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Rays Sweep But Yankees Not Gonna Weep

The Tampa Bay Rays are scary.

The team is young, fast and has talent.

The last two nights it was all Tampa Bay Rays, as they took both games in the Bronx.

Are they better than the New York Yankees?

When the Yanks are all well, my answer is no.

Just a month ago down in Tampa Bay the Yankees were healthy, and they took two of three games from the Rays.

This is not the same Yankees team, and they still made the Rays earn both wins.

Finding flaws are far and few between looking at the Tampa Bay Rays roaster.

Their biggest weapon is speed. Whether it is at the plate, on base or in the field, this group hustles and distracts opposing players.

Still, the Rays inexperience was evident last season. There is so much baseball left to be, and things can change much faster than people realize.

Rays skipper Joe Madden has an aura about him that I am not to fond off, but need more time to figure out why. What he did so effectively in 2008, but downright flopped in 2009 with the same team tells me something is just not right.

Attitudes need to stay in check.

Tonight when Tex picked off Jason Bartlett on a signature Pettitte fake-out move, he looked half asleep out there. Bartlett is fast as hell, and if he had a reason to be ready he would have been. Continue reading ‘Rays Sweep But Yankees Not Gonna Weep’ »

The Drama Of Being Alex Rodriguez

Why am I even bringing up something that could hinder the New York Yankees?

Call it paranoia, but it is  justifiable based on past experience.

See, growing up in New York City I have learned the hard way that it is better to have the attitude….hope for the best, but expect the worst.

It could also be attributed to just plain old luck running out, which might be due to being brainwashed by ESPN.

What I am talking about  just at one player’s off the field behavior.  That guy is Alex Rodriguez.

Arod has created a media circus since he has worn Yankee pinstripes. From opting out of contract mid-Word Series, to cheating on his wife with the likes of Madonna to getting no love from fans.

Arod’s biggest surprise came at the start of Spring Training 2009.  The truth came out of Arod’s steroid use and became public knowledge. Just a few month’s prior, Arod had adamantly denied on national TV that he had ever taken anything to enhance his performance on the field.

Arod’s own public omission and apology was genuine, in my opinion. It was evident on his face and in his performance last season.

Yes, people were hurt and felt betrayed by Arod, I personally did not.

Just think, if you were in was in Arod’s shoes, would probably have tried PEDS?

It was not banned in Major League Baseball, and it was fairly common thing. How could you not be tempted?

It had no implications at the time, except a promise to play better, leading to becoming richer and increasing your fan base. Being young and dumb also played a role too. Continue reading ‘The Drama Of Being Alex Rodriguez’ »

Yankees Did Not Lose They Got Beat

I was not a devoted fan tonight.

I left the New York Yankees game in the seventh inning, as the Tampa Bay Rays were up 6-2 and Boone Logan was jogging to the mound.

The Yankees looked tired. This does sound like an excuse, which it completely is but it is still a fact. The Boston Red Sox were just in town, meaning games are intense, long and both Monday and Tuesday’s tactics were no different. Both went down to the wire and last night they played till around 1am.

At the same time, the Tampa Bay Rays provide a full-court press on the Yankees. This group pushes and pushes stealing six bases tonight off AJ Burnett, who has only allowed six this season.

Burnett got beat tonight; as the Rays are abundant everywhere and the fourth inning topped the cake with a result of 6-0, Rays.

It was not completely Burnett’s fault. The Rays could see Burnett’s pitches from the get-go, and they utilized on it.

The bottom line is the Rays out played the Yankees, I saw it with my own eyes, and I could not watch it anymore.

Leaving the game was a better option, even though I listened on the subway as Logan did exactly what I thought he would do. Continue reading ‘Yankees Did Not Lose They Got Beat’ »

Hero To Zero At Yankee Stadium

Monday night, Marcus Thames went to bed a hero.

Wednesday morning, Marcus Thames will wake up a zero.

Thames had a catastrophic error in the 9th inning, which would have ended the inning with the score tied at 5-5, instead of 7-5 Red Sox.

It was a textbook catch, which cost the Yankees game.

Before this mess started, for a second time this season, Red Sox Josh Beckett took the meaning of slack to a new level.

Beckett, a certifiable ace in the past, has been a problem in his two outings against the Yankees. Red Sox has been led by Beckett’s dominating influence for years.

Add a lot of injuries, along with a faint Big Poppi, and Terry Francona has his work cut out for him. Continue reading ‘Hero To Zero At Yankee Stadium’ »

Rays vs. Yankees Pitching Preview Part Two

Thursday’s match-up is definitely a good one featuring Andy Pettitte and James Shields.

Another hard winner to pick because Pettitte has been so good and Shields has majorly improved since the last time he face this Yankees line-up.

JAMES SHIELDS (TBR) vs. ANDY PETTITTE (NYY)

JAMES SHIELDS:

PROS:

James Shields has some experience against the Yankees so he knows what to expect. As 2010 moves along, so does Shields who has pitched for 8 innings in two of his last three starts. Shields, throws a lot of strikes with a fastball that averages at 92 mph. He maintains great velocity on his change-up and good curveball. If he can stay in control, Shields can dominate a game.

CONS:

Shields, tends to use his change-up too much and hitters start to read it, which leads to a lot of hits. Also, his control can get wild at times and drive up his pitch-count. Robinson Cano has crushed Shields in the past. Cano in his career against Davis is batting .462, with four doubles, two triples, two homers, one walk and six RBIs in just 27 at-bats. Regardless that Shields .

ANDY PETTITTE: Continue reading ‘Rays vs. Yankees Pitching Preview Part Two’ »

Rays vs. Yankees Pitching Preview Part One

The Tampa Bay Rays have a line-up that can hit the ball, steal bases and score runs.

So do the New York Yankees.

Pitching had the biggest role in the first series against the Rays, which the Yankees won two for three games.

Let’s look at the pitching match-ups for the two games, in this post Wednesday match-up and part two will cover Thursday’s game.

WADE DAVIS (TBR) vs. AJ BURNETT (NYY)

WADE DAVIS:

PROS:

Wade Davis can throw for strikes, and has a 3.38 ERA so far I 2010. He must command the mound and use the Yankees inexperience against him by mixing up his pitches. Davis has surpassed top pitchers already this season, one being 2009 AL CY Young Zach Greinke. Davis needs to keep up that mindset once again. If he can keep his fastball’s velocity up and his curveball is on, Davis can limit the Yankees bats. Continue reading ‘Rays vs. Yankees Pitching Preview Part One’ »