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New York Yankees: Mariano Rivera Is Human After All

What baseball fan doesn’t love the extra inning, walk-off win?

Maybe the fans whose team didn’t win and get to witness their favorite players partake in baseball’s version of a mosh-pit of joy.

Well, last night that was my life, but ten times worse, as the New York Yankees lost in the 10th inning to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Why was it 10x’s worse?

It is like a dagger through any Yankees fans heart when Mariano Rivera is the culprit because it so seldom happens.

Understand that Mo allows New York fans to be cocky, without any disagreement from even the biggest Yankee haters. He is our ego.

In comparison it feels like you just got dumped because, speaking for myself, that same pit comes back in my stomach.

Mo is not supposed to have bad days because Yankee fans really believe he is super-human. So when a game ends like yesterday’s it makes Mo seems real, and that is the one thing he is not.

AJ Burnett imploding; Joba loading the bases; or even Boone Logan giving up a homerun are disappointments Yankee fans expect.

Sincerely, acknowledging that the day when Enter Sandman will be no longer play in the ninth inning is coming makes each appearance by Mo that much more extraordinary. Which, in turn makes a loss like last night’s become very personal.

Look, it happens and it will happen to Mo again but that doesn’t make it any easier for Yankee fans to swallow.

See, each of Mariano Rivera’s 566 saves or one of his 978 appearances in relief means special to someone because they get to say that they saw the greatest closer ever.

He defines what rarified air is in sports, but what makes Mo stand out even more is that even his superior talents can’t surpass his individual character.

Toronto battled in the ninth inning to tie the game, and then win it in the 10th with a score of 6-5.

The Blue Jays well deserved the win, as they outplayed the Yankees, even it did break chip away at my soul  just a little.

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2011 New York Yankees Depth Chart

Since I get asked all the time about which New York Yankees plays where, like who is the new catcher and who is setting up for MO…. no time like the present to make a 2011 Team Depth Chart.

You can click on the picture twice make it bigger; or print directly by pushing printer button below this post. Please use this at your own convenience or email it to a friend as it is all yours.

Hope this helps….


New York Yankees: Pitching Test For AJ Burnett Vs. Toronto Blue Jays

The New York Yankees are up in Toronto to play a quick two-games against their AL East Division rival Blue Jays.

The Bombers left New York after taking two of three games from the Texas Rangers, who they had not seen since the 2010 ALCS, so the team is feeling pretty confident right now.

For the Blue Jays, coming home was not nearly as sweet following a tough, 3-7-road trip.

With both teams having good reason behind taking the first game, let’s look at Tuesday night’s match-up on the mound.

AJ BURNETT, NYY:

In the first game on Tuesday night, the Yankees will send AJ Burnett to the bump at the Roger Centre, a very familiar place for the ex-Blue Jay.

Unfortunately any fond Canadian memories are long gone for Burnett, as his spectacular month of April could come crashing down if history dictates anything.

In 2010 Burnett’s last start against the Blue Jays he got pulled after 2.1 innings of crap, allowing two homeruns, seven earned runs, a walk, a strikeout and he managed to hit one of the 16 total batters he faced.

The Yankees have lost to the Jays the last four times Burnett started the game, two of which were in Toronto.

This could certainly end Burnett’s 3-0 April winning streak, as Burnett is known to start off every season hot only to fall on his face. This is the ideal situation for past-disasters, so this is a big test for Burnett to earn some real trust back.

Burnett is up against a Jays-team that is 4-2 at home, with nine homeruns so far this season.

It comes as no shock that slugger Jose Bautista is responsible for two of the long balls. Bautista has continued right where he left off last season hitting .455 thus far.

In his nine at-bats against Burnett, Bautista is hitting .444, with four hits, one double, two homeruns, six RBIs, drawn two walks and struck out twice.

Pretty sure Burnett will be watching out for Bautista, who might not be ready for Burnett’s resurrected change-up. This change-up proved dominate against the Orioles just day ago and Burnett claimed he has not thrown this pitch in over 12 years. It is certainly a nice addition to his wicked curveball and mid-90’s fastball.

KYLE DRABEK, TOR:

Toronto will counter with 23-year-old righty Kyle Drabek, who has pitching in his blood, as his dad is former CY Young winner Doug Drabek.

So far in his first three starts Drabek has been phenomenal posting a 1.93 ERA, with 17 strikeouts in just shy of 19 innings pitched. Drabek’s only real issue is the 11 walks he has allowed, which could potentially be a real problem facing the patient Yankees line-up. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: Pitching Test For AJ Burnett Vs. Toronto Blue Jays’ »

New York Yankees: Fans Are Furious That GM Brian Cashman Was Actually Right

Brian Cashman

Image via Wikipedia

Could it be that New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman actually knows something about baseball?

Over the 2011 off-season everyone from Yankee fans to MLB experts, myself included, criticized every move or non-move that Cashman made. Citing many as desperate measures after the coveted arm of Cliff Lee went somewhere for less money NOT to wear the pinstripes.

Cashman did cause unnecessary havoc with the beloved team’s Captain Derek Jeter, but did it ever occur to you that Cashman might have just been the messenger? Ever heard the the saying, the messenger always gets killed?

So, what is my point?

Look, obviously hitting the three-week mark doesn’t make a dent in the 162 games played in a regular MLB season, and 2011 is no different.

This is not some ridiculous declaration that the Yankees are primed to win their division, or that any team’s future can be declared for that matter. It is a waste of breath because so much hasn’t happened yet.

One thing that has transpired over this short period is that Cashman’s off-season moves were not as despairing or irrational as initially thought and anyone who says otherwise is an idiot.

Imagine if Cashman didn’t go after catcher Russell Martin or that he didn’t go get Eric Chavez? He stuck to his guns about bringing in Bartolo Colon and Freddie Garcia, as Yankee fans were distraught about how he let Zach Grienke get away and blamed Cashman for Andy Pettitte’s departure.

Fact is without Cashman’s ‘terrible’ off-season, the Yankees would not be in the first place and would probably be off to a worse start than the Boston Red Sox, but without the potential or the back-up.

This is not to say that by the All-Star break the Yankees might resemble more of a nursing home type atmosphere, but with each game played this notion is diminishing.

Cashman didn’t bring in these players to build a team, he brought these veteran All-Stars in to support a team. They all know the ins and outs of baseball; are well aware of how long a season is and have certainly reminded fans that they know how to play. Maybe not everyday, but no one is asking them too.

After watching Garcia dominate the Texas Rangers with smarts and skill, along with the consistently hot bats of Chavez and Martin is enough proof to admit I was wrong.

Wait! Before anyone reading starts to disagree, spare me. I don’t blame Cashman for  the Pedro Feliciano injury, as the Yankees had him checked out prior to the signing and he cleared. It was not Cashman’s fault because he would never have inked that deal if he knew about his shoulder. Look where Feliciano came from, the Mets who are not exactly reputable for anything expect messing up everything so blaming them should not be this hard.

So, I will apologize to Mr. Cashman for doubting him so fast. At the very least, we all should have given Cashman a right he has certainly earned, a chance to show us.

Hey cut me some slack, as what else would you expect from a Yankees fan?

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2011 MLB Season: Top 9 Headlines After Two Weeks Of Drama

It is hard to believe that the 2011 MLB season is only a tad over two weeks old, as the drama could be deemed season-worthy already.

What story-lines have really shocked baseball fans?

Here are the top 9 headlines (with my comments) that could make baseball worthy of it’s own soap opera, now that the MLB Network just aired baseball’s first official reality series. Please, click on the titles to go to the actual articles, trust me it is well worth it. Continue reading ‘2011 MLB Season: Top 9 Headlines After Two Weeks Of Drama’ »

New York Yankees: Freddy Was Totally Ready As Garcia Wins Debut Vs. Rangers

Following Friday’s double whammy of losing Phil Hughes to the DL and the first game to the Texas Rangers since the 2010 ALCS, the New York Yankees needed something to go their way.

Well, on a cold and rainy day in the Bronx that was exactly what they got from starter and new Yankee Freddy Garcia in his official debut.

Throwing six-scoreless innings and completely blanking the heavy hitting Texas Rangers, the Yankees could not have written it any better.

Garcia pitched like a genius by keeping ahead in his counts by dominating the fastball swinging Rangers with his off-speed pitches. Garcia only allowed two hits and needed 84 pitches in the outing.

The Yankee bats followed starting with Mark Teixeira’s two-run homerun in the first inning but his fifth on the season, and the team never looked back, beating the Ranger 5-2.

Let me just say, I was in attendance for Garcia’s start and the weather conditions were about the least ideal possible. Garcia certainly put a smile on my face after six.

It was also great to see a still hyped up Joba Chamberlain come in the seventh. Joba seems to have been bitten by the same bug from 2007. It was utterly delightful to see Joba ecstatic about doing his job again.

The series finale is Sunday night at 8pm and both teams would like to come away with the series win.

It will be Yankees ace CC Sabathia on the bump, against the Rangers, 27-year-old Alexi Ogando.

*Look for my prediction and preview, about this Sunday night match-up to follow.

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