Tagged: Juan Miranda

We have a new pitching coach! That’s something.

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The fact that Larry Rothschild looks like an older version of Dana Carvey’s church lady is beside the point.
He’s had a lot of experience in the majors. He’s not someone who will need an adjustment period. He sounds like he did his homework and studied video of….AJ. He wasn’t a guy anybody saw coming, because he was never on the list of candidates we kept reading about, but Cashman is full of surprises, isn’t he? What’s next? Lou Piniella as our new hitting instructor?
Sorry to hear about Albaladejo being released, but he couldn’t seem to get it done at the big league level. And Juan Miranda was never going to play first base for the Yankees or DH, so good luck to him. 
This weekend will bring more movie screenings for me: the controversial marital drama, “Blue Valentine,” tomorrow (it got an NC-17 rating) and “Tangled,” Disney’s new animated offering, on Sunday. Will report!

Should I Ask My Mother To Change Her Name?

I’m thinking about it. Why? Because her name is Joyce. As in this guy.
He broke my heart with his home run off Huuuuughes last night, and he nearly broke it again tonight when he took Vazquez deep. But the Yankees prevailed. Here’s what I learned from our win at the Trop. The running game is fun if you’re the Rays.
But the Yankees can mash.
The Rays kept taking the lead, and these guys kept taking it back.
Nice performance by Javy to give the boys a chance to come back. Really nice outings by Robertson, Logan and, of course, Mo. All of a sudden, our pen doesn’t look so bad. Which brings me to today’s official comings and goings.
We’ll see Juan Miranda and Colin Curtis later in the season, so I’m not crying over them. But Chan Ho? He’s gone. I felt sorry for him when I read that he asked A-Rod for a signed #13 jersey on his way out the door.
Well, two out of the three are in Tampa already and one played in today’s game (going 0-for-4 but who’s counting). Lance Berkman was actually quite entertaining from the quotes I’ve read. In his session with the media, he said the magic words: His favorite player growing up was Donnie Baseball and his dad’s favorite was The Mick. Good enough for me. He also said that in addition to “Big Puma,” his other nickname is “Fat Elvis.” I’m going with that one.
Austin Kearns was described as a quiet guy who was just happy to have been shipped to a contender and will play wherever and whenever he’s asked. I like the team spirit. That leaves the impending arrival of Kerry Wood, who probably spent today shaving off his beard.
I admit I wasn’t wild about this deal. Yeah, he didn’t cost much, but isn’t he on the DL all the time?
On the other hand, if he can stay healthy he could be a terrific pickup for the pen. I just hope he realizes we already have a closer.
Anyhow, looking forward to the rubber game of this series tomorrow. So far the match-up has really lived up to its billing.

Colin! Colin! Colin! (With Sad Update)

What a time to hit your first home run in the majors….You’re sitting on the bench, not planning to get in the game today against the Angels, when Brett Gardner is tossed by the home plate ump for arguing balls and strikes in the middle of his at bat. Suddenly, you’re a pinch hitter. You walk to the plate, with two base runners aboard, and BAM! You smack one into the seats off Scot Shields, putting the Yanks up 10-6 and sealing the win and a series split. It doesn’t get much better than that.
I loved the offense in general in this one. Jeter, Swisher, Tex, Cano and Miranda really stepped up, which was nice for Vazquez, since he doesn’t usually get much run support. And congrats to him for becoming one of only three active pitchers who’ve beaten all 30 teams.
I do wish my stomach didn’t get tied up in knots when I see Joba coming in. He gave up a run and just isn’t lights out. Is not. It wasn’t a terrible outing for him, obviously, but as someone said on Twitter during the game, “He gives me the heebie jeebies.” I don’t want heebie jeebies.
Update: Just read that former Yankees manager Ralph Houk died. I’m actually old enough to remember when he managed the Bombers in the ’60s after taking over for Casey Stengel. RIP, Ralph. 

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.

Miranda Is The Latest Yankee With A Walk-Off Win

Carmen Miranda was a Brazilian singer/dancer/actress in the ’40s and ’50s. She was famous for wearing fruit on her head. 
But I’m talking about this Miranda.
Juan is a Yankees farmhand who was called up earlier this month, inserted into tonight’s game and – with two outs in the bottom of the ninth – singled off the leg of Kyle Farnsworth to score Hinske and give the Yanks a thrilling (yes, I know the game didn’t matter) 4-3 win over the Royals – the team’s 15th walk-off victory. Naturally, he earned a face full of whipped cream.
What is going on with the Yankees? Even when they play less than perfect defense, even when they can’t generate much offense against a tough pitcher, even when their starter is just back from his father’s hospital bedside, they find a way to win. Speaking of AJ…
Three hits over six-plus innings with eight strikeouts? Not a bad tune-up for a guy people were so worried about a couple of weeks ago. He looked great and I can’t wait for him to make his first postseason start against them…
or them.
The offense against Lerew, the Royals promising starter, amounted to solo shots by Swisher and Tex. The two runs might have been enough if Phil Coke hadn’t come into the game in the seventh suffering from a brain cramp.
First he spazzed out trying to field Gordon’s bunt. Then he threw wildly on Anderson’s fielder’s choice. Then he completely blanked on Maier’s grounder; he should have thrown home to nab the runner scoring but instead went to first for the out. Oh, Phil.
With the Yankees down a run, it was nice to see Robertson and Bruney hold the Royals scoreless in the eighth. But it was even nicer to see Farnsworth take the hill for KC in the ninth. Ah, the memories.
Poor Farnsy. Cervelli singled off his glove/hand/someplace. Hinske singled off him too. Cano clocked one of his pitches for a deep sac fly, scoring Cervelli. Hinske stole second on him – HINSKE! – and went to third on the catcher’s error. And up stepped Miranda, who got the winning hit when the ball caromed off Farnsy’s shin. The indignity.
Maybe the night had the happy ending it did because of the pre-game ceremony spotlighting Jeter for being the all-time Yankees hits leader, Melky for hitting for the cycle, and Mo for getting his 500th save and receiving his plaque from Yogi.
The expression on Mo’s youngest son’s face says it all for me right now.

Wang Lets Them Hang

This is how big the ball probably looked to Red Sox batters in their 8-4 win over the Yankees.

Clearly, the Wanger is still searching for his sinker. He was leaving the balls up in the zone and getting whacked.
Not that Wakefield had pinpoint control. His catcher was dancing around trying to keep up with the knuckler, and I kept thinking the guy needed a glove the size and shape of this chair.
I have no idea why the Yankees left just about every position player back in Tampa, but I’d like to think Mark Teixeira wouldn’t have bungled those two chances in the first inning the way Juan Miranda did.
Still, there was good news for the Yanks. Brett Tomko and Kei Igawa were actually effective! Yet again! No Bombkos for Tomko and not a single run this spring for Igawa, whom I affectionally refer to as the Iguana.
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I lost interest in the later innings (it didn’t feel like a typical Yankees-Red Sox game except when fans chanted the old familiar “Yankees suck”); it became a contest between Pawtucket and Trenton and I had no idea who anybody was. Still, some random thoughts.
* Terry Francona was very tan.
* John Rodriguez, the Yankees’ default DH, was no J-Rod.
* Mike Lowell was in great shape, which gave me hope that players with torn labrums can come back strong.
* Brett Gardner was hallucinating that he was a slugger.
He was up with the bases loaded in the third and struck out with a big, stupid, looping swing instead of just slapping or poking the ball the way he’s supposed to.
* Shelley Duncan’s days as a Yankee are numbered.
* Infielder Ramiro Pena continues to impress me with his smooth hands.
* Except for the fact that they’re Red Sox announcers, I like the Red Sox announcers.
They always sound as if they’re having a good time. What’s more, they’re very fair and even-handed, and I appreciate that.
* It’s entirely possible that I’m falling in love with Xavier Nady.