Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yankees 13, Orioles 3; Pudge in pinstripes

Joba stops the bleeding--this may be an ongoing theme--and the Yanks get a Hall-of-Famer to play this year's version of Johnny Mize and Enos Slaughter.

Welcome to Avis Rent-a-Star.

By all accounts, Jorge Posada--who has taken his rightful place with Dickey, Berra, Howard and Munson in the Yankee backstop pantheon--will be behind the plate for the unveiling of the new Yankee Stadium on Opening Day, 2009.

For now, though, as Joel Sherman tells us, this deal makes all kinds of sense.

Now: Manny goes to Florida, Washburn comes to the Yankees--and we are staring at a Yankee/Angel showdown in October.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Orioles 7, Yankees 6

"I stood in the courtroom like a fool! And those two bastards smiled at me!"

--Bonasera, The Godfather

Just like I stood behind the first-deck seats at Minute Maid Park, watching that ninth-inning yellow 3 (signifying a half-inning still in progress), the one that brought the Yankees to within one, 7-6.

Watching, watching, watching . . . five, ten minutes.

Then all the inning-by-inning numbers came down, signifying the game was over.

what is the Yankees' problem with the Orioles, anyway?

Paging Washburn.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Orioles 13, Yankees 4

Does every double-digit run surrender drive up Jarrod Washburn's price tag?

The one thing the Yankees never run out of is money. Just as they were able to do with the Phillies re Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle in 2005 (though the dollar figures were different), the Yanks are basically offering nothing in return for taking 13 mil off the Mariners' books in the form of Washburn--who, presumably, would slide in as the number four starter behind Moose, Joba, and Pettitte.

The Mariners, of course, asked for a blue-chip prospect, one of the four or five the Yankees refused to spend on Nady and Marte: outfielder Austin Jackson or one of the three prime pitchers poised to follow Joba, Kennedy and Hughes through the chute. After the Yankees laughed at that one, the Mariners when one tier below, someone in Tabata's range.

The Yanks, so far, have said no, and are ready to demand the Mariners to take a flier on one or two longshots.

So, 48 hours before the trade deadline, is where we sit.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Yankee Links

Okay, we get it. The Yankees stole Nady and Marte, and Tabata is a bum. We get it. This is no longer the franchise that traded Fred McGriff for Dale Murray, Doug Drabek for a washed-up Rick Rhoden, Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps, Willie McGee for God-knows-who.

We are back to the glory days of Gabe Paul getting us Mickey Rivers and Ed Figueroa for Bobby Bonds, Willie Randolph for Ken Brett, Sparky Lyle for Danny Cater, Bucky Dent for Oscar Gamble, Graig Nettles for God-knows-who. Or the days of Gene Michaels and Joe Watson trading for Paul O'Neill, Wade Boggs, David Cone, Tino Martinez, John Wetteland, Joe Girardi, and Cecil Fielder--all while having the foresight to hang on to Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada.

Understand: we get it.

Jay Sherman has made his point. Three times now. So we don't need to hear any more until after the season, right?

When Mike Lupica is on, there are few Sunday morning delights to rival his "Shooting from the Lip" (I would list only George Will's column, Roger Ebert's alternating Great Movies/Movie Answer Man, Howie Carr in the Boston Herald, and Mark Steyn, though lately the Orange County Register has been slipping Steyn (currently on vacation) into cyberspace on Saturday afternoons.)

But when Lupica misses, when he ranges into matters he knows nothing about (college football) or into Bush Derangement territory . . . the result is as if a ten-car pileup had given birth to a large steaming turd.

As evidence, I submit today's column, in which Lupica sets the land-speed record for putting one's head up one's ass.

Start with the headline: "Clearing Clemens is Bush league move by President."

"Clearing," as in a pardon.

Q: So President Bush is pardoning Roger Clemens?

A: No.

So he's considering pardoning Roger Clemens?

No.

So Clemens has asked at least asked for a pardon?

No.

So President Bush might, some time next January, pardon Roger Clemens?

Sure he might.

Says who?

Brian McNamee's lawyer.

Oh. So he's heard President Bush will pardon Clemens?

No.

So he's heard Bush might pardon Clemens?

No.

So what has Bush or any of his people said about Clemens?

Nothing.

So what makes McNamee's lawyer make this allegation?

Marion Jones.

Ah, now we're getting somewhere. So Bush is going to pardon Marion Jones?

No.

So he said he might?

No.

He at least said he's considering it? You know, like, "All options are on the table"?

No.

Okay. What evidence is there that Marion Jones is getting a pardon?

She asked for one.

Who can ask for a pardon?

Anyone. You or I could.

So, based upon the fact that Marion Jones asked for a pardon, with no indication that she's getting one; and further, that Roger Clemens didn't ask for a pardon, with no indication that he will even ask for one; and that, like Marion Jones, there's no indication at all that he'd get one if he did ask for one--based upon this, we get a Mike Lupica column speculating that President Bush might pardon Roger Clemens.

Sure.


It is clear that Lupica thinks he has Bush dead to rights on these words, from Bush's State of the Union Address:

"Athletics play such an important role in our society, but, unfortunately, some in professional sports are not setting much of an example. The use of performance-enhancing drugs like steroids in baseball, football, and other sports is dangerous, and it sends the wrong message - that there are shortcuts to accomplishment, and that performance is more important than character. So tonight I call on team owners, union representatives, coaches, and players to take the lead, to send the right signal, to get tough, and to get rid of steroids now."


And, don't you see, pardoning Clemens would make Bush a hypocrite.

And you know what? I agree.

But nothing at all has indicated Bush might do so.

Even those who scream "Scooter Libby!" need to calm down. Viewed in the most cynical light (which I reject, but let's go ahead) Bush's commutation (not pardon) of Libby was a giant act of ass-covering.

That's the most cynical reading. And there's not even that this time, since Clemens never played for Bush's Rangers.

Until such time, Lupica is guilty of a McGlaughlin prediction at best. You know, those predictions at the end of "The McGlaughlin Group," where it pays to either predict the same thing over and over and assume the odds are with you (like Lawrence O'Donnell, who predicted Bad Things For The Republicans for six straight years and was wrong every time, right up until the 2006 midterms, after which he proclaimed, "I'm here to gloat!"); or else (as with Lupica) predict something outlandish and at least six months down the line. If you're wrong, nobody remembers. If you're right, you get to say, "I'm here to gloat!"

What Lupica submitted to his editor isn't journalism, it isn't writing, it isn't even thought. It's picking your mother's birthday every day in the lotto, and hoping it pays off.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Yankees 10, Red Sox 3

Eight in a row, and a win of the series--especially important, with Lester going for Boston tomorrow.

After the Yankees' bats came untracked, the game came down to a single at-bat.

Two on, one out, 7-3 Yankees. Papi up.

For all the good Yankee work, suddenly Manny, on deck, becomes the potential tying run.

All that is left for Girardi to do is pull the lever marked MARTE.

New kid Marte comes in, strikes out Papi on four pitches.

Just like they drew it up in practice--this time, anyway.

Good while it lasted, and by that I mean: next week, I know as I sit here, I'll be treated to Brewers-Braves while 60% of the country is treated to Yankees-Angels.

Lovely.

Yankee Links

Joba to the rotation: Can we all now admit that Boss Hank was right and we were wrong?

Take it from me, someone who, living in Houston, saw Xavier Nady 17 times a year: the guy can play. Marte I know less about, but it's always cool when one team gets one player with one particular opposing player in mind. In 1983, the Celtics went out and got Dennis Johnson specifically because nobody they had could stop the Sixers' Andrew Toney. What has mostly killed the Yankees the past four years (save that one lovely week back in August, 2005) has been the inability of anyone in the pen save Mo Rivera to get out David Ortiz. Is Marte the answer? You never know with relievers in the Bronx (Jay Witasik, Mike Myers, LaTroy Hawkins, Mark Wohlers--conversely, Graeme Lloyd, Jeff Nelson, David Weathers, Mike Stanton).

Mike Vaccaro of the Post sums up Friday night the best:

BOSTON - There was only one way for this beauty of a baseball game to end, of course. The tying run had to be on base. There had to be two outs in the ninth inning, with the MVP of the All-Star Game digging in to face the greatest closer in the history of the sport.

Some nights demand the full regal treatment. Those nights also deserve an appropriate conclusion. And so it was that Mariano RiveraMariano Rivera zipped a 95-mph cutter toward the outside corner, and J.D. Drew stood and stared at it, and home plate umpire Marty Foster lifted his right arm and tied it all up in a bow.

YankeesNew York Yankees 1, Red Sox 0.

"That," Joe Girardi said after he'd breathed his final sigh of relief, "was one whale of a game, wasn't it?"


Joel Sherman, puts the trade bluntly:Pittsburgh received four prospects, but the pirates were the Yankees.

If all goes well, count on Nady starting against Jon Lester Sunday night.

Had enough heat? Today, Pettitte's cutters v. Wakefield's slop, and my local Fox affiliate promises, promises me the game will (gasp) actually be televised in Houston.

See, out here in Friday Night Lights country, where baseball is a nice diversion between spring football and football, it's a rumor to us that there are any baseball teams in existence beyond the Astros, Cubs, Cardinals and Braves. Or so Fox would have us believe.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Yankees 1, Red Sox 0

Well, whew.

Joba, taking nine strides forward; the rested bullpen coming through.

But admit it:

You thought the game was lost when Coco Crisp, the out the Yankees badly wanted, scampered past Farnsworth for a fifty-foot, eighth-inning infield hit to make it first and second, one out, with the top of the order, and hence two scooters named Ellsbury and Pedroia, due up.

Well, time to summon Mo. Five-out save? Damn right.

(And yeah, that was ball three to Lowell. Oh well.)

As for the trade: the Yanks have needed some right-hand pop for awhile. And . . . the Yankees' inability to win the World Series in 2004 was due, more than any other factor, to their ability to get out Papi in the late innings. Marte should help.

Blah blah, physicals. Get these guys suited up.

Another county heard from

Robby-Boy, from Phoenix:

I have enjoyed this little streak. I just hope some of this momentum carries into the big weekend series versus Boston.


Fair enough. And then:

Ryan (his elder son, and my godson) and I are preparing for our NY trip. We will be at the Stadium for the Tuesday games against Baltimore and the Thursday game against LAA.


Nice, very nice. I hate you both.

Yankee Links

Lupica on this weekend's showdown.

Catch the photo of Papelbon, um, frightened for himself and his wife during the Sixth Avenue parade last week.

All of sudden it's Page Six news when A-Rod doesn't get laid.

Twenty years ago, I was a grad student in Binghamton, New York. I spent the summer between the two school years of my Master's program working double shifts as a security guard at Binghamton General Hospital, making enough for gas money on the weekends to explore Upstate (Cooperstown, Oneonta) and parts of New England (Massachusetts, Vermont). Accompanying me in my car all the way were the dulcet tones of Hank Greenwald and Tommy Hutton, the Yankee announcers and a pair of pros, nearly the equal of Ernie Harwell or (gasp) St. Scully.

They were both fired after the 1988 season--in, it was rumored, a fit of Steinbrenner pique. Replacing them was John Sterling.

The first month of the 1989 season, Sterling twice said as follows, "It is high . . . it is long . . . it is gone! . . . uh, no it isn't!", thus having violated the cardinal rule of broadcasting, "Never say 'It's out of there' until it's out of there (a cardinal rule voiced, ironically, by ex-Cardinal Tim McCarver), Sterling spent the rest of both broadcasts and then a large portion of the following nights' pre-game shows talking about the "strange winds" at wherever the Yankees happened to be playing. No, it happened. I was listening.

I now get my Yankee broadcasts courtesy of YES's dependable Michael Kay and his rotating, and above-average, stable of analysts: David Cone, Al Leiter, Ken Singleton, John Flaherty. But apparently, according to the Post's Phil Mushnick, Sterling hasn't changed a bit.

Tonite: Joba v. Beckett. Please not to stink, guys.

Hate Mail? (Part 2)

My other corrector, Jimmy, responds to me as follows:

Yes, more that one scientist. According to those hippys at the American Meteorlogical Society ("The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus" http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/131047.pdf) slightly under 10% of scientists writing about the issue in the 1970's predicted global cooling. Climate science has come along way since then, but most scientists, even then, predicted global warming. Now there is firm scientific consensus.

You say you wish "our side" would stop cherry picking anomolies. I wish "your side" would stop misrepresenting scientific consensus. The World Meteorological Organization[ http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0703-05.htm] and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency[http://yosemite.epa.gov/OAR/globalwarming.nsf/webprintview/ActionsIndustryInsurance.html] have linked increasing extreme weather events to global warming. That last link discusses the insurance industry revising its policies to protect themselves against the new weather patterns. Over 90% of scientists and scientific organizations agree about the basic science and its general implications. These scientists are extremely worried.

You misrepresent the IPCC report. In its last report, 2007, it found that "World temperatures could rise by between 1.1 and 6.4 °C (2.0 and 11.5 °F) during the 21st century (table 3) and that:
Sea levels will probably rise by 18 to 59 cm (7.08 to 23.22 in) [table 3]." It also links global warming to a change in weather patterns.

What scares me?: scientific consensus that we will experience a wide array of apocalyptic events (mass extinctions, agricultural disasters, and increases in the range of disease vectors, to name a few) if we don't do something. Mass human death.

You don't like Hansen, fine. He is not a radical, and I agree that he is not the final word. Pick your poison. What do you think is a rational carbon level, as measured by PPM? How should we reach and sustain that level?


Me: I still don't buy it. In the last century, starting with Woodrow Wilson (who jailed people who vocally opposed World War I in their own homes), we've seen too many menaces requiring massive government intervention now, now, now! in the way we live our private lives. And this stuff has got the whiff of all that. If I'm wrong, the world won't be the poorer by it; I've only one vote, and I'm going to use it on a guy who unfortunately buys into all of this, McCain. But I don't think I'm wrong.

Having said that, Jimmy is serious about all this, and he's done me the courtesy of supplying a few links. So I'll shut up about all this until I read them over the weekend. Right now--unless the Charles River rises and floods the Back Bay--I've the Yankees and Red Sox to worry about. Happy sailing.

Hate mail?

No, I love it. (An old Houston Press joke.)

The saying is, the easiest job in the world should be head coach of the Notre Dame football team, since in what other job do you have ten million people telling you precisely what you're doing wrong?

On the topic of the climate, I am twice blessed with such help. The first, someone called O'Nan Amos (which I must assume is a pseudonym), who we join in full flight (he--or she--is in italics:

There is a difference between renegade theories like global cooling (picked up by the media because it was sexy and scary) and peer-reviewed, scientific consensus based on years of data collection and mathematical modeling.

Right. Like "the population bomb" was sexy and scary. Like "DDT will kill millions" wasn't sexy and scary. (DDT actually did kill millions--by its absence, when millions contracted malaria.) Like "nuclear power equals the China Syndrome" was sexy and scary. Like "Everyone's getting AIDS" was sexy and scary.

Global warming not "sexy and scary"? Have they been handing out Oscars to movies dealing with dehydration in Africa brought about by kids crapping their innards out due to unclean water? Has Leonardo DiCaprio been speaking on the topic? Madonna singing?

Right now "global warming"--with its blame for oil companies and fat suburbanites with their SUVs and roaring air conditioners--is the sexiest (and scariest) issue on the planet, especially for liberals. I mean, a worldwide crisis that just happens to justify massive government intervention in our lives, our cars, what we put in our cars, the shape of our toilets, our light bulbs. The New York Times has already come out for regulations on political speech, gun ownership, and (thanks to Kelso) the limited extent to which our private property is actually ours. Why not every other aspect of our lives?

It's like the "face" on Mars. There are cool photographs and one guy who claimed to represent NASA but was actually a discredited former consultant, and all of a sudden people think that aliens must have built a face on Mars. That's not science, and neither is using your own anecdotal evidence to "refute" global warming.

Well, I never believed in the "face" on Mars. (It was never peer-reviewed like, say, the Man in the Moon.) But consider these reports from the mid-seventies, which reflected much more than the work of "one guy":

Science magazine (Dec. 10, 1976): "extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation."

Science Digest (February 1973): "the world's climatologists are agreed" that we must "prepare for the next ice age."

Newsweek agreed ("The Cooling World," April 28, 1975): "Meteorologists are almost unanimous" that catastrophic famines might result from the global cooling.

New York Times (Sept. 14, 1975): Global cooling "may mark the return to another ice age."

The New York Times (May 21, 1975): "A major cooling of the climate is widely considered inevitable. . . . (It is) well established" that the Northern Hemisphere's climate "has been getting cooler since about 1950."

What "bill of particulars" are you looking for?

Lots, but to start with: what, precisely, would have to happen in the climate for you to believe that this scare is overstated?

Weather examples like Katrina are not the only evidence.

Granted! My only wish is that your side would stop using every example of hot, warm, wet, cold, and average as proof of your conclusions.

There are rigorous scientific studies--the IPCC reports alone are over 800 pages long.

And the IPCC predicts an increase of one degrees Farenheit by the end of the century, and two inches of ocean rise. Number one, both those conclusions amount to rounding errors, and two, even if they were true, I'd take them both and walk away.

Is your real problem here with scientists and not liberals?

My problem is when either group behaves like the other.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yankee Links

Moose for Bomber MVP?

News's Madden: Posada, done catching in any case, should shut it down and shoot for Opening Day '09

Newsday's Wallace Matthews concurs.

Not really about the Yankees, but go to Deadspin tocheck out this year's USC Song Girls.

I knew a Song Girl when I was at 'SC, and by I "knew" her, I mean, heh heh . . . well, I mean she dated my roommate. Loved foreign films. An education major, she volunteered twice a week at a ghetto school, brought us take-out and, when our kitchen became a Cheops of dirty dishes and flies who feasting on the aromas, took pity on us and volunteered for KP.

And, yes: as the author says, August 30th (at Virginia) can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Like finding a spare twenty in your pocket

Flipping around after Brit Hume and . . .

The Apartment, with Jack Lemmon, Shirley McClaine, and Fred MacMurray.

We all, I think, imagine ourselves as CC Baxter, covering up for the rats around us, then finally taking a stand and rewarded with a Miss Kubilik for our efforts.

"I guess that's the way it crumbles, cookie-wise . . . I'd spell it out for you, but I can't spell."

And:

"I love you, Miss Kubilik . . . Did you hear me, Miss Kubilik? I absolutely adore you."

"Shut up and deal."

Yankees 5, Twins 1

Moose goes to 13 wins, and pitching better than he has in five years.

Given that he now has a fastball in the upper-80's, and given the almost magical location and movement of his curve, knuckle-curve, and change, will Moose now become the late 00's version of the late-70s/early 80's Tommy John, whose sinker ate up ground balls in the thick Dodger/Yankee Stadia grass, and who seemed at times to be handing the ball to the catcher?

For all Moose's dominance today (or, one should say, in the shadow of Moose's dominance), the game came down to two batters.

The situation: Bottom fifth, one out. Cano on second, Melky on first. Molina hits a room-service two-hop DP grounder to Twin shortstop Nick Punto. Punto field the ball smartly and throws to second baseman Alexi Casilla--who, about six feet out of DP position--takes the throw in stride, touches second base for the second out, and starts off the field . . . thus allowing Molina, racing up the line as he can (but about as slow as a beer truck in reverse) to be safe at first.

Whoops.

Perkins, the Twins pitcher, visibly explodes at Casilla, angrily holding up one finger, shouting "One out! One out!" A veteran pitcher (a Mussina?) might have worked around such a blunder. Perkins instead, with steam coming out of his ears, gives up a double to left to light-hitting Justin Christian. Cano scores easily; third-base coach Bobby Meachem, looking suddenly like a gambler who'd hit on 16 ten times in a row, sends Molina, legs pumping . . . and . . . safe.

2-0. With Mussina cruising. You could hear it in Kay's and Leiter's voices: probably, the game was over.

Soon, it was over for real.

Now: A day off. Then the Red Sox.

Yankee Links

(Surgery for Posada?

Trade Rumors: Jason Bay? Xavier Nady? Jarrod Washburn? A.J. Burnett? And P.S., Phil Hughes is still untouchable.

Guitar Hero

Is there anything not to like about Joba Chamberlain?

Including that he makes Hank Steinbrenner look smart?

(And thank God for whatever Girardi did to give confidence to his former Cub batterymate, Kardiac Kyle. In the end, finding people to get people out in the seventh and eighth may have been the most important factor in justifying Joba's move to the rotation.)

Hello, Dolly

Courtesy Brendan Loy, aka The Irish Trojan, who doubles as The Weather Nerd, some pictures of Hurricane Dolly, which thankfully (well, for Astro-Girl and me, and for Jimmy and family, a half-hour closer to the gulf from us) will touch down a few hundred miles from here. We're getting the "dirty side" of its most outward edge right outside our window, which would mean a frightful rainstorm for anyone not living in a coastal state. Our satellite is down, our power is flickering.

End result? The teachers will show up today, but not the students.

Funny. I grew up in Phoenix, which provided us with about fifteen days of rain per year: always, always, a three-day torrent in March, the heavy monsoons in late summer, one or two days right after New Year's, and a half-dozen showers spread out over the remaining 350 days. Now, living in Houston, who knows? I've gone to outdoor parties where the rain has fallen in the front yard but not the back. I've jogged down West Alabama bone dry and seen a rainstorm a block away, as if behind a glass shower door. I've gotten soaked right down to my socks while squinting at the sun. I've seen school closures that resulted in everyone going out to the pool and getting a tan.

Chicago--"If you don't like the wseather, just wait five minutes"--has nothing on Houston.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Conservation for thee, not for me

Al Gore exits a climate change speech to a long-idling limo.

When those who say it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis, I'll believe it's a crisis.

Oh, Gore's latest proof of global war-- oh, sorry, "climate change": both droughts in California and floods in the Midwest.

Warm means warming, cold means warming, wet means warming, dry means warming.

Yankees 8, Twins 2

Five in a row!

Three point five games out of the playoffs.

Abreu, Damon, Jeter, Cano, Giambi--all in the middle of rallies.

Back to the top of the rotation.

Epic bad news for McCain

For McCain, the election has come down to two things: his presumed stature as Commander-in-Chief, and his foresight on the surge.

Really, that's it. He could cut into Obama's presumed advantage on domestic issues by talking about tax cuts here, domestic drilling there, but you don't make up a lead by trading baskets with the other side.

Now, as Byron York reports, in one fell swoop, Obama, abetted by Maliki, delivers a body blow to both McCain's advantages.

No matter what McCain's people write about translations or misunderstandings or what have you, the American press is going to repeat "Maliki agrees with Obama's 16-month pullout" about seventy billion times between now and election day.

GOPers should know: this is bad, bad news for McCain.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sheesh

You wanna love A-Rod.

Really, you do.

And then he goes and mispronounces the staff ace, "Wang," to rhyme with "Bang."

I mean, he's only been A-Rod's teammate for three years and stuff.

Yankees 12, Twins 4

This was a game that--barring catastrophe--was over in the second inning, and precisely (again, again) the way the Yankees have to win.

Picture this: Yanks up, one out, 2-2. Then: single, single, single, run-scoring error, RBI single, RBI fielder's choice, RBI single.

Bingo: 6-2, with (thanks to Pettitte's eight innings on Sunday) a fresh--and suddenly effective--bullpen ready to come in at the first sign of trouble.

Speaking of which: whatever Girardi is giving that bullpen, pour me a double. It has been a constant source of amazement that a team with ten more dollars than God has been unable since, oh, 2000 to string together more than two relievers to bridge the chasm between the starters and Rivera.

As for the offense. Matsui is probably gone for the season. Posada is on the DL, not even (at this point) to DH, and who knows if he'll be able to catch when he comes back? Sexson is an emergency stopgap a pinch-hitter/defensive replacement at best. Betiment--no.

Which means? Cano needs to stay hot. Jeter (and maybe we saw the start tonight) needs to get hot in the 2-hole. Giambi needs his one or two home runs per week. Damon needs to stay well.

A-Rod needs to stay, well, A-Rod--and it may not hurt that, for now, the media seems to have moved on.

Molina doesn't have to get three hits every night, but would .230 kill him?

There was an article in today's NY Post (damn my invisible address bar) that compared this team to 1996's scratch-and-claw team. To which one might respond:

1. I wish!
2. With the trade deadline next week, to paraphrase Rick Pitino: Cecil Fielder isn't walking through that door. Neither, I think, is Graeme Lloyd. Or David Weathers.

As for scratching and clawing, we'll see.

Rasner tomorrow.
Then Moose.

Then, Boston, with Pettitte, Joba, Ponson.

Oh, to SunDevil Joe, Robbie-Boy, Jimmy, GSB, Chumley Felix, Golf Pal, Irish Trojan and of course Astro-Girl (among others), thanks for hanging around for my thousandth post.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Yankees 2, A's 1

Another Minute Maid scoreboard-watching experience.

Scoring at home? Moose and Pettitte, almost winter afterthoughts in the rush to make way for Hughes and Kennedy, have combined for 23 wins.

Yankees 4, A's 3

Yet another telecast held hostage by the FOX embargo (making it, by my count, about 270 this season). I followed most of it on ESPN's telecast.

Okay, a strong game by Moose and a close one, with a good-if-not-great pitching performance by Joba. A ninth-inning comeback followed by strong pitching by the lesser elements in the bullpen. And Jose Molina's Sacrifice Thigh (shades of Reggie Jackson, 1978 World Series). So, okay.

The one concern here is Rivera, who has got to start holding ties when Girardi asks him to. He did it for the whole American League, he can do it for the Yankees

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Yankees 7, A's 1

And so . . . with Wang out for the season, Matsui probably so, Damon on the mend, Rasner a bust . . .

With all this, we get a clue in this game of who, among others, the Yankees will need to rely on:

Moose, A-Rod, Cano

Monday, July 14, 2008

Blue Jays 4, Yankees 1

Aaand the break comes none too quickly.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Yankees 9, Jays 4

Another victim of the Fox embargo. But a good win.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Yankees 2, Rays 1 (10)

And . . . we have a race.

Significantly:

1. Ponson has pitched as well as Wang could have, just not as many innings per game. But so what?

2. Good to see more dominant work from Mo in a tie.

3. Anyone catch Girardi's 'stache after the game? This "fans vote for the last All Star" ritual has become the best tweak of the entire All Star enterprise.

4. Abreu: waking up?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Yankees 5, Rays 0

Eight shutout innings from Pettitte; two terrific catches by Melky in center, then a home run in the eighth to basically put the game out of reach.

A fantastic play by Derek Jeter in the seventh. Two out, runners on first and third, hard shot between short and third. Jeter sprints into left field, leaps in the air, throws the ball to Cano at second while falling in the general direction of the left-field foul pole. Nice.

Not a great game, just a perfect one.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Yankees 5, Bosox 4 (10)

Oh, what a lovely game.

Movies on Holiday

Oh. My. God.

I saw Casablanca straight through.

Then Witness for the Prosecution.

Some of those movies that rouse you to your feet.

Life is good.

Update: SunDevil Joe wonders: why not The Apartment?

Yeah, I saw that, too.

What a way to spend a Sunday.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Yankees 2, Red Sox 1

Nice to have one of the great games of the year and force me to miss it.

Thank you, Fox. I think I'll now go out and vote for Obama, you jerks.

Understand: in Houston, a Cub-Cardinal game is the equivalent of the Iran-Iraq War: it's a shame they (the Astros' two arch-enemies) can't both lose. But in a network mindset in which Phoenix is a suburb of Los Angeles (SunDevil Joe, Robby-Boy: how many 10-7 Ram shoveathons, courtesy of those brutal Chuck Knox teams, did we stand witness to all during the 1970s?), Houston is a City of Central Division Interest. Never mind the whole city went bananas this season for the visiting Yankees and Red Sox, and turned Space City into a crazed baseball town for the first time since the 2005 World Series. No: apparently Houston is a suburb of Chicago, and God forbid we miss even one Cubs' game, ever.

As for the Yankees:

So we have Mike Mussina, pitching his ass off and joining Chipper Jones in this season's late-career Hall-of-Fame push. (For what it's worth, I think they'll both make it. Last year, I would have said: not so much.) Don Drysdale, Don Sutton, Gaylord Perry, Carlton Fisk, Eddie Murray, Nolan Ryan, Dennis Eckersley, Robin Yount, Craig Biggio . . . now Chipper and Moose. Come on down, you late bloomers!

Red Sox 6, Yankees 4

And the best part about this game was that I was celebrating the fourth with my in-laws in Spring, playing Wii with my niece and nephew.

I'm getting pretty good at golf.

Today, of course, they're on FOX, but at the same time as the notoriously underexposed Cobs. Guess which game I'm getting in Houston?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Red Sox 7, Yankees 0

The good news is, I got to see a movie I love, Almost Famous.

Yankees 18, Rangers 7

Out of nowhere, Giambi is/should be an All-Star.

And A-Rod is at that point, where--last night, in the eighth--I turned to Astro-Girl and said, "Watch, it's going out." And so it did, with A-Rod's bat meeting the ball low and away and sending it to right, Jeter style.

So the bats--maybe--wake up. Though it's important to remember Earl Weaver's maxim: "You take momentum, I'll take Jim Palmer."

And here come the Red Sox.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Rangers 3, Yankees 2

Didn't have to see third-in-a-row; I was at Minute Maid. Good.