About two weeks later… here’s what I missed:
America: The Land of The… Losers?:
We were all optomistic at first, but in the end, the World Baseball Craptastic winded up ending
the same way it did 3 years ago… with team USA brushing off their
elimination and team Japan heading home with this bad boy:
Surprised?… I’m not. Yeah, I admit I was one of the many who were hopeful and arrogant, thinking our boys had to take it this time around… but part of me knew the Baseball Gods would be playing the same cruel trick on us it had before, having the U.S. beat at its own game, just so they can get a good laugh.
To state the obvious:
Bad News: We lost again. We should be embarrassed.
Good News: The baseball we actually care about is starting up in a little over a week so… ehh, whatever.
[[Btw, I did enjoy watching the WBC though, despite the slight tinge of bitterness.]
Batting #2 In The
Joe G. isn’t done shaking things up just yet. Apparently, he has
decided to switch DJ and JD’s slot in the batting order, trying Jeet as
the leadoff man for size this season. Though it will feel odd seeing El
Capitan’s name somewhere other than the two-hole [for more than a few
games], according to Peter Abraham, the move makes sense. Why? He says:
1.) Because of Jeter’s frustrating tendency to ground into DP’s.
2.) Because Jeter has supposedly become a singles hitter.
3.) Because the change gives him more opportunities to reach base, which is a plus, with Jeet having a higher career OBP than JD.
In my not so intelligent opinion, I say:
In 37 at-bats batting in the leadoff spot over the past 3 seasons, Jeet
hit .216. In 10 at-bats batting second over the past 3 seasons, Damon
didn’t get a hit. [Note: I’m fully aware you can’t tell much from 10 or
37 AB, but it’s the only statistical evidence available, since both
have played nearly all their games in their regular slots.]
Girardi is primarily enthused about this decision because of what he
has seen of Damon in the two-hole during Spring Training, while Jeet
was off playing in the WBC. As far as I’m concerned the only real
decisions that should be made during Spring Training are those
regarding rookies, a position left to fight for, or players coming back
from injury/surgery that you aren’t sure will be ready for Opening Day.
Why? Because otherwise, it’d be like scouting high school ballplayers
based on how they hit in a batting cage. Can’t judge on practice.
Though the importance of a batting order may or may not be bloated
these days, it is a change from the norm for these guys, so it could
spark a change.. for good or bad will be determined this year I guess.
Abraham’s Verdict: It makes sense.
Mine: It’s promising.. but a toss up.
Double C Gets Double The Pleasure, Double The Fun…:
… with the call to start both the season and stadium openers, so hand the man some doublemint gum.
it was obvious C-Sab would be starting the season, I thought perhaps
Girardi would manage to figure Pettitte into the April 16th stadium
opener somehow, considering the fact that it will be a historic start in a new monument to the Yankees franchise and CC has just recently donned the pinstripes, but I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
– Though Melk has turned it up now in S.T., it’s looking more and more like Brett The Jet will be winning the outfield
job over the Melk Man with the lineup swap of DJ & JD,
which would separate the lefties… Though I love Melky [the kid has
a lot of energy and brings a great vibe to the team] I think Brett
taking the job would be better a choice, as he brings another level to
his game with his dangerous speed on the bases to add to his abilities
in the OF, as his show of the bat. The only question is will he bring
it all season at the plate.
It was hard to keep up with the headlines while I attempt to not fail
any classes during my last semester of high school, but I caught the
front page story regarding some self-loving pics of A-Rod that were a
little… well… no comment. The only thing I will say is I thought
he’d be out of the spotlight after the surgery because he wouldn’t
likely be involved in another scandal… but how did I not anticipate
– Seems I also neglected to consider that the leeches we call “the press” would still be pining
for stories with his name on it enough that they’d go looking for more on his
past… However, I gotta give it to the reporter who found out the latest reason why people are baffled he, of all people, was blessed with the greatest talent in the game. Though linking him to Spitzer was probably bound to happen, impressive.
**Can’t believe I forgot this, but the new Yankee Stadium is looking beyond gorgeous. Add that to the fact that it will have a Johnny Rockets [whose cheese fries and onion rings I wish I could have on a daily basis] and what do you get? Me panhandling on the subway in the near future after spending all my money on as many Yankee tickets as I can get. **
Game 83: Texas @ Yankees
Thought I’d do some in game “analysis” today.
Pitchers: Millwood vs. Joba
Lineup Tonight: [of course it’s never the same]
Notes: Jeet getting the night off, while Betemit fills in at short. Gardner looking for his first hit in the Bigs. Cabrera is at the absolute bottom of the lineup – kid’s avg. has hit .244.
7:27: Chamberlain labored a little in the first, but got Bradley to strike out [for his fifth time in a row, going back to last night… oouuchh] to end the inning.
Damon leads off with a double, Gardner lays down a well executed sac bunt to move him to third and the Yanks still don’t drive in the run… and so it continues.
7:46: Joba can not seem to find the strike zone tonight. His pitch count is already sitting at 47 after 2 innings.
It’s the story of the defense tonight:
Ch. 1: Betemit’s hesitation lets the first run of the game score. You hear a thousand times that the Capt’n is “the most overated player in baseball,” but, I’ll tell you what, I guarantee Jeet would of made that play.
Ch. 2: With the Melk Man’s bat rarely making an appearance these days, it’s clear why he gets his name penciled into the lineup night after night: that arm.
Ch. 3: A-Rod got away with a ghost tag at third. Because the call went in the Yanks’ favor I won’t complain, but wow… umpires are having the absolute worst year they can possibly have.
8:08: Ch. 4: Posada throws one away.
Joba still having a lot of trouble, but can still strikeout Bradley [6th K in a row… *gasp*]. Pitch count at 74.
8:34: Joba has given up 5 hits and 4 walks so far. He’s got another inning left in him if nothing goes wrong.
Also, I think today Joba beat Pettitte for deadliest game face… looked like he was in the middle of a heavyweight fight and ready to deliver the knockout punch.
8:49: The Yanks only get a run that inning, when they could’ve gotten more, but I’ll take it. They’re finally breathing again.
Joe G takes out Joba at the risk of things getting out of hand. So, Joba’s line: 4 IP, 5H’s, 4BB’s, 2ER, 5K’s. Now Giese in.
9:10: Niiice inning by Robertson in the 6th, in his second Major League appearance. Notches 2 more K’s onto his belt.
9:22: Yanks tie it with a hit by Betemit. Melky ends the inning, continuing with his slump. His avg. [at .241] is now lower than RC’s.
9:41: Robertson gets out of a tough inning. He’s got some breaking ball. Gotta love rookies.
10:25: Mo, who has been perfect in save situations so far this year gives up a run in the 9th inning of a tie game… can’t blame him, he is human… occasionally.
10:32: Jeeeezus. The Yanks blow another game and are now 7.5 games back, with the Rays’ win over Boston. Aaagghh.
Some Insight: For the love of the game, take Melk out of the lineup, at least for a day or two. Cabrera grounded into a DP with a man on in the 9th to ruin any chance the Yanks had of winning this game, and is hitting .240 for the season and hit .206 in this past month. He’s a hell of a center fielder, but that ain’t enough.
With Hughes on the DL and Kennedy being sent down, all eyes, with hopes high, were on Rasner at the start of the game but the eyes quickly turned to the Yankee offense before the game’s end. The bats made their return official today with 8 runs on wait for it… 14 hits [seriously]. The top of the order kicked *** today, scoring 6 of the 8 runs. Damon, Jeet, Bobby and Matsui were a dominant relay team, each just handing on down the baton and keeping it moving. Johnny & Hideki had 2 hits, Bobby had 3 and El Capitan had 4… not bad. The C&C boys also made a reappearance today, as the Melk Man, Cabrera, and Cano had back to back homers [yes, I said Cano.] Nice to finally see the Bronx Bombers live up to their claim to fame again. I was honestly starting to forget what the ball looked like going over the wall… good times.
With the burst of offense, Rasner’s start got somewhat lost in all the chaos. Even though the kid gave up 2 on a home run in the first, he didn’t do too shabby. All he needed to do really was go 6 innings and keep the score under 5 and he would’ve done better than Hughes & Kennedy have been doing. He did just that. After the mishap in the first inning, he settled down, had a bit of trouble but kept the Mariners scoreless for 5 innings after that. The bullpen had no problems either. Ohlendorf came in with a lead for a change and sat them down. Farnsy did the same. As did Mariano, who I don’t think should’ve been in the game, considering the 6 run lead, pitching two days ago and other guys in the pen who need work, but what-ev, no harm no foul.
The Yanks get their second day off of the season mañana and face Cleveland. The starter for tomorrow is not up yet on yankees.com, but I’m assuming it’s Pettitte. He finally does not have to be the stopper with the last three wins, but it’d still be nice to see his stopper-esqe A-Game.
– I am seriously willing to bet $100 that if you pick a random guy off the street, he’ll get more hits than Big G. They say even the worst hitter in the world will get a hit once in a while… Giambi is the one exception. It’s okay though, he’ll do better when he sees the present I got him.
– The prices for the All-Star Game are seriously outrageous but as I said in the HDLR, I am willing to sell my liver… even my soul for those tickets, but I will take under consideration Mike’s suggestion of selling my kidney instead… I do have two of them.