Tagged: Roger Federer

Another Passing Grade for the Test…

I missed a great game…


Bill Kostroun/AP


I should have been in attendance at Monday’s game between the Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels in the Bronx.  I had gone to the May 3rd game that was rained out, so my ticket would have been good for Monday’s game which was the make-up game.  I had it all laid out perfectly.  I had requested Monday and Tuesday off from work, so that I could stay at the Stadium until the bitter end.  Unfortunately (baseball-wise, not personally), I relocated from the East Coast to California so a trip to New York City was not in the cards.  I missed an outstanding game as a result of my attempt to improve the circumstances of my life.



I realize that it was only one game.  However, the Yankees, for one night, showed that they could beat the Angels at their own game.  It lifted a huge monkey off the Yankees’ back, and they know that they can beat the Angels.  On a double-steal in the 8th inning, Brett Gardner racing to third, broke for home when catcher Mike Napoli’s throw to third sailed into left field, scoring the go-ahead run.  Alex Rodriguez reached third on the play, and scored on Robinson Cano’s RBI single.  As a result, the Yankees emerged with a 5-3 victory over their nemesis.



Meanwhile, Scott was sitting in Northern California wondering what could have been…



The Yankees couldn’t parlay the win into a victory tonight as they lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, 10-3.  But for one night, they can be excused.  Unfortunately, the Red Sox creep (and I use that word for its multiple meanings) one game closer to the Yankees.  So, the so-called Magic Number remains at 12.  The Rangers did lose, so the Yankees did move closer to the guaranteed Wild Card slot. 


What about the Rays?  The schedule makers have slotted the Yankees to begin AND end the 2010 season against the Boston Red Sox.  I guess there will be more fun and games for my friend, Julia, and I.  Julia is very quick to tell me that the Yankees will end their season THIS year against the Red Sox, but I know that my friend lives in a fantasy world…





Last night, baseball aside, was tough.  I did not expect to hear the news that Patrick Swayze had died.  Yes, I knew that he was battling pancreatic cancer, but Patrick has long been one of my heroes.  I felt if anyone could beat cancer, it was Patrick.  I became a Swayze fan during The Outsiders, and I remained a true fan through his final appearances in the TV series, The Beast.  I remember feeling a loss when he died in Ghost even though his spirit succeeded in reaching out to his true love and eliminating his enemies.  Now, the feeling is loss is permanent and it stinks, to say the least.  Julia mentioned to me that Patrick had a way of appealing to men and women.  I don’t disagree with that.  He was always one of my heroes, and he will remain someone who lived by the standards that I will always strive to achieve.  This one will be tough to overcome…Patrick will be missed…



Whoa!  I can’t believe my favorite tennis player, Roger Federer, lost the U.S. Open against Juan Martin Del Potro.  Congratulations to Del Potro, but hopefully Roger will return to his rightful throne in the not-so-distant future.  My brother was in attendance at the Open, and I should have been there, but the move to CA kind of got in the way.  Sorry Roger, I let you down…


William Perlman/The Star Ledger


Back to baseball, there’s not much drama regarding the AL East Champion and the Wild Card except who will fill which role.  Clearly, the Yankees have the advantage, but the Red Sox are not out of contention…not if they keep winning.  But the Rangers are done.  They are losing tonight to the Oakland A’s and probably won’t be mounting a miraculous comeback.  So, despite the Yankees’ loss, they will still gain ground on the Rangers for the Wild Card.  As Julia is quick to mention, it doesn’t matter how you get into the play-offs…




The Yankees announced that they’ll skip Andy Pettitte’s next start due to a fatigued left shoulder.  I think this is a case of Yankee conservatism, and Pettitte would pitch if the situation were dire.  I just wish that they’d quit trotting Sergio Mitre out there…


Chris Sweda/MCT

Hey, I am just glad that we’ll be playing October baseball again.  But I gotta admit, I like this team…


Bill Kostroun/AP


Easy Does It…


There might be something to this so-called “rest”…


R and R.JPG


Of course, we all know how well Alex Rodriguez responded to some rest and relaxation.  Mark Teixeira has not had any rest, and of course, we’ve seen the results of that…




The latest recipient of rest was catcher Jorge Posada who sat out a couple of games with a bruised thumb.  He was back in the lineup on Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays, and the results were, well, for the lack of a better word, very A-Rod-like.  On Sunday, in the 12th inning with the game tied at 5, Mark Teixeira doubled to open the bottom of the inning.  With first base open, Alex Rodriguez was intentionally walked.  Robinson Cano was up next, but true to form recently with men in scoring position, he failed to advance the runners as Tex was out on a fielder’s choice.  Jorge Posada came to the plate, and he ripped the third pitch to center, scoring A-Rod with the winning run.


Nick Laham/Getty Images 


Posada had also homered earlier in the game, a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the 4th inning.


Sabo/NY Daily News


Chien-Ming Wang had pitched well through five innings.  When the 6th inning started, Wang was nursing a 3-2 lead over Yankee killer Roy Halladay and the Jays.  He had retired 10 of 11 Toronto batters at that point.  With Halladay, it’s like what it used to be with Pedro Martinez when he pitched in Boston, you just want to keep it close until you can get into the other team’s bullpen and then take your chances.  Unfortunately, disaster struck Wang in the 6th.  Marco Scutaro led off with a double.  After Aaron Hill had grounded out, Adam Lind homered to give the Jays a 4-3 lead.  He threw one pitch to the next batter, Scott Rolen, but Posada knew that something was wrong.  Joe Girardi and trainer Steve Donahue came out to the mound, and Wang departed the game.  He was later diagnosed with a shoulder strain with bursitis, and had a MRI at a local hospital.


Mitsu Yasukawa/The Star Ledger 


Wang was relieved by David Robertson.  Robertson ended up walking Rolen, and subsequently walked the next batter (Lyle Overbay) too.  After striking out Vernon Wells, Alex Rios singled to score Rolen.  David Dellucci flied out to end the inning, but Doc Halladay and the Rays had a two-run lead.


Luc Leclerc/US Presswire

Brian Bruney, currently out as the 8th inning bridge to Mariano Rivera until he begins pitching more effectively, opened the 7th inning.  The results were mixed but at least he held the Jays scoreless.  The first two batters singled.  A sacrifice moved the runners to second and third, and Adam Lind was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out.  Fortunately, Bruney retired Rolen and Overbay to end the threat.

In the bottom of the 7th, Derek Jeter singled and scored when Johnny Damon homered to tie the game.  That was definitely a huge hit at a very critical time.  I think I forgot to thank Julia for failing to re-sign Johnny…

IMAGES HAVE BEEN DIGITALLY DESATURATED) Johnny Damon #18 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 *** Johnny Damon

Nick Laham/Getty Images


Phil Hughes pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning, and further cemented his status as the set up guy in place of Bruney.  I would have liked to have seen Hughes pitch the 9th with the game still tied, but Girardi went with Mariano Rivera.  The bullpen continued its stellar performance of late with two scoreless innings in the 10th and 11th by Phil ‘Coke, and then Brett Tomko put the team in position to win by retiring the three batters he faced in the 12th.  Clearly, the Yankees won because of their bullpen.  Back in April, games were routinely lost because of the pen.  The reversal has been very dramatic and clearly the two Phils share the credit, along with the continued domination of ageless closer Mariano Rivera.  It doesn’t mean that I now trust Brett Tomko, but at least there is no longer any reason to dread the arrival of a Yankees reliever into a game.


John Munson/The Star Ledger


A quick note on Robinson Cano…I am not quite sure what is wrong, but he was 0-for-6 and failed in several key spots.  For some reason, he has developed an aversion to hitting with men on base.  In the 12th inning, he missed a sign and bunted on a 3-0 pitch.  He caught everyone off guard, including Mark Teixeira who was standing on second.  He was thrown out at third by 20 feet.  “Let’s just say somebody missed something,” Girardi said. “A better way to explain is he misunderstood something.”  Cano left 10 men on base, 5 of whom were in scoring position.  In his first 5 at-bat’s, he ended the innings, including the 9th with runners at first and second.  I am starting to think that Julia swiped Robby and dropped Julio Lugo into his uniform!  😉



The initial word is that Chien-Ming Wang is headed for the DL, and will be gone for about a month.  At this point, I do not think there’s any way that Phil Hughes would be re-inserted into the starting rotation.  Peter Abraham of the LoHud Yankees Blog speculated that Sergio Mitre of AAA-Scranton/Wilkes Barre might be the choice, and I agree.  Mitre served a 50-game suspension earlier this season after testing positive for Androstendione (it was allegedly the result of an over the counter supplement purchased at GNC which contained an unlisted amount of the steroid).  Since his return, Mitre has pitched 30.1 innings and has compiled a 2-1 record in 5 starts with 3.26 ERA.  I’d definitely rather see him than Kei Igawa.




Backup catcher Jose Molina feels that he will be ready to rejoin the team on Tuesday in Minnesota.


File:José Molina 2007 (cropped).jpg

Wikimedia Commons

Sunday’s match up features Joba Chamberlain (4-2) versus Brett Cecil (2-1).  Cecil is a replacement for Scott Richmond, who was bumped because of a sore shoulder.  To me, it’s time for Joba Chamberlain to make a statement with a solid performance.




Today, in stadiums across the country, the words of Lou Gehrig filled the air in a day of remembrance.  70 years ago today, it was Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium and the Iron Horse gave his immortal farewell speech:


“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

“Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky.

“When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift – that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies – that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter – that’s something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body – it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed – that’s the finest I know.

“So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.”


This video is very fitting on a day when we remember Henry Louis Gehrig…



Posted on YouTube by kylethompson4


As the celebrity deaths continue, I was saddened to hear about the death of former Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair.  I remember when Air McNair was being drafted from college, and I had been so hopeful that the Vikings would draft him.  I can still remember the disappointment when he was drafted by the Titans.  I vividly remember that it was a cloudy day as I listened to the draft.  Hopefully, Steve’s killer will be found and brought to justice.


Damian Strohmeyer, SI/AP


In more uplifting news, congratulations to Serena Williams for her victory at Wimbledon over her sister, Venus.  I was pulling for Serena so it was enjoyable to see her win in two sets.


Hamish Blair/Getty Images


Now, if Roger Federer can beat Andy Roddick, it will be a GREAT tennis weekend at Wimbledon!




I am in the process of relocating back to my home in Northern California so my posts in the coming days may be more sporadic than usual.  But rest assured that I will be back and at full strength by August when the Yankees face the Boston Red Sox.  Julia has been lulled into a false sense of security.  The Red Sox dominance over the Yankees will end, and we are now just one game behind her beloved boys from Beantown.  All things considered, life is good…