Results tagged ‘ Curtis Granderson ’

Offseason Is On: ENOUGH OF A-ROD

Happy New Year, everybody! The changing of the calendar is a time where people are optimistic about the future, ambitious in setting goals, and determined in trying to achieve them. We start off with a clean slate and hope for the best. My goals for 2012 are to keep doing well in school and aim for another 3.925 GPA (or higher!), to blog more and not just wait for the Yankees to give me something to write about, and to get as good at playing guitar as I am at playing piano. Oh, and for my Mom, I said I’d stop doing unladylike things when the Yankees get on my nerves, or at least make a valiant effort to try…

Although the Yankees haven’t made any moves to get me excited for the 2012 season, overall I am still optimistic. They haven’t gotten anyone, but they haven’t traded away those cute rookies such as Jesus Montero and Manny Banuelos yet either. I don’t know how they’ll do in 2012, but I am looking forward to the season. How can we not be excited about a new baseball season? Everyone starts out at 0-0, Burnett’s ERA isn’t above 5 yet, and everyone has a chance to redeem themselves (yes, I believe in you, A.J.)!

Everybody but A-Rod.

I know that’s unfair. But I’ve tried – I’ve really tried – I wipe his slate clean. The Yankees have made no news in the offseason, but Alex Rodriguez has had his fair share of coverage once again, and I can’t say I’m happy about it. I’m just sick of Alex Rodriguez’s predictable nonsense.

It’s the same thing every year: after the Yankees lose in the postseason because A-Rod is unclutch, he promises that he will “come back with a vengeance” in the next season. Yeah, he said that last season and he sucked. $32 million for a .276 avg, 16 HR, and 62 RBI in 99 games, with an extremely aggravating .111 avg in the postseason. I know he was hurt. I don’t care (heartless, I know). The surgery was one thing. But the thumb – your THUMB? Maybe if you got your thumb out from your you-know-where you’d be okay.

Oooh…that was harsh.

Perhaps it’s unfair to pick on him for last year when he was hurt. But I can’t help it. When he said he’s rehabbing and working to get back, and then I see him in the dugout with that stupid smile, I just think he’s so disingenuous. I don’t believe anything he says. Why would be bust to get back when he is already guaranteed millions and millions? He doesn’t even look like he’s trying or he cares when he’s out there. Every time he strikes out, he walks away flipping his bat, and looking back at the radar to see how fast the pitch was that he swung and missed at – usually a low-mid 90s fastball that for some odd reason he can’t catch up to – and he makes that face that’s like, “Oh well. I’m A-Rod!” I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me…

I’ve already lost my patience with A-Rod for 2012. He says he’ll be back with a vengeance, then we heard he went all the way to Germany for some bizarre blood-spinning procedure. So he’s not healthy. Great, another excuse to suck.

Then the other night my brother shows me an article from the New York Daily News in which A-Rod has been spotted at least three times with former WWE Diva and Playboy sensation Torrie Wilson, yet another gorgeous blonde to distract him from baseball. I might be overreacting about this, but I’ve just had enough. It’s the same old thing with A-Rod.

So he says he’ll be better in 2012? It doesn’t look it. Just another wasted $30+ million. I can’t believe we have 6 more years of this. And there’s no way he’s going to get any better at 36 years old. Sometimes I wish the Yankees would just get rid of him and eat the money – that’s how fed up I am. Who needs superstars? Scott Brosius was no superstar, and they won with him at third base.

If I was manager, I wouldn’t bat Rodriguez cleanup anymore. Cleanup is for the productive guy. Striking out and scowling at the radar gun is not productive – I’m sorry. That spot should be for either Curtis Granderson or Robinson Cano, because they’ve earned it.

 

 

My Opening Day lineup would look something like this:

1) Derek Jeter

2) Nick Swisher

3) Robinson Cano

4) Curtis Granderson

5) Mark Teixeira

6) Alex Rodriguez

7) Jesus Montero

8) Russell Martin

9) Brett Gardner

Originally, I had Teixeira 6th and A-Rod 5th, but in the process of writing this post, I demoted A-Rod again because I’m staring at that picture of him smiling, and I’m struggling to refrain from smacking him and breaking my laptop screen in the process. So because of all that unnecessary effort I’m expelling, I demoted him further.

But actually, Jesus Montero might provide him with some protection. I can’t get the images of that kid hitting line-drive opposite-field home runs at Yankee Stadium out of my mind…

I say to start the season with this lineup. If A-Rod wants to bat clean up, then he’s going to have to earn it. Why, just because he makes the most money, he is guaranteed the star-spot in the order? How’s that fair? I’m tired of watching the top of the Yankees order do so much, just to see A-Rod negate it all by failing to come through in the clutch. Granderson is a guy who I think earned this spot in the order by proving that he can come through after his MVP-worthy 2011 campaign.

Will Joe Girardi listen to me? Nope. It’s sad. A new season, but the same old thing.

If A-Rod miraculously does well in 2012, I’ll apologize. I’ll do whatever. Someone make a bet with me. I’m not worried. I know I’ll win.

47 days until pitchers and catchers report. It may not sound like it after this post, but I am looking forward to seeing my boys in 2012!

Everyone but A-Rod, that is.

Haley Smilow: Future Yankees Journalist

3 more weeks of this semester and then I’m free for a month. Forgive me for not posting regularly! As some of you might know, I take my studies very seriously, and I’m doing so even more now that I have motivation to keep my scholarship! I admit it: I’m a nerd. But I have all A’s so I don’t care!

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving with their families and friends. I know I did. There’s nothing better than a week off when everyone is home and you have time to catch up on things. The rest of your life just kind of disappears for a while. And not to mention, everyone loves all that yummy food.

It’s this time of year where we all sit back and marvel at what we have in our lives. I’m incredibly grateful for my family and friends. But I’m also thankful for the New York Yankees (who are like family to me) and my blog, and the opportunities that it brings me. Every time I log in, I never know what I’m going to find. I love receiving reader feedback, but I think the thing I’m most thankful for with my blog is the people that I meet and the connections that I make. They can be very inspiring.

I recently had one of these experiences, and I’m honored to be part of it.

Haley Smilow is ten years old, and although young, she is quite the Yankees fan. In fact, she has already lived one of my dreams: to interview a Yankee.  This past August, Haley and her family followed the Yankee schedule and attended the away games.  And in July, she was able to interview one of my favorite Yankees, the adorable All-Star and should-have-been MVP outfielder Curtis Granderson. Her interview was even published in Baseball Youth Magazine.

 

I was asked if I would be willing to share Haley’s interview on my blog. Hmm…let me think: would I be willing to post an interview by a ten year old girl who is a huge Yankees fan, who from what I know reminds me of a mini-me, who interviewed one of my favorite Yankees, and who is an aspiring journalist?

ABSOLUTELY!

Now I didn’t know what to expect, but I really enjoyed the interview. Haley asked the kinds of questions that real fans want to know. I learned a lot about Curtis through this interview. Sure, she talked baseball, but she also helped me discover fun facts about Curtis, such as how he likes his pizza and who his favorite wrestler is.

 

 

I now present Haley Smilow’s interview with Curtis Granderson. Enjoy!

 

Haley: In August my family is following the Yankees to US Cellular Field, Kauffman Stadium, Target Field and Camden Yards with stops at Miller Park, Wrigley and Busch Stadium.  Do you have a favorite ballpark, and why? Is there a ballpark where you feel you always play well other than Yankee Stadium?

Curtis:I like the Anaheim Angels Stadium because it has good weather to play in and the playing surface is well taken care of, making it a nice place to play ball.  I also enjoy the Rally Monkey because he is fun to watch, but as a player it means that the Angels are doing well.  Other stadiums that I like to play in are Mariners Safeco Field and of course at home in Chicago at US Cellular Field and Wrigley.

 

Haley: Since I am going to be in Chicago, who has the best Pizza in Chicago?  Who in New York? Do you like Deep Dish or Thin Crust Pizza?

Curtis: My favorite Pizzerias in Chicago are Lou Malnali’s, Giordanos and Gino’s and in New York Artichoke Basille’s.  Sometimes I like Dominos thin crust pizza, because I like my crust crunchy.  If I am really hungry I will order deep dish.

 

Haley: Coney Island Hot Dogs or Nathan’s Hot Dogs?

Curtis: Since I played in Detroit I would have to say Coney Island Hot Dogs.

 

Haley: What is your favorite meal?

Curtis: I really love Thanksgiving dinner because you get to eat a little bit of everything and you can go back over and over for more helpings.

 

Haley: My little brother is a fan of WWE, I heard you are as well. Who are some of you favorite wrestlers of today?

Curtis: Of course I like CM Punk because he is a great wrestler and from Chicago. John Cena is another favorite. I also like the Divas because they work hard and are as good as the guys.

Haley: Do you have any brothers or sisters?

Curtis: I have an older half sister, Monica. 

 

Haley: In your book All You Can Be: Dream It, Draw It, Become It, you share the lessons that you learned growing up. What is one lesson you would tell the Baseball Youth readers if they haven’t read the book?

Curtis: The selection of friends, good and bad, positive or negative and the people you surround yourself with, will shape your whole life. 

 

Haley: I also know you are an ambassador for MLB and have traveled to England, Italy, South Africa, China, and New Zealand. Is there any place you would really like to go and represent MLB?

Curtis: I have never been to South America so that would be amazing.  I would also like to go to Japan and Australia, those would be on my top 3 list.

 

Haley: Why did you choose the #28 in Detroit and #14 in New York?

Curtis: I was given the #28 in college, which was great because the numbers 2 and 8 are my favorite numbers, so it was both of them together.  When I became a Yankee Joe Girardi was #28 so I chose #14 because that was my number from high school.

 

Haley: I get to go to a lot of Yankees games, and I have noticed that you have two rituals. Can you to explain them? When you step up to the plate you tap it with the bat from left to right then the top. Why?

Curtis: No particular reason, I guess it is just a habit.

Haley: When you are leading off from first and the pitcher makes a move, you always walk around first base same way every time. Why?

Curtis: Because I don’t want to get picked off or called out.

 

Haley: Do you have any other rituals or superstions?

Curtis: I only chew sugar free bubble gum.

Curtis asked Haley: Do you like gum?” Make sure you take a hand full when you leave the dug out.

 

Haley: What is it like in the Dug Out before and after a game?

Curtis: It is a fun place filled with energy and lots of handshakes. We are always meeting people before games.  After the game it depends if we won or lost.  If we win everyone is happy and celebrating and if we lost we need to move on to the next game.

 

Haley: When you are on the road do you share rooms with your teammates?

CurtisIn the majors we get our own rooms.  In the minors we share rooms, I used to share with Ryan Raburn, Joel Zumaya and David Espinosa.

 

Haley: AJ Burnett has created a celebration for a walk off win, a pie in the face.  Have you ever gotten pied?

Curtis: No, I have not been pied.  If I get pied it means we won but I am afraid it will burn.  

 

Haley: Who is the biggest practical joker you have ever been on a team with? Have you ever been the victim of a practical joke?

Curtis: Brandon Inge on the Tigers will do funny pranks, silly ones and even some gross ones.  We had a little battle going when I played for Detroit.  Once I opened his car and filled it with paper and construction tape making it a big mess inside the car and out.  Jorge Posada is a real joker as well.

 

Haley: In 2007 you became just one of four players in MLB history to record 20 doubles, 20 triples, 20 home runs & 20 stolen bases in a single season, what are some of your other accomplishments you are proud of?

Curtis: Graduating from University of Illinois-Chicago, and that I am 1 of only 37 players with college degrees.  Making it to the 2006 World Series.

 

Haley: Do you have any other favorite sports besides baseball?

Curtis: I like basketball, especially college ball. I also like hockey, football and bowling and I used to run cross-country.

Haley: What’s your favorite team?

Curtis: The Kansas City Jay Hawks.

 

Haley: Who would you consider your closest friends on the Yankees?

Curtis: Of course I have special bond with my fellow outfielders Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner.  But I also like to hang out with CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Russell Martin we go out to dinner and movies together. 

 

From this interview, I learned some important things: Curtis Granderson is as darling in real life as he seems on TV, and he and I have the same taste in wrestlers!

Not to mention, I learned that young female Yankees fans are extremely ambitious, talented, and extraordinary individuals.

I’ve been inspired by Haley, and I wish her and the Smilow family the best. I hope to share more of her work on here in the future.

 

 

Haley Smilow Social Networking Links:

http://www.wix.com/smilow/home-field-advantage

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Home-Field-Advantage/108037172615547

 

My First Blog From Marist!

Things have been pretty crazy since the last time I posted, both for me and the Yankees. The Yankees have gone 6-6 since my last post, losing their position atop the AL East in the process. They had some really good games, and some games where they were so bad that I didn’t even think they were my Yankees.

The most exciting game during this stretch was definitely last Thursday’s series finale against the Athletics, in which my Yankees made baseball history: the first team to have three players hit grand slams in one game. Robinson Cano, Russell Martin, and Curtis Granderson. The Yankees scored 22 runs that game – a historic offensive explosion I will surely remember.

Yankee fans, like myself, were so caught up in the excitement of that game that we may have forgotten: the Yankees still lost that series against the A’s. They dropped 2 of 3 at home against a stinky team that can’t hit to save its life. This was a stretch of games I thought the Yankees would coast through: 3 against those A’s, and 5 against the last place Baltimore Orioles. They lost the A’s series and split 4 against the O’s (thanks to Hurricane Irene, one game was left out).

Speaking of Hurricane Irene, she’s a b!tch. She screwed up my start of college. Marist College was holding Welcome Week this past weekend, but because of the storm, Sunday’s activities were cancelled. Which meant that Sunday move-in was cancelled. Which means it was moved to Monday. And that meant classes were cancelled Monday. So I’m sitting home in a blackout, just itching to just get started. No. Make the anxious/excited/nervous kid suffer that much more.

Today (Tuesday) everything worked out. My first day of classes, my first day in COLLEGE! The 40 minute drive to Marist might soon get old, but oh well. I sit here now, typing up this post, from the awesomely huge and amazing library at Marist. I’ve been here since 8am, and my next class is at 5pm. Quite a large gap. In high school, I remember not having enough time to do anything…now I sit here with all the time I could ever hope for (I’m sure that will change once I start getting assignments).

Due to the Hurricane, the blackout, and my preoccupation with school, I kind of haven’t really been following the Yankees as much as I would have liked to lately. Time sure flew. When I looked at the Yankees schedule a few minutes ago, I noticed they start a three game series against the Red Sox tonight. At Fenway. Ohhhh boy…here we go again.

The Commuter Leader here at Marist made it a point in his introductory speech to tell us that he hates the Red Sox, which totally made my day. Colin, you are already awesome!

Honestly, I’m really not thaaaaaat confident about this series against the Sox. I hate Fenway Park and I know the Red Sox steal signs. I’m annoyed at the pitching matchups: we have CC going in game 1, and he really needs to prove to me that he can pitch against this team without stinking. Game 2 is Phil Hughes, who, despite a few good starts after coming off the DL, still sucks to me. And game 3 is the always insane A.J. Burnett. The only reason I bother watching the games he pitches in is because there is always a chance he will get so mad that he’ll turn around and punch Joe Girardi.

I hope I don’t see that. But if it happened on live TV, I wouldn’t want to miss it.

The Yankees haven’t exactly been playing their best baseball of late…and I don’t really think NOW is the time to go to Fenway. I thought they’d be hot now, coming off games against bad teams, but they really aren’t.

Hopefully last night’s 3-2 win gives the Yankees the momentum they need to go out there and WIN. And hopefully Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez will be in the lineup tonight.

I want a good game. I’m going to get home at 7, and I know I’ll be exhausted. I don’t even know if I’ll have the energy to go through a Yankees-Red Sox game – they are very draining.

Oh well. I can’t believe how fast this season has gone. And my summer…but my Dad said to enjoy these next 4 years, because they too will fly by.

GO YANKEES!

Yankees vs. Angels: Sec 201, Row 2, Seat 7

A Day I’ll Never Forget

I finally made it back out to Yankee Stadium! I saw my first game this year last Thursday, August 11. It was the rubber game of the series against the Angels. The Halos won the first, the Yanks won the second. I knew it was going to be a good game, and and all-around good day. But I didn’t think it’d be THIS good.

Some of you might know that aside from my blog here at MLBlogs, I write for the FanVsFan Network at my site Pinstripe Partisan. I love that site for a number of reasons, one of the main reasons being that the people who work there are amazing. One of the leaders of the site himself is a Yankees fan and a native New Yorker, and he was generous enough to give me not one, but TWO free tickets to this Yankees game. So not only did I have the time of my life, but I was able to experience the day with my older brother, who had not yet been to the new Yankee Stadium.

But he didn’t just give me tickets. He gave me tickets, that for me, were perfect. When I found out where they were, I couldn’t wait to go.

My brother and I took the train down to the Stadium. Bobby is just as much of a Yanks fan as I am, and he was dying to see the new Stadium. When he first caught a glimpse of it as we were walking towards it, he was in awe – so much that he called home and told my Mom: “Ahh, Mommy! It’s so beautiful, you have no idea…” While on the phone, he turned to me and demanded that I take a picture.

We got the the Stadium 2 hours before the game was scheduled to start. Our plan was to go to our seats as soon as possible and watch batting practice and possibly get autographs. When we got to our section, Bobby reminded me:

“Virginia, please don’t embarrass me.”

Why so concerned?

Our seats were two rows behind the Yankee bullpen. And it was a day game. After a night game. Which meant that some players would be resting. Which meant that some backups would be playing.

WHICH MEANT THAT I HAD A CHANCE TO BE TWO ROWS AWAY FROM FRANCISCO CERVELLI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can see now why he was worried about me.

The first Yankees we saw up-close-and-personal from our perch atop the bullpen wall was Freddy Garcia. He was getting some throwing in. Then Mike Harkey, the coolest bullpen coach ever, entered, and my brother and I (then the only people at the wall) yelled out, “Hi Hark!” AND HE WAVED!!! I thought my day was made. Oh, but there was more to come.

I was watching the hitters take BP, waiting for Cervelli to be done so he could come into the bullpen. BP was long, so my brother and I left for awhile to look around the Stadium, whose beauty was mesmerizing. When we got back to our seats, the wait wasn’t very long. Bobby pointed to a sexy looking man approaching from the dugout. I started to freak out.

“Virginia, you’re doing it.” he warned.

I managed to not explode. I let Francisco Cervelli approach. I captured his warm-up routine with about 50 pictures. Here are some personal favorites:

Before I knew it, he entered the bullpen. I was wearing my “Cervelli 29″ shirt I bought last year at the Stadium. It was crowded at the bullpen wall now, but I figured, “It’s now or never.” And I was the only one in the ballpark that I knew of wearing his shirt. I was his ultimate fan. All these other idiots asking for his autograph didn’t really care about him. I didn’t want to harass him like the rest of them.

When he got close enough, I just yelled out, “Hey Francisco!!!! I’m wearing your shirt!”

Now I don’t know if he heard me, or if he saw the shirt when I turned around to show him. All I know, is that he waved at me, and I almost died. I’m lucky that I didn’t fall into the bullpen and die. I really am.

FRANCISCO CERVELLI WAVED TO ME. Holy Jesus. My life was then complete.

So he did more warm-ups, then when he exited the ‘pen, he waved again at us! Such a sweetie.

Oh yeah, then the GAME started. That was fun.

Bartolo Colon pitched a good game for the Yankees. I thought I was going to see Nova, but he pitched the night before. So when I heard it was Colon, I was happy. He was our first choice for a starter to see live!

The game was quiet at first, with no teams scoring through the first 4 innings. In the 5th, the Angels jumped out to a 2-0 lead on an Alberto Callaspo 2-run homer. That upset the sellout crowd, but they soon began to cheer when the fan who caught the ball threw it back.

In the bottom of the 6th, my cutie Curtis Granderson decided to give us something to smile about for real. After a Derek Jeter single, my GrandyMan homered to tie the game at 2! Then the next time the Yanks were on offense, big things happened, thanks to Mr. Robbie Cano. The bases were loaded after an Angel error, and Cano made them pay.

GRAND SLAM! Seeing that live was amazing. The ball jumped off Cano’s bat like I’ve seen no other. It got out of the park in a hurry, and Yankees fans went crazy. 6-2 lead!

*Note: Francisco Cervelli walked in that inning, and for some reason, Girardi called for Russell Martin to pinch run for him? I didn’t know why he did that. My Grandma said it was because a female fan was harassing Cervelli, and he couldn’t take it….wasn’t me!

Cory Wade made things messy in the 9th, so Mariano Rivera had to come in. Always a pleasure seeing him make his way to the mound.

We were all aware of Mo’s mishaps on the mound that week. We didn’t want to witness another one. And when Russell Branyan pinch hit, we were a little nervous. With 2 men on, Branyan homered…yikes. All of a sudden it was 6-5. I thought maybe that was all Mariano would allow.

Thank God I was right. We couldn’t afford to stick around for more innings – we had a train to catch! Luckily, Mo settled down and finished up the game. YANKEES WIN 6-5!

My brother didn’t want to leave. Once we got home, he said, “We need to go back.” He then proceeded into his room, and began looking up more Yankees tickets. I hope we can go again before college starts!

It was a day I’ll never forget, that’s for sure. How often can a girl say that her crush waved to her at close distance, and she didn’t die? I’m proud.

It was an amazing early 18th birthday present for me. My real birthday is tomorrow. I’ll enjoy my last day as a kid today.

Thanks again to Michael H. for that amazing day! You’re the best.

GO YANKEES!

That Concludes Sox Week

This past week, the Yankees played a 4-game series against the White Sox followed by a 3-game set against the Red Sox. It was a long week on the road, and I’m just happy my boys are coming back to the Bronx.

The Yankees swept the 4 games in Chicago. I almost hate to say it, but during those games, I really felt bad for the White Sox. They looked miserable, lost, and just didn’t play good baseball. Oh well…those are the kinds of games the Yankees have to win, and they did.

The Yankees went into the Red Sox series tied for first place…it was as if August 5th was Opening Day again. It was such a refreshing feeling. That series started out nicely, but didn’t end the way I’d hoped for.

The first game of that series was intense…Colon vs. Lester. The Yanks had to play catch-up after quickly falling behind 2-0. In the 5th, Eduardo Nunez led off with a walk, Derek Jeter singled, and Granderson drove in a run with a single to cut the deficit in half. After Mark Teixeira’s walk, Cano grounded into a double play, which tied the game at 2. With 2 out, I wasn’t sure if the Yankees would be able to go ahead, but Nick Swisher delivered with a double down the third base line, and the Yankees had a 3-2 lead.

It became a battle of the bullpens after that, and the Yankee bullpen proved victorious. Boone Logan especially – he looked like the Logan of 2009 again. Cory Wade, Rafael Soriano, David Robertson, and Mariano Rivera nailed it down for the Yanks.

I was ecstatic that the Yankees had sole possession of first place. I figured they maybe had the confidence they needed to keep on winning – they beat Jon Lester in Fenway Park, which is no easy task. I did a little boasting and bragging on facebook after Game 1, not really caring what I was saying. I was experiencing some leftover euphoria hours after the game’s ending.

So maybe I look stupid, but I don’t really care. The Yankees lost the next two games and are now a game behind the Red Sox. Of course the games the lost were on FOX and ESPN, places where the announcers fawn over the Red Sox as much as Chris Matthews fawns over Obama. “Oh, Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, the top 3 guys for the AL MVP…oh, they’re sooo good…better than anyone the Yankees have…OHH MY LEG!”

Ermm okay.

Joe Buck and Tim McCarver made me not want to watch the Saturday game. I missed most of it anyways because I was out, and I’m glad I did. CC didn’t pitch well and I’m sure they kept on mentioning how he hasn’t been the same pitcher against the Red Sox and how he sucks, and maybe how he’s not worth the jumbo contract because he can’t beat the Sox, blah blah blah…

So on to the finale, and the two teams were tied for first once again.

The pitching matchup of Freddy Garcia and Josh Beckett initially had me a little nervous. I was aware of their numbers.

Freddy Garcia really battled last night for my Yanks. He’s such a pitcher. Over 5 innings, Garcia allowed just 1 run (and it was a cheapie, he had some baaaad breaks in the 2nd inning when that run was allowed) and 5 hits, but threw 96 pitches. Beckett was throwing well, and I wasn’t sure if the Yanks would be able to get to him.

Two rather-unexpected heroes emerged for the Yanks last night. Eduardo Nunez and his quick stroke of the bad hammered a high fastball into the seats above the monster to tie the game at 1. My Grandma couldn’t believe it, “Ohhh, the young guy did it! And I wanted A-Rod to come back, Virginia…”

The second guy, I don’t know why, but something told me he’d do it. When Brett Gardner came to the plate in the 7th and his stats appeared on the screen, I thought, “Ahh, he’s having a nice year just like I expected…4 homers? When was the last time he hit one…due perhaps?”

Oh yeah.

Gardner did homer, and the Yankees had their first lead of the night. 2-1. It was such a long, slooowww paced game, me and my Grandma wanted to go to bed, but we wanted to watch.

The Yankee bullpen did its job and handed the ball to Mariano. Again, something just told me he wasn’t going to do it…I had a bad feeling. When I saw who the first guy up was – Marco Scutaro – I just knew. He was already 3-3 on the night, and I remember a few years back when he was with the A’s, he hit a walkoff homer off Mo. So when he led off the inning with a double, I can’t say I didn’t see that coming. Mo eventually blew the save, and right there I knew the momentum had permanently shifted for the game. The Red Sox have a “knack” for winning at home…let’s just say I’m not the only one who thinks they steal signs, but whatever.

When I saw PHIL HUGHES was coming in for the Yankees to pitch the next inning, I called it a night. I knew what he was going to do…so I just went to bed and accepted it before it even happened.

I know from an outsider’s perspective, it looks like the same old thing: The Red Sox are owning the Yankees. But I just don’t see that. All three games were well-played. And last night’s loss was tough. I truly believe that if that game was played in Yankee Stadium, the Yankees wouldn’t have lost. The Yankees are still better position-by-position, they have way better pitching, they just had a bad break. It’s Fenway. That happens there.

Maybe it’s better for the Yanks to say out of first for now. They’ve played well all year being the underdogs. But I’m confident that next time these teams meet, things will be different.

Still love ya, Yanks. I always will!

Enjoy the off-day!

GO 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!

I Should Make Lineups More Often!

So remember when I was complaining about the Yankees offense without A-Rod? It was really bad, they couldn’t hit, and I was frustrated, so I proposed my own lineup.

I’m convinced that someone from the Yankees is secretly reading my blog or stalking my facebook or something, because they’re listening to me about stuff!

In my last blog post, I said the Yankees should do something different to shake up the lineup, maybe to spark the offense and get something going. I strongly suggested that the top 3 should look like this:

#1 Brett Gardner

#2 Derek Jeter

#3 Curtis Granderson

I then said for Cano to be cleanup and Teix 5th, but last night the Yankees had Teix 4th and Cano 5th. It still worked out, so that was okay.

I wanted Swish 6th and Posada 7th, which the Yankees did. And because Martin had the night off, it was Nunez in the 8 hole with my sweet Cervelli batting 9th. It was pretty close to what I wanted, but I was just thrilled that they “listened” to me with the 1-2-3 spots.

Some people liked my lineup idea. Some people criticized my lineup, saying the Yanks would never do it. Well they did it, it was MARVELOUS, and they’re doing it again today, and I don’t blame them.

SCORING 17 RUNS IS SUCCESS. DON’T MESS WITH SUCCESS.

The Yankees were down 2-0 early because Phil Hughes still sucks, but I quickly forgot about Hughes’s suckiness once the Yankees bats came alive. They scored 5 runs in the 2nd, in which my 1-2-3 guys Gardy, Jeet, and Grandy knocked in 4 of the 5 runs.

The offense continued to explode in bunches. Nick Swisher’s 3-run homer made it 8-2, and later on Mark Teixeira hit a GRAND SLAM which made it 14-2. Clearly, rearranging the batting order did not mess with anyone’s rhythm last night.

Even though it looked like a blowout, I was not entirely confident that the Yanks would win, knowing that Phil Hughes was on the mound. I’m kind of frustrated with him. The Yankees should’ve included Hughes in the package for Roy Halladay way back when they had the chance. Now he’s losing value fast!

Hughes, despite having heavy run support, was not able to get through the 5 innings and earn himself a win. He didn’t deserve to get the win anyways. 7 runs in 4.1 innings is not win-worthy, and I don’t blame Girardi for taking him out. Once Hughes was out of the picture, I felt the game was locked up.

The bullpen did a pretty good job last night holding the game where it was. In the end, it was a 17-7 victory for my Yanks. I cannot explain how comforting it was. And I love having bragging rights. The offense had been struggling mightily, and once they adapted my lineup idea, the offense came alive.

I seriously should suggest things more often.

So Yankees, my birthday is in August, maybe you guys should send me some tickets? After all, I helped you win last night!

Worth a try, haha…

GO YANKS!!!

Damn That Dome

 

This is why baseball should be played outside:

 

Damn that Dome.

That’s not why the Yankees lost, but it sure didn’t help them win! That 7th inning was utterly disgusting. First an infield single, then a real single…then Colon was out. Then the lazy fly ball to center…my poor Curtis. It must be such a lonely feeling when your out there under the ball, then all of a sudden it’s gone, and there’s nothing you can do about it. When I saw Curtis’s hands flail as he desperately tried to find the ball again, I knew the tone was set for the rest of the game. That ball indeed dropped. Boone Logan then had a chance to exit the inning, but he botched what should have been a 1-2-3 double play. Nope. Right off the glove! And all runners were safe. Then my Curtis had a chance to redeem himself, and made a nice diving play in center. But by leaving his feet, he allowed the Rays runner to score on a sac fly. He tried making up for leaving his feet, but his throw sailed wildly wide of the plate. That slim 1 run lead the Yankees enjoyed became a 1-run deficit before my eyes. And they lost it by 1 run.

Now I know it’s unfair to blame the dome, so I’m not really “blaming” the dome, I’m just expressing my disgust in the fact that there is a dome. And I’m not just hating on the dome because the GrandyMan lost the ball. When I saw the Yankees’s schedule for after the All-Star break and saw they’d be on the road in Toronto and Tampa Bay, I said, “Jeez, the two most boring, head-achy, and ugly stadiums in a row.”

Not to mention, ballparks where my cute centerfielder loses the ball which ultimately leads to a loss! Just get rid of them! Or move those teams. No one ever goes to Blue Jays games or Rays games unless they play the Yankees, anyway.

I said I wouldn’t do that, I apologize. Perhaps I’m avoiding the real problem here.

Over the All-Star break, my Grandma’s favorite player, and our cleanup hitter Alex Rodriguez underwent surgery to repair his impaired knee. Since his absence, the Yankees are 3-3, and their offense just isn’t the same…they don’t have that extra “oomph” they have when A-Rod is in the lineup. I didn’t really worry too much when I heard he was having the surgery. I remembered how the Yankees went 14-4 without their Captain, Derek Jeter. I didn’t think they would struggle even more without A-Rod.

I think, since the offense is stinking up a storm, maybe Joe Girardi should implement some lineup tweaks? Since he hasn’t done anything yet? Everyone’s been talking about how hot Brett Gardner has been, so why is he batting 9th? I say, but your best guys up top, so the heart of the order is actually good, so maybe a rally can actually happen instead of having a stinky guy come up with runners in scoring position and just kill everything. I don’t see what the big deal about shaking up the lineup will be – I mean are they doing well the way they are now? All that talk about rhythm, protection, it just bugs me. I mean these guys are Major League hitters. Stop being so sensitive. Hit the damn ball, that’s what you’re getting paid for.

I say just try something different, something like this:

#1 Brett Gardner

#2 Derek Jeter

#3 Curtis Granderson

#4 Robinson Cano

#5 Mark Teixeira

#6 Nick Swisher

#7 Jorge Posada

#8 Russell Martin

#9 Eduardo Nunez

And YES, I know Granderson and Cano are back-to-back lefties, but I don’t think it matters at all. Both Grandy and Cano are not neutralized by lefties. They both still hit very well against them with Cano at an insane clip .342 against lefties. Gardner at the top, why not? So he struggled up there in the beginning of the year – he struggled in GENERAL at the beginning of the year. The team needs a spark, and Gardner can provide it. I mean he can’t be any worse than Jeter up there. And he has stolen I think 12 bases in a row now? Oh, and he leads in stolen bases with 29. So this way when he leads off with a single, he can steal 2nd and not worry about Jeter grounding into a double play.

I doubt they’re going to do anything to spark the offense, but I would give it a try. Just like Billy Martin did. Pull the names out of a hat, and that’d be the lineup order! DO SOMETHING!

Maybe then, it won’t matter what kind of ridiculous excuse for a stadium they’d play in. Even if a ball is lost here or there, they’d still be able to HIT!

Oh well, one more game in this place, then back home to that beautiful ballpark in the Bronx.

GO YANKS!

ROBBIE CANO! DONTCHYA KNOW!!!

Ha..haha…hahaha. Oh yeah, I said it.

The Home Run Derby is always an event that I look forward to, but it’s even more fun when one of my guys is in it. The competitors this year were very imposing, and I felt that in that list of powerful players, my Cano was a little overshadowed.

Perhaps that worked to his advantage.

I feel like everyone who was asked “Who is going to win it this year?” answered, “Ohh Adrian Gonzalez.” They all jumped on the “He’s the greatest player ever” bandwagon.

Hahaha.

Naturally, I picked Cano from the beginning.

I didn’t know how he was going to perform. I remember how he wanted to participate in the Derby last year, but was hurt. This year, he was ready. But it always makes me nervous watching my guy perform in something that I bet on, because his performance is out of my control. I’m like a nervous mother watching her boy: all she can do is watch and hope.

After I saw him hit his first home run, I relaxed. I then knew he would get it.

I just think it was so fitting that it came down to Gonzalez and Cano. Yankees against Red Sox. My brothers and I were annoyed that throughout Cano’s rounds, the announcers didn’t really talk about Cano. They didn’t sit there oohing at his every move like they did with Gonzalez. They talked about his Dad being in great shape and not smiling, and they talked about some stupid kid on the field making a diving catch on one of Cano’s outs. They didn’t marvel at Cano. But that’s okay. Being the underdog was the way to go. And by the end, he had the crowd on his side.

After Adrian Gonzalez hit 11 HR in the final round, everyone was set to crown him the winner. “Oh, A-Gon made it awfully tough for Cano!”

Haha yeah think again.

Cano’s swing was so effortless all throughout the night. He just got better and better. And when he hit that final homer, the 12th, I was ecstatic.

He stood there in perfect balance after his swing, his perfect swing, then raised his arms, and his teammates Russell Martin, Curtis Granderson, and David Robertson who has supported him all night, raised him up. His Daddy smiled (aww).

It was just so perfect, I can’t even describe how happy I was when he won. Let’s just say I’m still smiling.

So the underdog Robinson Cano wins over the anointed-champion Adrian Gonzalez. Maybe this is a sign of things to come for the 2nd half: the underdog Yankees will prevail over the anointed-champion Red Sox.

Most definitely. It’s gonna be a fun 2nd half.

Until then, enjoy the All-Star game everyone!

GO YANKEES/AL!!!

C”Cy” Gets A Pie

Hefty-Lefty Spectacular in Series Finale Win

After the historic day yesterday, I didn’t think life could get any better for a Yankees fan. Heading into today’s game with the series tied 1-1 with one game rained out, and looking ahead to the All-Star Break tomorrow, I figured it would be pretty nice to win today. And with our big ace on the hill, I knew we had a good chance at a W.

I remember the last time CC pitched, the Yankees had an offensive explosion and scored 9 runs. Then Michael Kay brought up the fact that CC was a guy who received some of the most run support in the league. I remembered that coming into today’s game.

I love how Michael Kay jinxes everything!

It was more like an offensive outage today, but hey, I’m fine with that. We won! And it’s all thanks to CC.

No runs? No problem. CC didn’t need too many – in fact 1 was enough. That 1 run was courtesy of sloppy defense from the Rays BJ Upton and James Shields. With Cano on first, Upton tried to throw him out after catching Posada’s fly ball. He threw it into the dugout, awarding 2 bases to Cano. In an attempt to pickoff Cano at third, Shields threw the ball crazy, allowing Cano to score. Tough luck. I guess he deserved, though. Shields is the leading guy for pickoffs, maybe he got too full of himself. Whatever. That 1 run was all CC needed. He CRUISED along today.

CC Sabathia threw a complete game 4-hit shutout and struckout 9 Rays along the way. He made it look so easy, throwing just 113 pitches. And that last fastball was clocked at 98 mph. PURE GAS. CC was pumped, and rightfully so. He threw a helluva ballgame.

Obviously the team was just as pleased in the Hefty-Lefty as I was. During his on-the-field interview, CC was pied by the always-stealth A.J. Burnett. I did not expect that! It wasn’t a walkoff win, but it was just as exciting. There’s nothing like watching the best pitcher own a division rival.

I didn’t think things could get better for a Yankees fan like myself, but they DID. There’s more aside from this win worth celebrating. I campaigned for and made a huge fuss about my boys, David Robertson and CC Sabathia, because I didn’t understand why they were not All-Stars. Their numbers were far superior to any other competitor, yet they were snubbed. Well apparently, someone heard my voice (or they just grew a brain), and Robertson and Sabathia have rightfully been named to the AL All-Star team.

So as if they didn’t already, my Yankees completely dominate the AL All-Star roster, though some guys will not be participating. But that’s okay – they still get the little All-Star icon next to 2011 on the backs of their baseball cards.

The Yankee representatives in the All-Star game are Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin, Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia, and David Robertson.

Since the All-Star game is to honor the best, and the Yankees are the best team, so naturally they are well-represented. I’m proud of my boys.

Great game today, my sweet chocolate chip Hefty-Lefty C”Cy” Sabathia! Congrats on your 13-4 record, 2.72 ERA, and All-Star first half.  You’ve been worth every penny so far!

Rest up, Yanks, and have fun in Arizona to those that are attending!

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