The Loss of Two Greats . . . RIP

Last week the Yankees family lost both The voice of God and the Boss who seemed like God.  Neither will ever be forgotten.  While one was heard but not seen the other was seen and heard far too much at times, but both were with the Yankees during the good times and the bad times and for that Thank You, you will never be forgotten.

The Boss

 

 

The Voice of God

 

Thoughts at the All Star break

Now that the season is at it’s half way point this is a good time to voice my opinions on the season up to this point for the Yankees.

  • Grandy needs to be Grander.  At this point in the season Granderson is batting 30 points below his career average, and 9 points lower than last season.  Curtis is on pace to hit 13 home runs this season which would be less than half of what he hit last season.  Now I do understand that he was injured for a month of the season so let’s just hope he can pick it up and go on a tear in the second half.

  • Brett Gardner = Most improved player in the Majors?  Gardner’s average is 39 points higher than it was last season.  He’s shown he has a little pop in his bat with 5 home runs. Including an inside the parker of course.  Brett already has 25 stolen bases one shy of his last season total, but you can’t tell how improved he is just by the numbers.  If you watch the way he hits this year compared to last year he goes the opposite way much more, and he hits the ball on the ground instead of upper cutting.  This let’s him use his speed to his own advantage. 

  • Derek Jeter . . . Please come back!  Jeter seems to be hitting a mid-season slump.  Jete’s hitting SIXTY POINTS below what his average was at the end of last year, and he seems a bit lost at the plate.  Hopefully the All Star break will turn things around for him.  Remember Derek your an all star, now start hitting like one!

 

  • Hopefully A-Rod won’t hit his usual mile stone slump.  When Alex went for 500 it took him almost a month between #495 and #500.  But it seems that A-Rod is a changed player since 2007 so hopefully this won’t happen again.

  • Starters shining in the summer sun.  Due to AJ’s resurrection, CC’s streak (Of 8 wins), Pettitte’s career season (and possibly last), Javy’s great pitching (But crappy run support), and Hughes’ hot start but cold summer.

 

 

 

  • Red Sox slipping away.  The AL east is turning into a two-team race between the Rays and Yanks.  The Red Sox are now 5 games out of first.  I know that they have more injuries than I can count on my fingers and toes, but five games is tough to overcome even without all of the injuries.
  • Eight All Stars!  Nice job Yankees on the 8 AS players (Even if Joe G had a bit to do with that) And Good Luck to Swisher in the Home Run Derby!

  • May the second half be just as successful as the first half. LET’S GO YANKEES! 

MOgic!

Last Night the Yankees were definitely not their best.  With the way Dontrelle Willis couldn’t find the strike zone every Yankees hitter should have been either taking their walks or pouncing on every oppurtunity they got.  Another smart idea would be to not take any risks on the bases like NOT get picked off, NOT get caught stealing when you’re the slowest player on the team (Mark T I’m lookin at you!), and NEVER bunt when you could probably just work a walk (Francisco?).  But instead of listening to these few simple rules the Yankees obviously broke every one of them.  Nick Swisher got picked off, Mark Teixeira then get thrown out at third base after Robbie Cano Struck out.  In the first inning alone we should have put the game out of reach.  The Yankees did score one run on Nick Swisher’s single which would come back to save us.

  Derek Jeter #2 Of The New York Yankees Is

Looks like a bromance going on there, but whatever not my call! (Watch out Minka)

The D-Backs came back and scored two in the first and two in the fourth putting the Yankees down by 2.  It was time for good ol’ come back nation to come alive in the desert!  In the sixth my man Colin Curtis came through with a sharp ground ball to Adam LaRoche he deflected it to Kelly Johnson but the throw didn’t beat Curtis for his second ML hit and third RBI this time a game tying single. 

  Colin Curtis #27 Of The New York Yankees Hits 

But then it was Damaso Marte’s turn to blow it. . . with one out in the bottom of the sixth he walks Chris Young.  We all know that walks aren’t good but somebody should teach this theory to Marte who has the worst BB/9 ratio and K/BB of every Yankees pitcher.  After the walk he balks moving the runner to second and then throws a wild pitch moving Young to third.  LaRoche  then weakly grounds a ball back to Marte which gives Young enough time to score and put the D-Backs up by one.  LaRoche, by the way, had all 5 RBIs for his team last night. 

  Chris Young #24 Of The Arizona Diamondbacks Is

 

After all of this it set the scene in the ninth for Mr. Dramatics himself, A-Rod.  But Alex didn’t, in fact, put the Yankees ahead, but he did tie it up for the Yanks with a Sac Fly.  Mo came in and shut ‘em down in the bottom of ninth giving us all on the east coast a bit of unwanted free baseball!

  Alex Rodriguez #13 Of The New York Yankees Hits

Then C-Grandy comes up in the 10th leading off against the new pitcher, Rosa, and he absolutely BLASTS one into the right field seats to FINALLY put the Yankees ahead at about one in the morning eastern time. 

  Curtis Granderson #14 Of The New York Yankees High Fives

In the bottom of that frame Joe G sent Mo back out for his second inning of a game for the first time this season.  Then the craziness started!  Stephen Drew started the inning with a single, Justin Upton doubles and the D-Backs are set up for a game winning inning.  But not so fast Desert Snakes!  Mariano proceeded to walk Miguel Montero to set up a force out at every base.  Then Girardi puts the infield in, which I think sent flashbacks of 2001 through all of our minds!  Thankfully it wasn’t Damaso Marte pitching this time, it was MARIANO RIVERA and he worked his magic.  Two pop ups and a strike out later the Yankees were celebrating a roller-coaster-like victory and a 2.5 game lead in the East.  Thank you Mo for being the best pitcher in baseball and proving it day in and day out.

PLAY OF THE GAME

  Relief Pitcher Mariano Rivera #42 Of The New York Yankees Pitches

Even though Grandy hit the go-ahead homer in the tenth I have to give the Play of the Game to Mariano’s pitching in the bottom of the tenth overcoming the memories of 2001 and getting out of a bases loaded no out jam to save the game for the Yanks.

Countdown to 600 at 592

  Alex Rodriguez #13 Of The New York Yankees Hits

 

Yes with that swing Alex Rodriguez is now within eight home runs of the great and somewhat infamous 600 Home Run Club.  This club is graced by the obvious Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and the recently retired Ken Griffey Jr. but now this group is also graced occupied by almost the face of the steroid era Barry Bonds and it also includes Sammy Sosa.  Both almost obviously were taking some kind of PED during their time.  Now Alex Rodriguez will soon become a part of that group and hopefully evenutally become the all-time leader in homers passing Barry Bonds (Who is definitely my least favorite player ever!).

Well off of that subject!  Now with Alex’s 9th homer of the season and a game with that homer and an RBI single hopefully he has finally broken out of this seemingly endless slump!!! That deserves a synchronized YAHOOOO!!!  The Yankees may finally have both of their heavy hitters back to full force which will make the Yanks an even greater force in the AL east for the rest of the season.

Andy was his usual dandy self last night.  He gave up 7 hits in 7 innings while walking two and only allowing two runs both of which were earned.  Pettitte also struck out seven and this outing actually increased his ERA (By just .01) to 2.48 that just shows what a great year he’s had all season.

  Starting Pitcher Andy Pettitte #46 Of The New York Yankees Pitches

Six Yankees had RBI’s today (A-Rod had three).  Every starter in the lineup for the Yankees got on base INCLUDING PETTITTE except poor Jorge, but Posada did do something he has not been known for in recent years and that is he threw out Justin Upton at second base for his sixth runner thrown out of the season.  HIP HIP JORGE! 

Yesterday I found it interesting that on the same day Alex Rodriguez hit his 592nd home run, which was his 2,600th hit and his 1,753rd RBI, Colin Curtis (The newest Yankee call-up) had his first hit which was a double in the eighth when he pinch hit for Pettitte and his first two RBI’s of his career.  So Congratulations Colin!  May there be many more where that came from (Maybe as many as A-Rod?)

PLAY OF THE GAME

  Colin Curtis #27 Of The New York Yankees Smiles

It’s only appropriate that the play of this blow out would be Curtis’s first career hit.  Once again Congratulations Colin!

Bench Burnett!

Last night the mighty Yankees (43-26) played the very lowly Diamondbacks (Last place in the weak NL West) with a record (27-43) almost mirroring the Yankees’.  Going into this game at around 10 PM I thought it would be the easiest win for the Yanks all season. . . . I was wrong.  Here is a brief review of what went down yesterday. . .

  Justin Upton #10 Of The Arizona Diamondbacks Is

The first Home Run of many given up by A.J. Burnett

This was a solo blast by Justin Upton

 

  Adam LaRoche #25 Of The Arizona Diamondbacks Is

The second Homer on the night a three-run bomb by Adam LaRoche

  Justin Upton #10 Of The Arizona Diamondbacks Is

OH! and how could I forget Upton’s second homer of the game!?  This time it was a 3-run blast into left field, after being hit with a pitch in his last at bat!

This game was basically like watching the Texas Chainsaw Massacre in slow-motion while being forced to eat my mother’s home-made cooking (sorry mom).  It was a horrible game to watch.  For the team on the other hand it wasn’t all that bad.  Without Burnett in the game only three runs were given up and all of them scored on one swing from Justin Upton.  The offense wasn’t awful as it was just last week against the Phillies.  A-Rod had two very well hit balls including an RBI double, Gardner, hitting .324 on the season, went four for four including three infield singles with his 23rd stolen base and two runs scored, and Swisher and Posada both hit balls that would have been home runs in Yankee Stadium.  Swisher’s went for a triple and Posada had to settle for a Sac Fly.

 

There was even some flashy defense today for the Yanks with two very nice plays by none other than Mark “Gold Glove” Teixeira and a Diving catch by Curtis “Gardner Should Actually be Playing Center” Granderson. 

  Outfielder Curtis Granderson #14 Of The New York Yankees Makes

  Granderson’s great grab in Center

 

Now to the Burnett dilemma. A.J. was very good through May with a 3.28 ERA, maybe not Cy Young but I would take a pitcher like that any day.  Now after four starts in June his ERA has steadily risen to just shy of 5 with a 4.83.  In June alone his ERA was a hefty 10.35 with 9 Home Runs allowed and leaving the game before the fifth twice.

With those numbers A.J. should be sitting here more often

Now with the news of the Yankees skipping Hughes’s next start I’m pretty worried about this week.  With the Red Sox and Rays within half a game of the Yankees this is not the time to skip your ace in the rotation, Girardi!

So now all we can hope for is at least 2 straight wins to take this series and then at least 2 out of 3 in LA vs. good ol’ Joe Torre!

Finally Back

Hello again Major League Baseball!  SO much has happened since the last time I’ve posted, the biggest obviously being. . .

 

 

 

 Yes the Yankees winning their 27th World Championship would definitely be considered pretty big.  That World Series was the first I have have ever witnessed or at least that I can remember.  The greatest force the Yanks had during the entire post season was their pitching, and with just three starters the whole time it was simply unbelievable. 

But now four months from that game six win at the taj majal of the Bronx, our Wolrd Series heroes have all but disappeared.  With Matsui being signed by one of the Yankees postseason vicitms, the Angels, and Johnny Damon being exiled (More because of his agent then his performance) from New York. 

 

 

(L-R) General manager Tony Reagins, Hideki Matsui and manager Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pose for a portrait during a press conference at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on December 16, 2009 in Anaheim, California. 

This sight makes me either want to cry or vomit.

Another off season loss was Melky Cabrera who was a team, fan, and one my favorites.  The electric, young outfielder was one of the three casualties from the championship team.  Melky was THE BEST!  His personality and attitude were always great.  He was a good, above average defender and offender.  He was also Robinson Cano’s team buddy and i’ll like to see how he responds to the loss of his best frined on the team next season. 

One of Melky’s many walk off hits as a Yankee,

 and one of the many reasons he was loved by all.

 

But as the saying goes “Out with the old, In with the new”.  Even with the three losses the Yankees also added three replacements (And some lesser players) that will do a great job at filling their shoes.  First up would be Curtis Granderson.  Yes, I know many people are turned off by his performance against lefties, but hopefully Kevin Long can fix or at least help that problem. With the short porch in right field for lefties Granderson should be able to hit at 35-45 homers.  He is a very good replacement to Damon, he hits for more power than Johnny but less average, he is faster than Damon, is a better fielder and has a much better arm.

Next on the list would be Javier Vazquez who was acquired in the trade that cost the Yankees Phil Coke, Melky Cabrera, and up and coming prospect Austin Jackson.  The Yanks gave up a lot in this trade, but I think the plus for 2010 is greater than the loss.  Javy can go over 200 innings and 200 K’s.  I think a pitcher like this is a great addition because now we will have 4 solid starters (As long as they stay healthy) with CC, AJ, Andy, and Javy.  He can eat up a ton of innings for our bullpen and during the postseason he can make the work load lighter for the rest of the starters with 4 starters instead of the 3 we used last season (Although we still won  it all).  The ’04 season was plagued with an arm injury during the second half for Vazquez so hopefully that was just a fluke season and the pressure will have no effect on his season.  Great addition!

Last and also probably least of the three major deals was Nick Johnson, another ex-Yankee.  Let’s be serious here Johnson has NO speed, NO glove, and has had a terrible injury record lately but with him being an all-time DH that will most likely not be an issue.  I think Johnson will have increased production with him being a lefty in Yankee stadium.  NJ is probably the only decrease in talent from the off season pickups.

The other free agent signings were Randy Winn, the 35 year old OF veteran, and Marcus Thames the 32 year outfielder who is another ex-Yankee.  Thames was only signed to a minor league contract, but I listed him because I feel he has a much better chance to be the LF than Winn.  Winn leads in batting average by 10 points and he also leads in RBI’s with 51 over Thames’s 36 but RBIs aren’t a good measurement of players because it all depends on how many people get on base in front of the player.  Thames leads in homers but Yankee stadium won’t help him out any in that category but Comerica Field (His last stadium) was even worse than Yankee stadium for righties.  But the deep outfield might help Thames out in SLG % which he already leads by 100 points because all those deep flies will either go out or just roll out to the wall for a double.

Thames: BA- .252, HR-13, RBI-36, OBP-.323, SLG-.453

Winn:BA-.262, HR-2, RBI-51, OBP-.318,SLG=.353

 

Well this season still hasn’t started yet, but it seems like its going to be promising, hopefully just as great as last year!  The losses are hard but the additions are a step in the right direction and are all pluses.  There’s a look at the team for next year hopefully it will be as successful as the last.

 

For everyone to see what our team will look like . . .

 
View image

 

Hot Streak Continues

In the four days since posting the Yankees have been on a HOT streak and I don’t just mean hot I mean. . .  HOTTT!!!

 

 

 

 

Yeah well after Mitre’s gem Joba was far from perfect part of this has to do with the Yankees newest edition of the Joba rules (Which seem to be becoming more and more ridiculous as the months crawl on).  He only pitched 3 innings yes 3 INNINGS!!! that is just terrible I have to say.  Why do they limit his innings?  Why not just his pitch count?  Really Girardi/Cashman/Eiland/ whoever else made that rule why???

But the Yankees still pulled out the win 8-3 even with Joba’s short outing, if you can call it an outing.

 

Next game the starter, Andy Pettitte, must have been watching Mitre’s game because he had a PERFECT GAME yes perfect through 6.2 innings but then poor Jerry Hairston made a terrible erorr while filling in for A-Rod.  Then the next batter (Nick Markakis) hit a line drive for a base hit which ruined the no hitter.  Then in the eighth he gave up a homer to Melvin Mora, poor Andy, but the crowd in Baltimore which was probably about 50 to 75% Yankees fans gave him a nice hand in his last inning.

 

 

The Yankees ended up winning that one 5-1 great game all around for the Yankees not so much for the beat up O’s.  This time I don’t know if Michael Kay jinxed it again because I was watching on my TV on the MASN station.  So please somebody inform me about if he did AGAIN.

 

The next day was a little better for the home team.  They beat up on AJ badly scoring 6 runs all of them were earned so if I do the math right.  So with his 6 run terror he has now had 4 bad starts in a row that is terrible.  I just can’t believe he’s been that bad, but once again the offense came through and won the game.  This time it was 9-6 and great offense+good defense+terrible pitching=ok game for us, I would’ve wanted it to be better but they won so I won’t complain.  But that is not why we signed him to a huge deal. . .

 

 

Ok AJ’s start aside, last nights game was almost perfect;  GREAT offense (10 runs) and Great pitching (CC 1 ER, but of course Bruney gave up a homer).  That was amazing, perfect, the way I want them to play the rest of the way.  I just hope the Red Sox also play like they did yesterday by losing a lot more. 

 

After these games Jeter is just 9 hits away from being the all-time hits leader for the greatest franshise ever.  If that doesn’t make him a hall of famer I don’t have a clue what will.  I just can’t wait for his 3,000th hit that will be amazing and I’m positive he’ll reach that milestone in the next 2 seasons.  That’ll make him the first and only Yankee to have 3,000 hits.  Just another credential in his first ballot hall of fame career. 

And by the way to everyone. . . The reason why I haven’t posted is because I just started high school and have been bombarded with a ton of home work but I’ll try to keep up with the posting and it’ll get easier once playoffs start and they don’t play every single day.  So please keep up the good work Yankees I’ve been loving every moment of it!

 

 

 

Blowout in the Bronx

After last night’s dramatics tonight was a nice change of events.  Yankees scored 10 runs in total in their offensive breakout.  But the biggest story of the night was Sergio Mitre’s best performance of the year.  He went 6.1 innings giving up just 1 hit, yeah 1 HIT!!! 

 

Michael Kay obviously jinxed the perfect game and no hitter when, after the 4th inning, he said “Mitre has a perfect game after 4″.  Yeah people say that isn’t actually “jinxing it” but after today I think it’s a proven fact.  JIm Thome then gave smashed a ground ball down the first base line which Mark Teixeira actually almost had.  Then after an out in the seventh AJ Pierzynski lines a ball right at Mitre which hit him in the right fore arm right below the elbow, and at first he seemed fine but Gene Monahan and Joe Girardi weren’t taking any chances and automatically pulled him out of the game.

 

The offense was on fire!  Every player in the lineup with 2 at-bats or more scored a run.  It seems that even with Posada out of this lineup the Yanks can still produce. 

 

 

Yankees have reached a high-point in the season at 33 games over .500 and now the Red Sox elimination number is down to 28 by the end of the day it could be 27 if the Jays beat Buchholz and the Sox tonight.  Thats a very, very nice, low number with 33 games left in the season for both teams (34 counting today).  Let’s say the Red Sox lose today just for kicks. So even if the Yankees just go at a .500 win % clip from this day on meaning they win 16 more games.  That means that the Red Sox would have to lose just 10 the rest of the season which would be a .706 winning percentage which would be 130 points higher than their current percentage that would be unheard of.  I am almost posite now that the Yankees have the division for the most part clinched.  MMM smell that?  That’s the smell of October baseball otherwise known as PLAYOFFS!  Fellow Yankee fans get ready to be reintroduced to an old friend. 

 

That’s right Yankees Playoffs are on the way!

 

PLAY OF THE GAME

Scott Podsendnik missed attempt on a sinking line drive by Robinson Cano put runners on second and third in the second inning and set the table for Jerry Hairston to score them both on his RBI double which started the scoring for the Yankees in the game.

What Happened to Yesterday???

Today was a sad game.  The Yankees left 7 runners in scoring position with 2-outs those 7 runers would have put us up by 2 at the end of the game.  They left a combined 24 runners on base, that is just terrible!  AJ pitched a pretty good game with just one major blemish on his line, and that was a 3-run homer by Ian Kinsler (Who then hit another in the 8th off of Robertson).  It was just a very bad game pretty much all around for the Yankees. 

Johnny Damon tries in vain to rob Ian Kinsler’s first homer of the game.

 

As I am writing this the Red Sox are losing 9-0 so I don’t think we need to worry about losing ground in the division, and now the Rangers can gain a game on the first place Sox. 

 

I’m glad that Posada wasn’t scheduled to play today so he could give his injury some time to heal.  And today A-Rod was in the game so his slight injury scare yesterday doesn’t bother me anymore.

I’ve decided never to have a play of the game when the Yankees lose because, really, what’s the fun in that? 

Perfect Pettitte

 

Ok well maybe I exaggerated a little he wasn’t “perfect” but it seemed that way.  Yes he gave up a run in the 5th and another in the 7th but the seventh was a quick, easy, and painless inning for the most part the 5th hurt a little more, but no pain no gain.

 

Today’s game was so much different than last night’s.  For instance last night the pitching was. . . well to put it lightly the pitching sucked.  Today the game was dominated by our pitching especially Andy.  But then again some of our pitching had a hard time getting outs or at least one did . . . **cough**bruney**cough cough**

Jack Nicholson and I shared the same face when Bruney came into the game.

I guess I much rather Girardi bring Bruney in during blowouts like today than 1-0 games at the end of September.  Cano made another play that made me want to hit the computer screen today when he dropped a cut-off throw which gave the Rangers an easy run by not making the throw home, but all is forgiven because for 1 the run probably would have scored anyways and 2 he went 2-4 with a run scored.

In fact every player with an at bat reached base at least once and the only player without a hit was Melky who reached on an error.    

That explains Derek Hollands frustrations for the night!

 

With the Sox winning AGAIN and the Yankees beating the Rangers the Yankees still have a 6 game lead and the Sox have a 2.5 game lead on Texas.  Beating the Rangers makes me feel pretty bad because they are the main contenders with the Sox for the Wild Card and with us beating them we are actually HELPING the Red Sox, which is horrible, but the Yankees winning is amazing so I don’t care that much. 

During the game two key players for the Yankees had injury scares:

A-Rod – Hit a foul ball off his toe in his at bat in the seventh and then dropped to the ground in pain, making Gene Monahan come racing out of the dug out, but after a brief chat it seemed that it was just a small scare.

Posada – Was it with a foul tip which was more like a foul line drive!  His glove hand was hit with this foul ball and it was forced backwards causing him to wince in pain and walk around a little, giving Monahan some more exercise time.  He jogged out of the dugout and looked at Posada’s hand.  Looked like a typical catcher’s injury you get hit, rub some dirt on it, and its all fine again, but oddly enough Posada was forced to leave the game which forced Molina to get his jogging in as well running all the way from the bullpen to the dugout (That took a while)

 

Both of these players will be key in the Yankees play off run!!! I hope neither affects them in ANY way at all or else it could spell disaster for the Bombers.  Happy Healings Posada and A-Rod! 

 

PLAY OF THE GAME

Jorge Posada’s 2nd inning 3-run homer jump-started the offense in the game.

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