Results tagged ‘ San Francisco ’

The Return of #28…

 

I am glad that the Yankees moved quickly to re-sign
Manager Joe Girardi.  It’s not like
Girardi was going anywhere, but the team has much greater things to be
concerned about than negotiating with Girardi. 
Once the Chicago Cubs named Mike Quade as their permanent manager, there
was really no question that Girardi would be back in New York.  Of course, to listen to Girardi, Chicago was
never an option, but I have to believe at some level it was.



 


From everything I’ve read, Girardi was more like
the 2008 version in September than the 2009 version that was more relaxed and a
better players manager.  Was it
uncertainty about his own future or the sluggish play of his team?  Who knows, but whatever the cause, Girardi
has the comfort of knowing he should be able to call Yankee Stadium home for
the next 3 years. 



 

For me, I had held a glimmer of hope that somehow
Don Mattingly could get the job but of course that was nixed the moment the Los
Angeles Dodgers made Donnie Baseball their manager following the departure of
Joe Torre.  Outside of Mattingly, there
really was no other manager that I would have preferred to see hold the Yankees
job than Girardi.  Well, maybe Terry
Francona, but rumor has it that he already has a job.

 

2011 will be a very challenging year for the
Yankees.  They have an albatross or two
to deal with.  It’s tough to sink over
$80 million into a pitcher that was a nightmare for most of the season (A.J.
Burnett).  I saw a recent fan poll that
actually showed Yankee fans would prefer Javier Vazquez over Burnett.  That’s bad. 
The first order of business for the new pitching coach, whenever he is
named, will be to restore Burnett to the pitcher he is capable of being.  Also, decisions have to be made regarding the
Core, primarily Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada. 
Assuming DJ re-signs with the Yanks, he’ll continue to play at short but
will he lead off?  Based on comments at
Girardi’s press conference, it would appear that this is being heavily
reconsidered (and rightfully so).  As
Posada, the time is clearly now to move on to the next great Yankees catcher,
Jesus Montero. 


Jesus Montero Yankees catcher spring training

Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger

 

There are many hard decisions to be made between
now and spring training so hopefully Girardi and GM Brian Cashman are prepared
to make the right decisions for the best interests of the 2011 New York
Yankees.

 

So far, the World Series has been all San Francisco
Giants.  It was clear they had superior
pitching in the NLCS but I’ve been pleasantly surprised at their play in the
first two games.  I’ve always been a fan
of Matt Cain and he certainly has raised his game to a higher level during this
post-season.  With a 2 games to none
lead, the series now shifts to Arlington, Texas.  I am sure that we’ll see a much different
Rangers team in their home park, but if the Giants can win a game or two on the
road, I really like their chances to win the World Series. 



 


I spent 14 years in Dallas and used to go to
Arlington to watch the Rangers play quite often.  You’d think that I would pull for the Rangers
but as an American League fan, it is hard to pull for anyone other than the
Yankees.  Plus, many of the times that I’d
go to Arlington, it was to see the Yankees so I was consistently cheering
against the Rangers.  Meanwhile, I’ve
always been a fan of the Giants in the National League even though I didn’t
move to the Bay Area until about 5 years ago. 
So, given my current geographic location, it wasn’t hard to pull for the
Giants. 



 


Finally, I just don’t think there is any way that
Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress pulls the plug on Brett Favre’s
consecutive games playing streak this Sunday against the New England
Patriots.  While the best decision is to
probably start Tavaris Jackson, it’s a no-win situation for Childress if he
pulls Favre.  So, win or lose, expect to
see #4 on the field when the Vikings take the ball. 



Tom Olmscheid/AP


As for the Vikings-Patriots game, I have made yet
another wager with Julia of Julia’s Rants. 
The loser of the game must write a blog about the highlights of the opposing
team’s history.  I know, the Patriots
have a more illustrious history than the Vikings, but I personally will like
reading about Joe Kapp, Fran Tarkenton and the others who made the Vikes such a
great success in the late 60′s and 70′s. 



Zuma Press

 

I know, I still owe Julia for another lost wager at
the end of the baseball season.  I will
try to make good this weekend.



Caffalo/NY Daily News

 


Finally, here is a great video of an awesome Giants fan who just can’t stop believin’…



Maybe the Yankees ARE in the World Series!…


It seems weird that the Yankees season is over with
the World Series set to begin tonight. 
When I was a kid growing up in Iowa, there was a cartoonist who worked
for The Des Moines Register that used to say it wasn’t an official World Series
unless the Yankees were in it.  I have
always believed those words!  ;) 



 


Seriously, it is interesting that we finally have a
World Series with two teams that do not have a history of World Series success.  For the Texas Rangers, they’ve never been to
the World Series, and for the Giants, they’ve never won a World Series since
they moved to San Francisco although they have made a couple of trips.  Given that I live in the Bay Area and the
Giants have generally been my preferred NL team over the years, I’ll be pulling
for them tonight as they embark on Game 1 against the Rangers. 



san-francisco-giants--05-logo-cap-a.jpg giants image by selene-17_2009

 


There are no active Giants players with ties to the Yankees
organization, however, the Yankees do have a presence through the coaching
staff and back office.  The two most
notable individuals are
GM Brian Sabean who started in the
Yankees front office working for George Steinbrenner and pitching coach Dave Righetti.  I always chuckle when I think of Rags as a
pitching coach.  Please don’t get me
wrong.  I think he’s a terrific coach and
he was a great player, however, when he was young…before he “made it” to the
big leagues for good, he used to struggle with his control.  So, he was the guy who needed such intensive
coaching and now he is the master.  I
lived in Dallas for 14 years and during many of those years, Rags was the
Yankees closer.  So, I have so many
memories of Rags closing out games in Arlington, Texas.  So, in many ways, he’ll be returning to an
area that he is well familiar with and has enjoyed success.  Hopefully, he’ll be able to pass on that
success to Tim Lincecum and company. 





Some of the other names in the Giants organization
who have past connections to the Yankees:

 

Roberto Kelly, First Base
Coach

I remember being upset when the Yankees traded
Kelly to the Cincinnati Reds for Paul O’Neill. 
Ha!  I think that trade worked out
well for the Yanks.  Sorry Roberto…


 


Hensley Meulens, Batting Coach

I remember when “Bam Bam” was a much-hyped
youngster with so much promise.  He never
achieved success with the Yanks and was eventually sold to a team in Japan.




 

Henry Cotto, Coordinator,
Baserunning

Cotto was a bench player for the Yankees during the
lean years (1985 to 1987).  I think of
him more as a Chicago Cub although he only played one year for them
(1984).  He had an undistinguished career
but he definitely could run.

 

Lee Smith, Coordinator,
Pitching

Lee is obviously better known for his great years
with the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, but he was with the Yankees in
1993 toward the end of his career.  He
was a late season pickup and did well during his short stint even though the
Yankees did not that year.

 

J.T. Snow, Special Assistant

Snow, the son of former Los Angeles Rams great Jack
Snow, was originally drafted by the Yankees. 
But he was traded in the deal that brought Jim Abbott to New York.  He had some productive years for the Angels
but he achieved his greatest success with the Giants.

 

Dick Tidrow, Vice President,
Player Personnel

Tidrow is definitely one of the more notable
Yankees as he played a very prominent role in the Yankees bullpen during their
two championships in the late 70′s.  As a
kid growing up, he and Sparky Lyle were the faces of the bullpen. 



 


Fred Stanley, Director, Player
Development

Another player from those World Championship clubs
of 1977 and 1978, “Chicken” backed up shortstop Bucky Dent and was a valued
reserve during those years.



81344934, Sports Illustrated/Getty Images /Sports Illustrated

 


Joe Lefebvre, Senior Adviser,
Player Personnel

Drafted by the Yankees, he only played for the team
one year (1980) before moving on to the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia
Phillies.  However, he did play a part in
helping the Yankees win the AL East Division that year.  I remember 1980 as the year the Yankees won
103 games but lost to the Kansas City Royals in the play-offs resulting in the
firing of late manager Dick Howser (back when George had a very itchy trigger
finger when it came to managers).

 

This “prayer” was making its rounds on email
yesterday.  I do not know who the author
is:

 

Our Father who art in San Francisco, baseball be thy
game. 
 

Thy will be done when the World Series is won on the field,

as well as in the bullpen. Give us this day our
bat and glove,

and forgive us our errors, as we forgive those who home run against us.  Lead us not into defeat, but help us beat the
Rangers…with the help of the
 Beard, the Buster and
the
 Dirty Dozen.

Amen.

 

Here’s hoping the former Yankees enjoy a World
Series championship in 2010!



 


As for the Yankees, they are apparently negotiating
a new 3-year deal with manager Joe Girardi. 
I am glad to see that they are working to resolve Girardi’s situation
quickly so they can focus on the critical needs of the team.  GM Brian Cashman acted very swiftly in
announcing that pitching coach Dave Eiland would not return.  I have no issues with the decision.  The Yankees starting pitching underperformed
this year, and A.J. Burnett and Javier Vazquez were the biggest reasons
why.  I also think that Phil Hughes was
capable of more than he showed down the stretch.  I am not sure who’d be the best candidate to
replace Eiland.  Hey, I’d love to see
Dave Righetti back in New York but unfortunately he’s not going anywhere.  Hopefully, Cashman and Girardi will be very
selective about who they chose for the very important role.

 

I saw this morning that CC Sabathia will be having
minor knee surgery.  While this procedure
does not sound serious, I hope it is not indicative of the start of future
problems associated with CC’s weight. 
This does show how critical it is for the Yankees to secure another ace
for the staff.  Like everyone else, I am
strongly in favor of signing free agent to be Cliff Lee, however, I am very
dismayed at the reports of the poor treatment his wife received from the
Yankees fans during the ALCS at Yankee Stadium. 
That type of abuse is completely unacceptable and it is an embarrassment
to be associated with those types of Yankee “fans”.  I use the term “fans” very loosely because
those idiots are very poor representation of “fans”. 

 

Hopefully, this does not keep the Lee’s from
considering an offer to join the Yankees. 
I know it will be a tough, uphill battle to sign Lee as it is, and they
certainly did not need ill-treatment by the fans to give Mrs. Lee a strong
reason for not wanting to come to New York. 

 

I want the core Yankees to return (Derek Jeter,
Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte). 
However, I do not feel that the Yankees should overpay to convince them
to stay.  So, if it is time to sever
ties, I am prepared as I feel the money would be better served to help bring
younger, more talented (at this stage of their careers) to New York to help
pursue a championship in 2011.  Of the
core, I think re-signing Mariano Rivera is the most vital.  He is still performing at a top level,
although the Yankees would be well served to re-sign Kerry Wood if
possible.  I don’t want Derek Jeter to
leave but at some point, he is going to start becoming a liability at
short.  I’d rather see the team cut ties
before rather than after that happens.  I
want Andy Pettitte to return, but I would not want to see high expectations
placed on him.  Put him in the #4 or #5
spot in the rotation and be satisfied with the results if he decides to
return.  I didn’t mention the last core
member, Jorge Posada, since he is still under contract.  However, I am ready for a change at
catcher.  Just like the Boston Red Sox
moved Jason Varitek to a reserve role, the Yankees should do the same with
Jorge.  At 39, he is past his prime at
the catching position and now is the time for the highly heralded Jesus Montero
if he can show in spring training that he is ready for the job.  If the Yankees do sign Cliff Lee, it would be
great to see Lee pitching to Montero since Montero would have been the cost of
a trade with Seattle to get Lee before they reneged and moved him to Texas.



jesus-montero

 


As for the Hot Stove League rumors, I have to admit
that I am somewhat intrigued by the potential of bringing Jayson Werth to New
York to play right field.  As much as I
like Nick Swisher, he is a streaky hitter and hasn’t shown the clutch bat in
October like Werth has.  Of course, I
would love to have Carl Crawford in left, but I think right is a greater
need.  I fully expect Brett Gardner to
continue to improve.  Granted, he is no
Carl Crawford, but his speed is very disruptive on the bases and he showed a
much better ability to get on base this year.



 


Brian Cashman definitely has his work cut out for
him this off-season.  It should be
interesting…


–Scott



But It’s A Dry Heat!…

 

The schedule makers have not been kind…

 

 


Anger.JPG 

 

 

Following the Yankees victory over the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, they had to hop on a plane destined for Phoenix to play the Arizona Diamondbacks the next day.  The jet lag showed in the Yankees’ dismal 10-4 loss.  A.J. Burnett looked like he was pitching batting practice as he gave up 3 home runs in the first inning. 

 

 

Beaten.JPG

Marc Carig/The Star Ledger 

Earlier this season, the starting pitching was stellar…except for Javier Vazquez.  I read so many articles about how Javy just wasn’t suited for the American League and so many felt that he would not be able to rebound.  But rebound he did as he has quietly become the Yankees’ most efficient starter.  But as quickly as Javy has bounced back, A.J. Burnett has disappeared.  Hopefully, Monday’s loss was truly the product of jet lag and not indicative of more serious problems.   However, it is critical for A.J. to start pitching to his ability.  Otherwise, the Yanks’ hold on first place will be brief.

 

Tuesday was a better barometer as the Yankees returned to the win column with a 9-3 decision over the D-Backs.  Andy Pettitte did allow two hits to the opposing pitcher, Dan Haren, one of which was a two-out two-run game tying single in the second inning.  Arizona would not score again against Pettitte, who went 7 innings to pick up the win.  The game was actually much closer than the final score indicated.  After Haren’s single, the Yankees quickly answered with a go-ahead run in the 3rd on a single by Alex Rodriguez.  The game stayed 3-2 until the Yankees struck late with 6 runs in the 8th. 

 

 

Derek Jeter congratulates Alex Rodriguez on his two-run home run in the first inning Tuesday. Andy Pettitte (b.) surrenders just two runs in seven innings, striking out seven Arizona hitters.

Franklin/AP

 

There is little question that Andy Pettitte will be on the All-Star Team.  At 38, he is having perhaps his finest season.  Phil Hughes should also make the team with 10 wins, although he is being skipped in the rotation this week as the Yankees look to limit his innings over the course of the season.  As for who should start, that’s a tough question.  Both Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox are certainly deserving, as is David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays.  Suffice it to say that I think the American League starter in the All-Star game will be an AL East starter!  Seriously, AL manager Joe Girardi couldn’t go wrong with any of those choices.  At least he doesn’t have to worry about A.J. Burnett being one of the options!  L

 

Tonight, the Yankees will send Vazquez against Arizona’s Dontrelle Willis.  They missed former teammate Ian Kennedy who pitched for the D-Backs on Sunday.  Following tonight’s game, the Yankees will be heading to Los Angeles for a reunion series with Joe Torre and Don Mattingly over the weekend.  Given the flight is less than an hour and Thursday is an off day, the Yankees won’t have jet lag available for an excuse come Friday night.  The Yankees must simply do what the Boston Red Sox did…beat LA!  Hey Julia, the slogan does work! 

 

 

 

Sunday, I will get the chance to root against the Boston Red Sox in person as I’ll be at the game in San Francisco.  Of course, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass without making another wager with my good friend, Julia, of Julia’s Rants.  For our latest wager, if the Red Sox beat the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, I will have to include a short paragraph about a Red Sox player with my next 25 blog posts following the game.  25 represents each player on the roster as of June 26, 2010 (regardless of whether the player is later traded, demoted or released before I mention them on the blog).  The paragraphs can be short and simple, but they must be positive and include a personal note about the player that others might not be aware of.  If the Giants win, then Julia has to do the same for my beloved New York Yankees.  Based on the Yankees roster as of 6/26, she’ll have to include a paragraph about a Yankee player for her next 25 blog posts.  So, on Sunday, I’ll be a huge Giants fan! 

 

 

Attpark

John G. Mabanglo/European Pressphoto Agency

 

–Scott

It’s Just Another Manic Monday…

 

 

  

 

Robert Frost once said he could sum up everything he has learned about life in three words.  “It goes on”…

 

 


Think Happy.JPG 

 

 

It was one of those days for the great Mariano Rivera and the Yankees on Sunday.  The Yankees had controlled the majority of the game after a Randy Winn triple in the bottom of the 2nd inning had given them an early 2-1 lead.

 

Sergio Mitre did everything asked of him as he went 5 innings and only gave up 4 hits and 1 run.  David Robertson, who has been struggling, came on in relief of Mitre and was effective for two innings.

 

 

Sergio Mitre pitched one-run ball through five innings.

Antonelli/New York Daily News

 

So, the Yankees had the perfect formula for victory (Chamberlain + Rivera), right?  Wrong.  Joba allowed the first batter to reach base during the top of the 8th inning when Denard Span singled.  Following a fielder’s choice which left Orlando Hudson at first, Joe Mauer walked.  Joba struck out the next batter (Justin Morneau), and it looked as though he might escape the inning without any further damage.  Unfortunately, an infield single by Michael Cuddyer loaded the bases and ended Joba’s afternoon.  Manager Joe Girardi called on Mariano Rivera for a four-out save.  Mo quickly fell behind the first batter he faced (Jim Thome) and eventually walked him to bring in a run (closing the Yankees lead to 3-2).  Mo was unable to shut the door as the next hitter, Jason Kubel, smashed a grand slam to right to give the Twins the lead, 6-3.

 

 

Mariano Rivera shows his frustration after giving up an 8th inning game-winning grand slam to the Twins' Jason Kubel.

Antonelli/New York Daily News

 

 

Jason Kubel Twins grand slam Mariano Rivera Yankees

William Perlman/The Star Ledger

 

The Yankees tried to rally in the bottom of the 9th and had the first two men on base.  But Twins closer Jon Rauch struck out Derek Jeter, Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira to end the game.

 

This was a very disappointing loss.  The Yankees have had great success against the Twins at Yankee Stadium and had won the first two games of this series.  A win today would have put a psychological knife into the Twins or the very least would have given them doubts about their ability to win at the Stadium in October.  For the Twins, it was a huge win and it lifted the monkey off their backs.  Prior to the game, former Twins great Bert Blyleven labeled it as a “must win”

 

 

Star Tribune

 

So, the weekend ends on a down note for the Yankees as they await the arrival of their fiercest rival, the Boston Red Sox, for a two-game series in the Bronx starting on Monday.

 

 

 

 

Of course, Yankees-Red Sox can only mean one thing.  It’s time for another wager between me and my friend Julia of Julia’s Rants.  For the latest wager, the loser must write a blog about the opposing team’s first World Series victory.  If the teams split the series, the winner will be the team with the highest run total.  The Red Sox did lose today to Johnny Damon and the Detroit Tigers so neither the Yanks or Sox carry any momentum into the latest series.

 

 


No Momentum.JPG 

 

 

The Yankees received some bad news when it was announced that DH Nick Johnson may need wrist surgery.  They’ll first try a cortisone shot, but if it doesn’t work, surgery will be the next option which would most likely shelf Johnson until August.  This is exactly what Yankee fans had feared when Johnson signed with the Yanks during the off-season as Johnny Damon’s replacement.  GM Brian Cashman says that Johnson’s injury potential was taken into consideration, however, it doesn’t appear that there is a solid Plan B in place.  I like the lineup with Posada at DH and Francisco Cervelli at catcher, however, that may or may not be a good long term solution.  I’d prefer more of a sure thing (trade for Johnny Damon?), but unfortunately, the trade market will not be open until July (or June at the earliest).

 

 

Tigers designated hitter Johnny Damon steals second as Rangers second baseman Joaquin Arias applies the late tag during the fourth inning of the Tigers' 8-4 win Saturday in Arlington, Texas.

Brandon Wade/AP

 

 

It was a particularly tough sports day for me today as the San Jose Sharks lost 2-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of the NHL Western Conference Finals.  I am sure that if I need to hear some positive sports news, Julia will be more than happy to tell me all about the Boston Celtics’ Game 1 win over the Orlando Magic in Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals…  L

 

San Jose Mercury News

 

 

The day did have a great start for me before the games began.  I participated in the 99th Annual Bay to Breakers 12K Run in San Francisco.  The run started near the Bay by Embarcadero and headed west (up the Hayes Street Hill and through Golden Gate Park) to the Pacific Ocean. 

 

 

 


Bay to Breakers Intro.JPGSan Francisco Chronicle 

 

In San Francisco, you have to be prepared to see just about anything…and I did!  Many runners (and walkers) chose to wear costumes while some opted for nothing at all.  I took the more conservative and traditional route myself.  I do not know the total headcount but the run was very slow at the beginning and going up the Hayes Street Hill due to the sheer volume of people. 

 

 

Bay to Breakers 1.JPG

 

 

Hayes Street Hill.JPG

 

 

Bay Breakers 2.JPGSan Francisco Chronicle

 

Personally.  I accomplished my modest goal of running the race inside of an hour.  It was a fun and very enjoyable day…well, at least until the 8th inning at Yankee Stadium!

 

–Scott

 

 

 

The Pride of C.K. McClatchy High…

The return of Larry Bowa’s nephew…

 

 


Larry Bowa.JPG 

WFAN

 

 

Although they never wore the pinstripes at the same time, former coach Larry Bowa’s nephew, Nick Johnson, is coming home.  Traded to Montreal in 2003 for pitcher Javier Vazquez, Nick has signed a one-year deal for $5.5 million, with a mutual option for 2011, to return to the Bronx.

 

 

 

 

During Nick’s “exile”, winning baseball was not necessarily a common theme among his teams with the Montreal Expos, Washington Nationals, and Florida Marlins.  Nick is eager to return to a team with a “win at all costs” attitude.  Nick could have signed with the San Francisco Giants as their first baseman, however, his first love remained the Yankees.  So, once the Yankees expressed interest, no other team really had a chance with Johnson.

 

 

Hector Gabino/Miami Herald

 

 

Nick slots in nicely at the top of the batting order behind leadoff hitter Derek Jeter.  Nick has a knack (no pun intended) for getting on base.  His career on-base percentage is .402.

 

Welcome home, Nick!  We’re glad you’re back!

 

 

 

 

Given that the Yankees have now reacquired the two primary players in the December 2003 deal that sent Nick to Montreal and brought Javier Vazquez to the Yankees (the first time), they should consider calling the Los Angeles Angels and the Tampa Bay Rays about the availability of outfielder Juan Rivera and reliever Randy Choate, respectively. 

 

 

Gary A. Vasquez/US Presswire

 

 

 

Although those are positions of need, I do not really want to see the return of either Rivera or Choate, but the Yankees do need to get creative about filling the hole in left field.  It bothers me that the team hasn’t figured out a way to unload pitcher Kei Igawa, particularly when his salary could go a long way toward bringing in a solid left fielder.  The Yankees say they’ll go with Brett Gardner and Jamie Hoffmann.  While I don’t feel you need an All-Star in left, I don’t think that Gardner and Hoffman, individually or collectively, are the answer.  I have genuine concerns about Nick Swisher’s encore performance and the Yankees do not need simultaneous struggles at both outfield corners.  I’d rather pay for a sound and dependable solution for left and then be prepared for Plan B in right.

 

 


Best Plans.JPG 

 

 

Best case scenario is the return of Johnny Damon.  It could still happen but Damon’s price tag will have to come down.  The other solid option (Mark DeRosa) appears to be dissipating as DeRosa is apparently favoring an agreement with the San Francisco Giants.  Hey, as a Bay Area guy, I can’t find fault with someone who wants to call the area home.  San Francisco’s a great town with a terrific ballpark.

 

 


AT&T Park.JPG 

 

 

Reed Johnson’s name has been mentioned but I am less than enthused.  Johnson missed 49 games in 2009 for the Chicago Cubs after fouling a pitch off his left foot which caused a fracture.  A career .282 hitter, Reed only batted .255 in 65 games last season with 4 home runs and 22 RBI’s. 

 

 

 

 

His scouting report¹ says that “Hustle is his strongest suit.  Makes consistent contact and hits well with runners in scoring position – especially against lefties.  Is a good outfielder.”  The report goes on to say “he struggles against finesse pitchers and righties.  A quality platoon or 4th outfielder.”   It sounds like he would be more capable as a back-up for Curtis Granderson in center than a starter in left. 

 

¹Source:  Sportsnet.ca Ontario

 

Lobbying for the Cubs to re-sign Johnson in September, pitcher (and former Yankee) Ted Lilly was seen wearing a t-shirt that read “With Reed, we will succeed”.  Maybe for Lilly and the Cubs, but not for the World Champions.  Pass…

 

 


Rejected.JPG 

So now Jason Bay and his agent are calling the Boston Red Sox?  Maybe Jason has started to send Theo fruit baskets like Julia did every day last season!  Ha!  I bet the Red Sox offer of 4 years and $60 million is looking very appealing these days.  But of course, after Boston’s signing of John Lackey and Mike Cameron, the money offered to Bay is probably no longer available.  Bay has a 4 year, $65 million offer from the New York Mets.  However, $5 million extra over 4 years is not worth the mess known as the Mets.  Bay’s best option is to remain in Boston but it is questionable whether the Red Sox have room in the 2010 budget at this point.  Bay, at this point in time, appears to have overestimated his worth in the current free agent market.  Financial constraint being shown by both the Yankees and the Red Sox…what is the world coming to?  ;)

 

 


Lonely.JPG 

 

 

Finally, I’d like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  May this be a season of joy for you and your family, and here’s hoping that 2010 fulfills your every dream!  Well, except for a World Series championship…I reserve that one for Yankees fans!  J


Snoopy Christmas.JPG 

Gotta Be Somebody…

 

I enjoyed my evening.  How about you?…

 


Great Evening.JPG 

 

The Yankees completed a three-game series sweep over the Orioles in Baltimore with a convincing 10-2 victory on Wednesday.  CC Sabathia continued his recent hot streak (hasn’t lost since July 28th), and became the AL’s first 16-game winner.

 

Rob Carr/AP 

 

There were three games of importance tonight:

Yankees 10, Orioles 2

Rays 8, Red Sox 5

Mariners 3, Angels 0

The outcomes meant that the Yankees increased their lead in the AL East to 7 games over the Red Sox, and best record in the AL to 6 ½ games over the Angels.  It’s tough to gloat at this point in the season because the thought of Gene Mauch and the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies is never too far from memory.  But I am pleased with where the Yankees are at this point in the season.

 

Walter Iooss, Jr/SI

 

The latest series sweep by the Yankees was very convincing.  It featured a stellar pitching performance by Andy Pettitte, whose attempt for a perfect game was disrupted on an error by third base Jerry Hairston, Jr.  A.J. Burnett continued his impression of an injured Chien-Ming Wang, but Yankee homers came to the rescue.  Finally, it was the combination of Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez that secured the sweep.

 

Rob Carr/AP 

 

The Yankees are 72-33 since A-Rod returned from hip surgery, and it’s starting to look like he may not need additional surgery after the season.  Tonight, he notched his 2,500th career hit, and paced the Yankees with 4 RBI’s.

 

Rob Carr/AP 

In an interesting stat, Eric Hinske has only 14 hits since he joined the Yankees, but 7 of those hits have been home runs including one tonight.

 

Rob Carr/AP 

Derek Jeter now stands 9 career hits behind the legendary Lou Gehrig for the most career hits with the Yankees.  Larrupin’ Lou had 2,721 hits, while DJ has 2,713.  Admittedly, it is bittersweet to see another Gehrig mark fall, but I am happy for Jeter.  I am sure that Lou would be standing and clapping when Derek gets his 2,722nd hit.

 

Rob Carr/AP 

 

There are reports that Mariano Rivera will miss the next few games with a slight groin injury.  That hurts just to type it!  ;)  Hopefully, it isn’t too serious and he’s back soon.  Meanwhile, the other guys in the pen will need to step it up.  Hughes, I am not talking about you!

 

 

Ouch! 

There’s a chance that Brett Gardner will be back in uniform by the Rays’ series.  His hustle and ‘all-out’ style of play have been missed despite the Yankees’ continued success.

 

 

The Yankees begin a four-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Thursday.  The scheduled starter is Chad Gaudin.  It is anticipated that Sergio Mitre will pitch Sunday, so I can’t say that I am overly optimistic about the upcoming series.  At first pass, I’d have to say that I’ll be pleased with a split.  On Monday (Labor Day), the Yankees will open a four-game set with the Scott Kazmir-less Tampa Bay Rays.  They’ll play two on Labor Day to get things started.  So, it isn’t going to get any easier for the next week.  I am sure that my friend Julia in Boston is licking her chops…

 

 

What is it with ex-Red Sox pitchers?  They stink it up in Boston, and then go to the National League and pitch lights out.  John Smoltz struck out 9 batters in his first start with the St. Louis Cardinals.  Tonight, Brad Penny pitched eight scoreless innings for the San Francisco Giants to defeat the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies.  Considering that the Giants are my team in the NL, I am pleased for the performance considering that the Giants are neck-and-neck with the Colorado Rockies for the wild card chase.  I also liked the anti-Dodger comments that ex-Dodger Penny made.  Given that he has made some disparaging comments about the Florida Marlins, I wonder how long before he rips into the Red Sox Nation…

 

 Matt Slocum / AP

Matt Slocum/AP

Based on the Red Sox pitchers success in the National League, I guess that means Nick Green will be next year’s NL Cy Young winner!  LOL!

 

BOSTON - JULY 07:  Nick Green #22 of the Boston Red Sox sends the ball to first for the out against the Oakland Athletics on July 7, 2009 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Elsa/Getty Images

 

Okay, I still can’t wrap my head around Brett Favre being my team’s starting quarterback.  How do you suddenly begin cheering for a guy that you “hated” for 16 years.  How many times did you think your team was going to win, only to see Favre throw a last second TD to pull out a win for the Pack?  I’ll admit that I’ve embraced Johnny Damon despite his previous employer.  But then again, I always liked and respected Damon.  Even as a Red Sox player, he was always very classy and professional.  So, I couldn’t “hate” him.  I tried to think of a Red Sox player that I wouldn’t want on the Yankees roster.  The first one to come to mind is Josh Beckett.  But I still think of him more as a Florida Marlin, so that doesn’t really count.  Maybe David Ortiz.  But I can’t help but like the guy.  I have no problems with Jason Bay, and he would be welcomed to left field in the Bronx with open arms.  There really isn’t anyone in any sport that I can compare to how difficult it is to see a bitter rival where your team’s colors.  Plus, Favre just looks kind of funny in purple.  Maybe Favre should have went to play for Dallas.  Watching all those Packers-Cowboys play-off and Thanksgiving games showed that Favre had an affection for throwing to the guys with a silver star on their helmets.  Nevertheless, I guess I had better get used to #4.  He is not going away.  Not this season at least.  I remain hopeful that the final Vikings roster of 53 includes John David Booty because I still think he’s the QB of the future.  But I guess this season I’d better learn to enjoy eating cheese…

 

Chris Polydoroff/Pioneer Press

 

Finally, I went to see Nickelback perform last night at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in San Jose, CA.  I am a huge Nickelback fan so I had high expectations.  But this was easily the best concert I’ve ever attended.  Chad Kroeger is a master showman, and he definitely knows how to engage a crowd.  He’s the type of guy you’d love to have a beer with, except you’d never get in a word edgewise.  I was thoroughly impressed, and I recommend the Dark Horse Tour for anyone who hasn’t seen it if it is coming to a city near you.  Hinder was also excellent.  The concert will leave you feelin’ way too damn good…

 

Nickelback2.JPG

 

Given that his club hits record is being assaulted, I will end this blog with a call out to Lou Gehrig.  Lou, you remain the Pride of the Yankees, and you are an inspiration for the world!  We will never forget you…

 

 

Posted on YouTube by RUKidding05

 

P.S.  I know that I’ve used this video before, but it remains one of my all-time favorites…

–Scott

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