Results tagged ‘ Jorge Posada ’

Absolutely, Positively Unacceptable…

Jorge Posada’s Meltdown…

MLBlogs decides to convert to Word Press over THE weekend that Jorge Posada decides to meltdown!  Sheesh!  After weeks of not much to write about, the most enticing piece of Yankees news comes at a time when we were unable to talk about it.  Okay, I do applaud MLBlogs for upgrading our site, so we’ll forgive this one indiscretion.

Jorge Posada sits out of Saturday night's Yankees game against Boston, but sources say he told Brian Cashman (below) that wanted to be off the team when he was told he was batting ninth.

Andrew Theodorakis/The New York Daily News

During Saturday night’s game when it was announced during the game that Jorge Posada, who had asked out of the lineup, would be addressing the media after the game, I was convinced that he was going to announce his retirement.  Obviously I don’t know Jorge very well, because retirement is the furthest thing in his mind.  Nevertheless, his latest action has ensured that 2011 will be his final season in pinstripes…regardless of whether intends to continue playing or not.

Please do not get me wrong.  I’ve always appreciated Jorge’s intensity and passion, and how much he hates to lose.  He has been a great Yankee for many years, and he certainly deserves to be in the same room with Bill Dickey, Yogi Berra, Elston Howard, and Thurman Munson.  But I thought his reaction to batting 9th in the order Saturday night (asking out of the game) was completely inappropriate and it shows what is wrong with the 2011 Yankees.  The Yankees are currently in a free fall, having lost 6 in a row after getting swept in Yankee Stadium by the Boston Red Sox and losing Monday night’s game to the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Freefall…

It’s disappointing because the Yankees finally played April strong after years of slow starts.  Of course, it is now all for naught as they’ve had an atrocious May.  The signs were evident as the Yankees were winning by the home run in April and that’s not a sustainable winning strategy.  I think the problems can be tied to three players…Posada, Derek and Nick Swisher.  At some point, the Yankees have to break the Core and go younger.  I really don’t think this team can afford both Posada and Jeter in the lineup unless one or the other starts to hit.  Given the choice of the two, I’d prefer to see Derek Jeter stay.  I don’t think the Yankees will release Posada, but he’s clearly a liability at this point.

Free fall

Can we get to the Trading Deadline already?…

If Swisher doesn’t start hitting, the Yankees will be looking for an outfielder in addition to a left-handed starting pitcher at the trading deadline.  I only hope that the team doesn’t fall too far out by then.  The Rays are starting to separate themselves from the Yankees, and it won’t be long before they are passed by the Red Sox.

I don’t know what the best plan is, but clearly, GM Brian Cashman has his job cut out for him.  With principal owner Hal Steinbrenner’s comment that the Yankees shouldn’t get swept at home even if they are playing the 1927 Yankees, his tolerance level is going to be very low.  This will be a very critical year if Cashman and manager Joe Girardi intend to keep their jobs.

Credit Information

I am the gift that keeps on giving to my friend Julia…

Having lost the weekend series against the Red Sox to my friend Julia (of Julia’s Rants), there will be a bottle of Rodrigue Molyneaux’s Cabiovese (75% Sangiovese and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon) on its way to the East Coast.  Enjoy the wine, Julia.  Yes, I am getting tired of losing these wagers but I am convinced ‘what goes around, comes around’.  In other words, my turn will come.

Wow, did you see that?…

I participated in the 100th Bay to Breakers 12K Run in San Francisco on Sunday.  Being San Francisco, you’re assured of seeing about everything and Sunday was true to form.  This was my 4th time participating in the event, and it wasn’t my best time but I still had a great time figuratively speaking.  I didn’t wear a costume and, unlike quite a few people, I kept my clothes on but I can say that ‘people watching’ was at its finest.

Anna Vignet/The San Francisco Chronicle

–Scott

All I want for Christmas (err 4th of July) is a friggin’ pitcher…


This has not been a good
year for Yankees pitchers (or potential pitchers).  First, prime free agent target Cliff Lee signed with the Philadelphia
Phillies.  Then, Andy Pettitte decided it was time to stay home in Deer Park, Texas
to spend time with his family.  And now, Phil Hughes is on the DL and it doesn’t
sound like he’ll be coming off any time soon.



Fortunately, the Yankees
have gotten very solid pitching from Ivan
Nova
, Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon (much better than almost
anyone had expected).  But from the ‘glass
is half empty’ approach, can they keep it up? 
Most likely, there will be a few hiccups along the way.  Considering the Yankees have to decide by
Sunday whether to call up Kevin Millwood
or release, my guess is that they’ll bring him up as the long man in the pen
and send Buddy Carlyle back to
Scranton-Wilkes Barre.  Millwood would be
the first to start should Nova, Garcia or Colon suffer any setbacks.  At this point, I don’t think the Yankees can
afford to let Millwood slip away. 

As I write this post, I am
watching the 2011 NFL Draft.  I am
waiting to see who the Minnesota Vikings select with the #12 pick.  As it stands right now, the Buffalo Bills
just selected Marcell Dareus, DT
from Alabama with the #3 pick.  I want
the Vikings to pick a QB of the future, so I am okay if they reach with their
pick or trade down to get their man.  My
personal favorite for selection is QB Jake
Locker
from the University of Washington. 
We’ll see how the choice goes down later in this post.  If the Vikings don’t get Locker, I’d like to
see them find a way to get Christian
Ponder
or Andy Dalton.  As a fan of the University of Iowa, I’d love
to see Ricky Stanzi get a shot but I
recognize his talent and potential is below the other name QB’s. 

For as great as the Yankees
bullpen is supposed to be, it’s disturbing to see the breakdowns of Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera.  It would
seem that pitching the 9th is more difficult than pitching the 8th,
but Soriano is making the 8th look the hardest.  Mo recently went through a stretch of two
blown saves although he did right the ship against the Chicago White Sox on
Wednesday night.  Hopefully, the guys in
the pen grow accustomed to their roles and manager Joe Girardi is able to resist the temptation to bring Mo in for
anything other than the 9th
Although Mo leads the AL in saves with 8, it’s strange to see former
Yankees gasoline artist Kyle Farnsworth,
now Tampa Bay Rays closer, in the top 5.

Why do I cringe when I see Eric Chavez playing first base?  I know that he can handle the position, but
after watching him with the Oakland A’s the last few years, it’s hard not to
think that the next play could be the one that puts Chavez on the DL…

We are through the first 5
picks of the NFL Draft and Blaine
Gabbert
is still on the board.  Why
is that important?  Because as long as
Gabbert is on the board, Jake Locker
is only the 2nd best QB still available.  Here’s to still hoping for Jake Locker in purple, but I can’t see
Gabbert getting by the San Francisco 49ers at #7.

It was strange to see the
Yankees score their first two runs of tonight’s game against the Chicago White
Sox without recording a hit against Sox starter Edwin Jackson (courtesy of four walks in the inning).  With CC
Sabathia
on the mound, I feel fairly confident that the Yankees will be
able to exit the four game series with a split. 
Well, so long as Soriano and Rivera don’t implode in their respective
innings…

Surprise, the 49ers didn’t
go for Gabbert so perhaps it helps improve the chances for Locker in the Land
of 10,000 Lakes…

Ugh, the Tennessee Titans
just took Locker!  

Wow, I don’t know what I
want the Vikings to do now.  There’s no
way that Gabbert will still be available if the Vikings don’t try to move
up.  It would be way too early to go
after Ponder so it would appear that the Vikes pick will most likely be a
defensive selection.  Bummer for me…

This is how I felt many
years ago when the Titans took Steve
McNair
when I was hoping that he’d fall to the Vikings.  Drats, those Titans!

Meanwhile, on the Yankees
front, they seem to be having a good night as it is now 5-0 in the bottom of
the 5th inning.  The sole
Yankees home run was by Brett Gardner
so maybe his bat is starting to come around. 
It’s not that I’d expect Gardy to hit homers since that isn’t his forte,
but still, it’s nice to see him in the offensive mix. 

The Yankees game is up to
7-0, and the only players without either a run scored or a RBI are Eric Chavez (two walks) and Jorge Posada.  Speaking of Posada, I am not certain how long
the Yankees give Posada to start hitting. 
His batting average stands at .134. 
If I were the Yankees GM, it would be hard to resist the urge to recall Jorge Vazquez and insert him as a
part-time DH.  Of course, I’d have
absolutely no idea who to send down to the farm so that’s why Brian Cashman has the job and I don’t.

Well, give Posada a RBI on a
walk.  8-0 Yanks in a 6-run 5th
(so far).  So I guess that makes Chavez
the only one who hasn’t produced a run in this game.

It looks like the
Jacksonville Jaguars will take Blaine
Gabbert
with their trade up with the Washington Redskins.  So much for the QB for the
fu
ture for
Minnesota…  D
oes this mean that the Vikings QB will be
someone like Carson Palmer, Vince Young, or Donovan McNabb?  Very
disappointing when you play in a division with Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, and Matthew
Stafford

My guess is that the Vikings
will make a play for Ponder or Dalton later in the draft.  Man, I really wish that QB Joe Webb wouldn’t have engineered that
upset of the Philadelphia Eagles last year.

With the 12th
pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings take…QB Christian Ponder, Florida State.  


Drew Weatherford, front, is competing with Christian Ponder, left, and D'Vontrey Richardson to start at quarterback.

AP


Wow, as much as I wanted a QB and I thought that Ponder was the next
best option, #12 is probably a bit early. 
But still, with the likes of Joe
Webb
and Rhett Bomar as the only
QB options in Minnesota, I do like the upside of Ponder at the position.  I just never expected Ponder to go that
early, especially with defensive greats like Nick Fairley and Da’quan
Bowers
just sitting there for the taking. 
Oh well, Go Seminoles!

Meanwhile, it is still 8-0
in New York in the bottom of the 6th. Oops, 9-0.  Nice…


–Scott

 

Yes, it’s always fun beating Buck Showalter…


This weekend’s abbreviated
two-game series against the Baltimore Orioles was a positive despite the
postponement of one game that will cause its share of challenges later in the
year. 


Yankees ace CC Sabathia picks up his first win of the season as Russell Martin (below) crushes two home runs. Jorge Posada, Alex Rodriguez and Brett Gardner also homered.

Gail Burton/AP


Saturday featured a great performance
by CC Sabathia, along with a
plethora of hits and home runs for the Yanks, while Sunday saw the Yanks pull
out a game that they could have lost when Mariano
Rivera
blew his second straight save opportunity.  I am not concerned about Mo, as he has had
short stretches like this during the season in recent years. 

Sunday saw a great hitting
performance by the ‘written off for dead’ Derek
Jeter
, who went 4-for-6 with a run scored and a RBI to raise his batting
average to .257.  I agree that it’s too
soon to write Jeter’s obituary, just like it is too soon to start questioning
if Mo is losing it.  But still, I have
the right to ask.  Is it time for Jorge Posada to call it a career?  I know it’s still early, but a .153 batting
average is abysmal.  Let’s hope that he
turns it around like David Ortiz
always seems to do for the Red Sox…

Congratulations to Freddy Garcia for another six inning
shut-out!  Also, after wondering if the
Yankees made a huge mistake in unloading Ian
Kennedy
, Phil Coke and Austin Jackson to acquire Curtis Granderson for most of last
season, I am a fan of the Grandy Man!  He
hit his 7th home run of this young season, and could be on track for
30+.  He has definitely gained a comfort
zone in pinstripes.

Saturday’s hero, aside from
the great job by CC Sabathia, was
catcher Russell Martin.  We are not out of April and he already has
one more home run than last season, and needs just one more to tie his total for
2009.  Combined with good health, the
change of scenery has been very good for Martin.  I am looking forward to Francisco Cervelli‘s return so that he can start spelling Martin on
occasion, but I am glad that GM Brian
Cashman
had the foresight to sign Martin rather than go with the untested Jesus Montero.  Montero’s time will come but it was obvious
that his time is not now.  Martin has
been very instrumental in the Yankees’ strong start, especially when you
consider how sluggish the team has performed the last few Aprils.  I don’t want to criticize Posada, but I like
the way Martin has meshed with the pitching rotation.

I hope everyone had a very
Happy Easter today.  Easter time with the
family definitely brings back great memories…


–Scott

Nova builds upon great Spring…


It was a nice win by the “kid”
of the pitching staff.  With 24-year-old
Ivan Nova on the mound, the Yankees bolted to a 4-0 lead behind Alex Rodriguez
and Jorge Posada and then held off the Minnesota Twins for the 4-3
victory. 


Ivan Nova surrenders three runs in six innings Monday night and gets the win after the bullpen preserves a 4-3 lead built on two-run homers hit by Jorge Posada and A-Rod (below).

Antonelli/NY Daily News


I’ll admit that I had the
fears from last year when Nova had men on first and third and Jim Thome at the
plate after recording two outs with the bases empty.  Thome sliced a double to score two runs, and
I was worried the floodgates were about to open.  Fortunately, he escaped the inning without
further damage.  Despite giving up a run
the next inning, Nova went six innings before turning the game over to the
bullpen combo of Chamberlain-Soriano-Rivera. 

Nova is definitely the wild
card of the pitching staff.  Stuff-wise,
I am not really expecting much from him. 
It’s not like he has the talent of a David Price or a Jeremy Hellickson,
but he does have a chance of being a solid contributor on an outstanding club.

Okay, I know that I am a
die-hard Yankees fan, but I have to admit that I was a bit embarrassed listening
to MLB Radio this morning when a guy claiming to be a Yankees fan was gloating
about the Red Sox Opening Series loss.  3
games out of 162 mean nothing.  The Red
Sox are a sleeping Giant and when they wake up, they are going to be very
powerful.  I know when the Yankees travel
to Boston, records won’t mean anything. 
The series will be the first intense test of the season and I’m sure
that we’ll see the real Red Sox in prime form. 
I am not disappointed to see the Red Sox lose (naturally), but there’s
no way I’d gloat about the situation. 
The Yankees will have their own bumps in the road along the way…

Like everyone else, I am
concerned about the drop in Phil Hughes‘ velocity, but we need a greater body of
work before deciding if this is a trend. 
I think he’ll be okay after a few more starts. 

I keep reading about how
Jorge Posada needs to fill the time between his at-bats as he adjusts to the DH
role, but with 3 home runs, he must be doing something right. 

So Andruw Jones hasn’t
appeared in a single game yet?  Geesh, I’d
like to collect his salary for doing nothing! 
;)

 

–Scott

Welcome 2011 New York Yankees!…

It’s been a combination of both a long and a short winter and now “spring” is officially upon us as Yankees pitchers and catchers report to Tampa on Monday…

George M. Steinbrenner Field
There are many questions to be answered in training camp, and it remains to be seen who will fill the last two spots in the starting rotation.  The bench will look different with Andruw Jones in for Marcus Thames who signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and a potential role for former Oakland A’s great Eric Chavez.  
With Jorge Posada now the full-time DH, the catching position be headed up by Russell Martin but it’s anybody’s guess who will back him up (Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero, or Austin Romine?).  I do think now is the time for Montero but if the Yankees decide to break camp with him on the major league roster, what does that mean for Cervelli?
I am intrigued by the Yankees potential interest in pitcher Kevin Millwood.  I keep hearing stories that he’s about ready to sign with the Cleveland Indians, then stories surface about the Yankees interest.  As a player in the latter stages of his career, I’d think that winning starts to become an overwhelming factor so I’d have to believe that if all things are equal, the Yankees would be more attractive to Millwood than the Indians.  Nothing against the Indians, but I do not see them contending for the World Series this year.  
The Boston Red Sox still have the best team on paper and a signing of someone like Millwood is not going to change that fact.  But I am still not going to concede the AL East or the World Series to the Red Sox just yet.  I want to see what the Yankees roster looks like on July 31, 2011, and where they are in the AL East standings.  This season is going to be a battle, but I wouldn’t want it any other way…
–Scott

Martin to New York!…


Ah, there was a time when those words were such sweet
music to the ears!…



Granted, it was probably more like “Martin’s Back!” but
still, the name Martin and the city of New York is a great match.  The latest Martin to set foot on Broadway is
former Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Russell Martin.  In theory, he has been groomed for this
opportunity by the best…former Dodgers manager Joe Torre and former Dodgers hitting
instructor (now Dodgers manager) Don Mattingly. 
While he still has to pass a physical, Martin has apparently signed a
one-year contract with the Yanks.


russell-martin.jpg

Larry Goren/Icon SMI


Martin was one of the top catchers in the NL several
years ago but has regressed.  He suffered
a torn labrum in his right hip last August and missed the remainder of the
season.  I will be anxious to see what
Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long can do with Martin.  More than likely, Martin will be part of a
catching platoon with Jesus Montero, assuming the latter proves that he is
major league ready in spring training. 


NY Daily News


Martin will probably be the only guy on the roster with a
name this long:  Russell Nathan Jeanson
Coltrane Martin, Jr.
 Martin, born in East York, Ontario, will be 28
by the time the spring training games begin in February.

I like the move for Martin so long as it is not designed
to replace Montero so he can be used as a trading chip. 



It was disappointing to see Cliff Lee decide to return to
Philadelphia on a 5-year deal for less money than he was offered by the
Yankees.  I can’t blame Lee for choosing
a place that he is comfortable with, but I wish that he would have given New
York a chance.  I grew rather pessimistic
about the Yankees chances last week when the Lee camp did not jump on the
Yankees 7 year offer.  Like many, I
thought that he was headed back to the Texas Rangers so it was a bit of a shock
to hear that the mystery team was the Phillies.


AP  


All things considered, if Lee wasn’t going to go to New
York, I am glad to see him depart for the National League.  I am not excited about a rotation that
features Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and now Cliff Lee, but that’s
only a concern if you make it to the World Series as an American League team
(nice problem to have).  The Rangers fans
are glad they didn’t lose out to the Yankees, but conversely, I am glad that
the Rangers and Nolan Ryan didn’t get one over on the Yanks.  Also, I am glad that Lee didn’t go to the
Angels or the Red Sox. 



As it stands, the Red Sox have enjoyed a hugely
successful off-season compared to the Yanks, but I would not underestimate
Brian Cashman and the Steinbrenner family. 
As for immediate focus, I think the Yanks need to make sure that they
have the arms in the bullpen and I’d really like to see the return of Kerry
Wood.  Of the remaining free agents,
there aren’t many that excite me.  Manny
Ramirez is still out there but he’s a liability in the field and the Yankees
have the DH role locked up with Jorge Posada.  
Manny’s bat is also not what it used to be and the Yankees don’t need
more ‘late thirtysomethings’ on the roster. 

I’d have to say that I am mixed on whether the Yankees
should pursue a trade with the Kansas City Royals for starter Zack
Greinke.  However, there will be
competition which of course drives up the trade demands so I am not sure that
avenue is the best given the uncertainty over whether Greinke could handle New
York (assuming he was willing to waive his no-trade clause to the Yankees).  I’d probably prefer signing Brandon Webb or
pursuing Mark Buehrle in a trade.  The
Yankees do have to do something about their starting rotation regardless of
whether Andy Pettitte returns or not. 
Right now the #4 and #5 starters appear to be Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre
based on the current roster which is not very appealing.  I am willing to give Nova a shot but if the
Yankees break camp with Mitre as their 5th starter, it’s going to be
a long season.


Chris Sweda/MCT


Why is it that Red Sox fans think the rivalry between the
Yankees and Red Sox is over on December 14th just because they didn’t
sign Cliff Lee?  As Brian Cashman
indicated on a conference call earlier today, patience is the key.  Somehow, I suspect the team that breaks camp
next spring will be able to compete with the newly enhanced Red Sox…



Congratulations to Hideki Matsui who signed a one year
deal with the Oakland Athletics.  As a
resident of the Bay Area, I am sure that Godzilla will be well received and he’ll
be a great stabilizing factor in the A’s lineup.  



–Scott


Building for the Prime Directive…

 

I fully expect the Yankees to re-sign Derek Jeter…



There has been much speculation about DJ’s next deal and
if the Yankees would truly let #2 walk away or if they could afford to from a
historical perspective.  It is not
outside of the realm of possibility for the Yankees to decide they’d be better
off putting the dollars in a younger talent. 
However, I really do not expect that to happen. 

I do think that it is important to see DJ record his
3,000th hit in pinstripes, although I agree if his play continues to
erode in 2011, it will be time to begin the search for his long-term
replacement.  Frankly, I don’t think he
is done and I fully expect a few more strong seasons of play before the sunset
begins.  Granted, they may not be
All-Star caliber but DJ can still man short on a championship squad.  But obviously they’ll need a strong back-up
when training camp breaks next Spring.

Hopefully, Derek’s deal will include a role with the
organization when his playing days are over. 
I do not know what he intends to do in his post-playing days but he is a
face of the organization and the continued association between the two parties
is mutually beneficial for all.

Here’s hoping the Yankees can come up with a creative
contract that entices DJ to finish his career with the Yankees while not
causing the Yankees to seek improvements in other areas due to financial
constraints.  Life under Hal Steinbrenner
is different than life under George, and the Yankees won’t throw dollars at a
player simply because they can like they did in the old days. 


Derek Jeter


As for the Cliff Lee chase, I am not sure what I
think.  As much as I would like Cliff on
the Yankees, I definitely do not underestimate the Texas Rangers.  When you read about Cliff Lee and his
Arkansas roots, it is clear that he is not a “me-first” kind of guy.  On one hand, playing in Texas would be good
for him due to its close proximity to his home. 
But conversely, if he signs a big deal with the Rangers, he will be THE
GUY in Texas.  Success and failure will
be attributed to him.  Whereas, signing
in New York, although he’d be on baseball’s biggest stage, he’d line up as the
#2 starter behind CC Sabathia.  So, there
would actually be less pressure in New York, as hard as that is to
believe. 


cliff-lee-free-agent-pitcher-1110.jpg.JPG

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images


The Yankees clearly need to improve their starting
rotation if they intend to succeed next season. 
I expect CC to come back strong, but after that, the rotation is a
question mark.  Phil Hughes has to take
it to the next level so the new pitching coach, whenever he is announced, will
have two major projects in Hughes and A.J. Burnett.  I read the comments made by Andy Pettitte
where he said that he hasn’t decided yet and is enjoying being home in Deer
Park, Texas right now.  He went on to say
that if he does play, it will only be for one more season and only for the
Yankees.  At this point, I do think he’ll
come back for that final season.  But if
not, I am prepared to accept Ivan Nova as the #5 starter.  So this winter, the key is clearly coming up
with an ace to team with Sabathia. 

From the sounds of it, the next pitching coach is the
current highest priority.  Bullpen coach
Mike Harkey, Triple A pitching instructor Scott Aldred and former Yankees
pitcher Gil Patterson have been mentioned. 
I am probably leaning toward Patterson, who is currently a pitching
coordinator in the Oakland A’s organization. 
Nevertheless, I certainly would not be displeased to see Harkey get the
job.  I don’t know much about Aldred but
I am sure that GM Brian Cashman and Manager Joe Girardi will make the right
choice.  Maybe they consider hiring two…one
exclusively for A.J. Burnett! 



At this point in his career, I’d probably prefer to see
the Yankees sign Mariano to a short-term deal. 
He showed no effects of age last season, but the day will come when he
no longer has it.  Ask Trevor
Hoffman.  It would be sad seeing Mo
bounce around with a few teams at the end of his career.  I’d prefer to see him step away on his own
terms when the time comes.  Until then, I
do hope that it is in pinstripes.


Bill Kostroun/AP


I am completely in favor of the Yankees plan to move
Jorge Posada to full-time DH.  I think he
still has a productive bat that can be enhanced by avoiding the rigors of
catching.  Plus, it is time to see what
Jesus Montero and Austin Romine can do.


AP


It will be interesting to see what the Yankees do with
the bullpen.  Now that Kerry Wood has
been cut loose and will most likely sign a deal to be a closer elsewhere, the
Yankees need to ensure that they have choices in training camp for the bridge
to Mo (beyond Joba Chamberlain and other in house options like David
Robertson).  Both are certainly capable
pitchers and I’d like to see one of them step forward in training camp.  But there definitely needs to be a safety
net, plus an option for a back-up closer given Mo’s age.

This will be a critical off-season for the Yankees.  The moves they make with Jeter, Rivera and
Posada have to be made with the future in mind. 
Plus, they need to give the team a starting rotation that can shut down
hot hitters in October (unlike this past season).  But getting to October will be
challenging.  A healthy Boston team has
to be viewed as the favorite.  GM Theo
Epstein has already been active in picking up former Florida Marlins pitcher
Andrew Miller.  A former top draft pick,
Miller hasn’t succeeded yet, but he is still young enough to achieve his
potential.  The Tampa Bay Rays should be competitive
but they are a bit of a wild card until we have an idea of what their 2011 team
will look like.  I fully expect improved
play from the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles, both teams with quality
managers and strong young talent.  I have
no doubt that Brian Cashman will continue racking up frequent flyer miles and
hotel award points as he looks to improve the 2011 squad…



But considering that he is the general manager of the New York Yankees, Brian knows the score.  The moves he makes now must ensure success in October 2011.  Nothing else matters.



–Scott

  

 

 

Applause for the Career Hit!…

 

Milestone achieved at Yankee Stadium but not that one…

 

 

New York Yankees vs Kansas City Royalss at Yankee Stadium on July 23, 2010.

Zach Ornitz/The Star Ledger

 

On a night when everyone was watching and hoping for the 600th home run by Alex Rodriguez (which he failed to do), Jorge Posada delivered his 1000th RBI of his career.  He hit a RBI double in the first inning off Kansas City Royals starter Brian Bannister.

 

 

 

Jorge Posada 1000 RBI Yankees Royals

Al Bello/Getty Images

 

A.J. Burnett looked much better in the 7-1 win over the Royals.  His performance was shortened by a rain delay which limited him to 5 innings, but he only gave up 4 hits and no runs.  He also walked a batter, and struck out 3.  It was enough for A.J. to even his mark at 8-8, as relievers Chad Gaudin and Jonathan Albaladejo secured the victory for him.  Albaladejo’s stay with the Yankees was brief as he was optioned to Scranton/Wilkes Barre to make room for today’s starter, Sergio Mitre (who was activated off the DL).

 

 

New York Yankees vs the Kansas City Royals, Friday July 23, 2010

Saed Hindash/The Star Ledger

 

 

A-Rod went 2-for4 but no home runs in his quest for 600.  In today’s game, he will face the pitcher who gave up his 500th career home run (Kyle Davies).  Hopefully, Alex will get the home run sooner rather than later so that he can move on.  I remember watching when Barry Bonds hit his 600th home run, and how magical the night was.  I realize it won’t be like that for Alex, given his steroids admission, but it is still a monumental feat.  Hitting home runs takes great hand/eye coordination and Alex, regardless of his past admissions, is still one of the better players of his era. 

 

 

New York Yankees vs Kansas City Royalss at Yankee Stadium on July 23, 2010.

Zach Ornitz/The Star Ledger

 

Nick Swisher missed the game when he woke up with soreness in his Achilles heel.  He had been penciled in to start in right.  Colin Curtis, who has really proven that he is a good hitter, took his place.  Curtis will get another start today in place of Brett Gardner in left.  Gardner is dealing with an acid reflux problem that apparently dates back to his childhood.  Swisher is still out so Marcus Thames will start in right. 

 

There have been rumors that the Yankees are talking with the Arizona Diamondbacks about starting pitcher Dan Haren, but all reports this morning are that the teams are far apart and nothing is imminent.  I know that I voiced frustration with Joba Chamberlain in my last post, but I would hate to see him go to Arizona for Haren.  I keep hearing that the D-Backs want a major league ready pitcher in addition to prospects, so it is very unlikely the Yankees could get Haren for, say, Ivan Nova and Zach McAllister.  It just seems that the price tag would be too high, not to mention Haren’s high salary.  He is certainly no Cliff Lee, so it would be very hard for me to justify paying a King’s ransom for him.  I know that I want another option in the starting rotation than Mitre, but I suspect the Yankees will wait until closer to the deadline when there is a greater sense of urgency for teams to move certain guys.  Perhaps the Yankees make no moves, but if there is none out there that make sense, then they should pass.  Hopefully, guys like Curtis and Albaladejo can step up to fill crucial needs.

 

 

AP

 

–Scott

And Then They Were Tied…

 

“I must be in the front row!”…

 

 

 

Bob Uecker, by Steve Moore/Getty Images

 

 

The Yankees capped a very successful weekend in sweeping the Houston Astros by moving into a first place tie with the Tampa Bay Rays.  Of course, the Yankees need to keep the pressure on to avoid falling behind the Rays again but they should be in good shape if CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett can keep the momentum going.

 

With Alex Rodriguez still on the bench due to an ailing hip, the Yankees rode Jorge Posada’s second grand slam in as many days to a 9-5 victory at Yankee Stadium.

 

 

Jorge Posada hits his second grand slam in as many days to lead the New York Yankees to a sweep of the Houston Astros.

Sipkin/NY Daily News

 

 

Manager Joe Girardi stayed with starter Phil Hughes a bit too long in the 6th as the Astros scored four runs after trailing 7-1.  When the Astros scored the first two runs of the inning, I thought that Hughes should have been pulled.  He was over 100 pitches but I know Girardi wanted to see him finish the inning.  It turned out to be a big mistake as light-hitting Kevin Cash delivered a two run homer to end the day for Hughes.

 

 

William Perlman/The Star Ledger

 

The Yankees answered with several runs of their own and the bullpen was up to the task of securing the win for Hughes.  It was his 9th win of the season to tie him for the league lead with David Price and Clay Buchholz.  I thought Damaso Marte’s strikeout after relieving Hughes was huge.  The Astros had seized the game momentum but it quickly evaporated with Marte’s strike out of Michael Bourn.

 

The Yankees get a much deserved day off on Monday.  They’ll need it since they’ll be staring at Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.  The Phillies will definitely be seeking revenge for last October.  It should be a great series.

 

Speaking of grand slams, here is a look back at a great one…

 

 

The Machine is Moving Again!…

 

When the season started, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes were 4th and 5th in the starting rotation.  It’s the 2nd of June, and both pitchers stand with 7-1 marks.  Given the struggles that Javier Vazquez has experienced and to a lesser degree, A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia, Pettitte and Hughes are the primary reasons the Yankees are in the thick of the AL East chase.  With Vazquez starting to pitch much better and knowing that Burnett and Sabathia will come around, the pitching potential for the remainder of the year is very bright. 

 

Today’s game was an all-around team effort as most of the starters played a role in scoring.  Mark Teixeira was 0-for-5 but it was a success to have him on the field given the ball he took off the foot yesterday causing him to exit that game prematurely.  Hughes went 7 innings, giving up 6 hits while striking out 7 in the 9-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.  Chad Gaudin pitched 2 innings of scoreless relief. 

 

The game also marked the return of Jorge Posada who was penciled in at DH.  Posada was 1-for-3 with a run scored. 

 

The hitting star of the game was, of course, Robinson Cano.  Robby went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI’s.   He also hit his 12th home run of the season in the 7th inning.  He is batting .373 for the season and has been superb batting 5th behind Alex Rodriguez in the batting order. 

 

Both Boston and Tampa won again tonight?  Bummer! 

 

In a statement of the obvious, Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers threw the third perfect game of the season even if the record books won’t show it.  Unfortunately, first base umpire Jim Joyce blew a call in the 9th inning when he ruled Cleveland’s Jason Donald safe at first even though Miguel Cabrera’s toss to Galarraga beat Donald to the bag.  Galarraga settled for the one-hitter, but it was the perfect game with the imperfect umpire.  “I just cost that kid a perfect game,” the ump said after the game. “I thought he beat the throw.  I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay.”

 

I was saddened to see Ken Griffey, Jr.’s decision to retire today.    Until he left Seattle for Cincinnati, Junior was on track to have a historic career.  Injuries took their toll on Griffey during the Cincinnati years and he was never the same.  He departs with 630 career home runs, but he would have been in the land of Ruth, Aaron and Bonds had he stayed healthy.  I wish Junior the very best in his post-playing career.  Thanks for the memories! 

 

Well, it is once again time for another wager with Julia of Julia’s Rants.  We had hoped for a Stanley Cup Final involving her Boston Bruins and my San Jose Sharks.  However, both teams fell victim to the number 4 in their respective conference finals.  The Sharks were swept 4 games to none by the Chicago Blackhawks, while the Bruins blew a 3 games to none lead on the Philadelphia Flyers.  Nevertheless, our respective NBA teams have made it to the finals so it gives us the opportunity to place another bet.  Besides Julia needs a team other than the Red Sox if she ever hopes to win a wager again!  ;)  Seriously, if the Boston Celtics win the championship, I will be the not-so-proud recipient of a Celtic championship t-shirt and of course proof will have to appear on my blog.   If the Los Angeles Lakers win, Julia will be seen wearing a purple and gold championship Lakers t-shirt.  For me, this is about revenge given the Lakers’ loss to the Celtics two years ago.  Kobe Bryant has had a tremendous career, but he needs a championship victory over Boston to add to his legacy.  So, here’s hoping that Kobe and the gang are victorious in their championship drive!  Let’s go Lakers! 

 

–Scott

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