Saturday, May 17, 2008

So, what's going on with the Yankees?

Yesterday was rained out, so Rasner will miss his start as Pettitte takes the hill today against the rival Mets (1:05 on YES.) Amongst the fans this rivalry nearly equals that of Yankees-Red Sox. Pettitte was given the nod because he has always been a big game pitcher.

As much as I respect Andy, I think Giradi is making a mistake. He already pushed Rasner back to start the Mets series, and now he's pushing him back again. It's not just an issue of fairness, it's an issue of long term effect for the Yankees. While Pettitte, Wang, and Mussina have been doing well, the Yankees need 2 more dependable starters, and Rasner has done well in his 2 starts. I know the long term plans are for him to be a long reliever/spot starter but the rest of the staff is breaking down. He has earned the respect of a regular spot in the rotation. I don't know if he'll be there when Hughes comes back, but until he loses the job, it should be his.

At the quarter season mark, how does this team look? It's hard to give an accurate assesment. They are in last, but only 5 games off the pace. At only two (2) games under .500, they are not terrible. They have been wracked by injuries to key players. It's hard to score when 2 of the biggest bats are out, especially when their replacements are awful. The team struggles continue as half of the team is at or below .200.

But fans always look for the bright side, the light at the end of the tunnel. I've found the light. A-Rod is due back Tuesday, and Posada is starting to throw, so he is not far behind. Getting those big bats back in the lineup makes everyone better. Cano is showing some signs of life at the plate. The big 3 pitchers have delivered thus far. The pen has been strong, and Girardi seems to be using them well. Farnsworth is pitching like he should, and Joba and Mo are nearly lights out every time, while Hawkins and the rest are getting the job done consistently.

Lastly, quite a few teams in other divisions are having problems, so the all important wild card slot may be wide open.

I have hope they will get through this once the team is back at full strength, the Yankees will be back and challenge for the AL East title.

Go Yankees

Friday, May 16, 2008

Subway Series starts tonight

While it may get rained out, the two struggling teams from NY are scheduled to battle it out at 7:05 at the Cathedral on TV 9 in NYC. Santana faces Rasner as both squads look to get back on the winning track after both suffered humiliating 3 of 4 series losses to teams they should have spanked.
I suppose I should mention yesterday's game. Ian Kennedy took the ball against Scott Kazmir. Ok, one of the worst Yankees pitchers, against one of the best in the AL. Yankees hitters mired in an awful slump. As predicted before the game, the Yankees were going to get smoked, and they did. Kennedy left early enough that the Rays were held to only 5 runs, but the Yankee hitters continued to struggle at the plate, amassing 7 singles as the power outage continues. Half of the Yankee starting team had averages near or below .200.
The current Rays staff and team has reminded me of one of the most famous squads in MLB history--The Baby Birds. These were the young Baltimore Orioles of the early-mid 1960's that eventually became one of the best teams in the AL, dominating the league for many years. They featured good young pitchers, and decent hitting. This Rays team is showing that kind of potential.


Go Yankees

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Yankees Win, finally (Caution Red Sox Photo included)

It wasn't pretty, but I'll take it. 2-1 against the division leading (I'll never get used to saying that) Rays wasn't exactly a huge victory, but it's a start. Mussina was great as he picked up his 6th win as he pitched 6.1 innings of one run ball. The bullpen then nailed the door shut. Joba struck out 3 in his one inning of work, and Mo picked up his 11th save.

The offense, as has become their habit lately, was awful.
5 singles (4 by Cano who finally got his average over .200) along with a couple doubles (Matsui, Abreu) really is sad.

Tonight, Ian Kennedy takes the ball against Kazmir at 4:10 at Trop Field. Only good thing I can find about this is at least the game will be over early.

Looking around the league, Manny (the only Red Sox player, ever that I don't hate--yeah, sure, Sean Casey I like, but he's only a Sox temporarily. Plus he's a Jersey guy) Ramirez made a play for the ages last night. It is protected by MLB copyright, so I can't put it here, but I'm sure it is available at or the It can still be found on some video (Google Manny Ramirez catch) but it's being removed almost as quickly as it is posted.

It has been on ESPN all morning. Basically, Manny made a running catch, and to stop, he had to take a step up the wall at Camden Yards. He then high 5'd a fan, came down, and doubled the runner off first.

Here's an AP still as he hi-5's the fan.


Go Yankees

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Mendoza Line

I promised to relate what exactly the Mendoza line is. You could look it up on Wikipedia, but everyone knows how accurate that is.

Here's the story: Mario Mendoza was a slick fielding, light hitting SS/IF who played in the mid-70's to the early 1980's. His career BA was .215.
Back in that time period, newspapers would print a top 10 batting list nearly every day, but the Sunday newspaper used to print an extended list of MLB averages. Every batter with the minimum qualifying average would be listed, in order of his average. Usually, Mendoza would be at or near the bottom of the list. Future HOF'er George Brett was struggling early one season, and he stated, according to various baseball sources, "The first thing I look for in the Sunday papers is who is below the Mendoza line." Some have attributed it to Tom Paciorek and/or Bruce Bochte, but considering Brett's place in baseball history, he gets all the credit. It is almost like Yogi Berra, who is often credited for things just because of who he is. That quote took on a life of its own, and it became a standard joke for anyone struggling in almost any situation. And in baseball, it is generally recognized that anyone below .200 is below the Mendoza line.


"I didn't really say everything I said."

Go Yankees

Yankees lose' offense pathetic

The Yankees wasted another great effort by Wang last night as the pathetic offense totalled 4 singles, a triple (of course, they failed to drive in Jeter from 3rd with 1-out) and a solo HR in the 9th that only prolonged the inevitable. Total for the game was 4 singles, a triple, and a solo HR. That's a good inning, but anemic for an extra inning game. Mo got tagged for the loss as he gave up a single, stolen base, and another single in his second inning of relief.

I am losing faith rapidly.

4 Yankees are at or below .200, and it's getting tough to watch. I had written a long explanation about the Mendoza line (which is where nearly half the team is at) and unfoirtunately it was eaten by the cyberspace monster (bastage.)
I'll have to explain that reference in a later post.

Anyway, Moose tries to halt the slide tonight, but unless he can teach Cano, Giambi, Duncan and Molina (he just looks confused swinging the bat) the strike zone, I'm not feeling really confident against the division leading (what? I swear I'm not making that up) Rays.


Go Yankees

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Yankees lose, offense horrible

Yankees dropped another one last night, losing 7-1 to the Rays. Just when it looked as if the offense was starting to get out of the doldrums, 5 singles and a double shows they are still mired in a loooong slump. Andy looked bad, and the rest of the team looked worse. Giambi and Cano are still under .200, and Molina is barely over at .214. And the news doesn't get better as A-Rod isn't due back for another week.

It's way too early to say the Yankees are done, but I'm not feeling good right now.

Wang starts tonight at 7:05 at the Trop.

BTW, this is the first time in their history that the Rays have been 6 games over .500.

Happy belated Mother's Day:


Go Yankees

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pettitte to start tonight

Due to the rainout, Pettitte will start tonight against the hard hitting Rays at Tropicana Field.

In other news, Jeter was scheduled to bat clean up if the game would have been played against the Tigers. It would have been only the second time in his career that the Captain hit in that spot. The rainout may have changed the rotation. Girardi hasn't decided yet whether he wants Rasner to face the Mets on Friday, or go with Igawa as originally planned. The rotation against the Rays will be Pettitte, Wang, Moose, and Rasner, unless Girardi holds him back. Otherwise it will be Igawa against the Rays. Whatever game Igawa pitches, I hope the infielders wear Kevlar. They have had enough injuries this year.

And on the injury front, A-Rod is due back this week, while Posada is scheduled to work out with the team. Giradi expects Jorge back in the lineup on June 1st. Karstens has made some rehab appearances and may be back with the big club in a few weeks. That's the good news.

Now for he rest of the injury report.

Albaladejo will not require surgery, but he will need more than two weeks of rehabilitation at the club's Spring Training facility in Tampa, Fla. Betemit is on the DL along with Bruney and Hughes. This is not the team Girardi brought north with him. So many early injuries. : (

Go Yankees


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Rasner Tames Tigers

YA real New York Post or Daily News style headline. Darrell Rasner pitched great yesterday afternoon at Comerica, and ended the Yankees winless streak against Detroit. Going back to last year, it was at 6 straight Yankees losses. Rasner, who has been a hard-luck guy, was injured last year in May, and missed the rest of the year. He was the last cut in this year's spring training but he just kept the faith. He worked hard, and made it back to the big club. He has been fantastic in his 2 starts this year, winning both, and pitching to a 3.00 ERA. If he keeps pitching like this, he'll be the surprise of the staff, and could easily slide into the number 3 hole vacated by an injured Phil Hughes, and a terrible Ian Kennedy.

Yesterday's game was a good one. The Yankees beat Bonderman. While he is inconsistent, he does have overpowering stuff. The Yankees jumped out to an early lead as Jeter homered (first of the year)Photobucket in the top of the 1st and they never looked back. Detroit threatened a few times, but the staff followed the blueprint; 6 strong innings, on to Farnsworth, then Joba, then Mo (save 10 ERA 0.00) to close it out. To quote Hannibal Smith, from the A-Team, I love it when a plan comes together.

Again, the offense did just enough to win. Giambi and Cano are starting to hit, and while 9 hits (4 for extra bases) along with 5 walks isn't a power explosion, it does indicate that the team may be coming out of the doldrums.

Today, Andy Pettitte (3-3) takes the mound. Andy pitched well enough to win last time out, but a late inning pinch HR against Joba cost the Yankees the game,and deprived him of the win. That's not going to happen today.

Game is at 1:05 on YES, and TBS.

Go Yankees

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Downtown, New Jersey, United States
Yankees fan. But the team hasn't been the same since Yogi retired. TV watching expert. Manly man.