Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's over

It's over. They're seven games out on September 1. No playoffs for the first time since 1995.

Most of you guys called it two weeks ago. Some did it two months ago. Today, I concede. I surrender. The fat lady has sung.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Babe is still The King

The ESPN poll has ended and Yankee fans have voted Babe Ruth the greatest Yankee of all-time. In truth, it wasn't even close. The complete poll results are posted in the comments section:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Inject the venom: Who is your all-time most hated member of the Boston Red Sox?

Yanks/BoSox this week. Yanks only five out in the Wild Card. Huge series. Now is the time for us to inflict all of our venom, deep hatred and wrath on the Sox. We discussed this last fall on e-mail before we had this Website, and before a lot of the guys were in the chat group, so we'll ask again: Who is your most hated Red Sox of all-time? My answer is posted below, though this photo from the 2003 ALCS should offer a clue. Wish Jorge snapped him right in half.

Let the venom fly ...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Nady totally rules

It's been a negative few weeks, so let's take a brief break from that and take note of this: Xavier Nady totally rules. What a great trade. Ever notice on ESPN of late, how you always hear about how "Manny has now hit six home runs since joining the Dodgers." Well, Nady has now hit eight home runs since joining the Yanks. He's hitting .316 since the trade with 21 RBI, plays a very solid outfield and seems like a great guy for the team and for the clubhouse. (Jason Bay, by the way, has 4 homers for Boston, with 18 RBI and is hitting .347 since his trade to the Sox, so I don't think they're missing Manny's nonsense too much in Beantown.) Yes, the Yankee outfield is crowded, but as far as I'm concerned, Nady has a spot out there for years to come. Just a good, hard-nosed, old-school style baseball player.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bobby Murcer's "Yankee For Life"

Just finished reading Bobby Murcer's new book, "Yankee For Life." It's not nearly as edgy as something like David Wells' "Perfect I'm Not," Sparky Lyle's "The Bronx Zoo" or Bill Madden's "Damned Yankees," nor is it as incredible as Buster Onley's "The Last Night of The Yankee Dynasty," but I'm still very glad I read it. There are some funny stories about his friendship with Mantle and working in the broadcast both with Scooter, and he talks in great detail about his battle with cancer. It's sad at the end, as he was very optimistic about his recovery and talks about looking forward to Opening Day at the new Yankee Stadium next year. More than anything, though, you get a great sense for what a kind, genuine and decent man he was. R.I.P, Bobby Ray. And thanks for sharing your story.

My magic number: 4 out on Sept. 1

OK, here's the real deal, at least in my opinion ...

Back in the '80s - when we had Donnie, Winfield and Henderson, but when there was no Wild Card - it seemed like the Yanks always hung in there deep into the season, but could never win the East and make the playoffs. Great offense, but not enough pitching. And I recall, at the time, I always used to think, "Just let them be five games out or less on Sept. 1." If they were fives games out or less on Sept. 1, I always thought they had a shot. Then, they'd just need to pick up a game or so a week before the end of the season, which is quite doable.

I feel the same today. I've given up on the East, but as of tonight, they are 5.5 out in the Wild Card. Since there are several teams in the Wild Card mix this year, I'll drop my number to 4.If they can just pick up 1.5 games in the next 10 days, and get it down to 4 games out on Sept. 1, I think we still have a shot. That means all they'll need to do in September is pick up one game a week. Remember, we have lots of games left with Boston, and we always kick their ass in the fall, even at Fenway. They can be caught and I think they will fold.

So, over the next nine days, just remember ....4 games out on Sept. 1.

If we're there, we can still make the playoffs.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Matsui set to return, Pavano may follow

According to today's New York Daily News, Hideki Matsui may return to the Yanks as soon as Tuesday. And (yikes!) Carl Pavano may pitch on Saturday. Please, Carl, do not stand too close to any of the other Yanks in the clubhouse. We fear an anvil may somehow randomly fall from above and immediately put you and a few teammates back on the DL.

Actually, there's a story in today's Daily News in which Cashman defends Pavano as a good guy and hard worker who's been bit by nothing but bad luck. There's also an interview with Andy Pettite comparing the 2008 Yanks to some of the championship teams he played with. The difference? Better pitching, better clutch hitting and less injuries. Really? I thought it might have been the grounds crew, or the type of detergent being used to clean the uniforms. I love Andy, but we really didn't need him to tell us that.

New 2008 SWB Yanks cards are cool

Don't collect cards anymore, but I do always try to pick up the SWB Yankees team set. It's a nice momento of some of the guys who have come through NEPA. The new 36-card set has a very cool look and features Justin Christian, Shelly Duncan, Brett Gardner, Dan Geise, Kei Igawa, Allan Horne, Ian Kennedy and Darrell Rasner. It sells for about $9 bucks in the gift shop at PNC Field.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Melky demoted, Sexson released, Cashman finally vents, throws Yanks under bus ...

After three years on the Yankee roster, Melky Cabrera was sent down to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday. And the recently aquired Richie Sexson was released. And Cashman threw the team and himself under the bus. From the NY Post:
"What we need is obviously the guys that you're counting on, the guys that are making a significant amount of money and have significant performance levels, to get the job done as expected. And I'll throw myself . . . in that too. . . . We're all in this thing together."
Cabrera, who turned 24 on Monday, has been terrible, hitting .242 overall and .212 with a staggering four RBIs in his past 40 games.
"He's a better player than this, and he knows it," Cashman said. "You could take Melky's name and change it with a lot of guys on this field right now that are making a hell of a lot more money than Melky Cabrera and they're better than what they've shown too."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Shocker: "Mike & The Mad Dog" show is history

This is a REAL bummer. I loved this show. Listened at work. Watched at home on YES. The reaction in NYC, from what I've seen, has been one of major shock and disappointment. There are stories in both today's New York Daily News and New York Post, which are linked on this page. The WFAN Website, also linked on this page, has posted an audio clip of Francesa - who will now go solo - coming on the air today and talking about it with Russo. If you're a fan of the show, it's worth listening.

Forget ESPN radio. These guys were the best.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

ESPN poll: Who is the greatest Yankee player of all-time?

ESPN is conducting a cool online poll asking fans to vote for the greatest Yankee of all-time. They have it down to 10 choices and it's super-easy to vote. Takes about 10 seconds. Here is the link:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Remembering "Scooter" and "The Mick"

Yankee fans in NEPA are taking a moment today to remember the great Phil Rizzuto, who passed away one year ago today. If you grew up in the '70s or '80s, you never saw him play, but his work as a broadcaster made it feel like he was part of the family each summer. He was the A.L. MVP in 1950 and was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994. Today, ironically, is also the anniversary of the death of great Mickey Mantle, who passed away on Aug. 13, 1995. Hope these two great Yankees are having a nice catch today at that big "Field of Dreams" in the sky.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Injuries: Core of the problem or lame excuse?

Hank Steinbrenner says he's cutting the team some slack and that injuries are a big reason the Yanks have struggled so much this year. Pretty un-George-like. Do you agree? Sure, we lost Posada, Matsui and Wang, and we had high expectations for Hughes and Kennedy, who have also been hurt and have not contributed, and even A-Rod and Damon spent some time on the DL, and now it's Joba. But shouldn't a team that - for the most part - has still penciled in Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Bobby Abreu and Johnny Damon into the lineup every night have a lot more wins? Are the injuries a legit excuse, or has this $200 million dollar team still underachieved?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Manny the Yankee?

From the New York Post: "After having successfully orchestrated his divorce from Boston and his landing in with the Dodgers, Manny Ramirez would like to make life miserable for the Red Sox during the next few seasons. According to people who have spoken to the eccentric outfielder since he was dealt to L.A. on July 31, Ramirez wants to sign a free-agent deal with the New York Yankees this offseason and get 19 chances a year to punish Boston. "He wants to play for the Yankees so he can get at the Red Sox," a close friend of Ramirez's told The Post.

If this happens, it will remove the Yanks even further from the selfless type of baseball that helped the team win four Word Championship and six A.L. Pennants in the early Joe Torre era.

Sweep in L.A. puts focus on Wild Card

Wow. I don't think I've seen the Yanks get blown off the field in such a complete way since ... well, since the 2002 playoffs, which was also at the hand of the Angels. The Angels line-up has no players in the Top-10 of any catgerory, yet they are just killing people. For the Yanks, it's a Wild Card race from here on out. It seems like it was just yesterday they'd cut the division lead to 2.5 games, but it's over. They will not win the East.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A-Rod "Yankeeography"

Caught the new A-Rod "Yankeeography" on YES tonight. It's good. Doesn't sugarcoat Alex's time in New York. Gets into the postseason struggles, the up-and-down relationship with the fans and the fiasco with the contract at the end of last season. And, of course, it shows a whole lot of monsterous homeruns. Worth watching.

Manny is a complete moron

Reports are surfacing that MLB has launched an investigation into the Manny/Dodgers trade and what led to it. Seems the commissioner's office is interested in talk that Manny - while making $20 million a year - decided to become disruptive and not to play anymore because he was upset that the BoSox might pick up an option they had to extend his contract. They are also looking into a story that Manny's agent, the wonderful Scott Boras, told the Sox that Manny would be a good boy and play hard for the rest of the season if they dropped their option. Another ridiculous story floating around has Boras having the gall to call the Sox after the trade and say that Manny would be happy to resign with Boston next year and would be a model citizen if given a new contract.
These two clowns deserve each other.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mo is 28 for 28 in save opportunities

Mariano Rivera got his 28th save in 28 tries tonight. He is still the great one. He is still the best.(Like my plate?) Jeter had three hits and it looks like he's getting hot. Moose got his 15th win and was sharp again. On to California ...

Hey ... did I mention Mo rules?

Hughes sharp in SWB Yankees start

Phil Hughes took a bg step towards getting back to the Yankees on Thursday, throwing 4.2 fairly sharp innings for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees against Pawtucket. Hughes gave up three hits and one earned run. He struck out two and walked two. The final was 6-1 Yanks.

Cashman: Joba out indefinitely

From the YES Network official Website: "The team officially placed Joba Chamberlain on the disabled list Wednesday with right rotator cuff tendinitis, assuring that he will miss a significant chunk of the season. General manager Brian Cashman released an update early Wednesday evening, revealing Chamberlain's diagnosis to club officials in Texas. Chamberlain will spend approximately the next week resting in New York, before commencing a throwing program shortly thereafter. He will not rejoin the team in either Anaheim or Minneapolis."

Though Hughes and Kennedy are on their way back and even Wang might return, this is bad. Really bad.

Memories of your first Yankees game?

It was 32 years ago today - August 7, 1976 - that I attended my first Yankee game . It was Old Timer's Day and many of the old greats were still alive and attended the event. Mantle was only 44 at the time and still suited up and played in the Old Timer's Game. Here is a photo of Mantle from that day.
(Yes, we had great seats.)
Do you remember your first time to Yankee Stadium? Any cool memories?

Your Top-5 Yanks?

There's lots of nice nostalgia around this season with it being that last year at "The Stadium." In the spirit of looking back on good times and great players, we ask: Who are your all-time favorite Yankees? Sure, we all know Ruth, Gehrig, Berra and DiMaggio were out-of-this-world great, but those great Yanks played well before many of us started following the team.
Here's my list of guys I saw play:
5. Ron Guidry
4. Derek Jeter
3. Mariano Rivera
2. Reggie Jackson
1. Don Mattingly
Who's your top-five?

The Yankee see-saw of 2008

What a mess. They win eight straight after the All-Star game, get real close to the Rays, and have now lost 7 of 10. Truthfully, they even got lucky on Sunday when they beat the Angels with 10 unearned runs. That should have been a loss, too. There has been very little clutch hitting, especially from the middle of the lineup. But in fairness to the offense, they have scored quite a few runs the last few nights and have still lost. It's a mess.
Plus, Joba's visiting that big arm/shoulder specialist today, which often means something very bad is happening. If he's out, they're probably done. The only good news is Nady. What a great pickup. And frankly, I wasn't that impressed with the Angels last weekend. Everybody wants to hand them the pennant. Scr-ew that. They're a bit overrated and can be beat.
I won't bail on them yet. It would not surprise me at all if they rattled off five or six wins in a row and looked great again, but this see-saw is getting frustrating. Oh ... and while the Sox are getting blasted by some for ditching Manny, I agree it had to be done, and few are talking about how the guy they picked up from Pittsburgh is excellent. He had four more hits last night. In the long run, it was a great move for them.
Any thoughts?

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