Friday, August 29, 2008
2.3% is still a chance but it doesnt seem likely. Jason Stark has pretty much shown us Yankee fans that yesterday was just a tease and that the 2008 playoffs are almost improbable.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Our finalist were: Carlos Zambrano, Brandon Webb, CC Sabathia, Tim Lincecum, Roy Halladay, and Johan Santanna.
In reverse order here is our pick for the pitcher who most deserves this contract:
6) Carlos Zambrano- The Cubs know who their ace is. Zambrano was supposed to be the third best pitcher out of their big three (Kerry Wood and Mark Prior). But he has proven to be the only durable and big time pitcher out of the group. He is a workhorse who goes over 200 innings and year. He strikeouts out a lot of guys, is a perennial all-star and can even swing the stick pretty well. He just isn't at the level of the other five guys.
5) Johan Santana- Johan has had another dominant season. He is putting together another year with an ERA under 3.50 and trying to help the Mets to the playoffs. The two strikes against Johan is the fact that until recently he seemed content with going 6 or 7 innings and turning it over to the bullpen. An ace of a team should go out there and throw 9 innings when needed and he just doesn't seem to want to do that. Another strike against him is his size. How much longer can he be an elite starter. He will likely break down by the end of the third year of this contract (hypothetical) and might be a shell of himself by the final year. Think he gives up a lot of homeruns now? Wait till the 2012.
4) Tim Lincecum- In two years Tim Lincecum will probably be the number one pitcher in baseball. But I want to see him do it for another year or two before I crown him the best in baseball. His stuff is electric and he knows how to pitch. His size leaves a question mark as to can he withstand a long healthy major league career. But his mechanics look flawless and hopefully he wont suffer and injuries.
3) Brandon Webb- Webb will pick up his 2nd Cy Young in three years. He has added a new pitch every year to go along with his devastating sinker. He has the drive to improve and looks like he can be dominant for years to come.
2) CC Sabathia- Sabathia knows he will get more money then this contract in the offseason. He has been amazing for the Brewers and has completly owned the National League. He is the perfect age to get this contract. He throws hard, has great offspead pitches, and can eat up innings. The only two strikes against him are: his size (he eats a lot more then 200 innings a year). Who knows what he will weigh when raking in the big bucks. And two when asked the same question Steve Phillips picked Sabathia. We all know his track record.
1) Roy Halladay- Over the last six to seven years Halladay has been the best pitcher in baseball. He is a lost treasure in Toronto. If only he could get a chance to show his skills on a playoff contender. He can go out and throw a complete game any night of the week. He has eight this year, some teams probably havent had eight complete games in the last decade. He is a throwback pitcher who stays relatively healthy (last year he had an appendix removed but thats not a baseball injury.) Halladay could pitch on my team any day (and probably will when he is 38, as that is the Yankee track record.)
-Your thoughts/ comments?
As I headed to the Stadium today, I only hoped for a well played game and a win. I just didnt want to see another double digit slaughter by the Sox. I am heading to Florida this week and figured that this was a good time to get away and not worry about the Yankees for a week. They would be 8 games out with 29 to play and just swept by the Red Sox.
But with a couple Giambi swings everything seemed to change. The Stadium had a weird feeling all day, it was almost like the fans were expecting the Yankees to lose. Down 2-0 heading into the 7th things looked bleak. It looked like another game where the Yankee bats would fail them, which is the same script that has been followed for the first 120+ games. Cody Ransom's double with two outs looked like a meaningless hit. And when Girardi brought in the Big G to pinch hit to face Hideki Okajima I had my doubts. I was even questioning the move (I had no faith in Giambi.) But the Big G ran into an Okajima fastball and crushed it to leftcenter and the Stadium was rocking again. The fans were looking for something to chear about and Giambi's 27th homerun was what they needed. He had stopped the final nail into the coffin from being hit (for now.) And then with the bases loaded Giambi lined an 0-2 Jonathan Papelbum pitch to centerfield to send everyone home happy. The Yankees had a huge weight lifted off their shoulder.
This win pulled me back into the season. I was ready to watch them play out the string. I would still watch every game just not live and die with every pitch. But now 6 games back with 29 to play seems slightly do-able. Crazier things have happened. This is a big momentum game that the Yankees can possibly build on. It would be easy as they face Burnett and Halladay this weekend and only have 7 games with teams under 500. Maybe they are done and this was one last good feeling for the 2008 season, maybe this was just a tease, but the Rockies won something like 18 straight games last year to reach the post-season, why cant the Yankees. You have to believe in a team led by Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.
As I was riding the 4 train home all I could think was "I thought I was out but they pulled me back in."
Dr. James Andrews are the three scariest words in baseball (other then Red Sox Win). It is a phrase no team/fan/player ever want to hear.
You never want to see someone hurt and I am only reporting this not trying to make fun of the Red Sox. I hate it anytime someone gets hurt and people celebrate. This is not good news for baseball. As a fan you want to see your team beat their opponents at full strength not a dilluted version.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
There will be plenty of time to reflect on the great moments of the past 14 years and the great run, but right now its time to realize its over and that Jeter and the rest of the team has fallen into depths unknown to them.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I don't even know where to begin. Normally if the Yanks were 6 out at this point of the season and behind TWO teams for the division I would be throwing things at the TV, or simply refuse to watch. Honestly though, how could you be that mad about this season. I understand that when people point to injuries some see it as an excuse, but you need to draw the line somewhere. The Yankees haven't had one major injury they've had four, and as much as it pains me to say it, with Dr. Andrews in the picture it looks like that number will be five. Here's a review of what they've lost:
Wang: Winningest pitcher in the entire MLB over the last two seasons... out for season.
Posada: Coming off a career year where he finally learned how to hit an offspeed pitch. Handled that pitching staff about as well as anyone could have....out for season.
Matsui: Led the league in hitting, has been nothing but consistently productive since he has arrived despite his slumps where all he does is ground out to 2B. Was well on his way to being most productive outfielder this year.....out for season.
Hughes: Lost a no hitter last year to an injury, came back and was great down the stretch. One of only two Yankee pitchers to throw well during playoffs last year.....pitched with broken ribs and has been out for most of the year.
Joba: All I will say is that if he is seriously hurt they can pack it in for the next 5-10 years.
There is no other team in baseball who could have sustained an injury to their ace, catcher, most productive outfielder and their no. 4 starter, and still be somewhat (barely) in contention for a playoff spot. I know a lot of people will point to the payroll, but those who do that know next to nothing about baseball. Teams have won the world series with huge payrolls and with minuscule ones, so that argument can be thrown out. I don't care what your payroll is, no team can sustain those injuries.
For example let's take the Red Sox who's fans are comparing the Yankees injuries with David Ortiz's poor wrist. Pretend Ortiz was never hurt, and just for arguments sake pretend they never traded Manny. Take Beckett, Varitek (who isn't half the offensive player that Posada is, and while he might be better defensively it is not by enough to make up for his piss poor performance at the plate) and Drew off their team for the same amount of time Wang Posada and Matsui have been out for the Yanks (I didn't take another starter out for the Sox bc Schilling has missed the entire year). Taking Beckett out means Bucholz never had time to go get his hand held in Pawtucket and had to grow a pair at the Major League level. Taking Drew out means Ellsbury has to play everyday and we all know how The Nation feels about that now-a-days seeing as he has been benched for Crisp. If you take Varitek out the entire team supposedly falls apart, which is partly true and partly an excuse for the 2006 season. Now add in all the other injuries like Jeter being out for 15 days, Damon going to the DL, and Arod being on the shelf for a while, or how about Bruney (who was pitching outstanding) being out for 3 months. I know that Lowell was on the DL for a bit, but now on top of that take Youkilis and Pedroia out for two weeks a piece, along with their best relief pitcher (outside of Papelbon) at the time for 3 months, and you have yourself a sub-.500 ballclub. I took the Red Sox as an example not because I dislike them, but because they too have a high payroll. Also, being a Yankee fan I pay a lot of attention to the players on the Sox, so I know what losing those players would mean to that team.
My point isn't that Yankee fans should be content with not making the playoffs, but if that does happen to remember that this isn't the team they meant to put on the field. The team they were supposed to field can be found in the picture at the top of this post. I know that this seems to happen every year with the Yanks as they trot people back and forth from AAA to the Major Leagues in order to try and fill in spots here and there, but it hasn't happened this late in the season.
On to Joba. Simply put: if he is seriously hurt they are completely screwed for a long time. The kid can pitch, plain and simple. He is a smart pitcher who is talking about the economy of pitches at age 23. He is someone who can throw 100 mph but knows how to bring it down and save some for when he needs it (just like Rich Harden, as much as I hate the injury comparison that is begging to be made). If there is any, and I mean even the slightest bit, chance that he could injure himself in the long term if he comes back this season then shut him down. The Yankees have been so careful with Joba to this point and for them to rush him back for a playoff race they are probably going to come up short on anyway is the closest thing to completely brain dead I can fathom. That being said, I don't think there is a chance they would do that.... they're not the Mets (Ryan Church). I really hope he is okay, he is hands down the best homegrown pitcher they have had since Pettite and if he can continue to pitch like he has he will be far better than Pettite. He is a huge fan favorite and the last thing anyone wants to see is his career be plagued by injuries and then compared to Mark Prior.
On to a related, but different topic. I am completely against signing pitchers to these ridiculously long term/high money deals, because not a single one has worked out. But how nice would a rotation of CC, Wang, Joba, Hughes and Moose be next year (if Moose wants to come back)??? Sounds pretty good to me. If there is anyway the Yankees could get an injury discount on Ben Sheets, they should consider that too, although he will most likely get hurt. On the other hand CC is never hurt, and while he does pitch a lot of innings his body type (i.e. FAT) allows a lot of pressure to be taken off his arm. CC is a new type of free agent pitcher. What I mean by that is every knock on the other long term high money pitchers doesn't apply to CC. Santana didn't pitch deep into games, not only does CC pitch deep into games, he is routinely at the top of the league for Complete Games (usually behind Halladay). Barry Zito's velocity, actually all his numbers, were on their way down... CC's have gotten better (minus the first 8 starts of this season), plus no one should have even come . Kevin Brown signed his deal when he was 34 (the Dodgers HAD to be dropping acid), CC just turned 27. Mike Hampton, well he just caught bad luck with injuries, but he is only 5'10" and 180lbs and his name isn't Pedro Martinez so what did you think would happen? Baseball-Reference.com lists CC at 6'7" 250lbs....250lbs?????? Yeah ok, maybe with only one foot on the scale. Hopefully Brian Cashman reads this and signs CC based on all of this wonderful research. Getting CC for 7 years (ages 27-35) at 18-20 mil a year is a risk, but shouldn't be grouped with those other guys. And yes, that is him wearing a Yankees hat,
On the next post I will attempt to write about football. I am morally opposed to writing about sports you've never played at least once in your life, but no one is reading this anyway so I'll do some research and give it a shot.
One last thought on the Yankees, they make average (and below average) LHPs look like Sandy Koufax and can someone for the love of God teach Richie Sexson the proper way to swing a bat, even when he hits the ball he looks like he swings only until he makes contact and then forgets that you're supposed to keep going and come through the ball.
Oh yeah, Congrats to the Co-AL player of last week: Xavier Nady.
PS: Nolan Ryan looks like he could still kick somebody's ass.....Watch out Robin Ventura.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
The 2008 New York Yankee season is on the verge of spiralling out of control. As they seemed to make all the right moves at the trade deadline and their opponents either stayed pat, the Rays, or got rid of their best hitter, the Red Sox, everyone was basically handing the Yankees one of the two possible entries to the playoffs. Their moves signaled a going for it this year attitude. But hold on not so fast, since Saturdays trade the Yankees have just two wins and five losses. Oh yeah and these losses are at home. With only about 20 home games left each one is very valuable and cannot be thrown away like last night. Two guys they count on have gotten rocked, Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina, while they lost games that they should have won because of the efforts of their four and five starters, Darrell Rasner and Sidney Ponson. The office has reverted back to the first half where they can't hit with RISP or even in general.
They have shown all the signs of a bad team. When they score a lot of runs they get no pitching, like Tuesday night. And when they get good pitching they don't score at all, just like last night. They can't put it all together for more than one week.
It might be time to panic as the Yankees have eight games versus the best team in baseball, the LA Angels of Anaheim. They also embark on a day game road trip that has them going to Texas, Anaheim, and Minnesota. The losing could get out of control. As Texas has gone into a complete rebuilding mode and called up a bunch of new pitchers who the Yankees have never seen. Historically, they usually give the Yankees a lot of trouble. The team will have to return to the west coast a few weeks later as they go to Anaheim again and to Seattle. These are not trips that teams want to have at the end of year.
They must find a way to one of the next two games at home and get some of that good feeling back that they had at this time last week. Only time will tell if all the trades made sense or if they disrupted a good thing. When they return home from this upcoming road trip we will know a lot about what the Yankees are about and if they actually have a chance at making the playoffs or if Sept 21 will be in fact the final day the Yankees play at the House that Ruth Built.
Friday, August 1, 2008
I still cannot believe that the next time the Sox come to the Stadium Manny will not be there. The best way I can put it is that it is a huge relief. Anway, the Sox got absolutely taken on this deal. In the end Boston traded Manny Hansen and Moss for Jason Bay. No one in their right mind would make that trade (enter Tijuana whore house and Tony Reagins). I understand the Red Sox have had enough with Manny being Manny, but they had to either give up less or get more in return for one of the best 3 right handed hitters of this era. That being said lets go to the numbers.
Manny Ramirez's average line is .312/.409/.590 with 40 HR 132 RBI and an OPS+ of 154. Jason Bay's average is .281/.375/.515 with 31HR 102RBI and an OPS+ of 130. Clearly, Manny is past his prime and Bay is in the peak of his career so Manny's numbers are not going to end up at his career average while Bay's numbers are. That being said, Bay will have more RBIs hitting in the potent lineup of the Red Sox. In the end however, who would you rather have up in a big spot down the stretch or in the playoffs, Manny Ramirez or Jason Bay? That's an easy question and if you say Jason Bay then stop being interested in baseball. Also, while Bay may have more RBIs by simply hitting in a better lineup, how is he going to play in Boston where games actually matter. In Pittsburgh no matter what Bay did he would be looked at as far and away the best player on his team (until this year where it is McClouth). Now, in Boston, he is just another above average player who HAS to perform. You could make the argument that Bay is now in Fenway Park where he might morph into a Mike Lowell type player who hits tons of doubles off the green monster. That seems like something that could happen, but he is still not Manny. In addition to all the offensive talk, what has been lost is how well Manny played the green monster and left field at Fenway. Manny, an assclown in any other ballpark, was phenomenal at Fenway. I think the reason for this is Fenway allows for a very lazy LF to be played as long as you play it smart. Manny always seemed to be in the right place (especially when he made that diving cutoff on the throw by Damon a few years back, still the most athletic thing Manny has ever done) when at Fenway and it clearly took him longer than 2 months to learn how to play there. This makes Bay a downgrade on offense as well as defense (at home, definitely not on the road). It's not a huge point, but it is something to think about that no one has even mentioned.
On to the part that I am personally the happiest about. Manny's numbers against the Yankees were beyond outstanding. In 200 games vs. the Yankees (both with Cleveland and Boston) Ramirez put up a stat line of .321/.411/.618 with 55HR 163RBI and an OPS of 1.029. I know that you cant in any way compare that with Jason Bay since Manny has played almost 3x as many games against the Yankees than Bay has played against any team, however, there is no way Bay is going to put up those numbers against the Yanks. How do you trade the player who has routinely pounded your fiercest competitor?
I know that the Sox were tired of Manny's antics, but they have endured 8 years of it and they can't last another 2 months? I mean honestly, in the offseason you could probably trade for Bay for Hansen, Moss and one other solid young player. Personally, I'm tired of hearing how much the Red Sox hated Manny. They didnt hate him when he won the 2004 World Series MVP, they didn't hate him when he hit the walk-off HR against K-Rod last year, but in the middle of a tight 3 team pennant race they decide enough is enough??? I'm sorry but they need to swallow their pride for 2 months and try to repeat as World Series champions.
Another issue is what this does to the Red Sox lineup. Taking Manny out of the lineup and adding Bay severely undercuts the strength of this team. Is it any wonder as to why 2 years ago Ortiz went cold as soon as Manny went down? Or why when J.D. Drew was put into the 3 slot he magically hit a lot better? Or why Mike Lowell had 120 RBIs last year when he only had 100+ twice before? IT'S BECAUSE MANNY WAS IN THE LINEUP. This is not quantum physics people, Manny is a feared hitter and makes every body around him better by simply being in the lineup. Even if he goes 0-4 the 3 hitter still gets a lot better pitches to swing at purely because Manny hits behind them. Who hits 4th now? My guess would be Lowell while Bay hits 5th and Youk 2nd, but who knows. Youk is a hot head and maybe the Sox have had enough of his antics as well.
Bottom line is the Red Sox HAD to get more for Manny. I don't care how badly they wanted to trade him, the Red Sox are an organization who expect to win NOW and are 3 games back in the AL East. They need Manny , and if they were going to trade him they needed to pry an extra bat or better yet, an arm for their desperate bullpen from either the Pirates or Dodgers. Don't get me wrong, I was pissed when they got Gagne last year and we all know how poorly that one turned out even though they still won it all. Bay looks like a downgrade, but teams aren't judged by the trades they make just the games they win.
Yanks got killed tonight and they are probably going to get swept by an Angels team that shouldn't even have to play the rest of the season and should go straight to the playoffs. It's okay though, those 3 games at the end of the season in Boston will be somewhat less stressful without Manny there.