Tagged: Manny Ramirez

Derailed in Anaheim…

 

Unfortunately, I saw it coming…

 

 

I knew that the Yankees tie with the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night was going to be short-lived.  For whatever reason, the Yankees cannot beat the Los Angeles Angels, and last night’s game was further evidence.

 

Rose Palmisano/Orange County Register 

 

Joba Chamberlain had 5-1 lead in the fifth inning when the wheels came off.  The crushing blow was a three-run home run by Kendry Morales that tied the game.

 

Rose Palmisano/The Orange County Register 

 

The Angels proceeded to score five more runs in the 6th and 7th innings (against Mark Melancon and Brian Bruney) to pull away.   The Angels won the game, 10-6.

 

Mark J. Terrill/AP

 

Earlier in the evening, the Boston Red Sox had defeated the Kansas City Royals, 1-0, so the first place tie quickly evaporated into a one game deficit (I know, Julia is lovin’ every minute of it!).

 

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (second from right) and his Red Sox teammates celebrate the victory.

Barry Chin/Boston Globe 

Alex Rodriguez did hit his 568th home run to pull within one of Rafael Palmeiro for 10th place on the All-Time HR List.  But his error in the fifth did not help anybody…well, except for the Angels…

 

 

 

Joe Girardi keeps talking about Joba’s inexperience and youth as reasons for his struggles, but it is really up to Joba to decide if he wants to be a frontline starter.  The excuses from Girardi are getting kind of old…

“I don’t expect him to be perfect, I don’t. He’s probably got about 30 starts under his belt in the big leagues. That’s not a ton of starts”, Girardi said after the game.  “You can’t just focus on this kid. We had other chances to win this game and we didn’t do it.”

 

Avery/Reuters

 

The Yankees continue their series against the Angels.  I wish I could say that I am confident, but unfortunately, I am not.  Andy Pettitte pitches today, and of course, he has been consistently inconsistent this season.  There was a time when Andy could be counted on to follow a loss with a win, but those times have long since passed.  I am definitely a ‘glass is half empty’ kind of guy today… 

 

 

 

Congratulations to…

Jonathan Sanchez of the San Francisco Giants, for throwing the first no-hitter of the 2009 season against the San Diego Padres.  An error by Juan Uribe cost Sanchez a perfect game, but he was absolutely outstanding in the 8-0 victory.  He had 11 strikeouts as a replacement starter for Randy Johnson who was earlier placed on the DL.   Sanchez has been mentioned as possible trade bait, so the no-hitter will certainly enhance the Giants’ ability to get quality in return.  Nick Johnson anyone?

 

Jonathan Sanchez is mobbed by his teammates after strikin... (Liz Hafalia / The Chronicle)

Liz Halafia/San Francisco Chronicle

 

Manny Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (JSOnline)

 

With a home run in last night’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Manny tied Mickey Mantle for 15th place on the All-Time HR List with 536 home runs.  It is sad to see the Mick soon fall out of the Top 15, and eventually the Top 20…

 

 

Angel Berroa, who was released by the Yankees last week, for signing a minor league deal with the New York Mets.  Good luck with that…

 

 

Alex Rodriguez, who moments ago homered in today’s game against the Angels for his 569th home run, tying Rafael Palmeiro for 10th Place.  The Yankees have a very early 2-0 lead.  Next stop, Harmon Killebrew at 573 home runs…

 

 

 

Mission: Behind Enemy Lines…

I am headed into enemy territory…

Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe

I am on a mission to see how the Red Sox fans prepare to celebrate Opening Day at Fenway Park.  I’ll just put on a disguise and maybe I’ll fit right in as I talk with the locals…

Okay, maybe I should tone it down just a little…

nymag.com

I know, I’ll just go incognito…

I am looking forward to seeing the sights of Boston as I take my morning jog…

 

I am sure that the people of Boston are warm and friendly to visiting Yankees fans…

 

Would they take it as a compliment if I said, “Oh, that’s Fenway Park?  It’s almost as nice as Yankee Stadium!”?

Would they mind if I said that Manny Ramirez was my favorite Red Sox player?

 

 

Would it be okay if I wore my Bucky Dent t-shirt?

 

Hmmm, how many World Championships do the Red Sox have compared to the Yankees?

Oh, by the way, how did the Patriots fare with that perfect season?

 

There’s been a few references to “Sox-tober” but isn’t that when the Red Sox players are scheduled to begin their early vacation?  Just wondering… 

Seriously, I am looking forward to the journey to Boston.  It’s a place that I’ve always wanted to visit.  I promise not to brag about the Yankees while I am there…well, not too much

FIRST WORKOUT AT YANKEE STADIUM

The Yankees held their first workout at Yankee Stadium on Thursday.  The players were in awe of the new digs, and it promises to be a thrilling weekend in the Bronx as the Yankees play the Chicago Cubs in a two-game exhibition series.

Thursday’s experience left players and fans alike in complete awe of the new Stadium.

Tim Scheld/WFAN

Peter Abraham’s LoHud Yankees Blog has some great details regarding the first day of the new Yankee Stadium.  Also, check out the Daily News.

BEARS GET CUTLER

I know that is not a football blog, but I’m mad.  I am mad that the Vikings made no apparent attempt to acquire Jay Cutler and I’m mad that Cutler was traded to the division rival Chicago Bears.  I agree that the Bears paid a very high price for Cutler (QB Kyle Orton, two first round picks and a third round pick).

Lecka/Getty 

I cannot say that I would have wanted the Vikings to give up that much, but they didn’t even try to get into the game and that bothered me.  I don’t want the team to make a foolish trade.  When they acquired Herschel Walker, they were a player or two shy of being a Super Bowl contender (like they are now).  But the trade backfired and the bounty propelled the Dallas Cowboys to a few Super Bowl Championships.  So, I understand the need to be conservative.

 

However, the Vikings have done nothing this off-season, in my opinion, to strengthen the team.  It has been more about try to keep the status quo.  Unfortunately, that won’t translate into a championship.  I am rapidly becoming an anti-fan of Head Coach Brad Childress.  I am not ready to throw him into the Les Steckel category, but he’s perilously close.  I miss Mike Tice today more than I ever have…

Rick Stewart/Getty Images

FINALLY

I’m happy again…I’m headed to Boston…

Enjoy your weekend!

P. S.  I still don’t like this guy…

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!  😉

 

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!  

The Man-Ram Negotiations…

Longest Records

Gunsmoke holds the record for the longest running TV Series.  It aired on CBS for 20 years, from 1955 to 1975…

The Simpsons, which debuted in 1990, is the longest running animated series.  It was recently renewed for at least two more seasons which will make it the longest running TV Series…

The longest running TV Show is Meet The Press, which went on the air November 6, 1947…

The longest running marathon is the Boston Marathon, which has been run for 112 years…

AP

The longest running Broadway Show is The Phantom of the Opera, which opened January 26, 1988…

The longest recorded duration for balancing on one foot is 76 hours and 40 minutes.  This was accomplished by Arulanantham Suresh Joachim at Vihara Maha Devi Park Open Air Stadium in Sri Lanka from May 22, 1997 to May 25, 1997…

On a related note, Manny Ramirez has finally re-signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers…

 

The deal is at $45 million for two years.  Manny will get $25 million for the 2009 season and has until November to decide whether to void the second season, which calls for $20 million.  There is some deferred money involved despite Scott Boras’ reluctance to accept same.  The deal also includes a full no-trade provision.

This ordeal might have been just as excrutiating as long season’s debacle with the Packers and Brett Favre.

But at least it’s done, and Manny can take his bat and dreadlocks to Arizona.  But considering that Derek Lowe is in Atlanta, Brad Penny is in Boston and Clayton Kershaw is not quite ready to reach for his potential, Manny should have the month of October off to contemplate his future…

 

A-Rod, Repeat After Me, “No Comment”…

According to MLB.com, Alex Rodriguez was reaping praise about the New York Mets’ very talented shortstop Jose Reyes, and he made a comment that he wished Reyes was on the Yankees.  Of course, the comment slams not just one but two players…shortstop Derek Jeter and leadoff hitter Johnny Damon.

After weeks of listening to Alex say the wrong things, maybe he should consider saying nothing…

Where is Agent Smith when you need him?  😉

Then again, you can’t always believe what Alex says…

 

Coke, It’s The Real Thing…

After watching Phil Coke pitch this spring, I am very impressed.  His fastball is only 92 to 94 MPH, however, it looks faster…deceptively faster. 

It definitely makes me appreciate that he was not included in the Pirates trade that brought Xavier Nady to the Yankees. 

I am looking forward to watching Coke out of the bullpen for the entire season this year.  I am with the majority that believes the Yankee bullpen will be very solid this year (with or without Joba Chamberlain serving in a setup role). 

I suspect that Joe Girardi will be reaching for a Coke quite often this season…

What, Me Worry?…

Posada’s Shoulder

I have to admit that my biggest fear about the upcoming season is the health of an aging 37 year-old catcher’s surgically-repaired right shoulder. 

Jorge Posada sat out Saturday’s 7-3 exhibition loss to the Minnesota Twins due to shoulder soreness.  He downplayed the severity of the soreness after the game.  “I am not concerned at all.”  Posada said.  “I did something I wasn’t supposed to do and it’s sore.”

 

Courtesy Mad Magazine

Jorge is a competitive guy.  Once the regular season gets underway, he could either be tentative out of concerns for “over-doing” it or he could get caught up the heat of the moment and literally throw his shoulder out.  With Jorge’s competitiveness, I would suspect the latter to be a very real possibility. 

There is no Plan B.  Jose Molina is a good back-up but he has proven that he is not a starting catcher.  He cannot be depended upon over the long haul, nor is Kevin Cash a long-term solution.  There is hope in the farm system with Austin Romine and Jesus Montero, but neither guy is ready for major league action right now.  The Yankees need to develop a sound contingency plan for ‘what if’. 

There are other uncertain positions on the team, such as center field and right field.  But in those situations, the Yankees have choices.  If the first choice doesn’t work out, they can still fall back to the other option and should be okay.  But with catching, they have a front line starter with average, capable back up support.  Take away the front line catcher, and there’s not much left.

I am hopeful that Brian Cashman is actively working to identify a solution.  There’s is too much riding on this season to depend upon Posada’s health at this stage of his career.  Theo Epstein is in a relative similar situation in Boston as Jason Varitek’s skills are declining with age.  It will be interesting to see whether Cash or Theo is more successful at addressing their team’s needs by the the end of spring training…

Ron Gardenhire’s Comments

I saw the comments by Ron Gardenhire yesterday where he felt that the Yankees weren’t done yet.  It was an apparent, but unsaid, reference to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ inability to re-sign Manny Ramirez. 

I honestly do not believe that the Yankees will enter the mix for Manny regardless of what happens with the Dodgers.  I would really believe the Giants would sign Manny before the Yankees would.  Contrary to public opinion, even the Yankees have a budget and they’ve been affected by the poor economy like every other team. 

I think it is more imperative for the Yankees to figure out solutions for other current weaknesses on the team before they enter the fray for Manny Ramirez. 

Would I love to see Manny in the Bronx?  Absolutely.  But looking at the whole picture, it does not make sense and there are still too many shortcomings in other areas that need to be addressed.

Jim Bowden Resigns…

Jim Bowden has finally stepped down as the GM for the Washington Nationals, and it is about time.  Regardless of whether he is innocent or guilty regarding the federal government’s investigation into skimming signing bonuses, he had become too much of a distraction for the Nationals.

Haraz Ghanbari/AP

When I first heard that Jose Rijo had taken a leave of absence (later fired) regarding the bonus given to the “prospect” with the falsified age, I wondered why the GM was not being held accountable.  It seemed as though Rijo was being made the scapegoat, and that responsibility rested higher within the organization. 

It wasn’t that long ago Bowden was mentioned as a possible successor for Brian Cashman (before he subsequently re-signed with the Yanks).  Now, Bowden is most likely done depending upon how the investigation turns out…

It’s a sad situation for an organization that deserves better.

Re-tooling the Vikings…

Okay, I was a little disappointed to see the Vikings miss out on QB Matt Cassel, but I do still believe that Sage Rosenfels was an upgrade over Gus Frerotte.  Had Cassel been dealt to the Vikings, he would have been the clear starter.  Rosenfels, on the other hand, will enter camp in competition with Tavaris Jackson.  I have not heard much about John David Booty, so I don’t know how his development is coming along or if he projects to anything more than a career as a backup. 

Somehow, Vikings backup QB’s have a tendency to go elsewhere and find new life (i.e., Rich Gannon).  Tyler Thigpen, who started for the Chiefs last year, is another example, although he’s been relegated to backup status with the Chiefs’ acquisition of Cassel. 

Nevertheless, I am hopeful that the Vikings cash savings with Rosenfels (instead of pursuing someone like Cassel) allows them to re-sign C Matt Birk. 

On Saturday, owner Zygi Wilf flew a private jet to Seattle to pick up WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh who had been visiting with the Seattle Seahawks on Friday.  Although I don’t know how to say or pronounce T.J.’s name, he would be a great addition for the Vikings, and a perfect complement to WR Bernard Berrian.  T.J. would potentally give the Vikings their first 90-catch WR since Randy Moss.

Prior to the free agency period, T.J. had mentioned the Vikings as a possibility.  “If I can play with Adrian Peterson, can you imagine what I would do getting 1-on-1 coverage with Adrian Peterson?”, he said.  “I am going to win 98.6% of the time with 1-on-1 coverage with him in the backfield.”

T.J. has apparently indicated that he’ll decide by tonight whether to stay in Cincinnati or sign elsewhere.  Here’s hoping that he is wearing Purple and Gold in the not-so-distant future…

 

Yanks-BoSox, Let The War Begin…

Game On!

Julia of Julia’s Rants has challenged me to a duel!

The New York Yankees play the Boston Red Sox for a three game series at Fenway Park in Boston beginning Friday, April 24, 2009.  If the Yankees take the series, Julia has to change her website banner to show the Yankees logo.  Conversely, if the BoSox take the series, I will have to sport the dreaded Red Sox emblem on this site. 

But, let the record show that Julia has the unfair advantage of home field!  But it is her birthday weekend, so I suppose some concessions must be made…

I am wondering what Julia’s site will look like…

 

 

Julia’s Rants

My feelings about the Boston Red Sox New York Yankees, baseball, sports and life in general. 

Sweet!  🙂

 

 

This bet actually reminds me of an ongoing bet that I have had with a friend in Tampa named Kelly.  Kelly has been a devout Devil Rays, excuse me, Rays fan for many years. 

She was a season ticket holder for Rays games when getting a root canal was preferable to going to Tropicana Field.  She likes to get her season tickets in the upper balcony, and there were often times that you would need binoculars just to see the person sitting next to you. 

 

For several years, the bet has been about bragging rights. 

For each series played during the season, the winner has bragging rights until the next series is played. Whichever team takes the season series has bragging rights throughout the off-season, and the other person is powerless to retaliate. 

When the bet was first made, I had the advantage of the high and mighty Yankees against the lowly, pathetic then Devil Rays.  Of course, tables were turned on me last season, and I had to reluctantly take what I had been giving for so many years.  Fortunately for me, the Yankees went out and spent $423.5 million in the off-season, so hopefully, I’ll be able to return to my “perch” again this year! 

Actually, Kelly let me know that I had a thing or two to learn about “bragging” as she showed me how it is really done! 

It’s going to be a very exciting summer in the American League East…

 

Manny Is Officially From Another Planet

Manny Ramirez has turned down the Dodgers for the fourth time.  I thought the latest offer was very generous given the current state of the economy.  Plus, it isn’t exactly like there are teams beating down the door to sign Manny. 

A quick scan of the Los Angeles Times’ Business section shows the following headlines:

  • GM posts $9.6-billion quarterly loss
  • Source:  U.S. on verge of deal to boost its stake in Citigroup
  • Student loan companies’ shares plunge on Obama proposal
  • U.S. banks post collective $26.2-billion quarterly loss
  • Weak healthcare stocks drag market lower
  • The sun sets on the Rocky Mountain News
  • 667K new jobless claims; continuing claims top 5M
  • AIG could be broken up
  • Economy still going south

I feel that Manny is proving to be very selfish, and we are seeing the true player that exposed himself in Boston.  It is a very unfortunate situation, and the Los Angeles Dodgers deserve better.

On a side note, that is sad news about the closure of the Rocky Mountain News, which became Denver’s first newspaper on April 23, 1859.

 

Other Tidbits for a Friday…

Admittedly I do not follow the PGA very closely, but who is Tim Clark and how did he beat Tiger Woods?…

The Minnesota Vikings should be announcing later today that they have acquired QB Sage Rosenfels from the Houston Texans.  I am not sure how I feel about the acquisition.  Granted, I do not think that Tavaris Jackson is the answer, and Gus Frerotte is getting too old.  I really like Matt Cassel, but when the New England Patriots placed the franchise tag on him, it removed him as a possibility as the cost to acquire him would be so great.  Picking up someone like Jeff Garcia or even Michael Vick is equally unappealing.  There just doesn’t seem to be any viable answers out there, so perhaps Rosenfels is the best option available.  The cost to acquire Rosenfels is reasonable (fourth round draft pick, and contract extension of three years for $9 million).  Like Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner, Rosenfels hails from Iowa.  He was born in Maquoketa, IA, and played college football at Iowa State.  Given that I also grew up in a small Iowa town, I can relate to Sage and Kurt (well, except for the part about the million dollar contracts…and okay, the superior physical conditioning…and, I know, the heighth of the players…).  Hopefully, Sage can have some of the success that Kurt has experienced.  His stock was very high after the 2007 season, but the bloom lost much of its luster this past season when he went 2-3 filling in for injured QB Matt Schaub. 

The Phoenix Suns, minus star Amare Stoudemire, have now suffered blowout losses to the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers within the past week.  The Suns were also without Steve Nash in the loss to the Lakers, but this has been a very disappointing season.  The Suns, if they make the play-offs, look like they’ll suffer another first round exit…

On the bright side, the San Jose Sharks beat the Ottawa Senators last night, 2-1.  The Sharks were powered by two power-play goals by Milan Michalek and Patrick Marleau, which were scored 1:18 apart in the second period.  The Sharks, 42-9-9, lead the Western Conference by 5 points over the Detroit Red Wings.

Have a great weekend everybody!

 

 

 

But I Didn’t Inhale…

Dumbest Play of the Week

I should have learned by now…

Alex Rodriguez does something wrong, we condemn him for his actions, but then are ready to accept him again very quickly for what he means to the team (in terms of baseball performance).  Yesterday, for example, I found it very positive that the boos slowly turned to cheers in the Yankees’ game against the Toronto Blue Jays.  It was refreshing to see Alex hit the tie-breaking home run. 

All is good in the world…

 

And then Alex drives away from Dunedin Stadium with his cousin, Yuri Sucart… 

 

 

How stupid is that?  I guess Victor Conte and Greg Anderson were unavailable to ride with Alex…

The One Man Show

Watching the ESPN highlights of the Yankees game against the Blue Jays, I couldn’t help but notice that Alex was apparently the only Yankee who played the game.  The box score had other names, but the highlight reel seemed to show that the game was played by one guy.  I guess he fielded all positions and pitched.  He changed the names of his alter egos to protect the “guilty”…

Lost among the A-Rod Show was that Brett Gardner hit a home run,  That’s something we may not see again in 2009.  Here was a golden opportunity to show something that happens once in a lifetime, and ESPN chose to show about 25 different angles of A-Rod hitting his fourth inning home run.

Barton Silverman/The New York Times

 

Manny, it’s only money…

I think the Dodgers latest offer (2 years for $45 million) is very generous.  The latest offer differs from the original $45 million offer in November in that $25 million would be paid the first year with $20 million player-option for the second year.  It gives Manny some time to see if the market improves next fall and puts more distance between him and his ugly departure from Boston.  C’mon Manny, when is too much money not enough?  It’s not like the Giants are knocking on the door with $100 million…

 

 

Prediction for Julia…

Friday, April 24, 2009:  Yankees 7, Red Sox 4

Saturday, April 25, 2009:  Yankees 12, Red Sox 1

Sunday, April 26, 2009:  Yankees 9, Red Sox 3

Ah, life is enjoyable as Yankee fan…

Seriously, spring training and exhibition games are a great time of year.  It doesn’t matter if the Yankees lose and the Red Sox win…uh, on second thought, what am I saying?  Yes it does!  Go Yankees! 

By the way, if the Red Sox beat a college team but lose to a major league club, does that make their record 1/2-1 1/2?  😉

I know, that’s mean.  I guess I have this old-recycled photo coming for making anti-Red Sox comments…