Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Final Countdown

1 day left in the regular season. Wow. My how the time flies. We already know the postseason participants in the AL, bu t we still don't know who matches up with who as nobody seems to want to win the Central. As I've stated before, I hope the Twins walk away with it. I've never been two impressed with the Tigers.
The Yankees have wrapped up home-field for the entire duration of their run in the playoffs. That makes me happy. But even though tomorrow's game means nothing in the grand scheme of things there is still plenty of reason to tune in, as it should be an exciting day around the majors.
There are still 3 divisions up for grabs. Dodgers or Padres? Twins or Tigers? Cardinals or Astros? Prior to the start if the season I pegged the Dodgers and the Astros as their respective division winners so I'm pulling for those two. Besides, the Astros would be such a great story. The run they've put together has been amazing. An Astros win and a Cards loss would mean the Cards would have to play their canceled game against the Giants. A Cards loss in that game would mean a 1-game playoff on Tuesday against the 'Stros. Man this is an exciting time. The Dodgers, Padres, Twins, and Tigers are all assured of a postseason berth, but their games still have meaning as it's going to determine who plays who next week. Man, I love this game. Even down to the last day, it's still exciting.
And finally, we have the Yankees and the Jays. Not much reason to watch you say? Let me remind you that Derek Jeter is in the thick of a batting race. While Joe Mauer road the pine today, Jeter went 3-3 and rose his average to .3447. Mauer is batting .3462. Man that's close. 1 hit might sway the title to the Yankee Captain. Even though Derek doesn't care about personal accomplishments, adding a batting title to your resume can't hurt, and I'll be pulling for him. And finally, Joe Torre is carrying on the tradition of having a player manage the team on the final day, as he's tapped Bernie Williams to man the reigns tomorrow. I think I can speak for every Yankee fan when I say bring Bernie back. Who will he have be the pitching coach? Gotta go with Mo!
Let's go Yankees!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Flava In Ya Ear

So Daniel Cabrera saves a pitching masterpiece for the final week of the season. Thanks a lot Daniel. Where were you earlier in the year when my fantasy team was still in contention. I could have used that. Instead we'll turn in our worst performance ever in fantasy baseball. A disappointing 8th place finish. Yikes. we were hurt pretty bad by injuries. Yeah, I'll blame it on that. Anyway....
So the Yanks mustered 1 measly hit yesterday. With 1 out in the 8th inning, Robinson Cano singles to the opposite field to break up the no-no. I was kind of hoping that Cabrera would get the job done and take that one all the way. It might have lit a little extra something-something under Joe Torre and the Yankee lineup which they could have taken with them into the postseason. Imagine if the best offense in MLB were to get no hit? I'd be pretty fired up. The Yanks now hold a slim 1 game lead over the Tigers and Twins for home-field advantage. It's important that the Yankees clinch home-field for so many reasons. Most importantly......
I have tickets to home game #4 of the ALCS, which would be game 7. There won't be a game 7 if the Yankees don't have home-field. Don't get me wrong, if it takes only 6 games for the Yankees to win that series, I'll take it. I think the game will be on a Wednesday so it'll be tough to go anyway. I may have to end up selling them. They're good seats if the ticketmaster map was right. Row A of some middle section. Not bad. The only other Yankee playoff game I attended was the culmination of the 2004 collapse in the ALCS. I was at game 7 and witnessed the Red Sox celebrating in the Bronx. That was a tough pill to swallow. I was hoping for a repeat of 2003, but it wasn't meant to be. Maybe this year will be different. With any luck, I'll get World Series tickets. That'd be a little easier to get to as I believe all 4 games in the Bronx would be on the weekend.
I'm glad Chien-Ming Wang is going to start game 1 of the ALDS. He's by far been the Yankee most consistent starter all year. He deserves the nod. Hopefully, The Big Unit will have a healthy back.
There was an interesting article in today's USA Today. it was actually the page 1 cover story. It was an article about Jeter and A-Rod and drew a comparison of the two. It was pretty interesting. Personally, I don't think A-Rod has gotten a fair shake in NY. He'd deserved better. Click here to read the article.
Today kicks off the final 3 days of the regular season. There are still a lot of unanswered questions. Who will win the AL Central? Who will the Yankee face? Who will win home-field? Who will join the Mets in the NL playoffs. The Astros are on fire. They could pull off one of the greatest season ending runs in history. I'd love to see them get back into the playoffs. I have to go back through my preseason prediction posts to check, but I'm pretty sure I picked the Astros to win the NL Central and had the Cards sitting out October. I'll be revisiting those predictions in the coming weeks as the season draws to a close.
Enjoy the final weekend everybody. There's a lot of exciting baseball that's going to happen over the next 3 days. And then, it starts......
Peace, love, and Pinstripes!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Down The Stretch They Come

The Yanks are laying it to the D-Rays. Looks like they are running on all cylinders. With 7 days left in the season, I'm glad to see that Joe Torre is still starting the studs. At the end of the day, the Yanks will be tied with the Tigers for the best record in the American League. The two will likely share a 1 game lead over the Twins. Home-field advantage is up for grabs, and we don't want to see a repeat of last year. The ALDS looks like it will be in the Bronx, with either the Twins or the Tigers being the opponent. I don't think the A's will be able to climb their way into the 2 spot. An A's win tonight put them 3 back of the Yanks/Tigers with 6 to play. Unlikely as it is, it could happen. So let's not rest on our laurels and have to open up out west again.
Andy Cannizaro just went deep for his 1st ML HR. Congrats. Here, try these on for size. Yeah, they look good. These pinstripes belong to you.
There are still some exciting races left to hash out this week. The biggest of course being the battle for 2nd place in the AL East. Look out world! The Jays are currently a half-game up on the Sox! Hardy har har.
Peace, love and Pinstripes.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Say Goodnight Gracie

The Red Sox lost, the Twins won and the Red Sox are officially eliminated from making the postseason. It was a fun ride. It's too bad that we couldn't meet again in October. It just won't be the same without you. Congrats on the impressive interleague record and the consecutive errorless games streak record that you set in 2006. Unfortunately, they are two feats that most people will have forgotten, if they haven't done so already.
But seriously, thanks for another great season. It was a lot of fun to watch. The leap-frogging. The back-and-forth banter between we fans. The classic matchups. You name it, I enjoyed it. This truly is the greatest rivalry in all of sports. I'm glad I am part of it in my own little way.
Goodnight Gracie. See you next year.
ps- Get well soon Jon. We're all pulling for you and look forward to seeing you pitch again.

Jonathan Papelbon Called Me Crazy

Being on vacation, I didn't really have have much to do yesterday, so i decided I'd drive back up to Toronto for the Red Sox/Jays game, and try my luck at maybe getting a few things signed. I got there around 11am, and went to the team's hotel and waited outside with the other "hounds" and fans that had congregated. There were maybe 7 or so people. A few players popped out their heads, but non would even acknowledge anyone. The only player that did was Matt Clement. Ortiz ignored everyone and wouldn't even give a polite wave. So I struck out in the morning, so I went to the game.
During BP, I literally was 3 inches from David Ortiz. He was sitting against a wall near the corner of the dugout. He was talking to some guy, so we let him have their conversation. Conversation ended and he bounced up and ran away. He didn't make one motion toward anyone and didn't even wave wave to the few hundred or so people that were cheering for him. I've been to a lot of team's batting practices in many different stadiums, and I can say that the Red Sox are the absolute worst team when it comes to fan acknowledgment, by far. Most will at least tip their cap or give a little wave. With the Sox, nothing. Everyone struck out at the game as well. They were on and off the field without taking the time for anyone. It's not like these guys have anything to play for.
After the game, I went back to the hotel. I was there with 3 other people when the first team bus got there. Schilling faked like he was on the cell phone. He pulled it out on the steps of the bus and put it away after he walked 3 feet into the hotel. Most guys walked right by and didn't even look your way when you said "good game." Papelbon at least said "sorry, I can't." So things were looking bleak. Ortiz ended up leaving the hotel by cab and again didn't look in the fan's direction. By now, there were maybe 10 or so people, several of whom were card carrying members of the RSN. As time passed, the number of people waiting dwindled and it got down to 3 of us. A few guys ended up signing but it wasn't anyone of any interest. Most were September call-ups. Yawn. It was now around 2:30 am. The only players we knew were out and about were Ortiz, Wily Mo Pena, and Papelbon. Papelbon had left a few hours earlier by cab. To his credit, he did sign for one girl. She rushed onto the hotel property and had him sign a "Who's Your Papelbon?" shirt that she said she made. Rule number one is to stay off the property, but she bum rushed him at the cab and signed her shirt. Whatever works I guess. So to recap there are 3 of us that are left waiting. I look down the street and see Ortiz walking across with another guy (non-player) and some "handler" who was also there with some of the Yankees. As he approaches one of us asks "Mr. Ortiz, could you spare a few seconds to sign a few?" The "handler" steps forward and says "He has a broken finger and it hurts him to write. Maybe tomorrow." LOL. How about taking the 3 seconds to say "sorry, but I can't." He is the one guy I've come across who seems to be so unapproachable. There are a lot of guys out there that choose not to sign, and that's fine, I get it. But most, if not all, will at least say something to you. The Red Sox, not so much. Now there were 2 of us. About 1 minute behind Ortiz was Wily Mo Pena. He actually stopped and signed for the 2 of us. Thanks very much Wily. We appreciated it. It was about 2:45 am and a slight drizzle began to fall.
The 2 of us that were left were basically going to give it another 15 minutes. When the Yankees were in town, they all seemed to be back between 2-3, so we stuck it out. We saw Jonathan walking up the street with another guy. We allowed him to approach and walk onto the hotel property. We kept our distance and politely asked "Jonathan, would you mind signing 2 autographs?" He looked at us and said, "You guys are crazy. It's 3am and it's raining out. What are you still doing here?" I said we were fans and were hoping to get some autographs. Now as you all know, I'm not a Sox fan. I am a baseball fan and I do appreciate talent and a good player, so I wasn't lying. But in the end, I guess that didn't matter because he just kept walking. 2 autographs would take about 10 seconds, if that. Thanks for your time. He at least acknowledged us, even though he called us crazy.
In the end though, I don't mind if a player doesn't sign. That's up to them and I don't ever expect to get anything. They have lives like you and me and when they're not at the park, they're not "on the clock." It's been my experience that 99% of the time they will sign for the most part, especially if there aren't a lot of people around. When I was in Toronto the only guys that didn't sign were Jeter, Posada, Bernie Williams, A-Rod, Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina. Everyone else, no problem. No one really saw A-rod, Johnson or Mussina to ask. Bernie at least waved and looked like he wanted to sign but he was the last one on the bus so he didn't. Jeter would talk to you and take pictures, but wouldn't sign. And Posada, well, he's just not very approachable. I can't say that the Red Sox were very friendly, at least not last night anyway. Except for......
There was one guy who actually signed autographs and chatted with the bunch of us out there and that was Julian Tavarez. He seemed actually pretty nice though I was half-expecting him to snap at any second. He did say 1 thing that made me laugh. Someone asked him about Manny. I didn't the exact question, but his answer, which wasn't delivered in the nicest of tones was "He's a $160 million dollar mother f'er!" I'm guessing the 2 don't get along. I'm curious if any of the other Sox players share his opinion, or if Tavarez is the odd man out on that ship. Based on what I saw from his fellow teammates that day, I'd think Tavarez may be the lone standout in that bunch.
In the end, I walked away with a signed Wily Mo ball. I got home at around 5 am. Looking back, it was a colossal waste of time. But it was fun, and I can always tell people that Jonathan Papelbon called me crazy. And yes Jon, I guess I am a little crazy every now and then.
I wonder if 5 years from now, when I tell that story, if people will say "Who's Jonathan Papelbon?"

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A-Rod's Last Stand

Update my post from yesterday about A-Rod being the only Yankee not to stay with the team in Toronto There is no update. I still haven't heard any discussion on the topic. I sent an e-mail to the XM morning show late last night and they must have chose not to address it as it wasn't brought up. Hopefully it's nothing, but I still think it's a little odd.
When I was listening to the show they brought up a story that the Angels are interested in trying to acquire A-Rod from the Yankees during the offseason. I had thought I heard that a while ago, around the time of the non-waiver trade deadline, but I passed it off as one of those rumors you always hear about trade talks. I'd be on the fence about trading A-Rod, especially to the Yankees kryptonite, the Angels. Besides, can you really replace Alex Rodriguez with equal value? I don't see the Yankees really needing that much. Go around the horn at the prospective starters in 2007: Posada, Giambi/Sheffield, Cano, Jeter, A-Rod, Abreu, Damon, Matsui. The Yankees will again be stacked from top to bottom. If you were to lose A-Rod's production, which lets face it is still nothing to complain about, you're losing a huge stick in that lineup. What could the Angels possibly have that the Yankees could use that would keep them as competitive? Would the Yankees do it as a salary dump, and possibly spend some money on another productive 3B? The Angels definitely have the prospects to part with, but as a Yankee fan, I'm more interested in major league ready talent. Perhaps pitching? Johnson isn't a spring chicken. Moose is in the last year of his contract and is already the second highest paid pitcher in the game. Who knows what you'll get from Wright, Lidle, Pavano. They're probably serviceable, but I don't think they'd be enough to win. So perhaps the Yankees go after pitching? Ervin Santana maybe? Regardless of what they trade for, the Yanks would probably free up some serious cash they could spend on pitching. I guess I would need to see/hear particulars about a trade to get behind it one way or another, but at first thought of trading Alex, I'm against it. He's A-Rod for crying out loud.
But were quite a ways off from anything happening if this isn't just some idle banter. A-Rod's future as a Yankee might have a lot to do with how he and the Yankees do this October. If they bring home #27 and A-Rod "earns his stripes" there's no way you trade him. Thankfully for we Yankee fans, we have the game's greatest GM in Brian Cashman. If there is one thing I know to be fact with respect to trading A-Rod, it's that Cashman would only do it if it betters the Yankees chances to win. He's not going to make a deal if it's going to hurt the greatest ball club in all the land. Say it with me: the 9-time defending AL East champions, the New York Yankees. Hopefully come the end of October, we'll add "the 27 time World Champions" to that moniker.
Peace, love and Pinstripes.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Trouble In The Water

Congratulations to the New York Yankees. Your 9-time defending AL East Champions! Wow, what a streak! I just got back from Toronto, and I wanted so bad to see an on-the-field celebration, but it wasn't meant to be. But thankfully, The BoSox did their part and lost so the magic number is zero! Yankees clinch baby. It won't be long before the real season begins. Can't wait. I only wish I had thought ahead to DVR the game so I could see the celebration. The encore is on and hopefully they show it.
Now that I've got the congrats out of the way, I'm a little nervous about the Yankees team chemistry. Bear with me, and I'll tell you why. And somebody let me know if this has been discussed here, in the media, anywhere, because it could be somewhat newsworthy. I'll treat this as if no one knows this tidbit, and I'm breaking the story. And I know this to be true, because I witnessed it first-hand with my own 2 eyes. And again, if anyone heard anything about this, let me know, because I'm curious. If you didn't, then you heard it here first. Here it is:
When I was in Toronto, I spent a lot of time outside the Yankee hotel trying to get an autograph or two. I was there Monday night, Tuesday afternoon, Tuesday night, and Wednesday afternoon. The entire time, there was only 1 Yankee that nobody saw coming or going from the team hotel. And today, we found out why. To get to the story, Alex Rodriguez was the only Yankee NOT staying at the team hotel. He stayed by himself, across the street. I know this to be true because his bags were walked over from the other hotel to the truck that the luggage was loaded on. A bell-hop and one of the heads of the Yankee security team escorted the bags from one hotel to the other. The name on the bags was Alex Rodriguez. That explains why nobody saw him during their stay. My only question is, why? Does it have anything to do with the SI article that's coming out? Does he not get along with his teammates on a personal level? Is there a perfectly good reason? I don't know. But I'm curious. Am I the only one that finds this odd? Somebody let me know if they heard this mentioned anywhere? I've been to their hotel on each of their trips to Toronto and A-Rod has always stayed with the team. Why now the change?
I was tempted to call into the XM late night baseball show on my drive back, but the roaming charges and long distance would have been murder considering the lengthy hold times. I'd call the morning show and ask Buck Martinez his thoughts as a former manager, but I'm going to sleep through the show. I am going to e-mail the show and record it (assuming that function works) and I'm curious if they'll address it on the air. I'm concerned that somehow the team chemistry is being compromised, and i don't want to see it drag the ship down. If anyone has thoughts, feel free to share them. If I hear a response to my e-mail to XM, I'll post an update here.
Congrats again to the Yankees. I just hope everybody is on the same page.
And if I did the math right, the Twin magic # to eliminate the Red Sox from the wild card is 2. October minus Boston equals 2 sweet!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Math For Dummies Part 2

I just got back from Toronto, but only for the night as I'm heading back for the series finale tomorrow, but I had to post quickly so I can hit the hay. The 2 wins were nice. At first I was a little worried about the starting pitching, but both Karstens and Rasner held their own and pitched good games. The magic number is 1. Let's have fun with math, shall we. I think these equations are easy enough.
1 - 1 = 9
Jeter = MVP
’06 + Yankees = #27
October – Boston = 2 Sweet
Aw yeah. Do you feel me Yankee fans? If time allows, I might make that into a sign and take it with me, so keep your eyes peeled.. I hope the Yanks clinch with a victory and don't back door their way into the playoffs with a loss by Boston. I want to see an on-the-field celebration.
I'm heading back early to try and snag a few more autos. I picked up an Abreu, and a Sheffield. I could have picked up some others, but I have them already or wasn't interested in getting the signature.
More tomorrow.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Comedic Gold

I just got done watching last night's episode of "Family Guy" and there was one line that was hee-freakin-larious. If you're familiar with the show, you know how they always make a statement and it's followed by a cutaway scene that shows that statement. For example, "This reminds me of the time I locked myself in the car." And then the next scene shows him locked in the car with his keys on the ground. I'm laughing just thinking about it. Well, last night they hit pure comedy gold. Here's the setup:
Brian, the family's talking dog, becomes the host of a lunchtime radio talk show. Stewie, the baby of the family, prank calls the radio show. The guy who I assume is the program director tells Brian he loves the banter and they need to make Stewie a co-host. Brian says," Well. I guess he couldn't be any worse than Tim McCarver is at sportscasting." Then it goes to the cut-scene where McCarver is in the booth making a McCarveresque statement that makes no sense. Pure comedy gold.
I'm off to Toronto for the Yanks/Jays series. With any luck I'll get to see them clinch. The pitching might be a little thin, seeing that Wang, Johnson, Wright, and Mussina all pitched within the last 2 days. Rasner, Karstens, and Henn. This could be interesting.
Let's go Yankees!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Why Baseball Gods? Why?

Baseball is a funny game. How many times have you seen a blown call or a miscue turn into a big inning? If you're like me, you've seen it happen all too often, and it never seems to work in your team's favor. Case in point:
The Yankees and Red Sox were tied at 2. Coco Crisp is on first with 2 outs. Ron Villone throws over to first and they have Crisp picked off. Crisp "runs into short right field" to avoid Wilson's tag, and gets back to the bag safely. The 1B ump, who I think they said was a rookie, fails to call Crisp out for running out of the baseline, which he so obviously did. There's your 3rd out. During the same plate appearance by Mark Loretta, the home plate umpire failed to call Loretta out on strike three looking. There's your 4th out. But instead, there's 2 on with 2 out. Next thing you know, the Sox pick up 4 runs, none of which should be up on the scoreboard. It's frustrating. It happens a lot. It's part of the game. It's baseball. What can you do? I'd be a lot more worked up over the bad calls if this game had any meaning whatsoever. I was listening to the afternoon game yesterday on the radio. It was the ESPN feed. The announcer, Dave Campbell maybe, I can't remember, it could have been the other guy, put it so eloquently. "The Red Sox are playing for pride." That made me laugh whole-heartedly. These games aren't that exciting. The Sox are playing the "lite" version of the Yankees. No Jeter. No Abreu. No Giambi. No Posada. Last night: No Damon. No Cano. No Matsui. Torre is obviously doing everything he can to keep everyone fresh for the postseason. Everybody knows the Yankees are winning the East. Everyone knows the Yankees are the best team in the AL, and as of yesterday, they're tied for the best record in all of MLB. As nice as it would be to clinch the division this weekend versus Boston, it's not do-or-die. Well, at least not for the Yankees anyway.
Cleveland was fun yesterday. I got my autographs (Jeremy Sowers and Jim Bunning) and my wife go a stamp she's been looking for. We were hoping to see the Tribe win, but it wasn't meant to be. Kind of like the Red Sox making the postseason.
Peace, love and Pinstripes.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Rainy Day Sunshine

Everybody should know by now that tonight's Sox/Yanks game was rained out and we'll now be treated to back-to-back doubleheaders. If the Sox were still in it, I'd be a little more enthused, but what can you do? It still is Yankees/Sox though, so I'll be tuning in one way or another. The magic number is 6. If he Yanks take 3 out of 4, which is very possible, they'll have clinched the 9th straight division title. Glory days. It would be awesome to clinch versus the Sox, but I won't be disappointed if they don't. I have tickets to the following Yankees/Jays series, so I'd be happy to see the Yanks win it in person. Which brings me to.....
I'm on vacation!!!! Woo (expletive-deleted) hoo! I love not having to work. Work and I just don't get along. I'd be a lot happier sacking out on the couch all day. With any luck, I'll be winning $165 million dollars tonight in the Mega Millions drawing. That'd be a dream come true for anyone. Wish me luck. And if you've got tickets, here's some luck right back at ya. Just remember to float me a mill or two.
Tomorrow, the wife and I are taking a day trip to Cleveland. There's an autograph show right outside the city that I want to hit up. Tomorrow's targets are Indians rookie pitcher Jeremy Sowers (former Buffalo Bison but I missed him here) and HOF pitcher Sen. Jim Bunning. The Sowers autograph is free, but I've got to drop a 40 spot on Bunning, which isn't that bad. This reminds me that i need to update my autographed ball photo album, as well as the pictures from my last stadium trip. Yeah, I'm lazy, hence, I don't like to work. I'm running out of balls. I usually get 3 dozen at a time, but after the Cooperstown trip I only have 6 left, 2 of which I'm using tomorrow. The remaining 4 I hope to get signed up in Toronto.
After the autograph show, the wife is hitting up "Archivers" scrapbook store. If you read any of the posts I wrote a few months back about my stadium trip, you might remember my wife spent some quality time spending some $$ on "stamps" and other stuff. Ugh. The wallet is going to be empty tomorrow. But how can I complain. I spend money on signatures, she on scrapbooking stuff.
And then at night, we're going to the Jake for the Indians/Twins game. I picked up a pair of seats off StubHub. Lower-level RF, front row. Maybe I'll snag me an HR ball and I can have my own "Zack Hample" moment in the sun. The tickets turned out to be pretty cheap. Face value they were $22/seat. I found a "$20 off" discount code on the web, and I ended up with the pair for $34, which is great seeing that it included an overnight FedEx shipping charge. So look for me on TV. Section 109 in the front. I'll be rocking my XM MyFi all day listening to the Sox/Yanks games. For those that watch the games or see 'em in person, enjoy them, even though they're pretty much meaningless.
Make sure you tune in tonight to hear fellow Yankee blogger Felix on MLB Radio. I'm sure he'll rep us well. And if you haven't heard, the Yanks are thinking of dropping Columbus as their AAA affiliate. No news on where they might go if the 2 part ways. *cough cough* Buffalo? If only they weren't under contract to be the Indians affiliate through 2008.
Peace, love, and Pinstripes.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Math For Dummies

Settle down class. Here is our lesson for the day.
Question: If the magic number is 9, and the Red Sox lose and the Yankees win, what does the magic number become?
Answer: 7
9-2=7 The magic number is 7. It's possible that the Yankees can clinch at home this weekend versus Boston, which will make clinching the division all the sweeter.
Sit down class, the lesson isn't over yet. I didn't hear the bell ring. The only thing dropping faster than the Yankee magic number is David Ortiz's batting average. He's O for his last 8. His average has dipped from .288 to .283. It's good to see he's helping his team win all those games with the HRs and RBI. The Sox have 14 wins since August 1st, against 27 losses. To compare over that same time span, the Royals have 19 wins, the Pirates have 20, and the Cubs have 15. Of the 4 teams in baseball with the overall worst winning percentage, only the Devil Rays have less wins with 13. The Red Sox though have played 2 more games than Tampa Bay since August 1st.
So who can tell me what that adds up to? Hint: the answer is two-fold. Very good Bobby. You get a sticker. David Ortiz isn't as valuable as he thinks he is and the Red Sox are currently among the worst teams in baseball. They could quite possibly be the worst. Double check the math. It all adds up.
Class dismissed.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Memo To Big Papi

Dear Big Baby-
Seeing that your team lost and you're probably hanging out in the clubhouse, fresh off an 0-4 performance, perhaps you have the Yankee game on and you caught the bottom of the 7th inning. But then again, maybe you didn't, and here's what you missed:
Derek Jeter leads off the inning and reaches first base, albeit on an error. He then steals his 30th base of the season. So there's now a runner on second with no outs. Bobby Abreu steps up and hits a double play ball to short. Remember now, Jeter stole second base so the Rays couldn't turn two. So instead of 2 out and no one on, there's 1 out and a runner on 2nd. A-Rod then came up and hit a single to left, moving Jeter to 3rd. A-Rod, being the speed demon that he is, stole second. So now there are runners on second and third with 1-out. Stay with me Dave. With first base open, the Devil Rays elect to walk the next batter, Jason Giambi. So now the bases are loaded with 1 out. Up steps Robinson Cano and he lines a 2-run double. The Yankees end up scoring 2 runs and extend their lead to 4 runs.
Now David, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. Derek Jeter made that entire inning possible. Had he not stole second base, he would have been forced out at second base as part of a DP. A-rod might have been pitched around. Giambi likely would not have been walked to load the bases. Odds are the Yankees wouldn't have scored any runs. But Derek Jeter, being the valuable player that he is, gave the Yankee bullpen a little more breathing room. Jeter is always doing things like this to help the Yankee win ball games. He doesn't have to hit HRs to make things happen, and therein lies his value. He doesn't have to be a 40-HR guy to help us out. He is a multi-dimensional player, unlike yourself who just swings the bat.
David, the bottom line is, the guy who hits 40 home runs and knocks in 100, is not the only guy that you know helped your team win games, as evidenced by Derek Jeter. It does matter how much you've done for your ball club. And quite frankly Big Baby, Derek has done more for the Yankees than you could ever do for the Red Sox.
Your season ends on October 1st. Take the pacifier out of your mouth and nibble on that for a while.

Spitting Wicked Randomness

Well, he didn't quite give me that 10 RBI I was hoping for, but he came oh so close, just missing the grand salami. But hey, 7 RBI isn't anything to sniff at. Nice job Bobby. You've been worth every penny.
How 'bout that Hideki Matsui? First day back from a long layoff and he pops off with a 4 for 4 performance. The Yankee lineup is sick from top to bottom, and it's only getting better. Let's take a trip around the horn shall we: Posada, Giambi, Cano, A-Rod, Jeter, Abreu, Damon, Matsui, Sheffield. Good Lord that's a lineup. The Yanks are now going to have a lot of depth on that roster. Come October, the Yanks are going to be the ones with the fresh legs. We can attribute that to the fall of the Red Sox. Wait, scratch that. That's like saying the Red Sox were good, which I've been saying all year that they're not. We can attribute the fresh legs to the rise of the Yankees. They've been a finely tuned machine ever since the 5 game sweep in Fenway.
Last night, the Captain, went 0-0 with 3 BBs and an HBP. Since he didn't record an official AB, his 21 game hitting streak remains in tact. But something tells me that Derek probably could care less if it continued or not. The important thing is the W. The magic number went down again, and yes I'll say it again because i love the reference. It's going down faster than my cousin in the season premiere of Nip/Tuck. That cracks me up. Does anybody watch that show? I never did until last week. It was quite shocking, even for cable. But anyway, that's why I love Jeter. The guy knows what really matters, and that's winning ball games. Personal accomplishments take a back seat in NY. Way to set that example DJ.
The Yanks are going to be a force to be reckoned with come October. In a short series, anything can happen. Teams have to worry about beating teams with great starters. Two names: Wang and Mussina. When these guys are on the hill, the Yanks will be in the ballgame. Mussina looked great last night and we all know that Wang has been the man all year. Now add Randy to the mix and you have to like the Yankee odds. October is going to be a fun month. 3 weeks and counting and the second season begins. This has the potential to be more special because the Red Sox and their fans, barring a miracle of epic proportions, will have to watch the Yankees on TV, praying to the Baseball Gods, not to let the Yankees win #27. The Yanks are in a no-win situation with Sox fans, or baseball fans for that matter. Regardless of what happens, Yankee fans are going to hear fans cry about the team payroll. It'll either be "ha ha you lost and your payroll is $$$$," or "you only won because your payroll is $$$$." Get a better argument. It's getting old.
Lidle is quickly earning a spot in the bullpen come October. 4 hits and 2 solo HRs to start the game. He's now given up 8 HRs in his last 35 or so IPs. Yikes. It's like watching Jaret Wright or something. Jeter just extended his hit streak with a 1st inning single. Runners on 1st and 2nd, no outs. It's like deja vu all over again.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Lowly D-Rays

The Yanks are putting the boot straps to the D-Rays. 9-0 after 1 inning of play. Abreu with 6 RBIs already. Can we get a perfect 10 please Bobby? Hook us up!
Oh, Jeter picks up another RBI. 92 on the year. Can anyone say 100? And he did it with a walk. Put that on your plate and eat it Papi, ya d-bag.

Return Of The Boogie

Wow, it's been a while since my last post. I have to be up front and honest with everyone, I was diagnosed with an illness called "being lazy." I have no real excuse for my failure to post daily other than the fact I just haven't felt like it. I haven't seen many Yankee games of late. I catch bits and pieces, but it's just a busy time of year. I usually blog when I'm at work, but even that's been a little hectic of late as well. But I'm going to make it a point to be here for the stretch run and into the playoffs.
How can you not like the position the Yankees are in? 10 games up on the Red Sox with 20 games to play. The magic number is 10 and is going down faster than my cousin in the season premiere of Nip/Tuck. *rim shot* For those that don't know, and I wouldn't think any of you do, my cousin Brianne is an actress. If you watch Nip/Tuck, you'll get the reference. But anyway, life is good on the good ship Yankee. Tonight marks the return of Hideki Matsui to the Yankee lineup. Woo hoo! Man it's hard to believe that the Yankee lineup just got better. But it did! The team with the best record in the AL just got better. How awesome would it be to clinch our 9th straight division title this weekend against Boston? That would just be the icing on the cake. With any luck, I'll get to see them clinch in person next week when the Yanks come to Toronto. I'll be there for the series and I'm already chomping at the bit to get there. It's going to be a good time.
I must confess that one of the things that brought me back to blogging today is the recent gibberish that David Ortiz was so grateful to impart on the world. He was getting hammered every which way on XM baseball talk today. Does he really think that baseball is all about power numbers? When talking about Derek Jeter, Ortiz says: "He's done a great job, he's having a great season, but Jeter is not a 40-homer hitter or an RBI guy. It doesn't matter how much you've done for your ball club, the bottom line is, the guy who hits 40 home runs and knocks in 100, that's the guy you know helped your team win games." If any of you out there watch "Big Brother All Stars," you have no doubt seen the antics of Chilltown's Dr. Will and Mike Boogie. They make phone calls to each other using their hands and it always results in them laughing so hard they fall out of their chairs. After reading Ortiz's comments, that's basically how I reacted when I read the story. Ortiz's view on this is laughable.
"It doesn't matter how much you've done for your ball club"
It doesn't? Being the MVP is all about how much you've done for your ballclub. That statement is absurd.
"the guy who hits 40 home runs and knocks in 100, that's the guy you know helped your team win games."
To a point that's true, but what about the guy that gets on base over 40% of the time, hits close to .350, steals 30 bases, scores 100 runs, and is knocking on the door of 100 RBI while batting primarily in the 2 hole? You know that's the guy that helped your team win games too.
Ortiz goes on to spout off more absurdities: "Don't get me wrong -- he's a great player, having a great season, but he's got a lot of guys in that lineup. Top to bottom, you've got a guy who can hurt you. Come hit in this lineup, see how good you can be."
Picture more of me laughing on the floor. Does David Ortiz realize that the only reason he does so well is because he hits in front of Manny Ramirez? I wonder what David Ortiz would be like without Manny in the lineup. Oh yeah, he'd be playing to a level that would cause his team to waive him, a la the Twins. Until Ortiz teamed up with Manny, he never hit more than 20 taters. Put Ortiz in another lineup and you'll see the numbers drop. And if you put Jeter in the Red Sox lineup, God forbid, he'd likely be hitting in front of Ortiz and Manny. Imagine those numbers. Dare I say .400? Jeter is a career .317 hitter. He'll succeed in any lineup thank you very much.
I really hope Derek Jeter wins the MVP award just so people realize that it's not all about power. A base hit can knock in runs just the same as an HR can. stealing second might set your team up to score on a single and start a rally. Does Ortiz know how this game works?
You have to love Jeter's response to Ortiz's comments: "I don't have to do it in his lineup. I'm not thinking about winning the MVP. I'm just thinking about winning the division. No one's focus here is on individual awards. We've got something to play for." And that my friends is precisely the reason why that the Yankees are about to win their 9th straight division title. Do you think Jeter really cares if he wins the MVP? It's all about playing through the last out of the World Series. And that's why he is the Yankee captain.
"We've got something to play for."
The fact of the matter is, the Red Sox and David Ortiz have nothing to play for. They've resigned themselves to the fact that their season is over. It'll be interesting to see how Ortiz does next year if the Sox trade Manny. You heard it hear first. The Sox will without a doubt trade ManRam at the end of the year. Power numbers are going to plummet.
If Ortiz were to win the MVP, which is possible as I'm not saying he's not deserving, there is one thing that Derek Jeter will always have over Ortiz every day of the week from now until the end of time, and that's class. Derek Jeter is now and will always be one of the game's classiest players. David Ortiz, umm, not so much. Big Papi? More like "Big Baby." Waa waa waa. Your season is over. Deal with it. See you in April.