Results tagged ‘ USC ’

Nice To See Ya Again!…

 

A reunion victory for Andy…

 

 

AP/Eric Gay

 

 

In probably what will be Andy Pettitte’s only appearance against his former team, the Houston Astros, he emerged the victor tonight as interleague play got underway in the Bronx. 

 

It was a tight game throughout thanks to a pitching duel between Andy and Astros starter (and former Philadelphia Phillie) Brett Myers.  The Yanks scored first with three runs in the bottom of the first inning.  A bases loaded walk by Nick Swisher and a two-run single by Francisco Cervelli gave Andy and the Yankees an early cushion.

 

The Astros quickly answered with two runs of their own in the top of the 2nd inning.  With two outs, Astros shortstop Tommy Manzella doubled to deep left to score two runs.

 

In the bottom of the 5th inning, with the score still 3-2, Mark Teixeira hit a single to score Kevin Russo. 

 

After settling down in the 2nd inning, Andy was breezing through the Astros lineup, allowing only one baserunner, until he got into trouble in the 8th.    A hit and an error put two men on base.  After a sacrifice moved the runners to 2nd and 3rd, Andy’s night was done.  Enter Joba Chamberlain.  Unfortunately, a sac fly by the next batter, second baseman Jeff Keppinger, scored Manzella, before Joba was able to end the inning by striking out first baseman Lance Berkman. 

 

Enter the Sandman in the 9th, and it was game over.   Mariano Rivera struck out the final two batters to pick up his 15th save, which gave Andy Pettitte the win and his 8th victory (8-1) of the season to match Phil Hughes for the team high. 

 

The rumor mill has spun that Berkman is a potential trade target for the Yankees.  He’d make a great DH at this stage of his career, and would be an excellent replacement for former DH Hideki Matsui.  I know that Nick Johnson will be back later this year, but given his injury history, there’s no way that he can be counted on.  At some point, Jorge Posada will be ready to start catching again so the DH will spot will return to a rotation.  It would be tremendous, so long as the price tag is not too high and does not involve any blue-chippers, to have Berkman’s bat in the lineup every day. 

 

I am sure that the win, Andy’s 200th as a Yankee, was bittersweet for him.  I know that he missed the Yankees during his days in Houston, but on the same token, I am sure that he’ll always hold a soft spot for his hometown Astros.  The game would have been harder on Andy if it would have been played in Houston.  By the way, congratulations to Andy for the 200th Yankees win!  How ironic that it would come against the only other team for which he has played.

 

The Yankees have a chance to close within a game of the AL East Leading Tampa Bay Rays.  The “team that never loses” is trailing by 8 runs late in a game against the Florida Marlins.  For any other team, I’d consider a deficit of 8 runs to be a loss.  But with the Rays, if you told me that they just scored 9 runs in the 9th, I wouldn’t be surprised. 

 

Wow, what a week for college football!  I had not been following the USC story very closely, so I was stunned when the two year probation was announced.  I also heard that their juniors and seniors can transfer to other schools without the standard one-year waiting period (unless it involves another Pac-10 school).  Aside from the fact that this will remove USC from significance for the short term, I couldn’t help but think what goes around comes around for new head coach Lane Kiffin.  I am sure that Raiders owner Al Davis and the great fans of the University of Tennessee are shedding no tears for Lane’s predicament.  Yeah Lane, good luck with that… 

 

Speaking of the Pac-10, I was equally shocked when the University of Colorado announced they were leaving the Big 12 for the Pac-10.  All week the talk had been about whether the University of Nebraska would leave to join the Big 10, a move which happened today, however, the Buffaloes drew first blood.  There is no speculation that the University of Texas, and the other Texas schools, like Texas A&M and Texas Tech, may be joining the Pac-10 to become a ‘super-conference’.  All the rivalries we have grown to love over the years, like Texas-OU and Nebraska-OU, will soon become memories.   The expectation is that the Big 12 will collapse so it will be interesting to see what happens with the other schools.  Plus, of course, there is always the speculation about what Notre Dame may do.  Interesting times in the NCAA…

 

–Scott

Reset the Record Book!…

Roger Maris, 61 Home Runs*

 

 


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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.

 

 


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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. 

 

 

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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? 

 

 

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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…

 

 

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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

 

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