Posts Tagged ‘Rafael Soriano’

No More Swishaliciousness

Thursday, November 1st, 2012


 As per John Heyman:

The Yankees are ready to move on from the Nick Swisher era.

While they were still planning to make the $13.3-million qualifying offer to the free-agent outfielder on Friday, they appear hopeful he won’t take it. The offer is likely to be made only to protect the draft choice.

The Yankees seem to believe it’s very unlikely Swisher will take the one-year offer; in fact, they seem to be counting on it. While a repeat of the Jayson Werth seven-year, $126 million contract is out, Swisher should still be able to get at least a three-year deal, and perhaps even a longer one.

The Yankees generally are pleased with the overall production Swisher gave them in his four years in New York, but they see the era as being over after another rough postseason for Swisher. In his career, Swisher has just eight RBI in 154 postseason at-bats, with a .169 batting average and .589 OPS.

Swisher was a fan favorite for almost his whole stay in New York, but he expressed great disappointment at the fans’ booing of several Yankees in their ALCS sweep at the hands of the Tigers.

It’s not as if we weren’t expecting this. Swisher will definitely decline the Yankees’ offer and seek greener pastures. I’ll miss his sense of fun and I’ll never forget the time he took the pitcher’s mound at the Trop or how well he played first base in Tex’s absence, and he was pure entertainment out there in right field. But so it goes.

As for Soriano, he, too, is seeking – and will get – more money than the Yankees are willing to pay him and he should. He’s a good closer and good closers are in demand. My problem with not keeping him is what we’ll do instead. Say Mo comes back, as we all hope he does. Will he be able to pitch effectively for an entire season? Very possibly. But if not, do we think Robertson can step into the job this time? Or will Joba stay healthy and consistent enough to be the Joba of 2007? Or will some new candidate emerge?

Interesting times.


Oh, Puleeeze

Monday, August 27th, 2012

That was ridiculous. Just ridiculous.

How do you hit all those homers, have good outings by Phelps and Robertson, knock the Blue Jays’ pitchers around with comebackers, tie the game in the ninth…and lose in extra innings?

Soriano blew the save, that’s how, but Lowe and Chavez made defensive mistakes and the offense failed when it counted.

It was painful. But not as painful as Tex suffering a calf strain that could keep him out of the stretch run. I couldn’t believe when he felt something at the plate but ran the bases anyway. How dumb do you have to be? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Just so I don’t leave this post on a sour note, congratulations to D-Rob on his new baby. Very cute!


Let’s Hear It For The Land Of The Rising Sun

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

What a great night for Kuroda and Ichiro.

Kuroda has been a model of consistency in a rotation that’s begged for consistency. I just love the way he’s adapted to the Yankees and the American League after his somewhat shaky start. He’s so smart and such a warrior. Great, great pickup by Cashman.

I was not a fan of Ichiro and didn’t think we’d see even flashes of his former glory. I was wrong. He has indeed elevated his game since putting on the pinstripes, and tonight’s two homers were resounding evidence. I loved his curtain call after the second one.

Jeter continues to amaze. When he got that leadoff hit off Beckett, I relaxed and knew the Yanks would prevail. I’m always happy when we score first.

And then there’s Soriano, AKA “Mr. Untuck,” as we call him on Twitter.

Photo: Reuters/

Supposedly, he untucks his shirt after a save because it means he’s finished his work for the day. All righty then. He’ll never be Mo, but I don’t want to think where we’d be without him. Great, great pickup by Hal.

As for the Red Sox, this felt like an unusual series with them. The games didn’t last forever, although Saturday’s felt that way. Beckett took his customary eternity between pitches, but even so it went faster than the old days. The biggest story in the ESPN booth was the “drama” over when Carl Crawford would have surgery. Yawn.



Eric Chavez Is Hot

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Photo: Michael Zagaris/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Yes, this is a girly post. Deal with it.

I have a crush on Chavez and I can’t help it. (I still love Mo the best, and that’s a whole different matter.) I think “Chavy” looks much better without the facial hair but I did get a chuckle out of this old pic of him in a hot tub.

Anyhow, he’s been tremendous for the Yankees and today was no exception. Tex hit an absolute bomb to tie the game, but it was Chavez’s bomb that put us ahead for good.

I didn’t watch the whole finale against the Tigers – I think it was the sixth when I turned on the TV – so I only saw the replays of the controversy that sent Girardi into a tizzy. I can see why he would want to play the game under protest, but we all know those protests hardly ever amount to anything except showing the players that managers support them and their efforts.

Overall, it looked like the Yankees were on the bad end of a lot of calls – foul balls, close plays at bases, strike zone – but they won. Soriano made it an adventure but he came back strong to get the job done. Kuroda was his usual efficient self and what I’ve come to admire about him is his consistency. He gives us innings and rarely gives up a lot of runs. What more can you ask for?

So. We split the series against a team that had been on fire. I feel better about things.

P.S. Here’s a funny link to Girardi’s tizzy.




The Indignity Of It All

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

I really thought the Yankees had this one. CC was pitching well and A-Rod and Granderson had big hits and we were ahead for a change. But the longer the game went on –  it felt like it lasted 1,000 hours – and the longer the boys went without scoring any insurance runs, I had the sense that doom was coming. And it did.

Soriano’s been great, so I don’t blame him for blowing the save. But Joe’s dependence on the binder really annoyed me. Phelps was doing fine. Why pull him? And Eppley again? Seriously?

Yes, the A’s are a hot team right now, but this series was not well played by the Yanks. It wasn’t. They still lead the East, but to be swept in a four-game series for the first time….Well, let’s just say the once-comfortable lead sure got smaller over the weekend.




Yankees-Red Sox Game 1: A Crazy-Making Win

Friday, July 6th, 2012

All Yankees-Red Sox games are weird and take forever, but this one was just plain nuts.

For one thing, the starters couldn’t get anybody out – until both Beckett and Kuroda settled down and looked like completely different pitchers from their first inning pod people.

Then it was a seesaw battle as we scored off their relievers and they scored off ours. Which reminds me: What was Girardi thinking when he used all those arms in the 7th, in particular, knowing his team was playing a doubleheader the next day with one of the games featuring Sweaty Freddy Garcia? I can’t argue with the results, but who’s available tomorrow?

Normally, I’d be excited when we get a “Janer,” but 10 runs isn’t a cushy lead when #1) you’re at Fenway and #2) the Red Sox have 8 runs. So I was tense instead of sitting back and saying, “What fun!” Fortunately, Soriano, despite the fact that he hadn’t notched a four-out save in ages, came in and did the job beautifully.

Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

He lifted up his shirt tails to complete the weirdness of the evening, and we’ll do it all again tomorrow – twice. I’m going to sleep so I can rest up.





I’m Emotionally Drained Right Now

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Forget what I said about the lack of intensity in the Subway Series. The finale tonight was so stressful I resorted to doing laundry.

Our defense was sloppy, which always gets me mad, and CC wasn’t helped by his teammates – until Swisher did exactly what the ESPN crew was haranguing against: hit an evil home run. Ditto: Cano.

Dickey wasn’t Dickey-ish, so that was a relief. But speaking of relief, our guys nearly gave me a breakdown. I don’t know if Cory Wade is going through a dead arm phase or what, but he hasn’t been as effective. And Robertson….I’m sure I’m in the minority and I do like him, but I’m becoming weary of his “adventurous” innings; that balk was just stupid. Soriano, on the other hand, is growing on me in a big way. I adore that gangster stare of his; he looks like he wants to kill somebody – the anti-Mo.

I have to say it was an entertaining, very competitive series.




Three Sweeps In A Row!

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Okay, I know there’s no way to prove this theory but I think Nova and Hughes have become different pitchers since Pettitte re-joined the team. Kuroda has been great too, and it’s our starting pitching in general that’s been the difference in the Yankees’ amazing run. I just think Pettitte has served not only as a mentor to the younger guys but has been an example to them whenever he goes out to the mound. All they have to do is watch him, listen to him, observe him, and they’re just better. What I’m saying is that it’s not a coincidence that the whole staff has improved since he came back.

We needed length from Nova today and he provided it.

We needed a save from Soriano and he got us one.

We needed a go-ahead run and, as he’s done so many times before, Granderson drilled a homer. What an amazing acquisition he’s been for this team. I knew he’d be good, but I didn’t know he’d be this good. I’d just like to see him get more days off, but without Gardner that’s unlikely.

Anyhow, it’s all good right now, people.





In Memory Of This

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Photo: Tom Farrell/The Star Ledger

I felt nostalgic (as well as ecstatic) when Russell Martin hit his walkoff homer today. The Yankees haven’t had a walkoff in a long time, and I missed AJ sneaking out of the dugout with a towel full of the white stuff. Oh well. I guess the tradition officially ended with his departure.

This game had it all, didn’t it? It gave us the sweep of the Mets but also demonstrated a more varied offense than we’ve seen. Yes, there were homers but a hit parade too. Very satisfying.

Andy’s barehanded grab of the comebacker? Not very satisfying. He said it was just instinct to reach for the ball, but shouldn’t it be instinct not to reach for it too? After all these years? Knowing it’s the dumb thing to do? Apparently, the hand is swollen but not serious. Still, will he be fine for his next start? Kuroda said his foot was fine, but who knows if he’ll be OK for his next outing.

Soriano’s blown save? Not very satisfying. But the guy’s been great before today and closers blow saves, so I’ll give him a pass. Besides, he’s been used a lot lately. Maybe he was tired.

Mostly, I was just happy for Martin. To hit two homers, one a game-winner, after all his struggles this season was sweet. Felicitations, Monsieur.

Photo: AP/Seth Wenig


That Was Tense

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

When Soriano allowed the tying run to come to the plate in the ninth, I was choking down my dinner. But ultimately, he and the rest of the pen (kudos, Clay Rapada) made it all better.

Another great performance by Hughes. Yes, he gave up the obligatory homer and I wish he’d be able to go deeper in to games, but you can’t have everything. If he can keep up the good work, our rotation really will be solidified.

Early on, I thought the offense would flame out yet again with the bases loaded; Ibanez hitting into the DP was groan-worthy. But this Yankees team is all or nothing when it comes to offense. We either hit the long ball or strand runners. In tonight’s victory it was Tex who smacked one and Granderson who emerged from his slump to give us insurance.

I couldn’t believe when Tex got hit in the foot with the pitch. It felt like Kuroda all over again. But he seemed OK.

The player who’s not OK is Gardner. He’s got a date with this guy.

After all this, he’s still got elbow pain? Not good. And Ibanez and Jones aren’t spring chickens and shouldn’t be our everyday corner outfielders. I do like Wise, but he’s not much in the bat department. Should Cashman make a trade if Gardner ends up being out for the season? Unless we have someone hiding in the minors, I’m thinking he has to.

One final note. I was blacked out by FOX, of course, so I watched the video on FOX’s Spanish channel, which always carries Yankees games, and listened to the action on WCBS. Sterling was in rare form. He not only referred to Duda as “Doodoo,” but said when Girardi was trotting out to get Hughes, “Here comes Joe Torre.” It was entertaining, if confusing.