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Super Bowl XLV: Why Big Ben Roethlisberger Hasn’t Learned a Thing

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsbur...

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If you’re a football fan, the week before the Super Bowl is almost as fun as the game itself.

So, by now you have probably heard or seen the footage of Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and his teammates out on the town in Dallas, Texas this past Tuesday night.

Big Ben treated his O-line to dinner, but the group’s evening continued on at local karaoke bar and from the footage they seemed to be having a great time.

The group had a set curfew of 1 a.m., which wasn’t broken as far as we know. Still, it was a small group of players and they certainly are entitled to enjoy themselves.

I must admit that as a woman, seeing Roethlisberger singing Billy Joel, without a care in the world, stung.

Roethlisberger, not once, but twice has gotten in trouble for his off-field behavior and inappropriate conduct toward women.

Though no charges came about in either case, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him at the start of the 2010 season for six games, which later dropped to four games.

Why would Goodell feel the need to go above the law and punish Big Ben?

What came to my mind was the quote, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Continue reading ‘Super Bowl XLV: Why Big Ben Roethlisberger Hasn’t Learned a Thing’ »

Andy Pettitte Retires: Can the New York Yankees Win Without Him in 2011?

The news no New York Yankee fan wanted to hear came today, as pitcher Andy Pettitte is hanging up his pinstripes.

Not only is this a sad day because Pettitte is a legend, but it marks the end of an era, as fans will never see the Yankees‘ “Core Four” play together again.

Where does this leave the Yankees heading into the 2011 season?

Without Pettitte in the rotation, there is no doubt the pressure is on.

In his 16-year career, Pettitte has 240 career wins, 203 of which were won during his 13 seasons in pinstripes. He has made 42 playoff starts, winning 19 of them, making Pettitte the winningest pitcher in postseason history.

So how could a 38-year-old southpaw be such a season-changer?

In 2010, after winning the World Series in 2009, Pettitte was having a career year and was named to the All-Star team.

Prior to a groin injury that put Pettitte on the DL on July 19, 2010, he had made a total of 18 starts. Pettitte’s record was 11-3, but the team went 15-3 in his starts. Pettitte didn’t return for two months, and he did struggle for his first two starts back, but he won his final regular season start and once again was dominant in the postseason.

Pettitte was a rock in the Yankees’ rotation with a cemented reputation to come through when the team couldn’t. He provided a sigh of a relief when on the mound, because Pettitte was unswerving and reliable.

If anyone thinks that this is not a major blow to the Yankees, don’t listen because it is a complete lie. Pettitte’s absence will affect everything, from making the postseason to winning, if the team can qualify in the first place. Continue reading ‘Andy Pettitte Retires: Can the New York Yankees Win Without Him in 2011?’ »

MLB Breaking News: Michael Kay Tweets Andy Pettitte Is In New York To Announce Retirement

Yes, it is true. New York Yankees Southpaw Andy Pettitte will announce his retirement at Yankee Stadium tomorrow, February 4.

This is according to ESPN’s Michael Kay who twittered, “I have learned that Andy Pettitte will officially retire tomorrow. Mote details to come….Michael”

This is sad news for Yankee fans and the franchise, as Pettitte has been a staple playing 14 years in pinstripes.

The Yankees “Core Four” will never play baseball together again, after winning five World Series rings together.

Pettitte will be sorely missed, but he has certainly earned to walk away with his head held high.

The press conference’s official time has yet to be announced.

MLB Rumors: Andy Pettitte’s Top 9 Motivations To Return Mid-Season Rather Than Retire

New York Yankee Southpaw Andy Pettitte is turning into MLB’s humbler version of Brett Favre.

Pettitte differs from Favre because he not had a press conference for every thought that goes on in his head; Pettitte has not had one at all.
Clearly, the ace is struggling to give up his job instead of making his retirement official.

That is why Pettitte’s days in pinstripes are not over and here are 7 motivations why he will be back in 2011. The question is just when…

1) Family

It has been said that the Pettitte family is officially on board with the Southpaw pitching in 2011, so he the guilt of that weighing on him is not an issue.

This makes allows for Pettitte to make a clear decision. Maybe his son will make an official statement like last season, as this family takes the decision seriously and if they give Dad the nod then they mean it.

2) School’s Out For Summer

No, Pettitte is not going to school but his three kids do.

School’s out for summer by end of May – beginning of June, so his kids can come to any game because they won’t have to be absent and selfish Dad can fly them to anywhere he is pitching.

3) Spring Training

Spring Training starts mid-February and goes right up till opening day. It tacks on an extra two-months.

Veterans, like Pettitte are not featured in because it is mainly a tryout to fill team’s holes and the 25 roaster spots. A team’s regulars use it to warm-up for the season.

Pettitte probably dreads this time away, as he knows what has to be done. Pettitte will be required to jump in a few minor league starts before heading to the Bronx anyway.

4) Injuries To The DL

In 2010, Pettitte spent the majority of the second half of the season on the DL with a groin injury. Pettitte was very vocal that he did not expect his left leg to keep him out for long, but the groin took a lot longer to heal than he initially thought, as he was out for over two months.

Returning mid-season allows Pettitte to pitch in the more exciting half of the season that he watched from the DL in 2010.

Another point in favor of Pettitte returning is that his injury in 2010 was a groin injury. It had nothing to do with his previous elbow injury or left shoulder injury.

Even though the groin prevented him from pitching for two months, it has nothing to do with his arm again, so consider it more of a fluke that should not recur again.

Returning mid-season allows Pettitte to pitch in the more exciting half of the season that he watched from the DL in 2010.

Also, coming in later cuts odds of getting this kind if an injury in half….

5) The Core Three? Continue reading ‘MLB Rumors: Andy Pettitte’s Top 9 Motivations To Return Mid-Season Rather Than Retire’ »

New York Yankees: Cashman Signs Another ‘Maybe’ Pitcher Freddy Garcia

In 14 days, pitchers and catchers will report to their respective camps as 2011 spring training means baseball is finally back again.

For the New York Yankees, it means pitching tryouts will begin, as there are two big holes that need to be filled in the starting rotation.

GM Brain Cashman is trying to fill the fourth and fifth spots, while Yankees fans are holding their breath hoping southpaw Andy Pettitte will appear.

For now the auditions are among Sergio Mitre, Ivan Nova, Bartolo Colon and newly signed right-handed pitcher Freddy Garcia. This is presuming Mark Prior is only trying out for the bullpen.

Who is Freddy Garcia?

Garcia is a 35-year-old, right-handed pitcher who used to have a lot of promise. Debuting in 1999 with the Seattle Mariners, Garcia was considered one top youngster in the league. In his five seasons in Seattle, Garcia was voted to two All-Star teams, came in second for Rookie of the Year and almost won the Cy Young in 2001.

That is not the Garcia the Yankees just signed for $.1.5 million, with another $3.6M in incentives pending on number of starts he makes.

This Garcia was traded in 2004 to the White Sox and played in Chicago for the next two seasons. Then it was the Phillies in 2007, where he had season-ending surgery after going making 11 starts, winning just one and posting an ERA just shy of 6.00. In 2008, Garcia made three starts as a Detroit Tiger, before heading back to the White Sox where he pitched the last two seasons.

The only promise Garcia has shown was last season, making 28 starts, posting a 12-6 record with a 4.64 ERA over 157 innings pitched.

It’s not great but the Yankees need to weigh all their options.

Still, Garcia is not going to be the permanent solution because he doesn’t strikeout enough batters and gives up too many home-runs. The AL East, especially the Boston Red Sox, could devourer Garcia for dinner. In 2010, Garcia only had 89 strikeouts, while giving up 23 home runs.

Earlier in his career, Garcia’s home run numbers were awful but his strikeout numbers were tremendous and that provided enough of a bolster.

Garcia wants to pitch for the Yankees and says it will motivate him, which are just words for now.

Garcia is a signing that could work out, but at the very least he could hold down the fort until the trade deadline.

So, What Are the Yankees’ Other Options?

With Cashman trying to make up for a mess of an offseason, Garcia doesn’t provide much comfort for Yankees fans. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: Cashman Signs Another ‘Maybe’ Pitcher Freddy Garcia’ »

MLB Trade Rumors: Jesus Montero and 8 Others Yankees Who Might Be Trade Bait

It is no secret that the New York Yankees were hoping that there 2011 starting rotation would include the names of Cliff Lee and Andy Pettitte.

Moving forward, the Yankees have to fill the fourth and fifth spots, at least temporarily, until they make a trade for a legit arm before the July All-Star break.

Of course, this is contingent on a few factors:

Who is available?

Will A.J. Burnett right himself back to being a viable starter again?

What players are the Yankees willing to part with midseason?

And the biggest factor of all: Is the team is winning or losing?

No one can know for certain, but rumors are flying around about which players the Yankee will dangle in front of other teams.

Unlike in the past, the Yankees have talent down on the farm—in particular, a trio of catching prospects led by Yankees top prospect Jesus Montero.

This is a nice cushion to have a if the rotation needs a boost, as my bet is the Yankees make a go at King Felix again.

In no particular order, let’s look at Montero and eight other Yankee players rumored to be potential trade bait…that is if the price is right.

  1. Jesus Montero not only sits atop the Yankees prospect list but is also the top catcher in the minors. Scouts refer to Montero as having a “Mike Piazza” swing, but unfortunately Montero also struggles on defense like Piazza. At 6’5″, Montero’s days behind the plate could be numbered, as he has yet to prove he can catch every day. Still, his monster and mature bat is enough to make other teams drool. If the Yankees need another starter by midseason, Montero could command a nice return.
  2. What Montero lacks behind the plate, Austin Romine surely does not. Another top catching prospect throughout the minors, Romine doesn’t have the huge bat, but he is no slump either. Romine’s swing is improving nicely, and that should continue to improve over time. Romine is an everyday catcher with a strong throwing arm that can get out a ton of baserunners. With the Red Sox getting Carl Crawford, Romine’s arm might prove more valuable than Montero’s bat, but only time will tell.
  3. Gary Sanchez is the youngest of the Yankees’ stellar catching trio, and probably the most coveted. In 2009 the Yankees paid the then-16-year-old a record $3 million, and so far the money looks to be paying off. Sanchez has the best of both Montero’s bat and Romaine’s defense. Now, at age 18, Sanchez will play in his first full professional season either in Charleston (Low-A), as his age is too young for High-A Tampa just yet. Nothing is set in stone, but so far Sanchez is on the path to becoming superstar. It makes trading Montero a whole lot easier for the Yankees to swallow because of this kid’s potential. Continue reading ‘MLB Trade Rumors: Jesus Montero and 8 Others Yankees Who Might Be Trade Bait’ »