While I’ve been busy moaning about Andy Pettitte and the state of the Yankees’ starting rotation, I’ve completely neglected the little drama happening in the middle of the country where Albert Pujols continues not to have a new deal with the Cardinals. According to Ken Rosenthal, the detente won’t become Jeter-like in terms of antagonism….in his opinion.
“This will not be Derek Jeter, Part II. Pujols is in the prime of his career, not nearing the end. He remains under contract for 2011 with a full no-trade clause. The Cardinals will not snipe at him. He will not snipe at them.“
Oh, really? Did anyone think the Jeter negotiations would be anything less than civil? Tough, yes, but not unpleasant. My point is that despite Pujols’ sunny demeanor and the Cardinals’ high regard for him, business is business and things have a way of turning ugly when it comes to dollars and cents (or, in this case, millions and millions). I hope for Cardinals fans (that would be you, Jeff) that we’ll be reading a happy announcement soon and all will be well in the heartland.
I was surprised by the news that Cashman had signed Chan Ho Park. Sure, he pitched well against the Yankees in the World Series, but I just never figured – OK, I guess this is about the old axiom: you can never have enough arms. Now we have another one. Is Park up there in pitcher years? Yeah, but at least he’s not 40. Has he been with a lot of teams? You bet (Dodgers twice, as well as the Rangers, Padres, Mets, Astros and Phillies), but that’s not as many as LaTroy Hawkins. Will he turn out to be this year’s Brett Tomko – a guy who’s here today and gone tomorrow? Maybe, but Tomko actually pitched pretty well. So many questions…..
So here are some answers – five things I learned about Park that I didn’t know only eight hours ago. Ready?
1) He was the first South Korean to play in the majors.
2) He’s the only pitcher in baseball history to allow two grand slams in the same inning to the same player (Fernando Tatis of the Cardinals in 1999).
3) He gave up record-breaking home runs #71 and 72 to Barry Bonds in 2001.
4) He sued a former Dodger teammate, Chad Kreuter, for not repaying a loan of $460,000.
5) He’s married to the daughter of Japan’s 76th richest man. (No wonder Kreuter came to him for a loan.)
Will he bump Mitre or Gaudin or even Aceves out of the long man role in the bullpen? Or will one of them get traded? I have no idea, but if I were the Yankees I wouldn’t let Alfredo fall by the wayside.
Two grand slams in the same inning to the same guy? Did anybody give any thought to taking Park out in that game or maybe walking Tatis? Sheesh.
The Yanks won another ball game today, beating the Tigers 4-3. I know it’s just spring training, but they’re on a roll, having notched their ninth straight victory. That’s right. Nine.
Go ahead and scoff. “She-Fan is all about winning,” you’re probably saying to yourself.
But come on. Here’s what winning looks like.
Here’s what losing looks like.
Which of these two people seems happier?
The winner, obviously. I rest my case.
Moving on to the game itself, Joba pitched well, sure, but it was Mo who was flawless. Again. The man is 39 years old, is just coming off shoulder surgery, and is taking care of business. I’m beginning to wonder if he’s a real-life super hero.
The only part of the Mo Legend that puzzles me is his mentoring of the younger relief pitchers. It’s not working.
For example, he spends time counseling Edwar Ramirez.
And yet Edwar continues to throw that same old change-up, over and over, until – bam! somebody hits it right on the nose. How about developing another pitch, Edwar.
Another example: Jose Veras. Mo is trying to help him too.
They can laugh all they want, but the fact of the matter is: Veras gets behind hitters, can be wild, doesn’t trust his stuff. Just throw strikes, Jose. Please.
I listened to the game today on WCBS Radio and could hear some Tigers fans cheering in the background. It always surprises me when people root for any team other than the Yankees, given the opportunity. Why does it surprise me? Because the Yankees have the best name of any team.
O.K. Hold on. Just think about this impartially for a second. They’re not named after an animal or a Native American tribe or a type of apparel, but rather after a term for Americans. Plus, the word “Yankees” has two syllables and is easy to chant. I mean, how do people who cheer for three-syllable teams manage it? “Let’s go Card-in-als?” “Let’s go Diam-ond-backs?” “Let’s go Ath-let-ics?” Cumbersome, if you ask me.
But I’m well aware that the Yankees are not beloved by some. In fact, I was out and about in Santa Barbara yesterday, my trusty She-Fan Cam in my purse.
I wish everybody loved the Yankees as much as I do, but for now I’ll be content if they win another game tomorrow…and the day after that.