Tuesday, October 30, 2012

RJG and the Storm

There has been some speculation in the comments recently about whether RJG survived the greatest storm ever known to man. But RJG is not a man. It cannot die in a hellish blaze of rainy fury. RJG is an idea. Intangible. Immortal. It's like the soul. Only real. And funny.

But yes, we did survive the storm. And while our computer systems were seriously damaged, that is largely because we decided to test their sea soundness by affixing sails to our laptops and attempting to boat race them. Needless to say, the laptops sunk almost immediately, but I still say mine won.

Now all we can do is wait until the Yankees sign Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, Ichiro Suzuki, David Wright, Raul Ibanez, Nick Swisher, and BJ Upton. In about three more days, we should begin seeing movement on this front.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Giants Win!

Yes they did. And, oh yeah, San Francisco won too. Ha! See what I did there? 'Cause the New York Football Giants also won yesterday. It's okay, I'll give you a minute to compose yourself.

Now that you're done basking in the glow of my genius (no, your screen's brightness settings have not changed), we can all focus on what is really important: in six days, the Yankees will be able to make stunning, we're serious about this, don't even bother trying to outbid us style offers to every big-name free agent on the market. Yes, what has come to be known as the Miami Marlins Protocol.

You might think to yourself, 'Wait. Didn't that plan fail miserably?' Yes. It did. But the Yankees do not play in Miami, and they have money, and it wasn't called the 'Miami Marlins Protocol' back then, a much cooler name that has replaced the plan's previous title, 'desperate to make Miami care about something other than the fact Castro is still in power'.

Now, once the protocol goes into effect, the Yankees line-up will look something like this:

1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Josh Hamilton, RF
4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Mark Teixeira, 1B
6. Alex Rodriguez, DH
7. David Wright, 3B
8. BJ Upton, LF
9. Mike Napoli, C

Our pitching staff will look like this:

1. CC Sabathia
2. Hiroki Kuroda
3. Andrew Pettitte
4. Phil Hughes
5. Ichiro Suzuki
6. Ivan Nova
7. Rafael Soriano
8. David Phelps
9. David Robertson
10. Joba Chamberlain
11. Boone Logan
12. Mariano Rivera

One name on that list of pitchers may surprise you, but Ichiro is not going to accept a bench spot, and with the outfield taken up by Granderson, Hamilton, and Upton, there will be nowhere on the field to put Ichiro. However, offering him a spot in the starting rotation would likely placate his ego, further fueling his desire to remain a life-long Yankee.

Our bench will be as follows:

1. Nick Swisher
2. Raul Ibanez
3. Eduardo Nunez
4. Miguel Cabrera (for whom we will trade)

With this team in place, the Yankees will go on to secure the best record in baseball by mid-June, only to blow it by late August, stumble across the finish line as division winners, and then, exhausted by having to keep some group of Johnny-come-latelies at bay, will falter in the early rounds of the playoffs.

You gotta admit though, that's an impressive line-up!

Friday, October 26, 2012

RJG Reviews Taken 2

With the World Series standing in the way of our winter dealings getting underway, we here at RJG are forced to find other means of keeping ourselves busy other than baseball. You might be thinking, 'Shouldn't you get a job?' Maybe, but, frankly, the government should just give me money, food, healthcare, and housing, so I'm not going to do something they should be doing anyway.

I will go see movies however, and recently I sat through a private screening of Taken 2. It wasn't really a private screening, but because it was a matinee on a weekday, it felt like it.

The movie begins with a series of scenes that don't really make sense but set up the premise of the movie: Liam Neeson and his no longer annoying ex-wife are taken while vacationing together in Istanbul.

You might wonder, why are Liam Neeson and his no longer annoying ex-wife vacationing together? What about her loving, devoted, super-wealthy second husband? Well, don't worry about it. While you never see him, you're assured they're separated. They had a family trip planned which he cancelled last second, and Lenore (just remembered her name) is frustrated because all the communication is through lawyers now. This is somewhat weird since they're just separated, not divorcing, and had apparently planned a trip to China together, but apparently that was not done ex parte.

It doesn't matter though. Kim has a boyfriend now. That also doesn't matter, but the script writers decided we should know about it anyway.

What matters is they're all in Istanbul, hanging out, rekindling old flames, when the father of Marco from Trepoje shows up with like a million nameless bad guys in track suits and old man sweaters, and kidnaps Neeson and 'Lenny'. Oh yeah, she doesn't mind being called 'Lenny' at any point in this movie, which I found an odd character departure. Thing is though, you're supposed to like her in this movie, otherwise you wouldn't care that she gets kidnapped.

With both Neeson and Lenny in the hands of Albanian thugs, Neeson uses what looks like an iPod Shuffle to call Kim, who, it turns out, is quite adept at handling heavy munitions, running along rooftops, and navigating a foreign urban landscape with no clear reference points.

She gets a gun to Neeson (Brian is it?) and the movie finally gets underway, as Neeson kills a bunch of people and gets in some car chases with his daughter driving the car and him shooting.

The best part of this movie was the Skyfall trailer that was shown right before it. That movie looks AMAZING!

Taken 2 will satisfy your desire to see minor characters in whose destruction you're not invested get destroyed, but that's about it. A solid rental if you've been smoking pot all day and are in no position to process dialogue, plot, linear thinking generally, or stable cinematography (thank you Bourne trilogy for ruining every fight sequence ever). But seriously, go see this Skyfall trailer. It's worth it.


Yesterday, I was watching the Giants vs. Detroit game, and I witnessed Detroit starter Doug Fister take a comeback hit off his head in the second inning, and still finish his start, throwing 6 innings of 1 run ball.  He even came up to bat in the second inning after the shot off his head, and put up a decent at bat, seeing 5-pitches, or approximately twice as many as Granderson ever does.  Seeing Fister's level of grit made me ask the question, when was the last time the Yankees were so gritty?  And of course the answer takes us back to the 1920's when our lineup, dubbed murderers row, actually had 4 players who were on death row for murder.  Our rotation, led by the Irishman Gritty McFiercen, and tall tale hero Lumberjack Strongarm, used to strike out 22 players a game, and then strike down 22 players in drunken brawls after the game.  That was around the time that our clean up hitter, the dutchman Doesntchoke Likearod, often known better by his nickname the Flying Drunkman, used to record 3 homeruns a night, all in the 7th-9th innings and only in close games.  That was back when chewing tobacco was for the weak, and chewing lead was the preferred option.  Pitchers threw 180 pitches a night, and pitched every day.  When the fans booed, the players charged into the seats and shut them up with their fists.  In fact, the 40 man roster was originally conceived to have 25 players, and 15 bareknuckle boxers to attack booing fans.  These were simpler times, when stealing a base resulted in bench clearing brawls, and stealing signs meant that the visiting team stole the advertisements posted on your outfield wall.  Players worked 18 hours in the factory, and 3 hours playing baseball every day.  Man, those were the days.

Keeping the Lights On Revisited Part 2

You may have asked yourself, how do I gamble on baseball like a pro?  Well, the RJG is always happy to provide help with these greater philosophical questions.  To this end, we point to Expert MLB picks, where you can get expert advice on who to gamble on, and then you can at least say you got advice before you blew your life savings.  Its kind of like when you spoke to your broker in 2001 and they told you about all these amazing bank stocks in Washington Mutual, Bank of America, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae that they assured you would make you a fortune.  Then to round out your stock portfolio, they said that Chrysler was a sleeper pick, and its always good to invest in mortgage insurance companies.  When you asked about Amazon, and Apple, they said that companies that begin with the letter A never do well.  And today, your left gambling on sports teams to make up the deficit in your retirement fund.  Its kind of like that.

So in the future, if your significant other asks how you picked the Tigers to sweep the World Series, you can tell them that it was the experts!  Then they'll love and trust your money management abilities and general life skills.  There's no down side to this plan.  None.

Keeping the Lights On Revisited

This is a great time of year, the World Series is on, the hot stove season is getting primed, and the Yankee offense has given us alot to think about over the next few months.  This hot stove season could see two major approaches: one, dump everyone, and two, keep just about everyone except Swisher and Soriano.  As infuriating as the ALCS was, the first option is a really bad idea.  We have a lot of cost controlled players, and by cost controlled I mean that their contracts are so large that their trade potential is controlled by it.  Plus, two of our players are playing for contracts next season: Granderson and Cano.  That could very well motivate them to go full force.  Though more intelligent discussions on this matter will be had, and re-had throughout the winter, the fact of the matter is, we would have a hard time getting anything of value for these guys because they're both under one year deals, and I don't know that we'll want to get rid of them when they could very well come back with something to prove.

As always, A-Rod and his ridiculous contract will always bring him, well, ridicule.  But its not his fault that Hank Steinbrenner was bamboozled.  I blame that on Hal.  I mean wouldn't you sign the largest contract in baseball if it was offered you?  But now the Yankees need to commit to MLB Betting to best make up the difference on that deal.  He's signed through 2017, and he'll be a .230 bench player, making $20 million.  Fair?  No.  But it is the Yankee way.  Just as selling ads to keep us posting in our spare time is the RJG way.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The State of the Yankees Budget Revisited

Recently, my brother wrote a very well researched and stringently fact checked article about the state of the Yankees budget.  As we all know, the Yankees are trying to get their payroll under $189 million by 2014.  This year the payroll sat at just under $210 million.  The problem is that the Yankees were at $210 million with a lot of cost controlled contracts.  For example, Swisher made $10.25 million, Granderson made $10 million, Kuroda made $10 million, Pettitte made $2.5 million, and Ibanez made $1.1 million none of which will be coming back next year without a pay increase, or in the case of Swisher, probably won't be coming back at all leaving a hole in right field with no immediate farm options to replace him.  Despite the pay increases, there are a number of contracts coming off the books:

Mariano Rivera - $15 million
Nick Swisher - $10.25 million
Hiroki Kuroda - $10 million
Russell Martin - $7.5 million
Freddy Garcia - $4 million
Pedro Feliciano - $3.25 million
Andy Pettitte - $2.5 million
Andruw Jones - $2 million
Raul Ibanez - $1.1 million
Eric Chavez - $0.9 million
David Aardsma - $0.5 million

Some contracts that call for a pay reduction for next season:

Alex Rodriguez - $1 million

And some contracts that God willing, will be opted out of:

Rafael Soriano - $14 million

Assuming all of these things come to pass the Yankees will have $72 million coming off the books.  However, this is offset by some pay raises:

Derek Jeter: $1 million raise
Robinson Cano: $1 million raise
Curtis Granderson: $5 million raise

And of course 7 or so arbitration eligible players who made a combined $14.2 million this year, and will get a pay bump for next season.  The Yankees can limit how much goes to arbitration eligible players by dropping some under performers (Casey McGehee made $2.5 million this season, and would likely get a pay increase for next year.  There are plenty more infield options available for cheaper!) 

Further more, all those contracts coming off the books leaves the Yankees with a bunch of holes in their 25 man roster.  The Yankees will be on the market for a right fielder, a catcher, 2 starters, a closer, possibly a setup man, a designated hitter, and possibly a couple of bench players or relievers.

So in short, there is about $72 million due to come off the books (assuming Soriano opts out), $7 million of that will go to pay raises to Jeter, Cano, and Granderson, and lets say an additional $5 million goes to settling arbitration contracts.  That leaves the Yankees with $60 million, but the Yankees won't want to spend all of it because they're trying to reduce payroll.  So if they pocket $8 million, and invest $52 million back into the team, what will that look like?  Can you get 2 starters, a catcher, a right fielder, a closer, and a DH for that much?  And if we rely on signing lots of 1 year contracts to fill these spots, what do we do in 2014 when we have to be under $189 million, and have to fill all these holes again?

Back on March 1st, Hal Steinbrenner explained how the Yankees would get under $189 for 2014:

“I’m a finance geek,” he said. “I guess I always have been. That’s my background. Budgets matter, and balance sheets matter. I just feel that if you do well on the player-development side and you have a good farm system, you don’t need a $220 million payroll. You don’t. You can field every bit as good a team with young talent.”  (NY Times)

Yes, that amazing Yankee farm system will field us every bit as good a team with young cost controlled talent. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The State of the Yankees' Budget

Rafael Soriano was paid too much money last season. Nick Swisher was paid too much money last season. Both contracts are coming off the books, which means that too much money is coming off the books. Doesn't it stand to reason that the Yankees should reinvest entirely too much money in their team? Of course it does. #$@& the luxury tax.

Mariano and Soriano

One of the questions the Yankees will have to answer this off season is how much money they want to give to the greatest closer of all time, Mariano Rivera.  Last season he made $15 million but missed the vast majority of the season with a torn ACL.  Prior to the injury, Rivera made every indication that he would retire at the end of the season, but since the injury, he has vowed to return.  The question is, what do you pay a dominant closer, coming off an injury that has cost him an entire season?  Mariano probably wants another $15 million contract, but I just don't see the Yankees giving him that (though they might because its just 1 season).  Then the question turns to what you do with Soriano.  Soriano can opt out, and it seems he will, which will free up $14 million that the Yankees had committed to him for next season.  Mariano will be back for one season.  So after 2013, who is our closer?  Do we sign Soriano to another multi-year deal for closer money knowing that we will need a closer for 2014?  Do we look for a closer within the organization (Dave Robertson?)?  Do we sign someone else to be a closer?  What do you think?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Will Kevin Long Be Fired?

This has been a topic of discussion recently, and so I thought it was time to move it to a post. The question is whether Kevin Long will be fired over the Yankees being swept out of the ALCS.

Note that the question is not whether Kevin Long should be fired, but whether he will be fired. Cashman's recent endorsement not withstanding, I think he will. Here are my reasons.

First, the Yankees' failure in the ALCS was completely offensive. Pitching and defense did not lose this series. Particularly glaring was the Yankees' inability to hit with RISP, a season-long problem that we heard over and over again the line-up would snap out of and never did.

Second, while a lot of anger has certainly been directed at the players, there is no clear way to scapegoat one of them. Cano, Granderson, and even A-Rod are unlikely to go anywhere. Even if the Yankees were to trade Grandy or A-Rod, it would likely come off more as a move to improve the team long-term and reduce payroll than it would as a move to send a message to a team that underperformed.

Third, while Long has been a defensible hitting coach, and he may not be responsible for the hitting woes, the buck has to stop with him. This is a season-long issue, and both Granderson and Cano seemed to regress as hitters. Let's not forget that the last person Long tried to remake, Jeter, completely ignored him. Then Jeter broke his ankle, which I can only assume was a result of Kevin Long trying to get rid of the leg-kick, which weakened the bone since it was no longer being strengthened from regular leg-kicking.

More importantly, Lonn Trost and Randy Levine are still loud voices in the organization. They are the reason we signed Soriano to my brother's favorite contract, and they are of the elder Steinbrenner school of thought. That means that someone must answer for the postseason failure, a failure of hitting, and the person most likely to bear that burden is Kevin Long, fair or not.

Fifth, coaches are always held to account for perceived failures far more than they are praised for success. Just ask Terry Francona.

Sixth, Cashman is unlikely to go anywhere and so is Girardi. The easiest person to replace if blamed and fired is Long. Pitching coaches, hitting coaches, bench coaches, first base coaches, and third base coaches are all imminently replaceable. If Trost and Levine decide someone must be made an example of, I have to believe it will be Long.

Seventh, Cashman assured us Long would not be fired. Pretty much every Cashman statement made prior to the Winter Meetings is a lie, or turns out to be, sometimes unbeknownst to Cashman himself (Soriano anyone?). The fact that Cashman vouched for him in public is as good as a pink-slip.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cash Gets a Call

With the Yankees contemplating their future, it was time for us to give good friend of the blog another call. Last time got a little bit awkward, but we needed to make sure someone was being honest with Bronny about what a suck-bag of crap his team was. The following is a transcript of our conversation:

BC: Hello?

RJG: Hey Bronny, how's it hanging?

BC: Could you stop asking me that? It's kind of personal.

RJG: You're not going to get all sensitive on me again, are you?

BC: I have a right to express my emotions.

RJG: Whatever. Are you aware that your team is a suck-bag of crap?

BC: That's not a thing. It doesn't even make sense.

RJG: Your roster-building philosophy doesn't make sense.

BC: Watch it.

RJG: You used to be a ninja! The old Bronny Cash would have traded A-Rod, re-signed Ichiro and Mo, traded for Justin Verlander and lowered payroll by now!

BC: There is no way any of that could ever happen.

RJG: You know what, Bronny? You don't deserve to be called Bronny Cash. Your new nickname is Lyin' Crapman. What do you think about that?!

BC: It does rhyme with my real name.

RJG: You're not acknowledging my anger! Why won't you acknowledge my anger?!

BC: I find it's best not to play into the anger of others; it creates unhealthy relationship dynamics.

RJG: Signing A-Rod to a 10 year contract creates unhealthy relationship dynamics.

BC: How dare you! You know that wasn't my call!

RJG: Wasn't it?

BC: Why do you always try to hurt me? [soft sobbing]

RJG: I'm sorry Bronny. I didn't mean it. It's just that you're a bad GM who won't acknowledge my anger.

BC: It's not all about you, RJG. Ha!


There you have it folks, as we head into winter, the Yankees are determined to get better for next year.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Robinson Cano, A-Rod

We've had some discussion of the relative merits of Misters Cano and Rodriguez recently so I figured I'd devote a post to them. With the Yankees having some impending decisions to make, I assume that my advice could only be invaluable.

First Cano. There is no doubt that his defense is beyond reproach. As a hitter, Cano is like the low cost window cleaning solutions that Windex commercials warn us against: mostly streaks. While his work ethic has at times been called into question, it's mostly been unfair, especially in light of how he's produced over the years. That said, there have been moments where his focus seems to have parted ways with him. He recently failed to cover first base on a bunt attempt, and while his tendency to not run hard out of the box on grounders is generally harmless, occasionally it makes him look bad (e.g., balls that a fielder doesn't handle cleanly and his slow trot gives them time to recover and make the play at first).

No question that he was awful this postseason, but he does not have a history of always choking in the postseason, just of being streaky, as is his wont. That said, the Yankees can't afford another very expensive postseason disappearing act.

Which brings us to A-Rod. A-Rod's capacity for shrinking in the moment is more like a super-power than a tendency. It's like he was bitten by a radioactive Fredo, endowing him with the amazing capacity to do nothing right when it matters.

But I will give A-Rod this, while he can no longer hit, he can still make pitchers throw quality pitches. He doesn't expand the strike zone the way he used to, and so he at least helps contribute to wearing out pitchers, unlike Curtis Granderson, who on average sees -2.3 pitches per at-bat.

The biggest problem with A-Rod at this point is that a history of lower-body injuries more or less has deprived him of the ability to remain effective late into the season, let alone the postseason. This could be easily addressed by limiting A-Rod to DH duties, but that's a very expensive DH. Besides, he still plays a competent third base, but at this point you have to decide whether you'd rather have A-Rod the third baseman or A-Rod the power-hitter.

A-Rod also has a bad tendency to be a distraction, as his recent attempts to pick up women while benched has shown. But if the Yankees had swept the Tigers, no one would care. Sure, it would reinforce a perception we already have of A-Rod, but that's just the point, we already think A-Rod's an intolerable piece of $#!%, so he can't really further mar his reputation with on or off the field antics. All he can do is make us hate him as a player, which, except for 2009, we already do. So he really can't win.

The Yankees should never have extended him the way they did. Cashman knew as much, but it wasn't his call. So we just have to live with A-Rod, and if the Yanks can't trade him, they may have to think seriously about whether they should keep him in the field anymore. Occasional DH days are not enough to keep him healthy. Even with more than a month lost to a broken hand, his lower-body injuries caught up to him, slowing his bat and making it impossible for him to do anything more than accurately identify pitches he cannot catch up to.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Inevitable

The Good

In the eighth, with two outs, Cano hit a ground ball that he could have made it to first on, but mercifully trotted too slowly out of the box to make it there before Fielder, Prince Fielder, could beat him with his mind-blowing speed. That lazy play ended the inning and avoided an unnecessary delay of the inevitable.

The Bad

You could tell most of our hitters had given up in this series, but more than anything you could tell that this team is not the Yankees we like to remember. There's still talk of patience at the plate, and dangerous hitters throughout the line-up, but we must know in our hearts that isn't true anymore. It was true. A long time ago. The only player about whom that is still true played on a frayed ankle until it broke and somehow managed to be one of the most consistent hitters on the team. This is not a fight 'til you die, October is the only thing that matters team anymore. All the players know the mantra, but they lack any sense of the will or desire that makes it anymore than a platitude.

I realize they may have played well past their prime, but I miss guys like Bernie and Posada. Players so proud one of them hasn't even bothered to retire. Players that didn't swing meakly at balls out of the strike zone and then walk to the dugout like failure had been a foregone conclusion. We have good players on our team, but hardly any real gamers. Jeter, Ibanez, and late season rental Ichiro. That's it. Teixeira is the next closest player, but there are too many holes in that swing.

The Ugly

There was a rumor recently that the Yankees were in talks with the Marlins to trade A-Rod. It's not just that the Marlins showed this season that an attempt to spend like a big market team can't work for them, making such a trade highly implausible, it's that A-Rod is untradeable. Not without eating so much of the contract that you might as well DFA him outright and avoid the headache of trying to argue to another GM that they should be willing to take on more of that contract because of all A-Rod has to offer. Read that sentence again. Isn't the lie so profound it makes your soul die a little? You're welcome.

How Did We Even Score That Run

Not with a home run. Too bad we weren't donating based on the number of futile at-bats. There would be no childhood illnesses left had that been the case.

Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 3hr = $6
Curtis Granderson 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 1hr = $2
Eduardo Nunez 1hr = $2

Total Postseason Home runs 7hr = $14

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Yankees Have Reached Acceptance, And So Have I

The Good

For these last three games, our big bats have largely swung and missed, breathed a sigh of resignation, and headed back to the dugout as though not hitting was what they were actually paid to do. There is a term grief counselors use to describe this: acceptance. As I think is clear, I have been mired in the anger stage the last few days, but I too have reached acceptance. It's good, and it's liberating. I can go on with my life. Watch other television programs. I had a good time this evening with a televised debate. I've moved on.

The Bad

Did Nunez hit a lead-off home run in the ninth? Doesn't he understand we've reached acceptance? What the #$%& is his problem?! #$%& it, I'm back at anger!

The Ugly

How could you do this to me Ibanez? How? You were supposed to hit a home run! [Loud crying].

All We Have Left Is the Money

Nunez gives the kids $2 more.

Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 3hr = $6
Curtis Granderson 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 1hr = $2
Eduardo Nunez 1hr = $2

Total Postseason Home runs 7hr = $14

Smoke and Mirrors?

The LoHud Yankees blog recently posed the question of whether Girardi was harping on about replay as a way to shield his awful players. We thought this was a fair suggestion and thought we would speak to Girardi to find out whether there was any truth to this theory. The following is a transcript of our conversation:

RJG: Thanks for sitting down with us Joe.

JG: No problem. I've always admired the work you guys do. You are hands down the only thing worth reading on the internet, and possibly even ever, so thank you.

RJG: We appreciate that. After all, we do it for the kids. But let's get down to business.

JG: Shoot.

RJG: Have you been going on about the need for replay as a way of shielding your players' performances from attention?

JG: That is a good question.

RJG: Thank you.

JG: My response requires some background. First, are you familiar with these secret agent movies, ones like the Bourne trilogy, and Liam Neeson's recent 'Unknown'.

RJG: Yes, we are well acquainted with these ouvres. But, what does that have to do with our question?

JG: Stay with me.

RJG: Ok.

JG: So in all these movies the secret agent is a callous amoral killer who loses his memory only to regain it at some later point and juncture.

RJG: Yes.

JG: So how come when they regain their memory, they don't regain their callous amoral killer personality?

RJG: You're blowing my mind right now.

JG: I mean, if you're the sort of person who has no problem killing for a living, why would you, on the moment you get yourself back, suddenly have a moral conscience? Wouldn't you be like, 'Oh, that's right! I don't give a $#!% about killing people! I'll stop being a p@$$y now.'

RJG: You're so f#%&ing right! These movies don't make any sense at all!

JG: So you see, these movies really don't make any sense.

RJG: This has been an amazing interview! Life changing really! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!

JG: No problem guys, thanks for having me.

By the time we realized that Girardi had completely bamboozled us with his brilliant film criticism, it was too late. We'd completely forgotten to point out to him how awful his team was and the order in which his players are pieces of $#!%. We spent a lot of time on that list! That brilliant, evil genius bastard!

Monday, October 15, 2012

#$%@ the Yankees

The Good

My evening schedule should be much more open in about two more days. Also, it turns out Derek Jeter's ankle didn't break, it made a conscious decision to get away from this group of underperforming pieces of $#!%. It is always good when we take charge of our own lives. It's called empowerment.

Here's the only solution to the team's current problems: do not pick up the options on Swisher or Granderson, and don't re-sign Martin. Then, use all that money to sign Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli. Then, make sure Cano knows he's the next one to go if he doesn't learn to hit again.

The Bad

The bullpen was not exactly stellar last night, but that wasn't the bullpen's fault. Because the offense has gone silent except in the ninth, the Yanks have been forced into a lot extra inning games, causing them to lean heavily on their bullpen. These guys are spent. The starters are doing their job to spare them, but the offense insists that these guys get in every game.

The Ugly

Was Nick Swisher crying about what the right field fans were yelling at him? What a @#%*ing @#$%*. How about get a hit that matters sometime this postseason.

Are They on Strike?

That could explain it I guess.

Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 3hr = $6
Curtis Granderson 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 1hr = $2

Total Postseason Home runs 6hr = $12

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Better Ways to Have Fun in NYC

One of our commenters has noted that, with the way this team is playing, there are better ways to have fun in NYC than going to a Yankees game. I think this is true, and will now offer a list of things that are presently more fun to do in NYC then watch the Yankees:

1. Walk down 7th Ave. toward 42nd St behind a tourist family that has apparently never seen multi-story buildings or lightbulbs. Oh, and make sure you're late for something when you do.

2. Ride the subway and, wait for it, you're in a fight! Complete stranger. Never seen him before. Why is he so mad at you? Fun for everyone on the car!

3. Go rent a car on a week day around 5:30pm, and head anywhere. You'll love the driving experience!

4. Go to a park and watch mothers with toddlers in tow scream obscenities into a cellphone as though no one can see or hear them.

5. Go to a Mets game.

6. Go to any chain restaurant that you regularly visit in a smaller, suburban setting; order the same thing you always do without looking at the menu; and be amazed as you get a bill that is magically 15% higher than what you're used to for no apparent reason!

7. Go to any boutique in Manhattan, take the most hideous thing you see off the rack, and then attempt to buy it. Be amazed as your American Express Black Card gets declined for lack of sufficient credit!

Really, I could go on. All of these things are literally more fun than watching the Yankees whiff with RISP. I spend most of nine innings asking why 90% of the roster was even born. The broader implications for theodicy aside, I hate watching this team right now. But I will watch this team. I very much look forward to 4pm, when I can let everyone on the team know how much they suck.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Yankees Lose Game 1, Jeter

The Good

Let's not bother with this one.

The Bad

The Yankees wasted another clutch home run by Ibanez, managing not only to lose the game, but their captain in the process to a fractured ankle. The Yankees now have to face the rest of the postseason without one of the only players on their roster who consistently gets on base. This was a bad night.

The Ugly

Cano, Rodriguez, Granderson, and Chavez all went hitless tonight, and I blame them for the Jeter injury. These guys have to come through, not just swing through strikes. This is a game that should have never reached the twelfth. It did and we lost Jeter as a result. Chavez cannot keep getting pinch hit at-bats if he's going to be no more effective than A-Rod. This offense is awful, and I have to think that if the Yankees don't win the World Series, Kevin Long is gone as hitting coach. The Yankees have been failing with RISP too long for him to remain as hitting coach.

Still About the Babies

Home runs by Ichiro and Ibanez mean the kids still win.

Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 3hr = $6
Curtis Granderson 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 1hr = $2

Total Postseason Home runs 6hr = $12

Yanks Take ALDS, Face Tigers in ALCS

The Good

CC Sabathia continues to be the most dominant postseason pitcher since Mariano Rivera. Okay, maybe that's an overstatement, but he was dominant last night. A complete game, allowing only one run, and crushing twenty-five innocent baseball dreams in the process. Awesome.

Of course, the greatest highlight of the night came when Mark Teixeira manufactured a run. With his legs. What. The. F#&k?

The Bad

Despite scoring three runs, this offense still looks pretty bad. Cano is pointless. Granderson is only good for tack on runs but never tying or go-ahead runs. To score our first run we had to rely on Mark Teixeira's base stealing abilities. Things need to turn around here. At least I didn't have to watch A-Rod whiffing all night, but I'm sure that will change tonight. Great.

The Ugly

The Yankees have to turn around and immediately begin a new playoff series against Detroit. The Yankees couldn't even get drunk last night because of this ridiculous scheduling. They had to say things like, "Good game," and then drive home and sleep. Is that what we've reduced our athletics idols to? Sober drivers? For shame, MLB, for shame.

How We Pay Such a Low Effective Tax Rate

Curtis Granderson's tack on home run means another $2 for the kids.

Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 2hr = $4
Curtis Granderson 1hr = $2

Total Postseason Home runs 4hr = $8

Friday, October 12, 2012

Is It Me, Or Is This Offense Really Embarrasing?

The Good

Phil Hughes grew to the occasion of pitching in the post season throwing 6.2 innings of 1 run ball, and striking out 8 in the process.  Jeter and Nix both had a single and a double in the game, and that pretty much describes the bulk of our offensive output.

The Bad

Every year, there are guys who help get us a division, and then there's guys who help get us a world series.  The guys who help get us a division are the guys who perform well during the season, put up good numbers, and drive in plenty of runs.  The guys who help us win world series are the ones who grow to the occasion, and perform when it matters most.  The Yankee lineup is full of the former.  Just a quick glance at Swisher, Granderson, Cano, and A-Rod's performances, and you see guys who are all hitting under .150 through these 4 games.  Granderson's average sits at .063! 

Lets go through it:

-Granderson, who hit 43 homeruns this season, has gone 1-16 in the post season (a single), and has struck out 9 times.
-Swisher who hit .272 with 24 homeruns and 93 runs driven in, has gone 2-15, without a single extra base hit.
-A-Rod didn't do so well in the regular season, but Girardi is still batting him like he's a key contributor.  He's gone 2-16, without an extra base hit and 9 strikeouts.
-And Robinson Cano, who went .313 in the regular season with 33 homeruns, 94 RBI's and a .379 OBP, has gone 2-18 in the post season.

Mark Teixeira's been batting well, but he's batting more like a number 2 hitter.  Gets on base a lot, hits lots of singles, not exactly the number 3 guy we hope for.

Long story short, this team is incredibly dissapointing.  Our pitching, which was seen as the weak link this year, has been amazing.  But we keep playing like we're being fined for scoring runs.  1 run through 13 innings, with the offense that led the majors in homeruns?  Really?

If the Yankees hope for a chance in winning this, we need Ibanez, Chavez and Gardner taking at bats for Swisher, A-Rod, and Granderson.  I'd take Nix over A-Rod too.  Nix was seeing the ball well yesterday, and we can't afford to pull guys like that out of the lineup.

The Ugly

Now we're going to game 5 with all the momentum swinging in favor of Baltimore.  The Yankee offense is a joke, and Sabathia who has a history of choking in the post season, is getting the start.  This is the exact scenario we wanted to avoid.  If Sabathia pitches like he did in game 1, will the offense show up? 

Will the Yankees Please Think of the Children?

Not yesterday.

Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 2hr = $4  
Total Postseason Home runs 3hr = $6

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Yanks Take Game Three

The Good

Ibanez continues to prove that Brian Cashman is the greatest GM of all-time, even if he's a little clingy at times. A home run to tie the game in the ninth, and the game winning home run in the twelfth, mean the Yankees just need to play .500 ball over the course of the next to games to win the Series. Kuroda put in a dominant performance and was awarded the no-decision for his efforts. Way to go offense!

The Bad

Despite the win, this offense has looked very bad the last two games. This cannot continue if the Yankees intend to make a serious run at a World Series.

The Ugly

The A-Rod pinch hitting situation has obviously received its fair share of attention. A-Rod keeps saying he's seeing the ball well and that he expects to remain in the line-up, but here's the thing. He is seeing the ball well. He is not expanding the strike zone and chasing a lot of pitches in an attempt to do too much. What he's not doing is hiting the ball. He is consistently late on every swing he takes. The problem is not that he's not seeing the ball, but that he can't pull the trigger despite that fact. He needs to be knocked down in the line-up (and if this were any other player, he should probably be shifted to a part-time, bench role).

Spreading the Love

Ibanez's two home runs mean $4 more for the kids.

Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 2hr = $4

Total Postseason Home runs 3hr = $6

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

RJG Solves the A-Rod Dilemma

There has been a lot of talk about whether to drop Rodriguez in the line-up. This is a sensitive issue. We all remember that when Torre did it, A-Rod cried for so long that Torre had to write a book about it just to sift through all the unresolved emotions.

That was then. A-Rod was still a feared hitter. This is now. A-Rod can no longer catch up to a low 90s fastball. He looks like he gets beat by most off-speed pitches. Then he talks about putting together good at-bats.

Here's the thing, good at-bats that end with weak ground balls are bad at-bats. A postseason Major League lineup is no place for a guy who can't catch up to Freddy Garcia's best fastball. In fact, no Major League line-up is a place for someone like that. You know what is a good place for someone like that, though? The RJG blog offices.

Think about it. A-Rod could blog about the playoffs while competent players participate in it. He gets to feel self-important as millions of readers flock to his column, while simultaneously not suffering the embarrassment of hitting behind Eduardo Nunez.

There. RJG has solved the A-Rod dilemma. You're welcome.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Yankee Offense Losses Game

The Good

Pettitte pitched a great game, keeping the Orioles within striking distance with 7 innings of 3 run ball.  Jeter and Cano both drove in runs, and gave us hope. 

Robertson had a great yet unorthodox outing.  He basically only threw curveballs to the first two batters he faced, and they did not know what to do with that.  And then on his third batter, Reynolds, he started throwing the fastball.  All three batters were caught off guard.

The Bad

That hope provided by Cano and Jeter was never realized.  The Yankees continued to leave lots of player on base, and in scoring position.  Swisher and Granderson came up in big spots and did nothing with their at bats.  The problem is what we've been dealing with all season: the heart of our lineup is full of guys who can hit the ball far, but not when you need them to.

The Ugly

A-Rod needs to get back on the PED's quick!  A-Rod struck out twice, including the last out of the game.  A-Rod's bat looks like it can't catch up to major league pitching anymore.  I'm hoping that he can start hitting, but these games matter a little too much to keep an underperforming bat in the 3-spot.

We Win With Homeruns

And we didn't hit any yesterday, so that means both the Yankees and the Children lose.

Russel Martin 1hr = $2

Total Postseason Homeruns 1hr = $2

Keeping the Lights On Fiercely!

As some of you may know, we ran into some money issues when we mis-planned our budget for our website.  Currently, the budget for the website looks like this:

$500 - Children's Health Fund Donations
$800 - Yearly Video Phone Payment (For Calling Brian Cashman)
$5,000 - Respect Jeter's Gangster Office Rent
$1,500,000 - Paid subsidy to the Yankees for A-Rod's contract.

So far this year, our yearly income looks like this:

$8.63 - Found in Couch.

So as you see, we've run a slight deficit.  However, looking at the Yankees reminds us how bad it could really be.  I mean, we could have committed to paying $114 million to A-Rod between 2013 - 2017. Or $14 million to Rafael Soriano for next year.  Or $8.5 million for the next couple years towards a player who doesn't even play for us (Burnett). 

Now that we feel better about ourselves, we now offer you these words from our advertisers: look at players rewards cards. Especially if you're into gambling online.  If not, just remember how lucky you are to not have A-Rod as a line item in your budget.  Unless you're Hal Steinbrenner.  Then you should feel pretty awful.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Yanks Take Game One

The Good

CC Sabathia pitched the postseason game of his life, going 8.2 innings and allowing only two mercy runs. The Yankees absolutely pummeled Baltimore closer, Jim Johnson, whom they now call Dim Dumbson. He's still crying about that. Russell Martin continues to hit only if it matters, getting the go-ahead home run as the first at-bat of the ninth just as the TBS announcers had finished mentioning how impossible it was to hit Jim Johnson's sinker in cold weather.

The Bad

After the game, Russell Martin described his home run by saying, "I put good wood on it." (Source). Damn Russell, think before you speak.

The Ugly

The mood in Baltimore was somber. It wasn't supposed to happen like this. The Orioles had magic on their side. Magic. They were supposed to beat the Yankees at home, using magic taught to them by the wise old wizard, Buck Showalter.

Could it be there was no magic? That there had never been any magic? Can the collective psyche of a team whose oldest player can't purchase Harry Potter tickets without an accompanying adult handle the possibility of a game determined by skill honed through practice rather than mythical forces?

The tears that cleansed the clubhouse floor suggested no. They could not go on without magic. They had to believe, or they had to let their season die. Miserably. Die like the aura surrounding a Jim Johnson sinker facing the number eight hitter in a line-up. At least the clubhouse floor was clean.

Postseason Home Run Count

Some people forget about the children once October comes around, but not the kind and beautiful souls at RJG. Kofi Annan has called us a "global force for Good." But we're just doing what anybody else would do. We're not anything special. Just because we put our pants on two legs at a time doesn't mean we're better than you. We're much better than you but it's for other reasons.

Russell Martin 1hr = $2

Total 1 hr = $2

Sunday, October 7, 2012

As Game One Approaches, Bronny Cash Gets a Call

As the first game of the playoffs approaches, we at RJG decided it was time to give good friend and CFO of the blog, Bronny Cash a call on the good old video satellite phone. The following is a transcript of our conversation:

BC: Hello?

RJG: Hey Brian, it's me.

BC: Oh. I haven't heard from you in a long time . . .

RJG: Yeah, yeah. I've, um, been busy. The blog and the . . . ah . . . typing . . . you know how it is.

BC: No, yeah, it's just that, I thought I would've heard from you by now, I mean it seems like you have time to post updates . . .

RJG: Are you seriously going to do this to me right now?! The busiest time of year is coming up and I'm trying to talk to you and this is what you're going to do?! You're going to nag me?!

BC: First of all, the busiest time of year for you is the offseason, when you make up and then call me to suggest completely inane and stupid trades and free agent signings! Second of all, I know you've been responding to comments by Rich Mahogany! You don't think I read the comments section?! Do you know how embarrassing that is for me?! My friends read your blog!

RJG: This again?! Really?! I told you, I have to respond to Rich as part of my blogging duties! I can't keep having this conversation . . .

BC: Why don't you go comment about it to your whore?!

RJG: Whoa, that is not fair! Rich is a loving and decent human being! At least he comments on our blog! You've never commented! Never!

BC: How could you do this to me!

RJG: You're smothering me!

BC: I don't even know who you are anymore!

RJG: Look, I think I just need some space right now.

BC: You haven't talked to me since last March! That was over six months ago!

RJG: What are you, Tayler Swift now?! Are we never ever getting back together again ever?!

BC: How dare you demean my favorite contemporary country artist?!

RJG: I need to go . . .

BC: Fine, just go and comment with your little blog friends! See if I care!

RJG: Fine! See you in six months?

BC: Yeah, I'll be around. Good talk.

RJG: Yeah, this was nice.


There you have it folks! Brian Cashman feels very good about this team heading into the ALDS against Baltimore.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Roster Speculation Continues

With less than 24 hours before first pitch, Joe Girardi has yet to announce his roster for the ALDS. RJG has learned that Derek Jeter is expected to make the roster, despite lingering concerns about his 2010 season. Robinson Cano has not yet been told whether he will be on the team come tomorrow, but he has reported to Baltimore just in case. Future controversial second ballot hall of famer Alex Rodriguez has made the team, but is on a short leash. If he doesn't get back on PEDs, he may not be considered should the Yankees move on to the ALCS.

As the Yankees begin their workouts in Baltimore, they prepare to face a formidable opponent: father time. When game one begins on Sunday, the median age of the New York Yankees, based on projected rosters compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, will be 64.1. It is too late to get younger, but the Yankees are relying on their combined 153 years of postseason experience to carry them past the younger, faster, more agile, and generally better looking Baltimore Orioles.

It is impossible to tell what this ALDS will bring, but it will probably bring at least three games of baseball. The world waits with baited breath as the Yankees' date with Baltimore approaches. Will they get along? Will there be a second date? We don't want to put too much pressure on it, but here's hoping.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Jokes Aside for a Moment

On Wednesday, A's reliever Pat Neshek and his wife Stephanee lost their one day old son, Gehrig John Neshek. I can only imagine what it is to go through nine months of a pregnancy imagining and planning your future life with your new family only to have those plans and dreams shattered a single day later. Neshek now rejoins his team, an act whose bravery or strength will probably be largely touted over the course of Oakland's ALDS against Detroit. I just hope that as much as our well intentions may compel us to point out Neshek's bravery over and over again, that we also recognize that he probably needs room to grieve more than constant reminders of how brave he is. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Neshek family.

It All Begins

This Sunday the Yankees will begin the post season against the winner of the Texas and Baltimore wildcard game.  This is the best time of year.  The air is crisp, the games take on a higher meaning, and we see teams rise or fold against new challenges.  The biggest challenge for the Yankees will be consistency at the plate and in the rotation.  Sabathia hasn't exactly been the best post-season pitcher, and with Hughes pitching out of the 4th spot in the rotation, we really need to win the games Sabathia starts.  We've spent all season winning games with the long ball, and I don't expect that to change, but the Yankees may need to really buckle down in their at bats with runners in scoring position.  Those aren't times to swing for the fences, and strikeout.  Our ability to get timely hits will be key, and if we can get some quality starts, we should be in good shape.

For this year, the RJG will continue to donate $2 for every homerun hit to the Children's Health Fund, with the added bonus that for every homerun Jeter hits, we will donate $5!  Jeter is known for his post season dramatics, and we're hoping some added pop will be apart of that this year.

We'll see this coming Sunday!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Division Winners!

The Good

There's a lot that can fall in this category, so lets start from the biggest and work our way down:

We Won the Division!
-The Orioles lost to the Rays giving us the division in the middle of the game, but the Yankees were already playing like the season came down to this game, which is a good sign for their post season prospects. 

The Yankees Have Had to Fight the Last Few Weeks
-This is good because the team was extremely one dimensional.  That one dimension was the long ball.  They still rely on the long ball, but we've had some timely hitting, and quality pitching of late as well.  Plus, Ichiro's presence in the lineup has added a speed element we've been missing all season.  Although he's only been here since late July, he's already stolen more bases than any other player on this team.  That should tell you something.

The Yankees Crushed the Ball Yesterday
-I know, we weren't facing a competent Boston team, but there's nothing like ending a season with an exclamation point.  2 homeruns from Granderson and 2 from Cano was a great way to end the season.  Not to mention Kuroda's 7 innings of 2 run ball.  A little bit of a confidence booster can go a long way.

The Bad

Teixeira went 0-3 and felt left out of the hitting party that was going on.  I mean even Gardner got a hit, and he didn't even start the game.

The Ugly

Activists gathered together outside of the clubhouse protesting against the greed and waste of the Yankees.  "Just look at how much champagne they're spilling on the ground." Explained one activist.  "That's enough to intoxicate an entire village in a third world country.  Are we really that wasteful?" 

Fitting End to the Season

4 homeruns, 2 each from Cano and Granderson led the blowout yesterday.  We end the season with $490 worth of donations going to the Children's Health Fund.  That's pretty amazing!

Raul Ibanez 19hr = $38
Nick Swisher 24hr = $48
Andruw Jones 14hr = $28
Derek Jeter 15hr = $30
Curtis Granderson 43hr = $86
Alex Rodriguez 18hr = $36
Robinson Cano 33hr = $66
Mark Teixeira 24hr = $48
Eric Chavez 16hr = $32
Russell Martin 21hr = $42
Jayson Nix 4hr = $8
Dewayne Wise 3hr = $6
Chris Stewart 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 5hr = $10
Casey McGehee 1hr = $2
Steve Pearce 1hr = $2
Eduardo Nunez 1 hr = $2
Chris Dickerson 2 hr = $4  

Total 245 hr = $490

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Yanks Win Tense Game They Did Their Best to Lose

The Good

Remember back in Spring Training when we were all trying to convince Bronny Cash that Ibanez was the worst signing he ever made and that he should DFA him before he completely ruined his legacy and job security? Good thing he didn't listen to us.

The Bad

How many of us still want Curtis Granderson signed long term? Don't get me wrong. Like most Americans, I consider the strikeout one of the most exciting plays in sports. It's just that I like it when one my pitchers does it, not one of my hitters.

The Ugly

The As have tied up the AL West with one game to play. If Texas were to lose later today, there exists the real possibility that the team once considered the best in baseball will not even have a real presence in the postseason (if they lose the wild card playoff). That would be ugly if you're Texas.

The Only Way to Score

The Yanks seem to think so anyway. Ibanez had the game's sole home run, a two-run shot that tied the game in the ninth.

Raul Ibanez 19hr = $38
Nick Swisher 24hr = $48
Andruw Jones 14hr = $28
Derek Jeter 15hr = $30
Curtis Granderson 41hr = $82
Alex Rodriguez 18hr = $36
Robinson Cano 31hr = $62
Mark Teixeira 24hr = $48
Eric Chavez 16hr = $32
Russell Martin 21hr = $36
Jayson Nix 5hr = $10
Dewayne Wise 3hr = $6
Chris Stewart 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 5hr = $10
Casey McGehee 1hr = $2
Steve Pearce 1hr = $2
Eduardo Nunez 1 hr = $2

Total 240 hr = $480

Keeping the Lights On at the RJG

Here at the RJG we like to make sure that the children are supported.  That's why we donate $2 for every homerun hit by the Yankees to the Children's Health Fund.  But then the Yankees go ahead and have a year like they did, and all of a sudden we owe $490.  This is where investing our money wisely pays huge dividends, and what better place to invest than in online sports gambling sites.  Yes, following in the footsteps of Pete Rose, and the 1919 White Sox, we make our money the old fashioned way. 

You see, gambling on sports is not just limited to March madness, though that might be the time that sees the highest occurence of gamblers who don't know anything about what they're gambling on.  It can be a year round thing, boxing, baseball, football, underground cat fighting rings, and basketball keep Las Vegas running all 365 days a year.

So if you are looking to gamble, and don't know how to count cards, consider sports to be the honorable venue to place your bets.  Just make sure that you gamble things like your beer money, and not your life savings.  That way if you lose it, you actually become a more responsible and sober member of society. 

Two in a Row for the Yanks

The Good

The Yankees have now won two straight games. Sabathia is still pitching amazing, kind of like me. In last night's game, everyone on the 40 man hit a home run against the once-upon-a-time future of pitching, Clay Buchholz. Buckle he did. That's his new nickname. Buckles. It's funny because it sounds like his last name anyway. That's how comedy works

The Bad Playing Boston is kind of depressing. I mean, they're our rival and all, and I want to beat them, but right now, it's sort of like beating up a toddler. Who's in the hospital. Dying of West Nile virus. That's not cool. It's still fun but it's not cool.

The Ugly

Phil Hughes did not pitch well. Had the Toronto hitters made their way into his fragile head, made soft by what I can only assume is a plentiful diet of Captain Crunch, as recommended by his nutritionist CC Sabathia? No. Hughes had lost his ability to concentrate, distraught by thoughts he was thinking that were making him think.

"This NFL referee situation is really messing with my head," explained a significantly fatter Hughes. "I mean, the league basically didn't want to pay $3 million out of $9 billion for a pension, and demanded the right to fire under performing officials who were ruining the game. I mean, we all know how awful the regular officials are, right? Right? But now we've seen what actually under performing officiating looks like, and it's nothing like the regular officials. It went from occasional missed calls to only missed calls. The richest league in the world couldn't cough up .04% of their revenue for these officials? Couldn't stop scapegoating them and claiming they were under performing and ruining games? What did they end up with? A bunch of refs who actually were under performing and ruining games."

"Yeah, the owners are d#%ks, what's the point?" asked one exasperated reporter who was late for his kid's thing that he wasn't supposed to miss for some reason.

"Well, doesn't anyone else think that the league's position on officials sounds an awful lot like the national discourse on our supposedly horrible school teachers? What if teacher's unions aren't the problem and we actually underpay and under appreciate teachers who, though they may not be perfect, do a very difficult job with an impressive measure of competence, just like the regular refs?"

Was this a pro-union sentiment coming from Phil Hughes?

"No, of course not. I'm just saying I'm glad to see the regular refs back."

Phil Hughes then broke down and wept. Our colleague missed his kid's thing. He hates Phil Hughes.

Home Runs Count

The Yankees continue to hit home runs at an RJG budget-busting pace. Since our last update, Chavez (2), Cano (also 2), Granderson (also 2), Martin (really?), and Teixeira have all hit home runs. That's $18 more for the kids, and the taxpayers who will eventually have to bail us out.

Raul Ibanez 18hr = $36
Nick Swisher 24hr = $48
Andruw Jones 14hr = $28
Derek Jeter 15hr = $30
Curtis Granderson 41hr = $82
Alex Rodriguez 18hr = $36
Robinson Cano 31hr = $62
Mark Teixeira 24hr = $48
Eric Chavez 16hr = $32
Russell Martin 21hr = $36
Jayson Nix 5hr = $10
Dewayne Wise 3hr = $6
Chris Stewart 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 5hr = $10
Casey McGehee 1hr = $2
Steve Pearce 1hr = $2
Eduardo Nunez 1 hr = $2

Total 239 hr = $478