Posts Tagged ‘A-Rod’

Taming the Tigers

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

No, the Yankees didn’t sweep Detroit at the Stadium but winning two out of three games against a perennial playoff contender was pretty good. It was Tanaka who, surprisingly, was the weak link in today’s loss. He can’t be spectacular every time out, so I’m with Girardi and chalking it up to a bad day for him rather than panicking about a possible re-injuring of his arm. The offense was sleeping too, not counting the home run hitting Stephen Drew. (I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence.)

Friday and Saturday were all about A-Rod, the #3000th hit, the way the fans embraced him, etc. And the Yankees actually acknowledged his milestone on the scoreboard and on Twitter. Pay him? I wonder if they’re starting to feel some pressure to do it. A-Rod is the biggest star they have at the moment and who would have guessed it. If I were the Steinbrenner boys I’d be grateful he was putting people in the seats, never mind RBIs in the box score.

What else…..let’s see. Old Timer’s Day happened. I thought the Stottlemyre tribute/plaque was the best part. I always loved him as a player and am so sorry he’s ill. He’s been the epitome of class, and I wish we had more pitchers like him.


It Really Is About A-Rod Now

Thursday, June 18th, 2015
Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Yankees were down and now they’re up again, having won two at home against the same Marlins they lost ugly to in Miami. Why are they up again? Last night the big reason was Pineda, who was superb, and Betances, who held/saved the game in an impressive way. Tonight, A-Rod drew to within one hit of 3,000 and while others made big contributions to the win (CC, Gardner, Beltran, Tex), the story was about whether he would get to 3,000 and how everybody would react, including him.

Unfortunately, the suspense will have to continue. It’s unlikely he won’t reach the magic number this weekend against the Tigers. I think it’ll happen tomorrow night. It’ll be a spectacle of some sort – not the Jeter sort where everything stops and he gives a speech and the Stadium goes wild, but where there’s genuine excitement on the part of the crowd and at the very least a press conference by A-Rod after the game. The Yankees may not want to pay him his bonuses, but they’ll give him the podium. I expect him to say he’s humbled to be among the greats in the sport, that he’s having fun playing again, that he feels fortunate to be healthy, that he’s grateful to the fans and his teammates for their support…..What am I missing?


2015 Yankees: Feast or Famine

Monday, June 15th, 2015

feast or famine

When the Yankees are good, they’re very good, going on winning streaks and eliciting all sorts of praise from the media and predictions of post-season glory. When they’re bad, they’re just plain ugly, losing games in particularly gruesome ways and making me wonder how this collection of professionals could look so amateurish.

Yes, they salvaged the finale in Baltimore yesterday, but on Friday and Saturday nights they were at Camden pitching poorly, letting balls drop between players, failing to hit in key situations and making sloppy errors (what in the world is going on with Chase Headley this season?). It’s either feast or famine with this team, all or nothing, inconsistency to the max.

Also annoying is the cast of every-changing middle relievers coming and going from the minors or trash heaps of other teams. Other than Esmil Rogers (bye bye), I can’t tell one from another. We need a relief corps we can depend on.

CC has turned into a serviceable but unremarkable starting pitcher. I had hoped he’d morph into Pettitte or Mussina in his later years, but he hasn’t. He’s been better than Chris Capuano, but that’s not saying much for a guy the Yankees are paying a bucket load of money to.

Speaking of money, I figured it was only a matter of time before the Yankees and A-Rod would be gearing up for a battle over his milestone bonuses. Yes, he’s helped the team a lot and yes, he’s made quite a comeback and yes, his attitude has been humble and very rah-rah team. Behind the scenes, he wants his money and the Yankees don’t want to pay him his money and they’re all headed for a showdown. If I were A-Rod, I’d take the offer they made to give money to charity on his behalf, but it sounds like he’s not having any of that. Here we go again.


Another This…Against the Angels Yet

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

Broom_icon.svg[4]Boy, do I remember dreading whenever we’d play the Angels. They used to do bad things to the Yankees. We’d spazz out on defense. We’d pitch badly. We’d be limp with the bats.

No more.

This weekend’s series was a beat-down of the once formidable “Halos.” I didn’t watch every inning of every game, but I caught enough of each one to see that the Yanks were punishing their starters. Yes, they almost gave away that one game, scarily, and Betances didn’t look very Betances-ish. And while Didi continued to make errors (or maybe one error), he also made some great plays at shortstop.

But the big news is and continues to be the resurgence of power hitters A-Rod, Tex and McCann. (Having Gardner and others pop them out of the Stadium is nice too.) It’s gotten to the point where not only are all the broadcasters talking about Tex’s gluten free diet but also picking the Yankees to win what’s turning out to be a mediocre division.

It’s only June. Early June. So a lot can and will happen between now and September. But I had to laugh at myself as I listened to the Fox guys last night rhapsodizing over this team. I nodded my head as if I hadn’t been a doubter, am still a doubter, and said, “Well, maybe they’re better than I thought.”



So Streaky

Sunday, May 31st, 2015


Whether the girl in the above photo streaked her hair blue because she’s a Yankee fan I couldn’t tell you. I was just looking around for “streaks” images and there she was. The point is, after the Yanks and A’s finished up their series today, I was thinking that this team is so up and down it’s hard to figure out where they are in the scheme of things. They play the Royals, the best in baseball, and they sweep. They play the A’s, who stink, and they win one measly game. Consistency, boys. It would be nice.

And then there’s Slade. He was just beginning to look promising and – bam – lost to injury. Now the new kid is Ramon Flores. I wish him luck especially if, as reported, he’s taking his cues from Didi.

On the plus side, Beltran seems to have roused himself from his slumber. Adam Warren has established himself as a solid starter. And A-Rod, dear A-Rod, has inched 14 hits closer to the 3,000 hit mark. At some point, the Yankees will have to acknowledge these milestones of his with more than a mention in their game wrap-up press releases, won’t they?

Tomorrow night brings Seattle and King Felix. I’ll be asleep. Wake me if A-Rod has 14 hits.


Didn’t See This Coming

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Broom_icon.svg[4]Good for the Yankees. They bounced back from an awful stretch and knocked off the AL’s best team. Pineda also bounced back, which is a relief. I was worried that he was hurt and not saying anything. But he seemed more than OK in today’s finale. A-Rod continued his hot hitting; it feels weird seeing him pass Ruth and Gehrig and, soon, Jeter on the milestones list, but he’s definitely spearheading a lot of these wins.

And now the Yanks travel to the West Coast and that feels weird too. When I lived in CA, I loved the games against the CA teams because they aired at a decent hour there. Here? Not so much. I’m not staying up to watch them now that I’m in CT – just won’t happen – but I wish them a good trip.


A Series Sweep and a Birthday – Not Too Shabby

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Arethusa birthday

Yes, I ate that chocolate confection on Saturday night – that and much, much more. After the Yankees edged the Red Sox in Game 2 at Fenway, I celebrated my first birthday on the East Coast in years. Michael and I and our two good friends, my old boss in publishing and his partner, dined at Litchfield County’s #1 destination spot, Arethusa al tavolo in Bantam. Readers of my Mainly Jane blog may remember that I wrote about Arethusa last summer when I was researching my new novel in which my three heroines take cooking classes at a farm resort in CT. (My agent is sending out the manuscript to editors this week.) As part of my research, I interviewed Arethusa’s Executive Chef Dan Magill, who, it turns out, is not only a brilliant chef and all-around nice guy but an avid Yankees fan. When he found out I wrote this blog, he dubbed me “Bronx Bad Ass,” hence the inscription on Saturday night’s birthday dessert (the dessert before the other desserts, I should add; we all ate so much amazing food our stomachs were bulging and we vowed to fast for the next century).

Back to the Yankees, they’re on quite a roll. Their road record is staggeringly good. And while the Red Sox aren’t the formidable team they used to be, the Yanks have gotten their defense together. Their pitching has been stellar, both starters and relievers. And they’re getting clutch hits.

The most talked about clutch hit, of course, was A-Rod’s milestone pinch hit homer against Tazawa in Game 2. What to make of this guy? (A-Rod, not Tazawa.) He’s being such a good boy doing and saying all the right things. It’s as if he’s been taking Jeter pills. (“I just want to help the team win games.”) Cashman finally came out and admitted the Yankees don’t intend to pay him for the “Willie Mays” homer, so it’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out. But if A-Rod keeps contributing, stays healthy and plays clean, they may have to acknowledge his achievements after all.

As for last night’s game, even Beltran was a hitting star. Tex has been a revelation with all those homers this early in the season. Gardner and Ellsbury have been huge for us. Everybody (well, almost everybody) has contributed. And Adam Warren has turned out to be a much better solution in the rotation than I expected. The idiotic “retaliation” pitch that landed on Ellsbury’s butt for an earlier Hanley Ramirez hit-by-pitch was mildly entertaining and put some spice into the rivalry, which hasn’t been much of one lately. We’ll see if there’s a carry-over the next time the teams face off. If CC’s pitching, it could happen. He seems to get fired up about those things.

Anyhow, a great birthday weekend for me and a great road trip for the Yankees. I hope everyone enjoyed the nice spring weather here in the Northeast too.


Happy Ending to the Subway Series

Monday, April 27th, 2015


Game 3 was pretty sloppy in terms of the defense, but the Mets really played whoopsie with the ball. Yikes. Maybe they get nervous whenever they come to the Stadium or maybe it was the cold weather this time since the Yanks made their share of bonehead plays too. But in the end it was a Yankee victory, powered in part by the seemingly indestructible A-Rod. As everyone in the world knows by now, he’s one homer shy of Willie Mays’ milestone and the drama that’s getting front page news is will the Yankees pay him the bonus or won’t they? My guess is the two sides will reach some sort of settlement. I can’t see the Steinbrenners or A-Rod/Players Union wanting to drag this out during the season, nor can I see A-Rod wanting to ruin the good will he’s established with the fans and his teammates. But I’ve been wrong before. And when money’s involved, people act crazy so who knows.

The emergence of homer-happy Teixeira is also a nice story. Whether or not it’s his gluten-free diet that’s brought him back from last year’s mediocrity, it doesn’t matter. I’m just glad to see that swing again. Maybe Ellsbury should go gluten free so he doesn’t get injured so much. While he’s nursing his sore hip, Gardner’s been speedy. I’m just not wild about the mustache. Not on him or any of the others. They look like porn stars.

Andrew Miller, our closer for all intents and purposes, is doing a terrific job so far. Good signing, Cashman.

On to the Rays. I’m enjoying these games where the boys are playing better. There’s just one problem. Now that I’m on Eastern Standard Time, I’m going to sleep before the ESPN games are over, plus last night there was no way I was missing “Mad Men” for the end of Yankees-Mets.


Looking Up

Monday, April 20th, 2015


After this weekend’s sweep of the Rays, who are admittedly not the Rays of old and don’t look to be contenders for anyplace but the AL East cellar, I’m thinking the Yankees might be in better shape. Tanaka’s performance the other night was stellar and, unless A-Rod is using some new, undetected form of enhancement, he’s hitting like a guy who could actually help the team. Other contributions have been heartening too (McCann et al), but the real standout for me has been Miller. If he keeps getting those saves, I could become a believer.

As for the Didi Experiment, oh my. Nobody expected him to hit, but field? Yeah. He was supposed to be a defensive upgrade over Jeter and faster. Unfortunately he’s made errors, both mental and literal, and his baserunning has been head scratching. But I’m chalking it up to nerves. He has huge shoes to fill, plus he’s new to the league, new to New York, new to the major leagues. There’s a learning curve and I hope he comes around before the boo birds make things worse.

This Detroit series should be interesting. They’re good. Really good. But at the moment I’m more focused on unpacking the 100s of cartons that are sitting at the new house waiting for attention as well as the NY Rangers who play Game 3 of the playoffs tonight. Onward.


The Bronx Bombers?

Monday, April 13th, 2015


When Stephen Drew comes up with a pinch hit grand slam, it’s either a dream or a full moon. Or maybe he’s finally getting hot or if not “hot” then a little warmer. In any case, it was a pleasant surprise to see him go deep against the Orioles in Game 1 of the Yankees’ first series of the season at Camden Yards.

The awakening of the offense against the Sox over the weekend was fun too. I’ve been overwhelmed trying to get acclimated to my new house in CT in advance of the arrival of the moving truck with all my worldly belongings on it. (I feel like Diane Keaton’s character in “Baby Boom.” Remember how she bought the house in Vermont and everything went expensively wrong?) But having the games on TV in the background has been a nice escape.

It’s too early to have an opinion about Tanaka and CC in terms of their ability to pitch with injuries, but for now Pineda is looking good for the most part. The defense will tighten up, I’m sure. And A-Rod? He’s been a model citizen and the Yankees’ best hitter. I wish I could say he’s changed. I don’t have a clue. For all I know he could be ingesting some new form of enhancement. For all I know his body could break down in a month. For all I know he and the Yankees could go to court over his milestone bonuses. It doesn’t really matter to me at this point. I just want the team to stay competitive and healthy. (As I write this, Gardner is having his wrist X-rayed after getting hit by a pitch.)

Well, let me amend that. I just want the team to stay competitive and healthy and entertaining. A Janer is my favorite kind of win, of course, but tonight’s tense battle against the O’s is the kind of game that’ll keep me coming back for more.