• June 28th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on June 28th, 2005 · Comments (5)

    When the Yankees were retired in the top of the 5th tonight, I thought to myself “They’re going to lose this game.” I thought this even though they were leading the game, 3-1, at the time.

    When Womack managed to reach to start that frame, and then stole second with no outs, and the Yankees 1-2-and-3 batters, Jeter/Cano/Sheffield, could not even advance him to third, I took that as a bad sign.

    And, in the next inning, once Palmeiro homered, I thought to myself, even more, “They’re going to lose this game” – even though the score was 4-3 in favor of New York at that time.

    And, two innings later, when Tom Gordon did his thing in the 8th to allow the O’s to tie the score at four, I was convinced further that “They’re going to lose this game.”

    And, of course, in the bottom of the 10th, as soon as Roberts made contact, I said to myself “They’re going to lose this game” – and I was right.

    The Yankees are now just a half-game out of 4th place. Further, even if they play lights-out ball for the rest of the season, reaching 90 wins is going to be an uphill task. And, it’s a very, very, steep hill.

    I hope Part II of the meeting in Tampa goes well tomorrow.

    June 27th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on June 27th, 2005 · Comments (14)

    Taking advantage of walks and balks, plunking batters when they’re getting too comfortable at the plate, having your starter get to the point in a game where you can use your desired bullpen plan, and busting it down the line on potential DP grounders. Amazing how when you do all this stuff, you stay in the game and eventually win it, huh?

    Personally, I’ll take this as a chance to voice my displeasure of the balk rule. Yes, I know it’s been on the books for like-forever. But, I think it’s one rule that you could ditch and it would add to the game rather than take away from it. Why shouldn’t a pitcher be able to deceive a runner? Isn’t that what they do with the fake throws to 2nd and 3rd?

    In any event, it was a good day to win, beat the team in front of you, and post the “W” while the Red Sox were getting beat up at Fenway. (By the way, thanks for the “tip” tonight in Fenway Christopher Trotman. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.)

    But, here’s the deal: The Yankees cannot afford to let these uplifting wins in the last two games fool them. They are not turning a corner now, etc. Why? Because they did not turn it around after their 10-game winning streak, like we thought it was turning at that time. Nor did they turn it around after their 5-game winning streak, like we thought at that time. And, they did not turn it around after their 6-game winning streak, etc.

    Therefore, two wins in a row, while nice, is just like treating a broken leg with an aspirin. It’s not going to properly heal and will remain a serious matter of trouble.

    The Yankees still need to address the issues with why this team is where it is at this junction of the season.

    Tomorrow is a big day for the Yankees. The “eight highest officials” in Yankeeland will meet in Tampa for a meeting at 3:30 p.m. to discuss the team. I hope they’re going to look past the last two nights and make the right calls on what’s needed – and then go do it.

    I know that Big Stein said the other day that it’s all in Torre’s “lap” now – but, that’s not right. It’s in the lap of the one and only true Yankees “Boss” – the mack daddy of turtlenecks, G.M.S. the 3rd. Brace for impact.

    June 26th vs. The Mets

    Posted by on June 26th, 2005 · Comments (17)

    Until the 9th tonight, I thought the entry for today’s game was going to be:

    Despite the last ugly loss being one of those where you call it one of the most painful ones of the year, pushing aside all the previous stinging losses, along comes another loss to make the last one now seem like the second to most painful one………

    But, that nice comeback in the final frame changes everything – for one night, at least. It sure makes facing the Mets fans at work a tad easier tomorrow AM. (Of course, the Red Sox fans will still be loaded for bear and firing at will.)

    Best way to describe this feeling on the win tonight: It’s like when you were back in school, and you totally screwed up and did not prepare for something big due that day, and you’re sweating bullets over the pain that’s coming your way when you arrive………and, just then, when you get to class you discover that the teacher called in sick and you have new life for another day.

    I’m sure there are more than a few in the Yankees organization who now feel like they’ve been granted another day with the game outcome this evening. If the 4-3 score had held up, given the way the Yankees played in the first eight frames tonight, it would have been a much different morning on Monday for some, no question.

    Here’s the big question for me on this game: When was the last time that the Yankees used three pinch hitters in a game during the month of June where all of them came into the game before the first out of the seventh inning? Do you think that Torre was feeling some pressure to win this game?

    June 25th vs. The Mets

    Posted by on June 25th, 2005 · Comments (13)

    OK, so, Henn’s not ready yet. Good to know. Personally, I was always a fan of the old O’s way of bringing in kid pitchers – let them work a year or two in long relief before giving them a starting job. Teams did this for a while – as recent as Chuck Finely and Jimmy Key. But, I guess, that was then and this is now. Back to Henn, at this point, if Brown can’t go, might as well let Quantrill start a game. It couldn’t be any worse.

    To the current state of the Yankees, well, it’s obviously very bad right now. Most recently, you have a terrible 12-game road trip. It’s the one from hell. Then, you come back and win six in a row. However, you follow that by losing 3 of 4 against what might be the worst team in baseball – and you probably should have lost all four – and then you let the Mets come in to your house and play flat for the first two games of a three game set.

    But, this is nothing new. We’ve been down this road a few times this year – where the Yankees string together some wins, and it’s looking good, and then they’re garbage, playing the lowest of low brand of baseball. It’s a cycle that they have not been able to stop.

    Yet, by some miracle, the Yankees are not 10-something games out of first – despite these long stretches of poor play. And, even though many Yankees fans are starting to become apathetic about the team’s chances this season, there is still a chance that they can get back into this thing……if they start playing better and are able to maintain that level of play for the remainder of the season.

    But, how to they do that? If you ask me, they need someone to come in, take control, and rally the team. Since the salaries on this roster do not exactly permit many changes on the players-side, it has to be a change in field management.

    Is this fair to Torre? No. It’s not his fault that Brown and Wright were busts and the best answer to that is Henn. It’s not his fault that the team thought Bubba Crosby could play second-string CF in the majors and when that failed they were forced to play guys in the OF who have no business being there. It’s not his fault that he has to carry players on the roster to just cover for a one-dimensional players like Womack and Giambi and that prevents him from carrying other players that might help him win games. And, there’s more – too much to keep listing.

    Nonetheless, in baseball, since you cannot fire the players, you fire the manager. It’s what they do. Yes, it’s no lock that a change will work. But, you can either try – and attempt to turn this around and no longer be the $200 million laughingstock of baseball. Or, you can stand pat, and keep doing what you’ve been doing all year to date – which is nothing – and let this thing die a long, slow, painful death on the vine.

    And, if you choose the latter, just watch – lots of Yankees fans out there will pull up their interest stakes and do something else with what is a good portion of their summer disposable leisure time. Is that a good thing? No, it’s bad for the team. Absence makes the heart forget.

    Let Yankees fans go from July to March without anything to keep their interest in the team and you’ll see that many of them will not be interested in the team again until they see that it’s a legit winner. Front-runners be they? Sure. But, that’s the way it works. Just check Yankees attendance, from 1987 through 1991, and then compare that to 1999-2004.

    Think it over Big Stein. What, right now, is the best move for your business? Then again, what do I know? Maybe I have this all wrong? After all, I thought the Yankees were going to have a very good season this year.

    June 24th vs. The Mets

    Posted by on June 24th, 2005 · Comments (9)

    It was both painful and boring for the first eight innings tonight, watching Pedro and the Mets pretty much have their way with the Yankees – sans, perhaps, Jeter and A-Rod at the plate. It was not right up there with having root canal while watching paint dry, but it was close.

    And, guess what……..Sean Henn gets the start tomorrow!

    Oh, and, by the way, the Red Sox are now in 1st place.

    Ever see the movie Blade – Trinity? There’s a scene where the character Hannibal King runs into a room with a dog and he says something – then he sees two more dogs and says something else. That’s kind of my reaction to tonight. I said the “something” when the last out of the game was made tonight. And, when I saw the finals for the Sox and O’s on ESPN.com afterwards, I said the “something else.”

    The “something” is a four-letter word followed by the word “me.”
    The “something else” is that same four-letter word, followed by the words “me sideways.” I think you can figure it out.

    June 23rd vs. The Devil Rays

    Posted by on June 23rd, 2005 · Comments (7)

    From May 22nd through May 27th, the Yankees won 5 games in a row. Since that time, including the loss tonight, they’ve gone 10-14.

    Worse, many of those 14 losses came from teams like the Devil Rays, Royals, and Brewers. Guess what? Despite the recent series sweeps of the Pirates and Cubs, the Yankees have been a bad baseball club this month. Even more depressing, New York was a bad team in April (10-14) as well. So, this season to date looks like this:

    April: 10-14
    May: 17-10
    June: 10-11

    And, most of the credit for May should probably go to the bad play of the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners, more so than towards the positive credit of the Yankees. Obviously, whatever the Yankees are doing this season, it’s not working.

    Think about it. The highlight of this game was clearly Jason Giambi finally bunting for a hit against the shift (in the 9th) after what seems like years of everyone saying he should do it. This is what it has come down to – looking for scraps on the floor to find something that could be used for good. There’s an expression to describe this act. It’s called garbage picking. As Yankee fans, this is what we have been reduced to this year. Garbage picking for scraps that are signs of hope, etc.

    Lastly, am I the only one who noticed that Torre’s phone in his office was ringing during the post-game interview on YES? Any guesses on who was calling?

    June 22nd vs. The Devil Rays

    Posted by on June 22nd, 2005 · Comments (4)

    Splat!

    You know, part of me wants to say that Pavano actually pitched a good game up until that 1-2 pitch to Green in the 7th. But, the reality of today is that Carl allowed 2 homers this afternoon to guys who really should be in Triple-A (and that cost him and the Yankees the game). I’m beginning to come over to the side that Pavano is basically a number four type starter and he’s going to run hot and cold (and last year was a fluke year for him in that he was more hot than cold).

    More importantly, how soon until Sturtze’s arm falls off? Torre is a killer to pen men, no question. How Rivera has survived all these years is a miracle. Actually, if Mo had remained a set-up man in 1997, maybe he would have been cooked by 1998?

    One week ago, I wrote that the Yankees magic numer was five. By this, I meant “If they lose more than 5 games over the rest of this month, it will be bad news.”

    Well, it’s now down to three with seven games to go. They better win tomorrow.

    June 21st vs. The Devil Rays

    Posted by on June 21st, 2005 · Comments (8)

    It’s the first day of summer and things are heating up in the Bronx!

    To me, the beauty of this game is that the Red Sox are playing a game in Cleveland, and the O’s are in Toronto, and at some point they both look up at the out-of-town scoreboard and see the Yankees are losing, getting pounded 10-2, to the Devil Rays and the game is half over in New York.

    And, then, on SportsCenter tonight, or when they read the morning paper tomorrow, those same Sox and O’s are going to see that the Yankees won this game, 20-11.

    Message, sent.

    By the way, I actually did feel sorry for Travis Harper in the 9th. Shame on Lou to let him take that pounding. Bring in a fielder to pitch if you want to toss the game at that point. It was obvious that Harper had nothing. Why let him get undressed like that?

    Tune in tomorow for the news on Randy Johnson.

    June 20th vs. The Devil Rays

    Posted by on June 20th, 2005 · Comments (15)

    Oh, soooooooo, close. Boy, the Devil Rays sure like Yankee Stadium this year. But, having Unit go tomorrow is the best way to shake this one off.

    Two quick questions:

    1. Can somebody tell Casey Fossum that Cosmo Kramer wants his hair back?
    2. Why, oh why, is Tony Womack batting second in the Yankees line-up night-after-night?

    Speaking of line-ups, batting Posada and Giambi, the kings of swing-when-you-should-take and take-when-you-should-swing, back-to-back in the line-up kills a rally quicker than it takes to go from “A” to “B” in the alphabet.

    Lastly, something came to me in the game tonight that I hope teams don’t see. I saw it when Carl Crawford had that huge lead off first in the top of the sixth. When teams with speed play the Yankees, and Giambi plays first, base runners should take an uber-monster lead off first base – so huge that it screams for the pitcher to throw to first. And, when the pitcher does throw to Giambi, the runner should take off for second – because Giambi will never be able to make the throw to second in a fashion to get the runner. It’s a gimmie, every time. Just watch and see if someone picks up on it. For all we know, maybe that’s what Crawford was trying to do tonight?

    June 19th vs. The Cubs

    Posted by on June 19th, 2005 · Comments (5)

    When I see the Yankees play as well as they did in their win today, and as well as they have played in the last week, I cannot understand exactly what happened in that 12-game road trip that preceded this homestand. It’s a math equation that just does not balance. I guess that’s why the call this game baseball and not algebra.

    What this win today does, for me, is that it gives Sean Henn a lot less pressure tomorrow. This is not like it was seven weeks ago. The team has just won six in a row, and, in the start following Henn, the Yankees have the Big Unit ready to go.

    It will be interesting to see how Henn handles this great opportunity.

    June 18th vs. The Cubs

    Posted by on June 18th, 2005 · Comments (4)

    Some game today, huh? Five-in-a-row now.

    Today, Jeter hits his first homerun ever with the bases loaded, after 154 Plate Appearances with the bags juiced (in his career) prior to today’s blast. And, he had another tater to boot.

    Obi Wang goes eight, facing just 4 batters over the minimum. (I have to say, right now, of all the Yankees starters, Wang is the one that makes me feel most comfortable heading into the game. Another good start and I just might start lobbying for him to be on the A.L. All-Star team.)

    While all of this is good stuff, what really excites me is that, as I write this, if the O’s lose tonight, then the Yankees will be just 4 games out of first place. (I’ll be tracking the score of the Baltimore game this evening, for sure!)

    What an incredible state that would be, if it comes true later today. Sixty-seven games into the season – where the Yankees have underachieved (just about to the max) – and they could sit just 4 back of first at the close of business on June 18th.

    Gosh, this is a season for the taking. I hope they realize that too.

    June 17th vs. The Cubs

    Posted by on June 17th, 2005 · Comments (6)

    Best.Sprained.Ankle.Ever

    Who would have thought it, watching Godzilla get hurt in Saint Lou, that the injury would turn him into a hitting machine?

    Watching those Cubs fans at the Stadium tonight, celebrating like they just won the World Series, when Chicago took the 6-4 lead, well, that just makes this win even sweeter.

    Speaking of annoying Cubbies, I think this is the first time that I’ve seen Carlos Zambrano pitch. Gotta say, if my daughter brought this guy home one day, to meet the family for the first time, my reaction would be: “What a chooch!” Seriously, that dude is just a tick away from Lima-time. Somebody throw a bucket of water on him. Wait a minute, I think the Yankees did tonight.

    And, it’s official. It’s now time to say that Pavano has an issue with pitching at home. When Henry Blanco and his .172 OBA (yes, one-seventy-two) steps up to the plate and bangs out a 2-run single to take the lead in the game, you’re doing something wrong.

    Giambi came out of the game with the chance for two more PAs, for defense? Gosh, it was the 6th inning. Is he hurt? Traded? Something else? I mean, you worry about defense when you’re down two and have 4 more frames to hit in? That was strange.

    Lastly, watching Giambi “throw” to 2nd tonight, and Womack “throw” to home, I have to wonder: If Giambi, Womack, Bernie and a girl had a throwing contest, who would win? It would be close, for sure.

    June 16th vs. The Pirates

    Posted by on June 16th, 2005 · Comments (10)

    Mr. Snappy shows up for the first time in the Bronx!

    Yeah, I know, it’s easy to say “But, it’s the Pirates.” Nonetheless, you have to give the Yankees credit for doing what they’re supposed to do with a team like Pittsburgh.

    Now, a better test comes along: The Cubs. And, if I recall correctly, in 2003, the Cubs did some dancing on the Yankees when they met at Wrigley. It would be nice to get some form of payback for losing 2 of 3 back then……if that’s possible.

    June 15th vs. The Pirates

    Posted by on June 15th, 2005 · Comments (11)

    I would have pinch-hit Russ Johnson for Giambi in the 8th tonight. That just goes to show what I know!

    This was a very big win this evening. We’re talking Yankees Classics material. Just on the level of game excitement for a standalone Yankees contest, it deserves to go into the YES Network rotation.

    However, there are other factors as to why this victory is very meaningful. Right on the surface, it’s an important win because it allows the Yankees to keep pace with everyone else in the AL East – as they all won tonight. Secondly, it takes the O’fer-trailing-after-eight-this-season monkey off the Yankees backs. Also, the game-winning homer has to be seen as a positive for Giambi.

    That’s three things that most people will think about when they weigh this win. But, for me, the reason why this “W” is so important is because of what an “L,” instead of the win, would have meant tonight.

    If the Yankees had lost this game, it would have been painful – perhaps one of the most stinging losses of the season to date, considering how close the game was, etc.

    It would have been one of those losses that keeps you up at night and results in you still being in a pissy mood the next morning – and for most of that day. And, in my mind, had the Yankees lost this game, it would have made tomorrow’s game “Must Win.” And, that status would not be just because of another possible game lost in the standings – although that’s still a bad thing. It would have been “Must Win” because, as a team, the Yankees could not afford to lose two of three to the Pirates after playing like living fecal matter in the 12-game road trip before this series. It also would have been “Must Win” because New York has it’s ace going for them – one Mr. Randy Johnson.

    But, now, even if the Yankees lose on Thursday – and, that’s still possible (as the Bucs’ Perez is very tough) – New York would have still won this series. And, that’s what the Yankees need to do now: Win every series. And, that’s why this was a big win.

    This game also could be the one that becomes the win that everyone points to later as the point that turned the season around. While it’s way too early to hang that label on this game, I did find what Torre had to say about the game in the YES post-game coverage to be interesting:

    “If this game doesn’t pick us up, I don’t know what game will.”

    This is worth noting going forward. If the Yankees do turn it around now, then this is the game to point at (in terms of being a positive trigger). But, on the flip side, based on Joe’s words, if New York does go out now and loses something like 5 of their next 8, then maybe it is time to start thinking about next year – because not even a game like tonight can turn around this team.

    The next two weeks will tell us all we need to know about this team – and, this is now possible as a result of the win tonight which sets up the upcoming games to be a good proving ground.

    Tonight, indeed, was a really useful win.

    June 14th vs. The Pirates

    Posted by on June 14th, 2005 · Comments (7)

    If only more games were like the one tonight for New York.

    The Yankees are now 31-8 in games where they score 4+ runs. This tells me that the Yankees bad record to date is all about the hitting, or lack thereof, this year.

    Tonight’s game was much like the big game of May 7th from Mussina – and, that game started the big winning streak for the Yanks. Can this game do the same? Fingers crossed!

    I meant to mention this a few games ago, but, better late than never. Every time that Tony Womack hits a fly ball, he should have do to 50 push-ups on the spot. Maybe that will get him out of the habit?

    June 12th @ The Cardinals

    Posted by on June 12th, 2005 · Comments (6)

    You draft a guy in the 88th round during the 1996 draft. And, nine years later, he homers for the 1st time in the big leagues to beat you – when you really need the win. You are the 2005 New York Yankees. Actually, these current Yankees are the fat guy who always falls prey to “day two.”

    You know this guy. He’s the one who needs to do something about his weight and decides to diet and/or exercise. Starting it is never a problem for him. There are many times where he decides to do something, and, on “day one” he’s great. He eats right and watches the quantity of his food. He drinks lots of water. And, he works out hard that day. Maybe he does an hour on the treadmill or dusts off the Bowflex – or both – and really works up a sweat.

    But, despite that great effort and results on that first day, the next day, he falls off the wagon, sits on the couch for most of the day, and eats like a pig on his last meal. And, all the forward progress and steam from “day one” is wiped out. So, he has to start another “day one” when he can get to it. Maybe it’s later that week – or, in a couple of weeks. But, then, on the next “day two” (of his latest attempt at the right thing) he fails again – and he just keeps repeating the cycle over, and over, again.

    This is the 2005 Yankees to date. They hit rock bottom, and then win a game where you think it’s the start of something – but, the day after, they cannot string together another win for the chain.

    The incredible thing here is that, as bad as the Yankees have been this season, New York is just 6 games out of 1st place. (To compare, if the Yanks were in the AL Central, they would be a dozen games out of 1st right now – dead and buried.)

    Through the graces of luck, there’s still time for the Yankees to make a run at it this season. But, the first step is to win two in a row. You have to win 2 in a row in order to start a winning streak.

    Maybe this can happen against the Pirates this week?

    June 11th @ The Cardinals

    Posted by on June 11th, 2005 · Comments (0)

    Unit, sharp. Batters, good.

    It’s always easy to win when you only allow 4 baserunners in the 1st seven innings and your 1st five batters in the line-up reach base 12 times.

    I want to be excited about this game. But, we’ve seen this before – where there’s a winning-play-oasis that appears when we need it the most and then it’s gone for the next game.

    Therefore, let’s see what tomorrow brings.

    June 10th @ The Cardinals

    Posted by on June 10th, 2005 · Comments (4)

    They’re shitty.”

    - a Korean Groundskeeper, in the movie Major League.

    In the film, he wasn’t talking about the 2005 New York Yankees – but, he might as well have been……..

    One more game like this over the weekend and maybe Joe doesn’t get a ticket back home to the Bronx. I did find it interesting in the post-game where Joe, when asked what did he say to the team, said “It’s nobody’s business.”

    Whatever he said, if it doesn’t work, what more can he do to turn this around? Nothing, probably. So, why not give someone else a chance to see if they can clean up this mess while there’s still some time to make a run at this season? Money (as in the remainder of Torre’s contract) an issue?

    That’s sort of silly. Think of it this way: You’re throwing a party and you’ve spent $200 million already on the plans. Now, unless you throw in another $16 mill, the party will be a failure. Of course, it makes sense to throw in some more dough rather than let the $200 million investment go down the tubes. That’s why it would make no sense to allow Torre’s remaining money on his contract to preclude the team from making a change.

    June 8th @ The Brewers

    Posted by on June 8th, 2005 · Comments (9)

    OK, so, now we know. This whole thing has been Mitch Seoane’s fault.

    I just read in Baseball America the other day that the Yankees added Seoane (who was a minor league manager) to their “support staff” in the middle of May because of his ability to throw BP. The players liked him in Spring Training and this led to the addition.

    Clearly, Mitch was doing something in batting practice to put these guys into a slump, right? No BP tonight and the bats come alive! (And, yes, please, I’m only kidding with the blame laying here.)

    Interesting game tonight. On the “checked swing” thing, that was the most heated that I’ve ever seen Torre get with an ump. Personally, “checked swings” have been an issue for me for a long time. “Checked swing” is an oxymoron. There’s no such thing as a checked swing. Once the swing is started, it’s a swing. If these were called properly, in that they are all swings, it would make the game move a lot faster.

    I have to confess on something. When Mike Borzello caught A-Rod’s 400th, I thought at first that he was going to toss it into the stands and I screamed out “No!” He faked me good on that one.

    Did Michael Kay really say “professional hitter Rey Sanchez” in the 9th? Gosh. That’s just silly. But, it’s not as annoying as Kay referring to Kim Jones as “Lil’ Kim Jones” or him saying “for more on the YES network, go out and buy a computer, and then log on to yesnetwork.com.” Michael, things are funny once, maybe twice. Anything past that is old.

    It’s too bad that the Yankees are off on June 9th. It would have been nice to get right back in the saddle after a game like this one.

    June 7th @ The Brewers

    Posted by on June 7th, 2005 · Comments (3)

    Tonight was the 4th time this season that the Yankees have held their opponent to 3 runs or less and New York still lost the game.

    I know that doesn’t seem like a lot of games, but, if these four games were all Yankees wins instead of losses, New York would be 32-26 instead of being 28-30. Last time I checked, being 6 games over .500 is a lot better than being 2 games under .500.

    In fact, a record of 32-26 would put the Yankees in 2nd place now, just 3 games behind the O’s.

    Think about this when you hear/read about how the Yankees issue is their pitching.

    How a team with Jeter, A-Rod, Sheffield, and Matsui cannot manage to score three runs in a game is beyond me. Then again, if you can manage to make sure that these four do not beat you, all you have to worry about is Womack, Cano, Posada, and some combination from Tino, Giambi, and Bernie.

    I guess it’s no coincidence that when Tino was hitting very well, from 5/7 through 5/15, the team went 8-0. And, when Posada had a nice streak, from 5/11 through 5/27, the team went 12-2.

    Simply put, this tells me that the Yankees are a bat short this season. Either Matsui or Giambi better start hitting like superstars, or, the Yankees should try and get a big bat to play LF, 1B, DH or CF.

    June 6th @ The Brewers

    Posted by on June 7th, 2005 · Comments (7)

    During a small window in this game, I was actually feeling as if something was about to turn around this season for the Yankees.

    It started when Jason Giambi (!) got a big base hit in the top of the 4th inning. And, it continued when The Big Unit, who has seemed more like The Big Godot this season – because we’ve been waiting so long to see him, looked like he was sending a signal that he was about to finally arrive.

    Actually, for Johnson, it started in the 3rd inning. He gave up the HR to Cirillo, and then drilled the next batter, Jenkins, in the back. Right away, I wondered if this was 7/8/00 all over again – when Clemens decided to become nasty again and went up and in on Piazza and started to pitch like Clemens again.

    Johnson struck out the next two batters in the 3rd and then was just as dominating in the 4th – hitting 100 and 101 MPH on the fast YES gun in the process.

    But, in the top of the 5th, that “Lookin’ Good!” window closed just as quick as it opened. Based loaded and no outs. Posada whiff. Giambi DP. Inning over. No runs. Window closed. In fact, in many ways, it was Game Over.

    I just hope it doesn’t mean Season Over too.

    June 5th @ The Twins

    Posted by on June 5th, 2005 · Comments (16)

    I feel much better now about not getting jazzed over the win last night. My Yankee-fan-sense must have been telling me that it was a transitory high, a fluke in a way, and nothing to get too worked up over.

    Today was a day of yard work and such – therefore, I only had a few quick peeks at the game. One time, I saw a shot of Joe Torre doing his best Al Bundy, sitting on the bench with both of his hands in his pants. I’m starting to think that the “look at me, I’m calm and therefore you should be as well” thing was fine when you were playing .600 ball and would lose some games as part of the natural order of things. But, now, I think I would prefer to see some fire from Joe – and let that be the message that he sends to the troops. Don’t sit there like a lump with your hands in your pants.

    Also, today, I have to give Bernie a quick slap. I saw him come into the game to play CF after pinch hitting – with Matsui moving to LF and Womack coming out of the game. I’ve always liked Bernie despite his airhead ways. I even have an autographed picture of him from the 1996 ALCS up on the wall in front of me as I type this entry. But, it was at least a week ago that reports started about him taking balls in LF during BP, etc. Why are we still seeing Williams play in CF when he is in the field? I mean, shoot, Tony Womack was a second baseman and got about two days notice that he was moving to LF – and he more than holds his own out there.

    If Bernie could play LF, it would help the team on defense because then Matsui is in CF (and not Williams) and it helps the team on offense because then Bernie is in the line-up (and not Womack). Bernie, by being a baby about playing LF in a game, is hurting the team. Grow up already Mr. Williams and start playing LF, OK?

    For what it’s worth, you know, if the Yankees were a patient, and they went to a doctor for what is currently ailing them, the doctor would probably suggest a full frontal lobotomy followed by an enema. At this late stage of the losing-play-disease, there’s not much else you can do.

    Big Stein, are you listening? They need a new man in charge and get rid of the blockages on the roster. It can’t hurt at his point.

    June 4th @ The Twins

    Posted by on June 4th, 2005 · Comments (8)

    The long losing streak is over.

    There was a clutch 2-out extra base hit in the 5th to bring the Yankees within one (by Cano).

    There was a rally in the 8th to tie the game. And, there was good execution of small ball in the 10th to plate the eventual game-winner.

    Wang, Gordon and Mo allowed only 7 base runners in 10 innings of work.

    I watched the game from about the 2nd inning until the last out in the 10th. Yet, I did not get excited by this game at all tonight. Why?

    Is it because it was the kids from Columbus (Cano with 3 hits, 2 RBI and a run scored and Wang with a solid seven) who did all the heavy lifting – and, guys like Giambi, Womack, Tino and Sheffield went 0 for 16? Is it because the six-game losing streak is still resonating in me? Or, is it just me and my mood today?

    I have to say that the entire time I was watching this game, I was waiting for the “L” to happen – right up through Rivera at the close. The Yankees have been so bad during the six games prior to this one that they have conditioned me to expect a loss.

    Let’s hope they can get another win tomorrow and work on cleansing the palate some more…..to the point where wins can be savored properly – at least for this fan.

    Does anyone else feel this way tonight?

    June 3rd @ The Twins

    Posted by on June 3rd, 2005 · Comments (10)

    The Yankees have now lost six games in a row and stand at .500 – as they hit the official first one-third mark of the season. But, worse than that is the way this team is going about their business.

    I’ve seen shit fights in the monkey cage at the zoo that are better organized than the way this club is playing in the field. And, the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree had more life to it than this team is showing now.

    Look at the players on the bench during the game. It’s a funeral in the dugout. Look at Torre’s body language when they show him on T.V. He looks like a Slinky that’s been twisted and pulled too many times.

    This squad needs an injection of aggression – and in a hurry. Many times, complacency needs to be interrupted via an angry response to an occurrence. But, this team cannot afford to wait for something on the field to perhaps stir it on. Management needs to send a message to this team. And, it should be something loud enough to hit a nerve and make them switch their channel from flight to fight.

    A little less “back on the heels” and a little more “attack!” would be a welcome sight at this point. It’s time to start pushing people around as opposed to being pushed around. And, since no one on this unit seems to have what it takes to be the one to set the example, maybe it’s time for an import?

    June 2nd @ The Royals

    Posted by on June 2nd, 2005 · Comments (13)

    Picture = 1,000 Words

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    June 1st @ The Royals

    Posted by on June 1st, 2005 · Comments (8)

    Oh where, oh where, has the Yankees pride gone?
    Oh where, oh where, can it be?
    With this season, that’s going, so terribly wrong,
    Oh where, oh where, can it be?

    At this point, the only thing left that might possibly work is to throw the YES’ Ultimate Road Trippers into the mouth of a live volcano and see what that brings.

    Fourth place on June 1st.
    Seven teams in the AL have a better record.
    Maybe it’s time again to start considering a message to the team?

    I hear that Wally Backman still wants a job. We know that Big Stein loves former-Mets reclamation projects. Anything is possible….