Friday, October 29, 2010

Giants Take Game 2

Is anyone watching this series? I was considering catching a game at some point, but I'm having a hard time gaining any sort of interest in this series. I'm way more interested in seeing what AL east teams will do in the off season, and the off season won't start until this world series is over. Therefore my only real interest in the world series is its end. That might not be great news for Bud Selig and the general interest of baseball as a sport, but it is what it is. My guess is that the Giants will sweep.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Clifftopher Lee

Bet you didn't know that was his name, did you? After his implosion in game 1 yesterday, it is time to discuss Cliff Lee. Three things immediately come to mind.

1. Cliff Lee is human. He's not always going to be lights out in the playoffs. Even Halladay had a bad day against these Giants and he was coming off a no-hitter. Bottom line, there is no team out there who is better off without Cliff Lee in October than with. Further, the Rangers can't win if Lee doesn't win his games (sorry Rangers). And if Texas loses the World Series they will be less of a contender for Lee during free agency than they will if they win.

2. The Giants were aggressive and were successful against Lee. We largely sat by and watched him strike us out a lot. WTF?

3. There is still the lingering issue of whether Lee's wife's experience at Yankee Stadium will sway his decision. The short answer: no. But I wouldn't be terribly upset if it did. I love going to games, but I'm always worried who I'm going to end up having to sit nearby. I will no longer even consider the bleachers as a result. If boorish fans cost us a major free agent, perhaps there'd be more of a willingness to police ourselves. I doubt it, but one can hope.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sabathia to have knee surgery, Yankee fans unkind to Lee's wife

A couple pieces of Yankees related news, it appears that CC Sabathia is going to have knee surgery to fix a meniscus tear in his right knee. This is when you start feeling a little uneasy about his weight, but we shouldn't jump to conclusions just yet. What people tend to forget is that CC Sabathia is a vampire. What else explains his super human tendencies, his enormous workload, his amazing strength, his thirst for blood, his pinpoint accuracy? I suspect Sabathia will be good and ready to play next season.

Also of interest, it appears Cliff Lee's wife was not all too impressed by Yankee fans who harassed her during the game. It doesn't surprise me that we would harass a player's wife, what does surprise me is that we were dumb enough to do it to Cliff Lee's wife. We can definitely write the bigger check, so the only thing that can work against us is anything that can be placed in the cons column to playing in New York. One of these cons is our amazing drunken vocabulary at postseason games, and our general disregard for feelings. I think a few extra million could go a long way in mending some fences.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Eiland First Off-Season Casualty

Dave Eiland was fired by Brian Cashman yesterday afternoon. Cashman had organized an elaborate birthday party in which a giant cake was rolled out for Eiland. When the crowd had finished singing happy birthday, Cashman jumped out of the cake and fired Eiland on the spot.

No reason has been given for the firing, but I suspect the Yankees are looking for a coach who might be able to fix AJ Burnett. Who that coach is, I don't know. That coach probably doesn't exist. But if the Yankees think they can find the pitching equivalent of Kevin Long, so be it. It can't hurt to try I suppose.

Cashman did make clear that Eiland was not being blamed for the Yanks postseason failures. That's possible, but Eiland is quite clearly the most responsible for the Yankees' lethargic play against Texas. He didn't play a single inning, he didn't have a single RBI or run scored. Nothing. He just stood in the dugout watching. What's that all about?

Back from Vacation

I made it back from an epic cruise around the mediterranean just in time to see the Yankees lose to Texas in the ALCS. I would like to say that I didn't see it coming, but the truth is the Yankees haven't had all that much fight in them since September. Sure they had some come from behind wins and such, but the general will to win seemed to be missing. But now we enter the best season of baseball, the hot stove season. Yeah the world series hasn't started yet, but no one cares about that. This is the time for speculation and convoluted trade ideas. As I've yet to really sink into the baseball atmosphere, and catch up on the news, I will for now hold off on my speculation, and just say that I am back, and I'm glad to see people have kept this site fun while I was gone.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Pettitte Question

The Yanks want Andy Pettitte back. Pettitte still wants to pitch, but he's been torn between commitments to the game and commitments to his family for some time. I've often wondered why the Yankees haven't considered doing a partial season deal with Pettitte the way they did with Clemens those last couple years when he was running on steroid fumes. Why not let Andy join the team in May or June rather than February for Spring Training? This would give him more time with his family and also help keep him fresher. He's not getting any younger.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Aw Shucks

Well, that's it. The season is over and the Yankees won't be champions again. That's baseball. Two months ago, would any of you have thought that an AL East team wouldn't advance to the World Series?

MLB must be busy readying emotionally charged montages that tell the story of postseason frustration in Texas and play up the potential for a first World Series for the Rangers. They better be, because no one cares about a Texas v. Giants/Phillies World Series. Yanks-Phils? Round two between the titans. Yanks-Giants? New Yorkers still mad about the Polo Grounds. Texas-Anybody Else? Who gives a $#!%. My guess is ratings won't exactly be great.

There are, of course, more important things to think about than the ratings right now. Girardi, Jeter, Rivera, and Cliff Lee are all up for new contracts in New York. The Yanks now have to decide by just how much to overpay all four.

Other issues have also arisen. It turns out that the warning track is like an ice rink; it almost killed Lance Berkman. Berkman, it should be noted, is an experienced figure skater. That should give you an indication of just how slick and dangerous that warning track is.

The Yankees also need to decide what to do about Kerry Wood. He may want another opportunity to close, but the Yankees would be wise to attempt to sign him to serve as Mo's set up man. Perhaps that will give them an opportunity to trade players like Robertson or Joba for some additional prospects.

Decisions, decisions.

Friday, October 22, 2010

It Has to be Said

I'm sorry, but this has to be said. Phil Hughes grew up in California. He has no excuse for the mullet he's got going in this picture of him (I won't post it here directly because it's hard to look at). It's bad enough that he's clearly well on the path of just completely letting himself go. At least cut your #*&@ing hair! You already cut the sides and the top, trim that $#!% in the back. Believe me, your barber isn't charging you less just because he's only having to do three of four sides. Cut it. Just cut it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another Travel Day

It's not as bad as last year. On this date last year the Yankees were preparing for their two week vacation between games 2 and 3 of the ALDS. I'm pretty sure I was unwrapping presents under the tree as the Yanks were clinching the World Series. But travel days are always boring. No news. Pretending we care about the NLCS. It's awful. But that's what we do. We do it because we love baseball and we love baseball because the alternative for a national pastime is soccer. We're not about to love soccer, so we love baseball. It's nothing against soccer, it's just that, you know, it's soccer. It's cool when you're six and your mom is unsure about letting you play pee wee football, but after that. . .

At least it's just one day. Tomorrow is game six. Hughes is up, preparing to put his last start behind him. Technically it's already behind him, but Hughes doesn't experience time linearly, so he can't put it behind him until after tomorrow's game (assuming he doesn't suck). Hughes's legacy is on the line. I don't want to put pressure on the young man, but his whole career is staring him in the face right now. Let's hope he doesn't blink.

Will the offense show up? The plane charter suggests they will arrive in Texas, but that's no guarantee of on-field performance. Besides, the Rangers have a sports psychologist who tells them stuff like, "good game," and "go get 'em, sport." The Yankees will have to overcome this organizational disadvantage. The Yanks are currently without a sports psychologist, but Jorge Posada has volunteered to serve as clubhouse chaplain. Granted, his usual conversation starter of "what the #%&@ are you looking at?" isn't that inviting. We'll see whose method is superior over the course of these next two games.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Game 5, Change We Can Believe In?

Looks like the Yankees are the hope mongers now. The Yanks came out aggressive against CJ Wilson, a pitcher who was dominant against us in game 1 of this series. CC gave us six strong innings. Kerry Wood struck out Josh Hamilton just to make him feel bad. Mo closed it out. All in all, it was awesome.

But it raises some issues. The Yanks now have to take two games on the road. Not impossible, but difficult. It's do or die right now and the Yanks have no room for error. Hughes needs to come out and pitch like he's played this game before, or at least heard of it. He cannot repeat his game two performance. Even if the Yanks put up a nine spot in the top of the first, Hughes has to give us some reasonable length. We can't burn the bullpen with a looming game seven against Cliff "I Think I'm So Cool" Lee.

The key to the game will be winning. If the Yankees do that, they set themselves up well for a game seven.

Game 4, Damn

It's not looking good folks. At least we have CC on the mound today, but it's not looking great. We can't hit. We can't pitch consistently unless we're named Andy Pettitte (Pettitte...I rarely even know it?). We can't even try to bunt a few guys on to get a base runner on for Cano (who's ridiculous right now).

What can the Yankees do? I'm sure they've already filled out a blank check to present to Cliff Lee after the World Series is over.

They could call Bud Selig and apologize that the ratings for a Texas-San Fran World Series are going to be so awful. The series itself might be good, but it's kind of a tree falling in the woods situation. Nobody's there to give a $#!%. I'm pretty sure that's how it goes.

It's been a long season, but I would do some sit-ups if I was a Yankee right about now. You'll be on a beach soon and you'll want to look good.

I know, I know. I shouldn't just give up on the season. We're still in this thing. But this team hasn't exactly shown a lot of resilience as of late, so I'm prepared to let my mind drift to what trades and free agent signings we should make. Granted, if they move on to the next round, I'll be all Randy Quaid in Major Leagues, acting like I knew they would make it all along. The nice thing about having a comedy blog is that if someone says to you, "you literally wrote they should start in on their vacation plans," I just say, "It's irony a@$$hole."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Game 3, Ugly

I suppose it doesn't matter that D-Rob gave up five runs and recorded one out. When you score exactly zero runs it doesn't matter whether the other team scored one or a one million. The Yanks are now in a hole, and the Rangers are not letting up. If they take the next two games it won't really matter, but last night they blew the only great pitching performance they've received. I know Lee was on the mound, but you have to find a way. If you can't hit the guy, maybe try the occasional bunt. See if you can catch the defense off guard. The New York Times yesterday had a blog post on how you might beat Cliff Lee. One of them was to test Michael Young with the bunt, as he is one of the worst 3d baseman at fielding bunts. Sure, the Yankees aren't exactly small ball, but when all you've done is strike out, maybe switch it up a little bit. No such switching up was forthcoming. The Rangers then proceeded to hand us our own rear end. And in our own home! All I know is, it's Cash's fault. Lee would have been pitching game two for us if we'd only been willing to include Nova in a trade. So that's that.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Game 2, Bad

It was a very simple request. All I asked of Hughes was to go 8 innings and spare the bullpen. He went four, gave up seven runs, and didn't spare anybody anything. If you're like most Yankee fans you're probably thinking to yourself, "Why was I even born?" We need not go there yet, however. The Yankees now face Cliff Lee in game 3. We have to hope he finally has a game in which he doesn't go 8 or 9 innings, gives up 2 or less runs, then throws a rock through somebody's windshield just because he can. He can't be lights out every time out, and he's due for a simply decent outing if not a bad one. Pettitte's on the mound and has a way of rising to any post-season challenge. Unlike Hughes and Sabathia, Pettitte will probably benefit from the longer lay off than usual. The offense needs to come through if Pettitte hangs tough. Hopefully we have it in us.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Game 1, Good

I'm not really in the mood to do a full fledged game review. Obviously Sabathia did not give us quite what we wanted, but we came through with another come from behind win. All Hughes has to do is go 8 innings tonight and spare our bullpen, then we're good. You might say that's unfair to Hughes, but I'm not going to dignify that with a response.

The offense really came to life in the 8th, going a full seven hitters before giving up an out. The Texas bullpen did not exactly come through for their team, but they sure came through for ours. I think we should give them a hand of applause.

With Lee still a game away, this game was pretty important for Texas. Not only do they hand the ball over to someone not named Cliff Lee, they now have to deal with that "no lead is safe" feeling that is oh so familiar in Minnesota. This should be an interesting game 2.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Things to Think About

The Yankees have announced their rotation and it is as follows:


Now a couple of posts ago someone commented that it made sense to match up Burnett with Lee, since if we're going to take an automatic loss anyway, it doesn't really matter what Burnett does. This seemed pretty sensible, and I wondered why the Yanks didn't go that route. The main reason, I would guess, is that you want CC, Hughes, and Pettitte set up for games 5, 6, and 7. That may mean burning one of Pettitte's starts if Lee does his usual playoff thing of going 8 or 9 innings and giving up almost nothing, but it also means only having to start Burnett once.

Another issue is why pitch Hughes second. My guess is that the Yankees are aware of how much better Hughes has pitched on the road, and as good as he pitched at home in game three, why gamble?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Rotation

With the Yankees announcing that they will carry four starters in the ALCS, we can now discuss how we think the Yankees should line up their pitchers and who their fourth starter should be. One suggestion, made in the comments section of the previous post, was to line up Burnett with Lee or Price, so that it doesn't really matter what happens when he pitches. That seems a sensible plan, but I'm not prepared to accept that Burnett should be in the rotation over, say, volunteers from the crowd. I'd still line up that volunteer against Lee or Price, but I think choosing a fan at random gives us the best chance to compete. There will be no advanced scouting, and the Rays' hitters won't be used to the inevitably slower pitches. It will also give the bullpen an advantage, as their pitches will be harder to pick up after a few innings of having to swing at fifty-something mph pitches. As far as I know, there is no rule banning volunteers from the stands from starting a Major League playoff game. You can't do it in the regular season, but I think it's okay in the playoffs. Clearly, that is our best option.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Good Ol' Days

I remember the good ol' days. The smell of the fresh cut grass, pine tar placed expertly by the on deck circle, playing games that really mattered. It seems like a lifetime ago, but it was two days ago. If you're like me, you're already in withdrawal. The Yanks don't play again until Friday. We're still waiting for the rest of these no-talent, unable to sweep their opponent teams to finish their series so we can move on to the League Championships. This sucks. As much as I appreciate that our older guys can use the time off to nap, rant about hippies, and complain that us young'uns don't show them enough respect, this sucks.

As a public service I've decided to give some tips for how we can all manage through the malaise of six days without Yankees baseball. You're probably thinking I should write a game review instead. But I have writer's block right now and that's not going to happen. Besides, you should know by now how it all turned out. Unless, of course, you blinked and missed the entire series (way to put up a fight Minnesota). Just in case, I will give the following quick review: we won.

Now, most of us have jobs or other responsibilities to attend to during the day, so wandering around in a drunken stupor for a week is a no go. You could watch other teams play baseball. This will give you an advantage when yelling at the screen during Yankees' games against those other teams. You'll know the opposing players' names, some of their positions, maybe even some strengths and weaknesses.

Another option is to read a book. It's okay if it has pictures in it, and it will help kill time.

You could also spend inordinate amounts of time on baseball blogs leaving comments regarding your predictions for upcoming series. Granted, you're probably already doing that.

You could try writing the next great American novel. You won't succeed. In fact, you won't even get past the first two pages, but it will kill your week long wait real fast.

Now that you've got some good, nay, great ideas for how to spend the next week, go ahead and get hammered anyway. It's just easier.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I just wanted to post a quick note on the lack of game updates recently. My brother is away on vacation and my internet the last few days has been acting up. I rarely get more than a few minutes at a time of working internet, and so I will return to posting regular updates once the issue is resolved.

Uh-oh . . .

That's what I would be thinking if I'm any team that might have to face the Yankees after Pettitte's performance last night. With CC out front, and Pettitte back to form, the Yanks may be looking like front runners once again. It's funny how different this team looks in the playoffs. Assuming CC is CC and Pettitte continues to pitch like he did last night, we may have a date with Philly coming up. (And yes, I think Philly takes the NL).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Sabathia Factor

Much has been made about the Yankees desire to avoid Cliff Lee in a short series during the ALDS. But not as much attention has been paid to the Sabathia factor. Sure, everyone acknowledges he is our best pitcher, and probably our only sure thing in these playoffs. No one, however, has seemed to mention that Sabathia is about as close to a guaranteed ALCS appearance as one can have. In a short series, he almost guarantees you two of the three wins you need. That leaves one victory to be garnered by Pettitte or Hughes. Maybe we never get that victory, but I would not like to be the team that has to face Sabathia twice in a short series.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Three Amigos?

Many are suggesting the Yankees will go with a three man rotation in the first round. This year's playoff schedule won't be quite as amenable as last year's, which enabled the Yankees to use CC Sabathia on three days rest every single game of the playoffs and World Series, so the Yankees are going to have to be creative.

Clearly, in a short series you can't afford automatic losses, so Vazquez and Burnett are both out. That leaves Pettitte, Hughes, and Nova as potential starters behind CC. It seems the Yanks are inclined to go with CC, Pettitte, and Hughes, but I do think Nova deserves consideration. Sure, you have to limit him to no more than five innings, since he implodes late in games, but with AJ and Javy in the 'pen you should be able to get around that. I'm sure the Yanks won't risk Nova in the first round, but he should be on call in case Hughes struggles in his start, and on tap for the ALCS. He is clearly our best fourth option.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Public Apology and Red Sox Series Review

First off, let me apologize for the lack of game updates this weekend. My brother is now on a cruise and I have been fighting ninjas for the better part of the weekend. These scheduling conflicts inevitably happen and I apologize that you, the loyal reader, have to suffer for it. Here's the belated series review:

The Good

The best thing about this weekend is that we are now set up to play the Twins in the first round. Sure, home field would've been nice, but playing the Twins instead of the Rangers in the first round is nicer.

The Bad

I'll go with 1-2 record over the weekend. That said, I can't feel that bad. Not surprisingly, we split the double header. Both games went into extras and it's tough to win both games of a double header. Maybe we're more competitive on the last game if we don't play two the day before. No excuses, but for a team already guaranteed a playoff spot, you can't blame them for not killing themselves to win an essentially meaningless series in Boston.

The Ugly

Remember April? Remember how fresh everything was? Weather turning, birds chirping, AJ pitching well? Remember when AJ had his first bad game in five starts and everyone started writing about his inconsistency and I jumped all over them for getting on a guy who had pitched four straight really good starts and one bad one? Oh how sour those words taste now. AJ has been awful for pretty much the whole season. April and June were exceptions I suppose, but they don't make up for how poorly he's pitched overall. It's been, to say the least, ugly.

The Final Count

Cano and Swisher each had one home run in the weekend series. That brings the total home run count to 201, making for a $402 donation from RJG.

Posada 18hr = $36
Granderson 24hr = $48
Cano 29hr = $58
Swisher 29hr = $58
Jeter 10hr = $20
Johnson 2hr = $4
Rodriguez 30hr = $60
Teixeira 33hr = $66
Thames 12hr = $24
Gardner 5hr = $10
Winn 1hr = $2
Miranda 3hr = $6
Curtis 1hr = $2
Kearns 2hr = $4
Nunez 1hr = $2
Berkman 1hr = $2
Total = $402

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Yanks Rained Out

The Good

The visiting clubhouse at Fenway has a sound roof, and the Yankees were able to stay dry despite the rain.

The Bad

I'm sure every contending team loves a double header just days before the playoffs begin.

The Ugly

With an off-day between the Toronto and Boston series, many Yankees took the opportunity to go to their local cinema. At least one Yankee was not happy.

"I went to go see 'The Other Guys'," explained Jeter. "They cut all my best stuff out of the movie. Nobody cuts Derek Jeter! Nobody!"

Andy Pettitte was also less than pleased.

"I saw a preview for Tron Legacy," said Pettitte. "Apparently I'm supposed to care about a second Tron, but I'm pretty sure the first Tron's only Legacy is that you vaguely remember a brightly colored motorcycle race but don't actually have any idea what that movie was about."

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

No home runs during the rain out.

Posada 18hr = $36
Granderson 24hr = $48
Cano 28hr = $56
Swisher 28hr = $56
Jeter 10hr = $20
Johnson 2hr = $4
Rodriguez 30hr = $60
Teixeira 33hr = $66
Thames 12hr = $24
Gardner 5hr = $10
Winn 1hr = $2
Miranda 3hr = $6
Curtis 1hr = $2
Kearns 2hr = $4
Nunez 1hr = $2
Berkman 1hr = $2
Total = $398

Friday, October 1, 2010

Off Day Post

Tampa lost yesterday to KC and are now tied with the Yankees for first place in the AL East. The Yanks now head to Boston, while the Rays continue their vacation . . . I mean, series against KC. Personally, I hope the Rays take the division. I say this for two reasons. First, I'd rather play Minnesota in the first round than Texas. Second, I like the idea of the Rays wearing themselves out for a division title that is basically meaningless. We have playoffs now, not just a regular season and a World Series, so winning divisions only matters to the extent it gets you in the playoffs. Reaching the playoffs, however, is a non issue for both the Yanks and Rays, so if the Rays want to expend a bunch of energy for a prize they've actually already achieved (since what is important is the playoff berth, not the division), I say go for it.

These next three games in Boston will be played up because of what happened 6 years ago. Of course I'm referring to Bush's reelection, which was precipitated by Boston winning the World Series. Sorry, it had to be said. But it also must be said that what happened 6 years ago has nothing to do with this team. Every time we play Boston now we have to hear about the ghosts of 2004. But there are no ghosts. Boston is not in our head. They haven't dominated us or anything like that. And while there is still a rivalry there, you don't worry about how you're going to take a series from a team that in a few days will be watching you play from their luxurious leather sofas in some swanky condo or Vegas hotel room with whatever 18-22 year old company they've paid for for the evening. We've already failed to line up our pitchers just the way we want so the important thing right now is to rest our guys, especially those who have been hurt recently, and be prepared to enter the playoffs rested.

Sure, we need to worry about momentum. After all, you cannot play successful baseball without momentum. That's why if you even have the slightest of losing streaks, your season is over. Oh, wait. That's bull$#!%. Never mind. With a team this old, rest is a greater concern than momentum. These guys know how to win, but they don't know how to be 23 again.