Results tagged ‘ Chien-Ming Wang ’

The Yankees Win!…

The Undefeated New York Yankees!

Okay, it’s just the first exhibition game of the season.  It is also a time when pitchers are still way ahead of the hitters.  But it is great to see the Yankees start the year on the right foot.  In the grand scheme of things, it means absolutely nothing but given the adversity of the past month, anything positive is a good thing.

The Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 6-1 in Dunedin, FL.  The highlight of the game was a tie-breaking two-run homer by Alex Rodriguez in the fourth inning.  Although the game started with the much anticipated chorus of boos, A-Rod had begun to receive applause by his third plate appearance.  Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come.  Well, maybe anywhere except Fenway Park…

Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to play in four of the Yankees' first five exhibition games before joining the Dominican Republic team on Monday for the World Baseball Classic. Chris O'Meara/The Associated Press

Chris O’Meara/AP

Brett Tomko started and pitched two innings of scoreless, one-hit ball.  Jose Veras, the winner, pitched the third inning, giving up one run, with two strikeouts.  Brett Gardner, locked in a center field battle with Melky Cabrera, also homered.

The Pitching Rotation

It appears that Joe Girardi has set his pitching rotation as CC Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte, and Joba Chamberlain, respectively.  That order makes the most sense.  The change of pace with Wang between Sabathia and Burnett is a good idea, and I like Burnett followed by Pettitte.  Girardi expects about 30 starts from Joba Chamberlain (barring injury, of course). 

 

Number Change

I sure am glad that Melky Cabrera changed his number from 28 to 53.  I kept wondering what the heck was Bob Watson doing in the outfield.  Isn’t he too old to play ball?  ;)  Meanwhile, Brett Tomko, who was wearing Bobby Abreu’s old number, switched to 28.

 

Former Yankee first baseman…and Number 28… 

Manny and the Dodgers

It sounds like activity is starting to pick up between the Dodgers and agent Scott Boras.  Hopefully, this means that Manny will be back in blue by the end of the week.  This has been a long, drawn out story that needs to end…

Say what you will about Manny, and while I agree that his behavior in Boston toward the end was about as bad as it gets, he remains one of the most feared hitters in baseball.  As an opponent, I always hated it when Manny came up in a clutch situation because he, unlike A-Rod, consistently delivered. 

Los Angeles Dodgers' Manny Ramirez warms up during batting practice at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles August 1, 2008. Ramirez was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-team trade July 31, 2008. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

Reuters Pictures

Salary Cap Implications

I am not a proponent of a salary cap.  The Yankees have an advantage of being in a major market, but they contribute more to Major League Baseball than any other team through luxury taxes and revenue sharing.  The team with the highest payroll is not guaranteed a spot in the World Series, and the Yankees haven’t won since 2000.  Watching the NFL, it is painful to see the careers of Derrick Brooks and Marvin Harrison abruptly come to an end with their original teams because of salary.  Both have factored very heavily in the recent successes of their respective teams, and have made their mark in their teams’ record books.  Earlier, the Jaguars cut loose Fred Taylor, and the Jets will soon release Laveranues Coles.  Granted, there comes a point where performance doesn’t justify pay, and teams are smart to sever ties.  But the NFL’s Salary Cap adds pressure to make these decisions sooner rather than later.  As a Vikings fan, I am glad that Randall McDaniel made the Hall of Fame.  But I will forever have the painful memory of watching him play his final years in a Buccaneers uniform.  I realize that football and baseball are businesses, but we, as fans, deserve to cheer our heroes to the end so long as they are still performing at a top level.  At times, football can feel like fantasy sports in a non-keeper league.  You have to re-select your team every year…

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Here’s A-Rod!…

The A-Rod Drama Continues…

Tuesday, Alex Rodriguez will face the media as he reports to Tampa to take his physical.   Joe Girardi, and inner-core Yankees like Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter plan to be there for support.  But the support does feel somewhat disingenuous, as some Yankees have privately conveyed that they have no choice but to support A-Rod as teammates.  I agree with the need to support your fellow teammates, but not to the point that you compromise your own integrity.  As kids, we were told if you had something bad to say, don’t say anything at all.  If Pettitte, Posada or Jeter do not, in their hearts, support A-Rod, then I feel that they should not be present at the press conference. 

ARod

Paul Sancya AP

When Pettitte faced the media during camp last year, you heard many statements about how much everyone cared about Andy.  The same tone is not present in the comments about A-Rod. 

Reading that Alex had called SI reporter Selena Roberts to apologize for comments he made during his ESPN interview, it is ironic that he’s had to apologize for his apology.  If the ESPN interview was controlled, it will be interesting to see how A-Rod reacts to a blitz of questions by multiple reporters.  There is no doubt that every response will be dissected, and any irregularities will be singled out and over-analyzed in subsequent news articles throughout the week.

The sad part is that the A-Rod drama will continue into the season despite everyone’s desire to move forward.  Selena Roberts’ book, “A-Rod:  The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez”, will be released two days prior to the opening game for the new Yankee Stadium.  So, at a time we should be celebrating the opening pitch by, most likely, CC Sabathia, we’ll still be talking about A-Rod. 

I don’t think anyone truly believes that Alex left his PEDs in Texas when he made the trip to New York in 2004.  But it is imperative that Alex fully responds to each question with total honesty…and he’d better apologize to not only Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks, but to the Steinbrenner family as well.  Meanwhile, there will be millions of Yankees fans watching and analyzing the comments made, and wondering if A-Rod is truly worthy of our support…

The return of Oil Can Boyd?

I found it humorous that Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd, 49, is seeking a return to Major League Baseball.  Sorry, there was only one Satchel Paige.  In his final season with the Texas Rangers in 1991, Boyd was 2-7 with a 6.09 ERA.  He started 12 games, and pitched 88.7 innings.  The subject of Boyd made me curious who he was pitching with that year.  The 1991 Ranger pitching staff was led by Kevin Brown, and followed by Nolan Ryan, Jose Guzman, and Bobby Witt.   The catcher?  19-year-old Pudge Rodriguez…

 Maybe they should create a true “senior’s” league where Boyd and others, like Rickey Henderson, David Wells, and Juan Samuel can continue to live the dream…

Sorry, that would be very painful to watch.

The Lisfranc Injury

I have to admit that before Chien-Ming Wang was hurt last June in Houston, I did not know what the Lisfranc joint was.   The Lisfranc joint was named for Jacques Lisfranc de St. Martin (d. 1847), a French surgeon and gynecologist.   According to eMedicine (http://emedicine.medscape.com), the Lisfranc joint, which represents the articulation between the midfoot and forefoot, is composed of the 5 tarsometatarsal (TMT) joints.  The Lisfranc ligament is attached to the lateral margin of the medial cuneiform and medial and plantar surface of the second metatarsal (MT) base.  This is the only ligamentous support between first and second ray at midfoot level.  In a note of irony, the doctor who had a part of the foot named after him, was also a pioneer in the removal of the rectum.  It helps me to better understand the relationship in the phrase, ‘A kick in the…’  Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Wang seems to be progressing very nicely in recent weeks.  While the injury took longer than expected to heal (Wang felt pain as recently as November), there are no signs that he is favoring his right foot.  When he reported to Tampa, there was some tightness but that’s subsided.  The Yankees have limited Wang’s cardio activity to avoid running.  He has preferred the stationary bike to the elliptical trainer.   Hopefully, Wang will be ready to go when the Yankees break camp.

Griffey the Brave or Griffey the Mariner

It sounds like it is decision time for Ken Griffey, Jr.  By all reports, Griffey has replaced Nick Swisher as the key target for their outfield.  The Braves are limited financially (a total compensation package would be no more than $2.5 million), but they offer Griffey the chance to play close to home.  His daughter plays AAU Basketball in Georgia, and his son is starting high school football in Florida.  The Braves training camp is also only 20 minutes from Griffey’s Orlando home.  The Mariners, meanwhile, train in Arizona. 

This decision really comes down to family versus playing time.  I think the Mariners offer more playing time since Griffey could DH against primarily right-handed hitting when not playing the field.  With the Braves, he would be limited to a left-field platoon. 

Most players would go where they have the greatest chance to play, but I think Griffey will opt for family and sign with the Braves.

It would have been fun to see Griffey in Seattle again, but he has always placed family first and I don’t expect that to change now.

The Ostrich Farm

Randy Johnson was discussing the difference between training camp with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Francisco Giants.  Both teams train in Arizona, but the D-Backs camp is in Tucson, versus Scottsdale for the Giants.  I laughed when I saw this quote, because anyone who has lived in Arizona uses the same benchmark to determine how much longer it is to Tucson when driving down from Phoenix:  “Not that I had a problem going to Tucson,” he said.  “I always knew when I got to that ostrich farm; I had 45 minutes to go”.  Unfortunately, there’s not much else in between Phoenix and Tucson except a lot of Saguaro Cacti…

Randy is now able to walk from his home in Paradise Valley to Scottsdale Stadium (home of the Giants), so the ostrich farm will be reserved for those away games in Tucson.

Picacho Peak, in the photo background, is a great hike, by the way…

Got an extra $25,000?

My favorite place to get dessert in New York City is Serendipity 3, which is on 60th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues in Manhattan. 

 

My wife wrote this review after a visit:  “My husband and I were visiting NY and had to make a visit to this place because we’d heard about the fabulous desserts and because “Serendipity” is one of his favorite movies.  The frrrozen hot chocolate does not disappoint and was definitely worth the 1.5 hour wait!!  We also had dinner here because we were hungry.  The food was just ok and kind of pricey, but the dessert made up for it.   I wouldn’t come back here for a meal next time, just dessert.  We bought some of the powdered mix to make frrrozen hot chocolate at home.  It’s actually not a bad instant mix and tasted good…but of course, it’s much better to have the real drink in person.  I found out later that they take reservations so if you don’t want to deal with the long wait, call ahead.”

Serendipity 3 offers the world’s most expensive chocolate sundae (which was introduced in 2007) for the low, low sum of only $25,000.  The “Frrozen Haute Chocolate” is made from 28 types of cocoa, 14 of which are the rarest in the world.  It is sprinkled with edible 23-karat gold and served in a goblet lined with edible gold.  It is topped with whipped cream and a side of LaMadeline au Truffle from Knipschildt Chocolatier (sells for $2,600 a pound).   It is accompanied by an 18-karat gold, diamond encrusted spoon and 18-karat gold bracelet.

Photo

Photo by Chip East/Reuters

Yikes, I think I’ll just have the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate for $8.50, please…

 

 

Has Manny Read the Wall Street Journal Lately?…

MAN-RAM

Wow, I have to ask…when is twenty-five million dollars not enough?  I know that Manny Ramirez lives in a different world than the rest of us, but does he not recognize the state of the economy and how it has impacted even Major League Baseball?  Manny, no one is calling your agent, and multiple big market teams are saying that they are not in the game.  You know the market is tight when Brian Cashman says, “We’re tapped”.  The San Francisco Giants are routinely mentioned, but at the end of the day, they are not going to exceed any offers made by the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Manny is simply not going to get the long-term offer that he desires.  At this point, he should swallow his pride and accept the generous offer made by the Dodgers. 

Courtesy: Los Angeles Times

Besides, Manny needs to get back to the clubhouse so that he can be the central figure in Joe Torre’s next book…

WANG AND POSADA

According to the Associated Press, Chien-Ming Wang threw 27 pitches in first mound session on Tuesday.  Wang indicated there were no concerns and everything felt fine.  Wang missed the last 3 1/2 months of the season last year after hurting his foot running the bases during interleague play.  I am looking forward to a return to those 19 win seasons…

Jorge Posada is making progress and fully expects to be ready for Opening Day.  Posada, by the way, threw in his support for Joe Torre and claims that he did not violate the sanctity of the clubhouse.  Kind of what you would expect Posada, Derek Jeter, Tino Martinez or any of Joe’s other “favorite” guys to say…

New York Yankees manager Joe Torre (L) separates batter Jorge Posada from first base umpire Bob Davidson (R) after Posada was ejected from the game during the ninth inning of their American League baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit, Michigan  August 24, 2007. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

Courtesy:  Reuters Pictures

 

HERE COMES THE FAVRE MEDIA BLITZ

Now that the Super Bowl is over, how long before the tabloids are swirling with the ‘will he?’ or ‘won’t he?’ retirement talk about Brett Favre.  Jets Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is already on record saying that he wants Favre to return.  And, of course, there is an article in a Minnesota newspaper that the Jets are approximately $13 million over the salary cap (which is about the amount of Favre’s salary).  The trade between the Packers and the Jets had a “poison pill” in the agreement to keep the Jets from trading Favre to the Minnesota Vikings.  But, apparently, all bets are off if the Jets were to simply release Favre.

As for the Vikings, my preference would be for them to pursue a trade with the New England Patriots to acquire Matt Cassel.  Of course, the cost would be high, and Minnesota would have to open talks by offering at least Chester Taylor and a first-round pick according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.  Another option cited was a trade for Cleveland’s Derek Anderson and potential signing of a free agent QB like Rex Grossman or Jeff Garcia. 

MLB NETWORK

A great hire by the MLB Network in landing Bob Costas.  That might be the key free agent signing of the off-season!  I know that there are many differing opinions of Costas, but I like the format and opportunity that will be available to him at MLB Network.  I am looking forward to watching his work over the course of the summer…

9 days until Yankees pitchers and catchers report to Tampa…

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