Tagged: Cody Ransom
Not What I Had In Mind
I didn’t get to see the Yanks lose to the White Sox in real time, thanks to my Thursday night writing workshop. But I came home and watched most of it after the fact. Let’s just say that if I were writing a script based on the 3-2 game, I’d probably call it “Reality Bites.”
What another waste of a good performance by Pettitte. No wonder he’s disgusted.
It wasn’t bad enough that the Yankees offense spent the evening striking out with frightening frequency? Then he had to slip and make a throwing error?
And if that wasn’t bad enough, A-Rod blew a grounder that should have been an error and, with Hughes on in relief, Cano blew a routine double play ball that actually was an error. Nice work, boys!
Still, when Swisher hit one out against his old team in the ninth to tie the score, I thought I’d be witnessing yet another Yankees comeback. But it was the White Sox that came back. The nerve. No, I didn’t expect Hughes to keep his scoreless streak alive forever, but….well, yes I did, because I’m a mental patient regarding the Yankees.
I suppose the game was never meant to go our way. I mean, a “preventative rain delay?” What is that anyway?
OK, fine. It’s over. I have to let it go. This loss puts more pressure on us to win tomorrow night, but whatever. Time to lighten up. So here are a few more Yankee/celebrity lookalikes.
Andy Pettitte and Ray Romano? What do you think? (This one courtesy of Yankee fan and commenter adirondackgal.)
And then we have Johnny Damon and Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees fame (courtesy of Yankeemeg).
And finally, what about Cody Ransom and the guy from “Two and a Half Men?” (No, not Charlie Sheen. The other one.)
OK, maybe they’re all a stretch, but I had to find some way to forget about this game tonight. I wish I hadn’t watched the tape and, instead, just stuck my head in the sand.
P.S. I’m having a lot of trouble posting comments on other sites today, so forgive the lack of reciprocal responses. Sitting here watching the “internal error” message pop up isn’t my idea of a productive use of time. I’m giving up.
Hitting The Road
If I had told people that the Yankees would go 9-1 on their homestand, I would have gotten reactions like this.
And even this.
That Swisher. Such a goofball. But even he probably wouldn’t have predicted such a great run after the All-Star break.
Mitre was mediocre in Sunday’s game, but “mediocre” might be just fine for the time being. He throws strikes. He induces ground balls. He doesn’t look panicked out there. He’ll do as the fifth starter until he proves he’s not worthy.
The bullpen is looking better and better, especially with Bruney gaining in confidence and effectiveness. I’m a little worried about Coke though. I shake my head every time somebody says, “He’s been amazing, except that he gives up home runs.”
The last time I checked, giving up home runs wasn’t a good thing. Hughes continues to impress, and Mo is just, well, Mo. He could probably throw that cutter in his sleep.
Tex keeps rolling. Cody Ransom has been more-than-decent as A-Rod’s fill-in. And Melky will have to step up while Gardner’s thumb heals.
I admit I was thrown when I heard about Brett the Jet’s injury. How will we compensate for his speed on the bases? Could we get this guy to un-retire?
Cano finally got a big hit with men in scoring position. And Jeter seems to get more acrobatic with age. I mean, could you do this?
What I’m saying is that I think we’re ready for the ten-day road trip, which begins at the cowbell palace known as The Trop.
Sure, there will be challenges in Tampa. Big ones, not the least of which is this.
Tough place to catch fly balls. What’s more, there are Rays that always cause the Yankees headaches: Upton, Crawford, Longoria, Pena. I’m hoping AJ can handle them all when he opens the series and flashes them that stare.
The Bombers have hit the road as I’m typing this. Actually, they must be in Florida by now.
If I were addressing them at their hotel, I’d say: “Win every game on the trip.”
“She-Fan, you’re cracked,” Jeter would say. “We can’t win every game.”
“Well, you can win ninety-nine percent of them,” I’d counter. “You just did it.”
Everybody would realize I was right. And Joba would let out a victory roar.
Johnny Depp Or Joba Chamberlain?
It was a day filled with tough decisions.
I was supposed to be at a screening of the new Johnny Depp movie, “Public Enemies,” at 11 a.m. But how could I leave the house when Roger Federer and Andy Roddick were locked in a tremendous battle for the Wimbledon men’s title, with Federer finally winning?
And what about the third game in the Yankees’ July 4th holiday series against the Blue Jays? I wanted to stay home and watch that too. But I figured I could record it and see it later. So I passed up Joba and chose Depp.
It was kind of fun to take a break from baseball on a sunny summer day and sit in a darkened theater. As for the movie? Depp stars as Depression-era bank robber/gangster John Dillinger, and he’s fantastic. If he doesn’t get an Oscar nomination, I’ll be shocked. The shoot-outs are unnecessarily long, but the cinematography is gorgeous – a must-see unless you faint at the sight of blood. Here’s the trailer.
After the movie, I had another decision to make. I’d been thinking about getting a “smart phone” and couldn’t choose between a BlackBerry or an iPhone, having heard about the pros and cons of both. But after an hour at Best Buy, I finally went home with this.
Of course, I have no clue how to use it, but there was no time to figure it out. I had to get home to see the Yanks.
I settled into a chair and watched the replay. I was hoping for a strong outing from Joba, given the weary bullpen, but was disappointed when I saw this.
Yeah, he was putrid. I mean, stinkin’. Throwing 86 pitches in just three-plus innings – and giving up nine hits and eight runs (Cody Ransom’s error aside) – doesn’t cut it. But what really bothered me were his comments after the game – a bloated, endless contest that resulted in the Yankees’ 10-8 come-from-behind win.
“That’s actually the best I’ve felt all year,” he said, according to the Daily News. “But they have a great lineup.”
Huh? Sure, the Blue Jays are a good team and a tough division rival. But did he not notice that his pitch counts were atrocious and his command not exactly sharp? He’s become a nibbler, and it’s as if he’s traded places with Phil Hughes, who used to nibble but now attacks the strike zone. Hmm.
Luckily, the Yanks had their bats in gear. Jeter had four hits, including a go-ahead two-run shot in the fifth.
Posada and Matsui were hitting stars too, and Cano, who’d been dropped down to seventh in the order, produced as long as nobody was on base. (Calling Dr. Phil?)
But the star of the game had to be Alfredo Aceves, who pitched four innings of scoreless relief. What an asset he’s turned out to be.
Taking three straight from the Jays is major. Do the Yanks have one more “W” in this series for a sweep? It would be sweet.
Yanks/Sox Game 1: Bummer
I don’t know which I find more disheartening: losing a close game that was there for the taking or getting humiliated in a blowout.
O.K. I do know. I hate both with identical passion.
As for tonight, while I never take anything for granted when we play the Sox, especially at Fenway, I thought we’d win this one. Joba got the double plays when he needed them. Coke and Alba did their jobs. Ortiz struck out with surprising frequency. And we were still ahead 4-2 in the ninth. Then the unthinkable: Mo blew the save.
Yeah, I was shocked too, because he’s usually lights out. But the guy is human. The NESN announcers reported that he has 12 blown saves against the Red Sox – the most against any team – and I had to laugh. That would give him an average of one per year over his 12-year career as a closer. Hardly a disaster.
Much more troubling, in my opinion, were the runners the Yankees stranded on base. A recap:
* First inning: Jeter led off with a single, and Damon, Tex and Posada stranded him.
* Second inning: Melky and Molina walked, and Ransom stranded them.
* Third inning: Damon and Tex singled, and Posada and Swisher stranded them.
* Fifth inning: Swisher doubled, and Cano stranded him.
* Sixth inning: Molina singled, and Ransom stranded him.
* Eighth inning: Ransom walked, and Jeter and Damon stranded him.
* Ninth inning: Tex got hit by a pitch, Posada and Swisher walked, loading the bases, and Cano (GIDP) and Melky (pop up) stranded them.
* Tenth Inning: Molina singled and Damon walked, and Tex stranded them.
* Eleventh inning: Posada walked, Gardner laid down a lousy bunt, Cano singled, and Melky stranded them (GIDP on a pitch way out of the strike zone).
Any way you look at it, that’s a lot of stranding.
Then, there was the use of the bullpen. I understand that Bruney was hurt and unavailable. But what was up with bringing Mo in during Ellsbury’s at-bat in the eighth with an 0-and-1 count? Was Girardi in the clubhouse watching a rerun of “Friends” when he suddenly remembered he wanted to call for his closer?
And finally, I must make mention of Joe’s use of Marte. I was thrilled to see Damaso have a 1-2-3 tenth, but that should have been enough! He’s never good for two! What was he doing on the mound in the 11th with Edwar and Veras rested and ready? It was puzzling.
But oh well. It was an exciting game (if you like the sensation of your stomach churning and your palms soaking with sweat), and we’ll try again tomorrow. I miss having A-Rod, Matsui and Nady in the lineup. Maybe there would be less stranding if they were.
What Kind Of A Fan Are You? Enter The Contest!
If you’ve been a frequent visitor to this blog, you’ve seen my occasional “She-Fan Cam” videos – clips of fans that I record on my always handy and totally addictive Flip Video camcorder.
If you’re new here, let me give you an example.
Now it’s your turn to focus the Cam on someone, because one of you is about to win a Flip Video camcorder.
Here’s the deal.
I want a photo of your Favorite Fan Moment – a picture of you at your diehard fan best. Maybe you’ll be in the stands at whichever ballpark you call home. Or maybe you’ll be sitting in front of the TV in full team regalia. Or maybe you’ll be scoring an autograph from a player. Your call. The point is to show you being a fan and loving it.
All you have to do is leave a comment letting me know you’d like to participate. And I’ll respond and let you know where and how to send the photo.
I’ll look over all the pics and choose my top five. Then I’ll post the five and you’ll vote for the Favorite Fan Moment.
The winner will receive a Flip Video Cam directly from Pure Digital. You won’t believe how easy to use this gadget is. For starters, it’s tiny – smaller than a cell phone and light enough to tuck in your pocket (perfect for slipping past surly security people at your local stadium). You just point it in the direction of your subject, hit the red “record” button, and you’re good to go.
I kept cutting off people’s heads the first day I got mine, but it’s really a no-brainer, even for technically challenged me.
When you’ve finished recording, you plug the Cam into your computer, download your videos and have fun. You can email them to friends or upload them on YouTube or make movies complete with music and credits. So many options.
I know. I sound like some cheesy infomercial right now. But seriously. I’ve had such a great time with my Cam that I wanted others to have the same experience. So I asked the people at Flip Video if they’d be up for giving one away to a deserving fan, and they agreed!
And no, this contest isn’t just for Yankee fans. It’s for anybody and everybody who’s passionate about baseball. Is that you? Then get to work!
Speaking of the Yankees, I was relieved (understatement) that they bounced back from Saturday’s debacle and beat the Indians 7-3. AJ didn’t have his best stuff, but he kept the Yanks in it, as did the relief corps of Albaladejo, Bruney and Mo. There were some really nice defensive plays by Ransom and Tex (I’m still pinching myself that we have a guy who makes Mattingly-like grabs at first base), in addition to Posada’s homer and Ransom’s double (many thanks to Choo for that one).
Now we take on the A’s for three games. It’ll be weird seeing Giambi back with Oakland. I wonder if he’ll be wearing his thong.
She-Fan Exclusive: Yankees Send Struggling Wang To Shrink
As a result of yet another miserable outing after which Chien-Ming Wang was declared physically sound, the Yankees made swift arrangements to help Wang with his emotional issues.
He is said to suffer from a psychiatric disorder known as the “Cannot Pitch To Save My Life Syndrome,” and the Yankees front office flew in the one therapist they trusted to deal with it.
She-Fan was provided exclusive access to Wang’s session with Dr. Phil. There was, of course, a language barrier as Wang understands English but doesn’t speak it, so I will translate the highlights.
Dr. Phil: Are you depressed right now?
(Very. I let Yankee fans down. I let myself down.)
Dr. Phil: Do you know why you couldn’t perform today?
Wang: 是。 我在土墩太多认为。
(Yes. I was thinking too much on the mound.)
Dr. Phil: About what?
Wang: 我认为CC和AJ由他们的最初去，但是大家告诉我Wanger。 它损我的感觉。
(I was thinking that CC and AJ go by their initials, but everybody calls me Wanger. It hurts my feelings.)
Dr. Phil: Anything else?
Wang: 是。 迷认为尼克Swisher比我是一个更好的投手。 他们爱他。
(Yes. The fans think Nick Swisher is a better pitcher than I am. They love him.)
Dr. Phil: You sound angry. Is there more?
Wang: It’ 也s关于乔Girardi和布赖恩Cashman。 为什么didn’ t他们在花册上把象Brett Tomko的一个长的人放？ 我会感觉保护，照料。 反而，他们投掷了那个可怜的孩子， Claggett，对狼。
(It’s also about Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman. Why didn’t they put a long man like Brett Tomko on the roster? I would have felt protected, taken care of. Instead, they threw that poor kid, Claggett, to the wolves.)
Dr. Phil: Keep going.
Wang: 在美国人的进攻。 他们don’ t击中了与在计分的位置的赛跑者。 并且， Cody赎金isn’ t标尺在第三。 我恐惧有在我之后的好防御。
(The offense on the Yankees. They don’t hit with runners in scoring position. Also, Cody Ransom isn’t A-Rod over at third. I fear not having good defense behind me.)
Dr. Phil: Pena was playing third today, but who’s counting. It’s time you released all this hostility, Chien-Ming. Would you scream for me? Just let it all out?
Wang: O.K. 如果您认为它将帮助。 这里去。 Ahhhhhh!
(O.K. If you think it will help. Here goes. Ahhhhhh!)
Dr. Phil: Excellent. We’re done here. The next time you pitch you’ll throw a complete game shut-out. Maybe even a no-no.
Wang: 谢谢非常，菲尔医生。 我欠多少您会议的？
(Thank you so much, Doctor Phil. How much do I owe you for the session?)
Dr. Phil: Not a thing. The Yankees gave me one of their empty luxury boxes as payment, plus free dinners at the steakhouse. We’re all set.
According to the press release I just received from the Yankees, Chien-Ming Wang has now been cured. No need for further concern.
Just When I Wonder If Jeter’s Still Got It…
…he goes and has a game like today.
No, he didn’t throw himself into the seats or anything nearly as dramatic. But he’s like the guy who works at my local pizza place…he always delivers.
In the third inning of the Yankees’ 4-3 win over the Rays, he knew exactly where to be to make that 5-3-6 double play happen. He not only raced over to cover third but put a perfect tag on Kapler.
It didn’t hurt that the Yankees finally have a first baseman who can make that throw over to third. (No disrespect to Giambi. He sure was fun.)
Let’s see. What else did Jeter do today?
With the Yanks down 3-2 in the top of the eighth, he doubled and scored the tying run. Never mind about the pizza delivery guy. He’s more like my Fed Ex guy who shows up even if we’re having a mudslide.
Oh, and in the top of the ninth with the score still knotted at three? Guess who singled home the go-ahead run?
Yep. Which makes me think Jeter is not like the pizza delivery guy or the guy from Fedex, but rather like my primary care physician, Dr. Jeffrey Hadsall (affectionately known around my house as J-Had).
Like any good doctor, J-Had is in charge of making sure I don’t have a heart attack or stroke or otherwise keel over unexpectedly, and that’s exactly what Jeter does by making sure the Yankees don’t lose close games.
There were other Yankees who kept me from feeling sorry for myself about Xavier, whose elbow, it turns out, consists of this.
Cano’s two-run jack put the Yanks on the board….Damon knocked in Jeter with a single….Bruney threw killer stuff to strike out Upton and Crawford….Ransom doubled and scored the winning run…And Mo performed his usual 1-2-3 magic, talk about saving my life over and over again.
Special mention goes to Andy Pettitte, who pitched efficiently and skillfully and reinforced what a stellar rotation the Yankees have. There have been bumps in the road so far, but I still think this team will win it all this fall.
In the meantime, I’m so excited about tomorrow’s opener at the new Stadium that I’ll probably be up all night thinking about it. It’ll be on at 10 a.m. here in California, so I’m not even going to pretend to do any work. Tomorrow is all about the Yankees, their new home and the legendary players who’ll be there for the ceremonies. Oh, and beating the Indians would be nice too, so I don’t have to hear it from this guy.
AJ Burnett, My Hero
I don’t usually fall for men with “body art.”
And normally it takes me a while to form meaningful attachments.
But AJ Burnett has come to the Yankees’ rescue twice in a row, and that’s exactly the kind of behavior that wins my trust and affection.
Here’s how he did it against the Rays and their cowbell-clanging supporters.
* He threw six innings of no-hit ball, completely handcuffing the previously elusive Upton.
* He hit Zobrist on the foot in the second inning. But he protested that the ball hit the ground first and the umpire bought it, thanks to his great sales job.
* He buzzed one up and in to Longoria in the bottom of the fourth after Matt Garza had buzzed one up and in to Swisher in the top of the frame, displaying a keen sense of fair play.
* He wore a perpetual snarl/lip curl, and I almost expected him to point his glove at the Rays and yell: “Get. Off. My. Lawn.”
* After he gave up his first hit to Crawford in the seventh, followed by singles to Longoria and Pena, he could have lost his focus. Instead, he came back out in the eighth and retired all three men he faced.
* He was the guiding force behind the Yankees’ 7-2 victory over the Rays, out-dueling Garza and his fluttering glove trick.
Of course, there were other heroes….
Swisher for continuing to swing a hot bat….Gardner for smacking back-to-back doubles….Molina for picking off Pena (Carlos)….Girardi for replacing Ransom with Pena (Ramiro)…Jeter for homering to put the game away….Bruney for nailing down the “W”….Tex for playing with a sore wrist, although I hope that broken-bat foul didn’t make it worse.
Speaking of “sore,” Nady’s got an elbow problem? What’s up with that? I guess we’ll find out after he spends part of Wednesday in here.
P.S. Starting Friday, I’ll be a regular weekly guest on the sports talk radio show “The Natural.” Hosted by Greg Marotta, the show is broadcast live from 4-5 p.m. Eastern Time on WVNJ-AM 1160 throughout Northern New Jersey, Westchester, Rockland and parts of Manhattan, Long Island and Connecticut, as well as via streaming audio on their web site.
“‘The Natural’ goes after out-of-the-box guests,” said Greg of his daily show. “Larry Lucchino….Mickey Rourke…..and now Jane Heller.”
I never expected to be in the same sentence as either Larry Lucchino or Mickey Rourke. But wonders never cease and talking about the Yankees never gets old.
How Many Penas Does It Take To Screw Up A Ball Game?
This Pena (Brayan) doubled off Phil Coke in the eighth inning, evening the score at 4-4 and wasting Joba’s fine performance.
This Pena (Tony Junior) was the one who scampered home with the tying run.
This Pena (Ramiro) should have been in the lineup instead of Ransom, who is now 0-for-900, or so it feels.
And this Pena (Tony Senior) should have compelled Girardi to use Edwar or Albaladejo in the eighth – anybody but Veras, who invariably walks batters in close games. This Pena should also have leaned on the skipper to pull Coke, once it was clear he had nothing. Isn’t that what bench coaches are for? As a result, the Yankees went down to the Royals 6-4.
Yes, it was raining and the conditions weren’t optimal, but did Callaspo’s grounder really have to dribble through Swisher’s legs…before it dribbled through Cano’s legs too? The play was reminiscent of last year’s Cano-Betemit routine where a ball rolled between them for a hit. It also reminded me of this.
Other moments of hilarity? Whenever Kansas City’s official scorer ruled that an obvious error was, instead, a base hit.
A moment of non-hilarity? When I found out that Tex was out of the lineup again because of his left wrist tendinitis. I really can’t stand the words: “We’re shutting him down.” They give me visions of this.
Does anyone remember when I said I wanted to kidnap the Orioles’ Nick Markakis, because he was so tough against the Yankees? Well, now I’ve decided to kidnap Joakim Soria, the Royals’ closer, who struck out the side in the ninth and looked very, very nasty.
If anyone sees this man, please let me know and I’ll alert my people.
CC Heats Up
I don’t know where CC Sabathia buys his heating pads, because the one I use whenever my back hurts wouldn’t cover his forearm, let alone his abdomen.
What I do know is that he must have worked out the kinks in his delivery. He was a different pitcher in Kansas City than the guy in Baltimore, throwing seven-plus scoreless innings against the Royals with six strikeouts and zero walks. It was Veras who gave up a run in the ninth in the Yankees’ 6-1 victory.
How good was CC?
Let me count the ways.
1) He threw hard, hitting 97 mph on the radar gun.
2) He wasn’t afraid to come inside to Gordon and DeJesus, and looked intimidating.
3) He rarely got into a jam and, instead, mowed everybody down.
4) Instead of getting flustered by Ransom’s Knoblauchian throw to Cano in the fifth, he retired the next batter and picked up his teammate.
But CC wasn’t the only hero on Saturday. Nick Swisher walked, tripled and homered, giving him nine RBIs in three starts and making me eat my words that he was a dumb acquisition.
Swisher played first base in place of Teixeira, who had a sore left wrist and was a late scratch.
Tex, who was later diagnosed with tendinitis, told the media: “I don’t know how I got it or when I got it.”
I wonder. Is it possible he’s suffering from a little carpal tunnel thing as a result of blogging under an assumed name here at MLBlogs?
I just have one piece of advice for Girardi regarding Sunday’s contest: Sit Ransom and play Pena at third. Why not? It’s just a short-term scenario. Pretty soon he’ll be back.