Results tagged ‘ Roger Maris ’

The thrill of Victory…I just wish it would happen more often…

 

Going up or going down?…

About 20 games into the season and the Yankees are barely closer to first place than they are last place.  Only two games separate the Yankees from the dismal start by the Boston Red Sox but of course the Sox are playing better as of late.  It’s only April so at this point, the standings don’t really mean too much as the superior AL East teams will begin to separate themselves from the pretenders over the course of the next couple of months.

It was nice to see the Yankees pull off a walk-off win at Yankee Stadium last night against the team that seems to terrorize them in the play-offs in recent years, the Detroit Tigers.  I am really surprised that Justin Verlander holds an 0-2 mark with 4.50 ERA for his career at the new Yankee Stadium.  When he is on the mound, it is hard not to expect bad things for the home team.  So, regardless of Verlander’s struggles at Yankee Stadium, it is still a great feeling to pick up a win on a night when he took the mound.

Cashman made the right decision…

Lately, there have been numerous columns and articles written about how disastrous the Yankees trade for Michael Pineda has become.  I realize that he’s lost for the season due to his shoulder injury, but he is still a young and talented pitcher.  I know there’s always a risk that he isn’t quite the pitcher was projected to be when he comes back, but I think it’s way too early to criticize the trade which sent talented hitter Jesus Montero to Seattle.  Pineda’s injury was suffered on the Yankees’ watch and not while he was in Seattle, and there is still a good chance that he’s a strong, contributing part of next year’s rotation.

Phil Hughes is probably the beneficiary of Pineda’s injury as I feel that Freddy Garcia will be the odd man out when Andy Pettitte returns to the Bronx.  Hughes hasn’t exactly pitched like he wants to stay, but I am not ready to see the Yankees banish him to Pittsburgh or someplace like that.  Maybe I am an eternal optimist but I still believe that Hughes can prosper in New York.

I am a bit concerned by the uneven starts provided by new Yankee Hiroki Kuroda, but I think he’ll settle in and deliver consistent performances in the coming weeks and months.  Yes, I do thank the lucky stars every day for CC Sabathia.

A sad day in the Yankees Universe…

I was saddened to hear the passing of Yankees great Bill “Moose” Skowron yesterday.  He was part of the 1961 Yankees which will always be a special team in Yankees history for the famed M&M Boys (the year Mickey Mantle hit 54 home runs, and Roger Maris hit the then record 61 homers).  But there’s no way either Mickey or Roger could have reached those heights without guys like Skowron on the roster.

Next stop, Superstardom…

Well, the Bryce Harper Show begins its maiden tour in Washington with the scheduled first start today for the ultra-hyped, super prospect National.  Given that he was called up to take the roster spot of injured 3B Ryan Zimmerman, there’s always the chance that Harper goes back down when Zimmerman returns from the DL.  But if Harper starts to hit like we know he will, it will be hard for the Nats to remove him from the roster.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  America loves superstars and Harper certainly has as much of a chance to be the best as anyone in the game today.

When Christian Ponder and Adrian Peterson are happy, so am I…

It’s only been three rounds, but I am pleased with the NFL draft selections made by the Minnesota Vikings.  Prior to the draft, my preference for the Vikings #3 pick in the first round was USC OT Matt Kalil.  There was talk that the Vikings were undecided among Kalil, CB Morris Claiborne, and WR Justin Blackmon, but in the end, it proved to be a smokescreen.  I was a bit anxious when I first heard the Vikings had traded down with the Cleveland Browns, but it was clear that the Browns were going after RB Trent Richardson so there was no risk of losing Kalil off the board.  At first, I didn’t understand the logic of the move, but clearly the Vikings (and GM Rick Spielman) had made the Browns fearful they’d trade down with another team which could potentially cost the Browns a shot at the premier running back in the draft.  The move brought three late round picks to the Vikings and it didn’t cost them anything as they were focused on Kalil from the start.

I also like the Vikings’ subsequent picks (late first round selection of S Harrison Smith and early third round choice of speedy CB Josh Robinson).  For a team that was desperate of upgrades in the secondary, they fared well. It would have been nice if Robinson were a bit taller, but his 4.33 speed at the Combines was unmatched.  I think he’s good material for the coaching staff to mold for playing at this level.  The Vikings have a plethora of selections today as Rounds 4-7 are completed, and I am sure that the defense will continue to get attention.  I also expect the Vikings to choose a wide receiver, but I have no idea who they might target.  Nevertheless, with Spielman’s decisions so far, I have no doubt that he’ll continue to bring talented playmakers to Minnesota.

As Luck would have it…

Like everyone else, I think that QB Andrew Luck has the potential to be one of the greats in the game but how much more difficult can it be to be replacing one of the greatest QB’s to play the game with added pressure of being the number one selection in the NFL Draft (along with the expectations that go with it)?  If Luck succeeds, and I do not doubt that he will, he will prove, without a doubt, that he was the right choice to replace Manning.  Luck, with a horseshoe on his helmet, seems like it was destiny.  Meanwhile, I continue to “ponder” things in Minnesota…

Today, with Yankees-Tigers on tap and the conclusion of the NFL Draft, will be a fun day.  Enjoy!

–Scott

 

Reset the Record Book!…

Roger Maris, 61 Home Runs*

 

 


Maris.JPG 

AP

 

For years, the asterisk was a negative mark against Roger Maris.  It signified that his record was accomplished in a 162-game schedule whereas Babe Ruth’s 60 home runs occurred when the regular season consisted of only 154 games.  There is no question that the asterisk was unfair to Maris and baseball in general.

 

 


Asterisk.JPG 

 

 

However, with the admission by Mark McGwire that he juiced during the record breaking year when he hit 70 home runs, it stands to reason that the asterisk should again be placed by Maris’s record…only this time it should be construed as a positive.  When you look at the guys who have hit more than 61 home runs, all are confessed, proven or highly suspected steroid users (McGwire, Sammy Sosa and current single season HR leader Barry Bonds).  Roger’s mark should stand alone as THE record…accomplished by a player who set the record with natural ability.  Ruth did not have to withstand the incredible pressure that Maris faced in 1961, and of course, Ruth didn’t have to contend with “juicers” breaking his record.  Once and for all, Roger Maris deserves the recognition of being that champion he is. 

 

 

61.JPG

 

I hope that I do not see McGwire, Bonds, or Sosa in the Hall of Fame in my lifetime.  I refuse to be hypocritical, so I will say that the same should apply to Alex Rodriguez.  There are obviously reasons that guys like Ty Cobb, records aside, should not be in the Hall of Fame, but those decisions cannot be undone.  The Hall of Fame can prohibit the entry of any proven or confessed steroid abusers, and I feel very strongly that they should.  I would probably be more willing to consider Pete Rose (well, maybe not while he is still living), but if the Hall can take action against Rose, why can’t the same prohibitions apply to the cheaters of the game? 

 

 

Rose.JPG

 

I feel the game owes a huge debt of gratitude to the players who stood “clean” in an era of deceit.  Whether it is Derek Jeter, Dwight Evans, Cal Ripken, or Chase Utley, they played the game the right way and deserve special recognition for staying true to the integrity of the game.  Hats off to the good guys…

 

 

Gratitude.JPG

 

Time for some non-baseball talk (sorry, there just isn’t much happening in the Yankees Universe)…

 

 

Yankees_Country.jpg yankees country image by Ivan1818-roc-

 

I was surprised to see Pete Carroll jump at the opportunity with the Seattle Seahawks.  Pete has an unsuccessful record as a NFL head coach, and his style of leadership seemed to be best suited for the college level.  USC is certainly one of the plum college coaching jobs, and the departures of top college coaches to the NFL has generally been met with less than desired results.  Granted, I wouldn’t want the job of babysitting the college kids and making sure that they do not do anything to violate NCAA rules, but the USC job seemed like it would be Carroll’s for as long as he wanted it.  I was surprised when John McKay left USC back in the 70′s, and I am equally surprised about Carroll.  Hopefully, he’ll be able to “recruit” the right players to Seattle.

 

 

 

John W. McDonough/SI

 

Speaking of USC, I was even more shocked that the school was able to land Lane Kiffin as their next coach.  This morning, the breaking news on ESPN was that the school had offered the job to Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio.  That actually made sense to me since Del Rio doesn’t have that many years left unless he starts to win.  But by the end of the day, Del Rio had announced that he was staying in Jacksonville, and USC had a new coach in Kiffin, who is bringing his father, Monte, along as defensive coordinator.  The school also successfully brought UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow back too.  The loser in this whole ordeal (sorry Rick Neuheisel!) is the University of Tennessee.  They gave a great opportunity to Kiffen when he was dumped by Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders.  He rewarded them with some questionable coaching practices, confrontation with SEC coaches, and a less-than-stellar 7-6 mark.  For $800,000 (payable over 36 months), Kiffin can simply walk away.  Incredible.  Hopefully, Tennessee will rebound with a solid coaching hire, but they didn’t deserve this treatment from Kiffin.  I think I will be a UCLA fan next season (how sick is that?)…

 

 

Nick Ut/AP

 

Given that the San Francisco Giants have signed Aubrey Huff which would potentially keep Pablo Sandoval at third, and Mark DeRosa in left field, the Atlanta Braves appear to be the only viable option outside of the Yankees for free agent Johnny Damon.  Personally, I think the Braves will opt for a less expensive option, so it really means that the Yankees and Damon need to sit down and determine a fair salary that works for both sides.  This is not rocket science.  But of course, the negative factor is agent Scott Boras.  I vote for the removal of Scott Boras from the Scott Club!  ;)  Johnny, pick up the phone and call Brian or Hal.  You can get this deal done…

 

 

John Munson/Newark Star-Ledger

 

 

How many more days until the Yankees beat the Red Sox?  That’s right, I just need to check Julia’s website

 

Two and a Half Men…

As if Alex Rodriguez hasn’t done enough to fill the tabloids this year, now comes word that he shops at the same place as former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. 

Of course, I couldn’t help but think of Charlie Sheen. 

On TV, Charlie plays a morally corrupt bachelor with too much money…kind of like A-Rod. 

He drinks excessively, and doesn’t worry about the impact on others when he opens his mouth.  He’s the last person you’d want to depend upon if you needed help.  He likes expensive clothes, albeit bowling shirts, but they are still expensive…again like A-Rod.  He’s compulsive, a womanizer, and has yet to act his age.

The similarities between A-Rod and Charlie Sheen a/k/a Charlie Harper are uncanny…

Daniel Padilla/iPhoto

Gustavo Cabellero/Getty Images

My only question…

If Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira are two men, what does that make A-Rod?

Gene J. Puskar/AP

One difference between A-Rod and Charlie…Charlie’s funny…

ALFRED MANUAL MARTIN, JR

The other day, Jane Heller questioned my choice of Billy Martin as my all-time favorite manager.  Billy was someone you couldn’t live with, but couldn’t live without.  His fiery, combative style always eroded ownership confidence very quickly.  But the guy was simply a winner.  He loved the Yankees with a very strong passion, and he was his own man.  Every time he was re-hired as a Yankees manager was a great day for me…every time he was fired was very sad.  I always wondered what the start of the 1990′s would have been like had Billy returned for a sixth time. 

To most people on MLBlogs, Billy Martin was a long ago figure.  Perhaps many do not even know who he was.  But I did, and I will always remember him… 

Posted on YouTube by NESNMAN

 

YANKEES WIN STREAK OVER

I am definitely on the bandwagon of those who feel Rays pitcher David Price is destined for greatness.  I have been all along, but today only reinforced why the guy has so much promise.  Four scoreless innings, three hits, two walks and four strikeouts.

 

The Yankees lost the game, 5-0, ending their 9-game winning streak.

The Yankees also re-acquired catcher Chris Stewart from the Chicago White Sox, but he most likely falls behind Francisco Cervelli and Kevin Cash in the catching pecking order.  With Cervelli most likely going back to AA Trenton, Stewart just fills catching depth at AAA Scranton.

FAVORITE TEAMS

There was great feedback regarding how everyone chose their favorite teams.  Every story was very interesting, and I appreciated the ones that gave insight into all four major sports. 

I am all over the board.  I have been a fan of the New York Yankees and Minnesota Vikings since childhood.  I grew up in Iowa, and Fran Tarkenton was my favorite QB, so following the Vikings was easy.  Years ago, I was listening to The Musers (George Dunham and Craig Miller) on 1310 The Ticket in Dallas and they said if your state didn’t have a professional team, you were in a “free agent” state.  So, I guess I took free agency by its most literal sense given that my favorite teams are scattered across the country. 

In basketball, I am a fan of the Phoenix Suns.  I lived in Phoenix for eight years, and my two children still reside there.  I can’t say there is any one player that attracted me to the team.  I liked the ownership, which was headed by Jerry Colangelo at the time, and it was easy to follow the team.  I attended a number of games while in Phoenix, and today I am a big fan of Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire.

 

In hockey, I am a fan of the San Jose Sharks (as you may have noticed on this blog from time to time).  Although I am presently living and working on the East Coast, San Jose is home.  I have meant to extend my thanks to Julia for her Boston Bruins being so gracious as to send Joe Thornton to the Sharks a couple of years ago.  Thanks Julia!  ;)  When I get home, you can be assured that I’ll be hanging out at the Shark Tank.

Have a great week, everyone!  J

P.S.  This is my 61st blog, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t dedicate this one to Roger Maris…

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.