Monday, June 29, 2009


So I received an email the other day and this picture was attached to it. Of course it is Al Leiter (one of my favorite players when I was younger), the former pitcher of the Yanks, Mets, Jays, and Marlins. He is currently announcing games for the YesNetwork. It appears as if someone is trying to make me jealous or angry that I was not at the game on Saturday because I had a foolish paper to write. Well, at least someone was at the Yankees/Mets game as it was a great series to see.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Another paper to write.. blah..

Quick post- Tomorrow the great Roy Halladay will be returning from the DL. He is going to be taking on the Rays at the Rogers Centre. Let's hope he is healthy as the team really needs to get back on track after losing 2 straight to the Phillies.

In addition, I mentioned the fake umpires that were at the game I went to while in Toronto. Well apparently they are making their way around the country. They stopped in Washington to see the Jays play the Nationals, and apparently the Yankees have hooked these guys up with some free seats behind home plate.

While I thought they were hilarious at first, the guys at the Drunk Jays Fans blog have been seeing these guys entirely too much and are getting sick and tired of them. I have to agree with them as these two guys seem to be whoring themselves out for the attention rather than just watching the game. I have to say though, I am jealous they are getting free seats to Yankee Stadium. Those are the seats I would kill for!

I wonder what I could do to get famous and have a team hand me front row tickets?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Nady in Syracuse

So I made another four and a half hour round trip to Syracuse to see the SWB Yankees take on the Syracuse Chiefs. There was a decent crowd on hand, many of which were excited to see Xavier Nady make his way back from an elbow injury. The team was hopeful that he could be back in the majors within the next week, but the injury he received during this game is making the journey back highly unlikely.

As for the game, it was a fun time. Since I can't find too many people as crazy as myself to go to a minor league game so far away, I ended up going by myself. It was fine as I end up meeting people in the stands and sparked conversations with them about baseball which is always fun.

Going to minor leagues games are great as the tickets are pretty cheap and I enjoy watching players that I am familiar with and have been following for quite some time. I wish I was closer to Syracuse because I definitely would be spending a lot more time at AAA games. The Yankees would probably be opposed to that as I am apparently bad luck for the team; they are 0-3 in games that I have attended so far this year.

Shelley Duncan was the first base coach. I didn't realize that they didn't have first or third base coaches in AAA, but I guess it makes sense that they have a limited number of guys that are part of their staff. He was having quite a good time clocking X-Man as he ran from home to first.
The only person I wanted to see pitch live was Mark Melancon, and I was surprised they put him in the game when they were losing 6-3. I was happy nonetheless and he was able to escape quite a jam as Austin Jackson made a stellar play at the wall in center field. Jackson is going to be great when hes here, lets just hope he can cut back on the number of times he strikes out.
Melancon in action.
Some shot of Xavier Nady. This could possibly be his last time as a Yankee...

Bad News for Nady

Back from the Syracuse game in which the Chiefs took on the Yankees. It was quite a long drive and I often question how crazy I am for driving over 2 hours each way to see a minor league game.

Anyhow, it looks as if Nady is still having trouble with the elbow of his. There were two balls hit to him tonight; one which was hit into the corner of right field, and another ball that was a line drive single with a play to be made at home plate. As for the second play (which took place in the 3rd inning), Nady had a clear shot at getting the guy out at home. It was odd because he didn't even attempt to throw the ball home, and instead he threw it to a guy that was between first and second base. I almost wonder if he had been feeling this injury from earlier on in the game.

It is interesting though because he didn't immediately take himself out of the game even after the throw he made in the 3rd. He stayed into the game until the middle of the 5th inning. I figured something had to be up as he was due up first in the 6th inning and it wouldn't make sense for the manager to pull him after only 2 AB's.

This is a bad blow for Nady and the Yankees. I was really hoping to see him back in the majors soon as I am not thrilled having Swisher out in RF on a consistent basis.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Good day for the Yanks

Good pitching and good hitting tonight leaves the Yanks with a nice W. Joba has been looking better as of late, which probably depresses the hell out of Mike Francesa. Between Joba doing well, the Mets creaming the Cardinals, and Arroyo being crushed by the Jays, there isn't much for him to complain about tomorrow.

Yankees: Huge night tonight from the slumping Yankee offense. A-Rod was actually able to perform in the clutch by driving in 2 runs with 2 outs. Swisher not only made a sweet play in RF but also hit his 13th homerun of the season against Bennett. It was cool to see Mariano come to the plate and the guys in the dugout seemed to be having fun giving him a hard time

Blue Jays: Vernon Wells had a great night tonight going 2/4 with a HR and 2 RBI's. He's still hitting only .252, but has been hitting pretty decent as of late going 13/34 with 2HR and 6RBI's. Hill, Wells, and Lind each hit a homerun in the first inning which gave Toronto the early lead and ultimately a nice win. It's insane how well they have been doing without their ace in the starting rotation. These young starters have really stepped it up and my boy Scott Richmond is now 6-4 for the season with an ERA of 3.68.
Heading out to Syracuse tomorrow to see the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees play the Syracuse Chiefs. I am insane for making this 4 hou
r trip (working 8 hours during the day then leaving right after for the game), but hopefully I will see Nady play and some decent baseball. I would also love to see Melancon get into a game. Anyone want any autographs? If so, shoot me an email.
Side note:
I just got an iTouch. Does anyone have any suggestions for apps I can get baseball related and even non-baseball?

The Slumping Yankees

In looking over the current state of the Yankees, I have been trying to pick out some positive positive aspects to focus on, rather than the obvious things that are going wrong with the team. Lets first look at the offensive side of the team, which has scored only 18 runs during the past 7 games; an average of under 3 runs a game. While less than 3 runs a game seems feasible with good starting pitching, the Yankees were shutout twice during these 7 games. It is impossible to win a game if the team is unable to hit with runners in scoring position. I am getting too negative again, so lets see where we can find some positive things going on with the team.
  • Robinson Cano is 10/26 (.417) in the past 7 games.
  • Mark Teixiera is 7/26 (.269) with 1 2B, 4BB and 2RBI.
That's it. I can't believe how poor the offense has been over the past 7 games. I went through all the stats and I can't find anyone else that's doing relatively decent. This is something you cant pinpoint onto one guy as they are collectively not hitting.


Pitching for the past 7 games:
  • Aceves has looked pretty good lately. In his latest outing against the Marlins, hes pitched 2.2 strong innings in which he struck out 2 guys while giving up only 1 hit (0ER).
  • Phil Hughes has also looked great in the bullpen, pitching 5 innings over the past 7 games; striking out 6 while giving up only 1 hit. I am unsure if I really like this as I think they are setting him back as a starter. What is the difference between him and Joba. If you don't want Joba in the pen, I can't see how you can like Phil being in the pen also. I guess this is the best short-term solution the team has been able to devise.
The starting pitching hasn't been terrible as of late actually.
  1. Andy Pettitte- 7IP, 3H, 1ER, 7K's
  2. CC- Hurt, left in the 2nd
  3. A.J. Burnett- 6.1, 5H, 1ER, 8K's
  4. Joba Chamberlain- 6IP, 7H, 3ER, 6 K's
  5. Chien Ming Wang- 5IP, 6 H, 3ER, 4 K's -- An improvement from his prior starts

Clearly, the offense needs to step it up. While you can't expect a team to put up 5 runs every game, it is impossible to win a game when your offense is scoring you 0,1 or 2 runs a game. They are a much better team then they are playing and it is only a matter of time before they all wake up. So chill out everyone, it will be ok.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Real classy, right?

Here is a clip of a fight that erupted during the Yankees/Marlins game over the weekend. I would rather have seen the cat-fight that happened behind the marlins dugout, but instead we are left with a clip of two idiots beating the crap out of each other in front of kids. That father must be real proud of himself.

Here is a clip of the fight that should work.

The Baseball Strike of 1994

I was talking to a friend of mine during lunch today, and an interesting topic came up that I thought would be great to research and write about on the blog.

When I think of the 1994 baseball strike, I often think of the impact that this strike had on the organization of the Toronto Blue Jays. The team had won two consecutive World Series Championships (1992 and 1993) in which they had drawn over 4 million fans during each of those two seasons. It was after the 1993 season in which they Jays went on a noted decline in which they haven't been able to reach the playoffs and haven't drawn the types of attendance numbers that they once had in the early 90's. While there isn't a direct correlation to the strike and the decline of the Jays (as they lost several key players from the 1993 team), I do believe the strike played a factor on the Jays organization.

While I always thought the Jays hurt immensely from this strike, it appears that the Yankees hurt from the strike as well, but for different reasons. The 1994 Yankees were full of talent- having put together an amazing, despite only playing 113 games in the season (70-43 with a winning percentage of .620). Only the Expos had a higher winning percentage in which they were 74-40 during the 1994 season.

They had players such as Don Mattingly, Paul O'Neill, Bernie Williams, Wade Boggs, Pat Kelly and Mike Stanley. Many of these players consisted of those that were part of their World Series run in 1996. Five of their nine starting players were hitting over .300 and it was a team did not rely solely on the homerun power. It was during this shortened season that Paul O'Neill was hitting .359 with 21 homeruns and walked an amazing 71 times. Bernie Williams and Luis Polonia combined for 36 stolen bases.

Not only did this team have a tremendous offensive lineup, but they also had a strong pitching staff. The one guy probably most annoyed at the strike was Jimmy Key, as he was already 17-4 during the season, with over a month left of baseball to play. While you never know how things would have panned out at the end of the season, it is interesting to see if this run could have began well before the 1996 season.

History of the Strike:
  • It lasted 232 days: beginning on August 12th, 1994 and ending on April 2, 1995.
  • The cancellation of the 1994 World Series was the first since 1904.
  • "New York Yankees captain Don Mattingly lost his best hopes to be in the postseason for the first time during his 13-year career. The Yankees, who had the best record in the American League, were last in the postseason in 1981, the last time there was a significant players' strike. Not only did the strike end Mattingly's best hopes for a postseason, it also ended any hopes that he would win a World Series. The Yankees last won a World Series in 1978. Mattingly had more at bats than any other active player without a postseason at bat and had led active players in games played without playing in the postseason." Taken from here
  • Replacement players were used at the start of the 1995 season.
  • The Toronto Blue Jays played their home games during the beginning of the 95 season in Dunedin, as it was against the law in Ontario to use replacement players.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Struggling with Interleague Play

The Yanks are probably wishing right now that interleague play didn't exist. They are about to embark on another road trip against another National League team in which they will be playing in some extreme heat. The forecast for Tuesday is for sun with temperatures that could reach a high of 91. The remaining games on Wednesday and Thursday call for temperatures that could hit up to 93 degree. I guess it is a good thing they are playing games at night, to which the temperature should be relatively cooler; at least cooler than 93 degrees.

Some notes:
  • The Yankees are 4 games behind Boston. The Blue Jays are 5 games behind Boston, placing them only 1 game behind the Yankees. It is remarkable how much this team continues to battle through injuries and remain part of the competition. The hit of losing Halladay could loom large if he is unable to return to the rotation soon.
  • Melky Cabrera may have a "good" arm as some say, but his good arm has very little accuracy. I can recall many instances from this season in which his throw has been terrible and far away from where it was supposed to be thrown. The throw to home today was a perfect example and it came back to hurt the team.
  • Alfredo Aceves has looked great so far this year. Brett Tomko on the other hand has struggled. He gave up 3ER in 2 innings which led him to receiving his second loss for the reason.
  • CC was taken out in the second inning. Lets hope this injury isn't serious enough for him to miss his start.
Around the League
  • The Phillies have lost 6 straight and are still 2 games ahead of the Mets
  • The Dodgers (45-24) have the best record in baseball. Joe Torre must be loving his move out west.
  • When will Roy Halladay be back?
  • David Wright is hitting .344. Insane.
  • Matt Cain is having a great season too, having won 9 games with an ERA of 2.28.
  • What is wrong with Vernon Wells? He appears to have forgotten how to hit after signing that huge contract with the Jays.. Time to wake up, Vernon. Rios at least is starting to shape up.
  • Carl Crawford has 37 stolen bases so far. Hes such an amazing ball player.
  • Anything else going on that's notable?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Name that Yankee

I was looking through some of my old photos when I came across this one in particular. Before you guys look at it, I have to explain the origin of how this happened. I think it was taken five years ago when I was in Tampa for Spring Training. I had just gotten a new Kodak camera that I had no idea how to use. It was my first digital camera which was quite exciting.

Anyhow, apparently when you take the picture, you had to leave it there for a second before moving it. Me, being the uneducated photographer had no clue that this had to be done. When this player approached me and a group of others that were around, I was so excited to get an autograph. It was actually a cool experience because I handed him a ball that one of the ball boys gave me, which was really dirty. The player looked at me and said to a guy, get this girl a better ball. Eventually a guy came back out with a ball, and this player signed it for me...

I was so excited, that I wanted to get a picture of him signing the ball. Well, my photography skills were put into place and here is the resulting photo. Please note, I was aiming for his head, not his crotch....

So... any guesses as to who this nice player is? He was also the very first autograph i received! The beginning of my very large collection.

Hint: He is currently on the Yankees 25 man roster.....

Long day...

Not much to say really, except I have been slacking on the blog, but school and work are insane... Many road trips are coming up within the next few weeks, so there will be baseball to talk about.

  • Just wanted to mention the guys dressed as umpires traveled to Washington and were once against seated right behind home plate. These two dudes must be loaded, its insane.
  • I need to get a job where I can travel to all the games. It would be a blast not only to see the games but to also meet people from around the country that share the passion of baseball.
  • As for playing in Miami, my mom visited the stadium a few years ago and she said it was brutal to be there during the day. The temperature made it unbearable and she left in the 5th inning. That is one of the reasons (among many) as to why the Marlins are unable to draw fans.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Long day for some Yankee fans....

After a 5.5 hour rain delay, the Yankees finally were able to play ball. Can you imagine paying 1,250 dollars for a ticket to this game? These are the exact reasons as to why you can not value a baseball game at these atrocious prices. I guarantee you that very few people who bought those tickets (those that can afford to spend over 1,000 dollars on a ticket) actually stayed for the entire game. At least the Yankees let the fans move down to a lower section at the beginning of the game.

Would you guys have stayed for the game? Or hightailed it out there to the nearest bar? I probably would have stayed, as it would have been a waste of gas to travel 3 hours to a game only to leave before it started. It certainly would have made for an extremely long day though, especially having to do the long travel home.

Major League Baseball really struck out there though. I mean, a near 6 hour rain delay.. seriously?

Side note: That play Gardner made in centerfield was just painful to watch. His head slamming against the plexi glass makes my head hurt. It appears as if he is OK though which is good.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Another day, another injury

The Jays are off to an unlucky 2009 season, in which another man from their pitching staff was placed on the DL. Casey Janssen can be added to the list now as he has inflammation in his throwing shoulder. This is a huge blow as he finally was able to come back from the DL after having TJ Surgery two years ago. In addition to his injury, it looks as if Scott Downs also did something to his ankle. I saw clips from yesterdays game and he appeared to hurt his ankle after running down to first base.

Also, today Chien-Ming Wang is starting against the Nationals today. The team has really screwed him up this year and basically threatened to ship him to the pen if he doesn't perform well tonight. Here's to hoping for a good outing from Wang. People blame him as if it is his fault the Yankees didn't know how to handle his injury, and then brought him back entirely too soon. Not sure how much I really care for Dave Eiland or even Girardi at this point.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pitch count debate

I wanted to share this article I read online about the concept of having a pitch count. Nolan Ryan has made a valid point and is trying to build his pitchers up to be able to pitch longer and to sway away from the mindset that 100 pitches is a limit. The authors make great points and I agree with them fully. Who came up with the number of 100 pitches and could there also be extraneous factors that contribute to the players being injured?

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Joe: Something happened around 2001, too. I'm not sure what it was ... but while managers were definitely being more careful with pitchers throughout the 1980s and 1990s, it had not reached the point of absurdity. In 2000 managers let their starters throw 120 pitches or more about 12 percent of the time -- there were 454 instances of a pitcher throwing 120-plus pitches. That was more or less in line with the 1990s.

But in 2001 the 120-plus pitch games were cut in half. By 2006 they were cut in half again. Last season there were only 71 games where a pitcher threw 120-plus pitches ... these games have become almost extinct. I do think it's fear-driven ... most of the managers I talk to around the game privately DESPISE the pitch count. Or, more to the point, they despise the oppressive nature of pitch counts -- "Sure, we have to be careful with pitchers," one big-league manager told me. "But we're to the point now where we're babying them. You'll see pitchers now throw five or six good innings, and they feel like they've done their job. That's our fault."

Bill: The problem with the move toward pitch counts was that there was never any logic or research that said that limiting a pitcher to 100 pitches would prevent injuries, as opposed to 130 pitches, or 130 for young pitchers and 160 for mature pitchers, or as opposed to getting the pitcher out of the game at the first sign of a problem, or as opposed to improving his training regimen. I am opposed to making decisions based on fear, and in favor of making decisions based on logic and research, and therefore I support what Nolan Ryan is trying to do.

There are so many factors that come into play. For example, a guy could be coasting through a game and still be fine to throw 130 pitches. On the other hand, a guy who has labored throughout the course of a game may really only be able to handle throwing 90 pitches. Do you continue to let him pitch because he hasn't yet reached that "100-pitch max." Or do you base your decision to take him out because he has really labored through the start?

I highly suggest you check out this link. It is a great piece of writing and lets you really question the current system that is place. While you have to obviously limit the number of pitches a guy throws, it is clear that the limit of 100 pitches has been taken too literally and there needs to be a degree of flexibility in the number of pitches a guy can throw. These guys are getting paid a lot of money to only average 5-6 innings a start.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mark McGuire is an idiot- Not the guy you are thinking off

This fool of a writer from the Albany Times Union wrote a piece about minor league baseball in the Capital Region. He basically thinks that Albany could never handle a league outside of Single-A baseball because of the weather and the fact people here apparently wouldn't be interested in going to a game in April or May.

As my friend Mike told me today, for a group of people that keep saying there isn't much interest for minor league baseball in the area, the topic of Albany having a higher level team is something that is brought up every year by the media and others from the area.

In his article, he states that:

"How great would it be to get full-season baseball back here?

Not much.

The thing is, the Capital Region sports fan does not have the attention span -- nor, in the case of baseball, cooperation from Mother Nature -- to support a team over anything longer than a relatively short-season basis."

Yeah, because the area of Syracuse doesnt have a triple A team. Or Rochester. Or other areas in the state of New York. I am pretty sure the weather in those areas is just as unpleasant as the weather in Albany. While attendance is obviously not at its peak during these months, I would bet that more people would show up to AA or AAA game than the college games that are currently being played at Joe Bruno Stadium.

The whole concept of the Single-A Astros is such a joke, especially for the area of Albany. The focus is on the 13 mascots they have running around the field rather than on the actual game being played. It is for kids and the casual fan but not for the fans that actual enjoy watching baseball and like following stats and the players on hand. I personally have very little interest in following a low-level class of Single-A Astros players. I would assume most of the players that are destined for the major leagues are part of the Single A team that plays more than 76 games.

I know I go on this tangent entirely too much, but this article touched a nerve and had me starting again.

This intelligent man also states that:

"For the most part this is a college/major league sports town. Yes, the fans are there in terms of knowledge and passion for the game. But when it comes to baseball, the local team is viewed solely as something to see, not to follow. The same goes for the Albany River Rats, and even the (likely late) Albany Patroons. Most fans would be pressed to name their league, let alone where they sit in the standings."

What is this research based on? People who followed baseball when we had the Yankees weren't just going to the games to "follow." If that is the case, I would like to see the interviews or reasoning for that statement. I am sure there were a great deal of people who were following the stats as they knew these guys had the potential to actual make it big, as was the case of Derek Jeter, Al Leiter, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, etc. You can base your assumptions of this on the Valley-Cats, as what fan in their right mind is actually going to these games to follow the team? Well clearly this example is very few. But don't generalize and say this was the case for the Yankees.

Check your facts dude, because when this team was here, they were drawing record crowds. And this was during a time period in which baseball wasn't at the peak in which it is now. The reason the A/C Yankees failed was because the city did not put any money into the team and the field was crappy. It also didn't help that there was a constant debate as to whether or not the team was going to stay in the Capital Region. Whenever you add a degree of uncertainty, the people stop coming.Plus, the fall came in 1994 and most baseball fans know what was going on during that time period for the game of baseball.

It's not a hard concept, I don't understand what people don't get. It just sucks when you want to see a baseball game on a nice day and the only option you have is to travel 3 hours to the Bronx or 2 hours to Syracuse. Even if I cared for the Tri-City Valley Cats, their seasons doesn't begin until the end of June. What is a baseball fan supposed to do until then?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Stupid Yankees

I should be at the Yankees game today, grrrrrrrr.......... That is all. Thank you Lonn Trost and Randy Levine. Two of the biggest jerk-offs in the world of sports.


So guys, I wanna go to a Yankees game this year and I heard you can sometimes get a better deal on stubhub. Between the charges on ticketmaster, you end up paying a crap load more for these tickets. Has anyone ever bought tickets from this site? Any suggestions on when to buy the tickets. Like are they cheaper if you wait closer to the game date?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bad, bad, news

Roy Halladay came out of the game yesterday in the fourth inning, after feeling sharp pain in his groin. The diagnosis is a strained groin and the medical staff will determine today if he is in need of an MRI. This is the last things the Jays need as their pitching staff has already been faced with an enormous amount of injuries. Halladay has been their most consistent starter and was one of the best pitchers so far in the major leagues. For the sake of the Jays (and me too as I love watching this guy pitch), lets hope this is just an ailment that requires him to miss one or two starts. What a huge bummer.....

Yankees Classics

Sometimes you gotta enjoy watching the Classics that are on the YESNetwork. The only bad part about them is the fact the same games seem to be replayed on a consistent basis. I have seen David Cone's perfect game more times than I can count. My favorite of all time is game 6 of the 1996 World Series when Girardi hit his infamous RBI triple.

Anyhow, when I turned the TV on after getting home from the mall, I was excited to see an old World Series game in which the Yankees were playing the Mets. Take a guess as to who was starting the game? If you guessed the loquacious lefty you are indeed correct. A month or two ago my friend was telling me about this song that I would love. I couldn't remember the name of it until last night when Leiter mentioned it during the game. Its called "You Can Call me Al", so thanks for that Mike.

Anyhow, the Mets vs Yanks series are always fun to watch. Yesterday's game had an insane ending and maybe this will be the spark that the Yankees need to wake up. Their starters need to start giving them length to give the bullpen a break. Today the game is on FOX which is lame and the matchup doesn't seem to be great. The Yankees do have trouble when facing guys they have never seen before, so we will see how it goes.In honor of the Yanks playing the Mets, here's a picture of when I met Al in Toronto. It's a terrible picture of myself (I need a picture with him when my eyebrows don't look like crap), as it was probably taken 3 or 4 years ago, but it fits with the name of the blog. Now all I need is a photo of me and Coney, whom is a nice dude. He calls himself trouble, not sure how true that is though.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Day that Sports Radio Died

OK, perhaps saying sports radio "died" is an overstatement, but the end of the Mike and the Mad Dog radio show was a huge blow to many sports fans who often found themselves glued to the radio (or TV in my case) listening to the crazy antics that often occurred between the hours of 1-6:30 on weekdays.

It was a show that you either loved or hated. It was an instance where even if you hated the guys, you still found yourself glued to the TV to hear what thy had to say. I can think of several instances in which I was yelling at the TV in complete disagreement to what they had to say. I can also think of the times I would be hysterically laughing at some of the stupid things that would come out of their mouths (does anyone remember Chris' tirade about "SEATTLLEEEE" or R.A Dickey").

There was also that time in which I went to the YES Studios in Stamford as part of a project for school (thanks to Chris, nice guy). As part of this project, I had to observe the different duties that were part of this job, which included the production of the Mike and the Mad Dog show and putting film together for different shows. I learned so much from this outing and it made me see how detailed of a process it is to work in the field of television. (Some pics I took of the old YES Network Studio in Stamford.
It is completely different now that HD has kicked in).

Regardless, they were a mainstay for New Yorkers and they were extremely successful at what they did. Now, Mike Francesa, all alone in his solo-act has turned into being quite a joke. His persistence about Joba being placed in the bullpen is getting tiresome and his love for Arroyo is befuddling. I can't say much about Chris' radio show, as I do not have satellite radio and I have no interest in listening to him alone.

I am curious as to what Mike does when he embarks on his month long journey to the beautiful area of Saratoga, New York. If for some reason I run into him while I am visiting the ponies, I am not sure I would be able to contain myself in telling him he is a fool about this Jobber situation. Or maybe I will advocate

Mike and Chris in Albany, which ended up being their last remote together

Bruney to Return Soon?

It appears as if Brian Bruney is finally healthy (knock on wood) and will be returning to the Majors within the next week or so. Reports indicate he will pitch for AA Trenton on Saturday and that he will need 1 or 2 appearances before being able to return.

This is big for the Yankees as they need a guy in their bullpen that can actually get guys out and hand the ball to Mariano. A return and strong performance by Bruney will hopefully end the Jobber in the bullpen nonsense, even though I know Mike Francesa will never give up on it.

Bruney and I (excuse the fact I look like crap) at a charity thing in Albany. He signed a ball for a little guy I tutored.

Pitchers that are Hot

Since a third of the season has passed us by, I thought it was about time I looked around the leagues to see which pitchers have been off to a strong start. While stats only can tell you so much, I found some to be quite amazing.

Pitchers (in order according to their performance so far):
  1. Roy Halladay- Not surprising to see him on this list. He is 10-1 on the season and is leading the majors in wins and innings pitched. He has 3CG's so far which puts him in second, behind Zack Greinke.
  2. Zack Greinke- This guy has been one of the very few good things that Royals fans have to look foward to. He has been amazing so far this season going 8-2 with an ERA of 1.55. He is leading the majors with 5 CG's, 2 of which were shutouts. There is no doubt that he will surpass the number of wins he had last year (13) and with him averaging over 7 strikeouts a game, he should be also to reach an all-time high of strikeouts in a season.
  3. Johan Santana- This guy has been stellar for the Mets and is the strength of their starting staff. His record of 8-3 is deceiving as the Mets bullpen has let him down on several occasions. I placed him after these two pitchers as he is starting in the NL and also is pitching in the ever-so-pitchers friendly ballpark of Citi-Field.
  4. Matt Cain-He pitches on a team that is far away from New York, but he has put together some good stats for the first third of the season. His record of 8-1 with an ERA of 2.55 is impressive and he is one of the several reasons as to why the Giants are in second place in their division.
  5. Chad Billingsley-With the impressive start that the Dodgers have had so far, the list could not be complete without mentioning the stats of Billingsley. He has a record of 8-3 with an ERA of 2.73 and has been a consistent pitcher for their rotation.
Other notables:
  • Justin Verlander is rebounding from his dreadful 2008 season and has a record of 7-2 with an ERA of 3.02. He is leading the league in strikeouts with 106 and has 2CG's so far in the season.
  • Jonathan Broxton has 6 wins so far, as a closer. Crazy right? On top of the 6 wins, he also has 14 saves. I guess the Dodgers are playing in a lot of tied games or those in which they are coming back from from behind.
Any other suggestions for guys that aren't on the list that you think should be?

Substitute Blogger!

I have unfortunately been a busy bee and haven't been as up-to-date on baseball so my friend Kyle offered to write in a post for me so that my blog doesn't go dry. I do have some sweet pictures though that I will be adding tomorrow. I can't say it will definitely be the bikini photos that were suggested by a few folks. Would that be wrong to add on a baseball blog?
First off, I want to start by thanking Christina for letting me be a guest on the blog. (No prob, Ky)

In this post, I will give my input on the Wang and Hughes situation.

Wang has been abysmal, horrendous, dreadful, and just flat out awful. This surely is no revelation to most fans. It seems that the Yankees called up Wang too quickly. I understand that at the time they were worried that Joba might miss a start. For situations like that, we have Aceves to make an emergency start. It is different if someone went on the DL. As a result, the 1st few Wang starts might be similar to spring training or rehab starts. Not exactly the ideal situation.

Right now Wang is hurting the team, but the hope is that he can straighten himself out long term. He has the velocity and he is regaining arm strength. The command will come in time. He can be a huge asset to this team in the 2nd half and come playoff time if all goes as the Yankees hope. The Yankees need to commit to a plan. They cannot just judge Wang on 1 or 2 starts. He does need to show progress, but he also needs regular work.

Also, the team in general is in better shape than they were back in April. Yes, the Yankees are 0-7 vs. Boston, but they are only 1 game out of 1st place and leading the wild card. As a result, the Yankees can afford to start Wang. The potential upside and improvement to the team makes it wise to let Wang start. Not only can Wang help the rotation, but he can also improve the bullpen by pitching more innings. Thus, the bullpen is used less and becomes more effective.

There are other reasons why it would be beneficial for Wang to become a fixture in the rotation. One is that Hughes and Joba are on innings limits. Thus, it’s unlikely that either will start in the playoffs. Pettitte wore down the last couple months last year. AJ has been inconsistent and has never had back to back healthy seasons. Wang might not return to his old form, but the Yankees have to at least try to get him straightened out.

As for Hughes, he should not stay in the pen for the rest of the season. He can stay in the bullpen for the time being. An injury to someone or Wang still pitching poorly in a month will send Hughes back to the rotation. Hughes likely goes back to Scranton once Wang proves that he is an effective starter again. Then, Hughes probably gets called back up later in the season. Hughes is a promising young starter. He will get his chances.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Quick update- paper still not done!

Big week for the Yankees as they begin their 3 games series against the Red Sox tonight and a 3 game series against the Mets this weekend. It will be interesting to see how the Yankees do against the Red Sox now that they have a big piece of their team back from the disabled list.

The matchup for this series appears to be interesting as A.J. Burnett goes against Josh Beckett tonight (pending on the weather though). Wednesday is Wang vs. Wakefield and Thursday appears to be Sabathia vs Penny.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Further procrastination of my paper...

To pry myself away from the ever-distracting computer, I decided to attempt to write my paper outside on the deck before I had to go to a party. Since the Yankee game was on at the same time, I decided to put the radio on so that I could listen to my two favorite radio personalities: John Sterling and Suyzn Waldman. It's always a joyous time when I get to listen to Sterling paint a visual picture of the game as he often sees it (which is unfortunately not often close to the actual game that is being played).

I have to admit, they weren't too bad today, during the 4 innings that I listened to them. I like how Suzyn gives you information about the other games that are being played around baseball, more specifically info about the Jays games. I didn't realize that Hill was 0-25 and it was nice to hear updates on how Halladay was pitching.

It was also cool to hear the homerun call that Sterling has for Nick Swisher. I found myself cracking up at his rendition of "Hes Swish-a-licios." I will admit I held my breath wondering if the homerun was actually going to be a homerun...... Today was apparently water bottle day giveaway at the stadium, and Suzyn was quite puzzled on how much the water bottle looked like a baby bottle... Hmm, I wonder...

It is funny because I used to watch the baseball games while I was working at my old job. Since the sound on the TV wasn't great, we would mute the game on the TV and turned the radio on. For the most part I would watch the game but when there was a customer I would sometimes have to leave the vicinity of the screen. It was often comical because there would be instances in which I wasn't watching the game but I would hear the play from the radio. After hearing the call, I would run to the TV (since the radio is about 3 seconds ahead of the television broadcast) and would often find myself wondering if I was watching the same game that John Sterling was seeing. Since I doubt the television is distorting the game, it must be John's eyes that are slowly failing on him.

Amazing, need I say more.

The bias of my blog is sure coming out. But how could it not. Roy Halladay is freaking amazing. He just won his 10th game, pitching his 3rd CG of the season. This feat was done using only 97 pitches, 73 of them being strikes. Just unbelievable. He is the heart of that team.Additional good news is that Aaron Hill broke out of his 0-25 slump, going 2-2 today with 2 RBI.

Quick post: Matt Holliday

Just wanted to make a quick mention as to how Matt Holliday has been hitting this past month. While he started off slow (which led to many people doubting his ability to hit the baseball outside of Coors) he has heated up immensely, raising his batting average to .291. He had another good outing today going 2-3 with a double, BB, and RBI. So far for the season he has 8 HR's, 37 RBIS, 56H and 26 walks. I can't see the A's holding onto him much after the All-Star break. So the question is, where does he end up this year? Will people give him a chance or is the notion that he can only hit in Coors going to follow him for the rest of the season?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Slacking..but heres an update..

I have been slacking on the blog, mostly because I have been sick and busy with school. Today would have been a great day to head to the ballpark, however it is too late at this point to make the journey down to the Bronx. Some things to note around the leagues:
  • Yankees game rained out yesterday, however there was an interesting article in the post today about the camaraderie in the clubhouse. This article discusses an incident involving Brian Bruney and cinnamon powder. Derek Jeter, A.J. Burnett, Jorge Posada, CC Sabathia were among those who gathered to watch Brian Bruney attempt to swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon powder. As Bruney struggled, players howled."It's impossible," Bruney said through a raspy voice that he said had more to do with a cold than the powder. It isn't something I have ever thought to try and I don't plan on it based on the comments that were made by Sabathia.
  • Great game by the Jays yesterday as they were able to figure out Greinke by tagging him with 5ER in 5 innings. That is the most runs that he has given up this year and his ERA has risen from 1.10 to 1.55. In addition, Adam Lind has been hot as he recently had 7 consecutive hits, coming close to the record of 12 which is held by Walt Dropo and Pinky Higgins.
  • Bad day for Alex Rios has he reached the unfortunate feat of a platinum sombrero (striking out 5 times in a game). The bad outing transformed into a poor attitude towards the fans of Toronto after a charity event.
  • Randy Johnson won his 300th game. This is an incredible feat and is something that you aren't going to see happen too many more times. I met Randy in Tampa once and he was really nice, which was shocking to me considering all of the negative stories I had read about him. I am sure if I saw him on a consistent basis I would have more negative tales to tell.
  • The Kansas City Royals are on a skid, having lost 8 straight games. The Dodgers on the other hand have been extremely hot this year, having the best record in all of baseball (38-19). They are 21-7 at home which is phenomenal. Major props to Joe Torre.
I have been going through some old pictures on my computer. Can anyone guess who this former Yankee is?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hughes to Bullpen? Any other options?

Since it is a slow Friday, in which I am procrastinating a paper, I thought it would be interesting to see how the guys in the minor leagues are doing, more specifically guys on the team that could be some assistance to the current bullpen issue that the Yankees are facing. I am not a huge fan of putting Hughes in the pen (I understand it is to see how Wang manages to do) and I hope this is something that is a short-term endeavour, extremely short term.

Here are some of the guys that the Yankees currently have within their minor league system:
  1. Mark Melancon- I may be biased because of the good experience I had in meeting Mark in Syracuse, but this guy has the stuff to be good. He did struggle while in the Major Leagues this season and I think it was important that the Yankees brought him back down to AAA to work on his stuff. Below are the stats of his 4 game appearances in NY and also his stats while in Scranton.
  • The guys at RiverAve stated that "The biggest drawback for Melancon is his delivery. He’s a max effort guy that comes straight over the top, although the Yanks have been working to clean it up his motion since he signed. It does benefit him slightly however, because it adds deception and creates a steep downhill plane for his pitches. Until he smooths it out, he’ll always be an injury risk."
  • While he did struggle while in the Major Leagues this season, I think it was important that the Yankees brought him back down to AAA to work on his stuff. Hopefully though the team will give him another chance at some point this year and he will become a key contributor and a guy that can hand the ball to Mariano. Below are the stats of his 4 game appearances in NY and also his stats while in Scranton.
Yankees Statistics


1. M Melancon NYY 0 0 5.40 4 0 0 0 0 1 3.1 2 2 2 0 1 5 2

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Statistics

Mark Melancon202.6115000220.21576117261.06111
2. Anthony Claggett: Came to New York and only lasted for one outing, in which he pitched 1.2 inning and gave up 8 ER, which gives him an ERA of 43.20 in the major leagues. Clearly he struggled while down in New York, but this is such a small sample size of his ability. I will be honest in saying I don't know much about the guy, so I guess it's a matter of time to see how he does in the minor leagues. So far, he seems to be doing pretty decent, and is leading Scranton in appearances.

3. Zachary Kroenke: I saw this kid pitch when I was in Syracuse, and he did a pretty decent job (2.2 innings, striking out 4 while giving up no runs). I can't see him being a factor at the major league level, but I am falling asleep and am trying to find decent guys in AAA that apparently aren't dont exist.
Additional guys:

Amaury Sanit: AA Trenton. I have no idea who this guy is but his stats are pretty impressive. He was signed by the Yankees in 2008 and is pitching in his first year in AA. It will be interesting to see how he devleops. There is really no infromation out there about him so I hav eno idea if he is even any good or what his repotioire consists of.
Amaury Sanit110.7711000611.251100490.77010

Kanekoa Texeria: I saw this guy pitch when I was in Tampa. He is one of the players that was part of the deal to the White Sox in which we recieve him and Nick Swisher in exchange for Betemit, Marquez, and Nunez. Not sure how to really judge how he is going to pan out.

Kanekoa Texeira523.2515100236.02914133115241.2205


In sum, Mark Melancon is clearly the big up and coming guy for the team. I am sure I have missed some great minor league prospect(s) that is a relief pitcher. If that is the case please correct me as I love learning more about guys that are in the minor leagues. I am going to go over this at a later time tomorrow when I am recovered from this horrific illness that I recieved from eating at the Cheesecake Factory. Great place, but the food destroys my stomach.