Posts Tagged ‘Rangers’

A Janer, People! (With a P.S.)

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

LaughingWomanWhen was the last time the Yankees scored 10 runs? Not lately, that’s for sure. Way more fun than watching them try to scratch out one or two and look lame doing it. I thought tonight’s game was headed for another 2-1 score, but then the Rangers showed why they’re in last place and we showed we still have a pulse.

Except….our bullpen absolutely sucked. Just sucked. Are they tired because it’s the second half of the season? Are the arms that were so effective – Warren, Bettances, Robertson, the cream of our crop – about to fall off? Seriously, I’ve never seen such a collective meltdown and Bettances, in particular, hasn’t been his All-Star self since, well, the All-Star break. If they’d thrown away that game I would have had smoke coming out of my ears. But thanks to Beltre, we ended up winning. Who needed such a tense ending? I didn’t.

As of this writing, Jon Lester seems to have been traded. By the time I wake up tomorrow morning I’ll know where he landed. The Dodgers? The Marlins? The Cardinals? The Mariners? If it’s the Mariners, I kind of might be sick. About as sick as I feel having to watch a Tuesday night game on Fox. What’s that about? It’s bad enough that they have Saturdays.

 

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All Hail Kuroda

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Kuroda

I didn’t see the game, but after reading about it I’m in awe of what Kuroda has been able to do over the last two seasons. This year he’s been especially valuable and the Yankees should give him a bonus or something. When I think back to the announcement of his signing a couple of years ago, I can’t believe I said, “He’ll never make it in the American League.” I was so wrong. The fact that he seems like such a good guy is nice too.

Still not much offense – no surprise – but enough to make the runs count. It was particularly heartening to see production from Romine, who doesn’t get all that many chances to catch and, therefore, hit.

Texas sure doesn’t have the fire power they used to in the Hamilton era.

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This Offense Is Killing Our Pitchers

Thursday, July 25th, 2013
Photo: AP/Kathy Willens

Photo: AP/Kathy Willens

Andy Pettitte, like Phil Hughes, like Ivan Nova, hasn’t been perfect this season but then why should he have to be? He only gave up a couple of runs last night and Texas won anyway. That’s the story of most of our pitchers (CC has his own problems and Kuroda is nearly always stellar). Will getting Soriano from the Cubs really help the Yankees’ anemic offense? Maybe a little, but it’s just not fun to watch the games night after night and only occasionally see a few players actually cross home plate.

No wonder ratings on YES are down. No wonder the seats at various ballparks, including Yankee Stadium, aren’t full of bodies. No wonder jerseys that don’t say “Jeter” and “Rivera” and “Cano” aren’t selling.

Which only leaves the latest drama with A-Rod as a subject the media can sink their teeth into. He said his quad was tight. The Yankees told him not to play but to rest it and get an MRI. The MRI showed a grade 1 strain. Believing the Yankees are trying to keep him off the field forever, he got a “second opinion” from a doctor in Hackensack with a shady record and the doctor, who only looked at the MRI, not the patient, said, “I don’t see any grade 1 strain.” Which required a response from Cashman/a Yankees lawyer (the statement was written in legalese) saying A-Rod had violated all sorts of protocol.

I love a good conspiracy theory just like the next person, but I’d rather be intrigued by the play on the field. This season is turning into an episode of “The Twilight Zone,” for anyone old enough to remember that show.

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Surprise: A Comeback

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
Photo: Harry How/Getty Images North America

Photo: Harry How/Getty Images North America

Brent Lillibridge is so inconsequential in the larger scheme of things that I couldn’t even find a decent picture of him in a Yankees uniform, but he had plenty of consequences last night, for better or worse. He figured prominently in sending Hughes to the showers and he figured prominently in beating the Rangers in the ninth inning. Go figure.

It was nice for the team to come back the way they did – a little confidence boost, I’m sure. I like Melky Mesa, by the way. He’s fast and he reminds me of Alfonso Soriano when he was young (so why do we need the old version?). And Nunez is a spark plug, no question.

It was the window against the Rangers that the Yankees had to seize with Ogando starting. The next two nights they’ll be facing tougher pitchers.

What to make of Hughes? He and Girardi may have said he didn’t have good stuff and he was pulled for Logan early, which I thought might have been premature, but he did hold the Rangers to two hits before they came alive in the sixth. And he’s still with the team. I was sure he’d be traded by now.

Comebacks are always good for the soul, so I leave it here with my friend, the laughing lady.

LaughingWoman

 

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The Cloud Overhead

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

A-Rod suspension biogenesis

The Yanks lost another one last night – this time to Yu Darvish and the Rangers – but all the media was talking about, once you left the sunny Ken Singleton on YES and turned to ESPN, was Ryan Braun’s plea deal for a 65-game suspension. Universal reaction was that A-Rod is next, that the evidence against him is far more damning and that he, unlike Braun, won’t go quietly. Poor Girardi. He looked exhausted in his post-game presser, not only from having to fly to Texas in the wee hours after the Red Sox game, but from having to answer questions about Biogenesis and PEDs.

The game itself was yet another source of frustration. Nova wasn’t especially sharp, but he pitched well enough to win. Chris Stewart, who’ll never been an All-Star catcher, has nevertheless been so impressive with his recent defense and last night he made great throws to second even though most of the calls when against him. The guy does give it everything he has.

Ichiro leapt for a ball in right field and crashed into the wall, making the catch, and I marveled at his acrobatic skill and athleticism. Gardner had another zillion-pitch at bat. So it’s not as if the players aren’t trying. Rumors that former Yankee Soriano is joining the team from the Cubs is moderately interesting – the idea is to bring on some home run power – but he’s not the same Sori that he was all those years ago.

Mostly, last night was about Braun and, by extension, A-Rod. The fear among the Yankees and MLB is that A-Rod will fight a suspension, fight the accusations against him, keep this thing going and going and going. Much more preferable would be for him to accept his punishment and go away. Until that happens, the cloud will be overhanging…………And then there’s Cervelli. Oy.

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Joba Joba Joba

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Joba champagne

Raise your hand if you thought he’d hold the Rangers in check and let the Yankees come back in this one. It just seemed inevitable that he’d cough up the runs the Yanks had managed to score to make it a ballgame. Apparently, he acknowledged afterwards, “I suck right now.” Indeed.

Strange game. That collision between Pettitte and Nix was weird and I was worried that Andy was hurt.

Ichiro gave me hope that there was a comeback in the works, but it wasn’t to be. The bottom of the ninth was a one-two-three bummer.

In the background, of course, was the news about Tex. Again, raise your hand if you thought he wouldn’t end up having surgery. His injury was too Bautista-like and we know what happened in that case. We’re lucky we have Overbay, very lucky.

As for the continuing A-Rod saga, as I predicted, Cashman apologized for his language and disputed an ESPN report that the Yankees are somehow delaying Alex’s return to the team. What a mess. But the media is more interested in the story than the players, who really just want to win games.

I’m flying east tomorrow and won’t be posting over the weekend, but feel free to leave a comment if the spirit moves. I’ll respond when I can and will resume the blog next week. See you from the other time zone!

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If Only A.J. Had Been There….

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

AJ cream.jpg

I would love to have seen him apply the pie to Ichiro in what was, remarkably, the Yankees’ first walk off win of the season. Such fun. With one swing, Ichiro took care of the Rangers and put an end to a pretty cool pitching match-up.

In their pre-game comments, the beat writers were saying that with Darvish on the mound, the Yanks would have to play small ball and scratch out runs any way they could. Frustratingly, the offense couldn’t make that happen at all, not even with bases loaded and one out. But they did hit the long ball and thank God they did. Darvish wasn’t throwing his best stuff, but they managed to hit the ball into the seats and tie the score. Kuroda looked a little peeved to be pulled for Logan at 99 pitches, but it all worked out. And Mo got the win.

The Rangers don’t seem as scary without Hamilton in the lineup, but it was still a very nice “W” for the boys. Has the Z Man come back to earth? He looked it tonight, but I hope he’s not “over.”

Just a word or two about the Cashman-A-Rod kerfuffle. I get that Alex has caused the Yankees more than his share of bad PR, but Cashman didn’t need to F-bomb his tweet today. It didn’t seem to me that there was insubordination or an attempt to overstep. It was a player’s excitement at being cleared by his doctor to get back to baseball and his team. So what. Cashman should save his cursing for something that warrants it.

 

 

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Hughes To The Rescue?

Friday, April 5th, 2013

You know the Yankees are desperate when they decide to pull Hughes off the DL and have him start in Detroit tomorrow. We’ve got a thin rotation and a thin bullpen for long relief, so I guess it was the only solution. Maybe he’ll give us innings – quality innings – but I sure hope he doesn’t re-injure himself.

Speaking of injuries, I didn’t watch today’s game – Michael watched it for me – but I heard it was another ugly one. I couldn’t believe Nunez joined The Walking Wounded Club, but it sounds like he’ll be OK. Even more serious was Nova, who picked up where he left off last year. He didn’t unravel A.J. style, but he just couldn’t pitch economically. It’s been suggested that he go down to the minors and figure things out. Fine, so who takes his place in the rotation?

And then there was the lack of offense. Yes, Youkilis was the homer guy this time, but we need more than the occasional shot from one or two guys. We need to put together a bunch of runs, and we haven’t seen that from this crew.

Much more interesting on the MLB Network was the Angels-Texas game, which I did take a peek at. Yikes, those Rangers fans sure don’t like Josh Hamilton. I admit I laughed when I saw them holding the newspapers. Pretty funny, although I doubt Hamilton thought so.

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This And That

Monday, November 26th, 2012

The “this” is news that the Rays gave Evan Longoria a six-year $100 million contract extension.

Very interesting, since they’re not an organization that usually hangs on to its stars and certainly not for that kind of dough. The Yankees have their own third baseman with an expensive contract, so maybe I’m particularly wary of Longoria’s. But good for the Rays if they believe their guy is the face of the franchise and for paying him to stay.

The “that” is the press release I just got about Nolan Ryan’s cookbook. Yes, you read that right.

Apparently, he’s been selling beef for a while and now he’s going to tell us how to cook our beef. From the release:

The Nolan Ryan Beef Cookbook will include 75 to 100 of Ryan’s favorite family recipes, some of which are identical to what Ryan grew up eating in his mother’s kitchen. These recipes will emphasize Texas BBQ and grilling, along with traditional Sunday Dinner favorites, but will also include roasting, pan searing, scoring, braising, and deep-frying. Never-before-told stories from Ryan’s playing days, and, more recently, from the era as CEO of the two time defending AL Champion Texas Rangers, will play a major part in the book as well.

Ryan has tested countless recipes and found the chef who understands his hunger for authentic, easy-to-prepare Texas beef dishes..Cristobal Vazquez, aka “Chef Cris,” is chef to the Ryans as well as the Texas Rangers. In addition to holding the prestigious title of Chef de Cuisine from the American Culinary Foundation, Chef Cris has won multiple awards around the country for his beef recipes.

What’s next? A vegan cookbook by Prince Fielder?

 

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No Sweep Today

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

It would have been unlikely to keep the Rangers’ offense in check for four games, but today’s game was winnable even with all the runs scored. I didn’t start watching until the Yankees had already tied it up, so I sat down in front of the TV thinking I might be witnessing a fun comeback.

Wrong. After the bats bailed out Nova, the bullpen gave the game away. It was not fun to see Joba, in particular, pitching like a man who can’t put hitters away. I know he’s still working his way back from the DL, but he’s so frustrating. One minute he looks like he has the stuff to get swings and misses. The next he’s nibbling. Will he ever be the kid from 2007? I don’t know.

As for Nova, I can only shrug. Yes, he was victimized by Jones’ misplay in left field, but by his own admission he’s searching for the pitcher he used to be – the one who did nothing but win ballgames. Scary.

But the Yankees won the series against a very tough team, so I’m not exactly crushed by today’s loss. As I said at the top, it was kind of inevitable.

 

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