Posts Tagged ‘Red Sox’

Everybody Had a Big Bat

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

big bat

What an insane game this afternoon at Fenway. By the time I tuned in, the Yankees’ second inning rampage was over, but I was excited anyway. And the fact that they tacked on a few more runs for a bona fide Janer was great too. What wasn’t great was that Girardi had to use Betances and Miller in what should have been a blowout. Oh well. There’s an off day tomorrow and we needed to keep pace with the Jays, who amazingly won again.

Also not great was the news during the Boston series that Teixeira is on crutches with a more severe bone bruise than previously thought. Will we see him again this season? Who the hell knows. What’s clear is that the team won’t be at the same strength without him, offensively and defensively. I’m all for giving Bird playing time, but he’s not Tex.

I guess the biggest question going into the weekend series against the Rays is will Toronto ever lose? I figured they’d be tough after all the trades they made, but they’re on a ridiculous run these days and somebody needs to cool them off and give us a chance to retake the division lead. Or maybe we’ll just have to win the rest of the games. Every. Single. One.


CC Comes Roaring Back

Friday, August 7th, 2015


I was switching back and forth last night between the finale of Yankees-Red Sox and the Republican debates (I’m a political junkie in case no one figured that out by now), but I did catch a lot of the game. CC looked fired up (thanks to the home plate ump), threw with conviction and resembled his old self. I hope it wasn’t a fluke.

Ellsbury, too, came out of his slump and delivered. And I have to say that Didi has not only shown terrific defense (what an arm!) but improved so much at the plate.

Overall, it was a good series win, despite the Red Sox’s limitations this season. The first game was another offensive juggernaut with a good performance by Tanaka. Severino, the much-heralded rookie I was looking forward to seeing, lived up to expectations for the most part but was bested by Boston’s talented knuckleballer. I wish the Yankees had gone back and watched video of how their teammates handled Wakefield back in the day, but they seemed completely at a loss. And then came last night.

It’s heartening to keep winning series and I just hope the trend continues right into the fall. How cool would that be?



The Yankees Offense Was Crazy Good

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

baseballIt almost seemed automatic that the Yankees would keep having Janers. We’ve seen 21 runs and 13 runs and another 12 runs today. My anger (see last post) certainly wasn’t directed at this team’s offense, which has been better than I could have imagined. I mean Tex. Seriously. The guy will far exceed 30 homers this year. And Didi, who couldn’t hit his way out of a paper bag when the season started, has become one of our most reliable hitters. It’s been a pleasure to watch both of them.

My problem continues to be with the pitching. While Evo and Nova were great, Saturday’s experiment in throwing one of the kids into the rotation was a bust. I’m sure Mitchell slayed everybody down on the farm, but in Chicago he showed he wasn’t ready for prime time. The much-heralded rookie Sevarino pitches Wednesday against the Red Sox; I hope he fares better. I still think we need a veteran arm to stabilize things if we’re going to keep that nice comfy lead in the division, never mind compete in the fall.

But right now I applaud the Yankees for coming out ahead during the long, arduous road trip. Welcome home, boys.


A Nice Way to Close Out the First Half

Sunday, July 12th, 2015
Photo: AP / Steven Senne

Photo: AP / Steven Senne

There were a lot of good things to come out of the weekend series at Fenway including beating the Red Sox in Games 1 and 3, but what will inevitably stand out in everybody’s mind, including mine, was the arrival of rookie Rob Refsnyder. Not only has there been a lot of excitement around the kid, but anyone who’s an upgrade over Stephen Drew at second base gets my undying gratitude. It’s possible that Refsnyder will be shipped back to Scranton before the season resumes after the All-Star break, but I hope not. He can hit (loved watching his first major-league homer) and field, despite the error, and he’s so poised for a young player. Keep him around, Yankees.

Gardner and Tex continue to be solid at the break and so deserving of their All-Star spots. And I liked seeing Andrew Miller begin to shake off the rust from his time on the DL. Will the Yankees hang onto first place for awhile? Who knows. The division is up for grabs, as I’ve said, and anything’s possible. But I’m looking forward to the second half in a way I didn’t expect to.



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.


Bye. Or, as Michael Kay would say, “See ya.”

Sunday, September 28th, 2014
Photo: Christopher Anderson/New York Magazine

Photo: Christopher Anderson/New York Magazine

Well, today’s game was truly the end of a great career. And Jeter did it in style with an RBI hit, a lot of hugs for his teammates, a few words for Clay Bulhholz before coming off the field, a tip of the cap to the Red Sox players and a wave to the fans. I thought the Red Sox, both as an organization and as a fan base, did a beautiful job with their farewell. Not only did they trot out their most esteemed sports captains for the pre-game ceremony but the Fenway Faithful cheered and stood at the end as if Jeter were their own. I was very moved.

It seems strangely OK that it was the end of the 2014 season too. It’s time for the Yankees to regroup and figure out where to go from here. There’s been a lot written about the return of A-Rod in recent days so his presence and its attendant baggage will be inevitable, but Michael Pineda gives me a lot of hope that the starting pitching will be in very good shape. (Tanaka is still a question mark for me. I don’t trust the health of that arm. I hope I’m wrong. Ditto: CC for a bunch of reasons.) I enjoyed watching Jose Pirela, both at the plate and at second base. I don’t quite get why he wasn’t called up sooner, despite roster issues, since he led the International League in hitting (or something like that), but I hope he sticks around. Maybe they could move him to shortstop because Drew won’t contribute anything to the offense and if I’m Cashman I don’t re-sign him.

Speaking of Cashman, he’ll have a full plate this off-season as usual but maybe with more urgency than ever. Two years without a postseason? The horror if you’re the Steinbrenners. George must be fuming. Do they even keep Cashman? Is it conceivable that there’s another GM out there who looks more enticing? Or will they stick with the status quo? Girardi’s alleged tirade in the clubhouse on Thursday could have been a manifestation not just of his own anger but of that of his bosses.

Getting back to Jeter, it’ll be interesting to see where his life takes him. He’s already dipped into the book publishing world with his own imprint at Simon & Schuster. He’s expressed interest in owning a team but in the shorter term it’s more likely he’ll invest his time and money in media-driven enterprises. I have to admit I envy Jeter right now. Most people retire with modest goals – taking up a hobby, traveling, figuring how to live on Social Security and cope with health problems. He’s young and fit and fabulously wealthy, and the world is his oyster; he can do whatever the hell he wants. Nice. As I said, I look forward to seeing what direction his life takes.

No, the Yankees won’t be the same without him, but iconic players have long come and gone in this franchise and someday, hopefully soon, another will come our way. I look forward to that too.

In the meantime, unless there’s something newsworthy in Yankeeville, I guess the Confessions blog will go on its usual hiatus for the off-season. Or not…….


A Happy Ending

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

headley_yankees walkoff

Mark Teixeira made it a tie ballgame in the bottom of the ninth against the Red Sox tonight, and then Chase Headley sent the Yanks to a game win and a series win. I was on my feet cheering.

The Yankees may not win another series this season, who knows, but all I wanted for them was to get out of their offensive doldrums and play entertaining baseball and they did. The Red Sox are only a shell of their former selves, except for Ortiz who just keeps hitting bombs year after year, but taking two of three at home was fun anyway. I loved how excited the players got tonight after Headley’s walkoff, like a bunch of little kids. So cute.

As for Headley himself, he was a nice pickup. I wonder what’ll happen to him when A-Rod comes back next year (theoretically). Come to think of it, how will the Yankees deal with A-Rod coming back? (Hal said he’s looking forward to it. Yeah, sure.) In the meantime, Headley has played a solid third base and had a few timely hits.

The weekend series against the Royals should be interesting, with Sunday’s Jeter Farewell ceremony certain to be a tear jerker. I still can’t imagine the Yankees without him, but it’s clear that it’s the right time for him to head off into his new life. I have no doubt that he’ll succeed in whatever arena he pursues. He’s The Natural.



Esmil Rogers to the Rescue?

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014


Why is it that victories for the Yankees inevitably come with an injury, usually to a pitcher? In tonight’s finale at Fenway, Phelps was struggling and I was pissed off that he was serving up fat ones to the Red Sox – until I heard he was injured. Rogers, our latest pickup off somebody’s scrap heap, saved the day with three scoreless innings and it’s possible he’ll take Phelps’ spot in the rotation. Kind of scary, but I’m used to the game of musical chairs the Yanks have been forced to play this season.

Scarier still was Clay Buchholz, who kept giving back the leads the Sox hitters handed him and was eventually lifted. Our offense looked determined to take advantage and we actually scored more than a few runs for a change – just enough to get the win. Gardner continues to be our Babe Ruth. What a season he’s having. Beltran and McCann looked good at the plate too.

Dave Robertson nearly blew the save on that almost homer by Pedroia, speaking of scary, but recovered just in time. Tense!

Can the Yankees continue to win series down the stretch? They’ll have to if they want to get into the postseason. Everybody’s bunched up in the standings right now and I have no idea which teams (Blue Jays? Orioles? Mariners? Angels? Us?) will emerge with playoff berths. The only guarantees in the AL at the moment are the A’s and Tigers, and I’m not looking forward to playing the latter starting tomorrow. Gulp.


So Let Me Get This Straight

Thursday, July 31st, 2014


The centerpiece of the Yankees’ trade deadline activity is (drum roll) Stephen Drew for Kelly Johnson? Stephen Drew, the guy we didn’t sign when he was a free agent? The guy Cashman said will be our new second baseman now that Brian Roberts has been DFA-ed? The guy who’s played shortstop exclusively for his entire career? Haven’t we learned anything about people playing out of position and it never works? I just don’t get it.

And then there are the assorted others who seem to have joined the team. I have no real opinion about either Martin Prado or  Esmil Rogers. Never heard of them, but if Cashman says they’ll help the cause, fine. They just aren’t the help I was banking on. Not when the Orioles, Tigers and A’s, in particular, have really bolstered their respective rosters. We look like we’re treading water by comparison, and maybe that’s the plan. Just tread water until next season.

Meanwhile, we move into a weekend series against the Red Sox without Lester and Lackey. Weird, isn’t it?


Napoli Needs to Learn Some Baseball Manners

Saturday, June 28th, 2014
Photo: Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports

Photo: Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports

Tonight’s Yankees-Sox game was a tense, entertaining one that kept me on the edge of my seat to see which team would break the 1-1 tie and go on to win it. When Tanaka served one up to Mike Napoli in the 9th it was deflating. Tanaka’s expression showed just how deflating. But what pissed me off was Napoli’s comment to his teammates as he rounded the bases after the homer.

An idiot? Really? I don’t disagree that Tanaka shouldn’t have shaken off McCann and insisted on throwing that fastball. It was totally the wrong move. But hey, Mike. Keep it to yourself or save it for the clubhouse after the game. Not cool. Not cool at all.

That said, the Yankees and Red Sox have split the first two games in this series, setting up an exciting finale tomorrow night. Unfortunately, I’ll either be packing or asleep. I’m leaving for NY at the crack of dawn on Monday morning for my month in Connecticut. Early to bed. Long flight.

Will be back on the blog after I get there. Go Yanks!