Hope & facts are better than speculation

Taking a break from my current series as we’ve been looking back at some of the great Yankee legends to bring some updates on current situations in the Yankee Universe.

The Yankees have come to terms with the five players that were arbitration-eligible this week. This means each player has negotiated their salary for the 2014 season only and will be entering free agency for the 2015 season and beyond, should they not come to terms with the Yankees prior to next season. This week, each player agreed with the Yankees for a personalized salary amount: Brett Gardner $5.6 million, Shawn Kelley $1.765 million, Ivan Nova $3.3 million, David Robertson $5.215 million, and Francisco Cervelli $700,000.

And the Yankees also announced that Vernon Wells, who was designated for assignment last week, is now unconditionally released, still leaving the 40-man roster at 40 without any newer additions still on the market.

The Japanese wunderkind pitcher Masahiro Tanaka is still on the free agent market, and the Yankees are pursuing him with passion, though acquiring him will most definitely push them over that $189 million “goal, not a mandate” line. But there are still a handful of other pitchers and players of all kind still on the free agent market, and we’re still 39 days from Spring Training, so anything is still possible.

It seems in the silence of new signings to the team the attention has turned two directions. First, looking at the future Yankees in the form of prospects roaming around the minor leagues. And second, asking those veteran players (especially those who saw 2013 as a sharp decline in their careers due to recent injuries) how their preparations are going for the 2014 season and what they think will happen. Both thought processes rely solely on speculation of what could be based on what was, whether the questioner believes it was good or not.

See, the funny thing about speculation is basically it’s a whole lot of guessing. I mean, last year at this time, everyone was sure that Teixeira was going to come back strong from his calf injuries in 2012, but then he tears the shaft of his wrist ligament just practicing for the WBC and is out for most of 2013 (all but 15 games). And of course, the rumors as to Jeter’s 2014 season are probably going to be about as accurate as they were for both his 2012 (where he exceeded expectations) and his 2013 (where his injuries stunted everything) — a whole lot of bunk, to be nice about it.

I remember reading some baseball magazines at the beginning of Spring Training 2013, and every single one of them assumed that the Blue Jays would be on top, some even predicting a World Series win. And we all know how well that went last year.

And that’s why I don’t like to rely on speculation. Sure, you can base your best speculation on experience, statistics, or even optimistic hope, but it really means a whole lot of nothing. So while it’s nice to imagine the best, and fun (for some odd reason) for sports analysts to imagine the worst, it means nothing. And let’s be honest, if it all means nothing, why bother in the first place if it’s just going to clutter up your mind and your conversations?

Instead, let’s talk about how we’re looking forward to watching baseball again. Let’s make those plans to see as many games as possible. Let’s hope for the best for the Yankees. Because you just never know what’s going to happen, and that’s part of the fun of it all.

Go Yankees!

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