Friday, April 4, 2008

Series 1 In the Books

Yankees take 2 of 3 from a very tough Blue Jays team and all games come down to the end. I think this Blue Jays pitching staff (including the bullpen), if it stays healthy will be a very formidable foe. When BJ Ryan comes back, Jeremy Accardo goes back to 8th Inning and they will be tough to beat late in games.

Quick Notes:

Is it 1996 again with this 8th Inn/9th Inn combo? It feels like if the Yankees are ahead after 7 innings they will win the game. Joba has picked up right where he left off last year and Mo is just Mo. I just do not see the value of adding Joba to the starting rotation this year. The Yankee bullpen with him in it B plus to an A, without him C at the most.

Offensively it was a slow start and with the weather and facing that staff, it is understandable. Damon stung some balls last night and hopefully is coming out of it and I think he is the key to getting this offense going. Last year when he got hot, so did the Yankees.

Starters- Ching Wing-Wang will give him an A, Mike Mussina a C and Phil Hughes an A. Moose is just torture to watch. He reminds me Al Leiter his last few years, every batter goes to 3-2 and you are just waiting for the bomb or huge inning to happen. Hughes really stepped up and looked like he may be in for a big year. He battled through some tough innings and completely embarrassed Frank Thomas with his nasty curve and inside fastball. The way Melky and Hughes played this seires they made Cashman look pretty good for not giving them up for Johan. For the right price Johan would have been a huge addition, but those 2 were just 2 much.

A-rod- I know it is one series and does not make a season, but was he gripping the bat real tight in those couple big spots in this series? He has built up some trust from Yankee fans, but I hope he gets that big game bat back from last year.

Player of the Series- Has to be Joba Chamberlin/Mo Rivera combo. In the 2 games they won, they were just lights out and set the tone for that bullpen for the rest of the

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Slide Gate

At least Joe Girardi has made this Spring Training interesting. I really could care less about Spring games except for seeing how healthy a starting pitcher looks. I must admit though, when I heard the brawl started I was on the net trying to find video of the slide(I only found pictures so if have the video please let me know).

I love the fire of Joe Girardi, every year all Yankee fans hated that the Yankees just let other teams hit Jeter, hit A-rod etc etc. and Torre would just turn the other cheek. I mean one year Pedro was pitching for the Red Sox first inning Alfonso Soriano leads off pitch one hits him on the wrist taken out of the game, Pitch two strikes Jeter in the wrist also and he is taken out of the game. I will give you one guess how many Red Sox were hit that day……..NONE. Torre was a great manager, but that is a perfect example of how lax he was with that type of stuff.

I think Girardi comes out looking bad to the media and to other teams in this. He was quoted as saying there was nothing wrong with Duncan’s slide and that he loves clean, hard baseball plays and that is what that was. UMMMM no Joe the play at home plate the other day was clean, hard baseball and within the rules. Do I think it is overboard to hit a catcher like that in a Spring Game…that is up for debate, but you can not debate it is within the rules to do it. That is one of those unwritten rules (i.e. do not bunt for a base hit when a guy has a no-hitter in the 6th or later) that some teams have and some teams do not. A player coming in spikes high and striking a guy in the upper leg, groin area is a dirty play….there is no debate about that.

I do love that the Yankees will not back down this year, but Girardi should have just said the famous Roger Clemens line that he mis-remembered the entire play. I mean if Rocket can say it on Capital Hill can’t Joe use it to I can not believe I am looking forward to Rays vs. Yankees 18 times this year.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tales from Yankees Spring Tranining

My Cousin Jason visited the NY Yankees in Florida and here is his report. A Side note Jason played college baseball with Joe Nathen the current Twins closer.
Here is his report from FLA:

I was at the Yanks Twins game on Sunday in Ft. Myers (home of the Twins). Since I had made plans to talk to Joe Nathan before/After game, this was the 1st time ever I had no Yankee gear on. Didn't want to disrepect the "Home Team".

Before Game the wife and I got to talk to Joe by the Bullpen for about 10 minutes. Game was getting ready to start so he said after game go by side exit and we could meet up again.

Was very excited to see Hughes pitch and hoped a couple of "Big- Names" made the 2 hr bus trip. By MLB rules you send 4 regulars on away games. I got Melky, Cano, Matsui, Duncan and Hughes. No jeter or A-rod.


Hughes has Nasty stuff. Low-to mid 90's heat along with just filthy breaking ball. 4 innings no-hits. Twins didn't get 1st hit until 7th.- Matsui stung 2 balls. 1 would have been a HR, except for 3o mph wind in his face.- After the 5th inning Spring training games are pretty boring. I mean who the heck is #91,79 and 68.- Fully understand why Giardi was ticked- off about Ray crashing into Catcher. Everything was laid back, like going thru Motions.-

Back to Joe: Nathan told us he might be getting his first action of Spring, He said he might get the 6th or 7th inning and he was upset. I asked,"why" and he said, "b/c that means I am going against the real young hungry guys who every at bat they are Raking." He said "he would rather face a vetern who is just trying to get ready for the real season.-

POST GAME: We were able to meet up with Joe Nathan again and hung out in a VIP section where he was signing autographs and taking Pictures. Chatted for another 10 min. then our Bus was leaving so had to go.

P.s Yanks won the game and it was overall a great experience at the ballpark.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

So far so Good

Except for a couple nagging injuries and some rookies getting blown up the Spring has been good so far to the Yankees. My Quick Notes so far and there effect on the season 1 yankee top hat being no impact/5 Yankee top hats being a big impact:

Matsui starting to DH- Per Joe Girardi Matsui will be 20 at bats behind once the spring is over due to his ailing knee. I do not think this is that big a deal. Godzilla is a seasoned veteran and he will get his work in and be ready. Look for a steady dose of Bob Shepard annoucing Hideki Matsui as tonights starting DH.

IMPACT: One Yankee Top Hat.

Mussina one good start/one bad start- I am glad the good start was just yesterday as it makes me believe he is working on things and progressing like a veteran does in the Spring. Moose is being counted on for 6-7 innings a night and has to prove he is a veteran and not a has been.

IMPACT: Five Yankee Top Hats= Moose has to bounce back or innings limits on rookies will kill them.

2 Kids get rocked- Joba Chamberlin and Ian Kennedy get rocked in there first outing. Not a big deal, Joba will be fine and I actually think Kennedy may be a long reliver/5th starter if needed. He had a great 3-4 starts at the end of last year and with his array of change of speeds and pitches will make him a solid starter.

Impact: Two Yankee top Hats

Shelly Duncan MASHING: I must say I love this kid and the fun he brings to the clubhouse and joy of the game will be contagious. The Yankees need a right handed power hitter and I can see him splitting time with Giambi and getting 2-3 starts a week if lefties are pitching. He can play some OF/DH and Pinch Hit. I think Shelly will be a factor this year.

IMPACT: Three Yankee Top Hats

Pettitte letting it all go- It looks like the Mitchell Report has been placed in Andy's rear-view mirror and he is getting his work in and producing results. Hopefully he will not miss chunks of time having to get ready for testimony in a criminal case against the Rocket. Andy is Yankee # 2 and he must pitch over 200 innings this year.

IMAPCT: 27 Yankee top hats (without a great season from Andy championship # 27 will not happen).

Be on the look out for guest columnist Jason Cifuentes. He will have an on the scenes report from Yankee vs. Twins and let us know how different going to a spring training game is when you know the closer for the Twins (Joe Nathan).

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hope Springs Eternal

Reading the NY Post the last couple days and you might as well sign the Yankees up for Division winner and the # 1 seed. I know it is the spring and it is supposed to be a lovefest and hoping all things will turn out perfect. It gets me excited and frustrated all in the same sentence, because you know it will not happen. Here are some things that are being thrown out there and if I think they will happen:

Jason Giambi Monster year and 1B all season:

All I keep hearing is he is in a contract year and did a new training program to get more limber and ready to take on an entire year at 1B. All the reports are that his foot is better, he lost weight (not being on the juice will do that to a man), and is ready to break out.

It is amazing what a player on a contract year can do. I think Girardi will give him enough days off to keep him fresh and I think Giambi will have a solid year. I am thinking .270 Avg., 30 plus HR, and 90-100 plus RBI. Not enough to get the $ 22 million picked up, but I think Yankees will get something for this huge contract.

Johnny Damon making sure he is talked about as a top tier player again

Damon had had one of his worst season in baseball and was so distraught prior to the season that he contemplated giving up $40 million and retiring (of course his wife bought 6 new cars and 2 new houses and his mind was made up to play). Damon now said he is ready and will have a bounce back year that is so good, he will again be mentioned as a top player in baseball.

I will go half way on this one. He will have a better year then last year as he has lost weight and Giardi will allow him to run all the time. He will not be a top tier player again, but he will be a top base stealer and run scorer which is exactly what the Yankees need him to be.

A-rod said “Derek Jeter will keep the MVP award in NY this year”

Derek is getting up there in age (god can you believe that is being typed, it seems like yesterday he was hitting a bomb in Cleveland in his first game). The reports are he has lost a step and Jeter has taken that personal. He started a program in the off-season all about quickness and improving his first step so he can get that range back.

This is all A-rod posturing, he looks good and becomes a great teammate by saying how great Jeter will be. If Jeter did not win MVP 2 years ago, he never will. He needs to win a Batting Title, lead the league in Runs Scored and steal 40 bases to get MVP. MVP voters love the long ball and RBI’s, so for any player that does not hit a ton of bombs they need to have a monster year in every other category.

Kei Igawa is throwing by his own program this spring and has showed a lot more command and confidence.

I will not waste my blog with this debate. If this happens, great, otherwise nothing to see here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Circus Comes to Capital Hill

What a joke yesterday was on Capitol Hill. I must say, I can tell why this country is an absolute mess and why nothing gets solved or done. It was unreal how all of these senators had there minds made up prior to even getting to the hearing and went right down party lines (democrats for Mcnamee/Republicans for Rocket). I mean one representative sat there for 20 minutes debating with McNamee if he was a drug dealer or not just an absolute joke.

What I think hurt both parties yesterday:

Pettitte and Knoublach confirm McNamee’s story.

It really hurts Clemens credibility when Pettitte and Knoublach both confirm what McNamee said. Why lie about Clemens when he told the truth about everything else?

Pettitte’s and Mrs. Pettitte’s depositions:

Clemens was an absolute mess when he was asked why Pettitte and his wife confirmed he spoke to Andy about HGH. I mean the words mis-heard should never be spoken on Capital Hill, I still do not know what it means. Clemens said 10 times Andy and I had such a close bond, if Andy used HGH he would have told me or asked me about it…..AHHHHHHH Rocket you just told everyone you were SHOCKED when you found out Pettitte used HGH, you obviously did not have as close a friendship as you thought.

McNamee lie, lies, lies-

On committee member went over all of McNamee’s lies for approx 5 minutes and all Mcnamee could answer was yes that was a lie, yes that was a lie over and over again. He just is not a credible person and would not hold up in the court of law. The guy is a weasel and can not make the NYPD proud.

Canseco BBQ-

If you’re having a steroid hearing must mention Jose Canseco, that is rule one. I think McNamee takes the hit on this one. To say over and over and in depositions and testimony that Roger spoke about steroids at this BBQ just kills a big part of your story. I mean the next day the game announcers mention a bunch of times that Clemens did not attend the BBQ. Just again proves this guy is not credible.


Pettitte sold Clemens down the river and out of all the depositions he is the most believable. Taking both sides (Clemens “I never did HGH/Steroids and McNamee “He did this and this and this) into account I think it falls somewhere in the middle. Clemens did HGH and maybe tried some steroids, but he was not a raging needle in his ass as he walks to the mound guy that McNamee is saying. Rep. Cummings said it best when he said you need to draw from the testimony of all parties and which one draws you to the truth. The one that appears to be from the most reputable source is Andy Pettitte and he said Rocket told him he did HGH. In my mind that closes the case.

Mr. Clemens your reputation is gone, you will not be prosecuted, but you will never be elected to the Hall of Fame. You did something illegal to get the results you achieved and for that you will pay with never reaching the pinnacle of your sport.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

NY Post Exclusive

Post has learned Joba will be in the pen this season and likely for the entire season baring an injury to a pitcher in the rotation, or someone struggling. They do not want him to exceed 140 inns this year.

Here is the link: