Easy Cano Expected To Bat Fifth This Year

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 2:12 PM [General]

    (From www.ladybatting.com)

    Robinson Cano is "movin' on up." He batted fifth in the lineup of yesterday's  Spring Training game, a lineup which Joe Girardi says most closely resembles the lineup he'll use on Opening Day.

    If Cano will indeed bat fifth this year, the pressure will be on him to do better than he did last year with runners in scoring position. Cano knows it. Girardi knows it and more. I like what he said yesterday about Cano's game:

    “I think he plays the game easy. When Robbie goes after the ball, you can be going at the same speed as a guy who looks like he’s putting in 100 percent effort, Robbie is still going just as hard, but Robbie has an easiness to him. Robbie Alomar had an easiness to him when he played second base. Some guys just appear that way. The other guys look like they’re working a lot harder, but they’re not necessarily working a lot harder. I see what Robbie does day in and day out, whether it’s on the field, off the field, in the weight room. I see it every day.”[ Lo-Hud Yankees Blog]

    Robinson Cano has been tagged as lazy since his first slump in the Big Leagues. I never thought it was true. Now, reading what Girardi said about him only reinforces what I believed all along:  He's not lazy. He's easy.

    Maybe Robbie should consider using that old Commordores song for his at-bat music.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Torii Hunter: Bad Choice Of Words, Right Idea

    Friday, March 12, 2010, 2:33 PM [General]

    [From www.ladybatting.com]

    The Angels' Torii Hunter is under fire for comments he made to USA Today recently, in which he called dark-skinned Latino players "imposters." I couldn't believe it when I heard about it. I don't know Torii Hunter but I can't see him saying something like that.

    Well, let's take a look at what he actually said:

    "People see dark faces out there, and the perception is that they're African-American. They're not us. They're impostors. Even people I know come up and say: 'Hey, what color is Vladimir Guerrero? Is he a black player?' I say, 'Come on, he's Dominican. He's not black.' As African-American players, we have a theory that baseball can go get an imitator and pass them off as us. It's like they had to get some kind of dark faces, so they go to the Dominican or Venezuela because you can get them cheaper. It's like, 'Why should I get this kid from the South Side of Chicago and have Scott Boras represent him and pay him $5 million when you can get a Dominican guy for a bag of chips?' ... I'm telling you, it's sad."[ESPNChicago.com]

    Obviously a poor choice of words. But is what he saying correct? Well, yes. For the most part, it is cheaper to sign Latino players than African American players. Ozzie Guillen did try to refute Hunter's comments by, among other things referring to Aroldis Chapman who was signed for millions of dollars. However, that's only one player out of hundreds of others who will never see more than that proverbial bag of chips.

    But, back to the question of color. Hunter would have done better if he used the word "imposter" as a verb, because that is what is happening really. Teams are "impostering" Latino players. The players themselves are innocent in this matter. In fact, if a lot of them knew that that teams thought of them as black, they'd be highly insulted. My experience has taught me that dark-skinned Latino people hate, absolutely HATE being referred to as black. Believe me, it is true. I've witnessed many an argument and fight about it. By the same token, I've heard many a non-Latino fan refer to dark-skinned Latino players as being black.

    I wish Hunter had expressed himself more clearly. I wish he had chosen better words, because in my opinion, he is absolutely right.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Like Sugar, Game 2 Is Sweet

    Friday, October 30, 2009, 8:47 AM [General]

    From Lady At The Bat

    The World Series features the best players in the world going after one of the most prestigious prizes in all of sports. Only about 700 men are blessed with enough talent to even have the slightest reason to believe that their Fall Classic dreams can become a reality. For AJ Burnett and the Yankees last night, reality got a little better, as they won Game 2. I am sure it was sweet as sugar.

    Sugar is also the name of a feature film that looks at the other side of the pro-baseball spectrum: the guys who never make it past rookie and A ball. I've been wanting to see this movie ever since it came out last year. This week I finally got the opportunity.

    I'm so glad I did. If you haven't seen it yet, go out and buy the DVD, set aside some time and watch it. It is a deeply moving film which focuses specifically on Latino ballplayers doing whatever they can to get out of the poverty they are stuck in back in their home countries.

    Even if you haven't seen it, you probably know the synopsis; MLB was heavily involved in the marketing of the film last year and promoted it at MLB.com. In case you forgot, Algenis Perez Soto (a non-actor) does a very good job of portraying Miguel "Sugar" Santos, a Dominican pitcher trying to move up in the fictional Kansas City Knights organization. In the film you see Sugar going through culture shock, struggling to learn English (He eats lots of french toast because it's the only food he knows how to order in English), and just trying to stick in Single A. You see his friends and teammates dealing with struggles of their own and both they and Sugar discover the pros and cons of socializing with American women.

    Sugar is not the best movie ever made, but it is definitely one of the most important movies ever made. I can't recommend it too much.

    It's available at Amazon.com. Enjoy.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    2009 World Series Preview

    Wednesday, October 28, 2009, 9:04 AM [General]

    From Lady At The Bat

    The Yankees will face their toughest opponent this postseason when they face off against the Philadelphia Phillies tonight at the new Yankee Stadium.

    How do these two teams stack up against each other? Here's a preview:

    Offense: Everyone knows about the Yankees' potent lineup. It's the most powerful in all of baseball. But don't count the Phillies out in this area. Philadelphia has some great hitters, and Ryan Howard can go head-to-head with Alex Rodriguez anytime. Almost. Alex is still the best player in the game. Edge, Yankees.

    Defense: The Yankees' weak defensive outfield hurts them, but their infield keeps their overall defense respectable. The Phillies are loaded defensively, pretty much from top to bottom. Edge, Phillies.

    Starting Pitching: Let's see, for the Phillies you have Cliff Lee, Pedro Martinez, Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton. For the Yankees, you have CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Andy Pettitte and Chad Gaudin. Cole Hamels is the wild card in the Phillies rotation. If he can somehow right himself the Phillies would have more of a chance in this area. However, if he hasn't found it so far, he's probably not going to find it in this Series. Burnett's inconsistency is a problem, but CC Sabathia is far superior to Cliff Lee. Edge, Yankees.

    Bullpen: The Yankees went into the postseason with the bullpen as one of their major strengths. Though it has not lived up to it's regular season glory, it  is still, hands down, better than the Phillies pen. Edge, Yankees.

    Bench: Miguel Cairo was dropped from the Phillies roster yesterday. Too bad. He's one of the best bench players in MLB. Now, compared to the Yankees, Philadelphia doesn't have much of a bench. Guys like Jerry Hairston, Jr, and Eric Hinske, who is on a World Series roster for the third straight year, give the Yankees solid support behind the starting lineup. Edge, Yankees.

    Prediction: The Yankees are better than the Phillies but the Phillies won't go quietly. Yankees in 7.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    These Are Not The 2004 Yankees

    Monday, October 26, 2009, 10:48 AM [General]

    From Lady At The Bat

    Ladies and gentlemen, meet your 2009 American League Champions, the New York Yankees.

    After the Yankees won the ALCS last night 4 games to 2, it was pretty clear that these are not your 2004 "choke's on us" Yankees. Actually it was clear before that, but for Yankee fans, it probably was hard to see the proverbial forest for the trees.

    The trees in this case would be inviduals like AJ Burnett, Phil Hughes and Nick Swisher. Some would add Andy Pettitte to this mix. I could not believe how many people trashed Pettitte in the days leading up to his start last night. But, come on guys, these trees are stronger than the ones from 2004. They're not as bad as guys like Javier Vasquez and Esteban Loaiza, who were weak little palm trees breaking under the force of Hurricane Bosox. Compared to them, Burnett, Hughes and Swisher are Mighty Sequoias.

    This is not to say that this team compares to the 1998 team. Many have said that they do. I don't agree. The '98 team was a magical, once-in-a-lifetime group of guys who, though they worked at it, seemed to come by things easier. It seems to me that this 2009 team had to work harder than the '98 team to get where they are now.

    They still have their work cut out for them. The Phillies will not be easy by any sense of the word.

    Tomorrow: A World Series preview.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Angel Stadium: Where No Yankee Lead Is Safe

    Friday, October 23, 2009, 12:23 PM [General]

    From Lady At The Bat

    Last night the Yankees played their last game at Angel Stadium for the year 2009.  The West Coast Chamber of Horrors has been closed down until next season (as far as the Yankees are concernesd. It remains to be seen whether the Phillies will set foot inside.).

    With the exceptions of that last regular season series and giant trump card CC Sabathia, the Yankees never seem to get ahead against the Angels in Anaheim.  Just about every single time they get a lead at Angel Stadium, be it early in a game or late, they lose it.  Last night was a microcosm of life for the Yankees in La La Land.

    Luckily, for the Yankees and their fans, the next game (and the one after it, if necessary) will be at Yankee Stadium. I'm pretty confident that they will take one of the next two games, but if they want to have a decent chance in the World Series, they need to win the Satruday game, Game 6. Otherwise, CC will need to pitch Game 7, which means he will not be available for Game 1 of the Fall Classic.

    Go Yankees!!!!!!!!!

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Yanks Head To Disney Up 2-0: Is It A Small World After All?

    Sunday, October 18, 2009, 11:22 PM [General]

    From Lady At The Bat:

    Thanks, in part, to miscues by the thought-to-be fundamentally-sound Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Yankees head to Anaheim up 2-0 in the 2009 ALCS. Andy Pettitte will be on the mound, trying to give his team a commanding 3-0 lead. If they win, I hope they'll be no fooling around by Joe Girardi. Just plug CC Sabathia in for game 4, Joe,  and wrap the darn thing up.

    Of course, as a Yankee fan, I wouldn't be entirely comfortable with a 3-0 lead. I remember 2004. In fact, I'm not entirely comfortable right now. These first two wins were practically euphoric. Everthing went the Yankees way. That's the way it seemed in 2004 as well, until, as Joe Torre said, "the wheels came off."

    Will the wheels fall off this time around? I don't think so. The team is so much better than it was in 2004. Also, they just might have managed to reverse the "curse" of Anaheim Stadium (Is that what it's called?), taking 2 of the last 3 regular season games there. Perhaps this trip out West will have the Yankees feeling as if they never left the Bronx. It would, indeed, be "a small world, after all."

    I'd better start getting comfortable.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Poll Results: If Rush Limbaugh Bought The New York Yankees

    Sunday, October 18, 2009, 5:35 PM [General]

    The results are in!

    My previous post was about a poll I set up over at my other blog, Lady At The Bat, asking fans what they would do if Rush Limbaugh bought the Yankees.

    The Rush Limbaugh Poll actually ran on two sites, Lady At The Bat and Bleacher Report. Both "precints" reported similar results. A total of 50 people voted in both polls, the answers breaking down as follows:

    1. Continue rooting for the Yankees- 31 votes
    2. Start rooting for another team- 9 votes
    3. Stop folloing MLB- 10 votes

    Frankly, I'm a little shocked. Personally, I could never root for a team Rush Limbaugh owned, Yankees or not, even if he were only a minority owner. But my heart would always remain with the Bronx Bombers, so I could never start rooting for another team.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    What If Rush Limbaugh Bought The New York Yankees?

    Friday, October 16, 2009, 10:53 AM [General]

    Rush Limbaugh has been dropped from a group of investors seeking to buy an NFL franchise. When I first learned that he was part of this group I wasn't sure what to think. I'm not much of a football fan, so it was hard for me to form an opinion on the matter. But then I started to think about it terms of baseball, and it was much easier to decide.

    How about you? What would you think if Rush Limbaugh was part of a group of investors who bought the New York Yankees? Assuming you are a Yankee fan, would you continue to root for the Yankees? Would you start rooting for another team? I'd love to know what other Yankee fans think about this. I invite you to vote in the poll over at my other blog, Lady At The Bat. To vote, click here.

    Go Yankees!

    3.7 (1 Ratings)