That sentence alone is probably enough to get a player drafted. But what if I were to say this: "Greg Monroe is one of the best players in the country." Up until last night, I would have argued that point feverishly. Greg Monroe showed a glimpse of how good he can be last night.