Friday, September 30, 2005

Imperial Notes Before Armageddon

Before the Death Star lands at Castle Grayskull for the final battle between the empire and the infidels, I wanted to write down some quick notes about this series.

First off, the Yankees can't possibly lose to a team as dysfunctional as this Sox team. You've got Millar allegedly taking shots at Schilling....Foulke whining about the fans. Someone needs to the baseball universe a favor and put this team out of their misery. Not to mention that this team is running on fumes. Only Manny and Ortiz are the only thing keeping this team afloat. Everyone else is either spent, banged up or inactive. The latest cry for help was picking up Mike Stanton to bolster their bullpen. Yeah, he pitched well for the Nats in September in games that meant very little, but either Epstein is an evil genius or someone who clearly is at the end of his rope.

We need to destroy this team this weekend. Pick the bones clean. Let there be no doubt who the better team is. The only reason why they were able to stay afloat for as long as they have is because the majority of their games this month were home. In that bandbox, they'll always have a chance with Manny and Ortiz. Despite last night's win, this team is still very, very vulnerable. All it did was guarantee that they won't be eliminated tonight.

We need to learn from the Jays mistake last night. They jumped to an early lead but they allowed them to hang around until the end. You can't do that with this team. They have enough firepower to come back against anybody if the deficit is four runs or less. The Bombers have to hit them hard and fast. Get to the bullpen. Never let them think that they're in it. If you do that, they'll fold like a deck of patio chairs. There's not much left in the tank for them. Give them a couple of body shots and they'll quit.

I'm a huge fan of the infidel writer, Bill Simmons. I love his work. He is one of my favorite writers on sports/popular culture. But if you read his column today and his column yesterday about how noone cares who wins the MVP, you are clearly reading a man who is talking out of his ass. If you readhis MVP column, he's pretty much saying that A-Rod is going to win the MVP, but says that noone is going to care in 10 years and takes the typical shots that infidels take at A-Rod. That's he's no leader, he's absent in the clutch and that all of his hits are during blowouts.

Of course, anyone who has watched this team day and day out like I have, knows that all of these things are untrue, but it doesn't stop the infidel from writing it. Noone would question that Ortiz has been the best clutch hitter in baseball. But A-Rod has been no sloutch either. This weekend will probably decide who wins the award. If A-Rod has a great weekend and the Yanks win, he wins. If Ortiz goes off and the infidels prevail, than he'll win. As it should be. Winner take all. Loser goes home.

And I love the way these infidels who were ready to throw their folk hero Nomar under a bus to get A-Rod, but when their ownership got gunshy and Cashman slipped under the radar and got him, now he's Satan. Please. That town is so toxic, it makes the Meadowlands look like pristine. Why anyone would want to play in that town is beyond me.

Personally, I could care less who wins the MVP. The Yankees haven't had one since Don Mattingly in 1985 and only two in the last 30 years. And I don't think A-Rod cares either. A championship is all that matters to the Yankees and their fans. Ortiz laid down an awful bunt the other day to advance Renteria. He got him thrown out at second instead. Please, David. You're paid to swing the bat not bunt runners over. I thought that it was a pretty hollow gesture to impress the baseball writers. If you want to help, Papi...why don't you play the field? Probably because you'd give up more runs than you could possibly drive in....

Is the Dark Side Stronger?

Heh, heh, heh....young fool

You're about to find out.....

The Beginning Of The End

You knew that they wouldn't make it easy....

They couldn't just lay down and die and make it easy for us. This is the sort of evil that can't be vanquished with a bullet to the head. No, this is a Jason/Michael Myers type evil. You cut the head off, cremate the body and put the head in a wood chipper. This is the sort of evil that doesn't die easily...if ever.

How I hate this team. I hate them with the heat of a thousand suns.... No that's not strong enough. I...I just spent the last two minutes trying to describe my hate and couldn't do it. No words can describe it.

If someone told me, you could me that you could look into the future and win the largest MegaMillions jackpot ever or beat the Red Sox this weekend....I'd have to really think about it for a minute before...picking the jackpot. I'm crazed with hate. But I'd rather be crazed with hate and rich.

Ok....This is how crazed with hate I am. An infidel sent me the song "Tessie" by Dropkick Murphys. It's a Irish drinking metal song that's become an anthem for them. The song opens up "The Boston Red Sox are the World Series Champions for the first time in 86 years." I had a seizure. Seriously, I went into convulsions and had to stick a pen in my mouth so I didn't swallow my tongue.

I also listened to the song, “Dirty Water” by the Standells several times. Each time I listened to this cute, catchy Stones-esque tribute to the Charles River and the city of Boston...blood poured from my ears and my nose. Why? Because to a true Yankee fan, that song is like a dog whistle is to your Golden Retriever. It’s what the communists play after every home win. It’s their “New York, New York” by Sinatra if such a comparison can be made.

Before I get into why I performed such a Luther-esque act of masochism...I need to say this...New England seriously needs some black or hispanic folk living up there if this is the best that they could come up with for anthems. And I mean besides the players and the guys who park the cars. I mean goddamn...get New Edition to do something for you or something. They're from Roxbury, I'm sure they'll hook you up.

But torturing myself in this way is a reminder of why they can’t ever be allowed to win again. Ever. The idea that we have to subjected to their silly drinking songs and their fans ever again, with their obnoxious parade and their “Jeter is playing golf” posters is a fate too painful for me to contemplate.

I have to live with the hate. Fester it. Nurture it. That way when I think about holding back on calling an female infidel an evil skank because she's being obnoxious and putting the fear of god into her and her boyfriend....I remember why I'm doing it. I remember the hate.

And the hate makes it all better....

We have to remember what they are, as if anyone can forget. They are evil. They are scum. They are the dog feces under your shoe. They have to lose. They have to lose to bring balance back to the force. To make it safe for members of the Empire to walk down the street again wearing the Imperial Blue with the interlocking NY.

We have to do this....for the babies. Yankees babies everywhere....Do it for the babies, Jeter!!!

This series is going to come down to what it always comes down to....pitching. The Yankees have Chien-Ming Wang, Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina going for them this weekend. The Red Sox have David Wells, TimWakefield and Curt Schilling. All of them with the excepting of Wang are proven playoff performers. Big-time money pitchers. However with Mussina non-performance Tuesday and Schilling’s very mediocre outing, the final game might come down to whose bullpen doesn’t hemmorhage runs.

Mike Timlin has been ok as the Sox closer and the kids Jon Papelbon and Craig Hansen have the best arms of a very shaky unit. While Mariano Rivera has people talking Cy Young for the future Hall of Famer and Tom Gordon has been very solid as his set-up man. With his balky shoulder, you never know what you’re going to get out of Tanyon Sturtze and the rest of the bullpen is hardly worth mentioning.

The offenses are carbon-copies of each other. A-Rod and David Ortiz are both having MVP caliber years. Manny Ramirez and Gary Sheffield would also be considered viable candidates if not for their teammates. The player that Boston can’t counter New York with is Hideki Matsui. He has 20+ homers and over 110 RBI’s, hitting close to .300. He along with a healthy Jason Giambi could give the Bombers a slight advantage over Boston. Whether the Yankee pitching will be good enough to hold the Boston bats at bay is another story.

The series could come down to, three of the old guard. Jeter, Bernie (in possibly his last hurrah) and Posada have all been swinging well of late. With Johnny Damon and Trot Nixon banged up a bit, they might be able to give the Bombers enough to overtake Boston finally.

So who I think will win? I have no friggin ideas. These teams are so evenly matched, so evenly flawed, that anyone who says that they know for certain who’s going to previal would be lying. Whatever the outcome, I know this for sure...It’s going to be very long, miserable winter for whoever loses. Make sure you hide all sharp objects from your friends.

Speaking for Yankee fans everywhere, I can’t got through another winter like 2004. I just can’t. The curse is over, they got their ring. Fine. Time for baseball to go back to the natural order of things. No more parades on the River Charles. No More Dirty Water. Time to start singing Blues Eyes....

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Chacon Keeps The Line Moving

Can someone tell me again why Colorado released this guy? I can't imagine where the Yankees would be without this guy. Outside of his burp versus Boston and in Seattle, this guy has been huge. Quality start after Quality start. After Morris', I mean, Moose's burp Tuesday, we needed some length from our starters. Shawn came through huge. We need to resign this guy.

We're one game up. We're in control of our own destiny. No time for gloating. Keep the pressure on the infidels.

Someone needs to tell Sweet Lou and Ted Lilly, that the Emperor has cancelled the hit on them. All is forgiven.

Just wait until after tonight's games......

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Fall Of Discontent, Random Notes

I've always thought that clubhouse unity is overrated. There have been enough dysfunctional clubhouses of teams that have won it all (77-78 Yanks, 86 Mets, to name a few of recent memory)that the idea that you had to have a clubhouse where everyone got along to win was totally bogus. I think the relative tranquility of the Yankees of the Torre years has placed too much importance on the idea that everyone has to hang out and be buddy-buddy after the games. Whether A-Rod and Jeter are still friends or if Johnny Damon and Schilling are cool will have zero bearing on how this pennant race turns out.

That being said, I am enjoying all of this snipping in-fighting going on in Infidel Nation. A week left in the season, and you've got some anonymous teammate taking shots at Curt Schilling. Now you all know how much I despise Curt. Is he an incredible competitor? Absolutely. But he's also an incredible jerk who doesn't know how to keep his mouth and a phony. But whenever he says something, he always takes ownership of it. Whoever this coward is, and infidel nation has their opinions on who the offender is , should be...well, I'll let the infidels handle their own punishment.

If anyone cares, My vote is for Johnny Damon....

Just got my playoff tickets in the mail today. I have a good feeling that I'll actually be using them next week.

This is an email I received from an infidel this morning. A plea for mercy or a rebel plot to cause dissention in the Imperial Council? You be the judge.

Dear Darth Marc;

I love your blog. You are a great writer, an excellent story teller, and an astute observer of the world around you. Honest. I mean all that. If you would only curb your language I could share your epistles with my Imperial Storm Trooper daughter. But anyway.

But I must take exception to your taking exception at being subject to that great Boston anthem, Dirty Water, yesterday. Realize that when I have to listen to your sound clips of the Sith Lord Palpatine (which I do with grace and humility), then you must be subject to return fire.

Yup, we are the Red Sox Nation. We know we were up 5 and now even. We’re used to it. It comes with the territory. We are always giddy, to the bitter end. About this time of year this pathetic rebel army utters those words, ‘I gotta bad feeling about this….’

But, as you know, win or lose, in the end the Dark Side is NOT stronger than the force. The Death Star was destroyed last year. It may be rebuilt in the next 86 years. But there is a weakness….

I know there is good in you, I can feel it. Search your feelings….

Rebel Leader

First of all infidel, thank you for your kind words about my blog. But it sounds like your daughter is the wise one in your family however. And the sometimes brusque language used on the Evil Empire Chronicles is your excuse to censor your daughter from the truth about the baseball universe. That the truth that the path to baseball power lies in one's relationship with the Yankees and the Dark Side of the Force. That the Yankees are one true baseball power and that Captain Jeter is their leader. That Yankee Stadium is the supreme baseball cathedral and that the Emperor is the one true master of the Dark Arts. And that we will never rest, until all the rebel scum of Infidel nation are all defeated and destroyed. The Death Star was not destroyed last year. Heavily damaged, yes. But not destroyed. It is ready for the final battle at Castle Grayskull this weekend. And when the Imperial forces of Torre vanquish Francona's Fools...the last thing you infidels will see before you go to baseball oblivion for the winter is the Death it destroys everything you hold dear.

Darth Marc
Yankee Sith Lord

Chacon versus Cabrera more burps.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

From Beast To Beyotch

I really, really hate to say this....but thank god for Tampa and Toronto. If they decided to fold up the tent, I don't know where we'd be tonight.

There are a lot of people to blame for this 17-9 debacle to a team that was given its last rites and embalmed. But the ringleader of this three ring circus was Mike Mussina.

Instead of calling him Moose though...I'm going to start calling him Morris, as in the Cat. Because he's so fucking finicky!!!! Need your Nine Lives, bitch???

His last start, he was challenging guys and finishing them off. In part, because Torre gave him a 80 pitch limit, so Mike realized that he had to make the most of it and be economical.

Tonight, he went back to being his old finicky self. Refusing to challenge hitters, nibbling, unable to adjust when his original gameplan isn't working.

He lasted an inning and two thirds. An inning and two thirds!!! During a pennant race!! And this is the guy who is supposed to pitch us to the posteseason if it comes down to Sunday? Schilling was hardly sharp, but at least he battled. Mussina and the rest of these bastards never gave us a chance to compete. Sheffield dons his cape and does his Superman imitation.....and these jackasses give the lead right back. How do you let a team as dead as the O's drop a 17 spot on you during a pennant race?

Tomorrow's a new day and momentum is tomorrow's starting pitcher. Hopefully, Chacon can give us an edge and Tampa and Toronto aren't done playing spoiler. I'd settle for being tied going into Friday. But I'd love to have a game in hand versus Cleveland and Boston.

If not, well better become Tony by Sunday.

An Infidel's Wet Dream

So I'm watching the Jays lose 3-1 to the Infidels at Castle Grayskull and no less than two minutes after the game ends...I get subjected to that horrible song "Dirty Water" by some infidel friends of mine.

Hello??? You were five games up earlier this month, and you are now in a dead heat with the Empire and the Tribe? What are you so happy about? You have to face a pitcher who's already beat you this year in the nightcap. To top it off, you're countering with your ace who has been very inconsistent this year. His only good starts recently (vs the Yankees & Tampa), the infidels scored nine and 15 runs in those games. Kind of easy to get into a groove when you're not involved in a life and death pitcher's duel.

So let me ask you infidels? Are you so giddy that you're still in the conversation? Or did you just forget your meds? You guys are just treading water. Pray to your baseball god, Saint Yawkey, that the SS Minnow doesn't spring another leak.

Here's a funny email from fellow Imperial Council Member, Strong Island Rob....

hahaha, i just was watching nesn (aka espn 3) and they have a show called "stories from red sox nation". how lame! kind of like a wannabe yes show. what the hell is there to talk about? let me sum it up...

we won
we lost
we lost
we lost
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we lost
we won

Next on Soxography, the Bob Stanley story.....

Monday, September 26, 2005

Divided Loyalties, Haters Among Us

I have come to the conclusion that it is virtually impossible for me to enjoy other sporting events while immersed in a pennant race. Over the years, I've tried to divide my sporting attention to other events on the calendar like my second passion, football. Hell, I went to the Jets-Jags game yesterday, hoping I could take in my second live game this week at Giants Stadium. What am I doing at the game? I'm peaking at the out-of-town scroreboard to see what the Yankees were doing. Cringing each time I saw us losing. Pumping my fist when the boys went ahead for good.

But it made me realize that it was foolish of me to think that I could actually be of any use as a football fan while the Yankees were involved in their first real pennant race in years. And that I was doing myself and the empire a disservice by trying to divide my loyalties. I humbly ask for the forgiveness of the Imperial Council and Yankee fans everywhere.

However, my apology wasn't enough to prevent the Emperor from making this statement today:

September is probably the most trying month for a sports fan. With the beginning of college and pro football and the end of the baseball regularseason, members of the Empire can find their attentions divided between Yankee baseball and whatever football teams they follow. In the past, when we've had the division wrapped up early, we could afford to divert our attention from a game or two on the Sunday. Now with the infidel forces threatening to destroy our way of life, we as members of the Empire have a sacred responsibility to focus on our attention and energies on this pennant race. Nothing else can take precedent over the upcoming life and death battle with the Rebel Scum from Infidel Nation. The fate of the Empire could be in your hands.

I thought that this Jeter threat story was hilarious.

Now let me get this straight. There's someone out there in this day and age who's mad that a bachelor making millions of dollars a year, is dating the hottest women in the city? All on the basis that he's betraying his race?

Well riddle me this dumbass, Jeter is bi-racial. Which race has Jeter betrayed exactly?

You know it had to be a jackass from Infidel Nation who wrote this....

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Have You Seen The Baseball, Baby....Standing In The Shadows?

That's what the Yankees were saying in the eighth and ninth innings of this 7-4 loss. With the shadows creeping over the stadium at the end of the seventh inning, it made it more difficult for the hitters to see the ball. You saw that in the ninth inning. Sheffield, Matsui and Posada all own Batista in their careers. Yet all whiffed pretty easily. He looked like K-Rod or Mo out there. Not to to say he couldn't have gotten out of the inning with a three run lead. But to whiff them as easily as he did, tells me that they couldn't see the ball. Batista is not that good.

This pennant race is bad for one's social life. I should be out having fun, instead, I'm on the internet watching the results of the Sux/O's game on MLB gameday. I'm dying a slow death as I read that BJ Ryan gives up a two run single to Edgar Renteria (affectionately called Rent-a-Wreck in Boston) as the infidels win 4-3 and secure a tie for first place.

So it comes down to this last week. A dead heat. We have one more game versus Toronto and four in Baltimore. While they have four with Toronto at Castle Grayskull. Then the final battle for the division as the Imperial forces head to Infidel Nation for the final showdown.

With both teams now a game and a half behind Cleveland in the wildcard and the Tribe playing the poor blind sisters of the poor, the Fenway series might end up being a win or go home scenario for both teams.

Time to dance that dance of death that we've done for the last hundred years....

Small The Wright Man to Bail Out Jaret

Once again, Jaret gets knocked around the early and the Yankees have to go to the long relief to bail him out. He also get drilled by another comebacker. This time he stays in, although I wish he hadn't. Granted, he doesn't get any help from the defense as Wang and Matsui make errors that lead to four runs. But he was getting drilled pretty hard anyway. His stuff was very straight and flat.

Aaron Small comes in and pitches 6 2/3 scoreless innings. The Yanks trail 7-4 in eighth. The crowd actually boos Torres when he comes to take Small out. Which leads me to this question. Why take Small out of the rotation in the first place? Wright has better stuff, but Small is 9-0. 9-0!! He got hit around a little his last couple of starts. But he has always gone at least five. Torre's reasoning is that Wright was one of the original five and he deserves a chance to stay in the rotation. But you have to dance with the girl that brought you. Small has been clutch all year for us. Wright, with all due respect, hasn't been here and has been inconsistent when he has. We have to go with the guys that give us a chance to win each time out. And right now, that's Small.

Hopefully, this performance will get Small another start on Thursday.

More later....

Death To Wave Riders, Chacon Shoots More Blanks

Obviously the infidels didn't read what happened the last time I was at the Stadium and saw the wave being done in my baseball Cathedral. If they didn't read that, then they also didn't read that acting like Mutt or Sux fans and chanting "Boston Sucks", when you're playing Toronto is also a very serious infraction to the Imperial Council. Imperial Vixen Julie was so appalled that she wanted to kill several of them right there...But I asked her to respect the cathedral and let the Imperial forces handle it outside.

Obviously killing 10,000 people as they left the stadium, the last time this happened wasn't enough of a warning. So guess what we had to do again?

At the end of the purging, the Emperor had this message to the families of the infidels.

It's sad, because Shawn Chacon had another incredible start versus the Jays. His curveball and breaking pitches were sharp and he kept the Jays off balance for eight innings as the Yankees win 5-0.

This is why I hate playgrounds and swimming pools and all the other stuff in these new parks and why I disagree with taking kids to the park too young. Taking a newborn or a toddler is one thing because they're oblivious anyway. But a two or three year old is pointless, because they won't be able to stay still. You won't be able to watch because they're not staying still and they're certainly not paying attention. Wait until they're five or six. That way we can avoid disgusting ADD showings like the one shown last night.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Too Much Drama

Maybe the baseball gods are trying to tell me something.....

I've tried to post twice now and my computer keeps locking up on me, erasing my post. I've learned my lesson. I'm saving the draft after each paragraph now. That way, I don't smash my computer to pieces.

All this drama for a half game and a post! Godddamn....

You'd have thought we were watching Sophie's Choice with all the drama in the last couple of innings. Was Meryl Streep giving up another kid to the Nazis or was Al Leiter on the Mound? Did she and Kevin Kline off themselves again or did Flash give up another ninth inning home run? I honestly can't tell the difference anymore...

Moose was great tonight. I wish he'd challenged hitters like that all the time. With his breaking stuff, he'd be nasty if he threw more first pitch strikes. He could have guys swinging at the dirt all the time with his assortment of breaking pitches.
Leiter drives me nuts with all the nibbling. Kinda hard to make someone chase a pitch when you've walked 2 batters and they're sitting on fastball. If he challenged guys like Aaron Small he'd be nasty. He still has decent stuff. Better stuff than Small.

I wonder how many infidels in Third World Nation will be close to doing their best Sylvia Plath or Kurt Cobain imitations when they realize that they're a game back after being 4 games up two weeks ago? I've been reading Boston Dirt Dogs and the Boston Globe Sox Blogs. I've heard the Boston Police have guards posted by the Charles River bridge for jumpers.

They'll be loving that dirty water all right. Up close and personal.

I couldn't let the day end without commenting on Mike Lupica's column on why David Ortisz is the AL MVP. He actually makes some valid points about why voters should overlook the fact that he's only played 10 games in the field. There have a number of MVP winners who have been below-average fielders. Reggie Jackson, George Bell and Mo Vaughn are several that come to mind. Ortiz has been the best clutch hitter in baseball this year. He's the only reason the Sux aren't 10 games back. A-Rod is going to have to have a huge last week to overtake Big Papi. Striking out twice versus Bruce Chen and three times total last night isn't going to help his chances.

My beef with Lupica is the timing of the article. He could have written that article anytime last week or this weekend. Why wait until the Yankees overtake the Sux? To rain on the parade of Yankee fans? To prove to Fred Wilpon and Mutt fans that he still had their backs? The tone of the article is strikingly similar to the tone of his column last week where he's giddily rooting for the Devil Rays to knock the Yankees out of contention.

I've never read a New York columnist that actively rooted against the Yankees (or any home team for that matter) in the way that Lupica has the Yankees the last couple of years. Criticize? Yes? Kill them and put their heads on a stake when they mess up? Absolutely. All of that is above board. But to actively root for a team to fail is just too much.

Say what you want Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe. I've never read a column where he rooted against the Red Sox. He's killed them on a regular basis for years. But he's never rooted against them in his columns.

Lupica is such a disgusting shill for the Mets that I want to vomit. But screw him and all the haters last year. The best revenge against is for the Empire to prevail again and knock the Sux out of the playoffs and win the whole thing. Again. Let them drink themselves to death like Dylan Thomas.

Here's to cirrhosis!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Cue The Imperial March

You know what they're thinking....

And you know where they're going....

Get ready infidels....

Cause we're taking a little trip North on the Death Star....

Because you have something we want....

Back in first place, beyotches!!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Winner And New WWE Champion....Bubba "The Bruiser" Crosby!!!!

Taking out beyotch ass pretty boys. That's what you get for flirting with imperial vixens, ass-clown!!

I'm about making punk-ass smiley-birds tap out!!!

Get the band ready...I'm starting to hear the Imperial March!!!

In all seriousness, I'm happy we've won, but the bullpen was for shit tonight. Mo should have had the night off but the middle relief is just awful. Small needs to go more than five as well. And Cano should be beat with a stick for hot-dogging that play in the second. Once again an error extends an inning and allows the opposition to score runs. We cannot do that against Boston. As they showed the last time we played them, if you give them extra outs, they will make you pay.

We need Randy to go seven or eight tomorrow so we can give our guys in the pen a blow. The Sox won tonight but here's how the infidels are feeling right now...From Boston Dirt Dogs.....

Not to get ahead ourselves...but the Sux have an offday Thursday. Which means we can tie Boston for the division lead with a win. Time to keep grinding it, baby....

Monday, September 19, 2005

Weekend Notes

I was way too drunk and tired this weekend to write anything half way decent about this weekend's games with the Jays so I'm going to write some of my thoughts on this road trip right now while I have a minute to breathe.

First of all, a very nice road trip. 5-1 isn't 6-0, but we cut the Red Sox lead in half last week. We lost a game in the wildcard to the Tribe but hopefully we can get it back and then some as Cleveland face the Chi-Sox this week. Provided the Sox learned how to play baseball instead of whatever that disgusting game they've been playing the past couple of weeks. If they can take two of three from the Tribe and we can handle our business versus B-More, we'll make up the ground that we lost. Now that they're up against it, Ozzie Guillen should be able to light a fire under his troops so that they don't roll over and die.

How pathetic is the AL East? We're the only team with a record over .500 on the road (38-36). The baseball gods were very kind to Third World Infidel Nation. The residents of Castle Grayskull have had the bulk of their games this month at home...where they're virtually unbeatable.

Friday Night

Randy Johnson should be hit in the head with a shovel. I don't care if the umpire is missing calls two feet, you cannot get thrown out of a game during a pennant race. What if the league decides to take action and suspend him? Granted, the appeals process is a joke and he probably wouldn't have to serve it out until next season.But why chance it? We end up having to go to the long relief in a game we should have cruised through. Johnson didn't have his best stuff, but he probably could have gone six or seven innings with minimal damage. When you post 11 runs on a team, you shouldn't have to bring your closer in to seal the deal. It was third day in a row that Mo had to come in and close. Every bit of rest that we can get these guys is important. Which made what Chacon did on Saturday. But Johnson has to know that some of these umps are more confrontational than ever. Between the pressure that these guys are getting because of Questtec and the league offices for missing calls and players mouthing off...a lot of these guys have a very short fuse. I agree that the game-calling by umps is more inconsistent than ever...but you can't do anything to hurt your team like the Unit did.

Saturday's Glove Fest

Shawn Chacon's start Saturday was huge for several reasons. First he needed to rebound after his horrible start vs Boston last weekend. Secondly, he needed to pitch well because he could be pitching for a spot in the rotation since Mussina is supposed to come back on Thursday. And third, the bullpen needed a blow after the Big Dummy's temper tantrum on Friday. He went eight strong, but he had some help along the way. That was one of the better played games that the Yanks have played in a couple of years. This was one of those refuse to lose type games. Tom Gordon came in in the ninth and bended a little bit but he didn't break. A-Rod made a nice play on a wicked hop to third to start a nice 5-4-3 double play to end the game. That play is one of the reason why A-Rod should be the AL MVP.

Big Papi's having an awesome year, but Alex can beat you about three or four ways while Cookie Monster can only beat you with his bat. If you're going to give the MVP to a DH, his stats have to be far and away better than everyone elses'. And Alex has better stats in every category except walks and RBI's. And the Big Burrito didn't help his cause when he decided to take a shot at gold glove winners who "hit .230." Hey, Chubb-Rock, they may not produce a lot of runs, but they do save quite a few. And they certainly don't give runs away like the Sux do when you're in the field. The MVP shouldn't be someone who you consider a liability to your team. A manager shouldn't be worried about whether you have to make up runs for when he's in the field.

Back to Mussina coming back to the rotation. I'm a little leery about this. If he can come back and not miss a beat, fine. But if he's going to scuffle like he did before he left or worse, get bombed, it doesn't help us a bit. Every win is precious. And as important as Moose is, I'd rather take my chances with the guys we have. Let Moose work out of the bullpen until he feels like he's at full strength.

Wright's Black Cloud.

Seriously, does anyone have worse luck than Jaret Wright? This poor kid. He battles back from surgery and has a decent season last year which he spins into a 3 yr deal with the Yankees. He has a great spring training only to suffer more shoulder problems. He battles back to form, pitches reasonably well, only to get hit by a ball in one start and a broken bat yesterday! He didn't pitch awful despite the line score. And he certainly wasn't helped by the defense like Chacon was. Sierra misplayed two flyballs and Jeter had a couple of blunders that led to runs scored. Instead of turning an inning ending double play, Jeter's errant throw drags Giambi off the bag and leads to three runs scoring. An error he makes leads to another run scoring later in the game. Yes, the captain hits a solo homer to cut the deficit to one, but he strikes out looking to end the game with Cano on second base. Yes, the pitch was inside, but it was much too close to take. The ump had been calling that a strike all day and Jeter had to at least offer at it to keep the at-bat alive. This led to a argument between me and a couple of friends of mine when I had a rather harsh partially alcohol-induced criticism of the Captain's performance.

I love my captain as much as the member of the Empire, but this idea that Yankee fans can't have an honest criticism of Saint Derek is BS. He has had a decent season for him, but too many times this season, he's come up empty in clutch situations. John Harper wrote a column in today's Daily News that echoes my feelings on this. What's worse, whenever A-Rod or another player makes a mistake to cost a game, they own up to it. Jeter gets defensive. That throw yesterday was one he's made dozens of times and the replay shows that probably gets the runner by a step or two. Yet, Jetes says "he probably would have been safe anyway." No my bad, I messed up. Just that. I'm sorry, but that's weak.

And yes, as a fan I have a right to criticize any Yankee if he's not cutting the mustard. Booing is one thing, I don't think he deserves to be booed. But if a player is striking or GIDP with the bases loaded or with runners in scoring position I have a right to criticize him. If a player is hitting under .250 with RISP like Jeter is, than I have a right criticize him. I'll always honor and love him for the joy that he's brought this city and Yankee fans everywhere. But that's the past. If the Yankees fall short, is that going any of us feel better this winter? Watching another Red Sox championship parade? Watching them get their rings again while the Yankees watch?

He's gotten such a pass from the fans and the media over the years. He's an incredible player. A first ballot Hall Of Famer if he keeps this up. But he's never been the best player or the primary threat for the Yankees in this run. Bernie and Tino were primary run-producers then....A-Rod, Sheff, Matsui and Giambi are the guys now. He's a .300 hitter and scores 100 plus runs a year, but has only drove in 100 once. He's not a prototypical leadoff guy like Knoblauch or Rickey Henderson were. Taking pitches so the rest of the lineup can see what the pitcher has and how he throws it. And he's a solid defensive player, but he's not the next coming of Ozzie or Omar like Michael Kay and John Sterling make him out to be.

The point is that he's gets all the glory that someone like Mantle or DiMaggio or Gehrig or Ruth get, without being the best player on his own team. He's a great team leader. One of the best in professional sports. But he was never the best player like Messier was. That what A-Rod was talking about in that infamous interview serveral years ago. He's gotten the accolades of being the best player without actually being just that.

Does he deserve the money and the glory? Absolutely. But he shouldn't shy away from owning up to messing up just like everyone else. Being defensive only feeds the story rather than killing it.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Grinding It...Why George Why?

I was at a company reunion last night so I missed most of the Yankee game last night. When I was walking to the train station and I was outside of a bar that had the game on. I pumped my fist when I saw the final. 9-5. Nice win.

Biggie Small wasn't great, putting them in a 5-1 hole. But the rookie Robbie Cano picked him up with a huge grand slam to tie the game. It looks like his bat is finally waking up. Couldn't happen at a better time. We need to fortify the bottom of the lineup.

Two batters later, A-Rod responded to getting beaned in the bat the way you're supposed to respond....Crushing the ball the next time you're up. His 42nd homer put the Bombers ahead for good. Not as dramatic as Big Papi's blast. But just as effective. Small and bullpen held it down the rest of the way.

Add Schilling loss to the mix last night and we're one and a half games going into the weekend.

No time to crow and proclaim that we're back. We never gone. But until we're in the plus column in the win column instead of minus, we still have a ways to go. And it doesn't look as if Cleveland's going away so it's going to be a grind for the next two weeks.

Now it's off to Toronto. We've had their number this year, but even with Johnson pitching well lately, I'm not going to relax until this thing is over.

I really didn't need to read this today. From Bill Madden in the Daily News.

George isn't as bad as Peter Angelos in Baltimore. But he's pretty bad. This is as bad a move a front office move as any bad trade they've made. Stick is the architect of this Yankees resurgence. Yes, George has been great at marketing the product. But it was Stick that put the product on the field. These clowns better be more than Yes men for George.

Every Yankee fan is scared of a return of the bad old days of the mid 60's and early seventies...and the late eighties to early nineties. This could throw us back into the dark ages more than anything else.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Battle For AL MVP

Infidel Nation Blogger Uncle Buck has written a very flawed blog as to why David Ortiz should be the AL MVP.

It's flawed not because he thinks that Big Papi should win the award. It's flawed because instead of putting some real analysis into the argument, he decides to name call and revert to calling A-Rod A-Fraud because he's still mad that Henry and Lucchino didn't get him in 2004.

Whatever. He obviously doesn't watch the Yankees everyday, so that's makes him secure in his blathering on "how Mo and Jeter are more valuable to the Yankees than A-Rod." Mo is Mo. He's the foundation upon all of this is built upon. But Jeter, despite his stats, has had a very up and down year. I've seen him strike out or ground out in critical situations this year more than I have in previous years. A-Rod has had his moments too, but Jeter has hardly been Joe Clutch. And anyone who watches the Bombers day in and day out will attest to this.

Back to my point. Noone would argue that Ortiz is having another Monster Year. While Manny has been streaky, Ortiz has put the infidels on his back and is carrying them to the finish line. If the Yankees overtake the Sux and win the can blame a lot of people, but David won't be one of them. If I have to watch one more game-winning homer by this fat bastard, I'm going to shoot someone. He's a stone-bitch. An absolute monster. One of the great clutch-performers that I've seen in any sport in the last 15 years. He has only one knock against him this season.

He doesn't play the field.

Now you might think that that's a small knock against a player. Especially when you look at his numbers. But I beg to differ. Manny Ramirez would have one at least one MVP award, if he had any clue in the field. Infidel will point to the fact that he leads the league in outfield assists. All that means is that Manny has a decent arm and throws out runners on plays where he should have caught the ball in the first place. Plus I personally think that he loafs because he know that he'll get a couple of outfield assists to pad his stats. But that's just me.

But compared to Ortiz, Manny looks like Clemente incarnate. He's that bad in the field. He's so bad, that they had to put horrible Kevin Millar out there until they got John Olerud. He's so bad, that he acutally hurts the team when he's out there. I know the Red Sox will never remind anyone of the 1987 Twins or 1982 Cardinals when it comes to defense, but you know it's bad if they don't play you in the field on that team. The only Gold Glover on that team in Edgar Renteria, and he has 20 plus errors this year. I know the Yankees have their defensive issues, but they're much better than the Sox.

The DH is here to stay, but baseball's more than just offense. And the fact that he almost never plays the field should play a factor in whether he should get the award. While his teammates are diving for balls so he has a chance to get up again, he's sitting on the bench. Playing defense is a integral part of the game. It takes something out of you to play good D, but it also makes you a much better player. When you're slumping, you have something else to think about when you're not hitting. Something to contribute to the effort. Neither Jason Giambi and Frank Thomas will be confused with Keith Hernandez in the field, but their stats are much better when they play the field than when they DH.

It also lessens the chance of a player getting hurt. Bernie has two bad shoulders from diving all over the field for 15 years. Sheff tore up his knee diving for a ball. You're going to wear down over a season. If all you have to is hit and occasionally slide into a base, the chances of you getting hurt are much less obviously.

And it's not as if he's 35 like Paul Molitor or Edgar Martinez. Those guys were very good fielders who couldn't do it anymore because of injuries. The same thing with Bernie (although he's played the field well of late). Ortiz hasn't turned 30 yet. And he can't play the field? Come on!!!

Meanwhile, A-Rod has turned himself into the best all-around third baseman in the game. He plays a Gold-Glove caliber third base. He steals bases and has had a typical A-Rod season at the plate. When you compare their stats, Alex and David's stats are quite comparable. They have vitually the same amount of homers (42 for Ortiz, 41 for Alex) and runs scored (108 for both). David has the advantage in RBI's (130 to 112) and walks (92 to 81). A-Rod has the edge in batting average (.319 to .297), hits (172 to 159) and OPS (1.015 to .999). We'll leave out stolen bases (13 to 1 in Alex's favor) although that is another way with which you can win a game....Speed. The Angels have shown that. That's one more dimension that wins games that Ortiz doesn't possess.

So on one hand, you have a one-dimensional player versus maybe the best-all-around player in baseball. They're putting up comparable stats on playoff contenders. It shouldn't be a contest. No pure DH has ever won the MVP. The closest to it was Don Baylor in 1979 for the Angels. And he played 95 games in the field.

The one big thing that's in Big Papi's favor is his flair for the dramatic. He has A-Rod beat hands down in that category.

Ortiz has won more big games this year than I even want to think about. His team is fighting for their lives...his bullpen keeps coughing up leads... and he keeps bailing them out. He's the main reason why they're still in first place. If they hold on and win the division, they have him to thank.

A-Rod has done a lot to shed the image that he's not clutch to Yankees fans. He has gotten plenty of huge hits to start or extend rallies. But outside of the shot vs Schilling in July, he hasn't had the dramatic ninth inning blast to win games like Papi. And he still doesn't project the clutch image that Sheff or Matsui have for the Yankees. And his batting average with runners in scoring position (.276) doesn't exactly put the fear of God in opposing teams.

Ortiz also has a huge PR edge on A-Rod. Everyone loves Big Papi, including his enemies. He's a great clubhouse guy. A-Rod, while he's not Albert Belle and is accessible to the media...has a reputation for being a little too polished. Coming off a bit phony. That metro-sexual Dudley Do-Right schtick rubs guys the wrong way. In a league full of media hogs and glory hounds....many players detest his talent, his fame and his money. Being a goody-two shoes doesn't go over well with rank and file. Ask Gary Carter or Steve Garvey. Teammates and opponents respected their ability, but detested them for all-American clean cut-media friendly image. They like their guys to have a little dirt on them. Take Derek Jeter. One of the biggest womanizers in the modern day Babylon and he's beloved. Even Jason Giambi, has a better image among players than A-Rod does. He's a known steroid user with a fondness for strip clubs. Yet his teammates adore him. Guys on the A's still miss him.

Like Wilt Chamberlain once said, "Nobody roots for Goliath."

It's not uncommon for the best player on a team to not be the best clutch guy. Tom Seaver wasn't as good as Jerry Koosman in the post-season. Mark Lemke was clutch for the Braves even though he was non-existent in the regular season for Atlanta.

But A-Rod has to have a monster three weeks and overtake the Red Sox to win the award. At the very least, carry the Yankees to the playoffs. He's never going to win over the rank and file, but he can win over the writers over the next three weeks. Give the people who hate him as reason to.

There's no question who the better player is. But it's not about the best career, it's about the best year. And right now, everything's leaning toward Big Papi to becoming the first DH to win the AL MVP. A-Rod can change that in the next couple of weeks. But it has to start now.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Keeping Pace With The Infidels

So Captain America helps Wang get his first win against the Tampa Bay OJ's as the Yankees play Mark Furhman and squeak out a 6-5 win.

The victory helps the Bombers keep pace with Infidel Nation and the Cleveland Aborigines who both won tonight. We don't gain any ground but we don't lose any either.

Wang was shaky, but I still liked his start tonight. He got a lot of ground balls tonight. Unfortunately, some of them had eyes and got through. But he battled through it. I think he'll be better in his next start.

Sturtze is starting to scare me a little. He comes in and hits one guy and Gordon has to come in to bail him out. Kay and Singleton were right, if Sturtze's shoulder is barking then we're going to need our starters to go seven and for bats to give us more than a one run cushion. Flash was huge tonight.

I don't know what Lou was thinking, having Lugo steal with two outs in the ninth. Everyone in the park knew he was going. You don't think Joe and Jorge didn't learn from Dave Roberts? Lugo gets nailed to end the game and Lou takes the bat out of his hottest hitter. Fine with me.

We're finally at .500 on the road and 20 games over overall. Hopefully, Small can close it tomorrow. Cleveland is off, so we can gain a half game on them if we win Thursday. Boston face Oakland with Schilling going for the rebel scum.

Just keep winning, fellas. Keep the pressure on.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Nice Start...What does it mean?

I wish I could get excited about a 17-3 win in Tampa. I really do. But you never know what you're going to get out of this team. Hopefully they'll do what they're suppose to do to this team....which is to take their lunch money and sleep with their girlfriends.

We gained a game on the infidels, but nothing on the Squaws who beat Oakland. So it was a good night for the most part.

Hopefully, we can continue the roll tomorrow night. One game at a time.

Maybe we'll see more of the team everyone loves to hate....

No More Excuses

Time to get it done.

There is a caste system in baseball. The Yankees are at the top of the pecking order. The Devil Rays are at the bottom. They're the untouchables. It's time for the Yankees to treat the Rays like the inferior team that they are. To destroy them and any idea Lou might have of playing spoiler to George.

Enough of this Tampa mess. Time to get it done.

They blew winning the season series. It's not the first time a bad team has had a good team's number. It won't be the last. Forget all that. Time to pummel them for the next three games. Time to make their suffering legendary. Even in Hell. Time for the Yankees to be the Yankees and treat the Devil Rays like....the Devil Rays.

It's time for A-Rod to earn his MVP award. Just like Vlad did last year. Like Big Papi is doing right now. What David Ortiz is doing right for Boston is frightening. He's put that team on his back and is carrying them to the finish line. A-Rod needs to do likewise. He has more homers, hits, run scored and a higher average. But Ortiz has been the most clutch player I have seen in years. He absolutely terrifies me and every Yankee fan I know. He can't field a lick, but who cares? With Manny apparently forgetting to take his Ritalin this season, where would the infidels be without Ortiz?

A-Rod needs to be that player. With Sheffield ailing, A-Rod has to be the point-man for this playoff-run. Not Jeter. Not Matsui. Not Giambi. Alex has to say, "You're not beating us tonight, not on my watch." He is the best all-around baseball right now. He has had a great season. Ortiz will never be the player, A-Rod is. But if Alex wants to remembered as a clutch performer like Ortiz, he has to turn it on now. Turn a great season into a magical one.

A-Rod can cement his legacy right here if he's able to take the Bombers to the promised land. No more questions about where to rank him , about how good he is. He can win his second MVP and cement his legacy as one of the all-time greats by what he does in October.

This is a very simple game. You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You field the ball. You run the bases. The Yankees are a superior team to the Rays in nearly every way. They need to let the Rays know that tonight. Destroy their delusions of grandeur. They need to treat Rays like the Braves treat the Mets. Everytime the Mets get on a nice roll and head to Turner Field, they get beat like Glass Joe on Super Punch-out. You never hear a peep out of Mutt fans for the rest of the season.

Time for us to paraphrase Larry "Chipper" Jones, "Make Rays fans go out and get their Yankee gear." Enough of this foolishness. Let's get it done. If we don't, it means that we weren't good enough. Bottom line.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Big Unit Comes Up Huge

This ain't over...Not even close to over.

Three games is not as good as one, but it's sure as hell, better than five.

Five games out, we're done. Kick the dirt on us, write the eulogy. Three games means we're still in reach.

Johnson's win also show that we can win these sort of low-scoring games that are prevalent in the playoffs. Wakefield made the Yankees look like something out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon, yet Randy made it stick. Huge.

More tomorrow, I'm beat.

A Day Of Remembrance and Reckoning

Four years ago, my life was changed forever. My city and country was changed forever as well.

Here's to the brothers and sisters who didn't make it past that fateful day September 11, 2001. And when I say brothers and sisters, I mean all 3,000 of them.

This day has always been tough on me even though I didn't lose any one close to me.

But it would even be tougher on me (in a superficial way, of course) if we were to lose to Infidel Nation on this fateful anniversary.

Big Unit, you need to come up big today. Like you did in 2001. You broke a city's heart that day. You can make amends today.

More later....

Saturday, September 10, 2005

A New Blog From Your Favorite Sith Lord....

There's a reason why more books have been written on baseball than any other sport. 6 months, 162 games, so much strategy, so many's easy to get caught up in America's National Pasttime and neglect the other goings on in the world of sports.

I've also been getting questions from folks asking me if this is a Yankee Blog or a general Sports Blog. The Answer is the former although I have written about other goings on.

But with the baseball season winding down and the fact that I don't have a life and this is cheaper than therapy...I decided to start up another Sports Blog dedicated to whatever I want to write about. It's called Darth Marc's Imperial Sports Page.

I'll continue to update this blog with all things Yankees baseball. But there I'll write about other Sports stuff that I feel the need to comment on. Hopefully, you'll enjoy it.

The only good thing about today's woodshed beatdown to the New England Infidels was Al Leiter taking one for the team. He went the last 5 2/3 innings of the game. Giving the bullpen a much deserved blow. That means all hands on deck for tomorrow's showdown with Scumbag Nation. If we're going to have any chance at the division, tomorrow's game is a must win. As it stands, we're a game and a half out of wildcard with the Tribe winning tonight 7-5. So if we're going to make the playoffs, No more burps. Time to earn your paychecks, boys.

Now Yankee Fans, Always Remember....

Regardless of how this season turns out. Remember the Imperial Golden Rule...

It is always better to serve in the Empire, than to rule in New England or Shea. Always.

Here endeth the lesson....

Is it just me....

Or does Tim McCarver take a certain bit of glee out of the fact that folks in Infidel Nation hate his guts?

There was a point in the game where he said something that he knew would piss Sox fans off and then talked about the hate mail he was going to receive from New England for saying. He called Bronson Arroyo "Brandon" and never corrected himself. As if he knew it would get under their skin.

Oh yeah, I remember now, Schilling had a no-hitter going and McCarver talked about how silly it was for people to think that you're somehow jinxing the pitcher by talking about it. A minute later, Giambi hits an upper-deck shot to break up the no-no and the shutout.

As much as I enjoy seeing Infidel Nation, I wonder if McCarver realizes that Yankee fans hate him as much as Red Sox fans....

Newsflash, we're not there to hear you talk jackass, we're there to watch the game..when you realize that and stop trying to make yourself the story, you'll be acknowledged as the solid analyst you've been for 20 years. Analyze the game and let the game speak for itself. Don't get in the way.

The Return Of Curtistopheles

So Satan decided to nurse his only son back to health in time for the Yankees game today. After watching his favorite team get their wig split last night, the Prince of Darkness gave a boost to Infidel Nation as Shawn Chacon and the Bombers get pummelled 9-2.

After the game, God called to apologized to the Emperor and Yankees fans everywhere for being an absentee landlord over the last couple of years. He admittedly has been distracted with several galactic wars in the Andromeda and on the other side of the Milky Way. He also spent much of the afternoon trying to figure out how the leader of the Free World could abandon hundreds of thousands of his own citizens in the face of a natural disaster. And how said leader with an IQ of about negative 28 got into power in the first place.

When asked about the 2000 election and what happened in last year's ALCS, the Almighty had no comment except to threaten to turn me into a Haley Joel Osment blowdoll and mail me to Michael Jackson if I continued this line of questionong.

The Almighty, however, said that he's still a Yankee fan and that he promised to monitoring tomorrow's game to prevent any other foulplay by Lucifer.

And if anyone is in doubt that Lucifer's favorite president dropped the ball in the Gulf this and this and tell me otherwise.

Back to baseball, a couple of points about today's loss.

Schilling was sharp today. Very sharp. But today shows how not having Sheff in our lineup today hurts us. Not saying that the Anti-Christ wouldn't have pitched well today. But having Sheff in the three spot in our lineup gives us an offensive advantage very few clubs can come close to matching. The three spot in a lineup is designated for the best all-around hitter and toughest out. And there are very few number three hitters as scary as Sheff. His presence gives us the best 3 to 6 hitters in the game, which reverberates through the entire lineup. Everyone gets better pitches to hit.

He also has an extra ommph in his step when he plays Boston. An energy and swagger that is contagious. He revels in these games with Infidel Nation. A-Rod is starting to show that too, but he doesn't have the same "Fuck You, I'm gonna kick your ass, fuck your girlfriend, make her love me and live in your house" attitude.

If I were to compare the two, it would be like comparing a brilliant, talented Ivy Leaguer to a Street Kid. Both might have equal amounts of ability and determination. But go about their business very differently. The Ivy Leaguer will clinically pick you apart while the Street Urchin will beat you up and piss on your remains. The result is the same but the way others react to it, you'd think there were two dramatically different outcomes. And because most athletes are closer in persona to the Street Kid than the Ivy Leaguer, they're probably going to more drawn to the former's energy than the latter.

The Yankees need that if they're going to overtake Boston. Not to say Schilling wouldn't have pitched just as well, but having Sheff in their would have made it a lot harder.

The Red Sox are straight gangsta in their approach. And I mean that as a compliment. They aren't the most skilled bunch. But what they do, they do better than anyone else. And that's beat up pitchers who make mistakes around the plate. You can't keep give them extra outs like we did today. We should have been out the third 3-0, but Felix Rodriguez's bad throw to home, Matsui's gaffe and Cano's throw into the stands put the game out of reach. Particularly with the way Schilling was throwing the baseball.

Speaking of Cano, this kid needs to take his ritalin or something before the game. That's the third error he's made in a game in this week that has extended an inninng and cost us runs. Looking at Trot Nixon's slide into second, Cano should have been make that throw to first without a problem Yeah, he was coming down hard, but a major leaguer has to make that play. Womack or Bellhorn make that play.

Did Womack fuck Torre's daughter or something? Why isn't Torre playing him at second when Cano has the night off? Yes, Bellhorn is a switchhitter, and has some pop, but Womack doesn't strike out nearly as much and has the added element of speed. Yes, Cano is the future, but if he's not getting it done, why not let Womack get a go? I know Torre's big picture and maybe he doesn't want to screw with Cano's psyche because he's the 2B of the future. But, he cannot stay in the game if he keeps making costly errors like this. Womack can potentially be a valuable tool off the bench, if Torre decides to utilize him. Cano needs to realize that if he wants to stay employed with the Yankees, his concentration can't waver like it has in crucial parts of the game

Torre needs to show some of the same tough love to Cano that he has to Bernie. It's human to play favorites and Torre is no different. But if this season is lost because of a rookie's error, right or wrong, Torre might feel George's wrath. And he'll have noone to blame but himself.

Time for the Unit to be the Unit. No more excuses. Chacon had a burp today and I'm willing to give him a pass because he's been pretty good for the most part. No more passes for Randy. This is where he has to become our ace. The Yanks have hit Arroyo well in the past, so he should get more run support than Shawn did. But Johnson has pull the trigger and keep us in the race. If we go down five games with 20 to play, kiss the division goodbye. We'll be in wildcard mode. If we're to have any chance to win our eighth straight division title, we have to win tomorrow.

Hopefully God will keep his promise....

Editor's Correction: Wakefield pitches Sunday, not Arroyo. Ugh......

Biggie, Biggie, Can't You See? Sometimes Your Pitch Just Hypnotize Me!!

Biggie Small is still the illest.

Kitty says it all the time. Movement and location are every bit as important as velocity when it comes to pitching.

Aaron proved that last night. Throw strikes and more times than not, you'll get guys out.

Huge win last night. A-Rod and Giambi came up huge last night as well.
More later...the game is about to start.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Barbarians At The Cathedral

Before I get into the latest edition of baseball's Crusades, take a look this very, very funny site . NY Sports fans should love this.

We are definitely Baseball's version of Tina Turner. After getting the shit kicked out of us by the Ike Piniellas, we're now expected to headline at the Apollo. Singing with a concussion and a broken jaw.

I don't think I'm overstating the fact that this could be the season right here. Maybe we can still win the wildcard, but if we want to win the division, we have to make our stand now.

Win two of three and gain a game each week to set up a showdown at Fenway the last weekend of the season. Or sweep the series to put as back one game. Anything less, and we're strictly in wildcard country.

Wells vs Small. Biggie needs to come up huge tonight....

More later.....

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Playing The Role of Ike Turner tonight...The Tampa Bay Devil Rays

This was one of the worst days that I've had in recent memory.

Worst than when I broke up with my girlfriend for the second time a couple of months ago. While I could barely get up to go to work that least I got to see a great movie (Batman Begins) to lift my spirits.

Worse than my return from Atlanta in the beginning of August. I only got into a car accident leaving the hotel parking lot, got lost going to the airport due to bad directions. Lose my work cellphone rushing to catch my plane. Do my best OJ Hertz imitation....Only to find out the flight was delayed by two hours!!

No, Thursday night was much worse. For one, I had a ton of work drama. Because I have a IQ over 10, I'm not going to go into detail on the internet for obvious reasons. Let's just say it wasn't fun.

I thought an escape from the drama was in the offing. I was headed to my Fortress of Solitude, Yankee Stadium. I was sure that despite the problems the Bombers have had with Tampa, that they surely wouldn't add to my agita. They surely brighten my spirits by ending the series on a high note. And go into this weekend's series with Infidel Nation with some momentum.

Instead, the Rays put on their wife-beaters and pummelled us. Ike Turner would have been proud. Mike Tyson would have had Robin Givens flashbacks. Chien Ming Wang tried to battle for five innings. But Mark Hendrickson looked like a 6-10 Greg Maddux circa 1993 for six innings. And when we tried to mount a comeback. We got smacked down again. We lost 7-4...lost the Wild-Card lead to Cleveland and failed to gain a game on the Sux who were shut out by the Angels.

I asked Sinister and Apocalypse, how this could happen. I thought they had Lou under control. They said that they did. Which lead me to this conclusion.....We're Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver and the Rays are Harvey Keitel. Our pimp. Our daddies. And unless Travis Bickle comes to the rescue, there's not a damn thing we can do about it.

You thought that that would be enough misery for a night. Right? Obviously, I must have killed villages of cripple children in a past life. Because someone's getting some serious payback.

It must have been National Retard night at the stadium, because we had ton of them in our section. Yelling at the top of their lungs for no reason at all. Screaming at every Yankee flyball thinking it's a homerun. Screaming Boston Sucks when we're playing Tampa!!

Imagine an entire section of folks like Leo DiCaprio's character in Gilbert Grape and Blair's cousin Gheri from the Facts of Life. That'll give you an idea of how maddening it was watching that debacle of a game. After a absolutely horrible day at work.

And to top it off, they sent us on our unhappy way with the godawful sounds of Liza Minelli!

You'd never know that I was on the wagon. Because I feel like it was backed up several times on head!

I'm going to bed. Hopefully, I'll just die in my sleep.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sweet Lou Runs Out Of Tricks

According to the Baseball Universe bylaws, we're not allowed to kill employed baseball personnel during the season. And since it's highly improbable for Sweet Lou the Infidel traitor bastard to be fired, his execution will have to wait. But just because we can't kill him, doesn't I can't assign two old friends of mine to keep him trying anything...

Louis, meet Apocalypse and Mr Sinister. Your two new best friends. Any funny stuff, they won't kill you...but you'll wish that you were dead.

Of course, Lou being Lou, tried to use his powers to influence the game in the first inning as the Rays jumped to a quick 4-0 lead over Jaret Wright and Yankees. But Sinister and Apocalypse put a quick stop to that...beating Lou, GM Chuck LaMar and his entire front office to a pulp. The baseball gods were pleased.... and they brought back the natural order of things. Wright and Sturtze shut Tampa down the rest of the way. Giambi crushed a two run homer in the eighth as the Yanks won 5-4.

Even though he was in traction, Lou did try one more trick in the seventh as Jeter bounced into a inning ending double play with the bases loaded. Sinister quickly put an end to his treachery. Piniella will be eating his meals through a straw for the rest of the season.

After the win, Emperor Palpatine had this to say about Piniella's betrayal....
Lou Piniella was once an honored member of the Empire. Even when he competed against us, there was always a level of love and respect that we had for him and him for us. However, his years in Tampa have made him bitter. So, bitter that he would make a secret deal with the Prince of Darkness, Larry Lucchino. Playing with a rival is one thing, you have to go where the opportunities take you. But scheming with infidel to take down the empire is treason of the highest order. That is why, Louis, at the end of the season, you're going to meet a very good friend of mine.....

Bobba Fett will be the last face you see before you go to baseball hell.....

How Do You Sicken Thee? Let Me Count The Ways

A traitor is in our midst. And it shouldn't surprise us one bit. Losing has made him sell his soul.

This shouldn't surprise us, since Lou Piniella teams have always given the Yankees fits in the past. But that's when they had guys like Ken Griffey and Edgar Martinez...and current Yankees A-Rod and Randy Johnson.

Back then, they were world-beaters. Now they only play World-Beaters on YES when they play the Yankees!

Lou must have Andy Roddick's Mojo and a few others...because A-Rod struck out three times and Little Unit couldn't get out of the seventh inning last night!!!

Just an all around shitty night at the Stadium. Not only do we lose the season series for the first time ever to the D-Rays. We lose a game in the standings to the Sux as Big Papi plays He-Man at Castle Grayskull. Plus, we lose a game to the Indians who are a half game back in the wild-card standings. And you guys how much want how much for playoff tickets???

I am so sick of this team looking like the 1982 Cardinals against us. Stealing at will. Going first to third with ease. Just drives me nuts.

Well, if we do lose out to Infidel Nation, at least we know why. Lou Piniella has joined the Rebellion. He is a paid assassin of Infidel Nation. Larry Lucchino got to him. In the past, Lou's team always gave the Infidels fits. Throwing at them, getting into bench-clearing brawls. Just like Lou and Pudge Fisk in the 1970's. Now, they only get token resistance from the Rays. They'll go up 6-0, only to lose 7-6. Lose heartbreakers in the ninth inning. He talks a good game but we know the truth. They save the real fun for us.

How many coins of silver did it take for you to betray the Empire, Louis? Your Emperor? Did Larry tell you, that if you do this, you'll cause a chain of events that will get you out of Tampa, get Torre fired and get you back to the Bronx? Did he tell you that? Is that what he promised? Your return ticket home, if you cost us the division and possibly the playoffs?


But you thought wrong. Beating us with the Mariners was one thing. Those teams were talented and you seemed to be playing fairly. You didn't use your knowledge of the Dark Side of the Force skewer things. You let things play out fairly as you should have.

You are clearly using your powers for evil and it has to stop now. How else do you explain Randy Johnson cruising for three innings, then burping up two runs in the fourth? Bernie and Giambi getting thrown out trying to advance a base in the same inning? Cano's burp in ninth? Jeter swinging at the first goddamn pitch in the ninth and grounding into a game-ending double-play? Human error? Bullshit.

You're using your powers for evil, Louis. And we're going to put a stop to this tonight. It took a little while to realize what you're up to. We thought we just had your team relishing the role of spoiler. No, it's far more ominous than that.

You think this will bring you back to paradise? Getting Torre fired and taking his job. No, by letting you back, we'll allow the infidel poison into the fold. It'll spread like a cancer and the unthinkable will happen.

The Death Star will explode, the Emperor and the Imperial Council will die and the Empire will crumble.

We're on to your little plan, Louis. And we're going to make sure you stay in baseball hell. We're going to win the division and the whole ball of wax in spite of your wicked ways. You're going to be out of a job and we're going to have a parade down the Canyon of Heroes. And then Bobba Fett is going to come your home in the middle of the night...and kill you.

Enjoy last night, infidel. Your end is at hand.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Second Season Begins Tonight....

We're probably going to be saying this every week from here on out...But this week could be the season.

If we sweep the week or win five of six, we're sitting pretty for the division and the wildcard. Split, we're barely treading water. Any worse than a split..I don't even want to think about.

We can send a very clear message to Infidel Nation if we take it to them this weekend. A sweep would be nice, but taking two out three would bite into that lead and put them on their heels. This isn't a team that has a lot of experience being frontrunners. They won last year playing the underdog. They didn't sneak up on anyone like the Marlins did in 2003. But it's a lot harder playing the front-runner. Winning when everyone expects you to win. Ask the Cardinals. They've done a great job so far, especially when you consider the injuries and bullpen problems they've had. Now it's time to turn the heat up another 20 degrees. Through a quirk of the schedule, the bulk of their remaining games are at Castle Grayskull. While it's half and half for us.

See the resemblance? Is that Johnny Damon in the tights? Or is it Kevin Millar....

Their schedule however, is a little tougher than ours. They still have to play the Angels, A's and six more games with us. They're only team with a winning record that we face this month. So unless we forget that we're playing the Jays, Rays and O's....we have slight advantage in scheduling I think. Yeah, they're great at Castle Grayskull. But the Angels and A's pitching can counteract some of that. And they're both playing for their seasons so you can't expect either squad to roll over and die.

The Angels/Sox series this week can actually help us in several ways. If the Sox win, they hurt the Angels playoff chances if the A's continue to win. That helps us because the A's are a much better playoff matchup for us than the A's. Particularly if we get the wildcard. Obviously, the Angels beating the Sux helps us because if we take care of business, it put us in prime position to take over the lead of the division after this weekend.

So obviously, we can't afford any more burps against the D-Rays or anyone else. The Big Unit has to earn his paycheck tonight and on Sunday. And the rest of the staff has to pick up the slack for losing Moose. If we get Mike back, great. But we can't assume that right now. The D-Rays gave us no help last week when they played the Sux. Time to make them pay this week.

Screw October. The playoffs start tonight.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Death Star Blows Up The Black Hole

I forgot about the draft!!!!!

I had another football draft and I totally forgot about it. Decided to sleep in. I happen to check ESPN fantasy Sunday to see when my draft...and realize that I missed it by 12 hours!!!

As it turned out, I did a decent job of ranking players so I ended up with a good team for the most part. We'll see how good this Sunday.

Eric Chavez kills me. After Aaron Small shuts the A's down on Saturday, he decides to take this potshot....

"He's another guy we should have put up a bunch of runs against and we didn't do it. We've seen some pretty average pitchers over the course of the season and when we have, we don't do anything. It's pretty hard to explain. ... Not one of us felt like we shouldn't have put five or six runs on the board. But this is what we've done all year against mediocre pitchers."

Maybe Eric, you have such a problem with these guys, is because....I don't know....that your team sucks? That since you lost Giambi and Tejada, you can't hit your way out of a paper bag? With more holes than your swing? Think that might have something to do with it?

It's amazing what Billy Beane has done with Oakland the past half decade. But as much talk you hear about Moneyball and sabermetrics and On-Base Percentage...Oakland's success has been all about pitching. Pitching, pitching and more pitching. First it was Hudson, Mulder and Zito. Now it's Zito, Haren, Harden and Blanton. You know who the A's are without those guys? Think Rockies and Royals and then subtract 10 victories. Because the scariest guy in their lineup is Chavez. And he probably hits eighth for us.

And enough talk about Billy Beane and Moneyball. Most people who talk about the book and criticize it have never read it. The book is basically a guide on how to compete as a small market team with the big market giants. You do it by drating smart (no high school players) and to scout guys who know how to get on base. Because you have less money, that means you have less margin to error. So it basically cuts down on the guesswork involved in scouting. There are issues that come up in the book, like Beane's aversion to bunts and stolen bases. That's the stuff that makes traditionalists like Joe Morgan nuts. But it really misses the entire point of book. I'm not a Beane apologists, but it's a great book for any baseball fan that's interested in how a front office works and everything that goes into a fielding a major league team. Here's the Amazon link for any who wants to buy it. You be the judge.

He has a great glove but this guy has never had the monster "carry me on your back sort of season that Tejada or Giambi" had. Is it any coincidence that Oakland fell short of the playoffs last year? Yeah, their pitchers wore down, but that wasn't the biggest issue. The problem was that they couldn't score enough runs to take the pressure off the pitching staff. So when Zito or Mulder did have a bad outing, noone was there to pick them up. He's a good player, but hardly the guy you build an offense arround. He's a nice complimentary piece. Nothing more.

But I'm not surprised that this bozo was mouthing off. This is the guy who suggested the Yanks time had passed and that it was time for new blood in the 2000 playoffs. We all know what happened after that.

And if he had a problem with being shut down by Small, how did he feel about losing to Shawn Chacon, who had never won a game this late in the season until this year? Chacon didn't have his best stuff, yet still managed to stiffle the A's for a 7-3 win.

So the Death Star rolls into the Black Hole and all their bad ass fans and take two of three this weekend and five of six in Oakland for the season. Tupac would be so ashamed if he wasn't dead.

I know the press loves David and Goliath stories. They would love to see the small-town A's slay the big-town dragons. But it's never going to happen. Not until their cheapass owner opens up his pocketbook and gives his GM a chance to compete for the best players. Namely some bats to back up his pitching staff. What he's done on the Bay has been amazing. But unless he gets someone better than Eric Chavez to anchor his lineup, he'll always fall short. Maybe Nick Swisher can be that guy. Only time will time.

Members of Infidel Nation are going to be whining all week over the fact that they had to make up a game against the Chi-Sox today. They would have preferred to wait until the end of the season to see if it had any bearing on the standings.

I say tough. Deal with it.

They needed to play the game in the regular season so it still meant something. If the Sox had clinched the division by then and the Yankees-Sox were still in a battle for the division....How far would be if the Chi-Sox decided to phone it in and play their scrubs? No, let them play the game when it still means something. As it stands, the Sux lost today 5-3. Schilling looked like two day old shit which bodes real well for stretch run for them. So it was a great offday for Empire.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Sunday Afternoon Soliloquy

I was at a family cookout on Saturday, so I completely missed the Yankee game. That being said, when I got home at about quarter to two in the morning, I logged on and saw that Biggie Small came up huge again yesterday. A complete game shutout? Doesn't get any bigger than that. Giambi crushed a three-run shot and A-Rod and Matsui add two RBIs a piece as the Yanks win 7-0. Combine that with Angels and Indians losses and you have another three way tie in the AL wild-card standings. The Sux won so, we're still three and a half back in the AL East.

How the hell are the Yankees still in it? We don't know if Moose is coming back, Jaret Wright is iffy, yet we're still in command of our own destiny? With all the problems that this team has had this year, how does that happen? How does a team that has loss every starter at one point in time to injury still have a chance to make the playoffs and possibly win the division? And what does a team like that do in the playoffs if they make it? Win it all? Get knocked out in the first round? What?

This is why talking heads who write teams off in June or July should be fired and shot in the head. Bill Madden said it best in his column today. The baseball season is a war of atrition. You can't hang on one win or one loss too long because you have to come to the park and play tomorrow.
It is the Janet Jackson of seasons. What have you done for me lately?

While I love the excitement of a pennant race, it does wear on you as a fan. In the past, when the team has had a comfortable lead in the standings, you didn't mind missing a game or two to go and live your life outside of baseball. Now, you're glued to the tv or the sportsticker every chance you get. You stay up until 2 in the morning to watch West Coast games when you have to be up at 6:30. I'm getting into blog arguments with Mets fans who take shots at the Yanks without having their facts straight (Scroll down). At five in the morning!!!!

Yankee fans have been spoiled rotten over the last 10 years. In Flushing, they talk about playing meaningful games in September. How about 10 years worth??? Wow, it may not feel like it now with the angst of this year and what happened last October, but I hope Yankee fans look back on this time and feel blessed. Only one other time in the team's history have they prospered more. And they got to see it live and in living color.

While that doesn't mean that I'm not going throw my hat at the TV when Cano make a costly error or leave Blondies' angrily when we lose to a team like the Mariners. I'll at least try to add some proper perspective to the situation. The goal isn't to win every year, but to be in the conversation. To be relevant. That's what the Yankees have acheived. If you had told me 15 years ago, that the Yanks would draw over 3 million people consistently and have a chance drawing 4 million, I would have smacked you. Yet that's what's going to happen. A place that George wanted move out of desperately, has a chance of being one of only three places to draw over 4 million fans in a season. Only Toronto and Colorado have done it.

So while I want us to knock the smug grins of infidel nation. While I will be extremely pissed if we fall short again. At some point after I smash something or someone, I'll take a deep breath and appreciate being given the opportunity to watch a pennant race and a decade of excellence. And I'll smile.

Then I'll kill Metstramdamus and Uncle Buck.

Speaking of the Mets and their sooth-sayer, it looks like the honeymoon is over for Carlos Beltran and the Mets faithful. His numbers have been quite Bernie like this year and I don't mean 1995-2002 Bernie either. It was a signing the Mets had to make to let the baseball world know that they were serious about being big-time team again. Knowing what he knows now, Omar Minaya still makes the deal. He's young and there's a great chance that he'll bounces back next year. That being said, $119 million is a lot for someone who has never had to be the man on his team.

On the Royals, he was the best player, but it was Mike Sweeney's team. And they sucked. In Houston, you had Bagwell, Biggio, Berkman and Clemens. Here, you have two good but not great outfielders (Floyd and Cameron). An aging first ballot Hall of Famer who has never been a clubhouse leader (Piazza). And two budding stars who had yet to play a full season of baseball at the beginning of the season (Wright and Reyes). Minaya expected him to be his Reggie. His Jeter. His Mantle. It hasn't worked out that way. This is Pedro's team right now. And in the future, it looks either Wright or Reyes will be alpha males on the Mets. Beltran could put up some great numbers at Shea but I don't know if he'll ever be the big dog.

Beltran should have stayed in Houston where he didn't have to be a leader and would have benefited in playing in that bandbox of a park. Or he should done the unthinkable.
Signed with the Yankees for a year.

I know that with Scott Boras as his agent that that would never have happened. And there's the chance that what happened at Shea would have happened in the Bronx. But I think he would have been a better fit with the Yankees than the Mets.

He wouldn't have to be the Alpha male. We have several of those already. He would have had an established manager(Torre) and one of the best team leaders in sports (Jeter) to guide him through the rough patches. He wouldn't have to be the focal point of the offense. He would probably have batted either second or sixth in this lineup. A lot different from batting third, a spot designated for your best all-around hitter and toughest out. He would also had his idol Bernie to mentor him as well (Bernie said that he would have gladly given up his spot in center for Beltran). And he could have blended in without having to stand out.

Granted, with his talent he's going to be a standout. But he doesn't have to be the straw that stirs the drink. Matsui was the biggest star in Japan. But he's blended quite nicely with his new team. Jason Giambi was the star of the A's. Here he's one of the guys. Even Sheff(despite a few grumblings) and A-Rod have acknowledged the pecking order for the most part. They know that if they put up their numbers and play the game the right way that everything else will take of itself. Plus if he has a monster year and the Yankees win, he can go into negotiations with Cashman's short and curlies in his hand. That's what Matsui did. They wanted to sign him long term but he decided to opt on waiting until contract ends after this season to renew. With the year he's having, he's going to make a killing.

I know it never would have happened. But it's nice to dream.

More later....