As a New York Yankees fan it is easy to get to know the players in the American League.
Due to geographical circumstances and interleague play, I have learned more about some of the teams in the National League, like the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Over the past few seasons, the San Francisco Giants have not come to the Bronx and have not factored in the postseason.
The Giants actually resided in New York City from 1930-57, in which the franchise won five World Championships and 17 pennants. Since making the move to San Francisco, the city still awaits for their Giants to bring a World Series title to the Bay.
Mainly known as the home to starting ace Tim Lincecum (“The Freak”), who has won the Cy Young Award the past two seasons, the Giants are another team residing in the NL West along with the Dodgers and San Diego Padres.
The organization’s biggest star, Barry Bonds disgraced the team’s mainstay. It seemed that the last special baseball moment for the Giants was Bonds hitting for his home-run record. It is his record because MLB can’t count it as baseball history when it was unauthentic.
Other than a cheat and a freak, there wasn’t much reason to get to the Giants over the last five seasons, until now.
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After watching a few Giants games I understand their team’s appeal. The Giants players are scrappy, good, fundamental baseball players who are darn fun to watch because they never seem to give up.
The Giants starters finished the regular season with a 3.36 ERA, which was the lowest in baseball. The Giants rotation also tossed a total of 1461 innings, gave up the least hits with 1279, 546 earned runs, and struck out the most batters.
Just in case you didn’t know, a 2009 World Series rematch between the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies is not happening.
To many baseball fans surprise, both powerhouse ball-clubs lost in the Championship Series. Some might say the Phillies and Yankees lacked the heart, as making the postseason is basically part of the regular schedules.
Regardless of the reason, a loss is a loss no matter how it happened, who was injured, why so many players were slumping or if a team had too many days off.
The city’s Giants will host the Texas Rangers for the first two games of a seven-game battle where only one team will leave as champions. The other team will leave with nothing, as nobody gets introduced as the “team that lost in the 2010 World Series.”
Will I watch the 2010 World Series?
Yes, but not if something better is on or I go out. Also, I am a huge baseball fan so whether I watch or not doesn’t speak for much of the norm.
The best matchup of the series and only one other teams fans might watch is on Wednesday night. Game 1 features the Rangers’ Cliff Lee vs. the Giants’ Timmy Lincecum, who are both legitimate Cy Young-winning pitchers.
Why will New York Yankees fans watch Game 1 of the 2010 World Series?
Cliff Lee is a free agent after the World Series ends and all of baseball is drooling just at the thought of acquiring Lee. Yankees Universe wants him, CC Sabathia is his buddy and fans will get excited with the realization that they get what they want.
Who do I predict to win in this battle on the mound?
Picking a winner between Lee and Lincecum is a toss-up because if both are throwing heat, which has been the trend it could fall either way. Since Texas and San Francisco barely face each other in the regular season, if ever makes both the pitchers become even more devastating.
If this winds up being the case, my guess is Cliff Lee would win. The Rangers are better hitters than the Giants. Also, Lee has been in the postseason before, pitching for both an AL and NL team.
To be more specific Texas has Josh Hamilton in their lineup, and a hot-hitting Hamilton is lethal no matter who is pitching. The guy is a machine and was just crowned the ALCS MVP. Imagine where Hamilton would be if he didn’t do all those drugs, because it doesn’t seem possible to be any better.
Lincecum is six-plus years younger than Lee. It is only Lincecum’s fourth season as a professional, and this is his first postseason ever. Also called the Freak, Lincecum has been dominating in the playoffs thus far, striking out 14 in the NLDS.
Mind you, Big Time Timmy Jim has won two Cy Young awards in his first three seasons. As many claim Lincecum is the best pitcher of the last two seasons without question.
What I have noticed watching this postseason is hitters make contact with Lincecum, but not with Lee. Lee shutdown the two best hitting teams in baseball, Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees so the Giants will presumably be no threat.
The World Series is a different monster, as it’s one of the biggest stages in all of sports. It’s a stage that Cliff Lee seems to be nothing but flawless on, and I don’t see that changing on Wednesday night in Game one.
Who Do I Predict Will Win Game 1?
Texas Rangers win 3-1, and Cliff Lee gets the win, one RBI and a home run (kidding about the home-run, but you never know with this guy).
Eiland took an extended leave of absence in 2010, the reason still remains personal but it was almost a month until he returned to his job. The pitching did suffer during this time, especially AJ Burnett’s turn for the worst. This is a good move by the Yankees.
Cashman also made it clear the Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Skipper Joe Girardi are all priorities and that both sides have said they want to return in pinstripes. This is not a shocker to Yankees fans either, but it’s always nice to get some confirmation from someone in charge.
Free agency. It is what consumes GMs, owners, players and fans during baseball’s offseason.
This free agent market looks to rival that of 2008-09, when the New York Yankees went on a shopping spree scooping up CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, AJ Burnett and Nick Swisher.
Names like Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, Jim Thorne, Derek Jeter, Josh Beckett, Mariano Rivera, Victor Martinez, Adam Dunn, Jayson Werth, Derrek Lee, Jorge De La Rosa, Brandon Webb and Javier Vazquez are all on the market.
Rivera and Jeter will stay in pinstripes, as they are the face of the Yankees and are vital elements to New York’s allure. Yankees ace Sabathia waived his opt-out clause to stay in New York through 2016.
Same story goes for Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett. Beckett is the leader of the Red Sox pitching staff, which has a lot of young talent that look up to Beckett, which means his recent back problems get over looked.
The same cannot be said for starting pitcher Javier Vazquez, whose second time around as a Yankee was even worse than the first. Neither side should want to continue this relationship because it has not benefited either. Vazquez will get offers; my guess would be mainly from National League teams.
As a Yankees fan, GM Brian Cashman first order of business should be to pick-up the option for Kerry Wood. Wood was the best pick up of the year by Cashman and he has electric stuff out of the bullpen, as well as a nice mentor to Joba Chamberlain whom the Yankees owe at least another season to straighten himself out.
Second priority, at least I hope, is that Cashman goes after Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth. Werth’s attitude, bat and personality are a perfect fit for the Yankees. Werth is a big-game clutch hitter, he can steal bases and would be a nice addition in the outfield next to Curtis Granderson.
A question remains about who would not start, Brett Gardner or Nick Swisher, if the Yankees did get Werth.
Swisher hits power, but Gardner is a pest with his legs as he is fast as hell on the basepaths. Both are known to draw long at-bats and have great eyes at the plate.
Swisher and Gardner sharing time would be a nice option for the Yankees manager to have at his disposal because Werth and Granderson will both start for the majority of the time.
Starting Pitcher Cliff Lee’s arm will be the 2010-11 offseason’s prize for sale. Everybody wants a piece of Lee because he is that good, but he is 32 years old and has suffered from back problems.
The Yankees don’t need another pitching arm of that caliber, but that is not why Lee won’t come to the Bronx. To be honest I don’t think Lee wants to be a Yankee. The Yankees need a bat like Werth to help the aging lineup and a four-man outfield of Swisher, Werth, Gardner and Granderson is solid.
I fully realize that Rays’ Carl Crawford is a dynamite player and will be coveted by many teams. Crawford in pinstripes doesn’t work for me. Yes, Crawford’s numbers are ridiculously good, but he is young will cost more money and years than Werth. Plus, Brett Gardner is maturing and the Yankees would be dumb to let him go anywhere, just to load up on all-stars.
Another factor is how the new Yankees ownership of Hal and Hank Steinbrenner without “The Boss” in the background any longer with the final say. Let’s see how deep Mr. Steinbrenner’s sons’ pockets are in comparison to dad’s generosity.
After dominating the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS, the Yankees had eight days off till the ALCS started down in Texas.
The Yankees could have won this series, but you have to play baseball in order to win.
Let’s look at the three factors, hitting, pitching and managing for the Yankees in the postseason to figure out what happened:
1) Hitting, a word that became unfamiliar to the Yankee batters. If you do not score runs, you will not win ball games. Maybe if a team had Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, The Freak or CC Sabathia in the same rotation, you could afford not to hit, but even that Cy Young foursome would lose a game or two.
A-Rod continued his horrible 2010 postseason, coming into Game 6 with three hits in 17 at-bats, with a .176 batting average. Last year, A-Rod hit six home runs, batting a .365 over 15 postseason games. His slump was a HUGE problem and reason the Yankees struggled so much.
It’s not as if the rest of the Yankees were much help anyway. Swisher’s batting average was .194 and Teixeira (pre-injury) was even worse, hitting .148 in the postseason. Both regular season sluggers lost their swagger completely for the second postseason in a row.
2) Shockingly, the pitching was second to the hitting, because if you can’t score runs, the game is over no matter who is on the mound. Otherwise, the pitching was almost as terrible as the batting, following the ALDS where the pitching was phenomenal.
Sabathia got the job done winning both his ALCS starts, even though he grinded in both games against Texas. CC is an ace and that is why he gets the title. Sabathia had an ERA of 5.63 over 16 innings and struck-out 15 batters. The Yankees won all three games CC started, which is the only stat that matters in the post season. Continue reading ‘ALCS 2010: Why the New York Yankees Lost’ »