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).