Results tagged ‘ Tony Massarotti ’

Let the Battle Begin…

 

The new and improved Yankees make their way to Beantown for a three-game series beginning tonight…

 

The New York Yankees celebrate their 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on June 8, 2009.

David Pokress/Newsday

 

Fresh off a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, the Yanks find themselves a game up on the Red Sox in the AL East Standings.  Of course, anything can happen over the next three days, but the stage is set for a major in-season battle for supremacy.

 

AP 

When they last played, New York was left with a 13-13 record after being swept in a two-game series in early May, Mark Teixeira was batting .198, and Alex Rodriguez was in Tampa in preparation of rejoining the team in Baltimore the following weekend.  Since A-Rod has arrived, the Yankees have been on a tear.  The Yankees record is now 34-23 and Mark Teixeira has improved his batting average to .286, with 18 home runs.

 

Mitsu Yasukawa/The Star Ledger 

 

The team chemistry is better than I’ve seen in a number of years.  A little Swish goes a long way…

 

Nick Swisher of the New York Yankees hits a two-run home run in the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays on June 8, 2009 at Yankee Stadium.

Nick Laham/Getty Images

 

Of course, the usual rhetoric is taking place with the latest Yankees-Red Sox series.  Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe wrote a story called “A missed mark” and went as far as to say the Yankees’ signing of Mark Teixeira at the Red Sox expense “…could loom as a pivotal turning point in baseball’s fiercest division”.    Teixeira is proving to be one of the best free agent signings ever by the Evil Empire.  He has obviously been playing in a higher league for the last month, but taking him away from a bitter rival can never be understated.  With Ortiz on the downslope, how much different would the Red Sox have looked with Tex at first and Kevin Youkilis at third?  Julia will give you all the reasons for why it’s great to have Mike Lowell in the lineup, but clearly they would have been better with Tex and Youk at the corners.  Fortunately, we’ll never know what could have been but rather what was meant to be…

 

New York Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira hits a solo home run in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays on June 8, 2009 at Yankee Stadium.

Nick Laham/Getty Images

 

Julia seems pretty confident that I’ll be wearing a Jason Bay t-shirt by the end of the week.  She also thought the Bruins were going to win the Stanley Cup and the Celtics were going to repeat as champions in the NBA.  She also said that the Patriots wouldn’t trade Matt Cassel.  So, when she says that the Red Sox will sweep the Yankees, I smile and wonder what she’ll look like wearing a Mark Teixeira t-shirt…

 

 

Like CC Sabathia said, “We’re pitching better, playing better defense obviously.  Getting A-Rod back makes a huge difference.  We’re a different team.”  Yes, Julia, there is a Santa Claus…

 

Other News…

Congratulations to the Washington Nationals for their selection of pitcher Stephen Strasburg as the number one pick in the First Year Player Draft.  Granted, the pick had been anticipated for weeks, but I am hopeful to see Strasburg fulfill his tremendous promise.

 

 

In a departure from baseball talk, the Minnesota Vikings have given Brett Favre until the end of the week to decide if he’ll play in 2009.  Favre had arthroscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder last month, and he still doesn’t know if he’ll be ready to resume his playing career.  Meanwhile, the Favre family has blocked out 25 to 30 hotel rooms for the November weekend when the Vikings will be in Green Bay to play the Packers.  Does it mean Favre will come out of retirement?  Who knows.  The family certainly has time to cancel the reservations.  I have mixed feelings.  I am all in favor of anything that would increase the Vikings chances for a 5th Super Bowl appearance.  Is Favre better than Sage Rosenfels or Tavaris Jackson?  If healthy, the answer is yes.  But it was miserable to watch Favre the second half of last season.  Is that the Favre we’d be destined to see?  If so, I’d prefer he just stay in Mississippi and only make a trip to Green Bay to retire his number.  Favre’s presence on the Vikings roster would probably cause the loss of John David Booty who has looked very much improved in this year’s OTA’s.  That price is too high for a one year gamble…

 

 

 

 –Scott

Time to look forward…

Enough of the steroids talk already…

I don’t want to sound as if I condone the actions of Alex Rodriguez.  I don’t.  I recognize that his numbers are now tainted, but I am willing to accept the past as just that…the past.  With the current testing procedures in place, it isn’t likely that A-Rod is continuing to ‘juice it up’.  I’d be foolish to believe that his PEDs use stopped when he was traded to the Yankees, but I do believe that it did cease sometime over the past several years. 

Fans continue to crucify A-Rod, and many say that he should be banned from baseball.  I blame Major League Baseball.  They had a chance to act back in the late 90′s and did nothing.  Bud Selig, who is now so critical of A-Rod, was at the forefront of the inaction.  So, he’s directly responsible for allowing an environment where A-Rod and others could take performance enhancing drugs without violating MLB rules. 

Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe wrote a great article earlier in the week regarding how A-Rod has been singled out.  I completely agree with his assessment. 

Andy Pettitte was asked about A-Rod and the list of 104 names of players who tested positive for PEDs in 2003 upon his arrival in Tampa.  “If they had to come out, that would be the way it needs to come out,” Pettitte said.  “You hate to see just one name leak out here or there.  But for me, I don’t need to see the names.  It was back in 2003, six years ago.  It’s a great game and it’s taking a blow right now.  The game will move past it.”  There is nothing that we can do about the past.  They aren’t going to take away World Championships from the Marlins or Angels, and the only way we can heal is to move forward.

Then again, what if I had taken performance enhancing drugs?…

  

 

Nah, just dreaming.  It would NOT have been worth it.  Besides, with my luck I would have been drafted by the Boston Red Sox…

Joe Torre made comments yesterday at Dodgers camp in Glendale, AZ that he was unaware of any drug use by players on his successful Yankees teams.  I find that very hard to believe.  For half of each year, he spent more time with and around his players than he did his family.  You see things.  You hear things.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to piece together the puzzle.  I realize that you cannot make statements based on assumptions, but I think “unaware” is a strong word.  He may not have had tangible evidence, but I’d have to believe he was suspicious of certain players.  I mean, c’mon, wasn’t Jose Canseco on the roster at one point?

Let’s move on…

 

The Big Slim Show…

I am not sure if Joba Chamberlain’s new tag of “Big Slim” on CC Sabathia will stick, but it’s great to see CC and A.J. Burnett in Tampa.

 

Gene J. Puskar/AP 

 

CC downplayed the opt-out clause in his contract and expressed excitement about playing for the Yankees and having the chance to go to the World Series.  He also is looking forward to being a participant in the great Yankees-Red Sox War. 

A.J. made a statement of the obvious in his assessment of the Yankees pitching rotation of Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, Joba Chamberlain and himself when he said, “There’s no back end is the way I would put it.  You’ve got five guys that can win 15-plus, should”.

I am looking forward to watching these guys pitch together, along with Phil Hughes.

 

Other Notes…

The Yankees have signed righthander Brett Tomko, 35, to a minor league contract and non-roster invitation.  I don’t see where Tomko fits in, but I suppose he’s insurance against possible injuries and a potential trade target for a prospect if he shows anything in camp. 

The San Jose Sharks are having a tough road trip.  They lost Friday night to the Buffalo Sabres, but it is hard not to cheer for the City of Buffalo.   After the plane crash that killed 50 people on its approach to the Buffalo airport, Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said, “We needed that.  We needed a fairy tale ending”.  The Sabres had tied the game with 3.9 seconds left, and then won 6-5 in a shootout.   

I applaud the Sabres organization’s decision to play the game, and I am glad to see some joy brought to the community at a very difficult time for many. 

Meanwhile, the Sharks are now 1-0-3 on this road trip. They have lost three shootouts in the past 9 days.  Hopefully, they’ll be able to rebound soon.

Today is the first formal workout for the Yankees pitchers and catchers.  Baseball 2009 has arrived!  Life is good…

 

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