I said yesterday that this series against the Soxies was essentially going to be the maker or breaker of the Yanks' season, and I stand by that remark. Getting back into the mix required a sweep, and that is obviously no longer an option. I suppose there is a dim chance of the perfect storm of Red Sox failures and some magical transformation in the performances from the likes of Ponson, C-Pav, and A-Rod (for the record: I still love the man. He just hasn't been clutch. Not even close. Not that anyone else HAS been, but after last year I thought he was over the "OMG OMG I'm so nervous!" spasms. And to the guy that emailed me saying that A-Rod was a "bum" that we were "stuck with" for 10 years... simmer down and ponder where this team would be in the rankings without him every year), but it is admittedly improbable.
Have I given up? I'd like to say no... but I'm going to have to go with a resounding YESSIR. It breaks my heart to say such a blasphemous thing, but it must be said.
And this way, if a miracle occurs, I'll be pleasantly surprised.
The Yanks have just 32 games remaining (with only 2 days off to rest their tired, failing bones) to make up 5 games to secure a wild card spot. Time is slipping away, munecas, but the Yanks have a big chance this week to make up some serious ground. Three games against the Sox means two things: if they sweep, they are right back in the running; if they FAIL, the season is essentially dunzo as the gap will have widened to a likely insurmountable 8 games.
Remember back in August of 2006 when the Yankees managed to sweep a 5-game set against the Beasts from Boston? Yes, twas a marvelous site to behold and knocked the Sox out of the post-season running (although they weren't really in it anymore at that point anyway); it also boosted their confidence and propelled them to a winning September and an AL East victory. What they DID with that victory shall not be mentioned here as it is irrelevant to my feeble argument/attempt at hope.
The Yankees are in desperate need of such a boost right now. The possibility of a Sox sweep is essentially the only thing keeping my hopes alive at this point.
There's a bit of good news, though: The Yanks won't have to face Beckett or Dice-K. Here's the matchups:
Tuesday: RHP Tim Wakefield (7-8, 3.67) vs. LHP Andy Pettitte (13-9, 4.17)
Wednesday: RHP Paul Byrd (8-11, 4.61) vs. RHP Sidney Ponson (7-4, 4.67)
Thursday: LHP Jon Lester (12-5, 3.49) vs. RHP Mike Mussina (16-7, 3.45)
Of course... not facing their best pitchers doesn't make that much of a difference when we're throwing like the likes of Ponson onto the mound.
I'm so nervous about tonight I can hardly function. A loss tonight might very well send me spiraling into a Yankees-induced depression of monumental proportions.
Q: You're injured. Or you're having a bad year. Your team is just barely hanging onto feeble dreams of usurping the Twins/White Sox/Red Sox/Hawaiian Little League champs for a wild card spot. What are you to do with yourself?
A: Transport yourself back to high school and bust out a game of beer pong (rebellious!)
In celebration of beating the Royals last week (yeah, that's all we have to live for at this point: beating the Royals and Orioles), seasoned drunkard Giambi took the still sorta-injured Jobamania out to a NYC bar called Southern Hospitality and indulged in a delightful game of beer pong with some locals.
They lost. Badly.
Let's hope Joba was wise enough to use his non-pitching arm to do the paddlin'.
Generally speaking, I'd say that approximately 87% of my blog posts contain at least one or two cogent thoughts, whether I'm explaining the consequences of some sort of devastating injury or my thoughts on an awesome trade (sorry, Farnsworthless). Today, though... no such luck. The season has spiraled downhill in such a ridiculous fashion (it actually has the potential to be comical, if it weren't so sickening) that I find myself incapable of retaining any semblance of rationale, calm, or writing ability (do you like how I imply that I usually DO possess some ability? Ha!).
That said, let's take this post in a direction more akin to free-floating hostility and stream of consciousness reporting...
...I know that lamenting the fact that the Yanks may not make the playoffs sounds very spoiled, but what fan doesn't want their team to make the post-season - regardless of how many times they've been there before? What, am I just supposed to sit back and console myself with the fact that they DID indeed win a lot over the past 15 years and be happy for other teams? The YCBF (a dirty dirty Mets fan) seems to think so. False.
...I guess I am sort of happy for the Rays. They're a fun team to watch and they've been working on their roster for years, sans big bucks. No such love for the Angels or Red Sox.
...Has anyone else noticed that this team has essentially become the Braves, making the playoffs every year and FAILING? The hell?
...At least the Jeet has returned to good form. As usual, he's doing his best to carry his team through tough times.
...Johnny Damon in center is driving me absolutely batty. I don't even hold his disgusting defense against him personally. He shouldn't be out there in the first place. I understand that Matsui has to be the DH, leaving no other place for JD but in the field, but that doesn't make it any easier to watch. Tis a sad state of affairs.
...I am so disappointed in Cano. He is so much better than this. Did he just give up? Was his performance over the past couple years due solely to the hugs of Joe Torre?
...The fate of Joba seems like a cruel joke. How often is it that a reliever turns into a starter with essentially ZERO adjustment time - no pathetic outings, the ability to go deep in the game, etc?
...Speaking of cruel jokes, what the F is wrong with Hughes and I-Ken? I know it's rare that even a top prospect ends up living up to his hype, but we were led to believe these dudes were sure things. I honestly expected at least ONE of them to contribute SOMETHING this year. I don't think there's a Yanks fan amongst us that didn't think exackle the same thing. The fact that neither of them was even seriously considered to pitch on Saturday speaks volumes about the lack of confidence the Girardino et al have in them.
...While I'm not exactly thrilled about the great C-Pav making a return to the mound, I'm trying to remain positive - I've even brought back the seldom-used "Pavano Must LIVE" tag. We have zero other options. He's worked hard (allegedly). I'd say there's a decent chance he pitches well. Plenty of pitchers come back from Tommy John surg raring to go, no?
...Does anyone else find themselves rooting for the Dodgers a bit now that Torre and Mattingly are at the helm of that ship?
...Perhaps I'm just living in a state of denial, but I'm not ready to give up just yet. Let's give them a couple more weeks. They might still have it in them.
Good news, peeps: Matsui and his busted knee are back to attack and in the lineup TONIGHT. He hasn't played in almost 2 months, but he was playing pretty gosh-darned well before the Injury Gods struck him down, hitting .323 with a .404 OBP. He only narrowly avoided surgery, which worries me a tad - a sore knee (possibly still partially full of some nasty fluid) could certainly preclude the hitting of a bunch of homers or stretching a single into a dub. He'll be occupying the DH spot (the Damster will be in CF), so at least we won't have to worry about fly balls sailing over his head, or worse yet, an aggravation of the current injury.
Let's all cross our fingers/toes/miscellaneous other appendages that he brings a spark to the team. If we can't win in Toronto and Baltimore, the already slim chances of a playoff spot are going to look mighty dim.
Oh, and Justin Christian was the casualty of the Matsui activation. Fare thee well.
Q: Now that everyone from the Wangster to Dan freakin' Geise is injured and I-Ken has no immediate plans to turn himself into a viable major league pitcher, who would you like to see inserted into the rotation?
A: Too bad - You get Carl Pavano.
You heard me (read me, whatevs), munecas. The big CP has been rehabbin' and just might make a triumphant (in this case, triumphant is a synonym for "humiliating" or "unwanted") return to pinstripes sometime very soon. His rehab assignment is nearing its completion, and once it's done the Yankees have to activate him - unless they can conjure up some excuse to keep him rehabbing (or, more likely, unless he injures himself getting on the plane back to NYC [smothered by a $5 JetBlue blanket?]). Unless IPK throws a no-hitter or a witch doctor anoints Wang with some magical healing tonic within the next couple days, necessity will probs bring the Alyssa Milano castoff back to the Bronx.
To be fair... he's looked alright in his rehab starts. He pitched 6 innings in Trenton today and allowed just 1 run on 6 hits with 1 walk, and he managed to strike out 6 as well. His Tommy John surg obviously went well enough and at least no tendons/fingernails/eyelashes got damaged during the healing process and practice starts. I don't think anyone really WANTS to depend on him in this terribly crucial point in the season, when every game is essentially a must-win, but what choice do we have?
Maybe he performs really, really well under a lot of pressure. Perhaps during the TJ surg the doc replaced his tendon not with a new one but with a bionic prosthesis allowing him to pitch up to 300mph at his whim. Or maybe I've been wrong all along and there not only IS a god but he is a CP fan and has just been waiting to bless him until this very moment.
Sidenote: Which is more likely: the existence of god or the possibility that he would be a CP supporter?
Anyway. Back to the matter at hand. Assuming he comes back within the next week or so, he'd probably be on tap for just 5 or 6 starts (unless they make it to the playoffs and we're forced to watch him serve up 234890234890 homers to Vladdy). Despite my (feeble attempt at) jokes, I don't think it'll be such a horrible thing. It will put a lot of pressure on the offense, but he can't possibly be worse than Kei Igawa or the new FAIL model of IPK.
Shape Up or SHIP OUT! And By That, I Mean SHIP OUT.
Friday, August 15, 2008
As I mentioned the other day, I've been one busy chickadee, spending approximately 29.7 hours per day doing homework and working like a responsible citizen. All this hard work leaves me with less time than ever to focus on my beautiful yet FAIL team, and it is a rare day in this wild time that I have a spare moment to read more than a headline or two of any news that isn't related to technology - it's truly a sad state of affairs, peeps.
In anticipation of the game today, I made a quick journey over to Peter Abrahams blog (lo siento, work... I swear it was like 37 seconds) to check the lineup and see which of our losers were playing today as is my gameday routine and noticed Gardner was there in place of the Melk Man; I assumed Girardi had had enough of the beast's seemingly endless disappointments and took him out of the lineup again for some more benchwarming. HOWEVER! Upon scrolling down for some more quick updates (ok... make it 97 seconds) I found the truth: Melky has been demoted to AAA.
While I was a bit surprised (this team [and the fans] seem to have a love affair with the Melk Man), I must say that I found the news to be a huge relief. Let's face it, the dude sucks this year, and TIME IS RUNNING OUT. Quickly. There is simply no room in the lineup for automatic outs (except, apparently, for Jo-Mo, but at least he contributes defensively). With the fabulous Nady trade, the Yanks have plenty of outfield options - they will not miss him. Cano is out of a dance partner and carpool buddy, but perhaps he'll be scared straight by his BFF's fate.
In lesser news, SexsNO was cut loose. He will not be missed either. I look forward to more Giambi ABs.
First off, let me tell y'all that this gosh darned (insert much fouler language of your choice here) team is literally making me sick to my stomach these days, and that is not an exaggeration. Two 3-run homers served up to Delmon Young in as many games?! The hell?? Leave it to this flailing team to give D-Y a chance to feel like Big Papi for a couple days.
Anyway. Serenity now. Onward to the latest installment of Best. Quote. Ever., this one courtesy of none other than the head honcho himself, Big Stein. It should come as no surprise that with the way they've been playing/failing lately he's getting bitter himself. In fact, he's even sounding like he's resigned himself to the possibility that this may finally be the year that his team has to sit out in October - and he's pinpointed the reason:
"I think it's very simple, we've been devastated by injuries. No team I've ever seen in baseball has been decimated like this. It would kill any team. Imagine the Red Sox without Beckett and Lester. Pitching is 70 percent of the game. Wang won 19 games two straight years. Chamberlain became the most dominating pitcher in baseball. You can't lose two guys like that. We're going to win it next year. If we need to add a top veteran pitcher, we'll do that. We'll do whatever we need to do. Next year we'll be extremely dangerous."
Sounds to me like he's pretty much given up and decided to pin his hopes on next year instead. Somewhat depressing, yes, but at least he's being realistic. And on the bright side, if the Yanks don't find a way to weasel their way into playoff-ville you KNOW The Stein will be all about shelling out the big bucks to sign someone like CC or Tex. Bring it on.
If a blog dies in the blogosphere and there are no readers around to hear it, does it make a sound?
No, I'm not dead, nor is the bloggy. I've just been deathly busy with school and work, leaving me with barely a minute to spare to even watch the Yankees lose, much less write about my recent disgust. With the way the Yankees have been playing of late - how many double plays can those losers ground into?! - it was probably a good week for me to take off.
I have some catching up to do with my baseball reading - I need to further investigate the Joba status, check out the team's stats with RISP (and cry), and see what Carl Pavano is up to these days (hardy har har) - and then I'll return with further YC commentary.
To those of you that emailed me wondering where I've been: thank you for the concern.
Last night's game was nothing short of abject disaster, and not just because of the pathetic display put up by new Yank Marte - nay, I'll give that fellow a one-time pass since he's a newbie and has shown that surely he can do much better than that (right?). The true bust/catastrophe was the early departure of an apparently wounded Joba, who was escorted off the mound in the middle of the 5th inning clutching his right shoulder (sidenote: I like how the article on yankees.com makes sure to specify that he was holding his right shoulder with his left hand... lest we think he has the ability to turn his various arm bones into noodles in order to gently cradle that right shoulder with the hand from the same arm). Joba explained that while he usually ain't a crybaby - "As a pitcher, unless my arm falls off, I'm probably not going to say anything" - something was amiss.
"That's just the way it is. Sometimes you've got to learn that maybe you should call somebody, but it's something that it grabbed and popped and got stiff."
He headed back to NY today rather than hang with the team in the blazing hot hellhole that is Texas, presumably to undergo a buncha tests so that the team can find out whether the injury is one we should be crying about or if we can breathe a sigh of relief and rest assured that he'll be gone for just a couple starts. Aside from the worry we're surely all feeling about the injury itself, there is also the horrible fact that the Yankees will have to replace him with one of the many less-than-optimal options they currently have at their disposal - folks like Igawa, I-Ken (who would have thought a year ago that we'd be referring to IPK as a less-than-optimal rotation man? For now, anyway...), and Dan Geise. My money is on IPK.
The Red Sox have finally had enough of Manny Being Manny - "Manny being a difficult, ungrateful jackass" is a more appropriate catchphrase - and kicked him to the curb. Well, technically they traded him, but while Jason Bay is a fine player I think the Sox made a bold statement in giving away a powerhouse essentially to rid themselves of his bad attitude and refusal to make a real effort.
This, of course, is grand news for the Yanks. Manny has always been a Yankee killer, especially in recent times. Over the last 39 games against the Yankees, he was 60 of 132 (.455) with 25 extra-base hits, 30 walks and 40 RBI. Not only will they not have to face him anymore, but the Sox will surely lose a couple crucial games thanks to the loss of his bat (again: Bay is an above average player but he's no HOF bound Manny) and with the Yankees just a couple games behind the Sox in the playoff race this could very well be the deal breaker/maker for who heads to the ALDS and who saddles up on their leather recliner to drown their sorrows in the finest Natty Light.
By the way: did y'all notice that Manny benched himself BOTH times his team was set to face Jobamania? Quite the compliment.
By the way, again: Interesting/funny that Joe Torre will be teaming up with an old rival in a playoff race!
The Yanks have already made their big splashes this summer trade-wise, bringing the Pudgester, Nady and Marte onto the team, but they made one more little move yesterday, shipping former Jeter replacement (when he was stuck at the DL Resort and Casino) Alberto "Attorney General" Gonzalez off to National-ville (have fun not contending... ever) in exchange for 22-year old AA reliever Jhonny "Oops! My parents spelled my name wrong!" Nunez.
J-Hon was 1.13 ERA in five relief appearances with Double-A Harrisburg, striking out eight and walking six in eight innings.
The Attorney General played in 28 games with the Yanks, batting .173 with two doubles and an RBI in 52 at-bats.
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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