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.
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.
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.
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.
Back in July, a friend and I went up to New York from Maryland, and met up with some friends at the new Yankee Stadium, to see Mike Mussina pitch again. No, the Yankees didn’t re-sign him…Mike took part in the Yankees annual Old-Timers game. It was fun but also a little bittersweet seeing Mike in pinstripes again. I’ve been a Mussina fan for a long time, and I miss hearing/reading about him pitching every fifth day. Mike wasn’t exactly effective in his Old-Timers game debut, givng up hit after hit to guys who are old enough to be his father. But then, his defense also consisted of guys who are old enough to be his father, and they didn’t exactly make the strongest of efforts to get to balls hit in their general direction!
Seeing the Old-Timers game was fun, though not nearly as meaningful to me as it was for the long-time Yankee fan friends I met up with at the Stadium. I’ve been a Yankees fan only since Mike Mussina signed with the Yankees, so the Yankees pre-Mussina history means little to me. (That’s just one of the many ways I differ from the typical Yankees fan…I’m pretty atypical, in fact…but I digress….)
I enjoyed seeing the new ballpark. I’m pleased to see that the design stayed true to history. The Yankees could have gone in an entirely different direction and built a stadium with a very modern look rather than a traditional look, but I really think if they had done so, the fans would have revolted!
I also enjoyed watching the actual Yankees game. I had been hoping that Joba Chamberlain would pitch in that game, and he did…and the Yankees defeated the Tigers, 2-1.
I took a bunch of photos that day. You can take a look at them here.
Newly retired Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina has accepted an invitation to participate in the Old Timers’ Day Game on July 19th at Yankee Stadium.
(What’d you think I meant by my title for this blog entry?! He’s retired people…no, he’s not coming back!)
Thanks to my friend Carissa, who got the tickets for that day’s game vs. the Tigers, I will be making a one day trip to Yankee Stadium to see the “Geezer Game” as well as that day’s game against Detroit. Can’t wait…I’m really looking forward to seeing Yankee Stadium in person!
I wonder if I should wear my Moose Hat to the Geezer Game…..
UGH. Yesterday’s game was UGLY!!
What a game. I mentioned here that I hoped Phil Hughes would pitch in Baltimore the way he did against the Tigers rather than against the Red Sox. Had he pitched Saturday the way he pitched against the Red Sox, the Yankees would probably have had a much better chance of winning. Hughes was unable to get out of the 2nd inning, sending 13 batters to the plate while throwing 40 pitches and giving up 8 runs (including a home run to Aubrey Huff). The Yankees did hit 3 home runs (Damon, Teixeira, and Swisher), but they hardly mattered. It was just an ugly game.
I realize that Phil Hughes is only 22, so there’s certainly a good chance that he will improve and be a good pitcher some day. A young team building for the future, such as the Nationals for example, that has little/no hope of contending this season, would have the time and the patience to wait and see Hughes improve. The Yankees, however, don’t have that luxury. They have few alternatives right now.
Of course, the Yankees won today’s game, 5-3. Joba Chamberlain pitched 6 innings, giving up 3 runs on 9 hits, and did not allow a run after the 1st inning. Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, and Johnny Damon hit home runs, and Phil Coke and Mariano Rivera teamed up to keep the Orioles off the scoreboard after Chamberlain’s exit. It figures that the Yankees won on Friday and today but lost yesterday when I was there. *sigh*
Despite Jonathan Albaladejo and Mariano Rivera trying to give the game away in the 9th inning, the Yankees beat the Tigers this evening, 8-6. A solid effort from Joba Chamberlain, along with two home runs from Nick Swisher, earned Chamberlain his first win of the season.
Good thing the Yankees scored 8 runs, considering that the Tigers scored 5 runs in the 9th inning. Jeez, were Albaladejo and Rivera trying to imitate the Nats’ Joel Hanrahan and Saul Rivera?!
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In addition to tonight’s win, there’s very good news for the Yankees: Alex Rodriguez may rejoin them within 10 days, according to the doctor who operated on his hip. That’s well ahead of his targeted return date, May 15. Let’s hope his recovery continues ahead of schedule!
It’s been so long since I last posted a blog entry that I nearly forgot my password! Work’s been kicking my butt…by the time I get home from work in the evening, I’m too tired to even turn my computer on, much less post anything here. 😦
Anyway…Round One of the 2009 Yankees vs. Red Sox battle went to the Red Sox, with a three game sweep over the weekend. Who’d have thought that Mariano Rivera would blow a save vs. his team’s biggest rival in their first meeting of the season, opening the door for a Yankees loss? (Kinda reminds me of the Nationals bullpen!) Was that loss so demoralizing for the Yankees that they were unable to recover and keep from being swept, or did they just flat out suck in Boston? If you chose the latter, you’re right!
The good news is that the Yankees ended a 4 game skid (including a loss to Detroit after the Boston series) by clobbering the Tigers last night, 11-0. This time it was the Yankees who were on the giving end of a double digit offensive explosion in one inning, scoring 10 runs in the 7th inning. And it was great to see Phil Hughes pitch so well. The Yankees desperately needed someone to stop the bleeding, and Hughes provided the bandage. Perhaps the Yankees should consider keeping him in the rotation a bit longer, while keeping Chien-Ming Wang on the DL for a while…hey, CMW’s weak hip may take a while to heal y’know!
Speaking of the DL, it’s a good thing that Alex Rodriguez’ recovery from hip surgery is going better than expected, since his replacement — Cody Ransom — is now on the 60-day DL. Not that Ransom’s performance will be missed…he isn’t even hitting his weight (and the dude doesn’t even weigh 200 pounds). I don’t particularly like Alex Rodriguez, but it will be good to see him back in the line-up.