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.
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.
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These may be outdated, but the Yanks are tearing it up due to what’s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.
Literally.. check the forecast..
Yanks could’ve afforded a roof right?
All jokes aside though.. playoff fight in July.. Gotta love it.
next meeting between the AL East titans isn’t for a couple of weeks,
but the Cold War has already begun. It’s a tie on top following the
latest walkoff in the new ballpark and the dramatic battle for October
baseball that was absent in Yankee Universe last season is about to
have a match lit under it.
Notes on the one from last night first..
A.J. is hysterical. We all knew the pie to the face was coming and now
it’s a game in itself waiting to see how it’ll happen. After this one,
the camera stayed focused on Godzilla at the stadium as the celebration
went wild. Burnett could be seen lurking in the background. Mariano seemed
to be the one to distract Matsui with another handshake as Hideki was
waiting for his on field interview and then the prankster pounced by virtue of assault with a pastry.
Whoever is the guy in charge of the highlights shown mid-inning at the
stadium should be bowed down to. Middle of the first, what is shown on
screen? A highlight reel of Joba Chamberlain, complete with endless
variations of his trademark fist pump.. all surely for Aubrey Smart A**
– Was Melky & A-Rod’s “Bride Wars” type fight for Hideki’s flung batting helmet not hilarious? Alex took his cue from Hudson.
Though it goes without saying, the plays at the plate in the 8th were
beyond incredible.. not solely because they saved the game. Teix’s
throw was “jump onto the field and hug the guy” worthy, as was Molina
& Coke’s effort. Phil’s slamming throw of the ball to the ground
after the ump made his call was beyond badazz.
Beast Of The Ball Game:
With the game winner.. no surprise.
– “Why are they booing?… Boooo… Why are we booing?” – The new mindless level of idiocy at the ballpark never ceases to amaze me.
On Deck: Sergio Mitre is being called up to start in place of Wang, who just a breeder of bad news, to face Rich Hill, with a sparkling 7.22 ERA, for the Orioles, making his first career start against the Yanks. Serg’s chance to make an impression. Make it 5 straight.
And that result would be this:
Over/Under an eternity next time National League wins an All Star Game?
– 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
Just about fell in love with it..
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?
So.. anyone still have a problem with it?
. . . besides this guy:
– Got to see Joba, Hughes and Aceves before the game. Joba is a funny
dude. Buttons, by the Pussycat Dolls, was being played in the stadium
at one point [yeah..] and in the midst of the meet and greet Joba was
jamming, bobbing his head and probably two seconds from busting out
dance moves. He was the last guy to leave from the gate and took a six man
entourage with him, while Aceves could’ve walked out of the Great Hall alone. All three walked right past me, and were all huge and brolic enough to have me scared to touch them..
Speaking of scary.. I know I’ve said it before but A.J. is the ultimate
badazz. Even when the guy laughs or smiles, which he was oddly doing a lot of
during BP for some reason yesterday, he still manages to look sinister.
I was having a convo with a friend about him and brought up something I
would’ve liked to see during interleague. First off, I would’ve gotten
a kick out of seeing A.J. go to bat with biker gloves.. but I would’ve
given every dime I have to see an opposing pitcher have the nerve to
hit him. I can picture Burn just breaking the bat on his knee,
walking to the mound, standing 6 inches away from whoever threw the pitch and just staring
him down till the guy ran away or pissed his pants.. and A.J. then taking his place at first base.
– About the game.. How about that dandy Andy? Return of Mr. Reliable? Solid stuff.
– Two days rest and A-Rod musters up this kind of energy? Do we dare to give him three?
– The stadium may be helping the Melk Man, but I don’t care. 7 homers at home [1 on the road].. Fine by me.
– I’m thinking Girardi should go by the name Slow Joe right now. Finally moved Cano out of the 5-hole, after
a storm of criticism, and last night makes questionably weird move
#82638234 removing Aceves after one batter. Yeah, textbook baseball
tells you to bring in Coke for the lefties, but the micromanaging is
ridiculous. It worked out so no one is throwing a hissy fit, but even Alfredo was
surprised by it, walking off the mound with a sarcastic grin. Hughes
probably wanted to do the same, after warming up for no reason.. Just sayin’..
– Don’t know how it managed not to rain, but good night at the ballpark. Mick Foley was there [I sh*t you not].. and a Paul O’Neill chant broke out.. love it.
Beast Of The Ballgame:
P.P.S. An update.. scaffolding is now completely surrounding the stadium next door and they no longer keep its lights on.. an extremely sad and scary sight. I don’t know what it is but, despite the win, I realized the new stadium didn’t give me the same “God, I love baseball” feeling walking out of it last night as the old one did endlessly. Just started sinking in that the old home is being torn down.
P.P.P.S. This = hilarious.
Here’s a radical concept for ya.. stress-free baseball..
I don’t know how the Yanks managed to follow a series that ended exactly the way it shouldn’t
have with a game that went exactly the way it should [despite no A-Rod,
no DH, a limping Capt’n and youth, their weakness, on the mound for the Marlins],
but thank you.
– First on the agenda.. Alex.
Right about now, I would question/criticize Girardi’s overdue move to
finally bench A-Rod like everyone and their mother understandably was doing tonight, but I took a second to digest it.. and I’ve come to
the conclusion that Joe G. really has zero say in when Alex Rodriguez
does or does not play. Given the fact that Alex’s ex-wife stayed as
long as she did with him, despite his multiple acts of infidelity made public, and
the fact that A-Rod still scored a hefty contract with the Yanks,
despite all threats given by the organization that he would, under no
circumstances, be dealt with after the opt-out ordeal.. it’s pretty
obvious Alex is quite a persuasive dude. Girardi may be the manager,
but when A-Rod says he’s playing, he’s playing.. and apparently, when he says he isn’t, he isn’t. As for A-Rod’s timing.. pretty clear he’s attempting to limit his chances to choke in front of his family.
– Sean West, sorry you had to be the kid the Yanks realize they need to tee off against, but tough luck.
Andy with a great outing and a double and ribbie to boot. Got my dose
of hilarity watching him round the bases.. and so did the bench:
I seriously love interleague play.
– Probably obvious, but LandShark Stadium is weird and massive, and sounds like someone should sell naming rights.
– Swish needs to double up his intake of Red Bull.. and fast.
Been a while since I could look forward to the 8th inning and it’s
infinitely great to have a guy who can do his job back in the bullpen,
but who’s the bright guy giving Brun physical appearance advice? Going
baldy and now the porn star ‘stache? Really? Look, Big G barely pulled it off last year. Though the “Support The ‘Stache” campaign and ‘Stache Day
at the stadium was pretty funny.. it’s been done man. Tattooing Macho
Man on your forehead would probably give you more cool points.. Just a thought.
In other news, Papelbon attempted to make things clear today regarding
one of his many trivial attempts to make headlines, this time
surrounding his willingness to play in pinstripes when his contract
expires, by stating “I don’t want to go (expletive) play for the
Yankees”.. Haha, like we’d ever let him.
On Deck: A.J. on the mound tomorrow to face Josh Johnson, who’s sporting a stellar 2.76 ERA and 6-1 record to match. Pitching duel?
.. and they rather cleverly tag-teamed with Mother Nature this time to prove it. Add this series loss [to a team 18 games behind in their division in the middle of June] to the.. surprises
of the Subway Series and you get their point. Don’t underestimate the
level of their cruelty [or count your wins before they’re in the
books.. or something like that..]. As if winless against Boston so far
this season wasn’t enough, we must witness this:
– New schedule proposal: 20 games against the Mets next year, how ’bout it? At least then the Yanks could play crummy baseball and still win the games.
– I swear Adam Dunn = Seth Rogan + Wheaties/’Roids.
Congrats to Francisco Cervilli for becoming one of the few in the
game to make a great play that could very well be labeled a blooper at
the same time. Most hilarious dive for a ball ever.
Also in the category of stellar plays is Gardner’s catch and crash.
Can’t even bow down enough to the effort [and overall grittiness] being
displayed by Brett The Jet. That collision last night really didn’t look pretty. Not a moment’s hesitation from entire team to jog out to center when he went down. The kid is vital.
In the category of “about damn time” is Bruney’s re-return and Jose
Veras’ disappearance. No offense to JV, but that DFA was a long time
I’d still love to know why this lineup can’t, for the life of them, hit
rookies. The opposition can pick any random AAA arm out of a hat and
put him on the mound if they want a win against the Yanks these days..
and hey, look, a rook is on the mound for the Marlins tonight.
On Deck: Pettite
will face a 23 year old by the name of Sean West to start a 9 game
interleague roadtrip. Though the Yanks will probably continue to make
young guns looks like Cy Young, pitchers bat in NL parks.. and one
might just slip.
Some pics from Tuesday’s game, if interested:
Okay I lied.. that was more than some.
P.S. Almost forgot.. first homerless game in the Bronx this season last night. Never thought it’d happen.
Recent Hilarious Happenings:
-The latest 6 year old temper tantrum in baseball thanks to Carlos Zambrano:
When will they ever listen to Jimmy Dugan?
P.S. Despite the modern twist, with a beverage machine instead of water cooler, Paul O’Neill still takes the cake when it comes to smashing.
– My realization of why Warner Madrigal makes me giggle inside:
Tell me you see the resemblance.
The return of Toronto’s incompetence. The Blue Jay team has finally
dropped out of first and have begun their decline, which was clearly
highlighted by a stellar effort yesterday. Halladay going 7, leaving with a 5 run lead and still a loss? That is more like it.
– Cash’s trip to the mound last
night that lasted all of two seconds, in which no words were exchanged.
Picking up the rosin bag, dropping it and jogging back? Classiiic. The look on A.J.’s face? Priceless.
.. which no doubt would’ve gone well with this screencap of “The Teixecutioner” at work:
For anyone wondering.. ^that^ is the first step to crushing a baseball.
– CC, Swish and some of the other guys heading to the NBA playoff game in Cleveland tonight, according to Bryan Hoch. Cavs must win with the boys in the building.
Seriously.. what would it take for Veras to disappear? With the way the
Yanks work, the only answer I can muster is.. improvement. Veras
apparently learned a valuable lesson from Nuke LaFarnsworth.. continue
to be an epic failure and you’ll keep getting the ball. Start getting
guys out and they’ll up and ship you to Detroit.
Unfortunate to see Melk out of the lineup for at least the next few
days, but Brett The Jet never ceases to amaze. The legs on Speedy
Gardzalez makes baserunning seem like a sport all its own.
Saltalamacchia’s rainbow-esque display of his name on his back is
chuckle-worthy enough.. but Flash’s struggle with pronouncing it gave
me another good laugh.
– According to Pete Abe, Posada will be activated tomorrow..
– An update: Tex = beast.
Yanks were tied for first before the Sox unfortunately won their game
today.. but I’m thinking Yanks claim sole possession real soon.
Pettitte facing Cliff Lee tomorrow in a game I won’t see because it’s
Prom night, so I hope Andy will mow ’em down while I’m watching people do idiotic things.
In The Hole: I’m hoping continued dominance from double half a squiggly.
Off The Bench: Hughes taking on he who must not be named.. Would love to see some retribution this time.. but more importantly.. Must see him stub his toe or someone drive a ball at him.. No way Cleveland gets to have him for a full season either..
P.S. I was randomly watching women’s college softball on ESPN today [no idea why] but upon stating that one of the female players was a “loyal Seattle Mariners fan”, one of the analysts actually said “you’d kind of have to be loyal to be a fan of Seattle”.. burrrnnnn.