Tagged: Jonathan Papelbon

It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This…

The thrill of victory…


Marcus Thames (right) hit a walkoff home run in the ninth inning to lift the Yankees to an 11-9 victory over the Red Sox Monday at Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox trailed much of the game, but rallied to take a 9-7 lead in the eighth. Then the Yankees tied the score in the ninth on Alex Rodriguez's two-run home run, setting up Thames' heroics.

Kathy Willens/AP



It’s always nice when the Yankees can snatch a win from the jaws of defeat.  After blowing early 5-0 and 6-1 leads, the Yankees found themselves looking up to the Boston Red Sox on the scoreboard at 9-7 in the 9th inning.  On a night when Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson were unavailable, the bullpen was horrific.  Phil Hughes was not good in his worst start of the season, but he left with a lead which the Yankees failed to keep.  Chan Ho Park, forced to go two innings by the depleted pen and fresh off the DL, gave up two home runs to give Boston its 2-run advantage headed into the 9th inning.  With the Red Sox threatening to score in the top of the 9th with two outs, manager Joe Girardi called on Javier Vazquez to secure the final out.  He was up to the task, as he struck out Kevin Youkilis with runners at first and third.


Javier Vazquez pitches to one batter to pick up the win against the Boston Red Sox on Monday.

Antonelli/New York Daily News


So, the drama was set for the bottom of the 9th.  Brett Gardner doubled to start the inning, and was on third following a fly out when Alex Rodriguez came to the plate.  He jumped on the first pitch and deposited the ball in the left center seats to tie the game. 



The Yankees' Alex Rodriguez tosses his bat after hitting a game-tying two-run homer off Jonathan Papelbon in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Mike Segar/Reuters


The next hitter (Robinson Cano) flied out for the second out, but Francisco Cervelli was hit by a pitch to bring Marcus Thames up for his opportunity.  The man who homered off of Randy Johnson for his first major league home run found this night would be the most magical of his career.  There was no doubt when Thames blasted Jonathan Papelbon’s pitch to left for the game-winning, walk-off two-run home run.  No pies were safe following the game…



New York Yankees outfielder Marcus Thames is the victim of the season's first cream pie as his Yankee teammates (b.) wait for him to come home after his two-run homer in the ninth inning.

Sipkin/New York Daily News



It was a great night, and a very much needed win following the meltdown against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday (when Mariano Rivera gave up a bases-loaded walk followed by a grand slam to lose the game).  It was tremendous to see Marcus Thames have his moment at the Stadium and for Javy Vazquez to get the win with just four pitches.



VICTORIOUS! Marcus Thames (above, center) is congratulated by his teammates at home plate after his walk-off two-run home run during the ninth inning of the Yankees' 11-9 victory over the Red Sox. Thames got the customary cream pie after the game. ,




Today’s game, the conclusion of the two-game series, pits Josh Beckett against CC Sabathia.  It should be a thrilling game!  But then again, aren’t they all at Yankee Stadium?  J


Wager Score:  Scott 1, Julia 0!  And oh yeah Julia, the Los Angeles Lakers won!  


Lakers are off to a scorching start in Western Conference finals against Suns

LA Times 




How Did The Yankees Do?…


And the winner is…



Die Hard.JPG 



The Yankees fan!  Um, that would be ME!  Sorry, Julia, but there had to be a winner and it may as well as be me.  馃槈  Seriously, it was a hard-fought series.  After seeing the starters blown out in two successive games, it was a bit surprising to see a pitcher’s duel between the teams #3 starters (John Lackey and Andy Pettitte).  Lackey definitely proved he was a great pickup by Boston, and Andy showed that he still has it. 



Getty Images



The Yankees’ 3-1 win over Boston tonight was admittedly a surprise.  I know the Yankees had the streak on the line (16 consecutive wins after being tied in the 7th inning), but Fenway Park has been the House of Horrors over the years.  Too often, the highlight reel shows some Red Sox player with a walk-off homer and I was fearful of more of the same tonight.  I know that the Jonathan Papelbon we saw tonight will not be the Paps we’ll see the rest of the year.  But I am fortunate the Yankees were able to capitalize against the great Red Sox closer.  There’s probably not going to be too many games where Paps is pulled for another reliever. 



Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff


The acquisition of Curtis Granderson looks very good right now.  Against the Yankees’ most bitter rival in the most hostile environment, Grandy came up huge. 




Jim Rogash/Getty Images



His solo home run in the 10th inning put the Yankees up 2-1 and after an insurance run was scored, the game was left to the very capable hands of the great Mariano Rivera.  I was a bit concerned with Boston’s order in the bottom of the 10th (Ellsbury, Pedroia and Martinez), but Mo did what he always does.  Just another day at the office, and the Yankees had the series win. 



IMAGES HAVE BEEN DIGITALLY DESATURATED) Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees poses during Photo Day on February 19, 2009 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mariano Rivera

Nick Laham/Getty Images 



So, Julia, there is a book on its way to you.  Given that I do not know the actual delivery date (sorry, I opted for the free shipping option at Amazon.com!), I will extend the deadline for the book report from your birthday to May 15th.  If you can get the book report completed sooner, that’s fine, but the actual due date is not until May 15th. 


Dawn of a Dynasty: The Incredible and Improbable Story of the 1947 New York Yankees



This was an incredibly intense series.  I can’t say that I enjoy such intensity for the first three games of the season.  At least the outcome was favorable, but I am glad the Yankees do not see the Red Sox again until next month (a three game set in Boston…again?…on May 7th through May 9th).  Give me the Angels.  Give me the Rays.  Give me anybody but the Red Sox in the month of freakin’ April!  I know, it didn’t rhyme, but let’s get some homers under our belt before we start punching it out with the Sox. 



Stress Reduction.JPG 


When I say the Yankees are better than the Red Sox, it is not just my humble opinion.  It is a fact backed up by Forbes Magazine.  According to them, the Yankees are worth $1.6 billion, while the next franchise (the Red Sox) are valued at “only” $870 million.  So, there it is.  The Yankees are almost twice as great as the Red Sox!  Hey Julia, I’m just sayin’…  馃槈



Yanks BoSox.JPG 


The Boston series told me that:


          Curtis Granderson is a gamer.

         Joba Chamberlain is the 8th inning set-up guy.

         Mariano Rivera could punch out hitters in his grave.

         Andy Pettitte is going to make this a season to remember.

         Nick Johnson is addicted to getting on base.

         Nick Swisher gets it done.

         Robinson Cano has raised the level of his game.

         Mark Teixeira is still a slow starter.


I am sure there’s more but so far I like the makeup of the 2010 Yankees.  I am still concerned that we lost the clutch hit capability that Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui provided, but all things considered, Granderson is a great neutralizer to those losses.  You don’t have to hit 30 home runs.  You don’t have to hit .300.  You don’t have to knock in 100 RBI’s.  You just have to get the hit to beat Boston.  It’s a simple formula.  J



Curtis Granderson hit a solo home run in the 10th inning off Jonathan Papelbon to put the Yankees ahead 2-1.

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff



Okay, this has absolutely nothing to do with baseball or the New York Yankees.  Nevertheless, I came across the clip and it was too good not to share.  The Ross Sisters of the 1940’s were incredible.  It takes about 60 seconds before this really gets going, but their moves are amazing and almost unbelievable.  So, this is a tribute to the greatness of the Ross Sisters!  Enjoy!  J



Take 2 Aspirin & Call Me In The Morning…


It was one of those nights…


Bad Night.JPG


I knew the Yanks were in trouble with Doc Halladay scheduled to be on the mound Friday night.  Doc hadn’t pitched well during preceding weeks, but you knew that it was only a matter of time before you’d see vintage Halladay.  Given the Yanks’ struggles with him over the years, you also knew that there was a better than average chance that it would be against the Yankees.  Alas, it was…


Darren Calabrese, AP/The Canadian Press


I was appreciative of Jorge Posada’s walk in the 5th to end the perfect game for Halladay and Ramiro Pena’s 6th inning double to break up the no-hitter, although it was the only hit of the night for the AL East Leaders.


Darren Calabrese, AP/The Canadian Press 


At this point, I am not sure what to think of Joba Chamberlain.  I know that Joba Rules 2.0 are in effect, but Joba just hasn’t looked good.  Last night’s line was another disappointment…3 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 2 walks, 2 K’s, and he hit Vernon Wells with a pitch.  No wonder he was striking the “Defeated Sabathia” pose on the mound…


Darren Calabrese, AP/The Canadian Press



I have not been optimistic about this series with the Toronto Blue Jays.  I knew going in that the four game set would be a challenge.  Winning the first game, despite the pitching of Chad Gaudin, was a plus.  But with Sergio Mitre scheduled for Sunday, and Joba’s recent struggles, the only optimistic start is today with Andy Pettitte.  However,  as great as Andy has pitched in recent weeks, I keep waiting for the bubble to burst.  So, I guess I am a ‘glass is half empty’ kind of guy today…



On the bright side, the Boston Red Sox lost to the Chicago White Sox, 12-2, so the Yankees retained their 7 陆 game lead.  However, the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Kansas City Royals, 2-1, to cut the overall lead for best league record to 6 games.


Charlie Riedel/AP

It is amazing that the Yankees have 7 players with 20 home runs and at least 70’s RBI’s.  As great of a season Derek Jeter is having, he is not one of them but he can join the club by the end of reason as he currently has 17 home runs and 61 RBI’s.  DJ did not play last night and remains 9 hits from breaking Lou Gehrig’s club record for career hits (2,721).  Hopefully, the off night for Jeter will help him break out of his recent slump (3 for his last 17 at-bat’s).  Good luck to Derek as he continues to the drive for the hits record…


Darren Calabrese, AP/The Canadian Press


Mariano Rivera, still recovering from his groin injury, hopes to pitch Sunday.




Led by Shelley Duncan, the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees captured their fourth consecutive International League North Division title last night.  Duncan hit the decisive home run in the 8th inning off former Yankee Sean Henn as the Yankees defeated the Rochester Red Wings, 7-3.  I am all in favor of the Yankees beating anything with “Red” in their name!  J  Of course, the IL play-offs, which begin September 9th, will be missing the Pawtucket Red Sox who are 21 games behind the Yankees at 58-81.  Hoping that losing feeling will catch on with their big league club too!  Sorry Julia, but one can hope!



Off-Topic Stuff…

Maybe the Minnesota Vikings shouldn’t trade Tavaris Jackson after all.  His stats weren’t great but he played error-free ball in the Vikings’ 35-31 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.   But he had the team ahead of the Cowboys until the other two QB’s, Sage Rosenfels and John David Booty, made costly mistakes to prevent the team from finishing the preseason with a perfect mark.  Brett Favre didn’t play, and was on the sidelines in a hat and t-shirt.  I saw an interview with him, and my only thought was how old he looked…




Maybe Julia knows better than I, but the New England Patriots must be betting that they’ll get a solid backup QB in the next couple of days.  Or they must feel that Brian Hoyer is the next coming of, well, Matt Cassel.  After releasing Kevin O’Connell last week, the Pats cut Andrew Walter yesterday.  There has to be a master plan because guys from Boston are smart…right Julia?  Seriously, it would be foolish to think that the Pats didn’t have a plan in place or several possibilities in mind.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t have made the cuts they did.  But until their final moves play out, it does look curious…



What’s up with all the offensive coordinators losing their jobs before the first regular season snap is taken?  Chan Gailey, Turk Schonert, and Jeff Jagodzinski have all been given pink slips in the past couple of weeks.  I wonder how many times Jagodzinski has wished that he had kept his mouth shut and stayed at Boston College.  Oh well, don’t feel bad for him, he just pocketed a $1 million for a few weeks work…


Bucs Jagodzinski Football



Hey Mark Kotsay, congrats on the big game last night!  The Texas Rangers, now only 2 games behind your former teammates, appreciate it!  J


Nam Y. Huh/AP


Did Jonathan Papelbon really get fined $5,000 for working too slow?  Whoa, I know a few too many people who should get that fine!




Finally, thanks for my friend Julia for her grace and professionalism in accepting the penalty for the recent loss in our last Yankees-Red Sox wager.  Her blog with the photos and Top 11 post of all things good about the Yankees was first class.  An excellent job!  I look forward to her next defeat! 


coffee.jpg Courtesy Julia’s Rants

Division Leader to Also-Ran in 8.2 Seconds…


I leave for a few days, and the world falls apart…



The Yankees are losing to the Washington Nationals tonight, 3-0, in the 8th inning.  If they lose the game, the Nationals will win the series, 2 games to 1.  Aren’t the Nationals supposed to be the baseball’s worst team?  I was worried about the series going in, because I know that this series had disaster spelled all over it.




As if that wasn’t bad enough, there was more news awaiting me…

Jonathan Papelbon told Jody McDonald and Bert Blyleven on Sirius XM Radio that he’d consider joining the Yankees when his contract with the Red Sox is up.  Umm, thanks but no thanks…




The Yankees are apparently one of several teams that will be taking a look at pitcher Pedro Martinez.  The Cubs, Rays and Angels will also be watching Pedro pitch in the Dominican Republic tomorrow.  Note to Yankees:  Look but don’t touch!



GM Brian Cashman indicates that he does not expect the team to any major moves prior to the trading deadline this year.  He likes the team he has assembled, and wants to see what how it does once the injured guys (Jose Molina, Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte) return.  I don’t know what Cash calls it, but I’d call it third place.  Meanwhile, the Rays look to improve and the Red Sox have John Smoltz ready to go on June 25th and of course you know that Theo won’t stand pat.  This might be the part of the marathon where the elite runners begin to make separation from the rest of the pack.  I can only hope that Cash is playing with his poker face…


Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times

Chien-Ming Wang is going to remain in the rotation.  I guess the Yankees want to be assured of a loss every fifth day…




Alex Rodriguez is 8 for 51 in the month of June.  Even Big Papi is looking much better than A-Rod right now…


David Ortiz had to laugh after getting fooled by a pitch in the fourth.

Bill Greene/Globe Staff


I am not ready to break out the ‘Joe’s gotta go!’ card, but at what point does pitching coach Dave Eiland begin to take some responsibility for the woes of the pitching staff?




Oh well, hopefully, my perspective will improve tomorrow and the Yankees will return to their winning ways…


Frank Franklin II/AP 


I spent the last couple of days in Denver, and had a great time!   It was strictly a business trip, but Colorado is always a fun place to be.  I lived there a few years ago, so it was great to be back in the Mile High City.  If visiting (and you are a meat eater), you’ve got to try The Fork in the foothills of Morrison, CO.  I had William Bent’s Buffalo Tenderloin Filet Mignon and it was one of the most tender steaks that I’ve had in recent years.  Very flavorful!  I didn’t know about The Fork when I lived in Denver but wish I had.




Just Another Day in Baseball…

A Bad Day at Black Rock


Nick Swisher is definitely the man who gets no respect. 



Well, perhaps some of it might be self-deserved…


First, I pull open the box score for the Yankees’ 7-4 loss to  the Detroit Tigers, and Swisher’s 0-for-3 line reflected 6 men left on base and a current spring batting average of .111. 


Then, I was reading Mark Feinsand’s Blogging the Bombers on the New York Daily News website.  In his blog, Mark credited Swisher with the “line of the day”.  


When Swisher entered the clubhouse after the game, there was a Mexican-themed spread.  Swisher yelled out to one of the attendants:  “Give me some of those burritos – I need to feed the village of people I left on base!”


Finally, I read Jon Heyman’s Daily Scoop on Si.com and found another Swish reference.  The article, about White Sox GM Ken Williams, mentioned Swisher’s .219 batting average last year with the White Sox.  According to an unnamed White Sox source, “We would have traded Swisher for a bag of balls.”  



Reuters Pictures


It definitely was not a good day for the “Work Hard-Play Hard” man…


Well, at least he got a RBI on a sac fly!  The day wasn’t a complete loss!  馃槈


Papelbon said what?


I was surprised to read the comments Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon had to say about Manny Ramirez.



There is no question that Manny quit on his Boston teammates, and his exit was arguably one of the worst ever.  However, there is still a code among ballplayers.  So, for Papelbon to go public with his thoughts, shows how deep the pain was with the team.


Among Papelbon’s quotes:


  • “It just takes one guy to bring an entire team down, and that’s exactly what was happening.”
  • “…It’s like cancer.  That’s what he was.  Cancer.  He had to go…”
  • “He was on a different train!”
  • “So Manny was tough for us…”
  • “…And for him not be on the same page as the rest of the team was a killer, man!”
  • “It takes 25 guys on a team to win, not 24, and that was blatantly obvious.”


Papelbon’s comments appear in the April issue of Esquire magazine.


At this point, there is no good that can come out of Papelbon’s comments.  Everyone knows that Manny had to go.  I realize that Papelbon is simply an outspoken guy (didn’t he make comments at last year’s All-Star Game that he should close over Mariano Rivera in the House That Ruth Built?).  


As an observer from afar, I think Manny was the toughest on Manager Terry Francona (a guy who deserves much better).  Yet, Francona has taken the high road and not publicly trashed Manny when he has every reason and right to do so.  That’s certainly a quality that I respect about Francona. 


I don’t disagree with Papelbon’s comments; I just think he should have kept them to himself…


Will Julia Rant or Acquiesce?


Tomorrow (Friday) is Round One of my wager with Julia of Julia’s Rants.  


The Yankees face the Boston Red Sox at City of Palms Park at 7:05 pm ET.  


If I read one of Julia’s posts correctly, announcer Jerry Remy, who has been ill, is expected back for the game.  David Ortiz and Jason Bay are also back from the WBC thanks to their teams’ respective losses.  Ortiz will DH and Bay will play left field according to Manager Terry Francona.



The bet – if the Yankees win, Julia will have to write a positive post about a Yankees player.  I gave her the latitude of players past or present.  For me, I’ve said that if Boston wins, I will write a positive post about a Red Sox player for each run determined by the margin of victory.  For example, if the Red Sox win 7-4, the margin of victory is 3 runs so I’d have to write three consecutive positive posts about different Red Sox players.


Needless to say, I am really hoping that I don’t have to do any Red Sox research.  Well, on the bright side, I do know about Pete Runnels…thanks to Julia’s latest blog!



May the best team, um Yankees, win!