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The Final 2007 "Rest O' The League Round-Up"... Cry All You Need, Lovelies
Sunday, September 30, 2007
With the exception of the 1-game playoff between the Padres and Rockies that will take place tomorrow to determine which of the two will take the National League Wildcard spot and head to the post-season and who is going home to play Wii all winter, the regular season is dunzo. I will miss daily baseball like nobody's business... and I will also miss writing these delightful 10-words-or-less roundups of the goings-on of the "other 29"! They have been a challenge at times - it's difficult, after all, to sum up hilarious steroids scandals or Red Sox failures in just 10 words - but the Yankees Chick has persevered for the greater good and enjoyment of my fabulous and much-appreciated readers (all 3 of you). You're welcome!

Before you read this final roundup, make sure to take a journey through the previous Rest O' The League Roundups, for old time's sake:
September 19
September 10
September 2
August 24
August 14
August 6
July 28
July 21
July 7
June 22

AL East Why don't they just rename this division "Red Sox, Yankees and 3 teams that have no chance"?
Boston (96-66): I want a 2004 re-do SO BAD.
(83-79): You sure did enjoy playing spoiler.
Baltimore (69-93): Haven't you already been trying to ditch him for ages?
Tampa Bay (66-96): Being on a loser team sucks, but please: calm yourself.

AL Central You guys started the season with a lot of promise... then failed.
Cleveland (96-66): Your rotation makes me nervous.
Detroit (88-74): Wasted post-season chance, but you ended on a high note.
Minnesota (74-77): Yeah, blame it on the free agents.
Chicago (72-90): Shouldn't you be trying to improve your 2008 roster?
Kansas City (69-93): Bottom of the barrel. Again :(

AL West Your off-season mission: find another team or two.
Los Angeles (89-76): Where's that cute but obnoxious monkey?! Did he die?!??!
Seattle (88-74): Quite the demise. Thank goodness.
Oakland (76-86): Way to look at the bright side!
Texas (75-87): This is what happens to teams making worst deals EVER.

NL East HOLY COW!! I did NOT see this coming.
Philadelphia (89-73): Major props to you - what a run!
New York (88-74): Biggest choke of year. Actually feel bad for your fans.
Atlanta (84-78): Years disrespecting Native Americans caught up to you. Bad karma.
Washington (73-89): The Mets hate you as much as the Marlins.
Florida (71-91): Mets fans may actually lynch you. Watch your back.

NL Central Chicago should get a bonus point for having to beat 5 teams to win their division
Chicago (85-77): If you blow it, I'd watch out for Lou.
Milwaukee (83-79): Well, at least these folks don't have to humiliate themselves.
St. Louis (78-84): It's official: You're not good.
Houston (73-89): A positive ending for Biggio. I teared up.
Cincinnati (72-90): I miss Pete Rose.
Pittsburgh (68-94): Another example why I was a 'fraidy-cat as softball player.

NL West By far the best playoff race in baseball. wait, what did I just say?
Arizona (90-72): I really didn't have you pegged. Congrats.
San Diego (89-73): If anyone can save the Padres, it's Peavy. No pressure.
Colorado (89-73): Regardless of tomorrow, you should be proud. I'm still shocked!
Los Angeles (82-80): Having any offense might have helped you. Just a thought.
San Francisco (70-91): 2008 will be enlightening for Bonds... ONLY 'Frisco likes you.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Sunday, September 30, 2007   3 comments
The Season By The Numbers
The regular season for the Yanks is finally officially over, and I don't think there's a fan or player in all the land that isn't relieved to be off that horribly frighting death-trap of a roller coaster. When all was said and done everything went swimmingly for the dear Yanks, so rather than lament yet again about all the early-season troubles, let's break down how things ended up:
  • Final record: 94-68
  • Runs scored: 968 (first in MLB)
  • RBI: 929 (first in MLB)
  • Home Runs: 201 (4th in MLB)
  • Batting Average: .290 (first in MLB)
  • Slugging percentage: .463 (first in MLB)
  • Stolen bases: 122 (7th in MLB)
  • Pitching cumulative ERA: 4.49 (17th out of 30. Still better than I thought it might be)
  • Cumulative WHIP: 1.43 (20th in MLB)
  • Strikeouts by pitchers: 1,003 (24th in league. Ouch)
The disparity between those mind-boggling offensive numbers and the mediocre-at-best pitching performance is a tad disconcerting for the team's post-season chances, to be sure, but the pitching has improved over the past few months of the season. It appears that they'll be going with 11 pitchers on the roster for the first round of playoffs, so if someone can guide Torre on how to manage a bullpen (cross your fingers), they might be able to wrangle that pitching into something workable.

And hey, if not - - - take a look at those offensive stats!!!


posted by Yankees Chick @ Sunday, September 30, 2007   0 comments
Keep The Boras-Man Away
Thursday, September 27, 2007
The post-clinch celebration was a sight for sore eyes last night - champagne flowing, Torre crying, Shelley high-fiving everyone in arm's reach - and all that alcohol got people talking. Everyone had something to say about the team's roller coaster year, and they were all very heartwarming and tear-jerking and whatnot, but the euphoric commentary from Mr. Alex "Clutchosity Is My New Middle Name" Rodriguez particularly struck a chord with me:

---“This feels like home. It’s hard to believe that I played for another two organizations. So much has happened to me here, adversity, some success, that I feel like anything but New York feels weird for me now.”---

I understand that in the midst of all the hubbub and excitement of the moment (not to mention all that alcohol), folks are liable to say all sorts of emotion-driven things, but to hear A-Rod say something positive about his tenure in New York - and seem to actually mean it - surely brings a little hope to the hearts of us A-Rod supporters. We are all too aware of his opt-out option and know that the way he's been treated by New York over the past couple years might make it tricky to convince him to stay with the team, but he has proven himself to be such a vital part of the team that we've got to hope Big Stein and the Cash Man will recognize his value and make a hefty offer ASAP. It seems to me that if the offer is right, A-Rod will be willing to stick it out - for better or for worse.

Of course, we all know who really pulls the strings when it comes to A-Rod: The scary Boras-Man. If only it was he that expressed some sentiment for New York.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, September 27, 2007   4 comments
Yankees Chick on FanHouse TV
Yeah, I'm sure you're sick of me and my incessant barrage of video harassment, but if you just can't get enough Yankees Chick, you can catch me every Thursday (and the occasional Monday!) delivering the top 5 sports headlines of the day over at AOL's FanHouse blog. As with all my forays into the video world, I'll post them on the bloggy, too. Here's my first stab!

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, September 27, 2007   2 comments
Holy Cow!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Lovelies, the Yankees Chick is so excited right now that it's going to be difficult to refrain from ending every sentence with an exclamation point: with less than a week to go, the Yanks secured themselves a spot in the post-season with a 12-4 win down in Tampa tonight(!). After blowing a 5-run lead in what should have been the clincher last night, the boys (and us fans) were more than ready to win tonight, and everyone from the Wangster, who won his 19th game tonight, to Shelley "Outta My Way Or I'll Smile You To Death" Duncan contributed to the big win (!).

The Yanks have not missed the playoffs since the strike-busted season in 1994, but I would venture to guess that the team let out a bigger collective sigh of relief than they did in most of the last 13 years(!). They dug themselves into an early hole, but since July 1st they have a record of 53-26, battling back from injuries to just about every pitcher we put out there (R.I.P. Darrel Rasner), an impressive feat for any team and a near miracle considering the disgraceful way the Yanks were playing in April and May(!). Cynics and Sawx fans (they go hand-in-hand, really) were mocking the fact that the Yankees were celebrating tonight since they will likely enter the post-season as the wildcard team and not as division champ, but I'd say this team has plenty to celebrate - turning this season around is an accomplishment deserving of champagne, Shelley Duncan high-fives, and even copious exclamation points.


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posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, September 26, 2007   5 comments
I Hope I Didn't Just Jinx Us
Barring some sort of horrible disaster involving a nuclear reactor and a high-five courtesy of Shelley Duncan, the Yanks will be clinching their playoff spot any time now (hopefully tonight with the Wangster on the mound…), so I think it is fair to start thinking about the playoffs and who we’re going to trust to pitch the team to success – or at least not into utter failure.

Wang and Pettitte are as close to “sure things” as the Yanks can get, and there is no doubt that the two of them will be at the top of the rotation. Since the post-season is – obviously – very different from the regular season, the Yanks won’t have to worry quite so much about creating a 5-man rotation (something that eluded the Yanks ALL SEASON) and giving everyone lots of rest, which will allow Torre to use the Wangster and/or Prince Pettitte for two starts. As for our other starters, things are a bit less secure. Moose has done well lately, but in the minds of us cerebral fans and certainly of Torre and the Cash Man he is still walking on shaky ground and his start(s?) could go either way. Rocket was shut down this week to give him some extra time to rehab his sore hamstring/elbow/head/belly/wallet, and Torre has said that he’ll be a-ok for the playoffs and will likely pitch game 3 of the ALDS, but the fact that his starts kept getting pushed back until he was finally just shut down completely makes me a smidge nervous (how can we be sure he won’t still be sore next week?). Hughsie will make an appearance, and we love the dear boy, but a post-season game is a heckuva (job, Brownie!) lot of pressure for a kid with hardly any experience. The same goes for Ian Kennedy, who, if you ask me (you didn’t, but too bad), seems to have handled the pressure even better than Hughes has. Kennedy actually won’t be available for the first round of the playoffs because of his back pain (oh yeah, and he’s getting married [and on that note, why the hell is he getting married so young? He makes me feel like an old spinster]), but he will be ready for action in the ALCS. Assuming we make it there this year.

The pitching has really been the Yanks’ Achilles heel this year, and even though the situation has improved vastly over the past couple months the threat of a catastrophe on that front remains. Using the available pitching resources very, very carefully is going to determine the fate of the team. What do you think? Who do you trust?

To whose wagon should the Yanks hitch their post-season star?
Free polls from Pollhost.com

posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, September 26, 2007   1 comments
Yankees Chick on Bleacher Bloggers... Again!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The kind folks over at Bleacher Bloggers invited the Yankees Chick back onto their show for a third time this week to discuss the Yanks' post-season chances and my World Series picks. Check out all the Bleacher Bloggers "webisodes" at www.bleacherbloggers.com - - good stuff!

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, September 25, 2007   0 comments
Perry Mason Would Be So Proud
Monday, September 24, 2007
HGH and all related forms of cheater-juice have been a hot topic this year, what with the Benoit murder-suicide tragedy and Bonds' breaking the home-run record (a tragedy in and of itself, really), both of which dialed up the pressure on the Powers That Be to do something about the situation. Many fans and even a large contingent of athletes - of the non-cheating variety - have become good and sick of the rampant cheating and accompanying jacking up of stats and records. Sure, there are tests that can detect a few drugs and BALCO has had a bright spotlight shining into their retinas for a couple years, but what we need is a big break in the case, a bust, as it were, something that can give us some real information, some names, some perpetrators....

OH! Good morning! What do we have here?!

Just today news broke that the DEA had, over the past few days, successfully raided 26 underground drug labs and arrested at least 50 people (none of them the least bit sketchy, I'm sure) in connection with creating and trafficking all sorts of fun illegal substances from HGH to anabolic steroids. The DEA's crackdown - which for some reason the DEA felt had to be given a name more fit for a horrible action movie starring The Rock and maybe Jackie Chan than for a legitimate investigation: "Operation Raw Deal" - took 18 months of investigation and partnership with China and Mexico, where much of the raw material was originating, to pull off. The result? A monumental, unprecedented amount of evidence, including the identities not just of the makers/suppliers but names of everyone who purchased or received even a single shipment of some kind of performance-enhancing drug linked to this particular investigation.

What does this magical list mean for the sporting world, in particular the MLB? Well, no one can know just yet since the evidence still needs to be organized into some sort of database, but it is speculated that there are hundreds of thousands of people on the list. The bust was not targeted solely at professional sports folks, so most of the names will be those of body-builder types, amateur wrestlers, and the like, but it seems very likely that the names of athletes, trainers, or sports doctors will make appearances. As far as what fate could be in store for any baseball-related people implicated, that is TBD. Possibly nothing in terms of discipline because they have trouble punishing people retroactively and that damn Players Union is a force more impenetrable than the RNC... but DAMN it would be good to KNOW!

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, September 24, 2007   3 comments
La Liga Nacional
Sunday, September 23, 2007
I know they don't get much notice around the ol' Yankees Chick blog, but there is a whole other league besides the one the Yanks play in, and they participate in the post-season as well. Expand your horizons by watching this video, you ethnocentric fools!

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Sunday, September 23, 2007   7 comments
Never Boring!
It's been a wild ride, these games this weekend! Friday's disappointing loss took 14 innings to culminate, the game Saturday afternoon lasted five hours and 10 innings - but ended much better than Friday's (i.e., they won) - and although they managed to win in just 9 innings today, the game still took almost 4 hours and there was plenty of drama to be had. When all was said and done the Yanks ended up exactly where they were on Thursday in terms of the division race (1 game out in the loss column!), but the magic number to clinch a playoff spot is down to just 2 and our presence has certainly been made apparent to the goons up in Boston.

Some potent notables from this weekend:
  • Melky had 3 hits and 5 RBI yesterday (including the game winner on Saturday!), tying his career best for single-game RBI
  • Joba is a god - 3 more strikeouts today. Bow down.
  • Little Jose Molina has turned out to be quite the catch (no pun intended! Wait I'm lying, totally pun intended). For a backup catcher a team could do much worse.
  • Moose looked pretty good out there today - he had one bad inning, but put up zeros in every other inning he pitched.
  • Rocket will not pitch until Tuesday, but he is allegedly healing up fine.
  • Red Sox fans are the most moronic fans in the country... after letting a 14.5 game lead dwindle to barely 1, they have suddenly become vocal about "not caring whether they win the division or the wildcard". Right... justify away, Red Sox Nation.
  • A-Rod pretty much sealed the deal on his MVP win, I believe. He tacked on another 4 RBI and came through with master clutchosity (patent pending on that word) on Friday and Saturday.
  • Abreu somehow managed to get caught stealing twice today.
  • The Yanks went through 8 pitchers on Friday, 10 yesterday, and 3 today. No rest for the weary!
  • If Posada plays 6 of the next 7 games, he will have played more games this season than he has since the 2000 season, and thank goodness - where would we be without him?
  • Today's win was the Yanks' 90th of the season. On July 1st they had won just 38. Hows that for a second-half comeback? Can we get a Comeback Team Of The Year award?

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Sunday, September 23, 2007   2 comments
It's Really Not That Bad...
Friday, September 21, 2007
Twas a hard day in the life of a Yankees fan. Granted, not as hard as all those days were back when we were 10+ games behind the Red Sox or when Pavano was on the active roster (*shudder*), but to see such a great comeback amount to naught is a disappointment nonetheless. Dejected as I was at the game's conclusion, I am still most confident in the team's overall standings (2.5 games back in the division, 4.5 up in the wildcard) and they have been playing incredibly well, so I certainly don't think this one game affects their post-season dreams in any way. It is unfortunate to lose in any fashion, though, and to relinquish a game back to the Sox is demoralizing, but let's take it all in stride - several good things came out of this loss! Really!
  • Joba's dad saw his first game at Yankee Stadium and his son pitched yet another gem: 2 innings, 4 strikeouts, 1 walk, and zero hits. Par for the course for Joba, of course.
  • A-Rod proved once again that he can come through in the clutch with his 9th inning RBI single to keep the team alive.
  • Giambi proved that even with all his injuries, we can still count on him.
  • Mo was lights-out as usual.
  • Abreu threw a ROCKET from right field to get Adams at the plate (let's not discuss the part where Posada dropped the ball).
  • Wang had a strong outing - 6 hits and 1 ER over 7 innings.
  • 3 months ago, this team couldn't come back from even a 1-run deficit. Tonight, they scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning. That bodes very well for the team, because it shows us that - finally - they have enough confidence in their own abilities to not get psyched out.
That last note there is, to your dear old Yankees Chick, the most important lesson we can take away from this loss. For the entire first half of the season, the Yankees' record when coming from behind was abysmal. Championship teams don't buckle in the face of a 4-run deficit - and tonight, the Yankees played like a championship team.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Friday, September 21, 2007   4 comments
I've Already Sent In My Resume
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Once again, Torre's contract will be up at the end of the season, meaning that once again we are all going to be playing the guessing game for the next few months. Will Big Stein want Torre back? If not, how can the Yankees Chick apply for the vacated position?

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, September 20, 2007   12 comments
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
As a sports fan, sometimes it's difficult to determine which feels better: the fact that your team won or the realization that your rival has lost. It's easy to focus too much on one's opponent, particularly when your own team is accruing damages like it's going out of style, but enjoying the misery of others can only satisfy a person for so long (although it is fun, don't get me wrong). For so long this season the Yankees have been mired in 2nd-place status - the Red Sox came running out of the gate in April and played much better than the Yankees for many months; for a while all we Yankees fans had to live for was the hope that we could at least maintain some dignity. In fact, a few times at some of the lowest points in the season (think 14.5 games back... ouch), I became so accustomed to seeing the Yankees blow it that I began to take greater joy out of rooting against the Sox than I did out of rooting for the Yanks!

That, my friends, is wrong.

Sure, it's fun to see Gagne blow it. Yes, it's heart-warming to know that the Red Sox wasted a lot of money on the injury-saddled JD Drew, and the antics of poor Julio Lugo are a sight for sore eyes, no doubt about it. But (wo)man cannot live on the suffering of others alone!

Miraculously, over the past month or so, I have slowly weaned myself from my addict-esque need to have Boston's GameDay running in the background of my computer so as not to miss anything potentially mock-worthy (which is a good thing, really, because have you ever tried to get any actual work done while you're watching a Yankees game on TV, checking Boston's GameDay every 10 seconds, and heckling your Red Sox fan coworker simultaneously? It's not easy). I have refocused 100% of my attention on enjoying the successes of the Yankees - and they have been most kind in helping me in that regard. In the span of just a couple months the Yankees have managed to muscle out a very comfortable 5.5 game lead in the wildcard and turned themselves into viable contenders for the division, which is now just 1.5 games out of reach with 10 left to play.

Since the Yanks and Sawx are, of course, in a race with each other, no one is immune to a little scoreboard watching. But I can honestly say, lovelies, that when Gagne blew that save yesterday and when Papelbon served up that grand salami to Adams tonight, while I absolutely giggled with glee and felt my heart swell with joy, I kept my focus on the most important matter at hand: the Yankees' record.

The moral of this story (there isn't one) is this: it is the successes of one's own team, not the failures of another, that should bring one the most joy. The failures of others are just delicious, delicious icing on the cake. Cream cheese icing. On carrot cake.

I'm hungry now.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, September 19, 2007   8 comments
Round 'Em Up!
So much going on in the wild world of sports...my Yankees Chick brain is swimming as fast as Boston's lead is crumbling. The Yanks have clawed their way back from the edge of their grave, Colorado is suddenly a playoff contender (sorta), the Mets are spiraling out of control, and there are only a couple more weeks of baseball for all of this to sort itself out! Really though, the worst part of the end of the regular season will be the sad demise of these round-ups. It's hard enough trying to think of something to say about the Nationals once a week during the season when they're actually playing - there's no way I can keep that up when they're sitting at home eating mac & cheese and playing Scrabble all winter like the rest of us (or is that just me?). Enjoy it while it lasts, lovelies:

AL East upset is suddenly not sounding too far out of the question
Boston (90-62): Shoulda dressed him up as Igawa - that's true embarrassment.
(76-75): Thank you - You're my new fave non-Yank team!
Baltimore (64-86): "We seemed to locate in a spot conducive to their swings."
Tampa Bay (63-89): Well, emotional space IS important from an umpire.

AL Central what the hell happened here? I thought you had 3 good teams?
Cleveland (89-62): Put another nail in Detroit's coffin.
Detroit (83-69): Need to win almost every game to stay alive. Goodbye.
Minnesota (74-77): Gardenhire is a hardass.
Kansas City (65-85): When last name is Buckner, going by Billy is wise.
Chicago (65-86): #500 in walk-off fashion on bobble-head night. Storybook!

AL West it's a good thing Seattle is out, cuz if the wildcard came from here, you'd have a 50% showing in the playoffs
Los Angeles (89-62): I like Vlad, but he cant compete with A-Rod.
Seattle (80-70): You're done.
Oakland (74-79): Smart: make new stadium 32,000-capacity. Makes it look fuller.
Texas (70-81): Padilla is probs just angry cuz he's a Ranger. Understandable.

NL East what the hell happened here?!
New York (83-67): Lost 5. Lead down to 1.5. Who are you, Boston?
Philadelphia (82-69): Swept the Mets again. Making them sweat!
Atlanta (78-73): Contract year is an opportunity to increase your value, Andruw.
Washington (68-83): Stadium "Cool with a capital 'C'". Yeah, an adult said that.
Florida (65-86): A 13-0 loss just adds insult to injury.

NL Central The land of mediocrity
Milwaukee (78-72): Sheets in contention to be next Pavano.
Chicago (79-73): Good work, Zambrano - get the extension then go on vacation.
St. Louis (70-80): You're not good. How did you win the World Series?
Cincinnati (69-82): Don't break the rules on the Reds' watch.
Pittsburgh (66-85): The 1st paragraph of this is GOLD.
Houston (65-86): Better get that job posting up on Craigslist.

NL West you're all contenders! oh... not you, Giants. Goodbye.
Arizona (85-67): Uh-oh... shaky offense just got shakier.
San Diego (83-70): Lock it down, Peavy!
Los Angeles (79-72): No power to be found.
Colorado (79-72): Helton could be 1st Rockie's HOF-er. Still overpaid.
San Francisco (67-84): Bonds in space!

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, September 19, 2007   6 comments
Did You Realize??
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
There are only 12 games left to play?! (sidenote: what am I going to do with myself after the World Series?! There’s only so much NFL a gal can watch)

…The Yankees have not been this close to the Sox in the division (3.5 games out my babies!) since April 21st?

… A-Rod has tied his single-season best with 142 RBI… and there are still those aforementioned 12 games to go!

1977 Yankee greats Graig Nettles and Mickey Rivers will be signing copies of ESPN's Bronx is Burning DVD when it is released next Tuesday, September 25th?
Here is the info:
WHO: Graig Nettles
WHAT: The Bronx is Burning DVD Signing
WHERE: Transworld - FYE Store #140
1290 Avenue of the Americas
(Between 51st & 52nd)
New York, NY 10104
WHEN: 6:00-8:00 PM

WHO: Mickey Rivers
WHAT: The Bronx is Burning DVD Signing
WHERE: Modell's Sporting Goods
51 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017
WHEN: 5:00-7:00 PM

A-Rod is posed to win his 4th Hank Aaron award?

…The Yankees recalled poor Chase “I Gave Up 4-Straight Homers To The Red Sox On What Was Probably The Worst Day Of My Life” Wright?

…The Yankees have a better record than the Mets?

…A kid asked Shelley Duncan to sign a ball before the game on Sunday and he wrote “Red Sox Suck” on it?

...Shelley Duncan is now my idol?

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, September 18, 2007   3 comments
For Just $200 Mil, YOU Can Save a Struggling Team
Monday, September 17, 2007
Yankees detractors are big fans of carrying on about the team’s alleged “Two Million Dollar Payroll” (exaggerators… it’s only $195,229,045, come on now). Despite the fact that the team’s ability to afford the monster contracts can be directly attributed to their popularity and history of accomplishments – which, of course, is in large part due to the big players they can wrangle in with that big payroll; it’s like the circle of life except with baseballs and cash dollars – and the glaring reality that there are several teams that are creeping up towards Yankees-style payroll, folks continue to stubbornly hold on to some bizarre abhorrence of that payroll. The apparent consensus amongst these money-haters is that a team investing so much money should be invulnerable to injuries and slumps and is obligated to win every single game.

This attitude makes me a very bitter Yankees Chick. I am so sick of hearing people snicker and snidely remark “that’s the best you can do with your $200 million payroll?” I certainly understand that higher-paid players come with elevated expectations, and I absolutely identify with the sentiment of “buyer’s remorse” or “what the hell, we ain’t gettin’ what we paid for here” when players are a bust (I’m looking at you, Carl Pavano… not literally, of course, because you’re probably in surgery for some ailment or another at this very moment), but the use of that blanket statement is simply out of hand. It seems ridiculous to even type this, because it is so obvious, but my lovelies, there are so many factors affecting a team’s overall record besides money. Money cannot prevent line drives from breaking pitchers’ hands, or every molecule of matter in Painvano’s body from crumbling into dust, or Johnny Demon deciding that this year would be a good year to just relax and hit .260. Referring to the Yankees as “underdogs” probably sounds silly, but the way this year has gone has made them seem like some scrappy kids struggling to stay competitive with the big kids. I know it’s tough to ignore the expectations of a mega-jillion-dollar payroll, but I think the team has accomplished some impressive stuff in spite of all the injuries and first-half depression.
  • An old man came back from “retirement” (again) and made a big impact on the team, pitching well and serving as a good role model for the youngsters.
  • 2 kids barely out of college breezed through the minors and came up to provide pitching support just in the nick of time. Joba pitched 17 straight innings without allowing an earned run, and Kennedy has a 1.89 ERA in 3 starts.
  • In his 2nd outing for the team, Hughes was almost 7 innings into a no-hitter… before he got injured.
  • Jorgie Boy pulled through with the performance of a lifetime.
  • A-Rod gave the horrid booing fans plenty of reason to shut the hell up, putting up great numbers AND undeniably clutch hitting.
  • Andy Pettitte came back for a second round of the NY life and proved himself to be just as good – if not better – than the last time he was here.
  • Shelley Duncan is… hilarious (new official job title: Spirit Coordinator)

All that’s left to make this a true “moving story about underdogs coming from behind in the last weeks of the season to capture the hearts of the nation” tale is a World Series win.

Oh… and maybe a discovery that the payroll is really only like $75 million. Makes for a better story.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, September 17, 2007   6 comments
Pardon Me, Is That "Contract Year" You're Sporting?
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Jorgie Boy has long been one of my modern-day Yankees faves, impressing me with his dont-you-dare-steal-on-my-watch throwing skills and his ability to bat equally well from both sides of the plate (a highly underrated and all too rare talent, in my un-humble opinion), not to mention the sizeable corner he carved for himself in my sentimental heart thanks to his dedication to his once-ailing son and subsequent ongoing charity involvement; his obvious love for the game and unwavering support for his teammates (save for Farnsworthless, for whom Jorgie reserves all of his bitterness and disgust, a move which no sane person could disagree) make him an easy player to love. He also has the distinction of being one of the few veterans in the entire league to play for just one team throughout his career, but like all contracts must (well, except for Bobby Bonilla's with the Mets, but that deal defies logic on such a superhuman level I shan't even delve into it) Jorgie's is coming to an end after this season, leaving him available for the taking/signing. A catcher that is more than simply "servicable" both at the plate and behind it is as tough to come by as decent closer these days, and there is no doubt that Posada would have been a hot commodity on the free market if his 2007 season numbers had been on par with what he's been doing since joining the Yanks way back in '96.

I say that he "would have been" a hot commodity because the way he's played this year has skyrocked his market value from "hot commodity" to "sure to draw $15 mil" status. Jorgie, who in 10+ years of service with the Yanks never had a .300 season, busted loose this year in truly unprecedented fashion. He's hitting .339 on the season (.338 as a lefty and .339 righty) and getting on base at a .425 clip with 20 homers, 40 doubles and 85 RBI (not to mention the 2 stolen bases!!! Wooot!!!), and these numbers are not the result of one or two good months - he's been spot on consistently all year!

Jorgies great performance could not have come at a better time for the Yankees, who, without his consistency and incredible average and OBP most likely would not be in a position to make it to October. For Posada, his performance really couldn't have come at a better time - like so many others, Jorgie has used his contract year to boost his market value. I would imagine that the Yankees will be more than willing to pony up the big bucks for the man, because as I mentioned, good catchers are hard to come by... and good catchers with the dedication and ability to bust out a .339 year at 36 are surely worth a few extra bucks.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Saturday, September 15, 2007   3 comments
Help A Chick Out, Drunkards
Friday, September 14, 2007
As a newcomer to this lovely (and by "lovely" I mean "no really, how does anyone afford to live here?") city, I am not familiar with all the best (and by "best" I mean "cheap") joints where a gal can watch a Yankees game with fellow die-hards. Suggestions, Manhattanites? Somewhere midtown would be grand, and bonus points if you know a place that serves Dr. Pepper - the Yankees Chick has thus far been utterly disappointed with this town's lack of support for her favorite beverage.
posted by Yankees Chick @ Friday, September 14, 2007   8 comments
You've Confused Me
Thursday, September 13, 2007
No one can argue that it has been a most tumultuous season for the dear Yankees (and for us fans, who have been subjected to nothing short of grim torture as we watch each and every wayward pitch, strikeout, failed stolen base attempt, and broken hand), and people have found been no shortage of scapegoats to blame for the exorbitant number of unexpected losses. Obviously while various players were slumping – Abreu, Cano, Demon, Giambi, Kevin Maas, et al – we could toss some blame in their respective directions, and the Cash Man took the fall for some bad deals (see Pavano, Carl and -ina, Moose), but Mr. Joe “Turn That Hallmark Commercial Off, I Might Cry” Torre has been hit the hardest with the wrath of fans and media-folk. There have been firing rumors swirling around the Torrester every year after the Yankees blew it in the post-season (AKA every year since 2000), and while the Yanks were struggling (AKA failing miserably and embarrassing us all just by association) earlier in the season one would have been hard-pressed to find a person willing to defend the poor old man (except me!).

So what, pray tell, are we to make of this:
----CONTENDER: Joe Torre, Yankees: This is the second time in three seasons that Torre's calm-but-forceful leadership has steered the Yankees back from the brink of early-season disaster. In 2005, when he drove a team that was under .500 as late as June 14 to its eighth straight division title, he received third-place support. ----

He was Public Enemy #1 back in May, but now that the team is on the winning side of life (thank God/Allah/Moses/Greg Graffin), he's on the short list for Baseball Hero? I love the dear man, but as much as I certainly don't think he deserved all the blame during the tough times, it seems equally silly and unfair to reward him for the team's subsequent success. Am I wrong, my delightful friends (never!)?

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, September 13, 2007   4 comments
Yankees Who?
Monday, September 10, 2007
The Yankees are up 4 games in the wildcard and their chances at the post-season are looking better than they have since April 1st, so as you can imagine my every thought is focused squarely on getting through the next 19 games without the team incurring further injury or the offense taking a collective break. Does that mean I don’t care about the rest of the league? Of course I care…enough to sum their respective weeks up in 10 words or less, anyway.

AL East There’s still hope for you, Orioles and Tampa Bay! But not this year or any year soon.
Boston (87-57): Aint saying he’s Igawa, but is Dice-K really what you’d hoped?
(72-70): Refusing to talk about it will make it disappear quickly!
Baltimore (61-81): Bad news for O’s – you suck AND you cheat.
Tampa Bay (60-83): Crush the Sox, pretty please.

AL Central Wildcard spot = not for you
Cleveland (83-60): You beat Angels, and henceforth are my friends.
Detroit (77-66): Buncha cripples… oh, and a history-maker.
Minnesota (70-73): So nice to see inexperienced youngsters get called up!
Kansas City (62-83): The Yankees – especially A-Rod – are on fire. Nothing personal.
Chicago (61-82): First to be officially eliminated. Congrats!

AL West 4 teams = not enough
Los Angeles (84-59): If the Indians can beat you, why can’t we?
Seattle (75-66): Still the definition of a downward spiral.
Oakland (69-75): Just in time to save the season! Oh, wait.
Texas (68-74): First Bush, now Giuliani. No love for the liberals?

NL East Locked up. Not for you, Philatlaningtonida.
New York (81-61): Who said you were allowed to be good?
Philadelphia (75-67): I kinda wanted to see you take over. So close.
Atlanta (73-70): Playing Mets this week. Last chance. Wait, no chance.
Washington (64-79): Wily Mo's just glad to be out of Boston.
Florida (61-82): Inevitable since April.

NL Central Do you notice a change here? AGAIN?!
Milwaukee (73-69): Look who’s back on top!
Chicago (72-70): This headline says it all. (Sorry, Pirates. Insulting.)
St. Louis (69-71): Still not good, but will forgo usual comment for STEROIDS.
Cincinnati (64-79): This is really not a good way to start a game.
Pittsburgh (62-80): You’re not in last place!!! Trophy?
Houston (62-81): Just focus on the good ol' times now.

NL West How did this division become home to the best playoff race in baseball?!
Arizona (81-63): Still on a roll. Yankees Chick still surprised.
San Diego (77-65): You better get back on your game, and FAST.
Los Angeles (75-68): How great would perfect game #2 have felt?
Colorado (74-68): Actually have hope in wildcard, believe it or not.
San Francisco (65-78): Missing San Diego, Bochy?

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, September 10, 2007   5 comments
A Few Syringes Shy of WWE Status
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Baseball fans are fickle folk, my friends. Like girls and their constantly fluctuating fashion trends (the Yankees Chick takes a personal stand against such things by continuing to wear the same converse shoes and ever-fading band shirts I have had for the last 10 years [that is also a stand against spending money {because I have none} and caring about crap like that {because I don't}]), baseball fans are constantly changing their minds about what they want to see in the game. Over the years fans have shifted their collective focus everywhere from bunting to pitching to home runs to stolen bases to pitching again to monster-caliber home runs, and with each "era" the players and league as a whole have done their best to keep up with the trends and show the fans what they want to see by scouting kids with desired talent (aka "the hard way") or turning a blind eye to cheating (aka "the fun way"). Ever since those aforementioned monster-caliber homers became all the rage in the nineties, most everyone seemed to take the ol' cheating route to please the fans and sell the most tickets and jerseys, and no matter how obvious the cheating was most everyone seemed to enjoy those homers way more than little things like "integrity". That is, until those cheating homer-hitters started breaking records and reminded us all that there were other people that accomplished these feats without the aid of fancy chemicals.*

This week Troy Glaus and Rick Ankiel were exposed as having been prescribed HGH and, in Glaus's case, anabolic steroids as well, both by sketchy pseudo-doctors that bring to mind that creepy dude that Benoit got his drugs from. Obviously Glaus and Rick "It's Totally Normal For a Failed Pitcher to Magically Turn Into Ryan Howard" Ankiel deny any wrong-doing, and the problem is that there really isn't a reliable test to detect HGH like there is for some other banned substances. At this point the only way to detect HGH usage is by establishing benchmarks of testosterone levels in a guy's blood and then continuing to test him periodically; if the testosterone level spikes it would indicate the use of something like HGH. Not as simple (or romantic!) as a urine test, and full of cracks (if the guy is already using HGH when the "benchmark" is taken, wouldn't that eliminate the chance of a spike?), sure, but wouldn't it be better than nothing?

As I mentioned before, baseball fans determine baseball trends based on what they like watching. With guys like A-Rod and Prince Fielder smacking homers the old fashioned way and reminding people how much fun it was to watch people break records based on talent alone, fans seem to finally be getting sick of seeing any average Joe Shmoe get beefed up on steroids and hit 30 homers a year. We've become disenchanted with watching players all try to do exactly the same thing (hit a gazillion homers) and want to see some real baseball courtesy of the A-Rods of the world. It's time for the fans to start putting some pressure on the league to take some action. Even if there isn't a reliable test now or in the immediate future, I would imagine that the public is not going to let MLB ignore these latest HGH allegations. Fans are ready for a return to baseball with integrity - - save, perhaps, for stuff like wives wearing "F- You" shirts and maybe the occasional romp with a stripper.

*I know that there are myriad things that could have been considered cheating throughout the years besides drugs/steroids/HGH, so there is no need to send me a 6-page rant detailing all of the methods of cheating available. This little commentary is a discussion of modern steroids and HGH. I'll get back to you on all the others when I complete my doctorate in Ways To Cheat In Athletics.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Sunday, September 09, 2007   5 comments
Saturday, September 08, 2007
It's Saturday, the sun is shining, and we don't have to park ourselves in front of the TV for the game till 7pm tonight - what the hell are you doing reading Yankees Chick? Not that I want you to stop, I just don't have a good article for you to read. Or a crappy one, even (check back tomorrow for something along those lines). Here are some links instead:

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Saturday, September 08, 2007   1 comments
The Yankees Chick Is ALWAYS a Safe bet!
Friday, September 07, 2007
A while back I posted a delightful (but by no means instructional; don't blame me for your gambling debts now you degenerates) gambling-related article detailing the odds Vegas-type folks had determined for 2007 feats for everything from home run king to World Series champ. Of course, these odds were set before the season started and therefore before the entire Yankees roster started dropping like flies (see Plague, Pavano) and the inception of inexplicable phenomena like Balco B remaining uninjured (sorta) or the White Sox determining that beating even the Devil Rays was just not worth the effort, so as you can imagine the professors of Betting-ville have had to adjust their lines a tad. Some of the pre-season predictions seem downright laughable at this point (10-1 on the ChiSox?!), but a few seem to have panned out as expected... which category do your bets fall under?

First, let's see how the World Series picks have changed since March:

TeamOdds - MarchOdds - September

I'm sure there are several things I could choose to remark upon here, but with that glaring 7500-1 shot at the bottom of the list, I cannot stop laughing long enough to concentrate on anything else.

The next one I looked at back in March was the Total Wins line. I wasn't too intrigued by this line at first, but now that we can compare the way these dudes have actually played to the expectations of those odds-making experts, there are a few interesting points:

TeamProjected Wins - MarchActual Wins - 9/6

I believe these numbers are very telling, because I've been saying all along that the Yankees are way too good to have lost so many games and that the Red Sox are playing better than they really are. Obviously the Yankees probs won't be meeting their goal (and neither will White Sox, for that matter), but Angels and BoSox bettors should be happy that their teams are almost to their mark with several weeks to go! I do find it interesting that the oddsmen estimated that Philly and the Mets would end up with virtually the same record yet gave the Mets much better odds at actually winning the series. Perhaps they could sense potential Philly post-season failure a mile away.

Home-Run King is another fave for the gambler in all of us. Here is how sportsbook.com had the odds for most homers laid out back in March:

PlayerOdds - MarchActual - 9/6
Ryan Howard4-137
Albert Pujols5-130
David Ortiz8-127
Alfonso Soriano15-122
Jim Thome20-123
Manny Ramirez20-120
Andruw Jones40-124
Vladimir Guerrero50-122
Barry Bonds100-128

I find it pretty surprising that A-Rod's odds were only 8-1 after so many years of consistently high homer totals while Ryan Howard's odds were set at 4-1 after just one year. Balco B, on the other hand, should be either impressed with himself that he remained in (relative) contention or insulted that no one thought his odds should be any higher. I will say that the fact that I had to go to page 2 of MLB's top 50 home-run hitters just to get to Manny made me giggle with glee.

We'll have to take another look at these once all is said and done, of course, but I do hope that at least some of you folks will be making some cash come October. The Yankees Chick, unfortunately, will continue to be broke as a joke (sidenote: if anyone wants to, say, set up a collection for me [begging for change with paper cup on a street corner perhaps?] such that I can afford to actually live in this godforsaken city without resorting to eating nothing but ramen noodles and the occasional bagel splurge, I would certainly not object).

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Friday, September 07, 2007   2 comments
A-Rod Isn't Injured, And Life is Grand
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Twas a good day today, my lovelies! Adrian Beltre's cruel attempt to sideline our dear A-Rod on Tuesday made me very nervous, but he was back in action today, increasing his ridiculous season numbers as usual. Due in part to the 2 bombs he hit the Yanks won again tonight, putting them up 3 games in the wildcard race for the first time since...um...yeah.

All this good news certainly leaves me with no lack of topics about which to expound, but I am a tired gal and henceforth can summon no more energy than that which is necessary to flip on a webcam.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, September 05, 2007   2 comments
I'm a Maniac, MANIAC! Now Gimme Some Money.
At this point I think we've all become accustomed to Ozzie "They're Killing Me" Guillen's tirades and frightening management "skills" (just typing that is really an insult to anyone possessing actual management skills, and for that indiscretion I do apologize), but now it looks like White Sox GM Kenny Williams is looking to reward this maniac with a contract extension. How do you think that makes ME feel? If you guessed "aghast" or any synonym thereof, you'd be correct!

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, September 05, 2007   2 comments
Stop Breaking Bones (And My Heart)
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
We’re all familiar with the old “two steps forward, one step back” adage, but the 2007 Yankees have introduced us to a whole new level of the unfortunate cliché. With the constant barrage of injuries and their roller coaster style of falling behind and then attempting to make come-backs, I believe the phrase should be modified to something more along the lines of “one player healed, 9213 more important team members down” or “three games won, 2 lost against crappier teams” to better suit the state of affairs. At this point in the season one might think I’d be getting used to all the setbacks and become more cautious about assuming the team is finally running into a stroke or two of good luck, but apparently I have learned nothing from the past 5 months, as I continue to be amazed by the ridiculous maladies affecting the team time after time. After sweeping the Sox last week the Yankees quickly followed that positive step with injuries to not one but two key components of the team with the Injury Gods striking Dandy Andy P. down with a broken hand (thanks, Jason Hammel) that will require surgery and over a month of recovery time and sidelining Old Man Rocket with elbow problems (which he somehow tried to blame on a blister in his foot) for at least one start.

This is not good news, my friends, not good at all. The glory of the September extended rosters is supposed to bring the teams more options, and yet here it is September 4th and the Yankees have already lost 2 players. Furthermore, the replacements available for these dudes are not exactly primo - Moose will likely take the Rocket’s spot for at least the immediate future, and I have a bad feeling we’ll be seeing more of Jason “Lungemaster” Giambi busting his lunges out over at first base this month. The fact that Ian Kennedy did so well on Saturday in Moose’s spot is a huge relief, because had he been a bust the Cash Man probably would have had to resort to horrible sinking lows like allowing Kei Igawa back into a Yankees uniform at some point. Similarly lucky timing is the return of my boyfriend* and defensive first baseman extraordinaire Dougie Mienticantspellhisname, who has rejoined the roster and can relieve Giambi of some of the defensive duties, but his numbers are nowhere near Phillips’s. As for Kennedy, he obviously has talent and looked great on Saturday, but he does not have the experience (especially if we get to the post-season) of an older pitcher, so who knows how he’ll handle the pressure of these last few weeks?

The one good element I can extract from all of this is a hope that these are our “steps back” and therefore we are due for another step forward… preferably in the form of gaining a sizable lead in the wildcard race this week or maybe a perfect game from Hughes. Whichever.

*that's a lie.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, September 04, 2007   2 comments
Did You Think I'd Forget?
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Much to discuss in the world of the “Other 29” this week, my lovelies. With just a month to go and teams galore still in the running for a playoff spot, there’s enough drama and surprises to satisfy the General Hospital fan in all of us (don’t deny it). Onward to the roundup!!

AL East How I would love an upset here…
Boston (81-55): Sweeping you is my version of a religious experience.
(69-66): Good work with Seattle! Thank You card in the mail.
Baltimore (59-75): Everyone likes a no-hitter, right? Well, maybe not you.
Tampa Bay (55-81): Exhausted year’s worth of effort in 2 games against Yanks.

AL Central I will not let you take the Wild Card
Cleveland (78-57): Quite the hot streak! We get it, you’re good.
Detroit (73-63): I hope Sheff stays on that DL for eternity.
Minnesota (69-67): Close but no cigar. Ask Schilling how it feels.
Kansas City (60-75): At least it’s impossible to be worse than ChiSox.
Chicago (57-79): Suffice it to say that Ozzie is no Torre.

AL West I spy with my little eye… 2 teams I hate now
Los Angeles (80-55): Bad feeling we might see you in ALCS…again. Help.
Seattle (73-61): Definition of a downward spiral.
Oakland (67-70): Farm’s championship more important than promotions. A’s know they’re done.
Texas (62-73): Look on bright side: lots of youngsters to test out!

NL East My money is still on the Mets
New York (75-60): Nice try with the cheating defense. You got swept. Deal.
Philadelphia (72-63): You had some Mets fans very, very nervous
Atlanta (69-67): You made Mets fans feel a whole lot better.
Washington (59-77): Attendance down from last year. Wait, people went last year?
Florida (59-77): Why even bother with a farm? Everyone’s like 17.

NL Central Do you notice a change here?
Chicago (69-65): When a fake leg is biggest concern, you’re doing OK.
Milwaukee (68-67): Definitely still in this. Sink or swim time!
St. Louis (66-66): Will forgo usual comment because this is actually quite sad.
Cincinnati (62-74): Hey, everyone has bad days sometimes.
Houston (61-75): If I was great and an Astro, I’d look depressed too.
Pittsburgh (59-76): Please accept my sympathy.

NL West It’ll be a fight to the finish (which is a good place to stop)
San Diego (75-60): Can you win a championship on pitching alone?
Arizona (76-61): I wasn’t aware that Arizona was in the deep south.
Los Angeles (70-65): Boomer’s fines are going to be higher than his salary.
Colorado (69-66): Sad that you’re good the same year whole division is.
San Francisco (62-74): Every day is old-timers day.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Sunday, September 02, 2007   4 comments
Hugherlaineddy Is A Great Pitcher
Saturday, September 01, 2007
It's been a good year to be a pitcher in the Yankees farm system. Unlike years past when kids would end up rotting away in the minors awaiting a call-up (or a frustrating trade for some old dude), the Yankees many pitching woes and the unfortunate injury plague Pavano passed along to the rest of the staff have made a succession of promotions necessary. Pitchers who just joined the system a year or two ago have already been given a shot at the big league level, and while I'm sure the pressure and expectations can be a bitch, I'd imagine that getting the opportunity to pitch for the Yankees just a couple years after you finished pitching for your high school team would be something of a dream come true. Three of the Yanks most highly-anticipated pitching prospects were called up this year (among others of course, but let's forget about the whole Chase Wright debacle for the time being; thinking about that poor kid's shattered confidence is too much for my sentimental heart to bear), and the folks that scouted and signed these boys should be very proud of themselves indeed. Let's all take a moment to acknowledge the achievements of our youth, and, more importantly, to gloat about the fact that unlike some teams, we actually managed to hang on to our top prospects.

Philly Hughes: 2-3, 43IP, 5.65 ERA. Our most prized and tauted farm hand suffered a very ill-timed injury (thanks to the ol' Pavano Plague, I'm sure) and has been a little shaky ever since, but he's still managed to strike out 40 in 43 innings. He'll get into his groove, and we'll be seeing him for years to come, I have no doubt.

Joba Chamberlain: 0-0, 11.1 IP, 0.00 ERA. Michael Kay's favorite Native American has made quite a splash since joining the team. He jammed through the farm system as fast as the Yankees Chick trying to evade a drunken Red Sawx fan, and with good reason: he is SO F*CKING GOOD. His WHIP is a superhuman 0.794, and his control is great - just 4 walks and no wild pitches. I cannot wait to get this guy into the rotation next year.

Ian Kennedy: 1-0, 7.0 IP, 1.29 ERA. Seven innings is really not enough time to judge someone, but I think it is fair to say that his debut went even better than expected. He gave up 5 hits but only 1 earned run, and struck out 6. Ian should make sure to check his brakes before he drives anywhere, though, because Moose may have had to resort to sabotage after seeing the way his replacement pitched.

Obviously we have to focus on this year right now and getting to the play-offs (sidenote: in case you've been away from TV/newspaper/Internet/humans, let me assure you that things are definitely looking up in that respect!), but I must say that a rotation featuring these three plus Wang and Pettitte would be a sight to behold. Wouldn't it be grand to have a starting rotation we could rely on? I'll keep dreaming until it is a reality...

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Saturday, September 01, 2007   1 comments
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Name: Yankees Chick
Home: San Diego, CA, United States
About Me: Just your average 26 year old Yankees lovin' gal from the SD.
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