Sunday, May 31, 2009

Yanks Lose A Very Winnable Game

I'll have to make this short and sweet. I let the day get away from me and I wanted to post something tonight as opposed to tomorrow. I say that and by the time this post is done, it'll be lengthy.

Today's game in a word: winnable. Today's game in another word: disappointing. What made it disappointing was that they lost (of course) and that they couldn't do more against that sad sack, and I guess Yankee killer, Carl Pavano. What made it winnable is that Eric Wedge channeled his inner Joe Girardi and let the Yankees get back into it by stupidly going to his bullpen. Joe Girardi, not to be outdone, decided to one up his counterpart by making the wrong moves in the 9th. The Yankees very easily could have won that game. Very disappointing.

I thought Phil Hughes looked good. He had exceptional control, throwing about 70% of his pitches for strikes. The only problem was he threw 95 pitches and was done after 5. But he looked good. I wonder if he'll make his next start or if it will go to Chien-Ming Wang? Wang pitched a pretty good game in relief. He kept the Tribe from scoring which let the Yanks get back into it. He looked like the Wang of old. Wang's line since his return: 8 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 ER, 2.25 ERA. I don't think any of us would complain if CMW could bust out a game like that. The Wang of old looks to be back. And for those keeping track at home, Wang's road to respectability, a 4.50 ERA, is now 36 scoreless innings and counting. He's got a long way to go but I wouldn't be surprised if he gets that ERA down under 6 before long. If I'm running the show, I give the ball to Wang when Hughes's spot in the rotation comes around. I love Hughes and all, but it's Wang's spot. If he's healthy, he should get it back. But that's me. With Girardi running the ship, who knows what will happen.

Phil Coke should be shot for issuing a leadoff walk to the #9 hitter. You know, the guy hitting a buck eight four. Brutal. Absolutely brutal. Sam goes to you David Robertson. You guys need to stop with the free passes. As I tweeted during the game, here's a novel idea: try throwing strikes. You guys are freaking major leaguers. The best of the best. Start playing like it. As much as I'd like to chew Girardi's ass out for this, he has little choice in the matter. The other options are Veras (good God no), Aceves (probably unavailable), Mariano (not the right situation) and Brett Tomko (hasn't pitched since 5/24). I can see why he went with Coke since he was rested, but why Robertson when he threw an inning yesterday? What doesn't Joe like about Brett Tomko? He's certainly no worse than the rest of the bunch. Why can't you be healthy Brian Bruney? It's painfully obvious that the bullpen is the weak link when it comes to the 2009 Yankees. Brian Cashman needs to find a way to fix it and fix it fast.

I was screaming at my TV when Brett Gardner didn't try to steal 2nd in the 9th. I read on Pete Abe's blog that he didn't go because he was worried about getting picked off. What? Aren't you worried about that every time? Opposing teams know you're fast. You don't think they're going to throw over and try to nab you? WTF? I couldn't believe it when I read that. Brett not running in the 9th is inexcusable. What's the opposite of the WWE belt that the team gives out? Whatever it is, give it to Gardner. That non-steal attempt and misplay in the OF were 2 huge factors in the loss. It just wasn't your day Brett. Melky is supposedly back tomorrow. Hope you enjoyed that PT because you're probably benched. Inexcusable.

So much for short and sweet.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Yankees Lead In The East, Like Leon, Is Getting Larger

The Yankees win. The Red Sox lose. The lead is now a game and a half. All is right in the world.

CC Sabathia looked strong again. That's 5 straight outings where CC has looked really good. Here's a quick glance at his line over his last 5 starts: 4-0, 39 IP, 26 H, 9 BB, 32 K, 9 ER, 2.08 ERA. That's pretty damn good. CC was on for most of the game tonight. He was throwing strikes (62% were strikes) and most importantly he was throwing strike one. If a pitcher can stay ahead of hitters, he'll typically fare pretty well. CC is proving to be well worth every penny the Yankees gave to him. As nice as it would have been to have landed Johan Santana before last season, I'm glad that things worked out the way they did. The money would have been the same, but the Yanks kept their prospects, namely Phil Hughes. Hats off to CC for another great one. Give that man the WWE belt. I wonder if it fits?

13 hits, 4 walks, 10 runs. That's what I call offense. Everybody was getting in on the action. Brett Gardner was the only starter not to pick up a hit but he walked and scored twice so no biggie. The hit streaks (Jeter & Teixeira) stayed in tact. For Kim Jones' sake, I hope Jeter gets a hit tomorrow. She is doing everything in her power to jinx these guys. Funny thing is she thinks these guys are kidding when they bust her balls on it. You think she'd know better. The offense is firing on all cylinders right now. Coming into today's game, they had the 2nd highest team batting average in the AL and the highest team OPS (by a 28 point margin) in all of MLB. Considering A-Rod missed time, Posada missed time, and Teixeira's slow start, they are doing well. Very very well.

I have 3 letters for Jose Veras: DFA. Your days in Pinstripes are running out. Hopefully, the end is near.

The pitching is there. The offense is there. The defense is there. The team has won 3 straight, 4 of 5, 5 of 7, 14 of 17, and 15 of 19. The are 16-5 since A-Rod returned. Simply put, they are playing great baseball. Phil Hughes takes on Carl Pavano tomorrow. Last time the Yanks faced Pavano, CP pitched pretty well. It's hard to believe that Pavano has 5 wins this year, tied with Sabathia. The last thing I think any of us want to see is Pavano pitch well tomorrow. He's facing a much different team than he did last time around. The boys better light him up.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Friday, May 29, 2009

All Alone At The Top, Yanks Are King Of The Hill

Tonight's 3-1 victory over the Tribe moves the Yankees into sole possession of 1st place. It's a place they haven't been since the end of the 2006 season. Wow. It's been 2+ seasons since the Yanks have been in first by themselves. Unbelievable.

Whoever is in charge of handing out the WWE championship belt in the Yankee clubhouse better give that thing to Alfredo Aceves. He's definitely tonight's hero. Aceves came up huge there in the 6th. Bases loaded no outs and he allows only 1 run and then proceeds to pitch 2 more scoreless innings, turning a 2-run lead over to Mo to close it out. Ace is becoming a very integral part of the Yankees bullpen. I was a little surprised that Girardi didn't pull him after the 7th. It just goes to show how little Girardi trusts the bullpen. Everyone was rested and available but Girardi left the ball in Aceves's hand. I'm astonished I'm saying this, but wise move by Girardi. Aceves has been one of the team's better pitchers and it'll be interesting to see how Girardi uses him going forward. I wouldn't mind seeing him as a 7th and 8th inning guy, at least while Bruney is on the DL. Give him the ball for 2 full innings and then give it off to Mo. Starters for 6, Ace for 2, and Mo shutting the door. Sounds like a plan.

Pettitte had a tough go of things tonight but came out relatively unscathed. Word on the street is that he was experiencing lower back spasms. I thought I noticed after the 2nd or 3rd inning that something was bothering AP. YES had a shot of him walking off the field after the 3rd out and I swear he grimaced a little. If you blinked you probably missed it and there was no mention made about it after the commercial so I didn't think much of it. I guess it was something. Andy pitched pretty damn well considering the back issue. If it really started in the 2nd or 3rd and he made it into the 6th without giving up a run, that's pretty damn good. Andy is now 5-1 on the season. Andy was pretty much the team's 4th starter. I think it's safe to say he's moved up the ladder and is the team's 3rd. And it has little to do with Wang's injury. Andy has earned it. I'm a little concerned about the back and hope it's nothing that causes him to miss a start. But if it does, paging Dr. Wang. Dr. Chien-Ming Wang. Get those legs ready CMW.

Offensively it was kind of a blah game. Then again, they did face Cliff Lee, the reigning Cy Young winner. Talk about a tough luck loser. Including tonight's loss, Lee is 2-6 with an ERA of 3.16. The Tribe have scored 7 runs in his 6 losses. Talk about pitiful. I did like the approach the Yanks had at the plate. They ran up Lee's pitch count and chased him after 6. It was great to see Jorge back in the lineup. The great Yankee offense just got a million times better. JoPo went 2-3 with a double and a walk. Not a bad return. The team struggled with RISP, going 2-for-12. You can only hope when the bats aren't there that the pitching is. Tonight it was.

Big up to Teixeira for his play in the field. I'm loving the glove. Also, congrats to Andy and Mo on their 58th win/save combo. The duo now holds the record for the most # of win/save combos. Now if someone can explain to me why that's a record I should care about, I'm all ears.

Just a friendly reminder that you can now follow me on Twitter. There's a link to the left or you can just click here.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Start Spreading The News, The Yanks Are In First

Extra! Extra! Read all about it. Yankees beat Rangers 9-2, move into first place tie with rival Red Sox. The best part of waking up isn't Folgers in your cup. It's knowing that the Yankees are in first and all is right in the Yankees Universe. I wrote a song about it. I'm tempted to record it as a video blog and post it, but I probably won't. It's a spoof of Sinatra's "New York, New York." Maybe someday. When I convince myself it won't be a jinx. Anyway.....

A.J. Burnett won a game!! 3 cheers for A.J.! It's his first win since April 14th, a span of 8 starts. It was a pretty solid outing. The only drawback is that he only went 6 innings which is a by-product of walking 4 and throwing only 59.3% of his pitches for strikes. But he got the job done, allowing only 3 hits and 0 runs in his 6 innings of work. Pitching 6 shutout innings isn't anything to scoff at. A.J. now has 10 starts under his belt and his record sits at 3-2. I don't think it's the start that we Yankee fans envisioned or hoped for, but there is a silver lining. I don't think any of us would have any beef if A.J. could pitch like he did last year, when he went 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA. Last year thru his first 10 starts, Burnett was 4-4 with a 4.71 ERA. His WHIP was 1.48 (58 hits, 27 walks, 57.1 IP). This year after 10 starts, he's 3-2 with an ERA of 4.78. His WHIP is lower at 1.41 (59 hits, 31 walks, 64 IP). The biggest difference is that he's given up 10 HRs this year and had only given up 4 at this point last year. I'm sure part of that has to do with pitching in the new Yankee Stadium. My point is that AJ will get better as the season moves on. Hopefully last night's outing is the jumping off point.

Joe Girardi. WTF man? Why did you bring out Veras and Robertson to pitch the 7th when you could have easily gone to Chien-Ming Wang for 3 innings? Today is an off day so it's not like it's a question of making Wang fatigued. I don't get it. As I was "tweeting" I noticed a lot of people felt the same way. It's as if we were all on the same wavelength. I just don't get what Girardi is thinking most of the time. Inquiring minds want to know. Wang looked very good in his 2 perfect innings of work. His sinker was sinking. His velocity was there. All in all a great outing for Wang. He's on the road back to respectability. For those keeping track at home, the Wanger needs to pitch 39 scoreless innings to get his ERA down to 4.50. That's quite the tall task but he's on his way. I hope he gets there. I think we all do.

The offense is clicking right now. They put on a nice display while in Texas, scoring 23 runs on 47 hits. You know things are going well when Kevin cash goes 5 for 9. Jeter is on a tear. The Captain is in the midst of an 11 game hit streak that's seen his average jump 31 points, from .266 to .297. He's knock-knock-knocking on the door of .300 and should enter that room real soon. He's hit safely in 15 of the last 16, and 19 of the last 22 games. Hitting leadoff seems to suit the Captain.

Mark Teixeira is also ripping it up. He's got a 10-game hitting streak going on and has hit safely in 14 of his last 15, and 16 of his 18 games. That piss-poor start has been pretty much wiped out. It's hard to believe the tear he's been on over the last 18 games. The average is up 83 points to .275. He's gone deep 10 times, knocking in 24. Talk about blowing up. If only A-Rod started the year healthy and in the lineup. Wow.

How 'bout Hideki Matsui going yard twice? Was it just me or was it painful to watch him trot around the bases? He looked so uncomfortable jogging. I'm hoping those 2 bombs break him out of his funk. you can always tell when Matsui is scuffling because he's pulling his body out on every swing. Correct those mechanics Godzilla.

I'm really curious to see if Girardi makes any changes in the OF when Melky Cabrera comes back. Brett Gardner is playing really well and has to be raising some questions about whether he should be starting over Swisher. Gardner is 8 for his last 16. Swisher has 9 hits in the month of May. The Yankees would be better defensively if Gardner played over Swisher. Gardner can also ignite something with his speed while Swisher can't. I love Swish and his personality. I think he's great for clubhouse chemistry. But if he's going to play, he needs to kick it up a notch.

And if things weren't good enough already, Jorge Posada should be back behind the plate on Friday. The offense, as good as it is, just got exponentially better.

Enjoy the off day and don't forget that the Boogie Down is now on Twitter. Click the link to follow me.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Boogie Down Is Now On Twitter

Baseball & The Boogie Down is now on Twitter. What does that mean? I have no idea but apparently you can follow me by clicking here. I figured all the cool kids were doing it so why not me? I do have a pretty good idea of what Twitter is but I'm not sure how exactly I'll use it. Right now I have this blog's feed set up to post there. If you feel like following me, please do. You can click here or look me up. I'm JBoogieDown. I'm not sure how much "tweeting" I'll do. It's hard enough watching the games and blogging with a crying 1-month old to take care of. It took me 20 minutes to write this post.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Joba Goes 4, Needs To Go More, Yanks Lose 7-3

Due to the super long rain delay last night, I didn't get to listen to the whole game. I had it on my XM and I think I fell asleep sometime around the 4th inning. The Yanks were down 3-0. Within about 48 seconds of waking up, I was on my laptop checking the score. 7-3 Rangers. Bummer. I pulled up the box score expecting to see that the Yanks were down 7-0 and scored 3 late runs. I was surprised to see they tied things up but then blew it. Since I didn't see the game I don't have a lot to say about it. Here are some quickies:

  • Joba needs to be better than he was. 4 innings isn't going to cut it. I get that he was possibly thrown off by the long rain delay, but he's pitching at the highest level and he should be able to deal with that. He threw 84 pitches, 46 for strikes, which is 54.8% of his pitches. That's not good. Joba needs to throw more strikes and stay in the game longer. The Yankee bullpen isn't good and the Yankee starters need to go as deep as possible.
  • 9 hits plus 4 walks plus 5 stolen bases shouldn't equal 3 runs. Not an efficient night at the plate. 3 DPs and 2 for 12 with RISP won't get it done. Those games will happen. You just hope when it does that the pitcher keeps it close.
  • Anybody know why Girardi went to Aceves and not Wang? I like Aceves and all but he pitched the night before and I'm confused why Wang wasn't the go-to guy? Girardi has made some very questionable moves lately. It's easy to second guess him on this one because it didn't work out. I know Chien-Ming has been far from good this season, but I thought he was going to be the long-man with Hughes pitching well. I'm puzzled by the move, but I get it. I don't necessarily think it was the wrong call. I just wonder why he didn't go to Wang.
  • I liked the lineup last night. I liked seeing Swisher in the 8 hole. If he's going to continue to walk and not hit, that's where he needs to be. He's not knocking in the runs. He came up short yesterday in his 2 big chances. He whiffed with a runner on 2nd and nobody out in the 6th. An inning later, he grounded into an inning-ending DP with the bases loaded. I would almost prefer to see Swisher bat 9th, especially in games when Cervelli starts. His does get on base and that will benefit the guys at the top of the order. Cervelli is doing pretty well at the dish and I think could knock in a few. He's knocked on 4 in 40 ABS, batting at the bottom of the order. Swish has knocked in 8 in 67 ABs batting closer to the middle. Cisco's average is 78 points higher than Swisher's. What can it hurt? The only hiccup in the plan is the severity of Melky's injury. Hopefully, he just misses 1 game. If it's longer, you almost have to bat Swisher 7th as you can't really bat Cervelli or Gardner in the 7 spot. We'll see.

A.J. Burnett goes tonight and he really needs to come up big. He's winless in his last 7 starts. He really needs to get things going. Here's something I heard today that really makes me sad. CC Sabathia leads the Yankees with 4 wins. Carl Pavano has 5 under his belt. I think I just vomited in my mouth.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My9 Means No Yankees Baseball In Buffalo

**update on 4/12/11- click here to go to a more up-to-date post.

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

**update on 8/6: Verizon Fios channel 461 was a bust. Friggin' Knight Rider is on. I e-mailed RTV to ask if they would ever carry the games and didn't receive a reply. I also e-mailed the local My Network affiliate (WNYO) and they did reply. No chance there. They advised the contract is still held by WNGS, which has no way to show the games since they're defunct or something. So it looks like we won't have any My9 games the rest of the way. The kind-of good news, per WNYO, is that the WNGS contract is up at year's end and they're looking to pick it up. I'll continue to keep my eyes open and hope for the best. **update on 8/5: I just noticed on my FIOS guide that they've added the Retro Television Network (RTV/RTN) on channel 461. My hopes are high that tomorrow's Yankees/Red Sox game will be on this channel since they used to carry the My9 games. According to the FIOS guide, it won't be. Per the schedule, The A-Team will be on. I love me some B.A. Baracus, but I want my Yankees. I've seen it before with this channel where the guide is wrong. My fingers are crossed. I don't know if Time Warner or Direct TV carry the channel yet, but look for it. You might find the game. I'll make sure to come back and update this post to let everyone know if it's on or not. **update on 7/21: I haven't quite figured this out yet but as I was watching the local NBC affiliate the other day, I noticed a commercial that had a clip in it for the RTN network, the channel that was showing the Yankee games on My9. WGRZ has picked up the channel and is broadcasting one of its digital subchannels, WGRZ-DT3 2.3. I know it's not carried on FIOS. I'm not sure if those are carried on Direct TV or Time Warner. I think you may need one of the converter boxes to watch it. There is promising news though. WGRZ's 2.2 subchannel, Universal Sports, is carried on FIOS. I'm hoping RTN on 2.3 will follow suit, and I'm hoping they'll carry games. Tonight's game (7/12 vs. Orioles) was not listed on RTV's broadcast schedule, so I'm not sure if it was even on. But if you're coming here looking where you can find the games on My9, look for RTV on WGRZ 2.2. If you find it, let me know. Ugh. Tonight's game is on My9. Unfortunately for me, and the rest of the Buffalo area, that means no Yankees baseball. WTF? If anyone from the Buffalo area is being directed here from web searches looking for info, here's what I know: The channel that used to carry the games, WNGS RTN-11, is still on Time Warner, but I've been told by friends that the games are gone as the station is now a religious station. My TV provider, Verizon FIOS, stopped broadcasting the channel months ago, prior to their programming change. As far as I know, nobody in the Buffalo local market can watch these games. Sucks to be us. If I'm wrong, let me know. UPDATE: according to a comment from AJ (thanks!), the game was on channel 13 on Time Warner. Channel 13 is a Time Warner sports channel so it's possible. I'm not sure if that's true b/c I'm a FIOS customer. I also got a lot of page hits yesterday from people searching for My9 info, presumably from the WNY area, so I'm assuming people couldn't find the game. The next My9 game is on June 9th. Hopefully by then, we'll all have the games on. I've looked around the web and couldn't find anything about any other network picking up the feed. The only thing we can hope for is that another local station picks them up. It certainly can't hurt to scroll through the local channels whenever the games are on My9. Hopefully, one day it'll be on. There isn't much the cable providers can do as it's up to the networks to broadcast the feed. If you still want to get access to the game, here are your options: 1)Yankee games are back on the radio, now broadcast on WECK 1230 AM here in Buffalo. Or if you have an XM radio subscription, like me, you can listen to that. 2)Follow along online using the gamecast from,,, etc. I can't think of any other options, but if anyone local happens across this post and has an option, let me know. Peace, love and Pinstripes, J-Boogie

The Francisco Cervelli Story

Got an e-mail from the guys at Bleacher Report. Their senior Yankees writer has written a great piece on Francisco Cervelli and I wanted to share the link. Cervelli has been a great addition to the Yanks since filling in for Posada and Molina. He calls a good game and hasn't been too bad with the stick either. I said I'd be happy if he hit .260. He's rocking a .306 average. Cisco is doing a great job and is definitely, as the article calls him, an unsung hero.

Give it a read. Enjoy.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Hughes Dominates, A-Rod Finds His Stroke, And Girardi Is Still A Bonehead

The answer is awesome. But what's the question? Is it, a)in a word describe Phil Hughes's outing today against the Rangers. Or is it, b)in a word describe A-Rod's day at the plate? Or could it be, c)in a word describe today's Yankees/Rangers game. If you answered d)all of the above then you my friend, are a genius. Phil Hughes = awesome. A-Rod = awesome. Yankees = awesome. If only all tests in life were that easy.

I'm glad today's game wasn't close. It didn't give Joe Girardi much of a chance to screw it up. Judging from the comments I got yesterday (thanks guys), everyone seemed to share my opinion for the most part. I've cooled down a little bit. I don't necessarily think Joe needs to be shown the door at this exact moment, but he needs to be put on notice. He's making some pretty boneheaded moves. You could argue taking the bat out of Melky's hands for 2 pitches was a factor in them losing yesterday. I think it definitely played a part. How big of a part we'll never know. I always thought if Girardi as a really smart baseball guy. Not anymore. Not after the last 2 games of that homestand. I really hope someone questioned him on that call.

A-Rod had a monster day at the plate. He entered the day hitting .189, with 7 of his 10 hits being HRs. His 5-for-5 performance today raised that average 70 percentage points. Talk about being locked in. This should be a huge confidence booster for Alex. I know one huge game out of 17 isn't enough to go on, but he looked real good at the plate today. The only thing that's been missing this year for Alex was his timing. That wasn't a problem today. I don't see it being a problem from here on out.

Phil Hughes was outstanding today. If only he could pitch all of his games in Texas, right? In 2 career starts, Phil has thrown 14.1 IPs, allowing only 3 hits and 4 walks, while striking out 12 and allowing no runs. That's pretty damn impressive considering how hitter-friendly the Ballpark in Arlington is. He very well could have thrown a no-hitter in his first start there if not for getting injured. Phil looked great today. He was ahead of most batters, threw 65% of his pitchers for strikes, and only walked one. Frequent readers of this blog know I'm a big Hughes guy. Always have been, always will be. I've said it before and I'll say it again, in the long run he'll prove to be a better starter than Joba. I really he think he will be. Hughes has had a pretty solid year so far. He's now made 6 starts and only one has been bad. In his other 5, he's thrown 28 IPs and has allowed 24 hits, 12 walks and has struck out 25. He's gotten much better with the walks over the last 2 starts, allowing only 2 in 13 IPs. Roll those starts together and you've got a guy who's 3-1 and a 2.89 ERA. Not too shabby. The only think I want to see him improve on is his pitch count. He hasn't always been economical with his pitches. I hope he takes his start today and puts it into his memory bank. Draw from the experience and remember how you got things done. He's definitely earned another start in my book. Too bad Joe Girardi is running things. Who knows what he'll do?

Overall today's game was excellent. They got outstanding performances on both sides of the plate. Every Yankee that stepped up to the plate picked up a hit. Yes, even Nick Swisher. For those keeping track at home, that's 8 hits this month for Nicky Swish. In May, Swisher is hitting 8 for 65 (.123) with 1 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI (3 of which were from today), 14 BB, and 24 Ks. Let's compare that to the other option the Yankees have right now, Brett Gardner. In limited action, Brett is 10 for 32 (.313) with 1 2B, 2 3B, 2 HRs, 4 RBI, 6 BB and 2 Ks. Now I'm not saying it's time to give the everyday CF job to Gardner (while moving Melky to RF), but it's worth looking at. It would definitely make the Yankees better defensively and it would arguably make them better offensively also. Sure Swisher walks a lot more, but you'd think he'd score more than 5 times. Gardner has 8 runs under his belt this month. I'd expect BG to score more hitting at the bottom of the order with the top of the order driving him in more often that the bottom of the order driving in Swisher. Again, I'm not saying they should make the move, but if they don't, they should at least consider moving Swisher down in the order to take advantage of his high OBP. He's not exactly driving in the runs. But again, it's Girardi we're talking about here. WWJD? What would Joe do? My money is on the wrong things.

It's JC in the place to be tomorrow. Go get 'em Justin.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fire Joe Girardi Right Now

All I have to say is thank God that Melky Cabrera didn't successfully lay down a sac bunt. As soon as I saw him square up on the 1st pitch I started screaming for Girardi's head. When he squared up again after Ramiro Pena's successful steal of 2nd I was even more livid. My wife thought I was going to blow a gasket I was so ticked. I would have been beyond pissed if it didn't end up working out the way it did. If Melky makes an out, game is likely over.

I understand the goal is to get the guy into scoring position so they could try to tie the game. I get that. And most of the time I'd be fine with the sac bunt. But not when the next 2 hitters are Hideki Matsui and Nick Swisher (a move I correctly predicted in advance). Matsui and Swisher are not delivering right now, plain and simple. It would have been stupid to take the bat out of one of your team's hottest hitters and put it in the hands of 2 of your coldest. What did those two do when they had their shot? Matsui whiffed and Swisher grounded out weakly to first. I didn't see that coming. It was a stupid move to have Melky try that in that exact situation.

Girardi made pretty much the same call yesterday and even though it worked out, it doesn't mean it was the right call. I wrote about that yesterday. It was a stupid move yesterday. It was a stupid move today. I really have to question Girardi on this. He's done some stupid thing before but I think this takes the "pie." I'm curious to know if I'm the only one feeling this way. Anybody care to chime in?

Mo just pitched a scoreless 10th. The top of the Yankee order is due up. Anybody in the mood for some pie??


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Never Say Die, Show Me The Pie

One word: wow! The Yankees win another exciting game in their final at bat. Today's win is the 4th walkoff win this homestand. I love it. Best of all, both the Red Sox (suck it Johnny) and the Blue Jays lost. The Yankees have won 10 of their last 11 and are now tied for 2nd with the Red Sox, and only a half game out of first. Things are good right now in the Yankees Universe. Things are very good. Question: Name the only AL team that has a winning record both at home and on the road? Better question: Name the only with a winning record on the road? If I have to tell you the answer, you shouldn't be here.

I'm pretty exhausted right now so I'm going to write this post a little differently than I normally do. The 2 kids are running me ragged and sleep is hard to come by. It's my own fault, so don't feel sorry for me. I'm a night owl. I like to stay up late (midnight - 1am), even though I know full well that I'm going to have to get up between 6-7 when my 21 month old wakes up. I put a self-imposed bedtime on myself tonight and it's coming up in about 15 minutes. So here goes:

Mark Teixeira: Another multi-hit game! That makes 8 this month, 6 of which have come in the last 10 games. I think it's safe to say that his slump is gone. It's long gone.

A-Rod: He has 10 hits this season. 7 are HRs. Alex has come up huge this season with 2 clutch dingers. His average may be crap but he's kicking some ass. He's going to have a monster year.

Nicky Swish: Hit the freaking ball already. You have 7 hits this month. Brett Gardner has 8. My love affair with you is rapidly coming to an end. Swisher has struck out 43 times in 42 games. Which brings me to.....

Joe Girardi: I don't understand why they had Melky lay a sac bunt with no outs and a runner on 2nd? You're giving up an out and relying on Swisher (who Ks a lot and isn't hitting) to get the runner home from 3rd with 1 out. I didn't get that. Sure it worked out, but the odds were against it. I thought it was a head scratcher.

T-minus 5 minutes til bedtime....

Melky: Way to come through, again. I'm not your biggest fan, far from it, but you're earning that playing time. Maybe you can be more than a 4th or 5th OF.

Phil Coke- Stop pointing to the sky on deep fly balls.

Andy Pettitte - When I looked at Andy's final line I was surprised to see he only walked 2. Andy threw a lot of balls. Despite that, he pitched a pretty decent game, making one mistake to John Mayberry. Which brings me to...

Fox: Nice job finding the "real John Mayberry." Classic.

I'm 1 minute past my deadline. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's game. CC vs Cole Hamels. CC has been getting progressively better. His ERA has gone down after each of his last 3 starts. I really want to see him end this homestand on a really high note. Win the game, take the series, and hopefully move into sole possession of 1st place. And just like that, it's 6 minutes past 11. I suck at this.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Friday, May 22, 2009

All Good Things Must Come To An End

I knew the Yanks were in for a rough night when Jimmy Rollins went yard on the first pitch of the game. I just had that feeling. It would have been nice to run the winning streak to ten, but as they say, all good things must come to an end.

Speaking of all good things coming to an end, I unfortunately think Chien-Ming Wang's best days are behind him. I really hope I'm wrong on that, but his return tonight didn't encourage me. Now I'm not saying he won't win 13-15 games, but the days of 19-win seasons are gone. Sure he lowered his ERA 9.5 points, but he still allowed 6 hits and 2 ER in 3 innings of work. His strike-to-ball ratio was so-so and his night would have been a lot worse had Robbie Cano not made a great play on the double play to end the 8th. Wang needed to come in and keep the Yanks in the ball game. A 4-run deficit in Yankee Stadium can be wiped out pretty easily. A 6-run deficit is a different animal. I really hope Wang can figure things out.

I thought A.J. Burnett pitched a decent game. Not bad, not good. The Stadium wasn't kind to him tonight. Holy long balls Batman. I'm really starting to hate the new ballpark, purely because of all the HRs that are hit. I know that the Yanks will benefit from it too, but I still don't like it. But I didn't think Burnett was bad. He kept the team in the game for the most part. All you can do on a night like tonight is hope your offense can bail you out. He left down 4 which isn't insurmountable. But he's definitely got to be better than he was. A.J. is now winless in his last 7 starts. Carl Pavano has more wins than Burnett. Writing that makes me sick.

Another 2-hit game for Mark Teixeira. His average is up to .257. It's crazy to think he was under 200 about a week and a half ago. He's raised his average 66 points in the last 10 games. Tex has 148 ABs this year. Last year after 150 ABs, Tex was hitting .240 with an OPS of .733. He finished the season with a .308 average and an OPS of .962. It's hard to believe he's ahead of last year. I'm impressed.

The bottom of the order (5-9) went 2 for 19. That won't win a team many games. Nick Swisher's average continues to free fall. He's pretty much the polar opposite of Mark Teixeira except that Swisher's downward spiral has lasted all month. He had 6 hits in the last 4 games of April. He has 7 hits in the month of May. Swish is 7 for 57 since 5/1. His .123 average in May has lowered his average from .312 to .238. I still prefer Swisher to Nady but if Swisher keeps this up, and the back of his baseball card suggests he will, then I hope Nady comes back soon. Heck, even Brett Gardner has as many hits as Swisher does this month. That's sad.

The night wasn't a total loss though as both the Red Sox and Jays lost. So no harm, no foul.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Thursday, May 21, 2009

And The Bus Just Keeps On Rolling

Another game, another Yankee victory. The winning streak is at 8 and everything is working well. Well, almost everything. A-Rod's batting average is still below the Mendoza line. His 1.006 OPS though is 39 percentage points above his career average. Alex only has 37 ABs under his belt. He has 7 hits, 5 of which are HRs. It's going to be scary when he starts hitting the ball. the good thing about Alex is that he's providing protection for Mark Teixieira. I don't think it's a coincidence that Teixeira breaking out of his slump coincided with A-Rod's return. I also don't think it's a coincidence that the Yankees are 10-2 since A-Rod's return. I would love to know where the team would be if A-Rod started the year healthy. First place in the East? Without a doubt. But he didn't start the year healthy and thus they're 2.5 back, 1 in the loss column. We're sitting pretty if you ask me.

Big up to Phil Hughes for a great start. Odds are said this was Phil's last start for a while as Chien-Ming Wang will probably make the next start. Not a bad way to end things, eh? Phil for the most part was dealing. He set a career high for Ks, whiffing 9. The biggest thing I liked about his performance was that he only walked one and threw 64% of his pitches for strikes. It was his highest strike-to-ball ratio of the season. The only other time he was over 60% was when he got shelled for 8 runs in 1.2 innings. The difference this time was he got a lot more people to swing and miss. He was ahead in the count a lot which makes things much better for the pitcher. I want to see him build on this. He's got the stuff to dominate. One day he'll be a permanent staple of the Yankees rotation. For my money, he'll be better than Joba.

Back-to-back-to-back. When things are going well, stuff like that is going to happen. The offense is doing much better as of late. Over the last 8 games, they're hitting 23 for 66 (.348) with RISP. They're 11 for 22 with RISP over the last 3 games. Nice. Very nice.

I'm loving this team right now. The best part of all of it is the team chemistry. As a Yankee fan, I don't ever thing I've seen a guy get a post game pie in the face. I love it. Yesterday, the team held its first Kangaroo Court since at least 1995. If you question just how good the team chemistry is, read the article. It's awesome and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Joba tonight. Big question is what does he do with Aubrey Huff? I'm hoping he doesn't do anything. Sure Huff's display of emotion was contrived, whereas Joba's fist pumps are more spur-of-the-moment and are genuine, but it's not needed. Take care of him by striking his ass out. That's what I'd like to see, but sadly, I'll miss it. The game is again on My9 and those games aren't carried on Verizon FIOS. I don't think they're carried at all in the Buffalo market. The channel that normally carries the games sold its station to a religious outfit and I think they started showing their 24-7 religious programming just the other day. So all of Buffalo should be screwed. Hopefully another affiliate in the area picks it up. I need my My9!

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

CC On Cruise Control As Yanks Hammer The O's

I didn't see the game tonight (stupid FIOS) but I am very pleased with the box score. I was following along by watching the MLB Network. I love their nightly coverage of baseball. You really can't beat it. Anyway, as the game progressed, I couldn't help but think about the closing of my last post:

I'm a little worried that the offense will go missing because they're facing someone they've never faced before, and they often struggle when that happens. Good news is CC Sabathia is on the mound for the Yanks. If there is anyone that can keep a struggling offense in a game it's CC. CC was awesome in his last 2 starts, winning both games, and allowing only 2 ERs in 17 innings. He pitched a CG SHO 2 starts ago against this same Orioles team. I'm expecting him to continue his hot streak.

For the most part, I pretty much nailed it. With the exception of A-Rod's 1st inning HR (4 straight games baby!), Bergesen pretty much shut the Yankees offense down. And what did CC do? He just pitched another gem. 7 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 1 walk and 7 Ks. Again, I didn't see the game so I'm not sure how sharp he looked, but going by that line, he must have had another great outing (3 straight games baby!). I just looked at the game log. He allowed hits to the 1st 2 batters he faced and then was pretty much perfect. CC = awesome! 3 games, 24 IPs, 12 hits, 3 ER, a 1.13 ERA. Yeah. That's awesome.

That makes 7 straight for the Yanks. The Red Sox beat the Jays and the Yanks are now only 2 back in the loss column. The Jays are finally getting into some stiff competition and they're going to fade. Teixeira is hitting. A-Rod is back. Bruney is back. A healthy Wang should make a start this week. Posada is on the mend. Things are going very well right now. They're only going to get better.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Yanks Keep Rolling Rolling Rolling

I wrote in my post yesterday that I wanted to see the Yanks start rolling teams and stop winning the close ones because eventually those games will start to go the other way. I was real excited when they put 6 on the board in the first, thinking they were well on their way to a blowout. Last night was the season finale of 24. Normally, I would have DVR'd it and watched it later but I knew if I didn't watch it, I'd have it spoiled for me. So I didn't see much of the game. I saw the first inning and I saw the last inning. Lucky for me, that was where most of the game took place.

Mark Teixeira is finally looking like Mark Teixeira. He's been on a tear since A-Rod returned to the lineup. In those 10 games, Tex is hitting .342 (13-38) with 5 HR and 13 RBI. His average has jumped 41 points (.198-.239) and his OPS has jumped 138 points (.735-.873). I think it's safe to say that the slump is behind him. Thank God Alex is back.

Speaking of Alex, to quote my friend Tom via a text message, "Wow. A-Rod heating up." A-Rod has now homered in 3 straight games. A by-product of hitting in the new Yankee Stadium? Possibly. But I'll take it. The only thing that's not there right now with Alex is the average. His .395 OBP is ahead of his career average (.389). His .563 SLG percentage is just below his career average (.578). He's only hitting .188. He's definitely heating up, or at least warming up. It won't be long before that batting average is on par with what's on the back of his baseball card. Once that starts happening, it's over. The Teixeira/A-Rod tandem is going to be unstoppable.

Finally, congrats to Phil Coke on picking up his 1st career save. It was scary for sure. Saying I was worried was an understatement. I was fully prepared to see him blow that lead. I thought for sure we'd see another Yankee walkoff. I'm glad though he got it done. Hopefully, that's his one and only save. That job needs to be Mo's and Mo's only. I don't trust anyone else. I'd be OK with Brian Bruney doing it once in a while. Bruney is expected to be activated off the DL today. The million dollar question is who gets shuffled off to Scranton. I'm hoping it's Edwar Ramirez or Jose Veras. As much as I dislike him, I think I'd rather see Veras stick around. To me, he's the lesser of two evils. I think Veras's stuff is better than Edwar's. If Jose could just get the ball over the plate, he'd fare much better. But I could live with either one going down. I'm curious to see who gets the boot.

The Yanks look to continue the winning ways tonight against the lowly Orioles. I'm a little worried that the offense will go missing because they're facing someone they've never faced before, and they often struggle when that happens. Good news is CC Sabathia is on the mound for the Yanks. If there is anyone that can keep a struggling offense in a game it's CC. CC was awesome in his last 2 starts, winning both games, and allowing only 2 ERs in 17 innings. He pitched a CG SHO 2 starts ago against this same Orioles team. I'm expecting him to continue his hot streak.

Sadly, I won't get to watch tonight's (or Thursday's) game because it's on My9 and for some insane reason Verizon FIOS doesn't carry the local affiliate that shows those games. I'll be following along on the gamecast or I'll be listening to Sterling and Waldmyn (ugh) on XM. i hope those of you that get to watch it, enjoy it.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, May 18, 2009

Another Win, Another Walk-off

Wow. Another Yankee walkoff win. That makes 3 in-a-row and that runs the winning streak up to 5. These games are certainly exciting and fun to watch. The only thing that worries me is that they're playing a lot of 1-run games. They won't always come out on the winning side. The law of averages suggests in the long run that it will balance out. So let's start blowing teams out. I have a feeling that's the direction were headed.

I thought A.J. Burnett pitched a decent game yesterday. I'm surprised by the number of walks he had (6) considering he threw about 60% of his pitches for strikes which is not good, not bad. The worst part of it is that he walked the Twins #9 hitter, Nick Punto and his .194 average, twice. You can't walk the #9 hitter, especially when he's a light hitting SS hitting below .200. That was the most frustrating part if A.J.'s performance. A.J.'s walks are up and his Ks are down which is puzzling, and slightly concerning. His career strikeout-to-walk ratio is about 2.23 to 1. This year he's well below that average at 1.72 to 1. He hasn't been that bad since he first started out. Since '04 his K/BB ratio is 2.7 to 1. It's definitely an off year for A.J. so far.

Props to Brett Tomko for saving the Yankees' bacon yesterday. That was huge right there. Albaladejo had a big whiif to end the 7th but promptly began suck again in the 8th. Tomko bailed him out. BT gets my game ball. Albaladejo on the other hand, ship him out already. He's way too inconsistent for my liking. Problem is that's he's better than some of the other scrubs they got back there. I'm talking about you Edwar, and Jose Veras while I'm at it. Hurry back Brian Bruney.

Memo to Brett Gardner: if you're going to try something like that (scoring from 2nd on a ball hit between home and the mound) you better score. That was a pretty stupid play considering there was only one out. I hope Brett doesn't start to suffer from the same problem that Melky does when it comes to his arm. Melky throws out a bunch of guys, gets a rep for having such a great arm, and now he a lot of throws he shouldn't. Brett is getting a rep for being a speed demon and I'd hate to start seeing him try to make things happen when the situation clearly calls for something else. He's lucky.

Finally, how 'bout that Johnny Damon? J-Dilla is having a monster year. Coincidentally, he's playing for a contract and that for some reason always brings out the best in guys. Whatever works, right? In his last 12 games, JD is 21 for 50 (.420) with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 5 jacks, 12 runs scored, and 15 RBI. Could JD make a run at the MVP? Me hopes so.

Andrew Euguene Pettitte looks to finish off the sweep tonight. I hope they win this one handily and not with another walkoff. Like I said, things like this always find a way to balance out in the end. So let's start crushing teams!

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Kickstart My Heart

Man oh man. I didn't think today's Yankee victory could top yesterday's Yankee victory, but I was wrong. I was happily wrong.

Mark Teixeira has finally arrived. This series against the Twins so far is proving to be Teixeira's coming out party as a Yankee. Mark went four-for-four today and was two-for-four yesterday. His average has jumped 35 percentage points and he's now sitting at .238. More importantly, he's 9 for his last 16 w/7 RBI. Barring a huge slump, I think it's safe to say his days of being below the Mendoza line are behind us. It's on now. We can expect a lot more of: "A tex message to the left center field bleachers. You're on the mark Teixieira." Oh John Sterling. You are such a tool.

I love the tradition that A.J. Burnett seems to have started with the pie to the face of the guy who hits the walkoff. I love it. It brings a whole new dynamic to the team. I don't ever recall a time where they've all seemed to be so loose and having so much fun. Yesterday's victim was Melky Cabrera. Melky is having a pretty solid year. I still don't think he deserves to be on the roster but there really isn't a better option. But if Melky can keep doing what he'd doing, I won't complain. He just needs to start hitting with runners on base. Melky is hitting a whopping .239 with runners on base. That's a huge drop from the .385 average he has with the bases empty. He's even worse with RISP, hitting .167. With RISP and 2-outs, he's hitting .133. The Melkman needs to be better than that.

A-Rod was today's victim of Burnett's antics. How great for Alex! Coming through in a big way. It was insane how much that mirrored his last walk off. It felt like deja vu all over again. As I watched him round first and put his hands up, I couldn't help but think of that walkoff. I'm pretty sure if you ran those two split-screen it would like almost identical. Alex hasn't exactly been tearing the cover off the ball since his return. But he got the job done today. Hopefully that kick starts things.

The Yankee bullpen is still terrible. Like they have been in recent years, they continue to be plagued by a lefty that can't seem to get out the lefty in a big spot. Phil has now given up 4 HRs this season, 3 to lefties. He's only given up 6 hits to lefties, but 4 have been the longball. Phil's problem is that he gives up a lot of fly balls. I don't think I've ever seen anybody point up in the sky indicating a pop up, or in Coke's case a deep fly ball, as much as I've seen Coke do it. Coke will be fine if he can find a way to keep the ball in the park. Giving up 1 HR every 4 innings is not a good ratio. And I'm really puzzled by the moves Joe Girardi is making. Specifically, why is he using Jose Veras when the team has a lead? I know that everyone out there pretty much sucks, but come on Joe, Veras?

Joba looked good today. It looks like his arm strength is just about there as he was hitting 96 on the gun. He still needs to work on his control. 61% of his pitches today were strikes, which isn't bad, but he walked 4 and that got his pitch count up. It would be nice to see Joba, or any starter, pitch deeper into the game. They need to have the bullpen pitch as little as possible. His stuff is good enough that he can afford to throw more strikes. He should have gotten the win today. That's the 3rd time this year the pen has blown the lead for Joba. Friggin' bullpen.

Despite pitching only 5 innings on Friday, I thought Phil Hughes had an alright outing. He battled his way through that game. It could have been a lot worse for the Yanks had Phil not wiggled his way out of trouble. He worked out of a 2-on no out jam in the 2nd. He had the bases loaded in the 4th with 1 out and only let 1 run score. It wasn't a great outing but I think on the whole it was a positive. I hope Phil's confidence goes up after that. It could have been a lot worse.

The Yanks are on a roll right now. They've won 4 straight and have won 6 of their last 8. The 2 walkoff wins have to be huge for the clubhouse. It's hard to believe that they have the 5th best record in the AL. A-Rod missed 28 games. Wang has an ERA of 34.50. The bullpen is one of the worst. There's been a good number of injuries. After all that, they're only 3 back in the loss column behind the Blue Jays. I am very happy with the current state of the Yankees.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wrapping Up The Jays Series, Yanks Take 2 Of 3

Forgive me for not blogging yesterday. The reason I didn't was two-fold. Wednesday night co-ed softball began. We won 13-12 in extra innings. I chipped in with a 4-4 night with a HR. Not bad. The second reason was that after the game I headed down to Coca-Cola Field, home of the Buffalo Bisons, AAA affiliate of the Mets. The reason I went there was to try and get Tommy Hanson's autograph. I got there at about the 7th inning and as luck would have it, Hanson was charting pitches behind home plate. I hit him up in between innings and he hooked me up with 2 signed balls. Thanks Tommy. I appreciate it.

I caught a little of Wednesday's game on the radio and saw bits-and-pieces of it when I got home. It sounded like Pettitte labored thru his 6 innings. At one point I heard Sterling mention Andy had a pitch total of around 75 pitches and if my memory serves me correctly it was in the 4th inning. I was worried that he'd get knocked out after 5 and the bullpen would blow things up. I was pleasantly surprised when I later heard he lasted 6 full innings. I looked at Andy's stats and while he only gave up 2 runs, it looked like he had some control issues, walking 4 and throwing only about 60% of his pitches for strikes. It's not a bad strike percentage, but I like something closer to 70%. Andy has been somewhat decent this year. I am a little worried about his recent control issues. He's walked 4 guys in 3 of his last 4 outings and has failed to make it past the 6 inning mark. He walked a total of 2 guys in his 1st 3 starts and lasted at least 7 innings in all 3 starts. I took a glance at his game logs for last season and he only walked 4 guys once. He needs to cut down on the free passes. If he can do that, he'll be golden.

CC Sabathia was good tonight. That's 2 solid outings in a row. Like Pettitte, CC had some minor control problems but was able to get himself out of it without incurring any major damage. The 7th inning was huge. Tied at 2 with the go-ahead run at 3rd with 1 out and he gets John McDonald swinging and gets Aaron Hill to ground out 1 batter later. CC is finally pitching like we need him too. The ERA is down to 3.70. His ERA wasn't that low last year until after his 20th start of the season. CC will prove to be worth every penny. I'd make a prediction but I'm leery about doing that because I thought Mo was going to finish the year with an ERA under 1. Mo has a lot of work to do to accomplish that. If anyone can do it, Mo can.

The offense is still disappointing me. They were 1-8 with RISP tonight and were 6-13 with RISP on Wednesday. I'm not a fan of the inconsistency. It seems like there are more nights when they are 1 for 8 and they're better than that. Mark Teixeira continues to annoy me. Is it me or does he pop out a lot? We're almost 20% done with the season and he's barely hitting over 200. He is not having a good year. Now if history has taught us anything about Mark Teixeira is that he gets better as the season moves along. This is by far the worst start of his career. If he can keep the average above 200, it would have taken 30 games this year to sustain an average above 200. Last season it took 14 games for Mark to keep his average above 200. In 2007, it took him 16 games. He was never below 200 in 2006. It was 9 games in 2005 and 19 in 2004. His worst start prior to this year was his rookie season (2003) when it took 22 games for him to get his average above 200. He finished that season with an average of .259, a career low. I think we're going to be lucky if Teixeira finishes the year with an average that high. He's 3 for his last 8 (.375) and 5 for his last 19 (.263). Hopefully he's turned the corner. An ohfer-3 night tomorrow and he's back below the Mendoza line. Come on. Get on the mark Teixeira. I hate John Sterling.

Johnny Damon is on fire. He may have only been 1-5 tonight but he was 5-14 (.357) for the series. JD has put together a nice 10 game hitting streak, going 18 for 45 (.400) w/ 13 extra base hits, 5 of which were dingers. He's hot.

Francisco Cervelli has also impressed me so far. I said the other day I'd be happy if he hit 260. I know 6 games is not that big of a sample size but he's now hitting .316. The kid is filling in nicely.

A-Rod has been pretty blah since his return. Throw out the HR he hit on the first pitch of his first plate appearance and he's got 2 hits in 2o at-bats. The Yankees 3 and 4 hitters are brutal right now.

Taking 2 of 3 on the road from the best team in the AL is an encouraging sign. The only East opponent the Jays had faced prior to this series was the lowly Orioles. Now that they are getting into the best of the division they'll begin to fade. The Yanks, after winning the last 2 series, are back to square at 17-17, 4.5 games back but only 3 in the loss column. All things considered, that's pretty good. Tomorrow they open up a 10 game homestand. 4 games against the Twins. 3 against the Orioles and 3 against the Phillies. They just need to go out and try to win each series. A 7-3, or even 6-4, homestand would be a step in the right direction. So it shall be. So it shall come to pass.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

You Go Mo

Halladay vs. Burnett in a battle for the ages and I'm going to be watching the finale of The Biggest Loser or some other stupid show. Thanks Verizon Fios for not carrying the channel that carries the games on My9. I certainly appreciate it. Normally, I'd be at this game since Toronto is pretty much in my backyard, but having a new 2 week old at home kind of put a dent in that trip. I was able to escape to Toronto for the afternoon though to try and get a few autographs. I made out OK picking up a Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, and Mariano Rivera. I could have gotten many more but wasn't interested or had them already.

The best part of the day was when Mo got totally ticked off at a guy for trying to double-dip, which is "industry lingo" for trying to get more than 1 autograph. Mo said something along the lines of, "One is enough." And I didn't hear what the guy said but by Mo's reaction it was probably something along the lines of, "You didn't sign for me." Whatever he said, Mo pretty much lost it and went off on the dude. Mo kept yelling at him, "Didn't I sign a baseball? Didn't I sign a baseball?" Mo pretty much got right up in his grill and for a second I thought Mo was going to take a swing. The guy was fumbling around in his pocket looking for the baseball but Mo stormed off before he got the chance, throwing down a baseball card he took from someone else to sign. Woah. Mo is pretty much one of the nicest athletes I've ever come across and I was surprised at his reaction. I don't blame him though. Rule #1 when it comes to getting Mo's autograph is be polite, show some respect, get your one and move on. Mo has always been very gracious with his time, typically signing only once a trip so he doesn't get someone more than once. The guy who tried to double-dip wasn't a rookie either and should have known better.

Excuse my absence over the last few days but I was enjoying some time with the fam. I was disappointed that Hughes channeled his inner Chien-Ming Wang and got rocked on Saturday. The defense didn't do anything to help him out. I was cheering my you-know-what off when Damon put the team ahead on Sunday. Johnny is on fire. Joba had a rough go of things again in the 1st but settled down and pitched alright. As for the fist-pumping display by Aubrey Huff after his HR, I had no problem with it. I don't really get put off by anyone showing displays of emotion like that on the field. However, it wasn't really a display of emotion. It was a calculated move on Huff's part. I had a little beef with that but in the grand scheme of things it wasn't that big a deal.

3-0 Jays in the top of the 6th. Ugh. I'd be shocked if they could manage 4 runs off Halladay. I hate to say it, but this game is over.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Friday, May 8, 2009

A-Rod Returns With A Bang And CC Stops The Losing Streak

Back in the win column. What a nice place to be.

Congratulations to Alex Rodriguez on hitting a 3-run home run on the first pitch he saw this season. I don't think it's possible to script a better start for Alex. HR on the first pitch. The game-winning RBI. Nice. I hope this is a sign of good things to come. My favorite part about it was watching the guys on the bench get all giddy. A-Rod's dinger could provide the spark to kick this team into high gear. Welcome back Alex!

Congratulations to CC Sabathia for taking the ball and not giving it off to anyone else. A complete game shutout! Now that's what I'm talking about! I couldn't be happier that the bullpen got the night off. His velocity was kicking. His control was on. 70% of his pitches were strikes. That's an awesome stat. CC's ERA is now a very very respectable 3.94. CC's heating up baby. CC is heating up.

Congratulations to Francisco Cervelli on picking up his 1st major league hit. Hopefully there are a lot more of those to follow. You're the man for the time being. Hit .250-.265 and I'll be happy.

Congratulations to Mark Teixeira for striking out 3 times. He has now struck out 22 times in 99 at-bats. Last year as an Angel, he struck out 23 times in 193 at-bats. I was hoping that the return of A-Rod would mean better pitches for Teixeira and he'd be racking up multi-hit game after multi-hit game. I guess that streak will have to wait for another day.

Keep it going Phil. Keep it going.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Thursday, May 7, 2009

You Have Got To Be Freaking Kidding Me!

Mariano Rivera just gave up back-to-back HRs! I am in an utter state of disbelief right now. It's like I wrote in a previous blog: If it ain't one reliever, it's a mother effin' 'nother. I never thought that guy would be Mo. Wow. He's now given up HRs in 3 of his last 5 outings and the 4 he's given up this year matches the total he gave up all of last season. Since 1996, the 1st year Mo was a full-time RP, the most HRs he's given up in a season is 5. There are 138 games left to play so there's a good chance he sets a career high. Wow.

So much for that pre-season prediction I made: Mo wouldn't blow a save all year and would finish with an ERA below 1.

This team is not in a good place right now.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Man Oh Manny

Manny Ramirez busted for PEDs?!?!? Wow. That puts a little dark cloud over those championships he won in Boston, wouldn't you say? And before anyone says that it wasn't a steroid, it doesn't matter. It's a banned substance, identified as a performance-enhancing drug. Period. End of story. Whether it was part of something prescribed by a doctor or not doesn't matter. Manny is now forever linked to PEDs.

How's that taste Sox fans?


If It Ain't One Reliever, It's A Mother Effin' 'Nother

Phil Coke. Come on down. You're the next contestant on "It's Your Turn To Suck." Aargh. The Yankee bullpen is making me really sick. It's becoming very difficult to watch because you just now that something bad is going to happen. It's just a matter of who will crap the bed and when. Last night the who was Phil Coke, who was the last person, next to Mo, I expected to tank. Coke had been lights out up until the 1st batter he faced took him deep for the eventual game winner. In his previous 9 outings, he had pitched 7 scoreless innings, allowing only 2 hits and 1 walk. What surprised me the most about him giving up that longball was that he gave it up to a left-handed batter. Lefties were only hitting .158 off Coke. So I was a little shocked but at the same time, it's the Yankee bullpen, so it's to be expected.

When are the Yankees going to get off on the good foot? It's becoming the same story, game after game, year after year. They are start out tremendously bad and can't hit consistently with RISP. The Yanks are now 1 game below 500 at 13-14 and are 2 for their last 21 (.095) with RISP. Last year after 27 games, they were 14-13. In 2007, they were 12-15. They started out a little better in 2006 at 16-11, but were bad in 2005 @ 11-16. So 4 of the last 5 years, they've been slow out of the gate. This year they're hitting only .254 with RISP. The AL average is .277 and the major league average is .264. Last year, the Yanks hit .261 w/RISP. The AL average was .276 and the MLB average was .266. It's hard to believe when you look at the guys that make up the Yankee offense, that they're well below average. There is no way on God's green Earth that the Yankee offense should ever be below average. But it is, and I can't really think of a reason why. My only assumption is that they have the longball mentality where they're trying to jack it out of the park instead of keeping the line moving with base hits. As much as I'd like to blame Girardi for this, I can't. He's not the one swinging the bat. But it's his job to get his team to perform, and he's failing miserably when it comes to getting them to play to their potential.

I know they're playing in a new ballpark. I know they've played more away games than home games. I know A-Rod hasn't had a plate appearance yet. I know Chien-Ming Wang has an ERA of 34.50 and that Mark Teixeira is only hitting .209. If you take everything into account, 13-14 isn't all that bad. But the team is better than that and they need to start playing like it.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Are The Red Sox Really Better Than The Yankees?

I've been listening to a lot of sports talk on XM's MLB channel. Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot of mention that the Yankees are old compared to the Red Sox? This is coming from many of the show's hosts as well, and it's an argument people are making for why the Sox are better than the Yankees. It always struck me as being incorrect. Buck Martinez brought it up again today, and that prompted me to pull up the 40-man rosters and take a look at all of their birthdays. I did it all at a quick glance, so I could have made a math error, though I don't think I did. When I broke it down, the teams have the pretty much the same average age. If a guy's birthday was in the next week or so, like Josh Beckett whose b'day is 5/15, I rounded up. Follow me if you will:

Staring lineup:

  • C: Posada and Varitek are both 37, Posada is about 8 months older
  • 1B: Teixeira = 29, Youkilis = 30
  • 2B: Cano = 26, Pedroia = 25
  • SS: Jeter = 34, Lowrie = 25
  • 3B: A-Rod = 33, Lowell = 35
  • RF: Swisher = 28, Drew = 33
  • CF: Cabrera = 24, Ellsbury = 25
  • LF: Damon = 35, Bay = 30
  • DH: Matsui = 34, Ortiz = 33

Yankees lineup = 280/9= 31.1, Sox lineup = 273/9= 30.3. The difference between Bay/Damon and Swisher/Drew basically negate each other. The only real major age difference is between the SS. Now you could substitute Julio Lugo (33) or Nick Green (30) for Jed Lowrie and that would make it about even. But for my money, Lowrie is the guy so the other 2 will be dropped down to the bench.


  1. Joba = 23, Lester = 25
  2. Hughes = 22, Masterson = 24
  3. CC = 28, Dice-K = 28
  4. Wang = 29, Beckett = 29
  5. Burnett = 32, Penny = 31
  6. Pettitte = 36, Wakefield = 42

Yankees rotation = 170/6=28.3. Sox rotation = 179/6= 29.8. So as a whole, the Yankees rotation is on average a full year younger.

Bullpen/other pitchers:

  • Yankees = Rivera (39), Coke (26), Albaladejo (26), Bruney (27), Marte (34), Melancon (24), Ramirez (28), Robertson (24), Veras (28)
  • Red Sox = Papelbon (28), Delcarmen (27), Jones (25), Lopez (31), Okajima (33), Ramirez (27), Saito (39), Bowden (22)

Yankees = 256/9= 28.4. Sox = 232/8 = 29. The Yanks have the Sox by about a 1/2 a year. Granted, there is a large age difference between the closers, Papelbon and Rivera, but can anyone really say that it matters? It's Mariano Rivera for crying out loud.


  • Yankees = Molina (33), Berroa (31), Pena (23), Ransom (33), Gardner (26), Nady (30)
  • Red Sox = Kottaras (26), Green (30), Lugo (33), Bailey (30), Van Every (29), Baldelli (27)

Yankees bench = 176/6= 29.3. Sox bench = 175/6= 29.2. for all intents and purposes, a wash.

Now, you can flip guys around if you wanted to and probably change the argument. But if you look at the collective age of the 30 Yankees, 882/30= 29.4, and the 29 Red Sox, 859/29=29.6, you'll see that the Sox are actually a little older, albeit by a very small margin. Using age as an argument when comparing the 2 teams has no merit. The only argument you can probably make when it comes to the age difference is if you look at the ages of the 2 guys who put these teams together. Brian Cashman is going on 42. Theo Epstein is going on 36.

For my money, the Sox aren't that much better of a team than the Yankees. Offensively, the 2 teams are on par with each other. Both are hitting .276. Both are averaging 5.7 runs per game. The Sox have a slightly better OPS, .828 to .822. But I'd argue that the Yankees offense is better because A-Rod hasn't played yet. He's a HUGE upgrade over Ransom, Pena, and Berroa. Rumor has it A-Rod will be back Friday.

This may come as a shock to a lot of you, I know it did to me, but the ERA of the Yankees rotation (5.58) is actually lower than that of the Red Sox (5.61). Opposing teams are hitting .282 off Sox starters and .284 off Yankee starters. I'm kind of surprised by this. The teams are basically even when it comes to the rotation, which is surprising considering the outings of one Chien-Ming Wang. Yanks rotation better? Arguably. For my money, yes.

The biggest difference between the 2 teams is in the bullpen. God, the Yankees bullpen blows. The Sox pen is pitching to an ERA of 2.86, which is 2nd best in the AL and 2nd best in all of MLB. The Yankees clock in with a bullpen ERA of 6.35, which is 3rd from the bottom in the AL, and 3rd from the bottom in all of MLB. The Yankee bullpen is atrocious and Cashman needs to get on top of it right now. What's going on is unacceptable.

The Sox may be 3.5 games up on the Yankees, but I don't think they're much better of a ball club. They may have taken the first 5 games of the season between the two, but that doesn't mean much to me. There's a lot of baseball left to be played and it's going to be easier for the Yankees to get better than it will be for the Sox. Dice-K may be coming back. But so is Chien-Ming Wang. You can't say the Sox rotation will improve and the Yankees won't. That would be a subjective argument based on no facts whatsoever. The Yankees offense is taking a hit with the loss of Posada, but A-Rod is coming soon and Jorge will be back. The Sox are missing only Jed Lowrie. Can the Sox bullpen get better? If so, only by a small amount. The Yankees have lots of room to improve there. So get it on Cash while there's still time.

When the smoke clears and all is said and done, both teams will probably be in the playoffs. All things considered, I think the Yankees are in a very good position. Cash just needs to fix the pen.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,