When I see books like this I think "I bet this author doesn't write anything remotely resembling thought-provoking, creative literature". Hey, I'm psychic!
In the wake of the Yankees' seemingly unstoppable slide down Loser Mountain, I have been on the receiving end of many a heckle, from the silly ("have you given up yet??") to the downright asinine ("you should start cheering for a WINNING team"). It is the latter that infuriates your normally docile (lie) Yankees Chick to the point of boiling rage so intense I very well may strangle the next person that says that to within an inch of their pathetic life.
....Which brings me to the latest catalyst of said fury, the self-indulgent sassy article written by novelist and apparent nutcase Jane Heller that appeared in the New York Times this week. Jane, a self-proclaimed life-long worshiper of the Yanks, declares in her "hilarious" and "clever" little ditty that she has denounced her fandom due to the team's disappointing season. She refers to the denouncement as a "divorce", claiming that the team, coaches, management, trainers - essentially anyone associated with the team, short of Posada's handicapped child and A-Rod's halfway sexy undercover lover - have subjected her to "mental cruelty". All this brutal torture has pushed poor Jane to jump ship on her Yankees love, although she says she would consider a reunion if they started to win again.
I'm not sure what makes me sicker about Jane's article - the fact that she turned her back on a team that she had been a fan of for so many years, or the fact that she ever considered herself a fan in the first place. It is people like little miss sassy over there that give Yankees fans a collective bad name; folks that only jump on the fan bandwagon during winning years have created an unfortunate reputation for Yanks fans as nothing more than a group of fairweather supporters. Because of people like her, we are stuck constantly defending our commitment to team in good times and bad. No one likes to see their team falter, but does a team's failures or bad luck make them less deserving of fans or any less endearing to sentimental afficianados that have followed the team for years? Any fan can root for the Yanks to win. As a true fan, I can recognize their weaknesses, complain about their missteps, groan about their losses, and continue to root for them even in the lean times.
Dear Jane is going to waste a lot of money on jerseys if she has to switch which team she roots for every year.
It goes without saying (though I will say it anyway) that the Yankees are currently in a state of extreme duress. They've lost their last 5 games without showing anything even remotely resembling passion - I believe their collective attitude of late could be described as "not giving a fuck" or perhaps "they sure have given up on life" - and unlike the beginning of the season where the pitching was mostly to blame, the offense has now become equally culpable in this disaster. As I mentioned the other day, Steinbrenner is placing the blame on the Cash Man and has implored him to do something to get this team to start winning some games or get he'll soon be facing unemployment (via a patented impulsive Steinbrenner firing, of course), and it is Stein's urgent call for a big move that makes Ms. Yankees Chick very, very nervous about the future of this team.
I imagine that what Steinbrenner has in mind is some sort of big trade designed to bring offensive power to the team and henceforth magically transform the season from one of disappointment to one of triumph and championship. I imagine this is his plan because I guarantee you this is his plan. I guarantee you this is his plan because this is always his plan when things are looking rough.
These mid-season Steinbrenner trades are born of desperation, and I am a firm believer in the old adage "when desperate times call for desperate measures, there is no way you will get equal value for the players you squander away". The 2 players that have been rumored to be potential targets for trade are Rockies first baseman Todd Helton and Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira. With his power and above-average defense, Teixeira could actually be a good fit for the Yanks, but with just a year left on his contract and Boras as his agent, I have a feeling the productivity they would get out of him over the next season and a half would not be enough to justify the loss of the several pitching prospects they would surely have to surrender. As for Todd Helton, trading even a little league player for his ridiculous lengthy and backloaded contract would be as nonsensical letting Steinbrenner himself join the roster. Helton's stats look good on the surface, but much of that can be attributed to the lack of pressure (both emotional and atmospheric) he has enjoyed by playing at Coors his whole career. It is incredibly unlikely that he would post those kinds of numbers with the Yankees, and they would be saddled with him for the next 74 (approximately) years.
I understand that Steinbrenner wants his team to be the best it can be, and no one likes to lose, but if this is not their year, then so be it! The thought of trading away our prospects just to make a run at a wild card spot makes me sick to my stomach. If the Yanks can pull it together and make it to the postseason - and they certainly have the talent to do it, they just need to get in the groove - that would be great, but if they can't, so what? There's always next year, when there will be more free agents and more mature Yanks prospects to toy with!
Just a reminder to tune in to Free the Fan Radio tonight to listen to your Yankees Chick attempt to be simultaneously bitter and optimistic. I will be on from 10:30-11pm EST, and you can listen right here on YankeesChick (just click "play" in the media player at the top of the sidebar) or by heading over to 1240 AM's website.
This could be the only Yankees team winning fancy trophies this year, my friends
Per official MLB rules, each team is allowed 25 men on their active roster. Per logic, in order to win games, a majority of these 25 athletes need to be performing well.
The Yankees have 4 players on their active roster that are playing like champions, and 21 losers taking up space and contributing close to nothing (and that's being generous, some of these chumps contribute less than nothing and are actually detrimental just by coming near the rest of the team [I'm looking at you, Farnsworthless]). By the magic of mathematics and the probability (and do not forget, the Yankees Chick was the vice-president of the math club in high school), it seems highly unlikely that the Yanks could win many games operating at just 16%.
Before I continue to bitch about the underperforming wastes of space on this team, let me take a moment to congratulate the 4 aforementioned champion players and thank them for their tireless efforts to salvage some semblance of quality play for the team. Thank you, Andy Pettitte, for being the only pitcher on the team to pitch consistent quality starts. He hasn't had one cringe-worthy start all season and his record should be much higher - - he's had a couple leads blown by the bullpen. Another thank you goes to A-Rod, for forcing fickle Yankees fans to see and appreciate his talent as he continues to be the only Yankee showing any power and the one knocking in almost a fifth of all the Yanks runs. Dear Jeter is deserving of a third thank you, for doing what he always does - hitting for average (.364), getting on base (.443), and coming through in the clutch (.500 average with runners in scoring position). Rounding out that quartet of Yanks who are actually playing respectably is Jorgie Posada, whose .371 batting average puts him ahead of the rest of the league, and whose arm remains as sharp as those of many of his younger counterparts - he's thrown out 9 would-be base-stealers so far. Good work, men! I hope you're enjoying your personal successes as your teammates screw you out of hopes of winning a World Series ring this year.
Now back to the hating. I have an indiscriminate and largely irrational hatred for most of the team right now, from Cano right on down to Mariano. Every batter is chopping at balls like the object of the game is to never stand still and look at a pitch, and every pitcher has apparently forgotten that they are supposed to throw the ball past the batter, not directly at the sweet spot of the bat. Their overall attitude is disappointing and worrisome; how are we supposed to remain hopeful when none of them get fired up or inspired to try harder in the face of tough times?
Wednesday's win brought the Yankees to within 9.5 games of the BoSox (don't get so excited about that news that you forget to breathe, now), and inspired some optimistic sentiments into the Yankees Chick's heart. As soon as the win was official (you never know how those last innings will go these days....) I saddled up with my fancy webcam and created the first truly happy Yankeeschickography of the season. Check it out in the high-tech video section... or right here!
Balco Barry is literally days away from breaking the big 755 home run record (he has 745 as of 6:00pm tonight), and I would venture to guess that there has not been a less-anticipated broken record in the history of modern baseball. Hank Aaron has made it mighty clear that he sure as hell will not be there to witness his own record being surpassed ("I'm not going to fly to go see somebody hit a home run!"), and Bud Selig seems to be doing his best to weasel out of showing up without looking like too much of a scumbag (world to Bud: "no one will hold it against you".) ESPN has been attempting to draw some attention to the matter with increased stories on the website and a constant barrage of their "Chasing Aaron" coverage, which chronicles what seems like every single Bonds at-bat, warning-track hit, disgusted look, and self-satisfied smirk, but even their half-hearted attempt at fanfare hasn't stirred up much excitement from the general public. Very few athletes have been willing to offer up their comments one way or another (with the exception of Pujols and Ortiz, who have defended him, and Schilling, who called him not just a juicer but a tax evader and a wife-beater); most of the MLB community seems to be sick of the whole matter and eager for it to be done with.
I'm with them.
It is very disheartening to see someone like Bonds, who has been the antithesis of the image MLB would like people to associate with baseball, pass such a milestone dishonestly, but what is the alternative? Unless Bonds miraculously gets convicted of some sort of steroid crimes in the next week or so, he will break the record this summer and will add another achievement to his growing list of "look what a person can do when they take enough HGH to kill a bison" tab. While this is disappointing, does anyone really care? I don't know of anyone that believes that Balco B got to where he is today on protein shakes and a good stretching regiment, and while the record will have his name by it, the world knows that Barry's stats are inflated and thus the record is cheapened. The day he breaks the record will not be any different than any other day: Barry will thank himself for making himself such a home run king, and the rest of us will roll our eyes and keep our eyes on the man that will break the new career home runs record in a few years and without any unnatural substances - - Mr. Alex Rodriguez.
Torre and Cash look like 2 teenagers embarrassed to be seen with their dad
Much like life in general, when things go wrong in baseball it seems a scapegoat needs to be decided upon as soon as possible in order to assuage peoples' collective worry - it is much easier to deal with a bad situation once there is someone to blame. While this tactic might work in one's personal life (just blame your parents for everything wrong in your adult life.... who doesn't?), I have trouble going along with the fingers being pointed at Torre and the Cash Man in the wake of the Yankees continued failures this season.
There is no denying the fact that there are myriad problems in Yankees-ville right now, from injuries to slumps to blatant implosions on multiple fronts, but is Torre and/or Cash at fault? Despite the picture much of the media is painting, it seems to me that 99% of the troubles plaguing the team have little or nothing to do with either of them. Let's examine:
Injuries: The injuries to the pitching staff (Wang, Moose, PAVANO, Karstens, Hughes, Rasner...) have obviously caused huge problems for the Yanks, since the offense has been saddled with the task of trying to score 5+ runs every game to make up for the 4 the starters give up, and the bullpen has simply been overused because the starters can't seem to make it out of the 5th or 6th inning. Some responsibility for the injuries lies with the players, particularly if they were not doing enough to prevent strains with stretching and training, but most of the trauma endured by the pitchers can be attributed to simple bad luck - like in the cases of Karstens and Rasner. The only other injury causing serious trouble for the Yanks is the great Giambi Bone Spur Caper, which, since he doesn't have to play defense anymore, does not necessarily spell tragedy for the team. I would pinpoint the injuries as the number one cause of the Yankees' overall failures, and I certainly see no way that Torre or Cash could be to blame for that.
Slumps: Damon, Cano, Abreu, and now Giambi are enduring a discomforting collective slump right now (I'm leaving Mietkicantspellhisname off that slump list because sadly how he's hitting is exactly right for his career numbers). All 4 of those guys have proven their talent, though, so while it is frustrating I see no reason to believe that they will continue on this way all season. I suppose there could be an argument for Torre to take a small portion of the fall for the slumps, if he has not been encouraging and motivating them enough, but with the exception of Cano, those guys are experienced players that should not require coddling.
Blatant Implosions: Mariano has had a mini-implosion, blowing 2 saves and losing 3 games already - he only blew 3 and lost 5 over the entire season last year. Much like the aforementioned offensive slumpers, though, I really do not fret much about Mo. He is getting older, which could be contributing to his slowdown, but I have a feeling he just hasn't hit his stride yet. The biggest implosion is without a doubt Kei Igawa, who in the 6 games he pitched managed to rack up a 7.63 ERA and give up EIGHT home runs. This one could possibly be blamed on Cashman, since he obviously is partially responsible for signing him (although I'm guessing this one was mostly Big Stein's idea, in a knee-jerk response to Boston's Dice-K acquisition), but Igawa was relatively cheap and was never intended to be an ace in the first place. He was signed as a 5th starter, and although he was a disappointment the first time around he could certainly improve in the minors enough to come back as a #5 man at some point next year. Even if we never see him again, it is not as if the deal would have cost the Yankees an arm and a leg (with Stein's fortune, more like a small toenail), and Igawa's bad performances this year are surely not solely to blame for the Yanks' horrid April-May record.
Of course, Big Stein can fire and hire whomever his old heart desires, but he has shown no sign of making a move like that any time soon. Hopefully Stein is able to see that the Yankees' failures this year cannot be pinned on any fatal errors made by Torre or Cashman and will continue to play the waiting game with the rest of us, hoping that things come together for the team. After the season is another story - if things don't go his way in the post-season, Stein is always quick with the ax!
It's a day CHOCK full of multimedia in the land of the Yankees Chick!
First, I have posted a new video in my incredibly high-tech and videotastic video section. I'm looking into the camera this time, my hair is down, and my bra straps are fully covered. So professional! Check it out:
In addition, I will be on Free the Fan radio (9-11pm EST) as usual tonight, but before my segment at the end of the show Mr. Met/Dodger/Yankee Darrell Strawberry will be joining the chat-fest, right at the beginning of the show!! If that isn't enticement enough to tune in, I will of course be enduring Mets debates and taking your calls from 10:30-11:00pm EST. If the Yankees lose tonight, host Mike Silva should be set with his finger on that bleep button as I may have trouble speaking with FCC-compliant language. On the other hand, if the Yankees bust out a win, I am fully prepared to heckle any and all Mets fans as if Friday's and Saturday's never happened. You can listen to the broadcast right here on Yankees Chick by clicking "play" on the media player in the top of the sidebar on the right of the page, or by heading over to 1240 am's site.
Is that a laughing clown skull with a snake coming out of its chin tattooed on his arm?! If so, I have a matching one.
Giambi has been a favorite of mine throughout his time with the Yanks, originally for his OBP and homers (and the fact that I saw him on some MTV show [Cribs? Pimp My Ride? Engaged and Underage? Room Raiders?] a while back and he seemed like a nice guy) and more recently because he proved himself as a class act and a man during and after the BALCO fallout. Back in '03 when he, Mark "Past? What Past?" Mcgwire, Sammy "I suddenly can't speak English" Sosaand others testified before a grand jury on the issue, JG was the one to take responsibility and admit that had indeed been getting some extra "help" by way of steroids and HGH, while various other even more ridiculously over-muscled sluggers pulled a Ken Lay and claimed to have no involvement in the drama. His admission and subsequent apology showed a rare glimmer of humility we so rarely see, and I liked the way he battled back through the post-steroids injuries and a season of heckles and boos to regain an ounce of trust and respect from his teammates and fans.
Taking responsibility for his own involvement in the steroid scandal showed strong character (his mother and/or kindergarten teacher should be proud), but Giambi is now on a moral crusade to make all the culpable parties shoulder some blame, too. USA Today got him to open up about his strong feelings about the issue, and he explained that the players and owners should have all spoken up about the rampant use of shady get-ahead techniques long ago. In light of Bonds' impending breakage of the home-run record there has been much discussion about not just the players' usage of the drugs, but of the complacency of the MLB as a whole and their lack of creation or enforcement of any meaningful steroid policies, and I appreciate Giambi's speaking out. His requested "apology" from MLB would obviously be too little too late, as steroid use/abuse has already caused irrevocable changes to the way we look at history, statistics, and records, but I suppose some sort of public acknowledgment from the powers that be might have a soothing affect on the minds of folks like Giambi. As a fan, I am much more interested in hearing the players man up and admit their own wrong-doings, but what with Mcgwire's amnesia and Bonds' delusional belief that not saying something makes it not real, I don't think we can realistically expect many more big-name confessions any time soon.
By the way, Pavano definitely juiced. I don't need evidence.
Don't Mess With the Rocket (Or He Will Eat Your Firstborn)
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
It's nice that the Yankees can afford the same photographers that my high school hired to take our yearbook photos
As some of you faithful Yankees Chick supporters are aware (and I love all 3 of you), I make a weekly appearance on Free the Fan's Sunday evening radio show, chatting Yanks and subjecting myself to the harassment of a Mets-loving host and belligerent callers. During the most recent show, one particularly irate listener called in and took issue with the signing of Roger Clemens and what he will or will not be able to do for the team. This delightfully bitter gentleman argued that the the addition of the Rocket couldn't possibly save the Yanks, and could end up doing more harm than good, either by creating dissension in the clubhouse because of his "I'm better than all of you, haha!" contract or by exhausting the bullpen if he can only go 5 innings each start.
Blatant anti-Yankees acerbity aside, this man actually did raise some interesting points. I have made no secret of the fact that I too find Clemens' contract demands to be ridiculous, and while I suppose he has "earned" the right to respect with his 78 years of civil service, the special treatment certainly could be grating to his teammates. The possibility of him further exhausting the bullpen is a bit frightening as well; there is only so much our friend Dr. Proctor can do before he ends up buckling under the stress and exhaustion and hangs himself in the bullpen.
The caller's overall negativity regarding the Rocket signing was unwarranted, though. For starters, I don't think anyone - from Steinbrenner on down to us fans - believes that any one person, Rocket included, can be the savior of the team. Still, signing Clemens was a good move by the team on several levels: he will add an essentially fail-proof arm to our rotation (as long as he doesn't get in a car with Pavano), the signing prevented Clemens from going to the Red Sox and potentially causing even more losses for the Yanks, and the move confirmed to the fans and the public that the front office was not giving up on the team and was willing to make some moves to stay competitive. As for him upsetting the team with his extra days off and shortened season, I say "too bad for them". With the losses aplenty the team has been suffering of late, I highly doubt Jeter and the gang are going to be crying over Clemens being treated like a diva. Unlike certain other aging amazing pitchers (I'm looking at you, Mullet-Man), at the very least Clemens doesn't seem to have the type of grumbly attitude that puts a serious damper on the clubhouse.
In short, only time will tell if Clemens can help the Yankees improve their ever-worsening record, just like only time will tell if Pavano is a human or a simply a cyborg on a sabotage mission from Boston.
Considering the state that the Yanks are currently in - a record 2 games under .500, 8 games behind the Red Sox, 3 starters on the DL, a bone spur bothering the DH - it would be easy for us fans to let anxiety get the best of us and fall into an unnecessary pessimistic melancholy. But be cool, my babies! Don't let yourself fall into that trap! There are 126 games to go and there's no reason the Yankees can't spring back to life and run away with the division. Give your bitten-to-the-nub fingernails a rest and read these 10 delightful reasons why we all have nothing to worry about*:
10. Cano, Damon, and Abreu still need to break out. Each one of those three is in his own personal slump, but don't expect any of them to stay this way for long. Cano was thisclose to a batting title last year, Abreu gets on base like a fiend, and Damon can easily hit .290 once he gets rolling, so as long as those kids get in their zone the Yanks will be able to breathe a bit easier.
9. The Red Sox are really not that great. Yes, I know they have crushed the Yanks thus far this year, and their record is certainly much better than New York's. I can't discount the team's talent as a whole, but it seems to me that much of their winning has come courtesy of good luck and hot streaks. Dice-K, who we are all supposed to be incredibly frightened of, has proven himself to be a solid, steady pitcher, but not exactly a Tom Seaver in the making. JD Drew is hot right now, but like his distant cousin Carl Pavano, I have a feeling there are injuries in his future. Crisp and Pena leave much to be desired, and if Manny doesn't heat up soon "Manny being Manny" will mean "hitting .250 and slugging under .500".
8. Darrell Rasner and Matt Desalvo have shown us that even when our entire pitching staff is in shambles, there is hope in our farm. These 2 kids have 3.28 and 1.98 ERAs, respectively, and neither has broken down under the pressure yet. It is an amazing comfort to know that the Yanks have reserves like Rasner and Desalvo available to come up to the show with talent and maturity when our injury lists starts bending under its own weight.
7. Jorge Posada is out of control! If this man was on any other team, he would be a superstar, but he tends to get lost in the Jeter-Arod-Mariano-Etc-Etc-Etc shuffle in New York. He is currently hitting .365 with 21 RBI, and he can throw out would-be base-steelers as well as any of his younger counterparts. What's more, Jorgie comes through in the clutch - he has a lifetime batting average of .349 when runners are in scoring position and .857 when the bases are loaded.
6. Derek Jeter is...Derek Jeter. It's really no surprise that he is doing so well (.375 average, 20 RBI and just 13 strike-outs), but the fact that we have come to expect this performance does not make it any less valuable.
5. Mariano will be just fine. I've heard a few nervous Nellies panicking about Mo's 7.11 ERA or the homers he has given up, but I personally don't put any stock into these early failures. Mo has been one of the most reliable pitchers in Yankees history, and I don't envision that changing this year.
4. We've seen the future, and his name is Phil Hughes. It really is a shame that PH strained his hammy during his second ever start for the Yankees, but what we saw that day was enough to make us all bust out our construction paper and craft some lovely countdown-chains to help us get through the time he's on the DL. Depending on the state of the rotation when Hughes returns he may be sent back to AAA for more seasoning, but I have little doubt that we will be seeing him again this season.
3. The Rocket is ours. Roger's decision to come to the Yankees rather than the Astros or the Sox is going to do the Yanks a world of good. During the last 3 years that he spent on a similar minimal schedule, he went 40-18, gave up 33 homers, and struck out 505. Not only will his presence make the Yanks rotation infinitely better, but it means that our batters won't have to face him in a Red Sox uniform!
2. A-Rod is in a prove-it-to-us phase, and whether he stays or goes at the end of the year we are getting some great work out of him. His numbers are amazing and his attitude has definitely improved; he seems to be somewhat enjoying himself in the Bronx this year. While I'd like to say that all this ensures that he will not opt out at the end of the year, he still may choose to flee - - but as I said, let's worry about that later, and for now just enjoy his help on the field and at bat.
1. Doug Mienkicantspellhisname is just a nice person and perhaps a good luck charm. He was, after all, integral (by catching that last out) to the Red Sox 2004 World Series win, so who's to say we won't be seeing him snag a ball for out 3 in game 7 in October? Plus, he really is a nice guy.
* By "nothing", I of course mean "nothing serious yet". If the situation hasn't improved by this time in August, you may be reading an entirely different post, one entitled "10 Ways the Yankees Have Let Down the Yankees Chick in 2007".
Dougie is either playing "mirror" with whoever that other person is or they are picking at each other's fingernails. I'm not sure which scenario I like better.
The world of sports is chock full of self-important arrogant rich dudes, and as hilarious as folks like Rickey Henderson are ("Lou Brock was a great base stealer but today I am the greatest"), a humble athlete is far more endearing. The Yanks' own defensive first-baseman extraordinaire Dougie M. may not have the offensive prowess to really warrant any cockiness, but his utter lack of pretension has made me truly appreciate him as a fan. He makes up for what he lacks at the plate (that whole "hitting" idea....) with incredible range over at first base, and has already bailed the Yanks out of several jams by jumping up to catch wayward balls thrown by Jeet or A-Rod or slamming his bod down into the dirt to tag a player out. Dougie isn't exactly an irreplaceable or indispensable commodity in the Yankees' lineup, but he knows that and works hard to earn his keep.
He's hitting just .235 with 10 RBIs this year - which, while a far cry from the numbers put up by most of his teammates, is not necessarily despicable when teamed with this stellar defense - but with the way he acts you'd think he was a little leaguer just happy to be playing on the team with the big kids. Torre has made it clear that Mienkicantspellhisname's value to the team lies solely in his defensive talents and doesn't care much about his batting average, and his teammates love being able to toss sub-par throws in the general direction of first base and have them snagged, but any time he is interviewed Dougie is all self-deprecation and humility. When he was booed by fans after going hitless for the first several weeks of the season, Doug actually said they should have booed him sooner, and he says he works out with hitting coach Kevin Long constantly in hopes of improving his technique at the plate.
It's easy to forget that offense isn't the only part of the game, especially when the team that happens to hold a special place in your heart is going through a rough patch in the pitching department (ahem). Folks like Mientkicantspellhisname are fun to watch and heartwarming to root for, even in these lean times.
You Get a "C-" For Acheivement, but an "A" for Effort!
Thursday, May 10, 2007
I'm a little bit frightened of that woman's abs
After yesterday's 6-2 win over the Rangers, it looked like the Yankees had at last managed to dig themselves out of the ditch they've been buried in for the past month and cross into the exciting frontier of a .500 record. Just a few short hours later though, and they're back on that losing side of the spectrum after crumbling under Texas's crushing offense (that is sarcastic; to be honest, the fact that the Yankees collective pitching allowed them to score 14 times is just as embarrassing as their sub-.500 record) this afternoon.
Even though their record is once again hovering below a solid "C" average, we have seen marked improvement from the Yankees in recent weeks. It has been a long journey just to get to this point, and with their record no longer screaming "dear god please help us we cannot pitch to save our lives", I feel I can at last enjoy a moment of optimism. The team actually has a lot of good things going for them, regardless of the injury count or the 8-game lead the Red Sox have right now (ouch). Help is on the way in the pitching department, with the Clemens machine working out already, and Matt DeSalvo (left, holding what appears to be my 3-year-old nephew's glove) pitched very well last weekend - if he does well again on Saturday against the Mariners, he could become a long-term fill in the rotation. Darrell Rasner also looked great yesterday, although he seems to tucker out after about 5 innings. At the very least, Rasner and DeSalvo can't fare worse than Kei Igawa (right...I'm sorry.), who has been shipped off to Class-A Tampa and is probably currently being trained to serve as shoe-shiner to Roger Clemens. Offensively, Jeter, A-Rod, and Posada are tearing things up, and dear Mientkicantspellhisname has really picked up the pace himself. Damon, Cano, and Abreu have not even come close to doing what they are capable of thus far, but rather than worry me, I choose to take their current poor performances as evidence that they will all start hitting like crazy any day now (don't ruin my dream).
Greener pastures are on their way to the Bronx, and with a smidge of patience while they battle through this month of May we should be seeing that gap between the Yanks and Sox inching closer every day. Remember: every day that passes brings us one day closer to Clemens' debut, the return of Hughes, and the thrill of Pavano's Tommy John surgery!
Lest you get too jazzed about the Roger Clemens signing and start thinking that all the bad pitching mojo may at last be on its way out the door and out of our lives, the Yanks got some disappointing (if not surprising) news regarding my best friend and soulmate, Carl Pavano. After just 2 starts this year, one of which looked pretty promising, Pavano is officially out for the season and heading for Tommy John surgery. As you are probably aware, TJ surgery is very serious business and takes quite a while to recuperate from, usually 12-18 months, meaning all you hardcore CP fans will have to wait until approximately October of 2008 to see him pitch again.
The Yankees likely weren't exactly counting on Pavano to rejoin the team anytime soon even before the TJ news broke, but the fact that there is no hope of him returning puts the team in quite a bind for the next month. Clemens won't be joining the team for a month, and Hughes and Karstens will both be out for at least that long. Rasner did well today and we'll see how DeSalvo fares tomorrow, but suffice it to say that the offense is most likely in for another month of pressure as they try to carry the team.
The fact that Pavano is injured again comes as no real surprise, but the 3% of my brain that is optimistic has been holding out hope that perhaps Pavano could be a serviceable pitcher this year. I did my best to conjure up some good thoughts and positivity for the fellow, but clearly my efforts were in vain. Perhaps he is not an avid Yankees Chick reader (as I'm sure the rest of the team is) and was not aware of the positive vibes I have been campaigning for? It's the only explanation I can envision.
Perhaps There Is a God After All (And He Likes The Yanks!)
With the exception of Kei Igawa's frightening performance on Friday (4 IP, 9 hits, 8 ER... come on now), the Yankees have had an amazing week in the way of pitching. Phil Hughes took a no-hitter into the 7th on Tuesday - and if he hadn't busted his hammy he very well may have completed that game, both Pettitte and Moose did well during the double-header on Thursday, and of course we all watched Wang's 7+ perfect innings yesterday. Today brought even better news from the Bronx, as the one and only Rocket announced that he will be returning to the Yanks and hopefully salvaging the decrepit rotation.
Clemens made the announcement from the owner's box right after the 7th inning stretch, saying afterwards that the deal had just been worked out over the past 2 days and that none of the Yanks knew until the moment he let us all know (after the game Jeter said that he "knew", but it is unclear if he meant he had been told or if he just had a good old-fashioned hunch about it). The details of the deal, including his salary (I'm guessing it is in the neighborhood of $230892348092309) and whether he will be going on road trips or only pitching at home, have not been released just yet, but he did say that his first game will be in "about a month". If that timetable is accurate and he does make the effort to pitch a few road games like a normal person, his first start could feasibly take place at Fenway during the Yanks-Sox series on June 1-3.
With the way April went for the Yanks, I am hesitant to start making grand predictions of victory at this point, but the state of the union team is certainly looking up! I will be on the radio twice this evening (at 6:20 on Yankee Fan Club Radio and 10:30 on Free the Fan) to discuss the excitement and rebuff any and all anti-Yankees sentiments. You can listen to both broadcasts right here on YankeesChick in the media player on the sidebar, and don't forget that you can call in and chat with me during tonight's Free the Fan broadcast!
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"This is as much my failure as anything else. I take full responsibility. I'm the one who hired Marty. At end of the day, this is a result-driven sport and a result-driven industry," Cashman explained, and we are all thankful that he enlightened us on the fact that this sport is result-driven.
First and foremost, I'd like to extend my very deepest and most sincere gratitude to Mr. Phil Hughes for helping the Yankees achieve a much needed win on Tuesday and allowing the bullpen to rest for the first time in 2007.
Having said that, I have a bone to pick with now ex-strength coach Marty Miller. Clearly Cashman and the rest of the front office gang share my sentiment, as he was let go yesterday, largely due to the exorbitant number of goddamn HAMSTRING INJURIES the Yanks have collectively endured this season. In addition to Phil Hughes, the list of soldiers wounded by hammy strains includes Mike Mussina, Chien-Ming Wang, Hideki Matsui, and perhaps we can even blame Pavano's forearm troubles on Marty, too (although if the dear chap wasn't sidelined with the arm issue he would most likely have injured himself in some other way by now, even despite my "Pavano Must LIVE" change of heart).
While the pessimistic side of me fears that ditching Marty may be too little too late after all the injuries and subsequent April losses, I am glad that Cash and the gang finally seem to be realizing that the "hope things will get better" method of dealing with the plethora of injuries sure isn't working. Marty's assistant, Dana Cavalea (I am unsure if that is a dude or a chick at this point) is going to take over the training duties for the time being, and we can only hope that he is a strong proponent of a solid stretching regimen.
To the surprise of precisely no one, the Yankees own fallen-then-risen son A-Rod was named April Player of the Month for his divine efforts at the plate. Here are his pertinent stats through April 30:
Derrek Lee - .412
Jim Thome - .553
The good news for the Yankees is that A-Rod is on fire and hopefully will continue to be hot (without him, the Yanks record would be at best 8-16). The good news for A-Rod is that Sharp gave him not just a trophy for his work but also an AQUOS full HD LCD-TV, a luxury he surely could not have afforded without government aid. Hopefully A-Rod will invite the rest of the gang over to see his shiny new TV and, jealous, they will all strive to be Players of the Month so that they too can watch CSI in Hi-Def!
In 2009 Curtis Granderson published a book: All You Can Be: Dream It, Draw It, Become It! Granderson "shares the lessons that he learned growing up--the importance of family and choosing the right friends, the power of listening and staying positive, and most important, the value of being yourself."
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