On the eve of the All Star break, I thought it was the perfect time to assess the state of the Yankees Universe and discuss what needs to be done to insure a successful second half. Here goes…
“With the best record in baseball, the Yankees are already on a pace to win it all – again.”
“Our starting rotation is strong, Cliff Lee or no Cliff Lee.”
“The Captain is perking up at the plate. He just has to stop swinging at first pitches.”
“Swisher is a better #2 than Nick Johnson ever would have been.”
“Tex is finally heating up – for real – and his defense has been outstanding.”
“A-Rod keeps knocking in runs. And HR #600 will quickly lead to #601, #602, #603, etc.”
“Is there really anything Robinson Cano can’t do this season?”
“Having Posada healthy means that Cervelli can go back to being a good backup.”
“Granderson has been somewhat disappointing so far at the plate. More productivity would go a long way toward making people stop wishing AJax would suddenly re-appear.”
“Marcus Thames isn’t useless after all. It turns out he’s a decent DH/pinch hitter.”
“Brett Gardner is the most exciting Yankee in years. He has to keep getting on base though.”
“Mo is Mo – a precious asset never to be taken for granted.”
“Dave Robertson has pitched better lately, but more consistency would be helpful.”
“Chan Ho Park is OK for one inning maybe – but that is all.”
“Damaso Marte doesn’t scare me as much as he did early in the season.”
“Joba….Well, if Joe keeps running him out there in the 8th I’ll need a defibrillator. He must be fixed or I won’t make it through the rest of the season.”
“Chad Gaudin is not Alfredo Aceves. Alfredo Aceves is no longer Alfredo Aceves. Therefore, we need a better long man.”
“We need another reliable arm out of the pen, period – someone not named Jonathan Albaladejo.”
“We need a bat off the bench. I love Ramiro Pena and Colin Curtis, but are they the players I want to see pinch hitting in a big game? Nah.”
“We need better communication between the Yankees and the media when it comes to player injuries. No more ‘Yes, he’s hurt. No, he’s not hurt.’ Just tell us.”
“It’s not necessary to have the grounds crew dance to ‘YMCA’ anymore. It really isn’t.”
“Where’s Hank Steinbrenner? And why isn’t he firing off Steinbrennerisms this year?”
“Why can’t YES re-hire David Cone and phase out John ‘the Snooze’ Flaherty?”
“We need to keep Dave Eiland from ever leaving the team again.”
“And finally, there should be more Yankees merchandise for she-fans – from Yankees lipstick to Yankees nail polish (the same color Jorge wears) and especially Yankees hair products. I mean, who wouldn’t want pinstriped hair?”
That concludes my address. God Bless America and God Bless the New York Yankees.
* That’s what Girardi said about CC’s rather abysmal outing against the Braves today (5 runs over four-plus innings). The truth is CC hasn’t been good all spring. I’m glad he’s been working on his mechanics and getting himself in shape…
…but when does he actually start pitching well? The season starts in, like, FIVE DAYS.
“When the bell rings, CC will be ready,” the Yankees skipper told John Sterling during tonight’s radio broadcast.
Okay, so what Joe is saying is that CC will somehow be able to sweep away the cobwebs, pull himself together and turn himself into the guy who led the Yankees to a World Championship…by Sunday night. I certainly hope so. Maybe he does need the adrenaline that comes from pitching a game that counts, as opposed to a bunch of exhibitions. I guess we’ll find out.
I suppose I should weigh in (speaking of boxing analogies) on the Pat Venditte episode today. I’m all in favor of pitchers using whatever natural abilities they have to get hitters out, including the use of both arms.
If Venditte, the ambidextrous wonder, proves he can retire batters from both sides, then he’ll advance through the Yankees system and become more than a novelty act. That said, he made me wonder about other possible permutations of pitchers. Like could there be a guy who pitches with his eyes closed?
Doesn’t seem to be a problem for Hiroki Kuroda. How about a pitcher who literally turns his back to home plate?
Hideo Nomo did it. So did Luis Tiant before him. And how about an insanely high leg kick? I need to go all the way back to Juan Marichal for that.
What we’ve never seen is a pitcher who practically pokes his eye out with his kneecap when he winds up to throw the ball – and who has a dance named after him. Oh, wait. Yes we have.
I know. I posted this clip a few months ago. My apologies. I can never get enough of it.
Is 47 the new 24? It sure felt that way tonight against the Phillies. I mean, Jamie Moyer? Seriously? The guy gave up one hit and struck out six in six-plus innings. Hughes wasn’t terrible by any means, but what a show Moyer put on. He made me think the Yankees were hasty in allowing these two 47-year-olds to slip out of the rotation.
For all I know, Whitey Ford could still pitch six innings of one-hit ball.
So what if he’d have to stop after every batter and take a few deep breaths (okay, and some smelling salts). Don’t people say you can never have too many arms? Why not bring back every single member of the Gray Haired Brigade and see what they’ve got?
I know there’s spring training stuff to talk about, but I was more interested in the women’s free skate program tonight. First of all, can I say how much I love the “kiss and cry area?”
I guess baseball’s version would be the dugout.
The other thing I adore about figure skating is the terminology. I don’t really understand the difference between a triple Lutz
and a triple salchow…
but they both look extremely difficult, and this would be me if I even attempted one.
And how about when Scott Hamilton sets up the suspense during a skater’s routine? “She’s about to try a triple Lutz triple toe loop combination, but she hasn’t been able to skate it cleanly all week. Can she do it here? Can she?”
I know his expertise is in figure skating, but I wouldn’t mind if the YES Network had hired him to fill Cone’s spot.
Back to the skating itself, Yu-Na Kim was perfection and deserved the gold. Congrats to her.
I wonder if she’d consider playing left field for the Yankees?
According to various reports, including today’s blog post on “It Is High,” David Cone is having issues with the YES Network and may not be back to provide commentary in the booth this year. I am not happy. I loved Coney as a player and I grew to love him as a broadcaster. He was smart, funny, unpredictable, occasionally goofy, extremely prepared and way more interesting to listen to than Ken Singleton and John Flaherty, both of whom are sweet and knowledgeable but have the effect of Ambien.
Supposedly, Coney’s replacement would be Tino Martinez. Now don’t anyone get all huffy about what I’m going to say. Tino is a Yankee god and always will be, but have you heard him in the booth? I remember when he had a brief stint on ESPN or FOX (can’t remember which). He had the personality of this.
Just to compare and contrast the styles of the two former players, here they are being interviewed at Joe Torre’s Safe at Home Foundation dinner in ’08. Granted, Coney’s clip is longer, but maybe that’s because he didn’t spout cliches.
Here’s Coney (notice John Sterling in the background)….
If I were a YES executive, I’d be looking for an ex-Yankee who can share his own experiences but knows when to shut up and whose personality meshes well with Michael Kay (good luck with that). In short, I’d hire….
Any ideas? Shelley Duncan’s out, since he just signed with the Indians. Congratulations, Shelley! Try not to break anybody’s arm!
According to this story on MLB.com, Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, the 21-year-old free agent who throws 100 miles an hour, is auditioning for the Yankees and other interested teams in Houston on Tuesday. Will he live up to the hype? Or will he underwhelm everybody, as he did in his last stint with the Cuban team in the WBC?
One thing is certain: he’s not ready for the majors. He’ll need seasoning and won’t be slotted into anybody’s starting rotation right away. He’s got the obligatory diamond stud earrings though, ready or not.
Obviously, I don’t have a clue whether the Yankees will sign Chapman or for how much. We’ve had mixed results with Cuban pitchers. Contreras was an expensive flop. I still get nightmares whenever I think of him walking batters, serving up bombs, and looking distraught in the process.
I also remember him sweating more profusely than any ballplayer alive. I always wanted to reach through the TV and towel him off.
Thinking the problem might be loneliness, Cashman and the Yankees finagled a way for him to be reunited with his family here in the States.
It didn’t do any good, and before long Jose was shipped off to the White Sox. He won a World Series with Chicago but has since been traded to the Rockies. He and New York weren’t a match – unlike Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, who owned the city for awhile.
I remember vividly when El Duque defected from Cuba and arrived in the Bronx. I’d never seen anybody like him.
I mean, can you contort into that position? Only if you’re a pretzel.
Sure, he was hot tempered, and he and Jorge got into it on occasion. And sure, no one really knew how old he was.
But there was a time when he was pure magic for the Yankees – the toast of the town. It’s saying something when a major sporting goods company produces a TV commercial in your honor starring David Cone. (Love the cameo by Luis Sojo).
Does Chapman have the potential to be an El Duque? Or will he follow the trajectory of Contreras? This is why GMs, not bloggers, make the big bucks.