Results tagged ‘ Joba Chamberlain ’
Two out of three ain’t bad!…
The trend continues. The Yankees have played three series so far this young season, and have won two out of three in each. The schedule makers were very unkind to the Yankees as they pitted their top 3 foes to start the season. Fortunately, the results have been very favorable. I realize that there are many games to be played but given the Yankees are historically slow starters, at least in recent years; this season has gotten off to a great start.
Tonight, despite an inability to get Hideki Matsui out, the Yankees prevailed against the Los Angeles Angels, 6-2. The game saw the return of Angels starter Scott Kazmir (fresh off the DL) and starter-turned 8th inning setup guy-turned starter Phil Hughes. The Yankees made it a short night for Kazmir (4 innings, 6 runs) but Hughes did struggle somewhat with his control as he gave up 5 walks and was gone in the 6th with no outs. He did strike out 6 and only gave up 3 hits and 2 runs in picking up the win.
Robinson Cano was the star of the game with 2 tremendous home runs. Derek Jeter also contributed with a homer and 2 RBI’s. I don’t think Curtis Granderson will need an adjustment period. He has already shown that he likes being a Yankee and his two triples tonight were fantastic. Meanwhile, I am getting a bit tired of seeing goose eggs next to Mark Teixeira’s name but fortunately April will soon be over. Mariano Rivera, as efficient as ever, came on to pick up his 4th save in relief of Joba Chamberlain. I have to admit, there was some satisfaction that it was Bobby Abreu who grounded out to end the game. A good win and a good series…
Tim Farrell/The Star Ledger
Now, the Yankees await the arrival of the Texas Rangers for a weekend series in the Bronx. What can CC Sabathia do to follow up on the one-hit performance in his previous start? All is well at 161st and River…
I will admit that Javier Vazquez has had a rough start in his reunion with the Yankees. He is 0-2 with a 9.82 ERA. However, I am not so sure he deserved to be booed as he walked off the mound during Wednesday’s 5-3 loss to the Angels. I’d really like to see a few more starts before fans rush to judgment. If you want a player to be the best that he can be, boos and cat calls are probably not the answer. Save those for Fenway Park or Tropicana Field. In Yankee Stadium, the fans should be united in their support of the players. If a player is bad or ill-suited for New York so be it, but 2 games does not a season make! Back off and give Javy some room. He’ll be fine…
Today was Jackie Robinson Day around Major League Baseball as players honored the late Dodgers great by wearing his jersey number (42) which was previously retired throughout baseball except for those players who wore the number at the time.
Barton Silverman/The New York Times
The last player to wear 42 in either league is, of course, the great Mariano Rivera. As Mo so eloquently put it, “It’s a privilege, an honor to be the last one to wear 42; it’s a blessing for me. I definitely have a job to do to represent him well.” Mo, I think you’ve succeeded. Here’s to Jackie Robinson and how he changed baseball for the better.
The Bully has spoken…
As much as I love the Yankees and support their right to spend whatever is necessary to win, I admittedly have trouble warming up to Yankees president Randy Levine. I agree with Levine’s words: “We play by all the rules and there doesn’t seem to be any complaints when teams such as the Brewers receive hundreds of millions of dollars that they get from us in revenue sharing the last few years. Take some of that money that you get from us and use that to sign your players”, Levine said in an interview with ESPNNewYork.com in response to Milwaukee owner Mark Attanasio’s ongoing complaints about how much the Yankees spend. Per ESPN, the Yankees have paid out nearly $175 million in the last 7 years (92% of the total revenue sharing that has been paid out to teams).
I agree, in principle, with everything Levine has said, but he still comes across as a big bully. I don’t follow the business side of the Yankees as much as I do the playing side so maybe I just don’t know Levine. Or maybe this truly is the real Levine. Either way, I am not a fan of his…
After failing to see the much-needed clutch hit during Sunday night’s loss to the Red Sox, I could not help but notice Monday’s box scores:
Johnny Damon, Detroit Tigers (8-4 win over the Kansas City Royals)
2 hits (including a double); 2 runs; and 2 RBI’s
Hideki Matsui, Los Angeles Angels (6-3 win over the Minnesota Twins)
2 hits (including a solo home run); 1 run; and 2 RBI’s
Rose Palmisano/The Orange County Register
The four RBI’s could have come in very handy on Sunday night!
At least Melky Cabrera went 0-for-5 for the Atlanta Braves. Well, he did score a run. Ugh!
The Yankees captured their first win of the season with a 6-4 victory in Boston. The win evens the series, and sets up the getaway game as the deciding game in my latest wager with Julia of Julia’s Rants. It should be a great game with Andy Pettitte facing new Red Sox pitcher John Lackey. Hopefully, I will be arranging for the shipment of a book to the Boston area so that a friend of mine can begin her book assignment!
In tonight’s game, Nick Johnson did EXACTLY what he was signed to do…get on base. With the bases loaded in the 8th and the score tied 4-4, Nick worked a walk to bring in the go-ahead run. Robinson Cano added an insurance run with a solo homer in the 9th, but Nick Johnson was definitely the key to the rally.
Joba Chamberlain showed me that he is the 8th inning set up guy, and Mariano Rivera proved, yet again, he is a legend in our midst. I am sure it will be a very sad day when Mo walks off the mound for the final time. I have been very proud of him all these years, and he probably is my favorite Yankee.
It was not a great night for Boston’s Jon Lester but I am convinced this will be a big year for him. I may not be a Red Sox fan but I am a Jon Lester fan. Beckett and Lackey? Not so much…
We’re off to the races…
It was Game 1 of 162 tonight as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox kicked off the 2010 season on a warm night at Fenway Park. After a cold and rainy day in Northern California, I turned on the TV to ESPN and was surprised to see it was 67 degrees at game time. I had not checked out the weather forecast, and had expected to see a game played in the 30′s or 40′s. It sounds like the warm weather will stay through the duration of the three game series. Hopefully, the Yankees can keep things hot at Fenway (well, maybe not tonight but there’s still two games to play)…
The night got off to a great start for new Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson. In the bottom half of the first inning, he recorded the first out of the Yankees season by catching a fly out by Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury. Then, in the top of the 2nd inning, after Jorge Posada had hit a liner off the foul pole in right for a home run, Curtis hit the first ‘no doubt about it’ home run of the season to put New York up 2-0, his first official at-bat as a Yankee.
Speaking of impressive beginnings, not-so-new Yankee but new left fielder Brett Gardner showed why the team has shown faith in him. After reaching base in the fourth, Gardner advanced to third and later scored on a double steal. His speed on base is a difference maker so if he can continue to hit, this could be the beginning of a great season. Not bad for the shortest guy on the team. Long live short guys!
On the downside, the short guy didn’t look so good in the 5th inning when his throw home was way off line, allowing two rather than just one runner to advance into scoring position. Fortunately, no damage was done aside from the run that scored during the errant throw. Still, Gardner is going to have to work on his play in left and adjust to the angles.
Neither starting pitcher figured into the outcome of the game. Josh Beckett was chased early (in the 5th), but CC Sabathia met the same fate the next inning. Clearly, neither has the stamina they will have in August. But bullpen to bullpen, I like the Yankees chances. Last year at this time, there were few reliable arms in the pen outside of the great Mariano Rivera. It took several months until Joe Girardi was able to make some moves that gelled. This year, the pen is a strength from top to bottom. Boston’s pen does scare me if Daniel Bard realizes his potential, but until then, the Yankees have a chance against the Boston relievers.
Tonight was not meant to be for the Yankees bullpen as the Red Sox rallied for the 9-7 victory. The primary culprits were Chan Ho Park and David Robertson, although Jorge Posada figured into the equation with what should have been a passed ball. Still, I think the Yankees bullpen will be a strength over the course of the season. Joba Chamberlain gave up a run, but I fully expect him to thrive in the 8th inning role and grab it permanently over the course of the next month or so. As the ESPN announcers related, Joba throws with a sense of urgency in a relief role, and that was missing during his time as a starter. Chamberlain-to-Rivera should be a good combo in later games. I loved Rivera-to-Wettleland, so hopefully, Chamberlain-to-Rivera can become equally as good if not better.
I know, Julia is ahead 1-0 with the advantage in our latest wager. Congratulations to her for the Game 1 victory. On the bright side, we still have 161 more games before anything is decided.
Hats off to Dustin Pedroia for his play in tonight’s Red Sox victory. I admit that he has the heart of a lion, and Boston is very fortunate to have such a great second baseman.
Boone Logan found out it’s not good to be the 25th man, when he was optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre prior to today’s game to make room for outfielder Marcus Thames.
Leading up to the Opener, I heard constant reminders of Aaron Boone’s home run to win the 2003 American League Championship Series against the Red Sox. Boston got its revenge a year later, but Boone will forever be defined by that home run. Actually that’s rather silly in mind given that he spent over six years in Cincinnati as a Red, compared to a couple of months in 2003 as a Yankee. He also played with the Cleveland Indians, Florida Marlins, Washington Nationals and Houston Astros. Given that Boston did win the following year, I don’t think Boone’s home run will stand the test of time like Bucky Dent’s 1978 home run. Nevertheless, it continues to be the hit people talk about when his name comes up.
In a trade that surprised me, the Washington Redskins acquired quarterback Donovan McNabb from the Philadelphia Eagles. You never expect a team to trade with a bitter division rival and that’s exactly what transpired today. Now, the Eagles will face McNabb twice a year. The Eagles did not get the first round pick they were seeking, but did secure a second round pick in this year’s draft and either a third or fourth round pick next year. I thought that McNabb would have fit well with the Minnesota Vikings since they play a similar scheme to the Eagles, but perhaps the Vikings’ lack of interest is a sign that Brett Favre will return this summer.
I hope everyone had a very happy and enjoyable Easter!
Joe Girardi went with the right choice…
Al Tielemans/Sports Illustrated
As expected, Phil Hughes was named to the Yankees starting rotation this week. While he may not have had the best spring of the contenders, he offers the greatest potential and we should look back in a few years with very appreciative eyes.
As soon as the move was announced, the blogs about how the Yankees have destroyed Joba Chamberlain started rolling in. I cannot say that the path Joba has taken has been the best for a young pitcher’s success, however, at the time of the original Joba Rules, he was compared to Boston’s Josh Beckett. He had pitched very effectively in the bullpen and it seemed as though he had the stuff to make the transition to staff ace. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it was not meant to be. I truly believe the Yanks are better with Joba in the pen so long as he has a clearly defined 8th inning role setting up Mariano Rivera.
I knew that either Chad Gaudin or Sergio Mitre would be the odd man out. I had expected a minor trade of Mitre for a prospect. So I was a bit surprised when the Yankees placed Gaudin on waivers and subsequently gave him his outright release. Gaudin is young and talented enough to land on his feet. His stay in New York was short but he walks away with a ring.
After defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series, the team became impossible to beat this spring. In five meetings, the Yankees were able to win only one game. Fortunately, they cannot take away the World Series championship for the ‘what have you done for me lately’ situation. Joe Girardi listened to me when I said he should choose Phil Hughes. Perhaps he should listen to me again…win World Championship #28!
It was a sad week with the removal of a significant part of the old Yankee Stadium.
Howard Smith/US Presswire
Derek Jeter wants to be a team owner? Well, he should certainly have the financial wherewithal if he has invested his money wisely. Still, it will be a sad day when Derek Jeter is associated with a team other than the Yankees. Hopefully, it won’t happen until after his playing days are over. I will always be a huge fan of Don Mattingly but the Dodgers uniform does consistently give me a jolt.
The Red Sox have announced their Opening Day starter so it will be Josh Beckett versus CC Sabathia. Hey Julia, are you ready? I am! Game on, my friend! P.S. You are going down…again!
Nancy Lane/Boston Herald
“To keep our focus toward change and behave like free spirits
in the presence of fate is strength undefeated.”
– Helen Keller
So much has been written about the vacancy in the Yankees’ starting rotation, but I still think it’s Phil Hughes’ job to lose…
The competition has been tough. The early leaders were Alfredo Aceves and Sergio Mitre, thanks to their consistently solid performances. However, in my mind, it’s always been Hughes. Aceves could go the entire spring without allowing an earned run and I’d still be behind Hughes for the 5th spot in the rotation. Aceves, for the record, was blasted for 5 runs in 4+ innings today in an 8-6 loss to the Houston Astros.
Keivom/NY Daily News
I know the Yankees invested much time trying to make Joba Chamberlain a starter. The “Joba Rules” date back to the Joe Torre era as the Yankees tried, albeit very cautiously, to build up Joba’s arm strength and stamina for 200 innings plus per season. But the truth is Joba is ideally suited for the bullpen. His make-up, demeanor, and approach is much more aggressive in a defined relief role. He has looked uncomfortable and at times lost as a starter.
My preference is for Aceves to resume his long relief role, Joba to set up Mariano Rivera (and spelling him on occasion), and Gaudin find his niche in the bullpen. Sergio Mitre has pitched well, but I’d try to trade him for a young prospect.
William Perlman/The Star Ledger
When making the decision for who will be the starter, you really have to project who has the best chance for long-term success. Regardless of who pitches the best in March, the winner needs to be someone who can give the Yankees the best chance for October success. The answer is obvious…Hughes.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Curtis Granderson was hit on the right hand in Friday night’s game, but it sounds like he’ll be fine and should be back in the lineup on Sunday. It’ll be just in time to see Phil Hughes nail the final spot in the starting rotation.
Julian H. Gonzalez/McClatchy
The talks of the Yanks’ interest in Joe Mauer reminds me of the talk we’ve heard in the past about the Yankees getting Carlos Beltran, Roy Halladay, Johan Santana, Matt Holliday, Aroldis Chapman et al. All smoke and no fire. As great as Mauer is, the Yankees do not need an injury risk at the catching position. I still think that Mauer will eventually land with the Boston Red Sox if the Minnesota Twins don’t re-sign him. Perhaps it will be a great move for the Sox, and Mauer will make fans forget Jason Varitek and Carlton Fisk. But I don’t he is a good fit for the Yankees. They’ll be fine with Jesus Montero, assuming that he doesn’t “out-grow” the position, as Jorge Posada’s eventual successor. If Montero does have to move because of his physical size, then I am willing to take my chances with Francisco Cervelli or Austin Romine.
Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger
I am amazed that Jamie Moyer, at age 47, is on the verge of nailing down a spot in the rotation for the championship-contending Philadelphia Phillies. He is definitely the Energizer Bunny…
Lori M. Nichols
Personally, I think the Washington Nationals should have kept super-prospect Stephen Strasburg in the major league starting rotation. Nevertheless, I don’t think he should buy a house or sign a long-term lease in Harrisburg, PA. He won’t be there long…
As you know, I am not a fan of the Boston Red Sox (regardless of how much my friend Julia would like for me to be). However, I do want to send my prayers and best wishes to Ryan Westmoreland, Boston’s 19-year-old outfield prospect, who underwent successful brain surgery last week. He faces a tough road and a long recovery, but at least the initial news was promising. Let’s hope the news continues on its current positive, upward trend. Regardless of whether he ever plays baseball again, I will always be a fan of his in whatever he does. I only hope that it will be nothing short of complete and absolute recovery. Ryan, we are all on your team!
Ruben W. Perez/The Providence Journal
When I saw that the University of Northern Iowa had defeated top-seeded Kansas in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, I could only think of one thing…never underestimate the power of an Iowan! Signed, an Iowan. J
I am headed to Dallas for the week on business. I pulled up the weather forecast and was shocked that it was snowing in Dallas on the first day of spring! Meanwhile, in Boston, it was 71 degrees today! What’s up with that? And why do I have to leave this gorgeous, sunny California weather?…
Unfortunately, Johnny Damon hasn’t forgotten how to beat the Yankees…
Gene J. Puskar/AP
In Damon’s first appearance against his ex-mates, he hit an RBI single and a solo home run to power the Tigers to victory, 6-2, in Lakeland, Florida. Hopefully, this doesn’t become a regular occurrence in Yankees-Tigers matchups. Two of the hopefuls for the fifth spot in the starting rotation were the victims of Damon’s abuse. Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre each gave up three earned runs in three and four innings of work, respectively. Austin Jackson even got in on the action with some great defensive plays.
Gene J. Puskar/AP
On the bright side, the Yankees also played the Baltimore Orioles in Tampa and won 5-3 behind the heroics of Jorge Posada. Javier Vazquez was the starter and winner, but Alfredo Aceves continued to impress. So, if Phil Hughes has competition for the starting rotation, I’d have to say that Aceves is the top contender at this point. I am convinced that Joba Chamberlain is headed to the pen, and either Mitre or Gaudin (or both) will find themselves pitching elsewhere.
Gene J. Puskar/AP
Kei Igawa, perhaps the Yankees most disappointing free-agent signing in recent memory outside of anyone named Carl, saw his latest attempt to make the Yankees flame out. He was one of nine players cut and re-assigned to minor league camp. The other notable name, but not unexpected, was pitcher Andrew Brackman. The odds have definitely been against Brackman but I hope he can persevere and pitch in the big leagues one day.
Nick Latham/Getty Images
As a Minnesota Vikings fan, this has been a disappointing off-season so far. Of course, there’s the inevitable ‘will he or won’t he’ retirement talk about Brett Favre. If Favre does retire, it’s hard to get excited about the team’s offense being helmed by either Tavaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels. We’ve already seen a great running back depart when Chester Taylor signed with the rival Chicago Bears. The team wined and dined free agent LaDainian Tomlinson, but he left Minnesota for New York with no agreement. Nothing against Minneapolis, but it’s hard to compete with the city of New York. There’s no telling where LT will eventually land, but he would be a nice backup for Adrian Peterson. So far, the Vikings biggest acquisition has been the free agent signing of long kicker Rhys Lloyd. Hopefully, the Vikings will be able to make the necessary moves to ensure that their current championship quality window does not close without any hardware.
Peter Read Miller/SI
This has been an interesting year on American Idol. I have seen most of my early favorites depart, so I’ve had to find new ones to back. At this point, I am a fan of Crystal Bowersox and Lee Dewyze. I am surprised at some of those who advanced to the Top 12 and some who didn’t, but the show should start heating up in the coming weeks.
I am headed down to Burbank to see The Tonight Show with Jay Leno this week. The scheduled guests are Terry Bradshaw and Kara DioGuardi. The musical guest is Ziggy Marley. It should be a fun and energetic show to watch. I am looking forward to it. I was able to see The Late Show with David Letterman last year, so it will be fun to see how it compares to Leno. Of course, from my perspective, I can’t wait until Conan O’Brien is back on the air…
Mostly cloudy and 58 degrees…
So, that’s the forecast for the first workout scheduled on Thursday for pitchers and catchers. It seems very appropriate that the Yankees would face cloudy skies on their first official workout. The skies, during the upcoming season, are sure to be filled with dark clouds, thunderstorms, and hurricanes. Nobody said it was going to be sunny skies on the road to a repeat World Series championship…
The Yankees will attempt to repeat without World Series heroes Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, or regular season “Pie King” Melky Cabrera. The team also said goodbye to Phil Coke, Jose Molina, Jerry Hairston, Jr., and Brian Bruney.
But newcomers Curtis Granderson, Javier Vazquez, Nick Johnson, Randy Winn, Jamie Hoffmann, Marcus Thames, and Boone Logan intend to give Yankees fans another summer to remember. Curtis Granderson was penciled into centerfield, particularly after the trade of Cabrera to Atlanta for Vazquez. However, talk in recent days has Grandy receptive to a potential move to left if Manager Joe Girardi decides to go that direction. Somehow, I think Grandy will always say and do the things that exhibit a ‘team first’ approach. Personally, I think Grandy should have gotten #28. However, he stepped aside so that Girardi could upgrade his number from 27 to 28 as the Yankees pursue their 28th World Championship. He’ll wear the number immortalized by Lou Piniella instead (#14). Hopefully, Girardi will hold the number for just one season and then switch to #29!
The presence of Javier Vazquez in the starting rotation should pay dividends. At various points during last season, there were times when the Yankees didn’t know what they were going to get out of their starting pitching outside of CC Sabathia. Vazquez should ensure no long losing streaks, and give consistency to the middle of the rotation. With slots 1 through 4 secure in the rotation, the battle is for the 5th spot. Best case scenario, in my mind, is Phil Hughes in the starting rotation, and Joba Chamberlain setting up Mariano Rivera. The others (Sergio Mitre, Chad Gaudin, and Alfredo Aceves) can vie for long relief.
While it is sad to see Jose Molina go, I am excited for Francisco Cervelli. He proved last year that he is a capable backup, and I look forward to watching him in a more critical role this year as Posada will see more time at DH than years’ past. Of course, Cervelli is just keeping the plate until Posada’s replacement, Jesus Montero is ready, but it will still be good to see his attitude and play during the upcoming season. If the Yankees decide to carry three catchers, the most likely candidate is veteran Mike Rivera.
Nick Laham/Getty Images
If the newcomers can quickly adapt to New York, and some of the younger guys can step up their play, the Yankees will be in good shape for another championship run. I know, it’s not a given that they will win, but they should be in position to determine who will be. For the upcoming season, I am most fearful of, in no particular order, the Boston Red Sox (don’t tell Julia!), the Seattle Mariners, the Tampa Bay Rays , and the Texas Rangers. I think the Los Angeles Angels will contend once again, however, their off-season losses outweighed their gains. I also think the Baltimore Orioles will be much improved and of course you can never count out the Minnesota Twins. It should be a very challenging and competitive run to the American League Championship!
On the National League side, I don’t really see any team that will dethrone the current NL champs, the Philadelphia Phillies. With Doc Halladay at the top of the rotation and starving for a championship, the Phillies will be in a league of their own. I’d like to see Joe Torre and the Los Angeles Dodgers make it to the World Series, but they weren’t able to do enough this off-season to bridge the gap with the Phillies. The Phillies do need to solve their bullpen woes, but I suspect they’ll make the necessary moves (with or without Brad Lidge).
Steven M. Falk/philly.com
Best wishes and prayers to longtime Yankees head trainer Gene Monahan. Monahan will miss his first spring training since 1963 with a “significant illness”. The Yankees also announced that he will most likely miss the first portion of the season as he undergoes treatment. Here’s hoping Gene makes a successful recovery and is able to resume his normal duties in the not-too-distant future…
Frank Franklin II/AP
Doc or Josh…
Joel Auerbach/US Presswire
To repeat as World Champions, the Yankees clearly have to upgrade the middle of their pitching staff. No offense to Andy Pettitte, but going into the play-offs with a three man rotation is not the recipe for continued success…especially if Bud Selig is successful in shortening the off-days during play-off series. At this point in his career, Andy is better served by bringing up the rear of the rotation. So, if the Yankees decide to pursue a frontline starter to go with CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, should they go after Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays or Josh Johnson of the Florida Marlins?
Pitcher to pitcher, it’s easy to say that the choice should be Roy Halladay. He is arguably the best pitcher in the American League, and he knows how to win in Boston, New York, Baltimore, Tampa and Toronto. He is not intimidated by the Los Angeles Angels, and at 32, he is primed for a few more years of dominance.
But if it were my decision, I’d have to go with Josh Johnson. I know that he doesn’t have Doc’s resume, and there is the age old argument that National League pitchers struggle in the American League. However, it goes beyond just Johnson’s age (he will be 26 next season). After undergoing Tommy John surgery in mid-2008, he is 22-6 since his return and according to FanGraphs, he ranked third in average fastball velocity this past season with 95.1 mph (behind Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Verlander). He enjoyed a very fine 2009 season, going 15-5, with 3.23 ERA. He struck out 191 batters in 2009 innings. He will continue to get better, and will soon be an elite ace if he’s not already there.
Probably the bigger reason I’d pursue Johnson is that either pitcher is going to require a hefty bounty in return. There is no doubt that the Yankees will lose the likes of Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, and other high level talent to make a trade. Realistically, if we are going to lose those guys, I’d rather see them pitching in the National League instead of right here in the AL East. The counter-argument is that some team is going to pay the Blue Jays a very high price, so they’ll walk away with a much stronger team either way. But still, I am not prepared to see Joba Chamberlain pitching for the Jays. The AL East should be very competitive next year. Aside from the Yankees and Red Sox, you know that the Tampa Bay Rays will be a force to be reckoned with. The fine young talent in Baltimore is finally starting to gel and should result in a much improved Orioles squad. So, if the Jays are smart about the pieces they receive in a Halladay trade, there will be no pushovers in the division.
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
The Yankees have A.J. Burnett locked up for four more years so I am not concerned about him. However, CC Sabathia still has the right to opt out of his contract after two more years so I think it would be wise for the Yankees to go with the younger option so that they can build a cornerstone for future years. I don’t think CC will opt out, however, as long as it exists as a possibility, it has to be considered. Much can happen in two years.
So, I say go with Josh Johnson and send the premium Yankee talent to the National League…even if that means Doc Halladay calling Fenway Park “home”. Yankees manager Joe Girardi is familiar with Johnson from his year as the Marlins manager in 2007, so it would aid Johnson’s transition to the Bronx.
There is a question of whether the Marlins organization will be willing to part with Johnson, but it should be interesting to see what develops in the coming weeks…
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
But tonight, I choose to see Kelly Clarkson…
Thus, endeth the regular season…
The Yankees emerged as the 2009 American League Eastern Division Champions with a 102-59 mark, finishing 8 games ahead of the not-so-beloved Boston Red Sox. Of course, now the real season begins…if the Yankees can ever figure out who they are going to play! Seriously, their opponent will be determined on Tuesday when the Detroit Tigers take on the Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
The Twins are hoping that the good vibes from Brett Favre’s victorious first game against the Green Bay Packers carries over until Tuesday. If not, it will be the Twins’ final game in the Metrodome as they prepare to move to a new park next season. The Vikings, by the way, defeated the Packers 30-23 behind the arm of Favre and the sacks of jared Allen…
I really do not have a preference of which team to face in the AL Divisional Series. Justin Verlander concerns me, but it’s not like the Twins don’t have their own “terrorists”. I wouldn’t really want to face Joe Mauer with the game on the line. Admittedly, I do not know a great deal about either team, but the Yankees are prepared to face whomever makes the journey to the Bronx on Wednesday.
Sunday, Alex Rodriguez continued to amaze me on his journey back from early season hip surgery. He went into Sunday’s action needing 2 home runs and 7 RBI’s to reach 30 homers and 100 ribbies for the 13th consecutive year. 13 proved to be the magic number as lightning struck in the 6th inning when A-Rod homered twice, and drove in 7 runs to set a new AL mark for a single inning. Move over, Big Papi!
Hopefully, Sunday’s game will launch A-Rod into a very productive post-season…
Also coming up huge Sunday was Joba Chamberlain in his 2009 bullpen debut in the 7th inning. He went one inning, and gave up no hits or runs, striking out one. The late inning trio of Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera looks like a good one for October success.
Today was the day that my friend Julia (of Julia’s Rants) paid off her debt to “society”. She was the unfortunate loser of a recent Yankees-Red Sox series, and she served her penance wearing a Lou Gehrig Yankees t-shirt and a pink Yankees hat in the city of Boston. Check out her site for the full report. Congrats Julia, you did an amazing job! You are just so good at losing! Seriously, it was a tremendous job…as usual!
Courtesy Julia’s Rants
For our next wager, I propose it will be determined by a) which team (Yankees or Red Sox) goes the deepest in the play-offs, or b) the winner of the AL Championship Series if both the Yankees and Red Sox advance. In the unlikely event both the Yankees and Red Sox lose their ALDS series, the wager becomes null and void and we begin plotting our revenge for 2010.
We will determine what’s at stake during the next few days so please stay tuned…
Yeah Julia, I’m ready! How about you?
Courtesy Julia’s Rants
Well, time to settle in for Tigers-Twins…let’s go Yankees!
“The” Rivalry continues…
When I was a kid, the Yankees chief rival seemed to fluctuate between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles. But for the last decade (or so it seems), the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry has been the most intense rivalry in sports. Well, at least from my perspective…
I lived in Dallas during the early 1990′s so I enjoyed the passion and the fire of the rivalry between the Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers. I hated the 49ers during those years. But in the grand scheme of things, the rivalry was short-lived since it is hard to maintain dominance in the parity-balanced NFL.
Now, residing near San Francisco, I recently attended a game between the Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers-Giants rivalry has been billed as very intense, but the game felt like a little league game compared to Yankees-Red Sox.
So, this is a great time to be a fan of the Yankees…or if you must, HER team…
Tonight, the Yankees made it ‘Advantage Scott’ in the latest wager between Julia and me. The Yankees emerged victorious with a 9-5 victory over the Red Sox to take the first game of a three-game set.
Paul J. Bereswill/AP
First and foremost, I want to say that I am glad Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester was not seriously hurt tonight. He took a liner off the bat of Melky Cabrera in the 3rd inning, and the ball struck near his right knee. He collapsed to the ground in pain, but X-Rays showed that he had suffered only a contusion in the quadriceps above the right knee. I may “hate” the Red Sox, but Lester has been one of my favorite players. He has been fantastic this season and he continues his progression toward elite status. Not that I want the Red Sox to do well in the play-offs , but Lester is vital to their success and I am glad that he’ll be ‘in the game’.
Paul J. Bereswill/AP
After starting the season 0-8 against the Red Sox, the Yankees have won 7 of 8. It has been a complete reversal of the early season results. Hopefully, the trend continues into October because these two teams are destined to meet again.
The Yankees started the scoring first with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Derek Jeter had left off the inning with a single and advanced with a stolen base, the first of 7 bags swiped on the night. With two outs, Alex Rodriguez scored Jeter with a single. It would prove to be a big night for the man who was almost a Red Sox (or is it Sock?) as he also had a two-run homer in the third and a run-scoring double in the sixth. His homer in the third set a Yankees single season record for most home runs at home with 127. Home sweet home…
After missing all of April and part of May, A-Rod has a shot for 100 RBI’s. With 4 RBI’s tonight against the Red Sox, he has 93 with 8 games left. Very impressive…
Paul J. Bereswill/AP
A-Rod, of all people, had three stolen bases.
It was a quality start for Joba Chamberlain, who went 6 innings. He gave up 5 hits, 3 runs, and 1 walk. He struck out 5. The performance earned Joba his 9th victory of the season (against 6 losses). He is clearly slotted for the bullpen when the play-offs begin (assuming that the Yankees win best record and their pick of the ideal play-off format), but it is good to see him regain a good form.
Paul J. Bereswill/AP
Hey Jonathan Albaladejo, I hear that the Pittsburgh Pirates are very interested in you. I’d go with them if I were you.
Outside of the performance of a future Pirates pitcher, it was a good night for the Yanks bullpen. A return to good health for David Robertson is all that this unit needs for October success. He didn’t pitch tonight, but I am still amazed that I am blessed to see the Hall of Fame career of closer Mariano Rivera. He caught the opening pitch by Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli, who wore the prestigious #42 jersey.
I felt that the only thing the Yankees needed to do to win the AL East was to win one game of this series, so that objective has been achieved. But my fear remains. If the Red Sox clinch the Wild Card slot during this series, they could become the first team to celebrate with champagne on the new Yankee Stadium grounds. The thought of that is horrific. Maybe the Sox won’t celebrate the Wild Card (like the Yankees win they clinched the play-off spot). After all, the Red Sox have won 2 of the last 5 World Series so just making the play-offs is no longer an excitement in Boston. Their magic number remains 3 with the loss, and a Texas Rangers win (they beat the long-forgotten Tampa Bay Rays, 8-3). All it takes is any combination of Red Sox wins and Ranger losses to clinch the Wild Card spot, so the risk of Sox champagne on Yankees carpet is very high. Of course, a Yankees sweep would give the Bronx Bombers the AL East Championship so that would be a great defensive mechanism!
Alright, one down, two to go. Let’s go Yankees! J