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New York Yankees: Curious About Bartolo Colon And Not Jose Bautista

Let me start by saying that I am not accusing Bartolo Colon or Jose Bautista of any misconduct regarding MLB’s Performance Enhancing Drugs Policies.

I am merely conveying a comparison of two players who are playing well beyond what seems humanly capable.

The two happen to be playing each other tonight at Yankee Stadium, where in the first inning Bautista went yard off of Colon bringing his home-run total to 19 this season.

Bautista and his Toronto Blue Jays got the better of Colon’s New York Yankees, taking the first of this three game set 7-3.

BARTOLO COLON:

In Bartolo Colon’s case, his talents were never in question. From the moment he took the mound for the first time in the majors back in 1997, Colon was a rising star. Following his rookie debut, in his first full season in 1998 he was voted an All-Star at the age of 24-years-old.

Colon’s biggest silver came from winning the 2005 CY Young Award, which is the pitching version of the MVP Award. (In case you need a refresher, the CY Young is given once a season, acknowledging the two most impressive arms from each respected league, the American and the National. It is the prize every pitcher dreams about, so the list of winners is the most elite in the history of the game.)

The three seasons following 2005, Colon was on three different teams and had a incurred an injured elbow that was not healing. Colon looked to be heading out the door.

Instead, as he sat out of the entire 2010 season Colon decided he wasn’t done just yet, so when he heard of this progressive procedure that if successful could get him back on the bump again, he jumped.

Serge F. Kovaleski of the New York Times wrote an article recently describing the actual surgery:

Dr. Joseph R. Purita, an orthopedic surgeon who runs a regenerative medicine clinic in Boca Raton, said he and a team of Dominican doctors that he led treated Colon in April 2010. Purita said he employed what he regards as one of his more pioneering techniques: he used fat and bone marrow stem cells from Colon, injecting them back into Colon’s elbow and shoulder to help repair ligament damage and a torn rotator cuff.

Well, the procedure, along with a noted attitude change has worked.

Colon is pitching not just well, but great again. This has caused enormous speculation that HGH was used during the procedure, which all involved completely deny.

Dr. Joseph R. Purita even told ESPNNewYork.com that he is willing to take a lie detector test to prove that he did not use human growth hormone in an elbow surgery that may have saved New York Yankees starter Bartolo Colon’s career.

There has been no proof stating otherwise, but Colon, Dr. Purita and Colon’s agent all understand the position that MLB has taken by conducting an investigation to make sure everything was legal.

JOSE BATISTA:

Why am I bringing up Toronto Blue Jays OF Jose Bautista in relation to the Colon-drama?

Bautista’s bat had a 2010 that will go down in the books as one of the best on record, with the 54 home-runs sticking out the most.

Now in his ninth pro-season, Bautista is defying all odds and is hitting even better so far in 2011.

So, it makes you wonder where this guy was the first seven years, and why had no one even batted an eye at him over that time span.

No one noticed because Bautista wasn’t even an above average hitter. If you want proof all you have to do is check out the facts…. I mean stats. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: Curious About Bartolo Colon And Not Jose Bautista’ »

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Mets Should Not Trade A Keeper

New York Mets SS - José Reyes

Image via Wikipedia

As a New York Yankees fan, I keep tabs on what the ‘other’ New York team is up too; and the Mets have made that pretty easy because it hasn’t been much the last few seasons, until now.

All of this is starting to change over in Queens, as the right skipper and GM are finally on board to right this sinking ship.

GM Sandy Alderson has already started cleaning house by releasing clubhouse viruses Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez, knowing that the two would stay on the Mets payroll through the season for a combined $18 million.

Has it turned the Mets around?

No, not even close but it is a start in the right direction for a team that seemed to never catch a break. The next few moves will be critical in how fast the team plans in getting there.

So, the rumors have continued with MLB Trade Rumors sending Mets fans into a tailspin, reporting the likelihood of Carlos Delgado going to the Yankees, to feasibly trading David Wright. Still, the one rumor that could have the most truth behind it is the same one I deem outrageous, which is that the Mets would trade shortstop Jose Reyes.

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe recently reported this:

Jose Reyes, SS, Mets — The clock keeps ticking on when he will switch uniforms. The Mets called up their latest infield phenom, 21-year-old Ruben Tejada, last week and will play him at second base while Justin Turner plays third in David Wright’s absence. The fly in the ointment is whether the Mets will hold on to Reyes as long as possible because of Wright’s injury (stress fracture in his back), but an American League scout said, “If they hear the right deal, they do it. They can’t afford not to and let him leave as a free agent and not get value for him.’’

After finally getting the opportunity to watch Reyes, as he spent most of 2010 on the DL, I got reminded just how talented the 27-year-old is and quickly. Continue reading ‘MLB Trade Rumors: New York Mets Should Not Trade A Keeper’ »

New York Yankees: Playing Small Works Out Big To Win Subway Series In Bronx

Cap logo of the New York Yankees

Image via Wikipedia

The Subway Series and New York City bragging rights were at stake on Sunday afternoon, as the outcome of the rubber match between the Yankees and Mets got decided in one heck of a 7th inning up in the Bronx:

  • Entering the 7th inning, the Yankees were down 3-1 to the Mets, with no real signs of hope.
  • The one on the scoreboard came off another Curtis Granderson home-run in the 1st inning, but otherwise it was the same old stranding runners-on-base.
  • The Captain came up clutch with a double that drove in the two runs that tied the game 3-3.
  • Curtis Granderson has 16 home-runs, but the guy is just lethal with the bat period. His sacrifice bunt was perfectly knocked down the third-base line, setting up the go-ahead-run.
  • After the Mets walked Mark Teixeira, A-Rod hit a blooper that but ran his heart out and the meager hit was enough for the run to score to put the Yankees on top.
  • 13 Yankees hitters produced five singles, two walks, one double, and a sacrifice in this brilliant inning of small-ball.
  • Not one of the total eight runs scored in 7th came off a home-run.

Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News reported that was the inning the Yankees have been looking for according to A-Rod who he quoted saying:

“There were a lot of good things that happened in that inning, starting with Gardy, and Dickerson drew a nice walk, a perfect base hit by Jeter and a perfect bunt by Granderson. That sets up the big inning and those are the things we haven’t been doing the last few weeks. We can’t hit a three-run homer every time.”

The Mets only managed to score three runs off the 11 total hits they had off Yankees rookie Ivan Nova.

The Yankees beat the Mets 9-3, taking the rubber game and the series 2-1.

Now Yankee fans can look toward the Empire State Building, as it will be glowing of pinstripes for the next few nights.

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New York Yankees: Pitching vs. Mets Schedule

Here are the probable pitchers for this weekends Subway Series at Yankee Stadium:

Freddy Garcia (2-3, 3.22) vs. R.A. Dickey (1-5, 5.08)

Tonight (My9 HD, 7 p.m.)

THINGS TO NOTE:

  • Both the Mets and Yankees are playing good baseball.
  • The Yankees line-up is hot right now beating up the Baltimore Orioles 25-5 in runs total in their last two games.
  • The Mets have won nine of their last 13 games.
  • The Mets will be sans 1B Ike Davis and 3B David Wright.
  • Judging by how much broader Citi-Field is the Amazins could have a field day in the stunted, homer-friendly Yankee Stadium.
  • Both of Friday’s starters, Dickey and Garcia are coming off their worst performances of the season and neither pitcher has any significant familiarity with the others line-ups.
  • Dickey’s knuckleball has been flat lately and if he can’t keep it down Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano will feast on it.
  • In the eight at-bats against Dickey, A-Rod is batting .625, with five hits; Gardner is two for three, with a triple, two RBIs and .667 batting average.
  • Dickey has yet to give-up a home-run to any of the Yankees he will be facing on Friday night.
  • Garcia has to watch out for the blazing bat of Carlos Beltran, who just hit three-homers in one game against the Colorado Rockies. Beltran has faced Garcia 31 times, batting a .452, with 10 RBIs, three home-runs, two doubles and a triple.

UP NEXT……

A.J. Burnett (4-3, 3.99) vs. Chris Capuano (3-4, 4.78)

Saturday (FOX, 7 p.m.)

Ivan Nova (4-3, 4.33) vs. Mike Pelfrey (3-3, 5.11)

Sunday (YES HD, 1 p.m.)

 

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Subway Series: Yankees vs. Mets Back In The New York Groove

Branded as the Big Apple and the Capital of the World, New York City is undeniably a very extraordinary place.

As a real New Yorker (born in Manhattan), I can say that when it comes to our city’s pro-sports teams it would be a challenge to find a more prideful and demanding bunch of fans.

New York fans have earned a reputation for a win or get-off the pot attitude, which has made our sports teams less popular everywhere else.

So, when two New York teams face-off, like the Mets and Yankees will in the Subway Series this weekend, it is a fight for the city’s pride.

Here is a little “New York Groove” slideshow of random Yankee pictures, by ladylove pinstripes.com….enjoy!

The victor of this three game set get to gloat because the Empire State Building will adorn the colors of that team for all to see.

For a Mets fan, winning the Subway Series provides the last shred of superiority over the big, bad and successful Yankees.

The Yankees have owned the NYC for over a decade, but that comes with as many haters as it does fans. That doesn’t mean that winning the Subway Series is not a meaningful because it is not just another series.

Someone just said to me that it is another b-l-e-e-p for the Yankees to add to their ever-growing list of successes, but as a New Yorker when your team wins you get to walk with your head a little higher come Monday morning.

As the Yankees return to the Bronx after winning three of four games on the road, they are feeling pretty confident as they prepare to host their cross-town rivals from Queens.

With bragging rights up for grabs, everyone in New York will be busting out their caps, t-shirts and jerseys with their loyalty proudly on full-display.

Even though the Yankees have a much better team on paper, the 2011 Mets are finally heading in the right direction after years of going backwards.

Mets fans know they have a good team; with an inspiriting new skipper and a GM who is determined to get the franchise back to the top.

The Subway Series’ are never short on drama, and if you want to see New York’s spirit at its peak going to the Subway Series is a darn good example of it.

There is a reason the New York Times referred to the Subway Series as “George Steinbrenner’s personal World Series.”

Pitching previews to follow…..

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New York Yankees: CC Sabathia Is Actually Right On Track

Since 2009, the anchor of the New York Yankees starting rotation is CC Sabathia.

Sabathia is one of the best pitchers in the game and known to have a personality to match.

So far, it has seemed that 2011 has not been the best start for the 30-year-old Sabathia, but he has always been a second-half pitcher. This is evident looking at his career splits, as his numbers are lower post-All-Star break almost across the board in hits, earned runs, home-runs, walks and strikeouts.

(chart from BASEBALLREFERENCE.COM)

(click on chart if it is hard to read to go to direct page)

Sabathia has made nine starts this season, posting a 3.47 ERA, while giving up 50 hits, 23 earned runs, three home-runs and has walked 21 batters in 53 inning pitched. He does lead the team in strikeouts with 50.

When you look at Sabathia’s first nine starts from 2009-2011, the similarities are comforting but it also clearly shows a pattern. Look at the chart I made below, from stats courtesy of BASEBALLREFERNCE.COM.

IP=innings pitcher; ER=earned runs; HR=home-runs; SO=strikeouts; BB=base on balls or walks; ERA=earned run average

Sabathia’s 2011 starts seem a lot worse than they read because he took two losses that he could have won, but the Yankees bats or the bullpen stumbled. Also, his last start against the Boston Red Sox was his poorest thus far, pitching just over 6 innings and giving up six earned runs, a home-run and three walks.

My prediction is to expect a big night for Sabathia tonight down in Baltimore against the Orioles.

Let’s just hope this game will go the standard nine innings, as the Yankees host their home team rival New York Mets in the first half of the Subway Series, in the Bronx just 24-hours later.

 

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