Right player, wrong uniform…
The acquisition of reliever Mark Melancon by the Boston Red Sox reminded me of how much I dislike seeing former Yankees in Boston gear. At one time, Melancon was mentioned as the possible successor to future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera. He did not fulfill his promise with the Yankees and was subsequently traded to the Houston Astros in the deal that brought present St Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman to New York. Melancon was forced into a closing role in Houston due to injuries, but he doesn’t project to be a closer for the Red Sox. Time will tell if he can become Boston’s version of David Robertson.
With Alfredo Aceves already on the Boston pitching staff, that makes two Yankees on the roster with no Sox players on the Yankees roster. Granted, it doesn’t hurt quite like it did when David Wells and David Cone pulled on the Sox cap after success in the Bronx, but still, I’d rather see ex-Yankees experience success away from the AL East. There are 28 other teams that these players could have gone to.
From the Sox perspective, I am not sure that Melancon justified the cost. I know that Jed Lowrie wasn’t the answer at short, but there was always something that I respected in the player, even as a member of an opponent. I don’t know about the other player the Sox sent to Houston (pitcher Kyle Weiland), but it would appear to be a fairly high cost for a setup guy. I just don’t see Melancon as Jonathan Papelbon’s replacement.
Maybe this trade turns out wonderfully for the Sox, maybe it doesn’t. I guess baseball is a game of chances and as the saying goes ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’. But I wish the Sox would quit loading up on Yankees (and Rays). At least they replaced Lowrie with a former Twin and Cardinal (Nick Punto).
Never underestimate the power of the woman behind the man…
I am still in disbelief that Albert Pujols is no longer in St Louis, but after previously reading comments by Dodgers manager Don Mattingly that he felt Albert was frustrated with the Cardinals about the negotiations and the subsequent comments by his wife about how the Cardinals didn’t give Albert the proper respect, I can better understand why he would leave the organization that had meant so much to him for 11 years. At this point, his present and future are associated with the Los Angeles Angels and he will be the face of the organization. I doubt Angels fans are missing Mark Teixeira too much these days.
Turning nothing into something…
I am still amazed that former Yankees reliever Jose Veras brought the Pittsburgh Pirates the Milwaukee Brewers former third baseman Casey McGahee. McGahee has his issues, but Veras was a disaster for the Yanks. I know that he pitched effectively before his gradual descent in pinstripes but I cringed every time he entered a game during his final season in the Bronx.
C’mon, the weather really isn’t that bad…
I was listening to MLB Radio the other night when they mentioned that the Minnesota Twins had signed former Oakland A’s (and Marlins) outfielder Josh Willingham. One of the guys, I don’t remember which one, then proceeded to bash Minnesota for its weather. Granted, I am a new arrival to Minnesota and I did not experience the 87 inches of snow last winter, but I have yet to complain about Minnesota weather. Actually, I have enjoyed the change of seasons after life in California where there are only two seasons (warm and not so warm). I wore my winter coat one week last year and that’s when I went back East to New York. I’ve been wearing that coat since early November this year and I love it. I am disappointed that they are now saying that we won’t have a White Christmas in Minneapolis.
Back to Willingham, I am sad that it means the end of the Twins career for Michael Cuddyer. It’s too bad that the Yankees don’t have a role for a guy like that. Mr. Versatility. It doesn’t sound like the Phillies or the Red Sox are options for him at this point, but I was fearful to see him on either of those rosters. He may not be THE guy, but he is the type of guy that helps win championships.
Nevertheless, welcome to Minneapolis, Mr. Willingham!
50 years brings total futility; this must be what it feels like to be a Cubs fan…
My first year living in Minnesota has been a disaster as far as being a fan of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. 1983 was a miserable year with horrific coach Les Steckel and the franchise’s worst record in its history. This year, the record of futility may be eclipsed by the current squad. I feel bad for coach Leslie Frazier. I like him, but there is no patience when it comes to the NFL. I read an article about how the Vikings would have been better off if they had just stayed with Mike Tice after the Wilf’s bought the team. As it stands, I’d prefer to see Frazier get at least another year, but if he is cut loose, I would not be opposed to someone like Brian Billick. I was frustrated with him when he was the Vikings offensive coordinator, but he was a good coach in Baltimore. I doubt the Vikings would be competitors for someone like Bill Cowher. I could definitely see Cowher going to the Miami Dolphins if he decides to return to coaching, especially if Carl Peterson takes over the leadership of the team. Cowher was an assistant for Kansas City, Peterson’s former team, prior to coaching the Steelers.
I am adamant, and maybe not so much…
As for my other teams, I remain a devout San Jose Sharks fan and will be there when the Sharks come to St Paul, Minnesota to face the Minnesota Wild. But I had to make a decision in the NBA. I’ve been a Los Angeles Lakers fan the last few years, but I am tired of a team that is expected to win and often does (well, except for when it pertains to baseball!). Amare Stoudemire has been my favorite player since his days in Phoenix and despite his injury history. Carmelo Anthony was another favorite. So, with those two headlining the New York Knicks, I really don’t have any choice but to become a Knickerbockers fan. With the NBA, I have not maintained a constant loyalty to one team. It’s moved as I’ve moved. I started life as a Philadelphia 76ers fan in the days of Dr. J. (Julius Erving). In my early 20’s, I moved to Dallas and become a Mavericks fan. Later, I moved to Phoenix and became a Suns fan. About 6 years ago, I moved to California and became a Lakers fan (sorry, I just couldn’t embrace the Golden State Warriors or the Sacramento Kings as a Northern CA resident). Now, I am in Minnesota, but for whatever reason, I just can’t embrace the Minnesota Timberwolves. So, it’s time to move my basketball allegiance to the Big Apple. I am not really a fan of the New Jersey and soon to be Brooklyn Nets, so the stars were perfectly aligned for me to become a Knicks fan. So, let it be…
By the way, where did 2011 go?…
This has been a long road trip…
Today was the start of a two-game series in Toronto against the Blue Jays. On paper, it looked like the struggles from Chicago would continue north of the border. Roy Halladay was the scheduled starter for the first game, and the Yankees counter with Sergio Mitre on Wednesday night. So, it looked to be advantage Jays in both games. Fortunately, Andy Pettitte continued to pitch very effectively as the Yankees downed the Jays 5-3 in the first game. Halladay went the distance, but he gave up 10 hits and 5 runs (4 earned) as he absorbed just his 5th loss of the season (11-5). No offense to Andy, but I didn’t expect him to go toe-to-toe to Doc. Taking the ‘glass is half empty’ approach, I would have expected Andy to tire in the later innings. He did, however, he only gave up 4 hits and 1 run in 6 2/3 innings. He had 6 strikeouts, and 4 walks as he picked up his 9th win of the season (9-6).
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
The A-Rod homerless streak continued, but the Yankees hit three home runs in the last two innings against Halladay (Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira in the 8th inning, and Hideki Matsui in the 9th). Mariano Rivera, despite giving up a double that scored two runs in the 8th, earned his 31st save. According to Peter Abraham of the LoHud Yankees Blog, it was Rivera’s 100th save in 103 chances. I continue to be amazed every time Rivera touches the ball. I used to wonder what it would have been like to see Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle play, but now I realize that the fans of the 30’s and 40’s probably would have loved to have seen Rivera (and Derek Jeter) play.
Chris Young, The Canadian Press/AP
Tomorrow will tough with Mitre on the mound, but for a night, the Yanks can enjoy what has been a tough road trip. Fortunately, the opposing guy is named Rumpelstiltskin or something like that so hopefully the Yanks have a chance! J
They are currently 4-4, and have a chance to emerge with a winning record if they can defeat the Jays for a second time.
Steve Russell/Toronto Star
Then, the road leads back to the Bronx as the Yankees begin a four game set against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday. Okay, I realize that the Yankees are 0-8 against Boston this season, but it is time for a reversal of fortune. Once again, I have accepted a wager from Julia of Julia’s Rants. She doesn’t realize that I am a sandbagger. The Yankees will be back with a vengeance, and I feel good about the team’s prospects in the upcoming series. For one, Sergio Mitre won’t be pitching! LOL!
Here is the terms of the latest wager. The loser must:
1. Attach a Red Sox (Scott) or a Yankees (Julia) flag to his/her car, and take photos of the car in at least three prominent locations near our respective homes. They should be easily recognizable by anyone (to ensure that they are locations which handle high traffic for the applicable flag viewing).
2. Write a Top 11 List with eleven positive statements about the winning team. This was Jimmy‘s suggestion, which I admit was a very good one.
3. I will take it one more. If the Yankees get swept, I will wear a Red Sox t-shirt and a pink Boston cap with the car photos. The t-shirt would be for the player who has the biggest series against the Yankees (to be determined by Julia). But of course, I am not going to lose so this really isn’t an option.
Since it is a four game set, there is the possibility that the team will split. Therefore, we have set two tie-breakers. The first tie-breaker is the most total runs scored. The second tie-breaker is the team with the most home runs for the series.
May the best Yankees fan win! J
Actually, it should be Yankees Universe, but who’s counting…
Okay, perhaps I wasn’t really ready to see the original Yankee Stadium fall. I was a bit startled when I saw some photos today. During my last trip to New York, I walked around the old stadium for old times sake. It didn’t quite feel the same since it was closed, however, it was the place where my idol Lou Gehrig once played and it was magical to think that the field once saw the likes of Babe Ruth, Gehrig, Miller Huggins, Joe DiMaggio, Casey Stengel, Allie Reynolds, Urban Shocker (I have always loved that name!), Thurman Munson, Billy Martin, Roger Maris and many others. Those footsteps can never be re-traced in the new Stadium.
Courtesy George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)
Farewell to an old friend…
In other baseball news, the Cleveland Indians released former Yankees pitcher Jose Veras. I am not surprised but hopefully he’ll get another chance to catch on with another big league club.
The Red Sox lost to the Tampa Bay Rays tonight, 4-2 in 13 innings. Ah, I’m so sad. Um, not really! J Make that lead in the AL East 1 ½ games! Life is good. Game on, Julia!
To borrow the words of Johnny Cash, the Man Comes Around…
Posted on YouTube by MadSin69
The other Cash arrived in Atlanta, and made his presence known.
GM Brian Cashman, who apparently was supposed to watch AAA-Scranton/Wilkes Barre play, opted to travel to Atlanta for the Yankees game against the Braves. He did not go with axe in hand, but he met with manager Joe Girardi and the players. Clearly, he, like the rest of the fans and organization, is frustrated with the Yankees recent offensive slump and knows that the team is better than this.
Cash insists that the team does not need to make any player acquisitions to improve. As I said yesterday, the team has the talent and ability to succeed so the answer lies within. I still think the bench could use some upgrade, along with the pen. But from the top to the bottom of the order, the team is fine so long as they can snap out of the recent slide that has left them tied with the Toronto Blue Jays, 5 games behind the Boston Red Sox.
Xavier Nady should be back soon, and that will certainly help. But after watching the continued play of catcher Francisco Cervelli, I have to admit that I really do not want to see Jose Molina come back. I liked Cervelli’s throws to first, his intensity, the way he was openly communicating with pitcher Joba Chamberlain in the dugout between innings, his energy, his excitement…and of course, his first home run! So perhaps the Yanks should look to move Molina upon his return from the DL. As for Damaso Marte, I am hopeful that we’ll see the reliever who was among baseball’s best when he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates upon his return. There is no reason that he can’t be that player again. Cash might be right that the answer lies within. If the team’s response to Cash’s visit, an 8-4 win over the Braves, can be sustained in the coming weeks and months, I like the Yankees’ chances come October.
As for the game, I do want to send Braves pitcher Kenshin Kawakami best wishes for a speedy recovery. I am thankful he was not more seriously hurt when he was struck at the base of the neck by a ball hit by Joba Chamberlain. At the time, Kawakami had pitched three perfect innings and it looked like he was in the midst of a great game. He has a contusion, but it sounds like the ball didn’t hit a bone. Kawakami will be re-evaluated in a couple of days to determine if he’ll be able to make his next start. Hopefully, he is back in full action shortly.
The Braves scored first on a 5th inning home run by Jeff Francoeur. Considering that Francoeur hasn’t really hit anybody this year, it was disappointing to see him get untracked against the Yankees. Nevertheless, the Yankees came back at the top of the next inning. Brett Gardner walked to start the inning, becoming the Yankees first base runner. After a few pick-off throws, the Braves got lucky when Gardner was called out even though his hand had clearly reached first base before he was tagged out. The play brought manager Joe Girardi out of the dugout and although his tirade got him tossed, it served as the catalyst the Yankees needed to snap out of their offensive doldrums. Cervelli followed with his first career home run, and a few batters later, Alex Rodriguez, who had entered the game with a .207 BA, drilled a two-run single.
Although the Braves kept fighting back, the Yankees never relinquished the lead. In the 8th inning, with Brian Bruney struggling (two walks, a single and a run scored), Girardi brought Mariano Rivera into the game with two outs. Rivera struck out Kelly Johnson to end the inning. Rivera, who hadn’t pitched since June 16th, showed no signs of rust. The Yankees scored a couple more runs at the top of the 9th to pad their lead, but they were unnecessary runs as Rivera struck out the side in the bottom of the inning to end the game. Vintage Mo, and it was sweet!
The Red Sox, Blue Jays and Rays all won, so there were no changes in the standings. But the victory was definitely something for the team to build upon. One game at a time. The path to the Red Sox is not that far away…
Jim Davis/Boston Globe staff
As expected, the Yankees designated Angel Berroa for assignment prior to the game to make room for infielder Cody Ransom. I was surprised to see that the Yankees were actually able to get cash for reliever Jose Veras (from the Cleveland Indians). I thought the Yankees would have to pay to get someone to take him. Peter Abraham of the LoHud Yankees Blog had the best line when he said that the cash involved was “at least three figures”. Good luck in Cleveland, Jose…you won’t be missed. Of course, now that you are in Cleveland, you’ll probably start pitching lights out…
Denny Medley/US Presswire
Like an old pair of shoes, Jose Veras has been tossed aside…
With the return of Mo’s set up guy, Brian Bruney, the Yankees had to make a roster decision and it meant the end of the line for Jose Veras (who was DFA’d). Veras could have protected his spot had he shown any flashes of his performance of last year, but it was not meant to be. I wish him luck wherever he goes, and hopefully he’ll recapture the promise of a year ago in a less pressurized situation.
David L. Pokress/Newsday
I wonder if Bruney got a congratulatory card from Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez for his return?
Umm, probably not…
I am on a business trip to Denver, Colorado, so I am a little removed from the baseball action. I know, the Rays are at Coors Field, and I can’t go…what’s wrong with that picture?
By the way, I used to live two blocks from Coors Field. I definitely miss those days!
Nevertheless, the Yankees did play a game tonight. The Washington Nationals are in the Bronx for a three-game series with the Yanks. Everybody is quick to say that it will be a three-game sweep, but I don’t think it will be that easy. The Yanks always have trouble against the teams they are supposed to beat, so I could see the Nats steal a win or two. Fortunately, tonight was not the night for the Nats as they fell to the Yankees, 5-3.
The Yankees led 2-0 until the 5th inning when Anderson Hernandez unloaded a three-run homer on CC Sabathia. Of course, that provoked an email from Julia (“You are losing to the Nats????”. But hey, 15-0 games are boring…or even the 8-2 yawner that the Red Sox put on the Florida Marlins. With 21 come from behind wins, now 22, the Yanks came roaring back in the 7th inning against old friend Ron Villone. Johnny Damon singled to open the inning, and he scored on Mark Teixeira’s double. Following an A-Rod strikeout, Robinson Cano hit a double that scored Tex. Cano was thrown out attempting to stretch the double into a triple. Ramiro Pena added an insurance run in the 8th inning with a RBI single.
Cano was clearly the star of the game as he went 4-for-4, with 2 RBI’s and a run scored. He also shined defensively.
CC Sabathia (6-4) picked up the win, and Mariano Rivera earned his 15th save. Brian Bruney made his first appearance following his stint on the DL, and came into the game during the 8th inning after CC walked another old friend, Nick Johnson. That brought the Nats’ best hitter, Ryan Zimmerman, to the plate. Hey Bruney, no pressure!
Fortunately, Zimmerman grounded out and the inning was over. Welcome back, Bruney! We don’t care what K-Rod says about you…you are the star of the 8th inning — exactly where we need you to be!
The Nats should have an excellent chance for victory on Wednesday with Chien-Ming Wang on the mound…
It’s sure is starting to sound like Brett Favre will be wearing Purple this fall. He is definitely making much reference to the fact that no one remembers that Vince Lombardi ended his career as Head Coach of the Washington Redskins. All I can say is that I am glad my childhood idol, Fran Tarkenton, retired with the Vikings. I don’t know what I would have thought if he had played with the Green Bay Packers during his final year, but I have to believe that it would have changed my perception of Sir Francis…
Oh, by the way, CONGRATULATIONS to the new NBA Champions, the Los Angeles Lakers!
Paul Rodriguez/Orange County Register
Now, if the Yankees can only win the World Series…
I traveled by car…
…and by foot to get to New York.
I left the house at 6:00 a.m., and arrived at Yankee Stadium around 9:00 a.m. Unfortunately, there was a steady downpour the entire way. I had a feeling that the rain was the kind that was going to fall all day, but I tried to keep an open mind. Nevertheless, in the end, the game was called.
I still took advantage of the day, and walked around the old Yankee Stadium for sentimental reasons. I did get the sense that the old Stadium was truly dead, and I am ready for its final farewell.
Inside the new Stadium, I checked out Monument Park. It was very impressive and it has a much better flow to it (which is more conducive for good photo ops). I appreciate the respect that they gave Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Babe Ruth, as well as the monument for the victims of 9/11.
I also checked out the Yankees Museum.
It was equally impressive, and it was cool to see actual jerseys worn by the legendary players. I give Ruth and Gehrig a lot of credit for putting up the numbers they did despite wearing those uniforms in the brutal scorching heat of July and August.
I don’t know the story behind the autographed baseballs or how complete the set is, however, there are many (emphasis on many) signed baseballs in a center display (signed by present and past Yankees). I recognized most, but I did have to ask myself ‘Was Bryan Little a Yankee?’…
But the one display that touched me the most was Thurman Munson’s Locker. It had been preserved at the old Yankee Stadium, and was then moved to the museum when the new Stadium opened. I stood there for a few moments to reflect upon The Captain and to remember how much he meant to my teenage years. He had been my idol during that time, and like many diehard Yankee fans, I know exactly where I was on August 2, 1979. It was great for the Yankees and the Munson family to share the locker with the fans…
Ricky Flores/The Journal News
I also ate lunch at the Stadium, and opted for a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich at Carl’s Steaks. They billed their cheesesteaks as “better here than in Philadelphia”. I disagree with the Philly reference, but they were quite tasty…
There is no word when the game will be re-scheduled. The Yankees and the Angels apparently have a mutual day off on September 14th. However, no decisions have been made and the Yankees indicated that the makeup day would not be announced today. I will wait to see when the game is re-scheduled before deciding if I will exchange my ticket for another game or go to the re-scheduled game. Hopefully, whenever it is, it will be much drier…
Julia of Julia’s Rants has made it home from a successful trip to New York. Her posts have been missed, but I am sure that she’ll make up for lost time.
The Red Sox will be in New York tomorrow to face the Yankees for two games.
There’s a pink hat riding on the outcome of this two-game series, so I am trusting “Mystique & Aura” to put a pink Yankees hat on Julia’s head. I had been counting on Jane Heller’s Magic Pen, but she executed the pen following Saturday’s loss.
Courtesy Confessions of a She-Fan
Nevertheless, I’ll take my chances with the Yankees. I liked the t-shirt I saw today. I don’t recall the exact words but it was something like “Hey Boston, there never was a curse. Your teams just sucked.” Oops, sorry Julia!
Oh, Julia, one more thing, I thought you’d like to know that Lou has befriended Wally and they are starting to watch baseball games together…
I thought you’d like to know that Wally was happy and safe…and somewhat Navy blue…
Have a great week, everyone!
You win some, you lose some…
Okay, so maybe I was expecting an early April ten-game winning streak. Hey, a guy can dream right?
It’s nice to see the team do well despite the absence of Alex Rodriguez. I’d hate for him to come back and be the “savior”. Of course, as long as Joe Girardi keeps penciling in Cody Ransom’s name at third, anyone except Cody would look like a savior…
Jay Grabiec/The Daily Eastern News
Joba Chamberlain pitched well enough to win. He went six innings, and gave up four hits. He allowed three runs, but only one was earned. He struck out five. The Yankees had a 4-3 lead in the 8th inning, but the Royals scored three runs against relievers Jose Veras and Phil Coke.
Nick Swisher started again at first base in place of Mark Teixeira, who has missed two games with tendonitis in his left wrist. Teixeira says that he can field without any problems, and bat lefthanded. The wrist only hurts when he tries to bat righthanded. With lefty Scott Kazmir on the mound Monday in Tampa, Teixeira will again take a seat on the bench. But Joe Girardi hopes that he will be available to pinch hit if necessary.
Monday will be a tough matchup for the Yanks. Kazmir is pitching great right now, and Chien-Ming Wang has continued to struggle. The Yanks hope is to keep it close until they can wear down Kazmir and get to the Tampa bullpen. Of course, that’s still not an easy task, so I am not too confident about Monday’s game. If Wang doesn’t bring his “A” game, I can see disastrous results when he faces Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
I know that Canuck will be anxiously awaiting the conclusion of the game so that she can post another ‘That’s my Scotty!’ post regarding her favorite Rays pitcher. I hope that the Yanks can delay that post by five days…
I hope Tuesday morning, Canuck is talking about me, and not Kazmir!
On the bright side, the Boston Red Sox lost so the day wasn’t a complete disaster!
JULIA’S BOYS ARE FIGHTING AGAIN
In the first inning of Sunday’s game between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angeles, Bobby Abreu took issue with a pitch that sailed high above his head as time was being called by the plate umpire. The benches cleared, but no punches were thrown. Then, Josh Beckett had some heated words for Angels manager Mike Scioscia, and the benches cleared again which led to some pushing and shoving. Four Angels were ejected from the game (Manager Mike Scioscia, centerfielder Torii Hunter, reliever Justin Speier, and hitting coach Mickey Hatcher).
At first glance, it would appear to me that Bobby Abreu overreacted to Beckett’s pitch. I don’t know what words were exchanged, but it did appear to me that Beckett was only reacting to words said to him by the Angels.
Of course, this is just an average fighting-kind of week for Julia. Her “weakness”, i.e., Toby Keith was involved in a tiff with actor Ethan Hawke earlier in the week…
AP via Comcast.net
Does she really think that I am going to wear a pink hat? Them’s fightin’ words!
WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?
Okay, this is a little off topic. My apologies. But what was the 32-year-old woman at the Berlin Zoo thinking when she jumped into the Polar Bear Pen, and proceeded to get mauled by the bears before she was rescued. It was definitely one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen. Well, next to why someone would be a Red Sox fan! 😉
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I hope everyone had a very enjoyable Easter with friends and family! Have a great week!