Results tagged ‘ Matt Garza ’
Sayonara, old friends…
This was a sad week for former Yankees stars as Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon were designated for assignment by their respective teams (Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians). Matsui has subsequently been released and Damon’s release is imminent. I doubt that either player will be picked up at this point in the season so it is most likely the sunset of both careers.
For Matsui, I think his original plan was to only play in the United States for three years but I am grateful that he extended his stay. He may not have been the “monster” player that he was in Japan (a/k/a Godzilla), but he knew and understood the power of the timely hit. Time and again, Matsui had a key hit to propel the Yanks to victory. He always seemed to rise to the occasion in the intense Boston-New York wars. In terms of character, he could easily stand in the same room with guys like Derek Jeter.
It hasn’t been fun watching Matsui wear Angels, A’s, and Rays jerseys, but he will always be Yankee.
As for Damon, it is ironic that a player who played such a key role in the Red Sox breaking ‘The Curse of the Bambino’, plus the entire Caveman image, could become a valued Yankee. Unlike Matsui, I won’t view Damon as a “Yankee” given his long tenure and success with other teams, but for his time in New York, he showed nothing but class and dignity. Like Matsui, he was a clutch player who seemed to excel in the bright lights.
Introducing Billy Beane’s latest star pitcher…
With the apparent end of two great careers this week, I saw the opposite on a plane trip from Portland, OR to Oakland on Thursday. The guy I was sitting next to was excited to be flying to Oakland to see his son, Dan Straily, make his major league pitching debut for the A’s on Friday night. He was proud to say that his son led all of baseball in strikeouts, and talked about the hard work his son had accomplished to get to this point. For the game, Straily didn’t figure in the decision, but his performance was a success:
The A’s won the game, 5-4, in 15 innings. I am sure that we’ve not seen the last of Mr. Straily. Here’s hoping this is the start of a long and memorable career for Straily, his father and the rest of their family.
When in doubt, pick up a Pirate…
While the trading deadline was very active compared to recent years, it was another quiet period for the Yankees. As the now fiscally conservative Yankees had been preaching, they did not make any moves for expensive, short-term rentals. They picked up a need (third baseman Casey McGehee) to ensure that backup third baseman Eric Chavez is not over exposed to playing time while starter Alex Rodriguez is on the DL. It’s a shame that Chavez is such an injury risk at this stage of his career, but I agree that it is best to limit his playing time for the good of his long-term health.
I thought the Yanks might try to make a move for a pitcher (someone like Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza) but it was clear that they would not overpay. Time will tell if they made the right decisions, but I still have concerns about the team’s offense in the play-offs when every pitcher they face will be a #1 or #2 starter. But September should see the return of top pitcher Andy Pettitte and a fresh Alex Rodriguez so perhaps those will be the team’s noteworthy “acquisitions” that boost team momentum.
Magic seems to be enjoying his new hobby…
The Los Angeles Dodgers have clearly re-emerged as a force in baseball with the new ownership group as they were the most active team in acquiring upgrades over the past couple of weeks (Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton). I guess they’ve gotten over the reign of Frank McCourt and have shown that they are back in the game. The San Francisco Giants are a strong team, but I think the Dodgers’ moves will help propel them past the Giants to the NL West pennant. Good for Dodgers manager Don Mattingly who remains one of my favorite guys in Major League Baseball.
Nothing but crickets…
I was surprised the Boston Red Sox didn’t make any moves. If there was a team that I had expected to make noise at the trading deadline, it was the Sox. I don’t think they should give up quality guys like Jacoby Ellsbury or Jon Lester, but there were moves they could have made to give the team a jolt. I may not be a fan of the Red Sox so I might be biased in making this comment, but I hope that this is a ‘one and done’ season for Boston manager Bobby Valentine.
We’ve moved into August and the Yankees hold a 6 ½ game advantage at the moment, but admittedly, it’s hard to get comfortable when that team in the rear view mirror is the Tampa Bay Rays. The next couple of months should be interesting. Let’s win this thing!…
If you can beat Boston and Tampa Bay, we want you!…
The Yankees’ season of uneven play continues. They go to Oakland and sweep the A’s, and then lose a series to the Angels of Los Angeles but located in Anaheim or whatever they are called these days. Granted, the Angels have always been a thorn in the Yankees’ side, but they started the season slowly so there was hope it would continue through the series with the Yankees. Alas, it was not meant to be. At the least the Yankees salvaged the final game of the season. It is always good to win the get-away game regardless of the outcome of the prior games in the series.
Given the Yankees had pinned much of their 2012 hopes on starting pitcher Michael Pineda (lost for the season due to injury), it is not a surprise that trade rumors are starting to surface. I saw one today about interest in Matt Garza of the Chicago Cubs. I’ve always liked Garza, and even if his time in Chicago has not been stellar, the guy knows how to pitch in the AL East. He’s not going to be the second coming of Roy Halladay, but he would be an effective choice. I would think that a trade for Garza, among other highly touted prospects, would include either Phil Hughes or Ivan Nova. I couldn’t see the Cubs making the trade for prospects only. I also couldn’t see the Yankees trading Hughes given his recent strong performances. But including Nova would cost greater minor league talent to be included. What I don’t want to see is a trade for the Astros’ Wandy Rodriguez. He has had a decent season so far, but the AL East is a different animal and I’d rather have someone with proven experience.
I saw a comment on one of my recent posts that Yankees fans needed to get over losing Cliff Lee. Huh? Where did that come from? Yes, I would have liked to have signed Lee, but he obviously preferred to return to Philadelphia. There’s nothing wrong with his choice. I’ve moved on, and I think other Yankees fans have too. Just because we are concerned about the state of the current starting rotation has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not we lost out on Lee.
Youk, the star of Chavez Ravine…
I saw today that the Boston Red Sox are trying to move Kevin Youkilis in a move that would not qualify as a surprise. Will Middlebrooks has shown that he is major league ready and the earlier confrontation in the media between manager Bobby Valentine and Youk shows that the clutch hitter supreme might be better suited in a different uniform. Given the Los Angeles Dodgers are my favorite NL team, I am hopeful that the Dodgers will acquire Youk for manager Donnie Baseball. I’d really hate to see the Sox trade Youk to the Rangers and only strengthen what has been the AL’s best team.
Leave it to Santana to say “f” Mets history…
About a week ago or so, I was listening to the guys on MLB Radio talk about how the New York Mets did not have a no-hitter despite having no-hitter king Nolan Ryan on their roster at one time. But of course all good things must end as Johan Santana threw a no-no tonight. Congratulations to Santana as it has been a tough road since he left the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, it must be a…
I am a big fan of David Robertson, but I am hopeful that manager Joe Girardi keeps Rafael Soriano in the closer role and returns Robertson to his key setup position. Robertson is the best setup guy in baseball in my opinion. Sori has showed signs of his dominance several seasons back as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays as the team’s closer. He’s no Mariano Rivera, but I think Robertson-Soriano provides the Yanks with the best case scenario all things considered.
Have a great weekend, everyone! J
To act or not to act…
When is the beast (i.e., the YES Network) going to start screaming, “Feed Me!”…
Okay, okay, I know…the Yankees are a strong team with or without reinforcements. Maybe it is just the residual effect of having to depend upon Alex Rodriguez and A.J. Burnett.
Not unexpectedly, the Yankees failed to reach agreement with Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima. Early speculation had Nakajima returning to Japan for one more year since the Yankees wouldn’t afford him the opportunity to start. The Boston Red Sox seem like the natural fit given their need for someone with Nakajima’s talent and it doesn’t hurt that the manager can speak a little Japanese.
Just as they were not players for Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, I don’t really expect the Yankees to pursue Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. If the Yankees didn’t have any promising prospects it would be one thing, but the organization really likes outfield prospect Mason Williams. It goes without saying that you can’t sustain a championship squad with $100 million players at every position. Primarily, it is cost prohibitive, but secondly, the players quickly become less productive than their compensation (i.e., A-Rod) and you’re unable to do anything about it. Good, cheap young talent is the way to sustain a championship squad. That’s why Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos should both get opportunities to pitch in Yankee Stadium at some point this season. If either could prove that he is major league ready, it would significantly strengthen the perceived weak starting rotation.
There are plenty of ‘what ifs’ with the Yankees this year, but IF Phil Hughes can show he is indeed the 18-win game winner we saw several years ago and not the notorious injury risk and IF A.J. Burnett could convert last season’s first half success into full season success, the rotation would be in great shape for supplementation by Betances and/or Banuelos.
Like many, I am anxious to see what Jesus Montero can do on a daily basis with his bat. I am grateful the Yankees didn’t move him. I know we’re not out of the woods yet, but if Montero starts hitting like we know he can, he’ll quickly become a fixed commodity in the Bronx.
My primary wish at this point is the return of backup third baseman Eric Chavez. Yes, I would be in favor of a trade for Matt Garza or Matt Cain, or the free agent signing of Edwin Jackson on a short term deal, but I really think that a solid, proven replacement option for A-Rod is essential. When A-Rod goes on the inevitable DL stint during the season, I don’t want to see his replacement with a guy that is fighting to stay above the Mendoza line. I want a guy that is capable of changing the game, and that’s Chavez. He might not be able to do it every day anymore, but he’s still a superior performer if used properly. So, Brian Cashman, please talk to your owner and get this deal done.
Money for nothing and the chicks for free…
I have to admit that I am impressed with what Cubs president Theo Epstein has done so far. To unload the pariah known as Carlos Zambrano and get a young, quality starting pitcher in Chris Volstad was genius. I know that Andrew Cashner was a heralded pitching prospect, but I really like the move to pick up former Red Sox prospect Anthony Rizzo from the San Diego Padres for first base. I used to think that Alfonso Soriano was untradeable, but now, if you told me that Theo had traded him for a quality return, I would believe you wholeheartedly. I kind of feel bad for Cubs GM Jed Hoyer. Regardless of what he does, Theo will always get credit. San Diego GM Josh Byrnes is probably saying ‘Thanks, Dude’ every night.
What do you want to be when you grow up?…
I was a bit surprised to see Joe Torre step down from his job with Major League Baseball. I am sure that the attraction of being a major league owner was very appealing, but it’s hardly a sure bet. But I guess that Joe’s made his money, and he decided to gamble for the job he wanted, knowing that worst case, he is set for the rest of his life. One thing’s for sure, if Joe’s ownership group is successful in buying the Dodgers, my longtime idol, Don Mattingly, is secure as Dodgers manager. So, all I can say is ‘Good luck, Joe!’.
When did Arte Moreno become smarter than a fifth grader?…
I’ve been surprised to hear that the contract Albert Pujols signed with the Los Angeles Angels is so backloaded. To pay the best player in baseball $12 million to play in 2012 is clearly the best return on investment that I’ve seen in a very long time. Sure, in 8 years, the Angels will be paying $30 million for a past-his-prime first baseman, but by that time, he’ll have legendary records within his grasp, and will help fill seats, which of course, will pay his excess salary. GM Jerry DiPoto is too new to give him credit, but this was a genius move by the Angels and it shows that the Cardinals were never going to pay that kind of money.
What a surprise…
It’s funny that I used the word ‘surprised’ in the last two paragraphs. That’s not the case with the Yankees where the crickets still reign supreme…
I know, the Yankees signed former Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima but I don’t really see him making the team if Cesar Cabral impresses in camp. Crickets, just crickets…
The Bear is sleeping…
With the Yankees in hibernation for the winter, there’s not much for us Yankee fans to talk about. The latest speculation centers on catcher Jorge Posada and where he might end up. Of the three teams mentioned (Rays, Phillies, and Orioles), I don’t see Jorge as a good fit.
In Tampa, he’d back up his former back up, Jose Molina. I suppose that he could earn additional starting time by the virtue of his superior bat, but why tarnish a great Yankees legacy by playing for a key divisional rival. Same goes for the Orioles. I think there’s a strong chance for Jorge to get pushed aside in either organization for younger, cheaper talent. Neither the O’s or the Rays would be beholden to Posada as he didn’t carve out a borderline Hall of Fame career in their uniforms. As for the Phillies, it would probably be a good way for one last shot at the World Series, but the Phillies have emerged as a chief rival for the Yankees. He wouldn’t start for the Phillies, and his pinch-hitting opportunities and DH duty in interleague play would be limited with Jim Thome on the roster.
I would still like to see Jorge go to the Miami Marlins as a best-case scenario if he decides to continue playing. He lives in Miami, and the team is in the opposing league. They are not a natural rival by geography, and he wouldn’t tarnish his Yankees legacy. But as Nick Cafardo said in his Boston Globe column yesterday, “Hope Jorge Posada retires as a Yankee”.
Short-term rental looks better every day…
With the list of prospective pitchers dwindling, I am in favor of a short term signing (such as Roy Oswalt or Edwin Jackson). The recent trades of Mat Latos to the Reds and Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals has shown that the price is sky high for young, talented pitchers. Giving up Jesus Montero and Manuel Banuelos in any trade would be a mistake. I am not sure if this is akin to 1995 when Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera may have been considered potential prospect trade bait, but still, I’d rather see what the future holds with Montero and Banuelos than without. I think that either Oswalt or Jackson would be a better option than either Bartolo Colon or Freddy Garcia, and would allow the Yankees more time to work on a more equitable trade or seek potential help in the 2012 free agent market.
Strengthening your team with ex-Yankees…
I really do not want to see the Boston Red Sox weaken the Yankees’ bench by signing Andruw Jones. The Yankees had a great fourth outfielder in 2011, and they need to make his return a priority. This is an area that I’ve been greatly disappointed by the continued silence. I really do not feel that Justin Maxwell, Chris Dickerson or Melky Mesa can fill Andruw’s shoes.
Just like the Los Angeles Angels crept up and became the star of the Winter Meetings (overtaking the Miami Marlins), I keep expecting the Red Sox, who have been very dormant this winter despite their acquisition of former Yankees reliever Mark Melancon, to make a big splash to improve their 2012 team for new manager Bobby Valentine. It could be the signing of Hiroki Kuroda (whom the Yankees are also interested in) or a trade for the Cubs’ Matt Garza, but if they do improve, it will be difficult for the Yankees to adjust.
The Winter of (Y)our Discontent…
I never thought I’d feel bad for the New York Mets, but it has to be tough for their fans to watch their team move into rebuilding mode when every other team in the division has gotten better. The Mets would appear to have a stranglehold on fifth place in their division, with no competition. There is no great joy in watching the Mets as a defeated organization.
Don’t wake the Beast…
It’s hard to believe that pitchers and catchers report in less than two months. Of course, I am in Minnesota and it’s sunny with an expected high today of nearly 50 degrees. Nothing is what you expect, or I suppose you could say what it seems. There’s a winter beast that will soon be awakened in Minnesota. Does the same hold true for The Bronx?…
Do you want to beat the New York Yankees?…
Just call up a pitcher to make his major league
debut and he is assured of getting his first major league victory against the
Yanks. Put Roy Halladay, Josh Beckett,
Cliff Lee, Zach Greinke and others on the mound, and the Yankees have a great
chance at winning. Put Cleveland’s Josh
Tomlin on the mound, and it’s lights out Yankees. I don’t get why the team has always struggled
so much against the unknown pitchers.
Surely, the Scouting Department has a portfolio on minor league
pitchers. For whatever reason, no info
is getting conveyed to the Yankee hitters.
The 25-year-old Tomlin simply pitched much better
than 13-game winner CC Sabathia, as the
Indians rolled over the Yankees, 4-1. He
went 7 innings and only gave up 3 hits and 1 earned run; he struck out 2. CC, on the other hand, gave up 9 hits in 7
innings, and allowed 4 runs abeit 2 earned.
He also walked 3 while striking out 5.
Alex Rodriguez put another goose egg on the scoreboard
(0-for-4) in his attempt to reach 600 home runs. He could have been a hero in the 9th
inning. A home run with two outs would
have tied the game, but unfortunately, he hit into a fielder’s choice to end
the game. Today was A-Rod’s 35th
birthday, but I am sure that the post-game celebration will be subdued.
It was a disappointing loss, which was definitely a
team effort. I guess the flight from New
York City to Cleveland was too much.
Hopefully, the players will come out on Tuesday ready to play.
A sore left knee scratched Jorge Posada from the
lineup tonight. I’d really like to see
Jorge take the necessary time to fully recover before he attempts to play
again. The Yankees don’t need to go into
September with a questionable Posada.
The Yankees lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL
East has dropped to just two games as the Rays defeated the Detroit Tigers
again tonight (following yesterday’s no-hitter by Matt Garza, the first in Rays
Jason Behnken/The Tampa Tribune
It doesn’t seem like the Yankees are getting
anywhere on trade rumors. Their latest
speculated target, Royals closer Joakim Soria, apparently has the Yankees on
his no-trade list. I am not expecting a
blockbuster deal, because there just aren’t any players of that magnitude
available. But the Yankees do need to
try and address the shortcomings of the team.
Right now, the bullpen is very leaky so that certainly deserves attention
as does a bat who can come off the bench to spell A-Rod.
This is off-topic, but I am sorry to hear the news
that former Oakland Raider Jack Tatum has passed away at age 61. Growing up, the “Assassin” was a force for
the Raiders. It is unfortunate that he
will always be remembered as the guy whose hit paralyzed the New England
Patriots’ Darryl Stingley. Sadly, both
Stingley (who died in 2007) and Tatum left us way too soon…
Coke is definitely the Real Thing!
Melky Cabrera got the accolades for the Yankees 7-4 victory over the
Anaheim Los Angeles Angels, however, I give the star to Yankees reliever Phil Coke.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America
He has quietly and consistently been a reliable weapon in the bullpen. Considering that most of the guys seem have ERA’s around Yogi Berra’s retired uniform number, it’s refreshing to see Coke come in and just do his job. He hasn’t been perfect this year, but he is learning and he is getting better. That’s all I can ask.
He earned the victory for last night’s game in relief of A.J. Burnett, who went 7 innings and gave up 4 runs. Coke pitched the 8th inning, with 1 strike out and no runs. Every day that I don’t see Jose Veras or Damaso Marte coming out of the pen is good day!
Speaking of Cabrera, how clutch was his single in the 8th inning? He ripped it into right field to score the go-ahead run. Ramiro Pena subsequently drove in two insurance runs with a double. They were the first 2 RBI’s of Pena’s major league career. I still can’t get used to him wearing Dave Righetti’s number even though others, like Aaron Boone and Luis Sojo, have worn it since.
New York Post
The Yankees always lose to the Angels so it was nice to see them win for a change. Hopefully, they’ll keep it up since I will be making my first appearance at Yankee Stadium on Sunday (the final game of the 4-game set with the Angels).
Of course, I have to credit the Yankees recent success on Jane Heller’s Pen. All hail the Pen! No pressure on the She-Fan. She just has to keep the pen happy, safe…and full of ink!
Courtesy Confessions of a She-Fan (Jane Heller)
I wonder if she has taken the Pen to see any of the vineyards in the wine country near Santa Barbara, or if they’ve hung out at the beach. The primary mission is to keep the Pen happy!
So, Jane, remember that if you and your husband are in the car and Michael’s driving, the Pen has dibs for the front passenger seat. You are relegated to the back seat…or worse, the trunk! Sorry, it is now all about the Pen…
JULIA’S JOURNEY TO NEW YORK CITY
As you know, Julia will be traveling to New York City with 7th and 8th grade musicians from her middle school. They are attending a music festival. Most likely, she’ll be attempting to infect the fine citizens of New York with a bad case of Red Sox flu. Of course, this is all in her dreams, so to protect the good citizens of the city of New York, I have decided to post a dream catcher to ensure that everyone is safe from a Red Sox epidemic.
The New York State Police should set up a roadblock so that when Julia enters New York, they can confiscate any contraband (i.e., Kevin Youkilis jersey).
Julia, please be sure to check out how the pink Yankee hats look (considering that you’ll be a proud owner of one soon!).
A PERFECT NIGHT
Watching the Tampa Bay Rays’ Matt Garza nearly throw a perfect game against the Boston Red Sox made me realize that a “perfect” night is anytime the Yankees win and the Red Sox lose. Last night was one of those nights. At some point, I should really learn to hate the Rays but so far, I haven’t been able to do it. There is always great satisfaction in seeing the Rays put one over on the Red Sox, and like last year, if the Yanks can’t win it, it’s good to see someone other than Boston take it (well, except for maybe the Orioles). Garza came oh so close to a perfect game. If he could have only handled that grounder up the middle by Jacoby Ellsbury…
Why is it that every time you see a player do great things, their name is usually preceded by “former Minnesota Twin”? The next time the Twins decide to cut a player, I want to make sure that he signs with the Yankees! So, Erin, please give me the heads-up, okay? Any chance that the Twins will be cutting Joe Mauer? LOL!
I have avoided commenting on the latest A-Rod allegations. I dislike the timing of Selena Roberts’ book (release coincides with his return to the Yankees). There are apparently claims that Alex used steroids in high school and in New York after he was traded to the Yankees (which contradict A-Rod’s previous statements that he only used steroids in Texas). At this point, there is nothing gained by repeatedly dragging A-Rod through the mud. He used steroids, yes, and it is not something that should be condoned. But it’s over. Let’s move on. Let A-Rod be judged for the man he is today. If he is found to be using steroids from this point forward, then banish him. But I don’t care what he did when he was 6 years old…
I am not trying to be delusional or hide from the fact that Alex did something very wrong. But the truth is that steroid use was not a capital offense during the times of his alleged use. Perhaps if it continued into his Yankee years, it may have but there is no concrete evidence. If evidence is found, then convict him. But until then, back off and let the man play baseball.
Have a great weekend!