Tagged: Braves

For NL, Higher Expectations Bring Same Result

And that result would be this:

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Over/Under an eternity next time National League wins an All Star Game?

Side Notes:

– Hope it wasn’t just me who felt like baseball was dying with the odd “this is the last game that will ever be played” sort of feel to the pre-game.. essentially set it up to be anticlimatic. Producer must receive mid-season Overkill Award.

– Pretty weird, yet cool, to see Major League ballplayers starstruck for a change, during  their meet and greet with the President.


That fly swatter himself/leader of our nation, Barack Obama, was called on to toss
the first pitch in this All-Star Game.. and he did so with White Sox
gear.. in the home of the Cardinals.. bold. However, just in
case you  didn’t detect it from the boos Mr. President, the sea of red
and white in St. Louis didn’t appreciate the lack of bipartisanship..

This was a needle to the retina.


Was hoping to see a monster shot from Teix during the ASG, but apparently no one was allowed to take it over the wall at Busch.

– Charlie Manuel has some killer managerial tactics.. The guy still has me wondering how you choose to intentionally walk any guy in a lineup literally
full of All-Stars. The walk served up in the 8th robbed Victor Martinez
of an at-bat in the game, while the guy after him, Adam Jones, drove
in a run with a sac fly.. the run that happened to win the game.


Explanation needed as to why the national broadcasts are always the
worst.. Do we not endure enough sportscaster stupidity, Boston a**
kissing and Yankee salary criticisms throughout the year? Just sayin’.

Your Quick Bit Of Hilarity: Mo nailing down the save.. for none other than Jonathan Papelbon.. and he wasn’t even the one who truly
saved it for Pap, as Crawford’s catch in left robbed what would’ve been a
game-tying home run. MVP honor well deserved.. “Winning pitcher” label
in this one, not so much..


National League, your time will come.. when Mo
retires.

– Lastly, the all angles feed by MLB/Fox was seriously the greatest thing in the world since Red Mango:

all angles.jpg

Just about fell in love with it..

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On Deck:
The second half of the season.. A 10 game homestand in store for the
Yanks, beginning with a three game set against Detroit, following the
next two off days. It’s that time again.

P.S. No Derby post because.. it was unquestionably lame. Did we all really want ‘roids banned in baseball?

In Retrospect

Semi rounding up this past week [rather randomly]:

– Baseball is funny. Exhibit A [B, C, D and especially E]:
The New York Mets. At this point I really don’t know if I should
further their embarrassment.. but I’m going to anyway. *Virtual
bowdown* to the art form of losing they’ve developed. First Luis
Castillo’s epic failure, and now 3 errors in an inning by all
infielders but Luis Castillo.. irony at its best.

– I live for interleague play. Because of it, a pitcher
did the honor of knocking the other out of a game, the big man became
an offensive threat and Mariano, the Sandman, Rivera put on a batting
helmet and hit it hard. I’m seriously thinking the Yankee arms could pinch hit in non-interleague games, if necessary.


Mike Gonzalez is a ginormous weirdo. How does he not get the slow play
fine for his windup alone? It’s like a minor rain delay every pitch. [And like we haven’t had enough of those..]

– A-Rod.. glad to have you back. [And I’m not just talking about your bat.. back to women that don’t have biceps bigger than yours is a good sign.]

– It’s pretty clear right now that Joe G. is going to play the hot bat to handle the
outfield situation. That currently has Swish sitting out.. [for last
night at least.] What does the Red Bull Manic do on the bench? Sharpie his bat. Classic Swishness.


Happy belated to the Capt’n. Don’t know if he’s in the lineup tonight,
but if he isn’t.. jeezus, Peña makes a hell of a backup. If he is, the
Mets are the perfect opponent to kill the funk.. considering he hasn’t driven
in a run in two weeks, since last facing the blue & orange. DJ’s
cologne bottle is just laughing at him. Yeah, double plays aren’t fun to
ground into, but imagine how fun they are to watch. [Funny how the move to leadoff was supposed to solve that problem huh?] [That didn’t quite
turn out to be the Happy Birthday I had in mind..]

– Brett The Jet = Beast. Yeah, the kid has legs.. but 5-6, with a homer at Citi? Beware the beast.

Lastly,

Yours truly is officially a high school graduate. [I’m as surprised as you are.]
Now which Yankee wants to sign my yearbook?

P.S. R.I.P to the man that gave the world P.Y.T.

P.P.S. Will live-blog it tomorrow, for the last game in this interleague road trip. Hope all stop by for the ESPN bashing at least.

And The Countdown To The Ones That Count Comes Closer To Its Culmination

          As
of right now, there are no more months, weeks or days to wait for
another season of baseball to begin.. just hours. The ’09 season
officially kicks off in about 16 of those hours, with the first game of
the year to be played at 8:00 p.m. between the Braves and Phillies at
Citizens Bank Park. To say the least: Baseball is back. To elaborate:
Baseball is back… and possibly better than ever if you’re a Yankee
fan. If you’re looking for any indication, this past double dose
preview between the Yanks and Cubs was it. No, it was not anything especially spectacular, but it was a solid look at what the Yanks have going for
them. Though there is no need to lay it out, I feel like going through
the list, [merely because it puts a smile on my face], so here it is:

Why ’09 Is Looking Good In Yankee Universe:

1.) Because of the 5 fellas that make up the rotation to slay all rotations:

CC Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, A.J. Burnett

Andy Pettitte, Joba Chamberlain

No further explanation needed.

2.) Because the new stadium seems to have a mind of its own:

Despite
being a mere block away and having dimensions exactly the same as the
stadium once known by the same name [instead of with the “old” prefix
it currently has before its title], this new ballpark does not seem to
be the same playing field if you watched Friday and Saturday’s games.
Yankee Stadium [the latter] has apparently adapted the traits of its
inhabitants and has begun to exhibit signs that it isn’t satisfied with
the amount of home runs by the Yankees, despite the fact that that
facet of their game is what gave them their nickname, the Bronx Bombers. Two
unofficial games are obviously not substantial evidence, but 7 long
balls by the team in two days? The only possible explanations I can
think of are:

a) because the way the wind blows at the Colosseum is magically in the direction of the bleachers

b) because the Cubs were throwing BP

c) because the ghosts of pinstriped past made the trip for the games, took their cue from Christopher Lloyd and worked a little magic,

and/or

d) because the Yanks were just pumped [hopefully not because of any juice of the illegal variety]…

I think it may or may not be a combination of the above, but, either way, I think it’s still foreshadowing something…

3.) Because sooomeone likes New York:


with that someone being Mark “Does 2 back to back home runs in an
unofficial game still count toward my Yankeeometer?” Teixeira. Again,
despite the fact that the last two games were technically still Spring
Training and will not appear in official stats for the year, I still like to
think they count… they are the man’s first in Yankee Stadium. They
sure as hell mean something to him.

4.) Because my gut is telling me RC will be having an incredible season [unlike his last]:

Reason #1: because he can’t have a worse one than he did last season, can he?

Reason #2: He hit the first homer [though unofficial] and the Baseball Gods plan these things…

Reason
#3: Robbie just seems like the bounce back kind of kid and has a fresh
start as an opportunity to do that. New season, new stadium, seemingly
new attitude in the clubhouse… ’06 Robbie is coming back.

5.) Because Joe G. has realized New York is not Florida:

… despite the fact that everyone from New York vacations and/or
retires there. However, tossing that tidbit aside, let me say this:
Thank you. It took a season Yankee fans are still popping prescription
pills attempting to forget to help you understand that talking the talk
ain’t good enough and that the managerial skills that got you Manager of
the Year as skipper for the Marlins in ’05 don’t mean anything in New
York, but you’re learning and shaking things up this year, so I’ll
award you some points. However, all is not forgiven. If you’re going to
promise something and wear that promise every night on your back,
deliver it. If you are unable to, spare us the sugarcoating attempts,
please.

Other Reasons That Need No Excessive Elaboration:

6.) Brett Gardner: Two words.. speed kills [especially if you figure a hot bat into the equation, which I’m hoping he’ll display all season].

7.) Jorge Posada: IF he remains as healthy as he seems, it’ll be great to have him back.

8.) Brian Bruney: I’m positive he’ll step up to the challenge and perform in the set up role.

9.) Nick Swisher:
He may have lost his job before he got it, but his personality and
energy is still a plus to the team, whether or not he gets playing time.

Closing it out with…

10.) Mo: [Of course.] Despite the continued whispers we’re sure to hear [every year from here on out] of his ever increasing age, I’m sure he’ll still be kicking a** and taking names this year.

So, to sum it up, let me just ask:

ump brushing plate.jpg

Are You Ready?

P.S. Jason [the original MLBlog in-gamer host], over at Heartland Pinstripes, will be hosting an HDLR [Heartland Digital Living Room] for tomorrow’s game, so be sure to stop by and join in if you can. All fans are welcome.