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Thursday, November 05, 2009

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CC Sabathia was a bona fide ace, on and off the field, and an absolute gamer, taking the ball on short rest for virtually the whole postseason.

A.J. Burnett helped foster a sense of camaraderie the Yankees have lacked for years now, and pitched the game of his life against Pedro and the Phils in Game 2.

Andy Pettitte, who almost got away during the offseason, cemented his legacy as one of the ultimate big game pitchers, becoming the all-time postseason wins leader and clinching every single game along the way.

Damaso Marte seemingly came out of nowhere and dominated. Joba seemed to find himself again. And Robertson got a few important outs as well.

And what more can you say about the greatest closer of all-time, Mariano Rivera, who was ready and raring to go in the 8th inning of nearly every win?

While the right side of the infield struggled mightily at times, Posada was steady behind the plate (well, at the plate), Derek Jeter was Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez was truly a revelation, seeming like a new man entirely and coming through time and time again.

Damon caught fire (and the Phillies sleeping on that unusual and heads up "double steal" in Game 4), Melky was steady before going down with an injury, and Swisher had a Halloween homer that was huge.

And in what may have been his last game in pinstripes, Hideki Matsui came through with 6 RBI in Game 6 and won himself the MVP.

The 2009 World Series title is back where it belongs.

The Yankees sure throw one hell of a housewarming, huh? 1923 and now 2009. Guess those ghosts made it across the street after all.

See you at the Canyon of Heroes.

(All photos courtesy of Yahoo! Sports)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

ALCS: Freezing Up and Walking Off

I was in the bleachers for an epic Game 2 of the ALCS, and although I am still drying off and thawing out, it was all 100% worth it. 13 innings. Over 5 hours of baseball. ANOTHER clutch hit provided by A-Rod. And, of course, another walk-off.

The Yankees are up 2-0 in the best of seven series and will now play three games on the road in Anaheim.

The 40th American League Pennant is in sight; two more wins and they're in.

How will the 2009 New York Yankees be remembered?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Twins Are Swept Away! Yankees Advance to the ALCS

The New York Yankees will advance to the ALCS for the first time since 2004.

Postseason '09 has been good to the Yankees thus far.

And this has got to be my favorite picture of the whole lot.

Yankees/Angels in the American League Championship Series. Should be epic.

( More photos can be found here )

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Walk-off Win and a Postseason Pie

The New York Yankees took a 2-0 series lead thanks to two dramatic long balls, one a two-run blast from Alex Rodriguez to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th and the other a wall-scraping solo shot to left off the bat of Mark Teixeira for the walk-off win. The new Yankee Stadium has become the "Home of the Walk-Off," Teixeira's home run marking the 16th victory to be earned in that fashion. And the Minnesota Twins have been victimized more than any team.

Both teams are en route to Minnesota, where the Twins face a do-or-die Game 3 and send Carl Pavano (of all people) to the mound to oppose Yankee veteran and playoff-pro Andy Pettitte on Sunday night.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

2009 Postseason: Yankees Are Officially In

With Tuesday night's Texas loss (coupled with a hard-fought (and rare) win on the West Coast), the New York Yankees officially clinched a postseason berth for the 14th time in 15 years. They currently lead the Red Sox by 6 games in the A.L. East with 10 games remaining (including a three-game series with Boston at the Stadium). The magic number is at 6.

It's nice to know the Bronx Bombers have a guaranteed spot in the playoffs, especially considering their relatively poor play of late. Something about the Angels just brings out the very worst in this team, which is why it's so important for the Yankees to hold on and win the division so that they don't have to face L.A. in the first round of the playoffs. Wrapping up the season with the best record is imperative, too, in the event that the Angels and Yankees wind up playing one another in the ALCS; this Yankees team simply cannot win at Angel Stadium.

The weather might be cooling down, but the playoff races are heating up.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Instant Karma

Despite a 6-4 loss on Saturday afternoon at the hands of the Oakland Athletics, the first place New York Yankees are really clicking on all cylinders right now.

The Bronx Bombers won eight straight following the All Star break, including all five games occurring during "HOPE Week".

What the Yankees did this past week was unprecedented and should make you all proud to be fans of the organization.

This video, detailing the events of the week, is absolutely worth checking out.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Second-Half Sweep

The Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the first place Detroit Tigers on Sunday afternoon, pulling to within one game of Boston and starting off the second half strong.

All three victories came in tight ballgames and featured strong starting pitching, timely hitting, and a Mariano Rivera save.

Sunday's strong start by Joba Chamberlain was very encouraging, and Phil Hughes continued his lights-out dominance out of the bullpen. The hitting heroes were Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, who each provided a solo home run en route to the 2-1 victory.

Sunday was also Old Timers' Day, and marked the first Old Timers' appearances by a number of Yankees, including the recently retired Mike Mussina, who got a nice hand from the Stadium crowd. Don Zimmer also returned and got emotional as he stood along the first base line and listened to his ovation. Yankee newcomers A.J. Burnett and Nick Swisher seemed to particularly enjoy the festivities.

On Monday, the Orioles come to town as the Yankees look to keep the ball rolling and catch the first place Boston Red Sox.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

American League Dominance Continues

Congratulations are in order for the American League All Stars.

The A.L. squad once again prevailed in the Midsummer Classic, thanks to a timely triple from the Tigers' Curtis Granderson, a leaping, game-saving grab by Carl Crawford, and a shut-down save from the Yankees' very own Mariano Rivera (now the all-time leader in All Star Game saves).

Starters Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum both allowed two early runs, but the bullpens stepped up and kept the game close. The National League was entirely shut down after the 2nd inning before threatening against Jonathan Papelbon (the eventual winner) in the 8th. Brad Hawpe was nearly a hero, but Carl Crawford (who was later named MVP) reserved what he described as his first home run-stealing grab for just the right moment and helped keep the A.L. in the lead.

When the 9th inning rolled around, Mariano Rivera was on the mound, which meant one thing: Game over. And after a breezy 1-2-3 inning, Rivera and the A.L. were victorious once more.

Do these guys ever lose? Sure doesn't seem like it... Not since I was nine years old, at least...

Friday, July 10, 2009

State of the Yankees

After completing a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins on Thursday afternoon, the New York Yankees now find themselves tied atop the American League East division standings, along with (who else?) the archrival Boston Red Sox.

The Yankees are headed to the West Coast for one last series before the All Star break, where they will take on the always difficult Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (of California of the United States of North America of the former Pangea of Earth of the Universe). Meanwhile, the Red Sox will continue their four-game set versus the Kansas City Royals.

Should be an interesting weekend! What a shame the Yankees can't play the Twins every game.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

American League All-Star Selections: Did the Fans Get It Right?

It’s hard to believe, but the Midsummer Classic is less than a week away. All Star selections are in (with the exception of the Final Vote) and I thought it would be interesting to take a look and determine if the deserving players made it.


Catcher: Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
(Reserve: Victor Martinez, Cleveland Indians)

Mauer and Martinez have comparable offensive statistics. But considering Mauer missed the s
tart of the season and boasts an unbelievable .384 batting average, he deservedly will be behind the plate for the first pitch of the 2009 All Star Game in St. Louis.

Verdict: Good call by the fans

First Base: Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees
(Reserves: Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins; Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox)

Teixeira and Youkilis battled for starting honors until the very end of the voting race.
Ironically, though, Justin Morneau is probably the most deserving All Star, as he leads the trio in hits, home runs, RBI, and batting average. Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera definitely qualifies as a snub, considering his .324 batting average. In fact, one could argue that Cabrera deserves a spot on the team more than Youkilis (and that isn't just because I can’t stand the man).

Take a look:

Miguel Cabrera: .324, 17 HR, 48 RBI
Kevin Youkilis: .291, 14 HR, 47 RBI

Verdict: Wrong. Sorry, Tex, but Minnesota’s M & M Boys deserve to be starting behind the plate and at first base on July 14th

Second Base: Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
(Reserve: Aaron Hill, Toronto Blue Jays)

Reserve Aaron Hill has more hits, more home runs, more runs batted in, and a higher batting
average than Pedroia (and so does Robinson Cano, for that matter). Dustin has the superior numbers when it comes to OBP, doubles, and runs scored.

Verdict: Not blatant oversight, but I believe Hill should be the starting second baseman, with Pedroia as the reserve. Considering Pedroia plays for the team with the best record in the American League, though, I really don't have much of a problem with it.

Third Base: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
(Reserve: Michael Young, Texas Rangers)

Brandon Inge’s home run numbers and Scott Rolen’s high batting average notwithstanding, Young and Longoria are the best All Star choices for third base.

Verdict: Tough call. But considering Young has a higher average (.313 vs. .285), more hits, runs, doubles, stolen bases and a slightly higher OBP, I think Young deserves the starting nod over Longoria.

Shortstop: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
(Reserve: Jason Bartlett, Tampa Bay Rays)

Jason Bartlett certainly has the edge over Jeter when it comes to batting average (.354 compared to Jeter’s .313). Bartlett also has 2 more RBI. The Yankees captain, however, has more hits, home runs, and runs scored. Both shortstops have 17 stolen bases and are within one double of one another.

Verdict: It’s a toss-up. The vote could have gone either way and I think people would agree the fans were right.

Outfield: Jason Bay, Boston Red Sox; Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers; Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners
(Reserves: Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays; Curtis Granderson, Detroit Tigers; Torii Hunter, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles; Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays)

Josh Hamilton being selected as a starter is a joke; Melky Cabrera deserves a spot on the All Star team more than he does. Besides that error in judgment, I agree with the other two starters. Jason Bay leads all outfielders in home runs and RBI and Ichiro is batting .358 with 119 hits. Carl Crawford has stolen 41 bases and the rest of the reserves have put up some equally impressive numbers, with one exception. Ben Zobrist? I would take Jermaine Dye, Jacoby Ellsbury, Johnny Damon, Juan Rivera and a handful of other outfielders before I would even think of Zobrist.

Verdict: The fans were 2/3 right, and the coaching staff 4/5 correct. Not a bad percentage.


Andrew Bailey, Oakland Athletics; Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox; Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox; Brian Fuentes, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Zach Greinke, Kansas City Royals; Roy Halladay, Toronto Blue Jays; Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners; Edwin Jackson, Detroit Tigers; Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins; Jonathan Papelbon, Boston Red Sox; Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees; Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers; Tim Wakefield, Boston Red Sox

It’s difficult to sort through the statistics of so many different pitchers. It’s hard to argue with a bullpen consisting of Fuentes, Nathan, Papelbon and Rivera. Zach Greinke (10-4, 2.00 ERA, 120 K) deserves to start for the A.L. squad. Beyond that, I can’t really find any one pitcher who is not worthy of a trip to the Midsummer Classic.

Verdict: The fans don’t have a say when it comes to pitchers!

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's Just a Flesh Wound

According to Dick Kaegel of, lovable and reliable ex-Yankee Kyle Farnsworth had a bit of an accident this morning after he was bitten on the hand by one of his two American bulldogs, either Rambo or Strike.

"I think it was Rambo," said Farnsworth. "I don't know. I reached in there and started grabbing dogs and throwing dogs. And one of them got me. One of those things that happens. It's never pretty. I've had to do it a few times and it's ugly."

I'd be more likely to put my money on Strike, as
Farnsworth and strikes are often at odds with one another.

Luckily for
Kyle, he was bitten on his left hand and the hard-throwing righty shouldn't miss any playing time.

"It hurts a little bit, but no big deal. Just a flesh wound," he said.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Birthday Wishes

I apologize once again for my lack of updates. Expect a lot more posts after this weekend. My summer class ends tomorrow and I will be working with Joe Buck and HBO for the first installment of Joe Buck Live (Monday, June 15th at 9:00 p.m.). After that, I'm all yours!

As for now, on my birthday, there is nothing I would like more than a Yankees victory.

Monday, June 01, 2009


The New York Yankees find themselves all alone in first place through the first 50 games of the season. That is quite astonishing considering the fact that a plague of injuries threatened to derail the team early on.

e Yankees began the season with a three-time MVP on the disabled list as Alex Rodriguez recovered from hip surgery. Xavier Nady, the starting right fielder, was shelved less than a week into the schedule, former ace Chien-Ming Wang was absolutely horrific and landed on the DL himself after three starts, and both set-up men, Bruney and Marte, have spent more time inactive than pitching. And until this past weekend, the Yankees were getting by with their third and fourth-string catchers.

Yet the New York Yankees find themselves atop the division on June 1st, and are in the middle of a streak of well-played ball games, the likes of which we haven’t seen consistently in a few years.

Most Pleasant Surprises

: Following Sunday afternoon’s game, the Yankees tied a M.L. record (’06 Red Sox) with their 17th consecutive errorless game. The infield has combined for only five errors in 863 chances, boasting a .994 fielding percentage.

Chemistry: Whether it’s the postgame pies from Burnett, the Tiger Woods figurine battle for supremacy between Bruney and Gardner, or CC’s NBA playoff suite treat, these 2009 Yankees are a new breed. Add a dash of Swisher nuttiness and a gold-plated WWE belt, and the characters on this team are almost unrecognizable.

Managerial Adjustment: Perhaps Joe Girardi’s Spring Training pool tournament set the tone for the looser clubhouse. Regardless of whether it did or not, Girardi deserves credit for lightening up, being less ornery with the media, and doing a much better job of disclosing the true nature of injuries. My own favorite player in the late 90’s (along with Tino Martinez), I nonetheless was quite unhappy with the job Girardi did last season. He still makes some baffling decisions (especially with the bullpen), but I must give credit where credit is due.

Evaluating the Position Players

Catcher- Jorge Posada:
Jorge spent several weeks on the disabled list, but was very productive before and has picked up where he left off after being activated in Cleveland over the weekend. Jorge looks locked in at the plate.

First Base- Mark Teixeira:
If I were rating the players with a letter grade, April Teixeira would get a D, while Mark in May undoubtedly deserves an A. The insertion of A-Rod behind him in the lineup has done wonders for Tex. Teixeira has also been the biggest difference-maker defensively, having yet to make an error and showing off the kind of range Jason Giambi could only dream of.

Second Base- Robinson Cano:
Cano has gotten off to a great start following a disappointing ’08, both at the plate and in the field. Robbie can once again be considered a premier player, proving last year was just an aberration.

Third Base- Alex Rodriguez:

A-Rod took the first pitch he saw upon being activated from the DL deep off of Jeremy Guthrie. He struggled a bit after that, but has hit quite a few meaningful home runs already (No, really!) and lengthened the lineup considerably. Even more encouraging is the fact that Alex has kept his mouth shut and seems to be genuinely trying his hardest to avoid stirring up more controversy. Let’s just hope that the new and improved A-Rod is here to stay.

Shortstop- Derek Jeter:
Jeter is heating up of late after a relatively slow start. He seems to have rediscovered his power stroke and has also been stealing more and playing a very decent shortstop. Derek has undeniably lost a step as he approaches his 35th birthday, but you’d still be hard-pressed to find a better shortstop in the league, even at this stage of his career.

Left Field- Johnny Damon:
While he has cooled off the past week or so (and happens to be banged-up), Damon has gotten off to an excellent start, capped-off by his walk-off home run against Minnesota last month at the Stadium. Johnny is making a strong case for a return to New York when he becomes a free agent after this season.

Center Field- Brett Gardner/Melky Cabrera:
As the everyday starting CF, Gardner was unable to provide enough offense. Up stepped Melky Cabrera, who took the job and ran with it. Melky has been phenomenal to this point. Gardner, as a complimentary player, has done a nice job lately as well. A little center field competition is a good thing.

Right Field- Nick Swisher:
Nick Swisher’s month of April was outstanding; he quite literally carried the offense. His May, however, proved why Girardi chose Xavier Nady as his starting right fielder. Swisher is a career .243 hitter with a propensity for striking out. He is a good enough hitter that he deserves to be more than a bench player, but he’s not quite good enough to play every day. Nady’s injury and Swisher’s increased playing time has exposed his weakness as a ballplayer. With Nady rehabbing in Tampa and not far off, Swisher can return to the role that suits him best.

Designated Hitter- Hideki Matsui:
Matsui is hard to evaluate. He’s been red-hot for a few stretches this season, and he has also looked totally lost at the plate at times. His bad knees have confined him solely to the role of DH, which puts Girardi in a bind. For now, the Yankees ought to ride him while he’s hot and bench him when he’s not, simple as that.