Friday, September 26, 2014

It's Been an Honor

And just like that, one of the greatest Yankees of all-time ended his career at Yankee Stadium with a walk-off hit. I've been fortunate to see some great athletes in my time. Michael Jordan, Oscar De La Hoya, Mariano Rivera. Derek Jeter, however, is probably the best of the bunch. The other three had a level of absolute talent that Jeter never possessed. Jordan looked like he was playing a different sport altogether that the rest of NBA was trying to figure out as they went. De La Hoya had those hands and that capacity for smelling blood in the water that made him such a dangerous fighter. Mo had that cutter. He threw one pitch and almost no one ever hit it.

Jeter had . . . the spinning throw. It was less a god-given ability than a way to compensate for some of his defensive weaknesses. But that's just it. Jeter didn't have the best tools in the game, but he took the tools he had and crafted masterpieces with them, and that's all we'll ever remember. How many great Jeter moments did we get to watch? When he was on the verge of 3,000 hits, just recently having come off the DL, he stepped into a game against one of the best pitchers in baseball, hit a home run for number 3,000 and went 5-5. He may not have had the best tools, but he was the best of the artists. And when you have art, the tools matter a lot less.

Thank you Derek. Thank you for 20 seasons of masterpiece baseball.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Yankees Phone It In, RJG Looks to 2015

So it hasn't been the greatest year.  Neither for the Yankees, or for the RJG blog.  Many spectators would look at our blogging, and say that we've seemingly given up on the year.  The same could be said about the Yankees.  It's a shame that in the walk year of the most iconic Yankee player of our generation, the team would play as they have, but you just can't call these things.  Who would have thought that a reinvented offense with Beltran, McCann, and Ellsbury would struggle to score runs?  Now, while the Yankees continue to play out their season, they do so with one eye towards 2015.  With Jeter retiring, the core 4 is no more.  There are some decent to good players like Gardner, Betances and Robertson that are homegrown, but there really isn't anyone that is the face of the franchise.  A player who embodies the team's spirit, and has come up the ranks of the Yankees farm system.  That mostly has to do with the fact that our farm system has been awful for quite some time, and we are now reaping the results of what we've sown.  So what will 2015 look like?  Well, outside of whatever free agent splashes or trades we make, we have a returning group of Teixeira, Gardner, Ellsbury, McCann, and Beltran.  The two big openings are second base and short stop, and the Yankees will always look at improving their rotation.  And then of course, we have A-Rod.  I'm not going to malign the man, or even try to predict how he'll play in his return, but the only question I have is, will we have a team worth watching next year?  We've already watched two terrible seasons of Yankees baseball, propped up only by Mariano Rivera's final pitches, and Derek Jeter's last double plays.  I don't know what will keep Yankee fans engaged if the Yankees do not have a product worth watching on the field.  At what point do the Yankees accept that they've been building poorly for years, that the free agent splashes are getting boring, and that they continue to perpetuate the same problem of signing past-their-prime players only to have them break down on our watch and at huge costs?  Perhaps the Yankees need to take next season and rebuild.  Do a fire sale, and build this team from the ground up.  I suspect they are going to have a hard time filling seats until they have some homegrown talent we can be excited for again.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Late Inning Heroics Lift Yankees

The Good

Back to back homeruns by Teixeira and Headley tied and won the game for us last night in the 9th inning.  This gives us some momentum and although the Yankees haven't been able to capitalize on it in the past, they have yet another chance.

Also good, Jeter got us on the board with a 2-run double in the 3rd inning and later scored on a Beltran single to tie the game.

The Bad

Capuano couldn't stand up against his former team going 4.1 innings and allowing 4 runs.  3 of which came on homeruns to Ortiz.

The Ugly

Today we begin a series against first place Kansas City, as we continue our struggle to make our way into the second wild card spot.  3 years ago, that previous sentence would have sounded like baseball from another dimension.  One where the Yankees are subpar, the Royals are looking like division champions, and a second wild card spot exists to give hope to struggling teams.  This alternate dimension is our present reality.   Your mind has been officially blown!

The Yankees Flex a Little

Teixeira and Headley, the new bash brothers?

Brett Gardner 16hr = $32
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 6hr = $12
Carlos Beltran 15hr = $30
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 17hr = $34
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 21hr = $42
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 14hr = $28
Brian Roberts 5hr = $10
Derek Jeter 3hr = $6
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 2hr = $4
Ichiro Suzuki 1 hr = $2
Chase Headley 4hr = $8
Francisco Cervelli 2hr = $4
Martin Prado 5hr = $10
Stephen Drew 2hr = $4

Total 128hr = $256


Thursday, September 4, 2014

An Ode To Kuroda

The Good

It may just be that with the season we've had, the small victories are magnified, but is anyone else impressed with the consistency and uninjurability of Kuroda this year?  He's the only opening day starter who hasn't spent vast portions of the season on the DL, and last night he put up 7 innings of 1 run ball to give us fans the impression that the Yankees actually do care about their season.  That combined with McCann's 4-4 night with a homerun and 3 RBI's, made for a Yankees win last night against the Red Sox.

The Bad

McCann has finally started hitting, but is it too little too late?  It could be that if continues this hot streak, he can help propel us into the post season, but man, where was this two months ago?

The Ugly

For the rest of the season we're going to have to hear about how Girardi needs to drop Jeter in the lineup, because he's not hitting in the two spot.  Jeter's certainly not hitting, but the Yankee's are not losing because of Jeter.  They're losing because Teixeira, McCann and Beltran have not been able to hit with any consistency this season, so much so that Gardner has been moved to the 3 spot to make up for their deficiency.  Yes Jeter's hitting .261 this season, but somehow that batting average is still in the top tier of our starting players.

McCann Can!

McCann can hit a homerun!  Yay!

Brett Gardner 16hr = $32
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 6hr = $12
Carlos Beltran 15hr = $30
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 17hr = $34
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 20hr = $40
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 14hr = $28
Brian Roberts 5hr = $10
Derek Jeter 3hr = $6
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 2hr = $4
Ichiro Suzuki 1 hr = $2
Chase Headley 3hr = $6
Francisco Cervelli 2hr = $4
Martin Prado 5hr = $10
Stephen Drew 2hr = $4

Total 126hr = $252

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Well That Didn't Take Long

The Good

Prado and McCann can hit! 

The Bad

Greene forgot how to pitch.  It's normal for a rookie to have these moments, and its part of the growing process, but it's coming at a really bad time as the Yankees continue to see momentum shift away.  It's never good to lose games against the last place team in the division.

The Ugly

I didn't take long for my optimistic predictions to be debunked.  One game to be exact.  One game doesn't define a season, but we've seen this game play out consistently throughout the year.  This could be the most uninteresting, underperforming star studded lineup the Yankees have ever put together.

Homeruns

Remember back when homeruns used to win us games?  Ah those were the days.

Brett Gardner 16hr = $32
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 6hr = $12
Carlos Beltran 15hr = $30
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 16hr = $32
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 20hr = $40
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 14hr = $28
Brian Roberts 5hr = $10
Derek Jeter 3hr = $6
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 2hr = $4
Ichiro Suzuki 1 hr = $2
Chase Headley 3hr = $6
Francisco Cervelli 2hr = $4
Martin Prado 5hr = $10
Stephen Drew 2hr = $4

Total 125hr = $250

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Home Stretch

We're officially in September.  The Yankees stand 4 games out of that 2nd wild card spot, and 8.5 games behind the Orioles for the division.  It's been an odd year.  4 out of our 5 opening day starters have hit the DL, and yet our pitching has been one of the strengths this year.  Our lineup, which was loaded during the off season with guys like McCann, Beltran, and Ellsbury, has been a real weak point.  As a fan, I hope that the Yankees make the playoffs in Jeter's final year, but the practical side of me just doesn't want to see a team that has played this poorly in October.  A turn around is possible, and would be very welcome.  The Yankees have a 9 game home stretch against the historical rival Boston Red Sox, the first place Royals, and the second to last Tampa Bay Rays.  If magic is going to happen, what better time to start than with a September home stretch kicked off by a series with Boston?  Just a few years ago, being 8.5 games out of first in September, with 7 games left to play against the first place team, was not at all insurmountable.  This year, we are desperately trying to hold onto an ever vanishing hope that we can over come a 4 game deficit for a second wild card spot.

That being said, I have been working on being more optimistic these days, so here's my baseless prediction: the Yankees will win the division starting with a home stand that takes 7-9 including a sweep of the Red Sox.  Remember that you heard it here first!

Monday, August 25, 2014

3 Wins Are 3 Wins

The Good

A weekend sweep of the White Sox places us a mere 3.5 games behind the second wild card spot.  You know, the wild card spot that didn't exist until last year, or in other words, the spot that formerly meant missing the playoffs.  But this is 2014, and perhaps a second wild card will help us see Jeter in one final playoff before he retires!

The Bad

It's been an easy season to be down on the Yankees, but mostly because they've been down on winning.  That being said, I am not going to complain about this 3-game sweep of the White Sox.  Our starters weren't the sharpest, but they got it done, and although the games were close, we managed to pull the wins out in late innings.  No complaints here.

The Ugly

I will complain however about a series loss to the Houston Astro's.  With the exception of McCarthy's stellar 9 inning shutout, the Yankees were hopeless against a team of players who were in Double A not that long ago. 

Mad Money

McCann's been getting hot of late.  I'll take a positive hitting trend at this point.

Brett Gardner 15hr = $30
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 6hr = $12
Carlos Beltran 15hr = $30
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 15hr = $30
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 20hr = $40
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 10hr = $20
Brian Roberts 5hr = $10
Derek Jeter 3hr = $6
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 2hr = $4
Ichiro Suzuki 1 hr = $2
Chase Headley 2hr = $4
Francisco Cervelli 2hr = $4
Martin Prado 3hr = $6
Stephen Drew 1hr = $2

Total 115hr = $230

Monday, August 18, 2014

State of The Yankees

The Good

Since we last posted a game recap, a lot has happened.  At first, we went on a winning streak, taking 2-3 from Boston, 3-4 from Detroit, and carrying that momentum into game 1 against Cleveland where we scored 10 runs to take the first game of the series.  Within this time, Yankee pitching has mostly been good, pieced together as it is by children's dreams and Disney movie magic.

The Bad

After starting August with a quick winning stretch, the Yankees reverted to old ways, losing 5 games straight, mostly by not hitting.  They recently took a series from the Rays, but I'm placing that in the bad section.  The reason being that beating the second to last place team really shouldn't be the positive sign that we're seemingly taking it to be. 

The Ugly

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner recently told the Yankees to "Step it up".  It was good advice, but advice that shouldn't be coming from the man who pays you millions of dollars to play a game. 

Catch Up

Here's a month worth of homerun updates: we hit 16.


Brett Gardner 15hr = $30
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 6hr = $12
Carlos Beltran 14hr = $28
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 13hr = $26
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 20hr = $40
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 10hr = $20
Brian Roberts 5hr = $10
Derek Jeter 3hr = $6
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 2hr = $4
Ichiro Suzuki 1 hr = $2
Chase Headley 2hr = $4
Francisco Cervelli 2hr = $4
Martin Prado 2hr = $4

Total 110hr = $220

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Yankees Do Stuff!

Oh. You're still here? Well Yankees have indeed done stuff since we last spoke. Mostly losing. Otherwise things have been well. The summer's been temperate, giving us a reprieve from the harsh heat we experienced in June. Sorry we haven't kept up as faithfully as in years past, but like the Yankees, we've given up during Jeter's last year. Zing!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bats Come to Life Against Rangers

The Good

After taking a loss against Darvish on Monday, the Yankees responded by scoring 12 runs in yesterday's game.  For those who are counting, those 12 runs matches the total runs the Yankees have scored all season.  Incredibly, Gardner hit his third homerun in 2 days, and Teixeira got in on the action with a 2-run shot of his own. 

The Bad

It's tough seeing Brendan Ryan and Zoilo Almonte in the lineup back to back. They both played well, each driving in a pair of runs, so I'm not complaining about their performance, but it just goes to show that our options off the bench for bats are not great.

The Ugly

Our pitching was abysmal.  We scored 12 runs, and came very close to losing the lead and the game with Robertson on the mound.  It was an off night for the bullpen altogether.  Even Betances gave up a grandslam, though Whitley suffered the brunt of that on his ERA since he had loaded the bases.  Our bullpen has been a real area of strength so I'm not worried, but man, leave it to the Yankees to make a 12-run game a real nail biter.

Homeruns for Days

At least from Gardner, 3 total in the last 2 days plus 1 from Teixeira.  Not a bad addition to the Children's Health Fund.


Brett Gardner 13hr = $26
Alfonso Soriano 6hr = $12
Kelly Johnson 6hr = $12
Carlos Beltran 12hr = $24
Dean Anna 1hr = $2
Brian McCann 11hr = $22
Yangervis Solarte 6hr = $12
Mark Teixeira 18hr = $36
John Ryan Murphy 1hr = $2
Jacoby Ellsubry 8hr = $16
Brian Roberts 5hr = $10
Derek Jeter 2hr = $4
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2
Zelous Wheeler 2hr = $4
Ichiro Suzuki 1 hr = $2
Chase Headley 1hr = $2
Francisco Cervelli 1hr = $2

Total 94hr = $188