Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cooperstown Saturday = Part 1

So it's 4:30 in the morning, it's dark, and I'm alone in a wooded area. For fear of a masked serial killer lurking in the woods, or maybe even Bigfoot, I thought I'd sit in the car and wait for another to arrive in hopes that maybe they had a flashlight. A car showed up a few minutes after I did, and they too were flashlightless. It was a group of 4, and we all walked up the gravel hill to the spot on the course they let you stand. Usually, people sleep out up there, but I think the rain chased them away because we were the first to arrive. All you can do is pick out what you hope is the best spot. When the guys sign it's not for long and where they sign depends a lot on where the stop the cart. They also could stay in one spot, or move toward you or away from you. There's no sure spot. You can only hope for the best, but being in the front is definitely a bonus.
I plopped down in my chair and tried my hardest to take a nap but that wasn't happening. It started to rain and out cam the umbrella. Tee off was scheduled for 9am, or so we thought. It was now about 5am. I thought about breaking out my iPod, but i just sat there and waited, talking with the others that were there. People showed up pretty steadily and a pretty good sized crowd was forming. The rain broke at about 7:45 and it looked like it would be a good day to golf.
The first group that showed up took everyone by surprise as it was 8:30 and last year it started at 9am. Carlton Fisk rolled up in his cart and everybody was digging for their Fisk items. I got Fisk there last year, so I didn't rush over to where he was signing. The trick to getting Fisk is to bribe him with a stogie (I hear he likes Romeo and Julietas). He usually signs for those that have them. He'll take it from you and then sign. His golf mate for the day showed up a few seconds later. It was none other than the Chairman of the Board. Now I already have Whitey Ford's autograph as I paid for it last year, but being a Yankee fan, I'd get it again. Whitey doesn't usually sign, but today he did. Maybe it was because Fisk was signing (Whitey usually plays with Yogi--who doesn't sign) or maybe it was because he was teeing off on our hole first and the outing hadn't started yet. Since everyone was over for Fisk, it was pretty easy to get Whitey. Usually when a guy signs, everyone that's not in the front tries to push and wiggle their way to the front and it's just a giant mob all pushing forward. If you're in the front, like I was, you're bound to get smushed. It was refreshing to get Whitey no problem. It was a good way to start the day.
The next autograph I got was from Reggie Jackson. Whenever Reggie is around fans clamoring for his autograph, you never know what to expect. Reggie gets out of his cart, looks at the 50 or so hawks and says "silence works." So everybody steps up and Reggie takes one step forward and then some idiot says "Reggie, over here." Mr. October takes one step backwards and says, "I guess I didn't make myself clear. Silence works." So everybody goes silent. Reggie takes 2 steps forward and someone again opens up their yap. Reggie takes 2 steps back and says "What part of silence works don't you understand? That's strike two." He steps forward to the makeshift fence and starts to sign, and finally everybody kept their mouth shut. He signed for a few minutes and I was one of the lucky ones. It wasn't his best signature, but it's Mr. October. I had to get it.
As the minutes passed and the golfers drove away, there were several guys that signed. I ended up getting signed balls from Wade Boggs and Robin Yount. I missed out on Jim Palmer (he only signed for those wearing Orange), and Eddie Murray (I had to run down the hill and around some trees for his and he left for the tee as I was next in line). A lot of guys signed, but I already had them so I stepped out of the mob and let the vultures have at it.
I didn't need the last 3 guys that were scheduled to come through our whole (the staff is kind enough to give us a list of who tees off where) so I left early to drive to town, only to find an absolute wall of people. I knew I'd have to pay to park on someone's lawn. I was about 1/2 mile or so out out of town and dropped 25 bills to park in a lumber yard. But that was to be expected.
Saturday was a long day so I'll break this up into 2 parts. That will follow a little later on. If you missed any of the previous installments, here's Thursday's and Friday's recap. Or you can just scroll down.

More Thoughts On The Proctor Deal

I'm sure Yankees fans are looking at the Proctor for Betemit deal with mixed feelings. Personally, I dig the deal. Proctor has been so unstable and I don't think any of us can honestly say he's that great of a reliever. He walks way too many guys and he's prone to giving up big hits in the clutch. I'm glad he's gone. Joba Chamberlain's arrival is days away and he's a better pitcher now that Proctor will ever be. He will easily fill the void created in the bullpen with Proctor headed out of town.
As for Betemit, he's suited to play pretty much anywhere in the infield, kind of like a Miguel Cairo. Admittedly, I don't know much about him. I like the fact that he's only 27. It looks like he has decent power. His 10 dingers would be the 4th most on the current Yankees. Betemit also plays 3rd base. It's going to be a huge loss to the Yankees if A-Rod opts out of his contract and heads elsewhere. Betemit may be the contingency plan if that happens. There isn't going to be much out there next year in terms of available 3rd baseman. Betemit might not turn out to be too bad.
And it looks like the Red Sox landed Eric Gagne. BFD. It would have been nice to add Gagne to the Yankees mix, but it's not a great loss. I think Cashman did the right thing by not trading the young arms. And we shouldn't be concerned right now with what the Sox are doing. Right now the focus is on Cleveland and the wild card. We can still catch the Sox, but I'm more concerned with just getting into the dance.
The deadline is rapidly approaching and no news yet on Farnsworth's departure. We'll know soon.

Chicks Dig The Long Ball

The Bronx Bombers were in the house tonight. 7 guys went deep for a total of 8 dingers. Talk about being locked in. The only negative was that one of the shots didn't belong to A-Rod. Besides being stuck on 499, he's in the midst of a pretty big slump. He's now hitless in his last 5 games (0-15). Mind boggling. Abreu, Posada, and Matsui had huge nights. Matsui gets my player of the game award. 2 dingers, 2 walks, 4 runs scored. Godzilla is in the hizzouse. And what about Robbie? Can you say .300? Robbie has been in the zone since the end of May. He's raised his average 51 points since 5/29. The lefties are finally getting it done.
Moose looked pretty good tonight. His numbers are getting increasingly better. We need Moose to be more consistent as we head down the stretch. I'm still a little miffed that Kyle Farnsworth is still a Yankee. I thought for sure he was gone. I won't complain though if he pulls off outings like he had tonight. A 1-2-3 outing from K-Farns has been pretty rare. I've got my fingers crossed.
The Indians lost so the Yankees are a mere 3 games behind them in the race for the wild card. I'm not really concerned with the Red Sox right now. It'll be nice to catch them and I still think they can, even with Gagne in their bullpen. That doesn't scare me and quite frankly, neither do the Red Sox. It's a different Yankees team right now. For my money, I'd back the boys in Pinstripes as the team to beat right now. The Sox game just went final. Baltimore did the job. We're 7 back in the East. Man, it's a beautiful night.
ps- You'd think with today being the non-waiver trade deadline that the feature story on MLBLogs would have something to do with the trades that went down. Instead, the Hollywood starlet repsonds to her readers. Swing and a miss

So Long Scotty

They just reported on XM that the Yanks have dealt Scott "Firestarter" Proctor to the Dodgers for Wilson Betemit. I don't know much about Betemit, but he'll do. I'm not sure what his role is going to be, likely a back up infielder.
You can totally tell that Cashman and the crew have lost all faith in Proctor. I'm just glad I don't have to watch him walk in the tying and go ahead runs anymore. With the imminent promotion of flame-throwing Joba Chamberlain, the Yankees have the ability to move some of the unstable arms in the bullpen. Proctor was the first casualty. See ya Scott. Thanks for not much.
The clock is ticking. You're next Farnsworth.

Monday, July 30, 2007

John Travolta = Little Girl

I'm watching the replay of yesterday's HOF induction speeches on ESPN2. Am I the only one that noticed that John Travolta was crying like a little girl? It happens at the point in the speech where Cal breaks up while talking about his children. They cut to a shot of the Ripken clan and Travolta is sitting right behind them. John tries valiantly to hold back the tears, but you can see the exact moment when he breaks. Am I the only one who caught it? It's quite funny.
My Friday rundown of the Cooperstown trip will be posted shortly.
PS- My wife kindly pointed out that I cry like a little girl also, especially at Lifetime movies, specifically "Mom At Fifteen." She thought I should share, so there it is. Yeah, I cry at sappy movies. Wanna fight about it? Just kidding. At least I didn't do it on national TV. Now don't get me wrong, it was a very emotional part of Cal's speech and I can see it happening from his family, but Travolta's reaction is priceless. I didn't expect that from Vinny Vega.
PSPS- That AT&T commercial with Roger Clemens and hsi wife could possibly be the funniest commercial I've ever seen. Well done AT&T.

Cooperstown = Friday

So it's 6am in Cooperstown and there's absolutely nothing to do. I was desperately in need of something to drink. Unfortunately, the local CVS didn't open until 8am. They had 32 ounce bottles of Powerade on sale for $1.08. It was by far the best deal in Cooperstown all weekend. I think i had 5 bottles in the 3 days. My meals consisted of Powerade, bottled water, and pizza. I had a slice for lunch and then again for dinner every day. Good stuff. I didn't have anything to do until about 9:30am, so I just strolled around town, back and forth between the players' hotel and downtown Cooperstown. It was good exercise.
At 9:30, Ozzie Smith had his yearly "Play Ball With Ozzie Smith" event. They raise money for education. If you ask me, it's a huge waste of dough. I think was between $750-1000 per person. Here's the short of it. Ozzie is there along with George Brett, Ryne Sandberg, Brooks Robinson, and Earl Weaver. They split them up into 5 groups and each group spent about 15-20 minutes with each guy at their respective position, with Weaver's time being spent in the dugout. After each group has visited each guy, they take everybody's picture with the group of HOFers. After that's done, each person gets to turn 2 double plays. Brooksie was hitting grounders to second and to short, you'd field the ball and flip it to Ozzie or Sandberg, who'd in turn throw it to Brett. Or, Ozzie and Sandberg would field the ball, flip it to you and you'd throw it to Brett. And that's pretty much it. Seems a little pricey, but it all goes to a good cause. After the event concludes, you can occasionally get autos from Ozzie and Sandberg. Ozzie was the only member of the HOF quintet whose autograph I needed. Every year it's a mad house, and every year they do something different to throw the collectors of their game. A few years ago, Ozzie would sign in the stadium on the first base line. Last year, it was behind a barrier out in the parking lot. This year, they came through the front gate, but they had pulled up the minivan that would take them back to the hotel and it was parked about 5 feet from the entrance. About 10 people could fit in each side of the car and I wasn't one of them. As soon as a guy left, everyone would converge on top of the guy. I'd say that Brooksie, Sandberg and Smith each signed maybe 3-5 things each. And I was again left out. What a waste of time. It's the last time I try.
I met up with some other collectors later who were at the golf course during Ozzie's event. I guess that was the place to be. Eddie Murray, Steve Carlton and a few others signed stuff. I was again in the wrong place. Next year, I'll know where to be.
Ozzie's event concluded around 11:30. I needed to get some paid autographs at a show at 3:30pm and my options were to stay in town around the hotel, or head up to the golf course. I decided to stay in town and loiter around the hotel. It wasn't long before the rains came and that kind of put a damper on things. My thought process was that the no one would golf in the pouring rain (they didn't), so the only real option was waiting in town.
I pretty much again just walked around and waited for the paid signings to start. I had already purchased tickets for signatures from Duke Snider and Brooks Robinson (for my brother in law). And that reminds me, on Thursday I did pick my brother-in law Mike up a paid autograph from Yogi Berra. I decided that I also wanted to pick up something from Tom Seaver. I saw this guy I met from Rochester in line for tickets. It was a huge line and he was 2nd in it. I asked him to get the ticket for me. He did, and it saved me a lot of time as Seaver's session had already started. This guy, Doug, was getting tickets for he and a friend of his and the total came to over $1000. When you spend over $1000 you get a VIP ticket, which basically puts you at the front of the signing line. They usually go in sequential order. It was a mob scene on the steps of the place they were having the session, so he went around to the back. He let me piggy back on the VIP pass, so I got to walk right in and knock those signatures out 1-2-3. It took about 10 minutes as opposed to what I would guess would have been 45 minutes or so. So Doug, if you read this, which I doubt you will, thanks!
After that, the rest of the day was pretty much a waste. Since it was raining, there wasn't much going on. I wandered around, checked out some shops, and loitered again around the hotel. On Friday night, the HOFers all attend a private dinner a few miles out of town. They all board a minibus and are chauffeured out to the location. Since they're all gone, it's usually an early night. I called it a day around 10pm and I drove my car up to a trolley lot near the golf course to catch some winks. It was again another restless night. I had listened to a little of the Yankees game since I couldn't fall asleep. I heard them lose. Bummer. There was also a lot of activity in the lot because that's where the minibuses waited to pick them up. I had my alarm set for 4:30am and I estimate that I got about 3-4 hours of sleep. I woke up before the alarm, took another "shower," and drove about 1/4 mile to the spot I hang out on when at the golf course, hoping that today would bring some better luck.
So Friday was pretty much a bust, mainly because of the rain. I wasn't too bothered by the shutout as last year all I had gotten for free by Friday night was George Brett and George Kell. The action really heats up on Saturday morning. I'll have that write up posted shortly. To read Thursday's recap, click here or scroll down.

Cooperstown = Thursday

I'm back from my Cooperstown trip. I didn't go down for the induction ceremony. My main objective is getting autographs for my memorabilia collection. I arrived there on Thursday afternoon and left Sunday at about 11am. the quaint little town go ridiculously crowded. Holy cow that was a lot of people. It was a pretty good time, even though most of the time I stood around and waited.
Thursday was pretty uneventful. I spent most of the day in town loitering outside the hotel the HOFers stay at. A lot of them were arriving into town that day and sometimes, or so they say as I've never seen it, they sign autographs from the car window on the way in. 2 years in a row and I've yet to see it. I saw a lot of guys pull in, give a little wave and drive right in. The hotel itself is about 100 yards or so away from the street where the public can stand. You can't get anywhere near the place without a pass. Gwynn arrived in a big bus, pretty much a regular run of the mill Greyhound. Word on the street was that he rented it for his family. After several attempts, the driver finally made it into the driveway.
The only players I saw on the street that night were Rod Carew and George Brett. When Carew left he said he'd sign some stuff on his way back. At the time, there were probably a dozen of us. When he got back, there were about 50 of us gathered. He signed, but I was out of position and wasn't lucky enough to get it.
Brett was at a local Italian eatery with his wife (I assume). He must have thrown back a few bottles of vino because he was stumbling and slurring his words. I wasn't there when he left the restaurant and i heard he signed a lot. I got his signature last year so I wasn't hard pressed to get him. Some people say they got him 11 times. He was mobbed by a huge crowd that basically followed him from the restaurant to his hotel. People were chatting him up but George seemed to be so out of it. He was pretty funny though. There was this French kid there that wanted him to sign a bat. It was a pretty dirty bat so I'm not sure how good it would look, but Mrs. Brett told George he had to sign because the kid was French. George signed the bat and afterwords the kid asked him who he was again. Nice. Anyway, it took George about 5 minutes to walk 100 yards due to all the people mobbing him. It was quite the scene.
After George went past security, the night pretty much died down. A lot of us waited around the hotel and I left sometime around 11:30pm. I wandered to my car, drove it over to the lot at Doubleday Field and settled in for the night. I slept in the car. Did the same thing last year. It's a pretty cheap way to go if you don't mind sleeping uncomfortably. I planned to get up around 6am, so I was looking at 6 or so hours of sleep. Now I don't know how many of you have tried to sleep in the front seat of a Toyota Corolla, but it's not an easy thing to do. Needless to say, I didn't sleep well. 3 hours if I was lucky. i woke up around 5:30am. I was pretty groggy. I looked out the window and there was a police cruiser sitting in the lot. They must have seen me stirring because about 3 minutes after I woke up, one of the officers strolled over and politely told me that the lot had closed at 3am. Now last year, it closed on Friday night, so I assumed it did again. I was wrong and they didn't really seem to care. They just asked me to leave when I could. I got myself situated and drove over to one of the public streets and parked for the day. I "took a shower," which was basically applying some deodorant and some Axe body spray. And for those wondering, that was pretty much the ritual every morning. And often several times throughout the day depending on the level of perspiration, and at times, I definitely needed a few extra swipes of the Speed Stick and a few more sprays of the bow-chicka-bown-bown.
It was 6am and it was time to start my Friday. Part 2 will be up later on.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Yankees Rolling

Forgive me for not writing many Yankees posts lately, but to be honest, I haven't seen that many games since last Thursday. I had the wedding stuff all last weekend. I had the lost day in Scranton on Monday. I saw most of last night's game and tonight I had softball, so I again missed most of the game. But from what I've seen and heard, things are going very, very well.
The offense is finally clicking on all cylinders, well, for the most part. Johnny Damon is still hit or miss. He's not the Johnny Damon we need, especially as a table setter. Luckily, everyone else is picking up the slack. Cano is knocking on the door of 300. Matusi is absolutely mashing. Abreu is taking care of business. Andy Phillips is still hitting over .300. Jeter, A-Rod and Jorge are well, Jeter, A-Rod and Jorge. A-Rod has the MVP locked up. Give him the award now. Might as well get it over with. I'm not sold on this Shelley Duncan kid. I think he's getting lucky and he's a poor man's Kevin Maas. I think his stock is going to plummet and I think it'll happen soon. I'm not a fan. I'd love to be wrong.
The pitching has been pretty solid. I've been extremely impressed with Jose Vizcaino. I guess I can no longer call him "Vizcaycrappy," and that makes me Vizcay-happy. He's been lights out for the last 2 months or so. Mo has been great. Everything seems to be working.
I was on the fence about what I wanted to see happen in the Sox/Indians series. I was hoping for a Tribe sweep, but as soon as they lost, I was kind of pulling for a Sox sweep and only being 2.5 behind the Tribe for the wild card. A guy I worked with wanted to see the teams split the series and maybe we'd pick up 2 on each. I can live with that, but my main desire was to get the Yankees on top of the wild card heap. That's not to say I don't want them to take the East. I'd love nothing more. But right now I just want them to get over on those teams in front of them, and we can just worry about winning and taking care of things on are own as opposed to getting help. Regardless, the Yankees are finally back into the thick of things. There's a lot of baseball left.
I'm not going to be able to post until sometime Sunday night. I'm heading to Cooperstown in the morning for Induction Weekend. I drive down, spend 3 nights in the car, and bust my hump trying to get a lot of free autographs. It's tough work and there's a lot of standing around, but I think it's fun. I'm working on getting signed balls from all the living HOFers. I need 27 of them. It's so much better to get them for free (obviously). the only way to do that is to put in the time. Last year, I came home with a total of 18 signed balls (give or take 1 or 2). This year, I'd love to do the same, but I'm not expecting to. The only one 1 I know I'll get for sure is Duke Snider, but only because I'm dropping the cash on him. I pay for those that are the oldest living members. Wish me luck!
Peace, love and Pinstripes!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I noticed yesterday on Bryan Hoch's blog that Scott Proctor and his wife welcomed their second son into the world. They named him Cooper. The same name that the wife and I have picked out for our little bundle of joy when he arrives in the next few weeks. I told the wife so she tried to "Google" the birth and found a little blurb somewhere that was written back in April that they're naming him after Cooperstown, NY. Which is funny because so are we. Weird.
Congrats Scott and Carrie!

What A Long Strange Trip It's Been

If you follow this blog on a regular basis, you may remember my post from the other day where I asked for advice about how I should spend my day today. Drive 1.5 hours to Toronto to see the Twins take on the Jays, or drive 4.5 hours to Scranton to see Phil Hughes pitch. It was pretty unanimous that Scranton was my destination.
I left Buffalo a little after 10am, got to my friend Don's house in Syracuse at about 12:30. We basically hopped right int he car and headed for Scranton. About 30 miles south of Syracuse, it started raining. It's now 3:30am and the rain hasn't stopped yet. Long story short, they called the game at 8:30, I didn't see Phil pitch, and I drove about 10 hours round trip for a whole lotta nothing. It wasn't an entire waste of a day though. We did stop at Sheetz twice. The first stop I got a Roast Beef and Swiss sandwich where the bread was a gourmet pretzel and a side of garlic fries. The second stop I downed a 6-inch Steak and Cheese sub with all sorts of fixins. If you've never eaten food at a Sheetz gas station, try to find one and go there. You won't be disappointed. Jacob over at Mile High Yankees agrees.
Almost forgot. After the game we waited around for Phil to leave. There were about 40-50 people there waiting. About an hour after the game was called, which is now 9:30pm, he left PNC Field, and signed for everyone waiting. So I picked up a signed Phil Hughes ball on the sweet spot. Not bad. At least I walked away with something, though I would have much rather seen him pitch.
And now it's 3:30am, and I'm off for some much needed sleep. Go Yankees!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Incoherent Drunken Ramblings

Brother in law got hitched today. Good time. I mean times. Sorry, had a lot to drink. I don't really ever drink and I mean like ever, OK maybe sometimes, but not a lot and definitely not in large quantities. But tonight, I am blitzed. Woo. I started off drinking draft beer and then moved on to the hard stuff. What put me over the edge was a late shot of tequila, I don't even know if that's spelled right at this point (it wasn't--thanks spell checker--you rock yo). I just reread my sentence and instead of saying shot of tequila I said the s-word of tequila. O and I are next to each other on the keyboard. Simple mistake but pretty funny. Anyway, I see the Yankees took both games of the double header. Mice. That's awesome. Ha ha, I wrote mice instead of nice. He he. I wish I had seen the second game. I also wish I was a little bit taller. I wish I had a girl who looked good I would call her. I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat. A 6-4 Impala. Yeah. Skee Lo in the hizzy. I wonder how many errors spell check is going to catch. The over/under is 10. Smart money is on the over. I am so smart. S-M-R-T. I mean S-M-A-R-T. Yeah, The Simpsons rock. Yankees win. Thuhhhhh Yankees win. Peace out. J-Boggie in da heezy fo sheezy. Word.

PS- If you bet over 10 type-os you we're right. You win nothing. But good job nonetheless. I think I fixed all the errors.
Oh, this is going to hurt tomorrow. Snoogans

Friday, July 20, 2007

What The Dizzle Shizzle Bizzle

Hey hey what's up party people? My wife's brother is getting married tomorrow and tonight was the rehearsal dinner. I got to flip the game on for about 3 seconds and the score was 0-0 in the 3rd. 4 hours and several adult beverages later, I get home, pull up Yahoo and see that the Yankees got their tails whuh-hupped 14-4? How does that happen? Especially against the likes of Edwin Jackson? Way to go Moose. *******' jerk. Sorry, it's the buh-hooze talkin'.
The wedding is tomorrow at 2pm so I'm going to miss the entire day-night double dip. Mmmm. Double dip. I could go for some ice cream. Anyhoo, Igawa and DeSalvo "pitch" tomorrow. Yay Matt DeSalvo's back, he said sarcastically. I'm going to be suh-hooper ticked if when I get home tomorrow to check the scores I see that the Yankees are back to five-hundy. It might be a good night to get tanked.
Whuh-hupped? Buh-hooze? Suh-hooper? Paging Dr. Cox. Dr. Cox. You're wanted for, umm, for, ahh, I got nuh-huthin'.
I don't know if it's the booze or my total disgust at tonight's box score, but I think I'm going to be sick. Peace out home slices.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Bronx Is Burning

I'm sure all Yankees fans out ther have been watching "The Bronx Is Burning" on ESPN. Now I don't normally schill other products, but if you're diggin' the show like me or are just a Yankee fan in general, then you might want to pick up a copy of the 1977 New York Yankees World Series Set on DVD. A&E has it on sale this week for 50% off or $34.98, quite a bargain if you ask me. Especially when you consider that most retail stores are selling it for $60-70. Click here or on the link to the right under "Yankees Merch" if you want to pick up a copy. It's their "product of the week" and I believe the sale ends on 7/25. I just ordered my copy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Check 1, 2 And Ya Don't Stop

Tonight was softball night. The game started late and by the time it ended (we on 9-5) the Yankee game was in the top of the 6th, 2 out, runners on 2nd and 3rd. I got to hear Clemens get out #3 in the car on the way to the bar. Based on Sterling and Waldmyn's recap of his performance, it sounded like he battled his way through the start. 6 IPs, 9 hits, 1 BB and 1 run. That's called getting in and out of trouble. Too bad the Yankees didn't give him any run support. Clemens has to wonder why no matter where he goes, the runs just aren't there. It's one of life's greatest mysteries.
I got out of the car before the Yankees batted in their half of the 6th. I expected to see them hitting when I walked in, but they had already gone down 1-2-3. Considering the walk from the car to the bar probably took 3 minutes, I was amazed at how quickly they went down. And then they flashed the box score. 2 hits?? What gives? The Yankees again got stymied by Shawn Marcum. Again I ask, what gives?
I only stuck around the bar for an inning and boy was it a great inning. The flood gates opened and the good guys scored 4 runs to take the lead. Poor Roger. Now I don't want to take credit for their bats waking up tonight. they did after all only get their hits and runs when I was either watching the game or listening to them hit on the radio. But come on. We all know the truth. It was no coincidence.
Despite the victory, and despite gaining another game on Cleveland AND Boston, I'm still pretty ticked at the bullpen. These guys are doing everything within their power to give these games away. Proctor relieves Clemens and quickly loads the bases. Bruney and Villone each walk a batter. And worst of all, they had to use Mo for 5 outs to nail it down. Brian Cashman needs to put his focus on finding solid relievers. We don't need a first baseman as bad as we need guys that can get outs and get the ball to Mo. Improvements are definitely needed.
The Yanks are looking good. 6 back in the loss column against Boston. 5 back in the loss column behind Cleveland and Seattle. Making up that ground is very doable. Wang gets the call tomorrow. If there's a guy that can keep things going it's Chien-Ming. Let's do it to it.
Don't forget to read my previous post. I need your advice. Peace out.

Decisions Decisions Decisions

Alright loyal readers. I need some advice. I have a dilemma of epic proportions and I really don't know what to do. Let me lay it out for you.
Option 1: I have tickets to this Monday's Blue Jays/Twins game up in Toronto. I got the tickets as part of my flex pack. Hey, I needed some filler as i couldn't select the August Yankees series due to the impending birth of my first child. The tickets are up in the upper deck, behind home plate, in the front row. It's about an hour and a half drive and I have to deal with the border traffic. My friend Don from Syracuse would come with me so it would be about a 4 hour drive for him. The tickets were 9 bucks and I can live with eating the cost.
Option 2: Phil Hughes is scheduled to pitch in Scranton. It's about a 4 hour drive for me. My friend Don would again be making the trip so it would be about 2 hours for him. It's early, but there's a slight chance of rain in the forecast. In all likelihood, we'd stick around after the game to try and get an autograph from Phil. Also, there is a "Sheetz" gas station/super mini-mart right outside of Scranton and they've got some "kick-a double s" grub to munch on. We stop there anytime we drive to the Bronx. And most importantly, I have a friend Jim who works for this paper company in Scranton called Dunder Mifflin. I haven't seen him since late May and it'd be great to catch up. Hardy har har.
Both outings have their advantages. Both games are night games. I don't have to work on Tuesday so it wouldn't hurt me to drive a little extra.
So if you were me, what would you do? Your input is much appreciated.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's Fun To Win The Close Ones

OK, I've typed the beginning of this entry like 7 times and 7 times now I've erased what I typed. I'm excited about the win. It was great to finally see a game like this go our way. The Yankees haven't been too successful in these close ball games. I thought for sure when Cairo was nailed at the plate, that their goose was cooked. But an aggressive steal of 3rd followed by a balk of all things, leads to the game tying run. Didn't see that coming. And then there was Matsui's near miss of a 10th inning walkoff. I thought for sure that the Baseball Gods were working against us, especially when he followed it with a K. But then A-Rod made a really heads-up play and took second base on a wild pitch. That was clutch. If A-Rod's not doing it with the bat, he's doing it somewhere else. One word: clutch. And then it happened! Robbie came through with the opposite field game winning single, and I am a happy camper. Am I the only one that thinks Robbie has one of the greatest smiles on the planet? If you paid close attention to the post game celebration you know what I'm talking about. If you missed it, pay close attention to him the next time that New Era commercial comes on. When he turns and looks up at Morneau, priceless. Hopefully that opening was good enough. I can dig it.
After a rocky start, Pettitte pitched his tail off. You can't front on his outing. The Jays absolutely murder lefties and Andy held his own going 7 and giving up just one run, while striking out a season high 7 batters. He went toe-to-toe with Halladay and for all intents and purposes, that battle ended in a draw. Halladay looked a lot sharper than Pettitte, but their lines were pretty much the same. Pettitte throughout his career has been a better second half pitcher. I'll take 7 innings of 1 run ball from him any day of the week. Keep it up Andy. Great job.
Kyle Farnsworth. Ugh. Dude has to go. He's an absolute nightmare on the mound. I'm dumbfounded that Torre still considers him his 8th inning guy. Torre even said on the post game show that he pitched well. What freakin' game were you watching Joe? 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 error. Are you nuts? I love how during the broadcast Girardi mentions how the Jays don't steal bases and if Farnsworth pays too much attention to the runner on first, he's likely to throw it by Phillips. I think the wrong Joe is heading up the Yankees. Girardi is such a smart baseball guy. No way he would have had Farnsworth throwing to first. I'll close this paragraph out with 2 words: eff Farnsworth. That's my new motto.
The Yanks are on a roll. Baseball is becoming fun again. They're now 7 behind the Sox in the loss column for the East, and 6 behind the Tribe in the loss column for the wild card. Cleveland is still playing so with any luck we'll see them 5 back in the loss column shortly.
Things "look like" they are finally starting to click. But I'm still a little weary. I hope they're not just beating the crappy teams because they're the best of the crappy teams. Know what I mean? There's still plenty of baseball left to play. Plenty of time for us to find out.
Peace, love and Pinstripes,

Monday, July 16, 2007

Friggin' Best Buy

Sorry for the lack of posts over the weekend. I had some things to attend to and take care of and I missed a lot of the TB series. It all started Thursday night when I decided it was time to upgrade my car's CD player. The unit I was using was from the late 90s and with the move to the iPod, I needed the ability to play those tunes without using a crappy FM Modulator. Besides, why spend $80 for an FM Modulator when I can spend a little more for an in-dash player. So I stopped into Best Buy, made my purchase and had it installed. They had "finished" the job and I was on my way. I didn't make it out of the parking lot as there was some extra noise (a little whining sound) that wasn't there before. It was only present when the engine was running. I parked the car, went back in, and they looked at it some more, but couldn't figure it out, so they asked that I schedule an appointment for Friday. No problem. I went home and tinkered with it some more and missed all but probably 10 pitches of the game.
I took it back to Best Buy Friday night and they looked at it for about an hour or so and then told me it was fixed. Again, I didn't make it out of the parking lot. The noise was still present. So i went back in, explained it to the dude, and he finally realized what I was talking about. He ran some line about needing to check something out mechanically. I didn't buy it. I thought he didn't know what he was talking about. So I went to another Best Buy, and I got their too late for them to work on it.
I got to watch most of Saturday's game as i had a family obligation to attend at the in-laws. I wanted to drop kick whoever it is at the YES Network that put up the stat that Wang hadn't given up a 1st inning run in his last 8 starts. It didn't take him long to quickly give up 3 first inning runs. But he settled down and was typical Wang. Abreu bailed the whole team out. It was a nice come from behind win.
So back to my car audio issue. I took the car to the 2nd Best Buy on Sunday morning, figuring they'd be done with it before game time. I got there at like 11:30 and they told me it'd be about 1.5 hours before they'd get to it. So much for making first pitch. I wandered around the mall, wasting about an hour or so, hoping that they'd call me and let me know they were done. I had a plan to watch the game at Jack Astor's if it really took that long. Luckily, it didn't. After I made my first loop around the mall, I went back into BB to see if at least my car was in the audio bay. It was. I had passed one of the audio guys in one of the aisles and he told me I was all set. It was about 12:45. Plenty of time to make it home. The car was done. Unfortunately, they couldn't fix the problem. He tried to run me a line that i needed a new power cable and some new RCA cables, total cost about 2 bills. Now I have no idea if it truly does but sorry, but my '98 Corolla with 141k miles on it doesn't deserve that much money thrown into it. I just don't see how I walked in with no noise and I leave with it. Doesn't make sense when the only thing different is the CD player. I haven't thought of my next move yet. The noise isn't that bad if you turn it up real loud, which I do anyway. But it's so annoying just knowing that it's there. Kind of like Kyle Farnsworth. He needs to go.
I'm not sure how much posting I'll get in over the next few weeks. I'm "in charge" at work as the two business managers are on vacation. There's also a family wedding I'm in this weekend. Then I'm on vacation so I can head down to Cooperstown for the inductions. This is my most favorite time of year.
Go Yankees!

Back In The Groove?

4 out of 5. 9 of the last 12. 2 games over .500. 6 games behind Cleveland in the loss column. I'm liking what I'm seeing. But it's still so hard to judge. Are the Yankees actually good, or are they just the best of the worst? They're hitting the ball pretty well. A .304 batting average with 21 longballs over their last 12 games. But again, they've done this before, so I can't get too far ahead of myself. Regardless, they're moving in the right direction. And I like that.
Man, I can't wait for the return of Phil Hughes. I'm so tired of watching our 5th starters continue to pitch so poorly. There's been no consistency from that spot of the rotation. With Hughes, I think we'll get that consistency and I'll actually like our chances to win. The Yankees got lucky today that they ran into Josh "I shouldn't be a major league pitcher" Towers. Towers has given up more home runs than walks. The Yankees took advantage of that and took him deep 3 times, with Posada coming oh so close to making it 4 knocked out of the park. The offense did their job tonight, and finally actually knocked around a guy they were supposed to knock around. If the Yankees want to make a serious run at the postseason, they can't let no name chumps come off looking like Cy Young.
Despite the offense's efforts, the bullpen is doing everything in their power to blow these games. Tonight, it was Proctor's turn to give up the longball. When is this going to end? It's too bad they can't clone mo and let him pitch the 7th and 8th also. Mo has 3 saves in 3 days. What happened to not pitching him every day? I guess things change when your bullpen blows and your 7 games out of the wild card race. Memo to Brian Cashman: upgrade the bullpen. Make that priority number one because what we got, ain't good enough. Can anyone say they honestly have confidence in any of these guys, except of course for Mo? I cringe whenever they go to the bullpen. The last few games have done nothing to increase my confidence.
So here we go. Pettitte, Clemens and Wang. It would be so awesome to win these 3 games. I still feel that the Yankees rotation is good enough to win 3 of every 5 games. Unfortunately, a .600 winning percentage isn't going to get us to the promised land. It's games like tonight's that are going to be the swing games. I think they Yanks are capable of winning 4 out of 5 every so often. And if they do it enough, we'll be seeing some October baseball. They've dug themselves quite the hole. It's good to see them climbing out of it.
Hopefully this time, it's for real.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Quick Note Of Thanks

I just wanted to say a quick thanks to everyone who checks out this blog. I really do appreciate it. It blows my mind that this blog has had visitors from all 50 states (including DC), and from a total of 69 different countries. By most accounts, there are about 194 countries in the world. I'm a third of the way to global domination.
But again, many thanks to everyone.
Peace, love and Pinstripes. Go Yankees!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Yankees First Half Recap

I think I can sum up the Yankees first half with 2 simple words:
"It stinks!" - Jay Sherman
I guess to say it correctly, I would have to say it stunk. Yeah, I speak English good. I've been arrested by the grammar police several times. It was only a year ago when I learned it was "intents and purposes" and not "intensive purposes."
"Me fail English? That's unpossible." - Ralph Wiggum

Let's Make A Deal

They're reporting on the MLB station on XM that the Yankees want to enter into mid-season contract talks with Alex Rodriguez, in an effort to lock him in as opposed to letting him walk. I think it's a smart move. A-Rod is without a doubt the best player in the game and the Yankees can't really afford to lose the only right-handed power bat in the lineup. That can't easily be replaced.
I'm not sure how actively they're pursuing resolution to these talks, or if they've even started. I would have to think that if it looks like things aren't going the Yankees' way, that they may just try to trade Alex prior to the end of the month. Maybe they'll find out Alex's true intent on opting out, and maybe they can broker a deal if they find he wants to go. You know there is interest out there. If they believe he wants to opt out, try to deal him. It would really stink (I want to use another word but the content filter would nail me) to lose A-Rod and get absolutely nothing from his departure.
I've got my fingers crossed that he stays in the Bronx.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Return Is Near

Phil Hughes made his first rehab start today with the Tampa Yankees. His line:
2 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Not bad for a first start back. Looks like he might have had a little control issues but I doubt it's of any concern. That's what rehab starts are for, working out the kinks. I think I can speak for Yankees' fans everywhere when I say that I can't wait for Phil to return to the rotation. The Yankees need a stable 5th starter. I'm pretty tired of watching the revolving door that's been one subpar outing after another. My only fear is that Cashman is going to go out and get another arm for the back of the rotation. Clemens, Pettitte, Mussina and Wang aren't going anywhere. I say leave the 5th spot for Phil and go out and overhaul the bullpen. Or maybe even get a backup catcher or another right handed power bat. I think it'll be a big mistake to go after a starter.
Welcome back to baseball Phil. Glad to see ya.
Am I the only one that is thoroughly bored by the HR Derby? You think ESPN would have learned by now that the derby will never end in 2 hours. I love how they heavily promoted "The Bronx Is Burning" for a 10pm start time. I'd be surprised if the derby ends before 11pm. It seldom does.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Yankees Overload

I've had quite the Yankees filled weekend since late Friday/early Saturday. It all kicked off with watching the replay of the Friday night game at 1 am. I mixed in a little sleep, woke up, watched the Old Timer's Day festivities. At the conclusion of that, I caught the first 2 innings of the Yankees game on Fox, and then listened to the rest of it on the XM Radio while I drove to nearby Batavia, NY to watch the Staten Island Yankees take on the Batavia Muckdogs. And now I'm watching the Yankees put the smackdown on the Angels in grand fashion. Nice way to end the first half of the season and head into the break, both for me and the Yankees.
It drove me absolutely bonkers listening to the game yesterday. Opportunity wasted to the tenth power. I could not believe how many chances these guys squandered and how poorly they played fundamentally. First off, 5 errors? ***? Second off, the lack of ability to move guys around the bases blows my mind. It was something they did so well the night before.
It started in the 7th with Abreu failing to move Posada over after his leadoff double. Dude, drop a bunt. Or maybe pull a grounder. It's as easy as that. But no. I think I'll strike out. Pathetic. It seemed like every time the Yankees had a chance to plate the go ahead run, the Angels pitchers either struck out the Yankee hitters or induced a DP. Abreu and Cano K in the 7th. Jeter's DP in the 11th. Posada's K in the 12th. Melky's K in the 13th. It was so frustrating to listen to. They had their chances to win. They just couldn't pull the trigger. It's been that kind of year.
Hopefully, the second half goes much, much better than the first. If things hold up today (knock on wood), we'll be 9 back in the loss column. The schedule Gods are giving the Yankees a break to start the second half. 8 games vs the D-Rays. 7 vs. the Jays. 7 vs. KC. 3 vs. Baltimore plus 1 suspended game. 3 vs. the White Sox. That's 29 games against teams that are below .500. If they want to make a move, this would be the time to do it. 9 games is a pretty big deficit, but definitely something they can overcome.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Tape Delayed Live Blog

Since I missed the live telecast of the Angels/Yankees game and I'm up watching the replay, I figured why not blog along with the game and get this post out of the way while it's going on. I'm going to update the post as the game moves along. If you happen to stop by and check out the post, feel free to comment along. Right now, it's the bottom of the 2nd, A-Rod and Matsui on the basepaths with no-out. It's 1am and I've been up for quite some time today. This post could grow very incoherent, maybe even silly, as the game moves on. It'll be a good read, I promise.
1st inning: Not much to write about here. Both Pettitte and Colon looked sharp. According to Michael Kay, Pettitte is great in the start after getting shelled. Something tells me he won't be on his game tonight.
2nd inning: A-Rod is having a great year with the glove. That was a pretty barehanded play he made on Big Vlad. I don't see how Alex isn't a shoe-in for the MVP. A-Rod absolutely owns Colon. A rocket double into the gap shows no signs of hamstring trouble. Matsui walks and Jorgie Porgie Puddin' N Pie knocks in A-Rod. Abreu is up, and I'm caught up.
1:01 - A sac fly by Bobby. It gets the job done. I've read a few rumors that the Yankees are entertaining shipping out Abreu. I wouldn't complain if they did trade him, but he's looking a lot better in recent days. I definitely wouldn't bat him at the top of the order. He's better suited right where he is in the 7-hole.
1:04 - Cairo strikes out and I really hate our first baseman. I haven't heard any Shea Hillenbrand rumors in a while. I don't think he can do much worse. And yeah, Phillips may be hitting .286, but he's still a chump in my book.
1:07 - 2-0 Yanks after 2. My inner Miss Cleo is predicting that Andy will soon relinquish the lead.
1:11 - Checking out how my ESPN fantasy team did tonight. 11-26 with 4 jacks but I'm still losing 13-5-6. Consornit.
1:13 - Man A-Rod is dope with the glove. I'm going to channel my inner Bell Biv Devoe and sing the following: A-Rod's dope. He's fly. Definitely wants to make me scream.
1:16 - Pettitte has Orlando 0-2. I'm predicting a 2-run double. Clean your freakin' helmet!
1:20 - And there's the double. Man I'm smart.
1:24 - Time for some mid-inning entertainment. I heard this at the Bisons' game tonight. Andy Marte's batting music is a jam called "Chacarron" by some dude named El Chumbo. If you've never heard this song, oh my God, click this link and watch the video on YouTube. It is awesome. I read online Jose Reyes uses it also. It's the jam y'all. It's now my ringtone.
1:25 - Melky singled to open the 3rd and I'm trying to figure out what this guy from China is saying to Michael Kay. I think I heard the guy call Michael Kay an a-hole, but I can't tell for sure. He might have said fastball.
1:26 to 1:43 - I'm just going to give my thoughts on the 6-run 3rd inning. This is exactly what this team needs to do. Keep the line moving. You don't need to swing for the fences and try to hit a 5-run homer. Hits and walks move the runners along. 5 straight guys reached base to open the inning. 6 hits resulted in 6 runs. 5 singles, 1 double and NO HOMERS. Cairo even mixed in a suicide squeeze. Small ball. I love it. Just make contact and put the ball in play. Move the runners around the bases. Score runs. It's that simple.
1:43 - A-Rod again pounded Colon. Bartolo is his biach.
1:44 - That didn't sound good.
1:45 - Did someone at YES just crank up the flux capacitor to 1.21 gigawatts because we just totally skipped the 4th inning?
1:48 - Jeter gets knocked a lot for being a poor defensive shortstop. While I don't think he's the best fielding SS in the game, he's definitely better than average. I've never seen anyone get to balls in the hole, backhand them, and make a jump-throw to first for an out more than Jeter. Granted, I pretty much only see Yankees' games, but I feel confident in saying that nobody does it better.
1:53 - Andy, Andy, Andy. Definitely not on the A-game tonight. The Angels are a great offensive team, I'll give them that. But Pettitte has looked pretty awful these last few starts.
1:55 - Can't wait for "The Bronx Is Burning." It looks like it'll be a good miniseries.
1:56 - I like McNuggets too! That commercial really speaks to me. I like McNuggets y'all. I like McNuggets y'all. Sing along. You know you wanna.
1:59 - Cano is now 3-3. It's really encouraging to see guys like Matsui, Cano, Cabrera and Abreu performing these last few games. Posada's comments obviously struck a chord in the clubhouse. Their continued output is absolutely necessary if the Yankees want to see October.
2:06 - Cano makes a baserunning blunder and misses 3rd on a rare shot to the gap by Cairo. Way to rob the guy of an RBI there Robbie. After 5, the score is 9-5 and somewhere out there, Dolly Parton is smiling.
2:07 - Excuse me for a moment. I'm suddenly craving a glass of milk.
2:12 - I'm back and I've missed 3 successive hits off Pettitte to open the inning. Though one was pretty questionable. Pettitte's night is done and he didn't have it again. So much for being 9-4 with a 2.57 ERA in games after bad outings. Since Pettitte made those comments about the team not caring as much as he does a few starts ago, he's been pretty bad, and that's being kind. 10 hits and 8 earned runs tonight. Not good. 23 earned runs in his last 4 starts. The ERA has climbed 1.33 points in his last 4 starts. We need better from you Andy. The offense kept giving you the runs and you kept giving 'em right back.
2:19 - Edwar's in and that changeup is nasty. I wonder if they'll change his entrance music to the theme from Looney Tunes.
2:23 - I like this Ramirez kid. I think he's going to be a nice addition to the bullpen.
2:26 - It's 2:26 in the morning. I wonder where A-Rod is?
2:30 - Damon just swiped second. That's encouraging. It looks like his leg troubles might be a thing of the past. If the legs are strong, we'll be seeing a lot of vintage Damon. That's another integral part needed if this ship is going to make it to the postseason.
2:33 - How great is it to see the Yankees reclaiming the lead once they relinquish it? It's been the other way around for most of the season.
2:35 - Holy ****! Ken Singleton just came through with the reverse jinx. He makes a comment that the Yankees have all these runs and hits and no homers. The very next pitch A-Rod goes deep. That never happens. Announcers usually are the kiss of death when they make those comments. I'm flabbergasted.
2:38 - Did I just use the word flabbergasted?
2:39 - Commercial break and those super huge subs from Subway look so good. Why can't I live in the tri-state metro area. "Curse you Subway" he says while shaking his fist in the air.
2:40 - My belly hurts. I shouldn't have eaten the rest of the ice cream. I have an owie.
2:42 - Nice defensive play by the Halos to end the 6th. 12-9 Yankees! I think we might win this one. Knock on wood.
2:44 - Another trip through time as Marty McFly and Doc Brown zip us ahead to the top of the 8th.
2:45 - Who the heck do the Yankees have playing left field? Oh wait, It's Damon. He got a haircut and I didn't recognize him. It took me 8 innings to notice that and it's pretty obvious. He now looks like he's twelve. If I were a priest I'd, wait, I won't go there.
2:48 - Proctor looked real good tonight. I'm kind of miffed that they skipped by the 7th inning because I really wanted to see him K Matthews and Anderson to get Ramirez out of trouble. Proctor has now strung together 4 solid outings. Who knew becoming a pyromaniac would help his confidence? Another key to the Yankees success lies within the bullpen. Proctor and Farnsworth looked good recently, though I'm still not sold on either. I'm really wondering if Farnsie's tenure in Pinstripes is coming to an end.
2:53 - Two stolen bases for Damon! Wow. This game has been awesome. Stealing bases. Timely hits. Squeeze plays. Moving runners. Damon steals second and Melky singles him home. I like this style of play. These guys are talented enough to keep this up.
2:55 - Now Melky steals a base. I really hope the Yankees continue the aggressiveness on the basepaths.
2:56 - Jeter follows it up with an RBI single. 14 runs on 19 hits. Everyone has at least one hit. Everyone has at least one RBI. The Yankees did an excellent job tonight of manufacturing runs. Stolen bases followed by singles. Squeeze plays. They kept the line moving and it paid off.
2:59 - I tend to repeat myself sometimes.
3:00 - It's now 3am and I am so beyond tired. Hopefully, the DeLorean has enough....umm....what did it use for fuel again?....I want to say garbage....hopefully it has enough garbage in the tank to skip through the 9th inning as well.
3:02 - Great, a pitching change and we're off to a commercial.
3:04 - zzzzzz
3:06 - 8 innings in the books and I have my fingers crossed that they don't show the 9th.
3:08 - Bibbity bobbity boo.
3:09 - "Yay. They're showing the 9th inning," he says sarcastically. I don't want to stay up anymore but I can't quit after having come this far.
3:11 - 2 down and 1 to go. It's big Vlad. I'm getting a vision....pop up to second.
3:12 - Ball game over. Yankees win. Thuhhhhh Yankees win!
That was a pretty exciting game. The Yanks are on a little mini-roll. Winners of 4 of their last 5. 1 game under .500. The excitement is starting to build a little bit but I don't want to get overly excited and let down (again). Great win tonight. It was great to see everyone contribute. Now just do this, say 60 more times and we're in business.
3:15 - Is it me or does Franco Harris look a lot like Mr. Kotter?
3:18 - "And I'm out boyyyyyy, " he exclaims while imitating Flavor Flav. The clock around my neck says it's late. The great thing is by the time I wake up, the Old-Timers game should be starting.
Peace, love and Pinstripes,

Friday, July 6, 2007

New Layout

I thought with all of the typelists and such I keep adding and adding to, I thought I'd play around with a new layout to see how things look. I'm not sure I'm a fan of the condensed post look all in the center. I'm curious as to what everybody else thinks. Kindly post your thoughts.
And who knows? Maybe a little change might change up the Yankees' luck. One can only hope.
And on a side note, did you know that Yankees' ace Chien-Ming Wang has his very own MLBlog? Me neither? Jacob from MHY caught it on top of the active roster. Considering his first post was on 7/2, I wonder why he didn't get the same love as the other MLB players when their blogs popped up.

I Missed A Good One

I won't even front. I didn't see any of tonight's game, and I probably heard about 5 non-consecutive minutes on my XM radio. The wife and I went to the Buffalo Bisons game with my friend Koob and his wife/daughter. I had my satellite radio with me so I could follow along, and it looks like I missed a heckuva lot.
It seemed like every time I turned on the radio, the score changed. And it seemed like every time the Halos tried to counter punch, the Yankees answered back with a few combos of their own. I couldn't help but wonder what the heck I was missing. Sweet! The YES replay is starting right now so I'll get to catch it.
Looks like it'll be a late night for me.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Gut Check Time

The Yankees managed a ******** 4 hits off pitching God Johan Santana yesterday. That's not really a surprise. Johan is for my money the best pitcher in the game. And the Yankees offense for my money doesn't seem to do too well against great pitching. The result a 6-2 Twins victory. Not much to go nuts over.
I do have a little beef with Joe Torre for the incredibly weak lineup he fielded yesterday. I don't care how good of a pitcher the team is facing, going into battle with the quartet of Cairo, Thompson, Nieves and Phillips isn't the best move to take. I understand Moose prefers Nieves. I understand A-Rod has a strained hammy. But come on. These guys need to tough it out for a day. A-Rod should have played 3B. Posada should have been the DH. Abreu should have been playing over Thompson. Heck, I would had even played Damon at first over Phillips. Bad call by the skipper.
Going into the game the Yankees were 39-41. They need to win every game if they want to see October. The best lineup needs to be on the field when they're facing great pitching. This team had really no chance. It was as if Moose had to carry the team on his shoulders. Don't get me wrong, Moose did all he could do, but when you pitch against Johan, you have to be flawless. And thanks to Jeter's first batter misplay, the team's already down a run. No room for error.
Now the Yankees are sitting 3 games under .500 (AGAIN!), and they need to win out the rest of the week if they want to head into the break above .500. I don't see it happening. Here's some food for thought:
The Yankees lost their 42nd game of the year on August 5th. Their record at the close of play that day was 65-42. They didn't lose game 43 until the 8th of August. They finished the year 97-65. To duplicate their record from last year, they have to win 58 of these next 81 games. They have to play .716 ball the rest of the way to reach that total. Honestly, how many of us can see that happening? The Yankees currently trail the Red Sox by 11.5 and they're 8.5 behind in the wild card race. It's going to take a minimum of 95 wins to reach the WC. The Yankees have to play .691 ball to reach 95 wins. Can it happen? Sure. The team has the potential to do it. Will it happen? Highly unlikely, especially when you consider that at this point in the season the highest team winning percentage is .627. At that clip, we're looking at 90 wins. Realistically, we'll be lucky to win at a .600 pace or 88 wins.
Cashman, Torre, and the rest of the Yankees have a lot of work to do if they want to pull this off. These guys need to sack up and take care of business if they want to win.
It's gut check time. Time to see what these guys are made of.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Nothing Wang With That

You don't need to call Betty Crocker to figure out a recipe for success:
Pitching - Wang looked sharp though he seemed to be battling an issue with his rather ugly looking finger. Man that thing looked gross. What didn't look gross was the continuous groundball outs he was racking up. When Wang has his it working, he's pretty much unbeatable. He could be on the verge of another strong showing in this year's Cy Young vote. I know we're quite a ways from October, but Wang is now 8-4 with a 3.58 ERA. He'll have a lot of competition, but if he remains consistent, who knows? Proctor looked better. Maybe his personal bonfire will put him back on track. And major props to Edwar Ramirez. Have a seat Twins. You guys didn't stand a chance.
Hitting - 14 hits. Everybody chipped in except for Alex, which could possibly be a sign of the hamstring strain. Keep those fingers crossed. I'm glad he was in the lineup, but surprised at the same time. Everybody else stepped up to the plate and took care of business. Cano broke the game open with his 2-run shot in the 4th. Abreu chipped in with another 3 hit game. What's probably the best sign is that Matsui is starting to swing the bat better. If only these guys could do this every day. It was nice to see that these guys connected for some 2 out RBI. If only they could do that every day also.
Defense - With Wang on the mound, you've got to play solid defensively, and that's just what the Yankees did. That DP that A-Rod started was huge. They looked sharp. The defense has been pretty consistent all year. They're tied with the A's for the 3rd highest fielding percentage in the AL and they've committed the 3rd fewest errors. Not too shabby. Especially considering how poorly they played defensively early in the season.
Mix all that in a pot, stir it up for about 3 hours and what do you get? An 8-0 Yankee victory. Pitching, hitting, and defense. We've rarely seen all 3 at the same time this year. We've seen little glimmers of this before, so we know it's possible. Unfortunately, more often than not, they don't get the right mixture of ingredients and we fans walk away with a bad case of food poisoning. Hopefully, by Jeter batting in the 3-hole, Chef Torre has stumbled onto something.
Knock on wood.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Somebody Pinch Me

OK. I've pinched myself. I've rubbed my eyes. I've slapped myself across the face, not once, not twice, but thrice. The Yankees actually won a ball game. To quote Yankee legend Phil Rizzuto, "Holy cow!" Incidentally, I just won an autographed Phil Rizzuto ball on Ebay. Unfortunately, I don't see the Scooter signing anything in person anytime soon.
I have to start with the man on the mound. You've got to give it up to Roger Clemens. Congratulations on win #350. I was really pulling for a CG, but a win is a win and I, along with Yankee fans everywhere, will take it. Put it in the win column. Clemens looked pretty sharp from start to finish. He retired the last 15 batters he faced. Awesome. And it's just what the doctor ordered. Hopefully, the doctor orders up quite a few more of those. It would be nice to head into the break with at least a .500 record.
A-Rod has a strained left hammy. Not good. But strains typically don't end up with a guy going on the DL. Hopefully, he's OK and only misses minimal time, if any at all. While on the subject of A-Rod, I've got to give it up to his wife Cynthia for her ever so appropriate wardrobe choice. For those not familiar with the story, Mrs. Rod wore a white tank top to her husband's game on Sunday afternoon. Printed across the back was the popular phrase "F*** You." That's classy. What makes it even classier is that she had their 2 year old daughter in tow. Oh but wait, that's not all. Their seats were located in the players' family section. The keyword being family. What a class act.
The Yankee offense finally scored some runs. Again, I had to pinch myself because I thought I was dreaming when Abreu hit a shot DEEP into the upper deck in right. To quote my alcoholic Uncle Herbert, "man that was a mighty fine shot." He's not really an alcoholic. He's not even my uncle. In fact, I don't know anyone named Herbert. It's fun to pretend. Scott Proctor likes to pretend he can pitch. I like to pretend I have an alcoholic uncle named Herbert.
It looks like we finally have a guy to hit in the 3-hole. If anyone should hit there, it should be Jeter. But knowing Torre and how he operates, Abreu will probably be hitting there tomorrow.
Matsui needs to pull his head out of his rear end. I'd use the actual word but my name isn't Cynthia Rodriguez. Godzilla ain't Godzilla no mo. Somebody wake the man up already.
3 games under .500. 6 games left to the ASB. 3 against the Twins. 3 against those pesky Angels.
Yeah, I'm not feeling a .500 record at the midway point.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sunday Afternoon Beatdown

After 1.5 innings, the Yankees are down 8-0 and they're facing Dan Haren, the major league leader in ERA. I wonder what I should do with the rest of my afternoon because ladies and gentleman, this game is over.
We're wayyyyyyyyy beyond embarrassing.