Tagged: Toronto

Maybe Cashman Should Let Us Pick The Players

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We may not be GMs or professional scouts, but we fans talk to each other and we hear pretty much everything there is to hear about a player. For example, when the Yankees were looking at free agent starting pitchers prior to the ’09 season and ended up signing A.J. Burnett, here’s what several Toronto fans told me:
“He’ll frustrate the hell out of you. One minute he’ll look like the best pitcher you ever saw. The next he’ll break your heart. He’s the definition of inconsistency.”
I remember saying to myself, “Oh, that’s just sour grapes because the Blue Jays can’t afford to keep A.J.” But those fans were right, and I wish the Yankees had listened. Not that Burnett hasn’t been spectacular on occasion, and let’s face it – we won a championship with him last year. But how does a guy seem to be cruising and then give up seven runs in one inning?
Well, sure. He wouldn’t have given up seven runs if Girardi had pulled him sooner. But that’s beside the point. The bigger question is why hasn’t he become a more consistent pitcher – an elite pitcher – at this stage of his career? Is he uncoachable? Is he a head case? Or does he just have too many tattoos on his arms?
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I don’t know, but tonight’s game was disheartening. Yes, it was fun to watch Swisher hit two out and for Tex to go deep. And yes, it would be nice if A-Rod would get back on track, even if it means cranking out a few measly singles. And big round of applause for the pen – Robertson, Logan and Joba were great. But it all comes back to A.J., who didn’t cut his hands on the glass door again but made my eyes bleed.
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So Long, Toronto, and Thanks For The Memories

I don’t know about anybody else, but I was glad to get out of the Rogers Centre today. Just watching the games on TV made me claustrophobic.
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Roof open or closed, the place gives me the creeps. Of course the Yankees’ lack of offense may have had something to do with it. I was afraid that Vazquez’s terrific performance might be wasted, just like Pettitte’s was the day before. But the Yankees actually manufactured a comeback. Who cares if our baserunners were due to walks and hit batsmen. Jeter and Cano came through big time and made a winner of Javy. Girardi got tossed for our entertainment pleasure AND Mo trotted in from the bullpen twice.
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How often does that happen? What wasn’t the least bit humorous was Tex’s continuing struggle at the plate or A-Rod’s sore groin or Nick Swisher getting rung up for a checked swing that didn’t happen. Oh, well. I hope the Yankees enjoy their day off tomorrow. If they have time in Baltimore, they should go here.
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I had a great time when my husband and I went there for dinner. They dump your crabs on the table, give you a mallet and let you have at it.
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I think Tex, in particular, might enjoy pounding a crab into oblivion. It just might lead to this.
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P.S. Anybody watch the fight at Yankee Stadium last night? How cool was Arthur Mercante Jr., the referee who took charge when somebody threw the white flag into the ring and caused all that confusion?
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Baseball could use a strong presence like him. Could somebody see if he wants to switch sports?

It’s Games Like This…

..that make me wish I’d done something else with those three hours. What a boring loss. The Blue Jays are a good team, but the Yankees looked hungover.
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Maybe somebody needed to remind them they weren’t playing the Orioles anymore. Or maybe their traveling secretary stuck them at a bad hotel last night.
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All I know is that A.J. discovered it wasn’t a good idea to pitch batting practice to Jose Bautista. Who is this guy with all the homers and where did he come from all of a sudden?
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And when did Vernon Wells get good again? And Cecil? That kid can pitch. Oh well. I can’t get cranky over one game. That would be silly. Wouldn’t it? WOULDN’T IT?
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Eric Hinske Powers The Yankees To….A Loss

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No, I didn’t cry over this one. I didn’t really expect the Yankees to pull off a four-game sweep of the Jays, and going 5-2 on the homestand wasn’t exactly the end of the world. For the most part, the team has played well lately and showed a lot of comeback-y-ness (my new favorite word).
Today’s 7-6 defeat marked, among other things, the debut of Eric Hinske in pinstripes and it was eventful. First, he put the Yanks on the board with his solo shot in the third. Yay!
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Then, he struck out on what would have been ball four to end the game in the bottom of the ninth. Boo!
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He even figured in one of the game’s crazy umpiring mistakes when he was called out at second on Gardner’s fielder’s choice. It wasn’t even close. Wally Bell is probably a decent enough guy, but MLB needs to check him for cataracts (and bubble gum-induced tooth decay).
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Or maybe Bell subscribes to the Marty Foster school of umpiring. As Foster told Jeter after that ridiculous call at third in the first inning: “You don’t have to be tagged to be out.” Huh?
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(So much for Girardi’s ejections being the Yankees’ lucky charm.) It’s fun to blame the umps, but they didn’t cause Pettitte’s ineffectiveness. That homer to McDonald on a 3-2 pitch in the seventh was a killer. It gave the Blue Jays a 5-1 lead and prompted the requisite goodbye conference on the mound.
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Am I the only one who’d love to know what’s really being said when a pitcher is about to depart? It can’t just be “Tough luck and you’ll get ’em next time.” Well, maybe it can. Robinson Cano doesn’t look like he said much of anything.
I doubt Bruney had time for a goodbye conference. He came in, gave up a couple of doubles and a walk to put the Jays ahead 7-1, and was promptly pulled. How long can Girardi use the “rust” excuse for him?
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Robertson and Albaladejo both did a nice job holding down Toronto’s offense so the Yankees could display their comeback-y-ness. We chipped away in the seventh, thanks to Swisher’s bases-loaded single, for 7-3. We tacked on another in the eighth, on Jeter’s bases-loaded walk, for 7-4. And then came the ninth. Would there be a comeback? A celebration? A pie?
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With two outs, there were singles by Jorge, Cano and Matsui to bring the Yankees excruciatingly close to tying the score. It was 7-6 when Hinske stepped in. He could have become an instant Yankee hero, destined to watch himself over and over on a “Yankeeography.” But no. Instead, he was this.
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And so it’s on to Minneapolis to face the Twins before the All-Star break. I’m having a hard time getting it through my head that the 2009 season is half over. Didn’t we just say how we couldn’t wait for baseball to start? Time does fly.
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And finally, because I bummed myself out with that last paragraph, here’s some funny video a friend sent me today. It has nothing to do with baseball. But if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth a smile.

Like Death And Taxes, This Yankees Loss Was Inevitable

I wish I were one of those people who wears hats.

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If I’d had one on, I would have tipped it. What else can do you when Harry Halladay pitches a complete game against your team, limiting them to five hits and one puny run? 
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Harry was masterful in the Jays’ 5-1 victory over the Yanks. Our guy matched him in the early going, but after AJ’s fourth-inning problems it was clear that this was Harry’s night. He located his fast ball with precision, combined it with a devastating slider and/or cutter, and made the Yankees look as if they’d been tasered.
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Scott Rolen, who wasn’t even in my scouting report yesterday, provided the offensive muscle for the Jays.
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Damon continued to put the ball in play. He’s practically the only healthy player the Yankees have left, and I’m beginning to wonder if we have an adequate supply of these.
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It’s not bad enough that Wang, Posada, Molina and Bruney are on the DL? Now Jeter has a strained oblique and Matsui has a tight hammy and Coke has a stiff back. And that’s not counting A-Rod, who would have handled Rolen’s grounder in the second inning if he’d been even 75%. Despite his RBI single in the seventh, Al looked “washed out,” as my mother describes people who look slightly sick.
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AJ had a tough evening. Apparently, the Jays fans are mad at him not only for signing with the Yanks but for doing this last year in response to their booing of him.
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Oh, well. At least they didn’t throw things onto the turf at the Rogers Centre and disrupt the game. However, I was forced to watch the Jays’ feed, instead of the YES broadcast, and the camera kept showing us a man whose sign read: “AJ, you look fat in stripes.” Speaking of the Toronto announcers, every single time Halladay retired the side, they said: “Just what the Doc ordered.” They were so corny that by the ninth inning I was afraid I would do this.
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But all credit to Roy/Doc/Harry. He was nasty. In a good way. If you’re a fan of these.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

While I Waited To Go On The Air….

I did a search on YouTube to see if I could find video of Peter Anthony Holder, the host who would soon be interviewing me on his Canadian radio show.

Bingo!
I unearthed a clip from way back in the ’80s when Holder was a TV news reporter, and you’ll never guess what he reported on: that wild and crazy new invention called a cell phone. “Is the cellular phone here to stay or a flash in the pan?” he asks. Hilarious. Have a look. You won’t believe how huge cell phones used to be.