The Boss’ Monument

September 21, 2010 Leave a comment

GEORGE M. STEINBRENNER III
July 4, 1930 – July 13, 2010
New York Yankees Principal Owner
“The Boss”
1973 – 2010

A true visionary who changed the game of baseball forever, he was considered the most influential owner in all of sports. In his 37 years as Principal Owner, the Yankees posted a Major League-best .566 winning percentage, while winning 11 American League pennants and seven World Series titles, becoming the most recognizable sports brand in the world.

A devoted sportsman, he was Vice President of the United States Olympic Committee, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors and a member of the NCAA Foundation Board of Trustees.

A great philanthropist whose charitable efforts were mostly performed without fanfare, he followed a personal motto of the greatest form of charity is anonymity.

photo credit: AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Tribute to George Steinbrenner & Pitching Matchups vs. the Rays

September 20, 2010 2 comments

Tonight starts possibly the most important series of the season as the Yankees host the Rays to kick off the last home stand of the regular season.  The Yankees remain a half game ahead of Tampa Bay for first place in the AL East, and these four games should have a playoff feel to them as both teams look to claim home field advantage for October.

Before the game will be a ceremony to George M. Steinbrenner III, as he will have a plaque dedicated in his honor in Monument Park, in addition to a video tribute with his family on the field.

Also, Joe Torre and Don Mattingly will be in attendance to pay tribute to The Boss, I’d give both of them a standing ovation if I had tickets to tonight’s game.

Here’s the pitching matchups for the four game set:

Tonight
Ivan Nova (1-0, 4.30)  vs.  Matt Garza (14-8, 3.88)
7:05 p.m., YES Network

Tuesday
Phil Hughes (16-8, 4.31)  vs.  James Shields (13-12, 4.86)
7:05 p.m., MY9

Wednesday
A.J. Burnett (10-13, 5.08)  vs.  Wade Davis (12-9, 4.19)
7:05 p.m., YES Network and ESPN

Thursday
CC Sabathia (20-6, 3.05)  vs.  David Price (17-6, 2.79)
7:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

Ending the Worst Week Ever

September 15, 2010 3 comments

Paranoia in Yankeeland.  Judging by the tweets, comments, and even some respected bloggers, this is the worst case scenerio.  The Yankees were swept in Texas, and wound up going 1-7 over the past 8.  Here’s what happened over that span:

9/5 vs. Toronto L, 3-7 – Hughes gives up three home runs, A-Rod returns to lineup.

9/6 vs. Baltimore, L 3-4 – A decent start by Burnett, but that was it. He was unable to shut down the O’s after his team scored him some runs.

9/7 vs. Baltimore, L 2-6 – Sabathia just didn’t have it in his first attempt at win number20.  Yankee bats still silent.

9/8 vs. Baltimore, W 3-2 – Yankees should have been beat, but Nick Swisher hit a walkoff two run homer off Orioles’ closer Uehara.

9/10 @ Texas, L 6-5, 13 inn – Rangers’ #9 hitter Julio Borbon has 4 RBI’s.  Nelson Cruz hits two big home runs off of Joba (to tie it in the 8th) and Gaudin (walkoff homerun).

9/11 @ Texas, L 7-6 – Wearing those god awful red hats, Mariano hits Jeff Franceur to bring in the winning run.  I’ll hit the lottery before that ever happens again.

9/12 @ Texas, L 4-1 – Dustin Moseley matched Cliff Lee frame for frame, but Texas bunted in a run to break the tie and then tack on a few more to beat the Yankees.

9/13 @ Tampa Bay, L 1-0 – The Yankees lose four straight for the first time all season, as CC and Price both pitched well, but the Yankee bats didn’t show up again.  Gardner gets thrown out at third after stealing second as a pinch runner to kill the late rally.New York also drops to second place in the AL East.

Which brings us to last night’s game.  The Yankees started strong, going up 6-0, but then blew that lead after a pinch hit three run homer by Willy Aybar.  Jorge Posada bailed the Yankees by breaking a 7-7 tie with a loooong home run to center (which Michael Kay thought was a routine fly ball that BJ Upton “was comfortable under”).  With Rivera in to preserve an 8-7 lead, Carl Crawford mistook Greg Golson’s arm for Bernie Williams’ in rightfield trying to tag up on a fly ball with one out.  Golson caught the ball and unleashed a laser (flat-footed, nonetheless) that one-hopped to A-Rod at third who applied the tag on Crawford to end the game.  It’s the play everyone was talking about today.

With last night’s win, let’s hope we as Yankee fans can find some self confidence and start fresh.  Let’s put the worst week ever behind us since we have something to look forward to: the return of Andy Pettitte on Sunday in Baltimore.

Please, no more “Joe Must Go” articles, you’re better than that.

These were games the Yankees were “in” for the most part, even with Teixeira in a mini-slump, the on-going documentation of the Derek Jeter slump and decline, Phil Hughes’ fatigue, the bullpen(outside of Kerry Wood)’s inefficiency, Javy’s high arc slow-pitch fastballs, the numerous nagging injuries, and whatever the hell goes through AJ Burnett’s head when he’s on the mound.

Let’s take the series and first place back from the Rays and finish strong to head into October.

Game 132: Oakland A’s vs. New York Yankees

August 31, 2010 Leave a comment

August 31, 2010, 7:05 start, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY

7:07 Phil Hughes deals a first pitch strike to Coco Crisp, who was the subject of many boos from fans in the leftfield bleachers during last night’s game

7:17 Hughes induces a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.  He’s getting good movement on his pitches.  Yankees coming to bat

7:20 Amazing that Gardner is still 7th in the league with a .389 OBP.  Thought he had been struggling lately.  And he slaps one to leftfield, vintage G.G.B.G.

7:22 there he goes!  I’d guess they run all over Suzuki tonight who has a strong throwing arm but doesn’t have great success throwing out baserunners

7:24 YES announcers mentioning that this is a homecoming for A’s starting pitcher Vin Mazzaro. I should have known he’s from north Jersey, that name wreaks of marinara sauce.

7:25 Gardy and Jeter pull off a double steal.  Speed kills.

7:28 Cano up, bases loaded and nobody out.  Minimum 2 runs in this inning, please.

7:34 Swisher grounds out to Ell—nevermind, he booted it away.  That’s a gift, makes up for the double play.  My father’s commentary, “If they give him a hit, I’ll shit on my front lawn.”  Yankees up 3-0.

7:35 Posada triples?  Everybody in the Yankee dugout laughing

7:37 My father once again: I like Tino, but he talks too god damn fast!  Perhaps I should write a sequel to “Sh*t My Dad Says”

7:44 Mark Ellis kicks ball outside of batter’s box, Posada given the putout.  “You just can’t predict baseball.”

7:47 Teixeira flashin some leather with his eyes closed on that rocket to first.  Never ceases to amaze me.

7:56 Hughes’ curve looks good tonight, nice bite.

8:03 Phil walks the bases loaded.  Not worried in the least bit.

8:04 Sac fly by Suzuki, 3-1 with two out.

8:06 He gets out of it, slow roller to Cano who flips to Jeter for the third out.  Whew

8:08 just saw the “Jeter’s got an Edge” Ford commercial.  Wondering where that went.

8:12 Love seeing Teixeira beat the shift, laser to rightfield over the secondbaseman, and landing before the rightfielder

8:17 Swishy gets the green light on 3-0 and crushes one into the second deck in rightfield.  He’s having some year

8:23 More Sh*t My Dad Says: “Hey Michael Kay’s getting married right?  What’s his name?”

8:29 Too many walks for Phil “Don’t Call me Phil” Hughes, not missing by much all night though.

8:35 Grandson hits a mammoth blast into the rightfield bleachers, 6-2 Yanks.

8:39 Granderson’s home run finally lands

8:43 Teixeira turns on a high fastball, makes it 9-2 with a three-run homer, his 30th of the season.  He’s red hot right now

8:44 after walking Cano, Vin Mazzaro’s night is over, and cartoon character Boof Bonser trots from the leftfield bullpen.

8:56 Hughes finishes the 5th inning with 98 pitches, in line to get the win.

9:09 Chad Gaudin in to clean up in a very lopsided game thus far.

9:10 Good point by Michael Kay, that Gaudin, Mitre, and recently (though for not much longer) Vazquez have really taken the pressure off of the short inning relief corps of Joba, Robertson, getting stretched too thin.  They’re always fresh for those high importance at bats

9:25 this game has turned lackluster because of the blowout, which has just been shortened as Gaudin gives up a moonshot to Eric Darton.  But he tried to go inside, can’t blame him for that.

9:53 Pena back! Track! Wall!  Caught.  Tough luck kid.  Had to add some excitement to this game who’s been laxadaisy for the past hour.

10:04 this one’s over, Yankees win their fourth straight by a final score of 9-3 as Teixeira steps on first for the final out.  “New York, New York” by Frank broadcast throughout the stadium.

10:12 Both the Rays and Red Sox lost tonight, so the Yankees have sole possession of first and Boston drops to 8 games back.  All is well in Yankeeland.

Bitter Feelings Following a Win

July 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Game #97: Yankees beat the Royals 12-6 today at home, but it wasn’t pretty, and I’ve got a few bitter feelings to share regarding the day’s headlines.

– Let’s start with the biggest concern: Alex Rodriguez having to leave the game after being hit by a pitch by Royals righty Blake Wood.  After an intentional walk to Jeter to load the bases, Swisher and Teixeira hit singles, and A-Rod would have his shot at 600 once again.  Wood dialed up a few pitches between 93 and 95 mph, one of which he swung through and fell to one knee, Reggie-style.  The second brushback pitch did more than that, seeming to hit Rodriguez on both the left forearm and hand.  I would believe that there’s at least one small broken bone somewhere, watching him fall to his hands and knees, holding that arm.  There may not be any more pressing* for the media to write about if he’s to miss some time.

*A-Rod is 5 for 11 with one walk since hitting #599.

UPDATE: A-Rod is “fine.”  Whew.

– Joba Chamberlain looks lost out there.  Running into 3-2 counts left and right, surrendering two runs in an inning of “relief.”  Watching him pitch lately gives me agita.  While watching today’s broadcast, I could only wonder how this would help or hurt our chances to get Haren if Joba were to be included.  Which brings me to my next point…

– Dan Haren has been traded to the LA Angels of Anaheim for Joe Saunders, Rafael Rodriguez and Patrick Corbin along with a player to be named later.  ARI said that they believe Corbin and the PTBNL are “outstanding” talents.  Please.  Sounds like a pure salary dump to me, and as Ken Davidoff tweets, “NYY hadn’t spoken with ARI in 2 days on Haren. Never seriously engaged, at least in their minds.”

With Cliff Lee and Dan Haren both coming back to the American League, I wonder if Brian Cashman is really prospect-hugging here, or if teams aren’t willing to help make the strong stronger by not trading with the Yankees.  My friend and Yankees United contributor “themyerburger” aka Chris Myers had this to say regarding teams dealing with the Yankees:

Teams are just trying to get maximum return.. We have the prospects and money so when we say no they leave

He’s right.  Get him a GM job somewhere.  Maybe even Arizona where their interim GM gives away the team’s best pitcher.

My take, it’s neither of those reasons.  We get excited and tweet and post blogs about rumors, expecting the best possible outcome for our team when in retrospect, they’re exactly that: rumors.  Reading too far into what baseball beat reporters and “insiders” is overkill, because they’re paid to write words on these types of things.  Teams can now negotiate through the media while every writer is looking to break the story first, when perhaps there’s no story to be broken at all.

– Why is Chan Ho Park still on the team?  DFA already, bring Albaladejo back up.

I’m the optimist who likes to end on a high note so I’ll leave with some Yankee thoughts that aren’t so bitter…

  • Boone Logan not pitching like Boone Logan
  • Cano getting hit #1,000 in the same game as #999 so we don’t have to hear about him pressing at the plate
  • The Captain with 3 hits and a stolen base
  • Grandy’s two solo shots
  • The hit ‘n run pulled off in the 8th, scoring Cano from first after Gardner (back from the hospital) slapped one to LF
  • Hughes getting win number 12, only real blemishes were the two home runs given up.  No walks today in his rain-shortened outing, always a good sign.

photo credit: (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Categories: Game Recap, Rumors Tags: , , ,

“Heard this:”

July 24, 2010 1 comment

We’re less than a week away from the Trade Deadline.  Which means MLB Trade Rumors is where I spend my break at work on my phone, and I’ve upped my Twitter game in the last two weeks.

One thing I’ve caught on to that I get a kick out of every time i see it…. Buster Olney‘s “heard this.”  As of 11pm Saturday night, 9 of his last 20 tweets start with the phrase.  They’re not even Insider worthy information either (Obvious Buster is obvious)!

The most interesting news I’ve heard is about the Yankees being the front runners for Dan Haren in a possible swap with Arizona.  This deal could or could not involve Joba Chamberlain, but money seems to be the issue.  I would deal Joba, the same Joba that I own a pinstriped 08 jersey of, the same Joba that I may or may not name my next english bulldog after, the same Joba that I have a 6 foot Dunkin Donuts cardboard standee of.

Two things to be wary of regarding all of the news this week: taking news with a grain of salt & user comments and. I jumped the gun too soon a few weeks ago after the Cliff Lee deal fell short at the 1-yard line, informing friends and family of the “imminent deal.”  I learned that the media can be used for manipulation in trade talks.  I’m trying not to let it happen again with Haren.

  • Heard this: don’t believe it’s a done deal until the team’s PR person says it, not some beat writer.

Next, is to steer clear of any comments sections.  This is where original ideas such as trade proposals stem from.  Where we trade Jesus Montero for David Ortiz because we need a DH.

  • Heard this: “Your trade proposal sucks.” (h/t to RAB)

Game 89 Recap: TB 4, NYY 5

July 17, 2010 1 comment

To start, gotta give credit where it’s due, stole this from Mike Axisa over at RAB, sums up the feeling of last night’s game, and what it meant to us Yankee fans:

The Yankees just don’t seem to lose games like this. Whenever they’re playing with a heavy heart, the Bombers always manage to come out on top. They’re not just wins either, they’re memorable wins that remind us just why we love baseball and how lucky we are to be Yankee fans.

The team looked sluggish over the first 6 innings, being shut down by James Shields.  Nick Swisher had probably his best personal performance in pinstripes, first an RBI single that Carlos Pena nearly snagged to score Brett Gardner in the 3rd, then tied the game at 4 in the bottom of the 8th with a BOMB into the deck in rightfield, and for his encore, won the game with a walk-off single to right, scoring Granderson.

Other things I liked:

  • Mariano Rivera placing the flowers on home plate
  • The Bleacher Creatures wearing black, the autographed sign, and the silenced roll call
  • Back to back home runs from Cano and Posada
  • Tampa’s stirrup socks
  • Mo getting the 5th pickoff of his career, nabbing Upton at first in the 9th.
  • Heard that even the Boston Red Sox offered a moment of silence for the Boss.

What I didn’t care for: the patches don’t look all that great, but I respect the support.

Tidbit from Josh Thomson, filling in for Chad Jennings at the LoHud Yankee Blog:  The Yankees are 14-2 in CC’s last 16 home starts. He is 11-0 with a 2.14 ERA, good for the longest active home winning streak in the Majors. The streak dates back to last year’s All-Star break.

…now that’s an ace.

Up next: Today is Old Timer’s Day!

Remembering The Voice and The Boss

July 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Very sad week for the Yankees and the rest of the baseball world, who have lost two very unique figures in Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner.

Bob Sheppard’s golden pipes were known as “The Voice of Yankee Stadium” throughout baseball and I’ve heard and read nothing but what a gentleman he was, and that ballplayers knew they made it when they heard him announce their names in the old Yankee Stadium.  His voice personified the baseball cathedral, and it’s a shame that he was unable to announce a game at the new Yankee Stadium.  However, every time Derek Jeter comes to bat at home, we will still get to hear a recording of “the Voice of God” (as Reggie Jackson once called him)  He already has a plaque out in Monument Park, and the Yankees will honor him with a patch starting this Friday.

On Wednesday, I woke up to a text from my father saying the Steinbrenner had died from a massive heart attack.  I check twitter, facebook, and some blogs half asleep, but in shock.  The Boss had been such a prominent figure in Yankees lore since I was born, and was truly sad to hear the news of his passing.  There may never be another owner in the sports world as dedicated to his team and to winning.  I’ll let a high school teacher of mine take it away, as I think he summed up George Steinbrenner perfectly in a conversation from facebook on Wednesday:

He was the Most Valuable Player of the New York Yankees for the past 37 years. One of the few human beings who actually put his money where his mouth was.  He gave millions to charity, often with one stipulation, that no one be told who made the donation.  -Jim Holmes

Rest in peace, gentlemen.  The impact that both of you have made on the baseball world is everlasting.

Categories: Uncategorized

Yankees United is back!

July 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Since my summer vacation means stocking produce at Costco, when I’m not at the beach or camping, I’ve missed out on watching games, but not from listening.  I’ve had the pleasure of John Sterling’s incorrect and misleading calls joined with the shouts and shrieks of Suzyn Waldman via the MLB app for my iPhone.  My phone stays concealed in my shirt pocket and I listen to games at night while my managers question how many bins of watermelon are needed to be dropped for the good people of Costco.

I missed blogging, and have decided to start up Yankees United once again, fully committed.  There’s been a wealth of news surround the Yanks in the past week or so, missing out on Cliff Lee, and the recent passing of both The Voice of God and The Boss.  There’s plenty to catch up on, and we still have the second half of the season to go.  The All-Star break seemed a good time for me to catch up and start fresh once again.

I promised I’d keep the blog going after the semester ended and my multimedia reporting class was over (since the season would not be), now that I’m stress-free I felt it necessary to get back into the blogworld.  I’ve kept up with my rounds of reading other Yankee blogs, and expanded my horizons via Twitter as well.  More posts to come . . .

Categories: Uncategorized

The Jynx

Last week’s Sports Illustrated cover.  Of course everyone knows about “the jynx.”  Here’s been the state of the Yankees since this issue hit the shelves.

Jorge Posada: hit in right knee by Jeremy Guthrie, plus a sore calf has kept him from starting since.

Andy Pettitte: left Wednesday’s game after 5 innings and 77 pitches.  Has felt stiffness in his shoulder during his bullpen sessions, and the arm inflamed after the 5th and Girardi decided to pull him.

Mariano Rivera: has felt tightness in his side, hasn’t appeared in a game since.

Derek Jeter: nothing yet, hopefully [knocks on wood]

The good news: The Yankees are 7-2 since the magazine has been out, and the replacements are filling in nicely.  Joba Chamberlain has closed out two games, Ramiro Pena has played stellar defense while driving in runs, and Frankie Cervelli has been outstanding, mashing the ball, calling great games behind the dish, and catching foul balls over dugout railings.

As long as Jeter stays out of harm’s way, the Yankees will be able to compete because of the value of the 25 players on the roster, making them a “complete team” as Girardi said in an interview this week as the kids have filled in.

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