Results tagged ‘ Cavaliers ’

Where do we go from here?…

Glass is starting to look half empty…

I remember back at the start of the year when there was about one dominant cycle through the starting rotation of CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka.  At the time, I was very optimistic about the team’s chances, particularly if the new acquisitions like Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran hit like they always had.  But fast forward to July, the team is playing .500 baseball and as Michael Kay said on a recent YES network broadcast, Hiroki Kuroda is “the last man standing”.  One moment, Masahiro Tanaka was the pride of the Yankees…most wins for an AL starter, an All-Star selection, league leader in ERA, front-runner for Rookie of the Year, but then the next moment, after a couple of non-quality starts, it’s learned that he has a slight tear an elbow ligament that will sideline him for six weeks.  While it is encouraging that surgery is not recommended at this time, the threat of potential Tommy John surgery is real if the rehab is not successful.

Masahiro Tanaka Masahiro Tanaka joins teammates to listen as Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees speaks at a media availability after announcing that the 2014 season will be his last before retiring at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 19, 2014 in Tampa, Florida.

Mike Carlson/Getty Images North America

With Kuroda standing as the lone original starter, the rest of the spots are starting to feel like last year’s attempts to fill first base with journeymen to replace Mark Teixeira.  Of the replacement starters, David Phelps has had the most consistency.  Others like Chase Whitley may have had greater success at times but they’ve also had the more horrific starts.  The pressure the patchwork rotation has placed on the bullpen has been immense.

The trade for Arizona Diamondbacks starter Brandon McCarthy, on the fast track for 20 losses, doesn’t improve the starting rotation but he does give them much needed innings.  The only spots in the rotation right now that provide any source of confidence are Kuroda and Phelps.  Shane Greene is the latest minor league hopeful.  Maybe he will prosper at the major league level, maybe he won’t.  It’s a tough situation when there are so many holes in the rotation.  The latest acquisition, Jeff Francis from the Oakland A’s, has not been a quality starter since his days in Colorado many years ago.  Francis appears earmarked for long relief so it is still anybody’s guess who fills the fifth spot in the rotation.  Today is Saturday and I do not know who will start for the Yankees on Sunday.  Perhaps Chase Whitley gets plugged in or they recall Bruce Billings, but neither option is overly appealing on a day, the last day before the All-Star break, that should have featured Tanaka.

I would have liked to have seen the Yankees acquire Jeff Samardzija from the Chicago Cubs before the Oakland A’s did but it’s obvious the Yankees do not have the upper level prospect and major league ready talent to make that type of deal.

I have mixed feelings about whether the Yankees should be buyers or sellers at the trading deadline.  If I felt they had a great chance for October success, then I’d be all in for sacrificing some promising talent for a run.  But I am not sure there is a move that can be made which would propel the Yankees past the Toronto Blue Jays and/or Baltimore Orioles.  Perhaps it would be better for the team to sell and pick up some younger talent for a recharge next year.

There are not any available starters in the Yankees’ price range (in terms of trade-able talent, not dollars) which make sense.  I keep hearing Cliff Lee’s name mentioned but the stars have never aligned to bring him to New York in the past and he openly spurned the Yankees when he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies.  Even if he did finally come to New York, he would not be a long-term solution.  Ian Kennedy, a former Yankee, is another name bounced around but his stuff just isn’t tailored for Yankee Stadium.  A return of A.J. Burnett?  No, thank you.

The cost of a lackluster season…

I am starting to get the sense that this will be Brian Cashman’s last year as general manager.  Maybe it is time for a change.  I’ve been watching the San Diego situation with interest as I am hopeful that Billy Eppler does not become the Padres’ new general manager.  For in-house talent to replace Cashman, Eppler is at the top of the list.  I would prefer replacing Cashman with someone who knows the inner workings of the Yankees organization and not someone from the outside who would have to go through a transition period.

AP

The All-Star break comes at a good time.  The.500 Yankees need some time to reassess where they are and regroup.  It also wouldn’t hurt to capture some good luck before they embark on the second half of the season.

The prodigal son returns home…

I am not a Cleveland Cavaliers or Miami Heat fan, but I have to say that I was pleased with LeBron James’ decision to return to his home.  The way that he rejected Cleveland with “The Decision” in 2010 to sign with the Heat was awful and he deserved the backlash that came with it.  But he has shown that he’s a better man today with his words for why he wants to return to his Northern Ohio roots.  Of today’s NBA superstars, LeBron has always been one of my favorites and I wish him the best in bringing a championship to the City by the Lake.  The Cavs should be a fun team to watch next season, particularly if they can acquire Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves.  Kyrie Irving must think that he won the jackpot with his new contract and the addition of the best player in the NBA.

Now that LeBron has decided where he’ll play next season, Carmelo Anthony should follow suit fairly soon.  Still hoping for a return to the New York Knicks…

–Scott

 

An Ace, A Legend, and a Few Mosquitoes…

 

The view from the top is excellent!

 

 

The Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians, 10-5, on Saturday to extend their AL East to 1 ½ games over the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays (the Red Sox lost to the Jays, 5-3). 

As of 5/30/09…

AL East

W

L

Pct

GB

Home

Road

Last 10

Streak

Yankees

29

20

.592

14-9

15-11

7-3

Won 3

Red Sox

28

22

.560

1.5

17-6

11-16

4-6

Lost 2

Blue Jays

29

23

.558

1.5

18-6

11-17

2-8

Won 2

Rays

25

27

.481

5.5

13-10

12-17

5-5

Won 2

Orioles

23

27

.460

6.5

16-12

7-15

7-3

Lost 1

 

The Yankees have played much better since I saw them personally in Baltimore, so maybe I am responsible for the turnaround!  Okay, that’s probably not it.  The Yankees have been a different team since Alex Rodriguez returned to the team.  Mark Teixeira started to hit like fans in Texas, Atlanta, and Anaheim had become accustomed to, and the pitching has been great. The defense, which has been a liability in recent years, has been excellent.  Saturday’s game was the Yankees’ 16th consecutive game without an error.  If they avoid any errors on Sunday, they’ll match the major league mark set by the Boston Red Sox in 2006.

 

 

Against the Indians, CC Sabathia breezed through the first few innings, not allowing a hit until the 5th inning.  The Indians scored two runs in the 5th, thanks to a few hits and RBI singles, but the Yankees had built up a 7-2 lead by that time.

 

Dejak/AP 

 

Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher hit solo home runs in the second inning.  The Yanks added five runs in the 4th inning, primarily on two-run singles by Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano.  Johnny Damon also had a run scoring single in the inning.  In the 6th, Damon picked up another RBI on a groundout to first which brought home Brett Gardner.

 

New York Yankees' Derek Jeter watches his ball after hitting a two run single off Cleveland Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona in the fourth inning

AP 

Sabathia gave up a home run to Grady Sizemore in the 6th, but you knew that Grady would be heard from sooner or later in this series (even with his sore elbow).  The guy is definitely a warrior…

 

Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer 

 

The Yankees scored a couple of runs in the 9th on a run-scoring single by Cano, and a double by Hideki Matsui that scored Cano.

David Robertson pitched a perfect 8th inning, facing just three batters.  However, Jose Veras came out for the 9th and showed that he is, well, Jose Veras.  Despite the 10-3 lead, Veras gave up a homer to the first batter he faced (Shin-Soo Choo).  He hit the next batter, Mark DeRosa, to put a man on base.  DeRosa moved to second on a groundout, and then scored on Ben Francisco’s double.  All of sudden, I started to get flashbacks of the Indians’ 7-run 9th inning to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 11-10 on May 25th.  Fortunately, Veras retired the next two batters to end the game.  Joe Girardi showed much more faith in Veras than I ever would have, but the end result was a Yankees win and adding a game to the AL East lead so all is good…

After the game, Indian manager Eric Wedge, when asked about Sabathia, responded, “He was very good tonight.  Better than he was when we saw him in New York [April 16th]”.  Hey Julia, that applies to the entire Yankees team!  See you on June 9th!  The Red Sox may be a team built for Fenway Park, but the Yankees now boast the best road record in the American League.

 

 

 

Derek Jeter now has 1,497 runs scored for his career.  There are only three active major players with 1,500 runs (Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, and Ken Griffey, Jr.).  With three more runs, he’ll join a very exclusive club of players who scored 1,500 runs as Yankees (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Mickey Mantle).

 

MPI/Getty Images 

I was surprised to see Jorge Posada catch on Saturday, given he had played on Friday night.  I expected to see Francisco Cervelli play, with Posada perhaps at DH.  Nevertheless, it sounds like Posada will take a seat in Sunday’s game when Phil Hughes faces the American Idle…

 

 

Nope, not that guy!  This one…

 

The Plain Dealer

 

Pavano has pitched fairly well for the Indians, and has already appeared in 10 games for them (as opposed to 26 in four years with the Yankees).  He has won five of his six starts this month, and has defeated AL East heavyweights Boston and Tampa.  Let’s hope his May ends on a down note…

 

 

 

It was a tough night for Cleveland as the Cavaliers were easily eliminated in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals in Orlando by the Magic.  King LeBron will have to wait at least another year for a trip to the finals.

 

Tracy Boulian/The Plain Dealer 

 

And what’s up with those mosquitoes and midges in Cleveland?…

 

Posted by pvictory on cleveland.com

A Night to Forget (at Yankee Stadium)…

All good things must come to an end…

 

Nelly Furtado.JPGPhoto: Nelly Furtado, from VH1 video “All Good Things Come To An End”

 

The Yankees’ 9-game winning streak was brought to an end by the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies at Yankee Stadium last night, as (surprise) the Phillies rode four home runs to a 7-3 victory.

 

Carlos Ruiz follows through on a two-run homer during the second inning against the New York Yankees on Friday. The Phils snapped the Yanks´ winning streak. (AP)

AP 

When Jimmy Rollins homered off A.J. Burnett to lead off the game, I knew it was probably going to be a tough night.  The next two batters, Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez, got on base with a HBP and single, respectively.  Ibanez’ single advanced Utley to third with no outs.  It looked like the Phillies were going to have a big first inning, but then A.J. struck out Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth, and induced a groundout by Shane Victorino to end the inning.  At that point, I had hope that A.J. was going to turn it around and shut the Phils down.  Unfortunately, it didn’t happen as later innings saw home runs by Carlos Ruiz, Jayson Werth, and Raul Ibanez.

 

AP

Ibanez has been a great replacement for the departed Pat Burrell, now with the Tampa Bay Rays.  I knew that Ibanez could hit when he was in Seattle, but he’s surprised me with his power so far this year (16 home runs).  He was an excellent free agent signing by the Phillies.

AP

Chien-Ming Wang, called up to work out of the pen instead of remaining in Scranton/Wilkes Barre for one more minor league start, pitched the final 3 innings.  He gave up six hits and two runs, including the Ibanez homer (which was absolutely crushed).  I guess if there’s a bright side, Wang did lower his ERA from 34.50 to 25.00…

 

Reuters

 

The Yankees did hit three home runs themselves (Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Mark Teixeira).  Unfortunately, they were the non-threatening solo variety (no men on base).

 

 

Brett Myers (4-2) was the winner, while Burnett (2-2) took the loss.  The Yankees remain in third place, a game behind the Red Sox and 1 ½ games behind the Jays as both of these teams lost too.  Right, Julia? 

I was fortunate that Johan Santana was on the mound for the Mets in their victory over the Red Sox.  The game marked the return of Daisuke Matsuzaka from the DL.  I have Dice-K on my fantasy baseball team.  He was a recent “free agent” pick-up (which still amazes me) when the owner who drafted him cut him when he placed on the DL.  Too bad Theo doesn’t make moves like that…

Julia, I couldn’t but help to notice a couple of linescores.

David Ortiz

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

LOB

AVG

4

0

0

0

0

3

4

.205

 

Ouch!  He kept swinging but there was nothing but air…

Jason Bay

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

LOB

AVG

3

0

0

0

1

1

3

.295

 

Okay, not as bad as Big Papi, but it was an “off night” for the ‘Yankees’!  ;)

Hey Jason, this is for you!  We’re getting your new home ready at 161st and River…

 

OFF-TOPIC:  THE GREAT LEBRON JAMES

 

Well, maybe it’s not off-topic.  He is a Yankees fan after all…

 

Plain Dealer

Last night’s game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic was tremendous.  The Cavs had blown a 23-point lead, and the Magic were up by two points with, oh, about a second left in the game.  How can you not love LeBron?  While I  think that Kobe Bryant is one OF the game’s best, LeBron is THE best…

  

Posted on YouTube by Dailybragger

 

The next Michael Jordan?  Heck, he’s the next LeBron James…

–Scott

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