Thursday, May 31, 2007

He Said, She Said

There's been a lot of discussion today surrounding A-Rod's involvement in that missed pop up in the 9th inning of the Yankees/Jays game. I was at the game, seated out in RF, so I have no idea if A-Rod said anything or not. And I will say that if anyone runs by a fielder and yells "I got it," then that's pretty bush league.
I DVR'd the replay so I could try and see myself in the stands on Damon's 1st inning jack, and for those wondering, I did. I also wanted to see the TV coverage of that play as it happened. After watching it, and breaking it down in slo-mo, I don't think A-Rod yelled "I got it," and if he did, the Jays third-baseman is an idiot, or just a rookie that made a bad mistake.
When I slowed it down and watched it frame-by-frame, it looks like Howie Clark has a bead on a ball and diverts his attention from it right when A-Rod's foot is about to touch the dirt at third base. A-Rod would have been on Clark's right when Clark moved off the ball. Jays SS John McDonald would have been on Clark's left. A-Rod was already a few strides to Clark's right when Clark broke from the ball. If A-Rod said something, Clark should have known his teammates call would have come from back and to the left. Back and to the left. Back and to the left. Sorry, I had an Oliver Stone moment there. A-Rod was nowhere near John McDonald when Clark changed his focus. In fact, A-Rod was about 8 feet or so from the third base umpire when Clark moved off the ball. I'm not sure what the exact rules of baseball are when it comes to "verbally" interfering with balls in play. I know that players in the dugout show things at guys going after foul balls. It'd be kind of the same to me. Bush league. But that's an accepted part of the game. I'd have to think that the umpire, being the closest to A-Rod at the point it looks like Clark moves off the ball, would have heard exactly what A-Rod yelled. If A-Rod ran by yelling "I got it" repeatedly, we probably would have been able to hear that on the replay. After breaking down the replay, I don't think Alex yelled much.
I do though think he yelled something. He had that little smirk on face after things cooled off. I think the odds are pretty good that the Jays look for a little payback the next time these 2 teams meet.
Peace, love and Pinstripes,

A Great Closer

Back home from Toronto. I'm not sure how long, or how coherent this post will be as I'm pretty bushed. But I wanted to check in with a few quickies.
The Yankees finally won a game. A good way to close out the series, even though the first 2 games were beyond ridiculous. Prior to the game, my friend and I each picked up signed balls by Mariano Rivera. He signed for the 20 or so people waiting for him to get on the bus. Others signed (a handful) but no one that either of us needed. I also caught a glimpse of Ah-nuld Schwarzenegger. He was in town and staying at the Yankees hotel. It was funny when they blocked off the streets and drove through with his motorcade, complete with a police motorcycle escort. Poor Chien-Ming Wang had to wait 5 minutes to cross the street while the po-po waited for him to drive buy.
Congrats to Johnny Damon on hit 2000. We were sitting out in section 104, which is in right-center. When he trotted out to CF after his 2nd hit, we stood up yelled his name, he looked at us, we clapped and gave him one of those "you the man points." He gave us a nod and a tip of the cap. That was cool. But let me backtrack for a second and tell you something cooler. On Monday, we sat in section 104, row 1, seats 7 and 8. Today we sat in section 104, row 1, seats 5 and 6. Damon's leadoff HR landed in section 104, row 1, seat 8. I was in seat 6 and there were people next to me so I didn't catch it. My wife tells me you can see us on TV so for those of you with DVR you might want to check the replay. I've got mine set up to tape. I'm rocking a grey Yankees t-shirt (kind of looks like the road jersey) and my friend is wearing the old BP jersey. But that's not all......
I knew before Tuesday's game that Damon needed 2 hits for 2000. And after his dinger, I couldn't for the life of me remember if he had a hit on Tuesday. I was pretty sure he didn't, but wasn't positive. During the Jays pitching change in the 1st, I slid over to the guy that had the ball and offered him another ball and 15 Canadian dollars for the ball. He had originally handed the ball to his female companion. They were Jays fans so i didn't think they'd care if they gave it up. The guy thought about it for about 2 seconds and then handed over the ball. So, I am in possession of Damon's 1st inning HR. It might not have been hit #2000, but it's still a deal I was happy to make. I'll eventually get him to sign it (Johnny signs all the time) and I'll ask him to put something on it like "Hit# 1999, HR#157, 5/30/07." Or something like that. Either way, I'm happy. It's my 1st HR ball. I'm not counting it as a "caught" HR ball though. That's still on my list of things to do. One of these days.
I got wind of the "Stray-Rod" story this morning when I was hanging outside the player's hotel. There was a reporter there from The Toronto Sun who had a copy of the photo from the Post along with a copy of the story. He was basically there to get a story. He actually took quotes from my friend Dan and I, along with a few pictures of us reading the story, and it's supposed to run in tomorrow's edition (I'll link it up when they put it up). I'm really interested to see if I'm "misquoted" in anyway. This was basically my take:

  1. A-Rod's an idiot if he is actually cheating on his wife with the "mystery blond." Alex is pretty recognizable and I'm pretty sure that he's well aware that eyes are watching.
  2. If he did cheat, who's to say what kind of "arrangement" he and his wife have. For all we know, they have an "open" marriage. There were reports of he and the missus being swingers a few years back, so who knows? But again, I don't think he's cheating on her. Guy ain't dumb.
  3. The story itself was written like it was by an 8 year old. And notice that there aren't any reports of them being all over each other in the strip club or anything like that. The guy from the Toronto Sun was headed over to the strip club to see what he could uncover, so maybe things will change.
  4. Guys go to strip clubs.
  5. Nobody (at this time) knows who the mystery blond is. And honestly, we probably never will know. A-Rod shouldn't have to justify what goes on in his private life.
  6. He stayed at a different hotel last year also. It really has no bearing on the story from a sexploit standpoint.

I can't wait to see if I'm misquoted. I believe I uttered the phrase, "If he did it, maybe he had his wife's permission." I can see them lopping of the beginning and end of the statement and it reading "Jay, a Yankee fan from Buffalo, says, "he did it." Anyway, look for me in the Toronto Sun tomorrow.
edited to add @ 10:55am 5/31- I checked out the e-version of the Toronto Sun's story and it looks like they didn't use any of my quotes. I'll have to look for the hard copy to see if the photo is at least in there.
All things considered, we had a pretty great time up there. Reggie's profanity filled tirade being the highlight of course. No a bad haul on the memorabilia tip:

  1. Ron Guidry signed ball
  2. Don Mattingly signed ball
  3. Reggie Jackson signed ball
  4. Robinson Cano signed ball
  5. Alex Rodriguez signed ball
  6. Mariano Rivera signed ball
  7. Johnny Damon's 1999th hit

In addition to that, my friend Dan has signed balls from Joe Torre, Miguel Cairo, and Ken Singleton. Not too shabby. It was definitely more that I could have imagined.
Holy wow, it's just about 3:30 in the am. Tomorrow, I'll catch up on the comments and get reacquainted with my fellow Yankee bloggers posts. Right now, I need me some sleep.
edited to add @10:55am on 5/31- why am I up already??
So much for a few quickies.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Profanity Filled Tirade Courtesy Of Reggie Jackson

Another pathetic performance by the Yankees offense. I asked this question yesterday, and I'll ask it again, with a different name? Shawn Marcum? Really now? Shawn Marcum? The Yankees again made a bum pitcher look like Cy Young. What gives? Since the announcement of Clemens return, the Yankees offense has gone cold. I remember posting when he signed that he had a lopsided career record when he gets at least 4 runs of support, and the Yankees had only scored less than 4 runs twice this season at that point. My how the times have changed. But enough about that.
Reggie Jackson is a mean old man. Reggie is in Toronto. he was part of a Q&A held by the Blue Jays ticketing office as part of a flex back promotion. That was Monday. Reggie stuck around. Now Reggie is old school. He's not afraid of people. A lot of these current day players plop headphones in their ears or perpetrate like their on cell phones to avoid an interaction. Reggie will roll you over. Reggie first left the team hotel yesterday and took a walk to get breakfast. My traveling companion and fellow Yankees fan Dan and another guy decide to tail Reggie and see if they could get him to sign away from the hotel. They got their chance and politely (or so they say) asked Reggie if he'd sign. He said no, and my friend Dan politely thanked him anyway and then Reggie said OK and he'd sign. So he signed the two balls and my friend Dan commented to him that he enjoyed the Q&A from the day before. As Dan tells it, Reggie put his hand on his shoulder and said "I don't mean to diss you but I don't want to talk to you." Fair enough. So after Dan got back and told the 4 of us waiting at the hotel the story, we thought we'd go across the street and ask him after he finished his lunch. Reggie hops out of the restaurant and starts walking toward us. He sees the 4 of us move into position and he starts waving his hands in the air as if to ward us off and he starts yelling at us "No bleepin' way! 1 or 2 is OK but when it's more than that it's bleepin' ridiculous." Interesting. So one guy asks Reggie, "Would you have signed for me if I had followed you around and waited for you?" And then Reggie went off. "I don't give a (bleep) what you (bleeps) do. I do give a (bleep) what people think. I'm 60 (bleepin') years old and this is (bleepin') BS. You (bleepers) follow me the (bleep) around and I'm (bleepin') sick of it. Stop (bleepin') asking me." Wow. And there was a little more too but I don't remember the exact phrases he was using. All in all, I think I counted a dozen or so F-bombs. It was actually pretty funny. It's too bad I didn't have a camera phone because that video would be up on YouTube. Good stuff. So then the team bus was getting ready to leave and Reggie walked out and hopped on. The 15 of us that were there didn't acknowledge him. But then he surprised us and hopped of the bus and signed for those of us standing there. His disposition was far from pleasant as he didn't say a word to anyone. Maybe he felt a little bad about going off on the 4 of us. Maybe that's just his angle. Act like it's a big inconvenience and then do it anyway. I doubt it though because I've heard stories of him dropping F-bombs in front of little kids. Good stuff.
It was a pretty good day all around. The day started off with Joe Torre signing a few balls while walking around. Then Dan got Miguel Cairo. Then Yankee great Donnie Baseball signed a few. Then Reggie closed out the morning session. We could have gotten a few more but we were running low on baseballs and didn't want to use them on guys like Josh Phelps.
When we went back after the game Robinson Cano signed getting off the bus. The closer was A-Rod signing for 5 or 6 of us as he walked across the street.
And yes, he did stay at a different hotel. One across the street from the rest of the team. Make of that what you will.
Time for day three. Hopefully, we don't get swept out of Canada.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Man We Stink

Greetings from Toronto. Yesterday was no fun. Hopefully today will be better. I've never attended a Yankees game where I thought they didn't have a fighting chance. But by the 3rd inning, I didn't see any fight in the dog and I knew our chances were slim. Dustin McGowan? I'll ask it again. Dustin McGowan? The Yankees couldn't hit Dustin McGowan? These guys are making junk pitchers look like Cy Freaking Young. Un-freaking-believable.
Before the game, the Blue Jays held a private Q&A with Reggie Jackson. It was a perk for buying one of their flex packs. It was supposed to last an hour and a half and it lasted about 45 minutes. It was pretty cool. Reggie was pretty up front and candid. At one point he was posed a question about what his thoughts were on Bonds. It was pretty funny as before he answered he asked if there was any media around. He didn't pull any punches in his reply if you know what I mean. He also said at one point during spring training a few years ago he didn't recognize Sammy Sosa because he was so much smaller. Same thing for an unnamed catcher who is still playing today. I can only assume he was talking about Pudge. Interesting stuff.
The autograph seeking didn't go well yesterday. I picked up a Ron Guidry while my friend snagged a Kenny Singleton. There were some others that could have been had but why waste a perfectly good MLB baseball on Wil Nieves and Doug Mientkiewicz? Nobody of any real significance signed except for Damon, and he always signs. Good guy. Hopefully, today will be a better day.
And as for my friend "bowlajello's" comments that it's my fault they're losing as when I watch them they lose. Sure I went to game 7 in 2004 when they lost to the Sox, but for the most part, they win more than they lose when I'm there. And besides, they're pretty bad whether I'm there or not.
Gotta go. Time to do some more hawking.
Dustin McGowan? Really now?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Heading North

I'm headed up to Toronto for the Yankees/Jays series. I'm not sure if the rinky-dink hotel we're staying in has any kind of internet access, so I may not be posting until Thursday. Hopefully, I come back with 3 wins and plenty of autographs.
Hold down the fort. Go Yankees!

Sunday, May 27, 2007


The Yankees scored 3 runs. Wil Nieves knocked in 2 of them. That's not a recipe for a win. It should have held up, except Scott Proctor channeled his inner Luis Vizcaino and blew the game big time. It's another typical Yankee game. The good pitching and good hitting are never present at the same time.
Frickin' Proctor.
Frickin' Yankees.
I still want to punch K-Rod square in the nose.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Another Dud

What an incredibly boring game today. I actually dozed off for most of it. It doesn't look like I missed much. Another pitiful performance by the Yankees offense. I think this is the 3rd or 4th game now where the sole run production is from Doug Mientkiewicz. You know you're offense is bad when he's the guy knocking in the runs. Pitiful.
I saw Wang's first inning implosion and was surprised to hear he lasted 8 innings when I saw the final up on the screen and Michael Kay mentioned he went 8. I actually woke up when there was 1 out in the bottom of the 9th. For a split second I thought the Yankees might have a shot at a comeback, but then I realized I was awake and not dreaming. When the count was 1-2 on Abreu I said to my wife before the pitch that he'd strike out looking. And sure enough, Blind Bobby came through. Granted the pitch was off the plate, but you have to at least foul the pitch off when it's that close and take a whack at the next offering. There's no excuse for watching strike three with the tying run on base. I don't care how good your eye is. If it's close, you swing. Bad call by the ump. Worse call by Abreu. Swing the bat. And am I the only one that wants to punch K-Rod right in the nose. I hate watching him after he gets the last out. He drives me nuts. I so wanted to see him get beat.
Boston wins again. 11.5 game back. This team needs to flip the switch already. 21-26 is not the mark of a good team, and right now the Yankees record suits them. They look like **** day in and day out. For the most part, there has been no consistency from anyone. I'm going up to Toronto for the 3 game set with the Jays and I really hope that these guys put up some kind of effort and play like they're capable of playing. I'm getting beyond sick of watching them play like garbage.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The $200 Million Dollar Pyramid

Host: 60 seconds on the board. And the game starts now. Go!
Giver: ineffective, inconsistent, horrendous, terrible
Answerer: What is the Yankee bullpen?
Host: Right!
Giver: weak, inaccurate, not strong
Answerer: What is Johnny Damon's arm?
Host: Right!
Giver: taking out starters too early, pinch running for Jason Giambi, letting Luis Vizcaino pitch
Answerer: What are bad moves consistently made by Joe Torre?
Host: Right again. Half way there. 42 seconds remaining....
Giver: a basket case, a liar, the biggest waste of money ever, someone I hope to never see in Pinstripes again
Answerer: Who is Carl Pavano?
Host: Correct! 30 seconds.
Giver: George Steinbrenner
Answerer: Who's really on the hook for the Yankees being so bad?
Host: Correct! Last one 20 seconds....
Giver: zero, zilch, slim, none
Answerer: What are the Yankees chances for winning #27 in 2007?
*bells and whistles and sirens go off, confetti and balloons fall from the sky*
Why pull Tyler Clippard? Really Joe, why?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Yanks Win A Series. I Go Yard!

I'm a little bummed today. Due to softball last night, I totally missed Curt Schilling get rocked by the Yankees bats again. I would have loved to have seen that. But alas, I was too busy hitting 3-run homers and pitching our way to another victory. It was a sweet shot that split the gap in right-center and kept rolling. I'm pretty good at taking it the other way in softball, which is real tough in slow pitch in my opinion. It's my first dinger. i should have had 4 last year but I'm always up after this slow older lady who barely makes it to 3rd on those hits. I catch up to her before I hit second and have to stop. It drives me nuts. But anyway, seeing the headlines out there about Schilling getting ripped were nice.
I caught the last few innings on the radio during the drive home. Man, I want to slap Kyle Farnsworth upside his melon. Memo to Torre: find a new setup man. His job is to get 3 outs in the 8th. He's not effective in his role. Replace him.
From what I gathered, Pettitte was again solid. his ERA dropped even further. Where are all the doubters now? 10 starts and an ERA of 2.66 (tied with Beckett for 5th best in AL). I think we can finally put to rest all the pre-season buzz that he was old, injury prone and would have an increased ERA from making the jump back to the AL. We haven't seen any of that. It's too bad the offense and bullpen have blown a few of his wins. A 3-3 record doesn't do AP justice.
There's a lot of people knocking Clemens on his outing last night. Put little stock in that performance. It's a lot like spring training. Most of the time they're just working on throwing certain pitches and not working necessarily on getting everyone out. No worries here. I really hope he decides to skip another start in the minors. I have tickets to the 3 games in Toronto and would love nothing more to see Clemens make his return in person. I've never seen him pitch and would love to be able to say I saw one of the greats. And most of all, if he's in town, I'll have a shot at getting his autograph. That would be money.
The Yanks are on a mini-roll. Winners of 3 of their last 4. The Halos are coming to town and they always give the Yankees fits. The only team that has a winning record against the Yankees in the Joe Torre era. Unreal. That's a trend that needs changing. Let's keep the momentum going.
Enjoy the off day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Take 2 Steps Forward, Now Take 2 Steps Back

Just when you think the Yankees have taken 2 steps forward, they take a step backwards. One of these days, they're going to break through.
I can't believe that the Yankees again failed to knock around Julian Tavarez. He's not that good of a pitcher. How he stymied the Yanks again is beyond me. He was just asking to get hit, but no one delivered.
Moose didn't have it last night and you could totally see that from the get go. His fastball had no pop to it. Surprisingly, he kept the Yankees in the game for the most part. If it weren't for another blown call, who knows what would have happened. Regardless, good teams would have battled through that blown call and gotten out of the inning. We can't hang the L on that blown call, though it did hurt a lot. I know the Yankees have benefited from many a blown call over the years, but typically those blown calls balance out throughout the season. Right now, nothing is going in their favor. I suppose the law of averages say eventually things will balance out. It needs to happen soon.
Giambi continues to be the main attention getter. Rumors abound that he failed a drug test for amphetamines last year. According to the article, it's rumored that about 80 or so guys failed a test for amphetamines last year. So before anybody jumps all over Giambi, break it down. On average, it's about 2.5 people per team, or 10% of the league. That's not to say that every team had a guy test positive, but odds are good. If you think your club is high and mighty and above doing this type of thing, you're nuts. There's also rumors that the Angels are interested in Giambi's services. I wasn't impressed with the pieces I heard involved. Figgins and Molina. Yawn. I can see King George wanting Figgins because of how he was for the Halos two years ago. That's how he operates. But Giambi has a blanket no-trade clause and i don't see him going anywhere. I'm still on the fence about seeing the Yankees get rid of him. Maybe they'll pull a page from the Sox playbook and waive him and see if they can get any takers for that salary. Who knows?
I love all the people out there whining about A-Rod's slide into Pedroia. Sure he came up with the elbow, but that's baseball. I'm pretty sure I remember Orlando Cabrera sliding into 2nd and throwing his back into "I can't remember who" during the 2004 ALCS. Why weren't the Sox fans whining about a cheap shot then. "No way, that was a good hard slide," I remember them saying. Whatever floats your boat. The fact of the matter is that's baseball. That kind of play happens every day. Quit your whining.
I'm going to miss some of the game tonight. Wednesday night co-ed softball is back. It's OK but for the most part it's not fun. The guy that runs our team lets way too many people play, so you're lucky if you play 3 innings. I pitch, so at least I've got something to do. With any luck, by the time I get to the bar to down a few adult beverages, the Yankees will have themselves a nice lead. They have to win this series. Our 1-2-3 can't drop a series to their 4-5-1. It just can't happen.
Go Yankees!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sox It To 'Em

Yeah, I'm a little late with the recap. Better late than never.
A 2 game winning streak. I was beginning to forget what that felt like. It's sad when we get excited about winning 2 in a row. But at the same time, it's nice. I went to Cooperstown yesterday for the annual Hall Of Fame game. I've decided it's pretty much a giant waste of time. I woke up at 5:30am, drove 2 hours from Buffalo to Syracuse to pick up 2 friends, then drove another 1.5 hours to Cooperstown. The game is pretty much pointless. The pitchers are the guys that are on their throw day and they're just laying it up there and everybody swings at the first pitch just so they can get out of there. You get about 2 innings from the major league talent and then they turn it over to the minor leaguers. And by inning 5, the major league talent is already on their way to their next destination. Pretty boring. It's the 2nd year I've gone. I really only go to try and get autographs. I walked away with one. Vernon Wells on an official World Baseball Classic ball. I'm trying to work on getting the entire Team USA roster on one ball. Vernon makes 3. Damon and Buck Martinez are the other 2. With any luck, I'll get Jeter, A-Rod and Clemens before the year is out. My face is also extremely sunburned. It hurts a smidgen but I'll make it through the day. I'm a trooper. So all in all it was a waste of time. And knowing that, I'll probably be there next year.
So after I dropped off my 2 buds back in Syracuse, it was time for the Yankees/Sox game. I literally left Syracuse at first pitch. Unfortunately for me, my XM's battery was dead and I had my wife's ride, so I didn't have the charger. I wasn't happy at the prospect of having to listen to the game on terrestrial radio and having to look for the game on different AM channels as I drove out of the previous channel's range. I also knew that they don't carry the games here in Buffalo, so I'd likely miss some of the game at some point.
I've said before that I'm not really big fans of Sterling and Waldman. But nothing beats listening to baseball on the radio, especially when you're driving. The only drawback is that excessive celebrating may lead to receiving weird looks form passing motorists, as was the case when A-Rod went yard in the first, and again when they picked up 2 runs in the 2nd. It starts with a little fist pump, followed by a little swerve of the car, then a little toot on the horn, and the closer is pretending the steering wheel is a bongo and you're playing a kick-*** solo. Ah, good times.
And sure enough, at about the bottom of the 4th, when I was between Rochester and Buffalo, the signal cut out, and I lost the game for about 45 minutes. It's so annoying that there are no stations in Buffalo that carry Yankees games. Hockey's over. Deal with it. Anyway, I started manually searing through the AM dial to see if I could pick up some faint broadcast on a far off channel. If you've ever manually searched your way through AM stations, you know this process can be time consuming. And by the time you get to a channel, you don't know if it's a commercial break and you're on the right channel or what. I was able to pick up the Cincinnati Reds game. That annoyed me like you wouldn't believe. Anyway, I decided to take one last trip through the dial and finally found the game when i was about 12 minutes from home. 6-1 Yanks bottom 6. Hold on guys, you can win this!
So I get home, get my belongings out of the hooptie hoop, go inside and it's 6-2. Ugh. But as well all know, they held on. Yanks win 6-2! Great win.
The offense is looking up. A-Rod hit another bomb. Three games in a row. I think it's safe to say he's on the track back. Blind Bobby has been on base 8 of his last 12 PAs. Damon had 3 hits and a walk. Cano had 2 hits. Jeter extended his hit streak. The offense looks like it's moving in the right direction. But I won't say all the problems are fixed after 2 games. We've got a long way to go.
Wang sounded like he battled for that win yesterday. What was most impressive about Wang's performance was his pitch selection. He mixed in a lot more changeups and sliders than usual. The result, more Ks and more walks. But that's what you got to do. Evolve as a pitcher. The more comfortable he gets with those pitches, the deadlier he becomes. And finally, the bullpen didn't blow it. The Yankees pitching staff is starting to look like one of the league's best. And they have for a few weeks now.
So we picked up a game in the standings and we're building a little momentum. I'm cautiously optimistic as we've seen this before this season. I only hope they've turned a corner.
Peace, love and Pinstripes.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

6 Outs To Go

I've got to make this a quick one. I'm heading to Cooperstown in the morning for the annual Hall Of Fame Game. It's about a 4-hour drive from Buffalo and 5:30am comes early so there won't be time to blog about the Yankees game after it's over. We just made it out of the 7th with a 5 run lead.
I was glad to see the offense build on what it did at the end of Saturday's game. Through 7 innings, we've seen 6 runs on 11 hits. I'm not assuming that they've turned a corner. But tonight's game is definitely a step in the right direction. Jorge and Jeter continue to swing hot bats. A-Rodacus went yard for the 2nd straight game. Matsui had 2 hits. And Abreu! 2 hits and a walk. When Blind Bobby gets on base 3 times, things are good.
You had to be impressed with T-Clip's outing. 3 hits and 6 Ks over 6 innings. Nice. Another impressive outing by a Yankees rookie. The future of the Yankees pitching staff looks pretty bright. Yankees fans should be very excited about the young arms down on the farm. And how 'bout Clip's double? Nice stroke from the kid.
Proctor just got Reyes looking to end the 7th. 6 outs to go. Let's get some insurance and here's hoping the bullpen does it's job and gets the rook his 1st ML win.


Found this on Giambi opened his yapper to USA Today and now it's being reported that the Yankees once again are looking into voiding Giambi's contract.
While I love Giambi as much as the next guy (or girl), I don't think it would be entirely a bad thing if the Yankees somehow find a way to wiggle out of his contract. Giambi's salary is $21 million, guaranteed this year and next. The Yankees can do a lot with $20 million and quite frankly, Giambi isn't worth the money. He has his moments, but he's definitely overpaid.
According to the article, it mentions that Giambi is meeting with the commish's office and the results of that meeting will likely determine how the Yankees proceed with Giambi. It'll be interesting to see how this story develops.
Stay tuned.
Peace, love and Pinstripes.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Close But No Cigar

Another day. Another loss. This one doesn't sting as bad because at least they put up a fight. But alas, it was a little too little, it was a little too late. With any luck, the last 2 innings of today's Yankees/Mets game will change the recent trend of poor performances by the Yankees offense. Knock on wood.

I really think the Yankees need to stop playing Saturday games on Fox. First, Jeff Karstens. Now, Darrell Rasner. Is there some kind of hex on Yankee starters when Fox gets the broadcast. Looks like Raz is out for a few months with a broken finger. It's amazing the misfortune that the Yankees have run into this year. What did we do to make the Baseball Gods unhappy?

The game today was pretty much a mess. The negatives:

  1. Cano had 3 errors
  2. D-Raz's injury
  3. A 2-run HR off Damon's glove
  4. Vizcaino was again Vizcaycrappy
  5. Farnsworth was horrible

But there were some silver linings:

  1. Everybody got a hit
  2. A-Rod finally hit a HR
  3. Posada went 4-5
  4. Jeter extended his hit streak
  5. Ron Villone pitched 2 scoreless innings

I'm hoping that silver linings 1 and 2 are signs of things to come. We need everybody to hit and we definitely need A-Rod to be April A-Rod. I shudder to think what the Yankees record would be if A-Rod didn't have a hot April. 14-27 maybe? I still don't think our season is down the drain yet. There's a lot of baseball left. You have to think that sooner or later, the bounces will start going our way. Not much is going, or has gone, in our favor this season. One injury after another. Blown calls. You'd think in the end it will all even out. Right?

The final week and a half of this month will be very interesting. You have to think Torre's job, as well as Cashman's, are on the line. I know Cashman put this team together, but I can't really put any blame on him. I think he put together a winner, or at the least, a team that could make it to October. It's not his fault that so many things have gone wrong, or that so many guys are underperforming all at the same time. Something has to be done though. I hope that the late rally we saw today was a sign of things to come. Let's build on that.


Friday, May 18, 2007

Another Craptacular Loss

It's getting to the point where every post I write ends up the same. Good pitching. Blah hitting. Yankees lose. Thuhhh Yankees lose. That's sounds familiar. I wonder if I opened with that before. I should hire myself a fact checker, or whatever they're called.
Pettitte got jobbed again. No surprise. I'll give credit to the Mets defense and to Oliver Perez. They took care of business and got the job done. Pettitte again pitched well enough to get the W, but the offense couldn't pick him up. I can't remember which announcer said it on the post game show, it was either Kay or Singleton (I'm leaning Singleton), but right now it's 2 carrying 7, and it needs to be 7 carrying 2. The only guys who are hitting with any kind of consistency are Jeter and Posada. Everyone else, just horrible. Abreu has turned into an automatic out. I really think someone needs to give him an eye exam. A-Rod is on the verge of bringing back the boo birds. I could go on and on, but it's the same old line.
They made a good point on the post game show, and it's something that I've noticed. The Yankees aren't playing their game. They're not working counts. They're not taking pitches. They're not getting into opposing bullpens. What they're doing, isn't working. Kevin Long needs to get with Donnie Baseball and figure out a game plan and they need to do it with the quickness.
4 games under .500. 10 games behind Boston. We're circling the drain folks. But there's still a lot of water left in the tub. There's time to turn things around, but they need to do something fast.
Man, this is getting old.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Has Anybody Seen Murderer's Row Plus Cano?

First off, I must again apologize for the gaps in posts and my absence in leaving comments on my fellow Yankee bloggers sites. Time has been escaping me lately. I do a lot of my posting and commenting at work. There's always a rough patch that keeps me off the net and to be honest, I don't like it. I want to get paid to blog. Who doesn't?
Due to the rain out and the day game today, I didn't get to see much of the Chicago series. Quite frankly, it's probably for the best.
The pitching has done pretty well in May. A team ERA of 3.82 (4th best in AL). That's nothing to complain about considering how the staff did in April. For those that forgot, or are just too lazy to look, the team ERA in April was 5.02, good enough for 12th best in the AL. I think the Yankees have the pitching staff to compete, and to contend. Who knew our problem would be our offense?
A-Rod has been awful at the plate in May. That hot start isn't going to amount to much at the rate he's going. Abreu still blows. Giambi's average is going down faster than my cousin did when she was in Nip/Tuck (sorry, I can't abandon the reference). We should have traded Melky in the off-season when we had the chance. Robbie is batting about 100 points below where he was last year. It's amazing that an lineup with such talent consistently under-performs. There are too many guys in a funk and the team can't afford it. Posada and Jeter can't do it all by themselves. If you told me before the season started that Posada would be leading the free world in hitting in mid-May, first I would have laughed, and second I would have thought the Yankees would have won 75% of their games. But instead we're sitting at 18-21 and 9 games behind Boston. You wouldn't think a team that has the top 2 hitters, the top HR hitter/run producer would be doing so poorly.
These guys are playing like absolute doo-doo. Where is our great offense? It doesn't seem like these guys can consistently be on the same page. How we lead the league in runs scored is beyond me?
This is a pretty rough stretch we got coming up in the schedule. First we got the Mets (best team in NL), then the Red Sox (I hate to say this, but best team in MLB) and then the Angels (they always give us fits). These next 9 games could be make or break. This could be the stretch that defines the Yankees season. It's time for these guys to nut up and show us what they got.
These guys need some motivation. Somebody needs to light a fire up under their *****, maybe break out the paddles, charge 'em up and shock this team off life support. Sadly, I don't think Torre is going to do it. I don't see it in him.
Somebody get on the horn with Matt Foley.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Night And Day

Sorry for not posting over the last few days. Mother's Day (happy belated). Work. Household chores. Buying a car. Not fun.
Am I the only Yankees fan that is getting severely frustrated with the Yankees play? Man it's painful. They pitch real well and they don't hit. They hit real well and they don't pitch. What's extremely frustrating is that the pitchers are pitching well enough to win every ball game. It's the offense that hasn't been holding up their end of the deal. And I don't think anybody could have predicted that. With the pitching they've gotten, they should be winning every ballgame, except of course for Wang's last outing. DeSalvo and Pettitte were awesome. Even D-Raz pitched well enough for the win. The Yankees have played 13 games in May. Throw out the bad outings by Wang and Igawa, and the Yankees have only given up 21 runs in those 11 games. You'd think hearing that the Yankees would have won all 11 of those games.
You can't fault the entire offense though. They do have the top 2 hitters in the AL in Jeter and Posada. Jete and Jorgie are really the only 2 that are delivering consistently. A-Rod has cooled off. Damon has been slumping but is looking like he's breaking out of it. Giambi is OK. But everyone else is just plain awful. I think Abreu could be declared legally blind. What he's done so far is mind boggling. He's not even drawing walks. Pitiful. This team isn't going to win anything if they can't score some runs. It wasn't long ago we were saying the exact opposite. This team won't win anything if they don't stop giving up runs. Remember that? Well, they've stopped. What happened to the offense?
Now we find ourselves 2 games under .500 and 8 games in back of the Red Sox. By the way, thanks Orioles for gift-wrapping that Sox come from behind win yesterday. Real nice. The Yankees are much better than their record indicates. These guys need to figure out a way to get great hitting and great pitching. The Yankees should easily be able to score 4 runs every game. Right?
April and May have been like night and day. April saw great hitting and crappy pitching. May has seen great pitching and crappy hitting. Find the balance guys! Find the balance.
Peace, love and Pinstripes,

Friday, May 11, 2007

What A Yawner

Tonight's Yankees/Mariners game was one of the dullest Yankee games I've witnessed in recent memory. There's not really much to write about. But what would this post be without a little effort, right?
I thought D-Raz pitched a decent game. His only real mistake was giving up a 2-run shot to Johjima. He had a little control issues but nothing to write home about. You can totally tell who Torre and Guidry have faith in. Proctor looked real sharp. Bruney looked alright. Not his greatest outing but when no runs score, you're doing your job.
You've got to give a tip of your cap to Jarrod Washburn. He held a potent Yankees offense in check. He scattered 6 hits, 2 of which were weak bloopers by Posada. Definitely a brilliant outing by the Seattle hurler. The Yankees had their chances but nothing materialized. Cano and Cabrera each whiffed in the 2nd with 2-on. Matsui fouled out with 2 on in the 3rd. The timely hit didn't come tonight. The offense has yet to hit its stride. Abreu is downright horrible right now. Cano is no better. They're both hitting about 70 points below what they should be hitting. There has to be something wrong with Abreu. He's not even working walks, something he's usually pretty good at. Give the dude an eye exam. Jeter, A-Rod and Jorge can't carry this offense. Mattingly and Long need to work some magic with these guys. 3 guys are hitting over .340. 6 guys are hitting below .255. If you do the math, it won't add up to a Yankee win.
So with this loss, the Yankees drop back to 2 games under .500. They are now 7-4 in the month of May. If they can continuously win 7 of 11, we've got nothing to worry about as that will get them to 98-100 wins. So even with the loss, they're moving in the right direction. They've been playing a lot better as of late and I still don't think there is anything to worry about. There's a lot of baseball left to play.
Peace, love and Pinstripes.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What The Dilly?

I left my desk and the score was 1-1. I come back to my desk and it's 7-2. I sit at my desk for 5 minutes and it's 14-2. It doesn't sound like things are going our way today. I need somebody that watched this monstrosity to fill me in because all I'll see today is the box score.
Oh Vizcaycrapo, why do we bother with you?
In AL East news, BJ Ryan is having Tommy John surgery and is done for the year. I guess I can go drop him off my fantasy team.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


What can I say about this game that I haven't said about the last few games? Hmm, let me see here. Great pitching? Nope, said that. Great defense? Said that too. Solid offense? Word. Man. I guess I don't need to write a blog tonight. Sweet. I guess I'll devote this post to tonight's American Idol. Psyche!
I'll start again with the great pitching. Moose doesn't seem to be showing any ill effects for his hamstring injury. He looked sharp. The Yankees rotation is solid. Throw out the Igawa start and you're looking at 8 starts where they've given up less than 2 runs. Check out this line on the last 5 starts: 33.2 IP, 18 H, 5 ER, 8 BB, 14 K, 1.34 ERA, 0.77 WHIP. Man, the Yankees rotation is weak. I can totally see why everybody thinks that. Pettitte is garbage. Wang is the worst pitcher, possibly ever. Moose is ready to be stuffed and mounted on somebody's wall. Whatever. I'm pretty confident that before the end of the month the Yankees will statistically have one of the best pitching staffs in the American League. Mark it down. Put it on the board. Take it to the bank. Do whatever you got to do. It's happening.
The bullpen was sharp. I thought Torre actually managed this one pretty effectively. We're seeing a nice trend here. The starters are throwing 6-plus. The bullpen is getting adequate rest and are pitching more effectively. Was i the only one who was a little nervous when Mike Myers strolled in? i was all set to come in and type an entry called "Lefty Crapalist" but he saved himself tonight. They made light of the fact that Myers moved where he stands when facing lefties. I'm really hoping this helps him get that average against lefties down. It's also a positive that Mo got some work even though it wasn't a save situation. The more work he gets, the more consistent he's going to be.
If you visited the blog earlier tonight, you probably saw my "Nieves Hit Watch." Much to my surprise, he roped a single into LF and ended his 4 and a half year hitless streak. You think I can take credit for the hit. He did after all get the hit about an hour after I started the watch?
The Yankees defense is looking real sharp. I wanted to reach through my TV and put Michael Kay in a headlock when he said that Jeter hasn't made an error in 19 games. I was so ready for Jeter to boot a ball in the first inning. You're lucky nothing happened Kay.
Despite scoring 6 runs, I didn't think the Yankees offense was terribly impressive. They jumped all over Tejada in the first inning but pretty much cooled off after that. Outside of that, it was just Jeter's 2-out hit in the 4th. The Captain is on fire in 2-out situations. Jeter is now 9 for 15 when there are RISP and 2 outs. Now that's clutch.
I'm not happy that there is an afternoon game tomorrow. I like listening to games on the radio, but when I'm at work I can never devote my full attention to the game. Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang gets the call. I listened to his last start on the radio and we all know how that went.
Peace, love and Pinstripes.

Nieves Hit Watch 2007

Coming into tonight's Rangers game, Wil Nieves is 0-21 this season and has been held hitless in his last 33 at-bats dating back to 2002.
2nd inning: groundout to 3rd, extends hitless streak to 34 ABs (cut him!)
4th inning: sac bunt (at least it doesn't count against him)
Congrats Wil! You're now 1 for your last 35, and no longer can I say you're 0 since 2002. I still think they should cut you. And your teammates were right to laugh at you for trying pathetically to stretch that into a double.
Funny how he gets a hit in his first official AB after I started the official Nieves Hit Watch. I'll take credit for reverse jinxing him.
That was fun while it lasted.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Breaking News: Bullpen Holds Lead For Pettitte

Now these are the kind of games I expect to see. Great pitching. Timely hitting. Solid defense. A Yankees victory. You gotta love it.
Andy Pettitte was again solid. Rumors of his demise have greatly been exaggerated. The surprising stat of the night is that he yielded 5 doubles and only gave up 1 run. You have to love his ability to get himself out of trouble. And it's about time he got a win. The offense staked him to a lead that the bullpen couldn't choke away, no matter how hard Henn tried. The cardinal rule when you're a relief pitcher is to not walk the leadoff batter. They always seem to come around to score. Henn really needs to work on his control. He's now walked 10 batters in 16.2 innings. The free passes have been something that has plagued the Yankees bullpen all season. Yankees relievers have now walked a league-high 65 guys in 120 innings. Going into tonight opposing teams were only hitting .222 off Yankees relievers. Quit issuing the freebies and we'll be in good shape.
May has been a pretty great month for Yankees starters. Throw out the monstrosity that was the Igawa game and you're looking at a rotation that has given up 6 earned runs in 45 innings. For those of you that are without calculator, that's an ERA of 1.20. Pretty impressive. You have to like what you're seeing if you're a Yankee fan.
The defense continues to be impressive. Those early season errors haven't manifested into huge defensive problems. The team has committed 1 error in their last 9 games. I'll take that. How about the play of Doug Mientkiewicz? Wow. He had a killer 5th inning. He flat out robbed Michael Young and the play he made on Laird was pretty sweet. You've got to love Dougie's glove. He's warming up at the plate too. He's definitely earning his spot in the lineup.
An A-Bomb from A-Rod. It's about time my man went yard. The Yankees got tonight what they sorely missed last night, and that was timely hitting. Granted, they got a little help from some defensive mishaps. These guys put up 8 runs and they're still not running on all cylinders. Posada, A-Rod and Jeter are locked in. Now imagine how things would be if Damon, Cano, Abreu, and Mastui get going on the regular? Instead of 8 runs, maybe they get 12? They did still leave 10 men on base. That's to high in my opinion. This lineup is better than that. It was good to see Robbie pick up a couple of 2-baggers. He's been slipping lately. I thought it was pretty cool of Joe to drop Bobby Beltran down to the 7-spot. I'm not impressed with what I'm seeing from Abreu. He's got to be better than that. He looks lost out there.
I'm still not over that blown call last night. But as I mentioned, the Yankees had their opportunities. That call shouldn't have made a difference. But it did, and I'm still a little ticked.
Stinkin' Gerry Davis.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Bobby Being Beltran

Tonight's Yankees loss was tough to swallow. That was definitely a game where "the bounces" didn't go our way. In this case, the bounce is a blown call on a stolen base by pinch-runner Willie Bloomquist. Bloomquist was at least out by 2 feet. I can't even fathom blowing a call like that. You can get off your knees know ump. You've succeeding in blowing the game. That was horrible. And of course, instead of being the 3rd out, Bloomquist scores. Had that call gone the Yankees way, as it should have, Rivera comes in with a 1-run lead and we likely don't even see Beltre in the 9th. Ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as the Yankees not arguing that call.
DeSalvo was great. That's probably the second best outing by a Yankees starter this year, next to Wang's flirt with perfection. Matty D. scattered 3 hits over 7 IPs. And he only threw 89 pitches. He probably could have gone 1 more. Great outing by the rook. Farnsworth was even great. Rivera on the other hand, still struggling. I blame Michael Kay for that dinger. When will announcers learn? How often does something like that happen? It all reality, probably not that often, but it seems like it happens all the time. It drives me nuts. You hear it come out of their mouth and you just get that feeling. And there it goes, over the wall. Yankees lose.
The offense had their chances but failed to capitalize when it counted. 14 baserunners and they only get 2 runs. That's unacceptable for an offense of this caliber. If we have to keep relying on Doug Mientkiewicz to supply the run production, we're going to be in trouble. He seems to be the only one coming through with RISP. Horrible night by the offense. I dropped a stat earlier that the Yankees had scored 3 runs or less only 3 times this season. I guess we can make it 4. 4 out of 30. Still not bad. Had the offense done their job, that blown call in the 8th wouldn't be a big deal. The game shouldn't even have been that close. Memo to Bobby Abreu: Get the bat off the shoulder! Who are you? Carlos Beltran?
I'm still ticked by that call. DeSalvo was definitely robbed of his first major league win. Ridiculous. The Rangers come in tomorrow. Pettitte's on the hill. I hope for his sake he pitches a complete game. I'd hate to see the bullpen blow another win for AP.
edited to add: DeSalvo is getting another start this Saturday in Seattle. The kid deserves it.

Curse You Michael Kay

"Since giving up 4 earned runs to Boston on April 27th, Mariano Rivera has pitched 3 scoreless innings." - Michael Kay

A few pitches later, Adrian Beltre hits a 2-out go-ahead HR in the 9th off Rivera. *******' announcers!

"Michael Kay is a d-bag." - J-Boogie

If the score holds up, credit this loss to the umpire who made the worst call I've ever seen.

Did You Know?

was listening to the MLB channel on XM today and they dropped a stat that blew my mind. I wish I wrote it down so I had the exact figure. I heard it while working so I hope I have it right. I tried to find it on the web but I couldn't. If anybody heard this stat, or knows where to validate it, let me know. Now that I've got the build up out of the way, here's the stat:
Roger Clemens' career record when he receives 4 runs or more of run support is 267-13. 13 losses when he gets at least 4 runs scored on his behalf. Wow.
Roger now has one of the best lineups ever assembled on his side. The Yankees have scored 4 runs or more in 26 of their 29 games this season. As a Yankee fan, you have to be extremely excited by that. Wow.
Has anyone else heard that stat? I'd love to know I got it right, but I know I'm in the ballpark.
Peace, love and Pinstripes,

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Oh Yeah, There Was A Game Today

With all the hoopla surrounding Roger Clemens' return to the Bronx, I almost forgot there was a game to talk about. And just so everyone knows, the lucky shirt I donned for the 3 game sweep of the Indians made it back into the rotation for yesterday's game. I've got it on today. I'll have it on tomorrow. The shirt is now 5-1 and it comes along with the Rocket's re-signing.
The player of the game was definitely D-Raz. First pitch strikes. That's the key right there. Yankees fans couldn't have asked for anything more. Wang got the ball rolling yesterday. D-Raz kept it going. May has definitely been a much kinder month to the Yankees pitching staff. Throw out the Igawa game and we've seen 5 starts and 4 earned runs given up by the starters, an ERA of 1.16. The entire staff only gave up 7 runs in those 5 games. You have to be very encouraged by the staff's performance since May 1. And oh yeah, Roger Clemens is back!
I've asked this before. I'll ask it again. Why is Wil Nieves a major league catcher? Another Ofer. He's still o fer 2002. Horrible. DFA him and let Phelps be the backup. How 'bout Phelps running down Johjima? A little cheap? Yes. But it was good to see him fight for that run. And then of course that sparked off some beanballs. I thought Phelps deserved to get hit. I thought Proctor throwing inside at Betancourt was uncalled for, but it was good to see him standing up for one of his guys. I was hoping to see Farnsworth come barreling in from the bullpen and deliver a body slam or two.
Abreu seems to have snapped out of his slump. 6 for his last 14 over his last 3 games. The offense still can't all gel at the same time. Today A-Rod and Giambi delivered the goose eggs. Congrats to Matsui for picking up his 2000th professional hit.
It's amazing that nobody caught on to Clemens' return prior to the announcement. What a shocker! Oh what I would have given to have been at the stadium. Roger hopes to return by the end of the month. With any luck, it'll be the last 3 days of the month when the Yanks travel to Toronto because I'll already be there. That'd be killer. I might have to make a roadie to Scranton and see a minor league start depending on the timetable. I'm still in utter disbelief that this went down today. Somebody queue up U2's "Beautiful Day." Wow.
Who knew the Yankees would get two victories in one game? May is shaping up to be a great month.

Rocket Rotation

Clemens. Pettitte. Mussina. Wang. Hughes.

Chew on that for a while. Mmmm, tastes good.


Start Spreading The News

Guess who's back? Back again? Rocket's back. Tell a friend. Guess who's back? Guess who's back? Guess who's back? Guess who's back? Guess who's back?
Oh yeah.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

I Love Wang

First off, let me apologize to those of you that came here from an internet search engine expecting to see something else. Wait, why am I apologizing? It's pronounced "Wong" you sickos.
Chien-Ming Wang flirted with perfection today. He retired the first 22 batters he faced before giving up a solo HR to Ben Broussard. I listed to the first 7+ innings on my XM. The Pawtucket Red Sox were in town to face the Buffalo Bisons and I went down to the park to see if I could get a couple of autographs. I did. Craig Hansen and Jacoby Ellsbury. Two balls signed, both on sweet spots. Nice.
The gates opened at 4pm about the same time that the Yankees game started. It took about 45 minutes to get the two autographs and I left right after as I didn't want to stick around and watch that game. I was lucky enough to get a free ticket from some guy outside the park so it didn't cost me anything. The drive home took about 20 minutes and I pulled in the driveway as Wang got the last out in the 6th. There was no way I was going in to watch this game on TV. I knew the second I went in and turned the game would be the second that Seattle spoiled Wang's bid for perfection. So I sat in the car and listened to Sterling's call of the game. But alas, it wasn't meant to be. Not today anyway.
You've got to love Chien-Ming Wang. He is far and away the ace of the staff and his outing today did nothing but solidify that. His outing today was the Yankees longest outing of the year by a starter. It was also the best. No one can argue with that.
It took the offense a while to get to Weaver but they broke it open with a 5-run 6th. I was afraid for a brief second that everyone was going to be mailing me a beatdown, but thankfully, the Yankees offense took care of business. Jeter gets the offensive star of the game, bouncing back from an 0-for-6 night and going 3 -for-4. I hope A-Rod's late HBP isn't anything serious. I hate national broadcasts because they have no post-game show. It's so much better when these games are on YES.
And now it gets interesting. Darrell Rasner goes tomorrow. Matt DeSalvo gets the call on Monday. Now's your time to shine guys. Let's hope Wang's outing today jump starts things.
Peace, love and Pinstripes,

Will The Real Kei Igawa Please Stand Up?

I'd like to say I'm surprised by yesterday's 15-11 loss to the Mariners, but I'm not. Much of the game was what we've seen all year long. Mix in some great hitting with some crappy pitching and what do you get? If you said a Yankees loss, you get a gold star. Send me your address and I'll drop it in the mail.
Kei Igawa was again horrible. He's now had 6 starts and in my estimation he's had 3 good starts and 3 really bad starts. I really have no idea what to expect from him when he pitches. Talk about inconsistency. He was just flat out awful. In typical Yankees fashion, he didn't even last 5 innings.
When Igawa left the game, I still thought the Yanks were okay. But then Colter Bean came in and made sure they weren't. Have fun on the bus ride back to Scranton, or preferably Trenton. Bean put on a clinic last night: How Not To Pitch Like A Major Leaguer. Lucky for Bean, it featured guest speaker Jose Vizcaycrapo. Talk about a guy who "fell down the ladder." Vizcay when from set-up to mop-up pretty quickly. It's evident Torre has no faith in him to get the job done anymore. I don't think anyone does at this point. If you do, let me know, and I'll mail you some Ritalin because you obviously need help paying attention.
After that brutal 8-run inning, I was a little worried about Torre's management of the bullpen since both Farnsworth and Rivera were unavailable. I've got to credit Mike Myers for taking one for the team and throwing a full 4 innings. And he didn't pitch too poorly either. So big up to Mike Myers. The team needed that.
When the Yankees score 11 runs, they shouldn't lose. When the Yankees get 16 hits and 6 walks, they shouldn't lose. The offense definitely slugged their way to a win last night. The rotation just couldn't hold it down. Igawa got spotted to a 5-run lead. Seattle came back, the offense answered. Seattle came back again, the offense again answered. It was good to see Damon and Abreu break out of their slumps. The Yankees definitely need that on the regular if they need to slug their way to a win. It's hard to believe that Jeter was the only one left out of the hit party. I never thought I'd see him go 0-for-6. He had his shot to keep the 9th inning rally going, but his groundout on the first pitch quickly ended that. I'm not sure why he swung on the first pitch? The A-Rodacus homerless game streak has now reached 9 straight games. Buy if we wants to keep going 2-for-5 with 3 RBI, I won't complain. But come on Alex, get that swing back. Chicks dig the longball.
Things look much better today. Chien-Ming Wang gets the ball against American League punching bag Jeff Weaver. Now that I said that, Weaver will probably pull a Julian Tavarez and pitch a gem, so if it happens, it's my fault. If it does, I'll give you my address and you can mail me a beatdown.
Peace, love and Pinstripes.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Double Up (Uhh Uhh)

Man I missed the Moose. How good was it to see him back on the bump? He was outstanding. It almost seems like things are getting back to normal. The rotation is almost what it should have been on Opening Day. Wang, Pettitte, Mussina, and Igawa. The only one were missing is Pavano, which I think everyone is fine with. I think the odds are high we've seen Pavano pitch his last game in Pinstripes. I would be extremely surprised if he ever took the hill for the Yankees again. That signing was definitely a bust. What a waste. I was extremely encouraged by Mussina's outing. 64 pitches through 5 innings. He had his control working, 77% of his pitches went for strikes. It would have been nice to see him pitch a little longer but I can understand why he wanted to bail after 5 since it was his first start back. You don't want to over do it.
The entire pitching staff had a pretty good series for the most part. It still irks me that Vizcaycrapo got the win in the first game. Pettitte deserved that win. If you haven't been reading the posts, that's the 3rd game the bullpen has blown for Pettitte this year. That needs to change. Farnsworth had a pretty good outing in game 1 of the DH but he didn't fare as well in game 2. Thankfully, there was no one on and the Yanks had a 3-run lead. Thanks for not blowing it. Mo looked pretty sharp. It's about time he picked up some saves. Overall, a great series for the pitching staff. I think they flashed up that the team posted an ERA of 2.00 over these last 3 games. People might say "but come on it's the Rangers." Well, it's the Yankees pitching staff. They haven't exactly been superb to date, but things are coming around. The starters are lasting longer. The pen is getting rest. Things are improving.
Why is Wil Nieves on the roster? The guy is useless. He's still hitless in his last 5 years. Zero for his last 29. Here's what I propose, cut him. Let Josh Phelps be the backup catcher and free up a roster spot. Nieves is just horrible. I hate light-hitting catchers. Nieves is a no-hitting catcher. It gets no worse.
Damon and Abreu are slumping big time. Damon I can kind of understand with the bad back and bad legs, but Abreu? Something has to be wrong there. Over his last 12 games, Bobby is 5 for 48. The #3 batter for the New York Yankees cannot bat .100 over the course of a dozen games. If this were A-Rod, you know you'd hear a stadium full of boos when these guys return home tomorrow.
Jeter, A-Rod, Giambi and Posada are carrying this offense right now. Scratch that. Doug Mientkiewicz is carrying the offense right now. Just kidding but you have to admit his longballs have helped immensely. Jeter is in the zone. He's now hit safely in 59 of his last 61 games. I still can't find the stat my friend Don was telling me about the other day. It's something like Jeter is only the 3rd player in history to have a stretch like that, with the other 2 being Joe DiMaggio and some guy from the 1800s. If anybody knows that stat, lay it on me. Giambi's performance has been a pleasant surprise. I knew the OBP would be there but I wasn't expecting to see him hit for average. He justs needs to learn how to run. Talk about awkward. A-Rod has cooled off, homerless in his last 8 games. No big deal if you ask me. He had a tremendous April. You knew he wouldn't keep up that pace. He is due for a longball though.
I wasn't expecting to see the Yankees sweep the doubleheader. Not for lack of confidence in them to win both games, but it seems like teams always split doubleheaders. As Ice Cube would say, today was a good day.
The Yankees are out of last place. They've won 3 in a row. That's a winning streak.
"It's starting to come together, Pepper. It's starting to come together."

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Wang Getting Props

saw this mentioned in several places, so I thought I'd share. Time Magazine has a "list of the 100 men and women whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world."
I don't think the list is ranked in any kind of order because Tina Fey is #1, but check out #57. It's none other than Chien-Ming Wang.

Here's an excerpt from the piece written by Betty Bao Lord:

"In his island home, he is already a supernova. Whenever he pitches, whether it's a live telecast or a rerun, Taiwan ditches its political woes and personal cares to huddle in the most unlikely places—from bars to beauty parlors to boardrooms—to cheer Chien-Ming. No matter that the fan shouting alongside is mandarin or mendicant, from the mainland or local born, a great-great-grandma with bound feet or a bare-bottomed tot, the voices are one."

Wow. I don't know one Yankee fan that doesn't like Chien-Ming Wang. He's such a nice guy too. When the Yankees play in Toronto, I hang around the team hotel trying to get a few signed balls. Most walk right by, but Wang is one of the ones who will always stop to sign. He's one of the good guys.

Stat Line Of The Day

At 9:15pm EST:
Doug Mientkiewicz: 3 HRs in 58 ABs, 1 every 19.33 at-bats
Manjaya Ramirez: 4 HRs in 100 ABs, 1 every 25 at-bats

Jose Vizcay-crappo

Am I the only one who's a little irked that Jose Vizcaino got credit for the win? Guy comes in and gives up a game-tying dinger and then lucks out when the Yankees pick up the go-ahead run in their half of the next inning. How many games does this bullpen need to blow for Andy Pettitte? This was Pettitte's 6th start and it was the 4th time the bullpen blew the lead after he left. Andy seems to be this year's John Smoltz. There was one point late last season where the Braves bullpen had blown saves in 6 of Smoltz's games. Pettitte is already up to 3. 4 if you count his first start where he left before going the 5 innings necessary to get a win.
And of all batters to give up the HR to. Jerry Hariston Jr. 30 career home runs. 1 every 80 at-bats.
Memo to Joe Torre: Don't let Vizcaino pitch with a lead.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Get Out Of My Head

On a whim, I decided to click on MLB Trade Rumors to see what was up. And what do I see? How Soon Before Yankees/Phillies Rumors Surface? Nothing is in the works, but it basically brings up what I brought up very early Wednesday morning, though it's from a Phillies perspective. The writer of the post, Tom Goyne, author of Balls, Sticks and Stuff, "a Phillies-centric site," thinks the Phillies won't move a starter "unless the deal is decidingly in their favor." With the recent rash of injuries to Yankees starters as well as Pavano's setback, they might just get that deal, assuming of course that Cashman is looking to bring in an arm from the outside.
If a deal with the Phils ever comes to fruition, remember where you heard it proposed first. If it doesn't happen, those posts will conveniently disappear. Kind of like the Yankees chances to make it to the postseason if things don't improve.
Game was rained out. Doubleheader tomorrow.

Here's A Shocker

I just got home from softball "practice." Yup, it's that time of year again. It wasn't really a practice as there were only 6 of us. It was more or less I'll pitch, you hit, and somebody shags flies. Pretty boring stuff. Who needs to practice for co-ed bar league softball anyway?
So after I showered and then devoured a double stacked Subway Club sub (hey practice was tough, get off my back),I hopped on over to Pete Abraham's blog (man, I wish I were a beat writer) to see if there was anything new. And there is, and this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.
"Carl Pavano felt something in his right arm during his bullpen and shut it down after a few minutes."
No way. I don't buy it. Carl Pavano hurt? Impossible. I'll assume you all picked up on the sarcasm. What's wrong with this guy? I can totally see Carl parlaying this into being out for the season and then blaming it on the recently fired strength coach. And I'll bet the vast majority of Yankees fans feel the same way. There is absolutely no trust there. I saw we cut our losses while we can. Do you think it's possible that on the flight back to the Bronx CP goes missing and ends up in say Tupelo (now that was random)? Kind of like lost luggage, except in this case, no one would come to claim him. Dare to dream.
If they need to shut CP down, which is probably the case, this only makes matters worse for an already horrible situation. The rotation is basically Wang, Mussina, Pettitte, and Igawa. I haven't heard or seen anything about who is filling in. I'm not excited about any internal prospects. I think Tyler Clippard could handle it, but do we really want to see another 22 year old rushed to the bigs? Not with the way things are going. No chance.
I think Cashman needs to start looking outside of the organization for a durable starter, unless of course the Yankees want to mail this season in, because as it stands now, this rotation isn't going to get us to October. I've already made my suggestion about looking at Jon Lieber. I like him because he's already shown he can handle the Bronx and he's a horse. We need a guy that can throw deep into games, and that's Lieber. He's the first guy that comes to mind.
I'm hoping they get this game in tonight. I really don't want to have to miss game 1 of a doubleheader if it's tomorrow afternoon. Rain rain go away. And take Carl with you.

Finally, Somebody Gets Fired

According to Tyler Kepner of the NY Times, the Yankees fired Marty Miller, the team's strength coach. It's pretty evident that whatever this guy was doing, wasn't working. The injuries have happened to way too many people for it to be a coincidence. The interesting point in the story is that Miller was "unpopular with some players and several opted out of his program." I think red flags should have gone up as soon as the first guy opted out. Doesn't that send a message? Nobody knows the player's bodies better than the players.
Hopefully this changes things because the Yankees can ill-afford to lose anyone else. This is the best news I've gotten all day.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Pop Goes The Hammy

Phil Hughes. Wow. The kid was on his game tonight. I can see why they call him "Phil Franchise." If tonight was a glimpse of what we can expect from Phil throughout his career then this kid has "Hall Of Fame" written all over him. OK, maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but the kid was awesome tonight. It's a shame that hammy popped and he couldn't finish the game on his terms. A no-hitter into the 7th inning and the hammy goes. Why Baseball Gods? Why? I think the Yankees need to take a closer look at their Strength & Conditioning Coach because the number of injuries that has plagued the Yankees defies explanation. It's unreal. Wang. Mussina. Pettitte. Hughes. Pavano. Karstens. Damon. Matsui. I again ask the question, why Baseball Gods? Why? And from what I gathered from the post-game show, Hughes is definitely going to miss some time.
You have to love Phil's performance. He was attacking the strike zone. He was mixing his pitches. He was getting first pitch strikes and staying ahead of most batters. The end result, no-hit ball. Yankees fans have every right to be excited about what the future holds for this kid. I was all set to order a "Phil Hughes" Yankees shirt tonight. I think I'm still going to, but we'll see. Barring any massive weight game, I'm sure I'll get plenty of wear out of it.
Abreu still looked like ****. I wonder if he is having eye trouble. He's swinging at pitches out of the zone. He's hitting weak grounders. He's misjudging and dropping fly balls. Maybe Bobby has just gotten lucky when he makes solid contact. The only hole in my theory is that he's able to track a fly ball. So maybe his eye sight isn't bad? Maybe it's just failing? Maybe he needs some specs or contacts? Somebody call Lou Brown and get this guy an eye exam.
Did anybody catch A-Rod's little hand signal after his double in the 5th. He was twirling his finger as if to say "let's keep the line moving." At least that's what I took from it. It was quickly followed by doubles from Matsui and Posada. Situational hitting. It works.
The offense was clicking. A-Rod: 3 for 4. Posada: 3 for 4. Cano: 4 for 5. Jeter extended his hit streak and he's now hit safely in 57 of his last 59 games. I was talking to my friend Don during the game and he was telling me about some stat that Jayson Stark dropped, though eh couldn't remember the exact quote, so if anybody has heard this, let me know. It went something like: if Jeter can hit safely in his next 2 games (tonight and tomorrow), he will become the 3rd player in history to hit safely in 58 of 60 games. Joey D. and some guy from the 19th century are the other 2. I couldn't find anything online or in the press notes that referenced that. Maybe we'll see or hear something about it tomorrow if it's true. And if it is, it's quite the accomplishment.
I am really starting to wonder why Mike Myers is considered a lefty specialist. He blows the no-hitter by giving up a hit to a LH batter. Carl Crawford jacked him for a go-ahead Grand Slam. And he never seems to get David Ortiz out. I was so ticked when he blew the no-no.
Despite the injury to Hughes, May is off to a good start. The Yankees won and did so convincingly, on both sides of the field. The Red Sox lost and Papelbon blew the save. The Jays lost. The O's lost. The Devil Rays lost. The Yankees are still in last place. But, we're moving in the right direction.
I'll take it.

Trade Melky Part 2

Man, I'm a posting fool tonight. Make sure you scroll down to see my other posts. I tried to turn in for the evening but this injury to Hughes has me restless. The Yankees pitching staff is in shambles and I don't think we have many options to consider to make it better.
The Yankee rotation right now shapes up like this: Pettitte, Igawa, Wang, Mussina and ??? Wang just got back from an injury and has a split nail. Moose is just coming back from an injury and isn't at full strength. Igawa is inconsistent. Pettitte didn't start the season healthy. Who knows when Pavano is coming back? Hughes is going to be out for 6-8 weeks. Karstens has a broken leg. Chase Wright isn't ready for the majors. And quite frankly, neither is Darrell Rasner. This is not good. Pickings are slim.
I think it's a pretty safe bet the Yankees are going to back the Brinks truck up to Roger Clemens' front door and deliver him a blank check. But even if he wants to come to the Bronx, that's at least a month away and by then the Yanks may be so far out of contention in his estimation that he passes by the Bronx for Fenway.
I think Cashman needs to explore the possibility of trading Melky Cabrera. His value has obviously declined so he wouldn't command much on a straight up deal, but Cashman can get creative with the Boss's money or possibly mix in some lower-level prospects. The Yankees need a guy that can get them 6 innings consistently and hold teams to 5 runs or less. Preferably a #3 starter but anyone that can keep them in the game will do. Right now, the only team that immediately comes to mind with options is the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies right now have 6 SPs. Jamie Moyer, Freddy Garcia, Brett Myers, Cole Hamels, Jon Lieber, and Adam Eaton. Hamels is too young for them to part with. They just brought in Garcia, Moyer and Eaton. I'm looking at Brett Myers and Jon Lieber. Myers is currently pitching out of the pen and Lieber, besides being 37, is in the last year of his contract. So here's what I'm thinking:

  • Trade Melky and some low level prospect for Lieber
  • Brink back Bernie Williams or promote Kevin Thompson to be the 4th OF

I can't imagine the asking price for Lieber would be too high, and quite frankly, I think he could get the job done.
Who's with me, or who has other suggestions? Time for us to play GM for a day.

Mike Myers

I thought Mike Myers was supposed to be a lefty specilaist?


You have got to be kidding me??? That did not just happen. A no-hitter and there goes the hammy. I'm sitting here shaking my head. Phil Hughes was awesome tonight. It's a shame he couldn't finish this on his terms. Come on bullpen! Let's finish this for the kid.
What else can go wrong, right?

Welcome Backy Bobby

It's good to see Bobby Murcer back in the YES broadcast booth. He looks good. Maybe he'll be the good luck charm this team so desperately needs.
Interesting game note: Bobby Abreu is batting leadoff. Well, at least he won't ground into a DP in his first AB. How's that for a vote of confidence?
My pregnant wife just wet her pants while sitting on the floor. I don't have a pet for that exact reason. Go figure.