Friday, June 01, 2007



That's what I have to say about this whole A-Rod mess.

Is what he did any worse than people who doctor the ball or cork their bats? Not in my estimation. Is it worse than stealing signs? Everyone is outraged when it happens to their team, but develop a blind eye when their team does it.

Add a divisive personality like A-Rod and you have a non-story story. The only news in this whole drama is the ploy actually worked. Regardless, of what anyone else says. Whether he yelled "Mine" or "Ha!" is besides the point. Gamesmanship and bending the rules are a part of the game.

I have a hard time taking seriously fans and players who knowingly support cheaters of all long they play for them but are getting their panties in a bunch over this.

Baseball has a long history of cheaters, yet we're acting like this guy threw a game. If they had this much outrage when Giambi, McGwire, Sosa and company were juicing in the nineties, steroids would have been outlawed a decade ago.

I'm just happy someone on this team of gutless wonders understands that they're against a wall and is doing anything they can to win a damn game. I'd rather watch a team that would scratch and claw and doing everything they can to get a win as opposed to losing with dignity and grace. Screw that.

This doesn't mean I'm for cheating. Far from it. But if we're going to become outraged over someone bending the rules to get ahead, then we need to have a zero tolerance policy for all rulebreakers. Simple as that. Not just the ones we don't like. If David Wright or Big Papi had done this or some variation, would you be as outraged?

This also means Yankee fans have to shut up as well when something like this goes against us. As many questionable calls that have gone in our favor over the years, Jeffrey Maier, Chuck Knoblauch's play and Mazzilli's lobbying against the Mets, you name it. We have no right to complain when the tables are turned on us. The next time we have a Kenny Rogers doctoring the ball to mow us down like in last year's playoffs...shut up and take your beating like a man. What's good for the goose....

10-5 looks a whole lot better than 7-5. Particularly the way Mo has been pitching. If A-Rod hadn't done what he did and Mo has given up a three run homer in the ninth and we lost our sixth straight, would all of you be happy then? Give no quarter ask for none.

When you're 7 games under .500 and 14 games out of first, you don't have the same luxuries that you have when you're 20 games over .500 and 10 games up. I wish this more guys on this team would play with the same sense of urgency as Alex did. Maybe we wouldn't suck right now.

It's always galled me that pitchers like Moose and Pettitte would never throw at other teams to protect their guys or establish the inside part of the plate. This game is as much psychological struggle as it is a physical one. If you can do something to make an opponent blink or think twice, you'd be foolish not to do it.

If we win, folks hate us. If we lose, folks hate us and laugh at us. So quit trying to their hearts and minds and start kicking their asses.

They're going hate you anyway, so I'd rather have them hating me while cleaning my boots with their tongue.

Hopefully, this is a signal that A-Rod will stop trying to make everyone love him. It's not going to happen, brah. They'll love you when you win. There are very few players who are beloved win or lose. You had a chance for that to happen in Seattle. You opted out and took the money. No fault in that. But this is the price you pay for the life you choose. You will always be that judged by that contract until you win a title. And that contract means you'll never ever be beloved like Jeter, Papi, Gwynn, Ripken etc.

You're in the same boat as Clemens. A mercenary viewed with cynicism. A necessary evil. I loved what you did. It shows that you give a damn. Now take it to the next level. Embrace your dark side. Start playing like a badass. Let's see if we can give the infidels a race. Or at least a scare for the summer.

Here endeth the lesson.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Jackie Robinson Redux For The Gutless Wonders

Deja vu all over again.

A Yankee All star catcher receiving from a great Yankee southpaw late in the game. And a second baseman steals home on them.

Fast forward 42 years, exchange Berra and Ford with Posada and Pettitte...add a touch of vanilla to Jackie Robinson and voila!! You've got Aaron Hill.

Aaron Hill!!!!

What all of this add up to folks? An ode to a play Yankee fans would love to forget during a nightmare season that the baseball gods won't allow us to wake up from.

This is disgusting. I think whatever Carl Pavano has is contagious.

Is there a vaccine for Vulvaitis?

We wasted yet another quality start by our big three. If I wasn't already sick, I'd throw up in my mouth.

I almost want the infidels to put us out of our misery this weekend. So I can stop investing so much emotional energy into these poseurs.

These pod people are not my Yankees.

I'm this close to being done. This close.

Why We Suck

Before I get into my award-winning analysis on why my beloved team sucks ass.... Let me start off by saying that I think there must some folks former Nazi war criminals or Pol Pot type despots in a prevvious life among the regular Friday night fans at Yankee stadium. How else can you explain the rotten luck they've had at home on Fridays the last couple of years?

I went 3-0 at Yankee games last week until I had the misfortune of attending the latest Friday night fiasco against Anaheim. When I think about LA, I think of Princeton. A very strong team fundamentally, but outside of Vlad, there's noone on their team that scares you offensively. These Vlad teams are very different from the team that won it all in 2002.

That team was an impressive offensive team with a so-so rotation and a killer bullpen. This team's rotation is much deeper than in 2002 and their bullpen is still very good. But this team is more of a pesky, opportunistic type team offensively. Kind of like the Cardinals of the 80's. There's no reason why the Yankees don't roll over this ballclub, but it seems that they're in their heads. Losing 3-1 and 4-3 to this team is ridiculous.

Anyhow, here's why I think the Yankees are this close to conceding the division to the infidels and strictly running after the wildcard for the first time in a decade.

Damon, Giambi, Abreu: Forget Jeter, A-Rod and the rest. These are the sparkplugs that make the Yankees go offensively. When we lost Sheffield and Matsui last year, they scuffled a bit at times on offense, but they were able stay afloat because Damon and Giambi were in the lineup despite playing hurt. Damon was the first real leadoff hitter they've had since Knoblauch and Giambi was a great left-handed at bat with power who was a high on base percentage guy. When they acquired Abreu, it enabled them to move Giambi down in the lineup to protect A-Rod, gave the lineup another .300 hitter with a.900 OPS to boot to protect Jeter and Damon.

When those three went south, not only did they lose their main tablesetters, but their protection for Jeter and Alex. It's not coincidence that Alex stopped hitting homeruns once Bobby and Giambi stopped hitting. Pitchers stopped throwing him pitches to hit so he's had to go outside of his zone to get hits. Jeter is Jeter, so he's going to get his. But that's because he doesn't hit homeruns,so pitchers are more willing to pitch to him than Alex. Who cares if he gets a single or double if he's going to be stranded on base? And because Damon and the bottom of the lineup stinks, he's not getting RBI chances either. Losing those three has killed the team's chances to score runs in bunches.

It was the main reason the lineup was even deadlier without Sheffield. Forget all the talk about how it was a mistake to get rid of him. He was a liability defensively and destroyed the chemistry this lineup had in the playoffs when Torre felt compelled to play him at first even though he never played the position on this level. If you got rid of Giambi, then maybe you can keep Gary. But Jason's contract makes him impossible to move and you can't have two DHs of their caliber because you won't have enough at bats.

But Torre, like all of us, fell in love with the idea of a Death Star lineup to face Detroit. The problem was that Sheffield was still very rusty after all the time lost and he did nothing to help their struggles. Matsui was a much better fit when he came back because of his left handed bat and the fact that he's a decent outfielder. Sheff, unfortunately, was a luxury that we could not afford. Torre should have made the executive decision to have Gary come off the bench. Which brings me to my second reason...

Joe Torre
: I know it's sacriledge to some to criticize the man who has brought us to the promised land four times and to the playoffs 11 years in a row. I'm a big fan of the man myself. But let's be honest, we knew weren't getting Sparky Anderson or Casey Stengel. Hell, in terms of in-game strategy, we knew we weren't getting a sober Billy Martin or Lou Piniella. Torre's strengths are his even temperament and his ability to deal with egos as well as his deft handling of Steinbrenner and the media. His in-game managerial have always been average at best. He got away with a lot of things because of the talent on this team and because of Mariano Rivera. But because our team isn't as deep as it once it was and because Mo isn't invincible anymore, Joe's inability to compensate has been exposed time and time again. Let me list a few of the more egregious mistakes he's made this year (Don't get me started on not attempting to bunt against Schilling game 6 2004, or batting A-Rod eighth in game 4 against Detroit. My head might explode.)

I don't fault him taking Mussina out of the game on Sunday. Moose is basically a 100 pitch pitcher at this stage of his career. But if you're going to let him start the inning, you might as well let try to finish. This batter by batter approach is stupid. Pull him before the seventh starts or not at all. No reliever want to be brought in with runners on base.

How is Clippard ever going to learn how to get out of jams if you have him on such a short leash? He gave the team a huge reprieve by beating the Mets in that Sunday night game. We were only down 3-2, why not let him try to keep them in the game? He threw about 75 pitches. Give him another inning. And on top of that, you bring in another rookie who never relieved on this level to replace him? A horrible panic move.

His handling of Mariano and the bullpen has been awful. Save situation or no, you can't have a 37 year old closer not pitch for a week and expect him to be on his game. And the quick trigger he's had with starters when his bullpen was on fumes earlier in the year hasn't helped matters either. It almost seems like he's trying to get fired at times.

I could pile on right now, but what would be the point? A manager is supposed to put a team in the best position to win. When you think about it, a good manager only probably means 10-15 wins a year for a team. Torre has cost us at least five wins. At least. There have been a number of opportunities for Joe put his imprint on the game. But his manage by numbers style clearly isn't working right now. I'm not saying he should be fired. But he needs figure out a way to right this ship.

Banged up pitching:Our pitching was relatively healthy when Sheff and Matsui went down this year. What happened this year was ridiculous. Between Karstens and Rasner's freak injuries, Moose, Wang and Hughes' leg problems and Pavano having reconstructive uterus...I mean elbow surgery, there's no way you can plan for these types of hits to your rotation. I thought we had a pretty solid bullpen when the season began. Now it's hard to tell how good they are with all the problems we've had in the rotation. And now when it looks like we've turned a corner with our pitching, we can't hit the ball out of the infield. We're letting pitchers we've owned in the past like Kelvim Escobar and Oliver Sanchez look like vintage Marichal and Carlton.

We can't lose another series. We do and we're done. More after the game.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Season Starts Now...We Need A Win.

As much as I wanted a sweep. And as pissed as I am at Moose right now, we can't get our panties in a bunch because of last night's loss. As I was telling the imperial younglings the other day and Paul O'Neill touched on during last night's broadcast, we need to focus on series wins.

A long winning streak is nice, but we need to start thinking long term. Baseball's too tricky a sport and the Red Sox are too good a team to think that you're going to catch them by the second week of June. The Yankees have to start to thinking about winning series and making up a game a week. If you can do that between now and the All-Star break, you're back in the hunt.

It's not like Palmer, Cuellar, Dobson and McNally are pitching for the Sox. Schilling is 41, Beckett has a history of injury problems and you don't know what Dice-K is going to give you on a season of four days rest between starts for the first time. Plus, Terry Francona doesn't exactly have a stellar reputation of handling pitchers.

And outside of Papelbon (who has shoulder concerns) who in that bullpen is a lock? Okajima has been clutch so far, but let's see what happens when teams have seen him a few times. I think you saw a taste of what's to come in last night's eighth inning.

That lineup is definitely better with Lugo at the top. But you can still pitch to them. Crisp is a bust and who knows what you'll get out of Varitek. This team can be caught.

And it starts tonight with Dandy Andy.

By the way, I have no problem with A-Rod's slide into Pedroia. It's about time someone on this team started standing up for themselves instead of letting people drill them in the ass. This is baseball, not badmitton, bitches.

More after the game.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It's May, People!!! Put The Arsenic Away Please....

First Johnny Sack, then Chris Jerry Falwell.

It looks like the trap door to hell has an express chute.

I'm kidding...maybe.

Since when did New York become Boston?

I'm as irritated as anyone about the recent imperial struggles. In April, we're hitting the cover off the ball, but we have to sacrifice virgins to Jobu on a weekly basis to get our starters out of the fifth inning. Now we're getting some decent pitching this month, but our lineup is acting like the ball is infected with syphillis. I have to listen to Mike and Chris talk about on Monday isn't the NBA or NHL playoffs but that the Yankees are eight games out of first on May 14th.

May 14!!! Not September 14, May 14th. And you wonder why I don't read the tabloids or take the clowns on WFAN and ESPN seriously. You can't. Their job isn't to report the news or give meaningful analysis. It's to sell papers and get ratings.

I'm not a fanboy by any means. I can take criticism of my team. I welcome it. But when columnists and commentators tell me that I should be worried that my team is eight games back in May and I have over a 100 years of history to tell me otherwise, that's why I press mute whenever I hear Steve Phillips and company are on the boob tube.

It is frustating to see my boys lose to a team like the White Sox or the Mariners. This is how bad Moose was Wednesday afternoon, he had absolutely nothing going. His fastball rarely hit 85, if he threw it all, and his breaking stuff hung like Dirk Diggler. And they still could barely hit him for the first few innings. Wang showed what a pitcher with a pulse could do against the clueless crew on the South Side. This was hardly vintage Wang. But he still had enough to deal with them for seven solid frames.

And you saw last night that this team is so good offensively that eventually they're going to get theirs. They can score five runs by accident on most nights. Today, they face Jon Garland, a pitcher they normally hit. So hopefully they can get on a bit of a tear before we face our two biggest rivals over the next week, the Mets and Red Sox. While we're not facing Seaver, Koosman and Gooden over the weekend, it would be nice to get into a little bit of a groove at the plate since we know what the Mets can do offensively.

If you will allow me this one chance to vent....if I see Abreu strike out one more time looking....I've never scene anyone take borderline pitches like this guy. Swing the friggin bat!!!

Would anyone be shocked if you were to pick up paper, get to the Yankee news and notes and see this...

Pavano out for the year with torn vulva muscle, career in jeopardy...

I know I shouldn't go there even though it should be impossible, since you know...he's a guy, I put nothing past good old Carl. The one that you can predict with that he's unpredictably unreliable.

Leave it to Kyle Farnsworth to put me in the unenviable position of defending Roger Clemens....

On this mornings Mike North Show in Chicago, Farnsworth stated the following:

"It might cause some friction (Roger leaving the team in between starts). Granted its his 24th year, so he has earned it. But I think if your part of the team, you should be there always."

"You win as a team, you lose as a team. The other guys (Ruth, Mantle, Gerhig) were all a part of the team and had to be there."

I agree with my buddy Rob on this...a guy who can't pitch on back to back days should shut up about people being there. Torre has little confidence in this guy and has reshuffled the bullpen as a result. This guy should be shouldering the burden, not Proctor, Bruney or Vizcaino. Yet he has the nerve to worry about Clemens.

Whatever you might think of Rocket...when he's there, he's as professional and as good a teammate as they come. I don't like the arrangement anymore than anyone else. But if anyone can pull it off here, Clemens can.

Now if he can only get into the seventh inning consistently...

More after the game.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Talk About Pulling The Tights For The Win....

That loss last night was straight out of the WWE archives. The awful ref has his back turned, the heel pulls the tights of the hero and gets the win. That call at second was one of the worst that I've seen in 30 years of watching baseball.

What's worse is that neither Cano, Jeter or Mattingly threw a fit over it. Cano has no excuse. That was not a bang-bang play. The guy was out by three feet!!! He has to throw a fit on that one. I wouldn't have faulted him if he punched the ump in the mouth for that hideous call. That's worth 50 games.

Baseball needs instant replay. Let's get it right and screw the ump's feelings. You're allowed two challenges a game and that's it. Either that or we need to start suspending umps for horrible gaffes like that one. Not bang-bang plays or reasonably close ones. But the Special-Ed fuckups like last night.

Last night proved once again that they need to stop treating Mo like a porcelain China doll and start giving him some work. You can't just put him in during save situations. Yesterday proved that point. Only Mattingly got the message a little too late.

A couple of additions to the Guy Movie Hall Of Fame...
Boogie Nights
Eddie Murphy Raw
Richard Pryor Live In Concert and Live On The Sunset Strip
Glen Gary Glen Ross
The original Bad News Bears
The Natural
Slap Shot
The Sting
Lawrence Of Arabia
Bridge On The River Kwai
The Big Lebowski
The first Matrix film...screw the rest
House Of Game
Flags Of Our Fathers
Letters From Iwo Jima
The Royal Tennenbaums
Blazing Saddles
Life Of Brian
Holy Grail
Friday-the first one
Young Frankenstein

Back to Yankee business....

This Clemens story is the reason I've stopped reading the tabloids and I'm this close to turning off the radio as well. I can't take seriously, millionaire radio show hosts and columnist making six figures complaining about a pitcher who makes eight figures for four months work. I just can't.

Are the numbers absurd? Yeah, but so is the fact that someone can't seven figures a year for talking sports six hours a day. And not even be well informed about the subject they're conversing about!

The Yankees have lost some credibility by signing him and letting have the same travel priviledges that Houston gave him. But I think this is a unique situation for a unique player that they have history with. This isn't Kevin Brown signing with the Dodgers. This is a guy who has been a great clubhouse guy whereever he's gone. He's probably the one player that could pull this off. If the locker room doesn't have a problem then neither do I. He's a mercenary but we've already known that for years.

Off to the game....

Monday, May 07, 2007

My Bad....

I'm sorry.

There I said it.

It's been too long since I've posted regularly and I have noone to blame but myself. I can blame it on fantasy sports, my new addiction to Playstation 2, the drunken carnal debuachery that was my life last summer and fall, the soul-draining seasons for the football Giants and Yankees and any number of bad influences that I call my friends and family.

But it would be a lie. The truth is, I'm a lazy fat bastard and a poor carekeeper of the gifts the creator has given me. The only way to become a better writer is to write and read good writing. Not sit in front of the TV watching bad movies and playing video games.

Call me the Carl Pavano of bloggers. Going on the DL for months over every little boo-boo. It's got to stop.

So to anyone who still bothers to check my site, I promise to have new material far more frequently than once every month and a half. I do this because it's cheaper than therapy and enjoy being engaged with you folks. Hopefully you'll consider me worthy of a couple of minutes in your day over the next six months.

I have a question for you folks. Ever have a pretty good disappointing weekend?

What I mean is, a weekend that was enjoyable and disappointing at the same time? That was my Friday and Saturday.

I had to witness that debacle of a game in person on Friday, went to see the 1230am showing of Spiderman 3 only to be pissed off at how bad the story was (the fight scenes and CG were on point) and went to a buddy's house on Saturday to watch that horrible De La Hoya-Mayweather fight. You'd think that I'd be bummed out right?

The complete opposite actually. In each instance I had a great time (the highlights being the entire theater calling Kirsten Dunst a whore during one particular scene, the Barber Shop style arguing going between the brothers during the fight and our boy "Hennessey Man" screaming about how "countrified" hip hop has become.

This weekend I learned an important lesson...The company you keep is as important as the places you venture. Good company can make a potentially hellish time into a weekend to remember. Something I have to remind myself of the next time I decide to do a Keyser Soze imitation and go deep underground.

More ramblings...Here's my guy movie Hall Of Fame. Movies that every straight man must see at least once before they die. In no particular order...

Godfather 1 & 2
The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy
The Departed
The original Star Wars Trilogy and Revenge Of The Sith
The Sergio Leone/Clint Eastwood Trilogy
Josey Wales
Pale Rider
Dirty Harry
Shawshank Redemption
Field Of Dreams
Bull Durham
The original Longest Yard
Rocky I-III
Rservoir Dogs
Pulp Fiction
Kill Bill I&II
Training Day
Man On Fire
Saving Private Ryan
Band Of Brothers
The Maltese Falcon
The Big Sleep
Both Cape Fears
The Original Manchurian Candidate
The Great Escape
One False Move
The Wild Bunch
Once Upon A Time In The West
Once Upon A Time In America
The Hustler
Cool Hand Luke
Butch Cassidy And Sundance
The Odd Couple
Dog Day Afternoon
12 Angry Men
Full Metal Jacket
Apocalypse Now
The Longest Day
Tora, Tora, Tora
Mississippi Burning
The French Connection
The Killer
Spiderman I&II
X-Men I&II
Superman I, II and Returns
Batman and Batman Begins

Now get to work....

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I Was Going To Apologize....

About a number of things...namely my delinquence in updating this blog. But I have to get a couple of things that I need to get off my chest.

I'm sorry, but I can't get a hard-on over Clemens coming back. Yeah, I know he's a great teammate and his presence in that locker room will help our staff immensely. I wish I was a fly on the wall when Hughes and Wang are picking his brain. You saw what he did for Andy Pettitte so you hope those two are smart enough to listen to whatever he imparts. And you have to love the angst and disgust the announcement has created with all the infidels in the baseball universe.

But the guy is a friggin mercenary. I'll never forget the way he strung everyone along with the whole retirement thing in 2003...only to join Pettitte in Houston. Or the ridiculous deal he made with them in terms of traveling with the team. Or waiting until mid-season to come back last year, making nearly $20 mil for four months work. Now I'm supposed to act like Carla Gugino is in my bed naked because this gun for hire has decided to grace us with his presence? Bitch, please.

But Peter Gammons said something during the Sunday night game that explains why Cashman and company made this move. He said that it's hard to have a great bullpen without good starting pitching. Our bullpen is running on empty right now. What Wang did Saturday and Rasner did today is encouraging. And getting Moose back will only help matters. But I went into this season thinking that we had some of the best arms that we've had in a long time in our bullpen. Now we can get some rest for Proctor, Vizcaino and company.

It also takes some pressure off of Torre obviously. Joe has never been the greatest in-game strategist and April exposed that. No, you can't blame him for the injuries to the starters. But there were a couple of instances where the moves he made blew up in his face...and he had other options. Friday night was example. Either take Igawa out before the fifth begins or let him take his lumps. He blew the lead, so let him take loss as well instead of throwing the guys in the pen to the lions. He finally caught on to that concept with Myers at the end of the game, but by then, it was too late. I would rather blow a couple of games early in the year rather than going to the pen late in August and having nothing to go to during a pennant race. Who cares that Boston is in first in May? I know I don't.

The lineup will score enough runs to win on most nights. But Joe has to do a better job in putting these guys in a position to win when the opportunity presents itself. I don't like playing Monday morning QB anymore than you guys like reading this. But that's why he gets paid the big bucks and the money that I plop down for season tickets gives me the right to complain.

One more thing on the Clemens move, I hope that when Hughes gets back, that he will have a place somewhere in the rotation. Put Igawa in the 'pen. Cut your losses with Pavano. But I think that the Young Buck benefits more from being up here watching Clemens and company work rather than being in Scranton. Let him take his lumps up here as the fifth starter or ocassional bullpen guy since you can never have too many arms there. I want to see what this guy can do. And I can think of no better tutor than Clemens. With respect to the guys in Scranton, what can they teach this kid that Moose, Rocket, Andy and Gator can't? You're talking about over 900 wins and 8 Cy Youngs worth of experience in that dugout.

Listening to John Kruk and Steve Phillips makes me realize how much I miss Harold Reynolds. Idiots.

I guess I still owe all of you an apology of sorts. I'll get around to it someday...