Tagged: AJ Burnett

Is This The Most Depressing Post Or What?

From today’s LoHud Blog….

“So what should the Yankees do about this rotation problem if Andy Pettitte indeed retires? There’s a lack of depth since the top prospects like Dellin Betances and Manuel Banuelos almost assuredly need more minor-league time. Can the offense compensate? And why would Larry Rothschild be able to make A.J. Burnett consistent when Dave Eiland couldn’t? Questions, questions.

Even if Pettitte does come back, they still need depth in case of potential injuries. But CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, Pettitte, Burnett and Ivan Nova could be wild-card worthy, not that there aren’t questions about most of the group.    

If Pettitte doesn’t come back and Sergio Mitre is next in line, they have to make a move. The thing is, the alternatives, possibly Joe Blanton, Freddy Garcia or Jeff Francis, aren’t particularly appealing, either, at least to me. How about to you? The Phillies could move Blanton after investing so much in Cliff Lee. Both Garcia and Francis have had shoulder problems in the past. Anyway, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.”

I’ve decided there’s only one thing to do when contemplating the Yankees’ rotation issues and their possible solutions: bring back Laughing Lady.


Sergio Mitre will be starting a crucial game against a division rival?
AJ will continue to have third-inning meltdowns, despite our new pitching coach?
We sign Freddy Garcia and his arm falls off during his first appearance in the Bronx?
It’s all fine. Why? Because it’s the season to laugh and make merry and look forward to the new year. That’s what I’m planning to do. I’m off to LA tomorrow to spend a couple of days with friends. If Cashman decides to make a move while I’m busy enjoying myself, can somebody please find me and let me know? Thanks. 🙂

Look What Brian Cashman Sent Me!

Really thoughtful of the Yankees’ GM to put me on his holiday cards list this year – a card featuring our starting rotation for 2011. And what surprises his card contained! Who knew, for example, that Phil Hughes had “lead singer” in him even with CC around or that AJ was such a wild man (well, we kind of knew that). Also, what a clever way of letting me know that Pettitte has decided to pitch another year for us. But the biggest surprise of all was seeing Felix Hernandez in the band. I had a hunch we wouldn’t be stuck with Mitre filling out the rotation or even Nova; Cash had much more lofty ambitions and I’m very grateful for that. Rock on, Yankees.

Yankees-Angels Game 2: Epic

war and peace book cover.jpg
The game lasted five hours and ten minutes. It was played in cold and wind and, at times, a steady downpour. It took 13 innings and featured over 400 pitches, and when it was all said and done, the Yankees beat the Angels 4-3 in walk-off, pie-in-the-face fashion.
Watching this marathon was like reading an epic novel with twists and turns and plenty of memorable characters. I mean, Jerry Hairston, Jr. as the hero? Not what I would have expected. Here’s what stood out for me:
Cano’s RBI triple in the second.
Jeter’s solo homer in the third.
Tex’s two defensive plays in the fourth.
AJ’s wildness in the fifth.
The fact that Jose Molina actually singled.
Two errors by Cano and one by Jeter.
An error by Figgins and the game-winning miscue by Izturis.
AJ’s mostly impressive six-plus innings.
Great relief by Coke, Joba, Hughes, Mo (2-plus innings!) and Marte.
A shaky Aceves.
A brilliant Robertson.
The Yankees’ total shutdown of Bobby Abreu and Kendry Morales.
A-Rod’s homer off Fuentes to tie the game in the 11th.
All the runners left on base (16 for the Angels; 12 for the Yanks).
Hairston’s pinch hit single in the 13th.
Gardner’s sacrifice.
Melky reaching on the error to end the game.
Girardi’s use of 21 of his 25 players.
And the continuing success of my turkey club sandwich.
Yes, I ate another one during the game, and the Yankees scored their first two runs while I was scarfing it down. I’m looking forward to a break from the rally sandwich on Sunday, my off-day.

CC Could Pitch Three Times….And Maybe Catch

I’ve been thinking a lot about CC Sabathia today.
There’s been speculation about whether he’ll make three starts for the Yankees in the ALCS – and whether it’s a good idea if he does. I guess it’ll depend on the weather and how the days off line up. But my opinion? It’s a great idea. Here’s why.
* I’d be terrified of sending Joba out there at this point.
* I don’t have a ton of confidence in Chad Gaudin.
* CC is a horse and can carry the team (or vice versa).
* CC does strenuous stretching exercises to stay in shape.
sabathia fat.jpg
* CC also lifts weights as part of his strict workout regimen.
* CC has a magic heating pad that protects him from oblique strains and evil spirits.
* CC is the perfect pitcher to start Game 1 at Yankee Stadium – our ace.

* CC is the perfect pitcher to start Game 4 at Angel Stadium.
* CC is the perfect pitcher to start Game 7 (if necessary) back in the Bronx – and win it.
OK, so I’ve established that I’m comfortable with CC in the role of Super Pitcher. But now that I really think about it, why shouldn’t the Yankees use him at other positions on days when he’s not pitching? Seriously.
* Like he could catch AJ instead of Molina, since they have such good chemistry.
* He could take over for Cano at second, since he’s such an accomplished fielder.
* He could give A-Rod a rest at third, turning nifty double plays with the Captain.

* And, speaking of the Captain, he could fill in at shortstop if need be and cover plenty of foul territory.
Derek Jeter Dive into Stands.jpg
This is all another way of saying that if Girardi decides to go with CC as the Yankees’ main man, I’m behind it 100%.

Is There Crying In Baseball?

Not according to Tom Hanks’ character in the movie “A League of Their Own.” But I’ve done my share of crying over the Yankees and I bet I’m not the only fan who’s cried over her team. I’m certainly not the only crybaby in baseball.
As we move deeper into the postseason, there’s bound to be plenty of crying if our favorite team doesn’t win. So just in time… I’m giving away the perfect T-shirt for the occasion!
Actually, it’s a company called Vintage Blue that’s giving away the tee – to one lucky winner on this blog. Vintage Blue owns the exclusive license to the All American Girls Professional Baseball League that was featured in “A League of Their Own,” and they sell adorable organic tees with graphics from the 40s and 50s. One of their most popular items is the famous “There’s No Crying in Baseball” tee.
Here’s the link to their site, as seen over to the right under “Cool Stuff.” And here’s specific info about the “There’s No Crying” tee. If you’re a she-fan who’d like to win a free tee – or you’re a he-fan who’d like a tee for the she-fan in your life – now’s your chance. All you have to do is be the 27th commenter on this post. (Yes, it’s in honor of the 27th World Series I’m praying the Yankees will win this year.) If you’re the 27th commenter, I’ll be in touch to ask for the size you’d like and the address where you’d like the tee mailed. It’s as simple as that. Just make sure you’re #27 and the shirt is yours!
For anyone who’d like to buy the tee, Vintage Blue is offering a special deal just for readers of this blog. From October 9th-16th, they’ll take $10 off the price. (Be sure to use the promo code yankees10.)
And now on to baseball…..
Tomorrow it’s AJ on the mound for the Yanks. I want him to keep his head in the game and not have a hissy if he gives up a run or gets a bad call. He has filthy, dirty stuff and he just needs to throw it!
I’d also like to see Tex get on the postseason train….Gardner steal a base if he comes in to pinch run….A-Rod continue to knock ’em in….Swisher keep up the good work in right….Damon smack one into Damon’s Deck…Jeter lead off with another hit…. Oh, and if humanly possible, I want Molina to put his bat on the ball and swing. Here’s proof that he has the capability.
By the way: My responses to comments don’t count toward the #27th comment!

UPDATE! We have a winner. It’s Wendy, who came in with Comment #27. (Remember, my own comments didn’t count toward the 27. See above.) Congrats, Wendy, and enjoy the tee. I can’t wait to wear mine, but I hope I’m not crying. 🙂

Now, it’s on to tonight’s Yankees-Twins Game 2. I hope the weather cooperates. GO YANKS! EAT THOSE TWINKIES!

Another Pie In The Face For The Yanks

It’s silly. It’s juvenile. And I hope it never ends – the whole routine of come-from-behind walkoffs that result in an A.J. Burnett-instigated dose of whipped cream for the hero.
Today’s recipient? Jorge Posada, whose single in the bottom of the 12th drove in A-Rod with the winning run in the Yankees’ 6-5 victory over the Jays.
But first, the classy tribute to Lou Gehrig and to Michael Goldsmith, the ALS sufferer who called MLB to action on the disease.


Talk about a highlight of the 2009 Inaugural Yankee Stadium Season. You’d have to be made of stone not to be moved by the pre-game ceremony.
Then came the game itself. Wang was having his best start of the season. But it was clear that Halladay didn’t have his “A” stuff. Not with homers to Matsui, Posada and Damon. I think it was Damon’s shot in particular – the one-hander into “Damon’s Deck” in short right field – that really got Doc all pissy and red faced.
The July 4th crowd, which had sounded pretty enthusiastic, fell to a hush after Wang gave up a two-run dinger to Lind in the sixth. And then suddenly….out came Girardi and Steve Donahue. The next thing we knew, Wanger was headed for the MRI tube.
I figured it was his Lisfranc again. Or maybe some other body part I’d never heard of. But no. He’s got a “shoulder strain with bursitis,” is going on the DL and will miss at least a month. I mean, seriously? What are we supposed to do about our rotation? Make a trade? Or bring up a kid?
Robertson was shaky in relief, giving up another run, as was Bruney. But Coke threw two great innings (with help from Gardner’s slide on Overbay’s fly ball). And Mo and Bombko kept us in the game until Jorge broke the 5-5 tie with one swing of the bat.
Of course, there was also the issue of Cano. The guy came up with runners on base time after time, and did nothing. He’s really starting to stink.
After reveling in the Yankees’ victory, I headed to the beach for a walk, my trusty She-Fan Cam in my pocket. There were a zillion people camped out to see the fireworks display later, and I checked the various groups to see if there were any baseball fans among them.
Sure enough, there were a couple of Dodgers fans.
The first one was with her family, having their annual July 4th Dodgers barbecue.
The second one was playing catch with a friend.
Very cool customer, that Andrew.
I was walking away, feeling no Yankee love in Santa Barbara, when I happened upon a guy wearing a Yankees cap backwards. He was partying with his friends, but I went over anyway.
Why I said “Ithaca!” in that high squeaky voice is beyond me. But even more embarrassing was when I mistakenly agreed that Jorge had hit the walkoff single in the 13th inning instead of the 12th. I’m not very good in math, but that was ridiculous.
Here’s hoping the Yanks find a couple of fresh arms to pitch tomorrow.

Weak, Feverish And Delirious With Flu, Yanks Still Beat Mets

The bug that’s been sweeping the Yankees’ clubhouse has now claimed nine victims among the players and coaches, including its latest, Johnny Damon.
Hasn’t anybody heard of this?
Or this?
Or even this?
The point is that even without Jeter, Damon and a full-strength Melky, Cano and Matsui, the Yanks made the Mets look like the ones who needed a blood transfusion.
AJ Burnett was as nasty as I remember him as a Blue Jay, inducing 10 Ks and allowing only one hit over seven innings. One hit.

Go ahead and pump that fist, AJ. You earned it.

He was helped by impressive plays by Pena and two amazing catches by Melky, who robbed Murphy in the second and fifth innings.
On the offensive side, the bats were again in evidence. Swisher’s solo shot in the third was really all the Yanks needed.
But why not pile on with a few more runs in the sixth and send Redding, the Mets’ starter, to the showers?
After Tex doubled…
A-Rod singled up the middle on the first pitch.
Cano doubled off the wall on the first pitch.
Posada smacked a three-run homer on the first pitch.
5-0 Yankees.
Bruney and Robertson set down the Mets in order in the eighth and ninth, and that was all she wrote, as they say.
I realize that the Mets are playing without their big guns, except for Wright, but they have the same beaten down look the Yankees had last week. Maybe they need a visit from their GM, like we got from ours.
On the other hand, I’m perfectly fine with sweeping them Sunday night. Everybody has made such a big deal about how hard it is to hit homers at Citi Field, as opposed to the “bandbox” in the Bronx. So how come we’ve waltzed in there and hit four so far?
Because it doesn’t matter where you play. If you’re hot, you’re hot.

Miami Vice

Maybe if those two had pinch hit for Posada and Cano in the ninth, the Yankees would have come back to beat the Marlins. Anybody would have been better than Jorge, who popped up with Tex on first, and Cano, who grounded into a double play (which he also did in the ninth against the Nationals on Wednesday).
Instead, the Yanks went down 2-1. It was a pitcher’s duel between the Marlins’ hard-throwing young giant, who was actually good as opposed to lucky,
and AJ, who was very good but very unlucky.
Not only were his teammates’ bats silent, but his three outfielders had adventurous interactions with fly balls due, supposedly, to Land Shark Stadium’s bright lights.
Swisher caught Coghlan’s line drive in the first but was clearly blinded.
In the fourth, Melky let Ramirez’s ball drop in front of him for a single, which made him look awfully clumsy.
And Damon was charged with an error after failing to catch Cantu’s liner in the sixth, turning a routine out into an interesting slide.
The game did have its positives:
Posada nailed Ramirez and Bonifacio trying to steal second.
AJ went six-plus, striking out eight.
Coke and Hughes threw perfect innings in relief.
I’m really beginning to appreciate Phil Hughes in the pen. He seems much freer, less of a nibbler, as a reliever. What an asset he could be down the stretch.
I’m not sure why A-Rod was pinch-hitting in the eighth. I thought he was resting, which means not picking up a bat or going in to play third base. Is it really that hard to follow doctor’s orders?
And what was up with those cowbells the Marlins handed out to fans at the game? Aren’t they a Rays thing?
The funniest line of the game came from YES’s Paul O’Neill: “I love sports. They’re so much better than reading a book because you never know what’s going to happen.”
I love sports myself, Paulie, but memo to you: books have surprising plot twists too. Have you ever heard of Ludlum? Grisham? Jane Heller?

My Favorite Kind Of Game: A Blowout

So weird. The Yankees couldn’t do a thing against Nieve, who probably doesn’t even bother to dream about the Cy Young Award, and yet they absolutely destroyed Santana, whose Cy Young dreams have long become a reality.
Johan didn’t make it out of the fourth during the Yanks’ 15-0 thrashing of the Mets, and gave up a career high nine earned runs.
The Mets’ relievers didn’t have much either, as Jeter, Damon, Matsui, Melky and Cervelli (love this guy) just kept piling on.
But the star of the day was AJ.
Except for a lapse in the third (two walks, bases loaded with nobody out – yikes), he threw seven sparkling innings of shutout ball and looked more like the guy who tortured us as a Blue Jay.
Aside from his throwing error, the Yanks were crisp on defense too. I loved watching Sheffield try to take Jeter out on that double play. (Nice try, Gary, except that you’re old in baseball years.)
In the seventh, Pena was in as Jeter’s replacement at short and flashed leather.
Robertson and Hughes did a great job in relief and spared me from having to watch Veras, Coke or Aceves create a hair-raising experience.
And then there was the Bruney/K-Rod pre-game fracas. Bruney was stupid to open his mouth in the first place about K-Rod’s celebrations on the mound. K-Rod was stupid to confront Bruney during batting practice today and allow the exchange to be caught on camera. Just shut up and pitch, people!
I’m in New York, so I got to watch the game with my family – all Yankee fans. It was a nice capper to the weekend in Westchester before I head into the city for the rest of my trip.
My 92-year-old mother thinks I act like a crazy person when I watch baseball, but she let me turn the She-Fan Cam on her during our visit. Here she is. Does she look 92? I don’t think so, either.

Revenge of the She-Fan

OK. Enough is enough. The Red Sox have now beaten the Yankees six times in six games this season, and tonight’s 7-0 shutout at Fenway was the last straw. I’m officially angry, and if I were the Yanks I’d be afraid. Very afraid.

How dare AJ embarrass me like this? I realize that he was going on two extra days rest, but seriously. He couldn’t even get through three innings, never mind the fact that he walked five. He looked as disgusted as I was as he made his exit.
And I was worried about Wang? What a joke.
So we were stuck with Bombko, who gave up a run in the fourth, and Veras, who teed one up for Nick Green in the seventh. Nick Green! Give me a break!
So much for good pitching. And then there was our hitting – or lack thereof. Sure, Beckett was on his game, but he had bouts of wildness – and was the beneficiary of a few sweet strike calls – and yet everybody seemed to be straitjacketed.
The Yanks were up there hacking at the first pitch as if they had a plane to catch. Well, not everybody. Tex did walk twice, and A-Rod worked the counts before succumbing to mediocrity. The truth is, our hitters looked like this tonight.
I mean, two measly singles over nine innings? Did the Bombers somehow mistake this game for a little girls’ dress rehearsal?
Then there was our defense – from Posada’s passed ball in the first to A-Rod’s bobble of Green’s routine grounder in the second. And Swisher made every catch in left an adventure.
Was there a silver lining in the game – something positive to take away? Um…..no.
Well, wait. There was levity if, like me, you were watching NESN. (The Extra Innings package didn’t offer the YES feed.)
Dennis Eckersley, the perenially-tan former pitcher who’s been filling in for Jerry Remy, enjoyed the shot of Papelbon sitting on the bench napping in the seventh inning. “It takes all kinds,” he said.
Back to the game. I feel better now that I’ve unleashed my inner She-Monster. I am no longer mad at the Yankees and am looking forward to tomorrow’s contest. Yes, I’m over it. I just hope the Yanks are over whatever was ailing them tonight.