Results tagged ‘ Jamie Moyer ’

Melky, what were you thinking?…

 

Disappointing…

I am not quite sure what was reaction was when I heard that San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera had been suspended for 50 games due to substance abuse.  As a former Yankee, I watched his career as it went through Atlanta and Kansas City before his arrival in the City by the Bay.  The year in Atlanta was forgettable, but Melky rebounded in Kansas City and continued his renaissance in San Francisco.  The highlight of the year for him was capped with the MVP Award for the All-Star Game.

When Melky was a Yankee, he was often in the mix for game-winning hits and the recipient of one of A.J. Burnett’s pies.  It was tough to see him go to Atlanta in the ill-fated trade for Javier Vazquez but I had hoped that he would have a chance to thrive outside of Yankee Stadium and the platoon situation he found himself in.  Even with his recent success, I still feel that Brett Gardner, when healthy, is a better fit for the Yankees.  Nevertheless, I was glad to see that Melky had found major league success as a regular.

Well, until the day it was announced that he had been suspended.  I lost most if not all respect that day.  Melky’s quick acceptance of his suspension only rubbed salt in the wound, and now there’s a report that he staged a bogus website in a botched attempt to mask his guilt.  I can gladly say that I am glad that Melky is not a Yankee today.  I would not want him on my team and if I was the Giants’ GM Brian Sabean, I’d cut my losses and move on.  The last thing the Giants need is a player with the aura of substance abuse, particularly on the heels of former Giants outfielder Barry Bonds.  Character should be the first criteria when determining if a player is a good fit for any organization.  Yes, athletic ability and talent rank very highly but it means nothing if the player is one of poor character.

News of the totally irrelevant…

Speaking of substance abuse, it’s ironic that another former Yankee is again in the news.  There were reports that Roger Clemens has signed with an independent team.  Seriously?  A 50-year-old pitcher trying to make a comeback?  The only guy who could make Jamie Moyer look like a teenager?  I don’t care if Clemens was acquitted in June.  He is one guy that I never want to see wear pinstripes again or ever set foot on Yankee Stadium soil.

I have been supportive of current Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte.  There was something very honest about Pettitte’s admission of substance abuse a few years back.  Maybe he has all of us fooled.  Maybe not.  I tend to believe the latter.  On the other hand, I don’t believe anything Roger Clemens has to say.  Nor do I believe Alex Rodriguez for that matter.  I tolerate Rodriguez because he is on the Yankees but I am not a fan of his.

I’d like to put Melky in the category of guys that should be forgiven, but he just strikes me as another Clemens or A-Rod at this point.  It is incredible that a guy, at this point in time, would risk millions by doing something that is so closely watched.  He was on the fast track for failure.  I doubt we’ve seen the last of Melky but I hope that he learns something from the time off.

I was a Yankee for two months…

I know that the Ichiro in Pinstripes Era is very short-lived and will be expiring at the end of the season, but it was a joy to see him hit two home runs off Josh Beckett in the weekend series against the Red Sox.  Although the Yankees only took two of three from the Sox, this is not the same Red Sox squad of years passed.  Although Bobby Valentine has gotten a vote of confidence from the Front Office, I don’t see how he makes it past just one season in Boston.  It is no secret the Sox covet Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell so if there’s a way to pry him from Canada, I am sure that he will be immediately named the next manager of the Sox.

How did I go from Ichiro to John Farrell?  I am not quite sure about that one myself…

Where did all these former Dodgers come from?…

It’s only a brief sample, but I really wouldn’t mind seeing Derek Lowe return as the long man in the pen next season.  I’ve always admired Lowe’s competitiveness and determination.  It’s still a bit weird watching him in pinstripes, but he is a welcome addition.  There’s no doubt that I want to see the return of pitcher Hiroki Kuroda.  He’s been even better than I had anticipated.  I always wondered why Dodger fans were so endeared to him as I had viewed him as a middle of the road starter.  But, wow, I was wrong!  I totally get why he meant so much to Dodger fans.  The team would be lost without Kuroda, particularly after the DL stints of most notably CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte.

It’s hard to believe that September is right around the corner.  I guess we will soon be inundated with magic numbers.  There is only one number I am concerned about…#28.  Let’s go, Yankees!

–Scott

 

Wanted:  Clutch Hitter – Only the experienced need to apply!…

Although there have not been any official explanations for the DH plans this upcoming season, there’s been reports that the Yankees are content with a rotation to include Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones and Derek Jeter, with Eduardo Nunez sliding around the infield filling the holes.  My concern last season and it gave me a bad feeling heading into the play-offs that the Yankees had missed the clutch bats they enjoyed when Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui were on the roster.  Damon’s home run in the 2004 ALCS helped propel the Boston Red Sox to a comeback victory over the Yankees, and propelled the Sox to their first World Championship since the days of Babe Ruth.  I’ve heard minor league slugger Jorge Vazquez mentioned as a possibility, but I am with those who believe that he skills do not translate to the major league level.

In my opinion, the Yankees need to do something.  I am not looking for a $10 million slugger who would command 90% to 95% of the DH at-bats.  I am content with someone who could take the majority of the at-bats, allowing for the A-Rod/Jeter rotation, and would know and accept their role.  That’s why I feel that either Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui would make complete sense.  I know the Yankees want to limit their payroll at this point and I get that.  But if the difference in making the World Series or not was an additional $5 million, would it not be worth it?  Yeah, yeah, it’s not my money and $5 million is a lot of money.  But when you are spending $210 million, what’s $215 million?  Wouldn’t the return on a championship more than replenish the difference?  The Yankees have options and I know that’s why they are not in a rush.  I’ve even heard Raul Ibanez’ name mentioned and would agree that he would be a viable option.  I guess I have greater affection for guys who have proven they can win in pinstripes.

It’s funny but the Philadelphia Phillies look like geniuses for signing Jim Thome early in the off-season.  At the time, it looked like a bad fit.  Maybe he stays with the Phillies, but they could actually move him for something at this point given the DH desperation that exists for a number of teams besides the Yankees (like the Detroit Tigers, for example).  If GM Ruben Amaro could somehow swing Thome for a decent prospect, he’d build upon his legacy as a great general manager.

It will be interesting to see how the coming weeks play out, but the Yankees clearly need a guy who can come through in the clutch.  Now more than ever…

If he is older than dirt, what does that make me?…

Congratulations to Jamie Moyer for his minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Colorado Rockies.  I was really surprised when I heard that Moyer intended to make a comeback following his recovery.  At 49, the odds are probably against him, but you have to love his no-quit mentality.

Sometimes good fans are the difference…

Similar congratulations go to reliever Joel Zumaya, who signed with a quality organization (the Minnesota Twins).  Ironically, it was at Target Field where Zumaya’s elbow exploded a couple of years ago.  I remember when he was hailed as THE flamethrower in the league, and was a huge part of the Detroit Tigers bullpen.  It’s anybody’s guess what kind of pitcher he will be going forward, but it would be good to see him recapture success for an organization that deserves better than last year’s 99 losses.  With the departure of Joe Nathan and the inconsistency of Matt Capps, there’s certainly going to be opportunity with the closing and set up roles for the Twins.

It was a bit hard to imagine Zumaya throwing from the mound at Target Field this morning as the temperature reading in my car read -10 degrees in downtown Minneapolis.  The weathermen were reporting that with the wind chill factor, it felt like -38.  In weather like that, it’s hard to imagine that the lights of Target Field will be back on in just a couple of months.  While I admit that the 16 degrees I experienced in Winnipeg, Manitoba a few weeks back felt much colder, there’s no question that in temps like this you just want to go from your heated house to your heated car to your heated work.  This past summer, I was in Phoenix when it was in the 120’s.  All things considered, I’ll gladly take -38 in Minneapolis as opposed to 122 degrees in Phoenix.  I don’t care that it’s paradise in Arizona right now…

Deux Sorianos?…

Back to the Yankees, I’ve wondered if some kind of deal involving the Chicago Cubs would work.  The Yankees want to unload A.J. Burnett, and he’d clearly benefit from a change of scenery.  He’d also be more effective in the National League at this point.  I wouldn’t say that the pressure would be less in Chicago, but I think A.J. could more himself.  Conversely, the Cubs have an albatross with Alfonso Soriano.  Soriano could still be a fairly productive DH at this point in his career.  Not that I want to give two rosters spots to over-paid, under-productive Sorianos but it would be a potential solution.  I think I can speak for most Yankees fan when I say that we’ve rode the Burnett train about as far as we care to.  Now that Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda have all but pushed Burnett out of the rotation, a win-win trade with the Cubs would certainly make sense.

Yeah, you and what bank?…

If I’m Cole Hamels, I am going for free agency in the fall of 2012.  Don’t even talk to me about an extension!  If the Texas Rangers will lay out $110 million for an unproven, albeit very highly talented, pitcher, there’s no question what a championship performer like Hamels can command on the open market.

I choose you, no, maybe you…

I am glad that Bartolo Colon was able to find a home with the Oakland A’s, but admittedly, I am glad that he is not returning for an encore performance in the Bronx.  I am not quite sure with what happened between Colon and the Arizona Diamondbacks (he apparently agreed with them and then reneged, ala David Wells a few years ago), but I am sure he had his reasons for why Oakland was a better fit.  But I guess those reasons didn’t include W’s…

Those pesky Nats!…

As for the ongoing Prince Fielder sweepstakes, I just wish the Washington Nationals would put one of those ridiculous Jayson Werth type contracts in front of him and get him signed.  I’d be surprised if the Texas Rangers were financially able to sign both Yu Darvish and Fielder but stranger things have happened.  I really don’t want to see Fielder in for Mitch Moreland on the defending AL Champions.  I still think the Los Angeles Angels, thanks to Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, are a better team in the AL West, with or without Fielder on the Rangers, but I certainly do not want the potential roadblocks to a Yankees World Series getting stronger.

First base at Yankee Stadium will forever mean Lou Gehrig to me until the day I die, even if I didn’t personally get to see him play.  For what I have seen, Don Mattingly is the epitome of greatness.  I was a bit skeptical when Tino Martinez took over for Mattingly, but he played the position as well as anyone could have following the footprints of #23.  I loved the signing of Mark Teixeira and he was a prime reason for the Yankees success in 2009, but after a couple of disappointing seasons with the usual stone cold starts, something has to give.  Defense alone at first base is not enough.  Not that I want to go back to the days of Giambi (great bat, not-so-great glove), but Tex needs to dedicate himself to an improved performance in 2012.  I know that we’ll have to deal with the usual sluggish start, but he needs to show that he can be more like the 2009 Teixeira than the 2011 version.

Well, I am at this end of this post, but I see that GM Brian Cashman still has much work ahead of him before we start talking about games at Legends Field…

–Scott

A Win And A Loss And A…

A split against Doc Halladay and Jamie Moyer is not so bad until you realize that the loss was against the latter…

 

The Yankees pummeled Philadelphia starter Roy Halladay on Tuesday night with three home runs in defeating the Phillies 8-3.  The victory was somewhat of a surprise given that Halladay held an 18-6 mark against the Yankees going into the game.  Time and again, Halladay has frustrated Yankee bats, but last night was not one of those times.  If memory serves correctly, Halladay has also lost to the Boston Red Sox this season so his reunion with the AL East has not been very enjoyable for him.

 

Tonight, ancient starter Jamie Moyer got revenge in helping the Phillies defeat the Yanks, 6-3.  The seats at Yankee Stadium were barely warm by the time the Phillies had surged ahead 6-1 after three innings.  The relief contingent of Boone Logan (freshly called up from AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre to replace DL-bound Marcus Thames) and Chad (is he still around?) Gaudin pitched superbly and gave the Yankees a chance to climb back into it.   The Yankees weren’t really able to get anything going although they did bring the potential tying run to the plate before Jorge Posada struck out to end the game.  Where are those grand slams (or at least a 3-run dinger in this case) when you need them?  Oh well, tomorrow is a new day.  Fortunately, the Tampa Bay Rays also lost (6-2 to the Atlanta Braves) so the Yankees remain tied for the AL East lead despite the loss.

 

Moyer became the oldest pitcher to beat the Yankees at 47 years, 155 days.  The previous oldest pitcher was former Yankee Phil Niekro who was 47 years, 122 days when he last beat the Yanks according to the Elias Sports Bureau.   

 

Julia will be quick to point out that the Boston Red Sox are only three games back after their 6-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.  The city needs something to cheer about given that they will lose the NBA Finals to the soon-to-be World Champion Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night!  J

 

There has been much speculation that the Yankees should pursue a trade for a frontline pitcher like Cliff Lee or Roy Oswalt.  That’s a tough one.  As much as I would like Cliff Lee, I have a tough time finding a spot in the rotation for him.  CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Phil Hughes are locks and not going anywhere.  A.J. Burnett, as frustrating as he can be at times, isn’t going anywhere.  So, the only spot would be Javier Vazquez but he’s been arguably the Yankees best pitcher for the past month.  I guess the question would then become whether you can trust Vazquez for the remainder of the season.   If the Yankees can trade for Lee contingent upon signing him to a new contract, perhaps it makes sense given Javy’s impending free agency.  But, of course, at what cost?  If you are talking about Jesus Montero or Austin Romine and other top talent, it is probably not worth it (and that is what it would take).  It would be better to take your chances during free agency in the off-season.  The downside is that you wouldn’t have Lee in the play-off rotation should the team get that far.  Okay, I know they’ll get that far, but it is a little early yet.  It’s probably better to build a stronger bench for the stretch run…

 

Apparently, the Yankees have tentatively reached an agreement with top 2010 draft pick shortstop Christopher “Cito” Culver.  Culver, who had signed a letter of intent with the University of Maryland, withdrew from his commitment to the school.  The Yankees cannot formally sign Culver until he officially graduates from high school. 

 

A Pac-10 match-up between Colorado and Utah?  It could happen if the Utes accept the conference’s invitation to join.  Wow, this has been a crazy off-season.  Colorado to the Pac-10, Nebraska to the Big 10, Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and others staying put in the Big 12.  Growing up in the Midwest, there was always something special about those Nebraska-OU games so it will be sad to see the rivalry, as we know it, come to an end.  Granted, Nebraska hasn’t done much in recent years, but the Cornhuskers are still a premier school.  As a fan of the University of Iowa, it will be fun to see Nebraska-Iowa on a consistent basis, but it won’t be the same. 

 

–Scott

 

When Does the WBC Start? Not Soon Enough…

A-Rod – What else are we going to talk about?

I found it somewhat humorous Alex Rodriguez said that he will be under intense scrutiny for “the next 18 months to 24 months”.  Interesting how one can predict the exact time frame involved in the ‘post-confession’ period.  Does that mean we are guaranteed of no reference to A-Rod in March 2011?  Looking forward to it!

Personally, I don’t blame Alex for not wanting to talk about his past drug use following the press conference earlier in the week.  If he talked, he’d run the risk of contradicting his previous comments…

Wallace Matthews of Newsday wrote a great piece today about how GM Brian Cashman wanted to ‘move on’ when A-Rod opted out of his ‘drug-induced’ $250 million contract in 2007.  Cashman’s position has gone largely unnoticed until now, but he could have saved the organization from much embarrassment.  A-Rod’s return only came about when A-Rod bypassed agent Scott Boras and dealt with the Yankees and Hank Steinbrenner directly.

 A day after his 'roid-related press conference, Alex Rodriguez returned to the field Wednesday for the start of spring training.

Credit:  Altaffer/AP

 

It should come as a welcome relief when A-Rod joins the Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic team early next month.  Egads!  The reporters in Yankees camp will have only baseball to talk about!  Of course, there might be mention of the scandalous time that Mark Teixeira took a couple of Advil for a post-game headache…

More Yankees in the Headlines?

I have to admit that I was startled for a moment when I saw the headline about the frozen assets belonging to Johnny Damon and Xavier Nady.  Of course, it is clear that they are innocent victims.  The government’s freeze of a company affiliated with Robert Allen Stanford impacted accounts owned by Damon and Nady.

Neither Damon nor Nady invested directly with Stanford funds but rather they invested through broker dealers whose accounts were with a Stanford company.

It was reported that Damon complained of being unable to pay his bills and Nady could not put down a deposit on a New York apartment.  I find it surprising that both would wrap up their assets through a single source.  I guess diversification is not something they are concerned with.  I also find it interesting that both players are represented by agent Scott Boras.  Thanks for the sound financial advice, Scott!  And, oh by the way, Jason Varitek sends his love!

Credit:  Branimir Kvartuo/AP

 

The Return of Bernabe Figueroa Williams

Enjoy camp for a few days, Bernie, but don’t get used to it!

I have to admit that it was both strange and exciting to see Bernie Williams wearing Yankee gear with number 51 on his back.  However, that does not mean I would want to see him make a comeback with the team.  At this point, I’d clearly prefer Nick Swisher over Bernie.  I thought Bernie was a great Yankee but time has moved on.

Williams and Derek Jeter last played together in 2006 ...

Credit:  Antonelli/New York Daily News

 

Then again, Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer won a world championship at age 45, winning 16 games in 2008.  But c’mon, this guy just doesn’t age…

 

Bernie had begun a significant decline by 2006, and there is no chance that future years will be any better.  He played more and better than expected in 2006, but it was time to turn the page.  His presence on the roster would potentially prevent the presence of a younger player with more potential.

Upon completion of the WBC, Bernie should focus on his musical career.  His latest CD, Moving Forward, is scheduled for release on April 14, 2009. The CD includes a special live performance with Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa.

 

 

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