Results tagged ‘ Andruw Jones ’

ICHIRO IS A YANKEE!

It’s nothing new when I admit that the Yankees haven’t always pleased me with trades, whether they have occurred during the offseason or at the deadline. The deadline especially is an extremely nerve-wracking time of year where you NEVER know what’s going to happen. Since I’m weird in my choice of favorite players (Francisco Cervelli is my favorite despite being in Triple-A), I know that none of my guys are ever safe from being shipped away. And I hate when they’re shipped away for no one.

The Yankees – although having just been swept by the A’s out west – are in undeniably solid shape this season. Everyone knows about their fair share of injuries, but the guys who have come back have come back strong, like CC Sabathia. And the guys who are going to remain out, like Brett Gardner, have surprisingly successful guys filling their shoes, like Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones.

Guys like Ibanez and Jones, along with Eric Chavez, Jayson Nix, and Chris Stewart, in my opinion have proven to be the best bench the Yankees have had in awhile. It hasn’t been this good since the 90s days that I barely remember – but I do remember that the 90s were filled with championships for the Yankees, and a good bench is important if you want to win.

I was playing guitar before, and in honor of my idol Slash’s birthday, was attempting to improvise the outro solo to the song Nightrain. Through the killer riff, I heard the faint voice of my little brother, yelling, “MOM! MOM! HEY MOM! THE YANKEES….”

The rest of what he said wasn’t clear, but I heard my Mom’s reaction, “OH MY GOD! WOW!”

Turns out, my family was ecstatic over the latest Yankees news: ICHIRO HAS BEEN TRADED TO THE BRONX! It was just for two pitching prospects, D.J. Mitchell who I saw a few times this year (wasn’t overly impressed) and Danny Fahrquar (who I’ve never heard of).

It seems like it’s been awhile since I’ve said this, but I’m ecstatic over this trade, too.

Ichiro amazed the world when he came to America from Japan – and actually performed above and beyond our expectations. I truly believe he’s the best Japanese player who has come here, and without a doubt he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Naturally, guys don’t play like they’re in their prime forever, and at age 38, Ichiro has slowed down a bit. He’s hitting just .261 this season. But still – the Yankees acquired a future Hall of Fame veteran for barely anything. He’s the kind of guy that I never saw coming – and perhaps the kind of guy who can really help this team.

Something interesting about Ichiro, which may have influenced the Yankees’s pursuit of him, is his success against AL East teams. For his career, Ichiro hits .300 against the Rays, .304 against the Red Sox, .333 against the Blue Jays, and .356 against the second-place Orioles. If nothing else, I think Ichiro will help the Yankees beat these teams and continue to gain the ground they need in the AL East. This may be just what the Yankees need.

Even if his overall offensive numbers are not where we’re used to them being, there’s no denying that Ichiro is an incredible outfielder. Where’s he going to play? I’m not sure. The whole Yankees team this season seems like a giant platoon system, with this guy DH-ing every other day, that guy hitting against lefties, and those guys resting because they’re old. Ichiro will probably just slide right into this platoon system. Combine him with starters Granderson and Swisher, and Ibanez and Jones from the bench, and the Yankees have a killer outfield system.

Tonight against the Mariners (how ironic!) Ichiro will hit 9th and play left field for my Yankees. It will be interesting to hear how the Seattle crowd responds.

And I know it’s going to be fun to see him on my Yankees. He’s not what he used to be, but he’s still Ichiro, and is still a legend. Legends – that’s what the New York Yankees are made of, am I right?

Still have another week until the deadline….I wonder what other surprises the Yankees will come up with next.

GO YANKEES!

Offseason is ON! Little Signing Here, Little Signing There…

As much as Yankees fans may try to convince themselves that they are okay with GM Brian Cashman doing nothing, parts of us are just not ready to fully accept that nothing will actually happen. I’m okay with it, but I still can’t believe that it’s going to be this way. All I’ve ever known in my lifetime were the Yankees that went out there and made moves, whether via free agency or trades. I haven’t liked every move my franchise has made in my lifetime, but overall I’d say they’ve done a pretty respectable job, considering in my 18 years they have won 5 World Series Championships, and I only remember them not making the playoffs once, back in 2008.

And it’s hard to believe that they’ll do nothing. I’ll never forget the day the Yankees signed Mark Teixeira on December 23, 2008. I went on the Yankees website during my last period in school only to find this article titled, “Hal: No Yanks offers to Tex…” and I left school thinking that my Christmas would be ruined. 6:30 later that night, an article was posted saying that they had signed Teixeira. It’s impossible for me to forget these kinds of things. How can one really take the Yankees organization seriously?

Sure, there are no free agents that appeal to the needs of the Yankees right now. Starting pitching, as Cashman has tirelessly noted, is the number one priority of this team. As each player – Wilson, Darvish, Buehrle, Danks, Gonzalez – found a new home that wasn’t New York, the frustrations of some fans boiled over, and rightfully so. We have to wonder what they’re up to if they let all of these players go by.

Sometimes I wondered if Brian Cashman was even conscious. Where has he been this offseason?

Although not incredibly exciting whatsoever, Cashman has made some moves for the Yankees – small, miniscule things that don’t change much – but at least he has proven to me that he is indeed alive, and may actually be working.

The two relatively recent signings were that of former Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima and returning right handed bench player Andruw Jones.

The Hideki Okajima signing doesn’t do much for me. He had three great years in Boston and then became less and less effective. At 36 years old, the lefty was awarded with a Minor League deal from the Yankees and will compete for the otehr lefty-specialist spot in the bullpen. Boone Logan has managed to hold his own with that job for the Yankees, so even if the Yankees aren’t satisfied with their second-lefty options, I don’t really think it’s the end of the world.

I expected the Yankees to bring back Andruw Jones, so I’m not especially excited about this move, but I am very pleased. Andruw Jones exceeded my expectations last season, hitting .247 with 13 HR and 33 RBI, but really picking it up after the All-Star break, where he hit .291 and earned more playing time. I thought he would go off to another team and try to be an everyday player, but I’m glad he’s still with the Yankees. He has 15 years of experience, but he’s still just 34 and still has a baby-face and charming smile. And for just $2 million with additional incentives, I’d say Jones is a steal.

As I noted earlier, neither of these signings will satisfy the hungry Yankees fans. They aren’t spectacular, but they are practical, wise investments that are low-risk and high-reward. You really can’t go wrong with either Andruw Jones or Hideki Okajima.

Speaking of low-risk and high-reward and not going wrong, and keeping mind the number one priority of the Yankees this offseason, I’m wondering why the Yankees aren’t going after Roy Oswalt. Like Jones, Oswalt is a 34 year old veteran with over 10 years of experience in the Bigs. All he wants is a 1-year contract anyways, so even if he sucks, after the one year, he’ll be gone. With a career ERA of 3.21, it’s highly unlikely that he will completely flop. The Yankees are concerned with his back issues, but really? A one year contract, you won’t even do that? They signed Bartolo Colon last season, who had more than his fair share of injuries, and he was fantastic for them.

Oswalt is definitely someone for the Yankees to think about, but they better hurry. If they think for too long, he might be gone like the rest of them…

I’m not going to get my hopes up, because I don’t want to be disappointed. But this will remain in the back of my mind until I hear otherwise.

42 days until pitchers and catchers report!

I can’t wait to see my YANKEES.

Deadline Over And Done With!

A weekend series against the Orioles was a series I thought the Yankees had to win. It’s the kind of thing where you know your team is better, and they have to beat up on the bad teams. I’m always bad at predicting things, so I didn’t know what to think coming into this weekend. The doubleheader I thought would be tough, and the trade deadline I thought would be a distraction. I didn’t know if the Yanks would make any moves. I HATE the trade deadline, and I’m glad it’s over and done with.

Oh, and I’m glad the Yanks took 3 of 4 from the O’s.

After they lost the first game of the series, I was kind of annoyed. But they bounced back to win the next 3, winning the 4-game set the hard way.

After winning the 1st game of the doubleheader on Saturday by the score of 8-3, my Grandma said to me, “Ooh I hope they saved some runs for tonight’s game.”

Uhh…hahaha.

No worries, Grammy!

Let’s just say the Yankees got off to a historic start in Game 2:

Top of the first, 1 out. Curtis Granderson singles.

Looked harmless enough.

Mark Teixeira walks, Cano drives in a run with a single. 1-0 Yanks.

Okay.

Swisher knocked in a run via an Orioles error. 2-0.

Then things get a little crazy.

Andruw Jones RBI double, 3-0. Russell Martin RBI single, 4-0. Eduardo Nunez RBI single, 5-0. Then Brett Gardner got an infield single to load the bases.

Derek Jeter drove in 2 with a double, 7-0. This is when I started to feel a little bad. But it didn’t end there.

Mark Teixeira doubled in 2 runs, 9-0. Robinson Cano singled in one, 10-0. And Nick Swisher hit a 2-run bomb, making it 12-0.

12-0!!! In the first inning! That was the most runs the Yankees EVER scored in the first. Wow.

The Yankees went on to win that one 17-3. Although the offense was a huge pleasure, my favorite part of this game was seeing Ivan Nova again. I was beyond annoyed when they sent him down to make room for the stinky Phil Hughes. I mean, isn’t the idea to have the best players on the team? Nova was better than Hughes then, and he still is.

I was worried that the Yankees would do something stupid at the trade deadline. So while many may think that Yankees fans are upset about the inactivity at the deadline, I for one am extremely satisfied with this decision. So other contending teams made moves…so what? Overall, I’m very happy with the state of the Yankees. When I heard about the Ubaldo Jimenez rumors, I was scratching my head. The Rockies wanted prospects Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Jesus Montero, and my Ivan Nova? And the Yankees were considering doing that? No offense, but Ubaldo Jimenez just is not worth the entire Yankees farm system. I know you can’t give up nothing and expect something, but I really think that deal would’ve been ridiculous. And the Nova thing drew the line. Why trade for Jimenez when Nova is doing an amazing job? He, I think, can and has helped this team more than Jimenez ever could.

My brother told me this, so I don’t know if it’s true, but he heard that the Yankees and Rockies negotiations went sour after the Yanks replaced one of the guys the Rockies wanted with Phil Hughes. LOL. I don’t blame the Rockies – I’d be insulted by that, too. But then I heard from the YES Network that the Yankees didn’t want to make the deal after the Rockies refused to give Jimenez a physical. So whatever. Good luck to the Indians with him. I’d rather stick with my guys.

Speaking of my guys, I’m sure most people are aware of my unbridled admiration for Francisco Cervelli He’s a cutie. Well in today’s series finale, I witnessed a Francisco-First.

HE PLAYED SECOND BASE TODAYYYY!!!!!!!!

Ahh, yes. If only it wasn’t under these circumstances: Derek Jeter was hit in the hand (right middle finger, precisely), and eventually came out of the game. Eric Chavez (another sexy beast…probably the hottest Yankee) was playing 3rd, and Nunez was playing 2nd because Cano was the DH. So when Jeet eventually left the game, the defense was messy…so Nunez moved to short, and, instead of losing the DH in the 4th inning my moving Cano, they put my CERVELLI at 2nd base! I was going crazy. He actually fielded a grounder in the 6th and didn’t mess up! In fact, he looked pretty darn smooth over there, going for the lead runner instead of the sure out at first. He pivoted nicely and fired a strike to shortstop to get the out. Ahh, Cervelli…such a cutie.

Now that the trade deadline is over, I can breathe I sigh of relief. -SIGH- I don’t have to worry about my cuties leaving me for a player that I don’t even want. I love my boys, and it’s not easy for me to let go of any of them.

Even if the no-deals at the deadline mean we don’t win…I’m okay with that. Why jeopardize the bright future? It’s not like Ubaldo Jimenez is going to guarantee a championship anyways. I’m happy with this team we have now, and no matter what happens this year, I know Yankees fans have a lot to smile about.

GO YANKEES!  I LOVE YOU GUYS!

JOBIANAMO [Reprise]

Bullpen Back to Form in Yankee Win

Isn’t it funny how things work out when you never thought they would? I thought the Yankees were going to be stunned, shocked, and lifeless after Tuesday’s miserable loss to the Twins. I wanted them to just get out there and play on Wednesday, but the weather decided to screw everything up. I thought that after sitting on that loss yesterday thanks to the rain-out, the Yankees wouldn’t play well today.

And I was wrong.

The Yankees went out there today, and fought hard for the win, and won the series. I’m so proud of them!

A.J. Burnett toed the rubber today looking to go a little longer into the ballgame. I missed the first few innings thanks to good old school, but I caught the most of it. My Dad was listening to the radio in the car today when he picked me up. It wasn’t the Yankees.

“Rush Limbaugh, Daddy?”

“Of course,” he said, knowing that I too enjoy his program.

The first thought that popped into my head was that the Yankees were doing SO bad that he didn’t even have them on.

“You know the Yankees are on…” I said, cringing with my fingers crossed, hoping they didn’t blow the game.

“Are they? Oh I forgot!” Daddy exclaimed.

Pheew….way to make me crazy.

When we tuned in, the Yankees had a 1-0 lead in the 4th inning. The run was from a Nick Swisher sac fly. A.J. Burnett had a man on second base.

In a matter of about two minutes, Burnett had surrendered the lead, and the Twins lead 2-1. John Sterling said that everything that inning was hit hard.

“NO!” I thought. “I don’t want THIS A.J. Burnett!”

But that was the worst A.J. was today. Aside from that 4th inning, Burnett pitched a very good ballgame. He went 6 innings, allowed those 2 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and struckout 5 along the way. I’m proud.

     A.J. Burnett remains perfect in pinstripes in April with a six-inning, two-run outing against the Twins to close out the Yankees' season-opening home stand with a 4-3 win.

Now that’s the A.J. I like to see!

The Yankees were only down for that half inning. I got home in time to see them rally! They didn’t hit much – in fact the Bombers didn’t hit one bomb today – but they got the job done. Andruw Jones tied up the game with an RBI double. Russell Martin drove in another with an RBI groundout, and Brett Gardner provided more insurance with a bloop RBI single. The Yanks lead it 4-2.

Then the bullpen took over.

Now although I convinced myself the other day that I HAD NO FEAR about the bullpen, I did have a little fear today. I just couldn’t help it. I was so quick to say how good the ‘pen was, and then the next game, the ‘pen blew it (sort of). So I was a little nervous.

Joba Chamberlain was called upon for the 7th inning, his inning. He did well, but a run scored unearned because of a throwing error by Russell Martin. So after Joba’s solid performance, my nerves subsided a little.

Until I remembered who’s in charge of the 8th inning.

                       soriano.jpg

“Uh-oh,” I thought. “Soriano has to pitch the 8th…and now it’s just a 1-run lead. I know he’s supposed to be GOOD in tight spots, but I wonder if he’ll let his mind get the better of him.”

I was freaking out…so much, that I did something I hardly ever do: I left the room. Usually in tight situations, I stay, but I just cover my face or something. But today, I just didn’t even want to see/hear/know it. I went in the kitchen with my parents, who were enjoying a nice afternoon cup of tea. Before I knew it, the inning was over.

We rushed back into the living room, and saw the score was still 4-3 as the team made their way back into the dugout. HE DID IT! Soriano is BACK!!!

The rest was easy. The Great Mariano closed the game, and earned the save. Yankees win 4-3, win the series, and win my confidence back.

The Heroes for the Victory are undoubtedly the pitchers: A.J. Burnett, Joba Chamberlain, Rafael Soriano, and Mariano Rivera. Burnett was solid in his start, and Jobianamo was dominant once again.

Jobianamo is back – and I think it’s here to stay.

                        JOBIANAMO.jpg

My Yanks now head to Baahston, where the Red Sox still have not won a game. But I won’t get too cocky just yet…

Okay, Maybe I Spoke Too Soon…

Bullpen Fails in Heartbreaking 5-4 Loss

….or maybe JOE GIRARDI IS A MORON!!!

-Control yourself-

It’s too early in the season for this, and I have too much homework to not be doing, but I’m too frustrated so I need to vent.

Before I go completely insane, I should recap the game for those of you who were lucky enough to NOT see it. The first 7 innings were actually pretty entertaining. But from the 8th on, it was hard to watch.

CC Sabathia got the start last night in order to keep him on regular rest. My not-as-chunky-but-still-Hefty-Lefty tossed a fabulous game. He’s a God. Sabathia went 7 innings and allowed just 2 hits early in the ballgame.

Sabathia finished his night with a 4-0 lead, thanks to a 3-run BOMB by Teixeira and a solo welcome-to-the-Bronx home run from the smiley Andruw Jones. One of the highlights of my night last night was watching Andruw Jones try to catch a ball that ultimately went foul. The ball went directly into a fan’s meal, and sent it plummeting onto the field – right on Jones. It was amazing.

                                      0406jones.jpg

And of course after this, Jones never stopped smiling.

Anyways, Sabathia left the game having thrown 104 pitches. Not too many, but for this early in the season, it made sense to take him out.

But it didnt make any sense to me to put Rafael Soriano in. Note: I felt this way BEFORE he blew it.

First of all, Soriano has worked a respectable amound lately. Since the Yanks had a seemingly insurmountable 4-0 lead and the Twins bats were dead, I didn’t think there was a need to use the setup guy. He could have had the night off, and they could have started the 8th with David Robertson or someone. But no.

Another reason why I didn’t want Soriano in the game last night, is because it seems that whenever closers or guys with closer-like stuff and a closer-like mentality (Soriano) always SUCK when the team has a rather-large lead. Even the best guys, like Mariano Rivera, have experienced the non-save situation struggles. And when we all know that Girardi is a “master” at conserving and managing his bullpen guys, I just didn’t understand why in the world he decided to use Soriano last night, and why he let him suffer through that horrible inning.

Soriano wound up loading the bases with 1 out in the 8th. It was apparent after he faced the first batter that he had absolutely NO command, but Girardi didn’t do anything. Soriano walked in a run, and ultimately destroyed the Yankees’s chance of winning by giving away their 4-0 lead. Although he didn’t get the loss (they lost 5-4 in 10 innings), it was over after he blew it.

I don’t blame the bullpen for this loss. It’s not Rafael Soriano’s fault. He is an amazing pitcher when he’s doing his thing. But last night, he WASN’T doing his thing. He’s supposed to come in when the game is tight, not fold under the pressure, and get the guys out. Last night was not that situation, and I’m not mad at HIM for struggling…I’m just mad he struggled.

        Russell Martin (r.) approaches Rafael Soriano during an 8th inning jam. David Robertson replaces Soriano but surrenders a 3-run double to Delmon Young, which falls in front of Nick Swisher.

Joe Girardi is who I want to strangle. He said that if he could do it again, he’d to it the same way. WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM? I mean is it me? It makes sense if you saw the game…the Twin offense was completely dead. That 4-0 lead seemed like 100-0. There was no need to use Soriano last night. I still believe that the Yankees have the best bullpen in baseball. This game doesn’t make me lose confidence in Soriano at all.

Joe Girardi…what are we going to do with you…

And tonight! I was already mad at Girardi tonight. He planned on sitting Derek Jeter, Russell Martin, AND Jorge Posada tonight. He wanted A-Rod to DH, and he was going to use Eduardo Nunez at short, Eric Chavez at third, and GUSTAVO MOLINA AND HIS SPRING BATTING AVERAGE OF .067 behind the plate. Wow. And with 5th starter Freddy Garcia on the mound. I mean really? Isn’t the idea, like, to win the game? Why would he sit half his team all in one game?

I don’t know…sometimes I think Girardi TRIES to lose. Some of his decisions are crazy.

Hey, Joe! Stop trying to lose! No need to throw games away…Maybe you’re trying to make things exciting and dramatic, trying to make the season come down to the wire, trying to keep Yankees fans on their feet.

NO NEED!

The AL East is hard enough, just let my Yanks do the drama on their own.

As much as I wanted to see the game tonight to try and get my mind off the horrible loss, I’m almost glad they didn’t play tonight. With that lineup, things didn’t look too good anyway. Now EVERYONE gets the night off.

I wonder what Joe Girardi’s going to do tomorrow…

  

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