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View From the Other Side: New York Yankees Series Preview

We start a four game series with the Yankees this afternoon so I sent off some questions to jacape2000 from Pinstripe Alley, SB's Yankee's blog and here are his answers

Who's been the biggest surprise for the Yankee's this season?

Dare I say Derek Jeter? At 35, his .307/.381/.447 line has forestalled the annual 'Jeter decline' discussion. More importantly, Jeter is posting the best defense of his career

What are manager Joe Girardi's strengths and weaknesses?

Joe G. seems a pretty weak manager to me. He is often too 'by the book' when it comes to handling the bullpen (see: Brian Bruney and the 8th inning). There have been rumors that he doesn't get along with the veterans, though that has been better this year. He's definitely managing for his job, and it shows- after agreeing to regularly rest Arod following return from surgery, Arod was off June 19th, pinch hit on June 20th, and has played every game since then.

I always admired Chien-Ming Wang, what's happened to him this year?

CMW hadn't built his strength back from his really horrific foot injury (the Lisfranc is the main thing holding the front and back of your foot together).

The season started horribly for Wang, everything was flat and every hit was a line drive. Since his '09 DL stint CMW has been improving. He's gone 5.0 in his last 3 starts with "only" 2 ER the last outing, 3 ER before that. We're thinking of his lousy May as Spring Training at the MLB level, and we should start to see the real CMW soon.

Mariano Rivera got his 500th save, he's 39 now and not showing signs of slowing, how much longer can he be great?

Mo is now as he was in the beginning, is now, and ever will be. Amen.

Seriously, I think Mo has set his own standard for the level at which he performs. He's not going to hang around to be a "good" closer. When he feels he's no longer effective enough to suit him, then he'll retire. That might mean his current deal (2010) or he might go for a one year deal after that.

The new Yankee Stadium seems like a extreme batter's park, I thought it had the same dimensions as the old park, why does it play so much different?

Do you know the old joke about Superman, the drunk man, and wind currents? Because of the shape of the New Yankee Stadium's bowl, the cut out section above the outfield creates a jet stream down either foul line. The rumor is that could change when Old Yankee Stadium comes down, but I'll believe it when I see it.