Monday, December 31, 2007

That's What You Get Part 1

I wanted to start a new feature here called "That's What You Get." I'd try to describe it, but you should be able to figure it out after reading the first installment. At times, like this one, it may not be baseball related.
A few weeks ago the Cleveland Browns beat the Buffalo Bills in Cleveland. After the game they showed some Browns fans chanting "Su-per Bowl! Su-per Bowl!" Somebody got a little ahead of themselves because here we are, two weeks later, and the Cleveland Browns missed the playoffs. Ha ha Browns fans. That's what you get.
Happy New Year everyone! Make it a safe one. Don't pull a Leyritz.
J

Friday, December 28, 2007

Why People Hate The Yankees

When I logged out of my Hotmail account today, as always, I was redirected to the MSN.com homepage, where a link caught my eye. "Ex-Yankee hero charged in DUI death." If you haven't heard, Jim Leyritz was involved in a tragic accident that claimed the life of a 30-year old woman. Tragic, very tragic.
But what I want to know, other than what was Leyritz thinking, is why does he have to be labeled an "ex-Yankee" in the link? Even though most of his 11 year career was spent with the Yankees, Leyritz played for 6 teams over his 11 year career. Why couldn't the link have said, "Ex-MLB player in jail for DUI death." To me that would make more sense. Why does it always have to be about the Yankees? What else is new, right? Definitely a head-shaker.
I'll be back more regularly after the new year, when I'll give away the last of 5 Yankeeography DVD sets. Hope everyone is having a great holiday season and has a safe and health new year!
J-Boogie

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Stepping Up To The Plate

In a statement released through his agent Randy Hendricks, Andy Pettitte has admitted to using HGH on 2 occasions in 2002. The use occurred while Andy was on the DL rehabbing an elbow injury and was looking to get back on the field to help his ballclub. This admission pretty much confirms the details of his use as outlined in the Mitchell Report. It also I'm afraid lends a lot more credence to the statements made by Brian McNamee about Roger Clemens. Things are looking worse and worse for the Rocket. Pettitte's admission does nothing to help his case. If anything, it sets him back. Way way back. It's out of here.
I applaud Pettitte for stepping up to the plate and being a man about this. I can understand why he did what he did. I honestly don't think he did it to gain a competitive edge. Andy has a reputation for being a stand-up guy. As he says in his statement, "I have tried to do things the right way my entire life, and, again, ask that you put those two days in the proper context. People that know me will know that what I say is true." Andy, I believe you.
Now I don't know the circumstances that led up to Pettitte deciding to use HGH. This is 2002 we're talking about here. It sounds like Andy got some bad advice about how to rehab that injury faster. He says in his statement, "I had heard that human growth hormone could promote faster healing for my elbow." To me it doesn't sound like he even really knew what HGH was. To me it almost sounds as if it may have been suggested to him as a means to get back on the field faster. I don't think he's going to come out and say that he did and implicate someone advising him to use HGH. Oh I dunno, like say his buddy Roger.
Andy also says in his statement, "Though it was not against baseball rules, I was not comfortable with what I was doing, so I stopped. This is it -- two days out of my life; two days out of my entire career, when I was injured and on the disabled list. Everything else written or said about me knowingly using illegal drugs is nonsense, wrong and hurtful. I have the utmost respect for baseball and have always tried to live my life in a way that would be honorable. I wasn't looking for an edge; I was looking to heal. If I have let down people that care about me, I am sorry, but I hope that you will listen to me carefully and understand that two days of perhaps bad judgment should not ruin a lifetime of hard work and dedication."
If what Pettitte says in his statement is true, and I believe that he is, he is absolutely right about these 2 days of bad judgment not ruining his "lifetime of hard work and dedication." I can't see how anybody, even the most staunchest of Pettitte haters, can hold this against him. How can you not respect him for coming out and admitting his wrongdoing, which again at the time, wasn't even wrong? Pettitte's name doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as guys like Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, and Clemens.
As he said in his statement, "I wasn't looking for an edge; I was looking to heal."
J

Something Is Rotten In Denmark

According to an article in the New York Times, an unidentified active major leaguer cooperated with the Mitchell investigation and kept his name out of the report by convincing Senator Mitchell that he disposed of the drugs without using them. The article says that the unidentified player admitted to buying them, but offered “substantial and corroborated evidence” that he junked them without using them. I'm sorry but something is starting to smell awfully fishy.
In my opinion, excluding this player from the "report" shows a complete lack of integrity on Mitchell's part. The player admits to buying PEDs from Radomski. Radomski admits to selling them to him. Regardless of whether or not he used them isn't the point. Mitchell had no proof that any player mentioned used them. Yet those names were included in the report? He included Brian Roberts just because Larry Bigbie said that Roberts said he tried it once. How does that get mention but a player buying them doesn't? If Mitchell was such a man of high integrity he would have included this player's story in his report.
Also, did I miss something? Was Mitchell put in charge of deciding who's innocent and who's guilty in all of this? Who appointed him judge? I thought he was supposed to serve the role of independent fact-finder? It was his job to report his findings. If he found out that a player purchased PEDs, that should have gone into his report. No question. The name should have been listed and his story should have been told, much like the other 90 or so names that were mentioned. Why not put in there the person's name and the "evidence" he presented to show he didn't use it? What possible evidence could this person have anyway? Did he have the unused HGH lying around his house? "Substantial and corroborated evidence." That sounds like hard proof. I say it's BS. The guy probably walked in said, "I threw it away. Here's my wife. Ask her. She'll tell you." I think everyone has a right to know the details of this.
Here's what else I don't get. It's been widely reported that the only active players known to have met with Senator Mitchell were Jason Giambi and Frank Thomas. This is what everyone was led to believe even after the report was released. Why did it take until 2 days after the report was released for this to come out? Shouldn't this have been made public on Wednesday? I find it extremely odd that the first anyone hears of this is on Saturday? Come on. I'm not buying it. I'm not picking up what's being put down.
I thought Senator Mitchell was a man of great character with unquestioned integrity? Am I the only one that thinks Mitchell's integrity should be called into question by omitting this from his report? If Mitchell is a man of such high integrity he'll do what's right and release this name, like he should have done in the first place. I could really care less who it is too. It could be Jeter for all I care. Let the speculation begin and let the rumors fly.
I'm telling you, something is definitely rotten in Denmark. Somebody has to get to the bottom of this.
J

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Mitchell Report: The Day After

So I've had a day to digest the Mitchell "Report" and my head is still spinning. I've spent a large part of the past 2 days watching ESPN, checking out various blogs and columns, and listening to MLB on XM and pretty much everyone has a different opinion and a different take on this whole debacle. Some see it as a banner day for the sport. Some wonder what the heck the point of this all was? Some are glad names were named. Some don't see the point in naming names. Some are taking every word of the "report" to be fact. Others see it as a bunch of hogwash and hearsay. If you read my entry yesterday, you know I thought it was a waste of time, money, and it didn't accomplish much except telling us what we already knew. Steroids in baseball is a problem. Well duh.
Like every Yankee fan out there, I want to believe that the allegations against Clemens and Pettitte are completely and utterly false. And for all I know they are. There's no solid proof anywhere that either of them ever used anything. All we have is the word of a guy pressured to give up information to stay out of prison. In my opinion, that's not a lot to go on. If you were to put me on the spot and ask me if I honestly think the 2 are guilty of using, sadly, I have to say yes. At first, I thought no way. And then as I said yesterday, David Justice opened up his mouth.
Justice was a guest on "Yankees Hot Stove" Thursday night and he spoke out about his innocence. He told a story about how McNamee approached him about using HGH, put HGH in Justice's locker, and Justice gave it back because he couldn't use needles. This was the first time I ever heard a player openly admit that HGH was in the clubhouse. Hearing this makes me wonder and unfortunately it makes me think McNamee is being somewhat truthful in his statements. After all, it was Clemens who brought McNamee with him to New York. Does anyone have any thoughts on Justice's comments? Am I reading too much into them? I'm looking for someone to try and sway me away from my current train of thought, but so far, everyone I mention this to has been inclined to agree.
Sadly, at this point, I have to believe that Clemens was doping. He's come out and denied the allegations but I don't believe him at this time. Is it possible Clemens played cleaned? Yes. And if he's truly innocent, as he says he is, the only course of action he has in my opinion is to file a lawsuit against McNamee and fight this to the end. Or maybe even take a lie detector test. As far as I'm concerned if his only response ends up being a public statement denying the allegations, well that's not enough for me. If you truly didn't do it, do what's right, and fight to clear your name. That's what I would do if I were in his shoes.
So what do you think about Clemens? Do you believe him when he proclaims he's innocent?
J

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Win A Yankeeography DVD Box Set

I still have 2 more box sets to give away. This contest is suggested by the winner of the 1st contest, Dominick. In short, I need you to tell me "how much you love the Yankees." As Dominick suggested, "You can collect stories of the craziest things fans have done to publicly declare their love for the NY Yankees i.e. tattoos, painting their car in pinstripes, canceling a wedding to watch the playoffs, whatever. You can then sift through the stories and come up with and publish on this blog what you think is the best story and give the winner the DVDs."
I'm not looking for much. It can be as simple as a few sentences. The contest will close Saturday afternoon around 12pm EST. The winner will be picked by my wife and her parents. Don't be shy. In all likelihood, there won't be many entries. You can enter by e-mailing me the "story" and by leaving a comment that you entered. My e-mail address is in the upper left part of this blog.
Be warned, I may ask for proof.
J
PS- I pay for shipping so it's only going to be sent within the continental US

The Mitchell "Report"

What kind of baseball blogger would I be if I didn't chime in with my 2 cents about the Mitchell Report? I feel funny even calling it a "report" as it seems like a summation of what we already knew, and that's that MLB has/had a steroid problem. I'm glad it took 2 years and cost a lot of money to tell us that. What did the "report" really accomplish other than dragging some names through the mud?
After reading through the "report," I'm not shocked to see that most of the players named had connection to the Yankees. The whole "report" was based on the coerced testimony of two New York based individuals. It makes total sense that it focused on players with NY ties. I find it hard to believe that they couldn't find anyone in any other major league city that had some kind of knowledge on the subject. The "report" wasn't comprehensive. It didn't include anything about players who've tested positive for steroids. Didn't 7% of MLBers test positive a few years back? Where were those names? I still fail to realize what was accomplished by including names? If anyone knows, let me know.
The biggest names were without a doubt Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens. One arguably the best pitcher of all-time. The other a Yankee fan favorite. Both with a reputation forever tarnished because of the "testimony" of a guy who on several occasions denied that he ever gave Clemens or Pettitte performance-enhancing drugs. A guy who only changed his story once threatened with federal criminal prosecution. Much like ex-Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, a guy with a lot to lose by staying quiet and a lot to gain by signing like a canary. Clemens has already denied the allegations. And originally, I totally sided with Clemens and Pettitte, and the David Justice opened his mouth.
I'm not sure if anyone watched "Yankees Hot Stove" on YES tonight. They had David Justice, a player also named in the "report," on to offer up his story. He denied ever meeting Radomski, saying he wouldn't know him if he walked up to him today and said hey. He did however tell an interesting story about his interactions with Brian McNamee. He said right after he joined the Yankees he was approached by McNamee, who offered up some HGH to help rehab an injury. Justice said he didn't know what HGH was and wasn't sure. Per Justice, McNamee said he'd leave it in his locker and Justice could use it if he wanted to. Justice then went on to say that when he saw it in his locker and saw that he needed to use a needle, he said, "No way. Anyone that knows me knows that I don't do needles." Basically, Justice is admitting that HGH was in the Yankees clubhouse and McNamee was the one that had the access to it. I don't think Justice has any reason to make this up. Clemens brought in McNamee. McNamee had HGH. McNamee alleges he gave HGH to Clemens. Pettitte is Roger's hetero-lifemate. And now Jay (that's me) isn't so sure anymore. I want to believe these guys, but I don't know what to think. Justice's revelation that he saw HGH in the Yankees clubhouse has me wondering. And I'm not naive. I totally knew steroids and HGH were present in the clubhouse before Justice's admission that it was in his locker. It's a safe bet that it was, and probably still is, in every team's clubhouse. It's just hearing a player admit to it. That changes everything.
In the end though I'm still not sure what to believe. I don't put much stock in the "he said she said" BS that the "report" is full of. Show me a conclusive positive test. That's what I want to see. But for now my head is spinning. I don't want to be a hypocrite and speak ill of Barry Bond and give anyone named in the report a pass. I do think Bonds is totally different than Clemens. There's more hard evidence against Bonds than anyone named in the "report." As I mentioned that whole report is "hearsay" and in my opinion, is based on a lot of circumstantial evidence. A copy of a personal check to me isn't proof when MLBers give clubhouse attendants personal checks all the time. Quite often I hear for a lot of money. I also can't put much stock in the "coerced testimony" of Radomski and McNamee. They've got a lot to gain by running their yaps.
All in all the "report" is lacking and I think Senator Mitchell knows it. Poorly done. It accomplished absolutely nothing other than wasting a lot of time and a lot of money. I think the same would have been accomplished had the names been left out. I don't think anyone should have been mentioned without hard proof. Let the lawsuits begin. If the guy is truly innocent, he has to sue. it's really the only course of action they can take. Do nothing and to me, you're admitting your guilt. You don't let your reputation and career go down the tubes on a lie.
It's your move Rocket.
J-Boogie

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Yankeeography Winner #3

And the winner of the 3rd Yankeeography DVD Box Set is contestant #14, William Mehlman. 15 #s went into a hat and the wife picked out #14. Thanks to everyone for entering and congrats to William.
I still have 2 more box sets to give away. I will probably start the 4th contest tomorrow. It will be the contest suggested by the winner of the 1st contest Dominick. In short, I need you to tell me "how much you love the Yankees." As Dominick suggested, "You can collect stories of the craziest things fans have done to publicly declare their love for the NY Yankees i.e. tattoos, painting their car in pinstripes, canceling a wedding to watch the playoffs, whatever. You can then sift through the stories and come up with and publish on this blog what you think is the best story and give the winner the DVDs."
I'll probably go live with the contest tomorrow night so start thinking.
J

Monday, December 10, 2007

Randon Drawing: Win A Yankeeography DVD Box Set

**12/10- just re-posting
I've still got 3 Yankeeography DVD Box Sets to giveaway, again courtesy of the good people at the A&E Store. This contest is easy. It's your basic random drawing giveaway. All you have to do is leave your name in a comment on this post and I'll draw 1 winner from the entries.
The contest will close and the winner will be drawn on Tuesday night around 8pm EST. Again all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. One entry per person, no previous winners. Good luck.
J-Boogie

Friday, December 7, 2007

Trivia Contest: Win A Yankeeography DVD Box Set

**updated on 12/7 @ 10am - Contest closes in 7 hours.
**updated on 12/5 @ 2:45pm- Still plenty of time to enter!!
**updated on 12/4 @ 10:45am- I made a correction to question # 4. it was meant to be what 4 managers have 1000 wins with the team, not 3. And I can't post comments from work so I wanted to update that Beth did not get them all correct so the contest is still going.
While we deliberate over who won the 1st DVD box set (coutresy of the A&E Store), I figured what better time to start the contest to give away the 2nd of 5 Yankeeography DVD Box Sets.
This time it's a trivia contest. The first person to correctly answer all 10 questions wins the set. In the event no one gets all 10 correct, the person with the most correct will win. in the event of a tie, the person who submitted their answers first will win. Deadline to get the answers in will be Friday @ 5pm EST, but the contest will end when someone gets them all right. 1 entry per person. Please e-mail your answers to me using the e-mail address listed under "e-mail me."
1)In 2005, 26 of A-Rod's 48 HRs came at Yankee Stadium, breaking the franchise record of 19 by a right-handed hitter at home. Name the duo that held the previous mark?
2)In 2005, A-Rod became the youngest player to hit 400 HRs. Whose record did he surpass?
3)In 2005, Joe Torre became only the 4th manager in Major League history to win 90-or-more games nine times in a span of 10 seasons. Name the other 3.
4)Name the 4 Yankees managers with over 1000 wins with the team?
5)Name the Yankee player who led the AL with a 20-game road hitting streak in 2005?
6)Hideki Matusi's 330 RBI in his 1st 3 seasons (2003-05) is the second highest total of any Yankees player over the first 3 seasons in the major leagues. Who holds the team mark for the most RBI is their first 3 seasons?
7)Who holds the Yankees franchise record for most sacrifice flies?
8)Who holds the franchise record for most appearances by a pitcher over a 2 year period?
9)Who is the Yankees all-time leader in sacrifice hits?
10)Who holds the franchise record for drawing the most intentional walks?
Thanks for playing. Keep checking back as I have 3 more sets to giveaway.
J-Boogie

Yankeeography DVD Winner #2

Congrats to Redsunkktt for winning the 2nd of 5 Yankeeography DVD Box Sets. He correctly answered 7.5 of the 10 trivia questions below. I've still got 3 more sets to give away. The next giveaway will start sometime tomorrow, so check back. Anyone can win this one. See below to the answers to the trivia questions. The questions and answers were courtesy of my 2007 Yankees desktop calendar.
1)In 2005, 26 of A-Rod's 48 HRs came at Yankee Stadium, breaking the franchise record of 19 by a right-handed hitter at home. Name the duo that help the previous mark? Joe DiMaggio (1937) and Gary Sheffield (2004)
2)In 2005, A-Rod became the youngest player to hit 400 HRs. Whose record did he surpass? Ken Griffey, Jr.
3)In 2005, Joe Torre became only the 4th manager in Major League history to win 90-or-more games nine times in a span of 10 seasons. Name the other 3. John McGraw, Casey Stengel, Bobby Cox
4)Name the 4 Yankees managers with over 1000 wins with the team? Joe McCarthy (1460), Joe Torre (1173), Casey Stengel (1149) and Miller Huggins (1067)
5)Name the Yankee player who led the AL with a 20-game road hitting streak in 2005? Robinson Cano
6)Hideki Matusi's 330 RBI in his 1st 3 seasons (2003-05) is the second highest total of any Yankees player over the first 3 seasons in the major leagues. Who holds the team mark for the most RBI is their first 3 seasons? Joe DiMaggio (432, 1936-38)
7)Who holds the Yankees franchise record for most sacrifice flies? Don Mattingly (96)
8)Who holds the franchise record for most appearances by a pitcher over a 2 year period? Tom Gordon (159)
9)Who is the Yankees all-time leader in sacrifice hits? Wally Pipp (226)
10)Who holds the franchise record for drawing the most intentional walks? Don Mattingly (136)
J

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Yankeeography DVD Winner #1

The vote is in and the winner of the 1st Yankeeography DVD Box Set giveaway contest is.....drum roll please ..... baruddaduddaduddaduddaduddaduddaduddada .... DJL804. Congratulations. The wife and in-laws were split between 2 of your suggestions. My mother in-law was a fan of the "favorite Yankee memory" contest, and my wife and her dad liked the "how much do I love the Yankees" idea. So that will be a later contest. Though I'm not exactly sure how to tell that everyone is honest with their "story." I suppose there'd need to be some form of verifiable proof.
I don't want to discount the suggestion from Redsunkktt. It was one of my favorites. At first, they weren't sure what it was, so I showed them the pictures I made of Manjaya. They thought it would be funny, but I think they thought it'd be too difficult for everyone to do. I remember how hard it was to do those 2 pictures of Manjaya being a Photoshop newbie. I think that led them away from the selection.
Thanks to both of you for your suggestions. Don't forget that there's still 4 sets to giveaway. Currently there's a trivia contest going on. Still plenty of time to get your answers in.
DJL, you've got mail.
J

Monday, December 3, 2007

Andy's Back

They're reporting on XM that Andrew Eugene Pettitte is back in the Bronx, foregoing retirement for another go 'round with the boys!
Grey skies are going to clear up. Put on a happy face!
J

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Win A Yankeeography DVD Box Set

The good people at A&E have given me 5 copies of the new Yankeeography Box Set to give away here on the blog. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a picture of the box set itself.
Now if you're a serious Yankees fan like me, you want this set! It includes 34 episodes, 10 of which are only available in this set. Some of my favorite Yankeeography editions are of Thurman Munson and Mariano Rivera. I love it when Mariano is talking about playing ball as a youth in Panama and using milk cartons for gloves. And yes, I'll admit it. The Munson one makes me cry. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. If you've never plopped down in front of the TV and checked out an episode, you've been missing out. There's a reason why the series has won 11 Emmy Awards.
And I've got 5, count 'em 5, free copies of the box set to giveaway! I opened up an e-mail one day and it basically read "how'd you like to give away some Yankeeography sets on your blog?" I didn't really need to think about my answer. My only dilemma is figuring out the best way to give them out. Trivia contest? Random drawing? Best caption for a picture contest? I'm open to ideas. Now, I'll probably do several different contests as to not give them all away at once. And I'll even go as far as paying for the shipping to you. I know I get a lot of readers from other countries but I don't think I can go as far as shipping them anywhere outside of the continental US.
Here's the contest for the 1st giveaway: come up with the best giveaway contest. Leave your suggestion for a contest in the comments section of this entry and whoever comes up with the idea that best strikes my fancy wins a set. Sounds pretty simple. To be objective, as to not show any kind of favoritism to anyone, I'll probably have my wife and her family pick which they like best. I'll leave this contest open until my son goes to sleep tomorrow night (which will be around 8pm EST). Once he's asleep, I'll have my fam review the ideas and then post the winner's name, and likely use their idea for the next contest. And I suppose that multiple entries are fine. I'll be checking back between now and then, so leave any questions in the comments section as well.
Enjoy your day!
J-Boogie
PS- DON'T TRADE PHIL HUGHES!!! I'll have more on that later.

Friday, November 23, 2007

RIP Joe Kennedy

I always hate it when I come upon these stories. It always puts me in a sour mood, regardless of who it happens to. Blue Jays pitcher Joe Kennedy passed away suddenly, shortly after passing out in his home. He was 28 years old. Tragic. Truly tragic.
Godspeed Joe.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Top 10

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd put up a list of the top 10 baseball-related things I'm thankful for this offseason. I did the same last year, some entries are repeats. Feel free to post your own.
10) Joba, Phil and Ian are the future of the Yankees rotation
9) MLB on XM Radio
8) A-Rod's in Pinstripes for the next 10 years
7) The Hot Stove, there's no better offseason in sports
6) Brian Cashman is the Yankee GM
5) This blog and everyone who reads it
4) I'm not a Red Sox fan
3) With each passing day, we're 1 day closer to pitchers and catchers reporting
2) Jorge and Mariano decide to stay home
and the #1 baseball-related thing thing I'm thankful for this offseason is,
1) I want to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee fan
.....and I'm especially thankful for my wife and son.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Band Is Almost Back Together

If you're a Yankee fan, you have to be pretty excited that the Yankees were able to retain the services of A-Rod, Jorge, and Mo. I've seen a lot of criticism being dumped on Cashman and the Steinbrenners for their continued big spending, mainly from non-Yankees fans. Hey, if this is what it takes to keep a perennial MVP candidate, the best offensive catcher in the game today, and the best closer of all time, you do it. The Yankees could not afford to lose any of these guys. The replacement options were less than desirable and losing any of them would have made things very difficult in 2008.
I for one am glad that the Yankees and A-Rod have renewed their vows. They truly are meant for each other. It was quite interesting how that all played out. I kind of had a feeling that the door was never slammed shut even though it looked that way. You knew nobody could give A-Rod the $$ the Yankees were reportedly offering before he opted out. A dealbreaker for me would have been if Alex didn't eat the lost subsidy from Texas. He made the effort to re-open the lines of communication with the Steinbrenners and I respect him going about the way he did. It was the right move. I guess now I can get the A-Rod t-shirt I wanted to get last year. The best player in the game on my team. Yeah, I can dig it. His relationship with his fellow teammates and with the fans is only going to get stronger. He's in Pinstripes for 10 years. I guess he does want to be here. If he really hated it as much as people wanted to think he did, he wouldn't have come back no matter what the dollars were. That's how I see it. I for one and am ecstatic he's back. I feel pretty good about their chances in 2008. I can't help but laugh when I hear people say Boston is on the verge of a dynasty. Chuckle chuckle giggle giggle.
A-Rod? Check!
Jorge? Check!
Mo? Check!
Come back soon Andy! You're the last piece of the puzzle.
J

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cheap Yankees Merch

I hate to be a shill for websites or products but this is actually a deal that's worth checking out if you're a Yankees fan or a fan of any team really. I'm not even getting any kind of compensation for mentioning it. Hand to God. And believe me I don't really like beinga product shill. I've gotten many of requests to advertise on the blog and I don't really want to have a blog for those reasons. I blog for my own enjoyment, not to try and make money.
They're having a huge sale over at the A&E Store called the "Black Friday Baseball Sale." You can access the sale by clicking on the link above or by using the banner on the right side of the blog. Most of their top selling baseball DVDs are being marked down up to 50%. I had to order the Yankees Fall Classic DVD b/c it was only 40 bucks and I've yet to come across it for less. I also ordered a Billy Martin DVD, a Babe Ruth DVD, and a DVD about baseball parks. They also have the entire Yankeeography set for only 60 bucks, as well as many DVD sets for pretty much every MLB team! I'd hop all the Yankeeographys but I already have a few of the editions. To top it off it all ships for $1. I think I spent just under 90 bucks total, which I thought was a pretty good deal. Give it a look. If you do click on the link, and want to see more items, search by the word "baseball" and you'll see pretty much all they have to offer. The sale I believe ends on 11/26. I just thought I'd pass it along to any interested shoppers. And again, I'm not getting anything by sending you there.
Make sure to check back tomorrow. It should be a slow work day and I'm hoping to get in some blogging.
Peace, love and Pinstripes.
J

Monday, November 19, 2007

And Your Winner By Unanim, What, It's Not Unanimous?

It shouldn't be a shock to anyone that the runaway victor of the AL MVP award was none other than A-Rod. The shocker is though that 2 writers didn't see it the same way as everyone else, casting their first place votes for Magglio Ordonez. I'm sorry but there is no justifiable reason anyone can make for giving the nod to Magglio over Alex. There just isn't. Anyone that watched baseball in 2007 knows this. I'd like to ask why these guys voted for Magglio but I don't have to. both writers are Michigan based. Like last year, when the two Canadian writers voted for Justin Morneau over Derek Jeter, I'm calling shenanigans. It's ridiculous.
The BBWAA is getting almost as bad as the fans when it comes to voting for all-stars. As much as I hate fan voting, it's expected that a fan will be bias. Sports writers should be objective. It's overly obvious that it's not the case. Ridiculous. If only these guys could fix the system. I don't see it happening.
Some odd things jump out at me when I look at the overall results for the vote. How does David Ortiz get a 2nd place vote? Seriously? He wasn't even his team's MVP. How he finished right ahead of Mike Lowell is beyond me? JJ Putz gets the highest nod for all pitchers? Umm, what? Bobby Abreu got a 7th place vote? Odd. Very odd. What crack are you guys smoking?
Congrats to Jorge for finishing 6th and Jeter for finishing 11th.
J-Boog

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Thoughts On Mattingly

This kind of hurts me to say but I'm a little irritated by the fact that Mattingly is going to be donning a Dodgers uniform in 2008. Let me stress the word "little" as I'm not totally devastated.
Mattingly is and will probably always be my all-time favorite Yankee. I grew up watching Donnie Baseball and like most Yankee fans that were around in the 80s, Mattingly was your guy. I wanted to name my first born son Mattingly, and at one time the wife was on board, but she later vetoed that suggestion. (Cute story: My father-in law used to own a baseball card store back in the hey-day of baseball cards, circa the mid-to-late 80s. Whenever my wife, who was probably 8 at the time, would get mad at her dad, she'd threaten to draw mustaches on all the Mattingly cards.) Where was I? Oh yeah, Mattingly is now a Dodger. And I'm a little ticked. Not a lot, just a little.
I can understand why Mattingly didn't want to stay with the Yankees after they turned him down for the position vacated by Torre's departure. Personally, I thought he was headed back to Indiana to chill with the family. But then Torre gets the LA gig, and Mattingly follows him out west. Here's my beef. The Yankees offered him a position on Girardi's coaching staff and he turned it down. And now he's going to LA to take on the role of hitting coach or bench coach. He could have done that in NY. My childhood hero is leaving the Yankees to become a Dodger. I can't picture him wearing any other uniform other. it's just weird. I can't decide if this makes him any less of a Yankee. Am I the only one that feels this way.? If he wanted to coach, stay on in NY. I kind of feel, again just a little bit, that he's turning his back on the Yankees to be part of another organization. Again, it's all strange.
Now, I understand him feeling a little slighted, but he said, "I don't feel any ill will. I'm not sitting here -- vengeance is not running through me at all. Trust me, I'm not all of a sudden going to start rooting for the Red Sox." This quote, makes me laugh. I love the part about "not rooting for the Sox," but it just makes it more difficult for me to accept. If you didn't feel any "ill will," why not stick around?
There is an answer tot hat question and I can respect it. It's the main reason why this only bothers me a little bit. The article also mentions that he said New York's decision "freed me up" to explore opportunities elsewhere. Adding, "I'm sure it's going to be something different for me. The easiest thing is to stay in the comfort zone. ... At some point you have to get to know new people. That point is exciting for me." I can respect that. It makes a lot of sense. But joining a coaching staff that is going to be made up of people you've previously coached with isn't really meeting "new people." He would have met more "new" people had he joined Girardi's coaching staff as it's looking like a total overhaul except for Long and Pena. You may meet a new mix of players, but in the course of the next few seasons we're going to see a totally different Yankees. We're already seeing it. I would've thought had he wanted to stay in coaching, in a non-manager position, it would have made the most sense to stay with the Pinstripes, especially if there truly is no "ill will." I just can't picture him in another uniform. It seems unnatural. Am I the only one feeling this way?
Regardless, I wish him (as well as Joe and Larry) all the best with the Dodgers. And who am I kidding? I love the guy. That's not going to change. It's just going to be really really really really really really really really really weird seeing him with an interlocking LA on his cap and not the interlocking NY that we all love so much.
Peace, love and forever Pinstripes

Monday, November 5, 2007

Andy Declines Option

I'll admit it. I'm a little shocked. I thought for sure that Pettitte wasn't going to decline his player option before the Wednesday deadline. I was looking forward to some good news this week. Guess that will have to wait.
This quote comes from Pettitte's agent, Randy Hendricks:
"I have spoken with Brian Cashman, who has reiterated what Hank Steinbrenner said about the Yankees wanting to give Andy all the time he needs to decide about next season. Accordingly, we are declining to exercise the option for 2008 and Andy will declare free agency in order to free up a roster spot for the Yankees. If Andy decides to play, I am confident we can reach an agreement with the Yankees within 24 hours. The only options, as Andy has stated, are the Yankees or retirement. He appreciates the Yankees' willingness to give him the time he feels he needs. I do not expect him to make a decision for quite some time."
I 100% believe Andy when he says it's the Yankees or nothing. And I do respect the fact that he needs more time to decide. The new regime hasn't exactly made the decisions easy for anyone. First they let Torre go. A-Rod opts out. Still no word on Posada and Mo. I don't want to read too much into this, but if AP is waiting to see what happens to Jorge and Mo, I'm thinking that maybe Andy knows something we don't? Maybe he knows that those guys have no intent on coming back and now he needs to decide if he wants to close out his career with a team whose future is clouded.
This quote comes from Brian Cashman:
"Obviously, we want Andy to stay with the Yanks and pitch for us in '08. In fact, I'd say I need him to. He's an important piece for us. ... We're hopeful that at some point that the marriage of the Pettittes and the Yankees can continue."
In my opinion this doesn't make Cashman's job any easier. If he's planning on playing the trade market, a lot of GMs are going to be asking for the big 3 in Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain. Without Pettitte in the fold, there's no way Cash can even entertain dealing any of those guys. Not that he should anyway. The 2008 rotation right now as I see it is Kennedy, Hughes, Chamberlain, Wang, and Mussina. If Mo doesn't come back, I'm pretty sure that the Yankees will have Chamberlain close. Without Andy, the rotation is down to 4 and there isn't anybody in the organization right now that can take that 5th spot. None that I want to see anyway. Like with the Hendricks comment, I don't want to read too much into this, but when Cashman says he "needs" him to come back, that worries me. Does Cash know something we don't? I'm beginning to think that maybe Mo is a goner, Cash knows this or has a feeling he'll walk, and he desperately needs AP to fill out the rotation. The last thing the Yankees need is to have AP take too much time in making this decision. It could limit the trade possibilities and could limit any potential free agent signings as guys continue to sign contracts with other clubs. I think Andy is a stand up guy. If it truly is the Yankees or bust as AP says it is, and he knows how badly they want him, he'll decide sooner than later. I really can't see him leaving the Yankees hanging.
Come on Andy. Let's renew those vows one more time.
J-Boogie

Monday, October 29, 2007

Not So Random Stuff

As I blogged a few days ago, I was pulling for the Yankees to hire Joe Girardi as Torre's replacement. I'm glad they saw it my way and went with Joe over Yankee fan favorite Don Mattingly. I really didn't hear or see much support out there for Mattingly. People referred to him as the favorite and I always found that to be an odd belief. Girardi was always the best candidate in my opinion. I think he'll serve the Yankees well.
It's being reported that the Dodgers have canned Grady Little and are replacing him with Joe Torre. Not a big surprise in my opinion. It also reports that Mattingly is being brought in to again serve under Torre as the bench coach. Again, I'm not surprised. It's a good move for both. Torre stays in the game and gets far away from the guys in Tampa. Mattingly gets more experience and is now part of the organization that drafted his son Preston. I get the impression too that Tommy Lasorda is a big Mattingly guy. He's always spoken highly of him when his name comes up in interviews. I think I speak for Yankees fans everywhere when I wish them both the best. I was listening to the 24-7 MLB channel on XM tonight and a guy called in and asked if anyone thought that Torre to LA would mean that the Yankees would lose guys, specifically Posada, Mo, and Pettitte, to the Dodgers. The hots of the show had a great answer, and one I agree with. The Dodgers have no interest in Posada with Russell Martin behind the dish. I can't see them approaching Rivera with Saito at the back of the Dodger bullpen. Pettitte, I can see leaving, but I don't see it happening. I'm real curious to see if Joe to LA will have any bearing on their desire to bring in A-Rod. Honestly, I don't see Torre wanting to put up with him if he doesn't have to. Maybe the list of potential suitors for A-Rod just got smaller. I hope so.
Speaking of A-Rod, I love the quotes I've read pertaining to this whole situation and how it went down. I'll start with Bob DuPuy, COO of MLB:
"We were very disappointed that Scott Boras would try to upstage our premier baseball event of the season with his announcement. There was no reason to make an announcement last night other than to try to put his selfish interests and that of one individual player above the overall good of the game. Last night and today belong to the Boston Red Sox, who should be celebrated for their achievement, and to the Colorado Rockies, who made such an unbelievable run to the World Series."
Well said. I especially love the part that mentions "selfish interests." Classic and it sums up A-Rod and Boras quite nicely. And Boras can be all apologetic and try to take the heat for this, but he works for A-Rod. He does nothing without client approval. Selfish doosh.
The next quote comes from Big Bank Hank. And this is probably the only thing he's said that I agree with:
"It's clear he didn't want to be a Yankee. He doesn't understand the privilege of being a Yankee on a team where the owners are willing to pay $200 million to put a winning product on the field. I don't want anybody on my team that doesn't want to be a Yankee."
Wow, Big Bank Hank. I'm honestly surprised you came up with this. My only critique is that you didn't use the word "painfully" in the first sentence. It was obvious that Alex didn't want to stay. If there was even a remote chance, he would have met with the Yankees brass and at least listened to what they had to say. He didn't even extend them the opportunity. That speaks volumes.
"We're not going to back down. It's goodbye." - Hank Steinbrenner
I only hope that the Yankees stay true to their word and don't even bother with him. He thinks he's bigger than the Yankees. He thinks he's bigger than MLB. We don't need that. Let him be a cancer somewhere else.
Despite all of that, and my current feeling of A-Rod, I do want to thank him for the last 4 years. He's truly a marvel and fun to watch. He did some amazing things and it was nice to watch him do that while he played for "my team." But in the end, he showed his true colors as a selfish man, who is only out for his own personal glory. Whatever. It's business. I hope he doesn't mind being the first player inducted into the HOF who will have the MLB logo on his cap, or maybe even no hat at all? He'd probably love it. Man, what a selfish doosh.
Stay true to your word Hank. Stay true to your word.
J

An A-Bomb From A-Rod

First off, congrats to the Boston Red Sox for winning it all. As I mentioned a few posts ago, if it's not the Yankees winning the World Series, I don't really care who it is. I'd prefer it not to be Boston for obvious reasons, but it is what it is. So congrats. I didn't think they had the best team when the season started or even when it ended. But the proof is in the pudding, so hats off to you.
Can A-Rod be any bigger of a dooshbag right now? I don't really care that he opted out, but more so how he opted out and the BS excuse that he and his agent concocted to justify their reasoning. What in your minds made you think that dropping this news during game 4 of the World Series was the right move? You guys look like total tools. Did you think that the Sox winning was going to deflect the attention away from you? It didn't. Do you think anyone believes that your reason of not knowing what Posada, Pettitte and Rivera were going to do had anything to do with your decision? We don't. You had a week and a half to see what was going to happen with those guys. You'll look pretty foolish when those guys all resign. You didn't return any calls placed to you from the Steinbrenner's. You didn't even give your employer the professional courtesy of meeting with them face-to-face. If you were opting out from the get go, you should have just said so. You just look like a bigger doosh than everyone already perceived you to be.
This just goes to show that there is one person that Alex cares about, and that's himself. The timing of his announcement shows me that he thinks he's bigger than the game and obviously doesn't really care what anybody thinks about him. I'll be interested to see who, if anyone, gives Alex more money than the Yankees were reported to be offering. I can't see it happening and I'll be shocked, but not surprised, if it does. I love the conspiracy theories out there. I read one that suggested that Scott Boras cut a side deal with the Red Sox when talking about JD Drew. I love it. Good stuff. The only teams that jump out at me who can afford to pay A-Rod $30 million are the Yankees (not interested), Boston (reportedly not interested), the Mets (where will he play with Reyes and Wright), the Cubs, Angels, Dodgers and Giants. He will definitely blend in a little easier in LA or Anaheim as he'll have plenty of people out there sharing the spotlight. But who knows? I would have thought he would have waited to opt out and not steal the spotlight from the Red Sox.
Man, what a doosh.
J-Boogie

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Eenie Meenie Mynie Joe

By all accounts, the Yankees are done with the interview process and we could have a successor to Joe Torre by the weekend. Joe Girardi, Don Mattingly, and Tony Pena. Not that my opinion counts for much, but I'm hoping that Joe Girardi gets the nod.
If you've ever watched Girardi on a YES broadcast, you know that he knows his stuff. I remember listening to him during the 2004 postseason and I remember saying to myself then that I hoped he would succeed Torre as the next skipper of the Yankees. He came across an extremely intelligent guy. A guy that definitely knows the game of baseball. I remember him saying that the first thing he would do if he were managing game 6 of the 2004 ALCS was to bunt on Curt Schilling and his surgically repaired ankle. Make him field the ground and disrupt his comfort level right from the get go. I think every Yankee fan at the time was calling for Torre to do that. I don't know if he thought he and the Yankees were above that, but that's part of the game. Girardi strikes me as an old school guy and I don't think he'd shy away from calling for a few brushbacks on David Ortiz if the situation called for it. Torre became too passive and I think part of his fall from grace had a lot to do with his lack of "feather ruffling." Don't get me wrong, I love Torre to death and I still think he was the best call for a few more years at the helm of the ship, but since that is out of the question, I've moved on. Girardi has also successfully managed at the big league level. 2006 NL Manager of the Year in his first and only season as manager. He took a young team, one that was pegged to lose 100 plus games, and had them in contention for a playoff spot deep into the season. He's shown he can get the job done. The only negative I can think of is that he didn't really get along with Marlins management. If you can't get along with the peeps if Florida, how do you expect to make nice with the guys in Tampa? That'll be interesting.
I think Mattingly would be too much like Torre in terms of a managerial style. And quite frankly, I don't see him as a manager. I can't really articulate why. He just doesn't strike me as the type. And I've heard a lot of people say that about him. Now I have no real basis to make that judgment on. I've never really heard him give an interview. I've never really seen him "in action" as a skipper. I haven't really heard him talk baseball and strategy and what to do in situations. I'm also not sure a "fresh-faced" manager is what this team needs right now. If they go with Mattingly, a positive would be that he would be the smoothest transition away from Torre. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. Can't really decide. It's difficult for me not to back Mattingly as he is my all-time favorite Yankee. Any kid that grew up on the Yankees in the '80s loves Donnie Baseball. Sorry Donnie. I can't give you that love this time. I've also blogged before that the Yankees haven't won squat with Mattingly in Pinstripes. Never made the Series while he played. Haven't been to the series since he's been coaching. Let me break it down. The Yankees went to the World Series in 1981. Mattingly joined the Yankees in 1982, retired in 1995 and they never played in late October during that stretch. From 1996-2003, without Mattingly in the organization, the Yankees win the World Series 4 times, and reach it 6 out of the 8 years. Mattinlgy comes back as coach in 2004 and they haven't been back to the World Series since. It's been one horrendous playoff loss after another. Maybe he's just not a winner? Or maybe he's cursed?
Mattingly has to be the favorite. But if Hank and Hal didn't like Torre as much as it seems, I can't see them being a fan of Mattingly for manager. It wouldn't make sense. Another thing that doesn't make sense is this quote from Hank Steinbrenner (thanks to Bryan Hoch's Bomber Beat for the quote):
"I think the most important thing is whoever we hire, give 'em a chance because he's not getting the '96 Yankees. He's getting an even younger team or for the most part a team in transition. Give him a little while. We want to win the World Series every year. We're not stupid enough to think we can do it. Of course, we'd love to win the World Series next year."
If that's truly how you feel, why the heck did you guys run Torre out of town? Where was his "chance?" Where was the "little while?" Who better to manage a team in transition that Joe Torre? Why rock the boat? And you're not stupid enough to think they can win the World Series every year? Sorry Hank, but you are that stupid. You ran Torre out of town for not winning the World Series. We're not blind. We're not dumb. Your entire comment basically screams that Joe Torre should be the manager. If Napolean Dynamite was ever needed to say the phase "Idiot," it's now.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you our new leaders. We're in trouble.
J-Boogie

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Beantown Bandwagon Rolls On

So it's down to this. The Rox vs. The Sox in the battle for baseball supremacy. Being a Yankee fan, I'm hardwired to cheer against the Red Sox, so I'll pull for the Rockies, but to be completely honest, I could really give a flying (expletive deleted) if the Red Sox win. In my world, this is how I break it down. There are the Yankees, and then there is "not the Yankees." And if it's "not the Yankees," I don't really care who it is. The Yankees didn't win, and that's what matters to me.
Since the Sox are back in the Series, they will no doubt get another billion or so applications for membership in the Red Sox Nation. Red Sox Nation arguably has the most bandwagon fans in all of professional sports. Their membership has exploded since they won it all in 2004. It's evident everywhere you go. If you've ever attended or watched a Sox road game, you know that the home team's fans are in the minority. A few years ago, I went to a Buffalo Bisons/Columbus Clippers game. At the time, the Clippers were the triple A affiliate of the Yankees. The amount of people there sporting Sox gear was amazing. Yankees fans were in the minority. It was amazing. What I'm wondering, and I'll ask this of any long term members of the RSN, is it bothersome to have so many new members of your clan? You guys lived through 86 years of terrible lows, and now all of these people are coming out of the woodwork to ride on the current wave of success? Does it bother you that it's "cool" or "trendy" to root on the Sox? Does it bother you that most of the fan base, along with Kevin Millar, thinks that Ellsbury's first name is Jacob? Here is a recap of a recent exchange I had with a Sox fan in my neighborhood Best Buy, a few days after the Indians ousted the Yankees from the playoffs.
I was perusing the DVD section. I think I had a copy of Season 3 of "The Office" in my hands. I was wearing a Yankee cap. All of the sudden I hear, "Yankees s*ck." I turn and there standing is John Q. Soxfan, wearing a Sox hat. If I had to guess, I'd say he was 17-20. Now I'm not 100% on the age. If I were, I'd work at the State Fair guessing ages and weight.
Me: I'm sorry. What?
Soxfan: Yankees ***********.
Me: Umm, OK. Thanks! You a Sox fan?
Soxfan: He11 yeah.
Me: Who's your backup second baseman?
Soxfan: Pedroia baby.
Me: No, I said back-up, not starter.
Soxfan: "puzzled look"
Me: You don't know, do you? It's Alex Cora. Who's in your bullpen?
Soxfan: PAPELBONNNN!
Me: Anybody else?
Soxfan: Some Japanese guy.
And that's when I walked away. True story. And there you have it. A once proud fan base now is full of tools and dooshbags, more so than normal. I'm just curious if that bothers the die-hards. Does it bother you to show up at a game and to have people see a redheaded dude in RF and wonder who the heck he is? The landscape of the RSN has changed drastically since 2004. You guys are turning into, well, Yankees fans. The very people you guys despise. But I guess that's to be expected when you win. Everyone hops on the bandwagon. As I mentioned earlier, it's trendy to root for the Red Sox. Not because you identify with the team or the city, but because it's the cool thing to do.
You guys aren't too far off from being exactly like the Yankees. The two franchises are almost identical at this point. We both attempt to "buy" championships-- don't tell me that bringing in Matsuzaka, Okajima, Lugo and Drew isn't an attempt to solving your problems with cash. We both have huge, passionate fan bases with more than their fair share of tools and dooshbags. We both have players that like to slap at balls in the glove of the guy at first base during the playoffs. We have a lot in common. We don't have many differences any more. Is that bothersome? Do you like the new face of the Red Sox Nation?
Just curious?
J-Boogie

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Torre Era Draws To A Close

It's official. The Joe Torre era is officially dead. The Yankees offered up a deal and Torre turned it down. The deal was for a guaranteed $5 million with the option of earning another $3 million in incentives, a million each for reaching the playoffs, advancing to the ALCS, and then to the World Series. As far as I'm concerned, that's a pretty good deal from a financial standpoint, even for Torre. But, the deal was only for 1 year, and therein lies the problem. Joe wanted more years, and if you ask me, he deserved to get them. I can totally understand why each side did what they did, and I can understand why they'll now part ways.
My final take on this deal was that Torre got a little screwed and didn't get the respect he deserved. By offering him a year, the Yankees knew Torre would turn it down, and in the end, they get they wanted, a new skipper. They "sort of" saved face, but everybody knows the deal was a BS offer. I'm sure Joe had no beef with the salary structure but there was no way he was signing on for a 1 year deal. He deserved more than that and if they really wanted him back they would have gone at least 2 years. Bravo Yankee brass. You got what you wanted. But at what expense? Time will tell how much of a price this turns out to be. The odds of bringing back A-Rod, Mo, and Jorgie just took a significant hit.
It's going to be a very interesting couple of weeks. Oh the humanity. All I can say now is please bring in Girardi. I love Donnie to death but he's not ready for this.
J

Say It Ain't So

I'm listening to a sound clip of one of the Yankees brass announcing that Joe Torre turned down an extension??? What the dilly? Unfortunately, one of my staff called me during the playback and I missed a lot of the details.
I don't know what to think but it looks like Joe's out. All I can say is keep negotiating!!
J

The Era Continues?

They're reporting on XM that ESPN is reporting that the Yankees and Joe Torre are close to reaching an agreement for a contract extension. If this happens, I for one, will be relieved, as I think that Joe Torre, despite his shortcomings, is still the best man for the job. The guy can only do so much. He has after all gotten these guys into the playoffs for the last dozen plus years. I think the fallout from letting him go would be immeasurable. The domino effect would ripple through the entire organization. It would be good. If they did can Joe, it would have been extremely difficult to resign A-Rod, Posada, and Rivera. In my estimation, those are 3 key components to continued trips to the postseason. Cashman now just needs to make sure they come back.
J

Friday, October 12, 2007

Pot Meet Kettle, Kettle Meet Pot

I had logged out of my Hotmail account and it redirected me to the MSN.com homepage. A link titled "America's (Most Hated) Team" caught my eye. I clicked on it expecting to read another anti-Yankee diatribe, which was an educated guess based on the fact that the entire world hates the Yankees. Much to my surprise, I was treated to an excellent article about the Boston Red Sox, and how the team, and their fans, are turning into what they claim to hate so much. That of course being, drum roll please, the New York Yankees. We talked about this a lot at the beginning of the year and their transformation into "the organization they hate so much but won't admit to being exactly like" is still continuing. I'd like to think that any Red Sox fan, who reads it with an open mind and sans their pair of "red" colored glasses, will undoubtedly agree that they are no different than everything and everyone they supposedly hate so much.
So give it a read. It's a great piece.
Wow, 3 posts in 3 days. What's gotten into this kid?
J-Boogie

Thursday, October 11, 2007

They Gets No Respect

Holy wow! 2 posts in 2 days. The kid is on fire.
I'm not sure why this bothers me so much, but I'm a little miffed how everybody, well most people, are anti-Yankee instead of being pro-"team." Most of what I hear is about the Yankees failures in the ALDS and not the Indians successes. The Indians pitched and hit their tails off that series and deserved to win. All I hear is how A-Rod is Mr. April. How the Yankees again failed to make it out of round one for the 3rd straight year. Little to no talk about the Tribe. I don't get it. Show them some respect.
They've been playing this sound byte repeatedly on XM's MLB channel. The clip is of Indians announcer Tom Hamilton right after Posada struck out in game 4 to close it out and to send the Indians to the ALCS. Hamilton, in an understandably excited tone, remarks how the Indians played the role of "giant-killer" and how they took down the "juggernaut" Yankees. To me, his comments show a lack of respect for the team he supposedly has been following all year. Last time I checked, the Indians won 96 games, the most in baseball, and 2 more than the Yankees. They did so in arguably the toughest division in the American League. They also have 2 of the best pitchers in the AL in Carmona and Sabathia, both of which will finish in the top 5 of the Cy Young vote, 1 possibly winning that award, and both should finish ahead of Yankees ace Chein-Ming Wang. As the old adage goes, good pitching beats good hitting. It's no surprise that the Yankees struggled mightily against the Indians. Personally, I thought we were the underdogs in this series. I'm not sure how the Yankees were "giants" or "juggernauts," and Tom's comments again to me, show a little lack of respect for his club. The Tribe should have won, and they did. Tip of the cap to the Tribe.
But this is nothing new. The world has always been anti-Yankee. It's always about what the Yankees did, and the focus is rarely about the opponent. You rarely hear accolades being thrown upon the victor that takes down the Yankees. The focus is always on the boys in Pinstripes, and their fans for that matter. The fact of the matter is that the Indians deserve a lot more respect then what they've been shown. They've got a great ball club. One that's going to give Boston a lot of fits. That should be an interesting series as both teams can boast that they have great pitching. I've got to give the edge to the Tribe though. I think they'll keep the Sox in check.
As a Yankee fan, I'd love to see the Tribe scalp the d-bags in Beantown. I'll be curious to see if there will be anti-Sox chat if they in fact lose to Cleveland. If it is, I don't think it will be even close to the anti-Yankee bias I've seen. It's very trendy to be anti-Yankee, regardless of what fan base people come from.
The world is against us. What's new?
J

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Another Early Exit

Again, I must start off by apologizing for my lack of posts, especially during the stretch run and through the short-lived playoffs. Anyone with a newborn at home I'm sure can relate. And for those wondering, Cooper is doing great. His dad, not so much. I'm still a little bummed about the 3rd consecutive early exit by my beloved Bombers. A co-worker asked me how I felt the day after they were bounced and I equated my current mind state to that of the typical Buffalo Bills fan. It's like watching the Bills lose in the final seconds of a game (which they did so gracefully against Dallas on Monday). It happens so much, you get a little used to it. But, it's a lot harder for me to get over.
The Yankees definitely didn't deserve to win that series. You've got to give credit to the Indians for coming through in all of those 2-out situations. Unreal. I find it incredibly odd that everyone in the media, both local and national are continuing to bash A-Rod for his poor postseason performance. I'm not seeing much credit thrown towards Carmona and Sabathia. In the postseason, it's all about the pitching. Great pitching can easily neutralize the greatest of hitters in the postseason. It's an entirely different monster than pitching in the regular season. And we saw that all series. The Tribe pitchers did their jobs and kept the Yankee bats in check all series. Yankee pitchers couldn't get the big out to stop the rally. The Indians hit almost .500 with RISP and 2 outs. Unreal. Gnats or not, they totally deserved it. They'll be tough to beat the rest of the way.
It's going to be quite the interesting offseason. There are so many question marks and they all begin with what's going to happen to Joe? I'm on the fence here. While I do think it might be time for a change, I don't think they need to whack Joe. He managed his tail off this year. Many, myself included, think it's the best job he's ever done. He makes some bad choices (I would've brought Mo in the 8th in game 2), but who doesn't. Moves backfire. It happens. If they panned out, we wouldn't be having this discussion. If they can Torre, I'm afraid of the ripple effect that this is going to cause. It's no secret that the players love Joe, and it's definitely no secret that he loves these guys, evidenced by all the tears he shed in his postseason interviews. If Joe goes, so might Posada, Rivera, and A-Rod. Don't give them any reason to bolt. Bring him back and let him leave on his terms. I don't agree with Steinbrenner's tactic of threatening his job publicly. Maybe he watched too many episodes of "The Bronx Is Burning" and he got a little nostalgic, thinking he could do it again. You just know if the Yanks pulled out that series, he was taking all the credit. I think Stein now realizes the error in his ways, which is why he hasn't been canned yet. It will only get worse for Steinbrenner as the outpouring of support for Joe continues to come from his players. But who knows? Maybe it was a ploy by Stein to take the heat off of his team when they were down 0-2 and put it on he and Torre. I guess we'll see.
And then there's A-Rod. God, I hope he comes back. I know Boras wants him to hit the market, but the Yankees need to sign this guy for the long term. You're not going to get a better offensive 3b. And in my opinion, he'd be worth every penny. I heard a sound byte from Cashman where he said that he wouldn't pursue A-Rod if he opts out b/c they'd lose the money from Texas. He's said that several times. There was one change though this time and that's when he added that "it was his recommendation" to do that. You know that there are other forces, namely Steinbrenner and crew, at play here. Big Stein is going to give A-Rod a blank check. He wants him in Pinstripes, and rightfully so. A-Rod in Pinstripes for 10 years equals big bucks. I hope they can get something done before the deadline rolls around. He may have stunk again in the postseason, but there would have been no postseason without his bat in the lineup. He's worth the dough. Pony it up.
I'm going to try and be around more this offseason. I hope to be around a lot more than I was over the last few weeks. I also hope to get back to commenting on my fellow Yankee bloggers sites. There should be plenty to talk about. It's just hard to find the time with work and family. Until then......
Peace, love and Pinstripes.

J

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Back Where They Belong

Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we? The date was May 30th. The New York Yankees were mired in a season long slump. Their record stood at 21-29. They had lost 5 straight and 6 of their last 7. They were 14.5 games behind their hated rivals, the Boston Red Sox. Great baseball minds across the land were writing the Yankees off. People were laughing at the Yankees and their fans. Things were looking grim.
The Yankees were in Toronto. It was the final game of a 3 game series. Johnny Damon stepped into the box and hit a leadoff home run into the right field seats. The Yankees would go on to win the game by a score of 10-5. From that point forward, the Yankees began to play like a new ball club. Over the next several months, the Yankees would amass the best record in all of baseball. With tonight's victory of the D-Rays, the Yankees improved their record since May 30th to 70-38. And with tonight's victory, the Yankees are back where they belong. Back in October. Back where they've been for the last 13 years. And it all started in Toronto. It all started with Damon going yard. Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you, "the ball that started it all:"





This was the HR ball that Damon hit in Toronto. It was his 1999th career hit and 157th career HR. The ball is signed and noted with those stats by Johnny himself.
When it was gut check time, these guys answered the call. Congrats to the Joe Torre and the 2007 Yankees for doing something that nobody thought they could do back in the end of May when they were playing like complete ***. They may not win the AL East, but they can't win #27 if they're not in the "tournament."
But hey, there are still 4 games to play and considering what these guys have pulled off, anything is possible. Until Boston clinches the East, I say we go for it.
Peace, love and Pinstripes.
J

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What Not To Do If You Want To Make It In MLB

If there are any promising youngsters out there with aspirations of becoming a big league pitcher, don't look to the Yankee bullpen for any tips, unless of course you want to know how to pitch your way out of a playoff roster spot.
Edwar has given up earned runs in his last 5 outings, Bruney has given earned runs in 5 of his last 6 outings. And Karstens. Not counting the game he got knocked out of, he's given up earned runs in 5 of his last 6 outings. You guys sicken me. Congrats fellas. Your season ends in 5 days.
J-Boogie

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

And The Noose Gets Tighter

I went to a casino tonight (won a C-note) and was driving back (about an hour drive) when both the Yankees and Red Sox games were in the 6th innings. It was a great ride home. I was flipping the channels on the XM back-and-forth with literally every pitch as both games were running neck-and-neck. The drive couldn't have ended any sweeter. Mo nails down the save and Papelboner gives up a Grand Salami. Yankees win and are now 1 loss back of the Sox. The best record in baseball? Gone. Home-field advantage in the playoffs? Gone. The supposedly insurmountable 14.5 game lead? Gone. Granted, there is still a week plus left of baseball, but if you think there's any chance that the Sox can get their act together, you're kidding yourself. They're pretty lucky Detroit is doing so poorly.

Peace, love and Pinstripes.
J-Boog

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Here Come The Yankees!!!!

Can you hear the footsteps? I say, can you hear the footsteps? CAN YOU HEAR THE ******* FOOTSTEPS??? If you can't, I highly suggest you get yourself a Miracle Ear because the sound is deafening. 2 games back in the loss column. I say, 2 games back in the loss column. Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.
We're coming to get'cha Sox Nation. I can feel your collective booties shaking way over here. Here come the Yankees! Crank up the speakers and sing it with me!
J-Boogie

Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm Baaaaaack!

First off, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the comments they left regarding the birth of my son. I appreciate them all. He likes to cry, but other than that he's doing great. I'm running the vacumn cleaner right now to quiet him down. It calms him. But again, many thanks for all the comments. It means a lot. I also want to apologize for my prolonged absence, but I'm sure you can all understand why I've spent the last several weeks away. Babies are fun, but lots of work. Who knew?
I can sum up my feelings about tonight's come from behind win in 2 words: eff yeah! Many thanks to Terry Frankandbeans for totally mismanaging the Sox bullpen. Love ya T. The so-called "greatest relief" tandem in baseball wasn't so great tonight. Okajima and Papelboner got lit up. How great was it to see Papalebon get ripped for the loss. Awesome. Totally awesome. Or better yet, it was wicked awesome. I like dem apples.
It was good to see the offense spring to life in the 8th. Hopefully it kick starts them back into high gear for the final stretch of the season. I was in Toronto for the Yanks/Jays series and the Yankee bats were definitely cold those final 2 games. It was painful to watch them lose the last game. But I knew as soon as Chris Britton took the mound that they were going to lose. I told my buddy Dan's girlfriend that they were done. 5 pitches later, they were. I was more ticked at Melky for tanking the fly ball of the bat of the Big Hurt in the first. That ball was totally catchable. I could have seen my first no-hitter. Kennedy looked great. He's a keeper. God bless Cashman for having the sense not to trade him or Joba for the likes of Gagne.
It wasn't a bad few days on the autograph front. My haul was Joe Torre, Don Mattingly, Robinson Cano, AJ Burnett, Mariano Rivera, Chien-Ming Wang, Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon. I had Johnny sign the HR ball from his 2000th hit game back on 5/30. He was nice enough to add "Hit #1999, HR # 157" to the ball. I just missed out on getting autos from Jeter and Roger Clemens. I missed both by mere seconds. Maybe next time. I'm sure Roger has another go 'round in him.
4 back in the loss column with 2 more to play against the Sox. Not a bad place to be. Especially with Wang and Clemens throwing. Tomorrow's matchup of Wang v. Beckett may just decide the Cy Young race in the AL. My money is on Wang.
It's good to be back. Peace, love and Pinstripes.
J-Boogie

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

He's here. The Boogie Down Baby was born on 8/22 @ 4:50am EST. he clocked in at 7 lbs 13 oz and measured at 21 inches. Mom and baby are doing great, and Dad needs some sleep. But the Yankees are on, and even though I've been up since 7am on 8/21 (40 hours) and I've probably slept for 2 non-consecutive hours if I'm lucky, but I'm a trooper, so I'm watching the game. I couldn't stay with the missus because it's a semi-private room, but it's for the best, as sleeping in a chair isn't all that great.
We went in yesterday at 6pm to start the induction process. It starts with a 12 hour process where they soften the cervix and then moves on to the actual induction. We didn't make it that far. She got the softener at 6:45pm. We thought it was going to be a walk in the park. Hang out, catch some z's, and wait for the real fun to begin in the morning. Little did we know that the real fun starts almost immediately. The contractions started around 8pm or so, and were fine at first, but a little after 10pm, they started getting closer and closer and more intense. The wife was writhing in pain, so they came in to check and see if she was dilated. She was still at 1 centimeter, same as she was 2 weeks ago. They explained that these contractions were normal with the softener and to expect them to continue. Not good. Needless to say they continued and continued to get worse. They offered her a sleep aid at midnight, which she took, and that was no help. They also checked to see what she was dilated...still 1 centimeter. At 2am, we got a slight break as they gave her a shot of some pain medication. The nurse said it would give her about 3-4 hours of relief. That relief lasted all of about 30 minutes. They also checked her cervix..still 1 centimeter. I tried to catch a few winks while I could, and did sort of okay, but I could hear the wife's breathing get heavier and heavier with each passing minute. The contractions were causing so much pain that the nurse came in at 3am and checked to see if she was dilated any more. 3 centimeters! Finally, progress. They ordered an epidural, which she got a little past 3:30. Now, they kick you out of the room when they do that, probably so you can't watch them mess it up and then sue their pants off down the road, so I was told to come back in 15 minutes. They called me back into the room at 3:55 and the wife was feeling no pain. But that wasn't the good news. She was fully dilated at 10 centimeters! She went from 1-10 centimeters in less than 2 hours. We killed a half hour waiting for our doc to show up. She got there at 4:25am. It was go time. 6 contractions and 25 minutes of pushing later, and out slid the baby. And at 4:50am EST, about 10 hours from when the whole thing started, and less than 3 hours from when she started dilating, I became a daddy, and I've never been happier. Holy cow. What an experience to go through. I'm on cloud 9. Here's a pic of the little guy, already representing.

He's here. The Boogie Down Baby was born on 8/22 @ 4:50am EST. he clocked in at 7 lbs 13 oz and measured at 21 inches. Mom and baby are doing great, and Dad needs some sleep. But the Yankees are on, and even though I've been up since 7am on 8/21 (40 hours) and I've probably slept for 2 non-consecutive hours if I'm lucky, but I'm a trooper, so I'm watching the game. I couldn't stay with the missus because it's a semi-private room, but it's for the best, as sleeping in a chair isn't all that great.
We went in yesterday at 6pm to start the induction process. It starts with a 12 hour process where they soften the cervix and then moves on to the actual induction. We didn't make it that far. She got the softener at 6:45pm. We thought it was going to be a walk in the park. Hang out, catch some z's, and wait for the real fun to begin in the morning. Little did we know that the real fun starts almost immediately. The contractions started around 8pm or so, and were fine at first, but a little after 10pm, they started getting closer and closer and more intense. The wife was writhing in pain, so they came in to check and see if she was dilated. She was still at 1 centimeter, same as she was 2 weeks ago. They explained that these contractions were normal with the softener and to expect them to continue. Not good. Needless to say they continued and continued to get worse. They offered her a sleep aid at midnight, which she took, and that was no help. They also checked to see what she was dilated...still 1 centimeter. At 2am, we got a slight break as they gave her a shot of some pain medication. The nurse said it would give her about 3-4 hours of relief. That relief lasted all of about 30 minutes. They also checked her cervix..still 1 centimeter. I tried to catch a few winks while I could, and did sort of okay, but I could hear the wife's breathing get heavier and heavier with each passing minute. The contractions were causing so much pain that the nurse came in at 3am and checked to see if she was dilated any more. 3 centimeters! Finally, progress. They ordered an epidural, which she got a little past 3:30. Now, they kick you out of the room when they do that, probably so you can't watch them mess it up and then sue their pants off down the road, so I was told to come back in 15 minutes. They called me back into the room at 3:55 and the wife was feeling no pain. But that wasn't the good news. She was fully dilated at 10 centimeters! She went from 1-10 centimeters in less than 2 hours. We killed a half hour waiting for our doc to show up. She got there at 4:25am. It was go time. 6 contractions and 25 minutes of pushing later, and out slid the baby. And at 4:50am EST, about 10 hours from when the whole thing started, and less than 3 hours from when she started dilating, I became a daddy, and I've never been happier. Holy cow. What an experience to go through. I'm on cloud 9. Here's a pic of the little guy, already representing.

He's here. The Boogie Down Baby was born on 8/22 @ 4:50am EST. he clocked in at 7 lbs 13 oz and measured at 21 inches. Mom and baby are doing great, and Dad needs some sleep. But the Yankees are on, and even though I've been up since 7am on 8/21 (40 hours) and I've probably slept for 2 non-consecutive hours if I'm lucky, but I'm a trooper, so I'm watching the game. I couldn't stay with the missus because it's a semi-private room, but it's for the best, as sleeping in a chair isn't all that great.
We went in yesterday at 6pm to start the induction process. It starts with a 12 hour process where they soften the cervix and then moves on to the actual induction. We didn't make it that far. She got the softener at 6:45pm. We thought it was going to be a walk in the park. Hang out, catch some z's, and wait for the real fun to begin in the morning. Little did we know that the real fun starts almost immediately. The contractions started around 8pm or so, and were fine at first, but a little after 10pm, they started getting closer and closer and more intense. The wife was writhing in pain, so they came in to check and see if she was dilated. She was still at 1 centimeter, same as she was 2 weeks ago. They explained that these contractions were normal with the softener and to expect them to continue. Not good. Needless to say they continued and continued to get worse. They offered her a sleep aid at midnight, which she took, and that was no help. They also checked to see what she was dilated...still 1 centimeter. At 2am, we got a slight break as they gave her a shot of some pain medication. The nurse said it would give her about 3-4 hours of relief. That relief lasted all of about 30 minutes. They also checked her cervix..still 1 centimeter. I tried to catch a few winks while I could, and did sort of okay, but I could hear the wife's breathing get heavier and heavier with each passing minute. The contractions were causing so much pain that the nurse came in at 3am and checked to see if she was dilated any more. 3 centimeters! Finally, progress. They ordered an epidural, which she got a little past 3:30. Now, they kick you out of the room when they do that, probably so you can't watch them mess it up and then sue their pants off down the road, so I was told to come back in 15 minutes. They called me back into the room at 3:55 and the wife was feeling no pain. But that wasn't the good news. She was fully dilated at 10 centimeters! She went from 1-10 centimeters in less than 2 hours. We killed a half hour waiting for our doc to show up. She got there at 4:25am. It was go time. 6 contractions and 25 minutes of pushing later, and out slid the baby. And at 4:50am EST, about 10 hours from when the whole thing started, and less than 3 hours from when she started dilating, I became a daddy, and I've never been happier. Holy cow. What an experience to go through. I'm on cloud 9. Here's a pic of the little guy, already representing.

Click Here

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Induction Day Is Here (Early)

The wife had a check-up today on the Boogie Down Baby and the decision was made to induce labor TONIGHT, as opposed to this Monday. I'm not sure why, but they assure me nothing is wrong. Wow.. My adrenaline is pumping! It just hit me. I'm going to be a Dad. And I'm going to be one soon. Keep your fingers crossed.
*******' Yankee bullpen. I turn the TV off in the 7th when it's 4-3. I wake up, check out the score on Yahoo and the bullpen blew it, not once, but twice. I thought Phil looked good except for his control problems. I also have beef with Melky Cabrera, as well as the YES announcers for that matter. I don't recall the exact inning but it was the play where Gary Matthews, Jr. hustled out a double on a grounder past Cano. My problem is that Matthews never reaches second if Melky backs up that play. Melky didn't rush the ball until it hit the outfield grass after it slipped past Cano. If he charges the ball as soon as it's hit up the middle, in case it gets by Cano, Matthews has no shot at second. Melky didn't break on the ball until it was already into the OF. Bad form. Even worse, Kay and Flaherty didn't even make mention of it. They kept pointing out that Robbie should have had the ball, which I agree with. But it was obvious that Melky messed that up. Ah, what could have been?
Be back in a few. Go Yankees!!
J

Monday, August 20, 2007

We're Coming To Get'Cha

Not a bad weekend for the Bombers. They pretty much stuck it to the Tigers after dropping the series opener. I thought the Yankees were going to flounder once they met up with Cleveland and Detroit? They swept the Tribe and took 3 of 4 from Detroit. Yeah, they're struggling alright. They bounced back quite nicely after dropping 3 straight. I'm telling you, with the Yankees rotation and the potency of their lineup, odds are good that they'll win 3 of every 5. Winning 4 of 5, or 5 straight, is what is going to push the Yankees back to the top of the East. 4 games back. That's nothing. Your time is running out Beantown.
I continue to be impressed with the performance of Joba Chamberlain. Hey Magic 8-Ball. Is Joba the real deal? All signs point to yes. Cool. I had the weirdest dream yesterday. It took place during the Yankee game as I was nodding off for a little nap. That typically happens to me every Sunday. I stay up until like 2-3 in the morning on Saturdays, and then get up for church at like 8:30 on Sunday. Napping is inevitable. Anyway, the dream took place during Joba's 7th inning outing. I had the game on while I was sleeping and the game was a primary component of my dream. When Chamberlain was coming in, I was dreaming that they wheeled out this special walkway for him to make his entrance on. He walked down a ramp, and then took a seat on a green blanket, and was then carried to the mound by a bunch the grounds crew. It was like something out of ancient Egypt--a bunch of minions carrying the Queen or something down a walkway, something like that. When he got dropped off at the pitcher's mound, the ground's crew threw the blanket thingamajigger toward home plate, and it did all these loop-dee-loops and whatnot. Posada ended up catching it and the crowd went bonkers. It was pretty weird.
I'm still not feeling the blogging thing any more. I keep wanting to sit down and whip up an entry, but it's been hard to do lately. I'm definitely not the Cal Ripken of the blogosphere. I'm still watching the games though, when I'm not dozing off. That'll never change. I like blogging about the boys, hopefully, it's just a phase. I have been keeping up on my fellow blogger's posts. I need to do a better job of commenting though.
The Boogie Down Baby's due date is today. I don't think he's coming. We had an appointment last Friday and everything looks good, there's just no change in her, umm, dilation, I guess. I'm expecting him to stay in there all week. If that's the case, she'll be induced next Monday, a week from today. Holy wow. I'll be a dad within the week. That's a crazy thought. Exciting times.
Let's kick some Halo hiney!
J

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

This Is Sad

The Yankees got blown out and the Devil Rays choked away their game against the Sox. No worries. Everything is Kool and the Gang. I am very annoyed however.
A few months ago, I picked up a signed Phil Rizzuto ball off Ebay. Earlier today after I found out about his death, I'd say there were about 100 total listings for items signed by Phil. That was around Noon. I checked again a few minutes ago (10:15pm EST) out of curiosity and there are now well over 400! I did a double check seconds ago (10:20pm EST) to verify that number, and there are now 521 listings! I had watched some auctions for several weeks and there were typically 50 or so listings. And now with his passing, over 500 in less than a day and they're popping up every minute. Ridiculous.
It ticks me off as a collector of signed memorabilia to see people just sit on items waiting for these guys to pass away and then try to unload them and make a quick buck when they do. When I won the ball a few weeks ago, I got it for $50.99. I got it from the promoter that worked almost exclusively with Phil when he did signings. Right now, there's a ball out ther with a bid of $299, with the majority going for well over $100.
Another check at 10:27pm EST and there are now 533 listings! Sad. Truly sad. Profiting at the expense of the recently departed. Only in America.
RIP Scooter.
J
edited to add @ 10:45EST the following day- There are now over 600 listings

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

RIP Scooter

I'm sad to report that Yankee great Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto has passed away. I'm pretty bummed. i never got to see the Scooter play, but i have many memories of listening to him on the radio and on WPIX when I was much younger. i always loved his enthusiasm and how he often would exclaim "Holy Cow!" on what he thought was a monster hit but turned out as a routine grounder. I'm smiling right now.
Godspeed Scooter. Rest in peace.
J

Monday, August 13, 2007

Who better Than WB Mason? Derek Jeter, That's Who!

Wooooo! I am freakin' pumped! The end of tonight's Yankee game was one for the ages. Melky guns down Mora to save the tying run from scoring. Abreu almost ends the game in similar fashion but his throw was just high. Melky gets beaned, which was off because the catcher was set up low and away and the pitch was high and inside. The Giambino muscles a single to RF and a deep playing Orioles OF allows Melky to get to 3rd. And then the Captain. Oh the Captain! Jeter comes through in the clutch (again) with a little dribbler off Bradford's glove and Melky scores. Yankees win! Thuhhhhhh Yankees win! Mother eff yeah.
This was a fun one. Wang struggled in the first but settled down. His struggles lately don't really bother me all that much. He's got the ability to settle down and the offense has the ability to pick him up. We saw it tonight. We'll see it again.
How awesome is Joba Chamberlain? He has been lights out! Dude has an arm doesn't he? Wow. I'm not sure he was deserving of the "player of the game" award, but I can support that choice. Move over K-Farns. your services are no longer needed. I wouldn't be surprised if we rarely, if ever, see K-Farns pitch again. Especially in a close game. It would be a dream come true. Mo was a little shaky. I wouldn't care so much but it's his second sub-par outing in a row. But he's Mo. He'll work through it. And it won't take long. Chamberlain gets the 8th. Mo the 9th. Game over.
Melky gets my choice for player of the game. The diving catch. The RBI double. The 9th inning gun down. Melk is in the zone. Sorry I doubted you. This just goes to show that Melky is best suited to play everyday. He struggled when he was a part-time player. He's been off the chain since getting regular ABs. Surprisingly, the only Yankee starter without a hit tonight was Robbie, who has been absolutely phenomenal at the plate. He was due for an O-fer. Everybody else picked him up. That's how they roll.
Karstens gets the spot start tomorrow in place of the Rocket. Let's keep this ball rolling.
Peace, love and Pinstripes!
J

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sweepin' Their Way To The Top

I am starting to really stink at this blogging thing. I'm just not into it as much as I used to be. What I am into is a 3 game sweep of the Indians! It got a little hairy there for a second today, but Mo worked his way out of the jam and the Yankees leave Cleveland on an extreme high. They're in a virtual tie with the Mariners for the wild card, and they're now only 4 games, count 'em 4, behind the Red Sox. Times are good. There's no doubt who's playing the best baseball right now. There's no doubt who's played the best baseball over the last month, month and a half. Like I said a few posts ago, be very afraid.
Everything is clicking. They're getting good pitching. By far the highlight of the Indians series were the performances of Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain. Both looked great. Chamberlain though. Oh boy. Kid is going to be something special. Can't wait for him to be in the rotation next year. Moose had a great game yesterday and Pettitte was outstanding today. Everybody is doing their thing and getting the job done. I think the current Yankee rotation can match-up pretty well with any staff out there. Kicking **** and taking names. That's what they're doing.
Am I the only one that sees an offensive explosion happening every inning? This is such a different lineup than it was a few months ago. Cano and Cabrera have absolutely energized the lineup. Both have been absolutely amazing. Cano has 49 hits in his last 107 ABs (.457). I liked O'Neill's comment today about how hot Robbie has been. Guys usually stay hot for a few games, like 10-15 ABs. What Cano is doing is down right awesome. And then there's Melky with his 17 game hitting streak. I am glad that Melky has been an everyday player now that the major bats that are usually in the lineup are back. It's kind of funny seeing such a highly paid guy like Damon or Giambi ride the pine while the Melk Man plays day in and day out. I may have been wrong on that one. Melky can be so much more than just a backup OF. Cashman deserves a lot of credit for refusing to deal Melky at the deadline for Gagne. Melky has been terrific while Gagne has been disastrous. It's been awesome to watch.
How awesome is it watching Shelley Duncan celebrate in the dugout after someone goes deep. I love how the cameras flash to him in the dugout as the guy rounds the bases. He's just standing there licking his chops, waiting for a forearm bash. I loved it yesterday when he grabbed A-Rod by the jersey and they both growled at each other. The kid is a trip to watch. Duncan, Cabrera, Cano, Hughes, and Chamberlain have infused so much energy into the clubhouse. This team is starting to remind me of the Yankee teams from the '96-01 years. There's no doubt in my mind that this hot streak is going to continue.
An update from the homefront. The "Boogie Down Baby's" due date is rapidly approaching. A week from tomorrow. It looks like things might be starting to kick off a little early. The missus possibly lost her "plug" and the contractions are starting to become more frequent. She's had quite a few over the last few hours. It's hard to tell if this is the onset of labor. I'm getting extremely excited.
A baby is coming and the Yankees are winning. Life is good.
J

Thursday, August 9, 2007

It's Like Deja Vu All Over Again

I just got done watching this week's "The Bronx is Burning" on ESPN. They flashed an interesting piece of trivia during the "Backstory" segment that had me feeling pretty good and it prompted me to look it up. On August 9, 1977, 30 years ago today, the Boston Red Sox led the Yankees by 5 games in the standings. The Yankees ended up winning the division that year by 2.5 games. And here we are, 30 years later, with the Yankees in an almost identical situation. I'm thinking history just might be repeating itself. I can't think of a better way to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of the 1977 World Championship team.
Tell 'em Yogi: "It's like deja vu all over again."
J

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Home Cookin'

I just realized that the Yankees have 12 guys on the roster that are products of the Yankees farm system. Who knew?
Derek Jeter
Jorge Posada
Shelley Duncan
Phil Hughes
Joba Chamberlain
Melky Cabrera
Robinson Cano
Jeff Karstens
Mariano Rivera
Chien-Ming Wang
Andy Phillips
Andy Pettitte
They may have the highest payroll, but there is no way anyone can justify that they're trying to buy a championship. I wonder how many teams out there have that many homegrown guys on the sqaud? The great thing is that each of of these guys is contributing. The stretch run is going to be great.
J

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

They Keep On Keepin' On

That was certainly an entertaining game. And the Yanks just keep on rolling. They've taken the first 2 games of this series which guarantees another series win. I hear a lot of so-called experts out there still stating that the Red Sox are a shoe-in to win the East and I'm sorry, but I don't see it. There's no debate that the Yankees are the team playing the best baseball right now. And they're only getting better. The rotation is finally solid with the addition of Hughes. The bullpen has been upgraded with the subtraction of Proctor and the addition of Chamberlain. Giambi is back. Things are finally bouncing their way.
The Rocket looked awesome tonight. Mr. Splitee was out in full effect. Classic Clemens. I was kind of hoping that he'd pitched to a few more hitters before seeking out retribution for Alex getting plunked. What's up with that anyway? The Jays had their shot at payback yesterday and they blew it. I can see throwing at him again, but not another shot at his knee. That's just not right. And yammer all you want about A-Rod making a bush play last May, but most people know that it's part of the game. It's been happening for years. Howie Clark was dumb enough to fall for it so it got so much attention. Say what you want but in my opinion, that was a puss move by the Jays. I so wanted to see Towers get rolled. Telling Alex to "get to first base" backed with an "eff you." The Yanks hit him where it counts though and that was on the field. Have fun is Syracuse Josh. And am I the only one that noticed Gregg Zaun was about 10 feet from the plate when A-Rod was barreling towards home. I kind of was hoping that there'd be a play at the dish. Zaun would've landed in the front row. Chump.
The offense continues to rip things up. Abreu, Cano and Cabrera continue to stay hot. I've got to apologize for the comments I made earlier in the season about trading Melky because all he'd ever be was a backup outfielder. the Melk Man has me eating crow and I don't mind in the least. He's been on an absolute tear. It was good to see Jorgie get a few base hits, but come on dude, turn on the jets. Gunned out twice at second. I like the aggressiveness, but you've got to know that the Jays OFs have killer arms. I'm still not 100% sold on Shelley Duncan. I can see him fading and becoming mediocre. I do have to give him props for breaking up that DP, and for heading out after Matt Stairs. I respected that a lot.
And finally there's Chamberlain's debut. He wasn't lights out, but considering the first night jitters, he looked pretty good. His slider was absolutely sick. I'm expecting huge things from Joba. It's going to be great in '08 when he takes his spot in the rotation. He's got a great career ahead of him. Take it to the bank.
Tomorrow they go for the sweep. Wang v. Halladay. Ace vs. ace. I think Roy's in for a rough day.
Peace, love and Pinstripes.
J