A Post-Red Sox Hangover…
Fresh off a four game series sweep of the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees stumbled tonight against the Toronto Blue Jays, losing 5-4. Of course, the deck was stacked against the Yanks with Sergio Mitre on the mound. Mitre went five innings, giving up five runs (three of which were earned). He also had six strikeouts. It wasn’t a great performance, but it wasn’t awful…somewhere in middle which seems to be typical-Mitre…not bad but not quite good enough. I am ready for a change. Give Chad Gaudin a chance or, gasp!, reach down and pluck Kei Igawa from AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre. I wish now that the Yankees had made a play for Pedro Martinez who is scheduled to start for the Phillies on Wednesday. Heck, even Luis Tiant was looking good the other night on ESPN! Anybody but Mitre. I know, he pitched better tonight than his previous outings and it was a miscue (his, by the way) that was his downfall. But I am just not convinced that he is the answer…
The Yankees’ seven game winning streak was halted with the loss, and they lost a game in the standings to the Red Sox, who defeated the Detroit Tigers, 6-5. Their lead in the AL East is now 5 ½ games. Of course, I’ve already read that the largest lead the Yankees have ever blown was 6 games in 1933. Julia is probably already writing about it on her blog…
Cody Ransom cleared waivers, and now heads back to AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre.
Today was a sad day with news of the death of Mickey Mantle’s widow, Merlyn Mantle. She had been suffering from Alzheimer’s, and made her last public appearance during a dinner before a memorial for Bobby Murcer. I lived in Dallas during Mickey’s final years. I never saw the Mantles, but I attended Mickey’s funeral in 1995 and used to drive by their condominium building on a regular basis. Just this morning, unaware of Merlyn’s health, I put up an autographed picture of Mickey in my office.
On a brighter note, I heard that Aaron Boone is already playing baseball again for the Houston Astros’ AA team, the Corpus Christi Hooks. He played third base and was hitless in two at-bats before departing. Less than five months ago, Boone was undergoing open heart surgery to correct a congenital defect in his aortic valve. That’s incredible news. I suffered a stress fracture of my left tibia several months ago, and I am still trying to make a comeback. Boone is sliced open so the world can see his heart, and he is swinging at 90 mph fastballs. I’m a wimp. I thought that Boone’s career was finished, and he proved me wrong. I wish him the very best as he attempts to make a comeback. I hope that the road leads to Houston. Good luck, Aaron, old friend…
Tomorrow night, I’ll get my first taste of the San Francisco Giants rivalry with the Los Angeles Dodgers when I travel to AT&T Park. It will be my first time to personally attend a game in opposition to Joe Torre and one of my all-time heroes, Don Mattingly. On the bright side, I’ll be wearing the same hat as my favorite closer of the 80’s, Dave Righetti.
It just wasn’t that long ago when I was cheering for Rags to close out games…
Hopefully, Tuesday will bring a new Yankees winning streak…
New York Daily News
The fielders made the trip to Atlanta, but the hitters were a no-show…
The Yankees, looking rather pathetic and tired, kind of like their third baseman, lost to the Atlanta Braves, 4-0. Another so-so start by Chien Ming-Wang, but on this night, it really wouldn’t have mattered how well he pitched. A no-hitter couldn’t have pulled out a victory for the Yanks.
A-Rod is definitely looking like anything but A-Rod as his batting average continues to its freefall to the dreaded Mendoza line.
After years of clutch hits, Derek Jeter is starting to become the guy to call when you are looking to kill a potential rally.
Cody Ransom is due to come off the disabled list today, so a move is expected. I doubt that the Yankees would designate Ransom for assignment, so that means either Angel Berroa or Ramiro Pena has to go. My guess is that Berroa has seen his final day in pinstripes.
Regarding Ransom’s return, manager Joe Girardi said, “He could help us a lot”. I am not a major league manager, but sorry, Joe, I can’t buy that one. The Yanks need help, but Cody Ransom is not going to be the savior.
In last night’s loss, the Yankees stranded 11 base runners. There was no shortage of candidates for the Goat of the Game. It was a disappointing loss, and the team is definitely reeling right now. At this point, you have to consider the Yankees to be lucky that they are only 5 games behind Boston. Next week, it could be much worse if things don’t change.
If the Yankees had gone down fighting last night and still lost, I would have felt much better than them simply mailing it in. The lackadaisical effort is a reflection of the manager and coaching staff. Girardi said after the game, “This is going to turn and when it does it is going to be a welcome sight”. I only hope that it is not too late. 5 games are not insurmountable, particularly not in July. But there is no question that the Boston Red Sox are the superior team right now. I do not recall a recent Red Sox game where I felt that the “team” had given up. They battle down to the last at-bat. That’s the type of effort and attitude that the Yankees need to model.
The Yankees are now tied for second with the Toronto Blue Jays. A loss today and the Yanks are potentially in fourth place with the Tampa Bay Rays tapping on their shoulder.
The Yankees protest of Sunday’s game was denied by Major League Baseball. I never expected the Yankees to get anywhere with the protest, but admittedly; it was fun to talk about. However, the Yankees need to win games because of their play, not because of technicalities.
The Star Ledger
It’s time to start hitting and fielding like May, and resume the charge on Boston. The talent and ability is there. Let’s Go Yankees!
Borrowing a phrase that Nick Swisher yells when a teammate hits a home run, Swisher went yard again in the Yankees’ 6-1 win against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.
Originally penciled in for left field (with Johnny Damon scheduled for the bench), Swisher became a last minute replacement at first base for Mark Teixeira. Teixeira, who celebrates his 29th birthday today, has been bothered by a sore left wrist. He believes it was injured late last week in Baltimore, and it hurts to bat right-handed (the Royals had a lefty starting tonight’s game). Nevertheless, Swisher has been on a roll and Saturday night was no exception.
Swisher walked in the first inning, and scored on a two-run double by Jorge Posada. In the third, he tripled to right, scoring Derek Jeter. In the fifth inning, he homered to left with one man on. He walked to lead off the 7th inning, but was left stranded when the Royals proceeded to strike out the side. He quietly flied out to left in the ninth inning, but the game was firmly in hand at 6-0. The Royals did score a run in the bottom of the 9th, but thanks to Swisher’s heroics, the Yankees now have a winning record at 3-2.
CC Sabathia went 7 2/3 innings with six hits, no runs, and six strikeouts to earn his first victory as a New York Yankee. This was the CC we have waited to see. Hopefully, there will be an encore performance next week when CC opens the new Yankee Stadium against his former team, the Cleveland Indians.
Nick Laham/Getty Images North America
Swisher, the son of former Chicago Cubs catcher Steve Swisher, was a 2002 draft pick of the Oakland A’s. Ironically, the pick originally belonged to the Boston Red Sox, but the A’s were awarded the pick for the free agent loss of Johnny Damon.
If Swisher’s website motto is accurate, he’ll be playing very hard tonight in Kansas City. Be careful, Mr. Swisher. We need you tomorrow…
· Cody Ransom is now batting .056 after 0-for4 night. Ugh. I didn’t want to begin the season with Cody, and it has only gotten worse. At this point, I’d be willing to give Justin Leone or Eric Duncan an opportunity. Given that Jose Guillen is hurt, it is unlikely that the Royals would consider moving Mark Teahen at this point. I am surprised that the Yankees didn’t make a move for Dallas McPherson when he was released by the Florida Marlins, but he was signed today by the San Francisco Giants.
· The St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols homered twice and drove in seven RBI’s tonight in an 11-2 win over the Houston Astros. I think this is Pujols’ world and the rest of us just live in it. The guy is clearly the best thing going right now…
· Thanks to the loss by Julia‘s Boston Bruins today, the San Jose Sharks secured the NHL’s best record and President’s Trophy with a mark of 53-18-11. The Sharks haven’t played well of late, but hopefully, they’ll reignite it for the play-offs. I am hopeful for a Stanley Cup clash between the Sharks and the Bruins.
· Speaking of birthdays, it was also Jason Varitek’s birthday today. He was 2-for-3 in Boston’s 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels. Happy Birthday, ‘Tek! But I still don’t like you…
The Yankees conclude their series in Kansas City on Sunday, and head to Tampa to play a big early season series against the Rays. Swish, we’re glad that you’ll be making the trip…
Have a Happy Easter, Everyone!