Tagged: Joe Torre

Bad Day for Baseball…

 

The Pride of the Red Sox…

I am sure that there are Yankee fans rejoicing tonight at the news the Boston Red Sox and manager Terry “Tito” Francona have mutually decided to part way.  There is no rejoicing on this Blog.  I have a great deal of respect for Tito and he was/is arguably one of the best managers in baseball.

When Joe Girardi was named manager of the Yankees, I was a bit disappointed.  Of course, I’ve been a huge fan of Don Mattingly since he came up through the Yankees farm system and he was my favorite choice for manager despite his lack of managerial experience.  I liked Girardi the player, but he was never one that I was able to fully embrace.  I was concerned about the red flags that he exhibited during his year of managing the Florida Marlins and didn’t think that he’d be able to make the transition to the ‘Bright Lights, Big City’.  I was envious of the Red Sox and their manager because he was the standard that I wanted Girardi to achieve.  To Joe’s defense, he has but he is still not quite on the same level as Tito.

When the Red Sox first hired Tito, I simply viewed him as a Philadelphia Phillies reject.  To me, he hadn’t proven himself as a manager and it was hard for me to take him seriously (kind of reminds me what I felt when the Yankees named Joe Torre as their manager).  For years, the Red Sox had brought in guys that I just viewed as the manager of THAT team.  None were able to capture my respect and admiration, and that includes Don Zimmer who I didn’t develop respect for until years later as a Yankees coach.  But Tito was different.  In 2003, the Red Sox lost a heartbreaker in the ALCS, thanks to Aaron Boone’s home run.  Yet, the following year, the Sox were back.  Even though his team fell down 3 games to none, they stayed calm and persevered toward the AL Championship, and the first World Series Championship since 1918.  He was responsible for the end of the phrase “Curse of the Bambino”.  He followed up with another World Series Championship in 2007, making him the most successful manager in the modern history of the Red Sox.

When I look at the 2011 Red Sox, it is a team that should have prevailed.  They had a superior pitching staff, and the additions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford made it a much better team than the 2010 version.  But the injuries, most notably, starting with starting pitcher Clay Buchholz and later Kevin Youkilis, were devastating.  That’s really beyond the control of the manager.  He has to play with the hand he has been dealt.  The Red Sox recognized the flaws in the starting rotation, yet the best they could do was former Seattle pitcher Erik Bedard.  Nothing against Bedard, but it has been years since he was considered a stopper due to injuries.  So, if there is any blame, it has to reside with GM Theo Epstein for failing to make the right move.  While Epstein made the unsuccessful Bedard deal, the Detroit Tigers made a deal with the same Mariners team to bring them a starting pitcher (Doug Fister) that is as responsible as any for the Tigers’ late season success.  Epstein was clearly outdone by Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, and had he made the right move, the Red Sox would be playing Game 1 of the AL play-offs tonight and Tito would still be manager.

If I am Jerry Reinsdorf, I am already on the phone calling Tito’s agent.  He is the perfect choice to follow the highly volatile Ozzie Guillen for the Chicago White Sox.  Chicago has a sound and supportive ownership group and the team is willing to make the necessary moves for success.  I think it would be a great fit, although it would probably be better as a Yankees fan to see Tito in the National League.  Another option would be the Los Angeles Dodgers.  It’s not that I want to see Don Mattingly fired, but I think any change in ownership will also result in a change at the managerial level.  Regardless of where Tito goes, some team is going to  benefit greatly.  If he doesn’t take a managerial job and becomes an ESPN analyst, we still win because we’ll get a first-hand view of his wisdom and insight.

Tito, you were a worthy opponent and a great champion.  I wish you nothing but the absolute best in whatever the future holds for you.  We look forward to your next adventure!

–Scott

The Wonderful World of Pessimism…


Brian Costello of The New York Post has it exactly
right:  Welcome to the 2011 A.J. Burnett Show — where every
mistake he makes will feel like a precursor of doom, like discovering a zit and
worrying about it becoming a tumor.
  

When
I heard that the Yankees had lost, 6-5, to the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday, my
thoughts went immediately to A.J. Burnett who gave up 4 runs (2 earned) in 4
innings of work.  There was a sinking
feeling with the thought ‘here we go again’… 


Danny Moloshok/Reuters


Burnett and the
Yankees took positives from the performance and I can only hope that they are
right.  As unfair as it is, Yankee fans
will be less tolerant of any mistakes by Burnett than they will for any other
starting pitcher in the rotation which will most likely include either Bartolo
Colon
or Freddy Garcia at the back end. 
He’ll need to give the fans a reason to get back in his corner.

The story of the
Yankees’ signing of Dominican Republic prospect Juan Paniagua is
interesting.  At first, I didn’t know
anything about Paniagua, but I’ve since found out that he had originally signed
with the Arizona Diamondbacks under a false name (Juan Collado).  The contract was subsequently voided by MLB
and Paniagua was suspended for a year. 
The move allowed Paniagua to parlay a $17K signing bonus with the
D-Backs into a $1.1 million signing bonus with the Yankees.  It does seem odd that a player with
questionable ethics would be allowed to profit from situation regardless of
what type of talent he may have.  It
remains to be seen if MLB will approve the Yankees deal or if Paniagua will
even be able to get into the country, but I am skeptical about the character of
the pitcher.  I do not know the reason he
lied about his name and there is probably much more to the story, but it will
be interesting to see how this plays out.

I am glad to see
that the Yankees have invited Joe Torre back for Old Timer’s Day at Yankee Stadium
this year.  It will be good to see Joe
don his #6 pinstriped jersey once again. 
I admired his comment that he didn’t want to play in the Old Timer’s
game since he never played for the Yankees. It shows the respect that he has
for the Yankees and their great players.  But he certainly deserves to stand on the same
field with other Yankee legends and hear his name announced to the Yankee
faithful.


Borea/AP


I was sorry to
see that former Oakland A’s outfielder Mitchell Page has passed away at age 59.  I hadn’t followed his career when his playing
days ended, but apparently he was plagued by alcoholism in his failed attempt
at coaching in recent years.  I haven’t
heard the cause of death, but it is so sad to see the players we cheer for
struggle so mightily later in life. 


 

 

–Scott

 

I am not really looking for new cologne…


Can I say that I am quietly rooting against Bartolo
Colon
?  Sorry, but I just don’t want to
see the 5th spot in the starting rotation go to such a high
risk.  I would never fool myself into
believing that a few good spring starts will lead to a replication of Colon’s
2005 Cy Young year with the Los Angeles Angels. 
My personal preference is for the 4th and 5th
spots to go to Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia, respectively.  It’s not outside of the realm of possibility
that both Colon and Garcia head north with the Yankees when camp breaks, but I
hope that it means Garcia is in the rotation and Colon is bumping shoulders
with Sergio Mitre in long relief.


FreddyGarcia.JPG

Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger


I am not looking for Garcia to be a full season option.  I’d really like to see one of the Killer B’s
(Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances and Manuel Banuelos) step up at some point in
the season and prove they belong in the majors now.  My favorite among the group is Brackman if
for no other reason that his age (25) and the fact that he’d have the maturity
to handle New York.  My absolute favorite
among the group is Banuelos but I don’t want to see the Yankees rush him too
soon. 


NY Daily News


Although the Yankees rotation looks questionable at this
point, there is definitely the potential that the staff will be among the
league’s best as the season progresses. 
Either the Yankees will reach out at the trading deadline or one of the
Killer B’s takes it to the next level, but the end result will be a much closer
gap between the Red Sox rotation and the Yankees. 

I am very pleased that Eric Chavez has done well so far in
camp.  I am very hopeful that he, along
with Eduardo Nunez, nail down the infield bench roles for the team.  I like what Jorge Vazquez has done, but
unfortunately, there just doesn’t appear to the room on the roster (barring
injury).  It will be interesting to see
what Brian Cashman does with the excess talent (notably Vazquez and catcher
Francisco Cervelli…once the latter recovers from the foot fracture).  Both have proven they are major league ready,
but if Chavez and Jesus Montero make the team, there won’t be any room for
Cervelli or Vazquez.

Congratulations to former Dodgers assistant GM Kim Ng for
her new role with Major League Baseball (Senior Vice President for Baseball
Operations).  She’ll report to former
Yankees and Dodgers manager Joe Torre.  I’ve
read the news reports that Kim took the job with the hopes it will help propel
her to an eventual GM job.  I have had
great respect for Kim since her days with the Yankees, and I am hopeful that
she does become the first woman GM in baseball. 


Northwest Asian Weekly


I can’t help it but I am definitely pulling for the Los
Angeles Dodgers this year as my favorite NL team.  Go Donnie Baseball! 


Mark Duncan/AP


–Scott

Julia made me do it!…

And so the wagers begin…

With the Yankees 5-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Friday
night, Julia of Julia’s Rants scores the first victory of the season.  Of course, all things considered, a
meaningless loss in March is hardly anything to fret about.  But still, a win is a win, and I am obligated
to write a post about Red Sox manager Terry Jon Francona.

There was plenty of reason for manager Terry Francona to be all smiles yesterday, with a division title and baseball's best record.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Julia did send me some information to help get a head
start:  Born in Aberdeen, South Dakota on
April 22, 1959.  So, is that it?  Am I done writing about Francona?  Sweet! 

Seriously, when I was a kid, the Red Sox were so easy to
dislike because I did not have any sense of attachment to their players and
their manager was usually someone that I felt indifferent about.  Darrell Johnson,  Don Zimmer (sorry Zim!), Ralph Houk, John
McNamara, Joe Morgan
, etc.  The names
just ran together to me and had no particular meaning.  It culminated in 2003 when Grady Little left
Pedro Martinez too long during Game 7 of the ALCS.  It was a game that the Sox probably should
have won, but ultimately lost when Aaron Boone homered to advance the Yankees
to the World Series.

When Boston decided not to renew Little’s contract in the
off-season and chose to go with Francona, I probably had similar thoughts to my
perception at the time the Yankees announced “Clueless Joe” (a/k/a Joe Torre)
as their manager.  Here was, in my mind
at the time, an unsuccessful major league manager the Sox think they can
re-cycle.  Francona had been fired from
his only previous managing gig with the Philadelphia Phillies so I was very
quick to dismiss his hiring.

Boy, was I ever WRONG!

Putting everything known about Francona aside, all he has
done is win two world championships for an organization that could not win a
World Series since my grandmother was a teenager.  He eliminated the phrase “Curse of the
Bambino” from the vocabulary of all baseball fans and has established the Red
Sox as one of the premier organizations in all of baseball.

Francona, the man, is perhaps one of the classiest acts in
major league baseball.  To a fan of
Boston’s chief rival, Terry has been nothing short of the consummate
professional since his first day in a Red Sox uniform.  He is always so humble, and his teams always
so prepared and unwilling to quit.  He
has changed my perception of the Sox and has given me a reason…a very strong
reason…to hold the Sox in great respect. 
I look forward to the day when Terry decides to step away from the game
so that I can go back to hating the Red Sox!

I remember Terry when he came up with the Montreal
Expos.  He was not a great player and
only accumulated 16 home runs and 143 RBI’s in 10 seasons with 5 clubs.  He did manage to pitch one game in 1989,
striking out Stan Javier.

His minor league managerial career began in 1991 with the
Chicago White Sox organization.  He made
it to the big leagues as third base coach with Buddy Bell‘s 1996 Detroit
Tigers.

He spent four seasons as the Phillies manager from 1997 to
2000 but was fired after failing to finish higher than 3rd
place.  In Philly, he did get the chance
to manage his future Red Sox ace Curt Schilling setting the stage for their
eventual and highly successful reunion.

When he was hired by the Red Sox, he had been the bench
coach for the Oakland A’s.

Terry and his wife Jaque live in Brookline,
Massachusetts.  They have four child (one
boy and three girls). 

For a largely undistinguished playing career, Terry is a
Hall of Fame manager in my opinion.  I
may trash talk about the Red Sox but one thing is certain…I will never say a
bad word about the man who is arguably the best manager in baseball.

Julia, I am out!

 

–Scott

The Dog Days Extended…

 

 

So far, September has not been kind…



 


The month started with so much promise when the
Yankees won from September 1st through 4th, but since
then, wins have been hard to come by. 
They won only one game during the second week of the month, and so far,
have only two wins this week pending the outcome of Saturday night’s game.  A few weeks ago, the question was whether the
Yankees would win the AL East with the Tampa Bay Rays taking the Wild
Card.  At a time they should have been
able to put away the Boston Red Sox, the Sox still have hope, only 7 games
behind the Yankees (6 ½ behind the Rays). 

 

Sure, the Yankees are in first place, with a very
thin lead.  However, the schedule the
rest of the way is brutal.  After the
Yankees leave Baltimore (the Orioles have certainly not been a slouch by any
stretch of the imagination, particularly since former Yankees manager Buck
Showalter took over), they face a Murderer’s Row-like lineup of Tampa Bay,
Boston, and Toronto.  The Rays and Red
Sox are the obvious rivals, but the Blue Jays have played the Yanks very tough
this year.  It is a schedule that will
prove what the 2010 Yankees are made of.

 

Last night’s game was very exciting.  Hopefully, it will be one that the team can
build upon.  In the 9th inning
with two outs and two runs down, it looked like it would be another loss.  Fortunately, Alex Rodriguez saved the day
with his second home run of the day, a three-run shot that gave the Yankees the
margin of victory, 4-3. 

 

In looking ahead, the Yankees play a three-game
series against the Boston Red Sox next weekend in the Bronx.  For the series, Julia (of Julia’s Rants) and
I will hold another wager.  For this
series, the loser must wear the opposing team’s hat for a photo on his/her
blog.  Also, through previous wagers,
Julia has acquired a Yankees t-shirt and I have a Red Sox t-shirt so we’d have
to include those shirts.  I know this is
a tame wager, but the Yankees and Red Sox close out the regular season with a
three-game series in Boston so we’ll be looking to close out the year with a
bang.  As long as the Yankees win both
series, I am cool with it! 
J

 

I have to admit that I had very mixed feelings when
I first heard that Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre had decided to step
down at the end of the season, and was handing the reins to one of my all-time
favorite Yankees, Don Mattingly.  I had
quietly harbored hopes that Donnie Baseball could find his way back to the
Bronx, perhaps as a potential replacement for manager Joe Girardi if Joe
decides to go to Chicago.  Realistically,
it would probably never happen because Don does not have any major or minor
league managerial experience and that’s a pre-requisite in New York. 



Joe Torre Don Mattingly L.A. Dodgers

Gene J. Puskar/AP

 

None of this means that I want Joe Girardi to
leave.  I am just bracing for the possibility.  There is no telling how strong his Chicago
roots might be pulling him to return home. 
It would be very intriguing to be the guy who brought the World Series
to Wrigley Field.  Winning World
Championship #28 for the Yankees wouldn’t forever etch Girardi’s name into
baseball legend like winning one for the Cubs would.  Hopefully, the Steinbrenner Family will do
what it takes to lock up Joe long-term so that there is no possibility for a
managerial search after the season.

 

As for Joe Torre, I am not convinced he is
finished.  None of his words have implied
that he is ready to hang it up.  I am not
sure that he’d be a good fit for the Cubs, but perhaps the Mets if they fire
Jerry Manuel.  I’ve wondered if the
Yankees would try to bring him back if Girardi leaves, but outside of George
Steinbrenner’s departure, the senior executives who were against Torre in his
latter years with the team are still in place. 
Plus, there’s always the issue with the book Torre wrote.   Whatever happens, I don’t want to see Bobby
Valentine in the Bronx…

 

Since I started writing this post, the Yankees have
defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 11-3, for their second consecutive
victory.  It is a much-needed win and
hopefully they’ll begin gaining momentum for the challenging late month series
coming up.   Congratulations to CC
Sabathia (20-6) for his first 20-win season! 
I am very happy to see CC finally nab the elusive victory (it was his
third attempt at 20).  



sabathia.JPG

US Presswire


A late Rays rally
against the Los Angeles Angels prevented the Yankees from gaining any ground,
but the Boston Red Sox did lose to fall 8 games back. 

 

On Sunday, Andy Pettitte will make his
much-anticipated return from the DL.  Clearly,
he is a key for the post-season so hopefully he can pick up where he left off
as he was pitching brilliantly prior to the injury.  A Pettitte win on Sunday would make it a
terrific weekend!

 

–Scott


You Win Some…You Lose Some…

 

Whew!  I’ll take it!…

 

 

Robinson Cano belts a two-run homer in the tenth inning, a game-winner made possible when Joe Torre (b., r.) leaves closer Jonathan Broxton in to give up four runs in the ninth inning.

Hong/AP

 

 

It was the top of the 9th inning and the Yankees were trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, 6-2.  On the mound was Dodger closer Jonathan Broxton with an 0.83 ERA and 16 saves.  He struck out the first batter, Mark Teixeira, so it looked as though the Yankees would head back to New York with only 1 win in 3 games against their former manager, Joe Torre.  Then, Alex Rodriguez singled and there was a slight glimmer of hope.  Robinson Cano followed with a double to score A-Rod to close the gap to 3 games.  The next batter, Jorge Posada, singled.  After a walk to Curtis Granderson, the bases were loaded with the tying run on first.  I was excited, but the excitement was tempered by the fact the next hitter was rookie Chad Huffman, who had entered the game earlier as an injury replacement for Brett Gardner.  Huffman proved up to the task as his single scored Cano and Posada.  Suddenly, the Yankees were just one run down.  The next batter was Colin Curtis.  Again, I had some trepidation given Colin’s major league inexperience.  But fate was smiling on the Yankees, thanks to a poor fielding decision by Dodgers first baseman James Loney.  Curtis hit a grounder to Loney.  With Curtis Granderson breaking for home, Loney stepped back to first to secure the out and then attempted to throw home but was too late to nail Granderson…game tied.  Had Loney disregarded Curtis and went directly home with the throw, he would have easily gunned down Granderson.  A ground out by Francisco Cervelli ended the inning, but the Dodgers still had last at-bat. 

 

 

0628granderson.JPG

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

 

Despite the tied score, manager Joe Girardi went with certainty in bringing in closer Mariano Rivera.  I would later read that Joe Torre had told Girardi before the game, he wouldn’t bring in Rivera with the game tied.  Fortunately, the younger Joe is his own man, and he went with his instinct.  Mo easily retired 3 Dodger batters, so it was off to the 10th inning. 

 

Ramon Troncosco replaced Broxton at the top of the inning, and Mark Teixeira greeted him with a single.  A-Rod followed with a fielder’s choice to short, which easily erased Teixeira at second.  With Robinson Cano coming up, Joe Torre opted to go with reliever George Sherrill.  Cano’s lifetime record against Sherrill entering the game was 0-for-11.  Cano promptly conveyed a message that numbers don’t mean anything when he crushed a home run to give the Yankees a two-run lead.  Mo came back out for the bottom of the 10th inning, yielding only an infield single in shutting down the Dodgers.  With the win, the Yankees were able to claim a 4-2 road record against the Dodgers and Diamondbacks and headed back to the Bronx where they will face nemesis Cliff Lee and the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night. 

 

By the way, I was pleased to see Alex Rodriguez reach out to Joe Torre before the game.  Too much was being read into the relationship between A-Rod and Torre, and I thought Alex showed class in being the one to extend his hand.

 

 

Alex Rodriguez hits his 594th home run in the sixth inning against the Dodgers Sunday night.

Hong/AP

 

My streak of wager wins against Julia of Julia’s Rants has sadly come to an end.  I suppose I deserved it when I went with a team other than the almighty New York Yankees.

 

The wager was for a single game, the Boston Red Sox versus the Giants in San Francisco.  I was in attendance at AT&T Park, and foolishly thought a wager was a good idea. 

 

 

Giants_06272010_0001.jpg

 

 

 

On paper, it looked like a marquee match-up with Jon Lester facing Tim Lincecum.

 

 


Lincecum.jpg 

 

Unfortunately for me, the two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award Winner looked more like John Lackey at Fenway Park than he did the elite pitcher he is.  Lester, on the other hand, was expectedly masterful.  He gave up a game-tying run in the bottom of the first but that was it.  It never felt like the Giants were going to get back into it after the Red Sox had re-taken the lead. 

 

 

Eric Risberg/AP

 

I was amazed at the sheer volume of Red Sox fans at the game.  As a Yankees fan, I am always surrounded by fellow Yankees fans whenever I see the team play on the road.  But Boston definitely rivals the Yankees in their ability to draw on the road.    

 

So, congratulations are in order for Julia.  My sentence is to include a paragraph about a current Red Sox player (as of 6/26/10) for the next 25 blog posts.  With the first entry, I will go with the player of the game…

 

#31   Jon Lester

 

Meanwhile, Jon Lester held up his end of the pitching duel, holding the Giants to one run in a complete game effort.

 

Reuters

 

Jon Lester, at 9-3, is a virtual lock for a spot on the American League All-Star Team, and a leading candidate to start.  Lester, a native of Tacoma, Washington, won the clinching game of the 2007 World Series against the Colorado Rockies.  He followed it up the next year with a no-hitter.  Personally, going into the season, I was convinced this would be a breakout year for Lester…the year he becomes the “ace”.  As if a championship and a no-hitter aren’t enough for his resume, he’ll soon be collecting Cy Young Awards.  The Sox rotation is incredibly talented with Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Dice-K, and Tim Wakefield.  However, if I am starting a new franchise, and I need an ace to lead my staff, I’m calling Lester. 

 

Personal note about Lester:  Lester was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma in August 2006.

 

“This is going to sound funny but God blessed Jon Lester with cancer just to show a lot of people that you can overcome something that’s so hard in your life you think, ‘I’m not gonna make it.’  He’s going to be able to take his faith in God and the strength God gave him and tell a lot of other people a great story.”

 

–former Red Sox reliever Mike Timlin

 

Lester is definitely one of the truly great guys in the game…

 

Only 24 more to go…  L

How Are You, Mr. Torre?…

Joe Torre and Derek Jeter together again…

 

 

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, right, gets a hug from Dodgers Manager Joe Torre prior to Friday's interleague game.

Gina Ferazzi/LA Times

 

 

 

Share the love!  Seriously, it was bittersweet to see Joe Torre wearing enemy colors while standing next to the likes of Joe Girardi, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada.  Much has been written in recent days about the rift that exists between Torre and the Yankees hierarchy.  One article speculated that if the Yankees wanted to have a special honor for Torre, he would most likely turn it down.  Former Yankees pitcher and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre thought that Torre would eventually be more forgiving than the Yankee brass.  Joe’s rift is how his relationship with the Yankees ended (lowball, token contract offer that represented a steep pay cut).  There is no way that the Yankees could have expected Torre to take the contract offer so it was obviously a ploy designed to show Torre the door while trying to show the Yankees Universe that they tried.  The Yankees problem is relative to Torre’s book and how he unveiled many thoughts that should have been left behind closed doors. 

 

Regardless of how it ended and despite how much I have always respected Joe Torre, it was time for a change.  The Yankees had not won a World Series since 2000 (losing in both 2001 and 2003) while the dreaded Boston Red Sox were winning two (2004, which included the ALCS meltdown by the Yankees; and 2007).  Torre is “old-school”, and it was time for a more current manager.  Joe Girardi was the right guy at the right time.  As a player, he was clearly a leader.  When I think of the death of Darryl Kile, I will always think of how Joe Girardi stepped up as the voice of the team.  He is always prepared and he clearly wants to win.  He is young enough to hold the position for many years, and I think he has shown improvement as a manager every year.  Joe Torre has moved on, the Yankees have moved on, and so have the fans.  It’s time for the media to let go…

 

 

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre (r.) and New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi talk before the series opener at Dodger Stadium Friday night. The Yankees won, 2-1.

Terrill/AP

 

 

I was reading today that the reason the Yankees are in Los Angeles to play the Dodgers as opposed to Yankee Stadium was based on a decision by FOX television.  They wanted Manny Ramirez to return to Boston for a reunion against the Red Sox.  I think it was a missed opportunity for FOX.  Manny was not gracious to the Boston fans or media, and he didn’t really do anything in the series that was swept by the Red Sox.  On the other hand, it would have been tremendous to see Joe Torre set foot on the grounds of the new Yankee Stadium given that he’s never managed there before. 

 

The first game of the Dodgers-Yankees series went to the visitors behind CC Sabathia who is beginning to pitch like “Second Half CC” when he becomes so utterly dominant.  It was ironic that the game-winning home run was hit by Alex Rodriguez, who has yet to speak to Joe Torre. 

 

 

0626arod.JPG

Dunn/Getty Images

 

 

CC went 8 innings in the 2-1 victory, giving up 4 hits and striking out 7.  Mariano Rivera, an old friend of Torre’s, closed out the game with three strike outs. 

 

There were lots of photos with Torre and the core Yankees, but none with Don Mattingly that I found.  It would have been interesting to see Donnie Baseball in the reunion photos too.  He will most likely be the next Dodgers manager, and based on recent reports, it could happen as soon as next year.  It’s hard to see one of my favorite all-time Yankees becoming so engrained with another organization, but he does deserve the opportunity to manage and it wasn’t going to happen with the Yankees.  Given that managers are hired to be fired, it’s probably best that Donnie manages elsewhere.  That proved to be a better route for Lou Piniella.  If Derek Jeter decides to stay in baseball after his playing days, I am sure that the day will come when he dons something other than Yankee pinstripes.  So long as there isn’t on “B” on the cap, I’m cool with it. 

 

 

Joe Torre Don Mattingly L.A. Dodgers

Gene J. Puskar/AP

 

Friday night was a good night as not only did the Yankees win but the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox both lost.  The Red Sox are in San Francisco (where I will be on Sunday), and lost to the Giants, 5-4.  They also lost one of their warriors in Dustin Pedroia who fouled a pitch off his left foot.  X-rays were negative but the foot is still sore and further tests are scheduled for today.  I may not be a Red Sox fan, but I am a fan of Pedey’s so hopefully he’ll be back on the field soon.  The Rays, meanwhile, were no-hit for the second time this season.  This time at the hands of former Ray and current Arizona Diamondback Edwin Jackson.  Frankly, I am not sure that I agree with the managerial decision to keep Jackson in the game despite the no-hitter.  He walked 8 batters, and he threw 149 pitches.  That sounds like something that Billy Martin would have done to the Oakland A’s pitching staff back in the 80’s when the pitchers later developed arm troubles.  No good can come from it.  The no-hitter is nice but at what cost? 

 

Speaking of Sunday’s game between the Giants and Red Sox (which of course includes a wager with Julia of Julia’s Rants), the pitching match-up could not better.  Jon Lester, one of my personal favorite pitchers and clearly one of the AL’s best, against Tim Lincecum, arguably one of the best pitchers in all of baseball.  I’ll be pulling for Lincecum and the Giants, but it should be a classic pitching duel.  I am looking forward to it!   

 

By the way, the last wager didn’t go so well for Julia…

 

 

Courtesy of an unhappy Celtics fan

 

–Scott