Posts Tagged ‘Derek Jeter’

The Sweep Was Sweet

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Broom_icon.svg[4]And unexpected. The Reds came into the Stadium having played well, so I hoped for the best from the Yankees but…well, I certainly was surprised by the sweep. Dare I say that Phelps has grown into the job and is looking less like a mere fill-in and more like a guy who can stay in the rotation for awhile? And dare I say that McCarthy may have been a good pickup after all, though two starts aren’t much of a sample size? And dare I say that Kuroda has gas left in the tank despite not getting the win?

The Yankees’ infield defense (I’m looking at you, Brian Roberts) is still suspect and needs tightening up. But maybe, just maybe, the offense is coming around. It’ll never be a Bronx Bombers type offense and I miss that, but Ellsbury continues to impress and Jeter seems renewed and Beltran and McCann have been contributing more.

Bottom line: it’s more fun to watch games when the Yankees win than when they lose so I hope they keep this trend up. Whether they have a legitimate shot to make it into the postseason, as opposed to turning 2014 simply into a farewell tour for Jeter, is still an open question.

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On to the Second Half

Friday, July 18th, 2014

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Hard to believe how fast this summer is going, but I’m sure I say that every year. It just feels as if I was just writing about spring training and here we are post All-Star Game, which, by the way, I don’t really watch except to see how any Yankees players fare. This one was all about Jeter and rightfully so, beginning with the Nike commercial, which I think should win a Clio award. Just fabulous. The tributes to the captain were equally memorable, and he handled them with his usual modesty, saying exactly the right things with a touch of humor. I thought the Wainwright foot-in-mouth “controversy” was silly (the NL pitcher said he threw Jeter a meatball in that first at bat, then claimed he was joking), but Jeter deflected it perfectly. I do have to admit that the gifting of Jeter in every city as part of the same sort of farewell tour Mo had is getting old. When did this tradition take hold and will it now be expected for every popular player who’s announced he’s retiring? Or just the potential HOFers?

Bigger questions involve the Yankees. I had dinner with a diehard fan the other night and he’s convinced we’re heading into the “Horace Clarke years” of mediocrity. He also thinks Cashman should be fired for signing old war horses like Beltran and Roberts and just bring up the kids and see how they do. He’s adamant that we shouldn’t trade the farm for somebody like Cliff Lee.

Will the Yankees make the postseason? Only if the rest of the division can’t get it together. We just aren’t a very good team right now with all the injuries and limitations. I hope Shane Greene proves to be the real thing, but two great starts don’t make a career. I need to see more. I hope Kuroda staves off fatique and age. I hope Phelps finishes strong. But then there’s the offense. Remember the days when we hit homer after homer? Ten runs weren’t rare. Now we’re lucky if we scratch out three.

So we’ll see. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy watching Jeter for as long as his season goes and anticipate the final goodbye from the last of the Core Four.

 

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Get Up Close and Personal With the Captain!

Monday, June 16th, 2014

How’s this for an off-day offer: spend a game day with Jeter!

Seriously!

It’s all part of his Turn 2 Foundation, and it’s one cool opportunity for Yankee fans, so listen up. The Turn 2 Foundation has announced a raffle – a ticket costs as little as $10 – to benefit the Foundation, and here’s what the lucky winner gets. Ready?

  • Private pre-game lunch for 4 with Jeter at one of his favorite NY restaurants
  • A ride with him to the ballpark
  • VIP behind-the-scenes tour of the Stadium courtesy of the Yankees
  • Pre-game batting practice status in front of the Yankee dugout
  • Autographing time with members of the team as they take the field
  • 4 seats in Jeter’s private suite

Additional information can be found here.

What a deal, right? And it’s all for a great cause. Who’s in?

woman raises hand

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Bruised, Battered But Still Kicking

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Jeter St Louis

Maybe the fans in St. Louis are the nicest people in America. Not only did they give Jeter an ovation practically every time he took a breath, but, according to Sterling and Waldman, they came over to Yankee fans dining at a local restaurant after a Yankees win and congratulated them with a “Nice game.” If only we saw that sort of behavior everywhere.

But I digress. What’s most amazing is that the Yankees are still standing and the road trip ended on a winning note. All this despite the absence of Beltran and Teixeira, despite the slump and benching last night of Solarte, despite the use of McCann at first base and despite the makeshift pitching staff. Yes, Tanaka notched his first loss in forever and the Yankees defense was sloppy at best, and the offense was forced to play “small ball” (I do miss the homers), but if it weren’t for Toronto’s miraculous run of wins the Yanks would be on or near the top of the heap.

Do I think the team can go patchwork into the rest of the season this way? Probably not. Guys need to come back healthy and holes need to be filled. But I was pretty impressed by this road trip. The boys did us proud in the Midwest. They deserve this day off.

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All Hail Nuno

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

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He doesn’t look like a pitcher. He’s sort of ungainly. And I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from him in tonight’s series finale against the Angels, but he very nearly shut them down completely. He was great – just what this team needed.

The tribute to Jeter before the game was very classy and respectful, and he seemed to enjoy it, especially the presentation of the pinstriped paddle board. I was hoping they’d do a funny scoreboard video starring the rally monkey, but it was a straightforward montage of clips – the same clips we’ll likely see at every stadium this season. It’s still hard to believe this is a farewell tour for the Captain, whether he calls it that or not. I can’t imagine the Yankees without him, but I do get that the time is right for him to walk away. I hope he puts together a group of investors and buys the Yanks someday. I loved his homer, btw.

Meanwhile, the poor Angels made a mess of the early innings tonight. It was a comedy of errors and miscues for them right from the get-go. Oh well. Not my problem. I was just glad we won. We left the bases loaded twice, but I can’t complain about nine runs.

 

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Praying Didn’t Work, Yankees

Sunday, May 4th, 2014
Howard Simmons/New York Daily News

Howard Simmons/New York Daily News

I was really hoping the Yankees would have a good series against the Rays since it was my birthday weekend, but except for Tanaka’s game it was a disappointment.

CC…..What’s up with him?

Kuroda….Is he burned out?

Robertson….Blown save?

Jeter….Yes, he feels good, but he needs to hit the ball.

The hitters will hit, I’m sure, but the starting pitching? It’s a huge concern right now, which proves you can never have enough. I went into the season thinking we were solid, but suddenly there was no Nova, no Pineda and mediocre outings from CC and Kuroda. So we’re left with Phelps, Nuno and (gulp) Aceves, along with Tanaka, our new ace. Sure wish we had another arm to count on because right now this team is limping along.

 

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Yankees Home Opener: Random Thoughts

Monday, April 7th, 2014

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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Well, That Went Well – Not

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
Photo: nytimes.com

Photo: nytimes.com

The last thing I wanted to see in tonight’s first inning was Jeter getting drilled. Not that it won’t happen periodically throughout the season. He does lean in and pitchers pitch in, so it’s not unusual for his hand/wrist/arm to be vulnerable. I just figured it wouldn’t be in the season opener in Houston. But there were other reasons to hide my eyes.

CC’s early innings were ugly. The defense went awry behind him. Nobody looked good at the plate, except (surprisingly) Teixeira. By contrast, Houston – this was the Astros we were playing, right? – looked like World Series champions and it was a little like David kicking Goliath around. But that’s baseball. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day. I kept thinking….maybe this game is an April Fool’s joke or maybe the Yankees are still in spring training mode. And then I reminded myself it’s a loooong season and they won’t win every game.

Earlier in the day came the news that the Yanks had DFA-ed Nunez. Startling, considering how much they’d relied on him the past couple of years. It was shocking enough that he didn’t make the cut for opening day, but to literally cut him loose? I didn’t see that one coming and I’m sure he didn’t either. But they did give him chances to claim the shortstop job and he never did. I hope he makes it elsewhere.

On to the next….and the next. Let’s go Yankees.

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Spring Training Pic Courtesy of Our Friend Diane

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

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She’s a big Jets fan as well as a Yankees fan, so I can only imagine her delight at seeing these two together….

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“I’m Not Emotionally Stunted”

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

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Thanks to MLB.com’s live feed, I watched Jeter do the thing he’s least interested in doing: talking to the media. But he carried off today’s “retirement press conference” with aplomb. He was snarky-funny when he viewed the questions as silly. He was thoughtful when reflecting on being a Yankee. He was the consummate teammate when he suggested that instead of hanging around listening to him, the players who were there should go back out on the field to do their work. He was vintage Jeter when asked about his greatest moments: “Winning,” he said.

If it’s possible to enjoy listening to an iconic Yankee discuss why this season will be his last, Jeter made today enjoyable. He reiterated that retirement isn’t until after the season, so there’s no sense in analyzing his legacy or whether he’ll become an instructor at future spring trainings or where he stands in relation to past Yankee legends. He just wants to play. Period.

As for how he’s managed to hold in his emotions during his career and during the press conference, he quipped that it’s not because he’s emotionally stunted – “I have emotions, I just don’t show them” – but because it’s been the only way to sustain his long career in New York with its attendant ups and downs, triumphs and failures. He made so much sense and I loved him all over again.

 

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