Results tagged ‘ Gary Sanchez ’

His name is easy, it’s Champion!…

 

Thanks for the memories…

Although Prince Fielder had other ideas, today was Jorge Posada Day.  On a day when the Milwaukee Brewers’ talented free agent signed an unexpected 9-year, $214 million contract with his father’s former team, the Detroit Tigers, a Yankee Legend called it a career.  So, while Tigers fans are rejoicing, the Yankees Universe is united in sorrow to see the end of a tremendous career.

It was time.  Although I knew that Posada could still hit, he was ill at ease at DH and he was no longer the consistent clutch hitter that he had once been.  He could have held on for a few more years in a more limited role, but I am grateful that he recognized that it’s best not to overstay your welcome.  It would have been awful to see him put on a Rays, Marlins or Mets uniform.  I am sure that we would have quietly supported him, but now this way, he bled pinstripes from beginning to end.  I value and appreciate the untarnished career.  Don Mattingly may call Dodger Stadium “home” these days, but he’s still a Yankee.  The same holds true of Posada…once a Yankee, always a Yankee.

In the late 1970’s, my favorite Yankees were catcher Thurman Munson and closer Rich “Goose” Gossage.  I truly did not believe that I’d ever see two players as great as those two legends.  Of course, the great Mariano Rivera has eclipsed Gossage’s career, but Posada has certainly earned the right to stand in the same room with Munson, Yogi Berra, Bill Dickey and Elston Howard.  It’s ironic that long-time projected replacement Jesus Montero and Posada officially exited the Yankees on back-to-back days, but the position seems to be in capable hands with Russell Martin until future star Gary Sanchez is ready for the major leagues.

I wish Jorge the very best in whatever he decides to do next.  Selfishly, I’d like to see him stay in baseball as he’d make a great future manager.  I love people who are passionate about what they do, and Jorge lived and breathed passion every day.  He is the type of guy that you’d want to go to battle with so long as he was on your side.  The immediate thought is probably to spend some quality time with his family, but hopefully, he’ll be back in Major League Baseball as a coach sometime in the not-so-distant future.

Hip, hip, Jorge!  :)

If he is following his father’s footsteps, when does he become a Yankee?…

Speaking of Fielder, I was shocked when I heard that the Detroit Tigers had signed the prolific young slugger.  There were constants reports of possible signings by the Texas Rangers and the Washington Nationals, and the occasional links to passive teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, but I have to admit that I did not suspect the Tigers.  Of course, I didn’t foresee the Angels signing Albert Pujols but I suppose when you are talking about $200 million, it’s probably best not to tip your hand.

Photo ops for game winning hits…is that too much to ask for?…

I thought the Yankees and the Tigers were searching the same pool for an effective, low-cost option to DH.  While I wanted the Yankees to sign Johnny Damon, I knew that he had enjoyed his time in Detroit and there seemed to be some level of interest there.  Obviously, the Fielder signing takes the Tigers out of the market for someone like Damon or Hideki Matsui.  But based on comments that Yankees GM Brian Cashman made earlier in the week, it sounds like a free agent slugger is Plan B.  Plan A apparently involves the trade for a young, controllable hitter.  I am sure that type of move is predicated upon moving a contract like A.J. Burnett’s even if it means packing a few extra dollars in his suitcases.  My fear is that a trade could cause the loss of someone like Dellin Betances or Manny Banuelos which I’d hate to see.  I am not sure what quality hitter is available and the market seems to be drenched with potential salary dumps. I wonder if Cash has his eye on a certain player.  Still, I’d go the cheaper route and sign Damon, Matsui, or Raul Ibanez to a short-term deal.  If the team offense struggles early on, the Yankees could potentially make a move in July for a veteran hitter.  I am not sure that there is a young position player out there with the potential of pitcher Michael Pineda that could be had for a relatively inexpensive cost.

My fear with the Yankees offense, while they have produced, is they do not strike fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers.  When Robinson Cano is in the groove, he is as good as anybody in the game.  I know that Curtis Granderson had a near-MVP season last year, but I’d be surprised if teams planned their strategy around him.  Yes, Alex Rodriguez was once the best player in the game, but he is a couple years removed from domination.  Injuries have held him back and while he certainly has the potential to have a few more power seasons, he carries a big “if”.  It would be great if Mark Teixeira could get back to the hitter he was a couple of seasons ago.  Up and down the lineup, outside of Cano, there are questions.  I am pleased with Granderson but I want to see him do it again before he has my complete trust.

It would have been foolish for the Yankees to pursue Fielder.  Even if they have the money, it just doesn’t make financial sense to tie the organization to the player for the next decade at that kind of money.  It makes me sick to think the Yankees pay A-Rod more than the Angels pay Pujols or the Tigers will pay Fielder.  When A-Rod leaves the ballpark, I bet he pops the Dire Straits’ Brother in Arms into his CD player, listening to “Money for Nothing”…

A Sad Day lies ahead…

It was mentioned today that Mariano Rivera might be the next Yankees great to call it a career, possibly as soon as the end of the upcoming season.  I’m telling ya, that’s going to be a day that I cry like a baby.  Rivera has been my favorite among current Yankees and it will be a tough day when #42 simply walks away.  I am glad that 162 regular season games and a few play-off series in October stand in the way of that dreadful day.

If Everybody Cared…

This is off-topic, but I am excited to have a ticket to the upcoming Nickelback concert tour, Here and Now.  This will be my third Nickelback concert in three years.  So far, I’ve seen them in two outdoor amphitheaters (San Jose, CA and Concord, CA) but this time I will be seeing them inside (in May at Target Arena, home of the NBA’s the Minnesota Timberwolves).  I have also enjoyed Seether and they will be one of the opening acts.  It should be a great show!

Amare, Carmelo and Fid…together again…

My next event at Target Arena, which will be my first visit to the facility, will be to cheer on the New York Knicks when they come to Minnesota to play the T-Wolves in February.  Hopefully, the Arena won’t be rocking like it will with Nickelback when the Knicks come to town.  In fact, I hope it’s eerily quiet.  Score one for the away team!

–Scott

Disappointment replaced by Optimism…

 

After some thought, I’ve come around…

Now that I’ve had time to digest the Friday night whirlwind that brought pitchers Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda to the Bronx, my initial disappointment was evaporated.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the power potential of Jesus Montero, and I know full well that he’ll be as devastating against the Yankees as Jay Buhner was if not more.  But I recognize that from a position of need, a top of the rotation starter is better than a player without a position.

Ever since I first heard Jesus Montero’s name, it always included a statement that he’d eventually have to find a new position because he would outgrow catcher.  The obvious moves would be to either first base or left field, but last time I checked, both of those positions were occupied by long-term tenants.  Putting an offensive juggernaut at DH is great for offense but it does nothing to help with the defensive aspects of catching or learning a new position.  With Russell Martin in the fold for the foreseeable future, there was no way that Montero would gain the starting position at catcher.  Martin’s ability to handle the pitching staff is simply too important to the team even if his bat is nothing remotely close to Montero.

With Montero, I was always worried about the other young Yankee catchers.  Of course, there’s Francisco Cervelli on the active roster.  If Montero were to take the backup catching job, where would that leave Cervelli?  Most likely playing for the Twins, backing up oft-injured Joe Mauer or someone like that.  I like the defensive reports that I’ve heard about both Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez, but if their path was clogged by Martin and Montero, where did that leave them?  Sanchez needs more time in the minors, but Romine is nearing major league ready status.  With an injury or two, I fully expect him to get his chance to make an impression at Yankee Stadium in 2012.  The trade of Montero ensures that Romine will get his major league opportunity with the Yankees so that’s a good thing.  He doesn’t have Montero’s bat (who does?) but good defense is essential for championships.

Maybe just tell us who the Yankees haven’t talked to…

As for the DH slot, it seems like the Yankees have expressed interest in about everyone.  There have been reports they’ve spoken to the agents for Carlos Pena, Johnny Damon, and Hideki Matsui.  There are pros and cons with all three players, but whoever the Yankees bring on board will have to share time at DH with Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones, and Derek Jeter so I’d be okay with any of the three.  I’ve always liked the clutch bats of Damon and Matsui, and the swing for the fences power of Pena is nice even if the average is hovering slightly above the Mendoza line.  With all the reports that the Yankees only have a $1 million or two to spend on a DH, I half expect a report that they’ve talked to Reggie Jackson!  Okay, that might be a stretch, but I’d consider letting ‘all or nothing’ slugger Jorge Vazquez.  He does deserve a shot.  If not, the Yanks should cut him loose and let him pursue a team that will.

If Jorge Posada had embraced the DH role last year, he’d be on his way back to the Bronx for an encore performance…

Upon second thought…

As for the pitching staff, my initial prediction about the rotation order was flawed.  I recognize that Micheal Pineda is the clear #2 in the rotation.  I’ve seen Ivan Nova slotted at #4, but I’d still keep him at #3 at least until he gives reason to drop him in the order.  I think Kuroda is a great addition, but he has to adjust to the American League in the most difficult division, while moving from a pitcher’s ballpark to a park that is less forgiving.  So, I’d give Nova time for pinstripes served and put him ahead of Kuroda.  After the former Dodger, it’s anybody’s guess who will win out…Phil Hughes, my personal favorite; Freddy Garcia, probably the better choice among the pitchers in terms of consistency; and A.J. Burnett, the candidate for most likely to depart the Bronx if the Yanks can find a willing trade partner that wants Burnett…and a boatload of cash to pay that ridiculous salary.  What happens if either Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances pitches “lights out” in training camp?  This is going to be an interesting battle.

He’s really a cousin of Alcides and Kelvim Escobar?…

Back to Friday night’s trade, I was a bit dismayed when I saw that pitcher Hector Noesi had been included in the trade.  I kept hearing that his ceiling was the back end of the rotation but there was something that I liked about the pitcher.  At first, I didn’t know anything about the “other” Mariner included in the deal, Jose Campos.  But since the initial report of the trade, I’ve come to realize that he has great potential.  At 19, he’s 6’4” and throws in the mid 90’s.  He’ll more than make up for Noesi and fits a better timeline in terms of being major league ready given the high level pitching prospects already in the organization (Banuelos and Betances, for example).  The Curtis Granderson trade has been labeled as a ‘win-win-win’ for all concerned.  Hopefully, this M’s-Yankees trade will meet a similar fate.

What would I expect Bobby V to say?…

Contrary to what Bobby Valentine may think, the Yankees are a better team today than they were last Thursday.  But, I recognize the Boston Red Sox are not done yet.  They signed former Dodger pitcher Vicente Padilla today (a guy I loathe personally) and there’s rumors they could go after Roy Oswalt if they can move payroll.  I still think Boston could be a player for Cubs starter Matt Garza given Theo Epstein’s knowledge of the Red Sox minor league prospects.  Whether Ben Cherington or rather Larry Lucchino would trade with Epstein is another matter.  Still, I think there are changes to be made on both the Yankees and Red Sox between now and training camp.  Last year, I saw a Red Sox friend predict 118 or 119 wins for Boston.  Teams look great on paper, but as they say, the ‘proof is in the pudding’!

Moneyball II, starring Jorge Garcia…

It’s hard to think of the Oakland A’s signing former Yankees starter Bartolo Colon as a low-cost, high reward “Moneyball” kind of move.  At 39, I don’t think there’s really any upside to Colon at this point and in my opinion, he’s not capable of sustaining a full season of starts.  I’d rather have Gio Gonzalez or Trevor Cahill in the rotation, but I guess since those are no longer options, they have to look at the scrap heap that served the Yankees so well last season.

Yes, I know the way to San Jose!…

Speaking of Oakland, I do hope they are successful in their desire to move to San Jose.  As a former San Jose resident, I think it’s very exciting for the city and its metro area to be on the verge of landing both the A’s and the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, to go with the NHL’s Sharks.  I saw that A’s owner bought the famed Hotel Sainte Claire in downtown San Jose.  He already owns one hotel in San Jose so I guess you can’t read too much into it, but he’s definitely positioning himself for the growth and excitement that San Jose could see in the coming years.  I’d be happy with a Stanley Cup Championship this year, but that’s a little off-topic…

I really don’t forsee another 99 losses when you place character first…

I was a little surprised to see the Minnesota Twins sign former Detroit Tigers flamethrower Joel Zumaya.  He suffered his devastating arm injury at Target Field in 2010.  So, in terms of Karma, you’d think that he’d avoid Target Field like the plague.   But I read comments in this morning’s paper about how he was touched by the reception he received from the Twins fans as he left the field that fateful day.  Stories like that certainly make me feel honored to be a Minneapolis resident, but I was still surprised by Zumaya’s decision.  I wish him the best as he begins the Comeback Trail.  Hopefully he can get back to the level he was before.  For the Twins, with Joe Nathan in Texas and Matt Capps scheduled to close games, they need Zumaya as the pitcher he once was and hopefully will be again.

When it’s tough being the son of Donnie Baseball, come home to the Bronx!…

Before I go, I want to say that I am really hopeful that the Yankees organization proves to be a blessing for former Dodgers prospect Preston Mattingly.  I’ve always heard what a great athlete he is/was when he was younger.  I don’t know what happened through his time in the Dodgers and Indians organizations and I realize that he is getting a bit long in tooth for a prospect, but I really hope that he can find some level of success with the Yankees.  It would be very cool to see Mattingly make a debut at Yankee Stadium at some point in the future.  Who knows if it is in the cards, but being a late bloomer is not outside of the realm of possibility when it comes to someone with his bloodline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s hard to believe that we are just a month away from training camp.  I’m excited and looking forward to a great season.

 

–Scott

Another Yankee Killer on the verge of Pinstripes…

The morning started with word that the Yankees were nearing a deal with outfielder Andruw Jones, but there have been no further updates.  I am sure the Yankees are actively working on their arbitration eligible players like Phil Hughes so that’s probably a bit of a distraction.  Nevertheless, I like the idea of signing Jones as the Yankees fourth outfielder.  He is not the player he once was, but the last two years he has averaged 280 at-bats and 18 home runs.  Not bad for a bench/role player…
AP/Jeff Chiu
With Marcus Thames apparently on the verge of signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, I think Jones is a better version of Thames…well, at least one that can play the field.  I’ve wanted the Yankees to sign Jones the last two years but he signed with Texas in 2009 and the White Sox in 2010.  Perhaps the time is now for Jones to finally land in the Bronx.  
Andruw Jones watches his three-run home run in the third inning of Game 1 of the World Series against the New York Yankees in New York, in this Oct. 20, 1996 file photo. At right is Yankees catcher Jim Leyritz. The Atlanta Braves are cutting ties with  Jones, saying they can't afford to keep the perennial Gold Glove center fielder who's spent his entire career with the organization.
AP
I liked the Washington Nationals move to acquire Chicago Cubs starter Tom Gorzelanny today.  They paid a potentially hefty price, but Gorzelanny is a solid addition to the Washington rotation.  Only 28, he is the type of pitcher that I’d like to see the Yankees pursue for the hole(s) in their rotation.  I am not saying the Yankees should have pursue Gorzelanny, but I like the idea of pursuing a late 20′s pitcher that has not reached his potential.  I know, it’s chasing lightning in a bottle, but it would be great to accurately catch a pitcher on the verge on his breakout season.  
I was disappointed to see Jeff Francis sign with the Kansas City Royals but I can certainly understand his logic of pursuing an opportunity that should guarantee a spot in the rotation while playing with less pressure than say New York or Boston.   He has a chance to restore the promise he showed a few years ago with Colorado.  
When I think about who the Yankees should acquire, all roads keep leading back to Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona.  With CC Sabathia as Carmona’s mentor once again, I like the possibility and the promise that Carmona could bring to the rotation.  It’s certainly a better prospect than Sergio Mitre.  Ivan Nova is going to be a question mark going into the season.  The Yankees don’t need two question marks…
Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer
I am prepared to see reliever Joba Chamberlain go in a trade for a starting pitcher.  The Yankees have a few pitching hopefuls that could potentially fill Joba’s role in the bullpen now that the Yankees have signed closing/setup specialist Rafael Soriano.  I know that he still has the chance to experience great success in the big leagues but I am starting to realize that he probably won’t be able to realize that potential in the Bronx.  More than likely, the Yankees would have to part with one of their catching prospects in any trade.  At this point, I am most fearful about losing Gary Sanchez even though he is not as advanced as Jesus Montero or Austin Romine.  Sanchez has the chance to be the best of the group.  There’s no doubt that Montero will be a great hitter, but questions remain about his defense.  Sanchez may not be the hitter that Montero is, but he appears to be a more complete player.  
Somehow, I think manager Joe Girardi is going to have a very fun time trying to decide what pitcher to bring in from the bullpen.  He’s going to have some options for almost any situation.  It sure beats the days of Jose Veras or Kyle Farnsworth.
To go a bit off topic, I was glad/relieved to see the retirement of QB Brett Favre today.  Hopefully, and finally, he’ll stay retired.  He should start looking into life-after-football opportunities.  If he decides to come back to play again, I definitely hope that his days in purple are over.  I don’t know who will be the 2011 Quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings, but at this point, I’d take Joe Webb over Favre any day.  I don’t want to see someone like Donovan McNabb come to Minnesota but hopefully the Vikings can find a solid QB option to allow Webb (and perhaps another young QB like Cam Newton) to grow and develop.
TSN.ca
Note to the St. Louis Cardinals:  Please do whatever takes to make Albert Pujols a lifetime Cardinal!
AP
Note to the Chicago Cubs:  I know you’re quietly building a play-off contending club, but I see what you’re doing!  Let the Cincinnati Reds and the Milwaukee Brewers get all the pre-season championship accolades.  The Cubs are shaping up as a clear surprise player for 2011.  GM Jim Hendry has to be congratulated for the moves that he’s made this off-season.
AP/David Kohl
–Scott
  

A Bad Day at Black Rock…

 

It was a sad day with news of the passing of two legends…


Sad Day.JPG


I was saddened to hear that Hall of Famer Bob Feller had
passed away.  While not unexpected, it
was still the loss for baseball’s legacy. 
I was too young to have ever watched Feller pitch, but I could identify
with him having grown up in a small Iowa farming community. 


3238567, Getty Images /Archive Photos

Getty Images


His three no-hitters included one in Yankee Stadium in
1946.

Feller had the personality traits of my grandmother…cantankerous,
honest to a fault, and a complete disregard about what others may have thought
about him/her.  Of the stories I heard
today, I liked the one about when he bought a new furnace at the age of
90.  Apparently, he was arguing over the length
of the warranty (wanted a 15 year warranty rather than 10 years).  His wife tried to reason with him by saying
that either way, the furnace was going to outlive him.  Yet, Feller simply reiterated that he wanted
15 years.  You gotta love his fight and
determination!  It is a sad day for the
Cleveland Indians organization and an ever sadder day for the baseball
world.  He’ll be missed…

Today also saw the loss of movie director/producer Blake
Edwards.  He made many great movies but
for me, the most notable was the Pink Panther series with Peter Sellers.  He was married to legendary actress Julie
Andrews for over 40 years.  Thanks Blake
for bringing us a lifetime of great memories!

Now, back to baseball and the Yankees.  Of course, not much has happened since I last
wrote.  The Yankees officially announced
the signing of catcher Russell Martin to a one year deal for $4 million with
incentives.  It was also disclosed that
he needs knee surgery but it is considered minor and he’ll be ready to go after
three weeks following the surgery on Monday. 
Of the two up and coming Yankee prospects at catcher, I can see the
argument for Austin Romine given the greater defensive potential than super
prospect Jesus Montero.  I don’t want to
see Montero traded given the power of his bat, but I am warming up to the idea
if it means bringing a #2 starter to the Yankees rotation.  Romine is the son of a former Red Sox (Kevin
Romine) but he does appear that he’ll be a better catcher than Montero but
obviously won’t have similar offensive production.  The wild card is catching prospect Gary
Sanchez who is not as advanced as either Romine or Montero, but is certainly as
gifted.


Gary Sanchez is looking to play in U.S. soon  


The Yankees have two very strong pitching prospects in
Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos.  I’d really
hate to see the Cliff Lee snub result in the loss of either prospect.  I like Betances but I am very intrigued by
Banuelos, a lefty.  I’d also like to see
Andrew Brackman succeed in pinstripes. 
But, all things considered, the Yankees do have the prospects to make a
notable trade.  For whom, that’s anyone’s
guess.  Personally, I would prefer to
target a 25 year old who is on the verge of a breakout season rather than trade
for a 32 or 33 year old starter who has probably seen his better days.  This is why Justin Masterson of the Cleveland
Indians stands out to me.  As a former
Red Sox pitcher, it would be so great to see him realize major league success
in the Bronx.


justin masterson.jpg

Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer

Admittedly, I am not very optimistic about the Yankees
signing of onetime super prospect Mark Prior. 
Now, just a body for the bullpen, he has potential but I am trying to
keep expectations low. 

The Yankees are apparently working on a deal with former
Mets reliever Pedro Feliciano.  I like
the move.  I think that Feliciano would
be a great alternative for Boone Logan as the second lefty in the pen.  I saw that the Yankees were mentioned as a
possibility for Brian Fuentes, but I just wasn’t that impressed with Fuentes
during his stays in Anaheim and Minneapolis. 
I know the Yankees have long lusted after him dating back to his days in
Denver, but I’d rather go for a specialist like Feliciano. 


mets-pedro-feliciano.jpg

Chris Faytok/The Star Ledger


Now that Kerry Wood is close to re-signing with the
Chicago Cubs, the Yankees do need to find a reliable setup option to Joba
Chamberlain and David Robertson.  Wood
showed how great a solid and consistent setup option for closer Mariano Rivera
can be.  Given the weaknesses of the
starting rotation, the Yankees need to re-create the shutdown capability that
the Tampa Bay Rays had last year with Joaquin Benoit and Rafael Soriano.

The team is still in on former Red Sock Bill Hall, but I
fully expect him to go to the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Of the remaining free agents, there is not much that
excites me.  It would be great to see the
addition of someone like Rafael Soriano but all indications are the Yankees won’t
pay closer dollars for a setup specialist. 
As each year passes, I do think that the Yankees need a
closer-in-waiting for Mariano Rivera as he will begin to falter at some
point.  This is why I think the Yankees
need to focus on one of those great Roberto Kelly-for-Paul O’Neill type of
trades.  Get the guy who is on the verge
of greatness and one who we will cheer when he takes the field for the final
time.   Easier said than done, but it can
be done.

If I were to believe the press clippings, the 2011 World
Series has already been determined (Boston Red Sox versus Philadelphia
Phillies).  But, sorry, I am not going to
concede.  Give Brian Cashman the time he
needs to assemble the 2011 Yankees.  I am
sure that we won’t be disappointed.  The
YES Network and Yankee Stadium are, of course, two very big beasts to
feed.  Fielding a middle division team
just won’t cut it…

Yankees win.JPG


–Scott


A Rainout Would Have Been Nice…

 

It was just a bad day all the way around…

 

Bad Day.JPG

 

The Yankees lost to the Seattle Mariners, 8-4, to end their seven game winning streak.  The loss also prevented the Yankees from closing the gap on the Boston Red Sox and they fell to three games behind the AL East Leaders.

 

Failure.JPG

 

You knew it was going to be one of those days when Mark Teixeira couldn’t snare Ichiro Suzuki’s lead-off hit which bounced off Tex’s glove for a double.  In the 6th, Ryan Langerhans led off with a hard grounder that Tex attempted to make a play on but missed, giving the newest Mariner a double.  But the official error that ended Teixeira’s 107-game errorless streak didn’t occur until the 9th inning.  He threw wide to pitcher Alfredo Aceves, who was covering first, and it allowed Ichiro to reach base safely.  He would later score on Russell Branyan’s 451-foot home run to dead center.   Texeira’s last error occurred August 19, 2008 while he was a member of the Los Angeles Angels.  He has also gone 65 at-bat’s without a home run…

 

Bad Day 2.JPG

 

CC Sabathia was throwing in the mid-90′s, but he could not keep his fastball or his change-up down.  With the pitches staying in the zone, CC gave up 10 hits and 6 runs in 5 2/3 innings of work.

 

William Perlman/The Star Ledger

 

Manager Joe Girardi said after the game, “We had been playing so well and CC was throwing well so I felt good about our chances. He showed he was human”.  The only problem is the Yankees don’t pay CC to be human.  Anything less than complete domination is unacceptable.  Okay, I am just kidding, but you’d expect more than a win-loss record of 7-5 for $161 million.

 


CCs Contract.JPG  
 

 

The Yankees had their opportunities, but the clutch hits never came.  In the 9th, it appeared the Yankees were getting something going when the first two batters, Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher, both singled.  But fly outs by Hideki Matsui and Melky Cabrera, and a swinging strikeout by pinch hitter Jorge Posada ended the game.

 

Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger

 

It does not get any easier for the Yankees as they open the four-game holiday weekend series with the Toronto Blue Jays.  A.J. Burnett will face his former teammates in tonight’s opening game.  I’ve never heard of the Blue Jays starter, Brian Tallet, but it seems that’s never a good thing…

 

Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer

 

Meanwhile, the Mariners travel north to Boston to face the Red Sox.  Felix Hernandez, who I am glad the Yankees missed, will open their series against 10-game winner Tim Wakefield.  If anything came out of the Mariners’ win on Thursday, I hope they can use the momentum to carry them to victory over the Red Sox.  I’ll borrow these words that Julia used all week,  Go Seattle!”

 

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

 

Speaking of Julia, she mentioned on her Julia’s Rants blog that it has been 70 years since Lou Gehrig gave his immortal farewell speech at Yankee Stadium.  She also has some good words to say about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease as it is more commonly referred to.

 

 

Courtesy als.net

 

ESPN Outside The Lines has a great piece on their site about final letters written by Lou Gehrig.  The letters are primarily between Gehrig and a doctor in Minnesota, Dr. Paul O’Leary, who helped first diagnose Gehrig’s illness.  The letters cover the final two years of Gehrig’s life.  You can feel Gehrig’s hopes rise and fade through the letters, and I was surprised at how Dr. O’Leary and Eleanor Gehrig withheld the severity of the illness from him.  The letters are definitely an interesting read.  Saturday will mark the 70th anniversary of Lou’s farewell speech.  Lou is my favorite all-time baseball player, and it will be a day to remember how truly special he was…not just as a ballplayer but as a man.

 

Posted on YouTube by InitialBlackNotice

 

In other news, the Yankees signed 16-year old catching prospect Gary Sanchez from the Dominican Republic for a signing bonus of nearly $3 million.  One Latin American scout said, “He’s a big kid, with a big arm”.  Sanchez is 6’2″, 210 lbs.  The Yankees would seem to be set at catcher for years to come when Jorge Posada decides to call it a career.  Their best catching prospect is 19-year old Jesus Montero, but there’s been some talk he may physically outgrow the position.  Montero, 6’4″ and 225 lbs, was recently promoted to the Trenton Thunder (AA).  The other key catching prospect in the organization is Austin Romine.  Of course, Francisco Cervelli is probably wondering, ‘What about me?’  Cervelli will most likely head back to Scranton/Wilkes Barre for further development once Jose Molina completes his injury rehabilitation in the next week.

The Yankees also signed two other Dominican players, shortstop Damian Arredondo and right hander Christopher Cabrera.

 

 

Yet another all-Williams final at Wimbledon?  I was really pulling for Dinara Safina, who was ranked #1.  But she was a complete no-show, and Venus looked like she was practicing with a high schooler.  Nevertheless, for the final, I’ll go with Serena…

 

 

Let me close with a video of what Julia must have been like as a baby.  In fact, I am sure of it…

 

Posted on YouTube by dmccomp

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