• Bloody Sock Helped Tigers Over Yanks?

    Posted by on October 9th, 2006 · Comments (2)

    From the New York Post -

    Jeremy Bonderman wouldn’t name names, but he confirmed what every Yankee fan know. The Bronx Bombers, baseball’s $200 million team, have a lot of enemies in the baseball world.

    Bonderman, who threw 81/3 innings of five-hit ball to lead the Tigers to a series-clinching 8-3 win over the Yankees, told The Post in a champagne-soaked Detroit clubhouse that he got tipped earlier this week on how to pitch the Bombers.

    “I had a guy call me up a couple of days ago and give me insight about how to get these guys out, and I have all the thanks in the world for him to do that for me,” said Bonderman. “He didn’t have to do it. It was a great favor.”

    Quick, someone get me the outgoing call logs for Curt Schilling’s cell phone covering the days of October 3rd through October 6th.

    Schilling would fit the profile here – he studies hitters like no one else. And, he’s ballsie-enough to pick up the phone and make such a call.

    Bonderman did look Schilling-ish on Saturday, at least to me.

    Stein On The 2006 ALDS

    Posted by on October 8th, 2006 · Comments (11)

    From the AP:

    “I am deeply disappointed at our being eliminated so early in the playoffs,” Steinbrenner said in a statement issued Sunday by spokesman Howard Rubenstein. “This result is absolutely not acceptable to me nor to our great and loyal Yankee fans. I want to congratulate the Detroit Tigers organization and wish them well. Rest assured, we will go back to work immediately and try to right this sad failure and provide a championship for the Yankees, as is our goal every year.”

    Rubenstein said he spoke with Steinbrenner on Sunday.

    “Clearly he was upset,” he said.

    Every time I read one of these Big Stein “statements” via Rubenstein, all I can think of is John Gill from Star Trek lore. I miss the old George reactions.

    October 7th @ The Tigers

    Posted by on October 7th, 2006 · Comments (15)

    By the time that Lidle, in relief of Wright, was knocked out of this game in the 5th inning (with no one out), this game – and the Yankees season – was over.

    Not even pithy T-Shirts or select Pacino movies could get the Yankees to the ALCS this year.

    Five days ago, about this ALDS match-up, I wrote:

    I know that some might see this match-up as the 2003 World Series all over again – facing a young and care-free rags to riches team, with pitchers that throw hard, and they play in a big ballpark, with crafty manager, etc.

    But, the Marlins in 2003 were peaking towards the World Series. The Tigers limped into the post-season.

    That sounded smart. After all, the Tigers only won 19 of their final 50 games this season. I was wrong. I should have listened to a friend of mine, who told me (on that same day) that, according to the BP keys to post-season success, it would be the Tigers over the Yankees in the ALDS.

    In terms of recent Yankees post-season failures in the ALDS, this ALDS loss is not as painful as 1995 – but, it’s just as bad as 1997 or 2002. In terms of overall recent Yankees post-season failures, this series loss is not as painful as 2004 – but, it’s just as bad as 2003.

    Yup, in many ways, this Yankees October was 2003 all over again. The “no-names” beat the “big-names” and they stuffed it down their throats in the process.

    Watching Jeremy Bonderman cruise through the first 5 innings today, on only 40 pitches, against “Murderer’s Row & Cano,” really drilled the Yankees problem home, to me. Working the pitcher, playing for deep counts, etc., is only successful against bad-to-average pitching. It does not work against good, great, or hot pitching. When you face pitchers who can pound quality strike after quality strike, you better start stringing together some singles for a rally – because you’re not going to get that fat and/or cookie pitch to blast for extra bases. Go ask Sheffield, or Giambi, or A-Rod about that.

    Lastly, there will always be a part of me who will wonder if this game would have been different with Wang on the hill for New York – and Mussina pitching Game 5. At the least, if Wang could have kept the Tigers off the board for the first three innings, or so, maybe it would have kept the crowd out of the game for a while and their energy would have not been something for Bonderman and the Tigers to feed from in this contest. As it was, between the Yankees going down in the first on seven pitches, the Ordonez homer in the second, and the Pudge 2-out RBI in the fourth (after the A-Rod error), the Motown faithful were rocking before this game hit the fifth inning.

    On the whole, for those in Yankeeland, this game was as ugly as Jeanie Zelasko’s freckled cleavage.

    Congrats to the Tigers. They won, fair and square – and in convincing fashion. I hope they win the ALCS now – because I’m not interested in seeing the A’s win and then having to listen about how smart Billy Beane is, all winter. And, since it looks like the Mets have a good shot at making the World Series, I want the team that beat the Yankees to beat the Mets in the World Series. That will keep the Mets fans quiet after this October.

    Pretty sad that this is what’s left for a Yankee fan to root for, huh?

    2006 ALDS Game 4: A-Rod Bats 8th

    Posted by on October 7th, 2006 · Comments (7)

    Today’s Yankees starting line-up, last I heard:

    Damon CF
    Jeter SS
    Abreu RF
    Sheffield 1B
    Matsui DH
    Posada C
    Cano 2B
    Rodriguez 3B
    Cabrera LF

    I love the idea of getting Melky in LF and having Godzilla at DH.

    But, here’s where I’m getting dizzy. This game is the Yankees season. It’s must win. Lose and you go home.

    Jason Giambi is not playing and Alex Rodriguez is batting 8th.

    You tell me, when the Yankees signed Giambi, on that day, if I said to you “In a must win game, do you sit Giambi?” what would have been your reaction?

    Also, tell me, when the Yankees traded for A-Rod, on that day, if I said to you “In a must win game, do you bat Rodriguez 8th?” what would have been your reaction?

    Mark down today’s date: October 7th, 2006. This is the date that we can look to when judging the acquisitions of Giambi and A-Rod. The results of today’s starting line-up tell you everything you need to know. In a “must win” or die game, the manager of the team feels that he cannot count on these guys to be major factors towards a chance to win.

    What a bizarre day this has become – learning about this line-up now. When I woke up this morning, I truly began to feel that the Yankees would win this game today and bring it home for Wang in Game 5. And…I liked New York’s chances in Game 5. But…I thought that A-Rod and Giambi would be part of the win in Game 4. Looks like that was a mistake. Maybe Abreu and Sheffield can be the big men for the Yankees today? Put it this way – they’re going to have to be the ones.

    Giambi sits this one out and A-Rod might be lucky to get three At Bats.

    Bizarre, indeed.

    Damon: We Need To Have More Life

    Posted by on October 7th, 2006 · Comments (9)

    From the Journal News -

    “We have to come back tomorrow and not play scared,” Johnny Damon said. “We have to believe how good we are. We’re the best team out here and we have to believe that. We need to have more life.”

    Next, Damon said “Hey, who are you guys and where’s Mueller, Millar, Bellhorn, Manny and Papi?”

    You know that Damon, Jeter, Matsui and Posada are going to show up today. That’s not the issue. Today, the Yankees need big things at the plate from Giambi and A-Rod. Just like the 2004 Red Sox could count on Manny and Ortiz, in a big game like today, Jason and Alex need to be the big men.

    Will it happen? We’ll know for sure around 7 pm ET today.

    October 6th @ The Tigers

    Posted by on October 6th, 2006 · Comments (25)

    It’s not over yet, but, Martha Wash is looking for her sheet music.

    Randy Johnson was not a total bust tonight. Some ground-ball hits early hurt. And, those two two-out RBI hits in the 6th killed his night. But, he could have been worse. Nonetheless, even if the Big Unit went eight today and only allowed 2 runs, it would not matter, because…

    Kenny Rogers, the worst post-season pitcher in the history of baseball, held the Yankees to zero runs over 7 2/3 innings pitched. During this time, Rogers made New York batters go 0-17 with runners on base – and 0-8 with runners in scoring position.

    Having Kenny Rogers do this to you in October is like allowing Jessica Simpson to beat you in a game of Jeopardy!

    The only bright-side to this course of events is that it lends towards the line of logic that suggests “Well, if Kenny Rogers can do this tonight, maybe Jaret Wright can do it tomorrow?”

    Actually, if Wright can go a solid 5 tomorrow, Proctor should be good for two and Farnsworth and Rivera can chip in one inning each. But, the Yankees still need to score some runs to force a Game 5 back in New York.

    Lastly, if this does not happen, we will have to start to consider the thought that the Yankees are the Atlanta Braves of this century. That may sound mean…but, when you make the post-season every year for the last 6 years and get zero rings in the process, you probably deserve whatever label people hang on you.

    Wang’s Home Alone

    Posted by on October 6th, 2006 · Comments (10)

    Thanks to WasWatching.com reader “bfriley76″ for the tip on this from the Post:

    Chien-Ming Wang didn’t accompany the Yankees to Detroit because he wouldn’t be available until Game 5 at Yankee Stadium.

    Despite Andy Taylor’s instructions to Barney Fife, in this case, I think it’s insane to keep your only bullet in your shirt pocket.

    If the Yankees lose tonight, a loss in Game 4 means there will be no Game 5. Therefore, if the Yankees lose tonight, Game 4 is the key game of this series. You need Game 4 before Game 5 is of any concern.

    If you still want to start Wright in Game 4, that’s fine. But, at least have Wang there to spot him – like Johnson in Game 5 of the 2005 ALDS and Mussina in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS – if needed.

    And, if Wang is not needed in Game 4, the flight from MoTown to New York is not going to kill him for Game 5. Heck, I’ve spent longer trips in my car driving to Yankee Stadium than Wang will have to sit on the plane.

    Torre is making a mistake here.

    Kabak: Yanks Fans Fail To Represent

    Posted by on October 6th, 2006 · Comments (10)

    Benjamin Kabak has an interesting feature posted today on Yankees fan Stadium reactions during Game 2 of the 2006 ALDS.

    Ben opens with:

    Once upon a time, Yankee Stadium in October was electric. The fans were loud and boisterous. The crowd seemed to know something about baseball. They rooted for the Yankee as though every one of the 56,000 fans were a member of the team, and they booed the opposing team as though personally insulted by their presence in the Bronx.

    So after sitting through 9 innings of lackluster play by the Yankees and nearly no passion from the fans, I have to ask myself: What happened?

    And he closes with:

    It’s always fun to go to the Stadium in October and soak in the playoffs. Yesterday was my first playoff game since Game 3 of the 2001 World Series and I had missed the playoff atmosphere.

    But after sitting through that debacle yesterday, I still miss that atmosphere. I miss the real fans and the passionate fans. I know the Tigers fans will be out in full force tonight. Where were you yesterday, New York?

    That was simply pathetic.

    But, it’s in the middle of his feature where Ben hits Yankees fans the hardest:

    Yesterday, I was lucky enough to pull off a rare New York doubleheader. I spent the afternoon in the Tier Reserve at Yankee Stadium and the evening in the chilly Loge Reserve at Shea Stadium. For six hours yesterday, I watched playoff baseball in New York and observed fans of all stripes rooting for their respective teams. Let me tell you this: The Mets care a lot more than the Yankee fans do right now.

    This is something that I’ve been hearing from many diehard Yankees fans over the last few years – that, come October, it’s the “suits” that take over the Stadium and the “real fans” are missing. I recall one person telling me, around five years ago: “You can spot ‘them’ a mile away. They show up just at game time, or during the first inning, still dressed for work, wearing a Yankees hat that looks brand new – which it is…because they just bought it outside the Stadium when they showed up.”

    I have personally been to post-season games at the Stadium since 1977. In fact, I was there 30 years ago today when Hal McRae tried to kill Willie Randolph. And, even back in 1977, you had an amount of “fans” at post-season games who could be labeled as “front runner” attendees.

    Therefore, this October “situation” is not totally new – but, it has grown, at the Stadium, over the last few years.

    I would estimate that it could happen someday at Shea Stadium, as well – if the Mets make it to the post-season for several seasons in a row.

    Just this past Wednesday, I was asking a Yankees fan friend at work if he was going to any post-season games this year and he said “Nah, it’s too expensive and it’s easier to just watch the games on television. I’ll probably enjoy it more that way.”

    And, this is the issue. Yankees fans have had October baseball now for 12 years in a row. For many “day-in/day-out” fans, there’s no sense of urgency for them around attending these games – since they’ve had a chance or two to get to one over the last decade. If the Yankees had not been in the post-season for 12 years, and then made it, the diehard Yankees fans would fight over tickets like wild animals (regardless of the cost). Now, it’s too “easy” to say, “I’ll just watch the games on T.V.” and let the “suits” fork over the dough in order to have something “status” to drop in conversation the next day in an attempt to impress someone.

    And, when you have more people at the game who barely know the players than those who could tell you Derek Jeter’s middle name, you’re going to get a more sedate crowd at the games.

    As a Yankees fan, if this bothers you, I have bad news. The more seasons in a row that the Yankees make the post-season, and the more expensive the post-season tickets get, the “situation” is only going to get worse.

    If you look at home many post-season games the Yankees have lost at home since 2004, you have to wonder if the lack of the “true” 10th man has anything to do with it?

    I was there for Game 6 of the ALCS in 2004, and, I can tell you that there were many Yankees “fans” sitting on their hands – and just as many Red Sox fans going crazy. It was darn right comfortable for the Sox players that night.

    Now, I’m not saying that Yankees fan attendee post-season reaction needs to go back to 1970′s battery-throwing levels, but, it probably wouldn’t hurt to have opposing teams feel a “tad” more uncomfortable about having to face the Yankees and 55,000 screaming fans.

    Again, it doesn’t have to be a situation where the other team fears for their personal safety. Just make it like what the Yankees players hear when they go to Fenway Park.

    It does get the other team’s attention. And, in the post-season, when little things can make a difference, it helps.

    ALDS Yankees Trends

    Posted by on October 6th, 2006 · Comments (1)

    The Yankees have a lot of history with the ALDS. Here’s a summary of their experience, in terms of after two games and the final series result:

    ALDSSummary.jpg

    As you can see, many times the Yankees have been tied after two games of an ALDS – with mixed final results.

    Taking it a step further, before 2006, how many times have the Yankees won the first game of an ALDS and then lost the second game? The answer: 1997, 2002 and 2005.

    The Yankees lost the ALDS in 1997, 2002, and 2005. That’s not a good trend, when looking at 2006.

    And, Now, For Some Bad News………

    Posted by on October 6th, 2006 · Comments (7)

    Did you know that the last time Randy Johnson won an LDS game was October 8, 1995?

    How long ago was that? Look at it this way: Melky Cabrera was 11 years and 2 months old at the time.

    Far From Perfect Now

    Posted by on October 5th, 2006 · Comments (4)

    When Randy Johnson faces Kenny Rogers in the ALDS tomorrow, will that be the first time that two pitchers who have thrown perfect games will face-off against each other in a post-season game?

    I believe the answer is “yes.”

    Game 3 of the 2006 ALDS Will Be A-Rod’s Greatest Post-Season Game of All-Time

    Posted by on October 5th, 2006 · Comments (9)

    Here’s what’s currently forming for Game 3 of 2006 Tigers-Yankees ALDS.

    On one front:

    Alex Rodriguez, in his career, has faced (scheduled Tigers starter) Kenny Rogers 24 times. In 5 of those 24 times, Rogers walked A-Rod.

    In the 19 times where Rogers did not issue a pass to Rodriguez, Alex has produced a hit 10 times. Yes, that’s a batting average of .526. But…wait…there’s more! Five of those ten hits for A-Rod were homeruns! Yes, in his career, when Rodriguez gets to bat against Rogers, half the time he gets a hit – and half of those hits are usually a homer.

    On another front:

    This is a post-season start for Kenny Rogers. In his post-season career, Kenny Rogers has pitched in 9 games – throwing 20.3 innings. During this time, Rogers has allowed 16 walks and 32 hits. Yes, over his entire post-season career, Kenny Rogers has allowed 2.4 baserunners per inning pitched. Further, Rogers’ lifetime post-season ERA is 8.85!

    If the batter-pitcher match-up in Game 3 of the 2006 ALDS is not the perfect storm for a huge A-Rod night at the bat, there’s no such thing.

    And, if A-Rod should go Oh’fer against Kenny Rogers in Game 3 of the 2006 ALDS, then maybe it’s time to wonder “What in the name of Joseph ‘Sport’ Sullivan is going on with Alex in October since Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS?”

    [Before the claims of insanity begin, I'm only kidding with that last part.]

    Now…quick…someone contact Jim Fannin and make sure that he passes these stats to Rodriguez before the game starts tomorrow.

    October 5th vs. The Tigers

    Posted by on October 5th, 2006 · Comments (25)

    I told you that the Tigers would show up to play for this game. I also warned you about Guillen and Zumaya.

    As much as I want to say that Mussina did his job today – going seven on 93 pitches – the wild pitch and 2-out hit allowed in the 5th and the 0-2 triple in the 7th were big mistakes.

    Now you have a situation where it’s a best two-of-three and the Tigers have the homefield advantage. The game tomorrow night, for Randy Johnson, is “must win.” And, if the Yankees lose tomorrow, they have to think about bringing Wang back a day early to pitch Game Four.

    When Matsui led off the 9th today with a single, and Torre had Melky pinch-run, I questioned that move. Cabrera is faster than Godzilla. But, Miggy Cairo is 37 for 44, over the last 3 years, in SB attempts. If ever there was a “Dave Roberts 2004″ situation for the Yankees – this was it. Get Cairo in there and take a shot at second base – or, at the least, take a shot at second once there were two outs and Damon was up.

    Lastly, where have Sheffield, A-Rod and Cano been these last two games? O.K., Sheff did have an RBI in Game One. But, Cano and A-Rod have been invisible.

    Over the last two games, Alex Rodriguez has whiffed 4 times where 3 of them were looking. For a guy who was seeing the ball great in September, all of a sudden he’s lost at the plate again. Maybe Torre needs to move him down in the line-up some more?

    Listen While You Work

    Posted by on October 5th, 2006 · Comments (20)

    FYI, for those stuck at work, where you can’t get a radio signal, you can listen to the game today, for free, on your PC.

    Go to: 1050espnradio.com

    and click on the “Listen Live” button.

    Win Or Lose Mussina Needs To Go Deep Today

    Posted by on October 5th, 2006 · Comments (4)

    Think about it.

    The Yankees and Tigers, because of the rain yesterday, will now play their remaining ALDS games in a row. It will either be two-, three-, or four-games in a row, depending on the game outcomes.

    Today is Mussina for the Yankees. Tomorrow is Randy Johnson.

    On Saturday, it will be either Jaret Wright and Cory Lidle – as Torre won’t say “who” yet.

    Randy Johnson is a question mark in terms of how many innings he can give you tomorrow. It could be eight or it could be less than one. No one knows, for sure.

    You know that Wright or Lidle are going to give you 5 or 6 innings on Saturday, at best.

    This means that you can probably count on the Yankees bullpen being needed in Game 3 of this LDS – and Game 4, if the game is played.

    The last thing the Yankees need is for Bruney, Proctor, Farnsworth and Rivera to all have to pitch today, behind Mussina – because you can safely bet that two of those four (or more) will be needed on Friday. And, maybe all of those four will be needed on Saturday (if the game is played).

    Don’t even get me started about the potential pen abuse for New York impacting Game 5 of this series (now) because of the rain-out.

    This is why Mike Mussina has to give the Yankees at least 6 innings today – and better if it was 7 innings. This will require Mussina to average around 15 pitches per inning. That’s very economical – but, the Tigers are a free swinging team. So, it’s possible.

    Bottom line, if Mussina only goes 4 or 5 innings today, it’s going to hurt the Yankees chances in this series – thanks to the rain taking out the off-day (that was scheduled for today).

    October 4th Game Called

    Posted by on October 4th, 2006 · Comments (21)

    Yeah, a retractable roof on the new place would be a stupid idea.

    Go tell that to the 55,000 fans who have been sitting up in the Bronx for the last two hours.

    I am so bummed by this turn of events. I know that you cannot fight the weather. Nonetheless, as a working stiff, I’m going to now miss watching this game. I hate having my eyeballs miss watching a Yankees post-season game. I cannot remember the last time that I missed watching a Yankees post-season game.

    I probably would have played hookey or “worked from home” in the past – in order to be able to watch a day post-season Yankees game. I cannot do that tomorrow. Having this game called tonight kicks me right, square, in my Yankees-fan fannie.

    Worse, because of meetings in the office on Thursday, I cannot stay tuned to a radio or Gamecast to follow the action as it happens. (Don’t even get me started over the fact that this game will now be played without me having a chance to change into my “lucky game watching clothes” because I will be at work.)

    Let me try and equate the feelings now for me on this one.

    I think I have it.

    At this moment, Game 2 of the ALDS between the Tigers and Yankees is the football.

    The weather is Lucy.

    And I am freakin’ Charlie Brown.

    Yeah. That fits.

    Start Of LDS Game 2 Delayed By Weather Threat

    Posted by on October 4th, 2006 · Comments (3)

    As much as I love Shirley Manson and her boys, in a situation like this, I’m only happy when it does not rain.

    Oh, there’s going to be a lot of tired Yankees fans on the east coast tomorrow AM, for sure.

    ALDS 2006 – Game 2 Key

    Posted by on October 4th, 2006 · Comments (2)

    Some splits, this season, on the Tigers starter tonight, Justin Verlander:

    ERA – Home: 3.31, Road: 3.91
    ERA – Day: 2.78, Night: 3.98

    Since this is a night game, on the road for Verlander, the Yankees have an advantage here. But, an ERA just under 4 is still great.

    Here’s another split on Justin:

    BA allowed – vs. Left: .279, vs. Right: .253

    Therefore, look for Posada, Giambi, Cano, Matsui, Damon and Abreu to do the heavy lifting tonight.

    Giambi is not a great night hitter. And, Cano and Damon hit better on the road than in the Bronx.

    Posada, this season, has hit RHP well, and excels in the Bronx at night.

    Therefore, Jorge is the secret weapon in this game for the Yankees – or, at least, he should be one. Maybe Matsui or Abreu can sneak in there too.

    October 3rd vs. The Tigers

    Posted by on October 3rd, 2006 · Comments (16)

    Abreu-cadabra!

    Just about every time this game started to look closer than it should be, along came Bobby Abreu. And, that Jeter guy had a pretty good game too. (At the rate Derek is going, his Yankeeography is going to have to be a two-parter.)

    I thought that Worm Killer Wang pitched better than his final numbers read. That double by Polanco was barely fair. Take that out of the Tigers rally against him and it’s a whole different line-score in this game for Wang.

    Two sightings from this game to note:

    1. Tanyon Sturtze in the Yankees dugout. So, where was Carl Pavano?

    2. FOX showing Patrick Ewing in the stands during the bottom of the 2nd inning. That is one large man. Imagine if he went for baseball instead of hoops. As a batter, how would you like to see a seven-foot, 250-pound, Ewing taking toe to the pitching rubber with his extra long wings and looking downhill at you?

    This was a good win for the Yankees. If they lost this game, given Johnson’s condition and the questions around Game Three, a loss tonight would have made Game Two “must win.” It’s nice not to have to deal with that kind of pressure this early in the post-season.

    Lastly, the Tigers did not look scared or tense tonight. They sure did not look like a team that just choked up a division. I expect them to show up tomorrow and play tough. The Yankees should expect that as well.

    ALDS 2006 – Game 1 Key

    Posted by on October 3rd, 2006 · Comments (3)

    Assuming that the game tonight is close……..

    According to Joe Torre, Mariano Rivera is only pitching the 9th inning in Yankees victories this post-season.

    Based on his last 5 starts this season, it’s reasonable to expect 6 or 6.3 IP tonight from Chien-Ming Wang. Actually, anything less than six would be a disappointment.

    Therefore, someone from the Yankees bullpen will need to cover the 7th and 8th inning of this game – most likely. That’s Proctor and Farnsworth territory.

    So, if the game is close this evening, the performance of Proctor and Farnsworth should be the keys to nailing down a win today.

    Then again, that’s probably going to be the key for every close post-season game this year for the Yankees.

    Tigers Fan Thoughts On ALDS

    Posted by on October 3rd, 2006 · Comments (1)

    From The Wayne Fontes Experience -

    The Tigers can do the world at large a huge favor by taking out the Yankees. If there is one, and only one, bright spot in their backing into the playoffs, is that everyone will be rooting for the Tigers.

    From The Detroit Tiger Weblog -

    If the Tigers can find a way to take one of the first 2 games I actually believe the Tigers will win this series. This is fully a homer pick and not based on anything resembling solid logic. I’m confident that Kenny Rogers and Jeremy Bonderman can pick up wins against the Yankees 3rd and 4th options. Of course I was confident that the Tigers could beat the Royals and that didn’t mean a whole lot, but right now I’m looking for reasonable doubt.

    From the Detroit Tigers Baseball Guide -

    The Detroit Tigers find them in the playoffs for the first time since 1987. But they have been stumbling as of late losing their last 5 games, all at home. Their first opponent will be the New York Yankees who are definitely used to playing in October. The Tigers will definitely have their work cut out for them, but this is not an impossible journey, they have proved that they can win all season.

    From Tiger Tales -

    The Yankees lost to teams that they were supposed to beat in each of the last 4 post-seasons. This year will be no different as I see the Tigers pitching their way to an upset in 5 games. The hitting hero and series MVP will be Carlos Guillen. The top pitcher will be Joel Zumaya.

    I only have two thoughts on these findings. One, it’s interesting that some Tigers fans are thinking positive about this series. Two, it’s really hard to find many updated Tigers Blogs out there (compared to the number of Yankees or Red Sox related blogs).

    Tigers-Yankees 2006 ALDS Preview

    Posted by on October 2nd, 2006 · Comments (7)

    OK, we know that the Yankees handled the Tigers this regular season – New York went 5-2 against them.

    And, we know that the Yankees (as a team) can out-hit the Tigers on almost any given day. And, we know that the Tigers are just 36-38 since the All-Star break.

    But, the Tigers do have some pitching on their side – and they can play defense with the best of them. And, remember, pitching and defense matter in the post-season.

    However, over the last two months, Justin Verlander and Jeremy Bonderman have not been pitching well for the Tigers. This means that Nate Robertson and Kenny Rogers are the big hopes now for Motown. (Yeah, Kenny Rogers.)

    On offense, Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordonez have been swinging hot bats for the Tigers. Other than that, everyone else on Detroit can probably be pitched to at this moment.

    Actually, Guillen scares me – it always seems like he’s getting a big hit for the Tigers. (And, back to the pitching-side, the Tigers Joel Zumaya scares me a bit in this series too.)

    I know that some might see this match-up as the 2003 World Series all over again – facing a young and care-free rags to riches team, with pitchers that throw hard, and they play in a big ballpark, with crafty manager, etc.

    But, the Marlins in 2003 were peaking towards the World Series. The Tigers limped into the post-season.

    Let’s face it – the Yankees should win this ALDS in four games. New York knows it. Now, they just have to do it. And, it starts with winning Game One. If the Yankees lose Game One, they could be in a 1-2 hole heading into Game Four – with Wright starting for New York. That’s not good.

    The Yankees need to win two of the first three games in this ALDS in order to be in a position to win the series in four games. Since Randy Johnson is slated to start Game Three, this means Wang and Mussina need to win at least one game – probably two. If they don’t, well, just imagine what will happen in New York if the Yankees lose this ALDS to the Tigers.

    Tigers or Twins?

    Posted by on September 29th, 2006 · Comments (1)

    Looking at the A.L. Central this morning, and seeing the Twins and Tigers tied at the top – with three games to go – makes me wonder if I will get my wish?

    I hope the Yankees have sent their best scouts to cover both of these teams over the last few weeks. Although, since the Tigers play the Royals and the Twins play the White Sox, it looks like the Yankees will get the Twins in the ALDS.

    The ALDS Roster Is Just About Set

    Posted by on September 29th, 2006 · Comments (5)

    From the Post -

    The Yankees won’t finalize their postseason roster until Sunday, but Joe Torre said it will likely contain 14 players and only 11 pitchers. He acknowledged the roster will be unbalanced and top-heavy with outfielders and first basemen after the return of Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui.

    Let me guess – the pitchers will be: Wang, Mussina, Johnson, Wright, Lidle, Rivera, Farnsworth, Proctor, Bruney, Villone and Myers.

    This means Rasner, Karstens, and Dotel are out – and after last night, it makes sense to keep off Rasner.

    The position players will be Posada, Fasano, Giambi, Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez, Cabrera, Damon, Abreu, Williams, Matsui, Sheffield and Cairo – for sure. This leaves one spot open – to be filled from the following: Wilson, Green, Phillips, and Guiel.

    Torre will probably take Phillips – based on what you hear. It’s a shame – because Guiel is the more useful player.