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.
Anyone 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.
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
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.
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??
Are 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.
The Yankees took 2 out of 3 games from the Mets in the 2009 interleague Subway Series. Andy Pettitte gave up 12 hits and got the loss as the Mets won Saturday’s contest, 6-2.
Also on Saturday, Yankees’ reliever Brian Bruney had a hissy fit against Francisco Rodriguez, publicly expressing his dislike of the Mets’ closer. Rodriguez responded with his own comments; both players pretty much sounded like
However, in game 3 of the series, the Yankees beat the living snot out of Johan Santana, 15-0. The Yankees got 9 runs on 9 hits and chased Santana from the game after just 3 innings. A.J. Burnett, David Robertson, and Phil Hughes combined to shut the Mets down and out, allowing just 6 hits; the Mets left 23 men on base. The Yankees scored 9 of their 15 runs in a very busy 4th inning, which included home runs from Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano, and doubles from Johnny Damon (now decaffinated) and Melky Cabrera.
During batting practice before this game, Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez yelled something at Brian Bruney in left field, continuing the hissy fit of the day before. The two had to be separated by teammates. Just more of
Sheesh. Kids these days!
Gosh, I wonder which of my teams got the loss tonight?!
Mets 7, Nationals 4. *sigh* The Nats offense was unable to capitalize on and injury depleted Mets lineup, and a 6-walk performance from Johan Santana tonight…probably because Santana also had 11 strikeouts! And there was another disputed home run that was reviewed, and once again, the review went in favor of the Mets. A ball that dropped into right field and initially (and correctly) was not ruled a home run, but after reviewing the play, the umpires reversed their call. I guess when a team displays as much suckitude as the Nationals have displayed this season, calls will just automatically go against them…whether or not those calls are actually correct. The lone bright spot in the game for the Nats was Adam Dunn’s 465 foot home run.
On the other hand, the Yankees defeated the Rangers tonight, 9-2. A.J. Burnett gave the Yankees 6 innings of shutout ball, allowing just 3 hits. He walked 4 and struck out 7. Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano each had a home run, and Hideki Matsui hit two. The Yankees have won have won 12 of their last 15 games, and tonight’s win, coupled with the Red Sox’ loss to the Twins, puts them in a tie for first place with Boston!
Yep, another jump for joy! 😀
It should be noted that Chien-Ming Wang made another relief appearance and was perfect for the final two innings, with two strikeouts.
After a rain delay of nearly two and a half hours, the Yankees lost to the Rangers last night, 7-3, thanks to the two homers from the previously 1-30 slumping bat of Chris Davis, as well as a 2-out RBI single from Jarrod
Saltalamackya Saltylimacchia Salty (whatever the heck his name is) which gave the Rangers the lead for good. The 2-3 performance (including a home run) from Hideki Matsui wasn’t enough to get a win for the Yankees, nor was the 3-5 night from Brett Gardner, subbing for the injured Melky Cabrera.
An even bigger blow than the loss to the Rangers was the loss of Cabrera to a non-throwing shoulder injury. Initial tests on the shoulder were negative; team trainer Gene Monahan estimated that Cabrera would be out 5-7 days. Melky will return to New York to be examined by team physician Chris Ahmad. I’m crossing my fingers that the injury is a minor one. Feel better soon, Melky!
The good news on the health front for the Yankees is that Jorge Posada could rejoin the team on Friday in Cleveland. (Yay!!)
SSDD for the Nationals, who lost to the Mets, 6-1. Former National Livan Hernandez pitched a complete game against his former team, only giving up a solo home run to Adam Dunn. It was a tough night for Ryan Zimmerman, who went 0 for 4 and struck out twice, thus ending his streak of safely reaching base at 43 games. He was three games short of the franchise record set by Rusty Staub for Montreal from 1969-70.
The Nationals previously potent offense has come to a grinding halt recently. The team desperately misses Jesus Flores and Elijah Dukes in the lineup; both, unfortunately, are on the DL.
The good news for the Nationals yesterday was the fact that Daniel Cabrera was designated for assignment. How did I react when I heard this news?
I jumped for joy!!!
Cabrera and his 0-5 record, his 5.85 ERA, his 35 walks (tied for most in the majors), and his 10 wild pitches (tops in the majors) are GONE. OUTTA HERE. FINALLY!! He almost certainly will clear waivers — I can’t imagine any team being stupid enough to claim him — and he has already stated that he won’t accept being assigned to the minors* so he’ll become a free agent. I hope he has other plans for the summer…I’d say there’s a pretty good chance that he won’t be playing baseball.
I loved acting GM Mike Rizzo’s comments about D-Cab:
“You have to put your best 25 players on the roster that are giving you a chance to win,” acting general manager Mike Rizzo said. “I look beyond the contract and look at the execution and performance of the player, and it wasn’t up to par. I was tired of watching him.”
So were Nats fans, Mike!
Oh, and today is Cabrera’s 28th birthday. What a birthday gift…getting DFA’d! LMAO
* I just noticed an amusing typo about D-Cab — I had typed “won’t accept being assigned to the majors” instead of “to the minors.” He won’t have to worry about being assigned to the “majors” since he probably won’t be able to get a job there! LOL
On a completely unrelated note…I’ve never been a fan of Mike Tyson, but he has my deepest sympathies for the tragic loss of his 4 year old daughter. No parent should have to endure such a loss.
The Yankees defeated the Orioles tonight, 7-4, for their 9th straight win. There were home runs by Robinson Cano and Hideki Matsui, doubles by Derek Jeter, Cano, Mark Teixeira, and Melky Cabrera, and 3 RBI from Cano. I didn’t see the game on TV because I was at the Nationals game tonight…since Cano was the hero of the night as far as the offense is concerned, I wonder if he got the pie in the face tonight? 🙂
Unfortunately, Joba Chamberlain left the game in the first inning after getting above his right knee by a line drive off the bat of Adam Jones. He somehow managed to grab the ball and make the throw to first for the out, but was taken out of the game two batters later after giving up hits to Nick Markakis and (GASP!) Aubrey Huff. The good news is that the X-rays on Joba’s knee were negative.
After this win, the Yankees are just 1 game behind the Red Sox and 1.5 games behind the Blue Jays in the AL East. Yes Toronto and Boston…objects in your rear view mirror are closer than they appear.
The Yankees got a dominant performance from CC Sabathia tonight in their victory over the Blue Jays. Sabathia gave up 2 runs on 5 hits, including a home run,over 8 innings. Good thing too, considering that the Yankees could only score 3 runs. The only Yankee who had more than one hit tonight was Francisco Cervelli, who had 2 hits. The Yankees left 18 runners on base, and were behind until Derek Jeter’s single in the 7th inning enabled Brett Gardner to score and tie the game. Hideki Matsui’s home run in the 8th inning proved to be the game winner.
Good to see 2 straight wins against a division opponent, particularly the opponent that’s currently in first place. The Yankees are now 4-1/2 games behind Toronto. Maybe the Yankees can pull this season together after all.
EDIT: I wonder why the word ” w h o p p ing” was edited? I had posted “The Yankees left a w h o p p ing 18 runners on base” and got an error message..
Another night, another loss for the Yankees.
Facing his former team, A.J. Burnett kept the Blue Jays hitless for 3 innings, until things fell apart in the 4th inning. By the time he was finished for the night, he had given up 5 runs on 7 hits, including a home run. There were also 3 strikeouts and 4 walks. Aside from those first three innings, the only good really thing about Burnett’s performance is that he pitched into the 8th inning, thereby not wearing out the bullpen. But giving up 5 runs is not a good thing to do when he’s going up against former teammate Roy Halladay, who just so happens to be one of the best pitchers in the American League.
On top of the loss, Derek Jeter was scratched with a sore right oblique, and Hideki Matsui left the game in the 5th inning with a tight right hamstring.
The Yankees are 3-7 in May, and have 5 wins against AL East opponents so far this season. At the rate they’re going, they really could be out of the division race by Memorial Day.
Last week, Jenn at the Phillies Phollowers blog mentioned that she had checked on ticket prices at Yankee Stadium for the Phillies series there. She was appalled at the prices. I also would like to see the new stadium, so a couple of days ago I checked the Yankees web site to see if there were any affordable tickets available for the June 18th Yankees/Nationals game. It’s a day game, so I could just take an early train up to NY from DC, take the subway to the game, and then reverse the process after the game. It would be a long day — up at 5 a.m., return home at about 1 a.m. — but it would be fun.
Not gonna happen.
The least expensive ticket I found cost $90. Ninety dollars. For a seat by the left field foul pole. A seat in a similar location at Nationals Park would cost $30. The ninety dollar seat is actually one of the cheaper prices for Yankee Stadium. As much as I’d love to see that game, there is no way in hell I’m going to spend that much money for a ticket, especially considering how much a round trip ticket on Amtrak would cost me.
I do want to see a game at Yankee Stadium sometime this season, so I’m not going to give up trying to get a reasonably priced ticket (by reasonably priced, I mean under $50) for any game. But I definitely won’t be seeing the Yankees play the Nationals in person.
*cough* *sniffle* *groan*
Not only am I trying to deal with my teams’ two losses yesterday, but I’m also fighting off a cold. I definitely need to work on feeling better ASAP, so I’m completely healthy by the Nats’ home opener next Monday.
Orioles 10, Yankees 5
CC Sabathia was horrible in his official debut in pinstripes, giving up 6 runs (all earned) in just a little over 4 innings of play. He didn’t give up any home runs, but he didn’t strike anyone out either, and he surrendered 5 walks. The two wild pitches in the first inning were a preview of things to come.
Teixeira was 0-4 in his official Yankees debut. He also left 5 runners on base. And he was booed unmercifully by Oriole fans, who were angry because Tex chose to sign with New York instead of Baltimore. If he keeps having 0-4 games, he’d better get used to being booed.
Derek Jeter may not be the 24 year old phenom that he once was…but at least he got off to a decent start by getting 3 hits in 5 at bats.
Two players who were sorely missed last year hit home runs in this game – Jorge Posada hit a solo HR in the 6th inning, and Hideki Matsui hit a 2-run HR in the 7th inning.
There was an interesting bit of irony in 8th inning, when Johnny Damon nearly robbed Cesar Izturis of a home run. The play could have been ruled fan interference because, as the replay clearly showed, a fan hit Damon’s glove as he attempted to make the catch. Damon didn’t protest very much, presumably because the ball was over the wall, but he did momentarily gesture in the direction of the fan while looking towards the umpires. Although this was just opening day and not a playoff game, it reminded me of the Jeffrey Maier play at Yankee Stadium during the 1996 ALDS. Definitely ironic, since the Yankees opponent in that game was the Baltimore Orioles.
The game was sold out and drew a crowd of 48,607, which is the largest opening day crowd in Oriole Park history. How many of you think the crowd was so big because Baltimore fans are so excited about their Orioles? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Raise your hand if you think the crowd was so big because of all the Yankees fans wanting to see Sabathia’s official debut in pinstripes!
To bad those fans had to leave the game disappointed.
Marlins 12, Nationals 6
John Lannan’s first opening day start of his career was anything but memorable. Unable to throw strikes, he only lasted 3 innings, giving up 6 earned runs, including 2 home runs. He also had one strikeout. At least he didn’t walk anyone…he didn’t have time for that, since he was too busy giving up runs!
Adam Dunn was 2-4 in his official Nationals debut, with a 3-run HR in the 6th inning. He had 4 RBI in the game and scored twice. His performance was one of the few highlights of the game for the Nats. Cristian Guzman was also 2-4 and scored 2 runs, while striking out once.
Ronnie Belliard had an error in the first inning (when is Anderson Hernandez coming off the DL?), and Lastings Milledge proved once again that he is not a center fielder, nor, apparently, is he a competent leadoff hitter. Emilio Bonifacio, who was thought to become a fixture at second base for the Nationals before being traded to the Marlins last fall, was 4-5 with a home run and 2 RBI against his former team. He also stole 3 bases. Bonifacio’s inside-the-park home run should/could have been caught but instead sailed over Milledge’s head.
Other than Dunn’s home run, the only other even remotely positive things I can say about this first game are (1) the Nationals didn’t give up after being down 6-0 (last year, they probably would have given up), and (2) no one got hurt.
CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira were both decidedly less than impressive in their official Yankees debuts. Adam Dunn’s official debut for the Nationals was much better, even though it didn’t help his team to win the game. At least CC’s ERA (12.46) wasn’t as high as Nats’ starter John Lannan’s (18.00), which wasn’t as high as Yankees reliever Brian Bruney’s (54.00)
Brand new stadium. Same old expectations.
The New York Yankees are heading into the 2009 season with a new home, some new faces, and the usual expectations of winning it all. After missing the postseason for the first time since 1994 and then spending $424 million on free agents, the Yankees are once again expected to win the World Series. The front office, the players, the media, and the fans all have high hopes for the team this season. That’s nothing new; however, the failure to reach the postseason last year, and the astronomical amount of money spent on free agents has raised the stakes considerably. I can only imagine how frustrated and furious the Steinbrenners were when the Yankees were unable to clinch a spot in the 2008 postseason, which is why they (once again) broke the bank to sign the top free agents. My guess is that heads will roll (Cashman’s? Girardi’s?) if the Yankees fail to win it all in 2009.
Gone from the 2008 starting rotation are Mike Mussina (retired), Sidney Ponson (Kansas City), and Darrell Rasner (Japan). Also gone from the team is Carl Pavano (Cleveland)…not that anyone would notice or care, since he played in less than 30 games in 4 years for the Yankees. Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte and Joba Chamberlain have returned, and are joined by expensive newcomers CC Sabathia (7 years, $161 million) and A.J. Burnett (5 years, $82.5 million). This rotation looks extremely good on paper…one of the team’s strengths. Wang missed most of last season with a broken foot, so his health will be one of the keys to the Yankees rotation. Burnett’s health could also be a question mark, since he has been somewhat injury prone during his career. The biggest key to the rotation, of course, will be Sabathia. He has been a workhorse for most of his career — he had 10 complete games in 2008 — continuing this trend will, obviously, help the Yankees bullpen. The concern about Sabathia is whether or not he’ll be able to handle playing under the microscope that is the New York Yankees. He supposedly was reluctant to play in New York…it will be interesting to see how he responds to the pressure from the media and the fans. Also of interest will be how Chamberlain performs as a starter for an entire season. Personally, I think he should remain in the bullpen and be groomed as Mariano Rivera’s successor. In my very un-expert opinion, Chamberlain’s personality seems to be far more suited to that of a closer than that of a starter. I realize he’s still young, but he can’t be a particularly effective starter if he can only pitch 5 innings. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up back in the bullpen at some point this season.
Speaking of the bullpen, this could be a problem area if Mariano Rivera is not fully recovered from shoulder surgery or suffers another injury…not out of the question for a 39 year old pitcher. Jonathan Albaladejo, Edwar Ramirez, Phil Coke, and Jose Veras pitched well this spring. The Yankees will need those good performances to continue through the regular season. Brian Bruney will also have to perform well. If Rivera is healthy, the bullpen could be another of the Yankee’s strengths.
The lineup will start off with a problem…the absence of Alex Rodriguez, who is recovering from hip surgery. Cody Ransom will fill in at third base until Rodriguez returns. Considering all of the off-the-field issues with Rodriguez, the time off for his recovery may actually help him prepare for the season without all of the drama related distractions. Like fellow free agent Sabathia, first baseman Mark Teixeira — the biggest free agent signing of the offseason — must learn how to handle the pressure of playing in New York in order to perform well on offense and defense. Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada are both recovering from injuries; they need to stay healthy for the Yankees to be successful. With Bobby Abreu gone, Xavier Nady takes over as the Yankees right fielder, having (surprisingly) won the job over Nick Swisher. Brett Gardner gets the nod as the starting center fielder over Melky Cabrera. And then there is Derek Jeter, who, at age 34, is still a good hitter and a good shortstop, but is no longer great at either. Depth may be an issue for the Yankees, particularly if Rodriguez, Matsui, Posada, and Rivera are unable to stay healthy.
Considering the $424 million spending spree, some people will scream about the Yankees buying another championship if the Yankees do manage to win the World Series this year. And the fact is, those screamers will have a point…an extremely small one, but a point nonetheless. As recent history has proven, it does take more than baseball’s biggest payroll to win the World Series. The Yankees did not violate any rules by spending all of that money. But the fact is that no other team could afford to spend the kind of money that the Yankees spent during the offseason. And that is precisely why people claim — perhaps unfairly — that the Yankees will have bought a(nother) World Series title.
As I said, expectations are sky high for the Yankees this year. Anything less than a World Series championship will be considered a disappointment, if not a failure.
My prediction for the Yankees 2009 record is 95-67, with a first place finish in the AL East in a very close race with Boston…perhaps as close as just 2 or 3 games. Will the Yankees win the World Series? Definitely…maybe! (Sorry…I’m not bold enough to make THAT prediction.)