Results tagged ‘ Julia's Rants ’

I’m Not A Headline Guy vs Julia’s Rants!…


Well, new year but same old battles.  With the first Yankees-Red Sox match-up scheduled for Friday, it’s time to begin my annual grudge match with Julia of Julia’s Rants.  For the latest wager, the loser of Friday’s spring training game has to post a blog about the opposing team’s manager.  For me, if the Yankees lose, I have to write a post about Boston manager Terry Francona.  Conversely, if the Red Sox lose, Julia will be writing about Yankees manager Joe Girardi.


Of course, I have my doubts about making wagers on meaningless baseball games but I recognize that there is still pride involved for the fans associated with both teams.  Alex Rodriguez may not care if the Yankees beat the Red Sox as he prepares for the season, but for the fans, it is important to win after a long off-season that saw Cliff Lee rebuff the Yanks to join the Philadelphia Phillies while the Red Sox were re-loading with the acquisitions of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez.  

So, best of luck…to me!  ;)

I was very pleased to hear today that A.J. Burnett‘s first outing was a successful one against the Houston Astros (he pitched two scoreless innings).  Burnett is one of the keys for the season and his success or failure will go a long way toward determining the Yankees’ October fate.  I really believe that new pitching coach Larry Rothschild will have a very positive influence on Burnett.  

As much as I want Jesus Montero to make the Yankees as back-up catcher to Russell Martin, I am concerned what that decision would mean for current back-up Francisco Cervelli. I really enjoyed Cervelli’s energy last season.  If Montero does make the Yankees, hopefully the Yankees can make a move that helps place Cervelli in his best-case scenario.

It’s been very reassuring to hear the strong impressions the young pitchers have made in camp (particularly Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos, and Andrew Brackman).  While I do not expect any of the three pitchers to make the Opening Day roster, there’s no doubt that we’ll see one or more of the pitchers at some point during the season.  

I hear the San Francisco Giants are looking for a way to dump starting pitcher Barry Zito.  Of course, the Yankees get mentioned regarding the topic but I’d really hope that team avoids Zito at all costs.  I don’t see how the Giants can cut Zito with three years and over $50 million remaining on his contract.  Regardless of what amount of salary the Giants may be willing to absorb, Zito would not be worth the risk.  I’d rather see Andrew Brackman or Dellin Betances in the rotation.

Hey Julia, are you ready to absorb your first loss of the season?  You’re going down, my friend.  Can I get some information about Joe Girardi for you?…

–Scott

Killing Time Until Next Week…


Waiting for the Baseball Winter Meetings to start seems
like an eternity.  The meetings are next
week, but this week has been relatively slow aside from today’s free agent
signing of Adam Dunn by the Chicago White Sox (nice pickup, by the way).  When I woke up, I was met with the headline
of ‘Yankees Re-Sign Sergio Mitre’. 
Unfortunately, that did little to excite me…



I am not a “Meat Tray” fan, but for some reason, manager Joe
Girardi has been in his corner since his days as manager of the Florida
Marlins.  Conversely, the Yankees
non-tendered Dustin Moseley today which I thought was a mistake.  Moseley proved to be very capable as a spot
starter and bullpen arm.  I realize that
if the Yankees sign Cliff Lee and Andy Pettitte returns (which everyone
expects), then Ivan Nova becomes the “#6″ starter.  Also, re-signing Mitre had an impact.  But, still, it was a mistake to let go of
Moseley. 


Dustin Moseley - Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees

Andrew Burton/Getty Images


The Yankees decision to non-tender pitcher Alfredo Aceves
surprised me somewhat.  However, when I
heard that he had re-injured himself this off-season in a freak accident (bike
accident), I realized that it would probably be best for him to start over
somewhere else.  The Yankees did tender
the guys that really mattered (Joba Chamberlain, Boone Logan, and Phil Hughes).

The Yankees quietly signed relief pitcher Buddy Carlyle
who is returning from Japan.  Carlyle
underachieved during his previous major league stint, most recently with the
Atlanta Braves in 2009.  Nevertheless,
you can never have enough fodder for the bullpen during spring training.  As the Tampa Bay Rays showed last year, you
never know what you might find (stellar setup artist Joaquin Benoit). 



I was pleased to see the Derek Jeter negotiations take a
positive turn this week.  Jeter and his
agent Casey Close were smart to engage the Yankees in Tampa.  There has been no negative comments made by
either side this week and it appears the Yankees are willing to increase their
offer while the Jeter side is willing to reduce their demands.  Everybody knows this marriage will continue
so there was no sense airing the dirty laundry in the difficult
negotiations.   Hopefully, they’ll come
to an agreement sooner rather than later so that we can move on to more
important things…like signing Cliff Lee!

Speaking of Jeter, it’s funny how much attention this has
gotten. Troy Tulowitzki, arguably one of the greatest shortstops in the game
today, signs a huge long-term extension and it gets marginal print.  DJ, a soon-to-be 37-year old, past his prime,
shortstop garners national attention. 
The photos of Jeter in other uniforms were particularly humorous.  I’m sure that Julia loved Red Sock Jeter…


The Beckett Blog


While I saw that Zack Greinke might be willing to waive
his no-trade clause for the Yankees, I’d have to say that I still prefer Cliff
Lee.  I know that Cliff will soon be 32
and Greinke is about 6 years younger, but the difference is that I know Cliff
can handle New York.  Plus, he would only
cost money whereas Greinke would cost quality prospects plus money in the
long-term.  I want to see Jesus Montero
as the Yankees starting catcher in 2011 so I am hopeful that the Yankees aren’t
faced with a scenario where they “need” to acquire Greinke.


AP


Can I wake up to the headline ‘Yankees Re-Sign Rivera’
tomorrow, please?…


Mariano Rivera, left, and Alex Rodriguez celebrate after the Yankees win game six of the ALCS.

Kathy Willens/AP


P.S.  I have to show this video clip.  The veteran on the left, Fang Wong, is my wife’s uncle and he is one of the greatest people I’ve met in my life.  His strong sense of humor doesn’t show through but I can assure you he is one of the funniest and most intelligent guys I’ve met.  Plus, he is a die-hard Yankees fan…


http://s0.videopress.com/player.swf?v=1.02

–Scott

Note to Julia’s Rants: Paid in Full!…

 

Okay, I realize that the regular season ended over a
month and a half ago, but I am finally getting around to pay my debt to Julia
of Julia’s Rants.  As the wager for the
regular season’s final series between the Boston Red Sox and the New York
Yankees, the loser had to post photos holding pre-determined signs that were
pro-opponent.  Therefore, since the Red Sox
won the series two games to one, I lost and had to create pro-Red Sox signs
using phrases determined by Julia. 


So, here it goes…


ForJulia_11212010_0005b.jpg


Yes, the series loss cost the Yankees the chance to win
the AL East Division Championship and they went into the play-offs as the Wild
Card.  The Yankees finished 6 games ahead
of the Red Sox but if Boston hadn’t encountered so many injuries, the finish would
have been much closer.  As poorly as the
Yanks played in September, there was a real chance that Boston could have
passed them if they had been closer. 

For as well as the Yankees played most of the season,
September and October were a disappointment. 
They may have gotten past the Minnesota Twins, but the Yankee hitters
looked pathetic against Texas pitching.


ForJulia_11212010_0007a.jpg


I had started the season on a string of successive
victories in these wagers with Julia, but by season’s end, she was clearly on a
roll as I lost several Yankees-Red Sox wagers, plus the Minnesota Vikings got
hammered by the New England Patriots on Halloween.  Well, hammered might be a strong word, but
the Vikings are clearly playing for a high draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.


ForJulia_11212010_0008c.jpg


As part of the wager payment, Julia demanded vindication
for Wally the Green Monster who had gone the entire regular season wearing a
Yankees t-shirt.  As you can see below,
Wally survived the ordeal and seems to be enjoying his new role.


ForJulia_11212010_0010f.jpg


ForJulia_11212010_0013e.jpg


Lou the Bear pulled me aside and asked me to stock him
for the winter so that he could forget the unpleasant experience with
Wally.  Somehow, I think the signing of
free agent pitcher Cliff Lee, along with the returns of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera
and Andy Pettitte, would go a long way toward restoring Lou’s happiness. 


ForJulia_11212010_0015g.jpg


Nevertheless, I look forward to future battles with Julia
and of course I trust the results will be different…much different! 


AP


Note to Julia: 
Wager paid in full! 
J



ForJulia_11212010_0009a.jpg

 

–Scott

 

 

Weekend in New England…

 

Well, it’s time to pay off one of my two debts owed to Julia of Julia’s Rants for several wager losses.  I should have been more responsive to my obligation but business travel and work have been very challenging lately.

 

The two losses were the final regular season series loss by the New York Yankees to the Boston Red Sox and the Halloween dismissal of the Minnesota Vikings by the New England Patriots.  It goes without saying which teams Julia was pulling for.  Sadly for me, the results were in her favor. 

 

For the loss by the Yankees, I owe Julia a couple of signs on my blog.  I promise that I’ll have them up by Thanksgiving.  With the loss by the Vikings, I have to write a blog about Julia’s favorite football team.  I know this is very off-topic for a baseball blog but keep in mind this is for Julia

 

THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

 

 

 

 

 

When I was a kid, I remember reading about the old American Football League (AFL) and its original members.  The Boston Patriots were one of those teams.  In fact, when they were awarded their franchise in 1959, they were the eighth and final team. 

 

 

 

Mike Holovak is the guy who stands out to me as the head coach of the Patriots in the 1960′s, however, it was long-time Buffalo Bills head coach Lou Saban who was the team’s first head coach. 

 

My first real meaningful recollection of the Patriots was after they moved to Foxboro and became the New England Patriots.  By that time, the head coach was Chuck Fairbanks.  The year that stands out for me is 1974.  The Patriots started season 5-0 behind QB Jim Plunkett, RB Sam “Bam” Cunningham, and WR Randy Vataha.  They would only win two more games that season to finish 7-7, but one of the wins came at the expense of my Vikings. 

 

 

81394434, Sports Illustrated/Getty Images /Sports Illustrated

Dick Raphael/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

 

 

I know, Julia‘s favorite was actually this guy (Steve Grogan)…

 

 

Before the AFL and NFL merged in 1970, the Patriots did play in one championship game, the 1963 AFL Championship.  They lost 51-10 to the San Diego Chargers, and would not advance to post-season play again until 1976.  They won their first AFC East division championship in 1978, but like in 1976, they were eliminated in the first round of the play-offs.

 

My next significant memory of the Patriots happened in 1985.  The Patriots made it all the way to the Super Bowl, but it coincided with the great Super Bowl Shuffle by the legendary Walter Payton and the Chicago Bears as the Patriots lost 46-10.

 

 

 

 

Sorry Julia, but it’s hard to pass by Walter Payton’s name without giving him some sort of tribute.  He was one of the greatest players to set foot on the gridiron…

 

As the organization moved into the 1990′s, their long history of futility began to change.  In 1993, Bill Parcells was named the head coach and the following year, the team was acquired by owner Robert Kraft.  Parcells would get the Pats to the Super Bowl in 1996 but they’d lose to Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers, 35-21.  Hmmm, no wonder Julia dislikes #4!…

 

Brian Bahr/Allsport/Getty Images

 

 

After Parcells left, Pete Carroll was brought in for a few seasons.  Despite making the play-offs two of his three seasons, the results were unimpressive and he was discharged.  Still, a decade of some success had transformed the organization into one with a winning tradition despite the absence of Super Bowl success.

 

The arrival of the 21st Century also brought championship success for the Patriots as they won the Super Bowl in three of four years (2001, 2003, and 2004).  If memory serves correctly, the new century also had a positive impact for another Boston area team that shall go nameless!  ;)  With head coach Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady, the Patriots emerged as the team to beat in the 2000′s. 

 

 

 

 

The Patriots did miss out on football immortality in 2007 when the team went undefeated during the regular season but lost to what I felt was an inferior New York Giants team in the Super Bowl.  How many teams can say that a 18-1 record was a failure?  None, except the New England Patriots.  I am sure that there were a few former Miami Dolphins celebrating that day…

 

 

The Patriots remain a championship quality organization and they have been able to successfully replace aging stars and over-priced free agents through the years.  They are currently tied for the division lead in the AFC East with a 6-2 mark and seem well positioned for much success in the second half of the season.  With Tom Brady at the controls, it is a certainty that they’ll have a say in who represents the AFC in the Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 6, 2011. 

 

 

Tom Brady

 

P.S.  They won’t miss Randy Moss but I think I will…  L*

 

*Brought to you by the Fire Brad Childress Immediately Committee.

 

 

A Temporary Visit to the RSN…

 

Well, nearing the Eve of the American League Championship Series, it is time for me to settle a lost wager from September. 

 

The Yankees played a three-game series in the Bronx against the Boston Red Sox from September 24th through the 26th.  I had made a bet with Julia of Julia’s Rants, and the loser would be forced to wear the opponent’s ballcap in photos posted on their blog.  The Red Sox won the first two games of the series, 10-8 and 7-3, clinching the series win for Julia and the Sox before the Yanks prevailed in the final game, 4-3. 

 

 

 

Bill Kostroun/AP

 

I still have one more wager to settle (the series loss to the Sox at the end of the season), but that’s for another day.  Today is all about the Red Sox ballcap…

 

 

 

 

 

I used this past weekend as the focus for my photos.  I went to Los Angeles to attend a wedding on Sunday, 10-10-10, but I took some time out to enjoy the scenery. 

 

I first donned the Red Sox ballcap about 100 miles or so north of Los Angeles at Harris Ranch…

 

 


SF Red Sox 1.JPG 

 

 

I didn’t intend to give these photos a depressing theme (maybe that was my inner-Yankee trying to wrestle control!) but I stopped by a local cemetery to pay my respects.

 

First up was the star of Get Smart, Don Adams…

 

 

 

 


SF Red Sox 2.JPG 

 

 

A short walk away in a mausoleum, I found 20′s heartthrob, Rudolph Valentino…

 

 

 


SF Red Sox 3.JPG 

 

 

Being in Los Angeles, you can never get too far away from a Rolls Royce…

 

 


SF Red Sox 4.JPG 

 

 

Moving on, I came across beautiful 40′s actress Rita Hayworth…

 

 

 

 

 

 

SF Red Sox 5.JPG

 

 

And for a little musical interlude, Bing Crosby…

 

 

 

SF Red Sox 6.JPG

 

 

For the last grave, I saved it for the guy who used to scare the daylights out of me when I was a little kid watching those old Dracula movies, Bela Lugosi…

 

 

 


SF Red Sox 7.JPG 

 

In an effort to liven up the theme of the photos, I traveled over to Hollywood…

 

 


SF Red Sox 10.JPG 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SF Red Sox 8.JPG

 

 

Imagine my surprise at the celebrity I encountered walking down Hollywood Blvd…

 

 

 


SF Red Sox 9.JPG 

 

 

 

But sadly, I also walked past the star of fallen musical icon John Lennon who had just celebrated a birthday…

 

 

 

 


SF Red Sox 11.JPG 

 

 

It was a fun day, but interestingly enough, no one said a thing about my hat.  I even walked by a Yankees fan who said nothing.  I guess I probably should have waited a few weeks until I go to New York City to take my photos.  I am sure that I could have gotten a reaction at that time! 

 

Well, after settling this wager, it was time to call it a night.  I’d call it a wager paid in full…

 

 

 


SF Red Sox 12.JPG 

 

 

 

Congratulations on the series wins at the end of the season, Julia.  The Red Sox showed heart until the very end.  They may not have made the play-offs, but they still walked off the field with much respect and admiration.  I look forward to resuming our wagers next season, but hopefully, next time, you’ll be the loser! 

 

Time for a new ballcap…

 

 

 

 

 

–Scott

We Must Be In First Place!…


Interesting how the Yankees can lose their last
game and still end up in first place…



 


I went all week thinking that the Yankees were a
game and a half out of first place. 
After a very disappointing September that found the Yankees trailing the
Tampa Bay Rays, I’ve been very pessimistic about the team’s chances in
October.  I still am, but it would
definitely be better to go into the play-offs as the AL East Champion and
possibly holder of the league’s best record than it would be to go as the road
traveling Wild Card team.

 

I was very pleasantly surprised to hear that the
Yankees were only a ½ game back this morning. 
I don’t know how I got 1 ½ games stuck in my head.  The Rays were in Kansas City tonight to start
a four game series against the Royals and they had to face Zack Greinke.  It’s been a disappointing season for Greinke
but he still rose to the challenge tonight as he defeated the Rays, 3-2.  The loss dropped the Rays into a tie with the
Yankees with three games to play.  If
both teams finish in a tie, the division goes to the Rays by virtue of the
better head-to-head record.  So, the
Yankees really need to go into Boston seeking a sweep.  I seriously doubt that the Rays will drop
more than one more game to the Royals. 
The Yanks have not shown the killer instinct yet this month, but
hopefully, they’ll find it in Beantown. 



 


In a statement of the obvious, I pin the blame on
the Yankees potential inability to win the division on pitcher A.J.
Burnett.  At 10-15, he has been largely
ineffective most of the season.  When he
is bad, he is really bad.  Had he been
just 13-12 so far this season, the Yankees would hold a comfortable lead in the
East heading into the weekend.  I know,
there are more reasons for why the Yankees are in this predicament than just
Burnett.  But I am a fan so I can be
unreasonable and flawed in my thinking…



A.J. Burnett serves up nine earned runs in only five innings of work at Fenway.

Theodorakis/NY Daily News

 


I am still very pessimistic about the team’s
chances in October.  I simply do not feel
that a rotation of Sabathia-Pettitte-Hughes can provide the type of shutdown
performances that will be required.  The
Rays will find ways to score runs and so will the Twins.  If Josh Hamilton comes back strong, the
Rangers could make noise.  To me, there’s
only one team playing like they are the World Series champion and that’s the
Philadelphia Phillies.  I also give
credit to the San Francisco Giants who, unlike last year, rose to the challenge
this September and are on the verge of winning the NL West.  Of course it helps to have Tim Lincecum at
the top of your rotation.



 


Thanks to the loss of my last wager with Julia of
Julia’s Rants, I am awaiting the arrival of a Boston Red Sox cap in the
mail.  Upon receipt, I am obligated to
take photos wearing the hat along with a Red Sox t-shirt that I “acquired”
through a previous wager loss.  I have a
business trip to Texas next week so I may be delayed, but a bet is a bet so the
photos will appear on the blog sometime soon
L. 


But until then…


New York Yankees MVP Adjustable Cap

 

For the last wager of the baseball season, Julia and
I have decided the loser should post photos holding signs.  If the Red Sox win the 3 game series, I will
be forced to hold pro-Red Sox signs.  If
the Yankees win, then Julia will be holding pro-Yankee signs. 


 


It has been a fun season despite the
challenges.  I’ve enjoyed the battles
with Julia and I was glad to see the Red Sox eliminated from the play-offs
before the final series.  Boston has been
an incredibly resilient team despite the massive injuries they’ve
suffered.  I have been very impressed
with the ‘never quit’ mentality and I am relieved that the Yankees won’t have
to face it in October.

 

In a final non-baseball note, I’d like to express
sadness at the loss of actor Tony Curtis. 
He died yesterday of cardiac arrest in his Las Vegas home at age
85.  He’ll be missed…





–Scott


A September To Forget…


The going gets tough, the Yankees decide to bail…



 


The Yankees should be able to clinch the Wild Card
slot at some point, but I’ve given up hope of taking the AL East unless things
change very quickly.  The Tampa Bay Rays
have great momentum right now, and the Yankees don’t.  So far this month (going into Saturday’s
game), the Yankees are 10-12.  When you’re
racing for the pennant, that kind of record is not going to get it done
(obviously).  The Yankees’ magic number
remains at 3.  With a single win against
the Red Sox, they could reduce the number to 1 but at this point, the Red Sox
are playing like the superior team and they certainly have not given up
hope.  After the end of the home stand
against Boston, the Yankees take to the road to play the Blue Jays and the Red
Sox (both challenging places to play). 



 


This month, the Philadelphia Phillies have definitely
shown they are ‘in it to win it’.  They’ve
clearly distanced themselves from the Atlanta Braves and they’ll head into the
play-offs as the hottest team in the National League.  It’s been a great season for the Cincinnati
Reds, but I think the Phillies, even with their injuries, are the better
team.  The trading deadline pick-up of
Roy Oswalt was huge and it gave the Phillies pitching superiority (even against
the likes of the San Francisco Giants who boast a very strong rotation).  Speaking of the Giants, they’ve also been
playing good baseball and currently lead the NL West by a slim margin.  I like the Giants as an underdog if they can
stay on top against the San Diego Padres, but I don’t think anyone is going to
beat the Phillies and they’ll head to the World Series for the third straight
year.



Shane Victorino is congratulated by Placido Polanco after giving the Phillies an early lead with a leadoff home run. (Michael Bryant/Staff Photographer)

Michael Bryant, Philly.com, Staff Photographer

 


Back to the American League, the Tampa Bay Rays and
the Minnesota Twins are playing the best baseball.  As much as I would like to say “Rays suck!”
or “Twins suck!” or “Yankees are going to win it again!”, the truth is that the
AL Championship Series will most likely feature the Rays and the Twins.  The Rangers are fading and of course so are
the Yankees.  If the Yankees’ freefall
results in a miraculous achievement of the play-offs by the Boston Red Sox, it
will definitely rank as one of the greatest September flops in recent
memory. 



RETURN FRIGHT: Javier Vazquez (above) was battered around in his return to the Yankees, allowing eight runs in 5 2/3 innings in a 9-3 loss last night at Tropicana Field. Reuters

Reuters

 


In the NL, the Atlanta Braves and the Colorado
Rockies are fading, and the Padres aren’t far behind.  For a time this season, I thought the Padres
were the team to beat, but now they’re fighting to make the play-offs. 



Miguel Tejada and first base coach Rick Renteria after Tejada's 2-rbi single in the 7th.

John R. McCutchen/San Diego Union-Tribune

 


At this point, it is hard to visualize the 2010
World Series involving any teams other than the Tampa Bay Rays and the
Philadelphia Phillies (a repeat of the Phillies’ championship year in
2008).  More than likely, the outcome
will be the same.



 


Congratulations to my friend, Julia (of Julia’s
Rants
), for winning the latest wager between she and I.  With today’s 7-2 victory, the Boston Red Sox
have ensured that they will take at least two of the three games in the Bronx
and they’ll go for a sweep on Sunday.  I
guess the Yanks could have used those 6 home runs today instead of yesterday.  The Yankees, now 10-13 for September,
continue to give the Red Sox hope that they can reach high enough to eclipse
the Yanks for the Wild Card slot.  The
Sox are now just 5 ½ games behind the Yankees. 
I guess there’s a Red Sox cap on its way to my home in CA… 
L



0925berkman.JPG

Noah K. Murray/The Star-Ledger 



Maybe I think a motivational pep talk by Tony
Dungy.  Then again, it didn’t seem to
help the Yankees.  Let’s hope that next
weekend is more exciting than this weekend is turning out to be…





–Scott


Yet Another No-Name Pitcher…


I guess that A-Rod should have held one of those
homers in reserve for Sunday…



Good Bad Ugly.JPG

 


The Yankees couldn’t muster any offense against
Bryan Bullington and the Kansas City Royals as the former number
one Pittsburgh Pirates draft pick but still a no-name 29-year-old journeyman  earned his first major league victory in beating the Yankees
1-0.  



Bridget Wentworth/The Star Ledger



On the other side was loser A.J.
Burnett, who was magnificent if you throw out the first inning. 



Yanks blanked by Bullington, Royals, 1-0

John Rieger/US Presswire

 


On Saturday night, Alex Rodriguez homered three
times (the first time he has accomplished the feat since 2005).  However, the last homer merely padded the
score as the Yankees coasted to the 8-3 win. 
It’s too bad that he couldn’t have waited until Sunday to homer.  Any offense at all would have probably won
the game.  But like Derek Jeter said, the
way Bullington was pitching, there was no way they were going to beat him. 

 

The Yankees have been very pedestrian thus far in
August.  They are 6-8, and have been
underperforming in every series.  They
have the occasional outbursts like Saturday night, but they have not been able
to sustain any success.  If the Tampa Bay
Rays didn’t encounter their own struggles, they most likely would be in first
place today.  As it is, they are just one
game behind the Yankees after another solid performance by Jeremy Hellickson, a
native Iowan like myself.  If the Yankees
don’t kick it into gear soon, they’ll be left to fight for Wild Card
scraps.  The team is certainly capable of
getting on a roll and reeling off 10 straight victories, so the sooner the
better.

 

I was afraid that today was going to feature a
sluggish Yankee performance.  I was
reading the LoHud Yankees blog before the game, and they posted a report that
it was a lazy Sunday morning in the clubhouse with absolutely nothing going on.  To me, that translated to a lack of energy
and the team was just ready to board the plane to return home.  Unfortunately, it showed up in how they
played today against the Royals.  Nothing
against Bullington, he pitched a great game, but then again, he had a receptive
audience… 
L



 


Now, the Yankees head home to face former teammates
Johnny Damon and Austin Jackson, and the Detroit Tigers.  If they play like they played in Kansas City,
the results won’t be favorable.



Johnny Damon Detroit Tigers

AP

 

I am not a fan of the Boston Red Sox (obviously),
however, I am glad to see that Dustin Pedroia will return to second base for
the Sox on Tuesday night.  He will also
be celebrating his 27th birthday, so birthday wishes are in order
for the Sox warrior.  I certainly do not
want to see the Sox get on a roll, but it will be good to see Pedey back at
second for “those” guys.



David Ortiz (left) and Dustin Pedroia (right) celebrated Pedroia's first inning homer.

Jim Davis/Boston Globe

 


Somewhere my friend Julia is on vacation and loving
every minute of today’s Yankees loss…





 Enjoy Pedey’s birthday, Julia…


–Scott


Did I Win? I Am Not So Sure…

 

If I won the wager with Julia of Julia’s Rants, why do I feel as though I lost?…

 

 

The Yankees and Red Sox tied their four game series at two games apiece, but the Yankees took the tie-breaker in total runs scored, 16-12.  Therefore, it will be Julia who has to appear in at least 6 photos showing her in different locations wearing a pink Yankees cap. 

 

 

But although I won, I certainly do not feel like a winner.  The most important game, to me, is always the getaway game.  The Red Sox leave town as winners, while the Yankees head for Texas wondering what could have been.  They had the chance to put the Red Sox 8 games back, but as it is, the Red Sox leave exactly the way the arrived, 6 games behind. 

 

 

 

Elise Amendola/AP

 

People are constantly trying to bury the Red Sox but I’ve long known that the team simply does not have any quit in them.  Now, they are starting to get their guys healthy, so they’ll be a force to be reckoned with during the stretch run. 

 

The Yankees lost today, 2-1, against Jon Lester, Daniel Bard, and Jonathan Papelbon.  Lester had entered the game on a four-game skid, but he is too talented to stay down for long.  He proved he was up to the challenge today, and bested Phil Hughes in the pitching duel. 

 

 

Jon Lester started the game for the Red Sox and held the Yankees scoreless through the first five innings.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

 

 

The Yankees had their chances in the late innings but couldn’t convert.  Marcus Thames just missed a home run in the 7th inning when the ball hit the top of the fence and bounced back for a double.   Just another inch or two and it would have tied the game.  Bard also gets kudos for getting out of a bases loaded jam. 

 

Mark Teixeira continued his hot hitting with an 8th inning home run, but that’s all the offense the team could manage.

 

The Yankees now head to Texas to play the guy who was nearly a Yankee, Cliff Lee, and the Texas Rangers.  A.J. Burnett, scratched from Sunday’s start because of his back, will pitching the opening game against the surging C.J. Wilson who has enjoyed success as a starter this season.  It will be a big test for the Yankees, and they’ll need to play better than they have in recent days.  Maybe being in Texas will be good for Lance Berkman and he’ll hit his first homers for the Yankees. 

 

 

 

A day after breaking Babe Ruth’s team hits record, Derek Jeter tied Mel Ott for the all-time record by a New York player at 2,876.  When DJ was a skinny 16-year-old shortstop coming out of Kalamazoo, MI, I certainly didn’t envision the day that he’d be standing with baseball’s immortals.  Congratulatons to DJ for another great milestone, but I suspect we’ll be doing this quite often between now and the end of his career.

 

 

 

–Scott

 

Locked In A Dead Heat…

 

Tied after two games…

 

 

 

 

With a wager on the line against Julia of Julia’s Rants, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees are tied after two games of a four games series.  The Yankees won on Saturday behind a very solid and new proud papa CC Sabathia, 5-2.  The win means the teams are tied at 1 game apiece and totat runs at 8.  So, the wager is down to what happens in the next two games. 

 

 

 

CC Sabathia fires eight innings of two-run ball at the Red Sox as the Bombers bounce back with a 5-2 win at the Stadium.

Sipkin/NY Daily News

 

 

Saturday didn’t start very good when I heard news that Alex Rodriguez had been scratched due to an injury.  When I heard that he had been hit during batting practice, my first thought was that I hoped it wasn’t struggling Lance Berkman who hit the ball that struck A-Rod in the ankle.  Of course, and unfortunately, it was.  I have been pulling for the former Astros star to show the New York fans what Houston knew about him and didn’t want to see his name attached to the loss of A-Rod.  But I was pleased with the comments that Lance made which showed he was apologetic and still had a sense of humor at the same time.  All Lance needs to do is get a significant hit against the Red Sox, and he’ll turn those boos to cheers.  I am confident that he can do it…

 

 

Charlie Neibergall/AP

 

 

A-Rod was taken for x-rays after the incident, but the results were negative so he is now in the dreaded ‘day to day’ category.  He may not return until after the Boston series is over. 

 

 

Alex Rodriguez goes down during batting practice after getting hit in the leg with a shot off the bat of new teammate Lance Berkman.

Fox

 

 

On the plus side, A-Rod’s replacement, Ramiro Pena, delivered 2 RBI’s in his absence.

 

Two days after the birth of Carter Charles Sabathia, his dad went 8 innings to pick up his 14th win of the season (to match Tampa’s David Price).  Despite allowing Boston to take an early 2-0 lead, he settled in and only gave up 6 hits and no further runs the rest of the way.  He struck out 4 batters but only one of them was not named David Ortiz.  It was CC’s 150th career victory, so congratulations to CC for the birth of the latest CC as well as the milestone win!

 

 

 


Congratulations.JPG 

 

 

Mariano Rivera pitched the 9th to pick up his 23rd save, while lowering his ERA to a microscopic 0.89.  Amazing, but then again, that’s just Mo…

 

 


Mo.JPG 

 

 

With the win, the Yankees were able to increase their lead in the AL East to 1 ½ games over the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Rays are finding out what the Yankees recently did…there’s a very good team north of the border.  The Toronto Blue Jays pounded the Rays, 17-11, behind two home runs by rookie J.P. Arencibia, who was making his major league debut.  The Jays hit a total of 8 home runs in the game.  With as much trouble as the Yankees had with Rays pitching, the Jays clearly didn’t encounter the same difficulty. 

 

 

 

Toronto rookie catcher J.P. Arencibia had a memorable major-league debut against the Tampa Bay Rays Saturday at the Rogers Centre. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Nathan Denette/Canadian Press

 

 

So, the Yankees are saying that Friday night’s pitcher and loser, Javier Vazquez, is dealing with a “dead arm”.  So, of course, that begs the question, ‘is A.J. Burnett dealing with a dead brain?’.  In his last start, against the Blue Jays on Monday, A.J. melted down during the 5th inning of the game as the Jays pounded out 7 hits off Burnett, including a monster home run by Edwin Encarnacion, to convert a 2-1 deficit to an 8-2 lead in a game the Yankees ultimately lost, 8-6.  Let’s hope that he fares better on Sunday night against Josh Beckett and the Red Sox…

 

 

 

A.J. Burnett acknowledges crowd as he leaves game Saturday night.

Sipken/NY Daily News

 

Hey Julia, Game On, my friend!…

 

–Scott

 

 

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