Tagged: Chien-Ming Wang

And Then They Were Tied…

So much for sole possession of first place…

The Yankees lost to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, 4-2.  Andy Pettitte gave up 4 runs in the first two innings, and the Yanks were never able to recover.

 

William Perlman/The Star Ledger 

 

After knocking in a run in the first inning, Alex Rodriguez did his best impression of the 2009 version of Big Papi as he stranded five runners on base.

 

 

 

The Yankees had every opportunity for late inning heroics, but it was a night of no magic or miracle comebacks.  Meanwhile, in Detroit, Josh Beckett and the Red Sox had a no-hitter going until the seventh inning, and ultimately won the game, 10-5.  So, this morning finds the Yankees and Red Sox perched atop the AL East Standings together.  Can they co-exist together?

 

 

Umm, probably not…

Julia has asked me to step aside, however, I’ll be the rude host and block her path!  Hopefully, the Yankees can rebound today when Chien-Ming Wang faces Brandon McCarthy in the final game of the three game series with the Texas Rangers.  Will we see the 2006-07 version of Wang, or will the April 2009 version make its ugly reappearance?  I am obviously praying for the former.  Phil Hughes should be available for long relief should Wang falter…and of course the ever reliable Alfredo Aceves.

 

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

 

In Detroit, Tim Wakefield pitches against the Tigers’ Dontrelle Willis.  Wake has been the source of consistency for the Red Sox this season, so it will be a challenge for the Yanks to maintain a share of first place.  But, c’mon, an unhappy Julia is a great thing…at least when it comes to baseball!  So, hopefully today will see a Yankees win and a Red Sox loss.  The perfect day!

 

 

Have a great day!  Well, everyone except Red Sox fans…  😉

 

–Scott

   

The Joba Rules Continue…

 

Add  it to the list…

The Huffington Post

 

1.    Joba does not like bees.

2.  Joba does not like state troopers when he’s been drinking.

3.    Joba does not like spring training.

4.  Joba does not like being mocked.

5.    Joba does not like the first inning.

 

and now,

 

6.    Joba does not like rain delays…

 

AP

Not much to talk about last night’s 7-3 loss to the Texas Rangers, which didn’t get started until after a rain delay of 2 hours and 24 minutes.  A rainout would have been more productive.  The Yankees missed a golden opportunity to move into a first place tie with the Boston Red Sox, who had lost to the Twins earlier in the evening.

LM Otero/AP

 

I have Rangers first baseman Chris Davis on my fantasy team (I know, I’m sorry too).  I have been actively seeking a better option, but nothing has presented itself.  Of course, all he needed was Yankee pitching as he struck for two home runs during last night’s game.  It’s amazing what the Yankee bullpen can do for one’s batting average…unfortunately.

 

 Chris Davis (left) returns to a happy Texas Rangers dugout after the first of his two home runs on Tuesday.

G.J. McCarthy/DMN 

 

The Yankees had tied the game at 3, but the Rangers pulled away in the 7th and 8th innings.  They did have a chance in the 7th inning but Nick Swisher hit into an inning ending double play with the bases loaded.  Swisher’s been a fun guy to have in the clubhouse, but he is rapidly becoming a roster liability. 

 

 

Phil Coke is starting to look very hittable (he gave up the second home run to Chris Davis in the 8th inning), but of course, that can be said of any member of the Yankee bullpen.

 

Reuters

In other Yankee notes, Melky Cabrera left in the first inning with a strained right shoulder after he crashed into the center field fence.  Initial tests were negative, but he’s out for 5-7 games.

 

LM Otero/AP

 

The Yankees recalled reliever David Robertson (sorry Edwar!) to replace Brian Bruney on the roster.

 

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images 

 

I am not sure what to make of the Chien-Ming Wang situation.  He seems to be rotting on the bench, and I don’t know why.  Any other starter would have been returned to the starting rotation when he was ready.  Wang was the #2 starter coming out of spring training, and was the recognized ace during his 19 win seasons of 2006 and 2007.  If he isn’t ready to start, he should have been left in the minor leagues for some additional rehab starts.  As an outsider looking in, the situation does seem to be somewhat disrespectful to Wang.  I know that Phil Hughes is pitching well, but he needs to wait his turn.

 

AP 

Sounds like Jorge Posada could be ready to return to the team by this weekend.  It will be nice to have his bat in the lineup again, even if he supplants Hideki Matsui at DH.

 

Andrew Mills/The Star Ledger

 

When a negative becomes a positive…

Whenever the Yankees lose, the first thing I do is check to see what the Boston Red Sox did.  C’mon Julia, you know you do the same thing when the Sox lose!  In an ideal situation, everyone in the AL East would lose.  But with the Toronto Blue Jays playing the Baltimore Orioles, somebody had to win.  So, in that scenario, best case would be for the cellar dweller to win.  That’s exactly what happened as everyone lost except the O’s.  Somehow, in May, those losses don’t hurt as much as they do when everyone else wins.

 

 

 

Best case scenario, of course, the Yankees win and everybody else loses.  I am cool with that…

 

 

The Yankees are now 26-20, one game behind the Red Sox.  The view from the rear is not quite as distant as one would lead you to believe…

 

 

He batted where?

The Red Sox lineup looked somewhat unusual last night during Boston’s 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

 

Boston Red Sox

Hitters

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

LOB

AVG

J Ellsbury CF

5

2

2

0

0

0

2

.303

D Pedroia 2B

4

0

2

1

0

1

1

.341

J Drew RF

3

0

0

0

1

0

2

.263

K Youkilis 3B

4

0

1

0

0

3

3

.379

J Bay LF

4

0

0

0

0

2

3

.282

D Ortiz DH

3

0

1

0

1

1

0

.197

J Varitek C

4

0

1

0

0

1

3

.238

J Bailey 1B

4

0

0

0

0

1

4

.185

J Lugo SS

4

0

2

0

0

0

1

.271

Totals

35

2

9

1

2

9

 

When is the last time that David Ortiz batted as low as 6th in the order?  It was on May 11, 2004:

 

Boston Red Sox

Hitters

  AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

LOB

AVG

J Damon CF

5

0

0

0

0

0

1

.272

M Bellhorn 2B

3

0

1

0

1

0

0

.229

K Millar DH

4

0

0

0

0

1

2

.287

M Ramirez LF

3

0

0

0

1

1

1

.360

J Varitek C

2

0

0

0

1

1

1

.314

D Ortiz 1B

4

1

3

1

0

0

1

.269

   C Crespo PR-SS

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

.163

B Mueller 3B

4

1

2

1

0

0

3

.242

G Kapler RF

4

2

3

1

0

0

0

.247

P Reese SS

3

0

0

0

0

0

4

.247

   a-B Daubach PH

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.241

   b-D McCarty PH-1B

1

0

1

2

0

0

0

.233

Totals

33

5

10

5

3

3

13

 

Of course, Boston won that game (5-3 over CC Sabathia and the Cleveland Indians).  Julia might argue that 2004 was the year the Curse was eliminated, but could this be the beginning of the end for Ortiz?  Julia, you might have bigger problems than re-signing Jason Bay.  On the bright side (for Julia), it doesn’t appear that Julio Lugo is in tonight’s starting line-up.  However, now batting sixth…David Ortiz!

 

AP

A Night to Forget (at Yankee Stadium)…

All good things must come to an end…

 

Nelly Furtado.JPGPhoto: Nelly Furtado, from VH1 video “All Good Things Come To An End”

 

The Yankees’ 9-game winning streak was brought to an end by the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies at Yankee Stadium last night, as (surprise) the Phillies rode four home runs to a 7-3 victory.

 

Carlos Ruiz follows through on a two-run homer during the second inning against the New York Yankees on Friday. The Phils snapped the Yanks´ winning streak. (AP)

AP 

When Jimmy Rollins homered off A.J. Burnett to lead off the game, I knew it was probably going to be a tough night.  The next two batters, Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez, got on base with a HBP and single, respectively.  Ibanez’ single advanced Utley to third with no outs.  It looked like the Phillies were going to have a big first inning, but then A.J. struck out Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth, and induced a groundout by Shane Victorino to end the inning.  At that point, I had hope that A.J. was going to turn it around and shut the Phils down.  Unfortunately, it didn’t happen as later innings saw home runs by Carlos Ruiz, Jayson Werth, and Raul Ibanez.

 

AP

Ibanez has been a great replacement for the departed Pat Burrell, now with the Tampa Bay Rays.  I knew that Ibanez could hit when he was in Seattle, but he’s surprised me with his power so far this year (16 home runs).  He was an excellent free agent signing by the Phillies.

AP

Chien-Ming Wang, called up to work out of the pen instead of remaining in Scranton/Wilkes Barre for one more minor league start, pitched the final 3 innings.  He gave up six hits and two runs, including the Ibanez homer (which was absolutely crushed).  I guess if there’s a bright side, Wang did lower his ERA from 34.50 to 25.00…

 

Reuters

 

The Yankees did hit three home runs themselves (Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Mark Teixeira).  Unfortunately, they were the non-threatening solo variety (no men on base).

 

 

Brett Myers (4-2) was the winner, while Burnett (2-2) took the loss.  The Yankees remain in third place, a game behind the Red Sox and 1 ½ games behind the Jays as both of these teams lost too.  Right, Julia? 

I was fortunate that Johan Santana was on the mound for the Mets in their victory over the Red Sox.  The game marked the return of Daisuke Matsuzaka from the DL.  I have Dice-K on my fantasy baseball team.  He was a recent “free agent” pick-up (which still amazes me) when the owner who drafted him cut him when he placed on the DL.  Too bad Theo doesn’t make moves like that…

Julia, I couldn’t but help to notice a couple of linescores.

David Ortiz

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

LOB

AVG

4

0

0

0

0

3

4

.205

 

Ouch!  He kept swinging but there was nothing but air…

Jason Bay

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

LOB

AVG

3

0

0

0

1

1

3

.295

 

Okay, not as bad as Big Papi, but it was an “off night” for the ‘Yankees’!  😉

Hey Jason, this is for you!  We’re getting your new home ready at 161st and River…

 

OFF-TOPIC:  THE GREAT LEBRON JAMES

 

Well, maybe it’s not off-topic.  He is a Yankees fan after all…

 

Plain Dealer

Last night’s game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic was tremendous.  The Cavs had blown a 23-point lead, and the Magic were up by two points with, oh, about a second left in the game.  How can you not love LeBron?  While I  think that Kobe Bryant is one OF the game’s best, LeBron is THE best…

  

Posted on YouTube by Dailybragger

 

The next Michael Jordan?  Heck, he’s the next LeBron James…

–Scott

All Expense Paid Trip to Tampa…

He’s got to go…

 

My patience for Chien-Ming Wang to find himself effectively ended today. The Indians defeated the Yankees 22-4 in what should stand as the worst beating at the new Stadium for quite some time (or let’s hope so).

 

 

I don’t want to see Wang pitch in New York again if this is what we have to look forward to. I realize that he can’t be sent down (out of options and would have to have at least five years of service to agree to go down which he does not have).  He should be sent to the Yankees facility in Tampa for an extended spring training (if that’s possible) to work on re-establishing himself as a major league pitcher because right now he’s not one.  

 

Wang’s ERA now stands at 34.50…

In Pete Abraham’s LoHud Blog this morning, he said that if Wang threw three complete game shutouts, his ERA would still be over 4. No telling how many complete game shutouts it would take now.

Over the past few years, the Yankees have thrown up a few of these clunkers but this is on the heels of the Tampa debacle last Monday. Of course, the common denominator is Wang.

 

The Indians scored 14 runs in the second inning. Wang’s pitching line reads 11/3 innings, 8 hits and 8 runs. Anthony Claggett, called up from AAA Scranton earlier today (Juan Miranda was sent down), gave up 9 hits and 8 runs in 1 2/3 innings. Claggett now lays claim to the worst ERA on the staff at 43.20. Looking at the ERA’s of all the NY pitchers that appeared in the game is frightening. Edwar Ramirez, who gave up 4 runs in 2 innings, stands at 8.44. Jose Veras, who gave up 1 run in 3 innings, is at 8.53, and Damaso Marte, 1 run in 1 inning, is at 21.00.

 

 

I know that the Yankees have been hit hard by injuries, but I’d have to believe that Joe Girardi’s seat just got a little hotter.

Clearly, New York needs to get Wang away from the magnifying glass so that he can work on correcting himself and getting back to the pitcher we saw early last season before the foot injury in Houston.

I am ready for Phil Hughes to make his 2009 debut at the new Stadium. Phil is 2-0 in two games (11 2/3 innings) with a 2.31 ERA for AAA Scranton.

AP

I am sure that Julia is enjoying her day…

OTHER NOTES

There are a few pitchers on other teams that I like to follow. Some of my favorites are Jon Lester, Scott Kazmir, Clayton Kershaw, and Ubaldo Jimenez to name a few. Another one is Tim Lincecum. Unfortunately, Lincecum received a no-decision today despite 13 strikeouts and no runs in 8 innings (he gave up 5 hits). The Giants lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks on a 9th inning two-run double by Chris Young. Speaking of the D-Backs and Giants, Sunday’s pitching match-up is Max Scherzer against Randy Johnson. It should be interesting to see how the Unit performs against his former team…

Phillies fans said goodbye to legendary broadcaster Harry Kalas today at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. It was a beautiful day (warm with lots of sun), so it is a fitting farewell for a man who will never be forgotten…

http://espn.go.com/broadband/player.swf?mediaId=4079400

Posted by ESPN

 

Well, as I so often say early this baseball season, tomorrow is a new day!  Have a great night!

 

–Scott

The Monday Night Massacre…

Somehow I knew that tonight spelled disaster with Chien-Ming Wang on the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays’ Scott Kazmir. Wang hasn’t been right for some time, and I was fearful that he’d crater in tonight’s performance…and he did…and then some…

This might be the worst Yankees performance that I’ve ever seen…well, Game 6 of the 2001 World Series was pretty bad, but still… Wang gave up a total of eight runs in one inning plus, and has a lofty ERA of 28.93.

I wonder if Brett Tomko would have given up that grand slam to Carlos Pena? Hey, it’s easy to second guess when you’re a fan!

The final score was Rays 15, Yankees 5.  The 9th inning included a pitching stint by Nick Swisher, who had one of the better pitching lines of the night.

The Yankees played like little leaguers…

So, how much longer until A-Rod is ready to return? They really need to do something about third base. Cody Ransom is not the answer. Try Ramiro Pena, try Justin Leone, try Eric Duncan, try the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but Ransom’s got to go…

What can you say with a game like this? It is miserable to watch, and of course, you want to say that hopefully they’ll learn something from this impending defeat. But what? It’s a loss, and there is nothing they can do about it. The Yanks fell to 3-4, but at least Boston lost too.  I don’t get mad with these types of games. The Yanks are notorious for throwing up a few clunkers each year, and this is just one of those times.  You just turn around and walk away…

On the bright side, tomorrow is a new day…and A.J. Burnett will be on the mound!

DISASTERS HAPPEN IN 3’S

They always say that disasters happen in 3’s…

First, we lost promising Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart.

AP

Now, two more legendary figures in Major League Baseball have passed away.

Shortly after lunch, word came that long-time Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas had died. He was in Washington preparing for the Phillies game against the Nationals and he collapsed in the broadcast booth. He taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

George Widman/AP

Harry the K was also well known for his voiceover work with NFL Films. The name may be unfamiliar to some, but the voice was known by all. Sadly and much too soon, he’s “outta here!”

 

Courtesy YouTube by Lahawk

For those who can remember 1976, who can forget the legendary antics of Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. With the curly blonde hair poking out of the Tigers hat, it became a familiar scene to see Fidrych talking to the baseball and the various other antics that he performed leading up to his pitches. None of it was contrived, and it was completely his free spirit.

Unfortunately, an accident at his Northborough, Massachusetts farm prematurely ended Fidrych’s life today. Shoulder and knee injuries prevented what could have been a great career, but for 1976, there were not many better players than Fidrych. He went 19-9 with 2.34 ERA, and had 24 complete games. That was a special season and he was so fun to watch. You didn’t have to be a fan of the Tigers to appreciate Fidrych.

The past week has been difficult, and we’ve lost three outstanding men that can never be replaced. They will all be missed…

A-ROD’S BACK ON THE FIELD

Alex Rodriguez reported to the Yankees minor league complex and participated in a 48 minute workout. He is looking to begin minor league rehab games in 7 to 10 days, and is taking one day at a time.

 

Alex Rodriguez works out after hip surgery
http://tribeca.vidavee.com/advance/vidavee/playerv3/vFlasher_debug.swf?p19=movie1239671319176&p2=off&p3=off&p4=50&p5=off&p7=on&p8=off&p31=on&p22=http%3A%2F%2Fanalytics.tribeca.vidavee.com%2Fvanalytics%2Fgateway%2F&p13=no&p16=v3AdvInt_nj.swf&p17=http%3A%2F%2Ftribeca.vidavee.com%2Fadvance%2Fvidavee%2Fplayerv3%2Fskins%2F&p11=0&p15=http%3A%2F%2Ftribeca.vidavee.com%2Fadvance%2FvClientXML.view%3FAF_renderParam_contentType%3Dtext%2Fxml%26showEndCard%3Doff%26link%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fvideos.nj.com%2Fstar-ledger%2F2009%2F04%2Falex_rodriguez_works_out_after.html%26vtagView%3Don%26skin%3Dv3AdvInt_nj.swf%26autoplay%3Doff%26loadStream%3Doff%26width%3D470%26height%3D266%26vtag%3Dyes%26startVolume%3D50%26hidecontrolbar%3Dno%26textureStrip%3Dyes%26displayTime%3Dyes%26volumeLock%3Doff%26watermark%3Dyes%26dockey%3D0FF08B11312045A04154BFC438DF6264&p21=http%3A%2F%2Ftribeca.vidavee.com%2Fadvance%2Fvidavee%2Fplayerv3%2Fjs%2FFlashProxyLoader.js&p18=timeDisplay%3Dyes%3Bwatermark%3Dyes%3BshareWidgets%3Don%3BtextureStripe%3Dyes%3BvtagDisplay%3Dyes%3BshowEndCard%3Doff%3Blink%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fvideos.nj.com%2Fstar-ledger%2F2009%2F04%2Falex_rodriguez_works_out_after.html

Courtesy The Star-Ledger

If I had hip surgery five weeks ago, I’d probably be in a little worse shape than A-Rod.

I am sure that his superior physical conditioning has aided his recovery. Hopefully, there will be no setbacks as Alex’s continues his march for the Bronx.

Mark Teixeira was also at the minor league complex receiving treatment for his sore left wrist. He had a MRI which revealed no major issues. He thinks it would be a disappointment if he’s not back on the field Tuesday night.

NOTES

  • The Associated Press is reporting that former Yankees pitcher David Wells has signed a multi-year deal to be an analyst for TBS. C’mon, David, tell us what’s really on your mind!
  • Manny Ramirez is saying that he wants to play for the Cleveland Indians once more before he calls it a career? I bet that really endears him to the Dodger fans that have so fully embraced him despite his history in Boston. Nope, I’m not going to say it but I guess you could say that it is expected behavior.
  • The speculation of Pedro Martinez to the Los Angeles Angels makes sense. When I heard earlier that he was going to sign with Baltimore, it seemed very foolish if true. Fortunately, it was not. Pedro has the luxury of picking his spot (to a degree) and he still has what it takes to help a contender. No, the years as an ace are long gone, but he’s still a competitor who knows how to win.
  • Regardless of what he said about his hometown of Woodland, CA, Dustin Pedroia is not a jerk. Of course, I may feel differently after the Yankees play the Red Sox later this month. But for now, Pedroia doesn’t deserve death threats or the criticism that he’s received.
  • Julia, to answer your question, Wally has been wondering what the odor is above his head! Hmmm, he had better get used to it!

Goodnight, Everyone!

-Scott

We Lost?…

The Yankees lost…

24 hours in a day, minute by minute life happens.  There are so many events that define our day, and determine whether we are happy or sad.  So many memories that are created…some we will forget within days, others will last a lifetime.  But at this moment, I can only think of one thing, ‘we lost to Baltimore?’. 

 

It seems that some teams have other team’s number, and in recent years, the O’s have owned the Yankees.  I am not going to go into the stats of actual wins and losses, but I can tell you that the Yankees do not have a great record against the Orioles.  I remember when it was always the Seattle Mariners.  In the last couple of years, the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) and the Orioles have been the Yankees’ Achilles heel.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Every team seems to have its thorn that it cannot overcome.  Julia of Julia’s Rants mentioned to me that the Toronto Blue Jays play the Red Sox very tough.  Who is the thorn in your team’s side?  It is a good question, and certainly one that will go a long way towards determining the outcome of your team’s season.  In the end, pennants are often won by only a few games.  A few more wins here and there can make all the difference in the world.  An inability to beat a certain team can lead to post-season heartbreak.

Both my team and Jenn’s team need to rebound from the opening day losses, and look to even their records in their second games.  Of course, I do feel a little better about having Chien-Ming Wang on the mound as opposed to 40-something Jamie Moyer.  Sorry Jenn!  But hopefully, we’ll both soon see W’s…

BOSTON RECAP

Again, I want to thank Julia for being such a gracious host. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Boston, and I found it to be such an exciting and vibrant city.  Before I left today, I went to the gym to get in my run for the day, and of course, there was a woman nearby in a pink Red Sox hat.  I can never stray too far from Julia’s influence.  Too funny!

 

Pat Greenhouse/Boston Globe

If any of you ever have the chance to go to Boston, I highly recommend it.  My desire to see the Red Sox play at Fenway Park remains unfulfilled so I know that I’ll be back…

MLB EXTRA INNINGS

I purchased my subscription to MLB Extra Innings tonight, so I am all set for the 2009 season.  I was so starved for some baseball that I listened to the New York Mets’ 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on the way home from Boston.  The Mets?  I hate the freakin’ Mets!  But it’s baseball, so you gotta love it!

I almost succumbed to Mark’s message for MLB.tv and perhaps I still will, but for now, I am looking forward to baseball on the BIG screen…

FINALLY…

I do want to wish good luck to my friend Erin’s Minnesota Twins.  It is always a great story when the Twins win, and they certainly have done well bringing up promising young talent.  I have Joe Mauer on one of my primary fantasy baseball teams, so I am hoping for a speedy recovery.  Of course, in the meantime, his replacement is Hip-Hip-Hor-Hey, Jorge Posada, so I am cool with that…

And for Canuck, I am hopeful for a great Scott Kazmir season!  The Rays!  Not so much…

AP

Tuesday, I will be a Red Sox fan for a day.  I owe that much to Julia.  So, I will suspend my ‘Tek Hatin’ Ways until Wednesday.  In the meantime, I guess I need to buy a number 33 Red Sox jersey!  LOL!

Goodnight, all!

–Scott

The Yankees Win!…

The Undefeated New York Yankees!

Okay, it’s just the first exhibition game of the season.  It is also a time when pitchers are still way ahead of the hitters.  But it is great to see the Yankees start the year on the right foot.  In the grand scheme of things, it means absolutely nothing but given the adversity of the past month, anything positive is a good thing.

The Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 6-1 in Dunedin, FL.  The highlight of the game was a tie-breaking two-run homer by Alex Rodriguez in the fourth inning.  Although the game started with the much anticipated chorus of boos, A-Rod had begun to receive applause by his third plate appearance.  Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come.  Well, maybe anywhere except Fenway Park…

Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to play in four of the Yankees' first five exhibition games before joining the Dominican Republic team on Monday for the World Baseball Classic. Chris O'Meara/The Associated Press

Chris O’Meara/AP

Brett Tomko started and pitched two innings of scoreless, one-hit ball.  Jose Veras, the winner, pitched the third inning, giving up one run, with two strikeouts.  Brett Gardner, locked in a center field battle with Melky Cabrera, also homered.

The Pitching Rotation

It appears that Joe Girardi has set his pitching rotation as CC Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte, and Joba Chamberlain, respectively.  That order makes the most sense.  The change of pace with Wang between Sabathia and Burnett is a good idea, and I like Burnett followed by Pettitte.  Girardi expects about 30 starts from Joba Chamberlain (barring injury, of course). 

 

Number Change

I sure am glad that Melky Cabrera changed his number from 28 to 53.  I kept wondering what the heck was Bob Watson doing in the outfield.  Isn’t he too old to play ball?  😉  Meanwhile, Brett Tomko, who was wearing Bobby Abreu’s old number, switched to 28.

 

Former Yankee first baseman…and Number 28… 

Manny and the Dodgers

It sounds like activity is starting to pick up between the Dodgers and agent Scott Boras.  Hopefully, this means that Manny will be back in blue by the end of the week.  This has been a long, drawn out story that needs to end…

Say what you will about Manny, and while I agree that his behavior in Boston toward the end was about as bad as it gets, he remains one of the most feared hitters in baseball.  As an opponent, I always hated it when Manny came up in a clutch situation because he, unlike A-Rod, consistently delivered. 

Los Angeles Dodgers' Manny Ramirez warms up during batting practice at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles August 1, 2008. Ramirez was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-team trade July 31, 2008. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

Reuters Pictures

Salary Cap Implications

I am not a proponent of a salary cap.  The Yankees have an advantage of being in a major market, but they contribute more to Major League Baseball than any other team through luxury taxes and revenue sharing.  The team with the highest payroll is not guaranteed a spot in the World Series, and the Yankees haven’t won since 2000.  Watching the NFL, it is painful to see the careers of Derrick Brooks and Marvin Harrison abruptly come to an end with their original teams because of salary.  Both have factored very heavily in the recent successes of their respective teams, and have made their mark in their teams’ record books.  Earlier, the Jaguars cut loose Fred Taylor, and the Jets will soon release Laveranues Coles.  Granted, there comes a point where performance doesn’t justify pay, and teams are smart to sever ties.  But the NFL’s Salary Cap adds pressure to make these decisions sooner rather than later.  As a Vikings fan, I am glad that Randall McDaniel made the Hall of Fame.  But I will forever have the painful memory of watching him play his final years in a Buccaneers uniform.  I realize that football and baseball are businesses, but we, as fans, deserve to cheer our heroes to the end so long as they are still performing at a top level.  At times, football can feel like fantasy sports in a non-keeper league.  You have to re-select your team every year…