April 2009

Hail to the Chief…

In the grand tradition of Jimmy Curran (Baseball, The Yankees, and Life…), I recognize my ranking on the Latest Leaders List for Fan Blogs at #22 and would like to give tribute.    

 

 

 

No, there will not be a dedication to Roger Clemens on this blog…  

 

 

Before I begin the tribute for the special Yankees player who wore #22, I do want to give special mention to the current Yankees #22, Xavier Nady 

 

               Chris Faytok/The Star Ledger

 

As you may have heard, the X Man had a MRI on his right elbow and the results were “not good”.  He’ll head to the disabled list for an extended period of time and there is speculation that he could be lost of for the season.  If that happens, it is possible that Nady has worn the pinstripes for the final time since he is a free agent at the end of the year.  So, I would like to express sadness at the news of the injury and to thank Nady for his significant contributions to the Yankees over the past year.  Whatever happens, I wish him the very best.  Hopefully, he’ll take his place in right field at the new Yankee Stadium at some point in the future, but if it is not meant to be, then I hope he’ll return as a visitor, receiving a standing ovation.  

 

 

My #22 tribute is to former Yankees pitcher Allie Reynolds or “Superchief” as he was known… 

 

 

Reynolds grew up in Oklahoma and was a quarter Creek Indian, hence the nickname.  He made his major league debut with the Cleveland Indians in 1942.  In 1946, he was traded to the Yankees in a deal for All-Star second baseman Joe Gordon.  Legend has it that the Indians wanted Gordon so badly they were willing to give up any pitcher except Bob Feller.  Yankee executive Larry MacPhail consulted with Joe DiMaggio, and Joltin’ Joe said “Take Reynolds.  I’m a fastball hitter, but he can buzz his hard one by me any time he has a mind to.”

 

His arrival in the Bronx coincided with the beginning of the Dynasty years.  In 1948, Reynolds headlined a starting rotation that included Vic Raschi and Eddie Lopat and that team won the first of five consecutive World Series championships. 

 

In 1951, he became the first American League pitcher to throw two no-hitters in a single season.  In the second no-hitter which was against the Boston Red Sox (as Julia says, ‘Eeek!’), Reynolds had to get Ted Williams for the final out twice when Yogi Berra dropped an easy foul pop.  He also won the Hickok Belt as the top professional athlete that year. 

 

He had a career record of 182 wins, 107 losses, and 49 saves (Yankees manager Casey Stengel once called him “two ways great” because of his ability to start and relieve).  He won 20 games once, going 20-8, with a 2.06 ERA, in 1952.

 

Reynolds was brilliant in the post-season.  He appeared in 15 World Series games for the Yankees, with a record of 7-2, four saves and ERA of 2.79.  In six World Series relief appearances, Reynolds recorded a win or a save each time, including the clinching games in 1950, 1952, and 1953.

 

Reynolds’ career ended after the 1954 season due to a back injury that was suffered when the Yankees team bus crashed into an overpass in Philadelphia. 

 

He died in 1994 due to complications from lymphoma and diabetes. 

 

His number has never been retired and he is not in the Hall of Fame, although his accomplishments would certainly seem to justify it.    

 

YANKEE NOTES

 

The aforementioned injury to Xavier Nady opens the door for Nick Swisher to assume a full-time position in right field.  It certainly solves the problem manager Joe Girardi had with finding a spot in the lineup for Swisher.  GM Brian Cashman is looking like a genius for not trading either Nady or Swisher during the off-season, and so far, Swisher has been an offensive success for the Yankees.  Who knows where this will lead over the course of a long summer, but I certainly feel much better about Swisher in right than I do Cody Ransom at third.  

 

For the record, Ramiro Pena made his second start at third base in Wednesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.  However, Ransom entered the game when Hideki Matsui pinch hit for Pena.  Word is that Ransom will be starting at third base on Thursday…unfortunately.

 

Nevertheless, back to the Nady situation, it is unlikely that the Yanks will recall Austin Jackson since Girardi prefers that he continues to get every day starts in center field at Scranton rather than riding the bench in the Bronx.  More than likely, Juan Miranda or Kevin Russo will be recalled when Nady is placed on the DL Thursday.

 

Pitcher Chien-Ming Wang altered his pitching routine between starts by facing batters while pitching from the mound at Tropicana Field rather than performing a bullpen session.  Of course, he only faced one major league hitter considering that the two batters were Melky Cabrera and Cody Ransom. 

 

 …AND FINALLY!

 

The Yankees win!  The Yankees win!  The Yankees WIN!  

 

Well, in the grand scheme of things, the Tampa Bay Rays won the first battle, but the Yankees won the war in their first series of the season.  The Yankees were destroyed by the Rays, 15-5, on Monday.  They came back to win yesterday, 7-2, behind the great pitching performance by A.J. Burnett (who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning).  Today was the rubber-match, and the Yankees came through…  

 

Robinson Cano was one of the hitting stars, with a fourth inning homer that tied the game.  Johnny Damon hit a game-tying double in the 8th inning that scored Derek Jeter, and then in the 9th, Jeter hit what turned out to be the game-winning run-scoring double.  Mariano Rivera, in a sea of number 42 jerseys (in recognition of Jackie Robinson), easily retired three Rays batters to end the game. 

 

 

So, a series that started so poorly, ended on a strong note. 

 

Now, the Yankees head for the Bronx to make their long-anticipated regular season debut at the new Yankee Stadium.  CC, the lights of Broadway are upon you…

 

 Leroy Neiman / The Lights of Broadway

 

 –Scott

He’s The Man…

Finally!

The third baseman that I now refer to as the “Thin Toad”¹ was finally benched.  Ramiro Pena replaced Cody Ransom at third base when the Yankees faced the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.

¹During a spring training game in the late 90′s, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner labeled pitcher Hideki Irabu as a ‘fat puss-filled toad’ when Irabu failed to cover first base on a routine ground ball.

Other lineup changes included a day off for left fielder Johnny Damon.  Damon has been enduring a personal issue involving his mother, and has been weakened both mentally and physically.  Also going to the bench is DH Hideki Matsui, who has struggled out of the gate with a .125 batting average.

 

Catcher Jorge Posada moved to DH, while catching duties were handled by Jose Molina.  Mark Teixeira was back in the lineup at first base, while Nick Swisher moved to left field.

The moves left Swisher batting clean-up.  Whoa!  An ace reliever one night, and Babe Ruth the next!…

Swisher responded with his fourth home run of the young season.

Reuters

Meanwhile, what can I say about Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett?  He’s the stopper.  He’s the ace.  He’s the man…

 

The Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 7-2.  It had been a pitcher’s duel until Derek Jeter’s three-run homer blew the game open in the 9th.  But the night belonged to the Man…

THE ULTIMATE WORKOUT

I have continued to follow the career of Jason Giambi, and will be a big fan of his so long as the Oakland A’s aren’t playing the New York Yankees.  ESPN.com has profiled Giambi’s workout regiment, and it is a must-read for anyone looking to lose a few pounds!

If you are looking to fit into that bikini or swimsuit, you might want to try the G-Workout!  Well, maybe not.  Too funny!

 

Goodnight, All!

–Scott

The Monday Night Massacre…

Somehow I knew that tonight spelled disaster with Chien-Ming Wang on the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays’ Scott Kazmir. Wang hasn’t been right for some time, and I was fearful that he’d crater in tonight’s performance…and he did…and then some…

This might be the worst Yankees performance that I’ve ever seen…well, Game 6 of the 2001 World Series was pretty bad, but still… Wang gave up a total of eight runs in one inning plus, and has a lofty ERA of 28.93.

I wonder if Brett Tomko would have given up that grand slam to Carlos Pena? Hey, it’s easy to second guess when you’re a fan!

The final score was Rays 15, Yankees 5.  The 9th inning included a pitching stint by Nick Swisher, who had one of the better pitching lines of the night.

The Yankees played like little leaguers…

So, how much longer until A-Rod is ready to return? They really need to do something about third base. Cody Ransom is not the answer. Try Ramiro Pena, try Justin Leone, try Eric Duncan, try the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but Ransom’s got to go…

What can you say with a game like this? It is miserable to watch, and of course, you want to say that hopefully they’ll learn something from this impending defeat. But what? It’s a loss, and there is nothing they can do about it. The Yanks fell to 3-4, but at least Boston lost too.  I don’t get mad with these types of games. The Yanks are notorious for throwing up a few clunkers each year, and this is just one of those times.  You just turn around and walk away…

On the bright side, tomorrow is a new day…and A.J. Burnett will be on the mound!

DISASTERS HAPPEN IN 3′S

They always say that disasters happen in 3′s…

First, we lost promising Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart.

AP

Now, two more legendary figures in Major League Baseball have passed away.

Shortly after lunch, word came that long-time Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas had died. He was in Washington preparing for the Phillies game against the Nationals and he collapsed in the broadcast booth. He taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

George Widman/AP

Harry the K was also well known for his voiceover work with NFL Films. The name may be unfamiliar to some, but the voice was known by all. Sadly and much too soon, he’s “outta here!”

 

Courtesy YouTube by Lahawk

For those who can remember 1976, who can forget the legendary antics of Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. With the curly blonde hair poking out of the Tigers hat, it became a familiar scene to see Fidrych talking to the baseball and the various other antics that he performed leading up to his pitches. None of it was contrived, and it was completely his free spirit.

Unfortunately, an accident at his Northborough, Massachusetts farm prematurely ended Fidrych’s life today. Shoulder and knee injuries prevented what could have been a great career, but for 1976, there were not many better players than Fidrych. He went 19-9 with 2.34 ERA, and had 24 complete games. That was a special season and he was so fun to watch. You didn’t have to be a fan of the Tigers to appreciate Fidrych.

The past week has been difficult, and we’ve lost three outstanding men that can never be replaced. They will all be missed…

A-ROD’S BACK ON THE FIELD

Alex Rodriguez reported to the Yankees minor league complex and participated in a 48 minute workout. He is looking to begin minor league rehab games in 7 to 10 days, and is taking one day at a time.

 

Alex Rodriguez works out after hip surgery
http://tribeca.vidavee.com/advance/vidavee/playerv3/vFlasher_debug.swf?p19=movie1239671319176&p2=off&p3=off&p4=50&p5=off&p7=on&p8=off&p31=on&p22=http%3A%2F%2Fanalytics.tribeca.vidavee.com%2Fvanalytics%2Fgateway%2F&p13=no&p16=v3AdvInt_nj.swf&p17=http%3A%2F%2Ftribeca.vidavee.com%2Fadvance%2Fvidavee%2Fplayerv3%2Fskins%2F&p11=0&p15=http%3A%2F%2Ftribeca.vidavee.com%2Fadvance%2FvClientXML.view%3FAF_renderParam_contentType%3Dtext%2Fxml%26showEndCard%3Doff%26link%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fvideos.nj.com%2Fstar-ledger%2F2009%2F04%2Falex_rodriguez_works_out_after.html%26vtagView%3Don%26skin%3Dv3AdvInt_nj.swf%26autoplay%3Doff%26loadStream%3Doff%26width%3D470%26height%3D266%26vtag%3Dyes%26startVolume%3D50%26hidecontrolbar%3Dno%26textureStrip%3Dyes%26displayTime%3Dyes%26volumeLock%3Doff%26watermark%3Dyes%26dockey%3D0FF08B11312045A04154BFC438DF6264&p21=http%3A%2F%2Ftribeca.vidavee.com%2Fadvance%2Fvidavee%2Fplayerv3%2Fjs%2FFlashProxyLoader.js&p18=timeDisplay%3Dyes%3Bwatermark%3Dyes%3BshareWidgets%3Don%3BtextureStripe%3Dyes%3BvtagDisplay%3Dyes%3BshowEndCard%3Doff%3Blink%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fvideos.nj.com%2Fstar-ledger%2F2009%2F04%2Falex_rodriguez_works_out_after.html

Courtesy The Star-Ledger

If I had hip surgery five weeks ago, I’d probably be in a little worse shape than A-Rod.

I am sure that his superior physical conditioning has aided his recovery. Hopefully, there will be no setbacks as Alex’s continues his march for the Bronx.

Mark Teixeira was also at the minor league complex receiving treatment for his sore left wrist. He had a MRI which revealed no major issues. He thinks it would be a disappointment if he’s not back on the field Tuesday night.

NOTES

  • The Associated Press is reporting that former Yankees pitcher David Wells has signed a multi-year deal to be an analyst for TBS. C’mon, David, tell us what’s really on your mind!
  • Manny Ramirez is saying that he wants to play for the Cleveland Indians once more before he calls it a career? I bet that really endears him to the Dodger fans that have so fully embraced him despite his history in Boston. Nope, I’m not going to say it but I guess you could say that it is expected behavior.
  • The speculation of Pedro Martinez to the Los Angeles Angels makes sense. When I heard earlier that he was going to sign with Baltimore, it seemed very foolish if true. Fortunately, it was not. Pedro has the luxury of picking his spot (to a degree) and he still has what it takes to help a contender. No, the years as an ace are long gone, but he’s still a competitor who knows how to win.
  • Regardless of what he said about his hometown of Woodland, CA, Dustin Pedroia is not a jerk. Of course, I may feel differently after the Yankees play the Red Sox later this month. But for now, Pedroia doesn’t deserve death threats or the criticism that he’s received.
  • Julia, to answer your question, Wally has been wondering what the odor is above his head! Hmmm, he had better get used to it!

Goodnight, Everyone!

-Scott

Quiet Flight to Tampa…

You win some, you lose some…

cache.daylife.com

Okay, so maybe I was expecting an early April ten-game winning streak. Hey, a guy can dream right?

It’s nice to see the team do well despite the absence of Alex Rodriguez. I’d hate for him to come back and be the “savior”. Of course, as long as Joe Girardi keeps penciling in Cody Ransom’s name at third, anyone except Cody would look like a savior…

 

Jay Grabiec/The Daily Eastern News

Joba Chamberlain pitched well enough to win. He went six innings, and gave up four hits. He allowed three runs, but only one was earned. He struck out five. The Yankees had a 4-3 lead in the 8th inning, but the Royals scored three runs against relievers Jose Veras and Phil Coke.

Nick Swisher started again at first base in place of Mark Teixeira, who has missed two games with tendonitis in his left wrist. Teixeira says that he can field without any problems, and bat lefthanded. The wrist only hurts when he tries to bat righthanded. With lefty Scott Kazmir on the mound Monday in Tampa, Teixeira will again take a seat on the bench. But Joe Girardi hopes that he will be available to pinch hit if necessary.

Monday will be a tough matchup for the Yanks. Kazmir is pitching great right now, and Chien-Ming Wang has continued to struggle. The Yanks hope is to keep it close until they can wear down Kazmir and get to the Tampa bullpen. Of course, that’s still not an easy task, so I am not too confident about Monday’s game. If Wang doesn’t bring his “A” game, I can see disastrous results when he faces Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.

I know that Canuck will be anxiously awaiting the conclusion of the game so that she can post another That’s my Scotty!’ post regarding her favorite Rays pitcher. I hope that the Yanks can delay that post by five days…

congratulations0an8.jpg

Congratulations, Scott!!!

 

I hope Tuesday morning, Canuck is talking about me, and not Kazmir! 

On the bright side, the Boston Red Sox lost so the day wasn’t a complete disaster!

 

JULIA’S BOYS ARE FIGHTING AGAIN

In the first inning of Sunday’s game between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angeles, Bobby Abreu took issue with a pitch that sailed high above his head as time was being called by the plate umpire. The benches cleared, but no punches were thrown. Then, Josh Beckett had some heated words for Angels manager Mike Scioscia, and the benches cleared again which led to some pushing and shoving. Four Angels were ejected from the game (Manager Mike Scioscia, centerfielder Torii Hunter, reliever Justin Speier, and hitting coach Mickey Hatcher).

Sox still without series win

AP

At first glance, it would appear to me that Bobby Abreu overreacted to Beckett’s pitch. I don’t know what words were exchanged, but it did appear to me that Beckett was only reacting to words said to him by the Angels.

Of course, this is just an average fighting-kind of week for Julia. Her “weakness”, i.e., Toby Keith was involved in a tiff with actor Ethan Hawke earlier in the week…

http://www.comcast.net/ve/1.0/1084909013/555/457/

AP via Comcast.net 

Does she really think that I am going to wear a pink hat?  Them’s fightin’ words! 

WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?

Okay, this is a little off topic.  My apologies.  But what was the 32-year-old woman at the Berlin Zoo thinking when she jumped into the Polar Bear Pen, and proceeded to get mauled by the bears before she was rescued.  It was definitely one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen.  Well, next to why someone would be a Red Sox fan!  ;)

The bear attacks the woman during feeding time.

*                    *                   *

I hope everyone had a very enjoyable Easter with friends and family!  Have a great week!

–Scott

Swishing Their Way to Victory…

“Did You?”

 

Getty Images

He did. 

Borrowing a phrase that Nick Swisher yells when a teammate hits a home run, Swisher went yard again in the Yankees’ 6-1 win against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.

Originally penciled in for left field (with Johnny Damon scheduled for the bench), Swisher became a last minute replacement at first base for Mark Teixeira.  Teixeira, who celebrates his 29th birthday today, has been bothered by a sore left wrist.  He believes it was injured late last week in Baltimore, and it hurts to bat right-handed (the Royals had a lefty starting tonight’s game).  Nevertheless, Swisher has been on a roll and Saturday night was no exception. 

Swisher walked in the first inning, and scored on a two-run double by Jorge Posada.  In the third, he tripled to right, scoring Derek Jeter.  In the fifth inning, he homered to left with one man on.  He walked to lead off the 7th inning, but was left stranded when the Royals proceeded to strike out the side.  He quietly flied out to left in the ninth inning, but the game was firmly in hand at 6-0.  The Royals did score a run in the bottom of the 9th, but thanks to Swisher’s heroics, the Yankees now have a winning record at 3-2.

CC Sabathia went 7 2/3 innings with six hits, no runs, and six strikeouts to earn his first victory as a New York Yankee.  This was the CC we have waited to see.  Hopefully, there will be an encore performance next week when CC opens the new Yankee Stadium against his former team, the Cleveland Indians.

C.C. Sabathia Picture

Nick Laham/Getty Images North America

Swisher, the son of former Chicago Cubs catcher Steve Swisher, was a 2002 draft pick of the Oakland A’s.  Ironically, the pick originally belonged to the Boston Red Sox, but the A’s were awarded the pick for the free agent loss of Johnny Damon.

Adrian Wyld/AP 

If Swisher’s website motto is accurate, he’ll be playing very hard tonight in Kansas City.  Be careful, Mr. Swisher.  We need you tomorrow…

OTHER NOTES

·        Cody Ransom is now batting .056 after 0-for4 night.  Ugh.  I didn’t want to begin the season with Cody, and it has only gotten worse.  At this point, I’d be willing to give Justin Leone or Eric Duncan an opportunity.  Given that Jose Guillen is hurt, it is unlikely that the Royals would consider moving Mark Teahen at this point.  I am surprised that the Yankees didn’t make a move for Dallas McPherson when he was released by the Florida Marlins, but he was signed today by the San Francisco Giants.

·        The St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols homered twice and drove in seven RBI’s tonight in an 11-2 win over the Houston Astros.  I think this is Pujols’ world and the rest of us just live in it.  The guy is clearly the best thing going right now…

·        Thanks to the loss by Julia‘s Boston Bruins today, the San Jose Sharks secured the NHL’s best record and President’s Trophy with a mark of 53-18-11.  The Sharks haven’t played well of late, but hopefully, they’ll reignite it for the play-offs.  I am hopeful for a Stanley Cup clash between the Sharks and the Bruins. 

·        Speaking of birthdays, it was also Jason Varitek’s birthday today.  He was 2-for-3 in Boston’s 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels.  Happy Birthday, ‘Tek!  But I still don’t like you…

 

The Yankees conclude their series in Kansas City on Sunday, and head to Tampa to play a big early season series against the Rays.  Swish, we’re glad that you’ll be making the trip… 

 

 

Have a Happy Easter, Everyone!

–Scott

Equilibrium in the Yankee Universe…

There is balance in the world. Peace and harmony. It truly is Good Friday…in more ways than one. The Yankees have evened their record at 2-2…

Thanks to a great pitching performance by Andy Pettitte, the Yankees defeated the Kansas City Royals, 4-1, at the refurbished Kaufman Stadium. Pettitte, who made his major league debut at Kaufman Stadium on April 29, 1995, is 13-3 against the Royals (including 8-0 in his last 12 starts).

G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images

Nick Swisher followed up his 5 RBI performance yesterday with a run-scoring double off former Yankees pitcher Sidney Ponson.

And, oh by the way, Jorge Posada had a two-run single.

Lastly, the great Mo Rivera. He gave up a hit in the 9th, but he mowed down the other hitters, including three strikes on the last one. I was impressed with Mo when he was setting up John Wetteland in 1995, and I am just as impressed with Mo closing games in 2009. Every time I watch him pitch, I realize that I am watching one of the truly great ones. I know the day will come when a future grandchild will come up to me and say, “You got to see Mariano Rivera pitch? Wow!”. Yes, I did…

 

BRING OUT THE BROOMS

Alex Rodriguez is expected to arrive in Tampa on Monday, which coincides with the Yankees arrival to play the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Apparently, A-Rod has been getting ready for swinging a bat by swinging a broom. I did ask Julia if that was a sign of things to come for her upcoming birthday weekend when the Yankees travel to Fenway Park.

A-Rod’s arrival in Tampa is just a continuation of his rehab, and he will be hitting, throwing and running. Although some reports have placed A-Rod’s ETA as May 15th, there has been some speculation that he’ll be ready as early as late April. Manager Joe Girardi is maintaining an expectation of May 15th. I agree. A-Rod should be conservative with his return, regardless of how he feels. It would be much better to be at 100%, rather than return at 95% and risk further injury. In other words, I don’t want to look at third and see Cody Ransom for the rest of the season…

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Here’s hoping that there are no setbacks in A-Rod’s rehabilitation. I do have to say that it has been nice without A-Rod as a distraction. But his bat and play will be a welcome addition in the Bronx…particularly considering that Ransom has only one hit in fourteen plate appearances this season…

SCARY MOMENT

Last night, I was watching the San Francisco Giants play the Milwaukee Brewers on MLB. The Giants were leading 7-1, when Brewers outfielder Mike Cameron hit a 9th inning liner that struck Giants pitcher Joe Martinez in the head. Cameron, known as a great guy, cringed and looked away as he ran toward first.

Jeff Chiu/AP

I had to look at the replays several times to fully absorb what had just happened.

On a night when a nation was paying tribute to late Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, the Martinez story didn’t get much play. But I am so very thankful that Martinez wasn’t more seriously hurt. Martinez was diagnosed with a concussion last night, but further tests today revealed three hairline fractures.

He’ll remain hospitalized for a few days as a precautionary measure. Joe, here’s hoping for a speedy recovery and a quick return to the field…

THE GREAT SHOWDOWN, PART III

As some of you may know, I’ve had my share of battles against Julia of Julia’s Rants and her beloved Boston Red Sox. In Spring Training, she took the first game, while I emerged victorious in the second game. The losses meant writing favorable posts about players (past or present) on the opponent’s team. With the Spring split, we both wrote our share of posts about Yankees and Red Sox players.

Of course, many people asked why we would make a wager on Spring games that mean absolutely, positively nothing.

Well, for those critics, the first Yankees-Red Sox series of the season looms in a couple of weeks. It also happens to be Julia’s birthday weekend. So, we’ve started to think about the penalty for the loser. I thought it might be a good idea to solicit your opinions. We want to keep this fair and respectable, but please feel free to provide your suggestions. If the Yankees lose two or more games that weekend, I have already agreed that Wally the Green Monster will sit above Lou the Yankee bear for one week following the series.

 


IMG00005-20090408-2013.jpgIf the Red Sox lose, I think Julia should have to get a photo taken in a pink Yankees hat.

But we need more…what do you suggest?

FINALLY…

If the Red Sox lose to the Los Angeles Angels tonight, I will not take any satisfaction. This will be a very difficult game for the Red Sox and the Angels, and both will be playing for Nick Adenhart. Regardless of who wins, there is no loser. These are two quality, championship clubs, and their players approach the game the way it should be played. There will be no ‘Tek hatin’. Tonight, I am a Red Sox fan. I am an Angels fan. But most importantly, I am a baseball fan. Nick, you will remain in our thoughts and our prayers as we move forward. We’ll never be the same without you, but we will persevere because of you…

Preston Keres

$82 Million Has Been Well Spent…

Definition of a Stopper…

Alex Brandon/AP

I felt good about today’s game on the simple basis of knowing that A.J. Burnett would be taking the mound.  It wasn’t a perfect performance, but he made the big pitches when they mattered the most. 

Of course, I didn’t know that Nick Swisher would be starting and delivering 5 RBI’s, but that was a nice bonus.  I like Swish and the energy he brings to the team.  God bless him for the loud music he plays, even when he is relegated to bench duty.

Alex Messerschmidt/Getty 

Robby Cano is also showing signs that he may be maturing.

 

And Tex, it was very appropriate to get the first home run of the season in front of his hometown crowd.  In the grand scheme of things, a win or loss wasn’t going to determine the season, but it was nice to get the first one out of the way.

Mark Teixeira reacts after grounding out to end the eighth inning.

AP Photo 

THE AMERICAN IDLE

I am normally not one to gloat, but I was so disappointed in Carl Pavano as a Yankee.  The guy has the talent, there is no doubt.  But what’s going on inside the head is a different story.  Today’s line score is very appropriate…

Cleveland Indians

Pitchers

IP

 H

 R

ER

BB

SO

HR

PC-ST

ERA

C Pavano (L, 0-1)

1.0

6

9

9

3

1

2

39-21

81.00

Carl only retired three of twelve batters that he faced.

Paul Connors/AP

Good luck in Cleveland, Carl.  I am glad that you are no longer a Yankee…

THE DEPARTED ANGEL

It’s been tough today seeing the tributes for Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart.  Also, the TV clips of Wednesday night’s performance against the A’s have been equally difficult. 

By virtue of injuries, Nick was the Angels #3 starter.  But he showed on Wednesday night that he belonged in the major leagues.  He was a guy that had Tommy John surgery in high school, yet rebounded to become the top prospect in the Angels organization.  He was a humorous guy…the kind of guy who drives others to achieve greatness.

Jeff Gross/AP 

Yankees manager Joe Girardi made some comments today that I completely agree with.  Joe was the Rock of Gibraltar during the untimely passing of St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Darryl Kile (the Cardinals were playing the Cubs, Girardi’s team, at the time of Kile’s death). 

“It’s sad. It really is,” Girardi said. “You think of a young man who realizes his dream and pitches six shutout innings, and drives home and is gone. Life is not supposed to be like that. I didn’t even know the kid and it’s hard for me. He’s just a little boy who dreamed about playing in the big leagues.

“It’s one big fraternity, one big family. Your heart goes out to that family and that young man. You realize how precious life is. You wake up every day and be thankful for what you’ve got, because you never know.”

Well said, Joe…

We have been cheated by not seeing what Nick could have become.  At 22, he did more than most of us will achieve in a lifetime.  April 9th will become to Angels fans what August 2nd means to Yankee fans.  Nick, you will be missed…

Tragic Loss of Angels’ Nick Adenhart…

Los Angeles Angels

Pitchers

IP

 H

 R

ER

BB

SO

HR

PC-ST

ERA

N Adenhart

6.0

7

0

0

3

5

0

98-61

0.00

J Arredondo (H, 2)

1.0

3

2

2

0

1

0

19-12

13.50

S Shields (H, 2)

1.0

1

1

1

0

2

0

22-14

4.50

B Fuentes (L, 0-1; B, 1)

1.0

4

3

3

1

1

0

28-19

13.50

Totals

9.0

15

6

6

4

9

0

167-106

 

 

The above information was from the box score from Wednesday’s game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Oakland A’s.

 

Unfortunately, it represents the final game of Angels starter Nick Adenhart who was killed Thursday morning in an auto accident in Anaheim.  Adenhart was only 22 years old, and was a top prospect in the Angels organization.  His major league opportunity had been created by a great spring combined with the health of Angels ace John Lackey.  

 

AP/Eric Risbert

 

Per ESPN, his 2009 Fantasy Season Outlook was:

 

Adenhart is far better than the 5.76 ERA he put up in Triple-A last season, and the pitcher who got knocked around in a few big-league starts. His pitching environment in the minors was about as tough as it gets last season, so that was part of it. Still just 22, he has the raw stuff to succeed in the middle of a big-league rotation but too often lacks the confidence in it and tries to nibble too much instead of being aggressive with his stuff and allowing his curve to get strikeouts for him. Dustin McGowan had similar issues before he finally broke through. Don’t forget about Adenhart in deep AL-only and keeper leagues this season.

 

Adenhart made his major league debut on May 1, 2008, and made a total of three starts last season.  He earned his only major league victory on May 12, 2008 against the Chicago White Sox.

 

This is a huge loss for the entire baseball family, and I am deeply saddened for both the short- and long-term adverse impact this will have on the Angels organization.  My condolences to Nick’s friends and family.  We will never know what could have been…

Let’s Fast Forward to May…

This has not been a great start to the 2009 season…at least for Yankees fans…

April, in recent years, has proven to be a very challenging month for the Yankees.  With the most Grapefruit League victories and the new high profile acquisitions, I was hopeful that April would be a very powerful month for a change.

Don’t get me wrong, it is way too early to write off this month or even this week.  As I write this post, the Yankees are only 0-2, after losing to the Baltimore Orioles 7-5 on Wednesday night. 

 

Today started off on the wrong foot as the Joba Chamberlain DUI Video hit the mainstream newspapers.  Joba, how could you say anything bad about Yogi Berra of all people?  Yogi laughed it off, and Joba apologized but there are now skeptics who wonder if Joba has truly matured beyond his 23 years.  I believe that he has and when he says that the DUI stop was the best thing that happened to him, I trust his words.

 Police video shows (top) Yankee pitcher Joba Chamberlain's October arrest for DUI.

It is now up to Joba to live his words, but I feel the new criticisms are unfair and not warranted.  He has been penalized for his actions, and, in my opinion, he has said and done the right things since the incident.  He even made nice with Big Papi over the winter…

David Ortiz and Joba Chamberlain at CES today

Back to the Yankees, I think it will only take a few key hits and some solid pitching to get the Yanks back on track.  I feel good about A.J. Burnett starting the next game.

AP

Trust me, I expect to be fully ready for Julia‘s birthday weekend when the Yankees travel to Fenway Park.  And, no, Julia, the Yankees will won’t be going 0-162! 

Getty Images

THE A’S

It was nice to see Jason Giambi back on the ESPN highlights.  In Tuesday’s 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels, Jason went 3 for 5, with a run scoring double in the 8th.  It was great to see the Giambino in action, although the stubble on his face, tinged in grey, looks a little odd…

The A’s also claimed pitcher Dan Giese off waivers from the Yankees.  Giese was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Ramiro Pena.

WALLY THE GREEN MONSTER

As everyone outside of me probably knows, Wally the Green Monster is the official Mascot of the Boston Red Sox.  On my weekend trip to Boston, Julia presented me with a gift for making the journey.  I am appreciative, and he has taken his rightful place at the FEET of my Yankee bear, Lou…

 

IMG00005-20090408-2013.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

–Scott

We Lost?…

The Yankees lost…

24 hours in a day, minute by minute life happens.  There are so many events that define our day, and determine whether we are happy or sad.  So many memories that are created…some we will forget within days, others will last a lifetime.  But at this moment, I can only think of one thing, ‘we lost to Baltimore?’. 

 

It seems that some teams have other team’s number, and in recent years, the O’s have owned the Yankees.  I am not going to go into the stats of actual wins and losses, but I can tell you that the Yankees do not have a great record against the Orioles.  I remember when it was always the Seattle Mariners.  In the last couple of years, the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) and the Orioles have been the Yankees’ Achilles heel.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Every team seems to have its thorn that it cannot overcome.  Julia of Julia’s Rants mentioned to me that the Toronto Blue Jays play the Red Sox very tough.  Who is the thorn in your team’s side?  It is a good question, and certainly one that will go a long way towards determining the outcome of your team’s season.  In the end, pennants are often won by only a few games.  A few more wins here and there can make all the difference in the world.  An inability to beat a certain team can lead to post-season heartbreak.

Both my team and Jenn’s team need to rebound from the opening day losses, and look to even their records in their second games.  Of course, I do feel a little better about having Chien-Ming Wang on the mound as opposed to 40-something Jamie Moyer.  Sorry Jenn!  But hopefully, we’ll both soon see W’s…

BOSTON RECAP

Again, I want to thank Julia for being such a gracious host. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Boston, and I found it to be such an exciting and vibrant city.  Before I left today, I went to the gym to get in my run for the day, and of course, there was a woman nearby in a pink Red Sox hat.  I can never stray too far from Julia’s influence.  Too funny!

 

Pat Greenhouse/Boston Globe

If any of you ever have the chance to go to Boston, I highly recommend it.  My desire to see the Red Sox play at Fenway Park remains unfulfilled so I know that I’ll be back…

MLB EXTRA INNINGS

I purchased my subscription to MLB Extra Innings tonight, so I am all set for the 2009 season.  I was so starved for some baseball that I listened to the New York Mets’ 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on the way home from Boston.  The Mets?  I hate the freakin’ Mets!  But it’s baseball, so you gotta love it!

I almost succumbed to Mark’s message for MLB.tv and perhaps I still will, but for now, I am looking forward to baseball on the BIG screen…

FINALLY…

I do want to wish good luck to my friend Erin’s Minnesota Twins.  It is always a great story when the Twins win, and they certainly have done well bringing up promising young talent.  I have Joe Mauer on one of my primary fantasy baseball teams, so I am hoping for a speedy recovery.  Of course, in the meantime, his replacement is Hip-Hip-Hor-Hey, Jorge Posada, so I am cool with that…

And for Canuck, I am hopeful for a great Scott Kazmir season!  The Rays!  Not so much…

AP

Tuesday, I will be a Red Sox fan for a day.  I owe that much to Julia.  So, I will suspend my ‘Tek Hatin’ Ways until Wednesday.  In the meantime, I guess I need to buy a number 33 Red Sox jersey!  LOL!

Goodnight, all!

–Scott

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