Tagged: Alex Rodriguez

Number 27

Well, the World Series is over, and the New York Yankees are once again the champions. New York celebrated with a parade yesterday and the presentation of the key to the city.

Congratulations to the Yankees…you were the best team in baseball this year, and you truly deserve this.

ws_trophy.jpegAnyone who has bothered to read about me, or who has read some of the first few posts in this blog, knows that I became a Yankees fan — actually a baseball fan — because of former Orioles and Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina. In the last paragraph of this post, I stated that I knew the Yankees would win because had Mussina retired one year too soon. I was right.

I’ve been thinking about Mussina through the entire postseason, as well as through much of the latter half of the regular season. Earlier in the season, when the Yankees were 0-8 vs. Boston and lost 2 out of 3 games to the 19-46 Nationals, including their only shutout at Yankee Stadium, I admit that I had a few doubts about how this season might turn out! But then I reminded myself that Moose had retired, which meant that the Yankees would, in fact, pull it out and somehow and win it all. I’m pleased that the Yankees won. I didn’t particularly want the Phillies to beat them, nor did I want the Phillies to win the World Series two years in a row regardless of who their opponent was. I’m happy for the “old guys” — Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada — for getting ring #5. I’m happy for Alex Rodriguez, because even though I can’t stand the little fart, he managed to shut out all the distractions and all the crap (self-inflicted, of course), and he just played the game…quite well, in fact. (If he could just learn to simply play ball and keep his mouth shut, he’d be far less insufferable.) And I’m especially happy for Hideki Matsui, who has dealt with his share if injury issues in recent years. His knees may be shot, but his bat was more than enough in Game 6, and his MVP Award is well-deserved. If this turns out to be his final performance for the Yankees, it was one hell of a way to make an exit.

And yet………

I can’t help but feel some pangs of sadness, disappointment, and even some anger over this win…a year too late…actually, eight years too late. The Yankees should have won #27 eight years ago Wednesday night…that horse was long since been bludgeoned to death on my message board, so I don’t really want go there in depth again. In all honesty, those feelings do temper my happiness about Wednesday night’s win. I can’t help it, I won’t make excuses for it, and I won’t apologize for it…that’s just the way it is.

I have no doubt whatsoever that Mussina remains happy and at peace with his decision to retire. But I also remember his comments on WFAN back in February, when he mentioned his disappointment at never having gotten a World Series ring. This just seems to be his lot, considering how many “almosts” he’s had in his career. I’m sure Mike is happy for his former teammates, but I can’t help wondering if he’s feeling a bit of disappointment that #27 came a year too late for him. I know I’m certainly disappointed. I’m sure that it bothers me far more than it bothers him. But I do wonder what he might have been thinking the other night after the Yankees won Game 6. I was thinking, Just his luck…he got there a year too late and left a year too early…….

What can I say…I’m definitely NOT a typical Yankees fan! LOL

The Bronx vs. Broad Street

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For the record, my prediction is the Yankees in 7.

And Alex Rodriguez’s hit was definitely a home run. Considering what a crappy job the umpires have been doing in the postseason, I’m surprised that they got this call right.

Anyway…it’s been an entertaining series so far. The story of the series so far, IMO, has been the pitching. The battle of the former Indians in Game 1 was a beauty. CC Sabathia pitched well; Cliff Lee, however, was brilliant. And his behind-the-back catch in the 8th inning was incredible! Game 2 was a bit of a surprise…I definitely didn’t expect A.J. Burnett to outpitch Pedro Martinez. I can’t stand Pedro. He’s an arrogant, obnoxious a-hole. (He’s also a coward who thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to grab the head of a man who is more than twice his age and throw him to the ground…but I digress….) I must admit, however, that Pedro’s resurgence has been quite amazing, considering that his right arm seemed like it was going to fall off just a few years ago. The Yankees may have been Pedro’s daddy in 2004, but I didn’t think that would be the case again. And it wasn’t at first…after all, Pedro did shut up the “who’s your daddy” chants early in the game, and he did strike out 8 Yankees. But Burnett pitched a gem. Tonight’s game has been a good one so far, with the Phillies taking the initial lead and then the Yankees going ahead. Jayson Werth just hit his second home run of the night. Exciting stuff!

Many years ago, I read some comments about New York sports fans compared to Philadelphia sports fans in (I believe) Sports Illustrated. I don’t recall the context of the article itself, just the following comparison of New York and Philadelphia sports fans: New York sports fans will boo anything, including funerals. Philadelphia sports fans don’t boo funerals…they cheer them.

whoa.gifThis should be quite an interesting series.

Oh, by the way:
 
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ALCS — Yankees vs. Angels

2009ALCS.pngYankees vs. Angels…this should be interesting.

First, a few words about the Red Sox/Angels ALDS. I thought that the
Angels would win the series…but I certainly didn’t expect the Angels
to sweep that series. I can’t stand Jonathan Papelbon, so I must admit
that I was not sorry to hear that he blew the save, and the game, and
the series. If the Red Sox destiny was to go home after the ALDS, then
IMO that blown save couldn’t have happened to a more deserving idiot person.

As for the ALCS, I anticipate a battle. The Yankees and Angels split the season series, so the teams appear to be evenly matched. The Yankees seemed to get stronger as the season went on, and they appear to be on a mission after having missed out on the postseason last year. But the Angels also seem to be on a mission…to win it all in honor of former teammate Nick Adenhart, who was killed by a drunk driver earlier this season. They included him in their celebrations when they clinched their division and after beating the Red Sox. Frankly, if I wasn’t rooting for the Yankees to win the World Series, I’d definitely be rooting for the Angels. I find their tributes to Adenhart to be quite touching.

It will be interesting to see how Bobby Abreu performs against his former team. It will also be interesting to see if Alex Rodriguez can continue to play well, and make Yankee fans forget his performances in the postseason from previous years. And the Yankees have to hope that CC Sabathia can perform better against the Angels in this series than he did during the season, when he lost his two starts and had a 6.08 ERA.

The Yankees certainly have plenty of motivation to defeat the Angels. Not only are they trying to make up for the fact that they failed to make the postseason last year, but the Angels sent the Yankees home early in 2002 and 2005 by defeating them in the ALDS. The boys from the Bronx are out for revenge!

I’d like to say that the Yankees will breeze through the ALCS…I believe the Yankees will win, but I think it will take 7 games to do so.

Look out…here come the Yankees!

Another long gap between blog posts. I really didn’t intend to let a month pass between mylast post and this one…but life happens.

The regular season is over, and the Yankees are once again the AL East champions. The irony of this title is the fact that it was clinched with a sweep of the Red Sox, against whom the Yankees were 0-8 at one point this season. The Yankees ended up splitting the season series with Boston.

The ALDS had the potential to be a fierce battle.

2009ALDS.png The Twins had made a ferocious comeback against the Tigers at the end of the season, winning 5 of their last 8 games against Detroit, including a wild one-game playoff, to win the AL Central title. But that last game may have been a bit too much for the Twins…or maybe it’s just the Yankees that are too much for the Twins. The Yankees are up 2 games to none in the ALDS, thanks to a 9th inning home run by Alex Rodriguez to tie Game 2 and an 11th inning home run by Mark (The $180,000,000 Man) Teixeira in Friday’s game.

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Photo Credit: yahoo.com

So much for a fierce battle. Now it looks like the only “battle” will be to see which Yankee ends the ALDS with the most RBIs — Derek Jeter, Teixeira or Rodriguez.

I must admit that I had some concerns about the Yankees, going into the ALDS. With the exception of the 2004 ALDS — ironically enough, vs. the Twins — A-Rod’s postseason performances as a Yankee had been pretty horrendous. CC Sabathia’s recent postseason performances had been less than stellar as well. Both have eased my concerns…in a big way.

arod.jpg cc.jpg

I am very confident that the Yankees will win the World Series this year. My confidence is based partly on how the team itself has performed this season, and partly on the fact that Mike Mussina retired. Stay with me here, people…if you have read my profile here at MLBlogs, then you know I became a Yankees fan when Mussina signed with the Yankees on November 30, 2000. After Mariano Rivera’s blown save ended the 2001 World Series, I wondered if Mussina had joined the Yankees a year too late to be a part of the “Dynasty.” When Moose retired without having gotten a World Series ring, I wondered if he left a year too early. It would be just Mike’s luck to retire the year before the Yankees not only return to the postseason but also the year before they finally win another World Series.

Anyway…go Yankees!

Yankees lose pitcher, argument, and game

The Yankees lost to the Marlins on Sunday, 6-5, and more importantly, lost starter CC Sabathia when he left the game in the 2nd inning with tightness in his left biceps.He didn’t seem to think it was anything serious, saying that he’d felt tightness between starts before.

Joe Girardi filed an official protest with the commissioners office on Monday over a Marlins a double switch substitution mix-up in the 8th inning. We’ll see what, if anything, comes from that protest.

Alex Rodriguez had reserved approximately 100 tickets for family and friends in his return to his hometown, but he didn’t give them much to see, going 1-4 with two strikeouts. He did hit a 2-run single in the 3rd inning, but he also struck out to lead off the 9th inning.

I’m betting that the Yankees will be thrilled to see the end of interleague play for this season.

EDIT: I forgot to include the standings last night…must’ve been too sleepy! LOL

Current AL East Standings:

                    W       L       Pct      GB
Boston Red Sox      42      27     .609      —
New York Yankees    38      31     .551      4.0
Toronto Blue Jays   38      38     .535      5.0
Tampa Bay Rays      37      34     .521      6.0
Baltimore Orioles   32      37     .464      10.0

Interleague play isn’t fun

The Yankees must be getting tired of interleague play this season. They lost to the Marlins, 2-1, dropping their interleague W-L record to 5-6.

Facing his former teammates, A.J. Burnett lasted 6 and 1/2 innings, giving up just 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits with 3 walks and 8 strikeouts. Unfortunately, Josh Johnson outpitched Burnett, going 7 innings and giving up 1 run on 3 hits with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. Overall, the Yankees offense was anemic, and the defense wasn’t exactly stellar either. Angel Berroa and Johnny Damon had errors, but neither error led to Marlins runs.

Once again, Alex Rodriguez was not in the starting lineup. He did, however, enter the game in the 8th inning as a pinch hitter, drawing a walk. It was his first regular season at bat against the Marlins in his hometown. The crowd cheered through his entire at bat.

Of course, part of the reason for all those cheers may have been because of the large contingent of Yankee fans who once again filled the seats at Land Shark Stadium. (Is that not one of the worst names for a ballpark in the major leagues?!) The Yankees fans usual chants were answered by Marlins fans with the cow bells that were handed out at the gates. Attending this game probably required several Advil…particularly for Yankees fans, considering the final score.

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Current AL East Standings:

                    W       L       Pct      GB
Boston Red Sox      41      27     .603      —
New York Yankees    38      30     .559      3.0
Toronto Blue Jays   37      33     .529      5.0
Tampa Bay Rays      36      34     .514      6.0
Baltimore Orioles   31      37     .456      10.0

Nice recovery

I’m not sure what’s worse…being 0-8 vs. the Red Sox or losing 2 out of 3 games to the worst team in baseball. The series against the Nationals was pretty bad, but the Yankees recovered from it quite nicely, defeating the Marlins, 5-1. Playing in front of a crowd that was mostly Yankees fans who had traveled to Miami, Andy Pettitte pitched extremely well, giving up just 1 run (a home run to Cody Ross) on 3 hits, with 1 strikeout in 7 innings. Brian Bruney and Brett Tomko combined for 2 hitless, scoreless innings. Derek Jeter, Angel Berroa (playing for for the slumping Alex Rodriguez), Nick Swisher, and even Andy Pettitte hit doubles for the Yankees. There’s nothing like an American League pitcher getting a hit (a double, no less) to bump up the fun factor of interleague play! And Pettitte’s double resulted in an RBI, so he helped his own cause. It’s a good thing that the Yankees were able to score those 5 runs and limit the Marlins to just 1 run, because they left 24 runners on base.

Although the Yankees had not performed will in their last two interleaugue series against young, unfamiliar pitchers, they redeemed themselves against Sean West, who lasted just 4 innings while giving up all 5 of the Yankees runs on 10 hits. Like Pettitte, he had 7 strikeouts.

Good decision by Joe Girardi to bench Alex Rodriguez. Let’s hope he comes back stronger, with a renewed ability to actually get some hits.

Good job, Yankees!
thumbs_up.gifCurrent AL East Standings:

                    W       L       Pct      GB
Boston Red Sox      40      27     .597      —
New York Yankees    38      29     .567      2.0
Toronto Blue Jays   37      32     .536      4.0
Tampa Bay Rays      35      34     .507      6.0
Baltimore Orioles   30      37     .448      10.0

Yankees vs. Nationals — the rubber match

Some ramblings while I’m watching the game…

A couple of weeks ago, I looked into getting a ticket for this game. Since it was scheduled to be a day game, I thought it would be cool to get a ticket, take an early train up to NY from DC, go to the game, and take the train back home at about 6:30-7:00. That would have gotten me back home sometime between midnight and 1 a.m. But I wasn’t able to find an affordable ticket on the Yankees web site, so I gave up on that idea. Fortunately for me, I didn’t think to check StubHub at that time, where I probably would have been able to find something affordable. Why is that fortunate? Because of the 5-hour 26-minute rain delay! By the time this game got underway at about 6:30, I would have been back at Penn Station, either boarding a train or getting ready to board one soon.

Right now, it’s the bottom of the 7th, and the Nationals are leading 3-0. The Yankees have 2 on with 1 out, and Hideki Matsui is at bat. This will be where the Yankees rally and take the lead…not necessarily this inning, but it’ll happen. This is, after all, the Nationals bullpen we’re talking about.

More later…..

Update: Tavarez coming into the game? Get ready, Yankees fans…here comes the rally……

Update: OMG…I hope Brett Gardner will be OK. The MASN commentators are talking about his lower back, but it looked to me like hit his head. Ouch!! Hell of a catch too….

Update: I probably shouldn’t be so negative where the Nationals are concerned, but I’m a realist. I know how bad this team — specifically the bullpen — is. It’s the bottom of the 9th, and they only need 3 outs for a win, but they will find a way to blow it…or the defense will blow it. Not that this would be a bad thing, because the Yankees need to win tonight…..

Update: Umm…WHAT?!?! The Nationals won, 3-0? The Nationals WON??

OMG_shocked.jpgAre you kidding me?!?!?

Once again, the Yankees made a young, unknown pitcher look like Cy Young. Rookie Craig Stammen got his first major league win, pitching a solid 6 and 1/3 innings of shutout baseball, giving up 6 hits with 2 strikeouts. The usually horrendous Nationals bullpen not only protected the lead by not giving up any runs, but Ron Villone, Julian Tavarez, and Joe Biemel didn’t even give up a hit. Mike MacDougal allowed 1 hit. Ryan Zimmerman and Cristian Guzman were 3-5 with 2 and 1 RBI, respectively. Adam Dunn, DH’ing again tonight, was 2-2 with 2 walks. Even the Nationals usually weak defense played well, with a diving catch by Willie Harris that robbed Alex Rodriguez of a hit, and a perfect throw by Austin Kearns from right field to second to get Nick Swisher out.

For the Yankees, Joba Chamberlain surrendered 3 runs in 6 innings, with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks. Alfredo Aceves, Phil Coke, and David Robertson combined to give up just 1 hit and no runs, but the damage was already done. Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher were 2-4; Swisher also grounded into a double play in the 9th inning. Derek Jeter pinch hit for Ramiro Pena with the bases loaded, but the Yankees best threat of the game ended when he grounded into a fielder’s choice. Brett Garner made an excellent catch at the wall to rob Austin Kearns of a hit, crashing into the wall and crumbling to the ground in the process. Considering how his head snapped back and hit the plexiglas wall, he was lucky that he didn’t lose consciousness. I hope he will be OK.

Tonight’s game was the first at Yankee Stadium this season in which no home runs were hit. I guess the baseballs were too wet to leave the park!

I officially suck at making predictions. As I mentioned earlier, I know I shouldn’t be so negative where the Nats are concerned, but I honestly believed that they would not win any of these games. Prior to the series, I thought they might have a slim chance to beat Chien-Ming Wang, but I didn’t expect even two wins, much less a sweep.

(Here goes my split personality again…..)

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!! I’m freaking out here…I can’t believe the Nationals — the “lowly Nationals” — beat the Yankees TWICE. Going back to the 2006 Yankees/Nationals interleague series, the Nats are 4-2 vs. the Yankees! Chien-Ming Wang is 0-2 vs. the Nationals. WOW!! Unfreakingbelieveable! Maybe this will be a turning point for the team, and they will play more respectably for the rest of the season. If nothing else, it’s got to be a confidence builder!

WTF is wrong with the Yankees?! How is it possible that they lost this series to the worst team in baseball…one of the worst teams EVER?! It’s pathetic. A-Rod was 0-the series. The entire team is in a slump — great timing, to be slumping against a team that hasn’t even won 20 games by mid-June. If the Red Sox win again tonight, the Yankees will fall 4 games back in the division. Hell, the Blue Jays have swept the Phillies, so they’re breathing down our necks. This sucks!!! SNAP OUT OF IT, YANKEES!!

Jeez…what a series.yanksnatsbigapple.gif

Mixed results

The Yankees and Nationals had different, but not surprising, results in their respective games tonight.

Yankees:

The Yankees defeated the Mets tonight, 9-8, thanks to an error by Luis Castillo in the 9th inning. This was a crazy game, to say the least…..

The Yankees jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning on Robinson Cano’s home run.

The Mets came right back in the 3rd inning to regain the lead, 2-1

The Yankees took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 3rd.

The Mets jumped out to a 6-3 in the top of the 5th inning.

The Yankees scored a run in the bottom of the 5th.

The Yankees regained the lead in the 6th inning, 7-6.

Then the Mets tied the game in the 7th.

The Mets took the lead, 8-7, in the 8th inning.

And then, finally, the Yankees scored two runs in the bottom of the inning, when Luis Castillo dropped a 2 out pop-up off the bat of Alex Rodriguez, allowing Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira to score the tying and winning runs, respectively. The final score was 9-8.

Whew…it was exhausting just typing all of that. I can’t imagine how tiring it must have been to watch the game in person, much less to play in it!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Postscript to the Yankees/Red Sox series: the last Yankees pitcher to win a game against the Red Sox was Mike Mussina. It was his 20th win of the season last year.


Nationals:

And then, there were the Nationals, who lost to the Rays tonight, 4-3. Pitching into the 6th inning, starter Craig Stammen, did a decent job, putting his team into a position to win. But the 3 runs that the Nats scored in the 1st inning were all they could manage. And then, with 2 outs in the 8th, Nick Johnson misplayed a pop-up in foul territory. Instead of the inning coming to an end, Gabe Kapler stepped up to the plate and hit the home run that won the game for the Rays.

SSDD…same stuff, different day. Another day, another loss.

Yankees rout Rangers

Outstanding performances from Phil Hughes (3 hits, no runs, 1 walk, and 6 strikeouts over 8 innings) and Alex Rodriguez (5-5, with 4 RBI and 2 runs scored) highlighted the Yankees 11-1 win over the Rangers. A-Rod was booed before each at bat, though the boos obviously didn’t bother him…perhaps they actually motivated him to perform so well. His performance raised his batting average from .189 to .259.

As for Hughes, he pitched a gem. I can’t figure out why Joe Girardi didn’t let him finish the game, since he was obviously pitching so well. I realize that managers tend to limit their young pitchers to about 100 pitches, and Hughes had thrown 101 when he was replaced by Alfredo Aceves for the 9th inning. But he was dealing, and his team was up by 11 runs. It’s not as if the Yankees were ahead by just a run or two, and a possibly tiring Hughes would have given up the lead.

An 11-1 rout is a great way to start a road trip, especially after the nail-biters in the last two games. And this win, combined with the Blue Jays loss to the Orioles, has moved the Yankees past the Blue Jays into second place in the AL East.