• August 31st vs. The Blue Jays

    Posted by on August 31st, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Yaaaaaaawn…

    Another day, another loss.

    At least we got to see Alfredo Aceves today. Facially, he reminds me of Jim Leyritz. Pitching? He looked great today. But, what can you tell from two innings at the back end of a game that’s on its way to the “L” column?

    As I write this, the Red Sox are losing, 3-1, in the top of the 9th inning at Fenway. Assuming that Boston goes on to lose, this would make the Yankees tragic number, according to my quick math, to be “20″ – meaning any combination of Yankees losses and Red Sox wins from here out, equalling twenty, is when the Yankees will be officially dead in the Wildcard race.

    I’m guessing that number will be down to “zero” around September 18th. What do you think?

    August 30th vs. The Blue Jays

    Posted by on August 30th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Oh…my…Gawd!

    I stopped watching this game while Jeter was grounding out during the bottom of the 6th inning. We had the usual Saturday errands to run – the bank, the Post Office, Costco, and the dry cleaners. At that time, the Yankees were up, 6-2. And, I’m thinking “Book it, Dano!” – this dress is in the bag. At that time, it was some time close to 3 pm EST.

    We got back home at 4:30 pm EST. I flicked on the T.V. and was shocked to see the game still on…and then I heard Michael Kay say what a terrible loss this was for the Yankees….losing, 7-6.

    What? How? When? Why? Nooooo…

    Then I realized that the final play of the game had just occured a few moments ago. Via the recap, I caught up on what happened. Robinson Cano, huh? I betcha Jon Heyman is feeling pretty timely right about now.

    Well, file this one away in that 26% drawer. It’s games like this one as to why the Yankees are where they are this season.

    What a terrible, terrible, terrible loss. Just putrid. You have a four run lead with 9 outs to go – and you blow it. On top of that, you have a chance to tie it in the 8th, albeit with 2 outs, and a chance to tie it in the 9th, with one out, and cannot get the job done.

    And, I have to say…I warned you about Veras and Ramirez. They both have been brutual this month. All of a sudden, that ‘great’ bullpen that Brian Cashman put together is not looking all that great – at a time where it’s killing the Yankees the most.

    August 29th vs. The Blue Jays

    Posted by on August 29th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Whew!

    A.J. Burnett was A.J. Burnett again tonight (at least as he usually is when he faces the Yankees) – and then some.

    But, Carl Pavano was…well, who was that guy? Did he really breeze through the first five innings on just 54 pitches – and end up going six on 72 pitches, all told, just allowing one run?

    Pavano was Mussina-like out there today. You can’t ask for anything more than that?

    In the end, the only questions left after this thrilling, nail-biting, victory are the following: Is Jose Veras cooked? Will Mariano Rivera’s arm hold up? And, how much will A-Rod be fined for showing up more than an hour late to the ballpark tonight? (Yeah, there was traffic; but, 24 other players and the entire coaching staff managed to get there on time.)

    August 28th vs. The Red Sox

    Posted by on August 28th, 2008 · Comments (9)

    I saw the first three innings of this one on YES. And, I listened to innings four and five on the radio via WCBS.

    I missed innings six through eight – although I was told about the situation in the bottom of the sixth (shortly after it happened) where the Yankees had runners on first and second, with no outs, and Abreu, A-Rod and Nady due up – and they couldn’t score.

    Luckily, I was able to see the bottom of the ninth, live, on YES – picking it up where Gardner had just stole second and Matsui was at the plate.

    I’m glad that I got to see that last inning – and the eventual win…and seeing Papelbon suffer…allowing the game winning hit on an 0-2 pitch. (I’ll get back to the matter of “seeing” it in a minute.)

    This was a good one for the Yankees to win. Very nice job by Giambi in his only two PA in this game. If they would have lost this one – after losing the previous two – wasting a wonderful effort from Mussina…well, just how much hurt can a team and its fans take?

    The seven innings and two runs from Moose today was just outstanding. And, for what it’s worth, it seems like it should have been just one run allowed by Mussina. John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman were all over Robinson Cano for not taking Ellsbury’s grounder in the fifth for the out, himself, and then throwing to first for the double-play. I mean they were just killing him for making a stupid play (flipping to Jeter) and not being aware of the situation and the batter’s running speed, etc. It was very interesting to hear that from the two of them.

    Now, in the big picture, this win means nothing. The Yankees are still in a huge hole. However, if by some miracle the Yankees win their next three in a row and Boston loses their next three in a row, then this win could be looked at as a turning point in the season. But, again, until that miracle happens, this one is just another game.

    Speaking of just another game…and getting back to, as promised, the matter of “seeing” this game…there’s something that I should clarify. When I wrote last night that the season was over, I meant it was over in terms of the Yankees post-season chances. It doesn’t mean that people should stop watching their games and rooting for them to do well.

    Hey, it’s the Yankees. And, we’re Yankees fans. Of course you should root for the team. And, of course, you should watch the games. Hey, on a standalone basis, you never know what you might see in any given game. Why not watch it, and enjoy it, if you can? That’s what baseball is all about.

    This game is a perfect example. You don’t give up on the season – from the perspective of tracking the games and hoping for the Yankees do to well on that day. You just take the game for what it’s worth – and try and enjoy what it represents.

    Just don’t delude youself with any notions about the Yankees playing this October. Because, barring some sudden miracle, that’s still very improbable albeit not yet an indisputable fact.

    August 27th vs. The Red Sox

    Posted by on August 27th, 2008 · Comments (23)

    Time of death: The 8th inning of Game 132 – approximately 9:55 pm EST on August 27, 2008.

    Yes, that’s when the Yankees 2008 season, in terms of any possibility of being a championship contender, ended. When Dustin Pedroia (pictured, right) hit a grand slam for the Sox in the 8th inning of this game it not only locked up this contest for Boston…it killed any hope for the Yankees to remain in the chase for the American League Wildcard.

    With this loss, New York now sits seven games back of Boston, in the loss column, in the A.L. Wildcard standings – with only thirty games left remaining on the Yankees schedule.

    Do the math on that puppy, if you must. If the Red Sox play just .500 ball for the rest of this season, the Yankees would have to win 23 of 30 games – a winning percentage of .767 – to pass them.

    Forget the fact that Boston has many home games left on their ticket as well as some games against teams with less-than-great records…and that it’s very remote that they would ever play just .500 ball from here out. Just focus on the Yankees, for this moment.

    The Yankees have one more game against the Red Sox in this series – facing Jon Lester who is murder on left-handed batters. Then, New York has to play Toronto for three games. In these games, the Yankees will have to face A.J. Burnett and Roy Halladay.

    After those four games, the Yankees go on the road: Playing one against the Tigers, three against the Rays, three against the Mariners, and three against the Angels.

    After that insane road-trip, New York returns to Yankee Stadium to play three games against the Rays and then four against the White Sox.

    In total, between tomorrow and September 18th, the Yankees will play 21 games. (And will have nine left after that.) To have any hope, whatsoever, the Yankees will need to win at least 16 of these 21 games.

    So, basically, for the Yankees to get back into this thing, this is what needs to happen:

    They have to play Boston again, the Jays for three – including Burnett and Halladay, then play the road-trip from hell for 10 games, and then play the best team in the A.L. East for three and the best team in the A.L. Central for four…and only lose five (or less!) of those 21 games. Further, on top of that, they need the Boston Red Sox to play no better than .500 ball between now and September 18th.

    Yeah, like that’s really going to happen.

    Sorry, it’s over for this Yankees team – as far as having any chance to play some games in October. It’s wait till next year time…turn out the lights, the party’s over.

    August 26th vs. The Red Sox

    Posted by on August 26th, 2008 · Comments (29)

    The Yankees entered this game sitting in hot water. And, now, they’re just about cooked.

    As a result of this loss, New York needs to win the next two games – just to stay somewhat alive in the Wildcard chase. Yes, winning the next two only keeps them slightly alive – as New York would still be ice skating uphill after that…having to face the Blue Jays next and then go on a killer road trip for ten games starting on September 1st.

    Worse, while the Yankees must win the next two games – again, just to barely stay alive in the ‘card race – Boston is sitting in the driver’s seat now (for this series) as they get to face Sidney Ponson tomorrow and they will have Jon Lester (who is murder on left-handed batters) pitching for them on Thursday.

    It’s not over for the Yankees – but, it’s as close to being over as it can be in terms of their place in the standings, the calendar, and the remaining schedule for them and the teams that they’re chasing.

    You can blame the home plate umpire for squeezing Pettitte tonight. You can blame all those seeing-eye hits for Boston. You can blame all those 2-out hits for the Sox with runners in scoring position. You can blame Giambi’s defensive play. But, those are all excuses.

    The Red Sox played without Drew and Lowell. They don’t have Manny anymore. And, they started a rusty Tim Wakefield. Yet, they won this game.

    Was it just me, or, did this game have the look and feel of a cheap reenactment of Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS? Man, the Yankees just didn’t look good…except…

    You have to give credit to Damon, Jeter and Abreu for doing a great job setting the table in this one. You really couldn’t ask for anything more from those three. However, the “meat” of the Yankees line-up was…well…let’s just say “lacking” tonight.

    And, how about Alex Rodriguez’ big symmetrical evening (K- GIDP-FO8-GIDP-K)?

    Let us review each PA in this game for A-Rod:

    1st inning: Yanks leading, 1-0. No one on base. Two out. Alex goes down on strikes.
    3rd inning: Yanks losing, 3-2. Runner on first. One out. Alex hits into a double-play.
    5th inning: Yanks losing, 6-3. Runners on first and second. One out. Alex flies out to shallow center.
    7th inning: Yanks losing, 7-3. Bases loaded. One out. Alex hits into a double-play.
    9th inning: Yanks losing, 7-3. Runner on first. Two outs. Alex goes down swinging.

    It will be interesting to hear A-Rod’s post-game quotes after this one…

    August 24th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on August 24th, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Four hours and one minute for nine innings of baseball…well, if you call this game “baseball,” this is…

    No question about it. When you have a 7-2 lead, needing 18 more outs for the win, and then you allow the other team to tie the score, that’s not pretty at all. But, on the plus-side, the Yanks did manage to eek-out an 8-7 win in this one…and, winning is all that matters, right?

    So what if it’s not exactly a fine display of championship level play…or even just a good display of baseball, period?

    Thank the stars for the off-day in Yankeeland tomorrow. After the way the Yankees had to use their pen in this series, they can use it.

    August 23rd @ The Orioles

    Posted by on August 23rd, 2008 · Comments (1)

    This storyline tells you all you need to know about the Yankees 2008 season:

    At the close of business on August 23rd, Carl Pavano had more wins for the Yankees than Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, combined.

    Baseball is such a funny game, isn’t it?

    I watched the first two innings of this game. During that time, I saw Carl Pavano throw 50 pitches – allowing 3 runs in two frames…where more balls were hit hard, including the outs, there were not.

    At that point, it was 8 pm EST, and “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry” was starting on HBO. My wife and I had not seen this movie yet…and it was the first time it was on HBO…and, well, Pavano was looking shaky (and that’s being polite)…so, I switched off the game.

    But, I do remember thinking, to myself, “What’s Girardi thinking? Every game is must win, just about, at this point. You cannot let any one of these games get away from you too quickly. Get this guy out of here. Monday is an off-day. If you have to go to the pen in the third inning…so be it. You would do it in ‘Game Seven’ of a playoff. Do it now. If you keep Pavano out there, it’s going to be six-two, or something like that, in a heartbeat.”

    When the movie – which, by the way, had some very funny moments/lines – was over, I tuned back to the game. It was then the bottom of the eighth, with the Yanks up, five-three, and Veras was pitching to Millar. Within a minute or two, Michael Kay and Ken Singleton (on the YES coverage) started to talk about how Pavano went five in the game – and was followed by Bruney for two and now Veras.

    Pavano for five? Did they really say that?

    Wow. Good thing that Girardi is managing this team and not me, huh?

    I did watch the close of the game, from there, and caught up on all the highlights via the post-game coverage.

    Pretty interesting game. In the top of the first, if Hernandez makes a better tag on Damon, or, if Roberts and Guthrie make a better play on Giambi’s grounder, New York is not scoring two runs in that frame. Also, if Guthrie doesn’t hit A-Rod with a pitch in the third, then the Yankees are also not scoing two runs in that inning. So, in this one, New York was helped out by Baltimore mistakes. Still, at this point, it’s all about the “what” and not about the “how.” Same thing goes for Pavano, in terms of getting the “W.”

    As a kid…I want to say back in 1975…I remember a quote that I once saw attributed to Thurman Munson (which had to do with his unorthodox style of throwing to second base). It went to the tune of “Don’t measure me by my methods. Measure me by my results.”

    At this point of the season, considering where they are and what they need to do, that should be the Yankees mantra from here out. And, for this one, that’s what it was all about. Good job. Now, they have to come back and do it again tomorrow.

    August 22nd @ The Orioles

    Posted by on August 22nd, 2008 · Comments (10)

    Nice to see some RBI in the 8th and 9th inning of this one, huh?

    Nothing like a late, comeback, effort…then turned into a mini-laugher, of sorts, with some breathing room. Too bad for Mike Mussina that most of the runs came so late in the game…but, Moose still has probably six more shots to get four more wins.

    This was a good win. One down, two more needed, before the big set in the Bronx with Boston.

    Oh, and, in case you missed it, I’m guessing that Phil Hughes still has the flu, or poison ivy, or chronic hiccups, or something else that brings cause for too many pitches in the hitting zone…

    August 21st @ The Blue Jays

    Posted by on August 21st, 2008 · Comments (0)

    We decided to take the kids out this evening for some dinner and fun. After all, in another two weeks or so, school starts up again…so, we thought, let’s get some more summer-time stuff in before it’s too late. And, I missed most of this game.

    The restaurant we were in had the game on…but it was on a TV in the bar. And, it was behind me – so, I really couldn’t see it. At one point, I peeked and it was 1-0, Jays, top of the second and Giambi was getting doubled-off first. Later, when I stole another glance, it was 2-0, Jays, top of the third and Pudge Rodriguez was up at the plate.

    Still, a close game…and I hoped that I might be surprised tonight.

    That was it (in terms of having access to the game)…until our evening was over and we got back to our car. Once we were all buckled in, I tuned the radio to the game – and, at that point, it was the bottom of the seventh, Alex Rios was batting for Toronto…and the Yankees were losing, 13-3.

    Looks like I missed a lot, huh?

    Immediately, upon hearing the score was 13-3, I turned off the game and put on some music.

    Hey, Yankees, what happened? I thought every game, from last Tuesday out, was supposed to be played like it was a playoff game? Then again, Sidney Ponson pitched like a turd, the Yanks’ 3-4-5 hitters had just two hits between them, and New York lost the game. Sounds just like what might happen…should this Yankees team actually play in a post-season game…

    At this point, all I can say is that Mussina, Pavano and Rasner better have their “A” games going in Baltimore…because the Yankees now need to win all three contests, coming up, against the O’s.

    August 20th @ The Blue Jays

    Posted by on August 20th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Thank you, Andy Pettitte.

    You know, when it’s all said and done for Pettitte, the Yankee may, or may not, elect to retire #46. And, if New York decides not to retire Pettitte’s uniform number, I’d be OK with it.

    But, when Andy hangs them up, the Yankees darn well better give Pettitte a plaque in Monument Park.

    Andy may never make it to Cooperstown…like Whitey Ford, Lefty Gomez and Red Ruffing. But, Pettitte is a modern day Allie Reynolds – in terms of what he’s meant to the Yankees in his career. And, Reynolds has a plaque in Monument Park.

    When you see games like this one, from Andy, it’s just a reminder that Pettitte deserves to be out there too.

    August 19th @ The Blue Jays

    Posted by on August 19th, 2008 · Comments (18)

    I hate to do this again, but, I gotta. This one just hurts too much for me to comment on it at this time. And, I need time to cool off. Check back for more later this evening – much later.

    For now, I’ll just offer that this loss really, really, stings. I’m not sure if I want to throw up, punch something, or cry…heck, I might have to do all three to help offset the pain of this one.

    Update, 8/19/08, 11:55 pm ET: O.K., some more thoughts on this one…

    Darrell Rasner probably feels like dung right now. But, he should not. For six innings, Rasner was as good as he possibly could be…shoot, he was probably as good as Greg Maddux could be…in his prime. Sure, that 3-2 pitch to Adam Lind, down and in, with one out, in his last inning, was a mistake. But, even with that, it’s just one run allowed by Rasner in this game – - and he brought his team into 7th inning. What more can you ask from Darrell Rasner? Man, I feel bad for him right now.

    Know what? I feel bad for Johnny Damon too. Yeah, that ball in the 8th inning has to be caught. But, in fairness to Damon, in five of his seven games before this one, he was the DH and not playing the field. And, this was only the 4th time in his last 41 games where he has played in centerfield. In a way, maybe it made sense to have Matsui break his way back into the line-up slowly – and avoid throwing Damon out there in center…in a big game like this one…where runs allowed were very important. This is really a bummer for Damon – who deserves not to be in this spot…since he’s been one of the Yankees better players this season.

    A-Rod and Giambi…some night for those two, huh? Obviously, it’s not as easy to hit off A.J. A.J. Burnett as it is to hit off Brian Bannister…and then some. And, as far as that A-Rod situation in the 9th…well, I’m not sure. I can see the sense of urgency to try to get into scoring position. And, that was a great play by Overbay to nail him. But, was Alex busting it out of the batter’s box on that hit? That’s going to be the subject of debate on Wednesday.

    Back to Burnett…he was a horse in this one. You have to tip your cap, of course. But, considering the effort from Rasner, you just hoped that the Yankees would win this one, 1-0, or, at the least, win it in extra innings. Then again, when Joe Inglett reached against Veras with two outs in the eighth…well, you just started to get that Dave Roberts feeling…

    Well, at least I did. This Yankees team can do that to a guy.

    Again, just a terrible, terrible, terrible game to lose – considering the manner in which it was lost, the calendar, the impact on the standings, with the Red Sox, Twins and Rays all winning…

    It will be very interesting to see how the Yankees bounce back from this one tomorrow…if they do. I’m glad that Andy Pettitte is pitching for New York.

    David Purcey is pitching for the Jays. In case you’ve never heard of him, he was taken in the 2004 draft by Toronto…just eight picks before the Yankees took Phil Hughes. Purcey’s minor league stats before this season were not great. But, he’s a big lefty. And, he has pitched O.K. in Toronto this season (as compared to his road games).

    And, I don’t care how they do it, but, the Yankees better win tomorrow.

    August 17th vs. The Royals

    Posted by on August 17th, 2008 · Comments (29)

    So, this is how the other teams (and their fans) must feel when they get to face Ian Kennedy or Kei Igawa. Cool.

    When was the last time that the Yankees scored 10 runs at the start of a game before their opponent’s starter was able to retire four New York batters in the contest? Well, according to my quick research…it has never happened since 1956 – and do not have access to data before that time.

    So, what you saw in this game was something special.

    In fact, before today, since 1956, there have been only 3 starting pitchers to allow the Yankees scored 8 runs in a game before retiring 4 batters in their start: Ryan Drese in 2002, Mark Langston in 1995 and Fergie Jenkins in 1980. Rare stuff, indeed.

    Meanwhile, it was not all puppy dogs and cupcakes in Yankeeland today. Phil Hughes got beat-up down in Triple-A this evening. And, this was against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs – who, with an average of 3.83 runs scored per game coming into this contest, are the worst offensive team in the International League.

    I’ll have to defer to the various members of the Phil Hughes Apologists Association to provide the litany of excuses for young Mr. Hughes’ poor effort today.

    August 16th vs. The Royals

    Posted by on August 16th, 2008 · Comments (4)

    I totally missed this one. We spent the day in Manahawkin – attending a birthday party for two sisters who are friends of my kids. (I did see Doc Cramer Blvd as we were on Route 72…heading to the party, for what it’s worth. So, in a way, I did squeeze in a little baseball related stuff today…I suppose.)

    From seeing the game recaps, it doesn’t look like this was a stellar day for the Yankees: 13 men LOB and 13 of 54 Yankees PA ended in whiffs. And, according to some reports, the fans booed the Yankees, especially A-Rod, at times. (I cannot say this happened, for fact, since I didn’t see it. But, I did see it written in a few spots this evening.) Also, the Yankees second run of the day – one of the three that they only managed to score this afternoon – was a gift, of sorts, coming on a wild pitch.

    In any event, it’s a win…and the Yankees can use it. The fans can use it as well. I know that I’ll sleep better tonight knowing that there’s not another Yankees loss to lament…

    Sidney Ponson…some story, huh? If you would have told me last March that two of the most stable and productive members of the Yankees starting rotation this season would be Mike Mussina…and Sidney Ponson…well, I would have recommeded that you find yourself a 12-step program or something.

    You just can’t tell with baseball, can you? Then again, while Mussina and Ponson have been solid in the games they’ve started for the Yankees, the fact that they stand out so much really doesn’t say much about the rest of the Yankees rotation this season, does it?

    August 15th vs. The Royals

    Posted by on August 16th, 2008 · Comments (4)

    Close, but, no cigar.

    I have always been a firm believer in the principle that tough times don’t last, but, tough people do.

    It’s really too bad that this Yankees team is so short on tough people.

    August 13th @ The Twins

    Posted by on August 13th, 2008 · Comments (14)

    Yeah, I know…the Yankees got the tying run to the plate with two-outs in the 9th inning during this one. But, that’s not a win. At least, it shouldn’t be considered a win. Once again, it seemed as if the Yankees were doing this today:

    I truly expected more fire from a Joe Girardi led team this season. But, it’s not happening.

    So, if I’m doing my math right, the Yankees are now 6-0 against the Seattle Mariners this season and 58-57 against everyone else – and there are just 41 games left to go. Great.

    Well, at the least, New York will not lose tomorrow – that’s for sure. They don’t have a game scheduled. But, that’s not a win either…

    August 12th @ The Twins

    Posted by on August 13th, 2008 · Comments (16)

    I totally skipped this one. Instead, my family and I went to see the Lakewood BlueClaws take on the Savannah Sand Gnats.

    The Sand Gnats are the Mets (low) A-Ball team. The Yankees (low) A-Ball team, the Charleston RiverDogs, are coming to Lakewood next – this Friday, for a four-game set, if you’re interested.

    It was a beautiful night at the ballpark. And, “The Chicken” was there this evening. Great stuff from him. He was extremely amusing.

    This is what baseball is all about: A comfortable August evening. A cozy park filled to near capacity. The kids eating peanuts, cotton-candy and funnel cake. A modern-day Max Patkin for entertainment. Oh, and, by the way, we saw one heckuva ballgame. Here’s the summary via the Asbury Park Press:

    The Lakewood BlueClaws have been riding the hot arms of four 2008 Phillies draft picks and none is hotter right-hander Mike Stutes. The 11th-round pick out of Oregon State University won his fourth game in as many starts for Lakewood, extending his scoreless innings streak to 18 with a seven-inning, one-hit effort to lead the BlueClaws to a 4-0 win over the Savannah Sand Gnats.

    With the Lakewood win and West Virginia’s 2-1 extra-inning loss to Augusta, the BlueClaws moved to within one game of the first-place Power in the South Atlantic League Northern Division.

    Stutes threw seven shutout innings for the second straight start and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. After walking Juan Lagares with one out, Jeffries Tatford singled between shortstop and third base for the Gnats’ only hit. Stutes allowed a season-high three walks and struck out six while lowering his ERA to 0.35.

    By the time we got home from the game, it was late. I booted up my PC and noticed that the Yankees were up, 6-3, in the top of the 8th. Looking at the boxscore, I thought “Sweet effort again from Moose. Good for him. It’s nice to see him get another ‘W’ – and the team can use it.”

    Having some stuff to catch up on, I decided to skip turning on the TV. Besides, three-run lead with six outs to go…not even the Yankees could screw this up, right?

    Wrong.

    I cannot describe my reaction when I peeked at the score again, on-line, and saw that Marte and Rivera blew the lead in the bottom of the eighth. It wasn’t anger – because tonight was such a good baseball-night for me that not even the Yankees could ruin it. It was more like disgust without any element of surprise – even though it was a surprise. Does that make sense?

    In any event, it was a very good thing that the Yankees ended up winning this one in twelve, 9-6. Could you imagine how bad things would be if they had blown this one into a loss…coming off losing 11 of 16…with Rasner slated to start the next game? It would have been “DNR” time – in my opinion – without a doubt. Still, even with the win, does anyone – who doesn’t have the benefit of a nice baseball-night under their belt, like me – feel good about this one (for the Yankees)? If not, I think I could understand that one.

    August 11th @ The Twins

    Posted by on August 11th, 2008 · Comments (23)

    Well, if you’re going to allow yourself to get rolled over like a cadaver at a proctology college, it’s always best to get it over with as quickly as possible. So, kudos to the Yankees for getting this one over with in two hours and fourteen minutes.

    Words I thought I never would be saying: New York wasted another good effort from Sidney Ponson.

    The Yankees have now lost 11 of their last 16. Amazing.

    Here’s a closing note: What’s the difference between the Twins universe and the Yankees universe these days? Today, in the world of the Twins, it was announced that Joe Nathan donated a half-million dollars to Stony Brook University to build a baseball field. And, today, in the world of the Yankees, the off-the-field news is that A-Rod is giving Madonna a half-million bucks for her Raising Malawi charity.

    Hey, nothing wrong with Alex helping Africa’s orphans gain access to food, education and medical care. In fact, it’s noble. But, because of the Madonna connection, it opens up the Yankees for more ridicule…when their “play” on the field should be enough fodder for the anti-Yankees fans out there today.

    But, hey, I suppose that’s what this Yankees season is all about: Making it tough for a Yankee fan to walk the streets with their head held high, right?

    August 10th @ The Angels

    Posted by on August 10th, 2008 · Comments (15)

    Just by chance today, I happened to stumble across ESPN’s live coverage of the Little League Senior Softball World Series this afternoon – during the bottom of the seventh inning. At that time, the game was tied. Puerto Rico had runners on second and third with one out. New Jersey was having a team huddle on the mound – to discuss how to handle the situation.

    The next batter for Puerto Rico hit a grounder to second – and the second baseman for New Jersey fielded the ball…but she threw it to first base to retire the batter…as the winning run scored (from third).

    The ESPN announcers quickly commented…wondering why the second baseman didn’t make a throw home…to try and cut off the winning run. But, they didn’t get a chance to get too far into it…because the broadcast was ending.

    At that time, all I could think of was “Wow. What a terrible way to lose a close and important ballgame.”

    Later, I watched the Yankees lose to the Angels today. It was just like watching New Jersey against Puerto Rico all over again…

    “Wow. What a terrible way to lose a close and important ballgame.”

    August 9th @ The Angels

    Posted by on August 9th, 2008 · Comments (7)

    Ah, “the Curse of Kyle Farnsworth” lives on…

    Poor Dan Giese. You have to feel bad for him today. He pitched his rear off, in front of his family, against the team he grew up watching…and the Yankees pen just…well…they just pooped on it.

    This whole thing is starting to get very embarrassing. So, here’s the question: Assuming the Yankees continue to play like chumps, rather than champs, for the rest of the season, should someone in the organization be held accountable for this mess? Or, do you just write off this season because of the injuries to Wang, Chamberlain, Matsui, and Posada and say this is all bad luck?

    August 8th @ The Angels

    Posted by on August 9th, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Well, the Yankees have now lost 8 of their last 13 games.

    Back on July 27th, New York was just three back in the loss column behind the first place Tampa Bay Rays. Thirteen games later, New York is now seven games back of the Rays in the loss column.

    This season is sinking faster than a White Castle Slider. Sure, the Yankees are still in the Wildcard chase…but, for how much longer (the way that they’re playing)?

    Seriously, watching the Yankees go backwards now is worse than watching the Celebrity Look-A-Likes edition of The Family Feud. Gosh…it’s painful.

    August 6th @ The Rangers

    Posted by on August 6th, 2008 · Comments (4)

    I’m not overly impressed with the Yankees offense in this one. Considering the level of experience behind the pitchers they faced in this contest…scoring five runs should have been the minimum expectation out of them…and that’s all they scored…five runs.

    You know…Sidney Ponson is a terrible pitcher. I hated it when the Yankees announced that they picked him up. And, I don’t like having him on this team.

    But, the fact of the matter is, Ponson has made seven starts for the Yankees now and New York has won five of those games. Further, one of the two games that they lost was by the score of 1-0. You really can’t say that Sidney Ponson has hurt the Yankees…so far. And, in some ways, he’s been a help to the team…again…so far. (And, it kills me to say that.)

    It will be interesting to see if the Yankees make a roster move now with Pudge getting hurt in this game. Can they afford to play with one catcher for a few games? I don’t think so…

    I could see them sending Darrell Rasner down now…but, who on the 40-man roster would go to make room for Chad Moeller? Do you move Posada or Wang to the 60-day D.L.? Or, do you release someone like Billy Traber? Time will tell…

    August 5th @ The Rangers

    Posted by on August 5th, 2008 · Comments (7)

    Close one.

    Too bad this is baseball and not….

    The Yankees had 8 walks this evening. This is the third time this season that Yankees had 8+ BB in a game of nine innings or less where they lost. That’s pretty hard to do…

    Since 1956, the only other Yankees teams to do “this” three or more times in a season were:

     NYY 2000     5 Games
     NYY 1969     5 Games
     NYY 1986     4 Games
     NYY 1971     3 Games
     NYY 1968     3 Games
     NYY 1965     3 Games
     NYY 1980     3 Games
    

    Hey, only two more to go…and then they tie the high-mark.

    Speaking of records, New York is now 7 games back in the loss column behind Tampa Bay…with 49 games to play. First place is now in a galaxy far, far, away…eh? How soon until the Wildcard is just as far away?

    August 4th @ The Rangers

    Posted by on August 5th, 2008 · Comments (10)

    Damaso Marte…hey, I’m not shocked.

    Yes, this was a tough loss – especially since Boston and Tampa lost their games at the same time. Then again, maybe that’s a good thing?

    In any event, the big news from this one is the Joba Chamberlain injury. Call it a stiff shoulder or a tight deltoid…it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the Yankees see it as being serious enough to send Joba back to New York, right away, for tests. And, what matters is that Joe Girardi, after the game, already admitted that it’s quite possible that Chamberlain will miss his next turn.

    If this event turns into something where Joba Chamberlain is going to miss most of August, you can kiss the Yankees chances this season “good-bye.” If New York doesn’t have better options than Dan Giese/Darrell Ranser and Sidney Ponson for the rotation…who is going to replace Joba?

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think this is Gil Patterson circa 1977 or anything. But, I do think it could be something that might warrant shutting Joba down for an extended period this year. And, if true, I don’t see the Yankees having enough in terms of starting pitching to be able to weather that storm.

    August 3rd vs. The Angels

    Posted by on August 3rd, 2008 · Comments (15)

    I had tickets for this game. But, I did the fiscally responsible thing and sold them to my friend’s friend, Elana.

    I must have the magic touch this season. It seems like every time I have tickets, and cannot go, something big happens. There’s this game…and that June 7th game against the Royals…and that May 23rd game against the Mariners.

    Then again, it’s probably good that I missed going to this one. I’m positive that I would have gone into cardiac arrest when Mark Teixeira hit that grand slam in the 8th inning to give the Angels the lead. Seriously, when things like that happen at the Stadium, and I’m there to see it, it’s time to start sizing me up for a body-bag.

    The back and forth in this game was amazing.

    The first four innings for the Yankees were terrible. At that point in time, it looked like men against boys, or, champs against chumps, with the Yankees being on the short end.

    However, when the Yankees came back in the game, and went ahead in the seventh, all I could think about was what this potential “win” was telling us – in the big picture. Sure, the Angels beat the Yankees on Thursday. But, the Yankees beat the Angels on Saturday. And, Friday’s game was close. Winning this game…well…it was a sign that the Yankees could hold their own against the best team in baseball…when you looked at this whole series. And, that’s really saying something.

    However, then came the top of the eighth inning.

    I started watching this game on YES. In the top of the sixth, I switched to the radio – in my car – by myself. And, then, later, I was among family (pool-side) – still listening on the radio – during the top of the eighth (just as the Angels started to rally).

    When Teixeira took Ramirez over the wall, all I could do was mouth the words “Oh, f*ck me!” (since my kids were within earshot). Actually, I think I mouthed it a few times.

    What a relief that the Yankees came back in the bottom of the eighth…scoring five runs against Scot Shields and one more against Darren Oliver.

    The Angels really booted that inning – and the whole game, in fact. On the day, they allowed the Yankees to score nine unearned runs.

    So, in the end, everything that I was thinking during the bottom of the seventh still applied.

    Yes, there were nine unearned runs here. But, New York could have thrown in the towel after four innings – and again after the top of the eighth. But, that didn’t happen. There’s no way that the Yankees can feel anything but great after a game like this one.

    It should be a fun flight to Texas this evening – for sure. And, the Yankees should enjoy it…as they “earned” it…unearned runs or not.

    August 2nd vs. The Angels

    Posted by on August 2nd, 2008 · Comments (8)

    I punted this one. After the last two games with the Angels, I needed a break. So, I elected not to watch it. Besides, after watching Old Timers’ Day for two hours, I could not, in good conscience, park myself in front of the tube for another three hours to watch baseball…it being a Saturday afternoon and me being a husband and a father. So, instead of watching this game, I took the family out for dinner, some ice cream, and a quick walk to the park.

    From what I can tell…now…this game was a beauty for Mike Mussina – and not a good one for Jered Weaver.

    For me, that’s great to see.

    The more I read “Living on the Black” the more I’m learning to appreciate Mussina. So, it’s nice to see him continue this dream season for him.

    And, I really dislike Jered Weaver. He’s never done anything to bring this on. In fact, I really don’t know that much about him – outside of what I read about him in Baseball America back when he was in college. I just know that he always reminds me of his brother, Jeff, in terms of the way he looks, wears his hair, and carries himself on the mound. And, because I cannot stand Jeff Weaver, I have now carried over my dislike to Jered Weaver (as well). Logical? No, not really. But, I’m just being honest.

    Of course, in addition to the starting pitchers involved – and which one did well and which one did poorly – finding out the outcome of this game was great because…hey, let’s face it, the Yankees really, really, really, needed a win.

    It seems like it’s been a long time since the last one.

    August 1st vs. The Angels

    Posted by on August 1st, 2008 · Comments (23)

    We were out tonight. But, I got to see some of the first three innings of this one where we were…and I was somewhat suprised that Sir Sidney was doing well there…but, I also thought it was just a matter of time…

    In the time it took for us to get home, I missed watching the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. And, I didn’t have it on the car radio either. When we got into the house, and I turned on the T.V., it was the seventh-inning stretch and “God Bless America” was being sung.

    You can only try to imagine my shock when I soon found out that it was zip-zip, heading into the bottom of the seventh, with Ponson going seven scoreless for the Yanks.

    How many times, in the last nine days, did I complain about Sidney Ponson being a lousy pitcher? Well, there was this time, and the time after that, and the next time after that, and then there was today

    Yikes!

    Man, you can just never tell in baseball…

    Like, this whole Mariano thing too…

    Sign me up now on that one. At first, I wasn’t giving this “He can’t pitch this season in non-save situations” theory much credit…but…now…well…I’m starting to believe!

    Killer loss for the Yankees tonight. This one just stings. Sure, the Angels are really good. But, if you’re the Yankees, coming off four losses in five games, fighting for your life in the standings, with the calendar ticking away, and you get this kind of effort from Sidney Ponson, you just cannot lose this game. Yes, Ervin Santana was awesome too. But, you just have to find a way to score one run…in some way or form.

    And, terrible job by the My9/YES booth in the bottom of the ninth – giving A-Rod a huge pass for going down looking…claiming that it was just unfair for K-Rod to throw a three-two change on the outer-black for the strikeout; and, giving Giambi credit for “just missing” on his flyball to center (for the second out of the inning).

    Guys, know what? The two “big guns” (A-Rod and Giambi) just flat-out failed there. Granted, it’s K-Rod, etc. But, just leave it at them not coming through…and don’t insult us by painting this picture of how A-Rod was in a situation where no one could ever do well and that Giambi was an inch away from being a hero. It’s all about the bottom-line. And, bottom-line, once again, Alex and Jason could not come up with a big hit in a spot where it was really needed. End of story.