For Boss and Bob: Buckeye Bomber Boosts Yanks!

    Saturday, July 17, 2010, 3:16 AM [General]

    On a night that was both somber and celebratory at Yankee Stadium, one constant remained for the New York Yankees.  Winning.

    One almost couldn't have scripted it any better unless Derek Jeter, friend of The Boss and the man who honors Bob Sheppard every time he is announced stepping up to the plate, ended up coming through with two on in the ninth.  But sports aren't scripted.  For every Bobby Murcer knocking in the winning run for his friend and teammate Thurman Munson, there's a team that valiantly comes up short for its tragically befallen city off a bloop by Luis Gonzalez.

    But how fitting was it that Nick Swisher, a guy from The Ohio State playing the same position as another Ohio guy whom George Steinbrenner bestowed upon the title of "The Warrior" in Paul O'Neill, would come through for a Buckeye fan such as Mr. Steinbrenner with those late inning heroics.

    And apparently the Yankees are batting .1000 when it comes to whose swing they felt would or would not be wrecked by participating in the home run derby on Monday night, as both All-Stars Robinson Cano and Swisher went deep along with Jorge Posada.

    It had the feel of a 2009 Yankees game where the Yankees just kept grinding and taking advantage of every Tampa mistake as they saw fit.  It was also a statement game to start the second half.  And before you say how could there be such a thing in the middle of July, just realize that if both squads continue to play near .700 ball the rest of the way barnstorming around the American League, that these games only stand to take on a much more monumental importance with all things being even the rest of the way. 

    The Yankees did it once again with power hitting and pitching.  While CC Sabathia may not have looked completely sharp, he never once let the game slip away.

    Cano and Posada tied things at 3-3 in the sixth with homers and Swisher launched a bomb in the eighth to square it up at 4-4.

    David Robertson and Mariano Rivera put it on lockdown in the last two frames and Swisher came through again with his third RBI in the bottom half of the ninth with a knock to right, scoring Curtis Granderson for the 5-4 Yankees win.

    That 5-4 score by the way is the same score the Yankees won by on August 6, 1979, the game after Thurman Munson's death in Ohio.  No sports are not scripted but there is another word from a certain lake in Ohio to describe it, Erie.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    A-Rod and Braden, A Question To The Masses

    Monday, May 10, 2010, 4:08 AM [General]

    OK so here's the first and last of what I have to say on the whole A-Rod and Dallas Braden situation.  We all know what happened by now and all the back and forth but there's just one more thing I have to ask.  If it were Derek Jeter or Jorge Posada who had just happened to brush past or run back over the mound, would there be this huge uproar?

    Now I know what you're thinking, "but Mike, Jeet and Sado would've never done that in the first place, because they're so much classier than A-Rod, and on and on and on..."  But really if it was one of those guys or another Yankees vet like happy-go-lucky Nick Swisher or Curtis Granderson, does Braden even dare barking anything back at those guys? 

    In other words, does Braden have the stones to go after one of those guys who have built up major stature and credibility as popular players and public figures in the game?  Would there be this much publicity if A-Rod hadn't been involved?  Of course not.  But once again it evolves from an on-field spat to another, "A-Rod story." 

    In my opinion it's getting kind of old.  Sure there's something newsworthy in the back and forth quotes between A-Rod and Braden, but what does the guy have to do honestly to get a fair shake?  A-Rod dominates in the playoffs last year and carries the Yankees on his back and still there are those who are probably bitter that this is nowhere close to the Bronx Zoo years and they unfortunately missed out.

    So give props to Braden for backing up all of his talk with a perfect game, but please let's stop with the silly A-Rod bashing stories OK?

    4.1 (2 Ratings)

    Does Obama Owe Reggie?

    Monday, April 26, 2010, 12:27 PM [General]

    As the New York Yankees visit the Whitehouse today for the first time as defending champions since 2001.   It got me to thinking, since every President is usually presented their number (i.e. Bush 43, Clinton 42 etc.) and Barack Obama is President number 44, will the Yankees give him number 44 upon their visit?

    Of course Yankees fans know number 44 has been retired to monument park since 1993 in honor of World Series MVP and Hall of Fame Rightfielder Reginald Martinez Jackson.  Aka, Mr. October for short.

    In that case if Joe Girardi presents President Obama with number 44, does that mean Reggie gets a gold watch or something from the Prez? 

     

    (Update): Joe Girardi presented President Obama with a # 27 jersey autographed by the entire team, pretty cool stuff even if you're an avowed Chicago White Sox fan.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Yanks Ringing Up The Victories

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 9:13 AM [General]

    What could be better than taking four of six on the road from your arch-rival and everyone's darling pick in the AL East?  Why getting your 2009 World Series rings and giving a beat-down to a team that at least until last year was a thorn in your side for the better part of a decade.  Honestly folks, it doesn't get any better than Opening Day at Yankee Stadium.

    And sue me if I sound a little biased, but it really doesn't feel like the season has officially started until the Yankees play where last year they went an MLB best 57-24.

    There are special moments like this with the Yankees where order feels restored, at least in the world of baseball.  The banners were out, Yogi, Whitey, Bernie, The Boss and Gino were in the house.  Back were Jerry Hairiston and to a heroes welcome Hideki Matsui, to take part in the festivities.  And as mentioned above the Yankees did what they typically do in this still sparkling new yard, win.

    As far as the game was concerned, the Yankees taking their first series opener of the year, scored their first opening inning run of the year.  Fittingly Nick Johnson hooked a bomb into the right-field bleachers for the 1-0 lead.  With his average on the interstate, Matsui bringing down the house and his at-bat intro song "Party In The U.S.A." by Miley Cyrus (for his four-year old daughter) and replacing Johnny Damon in the two-hole, Johnson allieviated any pressure with the first HR at the Stadium this season.

    In the third the man who bats in front of Johnson, followed him with a solo shot of his own to right-center, as Derek Jeter's first HR put the Yanks up two.

    An inning later Jeter lined one back up the box off Ervin Santana, scoring Curtis Granderson who had two hits in his Stadium debut, for a 3-0 Yankees lead.

    Andy Pettitte, the man who has won the last two home finale's in 2008 and 2009 and shutdown these Angels in game six of the 2009 ALCS, looked every bit as sharp in the opener.  Pettitte picked up six K's over six innings of shutout ball and got big outs when he needed them.  Of those included a 6-4-3 inning ending double-play on his 100th and final pitch of the day in the sixth.  Pettitte is now pitching to an ERA of 0.75.  I guess Jorge Posada (who is 2-0 catching A.J. Burnett by the way) really knows how to handle this kid.

    In the bottom half of the frame it was the "Joe West Special" as the Yanks coaxed three walks walks with Nick Swisher, Johnson and Mark Teixeira reaching.  I almost feel like whoever is running the scoreboard on YES should just automatically put a 3-2 count up when Johnson and Swisher come up to the dish.  But I digress, as A-Rod would then line a two-run single off the glove of Brandon Wood at third, scoring the two New York Nick's to make it a 5-0 advantage.  Is there anyone but me who feels if Chone Figgins was still there that he would've made like Brooks Robinson and turned a DP?

    After Kendry Morales broke through for the Halos in the eighth with a solo blast to the second deck in right off Chan Ho Park, the Yankees struck right back with a couple more crucial runs in the bottom of the inning.

    Jorge Posada, whose spring cleaning tool of choice continue's to be rake, batting a robust .429 (and looking like a bargain compared to Joe Mauer) doubled in Johnson who scored his third run on the day.  Posada went 3-4 and the double marked his 345th with the Yankees, moving him in front of Mickey Mantle for seventh on the all-time list.  Then it was Granderson with a single to right, scoring Robinson Cano for the Yanks seventh run.  Granderson is hitting .357, while Cano is hitting at a .367 clip, both had two hits on the afternoon.

    Then things got ridiculous in a hurry in what was looked to be a rather tranquil ninth.  David Robertson yielded a grand slam to one of the "other Yankees" (along with Juan Rivera) Bobby Abreu and that cut the lead to 7-5.  

    So with one out the Yankees called on the man who has followed Pettitte for so many years and was the last man standing when it was all said and done in last year's post-season, Mariano Rivera.  So Rivera came on and made quick work of the Angels, including inducing Matsui into a game ending pop-out for his third save on the young season to close out the Yankees fifth win and third in a row.

    So from here on out the Yankees put 2009 into a vault (or on their finger like A-Rod) and move forward to find out what 2010 will bring.  From the early looks of it, they're a team that knows what it takes, is motivated for more and is off to the club's best start since 2003.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Yanks Like What They CC: Hang Ten On Rays

    Sunday, April 11, 2010, 7:09 AM [General]

    The previous New York Yankees game was presented in "CC."  Carsten Charles for the hitting impaired.  Of course there was another "C" involved in this game, don't 'cha know?  And after the Yankees put a ten spot on the board, the joint in Tampa sounded like George M. Steinbrenner Field, but with a bunch of ugly catwalks.

    CC Sabathia was an absolute beast and yes it was April not August.  Still throwing major heat into the eighth, Sabathia got 23 outs before yielding his only hit to former Cleveland Indians battery-mate Kelly Shoppach, while striking out five along the way.

    As far as at the plate and in the field, heck this entire game could've been brought to you by the letter "C." 

    Robinson Cano continuing to build on his hot start, in the fourth Cano clobbered a Wade Davis pitch to right to put the Yankees on the board and out front 2-0 for the only runs they'd need.

    In the fifth Derek Jeter knocked in Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira putting the American League on notice, doubled home Jeter for his second of three hits on the day to double the Yankees lead 4-0.  More on Tex in a moment.

    With two outs in the sixth and seventh, Sabathia still rolling along got some help from his corners.  First it was Teixeira making a dive to his right, robbing Jason Bartlett to end the sixth frame.  Then A-Rod made a diving stab down the line to his right and threw to Teixeira to retire the side and steal a hit away from B.J. Upton. 

    With the no-no intact, the Yanks offense went back to work and tore up the Rays bullpen.  Teixeira and A-Rod appropriately enough started the eighth with hits.  Then a Nick Swisher single loaded the bases for Curtis Granderson, who knocked in Tex against LEFTY Randy Choate.  Gardner brought home A-Rod with a fielder's choice.  And to cap off the four run rally was a booming two-run double by Francisco Cervelli, to make it 8-0 Yankees. 

    As an aside if you will, who isn't impressed with Frankie Cervelli's game calling abilities?  I know it's still early, but if Nick Johnson doesn't hit, on days that Jorge Posada isn't catching, Joe Girardi might want to plug Jorge in the DH spot, especially against tough lefties and have Cervelli behind the plate.  Cervelli is almost like Girardi but with more pop and I'd rather have Jorge's bat in there every day if possible.

    Moving along though, Sabathia got the first two outs in the eighth before giving up a base knock to the aforementioned Shoppach.  David Robertson would come on to finish it out, while the Yankees would get two more runs from Cano and Gardner to cap off the ten run rout of the Rays.

    Once again the Yanks try to take another rubber-match and another series after dropping the first game, as they try to get out of dodge to get their rings.  If you think you've seen this movie before, well you have.  The Yanks first series of 2009 in Tampa resulted in the Rays taking the first by firing a booming opening salvo and New York taking the next two.  Although hopefully they don't need the mound services of Nick Swisher this time around. 

    3.7 (2 Ratings)

    Vazquez Didn't Jav It

    Saturday, April 10, 2010, 4:10 AM [General]

    In all fairness the Toronto Blue Jays are leading the AL East and Vernon Wells is your AL home run leader, to put things in perspective.  However if one includes facing the New York Yankees Javier Vazquez is now 18-26 against AL East opponents, after getting shelled against the Tampa Bay Rays in his Yankees re-debut.

    Sure there's always going to be alarmists when a new player gets off on the wrong foot, like when Chan Ho Park gets touched up on Opening Night.  Or when somewhere 3,000 miles away Hideki Matsui just hit home run number two, batting .368.  While Nick Johnson is still trying to get off the interstate.

    But can you really blame Yankees fans if they were wondering if that "sore shoulder" of Javy Vazquez was flairing up again?  Look I'm not saying he wasn't hurt at the end of 2004, even as strange as it was that we'd never heard about it until Javy was re-acquired by the Yankees.  I just couldn't help but have flashbacks when I saw those blasts off the lefty bats of Carlos Pena and Willy Aybar (Willy Aybar?) into the bleachers in right and not see Johnny Damon going upper-tank all over again. 

    I'm always in favor of giving the kids a shot to prove their worth and regardless of whether or not his spot in the 8th fits, would Joba Chamberlain have been a worse option after that display at the Trop?  I really hate to pile on a guy afer one start, but Omar Minaya once compared this guy to a young Pedro Martinez (which should throw up red flags) and the Yankees have had some guys come in from Atlanta recently (Jaret Wright, Chris Hammond and Steve Karsay) who just weren't quite AL East material.

    Say what you will about the deal that sent Vazquez away for Randy Johnson, but Johnson went 14-7 against the AL East in his two years in pinstripes, including a 7-1 mark against Boston.  Compare that to Vazquez's 2004 against AL East opponents, Javy went 8-4 with his lowest ERA 4.33 against Toronto, his ERA was well over 5.00 against everyone else.

    On the plus side Derek Jeter and Johnson each had a two-hit night and teams still can't seem to keep Robbie Cano off the basepaths.  And watch out Saturday, I could see a couple of bombs off the bat of A-Rod Saturday, something circa regular season game 162 of 2009.

    Of course all of Friday will be rendered moot if the Yanks take the next two as they did up in Boston.  Then the Yanks can get back to trying to flag down the Jays before they start thinking it's 1993 all over again.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Funny Guy That Joe West

    Thursday, April 8, 2010, 5:19 PM [General]

    The beauty of baseball is its timelessness.  And if you liked good baseball and enjoyed good strategy you were in luck with what you saw the first three games at Fenway Park.  Unless of course you're umpire Joe West.

    Now are there some games that are sloppy and go on for forever and a day?  Certainly.  But it's not like these games were awful right?  Maybe I'm just more surprised by where this criticism is coming from.

    Especially given what was even more of a disgrace was the umpiring during the 2009 MLB playoffs. If you think about it, baseball actually is one of the nicest flowing sports considering it isn’t timed. Look most recently at the NCAA basketball tournament, the last 30 seconds takes an half hour. Somewhere Chris Webber is wondering where they got all those extra timeouts? And for being timed, pro football has way too many stoppages that drag the games out entirely too long.

    And as for Mr. West, boo-friggin-hoo, I’d love to work seven months a year at $700K to be on the field watching baseball for 3.5 hours a night for free and being able to travel around the country all summer, must be hard. Why don’t you go and break Dennis Cook’s arm again?

    4.1 (3 Ratings)

    Yanks Park Sox In Grand Fashion

    Thursday, April 8, 2010, 1:17 PM [General]

    When the New York Yankees acquired Curtis Granderson from the Detroit Tigers, they were sure he could provide the left-handed pop vacated by Hideki Matsui.  They also knew they were getting their most complete centerfielder since Bernie Williams.  But unlike those two, they didn't know how clutch or how much of a flair for the dramatic Granderson would have.  They do now.

    The Boston Red Sox centerfielder Mike Cameron could have been the Yankees centerfielder last year, but sometimes the best trades you make are the one's you don't.  Eventually better deals come along and from his first swing to his last, Granderson put the AL East on notice.

    Granderson's versatility, power, speed and defense were all on display all series long.  He has already made his mark in this rivalry with two absolute bombs and he hasn't even stepped foot in the batters box at Yankee Stadium.  Most importantly he erased questions of whether he was a "true Yankee" and instead looked as though he'd been here over a decade.

    Another key contributor after Andy Pettitte gave them a solid six was Chan Ho Park.  Park, doing his best Ralph Terry impression shook off Sunday night's butterflies or more accurately flu and shut down the Red Sox with three very efficient innings of relief to pick up the win.

    The Yankees have now won 17 games in a row when tied after seven innings, a new record eclipsing the 1906 New York Giants who won 16 straight.

    What strikes me as most impressive in this series is the Yankees rebounded after a Sunday night game they probably should have won and took two of three up in Boston.  They also did so without any of their starters recording a win and their 2-3-4 guys in the lineup hit a combined .133 with only A-Rod contributing to that average.

    So the Yankees travel to Tampa to tangle with the Rays, where Javy Vazquez (who the Yankees did trade Melky Cabrera for) will try to take the streak to three.

    4.1 (2 Ratings)

    One Night Makes Not A Season

    Monday, April 5, 2010, 8:44 PM [General]

    It may have felt like you were watching two games last night, but it's ok it only counts once in the standings.  Nobody is going 162-0 or 0-162, but hey we live and die baseball in New York so can you blame us if we live pitch by pitch?  Now about last night.

    For the second consecutive year Jorge Posada was the first Yankees player to go deep on Opening Day.  And Posada and Curtis (who hit a shot of grandeur) Granderson, were the first Yanks to go yard back-to-back on Opening Day since Dave Winfield and Steve Kemp did it in 1983.  At a time when pitchers are typically ahead of hitters, it was both a good and bad sign for the Yanks.  All championship caliber clubs are especially strong up the middle and last night's showing by Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada (at the plate more than behind it) and Curtis Granderson showed only a sampling of what the Yankees are capable of up the box.

    If you thought you saw this game somewhere last year between these two clubs, well you pretty much did.  Back on April 25th of last year the Yankees got up 6-0 on Beckett.  However A.J. Burnett who was rolling along to that point, one-hitting the Red Sox, ended up getting shelled for eight runs and the Yankees dropped that one 16-11. 

    I know there were more than a few Yankees fans clamoring for Mark Melancon after Chan Ho Park got taken out of Fenway Park by Dustin Pedroia.  Remember last year Alfredo Aceves and Phil Hughes weren't with the club when they broke from camp Tampa last year.  They would later take over for Jose Veras and Edwar Ramirez, becoming instrumental in forming the bridge to Mo.  It's still early but you never know.

    So really there were more positives to take from last night in my opinion, just remember it's only one night.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    2010 MLB Predictions

    Sunday, April 4, 2010, 11:20 AM [General]

    After a 2009 season which saw two teams from each league return to the post season (LAA, BOS, LAD, PHI) and two new teams make it in each circut (NYY, MIN, STL, COL), the 2010 season figures to give us some favorite standards and some new surprises as well.  Here's a look at my picks and predictions for what's coming down the pike in 2010.

    American League East:

    1.) New York Yankees- This version of the defending champs seems much more complete with a lot more depth.  A full year out of A-Rod and over 200 innings from Javy Vazquez where they got little to nothing out of Chien-Ming Wang last year should get this club rolling from the start.  The question of "clutch" will ultimately come into play in October, as the new guys try to make up for the post-season prowess of Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon.

    2.) Boston Red Sox- It's always about pitching and John Lackey is an absolute bulldog.  This club appears to be better defensively in their pickups of Mike Cameron, Adrian Beltre and Marco Scutaro, but they might be banking on too many guys on the wrong side of 30 to have bounce back year's at the dish.

    3.) Tampa Bay Rays- I love their lineup 1-6, where patience and pressue is the name of the game.  As many good young arms as they have, I have to wonder how their staff is going to hold up for the marathon.  Their leading winner from last year was a rookie, Jeff Niemann.  So will 2008 have been an abberation or are they just in the wrong division?

    4.) Baltimore Orioles- Perhaps it's because they're Baltimore but Miguel Tejada and Kevin Millwood were two of the more underrated acquisitions this off-season.  They're building a nice core with Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Matt Weiters and Nolan Reimold. 

    5.) Toronto Blue Jays- They've won more games than any club in the Wild Card era not to make the playoffs and that trend will continue this year except they won't be winning many games at all.  Aaron Hill and Adam Lind are about the only bright spots.  With Roy out of the mix the Jays just hope to get some "floating Halladay's" this season.

    AL Central:

    1.) Minnesota Twins- Imagine how good this team would be if they actually got anything from trading Johan Santana and Matt Garza?  They seem to have the most balanced club in the division and while Joe Nathan is a huge loss, they seem to pluck guys out of nowhere and get the job done.  It helps to have Joe Mauer, but it will be interesting to see how Target Field plays without the climate controlled conditions of the homer dome.

    2.) Chicago White Sox- If Carlos Quentin and Alex Rios can revert back to what they did a couple season's back, the ChiSox might have something cooking in the Central.  If Jake Peavy pitches like an ace all season, Chicago could have it's best rotation since 2005.

    3.) Detroit Tigers- Johnny Damon can teach them how to finish.  Signing Jose Valverde and having a healthy Joel Zumaya could lead to many an early finish.  However beyond Justin Verlander, who often goes from start to finish, who else can start on this team? 

    4.) Kansas City Royals- Ooooh don't get too giddy now KC.  Zach Greinke and Joakim Soria are obviously the names that stand out.  Billy Butler can mash and if Jose Guillen and Rick Ankiel can generate anything, well maybe Greinke can get enough run support to win 20.

    5.) Cleveland Indians- That guy?  He's but he's been dead since 1981!  Well then cross him off the list!  If you're an Indians fan you're just hoping Grady Sizemore is healthy, because beyond Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cebrera there's not a lot to write home about.

    AL West:

    1.) Los Angeles Angels- Sure they lost Vlad Guerrero and Chone Figgins but Hideki Matsui if healthy to me is an upgrade.  The question will be who steps up to replace John Lackey in the rotation?  Otherwise they're the most well rounded team in the West.

    2.) Seattle Mariners- Everyone's chic pick, but Cliff Lee is hurt and M's fans are hoping this isn't Erik Bedard part two.  They're solid defensively but they'll miss Russell Branyan's pop.

    3.) Oakland Athletics- Not a big fan of their offense but those young pitchers will make Oakland a spoiler down the stretch.

    4.) Texas Rangers- When you're top two signings are Vlad Guerrero and Rich Harden, you'd better have an MRI on standby.  What was a nice story last season looks really shaky now.

    NL East:

    1.) Philadelphia Phillies- Clearly the class of the NL, boasting a lineup worthy of the AL.  If Roy Halladay can pitch in the playoffs there's no reason this club shouldn't win its third pennant in a row, which would make them the first NL team to do so since the 1940-1942 St. Louis Cardinals to do so.

    2.) Atlanta Braves- This team very well could have been the NL Wild Card winner last year and they'll go all out for Bobby Cox this year.  If Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson keep progressing and Tim Hudson slides in for Javy Vazquez, this team will be in the thick of it in the last week of the season.

    3.) Florida Marlins- Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco should make for a nice one-two punch.  With Hanley Ramirez, Jorge Cantu, Dan Uggla and Cody Ross, only the Phillies had as many returning players knock in 90 or more runs than the Marlins last season.

    4.) Washington Nationals- At least their offense sparks some interest with Nyjer Morgan, Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham.  If any of their pitching gambles pay off they should be better than last year, when just about the only starter I could name was John Lannan.

    5.) New York Mets- Already with three guys in their starting lineup on the DL and a pitching staff beyond Johan Santana that looks just dreadful, it wouldn't shock me to see an early house cleaning.

    NL Central:

    1.) St. Louis Cardinals- I think the Cardinals could be a little too top heavy, but their best is better than everyone else's best.  Albert Pujols with Matt Holliday hitting behind him the entire year looks to be a top NL MVP candidate once again.  The Cards have the best one-two punch in the NL and maybe in baseball with Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright.  Can Ryan Franklin duplicate what he did last season?

    2.) Chicago Cubs- Probably the deepest staff in the division, but they need guys like Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Kosuke Fukudome and Geovany Soto to stay healthy and rebound. 

    3.) Cincinnati Reds- When's the last time you saw the Reds picked this high?  It's high time for some of these prospects to have breakout year's.

    4.) Milwaukee Brewers- Randy Wolf is a nice pitcher but this is why the Brewers only make the playoffs once every 26 years.

    5.) Houston Astros- They don't hit well enough and don't pitch well enough not to hit well enough, make sense?

    6.) Pittsburgh Pirates- Andrew McCutchen could be a rising star but beyond that the drought in Pittsburgh continues.

    NL West:

    1.) San Francisco Giants- Can they hit well enough to put themselves over the top?  As Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain continue to step it up on the hill, with some timely hitting they could have just enough.

    2.) Colorado Rockies- Imagine if this team ever got off to a good start?  I'm intrigued to see what Carlos Gonzalez can do for the whole year.  If Jeff Francis reverts back to 2007 form they could take this division.

    3.) Los Angeles Dodgers- Sad to see Joe Torre go out like this, but your ace has to be better than Vicente Padilla.  If Manny Ramirez is as focused as possible in a contract year, they'll make a push. But with a shaky ownership situation will they get the pieces they need at the deadline?

    4.) Arizona Diamondbacks- If Brandon Webb was healthy I'd call them a sleeper.  They're rounding out a solid young lineup as well.

    5.) San Diego Padres- The Adrian Gonzalez watch is on, while the Padres hope Kyle Blanks is the second coming of Dave Winfield.

    Playoffs:

    ALDS: Yankees over Twins, Angels over Red Sox.

    ALCS: Yankees over Angels.

    NLDS: Phillies over Giants, Cardinals over Braves.

    NLCS: Phillies over Cardinals.

    World Series: Yankees over Phillies.

    AL MVP: Alex Rodriguez

    NL MVP: Albert Pujols

    AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez

    NL Cy Young: Tim Lincecum

    AL Rookie of the Year: Wade Davis

    NL Rookie of the Year: Alcides Escobar

    AL Manager of the Year: Ron Gardenhire

    NL Manager of the Year: Bobby Cox

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Your Fantasy Baseball Team & The Yankees

    Monday, March 29, 2010, 5:51 AM [General]

    OK so for some good fodder and feedback before Opening Day.  Most of us on here who follow baseball are likely in a fantasy baseball league, be it on Yahoo!, ESPN, CBS or elsewhere.  And this past weekend I'm sure a lot of us had a marathon draft (or five). 

    So my questions for those of you out there, how many Yanks ya got?  Do you cater towards your favorite team when push comes to shove?  Make any pacts with fellow fans in your league not to take players from certain teams named say the Red Sox or Mets? 

    Who was that player you drafted and held your nose in the process?  Ever draft one of those star players from a team you hate and get offered somebody from the team you love and maybe that player wasn't as good as the one you had and really put you in a tough spot?  And what of that last pick, what's the most out there 'throw-away' pick you've ever made?

    To be honest with you between my two leagues I have 15 Yankees on my roster(s): Jorge Posada (2), Mariano Rivera (2), Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher (2), Andy Pettitte (2), CC Sabathia, Nick Johnson, A.J. Burnett (2) and two former Yankees in one league (Hideki Matsui, Ted Lilly).

    Once again I have no Mets for fear of injuries and my one Red Sox is Jon Lester and as tough is he is really with all he's been through, as a human being how can you hate Jon Lester?  As far as catering my team, can I help it if the Yankees are great?  Plus it makes it much easier to be engaged and having a strong rooting interest in your team(s) for multiple reasons. 

    As far as those pacts go, I'm in one league where there's a decent amount of Boston supporters, hence my Yankees roster overload.  Back when they were on New York and Boston, a friend of mine had Gary Sheffield and I had Manny Ramirez, he offered me the deal but I never pulled the trigger.  I won the regular season but lost in the playoffs.  Chalk it up to bad karma I guess.

    Finally for that last 'throw-away' pick, well last year one could call it a tribute but in one of my league's I took "The Big-G, The Giambino," Jason Giambi.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    When It Ended In "0" How Did It Go?

    Friday, March 26, 2010, 8:17 PM [General]

    The New York Yankees enter the 2010 season looking to repeat as champions.  Twice in their history has the club come into a season ending as defending champs and actually won a title going into a year ending with "0."  The 1949-1950 Yankees did it and most recently the 1999-2000 squad accomplished this feat as well.  So here's a decade by decade look at how they have fared.

    1910: Ah the dead ball era, we all remember this one right?  The 1910 season saw the then still New York Highlanders finish second to the Philadelphia A's with a record of 88-63.  Hal Chase hit .290 with 73 RBI and 40 steals and Russ Ford went 26-6 with an ERA of 1.65 and 29 complete games.  That would be the Highlanders best finish until...

    1920: The 1920 now New York Yankees in the first year of Babe Ruth finished with their best record in franchise history at 95-59.  However the Babe's line of .376/54/137 weren't quite enough as the Yanks finished third behind the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.  Carl Mays and Bob Shawkey were also 20 game winners that year and Del Pratt knocked in 97.

    1930: Speaking of Shawkey, the 1930 season would be his first and last as Yanks skipper.  That squad like the one Shawkey pitched for ten years prior also finished up third with a record of 86-68 behind the Philadelphia A's and Washington Senators.  The 'Murders Row' lineup which still saw six batters hit over .300 along with Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Tony Lazzeri accounting for 99 HR's and 448 RBI.  Once again it all comes back to pitching.

    1940: After winning four straight titles under skipper Joe McCarthy the 1940 Yankees yielded another (say it with me) third place finish with a record of 88-66, behind the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians.  This was the Yanks first season without Gehrig on the team and McCarthy's worst finish to that point.  It was the 'Joe, Joe and Charlie Show' as Joe DiMaggio paced the Yanks with a line of .352/31/133, Joe Gordon had an also impressive .281/30/103 and Charlie Keller wound up going .286/21/93.  Once again the pitching was not up to snuff. 

    1950: By 1950 the Yankees were in the midst of the greatest championship run in baseball history.  Already having won the 1949 crown under first year skipper Casey Stengel, the 1950 version was even better.  Those Yanks went 98-56 and swept the Philadelphia Philles 4-0 in the World Series.  It was that season when shortstop Phil Rizzuto won the American League MVP with 200 hits and a .324 average.  Yogi Berra .322/28/124 and Joe DiMaggio .301/32/122 paced the champions heart of the order that season.  And yes the pitching was solid as well, with four double digit winners including Vic Raschi who won 21.  And there was no controversy over the Yanks fifth starter that season, as a young Whitey Ford went 9-1, winning the World Series clinching Game Four at Yankee Stadium.

    1960: The 1960 season would be Casey's last but a sign of things to come for the Yanks.  Winning the American League Pennant with a mark of 97-57 the Yankees would be victimized by the Pittsburgh Pirates Bill Mazeroski's World Series Game 7 winning walk off homerun (did they call 'em walkoffs in those days?)  However that season did see Roger Maris win his first of consecutive AL MVP's, Mickey Mantle clubbed 40 HR's and second baseman Bobby Richardson became the first and only player to win a World Series MVP for a losing team.

    1970: In 1970 the Yankees under the guidance of Ralph Houk finally climbed out of the depths of the American League cellar, sporting a record of 93-69, behind the World Champion Baltimore Orioles.  This season saw some young Yankees begin to come of age.  Catcher Thurman Munson hit .302, Leftfielder Roy White batted .296 with 22 HR's and 94 RBI, while Bobby Murcer paced the Yanks clubbing 23 bombs of his own.  Mel Stottlemyre won 15 and led the staff in innings pitched while Fritz Peterson won 20 games.

    1980: With a team that still had the core of a squad that had produced three pennants and two World Series in a row, the 1980 Yankees under Dick Howser went 103-59 to capture the AL East crown.  It was the most wins by a Yankees team since 1963 and would be the most until the Yankees best team ever won 114 during the 1998 campaign.  Reggie Jackson destroyed American League pitching with a line of .300/41/111, and Tommy John won 22 games.  However it was not to be in '80 as the Yanks were swept by George Brett and the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS.

    1990: In what was one of the best decades in Yankees history, 1990 had to be one of the absolute worst in team history.  The team was managed by Bucky Dent and Stump Merrill, went 67-95 and was the first Yankees club to lose over (the 1967 team lost 90) 90 games since 1913 when they lost 94.  The empty seats had a great view as the few bright spots were Roberto Kelly posting a .285 average, Jessie Barfield clubbing 25 HR's and Kevin Maas before pitchers learned to curve him, jacked 21 dingers in his rookie campaign.

    2000: Finally to the most recent feel good era of the Yankees, the season of the three-peat.  For the first time since the Oakland Swingin' A's of 1972-74, the Yankees under Joe Torre pulled off the hat trick.  Going only 87-74 these Yanks would become the last club to win it all until the 2009 version.  Bernie Williams slugged career highs with 30 HR's and 121 RBI and mid-season acquisition David Justice and his 20 HR's in pinstripes, helped propel the Yanks into the playoffs.  After dismantiling the A's and M's the Yankees went on to defeat the New York Mets 4-1 in the first Subway Series since 1956.  In that series Derek Jeter took home MVP honors with a .409 average and two big homeruns. 

    So will 2010 end for Joe Girardi and the Yankees the way it did for his predecessor?  Or is this the continuation of a Stengel like run?  In any event Yankees fans are hoping this season will be a real ten!

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