Tagged: Rays

Restoration Of Once Accustomed Success [w/ Update]

Though it may pain the brain to relive the memory, bear with me for a sec for a quick look back to last year in Yankee Universe.

          By
the beginning of August of just last season, a look at the AL East
standings would blow your mind. 3rd place had been graced by the
Yankees’ presence. The deficit was 5.5 games and the team on top was
none other than the Tampa Bay Rays.

Fast forward to present day.

First place is enjoying the reunion with pinstripes.

Boston is attempting to keep pace.

The team from Tampa is slowly returning to nonexistence.

And the Yankees are kicking a** daily.

In other words, exhale.. all is right with the world again.

          Without
a doubt, the 2009 team has partially benefited from the Yanks unlimited
spending plan, which brought big names to the Bronx in Sabathia,
Burnett and Teixeira, during the offseason, but I will share with you
the true secret to the revival.. performance enhancing drugs.
These may be outdated, but the Yanks are tearing it up due to what’s
known as a “chill pill”. Despite the intensity and pressure that
encompasses playing in New York, the 2009 New York Yankees are thriving
largely because of a new attitude in the clubhouse.The boys are
allowing themselves to relax and joke before, during and following
games.. a mentality that hasn’t taken away from their focus.

As the wins keep coming, it’s become clear that ’08 is in the past, and the Yanks are back and bringing the heat. Rest of the league: you’ve been warned.

*More on this post when I return from a three day college orientation.

UPDATE: Really been slacking with the blog.. Apologies. Leaving for college in a few days. Will have to see how much time I have on my hands to keep this up. I’ll try and at least host a game during the upcoming Oakland series. Summary since I’ve been gone: Yanks still kicking a**.

P.S. I utterly forgot how I was going to extend this post.. Don’t murder me.

For NL, Higher Expectations Bring Same Result

And that result would be this:

asg 2009.jpg

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..

asg all angles.jpg

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?

Icing The Cake Before Heading To Beantown And Eating It

And this was how to enjoy it:

http://www.facebook.com/v/1157045373252

[Excuse the misguided Mets fan yelling let’s go Rays.. He’s mentally ill.]
[And yeah.. we celebrated Damon’s shot with Freddy! =)]

Who’s heading into [and leaving] Boston with sole possession of first place?

Side Notes:


First off, was there a 5-Hour Energy promotion before the game I didn’t
know about? [Because there should be..] Because the crowd was pretty
pumped last night. The wave went through the entire stadium literally 4 or 5 times straight [despite how corny it is].. Your Quick Bit of Hilarity: When standing up and sitting down and the greatest thing in the world becomes synonymous.

– For the record.. Swish’s bomb? Called it [approximately
10 seconds before the pitch was thrown to be precise]
.. I must be 
somewhere near 7 out of 10 this season now. Finally getting that career
prediction average over the Mendoza Line..

– How about that jet stream?

– Teixeira = beast beast beast beast beast.

– And let the Joba Hughes bullpen/starter debate begin..

Crowd Quotes:

– With the entrance of Mo: “Why everybody clapping?” [I swear, there’s always that one person..]

– Upon noticing a friend was cheering for anything..
  Me: “Who are you even rooting for?”
  Friend: “I don’t even know.. I’m going for the Lakers.”

– Same Friend: “What quarter is this?”

– Same Friend: “How many points they have? Three right? Three points baby!!”

– “Haha.. B.J... Who would name their child B.J. [Upton]?”

– With crowd yelling “Hugheees”..
  Friend: “Why are they booing?”
  Other Friend: “So that way they can like strike him out.”

– Me:  “SoOoOo, enjoyed the game?”
   Red Sox Friend: “Watch.. tomorrow man..”

On Deck: Another Boskees series.. beginning with Burnett and Beckett.. Hmm.. loving this match-up.

P.S. Just re-watched Swish’s innerview that aired on the pregame a couple of days ago.. Swish’s response to what he’d do during a rain delay: “I love naps” Me too, my friend.. me too.

Call It “Home” Yet?

If three back-to-back-to-back wins don’t have the power to break in this new stadium.. nothing does..

walk offs.jpg

Walk Off Wonders

damon walk off.jpg

[excluding a WS championship, which I’m unashamed to say I’m fully expecting]..

Side Notes:

– I could get used to this walk off thing.

– JD, who I will call Bamm Bamm because he utterly clubs it like Barney Rubble’s boy, is ama-za-zing.

– A.J. needs to send me a pie [preferably to my doorstep and not my face].. I honestly want to know if he makes them himself.. Either way, anyone else find it odd how incredibly intense the dude comes off as on the field and yet he’ll still throw a pie at a guy? It’s like pondering the thought of Jorge wearing clown shoes. Hmm.. I wonder if Posada would ever let A.J. catch him with a pie.

– Though his bat has lost it’s thunder recently, he still has a sick hair cut. Swishhawk is awesome.. Haven’t seen Bruney with his hat off yet, but shaving off your entire head? Not so awesome.

– A-Rod is 5-29 since his return.. 3 of the 5 = home runs.. 10 games, 7 RBI’s. Difference between A-Rod hitting .172 and Tex hitting near Mendoza line = Alex is timing them pretty well. Nice of Tex to finally break out yesterday though. Keep it up?

– What I probably praise more of Teixeira for the game yesterday, rather than the 4 hits and 4 RBI’s, is the fire [which he really displayed in Gomez’s direction]. Though being cool under pressure has been commendable of him despite the criticism, boos and this less than satisfactory start to the year from him, it wasn’t exactly working. Maybe, in Tex’s case, emotion is needed.

– Speaking of, do new reporters become utterly uncreative when it comes to Joba that they feel they must reprint the same stories? The fist pump isn’t disappearing and it has no reason to. Though Huff felt he should give Joba a dose of his own medicine two series ago [sorry on the lateness w/ this], give it a rest. Joba never intentionally shows up anyone [which is why Huff should get two to the back, for both times he acted like an a**] and why should he control his natural emotion when he gets a big out? So that no player gets his feelings hurt? I know the steroids have lessened the manlihood downstairs of some fellas, but seriously, kill the sensitivity. P.S. Must be the con of being a Yankee.

– I realize I’m writing this post in no order whatsoever, but must point out CF monster tag team that is presenting itself with Melky & Brett the Jet.. Playing both of them would be luxury, but I’m satisfied getting as much we can from what the competition will brew.

– Probably missed a lot [and probably said this before], but lastly, the team chemistry is something special this year.

Random Note: I just despise Justin Morneau.. perhaps more than Carlos Friggin Peña..

On Deck: Eggo waffles and Frosted Flakes man Andy Pettitte [said on Yankees On Deck that was his breakfast growing up.. and mine =)] taking the hill in the final game of this series against Glen Perkins. The goal is the sweep.. but the real goal is full embarrassment.. Twins fans: truely sorry.. and as a sympathetic gesture I will give you a very valuable piece of advice: don’t even turn on the TV tomorrow..

In The Hole: CC starting off the next series versus the O’s on Tuesday [and I’m attending] and though I would love to see Huff take a heater to the ribcage, the umps might be as idiotic as the one that tossed Lackey, so save it for the later innings ; ) Or.. bring in Veras for that.. they would undoubted assume it’s his control [or lack of it].

P.S. Will likely host an live in-gamer ma-jig for the game tomorrow [which will be both on YES and ESPNothing but crap].. so let me know who’s up for it.

The Awful, The Hideous, The Downright Criminal. . . & The Hilariously Awesome

          Yes,
it escalated. After taking into consideration approximately 40 minutes
into the game between the Yanks and Rays tonight the fact that I
probably should of saved yesterday’s headline to describe this
miserable one at the Trop instead of yesterday’s at Kauffman [which now
seems like skittles and rainbows in comparison], I’ve settled for
pushing myself to express how painfully dredful this game was in the
worse possible way I can [partially because it’d make me feel better and mainly because I can].

The Awful:

The man still claiming to be Chein-Ming Wang:

wang disaster.jpg

… and actually, awful doesn’t even begin to cover it.

The Hideous:

CMW’s “relief”:

albaladejo.jpg

Thanks Albalade-no-way-anybody-is-catching-that.

The Downright Criminal:

Take your pick. We have:

– The siiiiick Willie Mays type play that robbed Nady in the second.

– The play by Crawford to rob Swish of a double bagger, which clearly established the game as utterly unfair in the 6th.

– The multiple defiant pop ups from hell that just would not give the Yanks a break.

– Cody Ransom’s presence.

– Carlos Friggin Peña.

The Hilariously Awesome:

By
the mere use of the word awesome, you should already know who I’m
talking about: Nick Swisher. Because 1). Wang was so splendid 2.) the
Yanks brilliantly don’t have a long man and 3.) the pen was luckily
already running low on ammo, the mastermind was forced to bring out his not so secret weapon: DJ Swish a.k.a.
Stun Gun [that will be his new nickname] to pitch the 8th:

swish pitching 1.jpg

The moment I saw him on the mound was the moment I finally appreciated my curse
blessing of being uncontrollably compelled to watch all 9 innings of every game I sit
down for, no matter how disastrous. I swear, that was the single most
hilarious thing I’ve ever seen in baseball. Not only did he do his job tonight [knocking one over the fences], he did the pen’s too… Nick Swisher was the man.. now, he may very well be Jesus.

Side Notes:

As
hilarious as it was, how sad is it that Swish was the only guy who did not allow a run tonight and actually notched a K off Kapler, all while topping out at the high 70’s, while the fellas who get paid to pitch allowed 15 runs?

Comparison of the ERA’s Tonight: 

Wang: 28.93

Albaladejo: 4.26

Coke: 9.82

Swisher: 0.00


One more aspect of Nick Swisher’s awesomeness: the fact that he took
the time to tip his cap to Carl Crawford following that play listed
under The Downright Criminal that robbed him in the 6th. Great guy.

– A-Rod was at the game today and apparently he’s losing his precious hair and thought our slaughter was amusing.


I swear, I’ll never get used to the Rays as contenders. From last place
to  American League champs in a the span of a year and
suddenly Rays fans fill their ballpark and dare to chant  [rather loudly]
“Yankees Suck”… You know baseball ain’t what it used to be when those [formerly] bullied start to punch back.

– As per Pete Abraham – Swisher’s post game interview:

http://yankees.lhblogs.com/wp-content/plugins/audio-player/player.swf


To also add to The Awful list: the deaths of both Harry Kalas &
Mark Fidrych.. I don’t know what is with tragedy’s stranglehold on
baseball so far this season, but I hope this the last of it.. Rest in
peace to both men.

On Deck: Payback.

P.S. Just watched the 8th over again on the encore on YES [because I have no life] and three more hilarious things I noticed: First) Swish was actually hitting the edge of the strike zone a few times.. could really teach Veras a thing or two.. Second) [Something Abraham also mentioned] Swish was shaking off Molina, despite Molina not holding up any signs.. and Third) Tony Peña was trying so hard not to cry from laughing, lol..

In Retrospect

          First
order of business, apologies to anyone who reads this blog for my month-ish absence.
Blame education. I’m in my senior year of high school but it feels like
college already. Papers due every week + applying to college madness =
no time & no fun. But, I’m back… well, for at least this post
[not sure how often I’ll be able to post these days] and I’m thinking
of starting a new “segment” on the blog to recap the events of the
week/month [haven’t decided yet] so, here’s to the first…

The Month Since My Last Post In Retrospect:

1. Phillies Win World Series:

Does
anyone even care about this one? I swear, this might’ve been the most
boring and least talked about WS of all time. Had the Rays won, maybe
it would’ve generated more talk, since it would’ve been their first
championship in their absolute first year in the playoffs, but no, the
Phillies had to win and make the World Series something no one cared
about this year. Congrats gentlemen.

2. Yanks Make “Other Teams: Don’t Even Try” Offer To CC:

The economy is becoming the new titanic, while Sabathia is getting enough money to make it rain
pour for weeks. Why CC is still “thinking about his options” is beyond
me. I would’ve packed my bags and been on a plane the minute the Yanks
made the offer.

3. Hank Displays His Greedy S.O.B.’ness… In  A Good Way:

Lowe,
CC, Burnett oh my. We all knew Hank was coming dangerously close to
being more infamous than his father the minute he stepped on the scene,
but… wow, now he’s just leaving him in the dust. Mini-Stein Numero
Uno can’t just have a slice, he wants the whole pie and if you’re a
Yankee fan you’re probably thinking the same thing as me: Screw the haters, we have a sweet tooth. Bring us the big boys. [Gotta love a shopping spree.]

4. Yanks Put Swisher In Blue Pinstripes:

And
that’s not even the thing worth noting… the real story is who they
got rid of in getting him: Wilson Betemit [+2 minor league guys].
Forgetting about Sabathia/Lowe/Burnett for a second, this move right
here was bliss for me. I don’t know what’s worse than garbage, but
Betemit was it. I can’t even count how many times I wanted to take the
bat from his hands this year. But, besides Betemit, the other thing to
note about this move: the “dreams” of acquiring Teixeira. Yeah, say goodbye to those. But, if it makes you guys feel any better the Yanks also got a minor leaguer named “Kanekoa Texeira” with this move.

5. Rasner Wants To Leave, Gets His Wish… I Think:

So Raz requests a trade and the Yanks deal him to Japan… I don’t know if Raz wanted to go that far, but all I can say is good luck.

6. Free Agent Madness:

With
one guy not sure if he’s even going to pitch again, another guy 
wanting to pitch just one more year and plenty of other guys now on the free
agent market, I can’t even tell which way is up right now. One of the
many reasons why I do not like the off-season is because of how much
goes on. I lack the ability to keep up so just tell me who’s on the
roster the day before Opening Day.

Sidenotes:

– Jeet & A-Rod win Silver Slugger and Moose picks up another Gold Glove, congrats to each.

– New Yankee Stadium is looking super sexy.

new yankee stadium.jpg

P.S. Lemme know if I missed any news.

P.P.S. Duh, forgot the election. Viva Obama.

P.P.P.S. Now, go and vote for Victor Martinez for “Oddity Of The Year” TYIB Award [formally known as Blooper Of The Year] because that kick of the bucket was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

Ode To The Cockroach That Wouldn’t Die [a.k.a. TB Rays]

Let me be the first to publicly say…

rays-1.jpg

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

[End of ode.]

Even
though you stole a spot in the postseason that would’ve been ours, you
knocked the Red Sox out so job well done. Johnny Depp would’ve had to
surrender his “cry-baby” tag to me if Boston had gone to the World
Series again. I don’t even want to imagine the heartbreak + anger I
would’ve felt if they had won another championship. No one
thought the Rays had it in them stay on top for the entire season, let
alone lasting through the postseason, but they now have a chance to
take it all with 4 wins against Philly. If they accomplish that, not
bad for a team that never saw October eh?

Side Notes:

– Joba arrested for DWI on Saturday… tsk
tsk. Though the news utterly shocked me at first, after thinking about
it I was no longer surprised. Instant fame and a larger bank account
drives people to do stupid things, true story. Just ask all those
celebrities that have mug shots that will be made fun of for the rest
of their days. However, I hope that this is the first and only blip on
Joba’s “Things I Will Regret” list.

Original post here.