Results tagged ‘ Roger Clemens ’
Nobody was the right fielder…
I was surprised that nobody was elected to the Hall of Fame for the Class of 2013. Count me among those who feel no consideration should have been given to the players accused or who have admitted steroid use.
There no circumstances that I would have supported putting Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens into the Hall. From the sounds of it, it is the consensus of the HOF members. However, I am probably not as hard line as Rich “Goose” Gossage who said “If they let these guys in ever — at any point — it’s a black eye fo rthe Hall and for baseball”. I do believe there will be a day when Bond, Clemens and other suspected users should be given consideration. With Barry, I realize that ‘roids changed his physique and surely powered a few homers. However, his terrific hand-eye coordination was his own and not something derived through PED’s.
Same with Clemens. He was a great pitcher from the start. Maybe PED’s extended the career, but the ability to leave batters befuddled at the plate, mix up his pitches and play to the batters’ weaknesses was never drug induced. Baseball has seen too many guys who could throw a baseball 100 mph but couldn’t harness the control to save their lives. Clemens knew where to place his pitches and it was his natural ability that made him a star, not his suspected PED use.
I am not sure how long they should be excluded for the Hall but personally I would not want to see them allowed to enter for at least 5 years. Admittedly, I am also in favor of Pete Rose’s entry to the Hall but I suspect that one won’t happen until Pete has met his maker.
The sad part about this entire issue is the presence of suspected and possibly undetected cheaters in the current HOF enshrinement.
As for the 2013 votes, Craig Biggio deserved to get into the Hall. But I am not convinced he was a first ballot HOFer. So I think 2014 will be his year as he will be enshrined at some point.
I did not believe that Bernie Williams was a legitimate Hall of Famer but it was still sad to see him make his final unsuccessful attempt. Given the Yankees have not re-issued #51 or #21 (for Paul O’Neill), it is very likely they will be enshrined in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park. That certainly makes for a nice consolation prize. I still see votes for Don Mattingly. I would absolutely love to see Donnie Baseball make the Hall but realistically I do not believe it will happen. Yet, he continues to garner sufficient votes to remain on the ballot. Mattingly was my favorite player and has reached the status of my favorite manager. I hope the expectations for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the newly adorned salary champions of baseball, do not become too overwhelming for Donnie to succeed. If given the time and support, he will win a championship.
Much ado about something?…
Back to the Yankees, I think the Yanks should aggressively pursue Michael Morse of the Washington Nationals. His bat would fit nicely into right field. I would be inclined to move Ichiro Suzuki to left, and move Brett Gardner for prospects. Morse is the kind of guy that I’d love to see the Yankees pursue.
Today was cold by Northern CA standards. Yeah, to the Cheeseheads of Wisconsin in town for the NFL play-off game between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers might beg to differ but I was shivering. If there is a reason I left my beloved Minneapolis, this might be it. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…….
I am not quite sure what was reaction was when I heard that San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera had been suspended for 50 games due to substance abuse. As a former Yankee, I watched his career as it went through Atlanta and Kansas City before his arrival in the City by the Bay. The year in Atlanta was forgettable, but Melky rebounded in Kansas City and continued his renaissance in San Francisco. The highlight of the year for him was capped with the MVP Award for the All-Star Game.
When Melky was a Yankee, he was often in the mix for game-winning hits and the recipient of one of A.J. Burnett’s pies. It was tough to see him go to Atlanta in the ill-fated trade for Javier Vazquez but I had hoped that he would have a chance to thrive outside of Yankee Stadium and the platoon situation he found himself in. Even with his recent success, I still feel that Brett Gardner, when healthy, is a better fit for the Yankees. Nevertheless, I was glad to see that Melky had found major league success as a regular.
Well, until the day it was announced that he had been suspended. I lost most if not all respect that day. Melky’s quick acceptance of his suspension only rubbed salt in the wound, and now there’s a report that he staged a bogus website in a botched attempt to mask his guilt. I can gladly say that I am glad that Melky is not a Yankee today. I would not want him on my team and if I was the Giants’ GM Brian Sabean, I’d cut my losses and move on. The last thing the Giants need is a player with the aura of substance abuse, particularly on the heels of former Giants outfielder Barry Bonds. Character should be the first criteria when determining if a player is a good fit for any organization. Yes, athletic ability and talent rank very highly but it means nothing if the player is one of poor character.
News of the totally irrelevant…
Speaking of substance abuse, it’s ironic that another former Yankee is again in the news. There were reports that Roger Clemens has signed with an independent team. Seriously? A 50-year-old pitcher trying to make a comeback? The only guy who could make Jamie Moyer look like a teenager? I don’t care if Clemens was acquitted in June. He is one guy that I never want to see wear pinstripes again or ever set foot on Yankee Stadium soil.
I have been supportive of current Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte. There was something very honest about Pettitte’s admission of substance abuse a few years back. Maybe he has all of us fooled. Maybe not. I tend to believe the latter. On the other hand, I don’t believe anything Roger Clemens has to say. Nor do I believe Alex Rodriguez for that matter. I tolerate Rodriguez because he is on the Yankees but I am not a fan of his.
I’d like to put Melky in the category of guys that should be forgiven, but he just strikes me as another Clemens or A-Rod at this point. It is incredible that a guy, at this point in time, would risk millions by doing something that is so closely watched. He was on the fast track for failure. I doubt we’ve seen the last of Melky but I hope that he learns something from the time off.
I was a Yankee for two months…
I know that the Ichiro in Pinstripes Era is very short-lived and will be expiring at the end of the season, but it was a joy to see him hit two home runs off Josh Beckett in the weekend series against the Red Sox. Although the Yankees only took two of three from the Sox, this is not the same Red Sox squad of years passed. Although Bobby Valentine has gotten a vote of confidence from the Front Office, I don’t see how he makes it past just one season in Boston. It is no secret the Sox covet Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell so if there’s a way to pry him from Canada, I am sure that he will be immediately named the next manager of the Sox.
How did I go from Ichiro to John Farrell? I am not quite sure about that one myself…
Where did all these former Dodgers come from?…
It’s only a brief sample, but I really wouldn’t mind seeing Derek Lowe return as the long man in the pen next season. I’ve always admired Lowe’s competitiveness and determination. It’s still a bit weird watching him in pinstripes, but he is a welcome addition. There’s no doubt that I want to see the return of pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. He’s been even better than I had anticipated. I always wondered why Dodger fans were so endeared to him as I had viewed him as a middle of the road starter. But, wow, I was wrong! I totally get why he meant so much to Dodger fans. The team would be lost without Kuroda, particularly after the DL stints of most notably CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte.
It’s hard to believe that September is right around the corner. I guess we will soon be inundated with magic numbers. There is only one number I am concerned about…#28. Let’s go, Yankees!
The 10-Game Roll…
Back when the Yankees were struggling, I knew in the back of my mind that it wasn’t anything that a 10-game winning streak couldn’t fix. Well, the Yankees have done just that with tonight’s victory over the Atlanta Braves. Just like last year, interleague play has proven to be the Yankees’ friend. Although the team hadn’t enjoyed a 10-game winning streak for a few seasons, they did rise up to the challenge of interleague play last year and this year, well, they’ve been nearly invincible. Not bad for a team with questions throughout the starting rotation and perhaps its most valuable pitcher (Mariano Rivera) lost for the season.
Improved starting pitching from #2 through #5 has been the key. Of course, the resurgence of former retiree Andy Pettitte has been crucial, but Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova have all been raised the level of their play. This sure beats last year when you could count on an implosion every fifth start by A.J. Burnett. To Burnett’s defense, he has been very good for the Pittsburgh Pirates, proving that some guys are better served away from baseball’s main stage. There was never any doubt about Burnett’s arm so he just needed a place to get his head straight. But I digress. I prefer Hiroki Kuroda over Burnett, even though Kuroda has had a few clunkers of his own. Kuroda has always mixed in a few stellar starts and seems to finally be getting a grasp of life in the American League East.
Hats off to Cashman…
Why can’t every trade work out as nicely as the one that brought Curtis Granderson to New York? After a slow start in the Bronx during his first year, Grandy has been nothing short of a superstar since. Time and again, he is getting a key hit and propelling his team to victory. The price of the trade was high, and the players going the other direction have fared nicely in their new surroundings, but the trade was worth it.
The personality alone is worth a few million…
With this being Nick Swisher’s walk year, it is assumed that he’ll move on after the season but I really hope that the Yankees find a way to bring his excitement and energy back to the Bronx next season. With the Los Angeles Dodgers’ re-signing of potential free agent Andre Ethier, the free agent market won’t yield anyone of Swisher’s caliber. Sure, you can have Vernon Wells or Alfonso Soriano for a bag of peanuts and a boatload of cash, but I’d rather take Swish.
No recollection of who he played for between the Blue Jays and Astros…
So, Roger Clemens has been found not guilty. Good for him. Do I want to remember his Yankees legacy now that he is a free man? Sorry, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Let Clemens be remembered as a Red Sock, Blue Jay, or Astro. I really don’t want to see Clemens at any future Old Timer’s games at Yankee Stadium unless he is buying a ticket.
Git ‘er done!…
Note to Hal Steinbrenner: Break team tradition and get Robinson Cano signed to an extension. The key is the Yankees’ MVP, and he deserves a contract that rewards a player of his caliber. It is unfortunate that the Yankees have so many dollars going to third base when their success or failure hinges on second base. If they were on opposing teams, there’s no way that I’d trade Robinson Cano for the combination of Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter…
Spending the end of July in the Hamptons…
If the Yankees are players at the trading deadline, I am not sure that they’ll focus on. An outfielder given the slow return of Brett Gardner? Another starting pitcher? But if so, who do you move out of the rotation? Last year, I was surprised when the team stood pat but this year, they probably don’t have any choice. I think any moves will only be secondary in nature, such as another bullpen arm or some other auxiliary type of player.
Farewell to a beloved city…
My time in Minneapolis is coming to an end, unfortunately. I have really enjoyed my short stay in the city and I was graced with an incredibly mild winter so I leave with great memories and much sadness. Living in downtown Minneapolis, with a view of Target Field, was an incredible experience. I am returning to Northern California. No views of any baseball stadiums (Oakland, no thanks; San Francisco, too expensive), so I’ll just have to deal with BART to find my way to games. As much as people in Minnesota complain about the winters, I am sure that I will be glad to be spending my Decembers and Januarys in NoCal but I definitely leave with mixed feelings. A new job opportunity pulled me back to CA, but I can’t say that I am overly excited about the move (location; not job). I loved Minneapolis so I leave with a heavy heart…
We took a mulligan on the first 21 rounds…
It amazes me when I look down this list of names…
Carl Everett, OF
Robert Eenhoorn, SS
Tate Seefried, 1B
Kirt Ojala, LHP
Richard Lantrip, INF
Sam Militello, RHP
Jalal Leach, OF
Tim Rumer, LHP
Matthew Terrell, OF
Darren Hodges, RHP
Richard Hines, RHP
Ron Frazier, RHP
Jeff Motuzas, C
Bo Siberz, RHP
Michael Smith, RHP
Ricky Ledee, OF
Bryan Faw, RHP
Bob Deller, OF
Brent Gilbert, RHP
Kevin Jordan, 2B
Keith Seiler, LHP
These are the players that the Yankees selected prior to Andy Pettitte in the 1990 MLB June Amateur Draft. Of course, Carl Everett’s name stands out but he achieved major league success elsewhere. I always had high hopes for Ricky Ledee, but he didn’t live up to the hype. I also liked Sam Militello, but if memory serves correctly, his career was ultimately derailed by injuries. But still, none of these players came close to matching Pettitte’s career. It is startling how many pitchers the Yankess took in front of Andy, including three left-handed pitchers. It’s also amazing to think that when this group was drafted, my now 22 year old son was only 6 months old.
I realize that Andy is nearly 40 years old, but all things considered, physically, he looks much younger. Took away the strands of gray in his hair and he’d still look 30. I am not trying to say that he is going to throw like a 30 year old, but I don’t feel the drop-off from 2010 is going to be as severe as some suspect. I remember when pitchers like David Cone and Roger Clemens were getting older. They were great pitchers but it felt like they were getting old. Somehow, Andy doesn’t project that same feeling. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine may have his doubts about Andy’s comeback but I’d rather have Andy at the back end of the rotation than what Valentine will be putting out there. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. As the saying goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.
Fragile: Handle with care…
I am not quite sure what to think about the news of Joba Chamberlain’s latest injury. Apparently, he suffered an ankle injury playing with his son that required surgery today. Expected to be back by June, this will obviously delay his return. It seems like the Yankees gave up too early on former pitcher Alfredo Aceves after he suffered two successive injuries that kept him off the field. I don’t know the exact details but the release of Aceves surprised me at the time and of course he found success in Boston. I hope the Yankees do not prematurely lose confidence in Chamberlain. I am not comparing Chamberlain’s situation to Aceves other than to emphasize that I hope the organization takes a tolerant and patient approach to see if Chamberlain can still become the pitcher we thought he would be.
Not only are you out, you’re outta here!…
Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi keep preaching patience with DH Raul Ibanez, but when it comes to that topic, my patience has worn incredibly thin. His lack of hits is troubling under any situation. Given the lineup also has a notoriously slow starting slugger at first base (Mark Teixeira), the Yankees can ill-afford multiple ice bats in April. The Yankees have the talent to acquire a younger, more productive hitter, and that’s definitely a road that I’d be exploring if I was the Yankees general manager. Of course, Brian Cashman is a better general manager that I’d ever be even in my own mind so I am sure this will play out exactly as Cash anticipates. Or at least I hope…
Peyton drinking the Orange Crush? At least he stayed with the horses…
Peyton Manning, the Denver Bronco. I am a bit surprised by his choice. Of course, it ended Tebow-mania in the Mile High City as the Broncos shipped #15 to the New York Jets. The Jets trade also surprised me given they already have Mark Sanchez. I had expected Tebow to go to Florida although I do recognize that the Jacksonville Jaguars are grooming Blaine Gabbert. It will be interesting to see how the Sanchez-Tebow situation plays out in New York. Maybe they can co-exist, but all things considered, this would be yet another surprise for me.
I thought it was a class gesture for former Broncos QB Frank Tripucka to relinquish his retired number 18 for Peyton to wear. Obviously, when Peyton retires, Tripucka will have to share the retired status with Manning. I’d like to see more retired players make those types of moves for certain players.
Think Ron Yary…
I am really worried the Minnesota Vikings are going to use the #3 pick on CB Mo Claiborne rather than stellar OT Matt Kalil. I know that Claiborne is a potential top 5 pick and the Vikings have a lousy secondary, but I just don’t see how you can pass up a franchise tackle who can protect Christian Ponder for years to come.
And then there was light…
Although we’ve been having summer like weather in Minnesota, it’s still hard to believe that the lights of Target Field will soon be illuminating downtown Minneapolis. As a downtown resident, I love the lights of the park which have been dark since last October. It will be fun to see them return in the near future. I only hope the Twins aren’t greeted with a heap of snow (which could happen in this part of the country). I am planning to attend my first 2012 game at Target Field in late April when the Boston Red Sox come to town. For three nights, I will be a Twins fan!
Nineteen and counting…
After a season of overusing words like stellar and
incredible when trying to describe CC Sabathia, he continued with more of the
same in one of his best pitching performances of the year in defeating the
Oakland A’s 5-0 this afternoon in the Bronx.
The win moved CC’s record to 19-5, and put him in outstanding position
to win 20 games in his second year with the Yanks.
Over the years, the Yankees have had some great
free agent signings and some not so great.
CC has clearly put himself in the Top 5 best signings in just under two
years in New York. Then there’s A.J.
Burnett. Oh well, nobody’s perfect…except
Sipkin/NY Daily News
CC’s game today was a one-hit shutout. Fortunately, the hit occurred early in the
game on a legitimate hit (single in the second inning). It would have been much worse had the hit
happened late in the game. September 1st
call-up, Jonathan Albaladejo pitched the 9th to secure the win and
shutout for CC.
The game also featured two home runs by the
recently rejuvenated Curtis Granderson.
He has definitely found his sea legs in New York, and is starting to
play like the player the Yanks thought they were getting when they acquired him
from the Tigers. I am sure that New York
City is starting to look much better through Grandy’s eyes now that his bat is
starting to catch up with his reputation.
With the win, the Yanks moved to 1 ½ games up on
the Tampa Bay Rays, who had the day off.
They remained 8 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox, who defeated Buck
Showalter and Baltimore Orioles 6-4. I
would never count the Red Sox out, but on September 2nd, I certainly
feel much better about an 8 game lead than I would if it were only 2 or 3 games
(okay, that’s a statement of the obvious…sorry). This has been a tough year for the Sox, and I
would never seek to found glory in their injuries. The latest word has Dustin Pedroia seeking
season-ending foot surgery in an attempt to avoid any setbacks that would cause
him to miss time in 2011. Pedey is a
gamer so I am sure that whatever decision he makes will be in the best
interests of both he and the Red Sox organization.
Jim Davis/Boston Globe
It’s hard to believe the NFL season is upon us once
again. My team, the Minnesota Vikings,
will once again be quarterbacked by 20-year vet Brett Favre. I have my doubts if Favre will be able to
last the entire season so hopefully Tavaris Jackson has grown during his time
as a backup to Favre. The team may not
have needed T-Jack in 2009, but he’ll see plenty of the pigskin in 2010.
My hockey team, the San Jose Sharks, now have the
reigning Stanley Cup goalie in the fold.
Antti Niemi won salary arbitration against the Chicago Blackhawks and as
a result forced himself out of Chicago’s budget. They subsequently severed ties with Niemi and
signed former Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco.
The Sharks signed Niemi on a one-year, $2 million deal. He’ll join another free-agent signee and
fellow countryman Antero Niittymaki plus Thomas Greiss in net. Former goalie Evgeni Nabakov, who the team
cut ties with earlier in the off-season, signed to play in Russia. Will this be the year the Sharks finally make
the Stanley Cup? Well, I certainly hope
Roger Clemens deserves jail time…
Aroldis Chapman is the real deal. The Cincinnati Reds are having a terrific
season and they’ve just added an ace arm to the bullpen for the stretch
run. There must have been collective
groans in St. Louis when the Reds called Chapman up from the minors. Here’s hoping that he has a much better run
than fellow rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg who is now on the shelf for 12-18
months due to Tommy John surgery. I
still wonder why the Yankees never entered into the bidding for Chapman. I hope they don’t make the same mistake
when/if Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish comes available.
I was really surprised to see Andy Roddick make
such an early exit from the US Open in Flushing Meadow, NY (second round). I’ve been to the US Open a number of times,
and Roddick has always been a fixture in the later rounds. This year, he’ll be watching from the stands
like the rest of us.
Manny Ramirez looks pathetic in a White Sox
uniform. It wasn’t that long ago that I
admired Manny the Hitter, but I have to admit that I’ve been turned off by his
ugly departures from both Boston and Los Angeles. Chicago may be excited for now, but it is
inevitable that they’ll be glad to see Manny leave town.
Is it really September?…
Who said Derek Jeter could have the day off?
I didn’t see the PTO request!
Actually, he has a sore right oblique and needed a day to recuperate…
Thanks to a scoop by Peter Abraham of the LoHud Yankees Blog, here is a photo of Nick Swisher’s new haircut:
I liked Abraham’s comment that it looked like Swish head-butted a lawnmower! Hopefully, this will snap Swish out of his current slump. On the bright side, it can’t hurt!
Roger Clemens was on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show this morning, and denied use of any performance-enhancing drugs. Right, and I also believe that Brett Favre doesn’t enjoy waffling about retirement every off-season…
Former Yankees reliever Scott Proctor (currently with the Florida Marlins) had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, and is out for the year. Meanwhile, Yankees minor league pitcher Ian Kennedy had surgery for an aneurysm in his right shoulder, and will be out for 6-8 weeks. Good luck to both pitchers, and may they each have a speedy recovery!
Oh yeah, there was a game tonight. The Yankees lost, 5-1. Of course, that was a given as soon as I saw that Roy Halladay was the scheduled starter. He is a true Yankee killer (even if his name is really Harry), and the marquee match-up between him and A.J. Burnett was tilted in the Jays’ favor from the start.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
I was glad to see Alex Rodriguez get an RBI, but once the Jays scored early, I knew that the Jays would be able to tack on more runs once they got A.J. into the later innings (when he seems to tire easily).
Without Jeter in the lineup, the offense looked very punchless. With A-Rod still trying to work his way back and Tex still coming up short in key situations, there really wasn’t anything else in the lineup (Damon can’t do it all by himself). It was appropriate that Teixeira ended the game with a groundout to first, leaving a runner in scoring position. So much for a clutch hit to start a rally…
I know that the Yankees have to keep infielders Ramiro Pena and Angel Berroa around because of uncertainty regarding Alex Rodriguez, but there’s nothing on the bench. The cupboards are bare. When a DJ takes the day off, there is a huge drop-off in talent, and the Yankees cannot afford to let these games get away. I know that now is a difficult time to make any acquisitions without paying a high price, but Brian Cashman needs to figure it out.
Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times
Time to regroup, and return tomorrow night to show the world that they really do deserve to be called contenders (because right now they don’t look like it)…
No, there will not be a dedication to Roger Clemens on this blog…
Before I begin the tribute for the special Yankees player who wore #22, I do want to give special mention to the current Yankees #22, Xavier Nady.
Chris Faytok/The Star Ledger
As you may have heard, the X Man had a MRI on his right elbow and the results were “not good”. He’ll head to the disabled list for an extended period of time and there is speculation that he could be lost of for the season. If that happens, it is possible that Nady has worn the pinstripes for the final time since he is a free agent at the end of the year. So, I would like to express sadness at the news of the injury and to thank Nady for his significant contributions to the Yankees over the past year. Whatever happens, I wish him the very best. Hopefully, he’ll take his place in right field at the new Yankee Stadium at some point in the future, but if it is not meant to be, then I hope he’ll return as a visitor, receiving a standing ovation.
My #22 tribute is to former Yankees pitcher Allie Reynolds or “Superchief” as he was known…
Reynolds grew up in Oklahoma and was a quarter Creek Indian, hence the nickname. He made his major league debut with the Cleveland Indians in 1942. In 1946, he was traded to the Yankees in a deal for All-Star second baseman Joe Gordon. Legend has it that the Indians wanted Gordon so badly they were willing to give up any pitcher except Bob Feller. Yankee executive Larry MacPhail consulted with Joe DiMaggio, and Joltin’ Joe said “Take Reynolds. I’m a fastball hitter, but he can buzz his hard one by me any time he has a mind to.”
His arrival in the Bronx coincided with the beginning of the Dynasty years. In 1948, Reynolds headlined a starting rotation that included Vic Raschi and Eddie Lopat and that team won the first of five consecutive World Series championships.
In 1951, he became the first American League pitcher to throw two no-hitters in a single season. In the second no-hitter which was against the Boston Red Sox (as Julia says, ‘Eeek!’), Reynolds had to get Ted Williams for the final out twice when Yogi Berra dropped an easy foul pop. He also won the Hickok Belt as the top professional athlete that year.
He had a career record of 182 wins, 107 losses, and 49 saves (Yankees manager Casey Stengel once called him “two ways great” because of his ability to start and relieve). He won 20 games once, going 20-8, with a 2.06 ERA, in 1952.
Reynolds was brilliant in the post-season. He appeared in 15 World Series games for the Yankees, with a record of 7-2, four saves and ERA of 2.79. In six World Series relief appearances, Reynolds recorded a win or a save each time, including the clinching games in 1950, 1952, and 1953.
Reynolds’ career ended after the 1954 season due to a back injury that was suffered when the Yankees team bus crashed into an overpass in Philadelphia.
He died in 1994 due to complications from lymphoma and diabetes.
His number has never been retired and he is not in the Hall of Fame, although his accomplishments would certainly seem to justify it.
The aforementioned injury to Xavier Nady opens the door for Nick Swisher to assume a full-time position in right field. It certainly solves the problem manager Joe Girardi had with finding a spot in the lineup for Swisher. GM Brian Cashman is looking like a genius for not trading either Nady or Swisher during the off-season, and so far, Swisher has been an offensive success for the Yankees. Who knows where this will lead over the course of a long summer, but I certainly feel much better about Swisher in right than I do Cody Ransom at third.
For the record, Ramiro Pena made his second start at third base in Wednesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. However, Ransom entered the game when Hideki Matsui pinch hit for Pena. Word is that Ransom will be starting at third base on Thursday…unfortunately.
Nevertheless, back to the Nady situation, it is unlikely that the Yanks will recall Austin Jackson since Girardi prefers that he continues to get every day starts in center field at Scranton rather than riding the bench in the Bronx. More than likely, Juan Miranda or Kevin Russo will be recalled when Nady is placed on the DL Thursday.
Pitcher Chien-Ming Wang altered his pitching routine between starts by facing batters while pitching from the mound at Tropicana Field rather than performing a bullpen session. Of course, he only faced one major league hitter considering that the two batters were Melky Cabrera and Cody Ransom.
The Yankees win! The Yankees win! The Yankees WIN!
Well, in the grand scheme of things, the Tampa Bay Rays won the first battle, but the Yankees won the war in their first series of the season. The Yankees were destroyed by the Rays, 15-5, on Monday. They came back to win yesterday, 7-2, behind the great pitching performance by A.J. Burnett (who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning). Today was the rubber-match, and the Yankees came through…
Robinson Cano was one of the hitting stars, with a fourth inning homer that tied the game. Johnny Damon hit a game-tying double in the 8th inning that scored Derek Jeter, and then in the 9th, Jeter hit what turned out to be the game-winning run-scoring double. Mariano Rivera, in a sea of number 42 jerseys (in recognition of Jackie Robinson), easily retired three Rays batters to end the game.
So, a series that started so poorly, ended on a strong note.
Now, the Yankees head for the Bronx to make their long-anticipated regular season debut at the new Yankee Stadium. CC, the lights of Broadway are upon you…
Leroy Neiman / The Lights of Broadway
The WBC is quite interesting after all…
I have to admit that I am starting to get caught up with the World Baseball Classic. At first, I dismissed it as a ploy by the Commissioner and viewed it as something that would prevent certain players from getting quality spring training time with their respective teams. Granted, a Derek Jeter doesn’t have to worry that someone’s going to steal his job while he is away, but how about someone like Carlos Marmol? Carlos should be the Cubs’ closer this year since Kerry Wood signed with Cleveland in the off-season. However, the Cubs did acquire the Florida Marlins closer Kevin Gregg in the off-season. I have not been following the Cubs that closely, so I don’t know if Marmol has already been given the closer’s role by Manager Lou Piniella or if he is in competition with Gregg. But regardless, time away from Cubs camp can’t be beneficial.
On the same token, Kevin Cash is fighting for a Yankees roster spot as the third catcher. Meanwhile, Francisco Cervelli has been with the WBC’s Team Italy. Granted, Italy has been eliminated and Cervelli is on his way to Tampa to join up with the Yanks. But still, the time away most likely was more beneficial for Cash than it was Cervelli.
Sorry, I digressed…
I am very surprised to see the Netherlands’ victory over the Dominican Republic. On the bright side, it means that Robinson Cano and Damaso Marte will be on their way back to camp. But I still have to believe that the DR was the better team. Well, I guess on “any given Tuesday”, everyone has a chance. That’s why the play the games, right?
Two things did stand out to me about the Netherlands-DR game.
First, Ubaldo Jimenez is a freak. Ten strikeouts in four innings. Two hits, no runs, no walks, and 43 of 65 pitches were for strikes. It’s a tremendous line score, and is obviously a tournament record. I’ve known that Jimenez was good, I just didn’t realize that he was this good. The Rockies are very fortunate to have him.
Secondly, Pedro Martinez pitched very well and certainly deserves another opportunity. The Mets are on record saying they have no interest in re-signing Pedro, but you’d think someone would take the chance. I mean, c’mon, if you have the chance to go with Carl “The American Idle” Pavano or Pedro Martinez (albeit the antique version), you tell me you’re going to go with the guy most likely to hit the DL first? I’d think a team that is capable of contending, like the Indians, would take a chance on Pedro as their fifth starter. In the Netherlands-DR game, Pedro pitched very well (three innings, no hits, no runs, no walks, and two strikeouts).
The WBC games have been very entertaining, and I am looking forward to the second round. Plus, Jimmy Curran has my interest piqued about Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish…
Steroids, the topic that won’t go away
Alex Rodriguez should be thankful for the torn labrum. The injury and the subsequent surgery have caused people to focus on things other than his admitted steroids use. So, the surgery definitely has had some positive impact despite the negative of keeping A-Rod out of action for 6-9 weeks.
Meanwhile, the negative reports for Roger Clemens keep coming in. Now, Brian McNamee is saying that he injected Clemens with drugs in the Jacuzzi at Yankee Stadium. At this point, I fully believe that McNamee is telling the truth. From my perspective, what Clemens has done is far worse than anything A-Rod did.
Okay, maybe that’s not Clemens, but it could be!
I used to feel that Clemens would be a shoo-in for first ballot Hall of Fame. Now, I don’t believe he should ever get in (not even posthumously).
Aside from Barry Bonds, Yankees who have taken steroids seem to get triple the press magnification than players from other teams. I realize that New York City is THE major market, but I’d have to believe that steroids found their way into other locker rooms and no team was immune.
Examples should be made of the so-called liars like Clemens and Bonds. I will always have more respect for those who step forward and admit their indiscretions and crimes than I will for those who continue to deny their guilt.
CC Sabathia didn’t last long today as he gave up 5 runs on 6 hits, and didn’t make it out of the second inning in the Yankees 7-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers. One of the hits was a home run by former Yankee Gary Sheffield. Ouch!
Meanwhile, Joba Chamberlain pitched much more effectively than he did his previous outing in Tuesday night’s 7-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds. He allowed one run on three hits, striking out three and walking none, in two innings of work.
Sounds like GM Brian Cashman is content to start the season with Cody Ransom as the starting third baseman. “I’m not optimistic about doing anything,” Cashman said. “I’m not going to be proactive in trying to do something. If something presents itself that makes sense, which is not realistic, then maybe it will be somebody different. I think our answer is here in camp.” Of course, you never know if that is talk to downplay any sense of desperation on the Yankees’ part or if Cashman is truly intending to stand pat. My guess is that there isn’t anything that makes sense and it’s not worth parting with a blue-chip prospect at this point. Now, if Ransom gets off to a very slow start…
Alex Rodriguez left a voice mail message for Manager Joe Girardi on Tuesday night that said, “I’m doing well.” I am hopeful that it means the recovery will be closer to six weeks than nine weeks!
It’s not Yankees news, but for everything negative about Manny Ramirez, there is no question that he is in a league of his own when it comes to hitting. I noticed these comments by Donnie Baseball, the Dodgers hitting coach. “By 8 [a.m.], he’s in the cage. He’ll only take 30 to 35 balls, but he’s almost perfect with them. He does it slow. He doesn’t rush. He’s not firing ball after ball. He takes his time with each swing. It’s like each swing is a whole at-bat. He thinks about what he wants to do and then he thinks about what he just did. Every swing he takes with a purpose. And he doesn’t talk much when he’s hitting. But if he doesn’t like one, he’ll ask what you think he did.” I don’t condone how Manny treated the Boston fans or the organization, or how he quit on his teammates, but I respect his ability to hit. That was the only reason that I wanted the Yankees to sign him.
The Sharks Win, The Sharks Win, TTTHHEEE SHHHAARRRKKKS WIN!
Okay, they blew a three-goal lead but the San Jose Sharks finally won last night, beating the Minnesota Wild, 5-4, in overtime. Wins have been hard to come by for the Sharks in recent weeks, so I’ll take any victory that I can.
“We won finally and that’s a real good thing,” said Sharks coach Todd McLellan. “But I’m disappointed in the way we carry ourselves. I’d like to see some guys step up and swing the bat. I want to see guys take the challenge on a little bit more.”
It was the Sharks first victory in five games.
I am hopeful that the victory will reignite some momentum for the Sharks as they continue the drive for the post-season.
A-Rod Surgery – The Day After…
By all accounts, the surgery performed on Alex Rodriguez’s hip for the torn labrum by Dr. Marc J. Philippon was successful. Alex should be able to resume playing in 6-9 weeks.
Many people have questioned whether the Yanks really need to seek a replacement since A-Rod can conceivably be back in action after 23 games. I say yes, because I feel an upgrade is necessary for the long haul…not just the first 23 games of the season. Cody Ransom is labeled as a good defender, but he can’t hit for average although he does have some power.
I think the Yankees need someone who can fill in, provide good defense, and hit well enough to keep pitchers honest. Alex will need more rest than in years past, and more rest for Derek Jeter is probably not a bad idea as he begins the downside of his career physically-speaking.
Someone did ask A’s manager Bob Geren if Bobby Crosby was being showcased at third base for the Yankees and he chuckled and replied “no”. Bobby wants to play, and he probably sees third as his best option given the health of 3B Eric Chavez in recent years.
So, maybe the best deal is no deal, but I sure wish I had more faith and confidence in either Cody Ransom or Angel Berroa…
Starting in Centerfield…
Granted, Brett Gardner hasn’t won the job yet, but he continues to impress in camp. On Monday, he hit this third homer of the season (which leads the team).
He continues to make things happen, and I’d be surprised to see Melky Cabrera to take the job from Gardner. It’s definitely exciting to have his presence in the lineup.
Michael Kay mentioned on a recent telecast that the Yankees haven’t had a weapon like this on the base paths since Homer Bush. I agree…
Italy ousts Canada
Italy defeated Canada 6-2 on Monday to eliminate the Canadians from WBC play. Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli was 0-for-3 with a walk for the Italians.
I caught Mike Piazza’s comments about Cervelli this morning (no pun intended). “He’s so talented back there, you can’t say enough,” Piazza said. “He worked hard back there. His enthusiasm, you could tell.”
“His enthusiasm from the start of the game was just sky-high. He hustled. He’s got an amazing arm.” Piazza went on to say. “I’m jealous – in a good way – because I see player with a great future ahead of him. He’s going to get better with the bat. He’s going to get a little quicker.”
He’s not the prospect that Jesus Montero is, but he’s a few years older (23) and closer to major league action. I am anxious to see competition between Cervelli and Kevin Cash (and even Jose Molina) when he returns to Yankees camp after the conclusion of the WBC.
Just as I am concerned about back up support at third, I have the same concerns at catcher given Jorge Posada’s age and his return from injury last season. At this point of his career, Jorge is not going to improve and will only continue to deteriorate. It remains to be seen if he can continue to perform at the level he’s been accustomed to, but the odds are against it. Jorge needs a solid backup who can spell him on occasion. Perhaps it is Jose Molina, but I do feel that when you look at the players with greatest odds for getting hurt, Jorge is at or near the top. Therefore, if Cervelli can continue to take his play to a higher level, he’ll have a say in the Yanks’ backup catching plans.
Odds and Ends
Mike Mussina was a visitor to Yankees camp today, and true to form, doesn’t regret the decision to retire. He also turned down Manager Joe Girardi’s offer to wear a uniform for the day.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Moose was a class act, and he’ll be missed. He was, at times, misunderstood, but I always thought he was honest and straightforward.
I saw Jake Peavy’s quote earlier in the week, and I am definitely glad that the Red Sox never became his destination. “Boston was a place that I told the Padres I would certainly be interested in playing,” Peavy said Monday at the Team USA workout. “I don’t know if there were any talks. I gave the Padres a list and Boston was on that list. Boston was a place I told the Padres I would be interested in playing at. Set that straight for sure.” Yikes! To borrow the old adage, sometimes the best deal is the deal never made! J
With the plethora of evidence building up against him, when is Roger Clemens going to come clean and admit steroids use? For a guy I used to consider a hero, I am so disappointed…
I liked Randy Johnson’s description of Tim Lincecum as the fourth Jonas brother…
Okay, I find the headline of “U.S. teammate Dustin Pedroia thinks World of Derek Jeter” to be very disturbing! There’s way too much love going around. “They go at it constantly,” Chipper Jones said of Jeter and Pedroia. “It’s fun when Yankees and Red Sox go at each other, because you know they’re going to hate each other in a month.” Whew! I needed that perspective. Thanks Chipper! I was starting to get this visual image of Yankees and Red Sox players hugging each other and trading high 5′s before games…