Friday, May 28, 2010

Ro-bin-son

Just-went-yard. Grand slam to make it 8-2.

The sort of slammie that makes you kind of exhale.

That Detroit kid--who appears to be pretty good--just put two pitches on two tees, Grandy and Cano.

Ahhh Twins 8-2

From Blogging the Bombers:

"Trip ends on a dud, but good times are ahead."

Let's see if he--and Sun Devil Joe--are correct.

The Yanks have been upgraded from a slide to the blahs. Sometimes the blahs are underrated. To extend the Blackjack metaphor: you never learn to value a choppy shoe (the blahs) until you lose or push eleven hands in a row (the slide). Your Blackjack hand gets a push thanks to a dealer's down Ace (which precludes the option of even money), your twenty against a dealer's six loses when the dealer goes five, ten for twenty-one.

Translation: half your games you lose 10-8, the other half 1-0.

You know what a mean. What we have here lately is a choppy shoe, which is worse than nothing. But now it's time to pull a few double-downs, win a few splits, get picked up when Third Base (dear God!) is smart enough to stand on fifteen against a five.

Let's explode in euphoric high-fives and call for another round of comped Heinekens.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Yankees Take Pair from Twins

You like? Missed both games, damnit. But, hearing what I do, I remember what one Village Voice writer wrote in the 1980s (just like the tabloids, you read the sports back to front--and yes the Voice has a sports section, and in my memory a good one): "You know, if you hit the ball far enough, home plate is scoring position."

Like winning a double-down in Blackjack: these days often foretell better times ahead. We'll see.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sometimes you win

Sometimes you lose. And sometimes it rains.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mets 6, Yankees 4

Another bad start, another series of blown chances (Brett Gardner doubled off first on a slower roller--that's when I sort of packed it in), another deficit too big for the homeward charge. Anyone noticing a pattern here?

Not even June, and I'm already hearing, "Well, you know the Wild Card is coming out of the East." I'm not thinking like that yet, but come on, guys, do something.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mets 4, Yanks 0, early

But no good feeling about this one. By the way, Morgan, run that by me again. Tex and Bay swing with an uppercut? Something that gives you this thing called topspin?

Well, gee, thank you, Mr. Good Will Hunting. Didn't get it the first seven times.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Yankees 2, Mets 1

But if course, the rub: Vasquez, in perhaps his best start this season, leaves with injury.

A few more wins like this and Jeter will be lining up start times at Bethpage Black come October 3rd.

Story here.

Posada from C to DH to DL

In rapid succession.

Sun-Devil Joe, you had it first: Chad Moeller!

To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy: If ____________, you know you're in trouble.

Still, to get the full import of the Yankees' troubles, read down two grafs:

Right-handed reliever Mark Melancon was optioned to Scranton-Wilkes-Barre and infielder-outfielder Kevin Russo was recalled from the Triple-A team.


To which one must ask: Um, who?

Subway Series Yet Again

You have to wonder if Mike Vaccaro's column about "New York is a Yankee town now" has been set in type for over a week. Yes: the Yankees have been the pre-eminent since 1993, when their resurgence was built around a core of Paul O'Neill, Bernie Williams, Mike Stanley and an aging and ailing Don Mattingly.

The next season: first place by 6 1/2 at the time of the strike. '95: John Wetteland and Andy Pettitte, then David Cone, pitch the Yankees into the playoffs. Then, in '96, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter come up for good, Stanley departs for Joe Girardi, Jimmy Key comes back from arm surgery, Tino comes over from Seattle. And that was it for the Mets as No. 1 team in the city. Got it.

Cold comfort, right about now. It is one thing to lose. It is another to see your team hold onto a one-run lead halfway through and think, "Not a chance"--or, conversely, see your team down by three halfway through and think, "Not a chance."

Yeah, yeah. New York, New York, it's a helluva town, the Yankees are up and the Metsies are down. Enough already.

For cheering up, there's always Joel Sherman This week's Yankees could be this season's Mets--and if Jeter worries you, at least he's not Reyes.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rays 8, Yankees 6

Pettitte, three home runs. Another missed start in order?

The good news is, they love me in China.

Guys, this is getting ridiculous

Larry Brooks on the Yankee starters.

One weird comeback away from a serious slide. And nowthe Rays worry me. Officially.

Tampa Bay 10, New York 6

Well, the Astros' game was fun.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Red Sox by one

Wow, what a horrible game. CC v. Beckett, and there went my evening.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yankees 11, Red Sox 9

I wanted New York to win this game so badly . . . that I didn't watch it much past 7-6 Yankees. Not because I couldn't bear to watch, but after seeing yesterday's immolation and the lead shrink with the thought of, "How many times can one team go to CC to stop the bleeding?"--I simply challenged the Yanks to win in my absence. If they lost, fine, I didn't have to watch it. If they won, I was willing to pay the price.

How badly? Consider: after mi9ssing two late-inning home runs--A-Rod to tie, Thames for the walk-off (or so I'm told)--I still think I did the right thing.

Nick Johnson out until, let's face it, August 1st. If Cervelli can hit, if Posada can DH from both sides, if Granderson gets healthy, this may all be for the best. I remember in 1979, with Ron Guidry solid number one and Tommy John solid number two in the rotation, Ed Figueroa, Catfish Hunter, Luis Tiant, Jim Beattie and Ken Clay were all jostling for spots 3-5. Sports Illustrated wrote, "Perhaps an injury or two might actually help sort things out." The Yanks got the injury, but to Goose Gossage, the closer who was, with Gator, one of the only two indispensible players on the team. So we'll see.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wow

THAT was a hard one to endure. Seems Mo delayed his annual April shake-out to May 15

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Yankees 7, Twins 1

Guess I know why an afternoon win is so cool: you carry it with you all day, and all night.

Never mind Tex's monster homer to the really expensive seats, nor Posada's home run off the crossbar next to the restaurant that jumpred up into the seats above the restaurant . . .

Focus on: Andy Pettitte. 5-0. ERA: 1.79.

Five rings. Eight pennants.

He is, as my Irish (mother's side) ancestors would say, right in the gloaming.

What I remember, more than his World Series-winning start, is his start against the Angels to win the pennant last year. His first two pitches, against Chone Figgins, the Angels' lead-off man, left-handed batter.

First pitch, I think a slider, low and at the outside corner. Figgins didn't offer. Strike one.

Second pitch--and this was the entire game. As they say in Boston, wicked cuttah. Figgins flinched his back arm, then watched the ball sail by. He knew: had he hit it, it would have been a soft grounder to Jeter. What was the use?

The ump raise his right arm. Strike two. I was standing in a restaurant bar, waiting for my food, but I knew the pennant was decided right there, two pitches in. I shouted, "Oh, you guys are in trouble tonight."

And so they were. And so we come with Pettitte: in the gloaming, the same hazy netherworld that enveloped Jim Rice and Goose Gossage all those years; the same fog that will envelope Jeff Bagwell and Jeff Kent; the same nip that may grab hold of Craig Biggio.

Just a thought. Of the Yankees of the late-40s and early-50s, there was no thought as to who was their most valuable player. On a team with the aging DiMaggio; the steady Henrich, Keller, and Bauer; the youthful Mantle, McDougald, and Brown; the pitchers Reynolds, Raschi, Lopat, Ford, and Page; and the ubiquitous Berra; the year-by-year MVP was Scooter Rizzuto. For a shortstop, his arm was almost comically weak, but his instincts were otherwordly and his reflexes almost cosmic--maybe, for a left-sided infielder, him and Brooks Robinson and Ozzie Smith, and that's it, all through history. Okay, Honus Wagner.

The word was out from the Yankees: spike Scooter, deal with us. So it was that, after Phil was taken out of a double play, the ailing DiMaggio ran through a clean single just to slash his spikes at the other team's second baseman. Joe D was out, but the point was made.

For all that, it took a half century to get Scooter into the Hall.

I think of this when I think of Lefty.

And

Just saw Gardner steal second . . . . on a pick-off.

Speed, they say, never slumps. Speed plus brains plus guts is beginning to put Garnder in the rarefied Rickey/Ichiro stratosphere.

And Pettitte, if the bullpen holds, is about to go 5-0.

Good grief . . . .

I'm as exhausted as Randy Winn must feel lately--eight years my junior, brought in for (I'm guessing without looking) low seven figures to back up Granderson, Gardner, and Swisher, a little defense, some pinch running . . . and now games are coming on top of games.

Now this. 3-0, bottom sixth.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Switched over to "Desperate Housewives"

How's this for whiplash. Specifically turned on the Rays-A's game to find out what the big deal was with Tampa . . .

27 up, 27 down. The first A's perfecto since Catfish in '68. This is the Rays who have supposedly terrorized the American league through six weeks? Uh?

(Well, yes, when Don Larsen set down the Dodgers' lineup three times over in the '56 World Series, he did have to go through an bunch of punks named Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese, Junior Gilliam and Carl Furillo. Plus Dale Mitchell, batting for Sal Maglie in the ninth, who took strike three for the 27th out in 27 batters.)

The great benefit of televised baseball is that you see how close one pitch, one batted ball, one close call might turns an entire game. For AJ Burnett, it was how a ball-three pitch to Youklis missed the outside corner (either Burnett was trying for a perfect pitch or was happy to waste one) and set up a monster inning. That pitch is two inches in, catches the corner, the entire game turns.

Two inches outside. Uh oh, big inning. I haven't cared even secondarily about "Desperate Housewives" since that Spanish chick stopped boffing the yard boy, but I gave in to my wife.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Yankees 14, Red Sox 3

Funny thing is, now is when we're supposed to hear about what fools the Yankees were:



Austin Jackson: batting .370; Johnny Damon, .302, both for the Tigers, and right now I would take the Tigers vs. the field in the AL Central.



Ian Kennedy: odd man out on the Yankee Diaper Dandy pitching trio, just won a 1-0 duel vs. Roy Oswalt in Home Run Field. At least five people witnessed the event.



And the Yankees' new parts? Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson: DL. At least Granderson made you sorry to see him go.



Javier Vasquez? Partying like it's 2004.



So why no worry?



Jeter, ss
Gardner, cf
Texiera, 1b
Rodriguez, 3b
Cano, 2b
Posada, c
Swisher, rf

If all the new Yankee everyday players were to drop dead tomorrow, these would be hitters 1-7.

You would have a dh--if Johnson is a wash, maybe a salary dump (Lance Berkman?, Carlos Lee?, for three kids: a pitcher, a bat, and one from the Yankees' treasure trove of minor-league catchers?)--potentially batting sixth, between Cano and Jorgie.

Starting pitching:
Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, Hughes

Bullpen:
Aceves, Robertson, Mitre, Joba, Mo.

Don't wanna hear 'bout no Rays.

Not til the end of the month, anyway.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Yankees 10, Red Sox 3

Phil Hughes may be the key. And Swisher. But what's up with the Rays?