Results tagged ‘ Lakers ’

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

Motor City Misery…

 

The string comes unwound…

 

 

Unwound.JPG

 

The Yankees had been successful in every season series this year except for their trip to Anaheim, CA, but the string of success came to a resounding thud in Detroit.  The Tigers were victorious in winning 3 of 4 games against the Yankees.

 

 

Sancya/AP

 

 

The Tigers took a close game on Monday, 5-4, when a late Yankees rally fell short.  Tuesday was rained out, so the team played two the next day.  Despite a strong performance by Javier Vazquez (his best of the season, by far), the Yanks fell 2-0 in the first game.  They rebounded in the nightcap behind a very strong performance by Phil Hughes, which is rapidly becoming “the norm” for #65.  The game was close most of the way until the Yankees scored 6 runs in the 9th to win, 8-0. 

 

 

New York Yankees starter Phil Hughes collects eight strikeouts over 6-2/3 innings.

Burleson/AP

 

 

In the getaway game, the Yanks were shut out for the second time in three games, 6-0.  The game was highlighted by a disappointing outing by CC Sabathia.

 

 

CC Sabathia surrenders six runs on nine hits as the Tigers blast the Bombers 6-0 and become just the second team to win a series from the Yankees.

Burleson/AP

 

Tonight, the Yankees are back in the Bronx for a weekend series against the Minnesota Twins. 

 

As it stands right now, I am concerned about the team.  Andy Pettitte pitches on Saturday and there is uncertainty regarding his health.  He has missed a start due to elbow stiffness and it would not be realistic to expect his high level of performance in April to continue. 

 

The rainout in Detroit, forcing Javier Vazquez to pitch on Wednesday, has pushed Javy’s next start back a day so Sergio Mitre will start Sunday against the Twins.

 

My biggest concern is the ongoing health challenges the team has faced.  For awhile, it seemed as though every win was accompanied by an injury.  I know the Yankees spare no expense, but at times, I do wonder about the team’s strength and conditioning program.   It is a completely unsubstantiated remark, but the constant little injuries do make you wonder what the cause might be. 

 

Curtis Granderson is eligible to come off the DL on Monday, but he has yet to begin running again.  He is scheduled to do some light running this weekend, and has been vigorously working out.  However, if he hasn’t started running, it does not appear he’ll be back immediately.  Nothing against Marcus Thames, Randy Winn or Greg Golson, but I’d prefer to see those guys coming off the bench…not starting in the outfield.

 

Other Yankees have been dinged up…Jorge Posada, Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano, Mariano Rivera, et al.  Chan Ho Park and Alfredo Aceves are on the DL with Granderson, although Park is expected back soon.

 

A trip to October always includes a bit of luck so hopefully the Yanks will be able to overcome these string of injuries without losing too much ground to the Tampa Bay Rays…or let the dreaded Boston Red Sox catch up.

 

 

 

On the bright side (for me), the San Jose Sharks will soon begin the Western Conference Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks for the right to advance to the Stanley Cup.  I had hoped for a Stanley Cup collision against my friend, Julia, but unfortunately, her Boston Bruins let a 3 games to none lead slip away.  That also included a 3-0 lead in Game 7.  So close Julia, “but so far away”.  Sorry, my friend.  At least we still have hope in the NBA play-offs as the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics are in their respective conference finals.  So, we’ll have to hope for Lakers-Celtics in the finals, with a Sharks-Bruins match-up just a dream for future years.

 

 

 

Glass Half Full to Glass Half Empty…

 

Thud!…

 

 


Thud.JPG 

 

The Yankees played a hard fought series in Boston, and escaped with two out of three despite their “pathetic and embarrassing”¹ play.  They had a day off and traveled to St. Petersburg, Florida to face their other primary AL East rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays. 

 

Tampa Bay Rays Franchise Fitted Baseball Cap

 

With Javier Vazquez on the mound, it looked as though the Yankees would stack up very nicely against David Price and the championship-contending Rays.  Staked to an early 2-0 lead, Vazquez promptly gave it up in the bottom half of the 4th inning.  Former Yankee Carlos Pena tied the score with a two-run homer, and Jason Bartlett had a two-run double in the 5 run inning.  Another former Yankee, Dioner Navarro, hit the single that put the Rays in the lead.  Those would be the only runs that Price would need enroute to the Rays’ third victory of the season.

 

 

Photo

AP 

 

Marcus Thames made his second start of the season in left (in place of starter Brett Gardner), and Mark Teixeira continued his traditional ice cold start.  After four games, he is 0-for-16 which matches the worst hitless start of his career.  Let’s hope that he ends the streak on Saturday.

 

 


Frozen.JPG 

 

 

The weekend games will pit CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett as the rotation begins its second go-around this young season.  I am expecting a much stronger start from Sabathia than we saw in Boston, and the same with Burnett.  They’ll face Wade Davis and James Shields, respectively.

 

 

Lynne Sladky/AP

 

On the bright side, the Boston Red Sox lost too as the Kansas City Royals rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 8th to win 4-3.  It was a great start by the ageless and reliable Tim Wakefield, but once again, the bullpen was the Achilles heel for the Red Sox.

 

 

Red Sox Royals Baseball.jpg

AP

 

¹I found Umpire Joe West’s comments about the Yankees and Red Sox as “pathetic and embarrassing” to be, well, pathetic and embarrassing.  His frustration was over the slow play of the opening series between the two teams.  In my opinion, West should voice any concerns he has internally within his own organization and not air the negative comments publicly.  I am biased and if I were a San Francisco Giants fan, I’d vehemently disagree, but there’s nothing like baseball’s best rivalry, the Yankees and the Red Sox.  I am a Minnesota Vikings fan, and I dislike the Green Bay Packers.  I am a San Jose Sharks fan and I dislike the Anaheim Ducks.  I am a Los Angeles Lakers fan and I dislike the Boston Celtics.  But there is simply nothing like Yankees-Red Sox.  Right Julia?

 

 

Keith Srakocic/AP

 

Speaking of the Vikings, the wait for Brett Favre continues.  It is a given that Favre won’t make any decisions that would actually require him to show up for training camp, so this is going to be long and drawn out once again.  It’s frustrating because it is very hard for me to get excited about either Tavaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels at quarterback.  It’s rumored that the Vikings are taking a look at Tim Tebow.  However, he is a major project and many think he’ll never succeed at the pro level.  On the plus side, his former teammate Percy Harvin is on the Vikings and it would ease Tebow’s transition.  We’ll see how this plays out.  I definitely agree that the Vikings need to be thinking about the quarterback of the future regardless of what Favre may do.  I’d love for the Vikings to pick Jimmy Clausen in the NFL Draft, but he’ll be long gone by the time the Vikings select unless they can move up.

 

 

Jimmy Clausen

Joe Raymond/AP

 

Both the Sharks and the Lakers are set to play in their respective sports’ play-offs.  I am hopeful that this is the year for Joe Thornton and company.  For the Lakers, it’s ‘here we go again’ with Andrew Bynum unavailable until the play-offs due to injury.  Unfortunately, that’s an all too familiar song, but hopefully he’ll be ready to play once the play-offs do start.  If both teams could play and beat Boston, I’d be a very happy man.  Of course, that would mean championship series for both, but hey, so long as WE win, what does it matter?  ;)

 

 

 

 

The Yankees quietly picked up former San Diego Padres outfielder Chad Huffman on waivers and assigned him to AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre.  Huffman was placed on waivers to make room for Matt Stairs (hasn’t he played for like every major league club?).  I didn’t think much of the move when I first saw it, but later I saw comments about how frustrated fans were and how they saw the fingerprints of Kevin Towers all over this one.  Towers, the former Padres GM, is now a special consultant for the Yankees.  It would appear that the Padres had hoped Huffman would clear waivers for a minor league assignment but were, perhaps, thwarted by their former general manager.  I saw these comments about Huffman by Padres assistant Paul DePodesta and it makes me a little jazzed about the pickup (and not so disappointed that the Yankees had to return Rule 5 pickup Jamie Hoffmann to the Dodgers): 

“We lost the player. And, he’s a pretty good one. Chad was a 2nd round pick in 2006 out of TCU and has been a successful minor league hitter throughout his pro career, posting an OPS over .800 in each season. While crushing lefties early in his career, Chad had his most successful year yet against RHP during his first season in AAA in 2009. He always controlled the strike zone and also hit for some power–a combination we like. We think he’ll be a good Major League hitter.

“This wasn’t an easy decision, as we feel good about our 40-man roster at this point. We talked about a number of different guys and worked through various scenarios–who had the best chance to clear waivers, what depth did we have, what depth did we anticipate needing during the year, etc.

“We hate to lose good players. Additionally, we hate to lose good people, and Chad is a tremendous clubhouse guy. Getting beyond the selfish aspect, we’re excited for Chad. We truly wish him the best with the Yankees and will be rooting for him to make it to New York and contribute to the big league team.”

Works for me…  J

 

CHuffman.JPG

 

P.S.  I am headed to Arizona for the week on business so I might not have any blog updates until after I return on Saturday, April 17th.  Let’s hope the Yankees get on a roll by that time! 

 

–Scott

 

 

Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad…

 

A “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” kind of weekend…

 

 

On Saturday morning, when I saw the Mets starting pitcher (an unknown, at least to me, by the name of Fernando Nieve), I figured that the Yankees were going to have an offensive field day.  Unfortunately, I forgot that the Yankees just don’t play very well against pitchers they’ve never faced before.  Nieve, a former Astro, got his first win since June 25, 2006 by allowing only 4 hits and 2 runs in 6 2/3 innings. 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, Andy Pettitte looked pathetic. 

 

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

 

Former Yankee minor leaguer Omir Santos hit a two-run homer in the second inning to set the tone for the day.

 

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

 

The Mets pounded out 17 hits enroute to the 6-2 victory.  Every Mets starter had at least one hit, and Gary Sheffield homered against his former team for the second straight day.  It was not a fun game, and it was obvious that the Yanks had mentally checked out of this game.  When you watch the Boston Red Sox, they never give up and battle to the end.  So, it was disappointing to see the Yanks throw in the towel…

 

Give Up.JPG

 

On Sunday, after the Yanks disappointing performance the previous day and Johan Santana on the mound for the Mets, it didn’t look promising.  My only hope was for A.J. Burnett to try and keep it close so that perhaps Tex or A-Rod could come up with a key hit in the later stages of the game.  What I saw shocked me, to say the least.  When you analyze the line scores for the two starting pitchers, you’d assume that Burnett must have had a bad day…

Pitcher A

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

PC-ST

3.0

9

9

9

2

3

1

82-48

 

Pitcher B

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

PC-ST

7.0

4

0

0

4

8

0

111-66

 

Fortunately, Pitcher A was the Mets’ Johan Santana, who suffered the worst start of his career.

 

 

Nick Laham/Getty Images 

 

A.J. Burnett pitched a terrific game.  Of course, it helps when your team stakes you to a 13-0 lead after only four innings.  But the Burnett of the last few starts, excluding the debacle in Boston, is the pitcher the Yanks thought they were getting in the off-season when they signed him to the big contract.

 


AJ Burnett.JPG 

 

As the Mets did the previous day, the Yankees pounded out 17 hits, including three by catcher Francisco Cervelli.  Jose Molina who?…

 

Jobs.JPG

 

The Yankees got the scoring started in the second inning with run-scoring singles by Cervelli and Derek Jeter, as well as a two-run single by Johnny Damon.  I guess he is over his “fluttering eye” issue…

 

 

What, no homers?  Don’t worry; they were on the way…

 

 

In the 4th, the Yankees scored 9 runs and ran Santana out of the game.  The weekend birthday boy, Hideki Matsui, hit a two-run homer to start the scoring.  Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon knocked in runs with an infield single and a double, respectively.  Jeter scored when Alex Rodriguez hit into a double-play.  Robinson Cano followed with a two-run homer, scoring A-Rod.  Melky Cabrera capped the scoring with a two-run double, but he ended the inning attempting to stretch out the double to a triple.

 

 

Sipkin/New York Daily News

 

Four innings, a 13 run lead, and Johan Santana in the showers…the game was effectively ended at that point.  The Yanks did pick up a couple more RBI’s by Ramiro Pena and Robinson Cano in the 7th inning, but the Fat Lady had already sung…

 

Its Over.JPG

 

Phil Hughes looked like he was going to ruin the shutout in the 9th inning, when he allowed two base runners.  But he settled down, and got the final outs.  So, thanks largely to Friday’s gift from Luis Castillo, the Yankees won the Subway Series, two games to one.

The Red Sox lost to the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizen’s Bank Park, 11-6, so the Yankees closed the gap back to two games. 

 

Jimmy Rollins´ solo home run gave the Phillies the lead in the seventh inning. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer, Philly.com 

 

The two teams have a much needed break on Monday, before they resume interleague play.  The Red Sox return home to Fenway Park to face owner John Henry’s former team, the Florida Marlins.  Meanwhile, the Yanks will see old friend Nick Johnson when the Washington Nationals travel to Yankee Stadium.  Of course, I wonder who the manager of the Nationals will be…Manny Acta or someone else…

 

Manny Acta

Brian Blanco/AP

 

It’s been a great day…almost perfect, in fact!  The only thing that could be better would be the crowning of Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers as the 2009 NBA Champions!

 

Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson

Chris Carlson/AP

 

Go Lakers, but more importantly…

Go Yankees!

–Scott

When A Loss Becomes A Win…

 

A walk-off “Gift”…

 

Gift.JPG

 

With the Yankees trailing the Mets 8-7 in the bottom of the 9th and Francisco Rodriguez on the mound, Brett Gardner started the inning with a pop-out.  Derek Jeter came up next and hit a solid single up the middle.  Johnny Damon worked the count full, but struck out swinging on a splitter from K-Rod.  Mark Teixeira came to the plate and K-Rod was determined to give him nothing to hit.  His first three pitches to Tex missed the strike zone, so manager Charlie Manuel decided not to take any chances and gave Tex a free pass.  Alex Rodriguez was up next…A-Rod versus K-Rod.

 

Duel.JPG 


  

 

The setting was set for a dramatic Yankees comeback.  The YES Network’s Michael Kay indicated that any win by the Yankees would be a walk-off win (statement of the obvious?), and they have had six walk-off wins so far this year.  The stars seemed to be aligned for A-Rod to be the hero.  Like with Tex, K-Rod threw the first three pitches outside of the strike zone and A-Rod didn’t bite.  The fourth pitch came in for a called strike.  With a 3-1 hitter’s count, A-Rod got under the next pitch and lifted a pop fly to short right field.  Second baseman Luis Castillo charged under the ball and it appeared to land in his glove.  A-Rod slammed his bat into the ground, and started to gently run to first base.  The feeling of defeat sunk in, and I was thinking that the Yankees had just lost their fourth consecutive game.  But miraculously, the ball hit Castillo’s glove and bounced out. 

 

Noah K. Murray/New York Daily News 

 

Castillo slid to the ground so he wasn’t able to get up immediately to retrieve the ball.  When he did get up, he threw the ball to the cutoff man, shortstop Alex Cora.  Derek Jeter had already scored the tying run, but third base coach Rob Thomson had sent Teixeira home.  Cora fired the ball to catcher Omir Santos, but it was too late…Tex had already scored the winning run…

 

DON'T MESS WITH TEX: Mark Teixeira celebrates, surrounded by his Yankees teammates, after scoring the winning run after Mets second baseman dropped a potential game-ending pop-up by Alex Rodriguez in the ninth inning, giving the Bombers a 9-8 win in Game 1 of the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium.

UPI (Courtesy New York Post)

 

Whoa, talk about high drama!  After the game, A-Rod was being interviewed and Kimberly Jones mentioned that Francisco Rodriguez hadn’t blown a save this season.  A-Rod responded, “He still hasn’t”.  True, but I’ll take it…

Richard Perry/The New York Times

 

The Yankees should have given the pie in the face to Castillo…

 

Pie in Face.JPG

 

The Yankees had started the scoring with a solo home run by Robinson Cano in the bottom of the second inning.  I was a bit frustrated the next inning when Joba Chamberlain loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter.  Carlos Beltran drew a walk to bring home a run.  After David Wright struck out, Ryan Church was hit by a pitch to bring home Alex Cora.  So, with no hits in the 3rd, the Mets had taken a 2-1 lead over the Yanks.

In the bottom of the 3rd, the Yankees regained the lead, 3-2, with a two-run homer by Mark Teixeira.  Joba Chamberlain was pulled after four innings.  Although he only gave up one hit and two runs, he walked 5 and had two hit by pitches.  So, to start the 5th inning, Manager Joe Girardi brought in Brett Tomko.  My first reaction, of course, was “Ugh!”.  Unfortunately, as they say, always trust your first instinct.  Carlos Beltran doubled and subsequently stole third.  David Wright walked.  Ryan Church doubled to score Beltran and Wright.  The Mets had the lead, 4-3.  Former Yankee Gary Sheffield came up and promptly hit a two-run homer, his 505th, to increase the Mets’ lead to 6-3.  Isn’t there a minor league team somewhere (anywhere but Scranton/Wilkes Barre!) that could use Tomko?  He needs to go wherever it is that Julia wants Julio Lugo to go…or where Mets fans want Luis Castillo to go…

 

 

In the bottom of the 5th, Derek Jeter cut the deficit to 6-4 with a solo home run.  In the 6th, with Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada at first and second, thanks to a single and walk, the birthday boy, Hideki Matsui, slammed a three-run homer to allow the Yanks to recapture the lead, 7-6.  Happy 35th Birthday to Godzilla!

 

Marc Carig/The Star Ledger

 

The Mets tied the score, 7-7, in the 7th on a double play grounder by Fernando Tatis with men on the corners. 

Phil Coke retired the first two Mets in the top of the 8th, but then, in a surprising move, Joe Girardi brought Mariano Rivera into the game to face Carlos Beltran.  In recent years, Mo has pretty much become a one inning relief specialist.  It started in the latter years of the Joe Torre era as a way to keep Mo healthy.  I suppose Joe didn’t want to take any chances with the dangerous Beltran at the plate and preferred to see Mo get four outs as opposed to three.  Unfortunately, the move backfired.  Beltran drew a walk, and the next batter, David Wright doubled to center field, scoring Beltran.  The Mets had taken an 8-7 lead.  It was three up and three down against Mo in the 9th, and the stage was set for the dramatic comeback win…

 

Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger

 

Peter Abraham of the LoHud Yankees blog had a great story after the game.  Joba’s three-year old son, Karder, was in the clubhouse  and he interrupted the reporters talking to Joba by asking, “Daddy, you didn’t throw strikes!”.  Joba responded, “He knows me.  Pretty scary, huh?”  That’s funny stuff!  Of course, it’s easier to laugh about it when your team escapes with a 9-8 win rather than an 8-7 loss.

 

Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger

 

This game was yet another example for why Mark Teixeira ranks as one of the greatest free agent signings in Yankees history.  It remains to be seen if he has the post-season success of, say, Reggie Jackson, but so far, he’s earned every bit of his huge contract.

 

Mike Stobe/Getty Images

 

The Yankees remain two games behind the Boston Red Sox.  The Red Sox defeated the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in extra innings, 5-2.  I had warned Julia about late inning heroics by the Phillies’ Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.  Howard came through with a game-tying 9th inning home run, but the Phillies couldn’t muster any magic in extra innings against the Red Sox bullpen.

 

Sox overcome Phillies in 13

AP 

 

So, the Yankees remain one of baseball’s best teams, so long as they aren’t at Fenway Park or playing the Red Sox…

 

Superman.JPG

DC Comics

 

OTHER “OFF TOPIC” STUFF…

Everyone doubted the Pittsburgh Penguins’ chances and until Game 7, the team with home ice had won every game in the Stanley Cup Finals.  So, with Game 7 in Detroit, it appeared that the odds were stacked in the Red Wings’ favor.  The Pens took a 2-0 lead after two periods, but you knew that the third period would be a ‘free for all’.  The Red Wings played at a kinetic pace.  You could definitely tell that there was a sense of urgency in their game, and they did appear to be the superior team on the ice for that period.  They were able to score a goal to close the gap.  The game hung in the balance down to the final seconds.  Even with 6 seconds or so, you knew that the Red Wings were capable of scoring the tying goal. 

Fortunately, it was not meant to be and the Penguins were the Stanley Cup Champions!  It was a great game, a great series, and a great win by a deserving team.  Granted, it would have been better (at least for me) had the San Jose Sharks won the Stanley Cup, or perhaps even Julia‘s Boston Bruins, but short of that, the Penguins are a worthy champion!

 

Matt Freed/Post-Gazette 

 

Now, hopefully, the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy awaits the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night…

 


O'Brien Trophy.JPG 

 

The Brett Favre “fiasco” continues.  The Vikings apparently have sent a coach and their head trainer to Mississippi to track the health of QB Brett Favre.  No word on which coach made the trip, but offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has prior history with Favre during their time in Green Bay together.  I really think this issue needs closure soon.  Otherwise, it risks becoming a huge distraction for the team.  The 2009 Vikings have a great deal of potential.  I like many of the young guys, and I am excited about what Percy Harvin will mean to the offense if properly utilized.  Guys like center John Sullivan and safety Tyrell Johnson will step up and fill the voids caused by the departures of veterans Matt Birk and Darren Sharper.  Regardless of what Favre decides to do, the Vikings will be in contention this year.  I am not ready to anoint them Super Bowl contenders, but they have the potential for great things.  At this point, I am ready to let Tavaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels fight it out, and let Favre starting counting his days for entry into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.  But, of course, if he does sign with the Vikes, so be it…

 

Favre 09.JPG

 

Have a great weekend!

GO YANKEES!

–Scott

What Was That?…

 

Okay, that was really ugly…

 

Covered eyes.JPGIf

 

Saturday’s 9-7 loss to the Rays was ugly, I am not quite sure what you’d call last night’s 7-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox. 

 


Ugly.JPG 

 

Advantage Julia

 

A.J. Burnett was a disappointment, giving up 5 runs, 3 earned, and 5 walks in less than 3 innings of work.  I guess he has to wear a Jays uniform to be effective at Fenway Park because it certainly doesn’t work in a Yankees jersey…

 

Winslow Townson/AP

 

The Yankees and the Red Sox are once again tied at the top of the AL East Standings with records of 34-24.

 

 

The Yankees need to put this one behind them, and come out today with a new and fresh attitude.  They are better than their 0-for-6 record against the Sox indicates, and hopefully, good things are in store for Chien-Ming Wang and the Yankees tonight.

 

 

I won’t lose the faith, and I am certainly not ready to be sized for a Jason Bay t-shirt.

 


Yankees.JPG 

 

The Yankees chose center fielder Slade Heathcott, an 18 year old high school player from Texarkana, Texas.  Slade definitely has a name fit for a Texan, and hopefully a swing fit for Yankee Stadium.  There’s only one serious flaw in Slade’s game…he’s a Red Sox fan…but I think we’ll  be able to cure that ailment.

 

 

With their second pick, the Yankees selected another 18-year old high school player in defensive-minded catcher John Murphy from Bradenton, Florida.

 

 

IMG Baseball Academy

 

Can’t say that I care for the batting helmet…  ;) 

The Vikings have supposedly “temporarily suspended” their pursuit of QB Brett Favre.  The deadline imposed by head coach Brad Childress was a poor idea if the team legitimately wanted Favre, so supposedly the ‘cooling off’ period will allow Favre additional time to decide if his shoulder is up to the challenge of another season.  All things considered, Brett, stay home…

 

 

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins for their 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals to force Game 7.  The team with home ice has won every game of this series, and unfortunately, Game 7 is in Detroit.  Nevertheless, if there’s anyone who can perform the impossible, it’s Sidney Crosby.  Hopefully, they’ll be hoisting the Stanley Cup in the streets of Pittsburgh.  Good luck to the Pens!

 

Matt Freed/Post-Gazette

 

What?  The Lakers lost?  What’s up with that…

 

Say what.JPG

 

Have a great day!

GO YANKEES!

–Scott 

 

I Know It’s Early, But…

 

How sweet it is!

 

 

Finally, for the first time since October 1, 2006, the Yankees are alone in first place!  Okay, like Joe Girardi said after the game, it doesn’t mean anything, but it’s better than not being in first place.  Seriously, it would be much better if today were October 5, 2009, but it was good to see the Yankees get their 13th win out of the last 16 games.

 

 

The story was Andy Pettitte.  He pitched very well for 5 innings, but left the game in the 6th with back stiffness.  This is not something new (the back bothered him in Texas), and he doesn’t anticipate any problems in making his next start. Andy gave up 6 hits and 5 walks, but only allowed one run in picking up his 5th victory on the year (5-1).

 

Tony Dejak/AP

 

From there, the bullpen duo of Alfredo Aceves and Mariano Rivera shut down the Tribe on two hits and no runs, with Mo earning his 10th save.

 

David Kaup/Reuters 

For a change, the Yankees didn’t rely upon the long ball.  In fact, neither team hit a home run.  Derek Jeter singled in a run in the 2nd and the Yanks picked up another run on Mark Teixeira’s grounder.  Nick Swisher’s sacrifice fly in the 3rd accounted for the Yankees’ final run in the 3-1 victory.  The Indians only run came on a sac fly against Aceves in the 6th, but the runner was Andy’s responsibility.

 

David Maxwell/European Pressphoto Agency

 

Jorge Posada, in his first game off the DL, had two hits.  It’s great to have his bat back in the lineup.

 

 

The Yankees also played their 15th consecutive game without an error.

Solid Hats

www.gearguardsports.com 

 

In an interesting stat, Mariano Rivera saved the 58th  career game to preserve an Andy Pettitte win to set a new mark for a starting pitcher and closer.  The previous mark was held by Dennis Eckersley who saved 57 wins for Bob Welch while with the Oakland A’s. Mo had a good explanation for the new mark after the game:  “That means we’re old.”  He was kidding, but of course, there is truth in the remark.  It’s been fun watching Mo save games for Andy and other Yankees starters for the last 12-13 years, and he will certainly be remembered as one of the all-time greats.  It is very appropriate that Mo has saved so many Pettitte wins since he’s always been there for his friend, through thick and thin…

 

Cataffo/NY Daily News

 

Today’s match-up pits CC Sabathia against his former team, facing Fausto Carmona.  Carmona has struggled this year, so of course, that means he’ll pitch ‘lights out’ against the Yankees.  It should be a good pitching duel.

 

Getty Images

 

Julia:  “The Cavs will be in the finals, but the Lakers?  I’m not so sure.”

 

Oh Julia, I got your message that the Los Angeles Lakers would not be going to the NBA Finals.  Sorry, thanks to the 119-92 win against the Nuggets in Denver, the Lakers will be advancing to the title series for the 30th time, and second straight year.  Phil Jackson will be trying for his 10th NBA crown.

 

Kobe Bryant airborne

Robert Gauthier/LA Times

Carmelo tried as hard as he could, but even this GREAT play didn’t work, although it was an excellent choice on his part!

 

 

I think your run on making accurate predictions is over.  Well, I hope the first part comes true (Cavs overcoming a 3 games to 1 deficit to advance to the finals; they need to win the next two games to win the series), but your word about predictions, which was pristine in April and early May, is on shaky ground…

 

Get ready for the Mark Teixeira t-shirt, my friend!

 

 

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