Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hitting With RISP Pays Off

See what happens when you hit with runners in scoring position? You win ball games! The Yanks went 5-for-11 with RISP tonight. They've been hitting pretty well with RISP over these last 3 games, going 12-for-27, scoring 25 runs and winning all 3 games. Prior to this little winning streak, the Yankees were dead last in average with RISP in the AL. Coming into tonight's game they were ranked 12th out of 14. Hopefully this is the start of something good and they keep climbing that ladder and winning ball games.

I can't believe it took so long for me to see A.J. Burnett pitch a regular season game. While it wasn't the dominant outing I was hoping for, he definitely delivered. He battled tonight, keeping the team in the game and allowing them to pull it out when the game went to the pens. His strike-to-ball ratio was very much to my liking, 66 strikes to 42 balls. Anything close to a 2:1 ratio works for me. Typically when a guy can hit a 2:1 ratio they don't allow a lot of free passes. The Angels are a pretty fast team and the last thing you want to do is give them extra baserunners. A.J. did a great job keeping them off the basepaths. Overall, I think A.J. did a job well done.

It's hard to believe that there is a bullpen out there that is worse than the Yankees. The Angels rank dead last in all of MLB in reliever's ERA. The Yankees barely edge them out. Coming into tonight's game, the Yankees' bullpen ERA was 6.65. The Angels was 6.82. The Yankees definitely took advantage of that tonight, rocking the Angels' relievers for 4 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks. Thankfully for the Yankees, Burnett went a full 7 and the Yankees didn't have to run out more relievers. I almost threw up in my mouth when I saw Albaladejo warming up in the 8th. Phil Coke had a great inning and Mo was vintage Mo, getting 2 Ks and a comebacker. How many times have we seen that? Here's hoping the Yankee starters can keep throwing 7+ innings. They've thrown at least 7 in 3 of the last 4 games. The only one who didn't was Phil Hughes and that's only because the Yankees had a 10-run lead. The starting pitching is picking up.

So the first month of the season is in the books. The team is 12-10 and only 2 games back of first. A-Rod hasn't played yet. Chien-Ming Wang has been absolutely awful and is hurt. Brian Bruney, one of the more reliable relievers, is hurt. Mark Teixeira is hitting a whopping .200. CC hasn't exactly been lights out. Things could be a lot worse.

All things considered, there isn't much to complain about.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Joba-mania Is Running Wild, Bullpen Still Sucking

Joba Chamberlain picked up his 1st win this season pitching a gem of a ball game. They referred to his outing as "strong" on the YES broadcast. I agree with that, but at the same time I don't. His pitching line suggests a really strong outing. 7 innings, 3 hits, 3 walks, 6 Ks, and 1 earned run. His velocity was better and his strike-to-ball ratio was good, 50 strikes to 38 balls. The only reason I'm not overly sold on the outing was how he pitched before being staked to a 6-run lead. Having a lead like that allows the pitcher to be more aggressive. A pitcher with a lead like that should attack the strike zone and that's pretty much what Joba did. Thru the 1st 3 innings, before the lead, Joba threw 47 pitches, 21 for strikes and 26 for balls. Joba in his next 4 innings threw 41 pitches, 29 for strikes and 12 for balls. I can't help but wonder how he would have done had the lead not been as large. Either way, he still had to make pitches that would likely result in an out. If only A.J. Burnett could have done that last weekend in Boston. But overall, a strong outing by Joba. I just want to see him throw less balls and more strikes.

The offense had another great night, exploding for 7 runs in the 4th. That's 2 straight games where they've had a really big inning. Nick Swisher had a huge night at the plate, going yard twice and knocking in 4. How can you not love Nicky Swish? Xavier Nady can pretty much forget about playing when he comes back, eh? Mark Teixeira went oh-fer-3 and his average is now below .200. I know he starts slow but come on Mark, you need to start hitting the ball! You're the 3-hitter for the New York Yankees. Get with the program.

Thank God the Yankees had such a big inning. The bullpen certainly made things exciting there in the 9th inning. I kind of expect outings like that from Jonathan Albaladejo but not Mariano Rivera. Should we be worried about Mo? He's given up dingers now to 2 of the last 5 hitters he's faced. Mo typically doesn't give up a lot of longballs. He gave up 4 all of last year. Not counting the 1st year of his career, Mo has allowed more than 4 HRs only twice. I checked out some game logs and Mo last gave up HRs in back-to-back appearances in August of 2003. He finished that season with an ERA of 1.66. Mo is Mo. He'll be fine.

Winning 2 straight behind 2 solid outings by the SPs and a nice outburst by the offense is a pretty nice way to finish the road trip. A.J. Burnett opens up the series tomorrow night against the Angels. Hopefully, I'll get to watch the game. Believe it or not, I haven't gotten to see any of A.J.'s starts this year. I'm kind of looking forward to it.

And I guess, congrats to Joe Girardi on win #100 as the Yankee skipper. Yay, you made it into your second year. Good for you little buddy.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hughes Impressive In Return To The Majors

Boy am I exhausted. I forgot how much work a newborn baby is. Very tiring. Everyone is doing well. The little guy got to "watch" his 1st Yankees game tonight. I'm glad the boys put on a good showing.

I didn't get to see any of Monday night's game. I left the hospital a little before 9:30 and the game was in the bottom of the 8th. I turn it on and John Sterling is telling me that this is the outing that Yankee fans have been expecting from CC Sabathia. So I'm thinking to myself, sweet, they must be winning. Then the inning ends and they say it's 4-zip Tigers. Talk about a surprise. By the time I got home, the game was over. Jorge Posada killed the late rally with a DP. My father-in law told me that Posada must be the slowest guy on Earth since he couldn't beat that out. The radio call had me thinking the same thing.

How good did Phil Hughes look tonight? I was really impressed with his outing. His curve wasn't the greatest but it was good enough. He had a decent strike-to-ball ratio (58 strikes-41 balls) and his velocity was up there. I liked what I saw. It was awesome to see him do so well in his return. I'm so glad that the Yankees didn't give up on him after his rough start last season. Phil is so much better than that. For my money, he's better than Joba. Once their careers are all said-and-done, I think Phil will be the better of the two. If you can't tell, I'm a big Hughes guy, always have been. He was on tonight. I'm really glad the team broke through with some runs their in the 7th and got Phil the win.

I wish the Yankees would have more innings like they had tonight there in the 7th. They scored 10 runs on 6 hits, 5 of which were singles. I think one of the Yankees biggest problems in recent years is their penchant to try and hit a 5-run homer. Just keep the line moving with base hits and the runs will pile up. There's a reason why they've been so bad when it comes to hitting with RISP. Coming in to tonight's game the Yankees were dead last in the AL in batting average with RISP. Last year, the Yankees were 10th in the AL. My theory is that too many guys are looking longball. Just rip a single. That's all you gotta do. The rest will fall into place.

Hopefully, this win kind of rights the ship. An 11-0 shutout can do that to a ballclub.

Man, I'm tired. I'll be sleeping before my head hits the pillow.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Crazy Game, A Crazy Day

We were at our friend's house yesterday for their son's 3rd birthday. It was such a beautiful day that the party was outside. My plan was to go in the house to check out the game here and there, but the NFL draft took precedent over the Yankees/Sox game and there was always someone checking that out. I occasionally walked to our car to check out the radio broadcast. Here's how the day went:

  1. 1st check - Yanks up 2-0, we're off to a good start
  2. 2nd check - Yanks up 4-0, cruising right along
  3. 3rd check - Cano hammers one off the wall and it's 6-0 Yanks, suck it Beckett
  4. 4th check - WTF? It's 6-5? How'd the hell that happen?
  5. 5th check - Johnny Damon goes yard to tie things? Damn you Yankee pitching.
  6. 6th check - Ortiz sac flies home a run and the Sox go back ahead. Aargh. Somebody stop them.

And that's where things got blurry because I hear, "Honey, I think my water broke." Showtime! Long story short, my wife's water broke at about 6:40pm and roughly 10 hours later, at 4:38 in the morning, our son, Griffin Cole Davis, was born, weighing in at 20.5 inches tall and 8.4 ounces. Everyone is doing great. I wish I could say the same for the Yankees.

I got the last inning in the delivery room as we waited for labor to really kick in. I saw Marte and Robertson put the game out of reach. Hopefully today is a better day. Regardless of how the game goes, it will be for me!

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Friday, April 24, 2009

Yankees Choke Away Win And It's All Your Fault YES Network

Curse you YES Network! The brain trust at the network decided that 1 out in the bottom of the 9th was a good time to award the player of the game award to the Yankee bullpen. A few batters later Jason Bay takes Mo deep to tie the game. Can you say jinx? How do you give an award to the bullpen before the game is over? A little premature don't you think? As soon as I saw that I knew we were done. I hope they learned your lesson. Friggin' jerks. There goes my pre-season prediction that Mo would have a perfect season and not blow any save opportunities. Aargh. Up until that point the bullpen was having a great night. Phil Coke was awesome. Johnny Albaladejo was awesome. They both had great games. But then those a-holes had to open their yaps and award the pen the POGA and here we are, on the wrong side of a 5-4 score. This one hurts. Way to go YES. Stupid effers.

Now the real reason the Yankees didn't win tonight was because of the offense. The Yankees offense had a lot of chances tonight to blow the game wide open. They stranded 2 in the 2nd. They stranded 2 in the 3rd. Bases loaded one out in the 7th and they mustered one run. Bases loaded no outs in the 9th and they failed to score. They stranded guys on 2nd and 3rd in the 10th. They had 2 guys on in the 11th with 1 out and Melky grounded into a DP. Melky had an awful night at the plate when it counted. With guys on 1st and 2nd in the 7th, he grounded out to end the inning. With runners on 2nd and 3rd in the 9th, he fouled out to end the inning. With runners on 1st and 2nd in the 11th, he grounds into an inning-ending DP. That pretty much makes me forget all about that walk off HR.

I was really disappointed that the Yankees didn't score in the 9th. It would have been nice to have picked up an insurance run or two. Then Bay's HR is meaningless, Mariano probably gets the save, and I'm writing a totally different post. As a team the Yankees were 4 for 19 with RISP and they left 14 guys on base. The Yankees had 22 baserunners and only managed 4 runs. They've got to start knocking those guys in. Aarghhhhh.

Joba wasn't terribly impressive tonight. He was OK, not bad, not good, just OK. I can't believe he only gave up 2 runs. It could have been only 1 if not for that BS balk in the 1st. That was ridiculous. Joba's ball-to-strike ratio was horrible. He threw 91 pitches, 49 for strikes. I'm also disappointed with Joba's lack of velocity. I made mention of that in spring training and it still hasn't come around. I know he's not going to breaking off 98 mph heaters regularly, but he should be able to at least 95 consistently. I know building arm strength takes time but come on, shouldn't we be seeing some gains? I wonder if something is wrong? His night would have been a lot worse if not for getting 4 double plays. But credit to Joba for getting those when he needed to. That's what good pitchers do. Joba is a good pitcher but he needs to start pitching a little more efficiently. Maybe I'm being too critical. He did after all only give up 1 earned run.

It's always interesting when Joba Chamberlain faces the Red Sox. You just never know when he's going to bust somebody, namely Kevin Youkilis, up and in with some high heat. I was really interested to see if anything went down tonight considering David Ortiz made some comments the other day about Joba throwing inside. If you ask me that whole article was pretty stupid. I would normally link to it but I have no desire to. Just another stupid writer making a story out of nothing.

I'm a little puzzled by Girardi's management of the bullpen. Where was Brian Bruney? He's the 8th inning guy, right? Well where was he? Why did he let Albaladejo throw a pitch to Ellsbury? I seldom agree with Michael Kay, but why not just have him throw to 1st? I'm also a little surprised that after Albaladejo had Ellsbury down 0-1, Girardi went to Mo instead of Damaso Marte. Don't get me wrong, the last guy I wanted to see coming into the game was Marte, but I thought for sure Girardi was going to go with the lefty-lefty matchup. Had this not been game 1 of the series, he probably would have. Joe must have really wanted to win this one considering Joe went to Mo to try for the 4-out save. Too bad it didn't work out. Friggin' YES Network. Anyway, I hope there's nothing wrong with Brian Bruney. Even though I'm cursing the jerks at YES and want to turn the TV off, I'm definitely watching the post game show. update - Bruney has a sore elbow and was sent back to NY to get checked out. I hope all is good. The 8th inning needs him.

Am I the only one that thinks Jeter and Cano need to work on turning two and flipping balls to second? They totally botched one and a couple of the others looked a little questionable. I was nervous every time a grounder was hit to the middle infielders with a runner on 1st.

There's been no additional movement on the baby front. There's been a contraction here and there, but nothing serious. The latest the little one will arrive will be Saturday May 2, a week from tomorrow. We're hoping that's when it happens though I'm not so sure we're going to make it. Hopefully, he stays in there thru the weekend so I can fit in the whole Yankees/Sox series. Even though I think the rivalry isn't what it used to be, it's definitely something I want to be tuned in for. I was so happy tonight's game wasn't on MY9. Apparently, nobody in Buffalo has the channel that the MY9 games are on. Sucks to be us.

Hopefully the Yanks fare better tomorrow. It should be a good one. Josh Beckett vs. A.J. Burnett on Fox. Hopefully they have the good sense to wait until the final out before they give out a POGA.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Yanks Win In Extras, Bring On The BoSox

I'm glad the game ran long today. I haven't seen the Yankees play since Sunday and even that wasn't a full game. It was nice to catch a few innings on the tube. I think I joined the game for the bottom of the 13th. I caught the rest of it on XM Radio and on the Yahoo gamecast. I had a light schedule at work so I was able to follow along with most of it. I heard some things I like. I heard some things I didn't.

The bad: CC Sabathia. Not a fan of the strike-to-ball ratio. CC threw 112 pitches, 66 for strikes, 56 for balls. He walked way too many people. 3 of the guys he walked came around to score. Last year, in 35 regular season starts, CC walked 5 guys twice and 4 guys once. He's equaled that in his 4 starts this year. The silver lining is that he started out pretty slow last year. His ERA didn't dip below 5 until his 11th start. He finished the season with a 2.70 ERA. As the weather heats up, so will CC.

The bad: failing to score in the 7th inning. The Yanks had the bases juiced with nobody out and couldn't push a run across. Melky struck out. Gardner popped out. Jeter popped out. I was expecting Jeter to come through like he usually does. But even a guy who hits .400 fails to deliver 6 out of 10 times. He's still clutch. But in that spot, none of them were. The team left 13 runners on base. They had ample opportunity to score but didn't. It's a problem we know all too well.

The good: The bullpen kicked some major ass. 6 RPs combined for 7.1 scoreless innings. They gave up three hits, 3 walks, and whiffed 6. Jose Veras definitely gets the game ball. He was awesome. 3.1 hitless innings, allowing only 1 walk. Veras was on today. I wasn't feeling good about the Yankees chances to win this game once it went to extras. I'm not overly confident in Damaso Marte, Edwar Ramirez, and Jose Veras. Let's face it, they've pretty much sh*t the bed all year. Today they were lights out. Build on that.

The good: Melky Cabrera. I'm still not crazy about the Melk Man but if he continues to hit dingers like he is, he'll win me over. But, he started out this hot last season and he ended up getting sent down to Triple-A. Through 13 games this year, Melky is hitting .304 with 4 HR. Through 13 games last year, Melky was hitting .300 and had 2 HRs. If my memory serves me correctly, Melky was leading the team in HRs at one point last April. He has a long way to go before I get back on the Melk-wagon.

The good: 24 baserunners. The bad: only 9 runs. They should score way more than 9 runs of they have that many baserunners.

The Yankees have a well-deserved off-day tomorrow. Then it's off to Boston. It'll be their first meeting with the rival Red Sox. Is it me or is the rivalry kind of stale? It's been pretty tame over the last few years. Joba gets the start in the series opener, matching up against Jon Lester. It has the makings of a pretty good game. My only question is will I get to see any of the series. The wife's due date is tomorrow and she's experiencing a few contractions. Things are happening. Wish us luck.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Fan Interference

Question to all the douches out there who were complaining about Posada's "fan-interfered" HR against the Indians: Happy now? As I said far interference is part of the game. Teams will gain from it. Teams will lose from it. What goes around, comes around.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Guest Blogger Needed

I got home a little late tonight, made it home during the top of the 2nd. I rushed in the house, flipped the TV to the YES Network, and there's no game? Rain delay maybe? I check the guide and it confirms it's that Reggie Jackson's Yankeeography is in fact the correct program. It hits me. The game is on MY9. Son of a monkey. I totally forgot that MY9 is carrying games on select Tuesdays. Since I don't live in NYC. I don't get MY9. There was a local affiliate carrying the games but that stopped a few weeks ago. I came to find that the network was sold and it's now going to be Christian programming. So I, as well as any Verizon FIOS customers in Western New York, don't get to see my Yankees when the games are on MY9. Insert profanity laden tirade here.

Since I don't have the ability to watch the game, if anyone wants to write a post about it, let me know. I'll be happy to cut and paste whatever you have to say and post it on the blog. Just send me an e-mail and I'll post it.

I've got the MLB Network on and just saw a sweet DP that Teixeira turned. It's nice to have a first baseman with some defensive skills.

For those of you watching the game, enjoy. I try to follow the game online but it's not the same. I'd plug in my XM Radio but the reception in the house sucks. They're off to a good start, up 4-0 in the 3rd. Keep it up boys. Keep it up.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, April 20, 2009

You're Welcome Yankees Fans

I missed most of yesterday's game as the wife and I were out looking for a new home. When we got hoe, I immediately flipped on YES, and saw the Yankees were down 3-1. It was the start of the bottom of the 7th and Robbie Cano was stepping into the box. He hits a double inside the 3rd base bag. Matsui then singled him home. 2 batters later, Posada goes yard and the Yanks have a 4-3 lead. Is it a coincidence that the team came back at the exact moment I turned on the game? Probably, but I'm definitely taking the credit for this comeback. The exact opposite happened last Sunday when the Royals came back to beat the Yankees. As soon as I flipped on that game, the Yankee bullpen blew it, and I took the blame for that loss.

How in the hell did Carl Pavano pitch that nice of a game? I was shocked when I saw the score and even more shocked when I saw his pitching line: 6 IPs, 4 hits, 1 ER, 1 BB, and 4 Ks. What gives CP? You were supposed to come in and suck and you almost left with a victory. I really thought the Yankees were going to light him up. I'm kind of pissed they didn't.

I'm tired of hearing people calling into sports talk radio and grumbling about the umpire's call of Posada's HR. I hate fan interference as much as the next guy, but it's part of baseball. Every team is going to benefit from this many times. Conversely, every team is going to get burned by it also. We've already seen it twice this year. Once in Baltimore when a fan interfered with a HR that Damon probably could have caught. 2 days later, again in Baltimore, Nick Swisher possibly was the benefactor of a fan-aided HR. It's going to happen. Accept it and move on.

I didn't see any of A.J. Burnett's outing. I have mixed feelings about his pitching line. 3 hits. Good. 7 walks. Bad. 2 HRs? I wonder if those were "new Yankee Stadium HRs?" I guess things could have been worse. I'll take it.

It's about time Cody Ransom did something, even though that ball should have easily been caught. I'm not sure if it was lost in the sun or what, but Choo should have made that play. But he didn't, so it's a 3 RBI double in the stat pages. Good for you Code. Build on that and start playing better.

Pettitte makes hist first regular season start in the new ballpark tonight. Game time is 7:05. Let's go Yankees!

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chien-Ming Wang Sucks

I think the title of this post says it all. It really pains me to write that too, because I am a really big Wang guy. I've written many times that Wang is a true ace. I'm not so sure I think that anymore. There's no two ways about it. Wang sucks right now. I can't believe how bad he sucks right now. I'm not even sure he'll be able to bounce back from this. He's God awful.

As I was watching the game, I couldn't help but feel excited when Wang pitched a 1-2-3 first inning. I'll admit it. I thought he was in the clear. Next thing I know Wang is walking off the field to the loudest boos I've heard in a while. He deserved everything the Yankee Stadium crowd threw at him. In 3 starts, Wang had now pitched a grand total of 6 innings and has allowed 23 earned runs, pitching to a ERA of 34.50. His WHIP is 4.83 and opponents are now hitting .622 off Wang. It would take 40 scoreless innings by Wang to get his ERA down to 4.50. 40 scoreless innings just to get to 4.50. Unreal. I love the Wanger, but he sucks right now. He's killing the team.

Anthony Claggett made his Yankee/MLB debut today and I'll be he wish he hadn't. Talk about a set back. He was worse than Wang was and that's hard to do. Admittedly, I don't know much about Claggett. Now, I don't know if I'll ever get the chance. I can't see him making a return to the bigs anytime soon. I am assuming of course that he gets sent back down. He has too, right?

My buddy Dave sent me 4 e-mails during the game. The subject of the first one was "Joe Giradi needs to be fired" and it read, "I am ruining my Saturday watching this Yankee garbage." His second e-mail had the same subject and read, "along with Eiland. And Cashman. Grovel to get Guidry and Mattingly back." His 3rd e-mail was titled "F tha Yankees" and he wrote, "I refuse to spend a dime while Giradi, Eiland and Cashman are running this team. You couldn't pay me to see this team. And they haver a ton of empty seats- Sell outs my ass." He concluded his tirade writing a 4th e-mail titled "Posada can't catch" and he wrote, "He's been the catcher for each of these ass whoopins- sit his ass at DH and play Molina if you want good pitching. Mussina was right after all." Dang Dave, tell me how you really feel. I feel your pain brother.

I don't think firing Girardi or Cashman is the answer. It's not their fault Wang is pitching as bad as he is. I also don't think you can put the blame on Posada. This is all on Wang. He's pitched long enough and well enough that his poor outings can't be blamed on anybody but Wang. I do think Dave Eiland has a small amount of responsibility here. I'm with Dave there. I much prefer Guidry to Eiland. Eiland was brought on because he was so great with all of the young pitchers. Those young pitchers, namely Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, haven't fared too well under Eiland's guidance. I wouldn't complain if Eiland was given the boot.

As for Posada, I agree with Dave a little bit. I don't think Jorge is the best game-caller, but I don't think the poor performance by the pitchers are the result of Jorge being behind the plate. Chien-Ming Wang throwing flat sinkers that are up in the zone isn't Jorge's fault. Posada sets the target and if the guy is off with his location, is it really his fault? On the other hand, I've seen guys, specifically Mike Mussina, perform much better with other catchers. I know Randy Johnson wasn't a Jorge fan either. So maybe there's a little something to it.

I'm not sure what to think about the new Yankee Stadium right now. It's looking like it's going to be a launching pad. There have been 17 home runs through the first 3 games in the new park. That's a lot of dingers. I'm inclined to think that as the weather warms up, the balls will be flying out of there at higher rates. I am very interested to see how the park plays into things as the season progresses. For more thoughts on that, check out what Steve at Was Watching has put together in his latest blog entry. I agree with Dave that the place looks empty at times. I think that has more to do with the Yankees pricing strategy than anything else. I hope they figure that out because it definitely looks empty on TV.

A.J. Burnett goes up against Carl Pavano tomorrow. Burnett needs to pitch another good game. He's done a good job so far and he really needs to pick the club up tomorrow and pick deep into the game. Hopefully, the Carl Pavano we all know and hate will show up. If CP pitches like we all expect him to, which is terribly, the new Yankee Stadium might eat him alive. Watch, now that I say that, he'll throw a gem.. Ah, who am I kidding? It's Carl Pavano.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Friday, April 17, 2009

The Captain Clutch & Mo Show

The legendary Mariano Rivera just struck out Mark DeRosa looking and I can hear Frank Sinatra playing through my radio. How sweet the sound?

I didn't hear as much of the game today as I would have liked. Some issues came up pertaining to our new home search and I spent a good portion of the afternoon on the phone trying to get some info. I got back to my desk just in time to hear Derek Jeter go deep for the eventual game-winner with 2 outs in the 8th. I wrote this about Jeter after their win the other day: I want Jeter at the plate when the game is on the line. The last 2 Yankee victories were brought about by Jeter's bat. He's the Captain. He's clutch. He's Captain Clutch. God bless him.

Mo made things interesting in the 9th by letting two on. And what does he do? He gets both Grady Sizemore and Mark DeRosa to go down on strikes. Mo is the man. There's no one better. I wrote a post back in January of 2008 about a new phrase/word I created. The word is "mariano" and it has three meanings:

  1. to finish something for someone else.
  2. to finish something that someone else started
  3. to come in at the end and solve/fix a problem

Say for example your buddy is eating some chicken wings and he can't finish them. He may ask you if you want to "mariano" his wings. My wife was once breaking down cardboard boxes for the recycling bin and when she was just about down I asked her if she wanted me to "mariano" the boxes. My boss was once working on some spreadsheet that she couldn't get to work. She sent it to me to look at and I "marianoed" it for her by fixing a formula or two. You guys picking up what I'm putting down? What do you think? Does it make sense? Think we can get this word off the ground so it becomes part of our vocabularies? How cool would that be? I even submitted it to be added into the urban dictionary. If you're down with it, help a brother out and spread the word.

Big up to Brian Bruney for another solid outing.

Since I really didn't see the game, that's all I have for now.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Some Links Worth Sharing

At work and have some down-time? Bored and looking for some stuff to occupy your time. Give these a try:

The guys at Bleacher Report have an interesting take on the Yankee bullpen. While I think the pen is better than they're performing, there definitely is room for improvement/concern.

As part of a new promotion where you can win a Gillette Fusion razor, Gillette has a new ad out there featuring Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, and Derek Jeter. Is it me or does Tiger look a little weird?

Every Yankee fan out there should know the name Freddie Sez. Here's a video from NoMas called "Bangin Pots: The Freddie Sez Story.




Talk about a buzzkill. The Yanks opened up their new stadium yesterday and got blown out. The underbelly of the Yankees bullpen stunk up the joint yesterday. Jose Veras and Damaso Marte, or Damaso Garcia as Bob Klapisch called him, gave up 9 runs in the 7th inning. Really Bob? Damaso Garcia? Anyway, things didn't go as planned yesterday, for me or the Yankees.

I originally had the afternoon off from work yesterday. I had a team-building thing I was originally doing on Tuesday, but I was asked to reschedule to Thursday and I agreed and by the time I realized the error of my ways, it was too late. I got to listen to the first 2 hours of the game. I pretty much turned my radio off when CC was pulled from the game. I had one of the people in training class pull up the gamecast. I was probably there for 20 minutes when the score ballooned to 10-1. I know it's not the case, but I can't help but think had I not stopped listening to the game, things would have been different. While I was there, one of the guys in the class started talking about how the Yankee bullpen sucks. I wouldn't go as far as saying they suck, but there's definitely room for improvement, specifically with Veras and Marte.

Veras and Marte are the guys I don't want to see on the mound in a close game. The problem yesterday was that CC Sabathia didn't make it through 6 and that I'm sure impacted who Girardi sent out there and when. The problem with Veras and Marte is that they are wildly inconsistent. They're either really good or really bad. And it seems like more often than not, they're really bad. But yesterday wasn't all on them. The Yankees should have scored more than 1 run.

The Yankee offense was pretty brutal yesterday. If I told you before the game that the Yankees were going to rack up 9 hits and 8 walks, how many runs would you say they'd score? I guarantee nobody would say one. The team left 15 guys on base. Not good. Cody Ransom had the worst day (again) leaving 9 men on base. Let's look at Ransom's day at the plate:

  • Struck out in 2nd with 1 out and Cano on 2nd
  • Flied out to CF in 2nd with 1 out and Matusi on 1st
  • Grounded into inning-ending fielder's choice in 5th with runners on 1st and 3rd
  • Struck out in 7th with 2 out and runners on 1st and 2nd
  • Grounded into game-ending DP with bases loaded in 9th

The Codester is killing us. He's 3-for-30 this season and is 2-for-18 with runners on base, and 1-for-11 with RISP. We really need A-Rod back and pronto. It doesn't help either that he leads the team in errors and has the lowest fielding percentage on the team. If he's not going to hit, he needs to at least field the ball well. The Cody Ransom experiment is failing miserably.

Another day game today. Ugh. I'll be listening on the radio and following along online. I hate weekday day games. Thankfully, they're aren't as many in the coming months. If I read the schedule correctly, there's one next week and then not again until Memorial Day, which is a holiday so that's not a problem. Joba makes start #2 today. I'm staying away from making any predictions. I just hope game #2 in the new digs goes much better than game #1.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Jeter's Late Inning Heroics Spark Yanks to 4-3 Win

What a way to end the opening road trip of the season! Andy Pettitte comes through with another great outing. Derek Jeter does what he does best and comes through in the clutch. Mo does his thing. The end result is a 4-3 Yankees win and a 5-4 record on the opening road trip. Not bad. I'll take it.

Andy Pettitte could very well be the best 4th starter in the game. Ah the hell with it. He is the best 4th starter in the game. Andy has kicked some serious ass in his 1st 2 starts. He wasn't as dominant as he was in his first outing but his start is definitely nothing to squawk at, especially considering it was against the Rays. Andy has impressed me so far. I was a little skeptical about how he'd do this year after his weak finish last year.

How awesome has Brian Bruney been since his first outing of the season? Here's how awesome: 4.2 IPs, no hits, no walks, and 10 Ks. He's faced 14 batters and whiffed 10 of them, including the last 5. Bruney in the 8th. Mo in the 9th. I am down with that. Speaking of Mo, another 1-2-3 inning for the master. I think Mo is going to have the best year if his career this year. Don't ask me why, call it a gut feeling. I predicted he'd finish the year with an ERA under 1.00 and he'd convert every save opportunity. I know it's early, but I'm loving his chances. Knock on wood.

Captain Clutch does it again. His leadoff double in the 8th leads to the tying run. His 2-out single in the 9th plates the winning run and the Yankees walk away winners. Jeter has always been clutch when it's needed most. Coming into today's game, the Captain was 3-4 with 2 outs and RISP, and hitting 500 with RISP. In 2008, he hit .328 with 2 outs and RISP. In '07, he hit .418. In '06, he hit .369 with 2 outs and RISP. You have to go back to 2005 to find a year where he hit below .300 (he hit .250). Since his rookie year, Jeter has hit .320 with 2-outs and RISP, .313 with RISP, and .319 with runners on. For my money, that's clutch. I want Jeter at the plate when the game is on the line. There's nobody better for my money.

Tomorrow is the home opener. I originally had the day off but something got rescheduled at work that going to make me miss it. I'm pretty bummed but what can you do? There's a lot going on here and I really couldn't afford to take the whole day off. So I'll have to DVR it and catch it on the radio. CC gets the honor of getting the 1st start in the new stadium and I hope he brings it. It would be great to see him keep things rolling. I made a prediction before his last start about how he'd do and he bested that prediction. So I'll throw another one out there: 6.2 IPs, 7 hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks, 2 ER. That should be sufficient. Hopefully he delivers. Enjoy the game!

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Nady Out For Season??

Pete Abraham has an update in his latest post about Xavier Nady's injury. It's not official, meaning the team hasn't confirmed it, nut the MRI reportedly shows a tear and surgery is needed. If true, he's done for the year. I have mixed feelings about this. While I never want to see anyone get hurt and miss time, I'm not a Nady guy. As I've said before, I think he's overrated. But he's serviceable and having him on the roster gives the team some extra depth. It would allow Swisher to play first. It keeps Matsui (and Melky) out of the OF.

Assuming Nady is done for the season, this basically makes Swisher the everyday RF, which is something he should be anyway. Melky is now the 4th OF and I'm sure if Swisher ever has to play first, Melky can make the start in the OF. While it's not ideal, it would work. Hopefully, Mark Teixeira stays healthy because an OF of Melky, Gadner, and Damon isn't ideal for the long term.

The worst part of all of this is that the Yankees no longer have the option of using Swisher or Nady as trade bait. The Yankees were fielding offers all offseason for the two, and now the Yanks can pretty much forget about any of those. Considering they were looking to deal one of them, it's obvious the team can get by without them. Overall, the injury is not a huge blow to the Yankees, but it will definitely have an impact to the depth of the team. Everyone else needs to stay healthy. At least until Alex gets back.

Get well soon X.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Share Your Voice With The Voice

Just passing along that the guys over at The Voice of Yankees Universe have now opened up a message board. So if you're like me, and are passionate about the Yankees and want to lend your voice to The Voice, head on over and check it out. I like it a lot better than the forums you'll see at or at the YES Network. From what I've seen, the board at The Voice is being visited and used by real fans and not trolls or fans that only like the Yankees because they think Derek Jeter is cute.

Give it a look. If you're a reader of any Yankee fan blog, you're sure to like it.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Reminder: Bernie Williams CD Is Out Now

Just a reminder to all of the Bernie fans out there that his new CD came out yesterday. Go out and show Bernie some love by picking up a copy. If you'd like to know more about it, you can read me review by clicking here.

If you'd like to check out a video of Bernie playing a song live on Good Day NY, click here.



A.J. Pitches A Beaute, I Pitch A Fit

Yeah, I got nowhere yesterday with Verizon. Apparently the local affiliate who carries the MY9 feed stopped providing their signal to FIOS. Needless to say I'm not happy. Basically, I'm out every game that's not carried on YES, ESPN, FOX, TBS, or the MLB Network. So as of now, it looks like I'll miss my fair share of games. Hopefully they're not all games like last night, because it was a beauty. Actually, I hope they are all like last night. I don't mind missing a game if the Yanks kick some tailfeathers.

I did catch one part of the game on the radio while I was booking to the grocery store to buy some snacks. The store is less than a mile away so I didn't hear much, but the one part I heard told me all I needed to know. I heard A.J. Burnett knock down Longoria and then whiff him looking. At the time, I didn't know it was "retaliation" for Garza knocking down Nicky Swish. I've got a lot of respect for Burnett for doing that. We haven't seen that a lot from the Yankee pitchers in recent years. Those days are over. I love it. It looks like Burnett pretty much dominated the whole night. He took a no-no into the 7th. He whiffed 9 while walking only 1. 8 innings, 103 pitches, 67 for strikes. That's a great night. That's 2 starts and 2 solid outings for Burnett. If A.J. can stay healthy, he;ll do great things. I wouldn't be shocked if he throws a no-no.

I saw the highlight of Garza knocking down Nick Swisher and then Swisher taking him yard. How awesome is that? Who is not loving Nicky Swish right now? I know there's been some light backlash on him since his relief outing (which I also missed), but come on people, lighten up. How can anyone have a problem with him keeping the ball from his first (and probably only) strikeout? Players keep balls all the time, usually, to mark a milestone or special achievement in their career. I'm sorry, but a position player pitching and picking up a K is a pretty cool thing. I'd have kept the ball too. Swisher has earned the right to start over Xavier Nady in my opinion. Swish is playing some good baseball. Nady is apparently injured, so Swisher should be a regular in the lineup. That makes me a happy camper.

Andy Pettitte makes start #2 today and if he can duplicate the outing he had the other day, expect good things. There's an obvious statement if there ever was one. A win today means the Yanks will have gone 5-4 on the opening road trip and that for me, is a good start. The home opener is tomorrow. As of now, I should be in front of the TV for it. Let's hope it stays that way.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Meet Darryl Strawberry & Charlie Hayes

Wanted to pass this along. I wish I lived in NYC!

Darryl Strawberry and Charlie Hayes Host NEW ERA IN BASEBALL

Southern Hospitality Celebrates a new era in Baseball. Hosted by 1986 Mets World Series Champion/1998 Yankees World Series Champion Darryl Strawberry and 1996 Yankees World Series champion Charlie Hayes

Celebrating the Opening of Citi Field and The New Yankee Stadium14 HD TVs
1 Large Projection Screen
$3 Coors Light Drafts
$3 Absolut Flavored Shots Wednesday April 15th
7pm Southern Hospitality NYC1460 Second Avenue (between 76th and 77th sts)New York, NY 10021

For more information email us

If you go, enjoy.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I Need My My9!!

update on 4/15/10- click here for a more up-to-date post

Ok, I'm sitting here in front of the TV looking for the Yankees/Rays game and I can't find it. According to my online FIOS channel guide, I have the channel that it's carried on. According to the guide on my TV, I don't have the Chaney. It's a local channel too so I have no reason not to have it. I am on hold with FIOS tech support and I'm hoping they someone can give me my Yankees! If they don't carry the channel I am going to be seriously ticked. I wouldn't get to see any of the games on My9.

Cross your fingers that they come through. 1-0 Yanks in bottom of 2nd. Wish I could see it.


Nick Swisher Did What?

I was so disgusted with last night's Yankee game that I didn't make it through the whole thing. They were down 8-0 before I even blinked. It didn't help that I had a monster headache, had puked earlier in the day, and because 24 was on either. I flipped back and forth during commercials and it never got any better. The headache knocked me out before the game was over. As I was driving to work this morning they were talking about the game on XM. They mentioned that Nick Swisher pitched an inning? I said to myself, "Nick Swisher did what?" I got to work, knocked a few tasks out, and then started reading about Swisher's outing. I am so pissed I missed it. It sounds like he had a lot of fun with it. Rolling the ball to the dugout after picking up a strikeout. Hilarious. I was going to set up the DVR to record the replay but forgot, so now I'll have to check YouTube for it. I'm sure it'll be there, if it's not already. I am loving me some Nicky Swish right about now.

Chien-Ming Wang on the other hand, I have no love for him at this time. God he was awful. I don't think I've ever seen him pitch worse. He manged to last 1 inning. That's right. 1 inning. WTF! Wang has made 2 starts this year and has 4.2 IPs under his belt. His WHIP is 4.5 and opposing hitters are hitting 600 off of him. Unreal. I'm kind of shocked really. Wang has always been a pretty solid pitcher. He may be bad 1 day, but he usually figures out whatever is wrong, and he's good to go. The only other time in his career (not counting the 2007 postseason) he's lost back-to-back starts was at the very beginning of the 2007 season, when he lost the first 2 starts of the season. He finished 2007 with a W-L record of 19-7. Granted, he didn't start out nearly as bad, but all is not lost with Wang. He'll be fine. He just needs to figure out what's wrong and fix it.

I didn't get to see much of Sunday's game against the Royals. We decided to put our house on the market and I spent pretty much all of Sunday taking care of things to get it ready. I did get to listen to the bottom of the 8th forward. We got home from Home Depot right when the bottom of the 8th started. We had to lay some mulch down in the front yard. I turned the game on, cranked up the volume, and opened the windows so I could hear the action. Next thing I know, I'm hearing Phil Coke blow the save. Considering the Yanks were doing fine without me watching, and then blew it as soon as I turned the game on, I'll take the hit for the loss. I'm a superstitious cat at times and while I know it's not really my fault, I'll take the hit. Sorry guys. That one is on me.

You think the Yanks are regretting their decision not to carry a long-man? I'll admit it. I definitely thought they'd be fine without one. I never would have predicted that CMW would have been so bad. They definitely could have used a guy to throw 4-5 innings after each of his 2 starts. Instead, they use Albaladejo for 3, Edwar for 2, and Coke for 1 (but on back-to-back days). They definitely could use a long RP. I wouldn't be surprised if they made a move soon. Hopefully, A.J. Burnett goes deep into the game tonight. They can't afford to have a guy throw less than 6 after Wang's outing last night. So A.J., it's on you. Get the job done.

Peace, love, and Pinstripes,


Saturday, April 11, 2009

CC On Cruise Control, Yanks Win 3rd Straight

It's been a pretty hectic day here. The wife and I decided to try and buy a new house. Baby #2 will be here by the end of the month and we've kind of outgrown our little starter home. It kind of all started pretty suddenly (yesterday afternoon) and next thing I know I'm writing a deposit check. So I spent most of the day dealing with that. In preparation to sell our dilapidated POS, my buddy Jeff came over to help fix some minor things, and that took me away from most of the Yankee game. I had it on in the background and could most of it, but it didn't have my undivided attention. So this post will be on the short side.

Nicky Swish = awesome. I heard his triple. I saw his HR. I also saw his post game interview with Kim Jones. I love his energy and enthusiasm.

CC Sabathia = awesome. He did better than Alex and I predicted. I think he did better than anyone predicted. It was pretty much the exact opposite of his 1st start. I think we're going to see many more games like this from CC. He's worth every but of that contract.

Cody Ransom = not awesome. He's there more for his glove than his bat. Problem is his glove hasn't been that great. I'm telling you, the Yanks should package Melky and Nady and find a 3B. I really thought Cody would fill in admirably and was the best choice. Now? Not so much. I hope Alex comes back real soon.

Mark Teixeira = injured? What's that all about? I saw Swisher batting 3rd and I was like, huh? Apparently he has tendinitis. He can't comfortably swing from the right side of the plate, but can from the left. Interesting. Hope it doesn't materialize into anything serious.

Jorge Posada = What a welcome sight! He's been tearing the cover off the ball. If on;y we had that bat last year. Stay gold Pony Boy, err, I mean, stay healthy Jorge.

Joba makes his debut tomorrow. Should be a good one! Enjoy.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Friday, April 10, 2009

Pettitte Brilliant, Pitches Yanks Past Royals 4-1

Hey ho what do you know? Yankees win. The Yankees win. Andy Pettitte pitched a brilliant game today. The Royals really couldn't touch him. 7 innings, 3 hits, 1 walk, 6 Ks. Good stuff. He very well could have pitched a shutout if not for Nick Swisher's fielding blunder. Nick has to catch that ball. And he definitely has to make a better throw than he did. That was horrible. Andy Pettitte as the Yankees 4th starter? I kind of like it. Is he the best 4th starter in the game? Yeah, he probably is. He should do very well this year assuming he continues to match up against inferior starters, like Sir Sidney Ponson.

Speaking of Sidney, how did the Yankees not hammer him? I was driving home from work, listening to the first inning on the radio. They jumped all over him in the 1st but could never quite deliver the knockout punch. Props to Sidney for hanging in there. While I'm talking about the Royals, can anyone tell me how Kyle Farnsworth pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out the side? Where was that when he was with the Yankees? I so wanted to see them bomb him.

Robbie Cano equals hot. Cody Ransom equals not. Robbie, who always starts out slow, is off to the best start of his career. As a comparison, through his 1st 4 games in 2005, Cano was 2 for 14 with zero walks. In '06, he was 3 for 16 with zero walks. In '07, he was 7 for 18 with no walks. In '08, he was 1 for 15 with no walks. After today's game, Robbie is 8 for 14 with 4 walks. Talk about unexpected. I love it. Cody Ransom on the other hand, yeah, he blows. I thought he'd be doing better than 1 for 14. And what the heck was he (and Nicky Swish for that matter) doing running for 3rd on a ball hit in front of him? Isn't that like one of the 1st you things you learn when it comes to running the bases? If the ball is hit in front of you, don't go? If I were Brian Cashman, I'd be out looking for something else. Package Nady and Melky for a 3B. Should be easy to do., right? Get on it Cash and get well soon Alex.

It looks like Brian Bruney is the 8th inning guy. I'm a big fan of that move, especially if he pitches like he did tonight. The bridge to Mariano just got a little stronger. Mariano was typical Mariano. He should have pitched a 1-2-3 9th if not for a misplay by Cano. How was that not an error? The pen has now thrown 10 scoreless innings. I'm expecting big things from those guys.

I'll end this post with a reminder: don't forget that tomorrow is Global Yankees Jersey Day. In short, wear a Yankees jersey tomorrow. Let's make it happen.

CC makes start #2 tomorrow. I'm looking for him to bounce back. I'm hoping for 6 and a third, 7 hits, 2 ER, 8 Ks. I definitely don't want to see a repeat performance of his first start.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Some Pre-Game Yankee News & Notes

Looking at the press notes for today's game and thought I'd pass a few tidbits along:

  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Yanks' current 9 game road trip is the longest season opening road trip in franchise history
  • Ramiro Pena became the 1st Yankee to record a hit in his 1st career plate appearance since Andy Cannizaro did it on 9/8/06, coincidentally in Baltimore
  • Over the last 2 games, Yankees relievers have combined to pitch 8 straight hitless and scoreless innings
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Nick Swisher became the 1st player to drive in 4-or-more runs in his 1st career start as a Yankee since Roger Maris did it back on 4/19/60. The Bureau also notes that Swisher became just the second Yankee in franchise history to record 5-or-more RBI within his 1st 3 games as a Yankee. The 1st to accomplish that was Bob Tillman.
  • Tomorrow is Mark Teixeira's birthday

The notes also list how the current Yankee lineup has performed against Royals' SP Sidney Ponson:

  • Melky: 0-3
  • Cano: 2-7 w/ 1 HR
  • Damon: 18-52 (.346) w/ 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 8 BB, and 2 K
  • Jeter: 29-77 (.377) w/ 3 2B, 5 HR, 5 BB, and 9 K
  • Matsui: 9-27 (.333) w/ 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 BB, and 2 K
  • Posada: 16-53 (.302) w/3 2B, 1 HR, 7 BB, and 12 K
  • Ransom: 1-3 (.333)
  • Teixeira: 8-15 (.533) w/ 1 2B, 1 BB, and 1 K

Those 8 are a combined 83 for 237, which works out to a .350 average. For their careers, the Yankees as a team against KC are a combined 508 for 1655 (.307). Molina (.299), Matsui (.254), Nady (.250) and Swisher (.245) are the only ones with averages below .300.

Andy Pettitte is a career 7-2 at KC in 10 career starts, allowing 75 hits in 70 innings, posting an ERA of 3.34. For their careers, the current Royals hitters are a combined 38 for 128 (.297) against AP, hitting him for 9 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 8 BB, and 27 K.

On paper, this should be an easy one, right? It looks like the KC hitters have the potential to get to Andy, but the Yankees offense should easily be able to make up for that if he falters at all. The Yankees pretty much own Ponson and I see no reason why they won't hit him hard today. If only the games were played on paper. Watch Sir Sidney pitch a no-hitter.

Enjoy the game!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bombers Bounce Back Behind Burnett, Blast Birds 11-2

It figures that the first Yankee win of the season comes on a game I don't watch. Day games are always rough for me as it falls right during my least favorite activity, work. Thankfully, I can listen to the games on XM Radio. I'd be lost without my XM. I don't know how any baseball fan can go without one. It's always tough to listen to games at work. Between meetings, questions from the staff and whatnot, it's tough to pay attention to every pitch. Today was a good day though as I had no meetings and my underlings, save a few questions here and there, pretty much left me alone. I caught a pretty good portion of the game and loved what I heard.

A.J. Burnett pretty much cruised and gave the Yankees what they desperately needed. He ran into a little bit of trouble but was able to get out of trouble when it mattered. I'm really high on Burnett. I think he has the potential to win 20+ games while leading the league in Ks. I think he'll be that good for the Yanks, assuming of course the days of him being injury prone are behind him. I would have liked to have seen him gone a little deeper in the game, but his pitch count ran up, which often happens with strikeout pitchers. I was impressed that he kept the free passes to a minimum and was able to consistently throw strikes, something Wang and Sabathia couldn't do in their outings. Way to man up. Fingers crossed that the rest of the guys in the rotation follow suit.

How great was the bullpen today? Phil Coke, Brian Bruney, Jose Veras, and the legendary Mariano Rivera combined for 3.2 perfect innings. Now that's what I expected from these guys. In my 2009 predictions, I predicted that Mo would have a perfect season. He won't blow any saves and will have an ERA under 1.00. Today's game wasn't a save situation but Mo was typical Mo, 3 up 3 down, ball game over, Yankees win, the Yankees win. The offense made sure of that.

The offense busted out in a big way today, scoring 11 runs on 13 hits. Every starter reached base safely except for Jeter and Damon. What are the odds that the Yankees would score 11 runs and neither of those 2 reach base to set the table? Weird, I know. It was nice to see Mark Teixeira have a good game at the plate. On my way home from work I was listening to the Michael Kay show. They were talking about Teixeira's 9th inning double in yesterday's game and how it was great for him to get that first hit/RBI out of the way. They discussed how that hit was, and I'm paraphrasing, a catalyst for better things. I couldn't agree with that more. I know the season is young and Teixiera is historically a slow starter. I'm not necessarily thinking that his 2-5 game today means he's going to go 2-for-5 everyday, but it's a start, something to build on. I think things for Mark will be easier now that he's gotten his crappy 2 starts out of the way. Knock on wood.

I also have to knock on wood that Robbie Cano stays hot. He is off to a great start which is so uncharacteristically Robbie. I know it's 3 games and I shouldn't get excited, but he's 6 for 11 thru the first 3 games and what I like the most is that he's walked 3 times. One of the things I like least about Cano is that he doesn't draw enough walks. 3 walks in 3 games. Works for me.

All in favor of starting Nick Swisher over Xavier Nady raise your hand? Nicky Swish had a huge game today. Don't get me wrong, he's not the answer. I still don't think he should be the everyday outfielder, but I'd take him over Nady everyday. I think Nady is highly overrated. I've been especially sour on Nady since he gave up and allowed himself to get tagged out without even attempting to get in a rundown the other day. I don't want to see that from any of these guys. I hope somebody got on him about that. It's unacceptable in my book. The radio call of Swisher's HR today made it sound like he had some help from a fan. They made it sound like the ball was an easy catch and was pretty much in the fielder's glove until the fan made a barehanded snag. Nice. I wrote the other day after it happened to Damon that things like that are part of baseball and that the Yankees would get that break someday. Who knew it would be two games later?

So the 1st win of the season is under their belts and we can all breathe a little sigh of relief. It's weird to say that the 3rd game of the season is a big game but today's game was big. Getting swept by the Orioles would not have been good. It wouldn't have been the end of the world. The '98 Yankees started out 0-3 and we all know how that season ended. Regardless, the first win is out of the way and that takes a little pressure off the team. The Yanks are off to KC and it's Andy Pettitte's turn to take the mound. Sidney Ponson gets the ball for the Royals and that kind of makes me laugh. I think the Yanks are going to light him up. I'll be very disappointed if they don't get him for at least 6 runs. If they don't hit him, and hit him hard, I'll be shocked. It's Sidney Ponson for crying out loud.

R.I.P. Nick Adenhart,


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Second Verse Same As The First

Another game, another horrible outing by a Yankee starter. Tonight's loss against the Orioles was like a remix of the Opening Day loss. You know, it was pretty much the same song but had a few little differences. The problem here is it's a bad song. One I personally don't want to hear again.

The starting pitching was again awful. Chien-Ming Wang, in his first start since June of last year, was brutal. His sinker wasn't sinking and the Orioles offense made him pay, chasing him after just 3.2 innings. They were hitting him hard too. He didn't do himself any favors either. He walked three and only threw 40 of his 73 pitches for strikes. I know it's the 2nd game of the season. I know it was Wang's first start, but these guys need to be better. The Yankees, for my money, have the best rotation in all of baseball. You wouldn't know that after watching the first 2 games. In the 1st 2 games, CC and Wang have combined for 8 IPs, allowing 13 runs, on 17 hits and 8 walks. That works out to an ERA of 14.62. Yikes. They haven't whiffed a batter, which is really surprising. It's on A.J. Burnett to end this little funk. I hope the decision not to carry a long reliever doesn't turn out to bite them in the ass.

Mark Teixeira was again awful. I know he stroked an RBI double in the 9th, but for all intents and purposes, he's 1 for 10 this year. I can't give him credit for his walk in the opener. That was one of the worst strike 3 calls I've ever seen. His 3 infield popouts were embarrassing. I got a text message from my buddy Tom after his 7th inning K. It read, "Teixeira is terrible." While I agree, he won't be for long. Teixeira is a notorious slow starter. It's widely known that he is horrible in April. He'll be fine. At least he got his 1st hit out of the way and picked up his 1st RBI. It can only go up from here.

I'm really pleased with the hit starts by Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon. They're getting the job done by getting on base. Jeter reached base 3 times, including his dinger in the 9th. Damon reached base twice. If only the big boppers behind them would get going. Teixeira and Matsui are a combined 2 for 19 with 3 RBI. Man, I miss A-Rod.

As I mentioned above, it's on A.J. Burnett to get things going tomorrow. I'm expecting big things from Burnett. I think he's going to have one heck of a year and a win in his first start will hopefully get the ball rolling. Since it's a 1:35 start, I'll be at work so I'll miss the TV broadcast, but will definitely have it on my XM Radio. I love the fact that the season has started, but I hate the fact that they play so many day games in April. Not counting weekends, they have 6 day games in April. I took the day off for the home opener, but I'll likely have to catch the other 5 on the radio. Hopefully, I have no meetings scheduled. Stupid work, always getting in the way.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


A Drunken Joba

When I logged out of my hotmail account today, I was redirected to I scrolled won the page and a headline caught my eye: Report: Yankee dissed Yogi in DUI video. What?

Haven't seen it yet, but apparently there's a video of Joba Chamberlain's DUI arrest. In the video, Joba reportedly "disses" Yogi Berra, saying, "He might not be as tall as the front of your car." He also reportedly takes a shot at New York drivers, saying, "The biggest thing that I've noticed driving here and there is if you let somebody in they open the window and say 'Thank you. In New York, they might hit you. Yeah, it's a joke."

Now again, I haven't see the video myself. According to the article, it was uncovered by The Smoking Gun. I can't get to their site at work so I'm not sure if it's on their site, or if it's just a rehash of what they reportedly saw, or were told is, on the video. Until I see it for myself and see the context his comments were made in, I can't really comment on it. At face value, nothing in the report bothers me. NY drivers aren't known to be the friendliest drivers out there. The comment Joba reportedly made about them not saying thanks for letting them in is shared by a large number of people. And as for Yogi, I doubt Joba was "dissing" him. I have to think that Joba didn't say that out of the blue and it was something that somehow came up in conversation. Yogi didn't seem to mind. According to the article, Dave Kaplan, a spokesperson for Yogi, told Newsday, "He just totally laughed it off. He said it was all in fun. There was no offense taken whatsoever."

If anyone has seen the video, or has been to The Smoking Gun to check it out, let me know. My initial thought is that this is just the media attempting to make a story out of nothing. I doubt this will have any effect on Joba or the team whatsoever.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, April 6, 2009

Sabathia Is Awful As Yanks Lose Opener 10-5

I had such high hopes for today's games. I thought CC would cruise. I thought Mark Teixeira would get off to a hot start. I was wrong on both counts.

CC Sabathia was awful today. He had no command of his fastball and his control was questionable on many of his pitches. He finished with 96 pitches, only 50 were strikes. That's not a good ball-to-strike ratio. I don't know if it was first game jitters but he has to be better. 4.1 innings from our 161 million dollar ace is not acceptable. I wrote earlier today that I understood why the Yankees didn't keep a long man on the pitching staff. The arms in the rotation, except for Joba, are all capable of throwing 7 innings each and every game. CC didn't do anything to prove my point today. He's lucky tomorrow is an off day.

The other big acquisition, Mark Teixeira, had a pretty crappy regular season debut. 0-4 with a walk. And that's only because the umpire must have blinked. It should have been oh-fer-five with 2 Ks. I know Teixeira is a slow starter but I expected him to do better than an oh-fer in his first game. Ugh.

I really hate those Mohegan Sun commercials. Almost as much as I hate Michael Kay. Kay uttered one of the stupidest things he's ever said in the 8th inning, "Coke delivers free and easy." You could tell Ken Singleton thought it was dumb. I loved Kenny's reply, "That's a refreshing thought." I love a good Coke reference as much as the next guy, but Michael Kay just makes them sound so bad. And in typical Kay fashion, he put the jinx on Coke. He makes that stupid remark and Coke gets taken deep. Coincidence? Sure, but it's fun to blame others. Tough break for Coke there in the eighth. That ball was probably caught if not for the fans. But that's baseball. The Yanks will get that break someday.

The bullpen wasn't a strength for the Yanks today. I thought once CC left that if the pen could hold the Os to 6 runs, then the Yanks offense would pick CC up. The Brian Bruney of old showed up tonight, walking 2. The pitching today was suspect. It needs to be better. It reminder me a lot of the Yankees pitching from the last few years. The SPs go less than 5, the bullpen implodes, you get the picture. The pitching staff is supposed to be their strong suit now. Today it was far from it.

It was nice to see Jorge Posada take one deep. His bat was sorely missed last year and it'll be a huge boost to have him around. Same goes for Hideki Matusi. The Yankees lost a lot of production last year with those 2 out of action. If those 2 can stay healthy, the Yankees offense could do great things. While I'm talking about Jorge, what was up with his failure to apply a tag on Melvin Mora? He received the ball from Brett Gardner in plenty of time to slap on a tag, but it didn't even look like he made an attempt. He's real lucky the umpire was screened and called Mora out. He looked safe to me.

I really like having Brett Gardner hitting 9th and Jeter hitting leadoff. The run they manufactured in the 3rd inning was nice. I can see that happening a lot this year. Whether it's a hit-and-run or Gardner making a steal attempt. It's going to result in some extra runs. I really like the flow of the lineup. Every other hitter hits from a different side of the plate. That's going to give opposing manager's fits. Take the 7th inning of tonight's game for example. The Os used 3 RPs in that inning alone. Burn through the bullpen and eventually you'll get to the underbelly. If only Xavier Nady didn't ground into a DP. I know he had an RBI double, but I am not a Nady guy. He's overrated. Is it me or does he look slower than molasses out there in RF? I'm not sure if it was his baserunning blunder in the 6th that killed that rally or if it was Rob Thomson's fault. I don't like though how X just stood there and let himself get tagged out. You never know if the other team will make a mistake. I don't like seeing anyone just give up like that.

Jeter had a pretty solid day at the plate. I fully expected him to bring Pena home in the 8th. I've grown accustomed to Jeter coming through in the clutch. I was surprised when he didn't.

I hate to say this but I miss A-Rod. I know Cody Ransom isn't even close to Alex in terms of talent, even without the steroids, but Cody's strength is his glove and he tanked it with that tonight. He should have easily made that play on Mora's grounder and turned it into a DP. 2 runs came around to score. Cody can't be doing that.

I hope the Orioles, and the rest of MLB for that matter, have a policy where anyone that interferes with a ball in play get bounced from the park immediately. If they're season ticket holders, revoke their tickets. I'm tired of seeing these douches reaching out for shots down the line. I would have been ticked had the umpires held Cano at third on Nady's double. I hoped they bounced that guy. What a jerkwad. Thankfully it didn't matter.

So the Yanks drop the season opener. It's not much to worry about. I'm just surprised at how poorly they played. Sabathia was disappointing. He was really bad. He needs to be much better. He'll find that groove. Tomorrow is an off day and Wednesday night we get the return of Chien-Ming Wang. I'm looking forward to that. Hopefully, he fares better than CC.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,