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Thursday, September 30, 2010

WHY THE GHOST OF RUTH LIVES


Things are happening Yankee fans and the team did nothing tonight but get snuggled in their hotel room bed in Boston so they can get ready for the last three games of 2010. The Tampa Bay Rays lost tonight to the Kansas City Royals 3-2. Huge news. The ghost of the Bambino is alive and well and visiting Kansas City apparently. So right now, the Yankees and the Rays are TIED for first place. How exciting is that.

Each team still has three games to go. My money's on the Yankees. Girardi has made it pretty clear today that the Division series is the goal. Sure we want to rest our stars but we don't have that luxury this year. So, what do we need to do? We need to go balls out and win the Division. You know I love that.

My feeling is this, if Girardi is serious about this, a few things need to happen.


1. We can never see Mitre and Gaudin, unless we're losing my 8 runs and we have no shot.

2. Berkman needs to take pitches instead of swinging at the first one all the time. That sweet swing of his can get us some big runs.

3. Cano needs to get in the zone amd stay there. Not only can he win the MVP, but he's been so great all year and he can be the key to winning the division.

4. Home Runs are nice, but the way the Yankees played on Tuesday night when CC pitched was better; small ball, move the runners over. A bloop, THEN a blast.

All these things are important.

I'm going to bed. I'm going to dream about Pettitte going 7 innings. I'm going to dream about Dice-K getting shelled tomorrow night by the 4th inning. I'm going to dream about small ball, good pitching and speed. I'm going to dream about the Bambino giving us alittle help too.

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WHY CC DESERVES THE CY YOUNG

All week I'm hearing about how King Felix is a lock for the Cy young this year. His 13-12 record, 2.27 ERA and 232 stikeouts are mentioned over and over again. I see what they're saying. But let's make this analysis simple ok?

CC Monster, as I refer to him, is 21-7 this season on a team that has been the the playoffs twice in 2 years that he's been the ace. While his ERA is higher at 3.17 and has less strikeouts, 197, I feel like it really comes down to wins. Did the pitcher give the team more chances to win. CC has 8 more wins on King Felix. That translates to Yankee wins. The Yankees record is 94-65. They are a half game out of first. The Seattle Mariners are in last place in their division, 61 and 97. While Felix has 13 of those wins for the Mariners, it's not enough, if it was, they'd be in 3rd or 2nd, possibly even first.

I understand the basis for their decision making as well. Cy Young is an individual award. So is the MVP. But it's an individual record that is also weighed with team production, isn't it? Shouldn't it be?

Yes, Felix is 1st in ERA and strikeouts. But what else are we reviewing here? Sabathia is 1st in the AL in Wins, and I believe 7th in strikeouts and his ERA is respectable. All I'm saying is it seems like a no brainer to me considering where the teams are in their respective divisions.

And I hate to say it, Jon Lester of the Red Sox has pushed himself into the debate as well. 19-6 with a 2.27 ERA. If you go by my formula he passes Felix as well.

Food for thought but as far as I'm concerned, CC is the man. Here are the stats as of 9/30/2010. Check them out:












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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

WHY THE YANKS WILL WIN THE DIVISION

We all saw it coming. Javy was pitching and some of the regulars were supposed to rest. It's like playing the Triple-A team against the Jays tonight. What can you do. Javy has a reputation in New York. He had it the first time he was here in 2004. He has it again, mostly now because you can't trust he'll be successful on the mound. He can't start a game. I actually think he can be more effective in relief. But the problem is he's being jerked around. He has to be in that mind set to be relief OR to start but one of the other. If you keep putting him out there to start one week and then change him to be relief another, my opinion is that messes with Javy's head. Vasquez is in a bad place. He's the Joba of last year. The Yankees screwed up Joba last year, who could have possibly had been the next closer for the New York Yankees for years after Mo. They messed him up so bad there was a brief moment he was even on the trading block this July. Good thing he's managed to turn it around, gain some confidence and become effective in the bullpen.

So, the Yanks lost tonight, that stinks only because the last place Orioles beat the first place Rays tonight. While we could have gained ground on the Rays, it actually that brings me to an interesting thought.


The Rays are human. The Rays lose too. They are not machines and the Yankees can take the division this week. Look, it won't be easy because the Yanks have Boston next and the Rays will be playing Kansas City. But stranger things have happened. The next 3 games will be key. If the Yankees win the Boston series, I think we win the division. I just have a gut that's telling me the Rays are going to fall off a bit.


So what was good tonight? A-Rod's homer first off started it for the Yankees. Golson and Cervelli helped out with RBIs. Not enough I guess. Again, when your down 7 runs due to suck ass pitching, you can't expect a team to climb out of it for you. It just ain't fair.


The Bosox are tomorrow. Yes, these games count fans, don't get it twisted. The Yankees may have celebrated getting into the playoffs last night but they still have work to do, and they know it. Some of my friends are telling me they are pissed that the Yankees celebrated "winning the Wild Card" last night. Last time I checked, they still have a shot at winning the Division. I will live and die with the New York Yankees and talking doubt about them only brings me down.

Do the unthinkable Yanks, win the Division. Let's celebrate again. I like champagne, after all.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

POP THE CORK!




WHY THE YANKS HAVE A CLEAN SLATE


Click click click. That's the sound I usually hear when I watch my Yankees win. That's the sound I heard tonight. Thank the good Lord. Great work CC, 8 strikeouts and 21 wins. You are the man! Great speed Brett Gardner. Nice triple in the fifth. I love your speed. You need to use it more. I love the way we took a quick lead and I love that we kept adding to it. With stability on the mound, we were unstoppable. So...we're in. Let the champagne flow. Now we can all relax and think about the post season.


"CC has been our ace all year long," Girardi said before the game. "He's pitched extremely well, so we expect him to go out and do it every time." You're damn right Girardi. But the post season this year is not the post season of last year. Pitching will be an issue this year, no question, but luckily, the Yanks have been here before and know what they have to do.


So what are the positives? The bullpen is stable, the hitting is coming around just in time, and the bench has power and speed. What's dicey? Pitching. Hmm, last time I checked pitching wins ballgames. Tonight was a perfect example.

I'm curious to see what the rotation will be considering CC just pitched us to the clincher. I'm also curious who we'll play. Can we climb back to first place? That's the next goal. I think we can. I tell you what, the Yanks believe in themselves tonight, both on the field and right now, pouring champagne. Winning is addictive and psychological. Celebration means milestones. It means goals. It means success and now momentum is theirs as well. Their confidence is high and everyone in the clubhouse knows what a champion is. They see it in themselves. Granderson, Wood, Logan, Berkman... even the new guys see what is about to happen. They saw the Yankees win last year and they wanted it too. Now they are in the thick of it.


Tonight we celebrate. I will not post anything about tomorrow's game until tomorrow evening. The celebration photos will start flooding the net. I'll post them as they come. Right now, we celebrate. Congratulations New York Yankees. More to come.

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WHY THERE'S A CASE FOR MOSELEY


This is totally out there, but I've been thinking about the Yankee rotation all day and I am alittle concerned. Pitching Sabathia seems desperate to me.


On one hand, I know CC is the man and we can pitch great tonight, clinch tonight and we all feel better. But, on the other hand, using him tonight really screws us for the end of the week. Why you ask? This is why. If he pitches tonight, we techinically shouldn't be using him Friday and if we get to the playoffs, then we need CC on regular rest for next week. Right? So... here it goes... Why not hand to ball to Moseley tonight? I mean, it's not not he's pitched that badly for us in any of the starts he made. (Only one comes to mind). He's gone between 4 and 6 innings anyway in all of his starts, that's not much worse then the real starters this past week. So what does it matter?


Now, I know what people are going to say: If he loses, then what? Good point, it's a continuing unraveling of the rotation. Does Pettitte then pitch? Do you hand the ball to CC tomorrow if Moseley loses tonight? I get it, more questions, less answers.


But, how about this? What if Moseley wins tonight? We clinch the playoff spot. Then CC goes on regular rest. Everybody's happy.


Look, I really don't know the answer. This just came to me today. My mind is cluttered with all different scenerios and It's really taking a toll on me. Last year at this time I don't remember feeling this anxious. Everything was clicking. This year... it's a whole new ball game... that's for sure.

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GOOD PIECE FROM RIVERAVEBLUES.COM

This is a different opinion than mine of last night's Yankee offense. Good piece.

Monday, September 27, 2010

WHY THE YANKEES ARE READY TO EXPLODE

It wasn't the offense that looked bad tonight. When you are forced to play catchup every single night because your starting pitching can't get past the 3rd inning, it's downright difficult to climb back in it every time. I give the Yanks offense credit tonight, they tried, they tried hard. When Austin Kearns is 2-3, the teams trying to win it. Props to Tex and Granderson who are in playoff form. Now... if we can only GET there.

I don't know what's wrong with AJ and I'm not sure anyone knows. AJ himself hasn't revealed anything... only that he stunk up the joint tonight. Not much more than that. I suspect this guy's got stuff on his mind other than baseball. That stuff may have even given him a black eye a few weeks ago. One thing's for sure. He hasn't been right in a while and time has just about run out. It's not like he can throw a bullpen session in 3 days and Eiland will say "Hey, your falling too far off the mound with your release. Great, we know what the problem is, fix it, case closed." It's bigger and will take longer to figure out. Unfortunately, we don't have that kind of time.

One play stands out tonight, better than the home runs in my mind. It's the heads-up relay by Granderson to Cano to A-Rod to nail Vernon Wells at third. Each throw was dead on the money and again, plays like that keep your team confident. Hell, if AJ doesn't blow so bad tonight, you know the Yanks clinch. Too bad, that's not the way it works.

My man CC is on the mound tomorrow night. We all love CC. What ever happened with his meltdown last week was a fluke, we all know it and tomorrow I see CC going at least 7. He'll be back. But, there's one thing in the back of my mind though. 2 words... Kyle Drabek. Now, I know what your thinking.... "It's a kid rookie, who cares, Yankee hitting will clobber him."
I wish I could have that same sentiment, but let me offer you this: Whenever the Yankees play against a new or young pitcher, or a pitcher they don't see too often, they're offense goes blah and they end up looking silly... many times even losing. I AM NOT SAYING THAT WILL HAPPEN. I am saying however, it's a very good possibility. Tonight Marc Rzepczynski struck out 9 Yankees, remember that?

By the way, CC was supposed to pitch this Friday, but with all the chaos with the Yankees starting pitching, and with then not clinching a playoff spot yet, that plan has probably changed considering they moved his start to tomorrow. I'll give this to Girardi, you know he's frustrated, you can see it in his face, he wants to clinch so he's going with his best... ASAMFP. Got to respect that.

Let's clinch tomorrow, let's celebrate too, it will be a good way to blow off steam. Granderson can just about taste that champagne. So can I. Go Yanks.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

WHY THERE'S ALWAYS ROOM FOR PIE


Dice-K pitched better than any other time I've ever seen him. Guess who else did... Phil Hughes. He did quite well tonight in what looked like a pitchers duel until Hughes ran into some trouble with 2 walks in the seventh. When Robertson and his bad back came in and got out of the inning with a strike out, the fiesty fist pump alone from Robertson let me know that something special was about to happen. A-Rod's home run was dramatic, and it all happened because Robertson got that strike out. Who knows what would have happened if those walked men scored.

The top of the ninth was devastating when Mo fell apart. It tells me one thing. Teams have figured out Mariano and it scares me. If men get on base in a close game and they are speed demons, you can almost guarantee a steal, and possibly a run will follow. You can see Mo uneasy and his wheels were turning out there. It was clear he wasn't comfortable. This man, so untouchable for so long, looked spooked. If we get into the playoffs, I just hope teams don't have their wits about them the way the Red Sox did tonight. The Rays, the Rangers like to run FYI. Look out.

The bottom of the ninth was stomach churning. I hate things like rain, bad lunch meat and Paplebon. And I want to beat him every time he's out there. The Yanks showed some patience and that they had a fire in their belly. You could see it unfolding before your eyes. Tying it was key and after seeing everyone running on Mo, I expected the same from our guys. It didn't happen until Nunez got on second on a hit from Teixeria and stole third. Again, the steal was brilliant. It was a bold steal for Nunez. After the A-Rod walk and the Cano hit to tie it, I felt pretty good.

I never expected a win on a bases loaded walk in the 10th but we did, and that's alright. I'll take that. I was expecting a homerun, winning base hit, you know what I mean.

Thanks Yanks, Thanks Miranda, keep it up. 3 games in Toronto coming up. Let's win tomorrow. Let's earn a playoff spot.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

WHY LOSSES DON'T GET YOU TO THE PLAYOFFS

Why are we talking about the playoffs? For the past 2 days all I hear on sports radio, television sports updates and newspapers is how the Yankees are setting a rotation for the playoffs. I'm sorry, this may be ignorant on my part to ask such a question but... ARE WE IN THE PLAYOFFS? No. We're not. When you lose 4 in a row at home and are currently a game and a half out of first, you don't talk playoffs. Instead, a manager should probably bring the team in 2 hours earlier Sunday, before their regular scheduled arrival and have a closed door meeting and rip the team a new one for not playing like a contender.

I hate to break it to you but the Yankees are no longer the best team in baseball. The Phillies are. The Yankees haven't clinched a playoff berth yet, the Twins have. The Yankees by the way, aren't in first place anymore, the Rays are. The Yankees haven't even won a game since 5 days ago. Why in the world are we talking about the playoff rotation. If I needed to pick a rotation right now I choose 1. Sabathia, 2. Pettitte, 3. Burnett and 4. Hughes. End of story, now that we've established that, GO WIN!

Look, if you need to move Hughes because of his innings limit, do it, don't have it printed for the whole world to see. Yankee fans get impatient, Yankee fans want wins and Yankee fans go game by game. We've been going game by game for 4 straight losses. Enough's enough.

Props to Granderson who plays like a Yankee even though he's new and haven't experienced the playoff clinching. If anything, the Yanks should at least clinch for players like him. He's also hot as hell so let's ride that tide. A-Rod's getting the playoff fever but again... we have to win to get there.

Tomorrow we play the 3rd game against the Sox, the team I hate more than liver or stink bugs. Beat them. Hell... beat anybody.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

WHY PITCHING WINS BALLGAMES

The last time I felt this feeling in my gut it lasted through the winter and I was pissed at the world. It was 2004 and the Yankees blew the ALCS verses the Red Sox losing 4 in a row. I was distraught. I'm right there again, disgusted and anxious and I want to punch Pedroia in the bad foot.

How in the world can the final week of baseball be falling apart like this for the Yankees? There is no way of understanding it.

Pettitte, who I love, looked horrible. No way to get around it. It was a horrible start in what is considered a do or die series. Think about it, they need a few games to essentially clinch playoff spot and they are pissing it away with a 3rd place team. It doesn't make sense right now.

I'll will tell you though, in all the disaster of tonight's game, let's talk about class for a moment. Curtis Granderson. He had 3 hits tonight, but that's not the story. The story is he hits a hard ball that was clearly an out down first base. It takes a weird bounce and smacks Lowell in the face. After Grandy gets to first, he calls time out and checks in with Lowell. Now I hate the Red Sox, but that's a class act. At that moment, selfishly I'm thinking "Good, maybe waiting for Lowell to get up is a good thing, it distracts Beckett and then the Yanks will rally and score 9 runs to tie it."

It's funny the way things work. Eventually the Yanks showed life, just not enough and at the end of the day, it's another loss and we're knocked out of first place. The Rays beat Toronto and now all I can do is hope the Yanks win the next 2 and take the series. That's all we have right now. One game at a time of course, but think about winning the series.

By the way, props to Tex for hitting 2 solo's. The last home run he hit before that was August 31st. That's a long time. Maybe he'll come out of his slumber now. And, I loved A-Rod's 2 home runs, Swish's yard looked sweet as hell, and Berkman's swing is the most beautiful sight these eyes have ever seen, I just wish the ball would grow eyes and get away from the fielders. Having someone like him in the lineup is key, especially if his base hits are consistant. I'm telling you, Berkman's as close as it gets right now. That and the combo of a Jeter hitting in 11 straight, Swisher and Tex hitting as well as Alex and Grandy and we have something, now if we could only pitch well too. Damn, that would be something now wouldn't it?

The bottom line tonight is the Yankees lost to the Red Sox. It's harder on the fans than losing to the Royals or the Rangers. Fans hate the Red Sox, Hell, the Yankees hate the Red Sox, and they hate us back. So, what do we do? Saturday and Sunday need to be the beginning of something big, a winning streak.

Vince Lombardi once said "It is time for us to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever, the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it." It's go time Yanks, it's go time.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

WHY BASEBALL ISN'T PREDICTABLE


Well ain't that something. Not exactly what Yankee fans were looking for tonight. CC and the Yankees looked like they were on their way to a nice victory over the Rays, then the wheels fell off. What the hell happened? Where was CC's fastball tonight? He looked like he couldn't throw it. No confidence. I've never seen him like that before. I also can't recall him ever walking in a run... ever.


Look, I'm a huge Sabathia fan, and every player has a bad day once in a while, but it was such a shock and almost unreal the way everything fell apart in the 6th inning. And even when things were falling apart for CC and he was up to 111 pitches I was STILL yelling at Girardi NOT to bring in relief. Even though CC walked the lead run in and the bases were still loaded, I really wanted him to get out of it on his own. While I'm loving our bullpen lately, there was something symbolic to me about CC just finishing off the inning. Almost like a way to get him some courage and pride back. That obviously never happened and Joba helped the Rays out alittle more. Damn it.


Chalk it up as a bad night for CC and a worse night for the Yankee bullpen. 10-3 is a significant loss. I see that and I see a bullpen that was off because their leader was off. I've said it once and I'll say it again, CC is the leader of the pitchers... He's off, everyone's off. He shows no confidence, all the others lose confidence. It's that simple.


Props to Greg Golson tonight, 2 for 4, double and single and a run scored. He was hitting the ball hard all night. Gotta love when rookies get their hits.


So what's next. 9 games. Bosox for three in New York, 3 in Toronto against the Blue Jays, then we close out 3 in Boston. There is no room for error now. It's the hardest schedule that I can ever remember the Yanks ending with. Plus, the Rays are walking out of New York all cocky now. The Rays will be playing the Orioles, Mariners and Royals next. WTF. Damn I'd love to play a few last place teams to end the season.


The goal is to win the next series against Boston. Clinch the playoff spot, celebrate alittle and then win 2 of 3 in Toronto. Then, by Sunday next week hopefully we will have clinched the Division and all is well in Yankeeland. That is of course, until the playoffs begin.

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WHY IT WAS A WASHOUT


It was a combination of lousy weather, being outscored and Chad Gaudin.

Look, if this was a playoff series, we would be down 2 games to 1. I would feel bad but I understand the multiple hurdles of last night. . To me, Girardi was just getting some dudes in there who hadn't pitched lately. He basically threw the towel in, because we all know that teams chip away at the likes of Moseley, Gaudin, and even a newbie like Ring. So, the Yanks lost last night, turn the page. I hate when they lose but it was one of those games. As a player, its hard to start and stop, especially for 2 hours.

One thing I can say is Berkman's climbing back into favor. We need the little things and if people like Berkman, Kearns, Thames contribute when others need a day off and don't skip a beat, we are golden.

AJ pitched decent for a short start and I think we win the game if it doesn't rain and he continued.

The Captain's back. He's hitting real well. Couldn't be happier for Jeet.
But the bottom line is we just lost a game. Sometimes you lose them and I'm going clean slate tonight. My favorite guy's on the mound against their favorite guy. CC vs. Price is always good. CC needs to do his thing and the Yankees need to get Price like they have in the past. I'm predicting a 5-3 win tonight. I'd love to see CC with 21 wins but it's about a team win tonight. Send the Rays packing winning the series 3 games to 1. I'd like that, wouldn't you?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WHY WINS BUILD CONFIDENCE


The offense was clicking again last night. Hughes had his good moments and bad ones. But it is clear to me his young arm is tired. But what can you do? They stretched him last night in preparation for the playoffs and they have to. I also liked seeing Javy in the relief role and I will tell you what... That long man in the bullpen is valuable. If Javy gets into some games and shuts down the opposition, that spot has got to be his. I would prefer to not give it to Mitre or Gaudin.

Jeter did well last night and I love Swisher in our lineup and when he's healthy, he can hit the crap out of the ball. What a gamer. You know Swisher's doing something right when my son gets up to bat in his Fall baseball league and nails Swisher's stance cold in the batter's box... Down to the staring at the bat over home plate to him looking into the sky for that brief moment. Swish is becoming a Yankee icon. Keep it going Swish.

A-Rod looked good last night but I can't seem to understand his approach to these games lately. Is he conserving his energy or is he still not 100 percent? He looks alittle slow out there. Should I be worried? I'll get back to you on that.

Finally, Berkman. I've been all over this guy since he came to New York. He looks lost and uncomfortable but you can tell he's ready to pop. Last night was a perfect example of him finding his way back to his groove. When he hits the ball, it looks downright beautiful. What's great for him lately is while he swings beautifully, his balls are finding the holes. That's a nice combination.
Right now the magic number to clinch the division is 10. It is still a long road but doable. With the Yanks clicking and being home, it is very possible that the Rays get swept and I'm confident that can happen. But I'm getting over excited, one game at a time. Keep it going New York, get us there.

Tonight's AJ vs. Wade Davis. Burnett's had a mini-rivival as of late so with the way he's been pitching all year, he's bound to collapse at any minute. That being said, his confidence is coming back and he's got to have the post season fever. Wade Davis is tricky but beatable. Stike early, keep getting into that tired Rays bullpen and you'll snag another game... Getting closer to the post season. Maybe CC needs to give AJ a shiner in the other eye tonight... Just saying.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

WHY THERE MAY BE GHOSTS... AGAIN

That one's for you George and they're not done yet! Many things clicked last night when the Yankees took Game 1 against the Rays.

Was it perfect? No, but look, you can't put a newbie like Nova out there and expect him to shut down the Rays lineup for nine innings.

So what worked? Grandy's hitting for power and running for starters. 5 RBI night. I've missed that all year and the Yankees did too. Hell, I think Granderson was wondering what took so long. But I'd rather see him doing it now than in April. Keep it going Grandy and you'll see that World Series trophy.


Kerry Wood looked amazing, especially dealing with a strike zone that was so tiny, it looked like you had to toss a golf ball in a PVC pipe. Wood had plenty of strikes but didn't get them called in his favor. But the guy never complained. He went right back to work and got Joyce to just hit it for the out. If you can't strike him out, let them put the ball in play.


Also, to me, Cervelli's playing style is what baseball's all about. The dude's in on every play. He plays like a .300 hitter with 20 homeruns but you forget he's got no homers and a below average bat. Give me a dirty uniform and a fist pump on clutch plays and I give you a champion, every single time. Oh and the Captain's on his way back out of the black hole he was in all summer. Let's hope the playoff feelings are coming back and he'll be in All-Star form.

So what's the goal? Winning championships. True. But the magic numbers 5. We can't get ahead of ourselves yet. We need a playoff spot and then we need to be the division champs... THEN we go to the playoffs. It's still a long road. So, we play for right now. The next 3 games are critical. It's not about the World Series yet, it's about burying the Rays first.


Last night, there was a good, yet eeire feeling in the new Yankee stadium. Familiar faces of Yankees past coming back and dare I say the ghost of George.

That's right, I said it. Jeter always said the ghosts came out in the old Yankee stadium and strange things happened. Could it be that the ghost of The Boss will be lingering around the new house? I get the sense it may be true.


Shields vs. Hughes tonight. Give me 6 innings Phil. Don't aim, throw your stuff. You're better than you think you are. And Yanks, strike early on Shields and get to that Rays bullpen. Recipe for victory. The ghost of George is watching.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

WHY WE FORGET MO IS HUMAN


Andy looked as good as you could expect, 6 innings was just what the doctor ordered. The problem with this one was the Yankee offense. The Yankees have seen Guthrie an awful lot over the years. You' d think with one of their leaders on the mound, they'd strike and never look back. But it pittered out.

One things for sure, when you have a 3-2 lead going into the ninth against the Orioles, and Mo's on the mound, you expect a save and a win. You can almost shut off the television before the last out and continue your weekend. Who wouldn't think that its all wrapped up? That brings me back to my point about Showalter from a few days ago. He's a fighter and he has something to prove to the Yankees.



Now, Showalter didn't hit Luke Scott's home run for him to tie it he didn't get Ty Wiggington's game winning hit. I'm not saying Buck was responsible for that. He was however responsible for the Orioles believing in themselves. Since he came to Baltimore, the Orioles look like defending World Champs. Buck's put a fire in their belly and some might say that they knew it was going to happen, they may say they knew the Orioles would come back. While the Yankees have seen Guthrie plenty of times, the O's have seen Mariano plenty as well. We forget sometimes that Mariano is just like you or me. As much as he is on automatic, he sometimes blows a save. Now it's Monday morning, turn the page.


Tonight, the Yankees honor George Steinbrenner. He brought winning back to the Bronx and I really hope Joe Torre and Don Mattingly show up. Hell, I'd like to see Showalter and Piniella there as well. But it's more than remembering Steinbrenner tonight, its remembering that George hated losing and especially hated losing to the Red Sox and the Rays. Let's win tonight New York. If George was alive he'd be very impatient sitting through his own ceremony and looking forward to a big win in the Bronx. Let's get the win, and let's take the Series against the Rays this week. George would have wanted it that way.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

WHY CC IS THE LEADER

Tonight the Yankees win 11-3 over the Orioles and a lot happened. First off, CC gets huge ups for his 20th win of the season this year. It's also the first time he's done it in his career. Secondly, CC didn't have his best stuff tonight. But it didn't matter. Why? Because CC is a leader and when he's pitching, the Yankees are confident. Jeter hit tonight, Cano was on fire hitting his 28th home run and getting his 101st RBI. Gardner had 3 hits. Grandy even cranked out a 3 run home run for insurance. The trust is there. The confidence is there, and on a weekend before the Rays series, it's time to make everything click. So far they have.


If there is something to learn from tonight, it's this. Without CC, the Yankees are 4 games back of the Rays right now, even more and dangerously close to not winning the wild card. Luckily, they have him and he's a battle tested veteran who will give his all even though sometimes he doesn't have it. AJ should learn something from tonight. CC may not have been the REAL CC this evening, but he knew he had enough talent to battle through it and get the win for the team. He changed up his pitches because he realized certain pitches weren't working, he did what he had to do. You have to love that.


Tomorrow a Yankee favorite takes the mound, and while Andy's 11-2, he's been out for 2 months with a groin injury. This can go 2 ways, decent or real bad. I'm betting on decent because we know the kind of work horse he is. Pettitte's honest. If he says he feels great, he does. Let's trust that. Tomorrow, let's predict a 7-4 win. Hopefully Andy gets the win and a sweep for the Yankees and take the momentum into the Bronx so we can bury the Rays. One can only hope.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

THE BLACK EYE MYSTERY


We may never know what happened to AJ's eye but he claims it's not baseball related and maybe he's telling the truth. Whatever the case, his vision wasn't affected tonight and that's major. With CC pitching tomorrow and Andy on Sunday, it was nice to get this win under our belt tonight, even though AJ got a No Decision. He kept the Yankees in the game tonight and that's all I could as for.


Do I care about how AJ got a black eye? No. Do I care that his vision could have been damaged with the black eye? Yes, especially if he loses the game tonight and we possibly lose our number 2 pitcher to injury. Winning games is all that matters right now with two weeks and two days to go until the end of the season. How he got his shiner doesn't matter to me.

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WHY PATIENCE WINS BALLGAMES


Tonight, I saw a lot from AJ Burnett, and not enough from the Yankee hitters. That is until Jorge Posada taught everyone about patience. A 11 pitch at bat that ends up being a single really turned the whole game around. Without that, does Granderson get a single? OK, lets say he does get a single and Teixeria still pops out... Does Alex hit his second home run of the game? OK, lets say he does, Now it's 3-3 going into the ninth. Another tie game and who knows the outcome but my guess is the Yankees may lose it based on their lousty track record on this road trip.


Posada made it happen tonight with that 11 pitch at bat and although Alex hit 2 home runs tonight, and the big one to win it, Posada is the star tonight. I also hope that this win starts to turn things around for the Yankees. Burnett is starting to right himself, CC pitches tomorrow seeking number 20 and perhaps, just perhaps the Yankee hitters start to be the Yankees we know and love, aggressive, dominant... and maybe even alittle patient.

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WHY DID GIUSEPPE STOP ADVERTISING ON YES?


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YANKEES VS. ORIOLES 9-17-2010






WHY CONFIDENCE IS KEY


AJ Burnett's been downright inconsistant this year, make no bones about it. But I always find myself rooting for the guy because I know that when he's on, he can be unstoppable. That's why the Yankees signed him and that's what he proved to NY fans in 2009.

What AJ lacks is confidence. He can throw 5 shutout innings, strike out 7 easy, but God forbid someone turns on a 3-2 pitch and puts it in the seats... suddenly, AJ is unsure of himself.

At that point, Eiland's got to get out there. Talk to him, remind him what he's capable of. A lot of the time I see Eiland and Girardi looking at each other in the dugout and nothing gets done until it's too late and momentum goes the other team's way. Stop looking at the charts when it comes to AJ, just stroke the dude. Build him up, he needs it. Some personalities require that. It's like raising a child. Let's face it, AJ is a dominant pitcher and this is all in his head. He can overcome this.

Tonight, AJ pitches against Kevin Millwood. Millwood is 3-15, but that record is deceiving because the Orioles are actually winning now because of Showalter's personal quest to prove to the Yankees that's he's the greatest manager ever. Millwood is a great pitcher and the Orioles are very aggressive now.

AJ needs to pound the strike zone early, change up his pitches and trust his stuff. Throw that together with the Yankees actually hitting tonight off Millwood and I see them taking this game 6-3.

This weekend is a big deal for the Yankees. While the Baltimore Orioles are in last place, they are good. While the Yankees need to score first tonight, it all hinges on AJ and his confidence. If he doesn't let a base hit get inside his head and if the Yankees take these next three games to right themselves and get into a rhythm, they will be ready for the Rays next week in the Bronx. But if the confidence of AJ is not there tonight, It's going to be a long hard road. Tonight, AJ dominates... I hope.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

WHY FANS ARE WORRIED




I can sit here all day and talk about how the season is far from over and the Yankees are fine. But the truth is I'm worried. The Rays are overpowering and in the past, that was the Yankees. No matter how late in the game it was, the Yankees always game back. The truth is, they're not that team right now and after the upcoming Baltimore series, I'm concerned that if they don't get ahead early in games, they won't have the spark in the late innings to get the win.

A-Rods strikeout on 3 pitches last night looked like a little leaguer overpowered by the best pitcher in the league. Everyone knew where Soriano was going to throw it, but Alex looked uncomfortable and like, dare I say, Austin Kearns.

Which brings me to my next point. Attitude is key and I've always believed that pumping the fist after you strike out your opponent or even showing frustration when you don't get your hit is a key element to the game and it puts a fire in the belly of your team. Austin Kearns, while I loved him on the Indians, it was the Indians. He doesn't fit on the Yankees. He's the Craig Wilson of 2010 (remember him?). No emotion. He walks up to the plate with no confidence. It looks like he's expecting to get struck out. It looks like he's mad for getting traded to the Yankees and he's trying to get back at them. (Just kidding on that point, no conspiracies here.)

And let's analyze Lance Berkman. To me, Berkman looks like he's 53 years old out there. While he's been hitting as of late, Cashman brought him to New York for his big bat and defense to give Teixeria a day off. Well, last time I checked, Tex was playing with a broken toe which shows me they have no faith in Berkman.

I don't mean to sound doom and gloom. At the end of the day, I'm confident in my Yankees and I will root for them every single game until the end. But what we have here is a team trying to repeat after a magical 2009 where everything went right.

Maybe if I stop trying to compare the 2 years in my head, I'll be ok, but until then I'm noticing some cracks and wondering if they will ever be mended in time for some big end of the year series games against the Rays and Sox before the playoffs... And beyond.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

WHY MOMENTUM MATTERS

mo·men·tum [moh-men-tuhm]
–noun, plural -ta
1. force or speed of movement; impetus, as of a physical object or course of events.

It was a win with the feel of a World Series game and while Posada showed what a veteran can do when your backs against the wall, it all started with someone else. No one will remember Curtis Granderson tonight, but if his dramatic centerfield catch doesn't happen, who knows if Jorge hits that home run. I've always said that late inning heroics in a nail biting game brings the best out of a team, and I'm sticking with that theory. Granderson's catch lights a fire and... Posada goes Pow and Golson shows his cannon. It was uplifting to see Curtis stretched across the air. It meant something. It was a hunger not seen in the 4 game losing streak and it was enough to get anyone excited about winning.
This game was huge, for the Yankees and their fans. Winning streaks start with one game and are followed by the next. Let's hope momentum, brings the Yanks what they want.

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WHY LAST NIGHT WAS IMPORTANT

I've read all about how certain pitchers in the Yankees bullpen needed to rest and I still don't understand what that means. The Rays are one of the hottest teams in baseball, not to mention now, the best team in baseball. This series against the Rays is like the playoffs. Play like it is. Manage like it is Jor Girardi. The only reason Mitre or Gaudin should be in a game against the Rays inSeptember is because the Rays are winning by 10 runs. Last night's gem by Sabathia didn't need scrub pitchers being used as "filler" just to get to the Yanks top of the inning. Last night's gem needed to be treated like a gem, even after Sabathia.
Pretend it's Game 7. Go balls out. Robertson, Joba, Mo. Use them. You do that and we win the game or... at least we go down swinging.
Last night we played for the Wild Card. In my mind, it's Division Champs or bust. It isn't too early to have that mentality because if your resting guys for the playoffs and you keep losing like that, all you're doing is resting guys for a long, cold winter.

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