Results tagged ‘ Brett Favre ’

Let’s Kick It Into Gear…


I don’t get it…


IDK.JPG

 


On Monday, the Yankees are totally befuddled by Max
Scherzer, but on Tuesday, they defeat annual Cy Young contender Justin
Verlander.  Monday’s game was so
disappointing.  After a lethargic
performance the previous day against Bryan Bullington and the Kansas City
Royals, they continued the lackluster offensive ways against Scherzer
and the Detroit Tigers in losing 3-1. 

 

The losing pitcher was Javier Vazquez.  While only giving up 2 runs, he threw a
startling 106 pitches in just four innings. 
At this point, the Yankees cannot depend upon Vazquez for the duration
of the season.  The inability to acquire
Cliff Lee is even more magnified today than it was the day Lee was dealt to
Texas.  The Yankees don’t have a Jeremy
Hellickson in the farm system (at least not one that’s ready to make the impact
Hellickson can for the Tampa Bay Rays). 
So, Monday’s loss, which allowed the Rays to tie the Yanks in the AL
East standings was definitely ‘advantage-Rays’. 



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Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

 

Tuesday, CC Sabathia was on the hill but things
started poorly when former Yank Austin Jackson hit a lead-off homer.  After that, CC settled in and earned his 16th
win despite another home run in the 7th (a solo dinger by Brandon
Inge) as the Yanks won, 6-2.  They merely
kept pace with the Rays, who also won, along with the charging Boston Red Sox
who also emerged victorious. 



New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (l.) receives a hand pound from Derek Jeter during a seven-inning, nine strikeout outing that gave Sabathia his 16th win of the season.

Sipkin/NY Daily News

 

This game was about how much Brett Gardner means to
the Yankees offense when he is hitting. 
As long as he can get on base, things happen.  He scored a run in the bottom of the first on
Nick Swisher’s single, and he doubled in the 6th when any other
Yankee would not have made it past first base. 
He subsequently scored on Derek Jeter’s single. 

 

The Yankees have their share of injury woes, with
Alex Rodriguez and Lance Berkman in the dreaded DTD status.  Despite the recent offensive woes, hopefully,
the team can build upon today’s win to put together a nice winning streak. 

 

I would be remiss for not acknowledging the passing
of legend Bobby Thomson.  What baseball
fan who appreciates the history of the game hasn’t heard the famed “Shot Heard ‘Round
the World”?  His home run in the decisive
1951 play-off game with the Brooklyn Dodgers gave the New York Giants the NL
Pennant (“The Giants win the Pennant! 
The Giants win the Pennant!”).  The
team would go on to lose to the Yankees in the World Series, but there is no
doubt that Thomson’s home run was one of the greatest in major league
history.



AP  

 

In my usual off-topic comment, it appears that
Brett Favre will be quarterbacking the Minnesota Vikings in 2010.   He flew to Minnesota today, and an
announcement regarding his decision is forthcoming.  However, close friend, kicker Ryan Longwell, is
saying that Favre has decided to return (surprise, surprise).  The only person that’s probably disappointed
is Tavaris Jackson, but T-Jack should be ready if Favre falters.  If I were the Vikings GM, I’d be on the phone
trying to deal QB Sage Rosenfels.   I’d
like to see the Vikings give the third QB slot to rookie Joe Webb.  Is it really time for football again?  Wow, this has been an incredibly fast
off-season.  It seems like just yesterday
that Favre should have just ran instead of trying to throw in the loss to the
New Orleans Saints…



Brett Favre

AP Photo/The Star Tribune, David Joles

 

–Scott

It Is High, It is Far, It is GONE!…



Finally!…


 


It seemed like an eternity, but Alex Rodriguez
finally did it.  With a huge weight
lifted off the Yankees Universe, A-Rod went deep early today against the
Toronto Blue Jays to bring his career home run total to 600.  So, hats off to Alex for his huge
accomplishment…


 


I saw one of his comments that when he thinks “small”,
he usually comes up “big”.  Obviously,
when he thinks big, the results were microscopic so I am just glad to get this
one behind us.  The rest of the team
seemed to lower themselves to the level of A-Rod’s slump in losing three
straight games prior to today.  The home
run, a two-run blast, gave the Yankees the runs they would need to win in the
5-1 victory. 



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Aristide Economopoulos/The Star Ledger

 


It was a solid pitching performance by Phil Hughes
who previously couldn’t get away with a single bad pitch.  He fared much better today, so hopefully, the
results will help propel Hughes to the form he held earlier in the season. 



David Pokress/MCT

 

Also, congratulations to Joba Chamberlain for
another solid outing (a scoreless 7th inning).  And what can you say about Mariano
Rivera
?  In a non-save situation, he
lowered his season ERA to 0.91.  I can’t
say that I was fortunate to see very many Yankee legends, but you can put Mo
into that category.  With a storied
franchise that has won 27 World Series Championships, he has been the franchise’s
best at his position and one of the all-time greats.  When he retires, his number will be retired
because of Jackie Robinson, however, it is certainty that it will be a dual
retirement to include Mo. 



 


Chan Ho Park is now an ex-Yankee as he was claimed
on waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates.  It’s
unfortunate that Park couldn’t re-capture the form he displayed with the
Philadelphia Phillies, but I wish him the best in Pittsburgh.



 


The Yankees are off on Thursday, and await their
bitter rival, the Boston Red Sox, on Friday. 
It is a four game set that will feature Javier Vazquez, CC Sabathia,
A.J. Burnett, and Dustin Moseley. 
Moseley against Josh Beckett on Sunday looks like a mismatch, but stranger
things have happened.  It should be a
good series.  Boston needs to take 3 of 4
or sweep the series, otherwise, they’ll have a long road to October.  For the series, my friend, Julia (of Julia’s
Rants
) and I are engaging in yet another wager. 
This time, the loser has to wear the opposing team’s cap in photos to be
posted on both blogs.  I say that at
least five (5) photos must be posted, so I’ll see if Julia accepts that offer
or wants to up the ante.  I have also
taken it a step further to say that I’ll have photos of me in a Boston cap AND
t-shirt should the Yankees lose (which, of course, I do not expect them to
do).  If the teams split the series, the
team with the most total runs for the series will be the winner. 



 


After ESPN ran continual stories about the career
of Brett Favre, now comes word that perhaps he really isn’t ready to
retire.  I wish the media would just
delete the name ‘Brett Favre’ from their database until the Minnesota Vikings
make an official announcement either way. 
I really don’t want to go through another round of ‘will he, won’t he’…



AP

 

Bring on the Red Sox!…


–Scott


A Man’s Got To Believe In Something; I Believe I’ll Have Another Drink…


Conceding first place…


 


To be in first place, you have to play like you
want to be champions.  Unfortunately, the
Yankees have played like anything but since their weekend acquisitions of
Austin Kearns, Lance Berkman and Kerry Wood. 
I thought the moves were meant to upgrade the roster.  Instead, the life of the team has been
sapped.



 


Of course, at the forefront, is the enigma known as
Alex Rodriguez.  For a guy who is
supposed to eventually assault Barry Bonds’ all-time home run record, he has
made trying to get a single home run so incredibly painful to watch.  The paparazzi are constantly following A-Rod
in anticipation of the 600th home run, but it has proved to be a
long and winding road.   



 


Tonight, the Toronto Blue Jays pummeled the
Yankees, 8-2.  The Yanks took an early
2-0 lead on a Mark Teixeira home run in the first, but then, the bats went
silent.  A-Rod posted another 0-fer,
going 0-for-3 with a strikeout.



Alex Rodriguez, after strikeout, 8/3/10 (Farrell)

Tim Farrell/The Star Ledger


 

I am not sure what it is going to take to snap the
team out of its current funk, but the Tampa Bay Rays have the easiest schedule
for the remainder of the season and now sole possession of first place.  With arguably the best pitching rotation in
baseball, they won’t be losing too many games so the Yanks chances for winning
the division definitely took a turn for the worst with this past weekend’s
series loss to the Rays. 



Jason Bartlett leaps over a sliding Minnesota Twins Michael Cuddyer as Bartlett throws to first to turn a game-ending double play Monday night.

Dirk Shadd/St. Petersburg Times

 


There are reports that Brett Favre is finally
calling it a career, which leaves the Minnesota Vikings with Tavaris Jackson
and Sage Rosenfels at QB.  Suddenly, a
potential NFC Championship rematch between the Vikings and the New Orleans
Saints doesn’t look so likely.  With
Favre out of the picture, I’d have to say the Green Bay Packers, with Aaron
Rodgers, are the best of the NFC North. 
If there is anything gained by Favre’s decision (if true), it is that
his off-season indecisiveness will no longer impact the team’s plans.  I hope that T-Jack learned under Favre last
season, but I can’t say that I am overly optimistic.



MINNESOTA VIKINGS - Tavaris Jackson and Gus Frerotte (not pictured) were a tandem act in 2008. The Vikings added Sage Rosenfels and are pursuing Brett Favre because questions linger regarding Jackson's ability to take over.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

 


This is definitely a ‘glass is half empty’
post.  I guess I had better close it out
while I am behind…



 

–Scott

All Better!…

 

It was a dream…

 

 


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Yes, that’s it!  Wednesday and Thursday did not happen.  The Tampa Bay Rays didn’t come into the Bronx and spank for the Yankees for two days.  They didn’t race to their 30th win of the season and show a superior starting rotation , did they? 

 

 

Tampa's James Shields allows three earned runs in 7-1/3 innings against the New York Yankees.

Antonelli/NY Daily News

 

 

Maybe if I go back to bed, when I get up it will be Wednesday morning, the Yankees can re-do those two forgettable days.  Seriously, the Rays didn’t just beat the Yanks, they stomped them.  The final scores are deceiving (10-6 and 8-6) only because the Yankees made it close in the final inning of each game. 

 

The games told me that the Rays need to do something about their bullpen, but otherwise, they are a complete team.  Given the injury trouble the Yanks have encountered, it’s tough to compete with the Rays when you are playing at about 80% strength.  That’s not an excuse though because the Yankees starting pitching was just, well, bad.

 

 

Rays celebrate Yankees

Kevin R. Wexler/The Record

 

Hopefully, the Yankees can re-group and play more competitive baseball the next time they face the Rays.  This has been a tough stretch but it was bound to happen with the adversity the team has faced (injuries, playing every day, added pressure on schedule caused by rainout in Detroit and subsequent double-header, etc.).

 

In both games, the Yankees did try to launch 9th inning rallies, scoring 4 runs in the first game and 2 runs in the 2nd.  It was not quite enough, but at least the team showed fight until the end. 

 

 

 

Tonight, the Yankees were in Flushing Meadow to face the New York Mets at CitiField.  After facing the Rays and Red Sox, it is probably a welcome relief to see the Mets who have struggled this year. 

 

It was a great night for Javier Vazquez until a hand injury ended his night.  With, by far, his best performance of the season (6 innings of one hit, no run ball and 6 strikeouts), Javy picked up his third win of the season.  He was at home in a National League ballpark.  The argument is that he is a better NL pitcher than AL, and on this night, he proved it.  Hopefully, the hand injury is not serious, and this start catapults Vazquez back to respectability with Yankees fans.  I know that he can pitch so much better than what he has regardless of the stadium location, so if he can right himself mentally, he’ll be okay and will provide the lift the rotation needs. 

 

 

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Kevin P. Coughlin/McClatchy

 

 

In addition to Javy, the star of the game was a name not many people know,  Kevin Russo.  The infielder was recently called up from the minors, and his double in the 7th inning scored Nick Swisher and Francisco Cervelli.

 

 

 

 

 

I was a bit concerned when Joe Girardi called on Joba Chamberlain in the bottom of the 7th, but he did his job.  Joba, who I blamed for the losses to the Twins on Sunday and Red Sox on Tuesday, was very effective.  He went 1 2/3 innings and had three timely strike outs.  Now, Mariano Rivera is a different story.  He continues to struggle.  The shut-out was lost when Jason Bay and Ike Davis hit back-to-back doubles.  But he settled down to get David Wright on a ground out to end the game.  The Yankees won, 2-1.

 

The night was further enhanced by Boston and Tampa losses.  The Philadelphia Phillies beat the Red Sox, 5-1, while the Houston Astros defeated the Rays, 2-1. 

 

 

 

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Steven M. Falk/Philly.com

 

Speaking of the Red Sox, the Yankees have signed minor league utility player Jeff Natale who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2005.  The 27-year-old heads for Scranton/Wilkes Barre.  It was also interesting to see three former Yankee relievers in the transactions column within the past day.  Chad Gaudin was released by the Oakland A’s, who also outrighted Edwar Ramirez to AAA Sacramento, while the Washington Nationals placed Brian Bruney on waivers (which he has cleared).  From World Series ring to what have you done for me lately…hopefully, the guys will re-surface in the bigs in the not-so-distant future.

 

 

Michael Stobe/US Presswire

 

It’s almost over for my San Jose Sharks.  They lost tonight in overtime to fall down 3 games to none to the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL Western Conference Finals.  I think I hear the fat lady warming up her vocal cords…  L

 

Nhat V. Meyer/Mercury News

 

 

 

So, Brett Favre has told the Southern Mississippi baseball team that he’ll return to the Minnesota Vikings if they make the College World Series.  Also, it was reported today that Brett had surgery on his left ankle and could be ready to play by training camp.  I’ve suspected all along that he’ll be back.  The team has been too nonchalant and these latest reports are signs that Brett intends to play.  It still remains to be seen, but it is looking like we’ll see an encore performance by #4 in purple and gold.  I am sure Tavaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels are thrilled…

 

 

Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune

 

 

Hey Javy, nice job!  J

 

Yankee pitcher Javier Vazquez allows just one hit over six innings, while rookie Keven Russo (below) collects his two RBI on his first big-league hit Friday.

Simmons/NY Daily News

Hahaha!…I Love It!…

 

It was in the Wall Street Journal so it must be true!…

 

 


So True.JPG 

 

Ask my friend Julia who the most hated team in baseball is and I’m sure she will point towards the Bronx.  Sorry Julia!  According to the Wall Street Journal, the Cleveland Indians are the most hated team followed closely by…the Boston Red Sox!

 

 

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The Yankees may have finished fifth on the list (created by Nielsen Co. using an Internet algorithm), but they were better than the Red Sox (of course!) and that’s all that really matters!  The Boston Red Sox, more despised than the New York Yankees.  Ah, what a great feeling!  Just sayin’…  J

 

 

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Nice recovery by the Yankees in Baltimore.  After dropping the first game of the series in pathetic fashion, they rebounded to take the final two games by scores of 8-3 and 4-0, respectively. 

 

In the first win, the Yankees rode a season high 15 hits to victory.  CC Sabathia was off his game somewhat as he gave up 11 hits in 7 2/3 innings, but he only allowed 3 runs. 

 

 

Mark Theiler/EPA

 

 

Robinson Cano, off to a blazing start this season, homered in the third.  Like many people, I felt that this was going to be a huge year for Cano, particularly moving up to 5th in the batting order behind Alex Rodriguez.  So far, he has not disappointed.

 

 

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Mike Ricigliano/Baltimore Sun

 

The game wasn’t all smiles as the Yankees did lose catcher Jorge Posada in the second inning with a right knee contusion after he was hit by a pitch.  He won’t miss much time but he’ll be sore for a few days. 

 

 

New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada (r.) walks with Joe Girardi after getting hit by Oriole's pitcher Jeremy Guthrie on Wednesday.

Burton/AP

 

Tonight, the Yankees were led by the brilliant pitching of A.J. Burnett and the continued hot hitting of Robinson Cano.  Cano, with an AL-leading batting average of .407, hit his 7th and 8th home runs of the season in the fourth and eighth innings.  With Cano’s scorching bat, it’s too bad that A-Rod and Mark Teixeira aren’t hitting at the plate.  When they get going, the Yankees are going to be very hard to stop.  Sorry Julia!

 

 

Yankees' Robinson Cano

Mark Theiler/EPA

 

After Burnett left (8 innings, 3 hits, no runs, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts, with only one base runner getting past second base), the great Mariano Rivera finished up in a non-save opportunity.

 

It was a long road trip that saw the Yankees’ series win streak snapped in Anaheim, but they finished strong with the series win in Baltimore and an overall winning record (5-4).  Now, if somebody could just beat the Tampa Bay Rays.

 

 

Third base coach Tom Foley fist bumps Jason Bartlett after a triple to right field, which scored two runs in the second inning.

James Borchuck/St. Petersburg Times

 

 

The Yankees head back to the Bronx to face the Chicago White Sox in a weekend series. Hopefully, Javier Vazquez will get going against his former teammates.  It’s time for him to get the Yankee fans behind him, and start pitching like he is capable of. 

 

 

 

Off-topic alert!

 

It is no secret that I was disappointed the Minnesota Vikings passed on a quarterback of the future in the recent NFL Draft (when they could have selected Jimmy Clausen or Colt McCoy).  They did draft a QB in the sixth round (UAB’s Joe Webb) but he is targeted for a position switch to wide receiver.  They signed undrafted free agent QB R.J. Archer of William & Mary, but the most intriguing player is QB Ryan Perrilloux.  Ryan has been given a tryout during this weekend’s mini-camp.  He was highly touted coming out of high school in 2005.  He was considered the top prospect at the position, along with current New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez.  He went to LSU, where he played behind Oakland Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell.  Off-the-field transgressions and violation of team rules led to his suspension and subsequent ouster from the school.  He transferred to Jacksonville State where he had a largely unnoticed but successful career. 

 

 

Todd Kirkland/Icon SMI

 

I don’t know what happened at LSU, but Ryan appears to have learned from the errors in his past.  I do believe in character and attitude first, but he deserves a second chance assuming that he truly has “righted the ship”.  He shares an agent (Bus Cook) with Vikings QB Brett Favre, which may have led to the tryout with the Vikings.  He has also been seen practicing with Favre this off-season.  I wish Ryan the very best in his tryout and I hope to see both him and Favre on the field for the Vikings this fall. 

 

I hope everyone has a super fantastic weekend…including Ryan!  :)

 

–Scott

 

Thus Endeth The Streak…

 

He gave up two home runs and a total of four runs, and four walks over 5 1/3 innings…

 

 


Wondering.JPG 

…and got the win.  Unfortunately, it was Scott Kazmir of the Los Angeles Angels and not Javier Vazquez of the New York Yankees.  Javy had worse line (5 hits, 5 runs and 3 walks in 3 2/3 innings).  This isn’t exactly what GM Brian Cashman was looking for when he traded for Vazquez in the off-season.  Perhaps the Yankees should have stayed with a ‘been there, done that’ approach and left Vazquez in Atlanta.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know who’ll get the biggest boos when the team returns to Yankee Stadium.  Javy is now 1-3 for the season, with an ERA of 9.00, after today’s 8-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

 

 

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Jacob de Golish/Getty Images

 

The loss also ended the Yankees streak of series wins to start the season.  Tied with the 1926 Yankees for the best start to the season with series wins, the 2010 missed a chance to take the record for themselves.  The Angels took two of three, also winning Friday night’s game.  The only Yankees win was Saturday’s 7-1 win behind a terrific performance by Andy Pettitte. 

 

 

Yankees Angels Baseball

 

If Vazquez has competition for boos at home, it will come from reliever Damaso Marte.  The game was still close (5-4) with Marte on the mound today.  With Yankee killer Kendry Morales at the plate, manager Joe Girardi thought about lifting Marte.  He left the dugout but changed his mind on the way to the mound and turned around.  Morales subsequently pounded a three-run homer to give the Angels their margin of victory.

 

 

Yankees Angels Baseball

 

If I can take away any positives from today’s game, it was that Angels DH Hideki Matsui did not collect his 1,000th career hit against his former team.

 

 

 

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Andrew Gombert/EPA

 

 

I am sure that somewhere far, far away, someone is enjoying the Yankees loss on her birthday…

 


Julia.JPG 

 

Happy Birthday to my friend, Julia!  By the way, how did the Celtics and Red Sox do for you today?  ;)  Sports aside, I hope it was a great day for you!

 

 

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I felt Friday night’s collision at home between Mark Teixeira and Angels catcher Bobby Wilson was clean albeit quite unfortunate.  It left Wilson with an ankle injury and a concussion.  Baseball can be a violent game and Teixeira was focused on scoring.  I know that there is probably no one who feels worse about what happened than Teixeira.  Well, perhaps Wilson himself.  Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery by Bobby Wilson!

 

 

Mark Teixeira

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

 

Monday the Yankees will head to Washington to meet with President Obama at the White House.  Then, it’s off to Baltimore for a three-game set in Oriole Park at Camden Yards.  At 12-6, the Yankees are in second place, 1 ½ games behind the Tampa Bay Rays….but 4 ½ games ahead of the fourth place Boston Red Sox.

 

Tim Wakefield tips his cap to the...

AP

 

The NFL Draft has finally concluded.  I am not a fan of the new format (Round 1 Thursday night; Rounds 2-3 Friday night; and Rounds 4-7 Saturday).  I definitely prefer the previous Saturday-Sunday format much better. 

 

As a fan of the Minnesota Vikings, I was a bit underwhelmed with this year’s draft.  With the 30th pick in the first round, I thought the Vikings were in great shape to draft Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen, but they opted to trade down with the Detroit Lions.  With the pick, the Lions were able to grab RB Jahvid Best who will definitely help improve Detroit’s running game.  In Detroit’s slot (second pick of the second round), the Vikings again passed on Clausen and went with Virginia cornerback Chris Cook.  Later in the second round, the Vikings traded up with the Houston Texans and drafted Stanford RB Toby Gerhart.  I can’t dispute the Vikings needed secondary help, and after losing RB Chester Taylor through free agency to the Chicago Bears, the Vikings needed a backup for Adrian Peterson.  But…

 

 

Tom Olmscheid/AP

 

I personally thought this would be a great year for the Vikings to draft a “Quarterback of the Future”.  Assuming that Brett Favre returns for at least one more year, he would have been the perfect mentor for a young QB.  The Vikings did draft a QB in the sixth round (Joe Webb from UAB), but he will most likely transition to Wide Receiver in the NFL (assuming he makes it, of course). The Vikings also signed undrafted free agent QB R.J. Archer of William & Mary but he’s nothing more than training camp fodder.  I guess I have something to look forward to in next year’s NFL Draft…

 

 

 

 

Welcome to California!…

 

The Yankees are in town and I’m writing this blog…

 

 

Computer.JPG

 

Yes, I am missing out on the first game of the Yankees series in Oakland against the A’s.  Well, I don’t exactly live in Oakland but I am only a BART trip away.  I will be at the game tomorrow night when Phil Hughes pitches.  Hopefully, the weather will cooperate.  This morning started out with nothing but rain.  It didn’t look promising, but it has been clear most of the afternoon so we’ll soon find out if Javier Vazquez has finally brought his A game with him.  Good luck to Javy and company as the Yanks look to get the West Coast road trip started on a positive note. 

 

 

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Don’t look now but who was that?  Like a blur, and despite the Yankees fourth series win in four tries, the team now finds themselves chasing the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East Standings.  The Rays beat Boston to complete a four game sweep on Monday, which put the idle Yankees ½ game back.  Tampa definitely has the pitching to sustain their perch, so this is going to be a dogfight throughout the summer.  I am sure that, sooner or later, the Boston Red Sox will decide to join the party too.

 

 

Rays Red Sox Baseball

Michael Dwyer/AP

 

Prior to tonight’s game, former Yankees and current A’s Chad Gaudin and Edwar Ramirez received their World Series rings.  I had definitely hoped that the Yankees could have found a way to keep Gaudin, but I am sure that he’s glad to be back with a club where he can grow his standard goatee or whatever you call that growth on his chin.

 

 

Yankees Athletics Baseball

 

So, the Yankees have a detour on their way to Baltimore following the conclusion of the weekend series in Anaheim.   They are scheduled to stop by the White House on Monday to see President Barack Obama on a scheduled off day.  The next day, they’ll begin a series against the young and talented Baltimore Orioles.  It should be an exciting time for the World Champions.  Hopefully, they will have just finished a successful California adventure!

 

 

 

 

I am not sure what I think about the schedule for this year’s NFL Draft.  In years past, it was always fun to get up early Saturday morning and watch the first 10 picks.  The rest of the day, I’d listen to the draft on the car radio or other medium.  On Sunday, I’d usually check in to see some of the later names selected.  This year will be very strange with the first round being held Thursday night.  Since it starts while I am still at work, I probably won’t get home until around the 5th or 6th selection.  Rounds 2 and 3 are Friday night, and the draft concludes on Saturday.  I will hold judgment until after the draft, but I am a bit skeptical.  We’ll see.

 

My team, the Minnesota Vikings, will open the NFL Season on Thursday, September 9th against the New Orleans Saints in a rematch of the NFC Championship Game.  Hey Brett (assuming you return), run, don’t throw! 

 

 

Saints D

Mark Humphrey/AP 

 

It was sad to hear the passing of the Colorado Rockies president Keli McGregor.  He was found dead in a hotel room in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Initial speculation is that the death was the result of natural causes.  At 48 years of age, this is quite unexpected.  My thoughts and prayers go out to Keli’s wife, Lori, and their four children. 

 

 

DENVER - OCTOBER 15:  Team President of the Colorado Rockies, Keli McGregor celebrates in the locker room after the Rockies 6-4 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks during Game Four of the National League Championship Series at Coors Field on October 15, 2007 in Denver, Colorado.

Getty Images

1 Game Down, 161 Games To Go…

 

We’re off to the races…

 

 

It was Game 1 of 162 tonight as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox kicked off the 2010 season on a warm night at Fenway Park.  After a cold and rainy day in Northern California, I turned on the TV to ESPN and was surprised to see it was 67 degrees at game time.  I had not checked out the weather forecast, and had expected to see a game played in the 30′s or 40′s.  It sounds like the warm weather will stay through the duration of the three game series.  Hopefully, the Yankees can keep things hot at Fenway (well, maybe not tonight but there’s still two games to play)…

 

 

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The night got off to a great start for new Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson.  In the bottom half of the first inning, he recorded the first out of the Yankees season by catching a fly out by Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury.  Then, in the top of the 2nd inning, after Jorge Posada had hit a liner off the foul pole in right for a home run, Curtis hit the first ‘no doubt about it’ home run of the season to put New York up 2-0, his first official at-bat as a Yankee.

 

 

Yankees centerfielder Curtis Granderson gets congratulated by Nick Swisher after homering in the second inning in Boston.   (AP)

AP

 

Speaking of impressive beginnings, not-so-new Yankee but new left fielder Brett Gardner showed why the team has shown faith in him.  After reaching base in the fourth, Gardner advanced to third and later scored on a double steal.  His speed on base is a difference maker so if he can continue to hit, this could be the beginning of a great season.  Not bad for the shortest guy on the team.  Long live short guys!  ;)

 

 

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On the downside, the short guy didn’t look so good in the 5th inning when his throw home was way off line, allowing two rather than just one runner to advance into scoring position.  Fortunately, no damage was done aside from the run that scored during the errant throw.  Still, Gardner is going to have to work on his play in left and adjust to the angles. 

 

Neither starting pitcher figured into the outcome of the game.  Josh Beckett was chased early (in the 5th), but CC Sabathia met the same fate the next inning.  Clearly, neither has the stamina they will have in August.  But bullpen to bullpen, I like the Yankees chances.  Last year at this time, there were few reliable arms in the pen outside of the great Mariano Rivera.  It took several months until Joe Girardi was able to make some moves that gelled.  This year, the pen is a strength from top to bottom.  Boston’s pen does scare me if Daniel Bard realizes his potential, but until then, the Yankees have a chance against the Boston relievers. 

 

Tonight was not meant to be for the Yankees bullpen as the Red Sox rallied for the 9-7 victory.  The primary culprits were Chan Ho Park and David Robertson, although Jorge Posada figured into the equation with what should have been a passed ball.  Still, I think the Yankees bullpen will be a strength over the course of the season.  Joba Chamberlain gave up a run, but I fully expect him to thrive in the 8th inning role and grab it permanently over the course of the next month or so.  As the ESPN announcers related, Joba throws with a sense of urgency in a relief role, and that was missing during his time as a starter.  Chamberlain-to-Rivera should be a good combo in later games.   I loved Rivera-to-Wettleland, so hopefully, Chamberlain-to-Rivera can become equally as good if not better.

 

I know, Julia is ahead 1-0 with the advantage in our latest wager.   Congratulations to her for the Game 1 victory.  On the bright side, we still have 161 more games before anything is decided. 

 

 

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Hats off to Dustin Pedroia for his play in tonight’s Red Sox victory.  I admit that he has the heart of a lion, and Boston is very fortunate to have such a great second baseman.

 

 

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Boone Logan found out it’s not good to be the 25th man, when he was optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre prior to today’s game to make room for outfielder Marcus Thames. 

 

Leading up to the Opener, I heard constant reminders of Aaron Boone’s home run to win the 2003 American League Championship Series against the Red Sox.  Boston got its revenge a year later, but Boone will forever be defined by that home run.  Actually that’s rather silly in mind given that he spent over six years in Cincinnati as a Red, compared to a couple of months in 2003 as a Yankee.  He also played with the Cleveland Indians, Florida Marlins, Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.  Given that Boston did win the following year, I don’t think Boone’s home run will stand the test of time like Bucky Dent’s 1978 home run.  Nevertheless, it continues to be the hit people talk about when his name comes up.  

 

 

Aaron Boone's pennant-winning home run in the 11th inning of the 2003 ALCS lifts the Yankees into the World Series ...

Druckman/AP

 

In a trade that surprised me, the Washington Redskins acquired quarterback Donovan McNabb from the Philadelphia Eagles.  You never expect a team to trade with a bitter division rival and that’s exactly what transpired today.  Now, the Eagles will face McNabb twice a year.  The Eagles did not get the first round pick they were seeking, but did secure a second round pick in this year’s draft and either a third or fourth round pick next year.  I thought that McNabb would have fit well with the Minnesota Vikings since they play a similar scheme to the Eagles, but perhaps the Vikings’ lack of interest is a sign that Brett Favre will return this summer. 

 

 

AP

 

I hope everyone had a very happy and enjoyable Easter!

 

 

–Scott

 

 

Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!…

Less than a week until the Yankees travel to 4 Yawkey Way…

 

 


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My nemesis last year was Julia of Julia’s Rants.  The season started so great for her as the Boston Red Sox took the first eight games of the season series against the Yankees.  For a time, it seemed as though the Yankees would never get a win.  But then along came August, and the tide turned.  Led by hip-rejuvenated Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees captured all but one of the remaining games in the series enroute to their 27th World Championship. 

 

 

AP 

 

There was hope that Julia and I could face one another in the ALCS but John Lackey and the Los Angeles Angels had other ideas.  Of course, after the season, Theo and the Red Sox decided that if you can’t beat him, sign him as they inked Lackey to a five-year deal to be their number 2 starter.  I know that Josh Beckett is the ace of the staff, but if I were building a franchise, I’d pass on Beckett and Lackey and go with Jon Lester. 

 

 

Barry Chin/Boston Globe

 

 

Still it was gratifying to beat Julia and to enjoy the success of a championship season (my seventh as a Yankees fan).  Conversely, I am 0-for-lifetime as a fan of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.  If only Brett Favre had just tucked the ball and ran…

 

 

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

 

Here we are ready for a new season, and the battle between Julia and I gets off to a very early start.  I was listening to an interview with Boston beat writer Ian Browne and someone asked him if it was too early for Yankees-Red Sox.  His response was that it could be January 19th and a foot of snow on the ground and it wouldn’t be too early.  Precisely!  Granted, it’s your final record that determines whether you’ll see October, but the Yankees measure themselves against the Red Sox.  There is much more satisfaction in beating Boston than there is in beating, say, Kansas City.  The wins are measured the same, but still a win against the Royals just doesn’t have the same meaning.  I don’t want to offend my friends in Tampa because I know the Rays have the talent to win it all so this is not about disrespect.  However, the rivalry between the Rays and Yankees just isn’t as deep and heated as it is against the Red Sox.  There was a day that I despised the Baltimore Orioles like no other, so I am sure that the tide will eventually turn.  However, right now, as it has been for most of the past decade, baseball doesn’t get any better than Yankees-Red Sox.  As a Bay Area resident, I’ve been to Giants-Dodgers games, but they just don’t compare.

 

 

 

 

 

For our first wager, Julia and I have agreed to a book report assignment.  The winner gets to send a book of his/her choice (I know, the winner pays…go figure).  If the Yankees win, Julia gets to read and write a book report on the following book:

 

 

Dawn of a Dynasty: The Incredible and Improbable Story of the 1947 New York Yankees

 

Don’t click…this was just a cut and paste from Amazon.com!  The real thing will be making the trip to the Boston metro area to see my friend Julia!  I chose this book because it had special meaning to me.  1947 was the year that my late father graduated from high school, and it was the dawn of the great Yankees dynasty of the early 50′s.  If I could go back in time, 1927 would be my first choice so that I could watch the greatest Yankees team of all-time.  But for a second choice, given all of the great Yankees clubs in the past, 1947 would be next.  The team didn’t realize that it was on the verge of the greatest success in baseball history and it would have been fun to see the excitement and enthusiasm of those early years. 

 

Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio - 1947 AL

AP

 

Yeah Joe, you can smile a little larger!  You’ll be getting over on that dude next to you!  :)

 

If I lose (c’mon, Carsten Charles Sabathia, don’t let me down!), I will have to read one of Julia’s favorites:

 

 

 

 

I like Julia’s essays, so I am pulling for my favorite MLB Blogger!  Go Julia!  Lose to the Yankees and write that book report!  As Rob Schneider would say, ‘C’mon, you CAN do it!’.  ;)

 

 

 

Courtesy:  Julia’s Rants

 

 

Congratulations to Ian Kennedy for being named to the starting rotation for the Arizona Diamondbacks.  I was very frustrated at times with Kennedy and his attitude when he was with the Yankees, but I do hope that he finds success.  It wasn’t that long ago when his name was mentioned in the same breath as Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes.  Also, hats off to the Detroit Tigers newly named starting center fielder Austin Jackson.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy seeing Curtis Granderson in center field for the Yankees.  But I will also wonder ‘what could have been’ with Ajax.  He made me a believer with the way he tattooed a home run a couple of years ago in spring training.  Granted, he is not a home run hitter, but he has that “it” quality people talk about. Having Johnny Damon as your personal mentor is not a bad thing so long as Damon doesn’t wear that freakin’ 2004 ring!  ;)

 

 

Andrew Mills/The Star Ledger/US Presswire

 

 

I was also glad to see Chad Gaudin land with the local Oakland A’s.  It is his second go-around with the A’s, and I think he’ll thrive in their bullpen.  I am only a BART trip away from the A’s Stadium, so I am sure that I’ll be there a time or two to see how he progresses in his return.

 

Getty Images

 

Is this really the last season of 24?  Wow, those were eight fast years!  On the bright side, you know that they can’t kill off Jack Bauer.  Not with the proposed movie deals in the works…

 

 


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How could Jesse James cheat on Sandra Bullock?  I don’t get it.  She is perhaps one of the most beautiful and inspirational actresses of my lifetime.

 

 


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I know, I’m getting way off topic. Sorry.  I’ll close with saying that I am pulling for Crystal Bowersox on American Idol!  Go Crystal!  Keep up what you are doing.  You are special!

 

 


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Winn, Lose, or Draw…

After a month of no news or action, the Randy Winn signing was a bit underwhelming…

 

 

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All off-season, Yankees fans everywhere have yearned for the return of fan favorite Johnny Damon.  Perfectly suited for left field in the new Yankee Stadium, it seemed, at least initially, as though the two sides would eventually come together.

 

 

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Yet, as we approach February, the link between Damon and the Yankees is irreparably damaged.  I don’t blame the player and I clearly find fault with the agent, Scott Boras.  If, at one point, the Yankees were willing to pay 2 years at $14 million when Damon wanted at least 2 years at $22 million, it would seem that there was room for compromise.  However, neither side actively pursued resolution and now the team has clearly moved on.

 

 

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It’s a sad situation and the Yankees will regret the move at some point this season.  Perhaps a couple of years down the road when Carl Crawford is patrolling left, it won’t get a passing thought.  But for now, we say goodbye to Damon…prematurely in my opinion.  I wish him the very best wherever he lands (even if it is in Toronto).  Thanks, Johnny, for the great memories in the Bronx!

 

 

Johnny Damon World Series Game 6 injury

William Perlman/The Star Ledger

 

 

Meanwhile, the Yankees have signed former San Francisco Giants outfielder Randy Winn.  Winn is coming off a disappointing season but he’s been a reliable player in years past.  I am very disappointed with the move and I truly hope that Brett Gardner wins the job outright in spring training.  Perhaps another signing is imminent (Reed Johnson or Rocco Baldelli?) but most likely, the Yankees have made their final player move before heading to Tampa.

 

 

 

 

It was difficult to watch Xavier Nady sign with the Chicago Cubs.  I had really hoped that if the Yankees didn’t sign Damon, they’d pursue Nady.  Maybe he regresses in his attempt to come back from an injury-filled 2009 season, but I really think he’ll have a solid season and will be one of the free agent success stories.  It was an excellent move for Lou Piniella and the Cubs.

 

 

Chris Faytok/The Star Ledger

 

Sports-wise, this has been a tough week for me.  On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings lost a heartbreaker to the New Orleans Saints.  The Vikings had their chances but it was not meant to be.  As Buster Olney put it, you expect to win as a Vikings fan but you are conditioned to lose.  I am not optimistic about next season if the starting QB is either Tavaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels so this was definitely the lost opportunity of a lifetime.  It was more painful than the loss in the 1998 NFC Championship to the Atlanta Falcons.

 

 

Brett Favre and the Vikings came up short in the NFC Championship with another heartbreaking loss.

Morry Gash/AP

 

So far, 2010 has not been a great year for my sports teams but there is still much time for a major turnaround.  Sorry Julia!  I do not intend to lose to you this year…in any sport!

 

 


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