Results tagged ‘ Happy New Year ’

Farewell to a Champion!…

Exit Stage Left… 

A great Yankees career has come to an end with the retirement of former outfielder Hideki Matsui.  It has been gone from the Bronx for a few years but he’s certainly not forgotten.  When he arrived in 2003, he immediately attracted the attention of New York.  He had been well hyped as a Japanese superstar, and of course, everywhere he went, he was followed by a large pack of Japanese reporters.

As I remember his great career and those key clutch hits, I recall his Yankee Stadium debut in April 2003.  I remember it was a day game, and while home for lunch (I was in a West Coast time zone), I had turned on DirecTV in time to watch “Godzilla” hit a grand slam in the 5th inning that powered the Yanks to a 7-3 win over the Minnesota Twins.  If memory serves correctly, it was a gray day and Matsui’s shot was one of those line drives that kept going (it wasn’t a booming shot that you knew had been parked from the start).

Tuesday, April 8, 2003 at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY

Minnesota Twins AB R H BI
Jones, lf

3

2

1

0

Guzman, ss

3

0

1

0

Koskie, 3b

3

1

0

0

Hunter, cf

2

0

1

2

LeCroy, dh

4

0

1

1

Mientkiewicz, 1b

4

0

1

0

Cuddyer, rf

4

0

0

0

Pierzynski, c

4

0

0

0

Rivas, 2b

3

0

0

0

Totals

30

3

5

3

 

New York Yankees AB R H BI
Soriano, 2b

4

0

1

0

Johnson, 1b

3

1

2

0

Giambi, dh

4

1

1

0

Williams, cf

3

1

0

0

MATSUI, LF

3

2

1

4

Posada, c

4

1

1

0

Ventura, 3b

4

1

2

2

Mondesi, rf

4

0

1

1

Almonte, ss

3

0

0

0

Totals

32

7

9

7

 

Minnesota

0

0

0

1

0

2

0

0

0

-

3

5

1

New York

0

1

0

2

4

0

0

0

x -

7

9

1

E-Pierzynski (2), Almonte (3).  DP-New York 2.  PB-Posada (1).  2B-Jones (4), Hunter (1), Posada (2).  HR-Ventura (3),  MATSUI (1) 5th inning off Mays, 3 on, 1 out.  SF-Hunter (1).  SB-Johnson (1).  CS-Mondesi (1).
Minnesota Twins

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Mays, L (1-1)

5.0

8

7

7

2

3

Fiore

3.0

1

0

0

1

2

Totals

8.0

9

7

7

3

5

New York Yankees

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Pettitte, W (2-0)

5.2

5

3

3

3

2

Osuna

2.1

0

0

0

1

3

Anderson

1.0

0

0

0

0

1

Totals

9.0

5

3

3

4

6

WP-Mays, Osuna.  T-2:36.  A-33,109.

He finished his Yankees career as the MVP of the 2009 World Series.  Time and again, he came up with the crucial big hits, and seemed to excel against the Yankees’ key rival, the Boston Red Sox.  As a Yankee, he hit 140 home runs with 597 RBI’s.  Including his 10 years in Japan and major leagues together, he hit 507 home runs.  He represented the Yankees with the grace and dignity that he had with his prior organization, the Yomiuri Giants.  I wish there had been room on the Yankees roster for Matsui the last few years but sadly it was not meant to be.  He may have subsequently worn the uniform of the Angels, A’s and Rays, but he will forever be a Yankee.  I am hopeful he will return for future Old Timer’s games at the Stadium as he is now engrained as part of the Yankees history and lore.

Where’s Paul O’Neill when you need him…

While I have always liked outfielder Matt Diaz as a role player, it’s hard to be enthused about his arrival in the Bronx.  With no other additions, there’s a huge drop-off from former Yankees rightfielder and now Cleveland Indian Nick Swisher to Diaz.  The Yankees are banking a great deal that Ichiro Suzuki will be the player he was in pinstripes last year and not the Seattle Mariners version earlier in the season.  Inevitably, as Matsui showed, there is a time when the ability to execute simply erodes with the passage of time and age.  Given that Matsui is, in fact, younger than Ichiro shows that Ichiro is on borrowed time.  I know his superior conditioning has much to do with his late career continued success, but Matsui was no slouch when it came to physical conditioning.  I remain hopeful that GM Brian Cashman is able to bring a young outfielder with strong upside before spring training starts.  Yes, it’s easier said than done, but he’s done it before and can do it again.

Well, 2012 is rapidly coming to a close and it will soon be 2013.  Only January stands between now and the arrival of the Yankees in Tampa for spring training.  So close, yet so far away.  Hopefully, the Yankees will do something to enthuse the fan base in the coming days…

Happy New Year!

–Scott

A Reason To Be Grateful…


I have been a Yankees fan for exactly 36 years! 


How do I know?  I
became a Yankees fan the day that free agent pitcher Jim “Catfish” Hunter,
formerly of the Oakland A’s, signed with the New York Yankees.  The date was December 31, 1974.  Prior to the signing, like many other people,
I had been a fan of the Athletics.


Catfish Hunter

Sport/Getty Images


I was fairly young so my deep interest in baseball didn’t
really materialize until after I had become a Yankees fan.  Each year, from the 1975 season until about 1982,
I kept a scrapbook on the season.  I’d
record box scores and transactions, and would collect news clippings and
photographs. 

I think it was during the 1981 season that I showed my
scrapbook to then Yankee Oscar Gamble and he autographed it for me.  I still carry these scrapbooks around with me
although they’ve been packed in storage for years.  One of those days, I will pull them and
re-live those great seasons of Catfish, Thurman Munson, Ron Guidry, Sparky
Lyle, Rich Gossage, Graig Nettles, Willie Randolph, Chris Chambliss, Bucky
Dent, Reggie Jackson, Billy Martin, and others.


 


Becoming  a Yankees
fan was easy.  One of the very first
books I recall reading as a child was a biography about Lou Gehrig.  I was probably only 7 or 8 at the time and I
was so in awe of Gehrig and the history of the Yankees.  I am not sure why I didn’t become a Yankees
fan then, but at that point, Fran Tarkenton and the Minnesota Vikings were my
main spectator sports passion.  Baseball
did not really capture my attention until the personalities of the championship
Oakland teams of the early 70’s hit the scene.


Rollie Fingers

AP  


It is hard to believe that it’s been over 10 years since
Catfish passed away.  He was a great
Yankee and one of the best pitchers of his era. 
I will forever be grateful to him for bringing me with him to the
Yankees. 


88748041, Sports Illustrated/Getty Images /Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated/Getty Images


As for the current Yankees, not much has been happening
but that’s to be expected this time of year. 
Once we get past the holidays, I am sure that we will see movement on
the Andy Pettitte front (will he retire as currently expected by many?).  While no frontline starting pitcher looms on
the horizon, the Yankees can help minimize the deficiencies of the starting
staff by building a superior bullpen.  I
remain hopeful the team finds a way to bring reliever Rafael Soriano on board
to set up Mariano Rivera.  That would
allow David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain to focus on the seventh inning and
prior to really shorten up the games for the starters. 


Rafael Soriano, who is under contract only for this season, surprisingly became available from the Braves and cost the Rays only a prospect in their biggest offseason move.

Getty Images


I really cringed when I heard that Bartolo Colon was
saying that several teams were interested in him, including the Yankees.  That is definitely one signing that I do NOT
want to see!


bartolo_colon_with_dominican_team


Patience, patience, patience…I know, that’s what Brian
Cashman keeps saying.  So, we’ll see what
the new year brings us!




Happy New Year to everyone!  May 2011 be your best year yet!  J



–Scott


The End of A Championship Year…

To all the great MLBloggers & Readers…

 

 


Happy New Year.JPG 

 

I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!  I hope that 2010 is our best year yet…one and all!  It’s hard to believe that 2009 has come and gone, and it was quite a year.  However, I am anxious and excited for the possibilities of 2010.  Who knows if the Yankees will repeat or if the Phillies will recapture the crown thanks to Doc Halliday or if the Mariners move into the upper echelon with the brilliant moves to acquire Cliff Lee and Chone Figgins or if the dreaded Red Sox ride John Lackey and company to another championship.  Regardless of what happens, it will be a very fun and exciting year for all of us.  Who knows, maybe next year is this year…

 

 


Next Year.JPG 

 

 

Not much sports news to talk about but I’ll try…

 

 

Dry.JPG

 

I think that Jason Bay’s  decision to join the Mets was foolish on his part.  He had a great thing in Boston, and the park was very conducive to his offensive style.  It’s unlikely that he’ll hit 36 home runs playing half of his games at CitiField.  Given his weaknesses defensively and the poor second half that he experienced in Boston, the high expectations in Queens will be very difficult to meet.  Bay could very easily become the player the fans love to hate.  In an era where most of us are simply thankful for a paycheck, Jason will rue the day that he disregarded the very generous offer extended by the Red Sox.  From the Red Sox’ perspective, I don’t blame them for moving on.  The idea of moving Jacoby Ellsbury to left is intriguing given his offensive prowess (so long as he doesn’t move to San Diego in a potential trade for Adrian Gonzalez).  Not that I want the best-case scenario to work out for the Red Sox, but it may have happened when they decided to move on without Bay.  Meanwhile, it probably won’t be long before GM Omar Minaya is fighting for his job because of moves like Bay and other albatross contracts he has hung on the Mets.

 

 

 

Reuters

 

I was not closely following the situation with Texas Tech University and head coach Mike Leach, but at first, I thought that Craig James was just using his position as an ESPN college analyst to blow a situation with his son out of proportion.  However, after getting a better understanding of the facts, there is nothing that would justify locking a kid in a shed.  Regardless of the reasons and aside from the fact that Leach had been very disrespectful to the university prior to the incident, I felt his firing today was justified.  The sad part is that it is the university which will pay the highest price.  Leach will land on his feet with another school because he has proven that he can win.  The Red Raiders, meanwhile, will have to re-establish credibility with potential recruits and find a new coach who can continue the positive advancements made by Leach.  Any way you slice it, it’s a bad situation and a black mark on Big 12 football…

 

 

 

 

AP

 

 

I am a very disenchanted Vikings fan right now.  I have been a fan of the team all my life.  After enjoying several near misses with Fran Tarkenton at the helm, the team has suffered years of championship deprivation.  1998 looked like THE year, however, the season ended in disappointment with the loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the play-offs (a game that the Vikings could have won with better play-calling).  I almost gave up as a Vikings fan after Fran Tarkenton retired and the Vikings named Bob Lee the starting QB.  I know other fans who quit after 1998.  I have to admit that I am nearing the fork in the road once again.  I have never been a fan of head coach Brad Childress and now the team is in a funk that I am not so sure they can recover from.  Sure, 8 Vikings made the Pro Bowl.  However, it means absolutely nothing if the Vikings lose the first play-off game.  Several weeks ago, they were assured of a first round bye and had momentum on their side.  Now, it’s possible that they could lose the first round bye to the Dallas Cowboys.  There are many experts that say the two best teams in the NFC right now are the Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles.  It would be hard for me to argue against it.

 

 

 

 

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images 

 

 

I recognized football before baseball when I was a kid, so for the first couple of seasons, I was a bigger Vikings fan than I was a Yankees fan.  Of course, that turned rather quickly and I was a baseball fan first by 1975 even though the Yankees had endured many losing seasons under the ownership of CBS.  George Steinbrenner was still a young and inexperienced owner, but I liked the guys on the team.  Catfish Hunter was my idol and Thurman Munson quickly became my favorite Yankee.  Nevertheless, I continued to follow the Vikings but it has never been the same since former owner Max Winter departed the organization.  I like and respect owner Zygi Wilf, however, I think he is making a mistake by staying the course with Brad Childress.  The 2009 team has so much potential, however, it won’t be realized because of Childress.  Put a good coach like Bill Cowher in charge of the team and the Vikings would be challenging the Saints for the best record in the NFC.

 

 

 

Puskar/AP 

 

 

The Vikings can turn things around on Sunday with a solid win against Wilf’s former favorite team, the New York Giants.  However, I am not so optimistic about the team’s chances.  Somehow, I see another lackluster performance with several key Adrian Peterson fumbles.  I hope that I am wrong…

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

 

Well, this does it for me in 2009.  I am glad to be among such great MLBloggers and I look forward to a fantastic new year for each and every one of us! 

 

 

 

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