Results tagged ‘ Phil Hughes ’

Subway Series Spark!

In all honesty, I really have to give my Yankees some credit. After an exceptionally long, lackluster offseason and kickoff to the season that consisted of losing our closer, losing our new starting pitcher, and well – losing in general, I was just about ready to accept the “fact” that my boys just weren’t going anywhere in 2012. Ready I was to rant about using rookies, vent against the long-contracted veterans, and strangle Joe Girardi.

I find myself exceptionally busy for being on summer vacation, so I haven’t been able to actually watch games as religiously as I have in previous seasons. In the games I saw, the team looked lifeless, dead, beaten before they even stepped on to the field. But that was then.

I don’t know when things changed, how they changed – or even if anything really changed at all. What’s different now? It’s the same old guys, but now these old guys that I thought were getting too old and too stinky seem to have new life. I look at the Yankee record, 34-25, just ½ out of first place, and I wonder: WHEN THE HECK DID THIS HAPPEN?

Surely, I feel like an idiot.

Okay, maybe I wrote my boys off a little too early. But it’s only June 10, and I don’t want to get too cocky, either. Then again, I actually watched this Subway Series in its entirety, and the Yankees looked fantastic in all aspects. The power bats surged, the starters dominated in lengthy fashion, and perhaps most importantly, the team had that all-important fire that has been missing.

The whole team has exceeded my expectations recently, but three guys especially I think deserve some special recognition and apologies.

Ever since the second half of 2010, I have been relentlessly ripping on Phil Hughes. I was mad at him for being fat and worthless in 2011. I thought he was done, and I was mad because I have his rookie card and would like it to be worth something someday. Constantly, I ridicule my Yankees for getting rid of their prospects, but I felt that Phil Hughes was one guy that they held on to for far too long.

Finally, I think I’m seeing the real Phil Hughes.

A 6-5 record with a 4.76 ERA may not seem too wonderful on the surface, but let’s remember, Hughes, like the vast majority of the Yankees team, didn’t exactly burst out of the gates when the season started. He sort of scuffled along, to put it nicely, racking up a frightening 7.88 ERA in his first month. Just when I thought all faith was lost, he started to improve. Take away that one bad start against the Angels, and Hughes has been fantastic from May onwards. He has lowered his ERA in 8 of his last 9 starts, proving that he definitely has something left to offer. He bounced back from his worst start of the year in LA – 7 runs on 11 hits in 5.1 innings – with arguably the best start of his career in his next time out against the Tigers – a complete game, where he surrendered just 1 run on 4 hits.

So Phil, I’m definitely sorry for hating on you. I forgot you were only 25. You’ve really stepped up this season. While I previously thought our starting rotation was God awful this year, you’ve shined a light. Keep it up!

When the Yankees were in Anaheim a few weeks ago, I wanted to kill Brian Cashman. It was the first time I saw the adorable, amazing rookie Mike Trout in action. God was he cute…and he seriously impressed everyone in my home. I wanted him, and I made it clear that I wanted him, prancing around my house saying, “Let’s trade for Mike Trout! Take him, and pay the Angels to take Teixeira!” Little did I know, he could have been a Yankee. Supposedly, he was set to be the Yankee’s first draft pick in 2009, but they lost that draft pick to the Angels due to the signing of their free agent. That free agent was Mark Teixeira.

I was livid when I learned that. During the Angel’s series, I was probably at my height of my “I’m sick of Mark Teixeira sucking with a huge contract” phase. He just made me so mad, promising to bunt but never doing it, popping up or grounding right into the shift, and making that annoying face when trying to hit. He was the perfect example of what was annoying me about the Yankees: veterans with giant contracts that sucked but were still getting paid, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Mark is a historically slow starter. At June 10th, maybe he’s just now getting his groove on. He’s actually hitting almost .250, which doesn’t seem like much, but he had been hovering around .220-.230 for so long that it was sickening.  Teix has definitely shown glimpses of improvement at the plate, and still is arguably the best glove over at first.  I’m looking forward to seeing how he performs going forward.

The last guy I feel the need to apologize to is someone I’ve never come out and openly criticized. I have underestimated him, and perhaps neglected him. I don’t think I’ve shown Russell Martin nearly enough love, and today especially, he reminded me why I love him.

I admit it, I’m not over the whole Jesus Montero thing, and I probably never will be. And all my blabbering about that little catching cutie probably made it seem like I had absolutely no faith whatsoever in Russell Martin.  I never said it, but he worried me, spending practically the whole season under the Mendoza line.  I mean seriously – Chris Stewart was hitting better. I know a catcher’s primary focus should be on assisting the pitchers, but when the Yankees were stinky, the pitching was too, along with Martin. So I didn’t feel like he was doing very well overall.

When the calendar flipped to June, something sparked in Martin. All of a sudden he’s insanely good. Martin is hitting at a hot clip of .333 so far this month. And today, he was literally my hero, hitting 2 home runs (one to right field and one to left), WALKING OFF, and winning the Subway Series finale for my boys in style. Coincidence that Martin and the starting pitching have been hot simultaneously? I don’t know.

All I know is that I don’t know what has changed with my Yankees, but I’m liking the results very much. Winning is fun. But more importantly, thinking you can win is even more rewarding. This series against the Mets opened my eyes, as everything seemed to work out for my boys. The Subway Series brought the best out of my Yankees, sparking my team and myself once again.

I just hope we can carry this forward.

Go Yankees!

Pineda Pessimist

I don’t want to be that obnoxious person that’s all, “I told you so.”

But I really did tell you so.

I really don’t want to be that fan who feels overly-bitter towards a player so soon, but I really can’t help it. It’s not like I wanted this to happen – I just had a feeling that it would. Am I glad I’m right? Am I right, or am I jumping the gun here? I’m not glad, because I want what is best for my team. And I hope I’m just overreacting.

It’s all just so confusing.

Okay, I admit it: I never really fully accepted the Jesus Montero/Michael Pineda trade (what a surprise!).  I still think my tears and fears were justifiable. Surely, I understand that you have to give if you want to get in trades. But from the beginning, I felt this trade wasn’t equal. Jesus Montero – in very limited Big League action – went above and beyond my expectations. It’s not so much that he hit .328 with 4 HR in 18 games with my Yanks last year. It was the way he hit: raw power to all fields. The ball just jumped off his bat in a way I’ve never seen from any other 21 year old rookies. I can’t get his opposite field line drive home run out of my head.  And obviously, being the most highly-touted prospect in New York meant that the pressure was on. But that wasn’t any kind of excuse for him. Montero still performed. It would have been a lot of fun to see him grow as a ballplayer on the Yankees.

Michael Pineda’s stats from 2011 appear to have been impressive: a 3.74 ERA, a 9-10 record on a stinky team, and a guy in the conversation for Rookie of the Year. Looks pretty good. But after digging deeper into the stats and discovering that his ERA post-All Star break was an A.J. Burnett-reminiscent 5.12, and his ERA away from the pitcher-Heaven SAFECO Field was a mediocre-at-best 4.40, his “good” doesn’t look as “pretty.” What annoyed me about this trade wasn’t that the Yankees traded away Jesus Montero – it’s that they traded away Jesus Montero for a guy who was good for about half a season in SAFECO Field. Obviously, Pineda has great potential. But so does Montero. For the Yankees, I believe Montero had higher potential than Pineda does, simply because he fit the Stadium so well. And power to all fields that he possesses is something beneficial no matter what ballpark you play in. Again, I realize that both players are young and need time to develop, but if they are willing to wait for Pineda to develop, I don’t see why the Yanks weren’t willing to watch Montero grow. They needed pitching (which it’s hard to have enough of), but they do appear to have an abundance of starters as it is right now. And they have the luxury of being able to sign guys via free agency, like they did with Hiroki Kuroda, who are proven pitchers. This trade bothered me because I didn’t think the Yankees got the talent back for Jesus Montero. Pineda too has a lot of potential, but I think that for the Yankees, he won’t be as beneficial as Montero would have been.

But here’s what scares me: now, I don’t think Michael Pineda appears anywhere near as good as Jesus Montero. I thought this trade wasn’t equally balanced before. Now I’m really worried, and I know it is early, but this definitely looks like a problem.

Last night was actually the first time I was able to see Michael Pineda pitch from the beginning of a game (pitiful, I know, but I’ve been so busy between work and school that I’ve barely had time to do anything fun). I haven’t really been following Spring Training too closely, and that really bothers me because I love Spring Training (rookies galore!). I’ve only been able to get the gist of it, and all I knew about Pineda was that he wasn’t doing well. I saw it last night, and it wasn’t pretty.

My brother had told me that Michael Pineda came into camp in not-too-great shape. He was a little fat, and supposedly, Pineda has the potential to get big like CC if he doesn’t control himself. I’m sorry, but there is no excuse for coming into camp out of shape. You’re on the New York Yankees for goodness sake. Show a little respect, or some work ethic. How a young man whose job it is to play baseball can let himself go like that is something I don’t understand. I was so annoyed at Phil Hughes for being a fatty last season, but apparently he learned his lesson. Look at Hughes now – he looks like a different pitcher, just as I was ready to write him off as lazy and stinky for good. I’m proud of him. But Pineda…really? Everyone’s eyes are on you, you’ve got a lot to prove here in New York, and you have the nerve to start out your Yankees career by not being anywhere near physically prepared to pitch? That alone makes me think he’s not Yankees material. First impressions mean a lot. That’s just unacceptable.

CC Sabathia is chubby, but he can still pitch. If Pineda happens to have a larger body type that doesn’t interfere with his performance, then that’s fine. But that’s the problem: he’s not pitching well. At all. Last night, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew Pineda was a guy who was struggling, but what I saw was a guy who could not locate (Martin’s target was never hit), who had no velocity (most fastballs between 88-91mph), and who had horrible body language on the mound. He allowed 6 runs in 2.2 innings, he threw 70-something pitches, and his ball to strike ratio was awful.

Oh, and now his shoulder hurts.

Really? REALLY? Try being physically ready to start playing baseball. What did you think was going to happen? And his attitude on the mound last night showed me that he’s not mentally ready for this either. Even David Cone made a note of that during the broadcast. Michael Pineda might not even make the starting rotation – that’s how bad he has been. Imagine that: the Yankees traded away their best prospect for a guy that might not even make the team. So much for wanting to win immediately, Yankees – like a Triple-A pitcher is really going to help you out. This is the New York Yankees. If you’re not going to perform, you’re not going to play – end of story. Nothing is guaranteed just because you’re supposed to be a good pitcher – you’ve got to show it. Sure, it’s a competitive, high-pressure atmosphere in Spring Training, especially because the Yankees have the pitching depth. But that is absolutely no excuse to suck. It’s competitive for all the guys who are trying to prove their worth, and some guys have stepped up. I mean what did you expect? You’re going to pitch for the Yankees; it’s not exactly an easy ride. If you can’t handle Spring Training, how do you expect to handle Yankees/Red Sox games, or postseason games where everything is amplified and means so much more?

I can’t believe this. I didn’t think he would be this bad. I finally was able to see Pineda pitch last night, and I thought I would see a little something to get me excited, to get him on my good side. Nope. The complete opposite happened.

Am I being too harsh? Perhaps. It is only March, but I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not….only March and already having physical, performance, and maturity issues with this kid who was supposed to be so great. My brother jokingly said that the Yankees should try and swap Pineda now while he still has some value. I wonder how long that will be a joke for. I just knew this was going to happen. I really didn’t want it to. I want to win this year. But I didn’t think this move was right, and so far, it’s showing.

Michael Pineda, I know it’s early, but it’s wearing thin already. You’ve got a lot of work to do. I don’t want to hate you, but if you’re going to make me hate you, then I have no choice but to hate you. I know you didn’t mean for this to happen, but it’s up to you to fix it.

Show me you can do it.

 

*Update: MRI showed that Pineda has shoulder tendinitis. He’ll begin the year on the DL. WOW. :(

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!

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!!!

Sometimes Being Wrong Feels So Right

A lot has changed since I last posted, and I’m liking how things are going right now. I graduated high school on Saturday, which was extremely bittersweet since I’ve been at that school since kindergarten and I will miss it dearly, but I’m ready for what’s next: summer, Marist College, and many surprises! Graduation was awesome, and I won a bunch of awards/scholarships because I’m a nerd like that. Along with one award came a little gift…everyone at my school knew how huge of a Yankees fan I am…

A Yankees cap and a little Jeter bear! From Yankee Stadium. Thanks to CSEA rep Mrs. Filmanski, a fellow Yankees fan and genuinely sweet lady.

But even though I’m relatively intelligent, and a fairly knowledgeable baseball fan, sometimes I’m just so wrong about my beloved New York Yankees.

Obviously, baseball is unpredictable. I thought since the Yankees had lost key players like Derek Jeter and Bartolo Colon to the 15-day DL, that maybe they wouldn’t be winning so much. Well so far, I have been wrong, and I’m fine with that. If being wrong means my team will win, I hope I’m always wrong. Since getting swept at home by the Red Sox, the Yankees have gone 8-2 and are now 41-29 on the season, right behind the Red Sox in the AL East standings.

Derek Jeter, in the midst of his quest for #3,000, suffered a calf strain that will sideline him for at least the 15 days. Big blow for the fans, and an impacting factor for the team. Eduardo Nunez has filled in nicely for Jeter so far, coming up with many clutch hits. I have heard so much about the kid, but he hasn’t had much time to develop at the Big League level. Now is his chance, and he’s making the most of it. I can see now why the team thought so highly of him, and why they didn’t trade him for Cliff Lee last July when they had the chance to.

Aside from Nunez, other guys have really come alive since Jeter has gone down. Guys that I’ve been complaining about all year long – like Brett Gardner – are making me feel silly now. Gardner is hitting at an insane clip of .423 in June, and is now at .294 for the season. With Jeter gone, Gardner is getting the opportunity to shine in the leadoff spot, and he’s making the most of it. Skipper Joe Girardi has even become confident enough in Gardner to let him play against lefty pitchers.

Nick Swisher is another guy who has stepped up his game to make up for lost players. Swisher had the game winning homer in the 10-4 victory last night for the Yanks, and overall has played much more solid baseball. Maybe he’s trying to make a push for the All-Star team again? Last year I think I single handedly sent him to the game, “Sending Swish” for hours straight since voting was unlimited. I think he got hot a little late for that, but if he keeps hitting consistently well, he’ll be an All-Star in all the Yankees fans’ minds.

On the pitching side, the Yankees have suffered a huge blow with the loss of Bartolo Colon for at least 15 days. I was serious when I said he was my #1 so far. The “surprise” factor was a big deal for me. I just never expected anything out of Colon, not to mention Cy Young quality performances start after start from the guy. Losing him was not easy. Brian Gordon, whom I had never heard of until the Yankees signed him, made a start in Colon’s place against the Rangers, and did fairly well, going 5.2 innings and allowing 2 runs. The Yankees can survive with him in the rotation, just as long as the other guys do well, and if the bullpen continues to be amazing.

Yes, the bullpen IS amazing, despite the bombardment of injuries on guys like Chamberlain, Soriano, Feliciano, Marte, etc. The Yankees have a bunch of no-names like Cory Wade, Luis Ayala, and Jeff Marquez filling in. And to my surprise, these no-names are quickly making names for themselves. The Yankees bullpen has the best ERA in the AL. HOW is this possible? I am so blown away.

If you showed me this current Yankees roster in April, there would be no way that I’d think they’d be 1.5 games behind Boston. They have really impressed me. They’ve dug deep and stepped up big time. I wonder what’s going to happen when guys like Jeter, Colon, and Phil Hughes are activated once again.

As of right now, it looks like things can only get better.

GO YANKEES!

Where Have My Yankees Gone?

Yankees Struggles Continue

This past series against the Red Sox was incredibly embarrassing for my Yankees. God, it was unbearable! I thought I would finally be able to sit down and watch a good ballgame, because when they were out West I usually found myself waking up startled on the living room couch at 1am with the game over. Going back East, back HOME, seemed so comforting.

Not this time!

For some odd reason, the Yankees have struggled so far in the Bronx this year, when previously, they had a great homefield advantage at Yankee Stadium. Their record is just 17-16 in New York – definitely not good enough.

I don’t want to do recaps of these three games, because they were miserable. The Red Sox owned the Yankees, but I kind of feel like the Yankees beat themselves. This is not the team I saw in April, and there are many reasons why.

First of all, injuries. Not to make excuses or anything, but the Yankees have been ravaged by the injury bug. Remember that seemingly-unfaltering bullpen they had in April? It’s all gone. Completely destroyed. Rafael Soriano (who was very disappointing anyway, but I didn’t think he would stay bad for long) is out for God knows how long with an inflamed ligament in his throwing elbow. So there goes the 8th inning. Joba Chamberlain was recently diagnosed with a torn ligament in his throwing elbow, and he may undergo Tommy John surgery. He’s pretty much out for at least the rest of this season. So there goes the 7th inning. Now the Yankees have names like Luis Ayala and Lance Pendleton, who looks a lot like Woody Harrelson, finishing up games for them. These are not the type of player who is going to win the team a championship. The Yankees need to so some serious work.

And speaking of Joba: remember those Joba Rules? Like, the rules stating: “Let’s coddle and baby and shelter our prospects from the real world of baseball that involves pitching, because we don’t want them to injure themselves, so we’ll make a ridiculous proposal stating the exact amount of innings they can pitch, keeping in mind that they can’t pitch back to back days – God FORBID – and they can’t throw more than this many pitches in a game, and they have to use this much ice on their elbow after the game, and shower for this long, and” – okay you get it. THOSE absurd rules.  Remember them? They were also used for other pitching prospects, like Phil Hughes. Well I have just one question:

WHY ARE PHIL HUGHES AND JOBA CHAMBERLAIN SERIOUSLY INJURED?

 

I don’t believe we will see either Phil Hughes OR Joba Chamberlain again this season, and I doubt if Joba has Tommy John surgery, that we will ever see him play in a Yankees uniform again.

It seems like the Yankees are clueless when it comes to managing their players. These “Joba”-type rules are insanity. Coincidence that both these guys are damaged now? I don’t know. All I know is that, back in the day, when baseball players were MEN and not BABIES, they played the game. They didn’t have innings limits, pitch counts, or Joba Rules of any sort. And they had perfectly fine careers. I don’t get why they can’t just do that today. I mean what, this way is any better? It seems that players are way too fragile nowadays, hence these injuries.

The Yankees are currently 33-27, but they really have not been playing well of late. They just don’t have that “spark” that they used to have. I don’t know why. Their team needs improvement drastically – in so many aspects. Relief pitching, for one. But also clutch hitting. I think the Yankees owe it to the fans to do something to get them a little excited, because maybe if the fans have a spark, it will translate into the team having some fire again. I say, since they need bullpen help and offensive help right away, just bring up some kids – and DON’T screw them up with “RULES.” Let them play the friggin’ game. Russell Martin is a little hurt, Posada isn’t hitting well? Try bringing up Jesus Montero for a catcher/DH. Maybe bring up Andrew Brackman (who is in Triple-A, just itching to get a taste of the Bigs) or Dellin Betances, and just try them out in the bullpen or in the rotation. Just DO it! Other teams do it all the time. Other teams actually USE their prospects! What a novel idea!

It may sound crazy to some, but I swear by my idea. The kids are obviously good. They’ve been sitting there, wasting away in the Minors. They are good enough and experienced enough down there to come up. And since the Yankees are struggling mightily and don’t even look like the Yankees, maybe now is the right time to make a bold move like this.

Maybe now’s the time to get a team together again.

Bartolo Colon? Surprise!

Colon’s Solid Outing Leads Yanks to Victory

Baseball really is full of surprises. Coming into this year, I thought the Yankees were set with a solid 1-2-3 punch of Sabathia, Burnett, and Hughes carrying the rotation. I never would have thought that on April 21, Sabathia wouldn’t have a win, Burnett would already have 6 wild pitches (well, maybe I would think that), or Phil Hughes would be DL-ed with a dead arm. And surely, I wouldn’t have thought that Bartolo Colon could help this team.
This is why I try not to make bets on baseball.
With Phil Hughes being out, it was Bartolo Colon who took the ball last night for the Yanks, the night after they had lost a tough one in 10 innings partially due to Mariano Rivera’s blown save (always a rarity). I didn’t know how Colon would perform in his first start since 2009 – but what I did know, was the Yankees needed something strong out of him.
COLON.jpg
Colon went 6.2 innings, allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, and struck out 7 Blue Jay batters. He was dealing. He pounded the strike zone, with that “here it is, hit it if you dare” mentality about him. His pitching performance, combined with Curtis Granderson’s offense (an RBI triple and a homer. That was his 6th homer of the year. I bet that he’d reach 40 HR, and that’s a bet that I’m willing to keep), led the Yanks to their 6-2 win. 
I feel bad…I had compared Bartolo Colon to a hippo because he is rather large, and to put it nicely, is not the most attractive man I’ve had the pleasure of watching. 
TWINS!.PNG
Anyway, now I feel kind of bad about that. I didn’t mean it in a mean way when I said it. I mean the hippo on the right is adorable. So if they look alike, then doesn’t that mean Bartolo is adorable too?
I’m really not trying to make fun of him.
I think he’s ready to hear me say something nice about him. After the game, which was a win because of him, he was interviewed. And if I must say, I feel that Colon was really cute in his interview. Maybe he doesn’t have a face only a mother could love after all!
Bartolo Colon!.PNG
Awwww now look at that smile! Ain’t he cute?
I don’t know what is more surprising: Bartolo Colon having himself an amazingly-dominant start for the Yankees, or me fawning over how cute he is.
Oh, how I love this game!
GO YANKS!!!
<3 <3 <3

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

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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

brewers.jpg 
sergio mitre sexy.jpg
 

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


longhaired joba.jpg
 

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!

hughes hair.jpg

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

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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!

Catching Up: Cliff Lee, College, Christmas

A lot has happened since the last time I posted, and I’ve had more than enough time to reflect. Yesterday was Christmas, and all I wanted was some Green Day sheet music and Cliff Lee. I got my music (yay!), but not Lee…he signed what seems an eternity ago with the Phillies. Little coward…At first I was devastated about Lee, but after awhile I began to think: he NEVER wanted to be a Yankee, so why the heck did I even want him in the first place? Baseball players, especially pitchers, are fragile creatures. If they aren’t happy, they will not be successful. Cliff Lee was to scared to come to NY, so whatever.

In other news, I found out on Thursday, December 17 that I was accepted into Marist College and received a hefty scholarship. It was my first and only choice, so thank God I’m in. I hope to Major in Sports Communications. Now that that big weight has been lifted from my shoulders, I can concentrate on more important things, like the blog. Being a nerd, I will still do all my schoolwork, but I won’t have spend as much time on it (it’s time to enjoy senior year). Instead, I will spend time doing fun stuff, like playing piano and putting myself on youtube, learning guitar, and blogging.  

Although I haven’t blogged in awhile, I have been staying on top of the baseball news. Johnny Damon is available, and I heard the Yankees might be interested in signing him. But I then heard that it will be “unlikely” for the Yanks to sign him. Personally, I’d love to see him back. I was crushed to see him go in the first place. Johnny Damon is a fan-favorite, and I think the Yankee organization owes it to the fans do make a move like signing Damon, especially since they couldn’t make the Lee thing work out. Damon can still play, and if he’s happy (in New York) he will be even better. And he’s such a good clubhouse guy…he might even be able to help straighten out A.J Burnett! I miss his smile, I miss is hair, and I miss his shirtless interviews…Aww, Johnny I hope you come back.

 

Johnny Damon.jpgI’ve learned this offseason to not take anything for granted. So for now, I’ll just expect NOT to get Damon. So if the Yankees do get him, I’ll be extra happy.

It’s been a pretty dull offseason for the Yankees, minus the whole Derek Jeter saga. They signed former-Met Pedro Feliciano to be a leftt-specialist with Boone Logan. They also signed former-Dodger catcher Russell Martin, which I don’t like. I mean he’s a fine player and everything, but I’d really rather see Jesus Montero play. I don’t care how “ready” he is. I know the offseason is not over, but I’m just not expecting the Yankees do make any big moves. And with their starting rotation in the shape it is right now, I honestly do not think they have what it takes to contend in 2011. Sabathia, Burnett, Hughes, Nova, Mitre…not too good. So if that is the case, then why don’t they just use Montero?

I have been saying it ever since the Yankees missed out on Lee: if they aren’t going to win next year, all I want is to see Jesus Montero, this phenom, get a full year in the Bigs under his belt. If the 2011 season started tomorrow, I wouldn’t expect to win. And I’d be okay with that. I think many Yankees fans, especially ones like me who are 17 years old, have been a bit spoiled: all we’ve ever known are Yankees who win. But every once in a while, even the best teams go through periods where they are not on top. And if 2011 is the start of that period, that’s okay: I’ll still be a fan with things to look forward to, like Montero. I’m just praying that they don’t trade him.

My Mom keeps saying that I’m not being a good fan because I’m “counting them out already.” I’m just being realistic. To win, the team has to have a dominant rotation. CC Sabathia is an ace who we can count on. A.J. Burnett is too inconsistent – actually last year he was consistently BAD. Phil Hughes is a question mark – he needs to prove that he can do it again. Ivan Nova? Yeah…young, we don’t know what we are going to get. And Sergio Mitre….now I love the guy, but he’s not good enough to pitch every five days for the Yankees. With that, the Yankees won’t win. But my Mom keeps on saying “the offseason is not over, maybe they are working on something we don’t know about.”

Okay Mommy, we’ll see…I think you are wrong.

But I hope you are right…

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