Tagged: Jays

Happy Birthday Cervelli – Not

No, Cisco didn’t get shot in the head on his 24th birthday today. But he took a shot in the batting helmet, thanks to a stray fastball from Jays pitcher Zech Zinicola. (Who names their kid Zech? Sounds like Yech.) What a bummer to be handed the position of Yankees’ backup catcher, only to suffer a concussion in spring training – his second after getting hit during winter ball in Venezuela. I’m just glad he was able to walk off the field.
Cervelli seems to be the victim of a Spring Training Curse. It was two years ago around this time that he broke his wrist in a collision with Elliot Johnson of the Rays.
Hm. “Jays” rhymes with “Rays.” Maybe Cervelli should stay away from the “A’s” too. In any case, I wish him the best. I hate seeing guys go down this early in the season. Hate it. Of course, the most stomach churning early season injury belonged to Jeter.
Who can forget when he dislocated his shoulder on Opening Day of 2003 against the Jays – the Jays again! – and we Yankee fans held our collective breath? We approach each season with so much anticipation and hope, so when a player goes down before we know it, it’s difficult to swallow. At least for me.
What else is there to say about today’s 9-1 loss to the Jays? I’m always happy to see A.J. pitch, even when he’s working on his newfangled changeup and isn’t particularly effective. Albaladejo, on the other hand, is quickly reminding people why he kept getting sent down to Scranton last year. Just not good, Dejo. But how about Boone Logan? He hasn’t given up a run yet and is becoming my favorite new Yankee, along with Colin Curtis, who had another hit today – a ground rule double.
Speaking of offense, Granderson hasn’t had a hit yet as a Yankee. Not that he doesn’t have company. Posada, Tex and Swisher are hitless too. I know, I know. It’s only a few days into ST, for God’s sake. I’m not panicking. Really.

She-Fan Exclusive: Personalized Scouting Report On Jays

The Yankees start a series against the Who-Knew Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. But what do we really know about this team, other than that they play in Canada? Sure, they have a World Championship-winning manager and a Cy Young Award-winning pitcher. But what else? Who else? Should we be afraid?

Time to take a closer look.
* Leading off and playing shortstop: Marco Scutaro.
Did you know he’s from Venezuela? Neither did I. All I knew was that he hit a homer off Mo in 2007 when he was with the A’s, and it traumatized me. He’s a pesky player and a Yankee killer. Beware.
* Batting second and playing second base: Aaron Hill.
He’s the “other guy” who stole home against Andy Pettitte. It happened in May ’07 and I’d rather it didn’t happen again on Wednesday night.
* Batting third and playing right field: Alex Rios.
His full name is Alexis Israel Rios, and although he’s of Puerto Rican heritage he was born in Alabama. Very multi-cultural. He had a 26-game hitting streak against the Yankees – the longest since 1936. In other words, he has the potential to hurt us.
* Batting cleanup and playing center field: Vernon Wells.
His nickname is “V-Dub,” and he’s won three Gold Gloves. Like Scutaro, he has a walk-off homer against Mo on his resume. But he strained a hammy in spring training and broke his wrist last year. I predict his nickname for the series will be “V-Dud.”
* Batting fifth and DH-ing: Adam Lind.
An Indiana native, Lind was plucked from minor league obscurity in ’08 by Cito Gaston and anointed as the team’s DH. On Opening Day this year, he recorded six RBIs – a Jays’ OD record. But let’s not get carried away. It was against the Tigers.
* Batting sixth and playing third base: Jose Bautista.
A former Met, Oriole, Royal and Devil Ray, he was a Pirate when he was traded to the Jays for the proverbial “player to be named later.” So how good could he be? We’re talking about a utility infielder at best. Besides, he wears eye-black under his bottom lip. Bush league.
* Batting seventh and playing first base: Lyle Overbay.
When he comes up to the plate, fans either chant a prolonged “Ooooooo” or hold up signs with the letter “O” in big letters. It doesn’t mean anything. He often grounds into double plays and even hit into a triple play last year. Let’s hope he keeps it up.
* Batting eighth and catching: Raul Chavez.
A well-traveled veteran (he played for the Expos, so he must be 100 years old), the Venezuela-born catcher who was also with the Pirates, Orioles, Astros, Mariners and Yankees is known for his defense. Which is another way of saying he can’t hit.
* Batting ninth and playing left field: Travis Snider.
He’s 21. In 2007 he was with the Lansing Lugnuts. Then he tore it up for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. He was promoted to the big leagues in August ’08 and got his first hit off Carl Pavano. Enough said.
* Pitching: Roy Halladay.
I know what he can do on the mound. But I didn’t know his real first name is Harry, which isn’t nearly as intimidating as “Doc.” Plus, while it’s been widely reported that he goes into “isolation mode” before and during each start, not talking to anyone or even nodding in recognition, I’ve learned that he also refuses all food and water. If the Yankees make him work, he could get hungry and thirsty early and succumb to a craving for a Snickers bar and a can of Ensure by the sixth.
Go Yankees.

Solo Homers Don’t Win Championships

I was thinking today, as I watched the Yanks go down yet again to a team they needed to beat, where are the rallies? Do the 2008 Yankees even know what a rally is? A solo homer is great if you’re talking about an Aaron Boone/Bucky Dent type fluke. But the teams that succeed in the 21st century are the ones that kill you with singles, not to mention pitching and defense and speed on the bases. I really hope Cashman – or whoever will be the GM next year if he isn’t – will take a look at baseball’s new reality. Gone are the days of the one-dimensional, big bopper home run hitters. Today’s success stories (can you spell RAYS?) have scrappy, speedy grinders, who mesh perfectly with the one or two guys with power. For the Yankees it’s been the same tired theme all season long: if we don’t hit a homer we don’t score/win.

And now, having lost the series to the Jays, we head to Detroit for a game between two teams that were supposed to contend (remember how everybody predicted the Tigers would win it all when they got Cabrera, Renteria and Willis?) but are, instead, nobody’s idea of a champion.
All I know is it can’t be a fun atmosphere on that charter flight this afternoon. The Red Sox lost and are clearly vulnerable down the stretch, and yet the Yankees can’t do a damn thing about it.