Tagged: Cleveland Indians

Today’s Game Made Me Laugh!

What is it with managers walking Tex to pitch to A-Rod with the bases loaded? Raise your hand if you knew he would hit that grand slam. 
Yeah, me too. He gets that look in his eyes when he steps to the plate in those situations and the ball is just bound to leave the park. Still, even knowing it would happen, I cracked up when he smacked that thing to center field and blew the game open.
(Yes, the laughing lady is back.)
And what a pleasure to see everybody else hitting too. I’d have preferred Gardner not getting picked off twice and I wasn’t crazy about the Cleveland pitcher plunking Jeter and A-Rod, especially since the Captain now has a sore hammy where he was hit. And I wish Girardi wouldn’t use Park for two innings, as he seems to do better for one. But how about Dandy Andy? Again? He pitched the Indians into a coma.
Just one damper for me in this one, and it was C.B. Bucknor’s horrendous call of the so-called neighborhood play. Cano clearly had his foot on the bag – not even close – and Bucknor was standing right there. Ultimately, the call didn’t matter, but it was so blatantly wrong that it irked me. And I remember he’s blown calls on other occasions involving Cano.
But whatever. The Yankees won the game and another series, and all is right with the world, baseball wise. 
Hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend.

That’s More Like It

Good starting pitching + timely hitting + a Hall of Fame closer = Victory.
What a job by A.J. today. Throwing to Chad Moeller for the first time, he was his usual wild self – hitting a batter here, a batter there – but he was mostly terrific and pitched into the eighth, which was huge. No middle relief necessary. Of course, I was momentarily panicked when Moeller’s hand got stepped on. I mean, seriously. Even our backup backup catcher gets injured?
I didn’t love that the Yankees’ bats looked as if they were being put to sleep by Justin Masterson, a guy who was about to shipped to another planet because he’s been so awful as a starter. I guess he’ll be hanging around Cleveland a little longer, since we turned him into Cy Young for awhile there. But once the offense got going, it got going. Tex is back! Sure, we’ve said that before, but his three-run shot was no cheapie. And Jeter was a hit machine. Kudos to Cano, Swisher and Miranda too. A-Rod had an 0-fer day, and I wonder if he wasn’t a little snake bit after hitting Huff in the head yesterday.
And Mo….Could we talk about that play to end the game? The guy jumps over the broken bat, then fields the ball with ease – after having struck out the first two batters – then acts like it’s no big deal. Amazing.

Was That An Unraveling Or What?

I was watching the game at home until I had to leave for an appointment. The score was 10-4. “No problem,” I said to myself. “This one’s in the bag.” STUPID ME! Apparently, the bag was crumpled.
Never mind that CC wasn’t his sharpest and coughed up the first lead. We had offense – lots and lots of offense. Swisher is proving what a perfect #2 hitter he is, and Cano continues to amaze. And A-Rod….Well, it was horrible to watch his liner hit Huff in the head. I’m so relieved to know the guy is OK. Sheesh. Scary. Anyhow, I left my house thinking I’d be celebrating back-to-back wins this weekend – only to get in my car and turn on John and Suzyn…and be forced to listen to the Yankees’ complete and utter meltdown.
The horror:
* Dave Robertson doesn’t get it done and leaves with back pain.
* Mitre walks a batter and Joe removes him.
* Marte retires his one batter and Joe comes back out to remove him too.
* Joba can’t retire anybody, because he’s absolutely, positively terrible.
* Chad gives up yet another run. Great pickup, so far.
My question is: Do we have a bullpen or not? It was supposed to be a strength coming out of spring training, but now it’s in shambles. Losing 13-11 to the Cleveland Indians is an embarrassment, but it’s not the problem. The state of the bullpen is.
On a more upbeat note, want to win tickets to the August 7th Yankees-Red Sox game? Of course you do. So check out this link to one of my fave blogs, Respect Jeter’s Gangster. They’re running a raffle with the Children’s Health Fund. If you donate to the fun and say you were referred by the RSJ blog, you’ll automatically be entered in the raffle. What are you waiting for? It’s Yankees-Red Sox and a good cause too.
Here’s to a better Yankees day tomorrow.

Would It Be Wrong To Lose Wang?

Remember the good times?

Chien-Ming came up from our very own farm system – a rookie phenom from Taiwan and a Yankee to the core. So what if he couldn’t speak English and never left his hotel room? The kid could pitch. He had that amazing sinker.
In his quiet way he went about his business, achieved back-to-back 19-win seasons, became the ace of the staff. It was such a pleasure to watch him induce ground ball after ground ball.
There was just one not-so-tiny problem: he was terrible in the 2007 postseason. He had two starts in the ALDS against the Indians and lost both of them, giving up a total of 12 runs over five-plus innings for an ERA of 19.06 (gag). Was that the beginning of Wang’s “lost period” when we’d catch him staring off into space while sitting in the dugout?
Was his postseason funk the result of mechanical problems? Did anybody bother to look under his hood?
He rebounded beautifully in 2008, becoming the first pitcher to win six games that year. But then came the fateful interleague game against the Astros. Since the Yanks were playing in Houston, Wang was running the bases when this happened.
Big trouble. The foot injury ended his season and seemed to have carried over into ’09. He was never “right.” Was it his hip or his head? All I know is his stint on the DL led to Hughes’ stint in the bullpen. While we certainly could have used another 19-game winner in the rotation along with CC, it was a revelation to see Huuuuughes emerge as the bridge to Mo.
Wang struggled when he returned. Then more trouble: season-ending shoulder surgery. According to some reports, he could be back on the mound this spring. But will he have the velocity he used to? Will he be able to throw the sinker and come up with other effective pitches? Will he be any good? Or will the Yankees get him healthy, showcase him, hope there’s interest from other teams and wave goodbye?
I don’t know, but what a boost for him and for the Yankees if he could rediscover his magic and be a reliable starter again. I’d take a healthy Wang over Lackey any day.

Call Me An A-Fraud Apologist But…

…he carried the Yankees on his back in 2007.
There he was, rounding the bases after hitting home run #500. I was sitting behind home plate that afternoon. Everybody at the Stadium went crazy. The Yankees spilled out onto the field and bear-hugged their teammate. It was a celebratory moment in an otherwise discouraging season; the Yanks spent time in the cellar during the first half, only to rally in the second half to make it into the playoffs as the wild card.
One of the main reasons they did make it through was A-Rod and his 54 homers and 156 RBIs. He was on fire in ’07. He hit in the clutch. He did everything that was asked of him on defense. He earned that MVP award. He fizzled against Cleveland in the ALDS, but so did everyone else. Jeter. Jorge. Jason. I didn’t think it was possible to hit into so many double plays, but that’s what they did. Wang’s two dismal performances didn’t help.
I love Joe Torre. I always will. I miss his leadership and can’t wait to read his book. I just feel the need to stick up for A-Rod, who might have saved Joe’s job early in the season with all those homers.
Is he a philandering phony?
Does he have a tendency to do bush-league things?
And check.
(Who can forget his “Mine!” or “I got it!” in Toronto?)
Does he love to look at himself?
Is he jealous of Jeter’s popularity with the fans?
Does he seek attention even as he claims not to want it?
Check. Here’s an item in today’s NY Post to prove it.
He is not a model citizen. We know that. But in 2007 he led my team to its 12th consecutive postseason, and for that I’ll always be grateful.
Here’s a clip from the champagne party after the Yanks clinched at the Trop. Interesting that A-Rod gives Torre a shout out.

Thank You, Tribe, For Keeping the Yankees  Alive

We live another day, Yankee fans. The Indians beat the Red Sox at Fenway tonight, 4-3, and allowed us to stave off elimination. After last night’s love fest in the Bronx, it would have felt like a slap in the face to be cast out of contention without even playing today. But thanks to a nice effort by a 25-year-old pitcher named Zach Jackson, combined with a less-than-stellar outing by Josh Beckett, Cleveland won and Boston’s champagne stayed on ice. Go, Tribe!



(That’s me at the Jake at last year’s ALDS; the guy with me is an Indians fan who calls himself one of the “Wahoo Brothers.” The picture seemed like a good idea at the time.)
Who is Zach Jackson, you ask? He’s the sort of pitcher the Yankees would have had trouble with – a garden variety lefty they’d never faced before. According to the Indians’ web site, Zach was born in Latrobe, PA, spent all of ’07 at Triple A Nashville, and made seven previous starts in the majors this season without a win. Single, “he enjoys spending time with friends and family, working out, listening to music, and watching movies.” It really says this stuff on the web site and makes Zach seem totally boring instead of super heroic, which is what he is for keeping us alive.