Tagged: Toronto Blue Jays

Off-Day Entertainment

I’m watching Rays-Red Sox right now – God forbid I should actually take a real day off from baseball – but since the Yankees aren’t playing and there’s nothing particularly Yankee-ish to write about, I thought I’d post a couple of videos that were sent to me by Scott from the baseball comedy troupe, “Nine More Outs.” Some of you may have already seen their vids as they’ve been posted elsewhere, but they’re fun – the perfect antidote to obsessing about Tex’s batting average. These guys pose as fans of other teams and….Well, just take a look.
Here’s their first “Stadium Shmadium” adventure, which took them to Blue Jays country.
Their most recent excursion was to Piratesville.
Where should they go next? Any suggestions?

Presenting The 2009 She-Fan Awards, Part 5

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For the fifth installment of the 2009 She-Fan Awards, which recognize a person, persons or event that helped the Yankees become World Champs for the 27th time, we turn to Joe Girardi and his anger management issues. In other words, we’re taking a closer look at the four instances in which he was ejected during the ’09 season. Did his fiery temper spark the Yankees to greater glory? Were his on-the-field tirades a good strategy? Did getting angry raise his blood pressure and put his health in jeopardy?
I have no clue about the last question, except that I remember reading something about angry people and heart attacks. In any case, here are the nominees for the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Girardi Ejection…
May 4th Versus the Red Sox
The Yankees had lost the first three games of the season to Boston, and the pressure was on to beat the Sox. Phil Hughes, replacing Wang in the rotation, was facing Jon Lester and only lasted four innings. Girardi thought Hughes was being squeezed by home plate umpire Jerry Meals, but Joe’s big problem with Meals came later. Trailing the Red Sox in the fifth inning, the Yanks had Jeter up. Meals called him out on a questionable strike three, and the Captain was not amused. He hung around and gave Meals a few choice words – very un-Jeter-like. Girardi came rushing out to protect his player and was tossed almost immediately. What happened next? With Berroa on first, Damon homered on Lester’s first pitch. Then Tex homered on Lester’s next pitch. So Girardi’s ejection did spark a rally. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough and the Yanks fell again to the Sox 6-4.
June 24th Versus the Braves – 
The Yankees had been playing like chumps, not champs, having lost three in a row and five of their last six. There had been a players-only meeting the night before with Jeter and Tex telling the team, “We’re better than we’re showing.” The situation was so dire that Cashman made a surprise visit to Atlanta to let everybody know it was time to stop stinking it up. But the June 24th game got off to a miserable start. The offense was stymied by Braves rookies Kenshin Kawakami and Kris Medien, who were perfect through five. Then Gardner walked to lead off the sixth (so much for perfection), and the Yanks had a pulse – until first base umpire Bill Welke ruled that Gardner had been picked off. Replays showed Welke had blown the call, and Girardi came storming out of the dugout to argue. His ejection sparked a barrage of runs, beginning with Cervelli’s first major league homer. The Bombers beat the Braves 8-4 and Joba notched his first win of the season.
July 6th Versus the Blue Jays – 
It was the final home game before the All-Star Break and the final game in a four-game series against the Jays (the Yanks had already won the first three). Pettitte was facing Ricky Romero and looking for the sweep, but things got off to a rocky start. In the very first inning, Jeter led off with a walk, went to second on a balk and tried to steal third. Catcher Rod Barajas’s throw beat Jeet, but replays showed he avoided Scott Rolen’s tag. When third base ump Marty Foster called Jeter out, the Captain expressed his displeasure. “I was told I was out because the ball beat me and he didn’t have to tag me,” Jeter later told the media. “I was unaware they had changed the rules.” Meanwhile, Girardi came out to argue on his player’s behalf and was tossed. The Yankees overcame Pettitte’s ineffectiveness with five late runs, but they were not enough and Toronto won 7-6.
September 13th Versus the Orioles – 
The Yanks were playing the Orioles, but it was another battle between Girardi and Marty Foster, who was the home plate umpire this time around. In the fourth, A-Rod was up with bases loaded and struck out looking to end the inning. He did not think the pitch was a strike and argued with Foster to no avail, obviously. After the O’s batted in the top of the fifth – and some not-so-complimentary words from the bench by A-Rod and Girardi, Foster ejected both of them. Joe charged out of the dugout, as mad as anyone had ever seen him. He threw down his cap and mimicked Foster, who had waved his arms in the air when signaling the ejections. Eventually, the skipper was restrained by crew chief Wally Bell. As for the Yanks, they had an eight-run eighth inning and blew away Baltimore 13-3.
The envelope please.
The winner of the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Girardi Ejection is…
***** June 24th Versus the Braves *****
All the Girardi ejections were entertaining and even inspiring the way they woke up the occasionally slumbering offense, but it was when Joe got tossed in Atlanta that the team really turned it up a notch. They had just lost their series against both the Nationals and the Marlins, and had fallen to the Braves in the opener of their three-game set. They were sputtering – not horribly, but enough to cause concern. After
Girardi’s ejection, they beat the Braves twice and went on to a brilliant second half of the season. Enough said, although I did enjoy the meltdown on September 13th.
Congratulations, Mr. Girardi, for losing your temper in such a productive way.
Oh, wait. Mr. Girardi is in Oslow, Norway, lobbying for the next Nobel Peace Prize. Accepting the gold fan on his behalf are Yankees hangers-on and co-stars of the movie “Anger Management,” Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler.
Enjoy your award, gentlemen.
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Don’t Get My Halladay Hopes Up, Cashman

I just read the latest Hot Stove article on MLB.com and immediately bolted up from my chair and did this.
According to the article, the Yankees spoke to the Jays about the possibility of trading for Roy Halladay, the pitcher I’ve coveted since I first started this blog! Be still my heart!
Who needs Lackey, Ben Sheets or any of the other names being bandied about? Halladay is the best pitcher not currently on the Yankees. (OK, there are a few others, but I’m conveniently overlooking them right now.) Sure, Doc actually lost a few games this season. But he was coming back from a stint on the DL, plus there was the uncertainty of being shipped out at any moment. I say he’s still in his prime and I want him on the Yanks for the following reasons and in no particular order:
* He’d look better in pinstripes than in that girly powder blue.
* He’s best friends with A.J. Burnett. They’d have so much fun hugging and shoving pies in each other’s faces.
* He would probably come packaged with Vernon Wells, which is OK because Vernon would play the outfield if Damon left and his offensive skills would miraculously return.
* How cool would it be to have a pitcher nicknamed after a gunslinger?
* He’s a horse like CC and could give us complete games. OK, he’s a smaller horse than CC but still.
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* He throws a cutter, and we all know how successful cutter-throwers can be.
* If we had Halladay in the rotation, it would give Joba and Hughes some room to grow (assuming one of them isn’t part of the trade).
* Adding Halladay to the Yankees would drive the haters crazy and motivate them to come up with even more clever slogans than this gem.
I realize that any discussion Cashman may have had with the Blue Jays is only preliminary. But maybe he’ll make it happen. He’s been known to act disinterested in a player and then all of a sudden…..
P.S. Remember how we were talking about Cooperstown the other day, and some of us said how much we wanted to go? Well, one of our commenters, wirishrose, sent along some pics from her last visit. First, we have the statues of Gehrig, Robinson and Clemente.
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Then there’s this one of Joe DiMaggio’s locker.
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And finally a sign that’s very appropriate for a blog called “Confessions of a She-Fan.”
What would the sport of baseball do without women fans? I shudder to think!

Message to the Yankees: “Please Forgive Me!”

I had you all wrong tonight, Yankees. After the fireworks with Jorge and Carlson and the suspensions and contusions, I had expected you to come out swinging against the Blue Jays.

But instead of looking like sluggers, you spent seven innings looking like slugs.
Seriously. You could only manage four hits against Tallet and a trio of Jays relievers, and Toronto was ahead 3-2 and then 4-2. I was restless and frustrated and – yes – bored.
I called you names. I accused you of mailing it in. I said you were coasting on your nice cushy lead and not playing with sufficient intensity. And worst of all, I kept watching the clock, as if the game couldn’t be finished soon enough.
Sure, I was impressed by Chad Gaudin’s performance. Three runs over five-plus innings with only one walk? Plenty good enough for a #5 starter. Marte and Coke did their jobs, too, although I can’t say the same for Bruney, who needs to be voted off the island.
The point is that I doubted you. I thought you’d blow the game, fly to Seattle and spend your off day feeling like losers.
But along came Huuuuuughes to keep the game at 4-2. And then Matsui stepped to the plate in the bottom of the inning with A-Rod aboard and – bam!
Tie score. I snapped back to attention, reminding myself that the 2009 Yankees had the most walkoff victories in the majors. Mo did his thing in the ninth and the question became: would you pull off yet another miracle? Could you? Was it possible? And if so, who would be the hero? The ending revealed itself soon enough.
Gardner singled, stole second, took third on Jeter’s grounder….and then scored on Cervelli’s hit.

You poured out of the dugout to congratulate Cisco.
And before long, he was getting pie.
Or was I the one who deserved the pie in the face for not trusting your ability to come back? Yes. I have sinned against you, Yankees, and I hope you’ll forgive me. I will not make the same mistake again. Well, I’ll try not to.

Yankees Star in “Little Rascals” Episode

Talk about comedy. I bet the guys below could have played better defense in today’s 14-8 slopfest in Toronto.
Mitre reverted to type – 4.3 innings, 11 hits, 11 runs (nine earned). He was not helped by the shoddy play behind him. Seriously, if the Yankees needed to get a stinker out of their systems, today did the trick. They’ve been on such an amazing roll that they were due for one.
Still, the game was like watching a car wreck.
It was oddly entertaining, and I couldn’t look away.
Every infielder except Jeter made an error, and there were assorted miscues by Swisher, Molina and a scary collision between Damon and Melky.
Melancon looked petrified of contact when he came in to relieve Mitre, and the just-called-up Josh Towers hit the Jays’ Ruiz in the face with a pitch. Thankfully, Ruiz only suffered a fat lip.
There’s not much to say about this one. The Toronto announcer said it all: “The Yankees are a first place club, but they didn’t play like one.” Hopefully, Girardi will sit everybody down before tomorrow’s marathon of baseball and remind them that they’re a great team. Right, Joe?

Andy, I’m So Glad You’re A Yankee (Plus Weird Melky  Video)

What would the Yankees have done if they hadn’t signed Pettitte during the off-season? If memory serves, the negotiations went right down to the wire, with spring training just around the corner, before he and the Yanks finally said, “Done deal.” I admit it: I wavered.
One day, I’d say, “Why is he asking for more money?”
The next day, I’d say, “Why won’t the Yankees just pay him what he’s asking for?”
He was The Forgotten Man, given all the attention going to CC, A.J. and Joba, and he must have felt pretty crappy about it – especially because he’d told anybody who’d listen how much he wanted to pitch in the new stadium.
Funny how things work out. Now The Forgotten Man could be pitching Game Two in the ALDS. 
The Yankees’ 6-4 victory over the Blue Jays today was also Andy’s fourth straight win. While he wasn’t nearly as sharp as in his almost-perfecto against the O’s, he kept the Yanks in the game. His five walks were a surprise and his defense made some “interesting” plays behind him, but he battled. I hope Joba and the other young pitchers were taking notes. They could have learned a lot about grinding it out when you don’t have your best stuff.
Meanwhile, the red hot bats picked up where they left off, pre-Halladay. When the score was tied 2-2 in the fifth? No biggie. Tex to the rescue. When the Yankees needed insurance runs at 3-2 in the sixth? Problem solved. A-Rod, who has added the single-up-the-middle to his arsenal, came through with an RBI hit, as did Posada. Cano went deep. Melky had a nice day at the plate too.
Oh, speaking of Melky…
He does provide comic relief. A few weeks ago he fouled a ball off a sensitive area of his anatomy, and the guys in the dugout broke out laughing at his reaction. Today he was hit on the leg by a pitch in the fourth and screamed “Aaaaaah!” before the ball even touched him.
But nothing is funnier/weirder/more bizarro than this video of him in a hotel room eating peanuts. Let’s just say the She-Fan Cam would have been a better gig for him.

A Tip Of The Cap

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I’ve made no secret of my appreciation for Roy Halladay’s gifts, not even during his recent slump. It was only natural that he’d have a letdown after all the hoopla at the All Star game surrounding a possible trade.
Toronto’s 6-0 win over the Yankees tonight belonged to him. It’s no mean feat to one-hit the best offensive club in the majors, and he made the Yanks look feeble at the plate, especially A-Rod, who came up with bases loaded and took a called third strike.
If Pena, subbing for Jeter at short, hadn’t doubled, Roy might have had a no-no. But that was it for the Yankees’ offense. So congratulations, Doc, for giving your team a lift. As for the Yanks….
Joba gave me a headache. A migraine.
I mean, what happened to him? He was pulled after three innings – the usual these days, given The Joba Rules – but he never seemed comfortable, never dominated like he used to. The defense behind him was nothing to jump up and down about, either.
Hinske’s a really good hitter off the bench, but in right field he gives me the shakes.
But this game was all about pitching. After Joba gave up three runs, two earned, it was time to call up the kids.
Melancon started out OK, then couldn’t find the plate. Mike Dunn, in his major league debut, really couldn’t find the plate. Edwar found too much of the plate resulting in Hill’s two-RBI double. And Albaladejo avoided damage in spite of getting hit in the face by a ball a few days ago and ending up with raccoon eyes.
To sum up, it was a night for Halladay to celebrate and for the Yankees to say, “So be it. We’ll get ’em tomorrow.” Yes, I’m actually OK with losing a game to a guy who deserved to win it. I must be mellowing. Yeah, right.

Another Pitcher’s Duel, Another Yankees Win

I wanted the sweep. I prayed for it. But I didn’t really expect it. It was asking a lot of the Yankees to beat the Red Sox for the fourth day in a row – especially against Lester – but they pulled it off. I was stunned.
Andy Pettitte must have really listened to me when I had that talk with him yesterday. He went seven innings, only giving up five hits, and matched Lester batter for batter – until A-Rod came up in the bottom of the seventh. Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez not clutch?
Yeah, it does sound funny. He had two clutchy homers this weekend, and tonight’s put the Yanks on the board in what looked like it might be another 15-inning scoreless fest. Of course, the drama didn’t end there. This is Yankees-Red Sox we’re talking about. Coke coughed one up to Victor Martinez to give the Sox the lead, but the Yankees now have the 2009 version of these guys.
OK, not quite. But Damon and Tex went deep in the eighth off Bard and have now gone back-to-back in six games this season. Oddly enough, that’s a franchise record.
With the Yankees ahead 5-2 in the ninth, Mo gave up a single and a walk, and my heart was going like this.
But he retired Ellsbury. The sweep was in the bag.
So yes, we’re up by six-and-a-half games in the division. And yes, we have the best record in the majors. And yes, it all feels great. But it’s August 9th as I’m typing this – still a lot of baseball to play. A couple of bad series for us and a couple of good ones for the Red Sox and/or Rays, and it’s panic time again.
Monday night begins a series against the Blue Jays. We’ll be facing that pitcher with the hard-to-spell name. You know, the rookie with only two vowels. Rzepczynski.
And we’ll have Sergio Mitre on the mound for us – Mr. I-Can’t-Get-Anybody-Out-In-The-First-Inning. Does anybody think there won’t be a letdown? Just a teeny weeny lack of intensity after the Red Sox series? If I had a team meeting, I’d say this.
“Hi, Yankees. It’s me, She-Fan. I want to congratulate you on the fantastic weekend. But I also want to tell you to keep the train moving. Don’t just go, ‘Oh, it’s the Blue Jays. So what.” If you have to pretend it’s still the Red Sox, go ahead. Whatever it takes. Just win. Thank you.'”
I hope they heard me. Somehow.

No Sweat

I really liked the Yankees 8-2 win over the Blue Jays tonight. There was none of this whatsoever.
I hardly ever just sit back and relax during a game. But this win was in the bag – or felt like it. The Jays’ supposed phenom, Scott Richmond, who was pitching for the Edmonton Cracker Cats until he was signed by Toronto, didn’t make it out of the second inning. Why?
Melky: double
Gardner: home run
Pena: triple
Damon: triple
Tex: double
A-Rod: walk
Cano: single
Here’s what was great about the offensive outburst….
* It came early.
* It came in bunches.
* It came against the type of pitcher we usually have trouble with.
* It came against a first-place team.
* It came from guys who were in the minors last year as well as marquee guys, including Damon, who continues to wield a hot bat – and a pair of happy feet.
It also gave Pettitte some breathing room. What was up with his three walks in the first?
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No clue, but when I look at this photo I wonder why his arm doesn’t fall off. Ouwww.
Aceves did a good job when Andy was done after six, but Albaladejo?
He took the mound in the bottom of the ninth, then walked Bautista and Scutero and gave up a single to McDonald, loading the bases for Rios. A conference ensued, and Girardi got Mo up, which was weird. Ultimately, Rios grounded into a double play and the game was in the books. But seriously, like Veras and Edwar, Alba cannot be trusted, besides which he suffers from thunder thighs.
OK, they’re not that bad, but he should put himself on the Brian Bruney Diet.
After reading William C. Rhoden’s¬†New York Times article about how old and decrepit the Yankees are, it was heartening to see so much production tonight from Gardner, Melky, Cano, Cervelli and Pena – none of whom is a day over 25. I’m not saying they’re the greatest players ever to put on the cleats, but they prove that the team isn’t quite ready for this.

Call Me An A-Fraud Apologist But…

…he carried the Yankees on his back in 2007.
There he was, rounding the bases after hitting home run #500. I was sitting behind home plate that afternoon. Everybody at the Stadium went crazy. The Yankees spilled out onto the field and bear-hugged their teammate. It was a celebratory moment in an otherwise discouraging season; the Yanks spent time in the cellar during the first half, only to rally in the second half to make it into the playoffs as the wild card.
One of the main reasons they did make it through was A-Rod and his 54 homers and 156 RBIs. He was on fire in ’07. He hit in the clutch. He did everything that was asked of him on defense. He earned that MVP award. He fizzled against Cleveland in the ALDS, but so did everyone else. Jeter. Jorge. Jason. I didn’t think it was possible to hit into so many double plays, but that’s what they did. Wang’s two dismal performances didn’t help.
I love Joe Torre. I always will. I miss his leadership and can’t wait to read his book. I just feel the need to stick up for A-Rod, who might have saved Joe’s job early in the season with all those homers.
Is he a philandering phony?
Does he have a tendency to do bush-league things?
And check.
(Who can forget his “Mine!” or “I got it!” in Toronto?)
Does he love to look at himself?
Is he jealous of Jeter’s popularity with the fans?
Does he seek attention even as he claims not to want it?
Check. Here’s an item in today’s NY Post to prove it.
He is not a model citizen. We know that. But in 2007 he led my team to its 12th consecutive postseason, and for that I’ll always be grateful.
Here’s a clip from the champagne party after the Yanks clinched at the Trop. Interesting that A-Rod gives Torre a shout out.