Results tagged ‘ Baltimore ’
Joe says it so it must be true!…
So now even manager Joe Girardi is expressing interest in a left-handed bat! Joe’s joined the club of us overly intelligent, know-more-than-Brian Cashman fans! LOL! Just kidding. But it is interesting to see a key Yankee figure express the need for additional help. With free agents Raul Ibanez (wow, I almost typed Mondesi!), Hideki Matsui, and Johnny Damon lurking on the sidelines, GM Brian Cashman recently indicated the Yankees would pursue help via trade.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Obviously, the Yankees need to unload a pitcher. With three starters vying for the #5 spot in the rotation (Freddy Garcia, A.J. Burnett, and Phil Hughes), it’s clear that this is going to end badly for one or two pitchers. All things considered, I think you have to put Phil Hughes in the rotation. The Yankees HAVE to prove that 2010 was not a fluke (or not). Plus, Hiroki Kuroda, at 37, is not destined to be a long-term Yankee. Sure, the Yanks could go hard after Cole Hamels or Matt Cain as a replacement following the 2012 season but I still subscribe to the ‘dance with the one who brung ya’ theory. Well, at least until he proves us wrong. I know, the leash is overly long, but Hughes is still young, and he can still be a force in the rotation. He’d certainly be cheaper than either Hamels or Cain in the foreseeable future.
So, where does that leave Burnett and Garcia? I think Garcia is the best option to plant in the bullpen as the long man and #6 starter in the event of injury in the rotation…at least until Dellin Betances and/or Manny Banuelos are ready later in the year. This means shipping Burnett and lots of money to another team is probably best case scenario. Trading Hughes would be foolish since the return, following his poor 2011 season, would be under market value. Plus, Hughes has more long-term value to the team than Burnett. There’s no way the Yankees re-sign Burnett at the expiration of his contract. He’ll see the same door as Jason Giambi with a slight push from behind.
But, and that’s a big but, what does Burnett bring in trade? He is not going to bring a young slugger, that’s for sure. More than likely, it would only be someone else’s albatross, ala Alfonso Soriano. I still think one of the available free agents is the best option for the left-handed bat, but I am sure whatever move Cashman makes will be the best one for the organization.
Wanted: Someone who’s butt can withstand splinters…
As for the additional infield bench support to accompany Eduardo Nunez, I still would really like to see the return of Eric Chavez even though Bill Hall’s name has been mentioned more frequently as of late.
“Buck, we really need to be the focus of the tabloids”…
I have to admit that I am surprised to see the teams mentioned as possibilities for Manny Ramirez. No, I don’t want Man-Ram calling 161st and River home, but the teams mentioned…Oakland A’s, Baltimore Orioles, and Toronto Blue Jays…seem like odd fits for a guy that has to spend 50 games on the suspended list. With the emphasis on youth in Oakland and Baltimore, I’d question whether having Manny on the team is worth it in terms of the negative impact he can have. Younger players are far more impressionable, and no team, even the Blue Jays, need a distraction. Maybe Manny can still swing it. I acknowledge that he was once the most feared hitter in the AL, but I don’t think he’ll ever be close to the hitter he once was. Age sucks, but it happens to us all…
A funny thing happened to the Phillies on their way to the World Series…
Edwin Jackson to the Washington Nationals on a one-year deal was a good move for the Nats. Outside of the New York Mets, the NL East is a scary division. Yeah, the Philadelphia Phillies have the Big 3 (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels), but there are too many other question marks to make them the clear favorite. I don’t think the Miami Marlins will win the division but they’ll make noise. The Braves, the Nats. That’s a tough division. Then, there’s the Mets…
With a New York-Boston Super Bowl upon us, it’s weird that I, as a Yankees fan, find myself on the Boston side of the battle. That seems so wrong on so many levels. But it is what it is…go Patriots!
The Bear is sleeping…
With the Yankees in hibernation for the winter, there’s not much for us Yankee fans to talk about. The latest speculation centers on catcher Jorge Posada and where he might end up. Of the three teams mentioned (Rays, Phillies, and Orioles), I don’t see Jorge as a good fit.
In Tampa, he’d back up his former back up, Jose Molina. I suppose that he could earn additional starting time by the virtue of his superior bat, but why tarnish a great Yankees legacy by playing for a key divisional rival. Same goes for the Orioles. I think there’s a strong chance for Jorge to get pushed aside in either organization for younger, cheaper talent. Neither the O’s or the Rays would be beholden to Posada as he didn’t carve out a borderline Hall of Fame career in their uniforms. As for the Phillies, it would probably be a good way for one last shot at the World Series, but the Phillies have emerged as a chief rival for the Yankees. He wouldn’t start for the Phillies, and his pinch-hitting opportunities and DH duty in interleague play would be limited with Jim Thome on the roster.
I would still like to see Jorge go to the Miami Marlins as a best-case scenario if he decides to continue playing. He lives in Miami, and the team is in the opposing league. They are not a natural rival by geography, and he wouldn’t tarnish his Yankees legacy. But as Nick Cafardo said in his Boston Globe column yesterday, “Hope Jorge Posada retires as a Yankee”.
Short-term rental looks better every day…
With the list of prospective pitchers dwindling, I am in favor of a short term signing (such as Roy Oswalt or Edwin Jackson). The recent trades of Mat Latos to the Reds and Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals has shown that the price is sky high for young, talented pitchers. Giving up Jesus Montero and Manuel Banuelos in any trade would be a mistake. I am not sure if this is akin to 1995 when Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera may have been considered potential prospect trade bait, but still, I’d rather see what the future holds with Montero and Banuelos than without. I think that either Oswalt or Jackson would be a better option than either Bartolo Colon or Freddy Garcia, and would allow the Yankees more time to work on a more equitable trade or seek potential help in the 2012 free agent market.
Strengthening your team with ex-Yankees…
I really do not want to see the Boston Red Sox weaken the Yankees’ bench by signing Andruw Jones. The Yankees had a great fourth outfielder in 2011, and they need to make his return a priority. This is an area that I’ve been greatly disappointed by the continued silence. I really do not feel that Justin Maxwell, Chris Dickerson or Melky Mesa can fill Andruw’s shoes.
Just like the Los Angeles Angels crept up and became the star of the Winter Meetings (overtaking the Miami Marlins), I keep expecting the Red Sox, who have been very dormant this winter despite their acquisition of former Yankees reliever Mark Melancon, to make a big splash to improve their 2012 team for new manager Bobby Valentine. It could be the signing of Hiroki Kuroda (whom the Yankees are also interested in) or a trade for the Cubs’ Matt Garza, but if they do improve, it will be difficult for the Yankees to adjust.
The Winter of (Y)our Discontent…
I never thought I’d feel bad for the New York Mets, but it has to be tough for their fans to watch their team move into rebuilding mode when every other team in the division has gotten better. The Mets would appear to have a stranglehold on fifth place in their division, with no competition. There is no great joy in watching the Mets as a defeated organization.
Don’t wake the Beast…
It’s hard to believe that pitchers and catchers report in less than two months. Of course, I am in Minnesota and it’s sunny with an expected high today of nearly 50 degrees. Nothing is what you expect, or I suppose you could say what it seems. There’s a winter beast that will soon be awakened in Minnesota. Does the same hold true for The Bronx?…
I am an Iowa Hawkeyes fan, I am used to build up then disappointment…
It’s ironic that the Yankees currently hold the lead in the American League East since it has seemed as though the Boston Red Sox and their fans have had more reason to gloat this year. Every time I get excited about the Yankees, they do something to temper the excitement. Headed in September, the team was playing at an incredibly high level, with solid pitching from the entire rotation including A.J. Burnett (well, one start). During the first two games of a four game set with the Baltimore Orioles and the manager I love to hate, Buck Showalter, the Yankees looked like they could hang with the Philadelphia Phillies in a 7-game play-off series.
But alas, all good things must end, and the Yankees promptly lost two consecutive extra-inning affairs with the O’s. Fortunately, the Red Sox were struggling with the Toronto Blue Jays, losing 2 of 3, so the Yanks didn’t lose any ground (they currently lead the Sox by 2 ½ games).
For the record, I don’t take any joy in the health issues surrounding Josh Beckett and Kevin Youkilis. I’d rather beat a Red Sox team at full strength than one depleted by critical injuries.
Many Yankees fans are probably already counting on the AL East Flag, but like last year, I know how easy it can slip away and of course a 2 ½ game lead is nothing on September 9th. The Sox have plenty of time to make up the difference and they are certainly a team capable of getting on a roll. That’s why I consider those two O’s losses as lost opportunities. It doesn’t get any easier for the Yanks as they are now in Anaheim to face the Los Angeles Angels. Tonight, they are pitted against Jered Weaver who is arguably the best pitcher in the American League not named Justin Verlander. Plus, the Yankees generally do not fare well on those West Coast swings. So, the Red Sox certainly have a golden opportunity to re-take the AL East.
While I am one that feels this should be the last year in the Bronx for Jorge Posada (almost a virtual certainty given how well Jesus Montero has performed), I do hope that he gets his moment in Yankee Stadium like Paul O’Neill did when the fans started chanting his name. Posada can leave knowing that his name will rank up there with Yogi Berra, Bill Dickey, Elston Howard, and Thurman Munson. It will be odd seeing Posada in a different uniform if he chooses to play next year, and I definitely hope that he is not one of those who travel north to Boston. I’d rather see him play for the Tampa Bay Rays. Best case scenario would be the National League, but I doubt he’d switch leagues at this late juncture in his career. Of course, his catching days are behind him so a team with a DH is where he is best suited. I am sure that he’ll be more prepared for DH next season.
I am ready for the Scott Proctor reunion to end…
So, how can we convince some team to offer Rafael Soriano a ridiculous amount of money to walk away from his contract with the Yankees after the season? Sadly, I think he’ll be a Yankee for all three years…
Tell me again why we kept Phil Hughes and traded 19-game winner Ian Kennedy? Okay, I can’t fault the Yankees on this one as I was ready for Kennedy to leave and he probably would not have achieved the same level of success in the pressure cooker known as New York…
Funny how Derek Jeter drop-kicked Minka Kelly on the eve of her becoming a national sex symbol with the new Charlie’s Angels TV series. When you are DJ and you can have any girl in the world, why settle for one? I am sure that he has no shortage of friends, and he can certainly buy a few if he needs them…
When I saw the photo of Cameron Diaz “pregnant” (costuming for a movie), my first thought, thinking it was real, was definitely about Alex Rodriguez and additional future child support payments. But fortunately, A-Rod has been able to afford “protection” and he doesn’t have to worry about any unexpected A-Rod, Jr’s in the world…
Are you ready for some football?…
Getting a little off-topic, it was disappointing to see that Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning had to undergo a second surgery on his neck that will keep him out of action for 2-3 months, if not all season. Some are saying that he should just retire rather than risk further injury, and I’d certainly agree that he doesn’t have any more to prove. He’ll definitely go down in history as one of the great ones. Kerry Collins has a good knack for being in the right place at the right time…
Two years ago, as a Vikings fan, I had to learn to root for a former hated quarterback (Brett Favre). Now, as a former resident of the Philly area who witnessed the fan apathy toward Donovan McNabb, I have to pull for him as the QB of my team. I am a fan of Christian Ponder, and I suspect that he’ll get his opportunity to take a few snaps at some point in the season. Actually, I hope McNabb proves me wrong and leads the Vikings to the promised land. But I see this as just another attempt to capture glory from a faded star…
I keep hearing how great it is that LB Erin Henderson has landed a starting role with the Vikings (alongside his brother, E.J.) as an undrafted free agent. But in the year of his draft, I was somewhat surprised that he did go undrafted. It was evident that he was a quality player at Maryland, and I would have thought some team would have taken a shot in the later rounds. Just as I liked Erin that year, I like RB Caleb King this year. He didn’t make the final cut when the team pared its roster to 53 players, but he was retained on the practice squad. Hopefully, a position on the roster will materialize before some other team realizes the diamond in the rough…
If I am Mike Shanahan, and my choices for starting QB are Rex Grossman and John Beck, I am retiring to see what NBC Sports has to offer…
As a resident of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis, I am really hopeful that the city will find a way to step forward to retain the Vikings. Presently, the proposal is for a new stadium in Arden Hills, and I know the ownership group is highly in favor of the area. I’d really like to see the Vikings stay in Minneapolis with the Twins and the Timberwolves. The options are either the existing Metrodome/Mall of America Field area or the Farmer’s Market. I’d prefer the latter. But all things considered, I would accept Arden Hills over Los Angeles. Whatever it takes, I hope Minnesota does the right thing to retain the Vikings. It would be horrific for the Land of 10,000 Lakes to lose a second professional team to the city of Los Angeles…
I saw that Buddy Ryan was delaying surgery (he has been diagnosed with cancer…again) so that he could witness the Week 1 match-up between Rex Ryan and the New York Jets and Rob Ryan and the Dallas Cowboys. I am hopeful that he’ll see a Jets victory, but then again, the Cowboys have always been my second favorite team so I won’t be disappointed if Tony Romo and company pull out the victory. Buddy apparently has a history of beating cancer so hopefully this is just another one of those dominating Ryan situations…
I know that I kept jumping back to the Vikings (hey, I am a Vikings fan!), but I have to say that I really like what I’ve seen from new head coach Leslie Frazier. I have not always been a big fan of the team’s coach. When you grow up with Bud Grant as the man, it’s hard to see others in the role. The worst, of course, was Les Steckel, but there have been varying degrees over the years. I did like Mike Tice but recognize that he was limited from a coaching perspective. Leslie Frazier is the first coach since Grant that I’ve been able to fully embrace. I hated to see the Vikings lose former defensive coach Mike Tomlin when he was named coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I felt the Vikings were facing the same situation with Frazier (just like they had with Tomlin and Tony Dungy in previous years). Fortunately, the Vikings canned Brad Childress (sorry Brad!) and promoted Frazier to the top job. I was slow to accept Joe Girardi as the Yankees manager (I was a Don Mattingly supporter), but today, there’s not really anyone that I’d rather see as manager of the Yankees. I feel the same way about Leslie Frazier.
We are now in the midst of perhaps one of the best sports months of the year. It is the pennant race in baseball, and the opening of the NFL Season. Granted, my focus is on baseball, but it will still be fun to watch some football this Sunday. Down, set, 247, 247, hutt, hutt…
Have Gun (partially loaded), Will Travel…
Headed to Boston with minus a few bullets…
With the injuries to Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, the Yankees are certainly in a precarious situation as they head for Boston after wrapping up the O’s series in Baltimore tonight. A-Rod was sent to New York have a MRI on his thumb, and he’ll re-join his teammates at Fenway Park. The results were negative, however, it doesn’t sound like he’ll play in the Sox series so the focus will definitely be on Eric Chavez and Eduardo Nunez.
Jeter fouled a pitch off his right kneecap in the first game of Sunday’s double header, so he should be back on the field when the team arrives in Beantown.
The Red Sox have their own challenges, with Kevin Youkilis on the DL. But even without Youk, the Red Sox boast three legitimate AL MVP Candidates in Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Adrian Gonzalez. If the Yankees are to stop Boston’s run of success against them, the guys from the bench will need to be the difference makers. Plus, some good pitching always helps. I haven’t seen the starting rotation for the series yet, although I know that CC Sabathia is starting on Tuesday. I suppose that means the other starters will be A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes, neither of whom instill great confidence, particularly when the opposing match-up’s will be Josh Beckett and Jon Lester (John Lackey faces the Yanks on Tuesday night so that’s probably the only matchup that favors the Yanks in the series).
Where are those darned reinforcements? Signed, General Custer…
The August trading deadline has been very quiet, and of course, I am not expecting any moves by the Yankees. I still wish the team would move to get a clutch bat for the bench (someone like Hideki Matsui or Johnny Damon) but all indications are the Yankees will stand pat like they did at the July trading deadline.
Love means never having to say you’re Sori…
So, David Robertson is arbitration eligible at the end of the season? The Yanks would be wise to lock him up to a deal before arbitration hearings. He always seems to be in the most precarious situations yet, time and again, he comes through in big spots. The way he struck out three batters in the 8th inning on Sunday night with the bases loaded was vintage D-Rob. His 8th inning success definitely has me wondering what the Yanks will do with Rafael Soriano for the next couple of years…
He makes the world taste good…
I remember a few years ago when there were predictions that Curtis Granderson could hit 40 home runs playing at Yankee Stadium. I thought those were aggressive remarks, but here he is on the verge of hitting that plateau. Every one points to the adjustment he made with input from batting coach Kevin Long last August, but it’s clear he has become a complete hitter since that time. It is ironic that one of the trading pieces, pitcher Ian Kennedy of the Arizona Diamondbacks, is leading the NL in wins. Kind of makes one wish that the Yankees had traded Phil Hughes instead of Kennedy. Still, the trade has worked out for all three teams involved (Arizona, Detroit, and the Yankees). What? Curtis Granderson just struck out in the game against the Orioles with Brett Gardner in scoring position? The bum! ;) Just kidding…
They’re just games…
This is a big week for the Yankees with the Boston series so they’ll definitely be challenged. It doesn’t get any easier after Boston because the Toronto Blue Jays will be coming to the Bronx for a weekend series, and the Jays have definitely played the Yanks tough this year. Do we really have to pin our hopes on A.J. Burnett? Really?… L
Have a safe and enjoyable week!
This weekend’s abbreviated
two-game series against the Baltimore Orioles was a positive despite the
postponement of one game that will cause its share of challenges later in the
Saturday featured a great performance
by CC Sabathia, along with a
plethora of hits and home runs for the Yanks, while Sunday saw the Yanks pull
out a game that they could have lost when Mariano
Rivera blew his second straight save opportunity. I am not concerned about Mo, as he has had
short stretches like this during the season in recent years.
Sunday saw a great hitting
performance by the ‘written off for dead’ Derek
Jeter, who went 4-for-6 with a run scored and a RBI to raise his batting
average to .257. I agree that it’s too
soon to write Jeter’s obituary, just like it is too soon to start questioning
if Mo is losing it. But still, I have
the right to ask. Is it time for Jorge Posada to call it a career? I know it’s still early, but a .153 batting
average is abysmal. Let’s hope that he
turns it around like David Ortiz
always seems to do for the Red Sox…
Congratulations to Freddy Garcia for another six inning
shut-out! Also, after wondering if the
Yankees made a huge mistake in unloading Ian
Kennedy, Phil Coke and Austin Jackson to acquire Curtis Granderson for most of last
season, I am a fan of the Grandy Man! He
hit his 7th home run of this young season, and could be on track for
30+. He has definitely gained a comfort
zone in pinstripes.
Saturday’s hero, aside from
the great job by CC Sabathia, was
catcher Russell Martin. We are not out of April and he already has
one more home run than last season, and needs just one more to tie his total for
2009. Combined with good health, the
change of scenery has been very good for Martin. I am looking forward to Francisco Cervelli‘s return so that he can start spelling Martin on
occasion, but I am glad that GM Brian
Cashman had the foresight to sign Martin rather than go with the untested Jesus Montero. Montero’s time will come but it was obvious
that his time is not now. Martin has
been very instrumental in the Yankees’ strong start, especially when you
consider how sluggish the team has performed the last few Aprils. I don’t want to criticize Posada, but I like
the way Martin has meshed with the pitching rotation.
I hope everyone had a very
Happy Easter today. Easter time with the
family definitely brings back great memories…
So far, September has not been kind…
The month started with so much promise when the
Yankees won from September 1st through 4th, but since
then, wins have been hard to come by.
They won only one game during the second week of the month, and so far,
have only two wins this week pending the outcome of Saturday night’s game. A few weeks ago, the question was whether the
Yankees would win the AL East with the Tampa Bay Rays taking the Wild
Card. At a time they should have been
able to put away the Boston Red Sox, the Sox still have hope, only 7 games
behind the Yankees (6 ½ behind the Rays).
Sure, the Yankees are in first place, with a very
thin lead. However, the schedule the
rest of the way is brutal. After the
Yankees leave Baltimore (the Orioles have certainly not been a slouch by any
stretch of the imagination, particularly since former Yankees manager Buck
Showalter took over), they face a Murderer’s Row-like lineup of Tampa Bay,
Boston, and Toronto. The Rays and Red
Sox are the obvious rivals, but the Blue Jays have played the Yanks very tough
this year. It is a schedule that will
prove what the 2010 Yankees are made of.
Last night’s game was very exciting. Hopefully, it will be one that the team can
build upon. In the 9th inning
with two outs and two runs down, it looked like it would be another loss. Fortunately, Alex Rodriguez saved the day
with his second home run of the day, a three-run shot that gave the Yankees the
margin of victory, 4-3.
In looking ahead, the Yankees play a three-game
series against the Boston Red Sox next weekend in the Bronx. For the series, Julia (of Julia’s Rants) and
I will hold another wager. For this
series, the loser must wear the opposing team’s hat for a photo on his/her
blog. Also, through previous wagers,
Julia has acquired a Yankees t-shirt and I have a Red Sox t-shirt so we’d have
to include those shirts. I know this is
a tame wager, but the Yankees and Red Sox close out the regular season with a
three-game series in Boston so we’ll be looking to close out the year with a
bang. As long as the Yankees win both
series, I am cool with it! J
I have to admit that I had very mixed feelings when
I first heard that Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre had decided to step
down at the end of the season, and was handing the reins to one of my all-time
favorite Yankees, Don Mattingly. I had
quietly harbored hopes that Donnie Baseball could find his way back to the
Bronx, perhaps as a potential replacement for manager Joe Girardi if Joe
decides to go to Chicago. Realistically,
it would probably never happen because Don does not have any major or minor
league managerial experience and that’s a pre-requisite in New York.
Gene J. Puskar/AP
None of this means that I want Joe Girardi to
leave. I am just bracing for the possibility. There is no telling how strong his Chicago
roots might be pulling him to return home.
It would be very intriguing to be the guy who brought the World Series
to Wrigley Field. Winning World
Championship #28 for the Yankees wouldn’t forever etch Girardi’s name into
baseball legend like winning one for the Cubs would. Hopefully, the Steinbrenner Family will do
what it takes to lock up Joe long-term so that there is no possibility for a
managerial search after the season.
As for Joe Torre, I am not convinced he is
finished. None of his words have implied
that he is ready to hang it up. I am not
sure that he’d be a good fit for the Cubs, but perhaps the Mets if they fire
Jerry Manuel. I’ve wondered if the
Yankees would try to bring him back if Girardi leaves, but outside of George
Steinbrenner’s departure, the senior executives who were against Torre in his
latter years with the team are still in place.
Plus, there’s always the issue with the book Torre wrote. Whatever happens, I don’t want to see Bobby
Valentine in the Bronx…
Since I started writing this post, the Yankees have
defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 11-3, for their second consecutive
victory. It is a much-needed win and
hopefully they’ll begin gaining momentum for the challenging late month series
coming up. Congratulations to CC
Sabathia (20-6) for his first 20-win season!
I am very happy to see CC finally nab the elusive victory (it was his
third attempt at 20).
A late Rays rally
against the Los Angeles Angels prevented the Yankees from gaining any ground,
but the Boston Red Sox did lose to fall 8 games back.
On Sunday, Andy Pettitte will make his
much-anticipated return from the DL. Clearly,
he is a key for the post-season so hopefully he can pick up where he left off
as he was pitching brilliantly prior to the injury. A Pettitte win on Sunday would make it a
Revenge is best served cold…
Unfortunately, the last laugh belongs to former Yankees manager Buck Showalter. A funny thing happened to the Yankees on their way to the AL East Championship; they were derailed by Showalter’s Baltimore Orioles. Following an 8-game winning streak, the Yanks have now lost three games in a row including the first two of their latest series with the O’s. As the O’s were pounding the Yankees tonight, the Tampa Bay Rays were thumping the Boston Red Sox to move closer to first.
The Boston Globe
In a dead heat, it is hard not to give the Rays the advantage due to their superior pitching staff. Frankly, I am not so sure that the Yankees have the pitching to advance very deep into the play-offs regardless of whether they win the AL East or get in as the Wild Card. I want the Yankees to win, of course, but when the O’s can pummel your ace like a batting practice pitcher, and the next pitcher in line, A.J. Burnett, no longer trusts his stuff, how can you get excited about your team’s chances? No one knows how Andy Pettitte will perform, and there is a very good chance he’ll have some rust to shake at a time when there is no time. Javier Vazquez is finished as a frontline starter in New York at least, and Phil Hughes is about done as he nears his innings ceiling. The second best starter on the staff right now is rookie Ivan Nova. The missed opportunities to get either Cliff Lee (regardless of his recent health issues) or Ted Lilly will haunt the Yanks in October. I realize that it wasn’t necessarily Brian Cashman’s fault, but looking back, I was so surprised last off-season when the decision was made to bring future ex-Yankee Vazquez back to New York. I thought it was a mistake at the time, and now it appears to be a catastrophic error.
When the Yankees win, things are fantastic, but when they lose, it’s doom and gloom, I know. But realistically speaking, win or lose, the Yankees simply do not have the horses in the starting rotation beyond CC Sabathia to excel in the play-offs when clearly good pitching beats good hitting.
The Yankees have a great offense, but without top line pitching, their hitters can’t power their way to October wins. The injury issues with Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher have hurt, as has Derek Jeter’s slump. Lance Berkman is starting to figure out AL pitching but is it too little too late? Time will tell.
This off-season will be one of transition for the Yanks. They’ll have to make some hard decisions, and they’ll need to look at replacing some of the old guard. The Boston Red Sox have proven that no team should get too attached to any player. I know the Sox will most likely miss the play-offs but that’s only because of the toll the injuries have had on the team (which is beyond Theo Epstein’s control). Otherwise, it is not outside of the realm of possibility that the Yanks could be in third chasing the Rays and the Sox.
It’s hard to believe that the NFL season is now upon us. My team, the Minnesota Vikings, open the season on Thursday night against the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints. Brett Favre will get the chance to prove that he should have run instead of attempting to pass, but it will be hard to re-capture last year’s magic. Favre’s favorite target, Sidney Rice, is on the sidelines thanks to hip surgery. In reading many Minnesota news reports, you come to the conclusion that the media feels strongly this is the final year of the Vikings’ window of opportunity. I know so much rides on Brett Favre’s arm, but the rest of the team does have some talent. I was sad to see fellow Iowa native Sage Rosenfels traded to the New York Giants, but something had to give to protect QB prospect Joe Webb. I am not a fan of backup QB Tavaris Jackson, but I am also not so sure that Webb will be ready to take over at QB when Favre retires (for good) at the end of the year. I was quietly hoping the Vikings would make a play on free agent QB Matt Leinart before he signed with the Houston Texans. I know that Leinart failed in Arizona, but I do believe that he has the talent to succeed in the right system. He is signed to just a one-year deal so hopefully he’ll be one of the options the Vikings look at when trying to replace Favre for next season.
I guess this is a ‘glass is half empty’ kind of night…
You talkin’ to me?…
After dropping two games to the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees averted a sweep by clobbering the O’s 13-3 on Sunday. As usual, the stopper was CC Sabathia. It wasn’t a great performance but it was enough to help CC pick up his 17th victory of the season (against 7 losses). CC went 7 innings and gave up 5 hits and 3 runs. He walked 4 and struck out only 1 batter. Still, CC showed why he is the ace of the staff…
The game saw the ejections of Alex Rodriguez and Joe Girardi. A-Rod took a called third strike to end the fourth inning with the bases loaded. He felt that the pitch was outside. He continued jawing with the umpire, Marty Foster, about the call, particularly after watching a video replay following the top of the 5th which confirmed his belief that the pitch was outside. Foster finally had enough and tossed A-Rod and then Manager Joe Girardi, who argued very animatedly the umpire.
There is bad blood between the Yankees and Foster, who also made a bad call on Derek Jeter in July.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Chris Faytock/The Star Ledger
Eric Hinske took over for A-Rod at third after the ejection, but fortunately, it worked out in the end. Thanks to an 8-run 8th, which included a three-run homer by Matsui, the Yankees put this one away and assured a return to the win column.
Nonetheless, they will still lose a ½ game to the Boston Red Sox, who swept the Tampa Bay Rays today. The Yankees now lead Boston by 7 games. How sad is it that the Rays have now lost 11 straight games? The magic of 2008 is definitely gone.
The Yankees’ lead over the Los Angeles Angels for best record in the league stands at 5 games.
Mark J. Terrill/AP
This is an interesting week schedule-wise. The Yankees will play one game against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. This is a make-up of the May 3rd rainout at Yankee Stadium. I remember that day well considering that I was in attendance at Yankee Stadium. I won’t be able to take advantage of my ticket tomorrow since I’ve since relocated from the East Coast to California, but I’ll definitely be there in spirit. The last time the Yankees faced the Angels, they were swept (final series before the All-Star Break). This is just one game, but the Yankees have a chance to make a statement against the Angels. Joba Chamberlain (8-5) faces Jered Weaver (15-5).
Taylor Public Relations
Then, the Yankees close out the home stand with two games against the Toronto Blue Jays. They travel across the country on Thursday to open a three-game weekend series in Seattle against the Mariners.
Congratulations to Brett Favre for his first victory with the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings defeated the Cleveland Browns and Favre’s former coach, Eric Mangini, 34-20, on Sunday.
His stats weren’t great (14-for-21, 110 yards, 1 TD), but when you have Adrian Peterson in your backfield running for 180 yards and 3 TD’s, there’s not much you need to do.
I was excited that Favre’s lone passing TD was to Percy Harvin. I am excited about what Harvin means to the Vikings offense, and hopefully, this is the start of something special…
I enjoyed my evening. How about you?…
The Yankees completed a three-game series sweep over the Orioles in Baltimore with a convincing 10-2 victory on Wednesday. CC Sabathia continued his recent hot streak (hasn’t lost since July 28th), and became the AL’s first 16-game winner.
There were three games of importance tonight:
Yankees 10, Orioles 2
Rays 8, Red Sox 5
Mariners 3, Angels 0
The outcomes meant that the Yankees increased their lead in the AL East to 7 games over the Red Sox, and best record in the AL to 6 ½ games over the Angels. It’s tough to gloat at this point in the season because the thought of Gene Mauch and the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies is never too far from memory. But I am pleased with where the Yankees are at this point in the season.
Walter Iooss, Jr/SI
The latest series sweep by the Yankees was very convincing. It featured a stellar pitching performance by Andy Pettitte, whose attempt for a perfect game was disrupted on an error by third base Jerry Hairston, Jr. A.J. Burnett continued his impression of an injured Chien-Ming Wang, but Yankee homers came to the rescue. Finally, it was the combination of Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez that secured the sweep.
The Yankees are 72-33 since A-Rod returned from hip surgery, and it’s starting to look like he may not need additional surgery after the season. Tonight, he notched his 2,500th career hit, and paced the Yankees with 4 RBI’s.
In an interesting stat, Eric Hinske has only 14 hits since he joined the Yankees, but 7 of those hits have been home runs including one tonight.
Derek Jeter now stands 9 career hits behind the legendary Lou Gehrig for the most career hits with the Yankees. Larrupin’ Lou had 2,721 hits, while DJ has 2,713. Admittedly, it is bittersweet to see another Gehrig mark fall, but I am happy for Jeter. I am sure that Lou would be standing and clapping when Derek gets his 2,722nd hit.
There are reports that Mariano Rivera will miss the next few games with a slight groin injury. That hurts just to type it! Hopefully, it isn’t too serious and he’s back soon. Meanwhile, the other guys in the pen will need to step it up. Hughes, I am not talking about you!
There’s a chance that Brett Gardner will be back in uniform by the Rays’ series. His hustle and ‘all-out’ style of play have been missed despite the Yankees’ continued success.
The Yankees begin a four-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Thursday. The scheduled starter is Chad Gaudin. It is anticipated that Sergio Mitre will pitch Sunday, so I can’t say that I am overly optimistic about the upcoming series. At first pass, I’d have to say that I’ll be pleased with a split. On Monday (Labor Day), the Yankees will open a four-game set with the Scott Kazmir-less Tampa Bay Rays. They’ll play two on Labor Day to get things started. So, it isn’t going to get any easier for the next week. I am sure that my friend Julia in Boston is licking her chops…
What is it with ex-Red Sox pitchers? They stink it up in Boston, and then go to the National League and pitch lights out. John Smoltz struck out 9 batters in his first start with the St. Louis Cardinals. Tonight, Brad Penny pitched eight scoreless innings for the San Francisco Giants to defeat the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. Considering that the Giants are my team in the NL, I am pleased for the performance considering that the Giants are neck-and-neck with the Colorado Rockies for the wild card chase. I also liked the anti-Dodger comments that ex-Dodger Penny made. Given that he has made some disparaging comments about the Florida Marlins, I wonder how long before he rips into the Red Sox Nation…
Based on the Red Sox pitchers success in the National League, I guess that means Nick Green will be next year’s NL Cy Young winner! LOL!
Okay, I still can’t wrap my head around Brett Favre being my team’s starting quarterback. How do you suddenly begin cheering for a guy that you “hated” for 16 years. How many times did you think your team was going to win, only to see Favre throw a last second TD to pull out a win for the Pack? I’ll admit that I’ve embraced Johnny Damon despite his previous employer. But then again, I always liked and respected Damon. Even as a Red Sox player, he was always very classy and professional. So, I couldn’t “hate” him. I tried to think of a Red Sox player that I wouldn’t want on the Yankees roster. The first one to come to mind is Josh Beckett. But I still think of him more as a Florida Marlin, so that doesn’t really count. Maybe David Ortiz. But I can’t help but like the guy. I have no problems with Jason Bay, and he would be welcomed to left field in the Bronx with open arms. There really isn’t anyone in any sport that I can compare to how difficult it is to see a bitter rival where your team’s colors. Plus, Favre just looks kind of funny in purple. Maybe Favre should have went to play for Dallas. Watching all those Packers-Cowboys play-off and Thanksgiving games showed that Favre had an affection for throwing to the guys with a silver star on their helmets. Nevertheless, I guess I had better get used to #4. He is not going away. Not this season at least. I remain hopeful that the final Vikings roster of 53 includes John David Booty because I still think he’s the QB of the future. But I guess this season I’d better learn to enjoy eating cheese…
Chris Polydoroff/Pioneer Press
Finally, I went to see Nickelback perform last night at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in San Jose, CA. I am a huge Nickelback fan so I had high expectations. But this was easily the best concert I’ve ever attended. Chad Kroeger is a master showman, and he definitely knows how to engage a crowd. He’s the type of guy you’d love to have a beer with, except you’d never get in a word edgewise. I was thoroughly impressed, and I recommend the Dark Horse Tour for anyone who hasn’t seen it if it is coming to a city near you. Hinder was also excellent. The concert will leave you feelin’ way too damn good…
Given that his club hits record is being assaulted, I will end this blog with a call out to Lou Gehrig. Lou, you remain the Pride of the Yankees, and you are an inspiration for the world! We will never forget you…
Posted on YouTube by RUKidding05
P.S. I know that I’ve used this video before, but it remains one of my all-time favorites…