“Jacoby Jacks One!”

April 22nd, 2014 by
Photo: Associated Press

Photo: Associated Press

Except that John Sterling’s home run call in the first inning was null and void after the ump sent Ellsbury back to third for a triple, due to fan interference. Either way, he ended up scoring and having a terrific game in his first visit back to Fenway. What a player he is.

Tanaka only had one really shaky inning giving up back-to-backers by Ortiz and Napoli, so I’d rate his first visit to Fenway as a rousing success too.

John Lester clearly didn’t have it tonight. But since it’s rare that we’re treated to a hit parade against him, I’ll take it. Loved seeing Roberts with some offense, along with Jeter, Beltran, etc. It wasn’t a Janer but close to it.

Also loved the defense by Solarte. This team doesn’t resemble the one that took such a beating at the Trop. At least they didn’t tonight.

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Getting Out of the Trop Alive

April 20th, 2014 by

tropicana_field

Raise your hand if you’re sorry to be leaving the land of catwalks and cowbells.

I didn’t think so. What a weird series. The Yankees looked great against Price in Game 1, then got absolutely blasted to smithereens in Games 2 and 3 and somehow managed to limp to the end with an extra-innings win in Game 4. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

Obviously, the big news was Nova. He was awful, then he was hurt, now he’s got a potentially season-ending injury if Dr. Tommy John is in his future. What is it with these pitchers? Did they get as many arm injuries in the olden days? My recollection is they pitched until their arms fell off, but maybe I’m forgetting the guys who didn’t.

Nuno was credible today but is he the guy I want to take Nova’s place in the rotation? Not at the moment. I need to see more of him to know. And Phelps doesn’t inspire confidence as a starter now, he just doesn’t.

I know the injuries and roster moves and desperate lineup changes (like Dean Anna having to pitch last night, a la Nick Swisher) are part of the long season, but they’re unsettling. So I’ll try to concentrate on the most positive development so far this season, which is how impressed I am with Jacoby Ellsbury. He rocks.

Happy Easter. On to Boston………

 

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Bullpen Meltdown (With a P.S.)

April 18th, 2014 by

Melting

Ugh. It was a reverse Janer at the Trop tonight. So ugly after Kuroda, who couldn’t go deep into the game, departed and made way for a parade of bad performances. The pen has been great so I can’t ride them too hard, especially Warren, but Cabral? Seriously? Three hit batters and an ejection? Not a good night for him. Apparently, he wasn’t given a reason why he was ejected by Joe West. Well, I have a bulletin for him: you don’t need a reason if you have no idea where the ball is going. Sheesh.

On the positive side, it was just one game and not the end of the world. Also, Beltran didn’t break anything during his crazy tumble over the railing last night. Whew.

Onto the next.

P.S. Just wanted to alert everybody that Willie Randolph has a book out next month (May 13th, to be exact).

Willie Randolph book cover

Here’s the description from the publisher:

From a dusty diamond in Brooklyn to the hallowed grounds of Yankee Stadium, Willie Randolph has always loved the game of baseball, and over the course of his storied career, he has amassed a remarkable list of accomplishments—All-Star second baseman, World Series champion, manager—but, above all, he has been a Yankee. For almost thirty years, Randolph was a part of Yankee lore and mythology, whether playing with the legends Thurman Munson and Reggie Jackson and witnessing the infamous Bronx Zoo at its rowdiest, or coaching as the Core Four of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada rose to fame and ushered in a new era of Yankee dominance. In his long-awaited memoir, Randolph shares stories from his life in pinstripes, opening up about the team that raised him and the city that molded him. With unparalleled perspective into three generations of team history, the former Yankee captain offers fresh, firsthand insight into some of the greatest players to ever play the game and the greatest teams ever to call the Bronx their home. From Don Mattingly to Bernie Williams, Goose Gossage to Mariano Rivera, and Billy Martin to Joe Torre, Randolph presents a view of baseball history from the inside, describing how teams became dynasties and managers became legends—all in the shadow of the man who brought them together, the Boss, George Steinbrenner. As fascinating and thoughtful as Randolph himself, The Yankee Way is a moving portrait of a legendary team, a unique city, and a remarkable man.

 

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A Janer!

April 17th, 2014 by

LaughingWomanYup, the laughing lady is back thanks to the Yankees’ thrashing of David Price and the Rays tonight. Talk about an offensive blitz. Ellsbury had another spectacular game. Roberts got back in the action in a big way. And Solarte hit his first homer (sweet).

CC held the Rays totally in check, and he and his defense pulled off a stunning triple play. Lots of web gems in this one, including poor Beltran’s tumble over the cockamamee wall at Tropicana Field.

I was amazed that he didn’t get hurt, although I’d be surprised if he doesn’t sit out tomorrow night’s game. I mean he’s got to be sore. I’m sore just from watching him.

I have to say I enjoy being in first place even if it’s only April.

 

 

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Our Numbers 1-2 of the Future?

April 16th, 2014 by
Photo: AP/Bill Kostroun

Photo: AP/Bill Kostroun

 Yankees Michael Pineda, Yankees Spring Training Photo Day. (Corey Sipkin/New York Daily Photo: Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News

Photo: Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News

Could happen. At least that’s the way I envisioned these two after today’s wipe-out of the Cubbies. I know Chicago’s not exactly filled with heavy hitters, but both Tanaka and Pineda looked very, very good.

Now the focus shifts to CC when he and the Yanks take on the Rays at the dreaded Trop. CC always seems to go up against David Price, so he has his work cut out for him. I’d really like to see him give us an ace-type outing. I wouldn’t mind if Beltran continued to hit bombs either.

 

 

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Poetry in Motion

April 13th, 2014 by

Ichiro's catch red sox

There were a lot of heroes in tonight’s ESPN Yankees-Red Sox contest; Nova and Beltran come immediately to mind, with Shawn Kelley right up there. But for me, Ichiro’s spectacular catch was a game saver. Plus it was beautiful to watch, so I present it for repeat viewing. Bravo.

Very sweet to take three of four from the Sox, especially since it’s usually the reverse at this time of year. But not as sweet was the latest parade of injured players. I mean it’s just sick how they’re all going down as if they’ve never run the bases before. I get Jeter and his quad. He’s almost 40. And Roberts’s sore back doesn’t surprise me, given his history of being Nick Johnson in disguise. But Cervelli? Seriously? And then Solarte? And then McCann? Luckily, the latter two stayed in the game, but we can’t keep putting Beltran at first. And who’s our backup catcher now? CC? Crazy.

Oh well. I’ll savor the victory and worry about the injuries tomorrow. It’s an off day. I hope none of the players trips over their Starbucks.

 

 

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Boston Marches into Yankeeville

April 10th, 2014 by
Photo: Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

Photo: Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

Fresh from the championship Red Sox’s visit to the White House and Ortiz’s controversial selfie with the President (the White House wasn’t happy with the plug for Samsung, a company for which Ortiz is a spokesman), the team comes to the Bronx for four games beginning tonight.

I would have much preferred the series to kick off after a Yankees win against the Orioles last night, but that game ended in an “L,” thanks to the bullpen. So frustrating. Tanaka served up the three-run shot, the Yankees battled back (Beltran finally hit a homer, yay), only to have the O’s break the tie and go on to win – again. Baltimore has a great-hitting lineup even with a couple of their good bats on the DL, and there’s a reason Tyler Kepner in the NYT picked them as the team to beat in the AL East.

But in the meantime, we’ve got the Sox to deal with and they’re brimming with confidence. Let’s hope the boys are up to it with better clutch hitting and relief pitching and less sloppy defensive play.

 

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A Blowout. How Embarrassing.

April 8th, 2014 by

BigHair

Not a good day for Yankees pitchers, I guess. Nova, seriously? I hope we don’t see too many of these laughers this season, at least not with the Yanks on the losing end.

But how about the torrid hitting of Solarte?! Yikes. I know he’ll cool down eventually, but what a ride in the meantime.

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Yankees Home Opener: Random Thoughts

April 7th, 2014 by

Derek-Jeter-rehab-@-Trenton-325

While I loved the pre-game bit with Andy and Mo throwing out the first pitches to Jorge and Jeter and while it was exciting to get the win against the O’s and while I was impressed with Kuroda’s outing and while it was great that Jeter had that almost-homer in his first at-bat (that’s a lot of “whiles”), what stood out for me was Jeter’s ability to run the bases like a rookie. I’m serious. His ankle looked as good as new, and that was heartening. A healthy Jeter for his final season is exactly what we all want to see.

There were other positives, but I was truly bummed by the D-Rob news. He’s on the DL already? After two seconds on the mound? I guess I should be glad he and Teixeira only have “grade 1 strains” but still. This is starting to feel like deja vu all over again, as Yogi would say. Sometimes I think these guys are made of glass.

I see the Yanks traded Nunez to Minny for a left handed pitcher. With the season Solarte’s having so far, it looks like a smart move keeping him and dealing Scissorhands, bless his heart. Ellsbury continues to hit and Soriano’s come around, so I’m not as worried about the bats as I was last week. When Beltran and McCann get going, the lineup should be fierce.

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Highs and Lows So Far

April 5th, 2014 by

Highs+and+Lows2

The weekend’s not over, but I had to weigh in after Friday and Saturday’s games.

The highs? Clearly Tanaka and Pineda. When Melky (grrr, Melky) hit that hot shot off Tanaka right away I had one thought: Igawa redux. But I absolutely loved his demeanor on the mound. He said afterwards that he was nervous, but even so he was able to settle down and pitch really well. I love the kid already. As for Pineda, what a lovely surprise. He hadn’t been on the mound in a long time and yet he was great. I only wish he’d stayed in the game. On the offensive side, I’m happy with what I’m seeing from Ellsbury. He’s giving us hits as well as speed. Not the strongest arm I’ve ever seen in the outfield, but I’ll take the rest of him.

Now the lows. Obviously, I begin with Teixeira. Sheesh. Seriously, Mark? We get you back for five minutes and you’re gone again? We’ll know more about the hamstring strain after his MRI, but we don’t have an adequate replacement. I miss Eric Chavez at times like this and he wasn’t even a first baseman. I hope Cashman’s working the phones, because Kelly Johnson and Dean Anna aren’t making my heart sing. I’d also like some offense from the rest of the lineup. Hello, Beltran. Hello, Soriano. Hello, McCann. You guys are supposed to be our heavy hitters so do your thing. I like the speed this team has but I like home runs even more.

It’s early, but having two starters like Tanaka and Pineda is very, very positive.

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