The end of the “Core”?…
The deterioration of two-thirds of the remaining “Core” is very disheartening. Both Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada have shown that it is time to pass the baton. With both, I am not sure how you can gracefully move on but as long as both are in the lineup, the Yankees are in an inferior position to both the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox.
Sadly, the day is going to come when Mariano Rivera just doesn’t have it anymore. Fortunately, he is not showing any signs of letting up and thankfully so since his closer-in-waiting, Rafael Soriano, is having a tough time staying healthy.
With players like Jeter or Posada, you’d like to think that they’d come to the realization that they are an albatross to the organization and would willingly step aside. But egos and money are not forgiving. At some point, the decisions will need to be made for the players. I think that DJ has a longer leash than Posada, who infuriated the organization with his behavior this past weekend. I’ve read that Posada has until about the All-Star Break to start hitting before the team explores other options. My sense is that this is not going to end well. As for DJ, I am sure that he’s secure the remainder of the year, but I really wonder what the future holds. Perhaps if the team is able to improve the offensive production in other areas, they can be more accommodating with Jeter’s reduced output. If this experience has proven anything to me, it is a renewed respect for GM’s like Theo Epstein who are not afraid to the cut the cords to star players sooner rather than later. Baseball is purely all about ‘what have you done for me lately’, and the Yankees do not owe Jeter, a future Hall of Famer and the last recipient of the #2 jersey at Yankee Stadium, anything. This is about wins and losses, and the Yankees should field the best shortstop in the organization, regardless of who that individual is.
A sad day for Twins baseball and all of MLB…
I was very sorry to see the passing of Minnesota Twins great Harmon Killebrew. Earlier in the week, I saw the comments that Harmon was no longer seeking medical treatment for his cancer but I never realized that we were just days away from his passing. Growing up in Iowa, I used to listen to Minnesota Twins games on a regular basis. Killebrew had retired by the time I was listening, but I clearly knew who he was and his stature in major league baseball. Frankly, I am surprised that I was never a Twins fan. Rod Carew was the star of the team in those days, and they routinely fielded quality teams as they do today. I guess they didn’t have that magical player on their active roster to endear me to the team. Instead, I latched onto Oakland A’s star pitcher Jim “Catfish” Hunter as my favorite player and of course when he left to sign with the Yankees on 12/31/74, my fate as a Yankees fan was sealed. Nevertheless, I am appreciative for what Killebrew meant to the Twins organization. He will be missed…
No more LeBron, please…
How sweet would it be if the Chicago Bulls ousted the Miami Heat from the NBA Play-offs?…
The closet door may be open, but the key to victory remains unchanged…
For the record, I have no issue with Phoenix Suns President Rick Welts coming out of the closet to announce that he is gay. His sexual preference has nothing to do with his ability to lead and develop a championship organization.
Collaboration at its finest…
I was glad to hear that Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder is seeking out the Vikings wide receivers for workouts and has plans to work with my favorite Viking, Percy Harvin. I was also glad to see Sidney Rice reach out to Ponder to express his willingness to participate. I don’t want the Vikings to lose Rice, but until the lockout is settled, it’s anybody’s guess what happens with Rice. He is clearly the greatest WR the Vikings have had since Randy Moss (the Dante Culpepper version, not last year’s). The NFL needs to put closure on the lockout and aggressively pursue resolution with the Player’s Association.
A toast to Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz…
I received my shipment of Jon Lester’s CabernAce and Clay Buchholz’s ChardonClay today. You can buy the wine at www.charitywines.com. For Clay’s wine, your contribution benefits Jimmy’s Fund, while Jon’s wine supports the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy fine wine while supporting two great causes!
Have a great night, everyone! J
Usually, April has not been
kind to the Yankees. So to finish the
month with a winning record and in first place is clearly an accomplishment. After the Yankees were ripped in the
off-season for their failure to sign Cliff Lee while the Boston Red Sox were
signing Carl Crawford and trading for Adrian Gonzalez, the expectations were
greater in Beantown. As a result, there is a bit of satisfaction in the respective teams’ starts. Perhaps it was a good
thing as the Yankees finally shook the April curse and controlled the month of
April instead of letting the month control them.
John Munson/The Star Ledger
Boston, meanwhile, has
gotten off to a sluggish start, with a 13-15 mark entering play tonight. I’d be a fool to think the Sox will continue
to underperform. I have no doubt that
they will start clicking on all cylinders at some point, and I can only hope
the Yanks have built a sufficient cushion to withstand any Sox charge.
Roster to roster (today), I’d still give the edge of the Sox over the
course of the full 162 game schedule.
I think the keys for the
Yankees to hold off the inevitable Sox charge will rest primarily with
pitching. I’ve been pleased by what the
Yanks have gotten from Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia, and Bartolo Colon, but I still
do not think that all three have the sustainability for the duration of the
The health of Phil Hughes
will be a key determinant. The recent
tests have been positive, but the fact remains that the Yankees are no closer
to getting Hughes on the mound than they were before. What if he isn’t able to come back this
year? What’s Plan B? The Yankees already needed a #3 starter or
better when Hughes was in the rotation. For
now, the Yanks have to hope that Nova, Garcia and Colon continue to perform
Count me as one of those who
believe that it is time to drop Derek Jeter down in the order. His days as a lead-off hitter are over, and
it’s time to get Brett Gardner at the top of the order. I realize that Gardner isn’t hitting, but I think
that leading off would revitalize his bat and of course his speed on the bases
with the guns coming to bat would be huge.
The Yanks could definitely
use timely hitting, but I fully expect the bats to come around. I saw the highlights of last night’s game
showing Hideki Matsui hitting a game-winning home run for the Oakland A’s, and
thought to myself, yeah, we could use that…
With the 2011 NFL Draft
behind us, I am still pondering the Minnesota Vikings first round selection of
QB Christian Ponder. There’s no doubt
that I would have loved to have DT Nick Fairley who went to the Detroit Lions
with the next pick. However, the Vikings
had to emerge from this draft with a franchise QB. Andy Dalton may turn out to be a great
quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals and Colin Kaepernick may do wonderful
things in the Golden Gate City, but all things considered, I am glad that
Ponder is in Minnesota. There’s no doubt
that I would have preferred Jake Locker but the Tennessee Titans made that an
impossibility. I had mixed feelings
about Blaine Gabbert, so short of Cam Newton and Jake Locker, I am satisfied
I’d be surprised if the
Vikings go to the training camp (assuming the lockout is lifted) with Ponder,
Joe Webb, and Rhett Bomar as the only QB’s.
I fully expect them to pursue a veteran.
I don’t think that Kevin Kolb would be worth the price since Ponder
should be ready to take over the position within a couple of years. So, I guess it depends how cheaply the
Vikings can get someone like Carson Palmer, Donovan McNabb, or Vince
Young. It definitely makes me wish that
Sage Rosenfels was still on the roster.
When the lockout is finally
resolved, I definitely hope the Vikings find a way to retain WR Sidney
Rice. I don’t want to lose free agent DE
Ray Edwards, but I think that Rice would be much harder to replace.
I was glad to see the Tampa
Bay Rays activate 3B Evan Longoria for tonight’s game. I may not be a Rays fan, but Longoria is
arguably the best third baseman in the league.
Win or lose, I’d rather see Longoria in the Rays lineup than not.
Congratulations to the Los
Angeles Dodgers’ Andre Ethier who has hit safely in 28 games entering play
tonight. I am sure that this is a trip
down memory lane for manager Don Mattingly, who once had a consecutive home run
streak going. I am sure that Donnie
Baseball has shared his insight into how to handle the pressure from the press
in these situations. Ethier’s a great
guy and I’d definitely like to see him continue this streak.
The San Jose Sharks are up
2-0 in their series with the Detroit Red Wings, but who in the world can
possibly be comfortable with playing Game 3 in Joe Louis Arena?…
The Los Angeles Lakers lost
Game 1 to the Dallas Mavericks? Really? What are they trying to do? Give a happy ending to the LeBron James
Say what you will, it was a win…
Tom Szczerbowski/US Presswire
A night after losing 3-2 to the Toronto Blue Jays in a game that probably could have been won if a clutch hitter like Johnny Damon, Melky Cabrera, Hideki Matsui or Jerry Hairston, Jr. were on the roster, the Yankees returned to their winning ways with a 11-5 victory over the Jays. It was another solid fill-in performance by Dustin Moseley. He was only responsible for 2 of the runs, as the remainder were charged against Chad Gaudin. Moseley has definitely stepped up in a big way during the absence of Andy Pettitte. After fretting what life would be like with Sergio Mitre after Andy went on the DL, manager Joe Girardi quickly reversed course and went with Moseley, a decision that has proven to be very fruitful. Moseley is not the front-end starter you want in the play-offs, but for a team trying to battle its way to the AL East Championship, he has been exactly what the doctor ordered.
After losing to the Jays last night, the Yankees found themselves in a first place tie with the Tampa Bay Rays who defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Mention has to go to Rays closer Rafael Soriano who threw a 9-pitch 9th inning that resulted in 3 strikeouts. It was quite an impressive feat. Why did the Atlanta Braves let Soriano get away again?…
Johnny Damon has apparently invoked his no-trade clause to stay in Detroit after being claimed on waivers by the Boston Red Sox. All things considered, I am glad that Johnny opted to leave his Yankees legacy intact. Damon was clearly one of the primary players responsible for the fall of the Curse of the Bambino as the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, however, he was later able to cut the cords with the Red Sox after failed contract negotiations (or lack thereof) to sign with the Yankees where he ultimately won another championship. Had he returned to Boston, he would have tarnished his Yankees legacy and turned the Yankees Universe against him. David Cone was one of my favorite Yankees, but I don’t know if I can ever forgive him for going to Boston. I would have hated to see Johnny return to Boston. When I broached the possibility to my Red Sox friends, I received responses like “ugh!”, “ick!”, and “no!”. While Jason Varitek and David Ortiz may have welcomed Johnny back, I am not sure that he would have been embraced by the RSN. Perhaps he would have, but did the Red Sox claim Damon because they truly wanted him or did they do it to block the Rays? As an aging player, I could have understood the player’s desire to play meaningful September games. However, for Johnny, there was so much at stake personally. He was a good Yankee, and hopefully, he’ll let that legacy stand on its own merits. No reason to ruin it by going back to Beantown. If the Yankees had just waited out Damon’s demands and brought him back to the Bronx, none of this would have been necessary. Who knows where he’ll play in 2011, but for now, I remain proud of Damon for standing by his principles and commitment.
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
In an off-topic comment, I was dismayed to hear that Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice will miss at least half of the season following hip surgery. Given that the injury was suffered during the NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints, I am not quite sure why Rice waited until now to have surgery. He was the first true threat since the Vikings traded Randy Moss, so Brett Favre is definitely facing a challenge in what should be his final season. This morning, there were reports the Vikings were close to signing former Packers wide receiver Javon Walker who clashed with Favre at times during their days in Green Bay. With Percy Harvin’s on-going bouts with migraines, the best receiver at this point is probably Bernard Berrian which does not bode well for the Vikings and Favre.
Sports can be so brutal at times…