Results tagged ‘ Mariano Rivera ’

Jobianamo

Yankee Bullpen Stellar in Win

It was the first Monday night in a LONG time that I had something to look forward to. Instead of procrastinating on my homework like I usually do, I made sure to get right to it, so I would be free for 7:00.

Oh, the beauty of baseball season.

The game didn’t disappoint. It was a good one, and the Yankees played very well. I know it’s waaaay early to say stuff like this, but they really look like a championship-caliber team, especially in last night’s 4-3 victory.

The Yanks didn’t have that much offense, but they got the big hits. A-Rod and Posada each had 2-run homers and were responsible for all of the Yankees’ 4 runs. A-Rod has gotten of to an amazing start so far this year…can you say MVP? (I know it’s early, but you heard it hear first!). And Posada…my Jo-Po. He has adjusted to his DH role very well.

Last night’s game was important, because it was Ivan Nova’s first start of the season. And unlike last year, Nova this year is here to stay. So it was important for him to show he belonged in the Bigs.

Nova said that he had a plan last night, and that he didn’t expect the Twins to even get 1 hit off him. Way to set the high-bar, Ivan!

                  

Well, Nova didn’t throw a no-no last night, but I thought he pitched wonderfully. He didn’t allow a hit until 2 outs into the 4th. I was worried a bit because he had trouble getting the final out – the Twins rallied with 2 outs and scored 2 runs that inning. Nova also allowed a run in the 5th, and before I knew it, the Twins crept their way back into the ballgame.

I was nervous when he went out to pitch the 6th, but Nova managed to make it out alive, and set himself up for the win. After striking out Jim Thome for the final out, Nova showed a little emotion on the mound with some fist pumps. Kind of reminded me of that old Joba Chamberlain…

SPEAKING of Joba, I’m in love with this bullpen. OMG. If the Yankees don’t have the best bullpen in baseball, then no one does. I’m betting on it:

THE YANKEES WILL FINISH 2011 WITH THE BEST BULLPEN IN ALL OF BASEBALL. 

Joba Chamberlain did his thing in the 7th, Rafael Soriano was stellar in the 8th, and Mariano Rivera was Mo in the 9th. These guys are so good, they need a name. People have been calling them, “Jo-So-Mo,” but that just doesn’t FLOW.

My name is better: Jobianamo.

joba 2011.jpg 
soriano 2011.jpg 
mo 2011.jpg

 

Joba, Soriano, Mo.

Jobianamo.

7th, 8th, 9th.

Yankees win.

It’s Gonna Be a Good Season…

Yanks Off to Winning Start

The day I had waited for for what seemed an eternity finally arrived on Thursday: Yankees Opening Day! I didn’t know what to expect, so I went into the day with no expectations. Sure, I didn’t want to admit it, but I was worried about them facing Verlander in the Opener. I was worried about certain guys getting off to a good start. And I was worried about the weather.

And most importantly, I was worried about missing the majority of the game because of school.

Being the nerd I am, I had to stay after school Thursday for a meeting with the Superindenent that I could not skip. “Aw jeez,” I thought. “That’s an extra hour of the game I”ll miss. I hope my boys do alright.”

When the 3:00 bell rang, I fled the school as fast as I could.

“How’re they doin?” was the first thing I asked my Dad on the way home.

“Tied 3-3.” he said.

“How’s CC?”

“Doing alright, not his best.”

“Who tied it up? Like, were the Yanks winning and did they blow the lead, or what?” I nervously questioned.

“They were down 1-0, Teixeira hit a 3-run hom-

“MAAAAAAAAARRKK!!!!!” I couldn’t hlep myself. I was just so stunned that Teixeira did something big in game 1. It was his first Opening Day hit with the Yanks.

“Then the Tigers came back,” my Dad finished, not the least bit startled by my exclamation. He’s used to that.

Once we got home, it was the top of the 7th, and Sabathia had been relieved by Joba Chamberlain. CC’s line was pretty good: 6 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts on 106 pitches.

I was impressed by Joba Chamberlain, who still had the icky hair, and who had a perfect 1-2-3 7th.

I was lucky to get home when I did. Bottom of the 7th, game tied 3-3, my cutie Curtis Granderson stepped up to the plate. All offseason long, my family and I discussed how we thought certain guys would perform. I said that I expected huge things from Curtis this year – I felt he’d reach the 40 home run plateau in 2011.

Sure enough, Curtis hit a monster home run into the 2nd deck in right field to give the Yanks a 4-3 lead.

“OH MY GOD, CURTIS!!!! AWWW!!!! WE’RE WINNING!!!!”

              Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson breaks a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning with a blast to center off former Yankee Phil Coke.

Way to make me look good, Curtis!

From there on, the Yanks never looked back. They tacked on 2 more runs via a Derek Jeter sac fly and a Nick Swisher RBI single. The bullpen was perfect: Rafael Soriano and his #29 jersey impressed me with a 1-2-3 8th, and Mo was Mo looking good with high socks and a 1-2-3 9th.

Yankees win game 1 by the score of 6-3.

They couldn’t have played better. The Heroes for the Opening Day win are Mark Teixeira for his big blast, Curtis Granderson, for his stellar defense and clutch homer, and the Yankee bullpen, for being perfect.

I was able to catch the entire game 2, a game where Burnett didn’t suck, and the Yankee offense exploded.

My boys got off to a 3-0 start in the first inning thanks to an RBI double by A-Rod (who WILL be MVP this year), an RBI single by Cano, and a sac fly by Swish.

The longball was key for the Yanks in game 2. Mark Teixeira DID IT AGAIN with a 3-run homer to give the Yanks a 6-0 lead. He’s on pace to hit 162 home runs this season! Keep it up, Mark!

               Mark Teixeira and the Yankees celebrate his 3-run homer in support of A.J. Burnett (below).

Russell Martin surprised the heck out of me when he went deep for a 3-run shot in the 5th to give the boys a 9-3 lead. Honestly, I didn’t expect much from Martin. But in the first two games, he has impressed me. I didn’t expect him to steal bases, and he’s done that already. And he filled the home run column. I think he’s going to be the best #9 hitter in baseball.

The Yankees added on another run in the 6th with an Alex Rodriguez home run. He’s a beast.

A.J. Burnett was decent through 5 innings. He looked good over the first 4, but ran into a little trouble in the 5th. He managed to escape with minimal damage. Burnett allowed 3 runs over 5 innings and struckout 6. He was relieved by David Robertson who had a scoreless 6th. Luis Ayala, who I thought was pretty mediocre in Spring Training, gave up 2 runs. Boone Logan saw a little action, and Mariano Rivera closed out the game for his 2nd save of the season.

The Heroes for the Victory here are the homer boys: Teixeira, Martin, and A-Rod.

It’s such a beautiful thing…the Yankees are 2-0 this year, and the “best team in baseball,” the Boston Red Sox, are 0-2. One of their star-offseason acquisitions, Carl Crawford, has not gotten a hit yet. And their pitching has been dreadful so far.

HA. HA. HA!

Who’s the best team in the AL East? Can I hear you say it?

NEW YORK YANKEES.

Ahh, it’s a beautiful thing…I love it.

It’s gonna be a goooood season.

    

New Spring Styles

With the clocks now sprung forward, the calendar officially saying spring, and the snow gone, baseball really is right around the corner. The dawning of a new season is very close. 

Spring brings so many good things aside from baseball. I always look forward to the new spring styles in fashion. I’ve noticed several Yankees sporting some new styles this spring. Some I like, and some….ermm…not so much.

- The New Slender Sabathia

sabathia-yogi.jpg
 

Well, more slender than before. Coming off knee surgery, CC decided it would be beneficial to drop a few pounds before the season. He accomplished his goal and lost around 30 pounds. I think Sabathia looks fabulous.

And not only does he look good – CC might even pitch better now that he won’t have that extra stress on his knees.

I like this new CC, but I sort of miss the old one…I mean can I still call him nicknames? Like my Hefty-Lefty, or CC my Chocolate Chunk? His belly was cute, especially since he pitched so well with it.

thin cc.jpg
 

Look at him…trying to find his old belly and failing. But I guess I shouldn’t be too down. He’s smiling here – he has embraced his new slender(er) self. I can still call him cute names if I want.

Oh, and that picture just reminded me of a new style that I DISLIKE:

- Sergio Mitre’s New Uni

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Mitre was having himself a pretty solid spring, but the Yankees traded him anyways, explaining that they felt they had a “surplus” of pitching (which I think you can never have). I loved Sergio Mitre and I feel bad for him. But what’s done is done.

In the trade, the Yanks got Chris Dickerson, an outfielder. In his Yankees debut in the game today, he went 3-3. I wish him luck.

Chris-Dickerson.jpg 
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And of course, Dickerson will look better in a Yankee uniform.

- Joba Chamberlain’s New Hairstyle


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Brian Cashman didn’t want to discuss Joba’s weight GAIN, so I’ll refrain from that. I will just note that I think his body looks good…he doesn’t look fatter, but rather he appears stronger. So that’s nice.

But the hair…it sticks out of his cap. It’s long, curly, it’s…it’s almost resembles the Phil Hughes hair of a few years ago!

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Okay…I’m not too fond of this messy look, but it worked for Hughes. If it works for Joba, I might learn to really like this look.

-Mariano Rivera’s High Socks


Mo's high socks!.jpg
 

Yes, yes, YESSSS!!!! This is my FAVORITE new style of the spring, and I hope he continues to wear it into the season. God, he looks awesome. I wonder why he didn’t try this earlier. High socks make every player look better. It made A-Rod look better.

Speaking of A-Rod, I don’t know what’s up with him…

- A-Rod’s Stuffed Face

                           a-rod's stuffed face.jpg

It’s a little unflattering to say the least.

Every time he’s at-bat, Alex stuffs handfuls of sunflower seeds into his mouth, and stores them in his cheek, chewing and spitting every few seconds. It looks ridiculous. I don’t know how he can possibly play like that without choking himself.

alex's seeds.jpg

Who am I kidding, right? Pshh…”how can he play like that…” A-Rod is having an AMAZING spring! He’s hit like 6 home runs, and the one I saw today went about 440 feet to dead centerfield. He’s a beast!

Alex, if you wanna stuff your face, that’s fine. Just keep hitting!

Overall, I think my Yankees look very very good…aesthetically, of course. But baseball-wise as well. I think it’s going to be a fun season. I can’t wait for it to begin!

GO YANKS!

Beast Bullpen!

I am still in shock. The Yankees actually signed a big free agent! And I am ecstatic! Some think it was a dumb decision, some think the Yanks overpaid, but I DON’T CARE! It just means the world to me that they actually did something – something worthwhile. With this one signing, I feel a whole lot better about next year for my Yanks.

The Yankees recently signed former Ray’s closer Rafael Soriano to a 3 year, $35 million deal. Expensive? Yes, but Soriano had a remarkable season in 2010 with a 1.73 ERA and a league leading 45 saves, so I’d say he’s worth it. Who cares if he’s setting up? I hate when people say “Ohh the Yankees are so dumb to pay that much for a setup man.” WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? What, like they are going to use Soriano as a closer while they have Mo? Come on. The job of setup man is extremely underrated. It’s incredibly important. And since Soriano was amazing last year, and he said he wouldn’t mind being the setup guy for the Yanks, I’d say he’s worth every penny.

 

Rafael Soriano.jpgRafael Soriano makes the entire Yankees pitching staff better. And I know I’m really excited, so that might sound like an overstatement, but it’s really not. Soriano makes the whole bullpen stronger. He has a defined role: he is the setup man, and that’s final. The 8th inning belongs to him. And of course, the 9th is Mo’s. Remember what seems like a long time ago when the Yankees signed Pedro Feliciano? He’s a lefty specialist, which means Boone Logan might be able to pitch full innings, since the Yankees will still have another lefty reliever. So maybe the 7th can be Logan’s inning.

What I’m attempting to say, is that the acquisition of Rafael Soriano helps to shorten games. Pitchers, good pitchers, have defined roles. Now, that starting rotation that seems oh-so shaky, doesn’t have to worry about pitching really deep into games. They know they can go maybe 6 innings and still put the team in a position to win. I’d love it for the Yankees to bring in maybe 1 or 2 guys for the starting rotation, but even if they don’t, I’m feeling a lot better about the team. These relievers are going to make the starting rotation better.

Another reason I LOVE the Soriano acquisition, is because I think he will help Mariano Rivera. Trevor Hoffman, the all-time saves leader, has retired. Mo is second on that list, even though he’s still the greatest closer. Since Soriano is so good, and the 8th inning is pretty much his, he can give Mariano more opportunities to save games, whereas when the 8th inning belonged to Joba Chamberlain, save opportunities were flushed down the drain because Joba SUCKED and blew everything. Mariano has 559 saves, Hoffman has 601. Mo will play for at least 2 more seasons…I’d say it’s safe to say that he will eventually be the Saves King.

And speaking of JOBA…I heard the Yankees are willing to listen to trade offers involving Joba if a viable starter looms at the other end of the deal. So that’s good…maybe we won’t have to worry about Joba Chamberlain stinking anymore, because he might not be on the team!

Spring Training is coming but I wish it would hurry up. This offseason has been really boring aside from the Rafael Soriano signing. I miss baseball so much. Without it, I’m bored. So to entertain myself as well as others, I’ve been doing piano covers of Green Day songs. So if you like Green Day or just want to hear how AMAZING I am at piano, please check out my Youtube videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/southernbelle816?feature=mhum

I’d appreciate it.

And thanks to my readers for making me #28 on the 2010 Top 100 Blogs list. I finally got my little badge :)

We’re In!

Yanks are Officially in the Playoffs!!!

The Yankees were playing so badly that I thought they were on the verge of a catastrophic collapse. It was sickening…embarrassing…the team was dead. I remember them being 2 wins away – so close I could almost taste it – and yet I felt those 2 wins might have well been 200, because I didn’t think there was any way they could win the way they were playing. But that’s all over now. With just 3 games left to play, the Yankees are tied for first with those pesky Rays in the AL East. Homefield advantage would be nice, but I don’t really care about it as much as I did a few days ago. I’m just THRILLED that the Yankees are in the postseason! I think that if they win the ALDS, then they are going all the way. But I’m getting ahead of myself: I want to talk about how we clinched!

September 26, 2010. Yankees vs. Red Sox. A game I surely thought the Yankees would lose, especially because they were losing 1-0 in the 7th inning, having shown zero signs of life with the bat. But all that changed with 1 swing of the bat by The Drama King himself, Mr. Alex Rodriguez. His 2-run homer in the 7th gave the Yankees a new life, and their first lead of the night. They were ahead 2-1.

New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez hits a solo homer in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in New York City on September 25, 2010. The Red Sox defeated the Yankees 7-3.  UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

Just like last year, Alex is arguably the most important player for the Yanks.

I thought that would be enough for them to win…but Mariano Rivera was icky – VERY icky – in the 9th, allowing 2 runs and letting the Yankee lead slip away. 3-2 Red Sox. But in the bottom of the 9th, Robbie Cano singled sharply with the bases loaded, tying the game. For the first time in ages, the Yankees were showing fight. They weren’t done yet.

In the 10th, Curtis Granderson led off with a single and Brett Gardner laid down the perfect bunt for a single. For some reason, which still seems mindless to me, the Red Sox intentionally walked Derek Jeter, to LOAD THE BASES WITH NO ONE OUT. Why on earth would anyone do that? ESPECIALLY when the other team can get a walkoff? I don’t know.

Patience proved to be a virtue for my Yanks and Juan Miranda. His patience at the plate and great at-bat resulted in a walk – a WALKOFF WALK, and the Yankees won 4-3. Sadly, I didn’t see any pies fly. But that’s okay…I was just glad to see them win!

New York Yankees batter Juan Miranda tosses his bat after drawing a bases loaded walk to beat the Boston Red Sox in the tenth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York September 26, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Thank you, Juan!!!

The Heroes for this Victory which brought the Yankees magic number down to 1 were Phil Hughes, for his starting effort, A-Rod, for that super-clutch homer, and Juan Miranda for the walkoff.

The clincher came on September 28 against the Blue Jays, and the Yankees couldn’t have had a better guy on the mound for a game of this importance. CC Sabathia was fabulous, throwing over 8 innings of 1-run ball.

CC was his usual C”Cy” self, but what impressed me most about this win was the offense: the Yankees built every one of their runs. A-Rod, Teixeira, and Cano had sac flies. A-Rod also had a bases loaded walk. Greg Golson had an RBI groundout. There were no home runs. Everything was built, and that’s good. In the postseason, the Yankees are going to have to be able to score like that if they want to win. And they do want to win. So they’ll have to.

The Yankees won this game 6-1, and had a little fun with the bubbly. Watching my boys run around pouring ice cold champagne on each other’s heads is enough to make me smile any day.

New York Yankees Derek Jeter is showered with beer in the clubhouse after beating the Toronto Blue Jays in their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto September 28, 2010. The win secured them a wildcard berth in the playoffs. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

The Captain gets a taste.

 

New York Yankees Curtis Granderson celebrates in the clubhouse after beating the Toronto Blue Jays in their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto September 28, 2010. The win secured them a wild card berth in the playoffs.  REUTERS/Fred Thornhill (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 My Cutie-Curtis Granderson gets his first ever taste of postseason parties.

 

New York Yankees celebrate in the clubhouse after beating the Toronto Blue Jays in their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto September 28, 2010. The win secured them a wildcard berth in the playoffs.  REUTERS/Fred Thornhill (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 A bunch of my goofy boys ♥

I can’t decide how I think the Yankees will do in the postseason this year. Do I think they are as good as last year? I don’t know. There were a few bad stretches last year, and I guess I didn’t notice as much because the struggles weren’t right before the season’s end. This year’s struggles arrived at a more nerve-racking time.

Even so, I don’t think anyone, even myself, has the right to or should predict the Yankees postseason success. The postseason is a whole different animal. I enjoy it. But it also makes me a wreck – even when they win. I can’t take the pressure.

With that said, I’m going to enjoy these final three games of the regular season in 2010.

GO YANKEES!!!

A Week of Winning!

It’s been a fun week to be a Yankees fan. 8 game winning streak? That’s a season high! I really can’t think of anything to complain about. Oh wait! How could I forget…I’m back in school! I do have stuff to complain about: my best friend is no longer in the school. One of the classes I signed up for is AP and I didn’t even know it, which gives me 3 AP’s when I wanted to take it lightly this year. I don’t have art this year. And, oh yeah: LIMITED BLOGGING TIME. It sucks.
 

But I guess it could be worse. I am not taking science or math this year because my math teacher scarred me for life last year. And this year, I actually like all my teachers. I’ve had them all before. Some of them are very fun to talk baseball with. And, oh yeah: IT’S SENIOR YEAR. I should enjoy this.

Even though I haven’t blogged recently, I have watched all the games. My boys are making me so proud. So far, the heroes for this winning streak are Curtis Granderson and Marcus Thames for their hot-hitting, and the bullpen, which has done an absolutely fantastic job.

Yesterday’s 7-5 win over the Blue Jays was the typical win of this winning streak.

Pitching Analysis: After beasting in the bullpen, Javier Vazquez was inserted back into the starting rotation. I had a feeling he would be….suckish. Javy tends to give up the longball. The Blue Jays tend to hit the longball. The wind was making it easier to hit the longball. Add all that up, and it wasn’t going to be a pretty day for Javy.

New York Yankees starting pitcher Javier Vazquez throws a pitch to the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, September 4, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Weather-wise, it was a beautiful day…but not for Javy.

Javy did give up the longball. Homers by Overbay and McDonald gave the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead. Vazquez didn’t even get through 5 innings, and he allowed 5 runs.

The bullpen again had a lot of outs to get, and they did another amazing job. The combo of Dustin Moseley, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Kerry Wood, and Mariano Rivera shut the door on the Blue Jay batters’s faces. They allowed 0 runs on 3 hits, and struckout 5. THEY ARE BEASTS!!!

Offensive Analysis: Despite being down 3-0, the Yankee bats weren’t ready to give up. They had that rally in them. And the rally all started thanks to my sweet Francisco Cervelli  ♥ In the 3rd with 1 out, Cervelli hit a ball in the left-center gap. And he hustled. And because he hustled, Francisco Cervelli had himself a double. That ball never made it to the wall. Many guys would have just settled for a single. But not my Cervelli. And that’s why I love him.

Then Brett Gardner walked (the 9th straight game he did that!), and Derek Jeter ripped a double, scoring Cervelli. Inching closer, it was now a 3-1 game.

After Mark Teixeira walked to load the bases, a struggling Robinson Cano stepped up to the plate. He hit a ball back up the middle, and it found grass! 2 runs scored on Robbie’s game-tying single.

The Yankees went ahead in the 4th. Cervelli doubled with a man on and 1 out, then Gardner drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI groundout. A wild pitch let another score, making it 5-3.

And finally, in the 7th, the Yankees had their share of the longball. With 2 outs, Cano singled, bringing up Hank Aaron  Marcus Thames. He had a few good swings earlier in the game, but didn’t have a hit to show for it. Until this:

New York Yankees batter Marcus Thames watches the ball after he hit a two-run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays in the seventh inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, September 4, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

I love my Marcus Thames!!!!!

That made it 7-5 Yankees. And that’s the final :)

Another win, another series win, and another game gained on those Pesky Rays. The heroes for this victory, the 8th in a row, are the bullpen, for cleanly eating up all those innings. And Marcus Thames, for turning into the Home Run King. Hank Aaron who? Hahaa…The other hero is my Francisco Cervelli, because he started the rally. And just cuz I love him ♥

   Home plate umpire Ed Hickox (L) calls strike three as New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli (C) and Toronto Blue Jays batter Aaron Hill react on the final out of the Yankees win in their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York September 4, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Oh, Francisco….too cute for words.

The Somebody Needs a Hug goes to Javier Vazquez. Javy, your confidence has taken a rollercoaster ride throughout the entire season. I don’t want you to lose it after 1 icky start. You were great out of the bullpen, and that was no fluke. Believe in yourself!

Yankees, the season is winding down. And you are still leading the AL East! Congrats on everything you have done so far. Please just keep it up. Go as far as you can this season, because I need to keep seeing you.

I love you! GO YANKEES!!! 

Grandma Makes Me Laugh

Since the last few Yankee games have been abysmal, I don’t want to talk about them. They are making me angry. I need a few laughs. So today, I’m going to talk about someone who never fails to make me laugh. She is a die-hard Yankees fan just like me. She’s my Grandma.

My Grandma is 86 years old. And she’s kind of Italian. And she’s lived in the Bronx her whole life. She does a lot to make us laugh, but the main thing she does is butcher words. Like when she says “toast,” she actually says “toes.” Or “dollar” is “dolla.” She never puts the “r” on her words. And sometimes, when she hears people actually put the “r” on the words, she says things like, “Oooh they talk with the ‘r’.”

Throughout the many years I have known my Grandma, and the many Yankee games we’ve watched together, I’ve noticed something: She butchers everybody’s name. And what’s really funny is that she actually says these things!

Here is a chunk of the Yankee roster – the way Grandma pronounces it:

- Mariani Rivera

Mariani, Grandma? Really? Must you make EVERYBODY Italian? How about Mariano? Or if that’s too complicated, why not just call him Mo?

- CC Sebastian 

Look at CC…he’s obviously disgusted this “name.”  Sebastian…where is that from? Okay. Grandma’s niece’s son is named Sebastian. But really, there is no excuse for that.

- Robinson Canoe

 

I guess this one was easy to mess up. But really? CANO.

- Kerry Woods

  

Again, this one is probably easy to mess up. But somtimes, I think she tries to mess them up. Kerry WOOD…is it really that hard?

- Derek Jeetah

Grandma never pronounces the “r” on the end of Jeter’s name. It’s just “Jeetah.” It rhymes with “cheetah.”

- Austin Sterns

I think Grandma only said this one once, but that’s because I corrected her right away. Kearns…Austin KEARNS.

- Curtain Granderson

Curtis Granderson Curtis Granderson #14 of the New York Yankees warms up before a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on April 7, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Okay, this one isn’t really fair. Grandma just got tongue-twisted when she called him “Curtain.” But she still said it. Me, my little brother, and my Grandma were all watching the game one night. Me and my brother left the room for a minute, and Grandma shouted “HOME RUN!!” We asked, “Who, Grandma who!”

“Curt..uhhh…Cu…Curtain…oh, ah fanabla.”

She didn’t need to explain any more. We got it. Through our frenzy of laughter, we explained, “CURTIS!!!! CURTIS GRANDERSON!!! Aahahhahaaa….you just called him CURTAIN!!!!”

- Nick Swiffah

This one is everyone in my family’s favorite. She messed up the mess up. “Swiffah?” How about “Swiffer?” Or better yet, NICK SWISHER!!!!

Nick Swisher Nick Swisher #33 of the New York Yankees sits in the dugout before a game against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium on July 2, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City.      

This one has a little story. It happened one night during the offseason of 2008. It was dinnertime, and everyone was coming into the kitchen. We left the YES Network on as always. News of the Betemit/Swisher trade was just released.

Grandma just found out about this trade. She didn’t know who the guy was that the Yankees just got. So she shouted, “ROBBIT, (“Robbit” is my older brother, Robert. We all call him Bobby. She calls him “Robbit,” as opposed to “Robert” or Bobby.”) ROBBIT…”

“Yes Grandma?” Bobby asked.

“WHO’S….NICK….SWIFFAH?”

Bobby was silent, confused like the rest of us.

“Who?” He asked.

“WHO’S NICK SWIFFAH?” Grandma tried again.

This time, Bobby went to the TV to see for himself. The headline “Yanks Trade for Nick Swisher.”

“GRANDMAAA!!!! It’s NICK SWISHER!!!!”

She didn’t have time to respond. We all started laughing at her. But she was a good sport about it, as always. “Oooh!” she said. Then she joined in with laughs. To this day, we still remind her of this one. And she never got it wrong the right way again. Now she calls him “Swizza.” Then I say, “No, Grandma…Nick SWISHER.”

I don’t think she’ll ever get it right.

Happy Belated Birthday to Me!

Yanks Finally Win – A Day Late, But I’ll Take It

I’m not even kidding: I think the Yankees have a secret camera in my house. Yesterday, I was frustrated after they lost on my birthday (17!!!), and needed to take out my frustration. So for FanVsFan, I posted a debate about Joe Girardi, and how he deserves some of the blame for the offensive woes:

http://fanvsfan.com/claims/joe-girardi-is-partly-to-blame-for-the-yankees-s-offensive-struggles

He must have heard me recording this, because he took my advice. And it paid off! The Yankees won 6-2….on Jorge Posada’s birthday instead of mine. But that’s okay. We just needed a win!

Pitching Analysis: The Yankees looked toward CC Sabathia to throw up a bunch of zeros and stop the bleeding last night. I thought he was the perfect guy to be on that mound last night to turn things around for the Yanks. But after the first pitch of the game connected to A-Jax’s bat and landed in the seats, I lost faith. 1-0? Already? In the 1st inning? That was asking too much from the Yankees, who lost a game 1-0 to the Royals the other day. I thought we were screwed.

THANK GOD, I was wrong.

My sweet Hefty-Lefty settled down after 2 innings. After that leadoff homer, CC shut down the Tigers offense until Inge homered in the 7th. CC got into a little jam in the 7th, but made it out unscathed. I read his lips when he left the mound after the 7th: “F*** YEAH!!!!”

       New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia throws a pitch to the Detroit Tigers in the second inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, August 17, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

                                         I was thinking the same thing, CC ♥

The bullpen, which all of a sudden has turned itself around, did well last night. David Robertson pitched a clean 8th, and Mariano tossed a scoreless 9th.

Defensive Analysis: Curtis Granderson has always played a good centerfield. Even when his hitting wasn’t there, he contributed with his glove. In the 1st inning, Granderson made two exceptional plays: One going to his left, and one diving going to his right. He helped set the tone last night, and got CC out of some potential jams. Thank you, Curtis!

http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=11053857&topic_id=8877494&c_id=nyy

Offensive Analysis: This was what I really wanted for my birthday: runs. Joe Girardi took my advice. The Yankees really forced the action last night, which you have to do against a pitcher like Verlander. I saw a bunt last night. And I even saw a steal – by JORGE POSADA!!! Happy Birthday Jo-Po! That’s a single season-high 3 steals for him this year. And aside from the small ball, the Yankees actually hit last night. Hallelujah.

After falling behind 1-0 in the top half of the 1st, the Yankees came right back, which surprised me – they haven’t done that in ages. With loaded bases, Nick Swisher knocked in 2 with a single, giving the Yanks a 2-1 lead. It seems like ages since they’ve had a lead…

     New York Yankees batter Nick Swisher hits a two-run scoring single against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York August 17, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

                                                      Swishialicious…

In the 2nd, my cute little Curtis hit a solo home run, making it 4-1 Yanks. Boy, he sure is cute when he’s swingin’ that stick so well ;)

In the 6th, Brett Gardner hit a 2-out double. That brought up Jeter, who I couldn’t help being angry at because of the loss on my birthday: the Yankees were down 3-1 in the bottom of the 9th. With bases loaded and 1 out, Jeter grounded into a game-ending double play. I hoped he could do something to make me happy last night. And he did. His 2 out RBI single scored Gardner, and gave the Yanks a 4-1 lead. Thank you, Derek.

In the 7th, Robbie Cano homered, making it 5-2. He’s been struggling lately, so that homer was a good sign. Later in the inning, Nick Swisher got hit by a pitch right on the foot. He went down, and was in a lot of pain. I didn’t even think Nick would have been in the lineup last night, because he hurt his forearm the night before. But with Berkman and A-Rod still hurt, Swish chose to play last night. What a guy. I was relieved when I saw him trot down to first base.

After an infield single by Marcus Thames and a Curtis Granderson walk, the bases were loaded for Ramiro Pena. He tacked on a run with a sac fly, giving the Yanks a 6-2 lead. And that’s the final score.

Last night’s win was comforting for sure. But is the offensive slump over? I wouldn’t exactly call 6 runs an explosion. But the offense doesn’t always need to explode for the team to win. I’m not going to say if the slump is over or not….I’ll just stay quiet and watch them play. I’m not going to be the one to jinx them (that’s Michael Kay’s job). The heroes for the victory last night are CC Sabathia, for another win, giving him the league-leading 16, Curtis Granderson, for his contributions with both the glove and bat, and Nick Swisher, for being a man, and for giving the Yankees their first lead since God knows when.

My little brother had an idea for a new segment on my blog: the “Somebody Needs a Hug” segment. This is brilliance at its best. Every game I watch, I always say that at least once. So why not write it, too? The “Somebody Needs a Hug” recipient is someone who either did something or had something happen to him that makes me pity him. The hug is to either comfort, or show that I appreciate him and his efforts. Thank you Tommy for this idea.

The first ever Somebody Needs a Hug goes to….Nick Swisher. Like I said before, he played through pain, and then got hurt again. I love my macho Yankees.

Stay tough, boys! And thanks for winning :)

Back to Business

Sweet Relief!

-Peaceful sigh-  THAT’S more like it. I knew the Yankees wouldn’t lose again yesterday, because the most they’ve lost in a row this year was 3 games. And yesterday’s 5-1 win was more than just a win: it was history. I don’t care what all those haters think about A-Rod. Unlike Bonds, Sosa, and McGwire, A-Rod admitted it. So you have to respect that.

I’ve been thinking about this whole steroid thing. I mean, SO many players were on juice. Does that mean Alex was right to do them? Absolutely not. Does that excuse his behavior? No way. Who knows how many players were really on steroids? It’s a sad era in baseball, but it happened. And nobody can possibly know of EVERY player who did steroids, so that’s why they are just including everyone in the record books. If the steroid era players are going to be included in te record books, then I want A-Rod to break that record. I don’t care what anybody else thinks. He’s my A-Rod, my Yankee, and I love him.

Let’s take a look at that milestone home run:

       Congratulations, Alex. I love you so much and I’m glad you are on my Yankees.

Oh, and just for the record, Cano was SO safe at first!!!

That was no cheapie, Alex. Dead center. And look how relieved he was. The whole team, the whole city of New York was probably relieved. Because after that ball landed, it was back to business for Alex and the Yanks. Time to just focus on winning. And that’s what they did.

Pitching Analysis: Phil Hughes looked pretty darn good out there yesterday. He had that Philthy stuff and made that face that I just can’t help but love. He struggled recently, but those troubles look like a thing of the past. In his struggles, opposing hitters kept fouling off pitches from Hughes – pitches that when he’s on, they swing and miss at. Yesterday, Hughes had that swing-and-miss stuff. I think this is a good sign for Hughes.

           New York Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes follows through on a pitch to the Kansas City Royals in the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, July 25, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

                                                            Philthy!!!

The bullpen was really good yesterday. Logan, Robertson, Chamberlain, and Rivera all pitched well. In fact, Joba impressed me. I think it was his 4th scoreless appearance in a row, which is great for the Joba of 2010. I hope he can keep this up, too. If we can actually depend on Joba, that changes the entire bullpen. If Joba is on, I think the Yanks have the best ‘pen in the Bigs.

New York Yankees relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain throws a pitch in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium in New York City on August 4, 2010.  UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

Come on Joba! Keep it up!

Offensive Analysis: The offense looked alive and well yesterday. And so many streaks were broken:

-The streak of 1st inning 2-run home run losses is over.

-Robbie Cano and Jorge Posada’s 0-for streaks are a thing of the past.

And, oh yeah! Alex Rodriguez’s 46 homerless at-bats streak came to an end in the 1st inning with that little 2-run homer he hit.

Aside from A-Rod, 2 Yankees who had fabulous days at the dish yesterday were Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira. How about Tex lately? He had 3 RBI yesterday. He seriously thinks he can get the stats on the back of his baseball card in to Tex-Territory. And if he keeps playing like this, he can.

                       New York Yankees Mark Teixeira drives in 2 runs with a single in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium in New York City on August 4, 2010.  UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

 TEX!

And how about that Derek Jeter? 4-4 yesterday. Seemed like he spent the whole game on base. The coolest hit was his bunt single. When A-Rod was up in the first inning, the commentators suggested that he should bunt. LOL. Instead he went deep. But in his turn, Derek Jeter noticed the infield was back, so he laid down the quintessential perfect bunt.

            Aug. 04, 2010 - New York, New York, U.S. - DEREK JETER .at Yankee vs Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, Bronx. NY..08-04-2010. 2010..K65446JBB. © Red Carpet Pictures

 What a ballplayer ♥

I say this a lot, but I think I mean it this time: yesterday’s win was the most comforting win of the season. For many reasons: the losing streak is over, the offense didn’t die, the pitching was amazing, A-Rod can focus again because his milestone is a thing of the past, and most of all…….THE RAYS LOST! That’s right! My Yanks are tied for 1st again in the AL East. They just wanted to be nice and give the Rays a little taste of victory…tantalizing them with the feeling of 1st place before snatching it away from them! Lol…Anyway, the heroes for this win are A-Rod, and everyone else. This was a team effort.

Off day, and then a series against the Red Sox…Let’s knock them out of this race once and for all, boys.

GO YANKEEEEEES!!!!!!

What the Bombers are All About

Yanks Even Series in Tampa Bay

Last night’s game 2 win insured that the Yankees will leave Tampa Bay in first place where they belong. Ahh…that’s so comforting. I didn’t see game 1 of this series, and I’m glad I didn’t. I would have gotten too angry that they lost 3-2 and got just 1 hit after the first inning. But I don’t have to think about that, because game 2 had the desired results: Yankees win. It was another close game, but this time the Bombers came out on top 5-4.

Pitching Analysis: I’m so happy the trade deadline is over and Javier Vazquez is still on the team. I was afraid he would be dealt for someone like Jayson Werth. Thank GOD that didn’t happen. Javy has had the lowest ERA of all Yankee starters since May 12. I hoped this trend of success would continue last night. Javy battled, but he was good. He gave up a few leads, but managed to limit the damage and keep the Rays from a big inning. Vazquez threw 6.1 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits.

The bullpen was absolutely FABULOUS last night. The combo of David Robertson and Boone Logan is proving to be very effective. It almost reminds me of the Philthies Coke and Hughes last year. These guys are the new bridge to Mariano – sorry Joba. And Chan Ho, I’m sorry you were DFA’d. I hope someone picks you up, just not the Yankees :)

New York Yankees' David Robertson pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the eight inning at SAFECO Field in Seattle on July 9, 2010.   UPI Photo/Jim Bryant. Photo via Newscom

May 10, 2010: New York Yankees' Boone Logan (48) during the MLB baseball game between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.

Robertson and Logan did their jobs and got the ball to Mariano, who of course picked up his 22nd save of the season.

Offensive Analysis: The Yankees played catch-up all of last night. Curtis Granderson’s sac fly in the 2nd tied the game at 1. In the 6th, the Yanks were down 3-1. Derek Jeter led off with a double, and Mark Teixeira hit an absolute BOMB for a 2-ruin homer to tie the game at 3.

The Yanks fell behind once again, and once again the home run gave them new life. Nick Swisher crushed a hanging curveball for a solo home run in the 7th, tieing the game at 4. The Yankees kept on fighting back. I didn’t think it was possible for them to lose, but it seemed odd for them to win, because they never had the lead.

July 30, 2010 - St. Petersburg, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - epa02267787 New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a Major League Baseball game in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA 30 July 2010.

  Swish, running with his head down after his home run…just like a good little Yankee ;)

In the 9th with the score tied, the Rays brought out their big All-Star closer, Rafael Soriano. Robinson Cano, who already had two doubles, stepped up to the plate with 1 out. He is SUCH a beast. Is there anyone this guy can’t hit? He proved to me once again last night that he is a magical player. Robbie’s home run off Soriano gave the Yankees their first lead of the night, 5-4. That was all they needed.

Robinson Cano gives the Yankees the win with a solo home run in the ninth inning, while new acquisition Lance Berkman (below) goes 0-for-4 in his Yankees debut.

Thank you, Robbie ♥

What really annoyed me was in 6th inning when Matt Joyce hit a homer to give the Rays a 4-3 lead. He was SO obnoxous. He did the “drop” with his bat, and just stared at it before finally performing his home-run trot. He was really showing off, and it was uncalled for. He should have just put his head down and ran, because that homer meant nothing: they LOST. I mean, who does he think he is? He has 5 homers this year. And he’s really tearing it up with a .230 batting average. Wow, he’s good. He and the Rays are ridiculous. They think who they are. But who are they? They need to show some class out there on the field. They really are the opposite of the Yankees. The Bombers had 3 home runs last night, and you didn’t see them showing off – even though Tex, Swish, and Cano are legit good players. No. They don’t do that because it isn’t right. The Yankees just drop the bat, put their heads down, and run. When they get back to the dugout, THEN they celebrate.

That’s what the Yankees are all about: class. They are the best team, and they don’t act obnoxious about it. Those pesky Rays aren’t the best, so why do they act like that? The need to stop being so cocky, because they haven’t proven anything yet. They didn’t win anything.

The heroes for last night’s Drama Club win are the new and IMPROVED bridge to Mariano, Mr. David Robertson and Mr. Boone Logan. You two are adorable, and you really make me proud. The other heroes are the 3 homer-boys from last night, Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher, and Robinson Cano. I’d like to thank you guys for your performance and behavior on the field. You make me proud in both respects.  

I’d just like to welcome Lance Berkman, Austin Kearns, and Kerry Wood to the Yankees. Guys, you will love it here. The Yankees know how to win. Sorry that you have to shave your beards and cut your hair, but I don’t think that’s a big price to pay. You guys are Yankees!

Seriously, if you're a Yankee fan, do you want to go to war with Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon, or with this year's trade-deadline saviors - Lance Berkman (above) and Austin Kearns.

Hello, Mr. Big Puma. You will love the Bronx Zoo :)

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