Posts Tagged ‘Red Sox’

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…….

Share

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.

 

Share

Esmil Rogers to the Rescue?

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

rogers_esmil

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.

Share

So Let Me Get This Straight

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

stephen_drew

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?

Share

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!

 

Share

The Yankees Won a Game!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

jumping-for-joy

Not that it’s been that long since they won a game. It just felt that way tonight against the Blue Jays, especially after Reyes’ leadoff homer against Kuroda. But Hiroki settled down and pitched well, and Robertson got the save after having been AWOL for a week.

What to make of this team? They looked so awful lately. The defense was embarrassing and the offense has been, as John Sterling put it, “sporadic.” Plus Chase Whitley came back to earth and Phelps was back to being a guy who isn’t a front-line starter and Nuno…well, there’s not much to say there.

Still, as the Yankees get tomorrow off in preparation for the series against Boston, the rest of the division has problems too so if the heart of the order would start hitting and we could snag a decent starter and Brian McCann would find the bat he left in Atlanta, things might be all right. I’m still hopeful.

 

Share

I Was Hoping for 100 Runs

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

100-cake2

But I’ll gladly take the 14 the Yankees scored tonight. What a weird, sloppy game by the Sox. Not that the Yanks didn’t commit their share of blunders. Shane Greene, for example, made an inauspicious major league debut out of the bullpen.

Photo: Elsa/Getty Images North America

Photo: Elsa/Getty Images North America

The hit parade was fun though and it diminished the aftertaste of last night’s pine tar issue and Lackay’s shutdown of the offense. So did CC’s stellar outing and Mike Carp’s, um, good sportsmanship. Oh, and hearing David Cone, Al Leiter and Michael Kay discuss the story lines and characters of “General Hospital” was priceless.

The downside was the interminable length of the game. Baseball should not last four hours unless there are extra innings involved. I found myself muttering, “Just let this be over already.”

 

Share

Guilty!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

pine-tar-bottle

Yes, it was cold at Fenway tonight. Yes, it was hard to grip/feel the ball. Yes, Pineda had no control over his pitches. And yes, pitchers use pine tar and have used it for years. But – duh – don’t put it on your neck. On national television, yet. And after you were called out for putting it on your hand the last time you faced the Red Sox. To say that Pineda isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed is an understatement. With Nova out of the rotation, the Yankees are already down a starter and don’t need their #4 guy to be sitting out a suspension.

But oh well. Lackay was “on” and the offense was helpless against him. The defense sucked too. Not a good night at all and I’m in a bad mood. The only fun part is it’ll be interesting to watch future NY-Boston games to see if Girardi calls out one of their pitchers. Clay Buccholz, for instance, who’s got to be putting something in that hair.

_buchholz

 

Share

“Jacoby Jacks One!”

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
Photo: Associated Press

Photo: Associated Press

Except that John Sterling’s home run call in the first inning was null and void after the ump sent Ellsbury back to third for a triple, due to fan interference. Either way, he ended up scoring and having a terrific game in his first visit back to Fenway. What a player he is.

Tanaka only had one really shaky inning giving up back-to-backers by Ortiz and Napoli, so I’d rate his first visit to Fenway as a rousing success too.

John Lester clearly didn’t have it tonight. But since it’s rare that we’re treated to a hit parade against him, I’ll take it. Loved seeing Roberts with some offense, along with Jeter, Beltran, etc. It wasn’t a Janer but close to it.

Also loved the defense by Solarte. This team doesn’t resemble the one that took such a beating at the Trop. At least they didn’t tonight.

Share

Poetry in Motion

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Ichiro's catch red sox

There were a lot of heroes in tonight’s ESPN Yankees-Red Sox contest; Nova and Beltran come immediately to mind, with Shawn Kelley right up there. But for me, Ichiro’s spectacular catch was a game saver. Plus it was beautiful to watch, so I present it for repeat viewing. Bravo.

Very sweet to take three of four from the Sox, especially since it’s usually the reverse at this time of year. But not as sweet was the latest parade of injured players. I mean it’s just sick how they’re all going down as if they’ve never run the bases before. I get Jeter and his quad. He’s almost 40. And Roberts’s sore back doesn’t surprise me, given his history of being Nick Johnson in disguise. But Cervelli? Seriously? And then Solarte? And then McCann? Luckily, the latter two stayed in the game, but we can’t keep putting Beltran at first. And who’s our backup catcher now? CC? Crazy.

Oh well. I’ll savor the victory and worry about the injuries tomorrow. It’s an off day. I hope none of the players trips over their Starbucks.

 

 

Share