Tagged: Scott Kazmir

Hell Hath No Fury…

…like a woman scorned.

Which is what I was tonight: a woman scorned by Major League Baseball. I know, I know. MLB hosts this blog and for that I’m very grateful. But come on. All I wanted was to watch the finale of the Yankees-Angels series – to see the special tribute to Jackie Robinson, the first start of the season by Phil Hughes and anything else that was going on in the Bronx. Was that too much to ask? Apparently.
I rushed home and turned on the MLB Network, which was supposedly televising the game.
No game. I checked the clock to make sure I had the correct time. Still no game.
I flipped over to the Extra Innings baseball package, which I purchase every year through my cable provider in order to get Yankees games.
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No game. I browsed through every channel just in case I missed something. Still no game.
In a panic now, I turned to my computer and signed in to MLB.TV; I’d bought a premium subscription so I’d be absolutely, positively covered.
No game. What appeared on my screen instead was a black out message, along with an invitation to “watch” the game on Gameday Audio. Thanks anyway.
I ended up getting my visual images from my buddies on Twitter, while I listened to John and Suzyn via my iPhone – an exercise in futility since the audio is on about a 5-minute delay. Oh, and did I mention that when I called my cable company to complain, they said, “Have you tried KCOP-TV, the Fox affiliate that broadcasts the Angels?”
“Yes,” I said. “They’re showing ‘Dragnet.'”
I’ll stop whining except to say there was no reason for me to be blacked out. I don’t live in New York and I don’t live in Anaheim. I’m simply a fan who wants to see my team play baseball, which is why I ponied up for the MLB Network, the MLB Extra Innings Package and the MLB.TV Premium subscription. In other words, I was all MLB-ed up with nothing to show for it. (And no, I can’t get DirecTV; I live up in a canyon where a dish would blow off my roof on a regular basis.)
OK, about tonight’s game…What a wonderful tribute to Jackie Robinson and his legacy to have the Yankee named after him not only present Rachel Robinson with a dozen roses but to smack two homers off Scott Kazmir?
If Robinson Cano keeps up his torrid hitting, he’s in for a monster season – and so are the Yanks. It was great to see (sorry, I mean hear) Phil Huuuuughes notch his first win, only giving up two runs. The six strikeouts were sweet. The five walks? Not so much. Excellent offensive night for Jeter, Granderson (two triples!), A-Rod and Thames. Those zeroes for Tex? Not very thrilling. The relievers delivered after Hughes was pulled, but I was hoping Joba could finish the Angels off. Instead, Girardi called for Mo who got the save (naturally) but who shouldn’t have to clean up messes on a nightly basis.
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The Yankees have now won every series they’ve played – each one against a contending team. Not a bad way to kick off 2010….which leads me to my last topic of this post.
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I just got my copy of Paul (aka The Prince of NY) Lebowitz’s annual baseball guide. Paul may give our Yanks a hard time in his comments here on the blog, but he knows what he’s talking about. Somehow, he keeps track of every player, manager, coach and front office honcho in the major leagues and writes coherently about all of them. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense overview of the 2010 season, complete with predictions, his book is a must read. Take his remarks about the Yankees pitching staff. He’s a Mets fan and yet he still manages to say the following:
* “C.C. Sabathia is one of the best pitchers in baseball; he’s clutch and will be a big winner and Cy Young Award contender in pinstripes for years to come.”
* “It’s when the games are biggest on the large stage that Pettitte shines. No one can ever be concerned that Pettitte isn’t going to give his all at any point; nor do they need to worry that he won’t battle his way through the toughest situations.”
* “When ‘Enter Sandman’ comes blaring over the speakers at Yankee Stadium, the game’s over. The fans know it; the players know it; and most importantly, Rivera knows it. He’s the best. Ever. End of story.”

What does he predict for the Yankees as a team?
* “The Yankees are too good, too deep and too powerful to be anything less than a playoff team….The subtraction of Damon and Matsui will be mitigated by the presence of Johnson and Granderson and the continued rise of Cano….The Yankees will roll to the division title over the depleted Red Sox.”
Does Paul think the Yankees will win another championship in 2010? Well, I can’t give away the ending, can I? Check it out for yourself…if you dare.

Presenting The 2009 She-Fan Awards, Part 2

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Last night, I handed out the symbolic gold fan to the recipient of the first She-Fan Award, which recognizes a person or persons who contributed to the Yankees winning their 27th World Championship. Yankees players and coaches are ineligible, but beyond that? Anything goes. Congratulations once again to Dr. Marc Phillipon, the winner of the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Surgeon.
And now, I’d like to move on to the award for the member of an opposing playoff team who most helped the Yankees take home the championship trophy. This award spotlights a player from the Twins, Angels or Phillies who, through bad luck, nerves, a flu bug or just plain ineptitude, gave the Yanks an opportunity to win a playoff baseball game.
The nominees for Best Enemy are…
Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins

Nathan came in to relieve in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the ALDS and served up a tying homer to A-Rod to send the game into extras.
Jose Mijares, Minnesota Twins
Mijares surrendered the walk-off homer to Tex in the 11th inning of Game 2 of the ALDS. The Yankees ended up winning that one 4-3 and took a 2-0 lead in the series.
John Lackey, Los Angeles Angels
In Game 1 of the ALCS, Big John walked Melky twice. The second time he threw the ball away for an error on a botched pickoff move at first.
Chone Figgins and Erick Aybar, Los Angeles Angels


Yes, it was cold at Yankee Stadium in Game 1 of the ALCS, and Aybar was wearing an Elmer Fudd cap with ear flaps. But he and Figgy let Matsui’s bloop “single” drop between them to put the Yanks up 2-0 in the game.
Brian Fuentes, Los Angeles Angels

In Game 2 of the ALCS, the Angels’ closer gave up a homer to A-Rod in the bottom of the 11th inning to tie the score at 3-3 and turn the game into an epic battle.
Maicer Izturis, Los Angeles Angels
The above game ended in pie for the Yankees in the bottom of the 13th when Melky grounded to Izturis, who threw wildly to first and allowed Hairston to score the winning run from second base. The game took 5 hours and 10 minutes and was an instant classic.
–  Scott Kazmir, Los Angeles Angels
The lefty not only surrendered four runs in four innings in his start in Game 4 of the ALCS, but while relieving in the eighth inning of Game 6 he committed a throwing error on Melky’s attempted sacrifice, allowing Cano to score and put the Yanks up 4-2.
Brad Lidge, Philadelphia Phillies
Lidge came in to relieve in the ninth inning of Game 4 with the score tied at 4-4. He lost a nine-pitch at bat when Damon singled and famously stole second and third. He hit Tex with a pitch, and allowed a double to A-Rod and a single to Posada. (No, he wasn’t as sharp as last year.) The Yanks held on to win 7-4.
Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies

Howard struck out 13 times in the series. Enough said.
Pedro Martinez, Philadelphia Phillies

Pedro not only gave up a homer to Matsui in Game 2 of the World Series, but he served up another one to Godzilla in Game 6, as well as a two-RBI single. Matsui was definitely Pedro’s daddy.
(Note: I’m not including base-running blunders by Nick Punto, Carlos Gomez, Bobby Abreu, etc. I had to stop somewhere.)
So now, without further ado, the winner of the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Enemy goes to….

***** Brad Lidge *****

While Pedro Martinez was certainly the sentimental favorite and the duo of Figgins/Aybar sent a message that the Angels were mistake-prone, it was Lidge’s meltdown that allowed the Yanks to take a 3-1 World Series lead on the road and enabled them to close out the series at home in Game 6. Congratulations, Mr. Lidge. Enjoy your award.
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P.S. Just wanted to pay my respects to Yankees legend Tommy Henrich. He passed away today at the age of 96. Rest in peace, “old reliable.”