Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Meet the Author of "The Truth About Ruth and More"

Peter Handrinos, author of the new book "The Truth About Ruth and More" would like to invite everyone to his "meet the author" event taking place this Thursday at 7pm. Below are the details:

The place: Borders Books at Park Avenue & 57th Street, midtown Manhattan

The date: Thursday, April 2nd

The time: 7pm

If you're not familiar with the book, we wrote a review a few weeks back you can read. It sounds like it should be a fun event, and we encourage anyone with some free time Thursday night to attend.

Yankees Build Bullpen With Castaways

I was reading the New York Times, the newspaper I read to look smart, when I came across this article by Tyler Kepner about the Yankees bullpen. It said what most have probably already noticed, but it was interesting to hear all the stories. The bullpen is comprised of several castaway players, or players that other teams let go before they ended up with the Yankees. With Damaso Marte the only real big money middle reliever, the Yankees were able to build a consistant bullpen out of guys like Brian Bruney, Jose Veras, Phil Coke, Edwar Ramirez, and Jonathan Albaladejo with Coke being the only player that was drafted by the Yankees. Bruney had been let go by the Diamondbacks where he had once closed for them. He impressed in 2006 before running into some troubles in 2007, but last season was another good one for him. All those guys have similar stories with other teams giving up on them and the Yankees finding their worth.

The New York Post reported today that the new stadium will allow alcohol in the bleacher seats. This is good news for everyone who has had to sneak in their moon shine over the last few years. The article says that there will be more access for those in the bleacher seats to other parts of the stadium, thus allowing us bleacher fans to see more of the stadium. This is a good move since I normally can't afford anything closer than a bleacher seat and always dreamed of seeing the stadium that season ticket holders see.

A-Rod is said to be stepping up his workouts down in Colorado. We have to really give it to him since he has not made a headline in about a week. It could be that Cashman's words finally reached him, but its always fun trying to guess what A-Rod's next headline will be. My guess is that the next big headline will have him dating Jennifer Swindal, and the Steinbrenner family will not be happy.

In former Yankee news Gary Sheffield was just released by the Tigers. After a 72 hour window, any team can pick him up for the league minimum. The Tigers still have to pay him the $14 million they owe this season. I'm not sure where he'll end up but he's 1 homerun shy of 500 for his career. I'm sure some team will take him. For the league minimum, that's some decent pop to have on your bench. Even if he is 40.

Monday, March 30, 2009

And We're Back

The RJG took an unexpected weekend hiatus to head over to Florida and begin pushing the Yankee brass to make some roster decisions. The result was Gardner getting selected as the centerfielder and Albaladejo being named to the bullpen. With the bullpen and outfield shored up, we have a clear sign that opening day is fast approaching. As a matter of fact, one week from today we have the first game of the season against the Baltimore Orioles. For those who can't wait, there are a pair of exhibition games with the Cubs at the new stadium on Friday and Saturday. Excitement is in the air, and opening day is near. Jeter's first .400 average season is soon going to start, and Sabathia's first 30 win season will begin with a victory on that day. Robinson Cano's 40 homeruns begin that day too, as does Brett Gardner's 70 steals. Let this post serve as a reminder that if you haven't requested to leave work early on Monday, now's the time to do so. Let's go Yankees!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Jeter Batting Lead Off

The Yankees have been toying with a lineup that places Derek Jeter as the leadoff hitter, and Johnny Damon as the number two hitter. Jeter last batted lead off regularly in the 2005 season when Tony Womack did not pan out. It was the season before we got Damon. That season was a strange one for Jeter who didn't seem comfortable as a lead off hitter but batted .309 with 19 homeruns, 70 RBI's and 14 stolen bases. Personally, I think its a great move. Jeter has a career .387 OBP, which would look good at the top of the lineup. He gets base hits, and though he isn't the stolen base threat he once was, he can still swipe a few bags on that arthritic left knee. In yesterday's game, Jeter had a pair of hits including a double, but everyone got a pair of hits yesterday so its not a good gauge. We'll have to see how it works out through the rest of spring training and into the season. All I know is that we are inching closer to opening day, and it could not come soon enough. So do you like Jeter as leadoff, or do you think they should stick with Damon? What about Gardner or anyone else?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Season Opener Preparedness Test

As the first game of the season approaches, it is important to take stock and determine whether we are indeed prepared for the season. Since most games are televised on the YES Network, it is important to make sure you have access to cable. Subscribing is one option, but having a neighbor with a subscription and a cable splitter is another option.

Next: beer, pretzels, hot dogs, a bookie, and Pete Rose's phone number should be readily accessible. I suggest some sort of cooler, cell phone combination.

It is also a good idea to have some excuses ready as the regular consumption of beer, pretzels, and hot dogs destroys the physique you worked so hard to achieve in the off-season and begins to repulse your significant other. "These pants make me look fat," is a good one. Other ones include, "This couch is like a funhouse mirror, it's an optical illusion," or, "I haven't gained weight, you have a parasite and so you just think I've gotten bigger." "That's your mother speaking, she's tearing this family apart!" is also a classic.

Now you are ready for opening day, as well as the next six months. Congratulations. You can thank me later, or preferably right now in the comments section.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Baby Stealing Illegal in Most States

I read this bizarre story involving former Yankee prospect Jose Tabata's wife and a stolen baby. According to the report, Tabata's wife, Amalia Tabata Pereira posed as an immigration official at a health department where an unsuspecting mother was bringing her daughter for a checkup. Amalia, who was going by the name of Janet, told her that there were immigration officers at their house and were going to deport them. She could help them, but she needed to take the baby. They drove to the farm where the father worked and Amalia told him the same story. They handed over the baby and now Amalia is in custody. Apparently she has a pretty long record of fraud and theft, and has gone by several aliases. So Tabata's wife is all sorts of crazy. Reports would seem to suggest that this is not the first time Tabata's wife has robbed the cradle. Amalia, who is 43, is married to Tabata who is 20. Zing! Okay now onto some baseball.

I watched the last couple innings of the spring training game last night when AJax hit the grandslam. Its a promising sign for him. We can't get too excited just yet since he still needs to get his time in triple A, but he seems to be progressing well.

Finding at bats for Swisher may not be as hard as it looks right now. For the month of April, sure, it may be a little difficult fitting him in, but injuries come, and we're not exactly stocked with the youngest position players in the world. I want Swisher to get at-bats because I think he can look more like the Swisher in Oakland and less like the Swisher in Chicago. After this season however, they really need to give him a fair shake at right field. The Yankees knew who was going to play right field from the moment they entered camp. If Swisher plays well in the time he's given, they should let him have right field for 2010, or they should trade him.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Opening Day, How Far Thou Art

We're only a few days away from opening day. We all know what that means, I can resume my compulsive gambling activities. Now that the WBC is over, great final by the way, just spectacular, I have nothing to do for the next week. I tried kissing a mirror, but it was not nearly as satisfying as Details would have you believe. Swedish med school was another option, but I decided against it.

If opening day were today, life would be so different. I'd be writing stunning, insightful, pullitzer prize winning, baseball commentary like, "CC better win," and, "Boston blows!" I'd email Timmy Geithner and help him come up with a better plan to unfreeze the credit markets and then tell him that the Nationals suck, devastating him and probably causing a life-long struggle with drugs and alcohol.

I'd call up Melky, pretend to be Joe Girardi, and tell him that I planned to announce he was going to be the starting center fielder. Then I'd watch the game and laugh whenever the camera showed the dugout and Melky just looked miserable.

Then I'd call Bronny Cash and tell him I mailed him a new ninja costume that should arrive before first pitch. Then I'd watch the game and laugh whenever the camera showed Cash, tears forming in his eyes, as he realizes there is no ninja suit.

Man, I can't wait for opening day.

Face it America, Japan Owns

I stayed up until nearly 2am last night to finish watching the final game of the World Baseball Classic. It was a great game, with Korea and Japan going into extra innings before Ichiro hit a 2-run single to put Japan ahead in the 10th. As I watched it, I wondered why anyone would pitch to Ichiro with runners on 2nd and 3rd and two outs. The man is a base hit machine. He already had 3 hits in that game alone. For those counting at home, that's two WBC championships for Japan, and zero for the rest of the baseball playing world. I have to hand it to both Japan and Korea, because the game that I watched was played extremely well. It was worth the extra cup of coffee I have to drink to become a passable employee this morning.

I started thinking that if the USA put a team together of its best players it could take on Japan, but then I remembered that that's what the classic was. To anyone who reads this blog from Japan I salute you, and congratulations on the win. I was very impressed with the game your team put on. If anyone's reading from Korea, take pride in the fact that your guys played a great game, made it to the final round of the classic, and really opened some eyes as to the quality of Korean baseball.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A-Rod Goes to Far Lengths to Remain in Headlines

First he had four friends leak the fact that he had tested positive for steroids in 2003 to Selena Roberts. Then he hurt his hip after a photo-op at the WBC DR practice. Then he made out with his reflection after having his surgery, then calling his former pimp/girlfriend to leak the fact that they dated while he was married to the Daily News. Now A-Rod has gone too far, flying to Spain in order to knock Lance Armstrong off his bike, possibly injuring his collar bone and affecting his ability to come back to the Tour de France. We asked A-Rod why he knocked lance over, he responded simply, "It's been more than 24 hours." When asked what he meant, A-Rod explained. "I haven't made a headline in over 24 hours. People will forget about me if I stay in Colorado. Before you know it, Melky's playing third and Jeter will change his haircut so mine no longer looks like his." A-Rod's clearly lost it, but attacking a national icon is not the way to go, unless that icon is someone like Bernie Madoff, or anyone working on Wall Street for that matter (excluding cleaning people and support staff). When will A-Rod's thirst for making headlines be quenched? We asked him. "Never. I'm like Tantalus. Every time I reach down for a sip of self-confidence from the font of gossip pages it all drains away, leaving me forever thirsty." A bit surprised by this answer, we asked what he thinks he'll do next. "Probably get photographed with a hooker in Colorado, then have my cousin leak the fact that I created credit default swaps. I'm quite the derivatives trader. E-Trade baby!"

Would you Rather?

I was thinking the other day of what would be cooler, to be the starting center fielder of the New York Yankees, or a journeyman reliever who ends up winning a dozen championships with different teams including the Yankees, and performs well in the post season. For anyone who grew up watching the Yankees, then centerfield is a magical position. Some great players have roamed that part of the outfield and playing there for an entire career would be a dream come true. However, when I started thinking about it, I started getting attracted to the journeyman reliever idea.

If I were a journeyman reliever, I could play for different teams seamlessly transitioning between leagues, divisions, rivalries, teams, and teammates, meeting a bunch of baseball players, and the experiences playing in all the different cities would be amazing. I thought that it would be cool if one year I could be playing with Albert Pujols in St. Louis, then be hanging out with Vlad Guerrero in Anaheim the next season, then over to Chicago to kick it with Soriano after that, and then over to the Yankees to play with Jeter the year after. It would be a tougher life for sure. Every season having to pack up everything and find a new team, worrying whether you may not get a big league contract that year, or maybe not get a contract at all. Of course, the added bonus of winning a dozen championships with several different teams, and pitching well in the post season would help keep you employed, but being a free agent every one to two years could get annoying. Plus, because you're a journeyman reliever, if you do not get signed, you wouldn't hesitate to pack up and fly to Japan to play there for a season, maybe even winning a championship over there. Although none of this really sells me on picking the journeyman reliever over the centerfielder, one final point makes me lean in that direction. Its true that the centerfielder would probably make way more money than the journeyman reliever. Not to mention that endorsement deals, and other money making opportunities come much easier for starting centerfielders of the New York Yankees than journeyman relievers. However, the trade off is that you become one of the more recognizable faces in the city. Everywhere you go people will be hounding you, and you won't be able to go out in peace. A journeyman reliever however can probably sit down and have a nice steak dinner without anyone noticing who they are. This is a good selling point, but it would still be a hard pick. So would you rather be the starting centerfielder, or a journeyman reliever given the arguments provided? Is the money and fame worth more than your privacy and comfort?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I No Longer Feel So Bad

Wow. Why did Venezuela even bother to suit up? That was over before the third inning. Now the PR loss doesn't feel so bad since I honestly don't think we stack up to Korea or Japan, those two countries simply have great teams. Funny enough, Korea's team isn't even a collection of their veteran stars, rather it is largely made up of younger up and comers. I hope the scouts are paying attention.

I returned to NYC from Seoul, Korea today and it feels good to be back home. Sadly, R2D2 had to be escorted off the plane and disassembled in San Francisco due to a horse face-punching incident. Robot on horse violence has become a serious issue, especially on international flights and there is a zero tolerance policy. It's unfortunate, now I have to go back to sweeping.

Hot in Spring Training

I was looking over some of the spring training statistics and it looks like some of the hottest hitters on the team are Shelley Duncan, Robinson Cano, Bret Gardner, Mark Teixeira, Angel Berroa, and Cody Ransom. Out of that group, I'm most interested in Shelley Duncan, and here's why. He came in a couple seasons ago and showed some power potential. Then he opened the season with the team last year, and just couldn't seem to get the ball out of the infield. Of course, the Yankees don't have much patience for unproven players like that so he was sent back to Scranton. However, the power potential was always there, and I wonder what he may be able to do with regular at bats. The problem with that is he won't be getting regular at bats with the Yankees. He plays first base and right field, both of which are blocked by multiple players. If spring training stats meant anything, and I'm not convinced they do, Shelley would be a good trading chip, but no one took him when they DFA'd him in the off season so I don't think anyone would be interested now. The other players I'd be interested in seeing are Berroa and Ransom. Ransom also showed some power potential in his call up last season, and as he will be the opening day third baseman, I wonder how he'll do. Also, what would happen if he got off to a really hot start, and then A-Rod was ready to return? Cody isn't the player A-Rod is, but it would be tough to bench a guy whose on a hot streak. Berroa just seems to be overperforming in spring training, and I don't know if he'll carry it into the season. Since his 2003 rookie of the year award, Berroa has been a dissapointment. Perhaps he's experienced a wake up call of sorts. Lastly, I suspect Gardner is going to be a driving force on this team. Remember all the things they used to say about Melky, and how his energy drives the team? That's what they'll be saying about Gardner. Neither of those guys are proven every day centerfielders, so my bet is that they both open the season on the team. I'm excited to get this season started is all I can say. So much potential on this team, but it can only be realized once the season starts.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Korea and the WBC

I leave Korea tomorrow to return to New York, but I'm taking R2D2 with me. I had to buy an extra seat on the plane but it was worth it. Being in Korea during the WBC has been an interesting experience. When Korea is playing, any public place (malls, restaurants, train stations) with a television (there's a lot of LCD displays here) is broadcasting the game. People stop whatever it is they're doing in order to watch the tournament. I know that a lot of people in the U.S. have a distaste for the WBC but people worldwide are paying attention and that is the point.

The U.S. is strange about international competitions. We generally assume we should win (i.e. basketball) but don't care that much. We root for our favorite pro teams but don't pay attention when our country plays internationally. The Olympics continues to drop in ratings every four years. It's unfortunate because these tournaments are important to a lot of people worldwide and it makes us look like a nation of douches.

But that's besides the point, my point here is that the WBC is a big deal here in Korea, certainly in Puerto Rico, The Dominican, Japan, Cuba, and I imagine a lot of other places. Baseball has lost the Olympics and this is the only true international stage for the sport. I, for one, am enjoying it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm Back With the Updates, One Day Later

Yesterday I said that I would be back later with some updates about the game the Yankees were playing, and as some may have noticed, I never returned. I have a good excuse though. I was in the RJG headquarters typing up some insightful observations about the spring training game against the Astro's, when I received a phone call from co-RJG owner, and blood related brother, Roberto. He tells me that he's in Korea, and has something I need to see. I hung up, packed a suit case, asked Selena Roberts to watch the phones while I was gone, and took off on the RJG company budget for Seoul, South Korea. About 19 hours and two lay overs later, I arrived in the capitol city. After catching a cab, I pulled up to the house where my brother is staying. He brings me to an open space and tells me "Watch this." He picks up a remote and hits a button, and this small robot that looks like R2D2 starts vacuuming the room. "Isn't this so cool?" my brother asked. I looked at him, and said "You made me drop everything that I was doing, buy a plane ticket, fly 19 hours across the globe, and you know, you did not dissapoint! This thing is awesome!" We then cracked open a couple Guiness and watched R2D2 vacuum the room for a couple hours. So as you can see, there's a valid and sound reason for why I could not get you a game review for yesterday. Now some people may be a little upset about this little trip, since RJG accepted huge government bailouts, and has already paid out bonuses to its three principal owners who sunk RJG into economic despair, but that's what's so great about America.

Here's the short version of the game review: Wang impressive, relievers looking good, and offense looks balanced. Cabrera's not winning that outfield job. We're just a few weeks away from the season starting, and I think the reason this spring training seems to be going slower than others is how much anticipation there is behind this season. A new stadium, three big free agents, a team that missed the play offs for the first time since 1994, and with all this big expectations.

In other news, the WBC has now injured both Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkillis. Don't say the classic has never done anything for you. Unless of course you're Fred Trigger.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why Spring Training is Awesome

I got nothing. Will be Back after the game with some updates.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yankees Take it to Phillies

The Yankees beat the Phillies yesterday 12 - 0, with Chamberlain pitching 3 solid innings, and a host of relievers shutting down the Phillies for the remainder of the game. Igawa's line was identical to Chamberlain's and he has yet to allow a run in spring training. Perhaps the most suprising thing about the game is that the Yankees scored all those runs without a single homerun. That's right, the bombers did not hit a single round tripper as they scored 12 runs. Now some will blame this on the lack of PED's in baseball, and they're probably right. But it will be good for the Yankees to not rely on one big hit, and start relying on solid hitting up and down the lineup. Its going to be a different game with Alex out of the lineup. We won't have a 40 homerun guy around for April, and who knows how he'll do when he comes back.

I started thinking what old time baseball players would accomplish if there were steroids in their days. Could you imagine if Mickey Mantle had been on 'roids? He would have been knocking airplanes out of the sky. It then got me thinking about how baseball will look in the post-Mitchell report world. We've already seen its effects. Last season the AL leader in homeruns hit 37. In the National League, the guys who led in homeruns were big guys like Ryan Howard, Adam Dunn, and Carlos Delgado. I think we're not only going to be seeing a faster game, with stolen bases, and pesky base runners taking a more prominent role, we're also going to see more reliance on base hits to drive in runs, instead of the epic homers we've grown fond of in this era. Of course, I could be wrong. The years of the perennial 60 homerun hitters ended at the beginning of this decade, and in the last few years (Post 2004 testing), I can only think of a couple who have hit more than 50. But the Mitchell Report named names, and with the Alex revelation, anyone who used 'roid's has to be scared. If we don't see many homeruns, we shouldn't be too surprised. Either way, this season looks to be exciting for the Yankees. Is anyone else tired of spring training?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bronny Gets a Call

With the WBC and Spring Training in full swing, it was time to give our good friend, mentor, court appointed guardian, and all around great guy Brian Cashman a call via satellite video phone. The following is a transcript of our conversation.

BC: Hello?

RJG: Knock, knock.

BC: Who's there?

RJG: Yousir.

BC: Yousir? Yousir who? I demand you reveal yourself!

RJG: You sir, are a grade A douche! Zing! I totally got you Bronny!

BC: Why do I even answer this phone?

RJG: Because you have a strange need to know what's on the other end. You can't just be satisfied with being, with where you are, you have to always be looking to the next thing.

BC: That's kind of deep.

RJG: I'm kind of drunk, it happens. So what's up with the DR burning out two of your players. Two shoulder injuries? Really? Did Felipe Alou really have to do that? How does a second baseman even injure his shoulder? Was he throwing side sessions between games?

BC: We're all less than pleased about the injuries to Cano and Marte but hopefully they're not serious. The WBC has been an exciting tournament and is helping create excitement for the game internationally and that's important for baseball.

RJG: Do you even know when you're lying anymore?

BC: Not really.

RJG: So you're sticking with Ransom, huh? I guess if A-Rod's only going to be out for six to nine weeks you might as well not trade any prospects for a replacement. But if Ransom performs, is there a place on this team for him once he comes back or will you try to move him?

BC: Right now we're just focused on getting Alex healthy and making sure we are prepared for the season.

RJG: Bronny. Please. I don't take valuable time out of my day to call you just to hear rehearsed answers. Save that for the Associated Press. RJG's readers deserve and expect more than that.

BC: Valuable time? That's interesting, here I thought you just sat around all day with nothing to do except make me answer stupid questions via satellite video phone.

RJG: I'll have you know that we here at RJG lead very busy and interesting lives!

BC: Really?

RJG: Busy and Interesting!

BC: Describe your average day.

RJG: I wake up early, noonish I'd say. Then I spend a good two, maybe three hours sitting completely still.

BC: Meditating?

RJG: No, just trying to wait out the hangover. Then I read the Times, the Post, and the Daily News, write a post here and there, spend a few hours trying to get Selena Roberts out of RJG headquarters, then I call you to say good night. But I don't go to bed, I go out and have some fun so I can do it all over again the next day.

BC: Your life is neither busy nor interesting, sir!

RJG: Your mom is neither busy nor interesting, sir!

BC: That's uncalled for.

RJG: I apologize, just let me ask you one question.

BC: What's that?

RJG: Is that "Material Girl" I hear in the background?


There you have it folks, Bronny Cash is not sure what to do with Cody Ransom when A-Rod returns to action.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

USA Loses to Puerto Rico

It was quite an event to watch yesterday's match between Puerto Rico and the USA. The American team lost via mercy rule 11-1 in the 7th inning. They must now face the Dutch to stay in contention. If the Dutch put up another upset, I'll be shocked. Either way, the WBC has been fun to watch thus far, and for anyone following it, it only gets better. The final round could very well be USA, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Japan. Maybe Korea, but these will all be tough games, which is what makes them exciting.

Either way, the Yankees are continuing their spring training, waiting to hear back about Marte and Cano's shoulder's, and hoping to get Posada's shoulder and Matsui's knees ready for the season. Today, Posada got to catch for 3 innings, and he did fine. I'm hoping he wakes up tomorrow and doesn't feel anything beyond the usual soreness you may feel after playing a ball game.

Its a pretty lazy Sunday for us at the RJG. A beautiful day outside will likely be put to use. Enjoy the games and enjoy this weather.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring Training Notes

-Alright, I know spring training is not over, but Gardner will be the centerfielder on opening day. I know his arm isn't as good as Melky's, but he's doing much better at everything else. The only thing that'll stop him is an injury, and even that might not be enough.

-Cody Ransom has earned that third base role while Alex is gone. Berroa's been doing well too, but the 60+ inch vertical jump may be the difference.

-Are the Netherlands on some sort of scoring ration? It seems like they won't score more than 2 runs unless its absolutely necessary, and even then they're all stingy.

-Ian Kennedy went 3 innings with 5 strikeouts and 0 earned runs. Not bad.

-Burnett pitched 4 perfect innings. He should save those for the regular season.

-Marte and Cano came back from the WBC with hurt shoulders. I suspect Marte was overthrowing, and Cano is probably feeling the soreness from missing all those Dutch pitches.

-Kei Igawa has pitched 6 scoreless innings this spring and has allowed just one walk. Who knows, maybe we can get some return on that investment.

-Jesus Montero hit a grandslam and drew a walk in two at bats against the Pirates. Austin Jackson also hit a homerun going 2-4 in that game. The future movement seems to be progressing well.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mildly Interesting Stories

Yet another book is about to be released that has less than shocking revelations about the inside occurances of the New York Yankees. This book, which is actually about the life of Clemens, claims that during Jason Giambi's massive slump in the 2002 season, Cashman was said to have yelled at a tv in the clubhouse "Jason, whatever you were taking in Oakland, get back on it. Please!" Cashman angrily denied the anecdote saying "I don't yell." I kind of believe him. But if Cashman didn't scream this at his tv in 2002, he's probably the only one. I mean, who didn't want Giambi back on 'roids in 2002? He later recovered and showed he didn't need them, but it was such a loosey goosey era, and no one was being honest with Katie. It is still uncertain whether Giambi used a Dominican cousin to supply his 'roids in those days.

Speaking of steroids, Mark McGwire is now a hitting instructor for the likes of Bobby Crosby, Eric Duncan, Matt Holliday, and Skip Schumaker, whoever that is. I say good for him. Yes he 'roided and broke the homerun record by cheating, but who hasn't tried something to get an edge. For example, I drink coffee in the morning because I know that without it, I'm largely useless. I would have been cut for a more competent employee if I didn't drink coffee, and if I used it to succeed in college, why wouldn't I use it to succeed at the career level?

Anyways, it looks like Bernie Williams may have punched a woman in a night club in Puerto Rico for taking a picture of him. I don't know how true the story is, but if Bernie was hanging out in a night club at 2:30am on a Thursday night, he has to know that no good would come of it.

Tonight the Yankees take on the Boston Red Sox, but because its spring training, no one will care. We are three weeks away from the actual season starting, and I cannot wait. First series will be against Baltimore, and the second series will be with the Kansas City Royals. If we're not 5-1 after that, then its going to be a long season.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thoughts From Around the Majors

-Has anyone noticed all the MLB.com headlines relating to Manny over the past week? Since he signed back with the Dodgers, all the MLB.com headlines have been "Manny to Play Next Week", "Manny to Play Thursday", "Manny to DH in Thursday's Game", "Manny Scratched from Thursday's Game Due to Hurt Hamstring". So now they look kind of foolish after hyping it up so much. Either way, does anyone outside of LA care when Manny was going to play his first game? Does anyone in LA really care?

-I could be wrong, but Edinson Volquez may have the largest forehead in all the Major Leagues.

-Many people in the DR may blame Carlos Marmol for losing the game for the Dominican team a couple days back, but its not really his fault. Yes he gave up the winning runs, but when your team can only muster 1 run over 11 innings, there are larger issues to address. Marmol just happened to be the unlucky pitcher the Dutch happened to get lucky with.

-Mike Cameron has a rib cage injury. Bret Gardner and Melky Cabrera don't.

-Pedro Martinez and Pudge Rodriguez are both still looking for big league contracts and after some phenomenal WBC performances, interest remains relatively light. Why? Probably because no one cares. Especially not the GM's. If the GM's were really impressed with WBC performances, then at least a half dozen Dutch players would have been signed by now.

-There have been talks of expanding the WBC to 24 teams. I think I may fly to one of the qualifying countries, gain citizenship, and join their team. I think it would give the blog an interesting perspective. I only wonder how much bole I would need to take.

-Do the Kansas City Royals have a chance this year? Last year we said that the Rays could be contenders in the near future, and everyone laughed at us. We also said that the Royals could be contenders in the near future, and people swore at us. Now, I don't think they're there just yet seeing as their rotation beyond Grienke and Meche is largely umipressive. However, they have a lot of young pitchers, and you just never know when those young pitchers may blossom.

-Is it just me, or does it seem like the Mets are trying to cover up this whole Johan Santana elbow thing? First they say something is wrong with his elbow, then after throwing a bullpen session, they cancel the doctor's appointment and determine he's fine. Does a bullpen session qualify as sound medical advice? I just have a feeling that Santana's going to be out after a month.

-The Yankees just signed Joba to a $434,575 deal. I wonder how they came up with such an arbitrary number.

-The Yankees have a day off, which I'm sure they could use. They will soon be playing baseball daily for weeks at a time, so a day off here and there is essential for them. Even in spring training.

Joba's Pitching Improves after Talks with Teammates

After two unimpressive starts, including one in which Joba was unable to retire a single batter of the collection of double A hitters the other team surely threw at him, Joba pitched a strong three innings. Joba attributed the improvement in performance to three veterans, Posada, Pettitte, and Molina, who gave him a "kick in the rear end."

Approached by reporters and asked what he said to Joba, Posada responded, "Not a damn thing, I kicked him in the ass." Pettitte, overhearing Posada's comments began laughing immediately. "I kicked him in the ass too! He was thinking about his poor start, and he had this sad look on his face, so I told him he sucked and I kicked him right in the rear end."

When Molina heard what Posada and Pettitte had done, he decided to get in on the action. An unfortunate dictionary entry, however, affected his execution of the deed. "I heard everyone saying they kicked Joba in the ass, but I wasn't sure what they meant, so I looked up 'ass' in the dictionary. Joba's from Nebraska, he takes his donkey everywhere, he wrote 'BMW' on the side of it now that he's a big leaguer but it's still just a donkey, so I kicked the hell out of his donkey. How was I supposed to know? Now the feds keep questioning me about horses and Kei Igawa. I don't even know what they're talking about. I should never have kicked Joba's ass."

Asked about the rise in ass kicking under his watch, Girardi was contemplative. "Sometimes things happen on a team that help us grow closer. Watching that donkey get kicked so maliciously has really brought us closer together. I mean, Jose was wearing cleats! That poor donkey. It really made us realize how precious life is and I think it helped Joba turn it around."

Joba hopes to continue to improve over the rest of the spring. "Nobody wants that to happen again. I gotta stay on my game." Asked if he regrets beginning the series of events that led to the kicking of a donkey, Posada responded by kicking that reporter in the ass.

No donkeys were harmed in the reporting of this article. Except one, who had it coming. Stupid donkeys.

Reasons for Igawa's Dominating Spring

Anyone who has been following spring training has probably noticed that a Mr. Kei Igawa is pitching lights out. People need to understand how miraculous this is. This is akin to Pavano showing up healthy, or Giambi showing up sober. So far, Igawa has pitched 5 scoreless innings, allowing just 2 hits and striking out 4 and walking none. Igawa has done good in spring training before, so Cashman still can't assume he can use Igawa in a real game situation, but its a promising sign. Now the question remains, where is it coming from? Well, the Respect Jeter's Gangster blog has some theories.

1. Igawa used the off season to, well, train.
2. Instead of heavy cardio before pitching, Igawa now does heavy binging ala David Wells.
3. As pointed out by Raven, one of our loyal readers, Igawa has been possessed by the spirit of a better pitcher. Its still unclear which pitcher this is, but we can ascertain that he's at least better than Kei Igawa.
4. Igawa's old sun glasses were actually jedi laser training glasses. These glasses are completely dark so that you have to rely on the force to see the laser blasts. Likewise, Igawa relied on the force to throw strikes. Bad choice.
5. Igawa spent part of the off season with CC Sabathia, another part with Andy Pettitte, and yet another part with Suge Knight, his new life/pitching coach.
6. Igawa's underground horse fighting ring has really strengthened his left arm.
7. Igawa started missing the free champagne they serve on the Yankee team plane, after he spent the entire season eating complimentary animal crackers served on the Scranton team bus.
8. Igawa watched "The Rookie" twice a day daily throughout the off season. He cries every time.
9. Igawa stole some of Jeter's DNA last season, had Japanese scientists mix it with his, then made several radioactive spiders bite him, while training with vigilante ninja's and developing a fear for bats. It did wonders for his confidence.
10. Igawa's still Igawa. Its just spring training.

WBC and Yankee Updates

The WBC has finished up the first round and the surviving teams are Japan, Korea, USA, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Netherlands. Puerto Rico had a game against the Netherlands yesterday, which they won 5-0. What stands out about that game is that no one in particular stood out. It wasn't one players dominating performance that put the PR team ahead. Instead, several players up and down the lineup did what they needed to do to score some runs. No player had more than one hit, and no player drove in more than one run. It was a complete team effort. Why is this important? Well, the New York Yankees of 2008 never understood this, and I'm wondering if the Yankees of 2009 will be any better. We'll have to see once the season starts.

Venezuela bested USA yesterday making them the Pool C winners, and now Team USA will be taking on Team Puerto Rico this Saturday. Should be an exciting game. Pudge Rodriguez won the Pool D MVP after batting .545 with 2 homeruns and 5 RBI's. Someone should risk signing him, though it shouldn't be us. Posada, Molina, and Cash are plenty catchers for now.

Back in Yankee land, CC Sabathia had a rough start against the Tigers. I suspect he's washed up. In all seriousness, I'm only worried if pitchers are still getting lit up in their last two starts of the spring. A couple things to note, it seems like our power hitters are experiencing a power outage. We had no extra base hits yesterday, and in general guys like Berroa and Gardner are hitting more homeruns than guys like Teixeira or Posada. This is part of why I hate spring training. Veras and Bruney had great outings yesterday going one inning with 2 strikeouts and no hits or walks. Melky drew a walk, stole a base, and scored a run in the game, but he is lagging far behind Gardner this spring. I haven't looked at his stats, but I wonder if he's hit anything beyond a single yet this spring. Meanwhile, Gardner is showing some pop in addition to his speed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Truth About Ruth and More...

Recently, we at the Respect Jeters Gangster blog received an advanced copy of the book "The Truth About Ruth and More: Behind Yankees Myths, Legends, and Lore" by Peter Handrinos. We're always excited to receive books, because it allows us to see what interests people in the baseball world. With "The Truth About Ruth", the author delves into several of the long standing Yankee myths, legends and lore, and reveals the truth behind their stories. From Ruth's called shot, to the Billy Martin Copa fight, to Maris' 61 homeruns, to Reggie Jackson's status as Mr. October, Peter Handrinos leaves few stones unturned.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. For someone who is interested in Yankee history, you can tell that Handrinos did some thorough research and does an excellent job of keeping emotion away from facts. There's no doubt that Handrinos is a Yankee fan, but that does not make him get too sentimental about the legends, myths and lores he debunks, or supports. And that's what makes this book great. Handrinos isn't scared to call out some of our long held notions of the Yankee past, and even extends this to the current Yankee legends, myths, and lores. We all know and love Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, but did you know that the nickname came from a sarcastic Thurmon Munson during one of Reggie's underperforming league champion series? Did you know that Reggie performed terribly throughout his career during the league championship series? Or have you ever heard someone defend Casey Stengel's use of Art Ditmar instead of Whitey Ford for game one of the 1960 world series? Perhaps my favorite however, is Handrinos comparison between the Iron Man Cal Ripken Jr., and the Iron Horse Lou Gehrig. I won't give too much away, but lets just say that Lou Gehrig was in fact, the man.

Peter Handrinos does a good job of retelling stories we've heard before and keeping them fresh. In short, we highly recommend this book, unless of course you can't handle the truth!

Lastly, Peter Handrinos would like us to extend an invitation to a book talk/Q&A at Borders Books in midtown Manhattan- Park Avenue & 57th Street- on Thursday, April 2nd, at 7pm. There will be a complimentary cocktail reception afterwards, and as Peter says "all fans of the Yankees and/or free drinks are invited." You can't beat that.

WBC Teams Have Vastly Improved and So Has Joba

If you have been following the WBC then no doubt you've heard about the amazing upset of Netherlands over the Dominican Republic. This of course was the second upset between these two teams. Prior to last nights game, I thought that the Dutch had just gotten lucky. When they played team Puerto Rico, I saw how many runners they put on base, and how often they narrowly escaped defeat. But last night's game was different. I watched the Netherlands limit a lineup of major league power hitters to just one extra base hit and 1 run over 11 innings. We're talking about a lineup that consisted of Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Robinson Cano, Miguel Tejada, and David Ortiz among others. Dutch pitching has been really impressive, but their offense has been lackluster. You have to wonder how they'll hold up against teams in the second round. However, for now, the Netherlands have been more than impressive and have earned their spot in the second round.

Another surprising team is that of Australia. After a major blow out of Mexico, Australia had to go head-to-head with Cuba. What I expected to be a fairly easy game for Cuba turned out to be a very competitive match. Cuba won 5-4 with a pinch hit homerun in the 8th inning being the difference. I didn't watch the whole game though I did see this one play by the Cuban team that was impressive. A groundball was hit up the middle and the Cuban second baseman was running away from first base to grab the ball. Since he was running away from first he wasn't going to be able to turn and make a good throw, so instead he flips the ball to the shortstop who makes the throw to first in time to get the runner out. I think Cano and Jeter should work on that play. Australia will play Mexico tonight, and the loser is eliminated. Australia has vastly improved since the last classic, so I wouldn't be surprised if they do decently in the second round.

I watched the spring training game yesterday on YES, and Joba returned to form. His fastball varied in speed, but he dialed it up a couple times, and it seemed to come out of his hand pretty easy. He threw 3 innings with 3 strikeouts and 1 run. The releivers that came in after him did a good job as well, with Coke and Igawa combining for 4 innings of scoreless baseball. Igawa even pitched two perfect innings. No hits, no walks, a pair of strikeouts, it was....different. Further more, Shelley Duncan and Juan Miranda beasted some homeruns yesterday. Montero got another hit as well, and Gardner is basically securing that centerfield role going 2-3 with a run batted in. Ransom also went 2-3 with an RBI, furthering his case for being A-Rod's short term replacement.

With the first round WBC eliminations coming in, the Yankees are already getting back a lot of their players. So far, Mariano Rivera has already returned from his coaching position on team Panama, and Damaso Marte, Jose Veras, Robinson Cano, and Francisco Cervelli are all returning soon. A lot of teams don't like that they have to go without some of their players during the WBC, but a lot of them come back after the first round eliminates half the teams in contention. I'm just not feeling that argument.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

WBC is a Funny Thing

Don't ask me how, and don't ask me why, but the Netherlands have a pretty good team. I watched yesterday as team Dutch took on team Puerto Rico and made a 1 run lead stick until the 8th inning. Team PR scored 3 runs to win the game, but it left me impressed nonetheless. Other things that impressed me about the WBC:

-Team Italy eliminated Team Canada. Canada had a pretty good lineup including Justin Morneau, Russel Martin, and Mark Teahen, but they were no match for a Mike Piazza-less Italy.

-Australia beat Mexico by mercy rule with nearly no big leaguers on their team.

-The African team is nearly all White.

-The Dutch team is nearly all Black.

-Korea is the Pool A winner after defeating Japan 1-0.

-Dominican Republic has a chance at revenge against the Netherlands today, and the loser is eliminated. I want Puerto Rico to play the Dominican Republic, but its hard to cheer against a team like the Netherlands. They play hard, and they play smart. Overall, I've been impressed with them.

-If Cuba losses to Australia, Raul Castro may start diverting money from Cuba's exceptional health care system into their baseball operations. I wonder if you can get bole as easily there as you can in the DR.

Now, this of course is a Yankees blog, and that's what we love and do so in an attempt to combine this post to the Yankees I think its a good idea to speak to the praise received by a young Francisco Cervelli. For those who don't know or can't remember, Cervelli was the catcher who had his arm broken in spring training last season. He also caught the game where the Italians beat team Canada and Mike Piazza gave him a lot of praise for his efforts. He says that Cervelli can call a good game, and his bat will get there too. So there you have the official Mike Piazza scouting report on Francisco Cervelli.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Morning Baseball Thoughts

Here are some assorted baseball thoughts to start the week:

-With A-Rod having his surgery today, the Yankees look ready to move forward with Cody Ransom at third base for the beginning of the season. Not that the Yankees have much of a choice, but I think Ransom could prove to be more than a servicable back up.

-Angel Berroa is tearing it up in spring training as he hit two homeruns in yesterday's game against Detroit. Before A-Rod's surgery there didn't really look to be a spot for Berroa, but now that Ransom is taking over third base for the short term, Berroa can slide in as the utility infielder.

-It doesn't make sense to trade for a third baseman now.

-I was watching South Africa vs. Cuba yesterday, which the Cubans won 8-1. At one point in the game, a Cuban hitter took a big looping swing, and his bat came down on the catchers arm on the follow through. The pitcher then pegged the Cuban player. I thought it was a promising sign for baseball in South Africa.

-Phil Hughes came up big yesterday with 3 innings of scoreless, hitless baseball and 4 strikeouts. Burnett pitched as well.

-Is it just me, or is Kei Igawa really good this spring training?

-Joba may want to step it up if he doesn't want to losing his starting job to Mr. Hughes.

-Gardner is out playing Melky for the centerfield job.

-Jesus Montero has had 4 hits this spring training. Not bad for a guy who finished playing A-ball last season.

-If Nady and Swisher are competing for the right field job they don't seem to be aware of it. If we were to go by Spring Training stats alone, the right field job would either go to John Rodriguez or A-Jax. Lucky for them, spring training stats mean next to nothing.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Tough Couple of Days for Panama

DR beat Panama 9-0 today, marking the second game in a row where the Panamanians refused to score runs, protesting the appointment of Ruben Blades to the country's top tourism post. Asked why the team is so upset over the appointment of the international Salsa sensation to the position of Tourism Secretary, right fielder Concepcion Rodriguez responded, "We all love his music, and he was cool in 'The Super,' but he was not impressive in 'Once Upon a Time in Mexico.' We're still upset about that one. 'El Mariachi' is a classic, and Desperado had Selma Hayek, but this?" Rodriguez choked back tears and walked away.

Puerto Rico plays the Netherlands tomorrow, and hopes not to be embarrassed like the Dominicans were. I continue to enjoy the WBC and look forward to how the rest of the tournament unfolds.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Puerto Rico Better Than Panama

The great debate has been settled, Puerto Rico is better than Panama. Oh yeah, and the Netherlands far surpasses the Dominican Republic. The WBC is underway and we have already had some exciting baseball. The Netherlands upset the Dominican Republic in a close game in which Robbie Cano went 1-5. That's a big improvement on most of his games last season.

Puerto Rico defeated Panama 7 runs to nothing. The Panamanian team was stunned, and most of the players left the stadium crying and wishing to return home. It was a sad display, but it was a good win for Puerto Rico.

Friday, March 6, 2009

What to do with A-Rod?

With the news of A-Rod's torn hip labrum, many people are calling into the question what should happen next. The Yankees want to move forward by having A-Rod rest and rehab and the hopefully last with the injury until next off season. By the sounds of things, they knew he had the hip problem since last season, but did not think it was a problem. Now they have to be kicking themselves since had they pressed it then, he could have had the surgery last October, and been ready to go now. What's done is done, the question is how do you think the Yankees should proceed. On the one hand, if the Yankees follow through on Cashman's plan, A-Rod will play and probably do well for the first month or so, but the condition will only worsen as the months progress, and they may end up needing to have him get the surgery in July or August. The other solution is that they have him get the surgery now, he misses the rest of spring training and is back ready to play by May/June.

Personally, I think they should have him get the surgery now. He'll be back in the lineup early in a few months, and I'd rather be getting reinforcements mid-season, than losing them. As some have mentioned, if he goes down in July, the Yankees will get bled for any trade they make. The question is how you fill up third base in the mean time since no one on the team has much experience. Do you make a trade to fill a position for a couple months, and then bench the guy you traded for? Personally, I'd be playing as many players at third base as possible to see who could do it. Cody Ransom, Nick Swisher, Shelley Duncan and Angel Berroa should all be taking grounders there. Who knows, maybe one of them is a natural. If not, you may need to make a trade, but if one of those guys is at least passable at third (and I suspect several of them would be), then have them fill the spot in the meantime. Our lineup without A-Rod is still pretty good, and for the first couple months of the season, should be fine.

Some fans may want A-Rod to play now and then miss the later part of the season since we would effectively get him when he's at his best (April) and lose him when he's at his worse (October). Its cruel, but partially true. There really is no right or wrong answer to this I suppose, but what do you think the Yankees should do with A-Rod? Surgery now or later? Do you want A-Rod in April or in October?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A-Rod Out for 10 Weeks?

A report from ESPN deportes is saying that A-Rod needs to get his cyst operated immediately and that he would need to be out the next 10 weeks, making him miss the first month of the season. The articles source is A-Rod's brother, Joe Rodriguez. Now, I don't know how true this is, since ESPN deportes reported earlier in the winter that the Yankees were close to signing Manny Ramirez for 3 years and $75 million, which turned out to be false. However, they claim to have gotten the information from A-Rod's brother, which would lend some credibility. We'll have to see how this turns out.

4:31 Update: According to Peter Abraham, A-Rod will not need surgery as the Yankees hope he can get by with rest and rehabilitation. A-Rod has a torn hip labrum as well as a cyst. He will have the cyst drained, which will hopefully remove the tightness he's been feeling, but Cashman said that he will need to have the surgery eventually and that the surgery will require 4 months of recovery. The Yankees want to try and pass A-Rod through the season, and then have him get the surgery in the off season.

For some perspective, Mike Lowell had a partially torn hip labrum, and had a rough season last year, but not so bad that he was useless. He missed some time with an oblique strain in August, but had been dealing with the hip problem for 3 months prior to that. He was later taken off the ALDS roster because of the hip injury, but for the season was able to play over 100 games and get 419 at bats despite the time he missed with the oblique injury. The torn hip labrum hobbled him, but he was still able to play with it, and though his numbers suffered, he was still able to perform (.274 average, 17 homeruns, 73 RBI's). We'll see what comes of A-Rod, but Cody should be taking some grounders at third just in case.

Why the WBC is the Best Thing Since Ninja's

The World Baseball Classic got underway with Japans 4-0 victory over China, and now many countries are looking forward to thier first games in the tournament. While it should be an exciting tournament, I've been reading a lot of negative things about the World Baseball Classic by the fans. By and large, people do not like the idea of the tournament, bashing Selig for introducing the concept, and bashing everything else they possibly can about it. Some of the arguments I understand. People do not like that its in March, which interupts spring training, and people don't like that their favorite player could get hurt in this competition and then miss the season. Understandable. Other people don't like it because they somehow feel its a disruption to their lives, hate the idea of international competition, hate the idea of baseball, hate themselves, hate the world, and hate you. These people I can't really account for. So before I go on to argue why the WBC is the greatest thing since ninja's roamed fuedal Japan, I will address some of the concerns.

It Interupts Spring Training

This is true. Some have suggested having the tournament in November while players are still in playing shape, but this would be a tough sell for players who just finished playing a 162 game season. However, going forward, the WBC will be held once every 4 years. Players who want to play in it tend to prepare ahead of time, and although it makes the season start later (something I'm not in love with) it also allows more time for players in the tournament to prepare and be ready.

My Favorite Player Could be Hurt and Miss the Season!

I can understand the concern, but the reality is, they could get hurt in spring training just as easily. They would play far more pointless games at spring training, and increase the chance of an injury. I would be more concerned with pitchers than position players, but the WBC has a lot of rules for the use of pitchers. They also have a 28 man roster, which helps players not get overused.

I Hate Bud Selig and this is his Idea!

Sure enough, Bud didn't win a lot of fans over when he reigned over the steroid era of baseball, but you have to acknowledge that revenue sharing and the luxury tax have helped level the playing field, and under his watch MLB added three new teams, while recovering from the tumultuous 1994 players strike. Baseball has never done better, and you can thank Bud for that. Now, with the WBC, Selig is trying to make baseball an international sport, which it should be. Baseball does not get much recognition around the world, and we all know how great it really is.

But Why is the WBC so Amazing?

Well, it gives us meaningful games to watch in March, it allows us to see great players represent their countries, and gives us the opportunity to see what other countries are building.

This is just the beginning, so the competition may not be on par, but that being said, Team USA got knocked out by Mexico in 2006. There are good teams out there, and the competition helps different countries build their programs. For 2013, the WBC may feature up to 24 teams, which means they'll be introducing new countries into the mix. This is what will make the tournament more exciting. Spring training games are largely boring, and lack any excitement. The WBC features meaningful games we can watch in March. Some people may argue that the games aren't meaningful because it means nothing to them, but if you watched some of the WBC games from 2006, you saw how into the games the fans got. I've never seen that much excitement at a spring training game. Besides, seeing a team like the Dominican Republic which has bashers up and down the lineup, or the amazing infield of the American team, or the surprisingly competitive Canadian lineup, you're seeing the best baseball competition in the world. Now I know that not all the best players are playing, with many players opting out last minute and the like, but you're still featuring some of the best players from each country. If you can't get into that, I'm not sure how into baseball you can be.

Lastly, you see these games get played with heart. The players who are there take pride in these games, and actually want to win. That's something you can't say for Spring Training games. If once every 4 years, the best players in the majors want to take a few weeks away from spring training to play meaningful baseball, I don't see why anyone should care.

So is this the best thing since ninja's? I suppose I haven't really proven that, but who cares. I can finally watch baseball that doesn't end with minor leaguers working on bunts.

If you do not like the WBC, I'd like to hear why. Sound off in the comments section!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

NY Post Toss Away Headlines

New York Post headline writers worked over time last night to find the perfect headline to A-Rod's latest comments about how he'd like Jose Reyes to play for the Yankees. They came up with these two winners:



However, by seeing the headlines, we really don't get to appreciate the process of how a NY Post headline comes to be. Below are some of the headlines that were rejected for this story:













So you see how difficult it is to choose a headline for a NY Post article. The proper combination of melodrama, catchiness, tabloid feel, and CAPS are needed to make the perfect headline. Rupert Murdoch is serious about his headlines, and he accepts nothing short of perfection.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Before It Gets Out Of Hand

Alex Rodriguez paid Jose Reyes a compliment today by stating that he wished that The Outlaw Known as Jose Rells played for the Yankees. It was just an innocent comment referring to Reyes' lead off and base stealing abilities. It is not a knock against Jeter, who we know A-Rod is obsessed with, and therefore could not possibly want on another team. If anything it's a knock against Damon, but it wasn't that either. It was just a compliment. I'm sure the NYPost headline will be something along the lines of, "Alex Tries to Have Jeter Traded Because He Hates Democracy and Loves Steroids." True enough, but that wasn't what this comment was about.

Get Over Yourself

According to this article in the Daily News, Pedro Martinez would not be comfortable with a deal similar to Tom Glavine's, which guarantees Glavine a paltry, insulting, humiliating $1M. Now I understand that Pedro was a dominant pitcher for a long time, but he's not anymore. People in this country are losing their jobs, their homes, living in make shift tent cities, and this piece thinks $1M is "disrespect[ing] my abilities or the way I am." WTF? For $1M I would not only pitch, I would catch my own games, sweep out the dugout afterwards, and pitch every third day. $1M to throw a ball? Yes please. But I guess Pedro's too good for that. I realize he's probably got stacks of millions sitting in some bank account, or in Bernie Madoff's bank account, but that's no reason to act like $1M guaranteed is an insult. Hell, if I had Pedro money I'd gladly play for the minimum, he doesn't need more money. I realize you probably need a certain level of cockiness and self-belief to make it to the majors, but get some perspective. CEOs are getting their arses kicked for riding in jets. People are pissed that the banks, who never met a homeowner facing financial difficulty that they wanted to bailout, are getting billions from the very people they were so eager to boot from their homes. If your best offer is for $1M guaranteed, take it and shut the #$&@!% up.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Slow News Day?

As I do most every morning, I headed over to the New York Times to find out what was going on in the world. After scanning a number of headlines I headed to sports where I saw this article detailing Mark Teixeira's boyhood fandom of Don Mattingly.

This is interesting, at least it was when the Yankees signed Teixeira right before Christmas and we had to read article after article about the fact that Teixeira, who grew up in B-more, liked Don Mattingly as a kid. Maybe we can get a breaking story from the newswire that the Yankees will be wearing pin stripes on their uniforms. Oh wait, this just in, Baseball is integrating! What's that, bleacher seats have gone up to $0.75? For shame!

For shame indeed, New York Times. Get your act together and stop recycling stories. If nothing else, call up Jayson Blair and have him make up some stories. At least they'll be fresh.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A-Rod Meets With Investigators

Alex Rodriguez was said to be meeting with MLB investigators tonight about the whole steroid thing. Thanks to our intrepid undercover reporting team, we were able to record and transcribe the entire conversation as it was happening. This is what we got:

Investigator 1: So Alex, can you tell us what bole or boli is?

A-Rod: Its a steroid.

Investigator 1: Who got it for you?

A-Rod: My cousin.

Investigator 1: Okay, well where did he get it from?

A-Rod: From a dominican pharmacy.

Investigator 1: Where in the Dominican Republic did he get them?

A-Rod: At a pharmacy.

Investigator 2: Alright, moving on. How long have you been seeing Madonna?

A-Rod: What does this have...

Investigator 2: I'm the one asking the questions here!

A-Rod: Sure but, it seems like...

Investigator 2: Either you answer the question or you'll be suspended for not cooperating!

A-Rod: Okay, umm, we've been seeing each other since last season. Probably around summer time.

Investigator 2: Do you make her laugh?

A-Rod: I suppose she sometimes giggles...

Investigator 2: Do you make her laugh like I do!?

A-Rod: Cashman is that you?

Investigator 2: Its me Alex! I was wearing a fake mustache. See. And now I've caught you in a bold face lie!

A-Rod: What are you talking about? What's going on?

Brian Cashman: You give me back Madonna, or you'll be suspended without pay.

A-Rod: And whose this guy?

Investigator 1: Oh, I work for MLB, but Hank bought me these aligator boots to let this happen. I'm turning the other way for all this.

A-Rod: Man, so this is really what this meeting is all about Brian?

Brian Cashman: Don't belittle the situation. You took something that wasn't yours. Material Girl got me through high school.

A-Rod: That's fine and all, but...wait, what's that over there?

Brian Cashman: Where?

A-Rod: Behind that plant there, in the corner.

Brian Cashman: I don't see anything.

A-Rod: Selena I see you. Come out of there.

Selena Roberts: Alright Alex you caught me.

Brian Cashman: Oh c'mon, my children are sleeping in the other room. Get out of here!

Selena Roberts: Can you at least call security first? I want to show how good I am at evading them.

A-Rod: Would you just go please!

Selena Roberts: Fine I'll go. Can we ride back together?

A-Rod: No, just go back to ESPN before I file a harrasment suit.

Selena Roberts: I don't work at ESPN.

A-Rod: Well, just go back to whereever you came from.

Selena Roberts: Great, looks like I'm going back to the Respect Jeter's Gangsters couch.

A-Rod: I wonder what Jeter's up to?

-End Transmission-

So there you have it. There were a lot of revelations that came out of this meeting. First, it looks like Alex got the steroids from his cousin, and it looks like his cousin got it from the Dominican Republic. Lovely.