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Yankees-Rangers Series Preview: A Weekend You Won’t Want To Miss

After winning seven of 10 games in the Bronx, the New York Yankees start a nine-game road trip with a weekend series against the AL West-leading Texas Rangers.

Could this be a possible ALDS preview?

Yes, if the Yankees get through the last 22 regular season games, which is not as easy as it sounds.

The Yankees spend 15 of those 22 meetings on the road, facing the Tampa Bay Rays seven times and their rival Boston Red Sox for six. The remaining six are split between the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays.

Not an easy finish for the reigning champions. This will test the Bombers, as it will shed some light on the team’s durability. The Yankee bullpen and bats have been very effective, saving the starters from total collapse.

Everyone knows to be successful in the postseason every aspect of a team has to be working, so when Andy Pettitte finally gets off the DL, it will make a major impact for New York. CC Sabathia cannot be the only guaranteed innings eater.

It is no secret that the Rangers are beat up too; the Yankees need to take advantage of these games. Against the Rangers, New York has won four of five in the season series and is 16-5 at Texas over the past six seasons.

The Rangers have the luxury of an 8.5-game lead in the AL West and can afford to rest players before the playoffs. Unfortunately, it happens that the two best Rangers, ace Cliff Lee and slugger Josh Hamilton, are the unhealthy ones.

Hamilton looks not to be in the lineup at all against New York, which not one Yankee will complain about or miss. The All-Star slugger bruised his ribs fielding a ball and slamming him into the center field wall. Hamilton says the pain has not improved enough to get back out there just yet.

Lee, who is slated to start on Sunday, skipped his last start with muscle spasms in his back. Lee is coming off a horrific August, so the extra rest could be just what he needs.

The Rangers have struggled lately and are returning from a 10-game road stretch, going 4-6.

Friday night, Yankees starter Javier Vazquez will take the mound after returning to the rotation last week, which resulted in a still shaky start against the Blue Jays. Hopefully, giving Vazquez another attempt to correct himself will result in a quality start, but don’t hold your breath.

Rangers will counter with C.J. Wilson, who is 14-6 this season with a 3.10 ERA. Since the All-Star break, Wilson is 7-1 with a 2.67 ERA in 10 starts.

Wilson’s one loss was his last start against the Minnesota Twins; he gave up six runs, walked four, and hit a batter over five innings.

Neither the Yankees nor the Rangers have clinched a playoff spot yet, so winning this series for either ball club is imperative.

This is definitely the weekend series to watch, but my overall prediction is the Yankees will take two of the three games down in Texas.

New York Yankees Catch Swishalicious Fever Before Heading On Tough Road-trip

It’s a bird, it’s a plane—no, wait, it is a baseball flying over the visitor’s dugout in left field at Yankee Stadium.

Nick Swisher made sure the New York Yankees avoided getting swept by the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday afternoon in the Bronx, by hitting a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth with one out.

Swisher’s teammates and fans alike were ecstatic for the most fun-loving player in pinstripes.

It is impossible not to love Swisher, as his vivacious attitude is infectious.

Swisher was a well-needed breath of fresh air in 2009; his personality soothed a traditionally overly-anal Yankees locker room.

Swisher quickly earned high regard and respect in New York because he works just as hard as he plays. He is the first to praise his teammates in any interview, always with a smile on his face (unless it’s right after a loss).

This season, Swisher has been consistent at the plate, hitting 25 home runs with 80 RBI, 31 doubles, and three triples. He has been the glue multiple times in 2010 when the Yankees were struggling.

Swisher’s clutch hit changed the somber mood in the Bronx for fans and the team, who were about to extend their losing streak to four. Instead, the Yankees finish this 10-game homestand 7-3.

What great timing for the Bombers, who head out for the longest stretch of road games on the season.

This nine-game spread is just the start of one of the toughest September schedules in MLB. It will test the Yankees who start in Texas against the Rangers, then head to Tampa to meet the mighty Rays, only to finish up at Camden Yards against the newly-talented Orioles.

Nick Swisher got the right mood going into it, that is for sure.

Lady Loves Pinstripes: Exclusive Q & A With New York Yankees Joe Girardi

Courtesy of Dove Men+Care, Lady Loves Pinstripes was given the opportunity to have a Q & A with New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi.

Lady Loves Pinstripes exclusive:

Q & A with Yankees Joe Girardi

1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

As I’ve gotten older and become a husband and father, I’ve come to a point in my life where my priorities are with my family. In five years, my daughter and son will be in high school and what I will want most then is stability for my family. Other than that, I really can’t say.

2. Is your son showing any interest in being a baseball player?

My son, Dante, is nine and he shows a lot of interest in being a baseball player. We spend a lot of time practicing together.

3. If I asked your family, is Dad better as a player or a manager, what would they say?

My wife would definitely say that I’m a better manager than a player because I don’t have to deal with hitting.  My kids were really too young to know me as a player.

4. Your wife and you look very in love and I have read that you are a great couple……is that a main component to your success on the field?

Kim and I are very much in love and I think that this is extremely important success in any line of work—you can’t perform at your best without a strong support system at home.  Our journey and the milestones we experienced together have allowed me to be more comfortable with who I am as a person – in my life at home and as a professional.

5. I had noticed the braces for the last two years. Now I know why from the Dove Campaign video that you did it with your daughter…..anything else you have done like that with your kids?


The Dove Men + Care “Journey to Comfort” campaign celebrates the unsung moments that have helped me become comfortable in my own skin – truly comfortable with who I am. I do silly things and as a dad. I am able to laugh at myself because it’s about making them happy. As you’ll see in the videos that can be found at www.dovemencare.com, my daughter Serena and I got braces at the same time. I even put on colored bands on my braces to match Dante’s at one point.

I’ve reached a stage in my life where I no longer care about what people think about me having braces or embarrassing myself because your kids are what matters the most.  I once made deal that if gas prices got below my weight I would do a cartwheel.  The “Journey to Comfort” videos take a look at the personal achievements and experiences that have led Albert Pujols, Andy Pettitte and me to reach a level of comfort within ourselves. Now, thanks to Dove Men + Care that is formulated specifically for a man’s skin care needs, we can all have total skin comfort – literally.

6. Who is each of your kids favorite player on the Yankees? And your wife, other than you obviously?

My daughter, Serena, favors whichever player has the youngest child and lets her hold him or her.  My son, Dante, doesn’t have an allegiance to one player either.  He emulates Alex Rodriguez when he hits, wears a Derek Jeter jersey, and recently asked for a Robby Cano autograph.

7. Finally, I went to school at Convent of the Sacred Heart in NYC and I know you brought the World Series Trophy to our Greenwich-sister school because Brian Cashman and your daughter attend. Did you find the CSH girls interested in baseball? Just because I am a female fan, who attended CSH for 10 years and pro-sports were not a hot topic.

I found the girls at Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City to be very interested in baseball when I visited.  They had great questions and I was able to take pictures with every class.  Having my daughter introduce me to her school was a special personal moment in my life and that memory will last forever.

Dove Men+Care has teamed up with New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi, along with Yankees Andy Pettitte and St. Louis Cardinals Albert Puljos for a video series called “Journey to Comfort”.

Each video showcases the real life unsung moments, cherished memories and personal milestones that helped the MLB personalities become comfortable in their own skin, both on and off the field.  For the first time ever, Pujols, Pettitte and Girardi reveal the experiences from their childhood, awkward teenage years, and other life stages that have led them to a time when they can take others’ expectations in stride and define their own success. In his video, Pujols tells how he played it smooth the first time he met his wife, while Pettitte talks about adjusting from life in Texas to New York.

New York Jets: Rex Ryan’s Hard-Knocks Continues To Shock

An image of Rex Ryan during his tenure as Balt...
Image via Wikipedia

What is Rex Ryan’s exact position with the New York Jets?

Head coach might not be appropriate any longer, as Ryan takes on the role of owner, agent, and GM.

It is no secret that Darrelle Revis is one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. Fact is that any team’s defense becomes elite when a player, like Revis, can shut down the competition’s passing game.

Ryan knows this and surely didn’t hide his desperation to make Revis a rich man to get him back on the J-E-T-S.

Crazy to think Ryan would be in contract discussions with owner Woody Johnson’s money. Revis was present too, which just adds to a growing list of how unprofessional the Jets are as an organization.

Not to mention that Ryan’s word is crap, too.

Any ‘HARD-KNOCKS’ viewer can attest to this because Ryan stated numerous times that the Jets would carry two fullbacks.

Ryan was talking about Tony Richardson, whose leadership was so vital to the Jets’ young offense, but ended up cutting the 15-year veteran.

Latest news is that Ryan says Richardson will be back on the Jets soon. His excuse is that Woody Johnson’s wallet couldn’t, and won’t, guarantee Richardson’s salary.

Was Richardson’s $855,000 the make it or break it for Revis’ contract?

Enough so to go back on word, I would presume. Why doesn’t Ryan just have about another temper tantrum like he did on Revis Island?

Nobody puts baby in the corner, even if you are overweight and trash-talking before proving anything, NFL “coach.”

With the NFL season just days away, the Jets’ first game will be against the Baltimore Ravens, featuring the two Rays—one named Lewis and the other Rice.

I am a huge Ravens fan, always have been inspired by Ray Lewis’ pure love for football, which is rarefied air in sports these days.

The Jets’ first of 16 missions starts with the Ravens at the New Meadowlands Stadium…but according to Ryan:

“The message to the rest of the league is, hey, the Jets are coming, and we’re going to give you everything we got. And I think that’s going to be more than you can handle.”

Ryan will finally have the chance to prove everyone wrong next Monday night, and then he can say “Fu*$-Off” for real.

New York Yankees Vs. The Jeter Meter

Derek Jeter is a household name.

In case you didn’t know, Jeter is the starting shortstop and Captain of the New York Yankees.

He has five World Series rings, four Silver Slugger Awards, and  four Golden Gloves along with countless other awards. Some of them recognized Jeter the player, others Derek the person.

Jeter is the ultimate Captain. Find me a professional athlete, fan, manager or coach that would disagree.

Going on about Jeter’s accomplishments is easy, but baseball is more than a sport. It is a job.

Like any employee, Jeter is judged on his performance and whether or not he is fulfilling expectations. Something Yankee fans refer to as ‘The Jeter Meter’.

In Jeter’s case, there is no doubt he has exceeded all expectations. He has above and beyond done his job over the last decade.

Now the Yankees and their Captain have reached the end of his current job contract. Without a doubt, both sides plan on signing another agreement at the end of 2010.

Still there is an obvious predicament. Jeter has struggled on the field this season and he’ll be the first to admit it. Reality bites, but as of now it stands that Jeter might be better off not at shortstop in 2011.

It is his position to lose, because the Yankees would keep him till the end of time. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees Vs. The Jeter Meter’ »

2010 World Series: American League Teams The Hunt for October

The 2010 MLB season has not disappointed, as competition is fierce but so is disappointment.For playoff staples, like the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals, things could not have gone any worse. As they say, “When it rains, it pours” and both the above two ball clubs will be noticeably absent. The presence of the Red Sox and Cardinals will be deeply missed, a true heartbreak for all fans of baseball.

So, which American League teams are in contention?

Legitimately, no team has clinched anything just yet and that needs to remain the mindset.

Every baseball fan witnessed the 2007 New York Mets lose 14 of 17 games, followed by losing the NL East and a spot in the playoffs. Say what you want about presumptions, but nothing is ever guaranteed and it only comes off as arrogant.

One team that looks sure to clinch is the Texas Rangers. The Rangers have zero competition in the AL West. Unless a Mets-like implosion is on the horizon, it’s the Rangers’ division to lose.

The remaining two divisions are all off to the races, literally.

In the AL Central, the Chicago White Sox picked up Manny Ramirez attempting to gain on the division-leading Minnesota Twins. The usually competitive Detroit Tigers have fallen out of the postseason talks, which gives the White Sox some breathing room to try.

Same old story in the AL East, except the Tampa Bay Rays are the new Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox have been hit with an injury bug that hasn’t let up all season. Considering the situation up in Beantown, skipper Terry Francona should be the manager of the year for keeping his team in the hunt for so long.

As for the Rays, the New York Yankees will fight them till the end for the division. This is by far the tightest battle in baseball, but the wild card looks to be coming out of the AL East so both teams will most likely be in October.

Predictions:

AL East: New York Yankees

AL West: Texas Rangers

AL Central: Chicago White Sox

Wild Card: Tampa Bay Rays