Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bring Back Bernie

Bernie Williams joins the list of Yankees that have filed for free agency. No surprise there. It would surprise me would be if Bernie ever suits up for a team other than the Yankees. Bernie proved last year that he can still be of some value to a team. I think Brian Cashman should do every thing he can to keep Bernie in Pinstripes for the rest of his career, assuming of course that Bernie wants to continue playing.
Bernie has a lot of pluses in his favor. He's obviously not going to come at a high price. He can fill in as the 5th outfielder. He can probably play first base as needed. He hits from both sides of the plate and would be a great option to pinch hit. And the most important thing he'd bring to the table is his veteran leadership. The Yankees have had that role filled for quite some time. Paul O'Neill. Ruben Sierra. Bernie Williams. The clubhouse needs the veteran that's been around the block. Bernie's been there, and he's always done it as a Yankee. No reason to let him do it somewhere else.
The only downsides I can think of when it comes to Bernie is his age, his arm, and his declining, but still average speed. Bernie is no spring chicken, but the positives far outweigh the negatives in my opinion. Bernie had a pretty solid 2006 campaign. He improved on his 2005 numbers. Maybe Bernie thinks he still has it in him to play every day. He knows he won't get that as a Yankee. I hope like in 2006, he decides to stay. It's tough to imagine him wearing any other ball cap than a navy one with the interlocking NY that we all know and love.
Moving on to the anti-Bernie, Gary Sheffield. They were talking on the XM shows today that there are "reports" that the Yankees already have deals in place for Gary Sheffield. Likely destinations are rumored to be the Phillies, Cubs, and some other teams I'm forgetting. According to MLBtraderumors.com, other interested teams are the Indians, Padres, Astros, Braves, Rangers and the Giants. The only name I've heard mentioned is Jacque Jones. That puzzles me because I'm not sure what need the Yankees have for another OF. The Yankees have Damon, Matsui and Abreu. How would Jones fit into the mix? It's failing to hit me. I don't see it. If in fact Cashman is interested in him, it's for a reason. The man no doubt has a plan. He's no doubt building another contender. I can't wait to see how this plays out over the next few days as the deadline to exercise Sheff's option is rapidly approaching.
The Hot Stove is heating up. Can you feel its warmth? It feels good.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Now You See 'Em, Now You Don't

The free agent season is upon us and 5 Yankees have already filed for free agency. Sal Fasano, Nick Green, Miguel Cairo, Octavio Dotel, and Craig Wilson. With exception of maybe Cairo, and I stress the word maybe, I hope the Yanks don't try to resign these guys.
Nick Green strikes out too much and has a pretty weak bat. He strikes out over 25% of the time. You better be able to jack 30 HRs if you want me to overlook that. Hit the weights and get Lasik, then get back to me.
Sal Fasano has a nice 'stache, I'll give him that, but I'm not overly thrilled by backup catchers that can't hit their weight. John Flaherty weighs 200 pounds and hit .165 in his last year as a Yankee. Kelly Stinnett weighs 233 and hit .228 as a Yankee. Fasano weighs 246 and hit a buck forty three. See a pattern? There has to be a better hitting back-up catcher out there. Who knows? Maybe there isn't. I haven't looked at the list to see.
Dotel turned out to be a huge bust. We waited and waited for his return and when he finally was "healthy," which took like forever, he treated us to a 10.80 ERA over a mere 14 games. Nice job. Thanks for stopping by, now beat it.
Craig Wilson might be a little serviceable, but he wasn't exactly his "National League" self when he joined the Yankees. Over his 1/4 of a season in Pinstripes, he batted a ******** .212. That's over 50 points below his career average. His OBP was a little more than 100 points of his career mark. Exercise some plate discipline and we'll talk. Definitely not worth $3.3 million.
Miguel Cairo wouldn't be a bad guy to keep around. He can fill-in anywhere in the infield. He has decent speed and at a million bucks, might be worth taking a look at. The key phrase is might be.
Derek Jeter expects change. I think he'll get his wish.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Truly Truly Tasteless

My friend Don and his wife Kim, along with their 5-month old Derek (named after Jeter) stopped by for a visit today. They were passing through Buffalo while on vacation, which they spent in Niagara Falls. The hotel at which they were staying has a bar, and that bar was having a Halloween party. They were telling me about this one costume that goes so far beyond tasteless. The person that wore it, and anyone that thought it was funny, deserve to have their membership cards in the human race revoked.
The person was dressed as Cory Lidle, complete with burned Yankee uniform and a miniature steering wheel set which can only be described as what you'd use to fly a plane. I'm at a loss for words. I can't believe someone's brain actually conceived this idea and thought it was funny. It's disturbing and beyond deplorable. I hope what goes around, comes around.

Another Loss

The Yankee family suffered another loss today with the passing of Joe Niekro. Joe spent the bulk of his career with the Houston Astros, but spent a brief time at the end of his career with the Yankees. He played 22 seasons in the bigs and racked up 221 wins and had a career ERA of 3.59. He suffered an aneurysm. He was 61 years young.
My thoughts and prayers go out to his brother Phil, his son Lance, and the entire Niekro family. Godspeed Joe.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Mazilli Vanilli

Maz is out, Don is in, and I'm a happy camper. It's being reported that Don Mattingly is going to replace Lee Mazzilli as the Yankees bench coach in 2007. It's an obvious sign that Mattingly is the likely successor to Torre's throne, which should become vacant at the end of next season. And who better than Don Mattingly, a Yankee to the core, to take over when Torre retires, especially with Lou Pinella taking over the Cubs. The only logical replacements for Torre would be Pinella, Mattingly, and Joe Girardi. Of the three, I'd prefer Sweet Lou because he's got the experience and he has a father-son type of relationship with A-Rod. But Lou's out of the picture, and I'd rather see Mattingly at the helm than Girardi. Don't get me wrong, Girardi would be a great manager. I loved watching him as an analyst on YES. He's a smart guy and it's pretty obvious if you ever heard him talk, that he has a great grasp on the game. What he did with the Marlins this year was remarkable. I don't think anyone saw that coming. But I'm a Mattingly guy, pure and simple.
Mattingly is without a doubt my favorite Yankee. He joined the Yankees when I was about 10 and much like many Yankee fans, I was instantly a fan of "The Hitman." My wife has even agreed to let me name our first-born son (which isn't on the way) after Donnie Baseball. Now I know what you're thinking. Don is a pretty common name, how can I attribute that to Don Mattingly. That's why I'm going with the name Mattingly as the first name. Now you might think it sounds silly, but it grows on you. I have yet to come across anyone that thinks it sounds silly, and that's saying a lot seeing that all the relatives, both hers and mine, are on board. Mattingly Davis. Has a nice ring to it, don't ya think? If anybody has suggestions for a middle name, lay 'em on me, because I'm stumped.
Mattingly knows the Yankee system. Spending a year as Torre's right hand is all the grooming he'll need. He has all the tools needed to succeed as the Yankee manager even though he has no prior experience. I just hope he's not cursed.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Free Gary

According to Gary Sheffield, the Yankees are going to exercise the $13 million dollar option they have on him for 2007. This leaves me scratching my head as I thought for sure Sheffield was on his way out of the Bronx. Now unless Brian Cashman has a master plan for Sheffield, I think it's a bad move. There's simply no room for him. Sure he could play 1B, but do we really need to pay a guy $13 million to do that? I understand that Giambi, if he plays 1B regularly, might need a day off or two, but Sheffield isn't the answer. As I see it, the potential starting 9 is Posada, Giambi, Cano, Jeter, A-Rod, Abreu, Damon, Matsui and then you have the option of Melky Cabrera or Andy Philips to round it out. I don't think there is value in paying Sheffield $13 mill to round out the lineup, when there are much better things to spend the money on, like starting pitching. The Yanks could get by with Melky or Philips. If the Yankee brass aren't enamored with the idea of Melky and/or Philips playing every day, take part of Sheffield's salary and spend it on a guy that's a step or two below Sheffield, and a step or two above Melky and/or Philips. Sheffield isn't our best option.
Now perhaps this move makes sense if Giambi's wrist is going to be a problem. Maybe Cashman is buying some time to see how that plays out before they decide to part ways with Sheff. Exercise the option, and then trade him. That's a possibility. Sheffield has been quoted as saying, "I don't know what they're going to do. Maybe they picked it up just to trade me. If they do that, if I just [go] to a team for one year, there's going to be a problem. A big problem. I will not do this." Well then Gary, maybe you should have thought about this when you signed the contract. You don't really have a choice. Fortunately for him, if he raises a stink, he'll likely get his way and get a ticket out of NY, which is fine with me. I really wish I were in Cashman's head or better yet, a fly on the wall of his office. That would be interesting.
There is some speculation out there that the Yankees want to exercise the option and trade him, just to prevent him from signing as a free agent with the Red Sox, who are one of the rumored suitors for him if he were to become a free agent. Now I could see why they'd want to do this. It makes sense. Perhaps the Yankees already have something in the works? Cashman isn't the type of guy who would do this on a whim. If it's his intent to sign him and trade him, he's got something already cooking on the hot stove.
The only other thing I can think of is that the Yankees are just going to spend, spend, spend this offseason and not worry about the payroll or making an attempt to lower it. Throw money at the problem and hope for the best. The Yankees and their fans have been hoping for the best since 2000, so maybe that approach isn't the answer. It's time to get smart about things, and step one is not having Sheffield in Pinstripes in 2007 and beyond. He's a cancer in the clubhouse and his comments do nothing to detract from that. There is only one thing that Sheffield cares about, and that's himself. Yeah, and you're the real leader of the team. Yeah, right.
Now all of this is speculation right now. The Yankees haven't formally exercised the option. We've all seen these things get reported and turn out to be nothing more than people stirring the pot. It could come down to the Yankees declining the option and allowing Sheffield to walk. I'd be fine with that. Gary Sheffield doesn't scare me. Well he does a little, but I'd have to have front row seats on the third base line for him to do that. The option needs to be exercised by the 5th of November, or within 5 days of the conclusion of the World Series. In all likelihood, weather permitting, the World Series will end before November 1st. Then the clock starts ticking. As I mentioned earlier, Cashman is a smart guy. I've stated in previous posts that he isn't going to make a move if it's not for the good of the team. If the decision is to retain the services of Sheffield, I suppose I can get behind it, but I'd need to know the why first. I just think better things will come from allowing him to walk.
Free Gary!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

And The Winner Is.... Part 2

was in a hurry at the completion of my last entry congratulating Jeter on the Aaron award, so I didn't get to congratulate Yankee closer Mariano Rivera on winning the DHL Delivery Man of the Year Award, for the 2nd year in a row I might add. While I think the fans got it right with the Hank Aaron award, I don't think that Rivera was best reliever in MLB.
Rivera was in the running along with 9 of the game's best relievers: Trevor Hoffman, Bobby Jenks, Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon, Francisco Rodriguez, B.J. Ryan, Billy Wagner, J.J. Putz and Joel Zumaya. Don't get me wrong, Mo had another great year, but I don't think he was the league's best. As hard as this is to say, I thought that Jonathan Papelbon should have gotten the nod. He was the only one with an ERA less than 1.00. He had the lowest WHIP, and he only allowed a total of 8 runs the entire season. In my opinion, the other relievers didn't hold a candle to him in 2006. He was lights out and by far the most dominant. Hands down.
The fans missed the boat on this one.

And The Winner Is

The winner is not David Ortiz. Nice.
Congratulations to Yankee Captain Derek Jeter for winning the AL's Hank Aaron Award. He's the first Yankee to win the honor, and considering the fact that this is an award that recognizes the league's best offensive player, it's rather impressive considering who else was nominated. He beat out the likes of Travis Hafner, Vladimir Guerrero, Justin Morneau, Paul Konerko, and everybody's favorite cry-baby, David Ortiz. Ha ha ha.
I can hear the cries of Red Sox fans now over Papi's loss. "Jeter o won because the fans voted for him. He doesn't deserve to win. Papi is so much better offensively. Blah blah blah." The problem here is that the majority of Sox fans, if not all of them, come from the school of thought that Ortiz subscribes to. That's it all about home runs. We all remember Ortiz's comments about his chances to win the AL MVP. He said, "the guy who hits 40 home runs and knocks in 100, that's the guy you know helped your team win games." As I said back then, it's not just about the power. Baseball fans, by voting for Jeter to win this award, apparently agree. Kudos to them for being smart.
Now if you don't think that Jeter is deserving of the award, consider this. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Jeter became just the fifth player in the past 75 seasons to hit .340 or higher, drive in at least 90 runs and steal 30 or more bases in the same season. Pretty impressive. He was 3 RBI shy of 100. Not bad for a guy batting 2nd in the lineup. He was 2nd in the league in average and runs scored. He was 3rd in the league in hits and .OBP. The only stats Ortiz can stake claim to being better than Jeter in is HRs, walks, RBI, and slugging percentage. The slugging percentage ties directly into the # of HRs, so for all intent and purposes, it's the same stat. And though Ortiz had 40 more RBI than Jeter, Jeter's contributions in other statistical categories are better than Ortiz's in every statistical category. The BAVG was 57 points higher. He scored 3 more runs, had 10 more doubles, 1 more triple, 15 less strikeouts, and 33 more stolen bases. Yeah, I'll take that. And as for Ortiz having more RBI, one can argue that is only made possible by having more runners on base to knock in. There was an article in mid-September that supported this point. Here is an excerpt from the article, which was written by Steven Goldman.
"Quite often, a player's RBI total is not just an expression of how well he's hit with runners on base, but where he bats in the lineup and how often the players in front of him reached base. Alex Rodriguez has 105 RBI, normally a good total, yet, Rodriguez has seen more runners than any hitter in baseball, 513 of them. He's driven in just 14.4% of them, an average figure. Ortiz has seen the third-highest number of baserunners, 474, and driven in 16.6% of them, a good but not extraordinary percentage.
Jeter, who Ortiz derides as "not… an RBI guy," has had only 439 runners on base in front of him, the 15th-highest total in the game. Despite 34 fewer home runs than Ortiz, Jeter has driven in a slightly higher percentage of his runners,17.7%.Ortiz has driven in 9% of his runners on first (that's those home runs talking), but just 20% of his runners on second and 34% of his runners on third (that's those strikeouts talking). Jeter has driven in only 5% of his runners on first (that's the lack of power) but has plated 22% of runners on second and 46% of runners on third (that's those singles and doubles talking)."
Now that we've compared apples to apples, that pretty much puts Jeter ahead of Ortiz in the RBI category. So all Ortiz really has on the Yankee Captain is more longballs. Which if you haven't realized by now, isn't much to be in amazement of. Jeter was by far, the best offensive player in the American League in 2006.
In a few short weeks, he'll also be the most valuable one.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Tainted Love

The more I hear and read about Kenny Rogers and the "junk" on his hand, the more I think something shady is going down, and we're now in the "brush it under the rug" phase. It was more than obvious that Rogers had a "substance" on his hand. From what I've gathered, he was also spotted with a "substance" on his pitching hand during the ALCS. I couldn't find anything about that in print, but they were discussing it on "Baseball This Morning" on XM. It's all too shady.
MLB, for obvious reasons, wants this to go away. The last thing they want is for a guy to get caught cheating during the World Series. And who can blame them? In my reading today I came across an article by Dan Wetzel on Yahoo. Give it a read. It's pretty good.
As far as I'm concerned, Rogers was busted, plain and simple. And it's not out of the realm of possibility that the rest of the Tiger pitching staff has been following Rogers lead as they've all been virtually unhittable. Who knows now? Like I said, this all seems way too shady. Rogers went from marginally above average to the league's most dominant pitcher in a matter of 3 starts. I'm not buying it. And for that, the Tigers run to the title is tainted. Go Cards.


Somebody want to tell me when Kenny Rogers turned into Roger Clemens? The guy with the career postseason record of 0-3 with an ERA near 9.00, all of the sudden turn into a guy who's hurled 23 scoreless innings this postseason and is virtually unhittable? I'm not buying it. I find it all very hard to believe.
Don't get me wrong, you don't win over 200 games in the majors if you don't have good stuff. But all of the sudden no one can hit Kenny Rogers?? Like I said, I'm not buying it. It's all too coincidental that he happened to have a "mystery substance" on his pitching hand, don't you think? I noticed it before they made mention of it on the broadcast. I just found it to be, like I said, a little coincidental.
Series knotted up at 1 and it's head to St. Louie. I still have no vested interest in this series, but after watching Rogers pitch his tail off, again, I think I'm pulling for the Cards.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Remembering The Days Of My Youth

I just spent the last hour and a half or so strolling down memory lane as I watched the classic Baseball flick, "Little Big League" on one of the thousands of HBO channels. I can't remember the last time I saw it, but I enjoyed it just the same. It always brings me back. The one thing that jumped out at me in this viewing happened near the end, when the Twins were playing the Mariners in their final game. The game went into extra-innings and Sweet Lou Pinella called on Randy Johnson to pitch. Seeing Johnson with his old-school mullet had me dying of laughter. It was classic.
I love baseball movies. I can't help it. I can't think of one I wouldn't drop everything to watch if it happened to be on the tube. My favorite has to be a tie between "Major League" and "The Sandlot." Both classics. I always look for the opportunity to use the phrase "You're killing me Smalls." It always makes me laugh when I hear other people use it. A smile is on my grill right now. Good times.
I'm curious to hear what baseball movies everybody out there can't enough of. Lay it on me. It could be a fun discussion and it'll definitely stir up some good memories.

Friday, October 20, 2006

And Then There Were Two

So it all comes down to this. The Tigers and the Cardinals in an epic battle for baseball world supremacy. Yippee. (Enter sarcasm here). I'm not terribly excited about this matchup. It's definitely not the matchup I was hoping for when the playoffs started. But it's baseball. I love it, so I'll watch. Now get off my back Lasorda. You had me at hello.
I was going to call this post "Beat The Mets" as I can't help but laugh in the face of the throngs of Mets fans out there who were so quick to dog the Yankees and their fans after their first round loss to Detroit. So much for planting that Mets flag at the top of the mountain, eh? That's why it doesn't pay to gloat. Right now, the Mets are no different than the Pirates. Both are losers. At least the Yankees lost a team with more than 90 wins. The Cardinals won a ******** 83 games this year, and they took down the mighty Mets. The Yanks at least lost to a team for the large majority of the season played head and shoulders above the rest of the league. The Mets lost to the Cardinals. Blah hah hah hah. (Enter excessive laughter here). What is it about third baseman in NYC that causes them to perform so poorly in the playoffs? Wright was such a non-factor, it wasn't funny. And Beltran? Way to swing the bat there buddy. I have to admit that last night's game was a great, classic baseball game. How could you not be glued to the set? Suppan gets all the credit there. He was rightfully named the NLCS MVP.
The one thing that cracks me up come October is the countless number of crowd shots they make showing the fans when they know it's pretty much over. The hands up to their face as if their praying to Jesus. The sad looks. The "Believe" signs. It was nice to not have to see the "Believe" signs written out in that ever-so swanky Boston script, wouldn't you agree? I don't know what it is about the looks on people's faces that cracks me up. I think it's because I feel as if they are getting their just desserts, and I don't really know why. Perhaps it's because it usually happens to a team whose fan base I am not particularly fond of. I'm not sure. I mean, I don't know these people. I can empathize being a sports fan. But something about it just makes me laugh at their pain, even though I know what that pain is like. It's weird. Am I the only one that gets this way?
Congratulations to the Cardinals and the Tigers for winning their respective division pennants. It was a tough road to the top, and you bypassed everybody else on your way to the apex. And like the Highlander, there can be only one. And call it a hunch, but I'm thinking it'll be the Tigers. But, I'll be watching to find out who survives. So again Lasorda, leave me alone already. Geesh.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Return Of The Boogie

So it's understandably been a few days since I've blogged. If you checked out my last post, you'd know why. The good news is we got our power back Sunday night. The bad news is that there are still a lot of people out there without power. I was calling my home phone all weekend when we were without power, hoping that the answering machine would kick on. Finally it did, and my wife's voice never sounded so sweet. I don't know how those without power are making it without the simple luxuries. TV. Internet. Lights. Heat. I don't know how they did it back in the old days. I definitely couldn't do it. I've wanted to post the last few days, but work has been kicking my tail. 12 hour days are no fun. I've said it before, work and I don't get along. But let's talk Yankees.
So the Cubbies are interested in A-Rod? Someone tell me why that's news? We know this, don't we? Aren't most of the teams out there interested in Alex. Why wouldn't they be. They'd be stupid not to be interested. But we all know that Alex isn't going anywhere, which is why I wonder why this is a story? Unless it's lip service, both Alex and Brian Cashman have made it clear that Alex is staying in Pinstripes, and I applaud that decision. I don't think you can replace that bat in the lineup. But at the same time, if in fact Alex ever does get traded, it's not going to happen unless it's bettering the Yanks, and I don't see that happening. The only thing right now I'd like to see happen is for the Yankees to get some pitching, and I think that can get done without trading Alex. The Yankees are in position to free up some cash this off-season. First, get rid of Sheffield. Boom there's some money. But out Jaret Wright's contract. Boom, more money. Do everything you can to get out of Carl Pavano's contract. Mo money, mo money, money. And finally, resign Mike Mussina, but ONLY at a much reduced rate. The highest paid pitcher in baseball should win more than 14 games, am I right? I don't know their collective salaries, but it's a lot of money. A lot of money that can be thrown at some quality free agent pitchers. And then you keep the lineup in tact, and your staff gets better. Brian Cashman is a smart guy. Anything he does, I find it easy to get behind. He's not out there trying to hurt the Yanks chances to win #27. Which brings me to this......
A few weeks back, Jonathan over at Red Sox Nation Daily, posted that if anyone from the Yankee organization needed to go, it was Brian Cashman. I consider Jonathan to be a pretty smart guy, and one of the more realistic Red Sox fans. Jonathan's contention was that Cashman had made some poor signings, which I'll agree with in hindsight. Guys like Randy Johnson, Pavano, Dotel. He faulted Cashman for fielding a team with a $230 million dollar payroll that could only muster one playoff win. Fair enough, but I had to disagree with his assessment of Cashman. I left these comments on his blog in response to his post:
" disagree with you that Cashman needs to go. If anything he should be applauded for what he didn't do, and that's trade Cano, Wang, Hughes, or Cabrera when Matsui and Sheffield went down, or even at the deadline. He didn't make any rash moves that could have mortgaged the future as well.
As for the signees you mentioned, though they may not have panned out as hoped, I think you can go around the league and tear apart many bad signings or trades. Jason Johnson. Rudy Seanez. Javy Lopez. Julian Tavarez until the end of the year. If you go the Randy Johnson route, you can throw David Wells into that boat. I know you're a realistic Sox fan, so I'm not thinking you'll defend Theo on his moves, or better yet on his lack of moves, specifically at the deadline."
To reiterate my point, Cashman could have panicked and dealt guys like Melky, Cano, Wang, and/or Hughes to bring in bigger named talent, but he didn't. Think of what could have been. Wang wins 19 games for another team. Robbie doesn't finish 3rd in the batting race. Melky doesn't fill in for Matsui and we don't have "the catch." Hughes gets dealt and we never know what could have been. Cashman should be applauded for his efforts, and his actions. I had said at the beginning of the season that the most important offseason move the Yankees made in 2005 was re-signing Brian Cashman. I still feel that way today. The guy does wonders. I have confidence that any move he makes is going to better the ballclub. I don't think trading A-Rod is the answer, but if it ever happens, good things will only come of it.
Peace, love, and Pinstripes.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

10,000 And Counting

I'm still a little shocked by yesterday's tragedy, so I'm going to keep it light today. It snowed like a **** here today in Buffalo. It had to have dropped a few inches. No unnecessary travel they're advising. Man, I love October..
The hit meter finally went past the 10,000 mark. Now I know in comparison to some other MLBlogs it seems pretty light, but there is a reason for that. I have my counter set up so that it only counts a visit 1 time if you've been to this site within like a 6 hour period. So I can log on to my blog 15 times a day, and it counts one time. There are some sites out there that if you hit refresh on the site, it goes up every time. If you visit a blog, click on the comments section, sign, and then post a comment, that counts as 4 hits on the counter. I don't want to roll like that. It just doesn't seem right.
I stumbled onto a site yesterday that a lot of my fellow bloggers might be interested in. It ranks sports blogs. Don't ask me how, I couldn't quite figure it out. The Boogie Down was #10 on the list of Yankee blogs. It was out of 76 or so. Today, I'm 11th and it's only out of 47. It also has an overall ranking. Out of 788 blogs, the Boogie Down came in at a respectable # 115. There are a lot of us on there. Give it a look. It's kind of neat, but I don't put any stock into it. I'm not really writing this for anybody but myself.
I celebrated birthday #33 on Tuesday. I got a really sweet Yankee jacket from my in-laws, and the wife dropped a 60GB iPOD on me. I've been playing with that thing all night. I love me some music.
I'm still pretty shocked about the untimely death of Cory Lidle. Luckyleftie put it well when he likened it to getting punched right in the gut, and having the wind and life taken right out of you. I feel so sorry for his wife and son. It's very tragic and I still don't really believe it happened. It just seems like a really bad dream that you can't wake up from.
Have a good night. Think of me in the morning when I'm shoveling out my driveway.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Shell Shocked

Like the rest of the baseball world, I'm still in a state of utter shock over the untimely death of Cory Lidle. It's hard to believe that a mere 5 days ago I watched him pitch. It's mind boggling. I was all set to write a post tonight on the recent Yankee happenings, but I just don't feel right doing it in light of these unfortunate events. If anyone has an XM radio, I would recommend that you tune into the baseball channel. They've been speaking with a lot of people that knew Cory, teammates and such, and they are all sharing memories of him. It's pretty cool. He seemed to be very well liked by everyone. If you have XM, I highly recommend tuning in.
The Yankee thoughts can wait. Right now my thoughts and prayers are with Lidle's friends and family.
Godspeed Cory.

RIP Cory Lidle

They are reporting on XM Radio that Cory Lidle was the registered owner of the small plane that crashed into an NYC apartment building. They are reporting that Cory was piloting the plane and has been pronounced dead, and it's been confirmed by various new sources, one of which is ESPN.
Wow. I don't really know what to say.

Monday, October 9, 2006

the Reason?

I keep having these random thoughts about the Yankees and where they've gone wrong. This thought is totally off the map. And while I know it's not possible, it's just odd. It parallels along the lines of "The Curse of the Bambino." If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know sometimes I buy into jinxes and things of that nature.
The Yankees have never won a World Series championship with my all-time favorite Yankee as part of their organization, and I'm talking about Donnie Baseball. Think about it for a second. Don Mattingly's last season in Pinstripes was 1995. The next season, the Yankees win it all in and go on to have similar successes through the 2000 campaign. Since Mattingly became hitting coach in 2004, the year of the "collapse," the Yankees have failed to make it to the World Series. In Mattingly's 8 year absence from the Yankees, they went to the World Series 6 times. added on 10/9: To further this, I failed to realize that prior to Mattingly joinging the Yankees in 1982, they did make it the '81 series, losing to the Dodgers. Thanks to a comment left over at Pinstripe Pride for helping me to add to the theory. I missed that.
Could Mattingly, arguably the most popular Yankee ever, be cursed? I shudder to think.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Truer Words Were Never Spoken

I thought I'd share something that Geoff, one of my fellow Yankee bloggers, had to say in an entry over on his blog, Bleeding Pinstripes. It's a great paragraph that eloquently sums up pretty much what the Yankees and their fans have to go through.
"The Yankees and their fans are never eliminated as an afterthought. They are always taken down in a public execution. They are led to the gallows to the raucous cheers of the gathered crowds. They are read the charges of high crimes and misdemeanors against them, and they are always the same. Their misdemeanor? Gluttony. Their high crime? Nobility. And then they are very publicly hanged while the throngs roar with approval. The masses will not be denied their opportunity to watch the mighty fall. And that’s okay. It’s part of what we Yankee fans sign up for. Some of us make a choice. Some of us are born into it. But all of us wouldn’t trade it for the world."
You can hate all you want. It's not going to change anything. Like Geoff said, it's part of what we signed up for.
Great job Geoff. Here's to 2007.

The Morning After

It still hurts.
Reports are that Torre is out and Pinella is in. Not sure what I think of that yet. The head is still a little cloudy.

Saturday, October 7, 2006

The End Of The Road

So the Yankee season is officially over. I love this time of year because of October baseball, but at the same time, this time of year always gets me a little down, and I think you all can relate. And this has nothing to do with the loss and that the Yankees won't win #27 this year. I can live with the loss. I have no problem with that. I think any Yankee fan that lived through the collapse in 2004 can make it through this, or any loss for that matter. And like Felix over at The Life Of A Yankee Fan, despite this, I am and will always be, a Yankees fan.
What gets me down is that the season is over. No more Yankee baseball, and soon no more baseball at all. It's like when your best friend moves away. Or when the college semester ends and everyone goes home for a few months. You know you'll see them again someday, but you immediately start to miss them, and it hurts and it weighs on your mind. Here are these people that you spend every day with for almost 7 months. You experience the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the good times and bad, and then poof, they're gone just like that. If you're a serious fan of a sport, or a sports team, I think you know what I mean. Hopefully my analogy makes sense.
I'm going to get sappy for a moment and quote some Boyz II Men lyrics because they kind of apply. "Although we've come, to the end of the road, still I can't let you go. It's unnatural. You belong to me. I belong to you." Metaphorically speaking, the Yankees do belong to me and I belong to them. The Yankees are in a way a part of me. They're in my heart and they have my heart. If they weren't, I wouldn't be here in the MLBlogosphere. Again I think as a fan of a team you catch my drift. Excuse me, but I think my loafers just got a little lighter. *chuckle*
Winning would have obviously made the offseason and the "time apart" a little more bearable. Thankfully, I know I'll see my friends again someday soon. If only someday were tomorrow. But I'll see them, in February for another welcomed go-around. So take care fellas, I'll see ya in a few months.
I only wonder who'll survive the carnage. It should make for some good offseason posts.
Peace, love and Pinstripes.

Mission: Failed


Friday, October 6, 2006

Against The Wall

Kenny Rogers pitched his tail off and probably had the game of his life. The Yankee bats didn't do anything to help Randy Johnson, who pitched a pretty decent game. The lack of timely hitting is killing us over these last 2 games.
My friend Dave raised a pretty good point in a comment on an earlier entry and i actually thought of this a few weeks ago. The Yankees are beginning to look like the Yankees of 2004 and 2005. Instead of moving runners and hitting the ball, it looks like they're swinging for the fences, which is never good. I wondered if the team chemistry was at all affected by the return of Sheffield and Matsui, and the removal of Melky Cabrera, Bernie, and the other fill-ins. These last 2 games they haven't looked like the same team.
We had a few miscues tonight that worked against us, but in the end, it wouldn't have mattered I guess, though the flow of the game might have been changed. Who knows? But we can't play the what if game? But we will, for argument's sake. What if we didn't blow the pickoff? What if they called Pudge out at third? What if it didn't rain the other day? We can't think about it. At the end of the day, what happened, happened. And what happened, was nothing. at least from a Yankee standpoint.
The back is against the wall, and we must now rely on (gulp) Jaret Wright. It's not an impossible task. He's been pretty solid lately. We can still pull this off. We've done it before. We can do it again. Heck, if the Yanks can take 5 in a row in Fenway, or drop 4 straight in the ALCS with a 3-0 lead, anything is possible.
I'm tired. Go Yankees!

RIP Buck O'Neill

Baseball has lost a great man. Rest in peace Buck. We'll miss you.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Tomorrow Is Another Day

Well, the sweep is out the window. Big deal. I didn't think the Yankees were going to win this series running away with it. As nice as it would have been to wrap it up in 3 games, I didn't see it happening. Most people think that the Yankees were going to win this series in 4. Well, there's the one loss. No biggie. Tomorrow is another day.
I think the letdown today was definitely the lineup. Even the greatest engine might sputter every now and then. It's a minor bump in the road. When a guy can come at you with a 100+ MPH heater and follow it up with a 75 MPH curve, you're not hitting it, even if you're the great Teddy Ballgame. The Tigers pitchers were lighting up the gun today. If they can get those pitches over for strikes, which they were doing two-thirds of the time, you don't stand a chance. Verlander and Zumaya were off the hook. The Tigers deserved that one, and there was nothing that could be done about it. Tomorrow is another day.
I don't see any real reason to show concern at this point. Like I said, if the series was going four games, the Tigers had to win one. Granted I'd feel a little better if that loss came with a 2-0 series lead, but what can you do. We should be use to this by now as Yankee fans. In 2005, we split the 1st two games of the ALDS and eventually lost to the Angels. We also split in 2002 (lost to Angels), 2003 (beat Twins), and 2004 (beat Twins). In 2001, lost the first 2 at home to the A's, and then won the next 3 to take it in 5. We split in 2000. You have to go back to 1999 to find a Yankee sweep in the ALDS, That was against the Rangers. So looking back, 2005 went 5 games. 2004 went 4 games. 2003 went 4 games. 2002 went 4 games. 2001 went 5 games. 2000 went 5 games. If history has taught us anything, the ALDS is never easy. Heck, the playoffs aren't ever easy. Over the last 6 years, the Yankees have failed to make the ALCS twice, both of which were at the hands of the Angels. Did we give up when the A's had us down 2-0 in 1999? No! Did we give up when the Sox had us down 3-2 in 2003? No! Did we give up the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No! Toga, toga, toga. Focus. Focus. Deep breaths. And we're back. Anyway, losing game 2 to the Tigers isn't a cause for alarm. Don't man the lifeboats just yet. Tomorrow is another day.
The only thing that should be of a concern right now is the status of Randy Johnson's back. We don't need to see 2003 revisited when David Wells only lasted an inning in Game 5 of the World Series because of a bad back. The Big Unit has been pronounced fit to start. We need a big outing from The Unit. Put the team on your back Randy and carry us to the promised land. On second thought, your back probably can't take it, so just pitch a good game. You've got it in you. We know you can do it. We're behind you. And even if you lose, tomorrow is another day.
Let's Go Yankees!

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Raindrops Keep Fallin'

It's going to be a long night.

A Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On

That was a great game last night. A little scary at times, but I got the outcome I was expecting.
I thought Wang pitched a great game. I was a little shocked when Torre took him out with 2 down in the 7th. And for good reason as Mike Myers failed to do the one thing he's supposed to do and that's get the LH out. Another first batter HR. I think Ortiz did that to him way back earlier this season. Wang has 20 wins if you count the postseason. Who would have pegged that at the onset of the season? I certainly didn't. The kid has been great all year long. I'm glad Cashman was smart enough to hold onto him, and Cano for that matter.
Ah, the Captain. What a performance! I can't even put into words how awesome he was yesterday, so I'll just leave it at he's un-freakin'-believable.
I loved the lineup Torre put out there, by far the best lineup we've had out there all year. Stacked from top to bottom, and the alternating left/right is nice too. The lefties did very well against lefty killer "Gum Time." I thought A-Rod hit the ball pretty well. It was nice to see the ovation he got from the fans on his 1st AB. I'm expecting big things from this lineup. They're built to roll.
I thought Sheffield did well at first base, though he looked a little awkward. He did have a great stretch in I forget the inning. Maybe he'll look a little more comfortable there over time, but it didn't look natural. Am I the only one that saw that?
Game 2 is coming up in about 2 hours or so. Moose is on the bump and I'll be making my Moose calls as I watch the game. I suggest you do the same. It's always fun to let out a "Moooooooooooooooooooooooooooose." Say it with me at the top of each inning.
The Yankees have pretty much owned Detroit all season and the Tigers are playing like I expected them to all year. I never thought highly of the Tigers. Don't get me wrong, they deserve their spot in the dance, but they look they forgot the steps. I can't see this series going more than 4 games.
I was puttering around the MLBlogosphere this afternoon at work and I couldn't help but be amused by all the anti-Yankee venom being spewed over at the Red Sox Chick's blog. I'm reminded of the Gin Blossoms song "Hey Jealousy." The green monster, or monstah depending on where you're from, is rearing it's ugly head over there. Oh, brilliant idea hitting me. Wait for it. Wait for it. Are you ready? It's a doozie! From this point forward, the RSC will be forever referred to as "the green monster." Do I hear a second? "Second." Motion carried. It's now the law. Is it me, or do many (not all) of the card carrying members of the Red Sox Nation, such as the GM and her lackeys/cronies, lack the ability to think logically and also lack what appears to be simple reasoning skills? If you want a really good read, check this out, you won't be disappointed. Really, if you are a regular reader in the MLBlogosphere, you should give it a look. It's a rather well-done piece and kudos to Michael for not "thundering" any comments. Thunder. Ha. That still makes me laugh.
Consornit, the freakin' wife is yelling at me to take out the trash. Gotta go. Enjoy the game. Let's go Yankees!
Peace, love and Pinstripes.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Aw Yeah

The Captain is un-freakin'-believable. I don't even need to expand on that.
The Yanks take the all important game one 8-4. Chien-Ming Wang! The only pitcher this season to have won 20 games. How does that one taste? Yeah, it tastes good.
More tomorrow! Let's go Yankees!

A Close Call

The wife was watching the game with me. She went to bed when Torre took Wang out of the game (something I don't think he should have done). As soon as she left, Myers gives up the dinger and Proctor gives up back-to-back singles. So like any good husband would do, I made the wife get up and take her place back on the couch. Needless to say Ordonez made the 3rd out. Phew, that was close.
Yanks up 7-4, top 8th and the wild one is in. 3 outs Kyle and we can give it off to Mo. I hope you have it in you.

Let's Get It On

Wow. I thought this time would never come. And I don't mean the start of game 1. I spent way too much time getting my car worked on. I went in for an oil change, an inspection, and a rotation. 2 hours later and I got the oil change, 2 new tires, a rotation, and i didn't get the inspection. I was expecting to be in and out in about 45 minutes, but my father-in law forgot to call ahead so they didn't know I was coming. We have the hook up there. My "check engine" light is on so they can't pass the car's inspection. i have to bring the car back later in the week. Anyway....
It's game time baby. First pitch is less than 10 minutes away! The march to 27 is on. Let's get it on! And they say Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Yeah right!
Enjoy the game, and the postseason! Let's go Yankees!

Tonight's Da Night

In a little less than 4 hours Yankee postseason baseball will be upon us and the march to #27 begins. Man, I'm excited. I can't wait for work to end so I can get home and plop myself on the couch and watch some pregame. If only I didn't have to get an oil change tonight. It hasn't been 3 months yet, but it's been about 7000 miles since my last one. Yeah, I drive a lot, and I'm lazy. I've been putting it off for weeks.
I have the luxury of listening to the games at work on XM, so I got to hear The Big Hurt stick it to the Twins. I love it. Coming up next is the Padres/Cards. Go Padres.
Is it 8pm yet? D'oh. Time is moving so slowly.
You have to admit the Yankee lineup is awesome. A-Rod is batting 6th. Freaking 6th. And that's probably the best place for him. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we bought the lineup. I said it before. The Yankees and their fans can't win when it comes to the detractors. They win the World Series, they bought the title. They lose and everyone makes cracks about they get paid so much to lose. Blah blah blah. Is that the best you got.
7 minutes have passed since I last checked the time. At least work is almost over. I wish I could jump out the window and slide into my car on the tail of a dinosaur a la Fred Flintstone. Yabba dabba do.
Chien-Ming Wang is on the bump tonight. He has been phenomenal at home. If that sinker is working, watch out. We might just see Wang shut down the Tigers again. It's very important that the Yankees win game 1. Besides not allowing the Tigers to steal the home-field advantage from us, it keeps them reeling. They've been taking their lumps lately. Let's keep them against the ropes and land an early knockout blow like Little Mac would do to Glass Joe in Mike Tyson's Punch Out. Man I'm giddy. It's 4:20. And that's not the reason why I'm giddy. It's the playoffs baby!
If any of you stopped by Mark Feinsand's blog today, you might have seen the contest he was doing. 10 Yankee trivia questions. Be 1 of the first 3 to answer them right and you'd win a copy of the Yankees World Series DVDs. I have to pat myself on the back for being number 1. I can't wait to get those DVDs so I can spin them in my DVD player. If you haven't checked out the contest, I suggest you do so. He hasn't posted the winners yet so there might still be a chance. They were great questions.
It's 4:23 now. Consornit. I think that's old-school swearing from back in day or something. I heard it uttered once on a Simpson's episode. Almost 3.5 hours to first pitch. I just hope these games don't last 4 plus hours. If they do, I won't be too productive. Not that, answering trivia questions and posting blog entries is productive. I probably shouldn't have said I was working. Yikes. Hopefully, they aren't monitoring the Internet today. Even if they are, it's the Yankees man. I have to get my fix.
It's 4:30. Come on Father Time, let's get a move on. I look forward to Damon, Jeter, Abreu, Sheffield, Giambi, A-Rod, Matsui, Posada and Cano rack Mr. Gum Time. It's now 10 minutes to 5. I had to answer some questions for somebody. It didn't really take me 20 minutes to type the Yankee lineup.
10 minutes left in the work day. I have to start "closing up shop." Otherwise, I keep babbling. Go Yankees!

Sunday, October 1, 2006

And Then There Were Eight

With the exception of the delayed Red Sox/Orioles game, the regular season has drawn to a close and we've finally learned who is playing who in the Division Series. Quick note, if you're not following the Sox/O's game, you might want to take note. Sox rookie pitcher, Devern Hansack, in his second professionally outing is working on a no-hitter. He's held the O's hitless through 5 innings. It's an official game, so if it gets called, I imagine it goes into the books as a no-no. The game was scheduled to start at 2:05pm. It's now almost 8pm, and they've just passed the 5 inning point, and it's in a delay. Call it already.
As a Yankee fan, I'm excited to draw the slumping Tigers in the ALDS. No Johan makes me a happy guy. The Tigers choked away the AL Central. I've got to give it to the Twins though. They nutted up and won their 4th division title in 5 years. They definitely deserved it. But the Tigers? Come on fellas. You got swept by the Royals to end your season, and at home no less. You lost your last 5 games of the season, giving up 43 runs in the process. The Tigers are definitely the weakest of all playoff teams right now, and they've drawn the best team in MLB. You have to love this matchup if your a Yankee fan.
They called the game in Boston. So the regular season is now officially over. I suppose the Sox pitcher gets credited with a no-hitter. Good for him. It's a fitting way to end a great season, even if it happened to the Sox. Oh well, they can rejoice in that while they celebrate a 3rd place finish. Ouch.
The Yankee game was fun to watch today. It was pretty neat seeing Bernie in control. The postgame comments made by his fellow teammates in the locker room had be laughing. They were dogging him but it was all in good fun. Early on, it looked like the AL batting race was going to be hotly contested. Jeter and Cano both had early hits, and Mauer whiffed in his first AB, so I was excited to see Jeter possibly pull it off. But as the Captain said after the game, "it wasn't meant to be." Congrats to Joe Mauer. He had a great season.
But now the real fun begins. This is what it all comes down to. October. What a great time of year. I live for this.
Peace, love, and Pinstripes.
edited to add @ 8:40: I guess the Sox pitcher won't be credited with a no-hitter. Apparently, back in 1991, they instituted a rule that said it has to be a full 9 inning game. So, Hansack doesn't allow any hits, but doesn't get the no-no. Too bad, so sad.