The Yankees and the Angels are likely to be seeing one another down the stretch in the post season. A place, over the years, that the Angels have surely been the dominant team.
The make-up game gave the Bombers an opportunity to send a message that the big, bad Angels were not going to scare the Yankees anymore.
The game went down to the wire. In the eighth our hero, Phil Hughes, had to get three outs was his most unsettling performance to date. Hughes is vital to the team’s future success and he remained confident.
Posada seemed to want Hughes to only throw his fastball which overall is smarter then a curve ball. Made me think that maybe would have thrown the batters to swing and miss. With a younger arm in Phil, his curve would have to be perfect or it would result in a bomb giving the Angels a lead.
The defense did their job in helping Hughes with some beneficial plays. One run did score to tie the game but overall a good outing for young Phil. He faced the best of the Angel line-up in our friend Bobby Abreau, the fastball assaulting Vladimir Guerrero together with Tori Hunter who is one of the best.
Giradi made a smart move having Gardner pinch-run for Tex in the bottom of the eighth. On a double rob to third, Gardner scored on a throwing error to secure a W.
Joba pitched well throwing 41 of 67 for strikes. Swish smashed his 27th homer and Tex went 3-4 to send the Angels back home not as tough as when they arrived.
Happening almost simultaneously last Friday night, the sports world witnessed two tremendous athletes accomplish milestones.
Michael Jordan got the highest recognition which no player in the NBA ever deserved more by being inducted into basketball’s Hall of Fame.
The critics came out almost immediately by hacking away at Jordan’s speech and claiming Jeter’s record still does not make him one of the Yankee franchises top five ever.
For myself, goose bumps as tears swelled up in my eyes in complete and utter joy took over. Two men finally getting the credit they so rightly deserve on the same night is historic.
Jordan is considered to be the best athlete ever. He soared on the basketball court with god-like, surreal moves that were just purely amazing.
Jordan’s acceptance speech was as emotional as his play. Clearly he was moved, as his honesty was expressed through his words.
Jordan’s competitiveness both on and off the court is a characteristic that anyone at the top of his or her profession has to have.
The second athlete is more humble when it comes to talent. When it’s MJ as the comparison skill wise being closes behind is inevitable for anyone.
Derek Jeter broke a 72-year-old, Yankee record with his 2722 hit in pinstripes. A record previously held by the great Lou Gehrig.
Yankees stadium was at full capacity with each in attendance excited to witness Jeter achieve this honored. Honor is a familiar term to Jeter but critics immediately did it know justice by focusing on the lack of this record regarding creditability.
Listening to Peter Gammons, a known Red Sox fan, analyze why Jeter is not the greatest Yankee to follow immediately the ESPN poll results of the better Yankee among Mariano or Jeter was heartless.
The same class that Jeter brings not only as the Yankees captain but also to the sport of baseball is irreplaceable. Without Jeter, baseball’s reputation would have no creditability because Jeter is the excuse that the sport is not made up of all cheaters.
Regardless of critics’ opinions, the sports world is at a significant crossroad. Athletes do not respect that honors or attitude is not by word of mouth but by how you play the game. The disrespect or tantrums accompanied with blame will kill the aura of sports popularity.
No one wants to see a cocky kid; with nothing more than a huge contract act lazy or ignore the press because doing what they want to do is all they know.
Jeter and Jordan never act bigger before they were. Putting winning championships as a team before individual accomplishments being the goal. It is evident because each game is played with everything, never lazy and taking it for granted because that is how champions win.
Both men have grace and only contribute to sports with their examples.
“Things happen for a reason” or “timing is everything” are popular quotes for a reason. And Friday night proved the truth behind the words above.
Jeter wearing Air Jordans on the field seems only more suitable.
Each, define the foremost elite of what American athletes of today. My sincerest congratulations and gratitude goes out to both of them.
“Sometimes I dream; That he is me; You’ve got to see that’s how I dream to be.”
I never got to see any of these guys play. My dad recalls of a time at Yankee Stadium, when he had the honor of cheering on some of the legends above.
The best similarity to this experience is the honor I have had regarding Derek Saunders Jeter play.
The face of the New York Yankees, moreover he is also of the entire sport of baseball. Jeter is the unspoiled captain of both his own team and our countries as well.
The Yankee fans verify Jeter a hero for the way he represents us continuously. He is our ego because no matter what Jeter is our Yankee captain.
To be proud tonight of witnessing Jeter tie the record of the distinguished Lou Gehrig for most hits as a New York Yankee would be an understatement. I was full of pride.
Being just ecstatic for someone who has brought so much celebration to a tarnished sport for doing it the right way. Jeter is a role model to the world for his team spirit.
An example in all aspects; for his talent on the field, his fondness for the history of a game that he has never taken for granted and for the manner he conveys himself as an overall person.
Derek Saunders Jeter is an inspiration. He deserves everyone’s congratulations for making history tonight.
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell
- New York Yankees: Why Derek Jeter As the Captain Is Priceless (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- Derek Jeter’s Agent Responds to Steinbrenner’s Comments: Should Fans Be Worried? (bleacherreport.com)
- Yanks Should Value Jeter Realistically (blogs.forbes.com)
- You Got Punk’d: New York Yankees Derek Jeter Informs The Home-Plate Ump (ladylovespinstripes.com)
Mirror, mirror on the wall who can beat the Yanks in post-season baseball?
Within the AL East Division, I think the Yankees have a significant lead that will be hard to catch. In the American League the first team that pose a threat in the race to the World Series is the Boston Red Sox.
If this team wins the Wild Card it could be trouble. The rivalry alone brings an added hype for the players and the fans alike. Boston can beat New York and they know it. Most other teams don’t have that added bonus.
Also, Josh Beckett and Tim Wakefield are Yankees killers in the past but the consistency of Papelbaum is in major question. Billy Wagner has been added from the Mets to the Red Sox roaster. He is older and off an injury but the frustrations of having to be a Met in the same city that is Yankee-town might give him a mental game that could be scary.
The other team plays hard and plays dirty. The dreaded LA Angels have caused more problems for the Yankees over the years in the post season.
The Angels tend to get overlooked because of the ruckus that the Red Sox rivalry brings. This team has no problem reminding both the Red Sox and the Yankees that the AL consists of more teams then just the media hogging, favorites.
Watch out for the Angels because they hate being left out and even with all their glory, the shadow seems to still be there.
The National League is known as the lesser side of baseball. It is mind boggling as last years champs are still proving to be the team to beat, as the Phillies look like their headed back to the same road as last year.
Even with the recent slump and loses of late, the Phillies will not go down without a fight.
The addition of Cliff Lee, last year’s CY Young winner is a clear sign that this team wants to repeat. Lee joins the rotation of the World Series MVP Cole Hamels, the young arm of JA Happ and the veteran late pick-up of Pedro Martinez.
Hamels has had a mediocre season till recently. He looks back to the MVP form of last season and if Pedro stays of the DL his experience in the post season will help.
The biggest question of the complete decline of closer Brad Lidge has been answered by Brett Meyers who will come off the DL on Friday. Lidge has been so off this season he cannot be trusted in the post season again. Meyers can fill that hole but three months since his last time on the mound will be a true test of the situation. This is a situation that will play a major factor for the champs.
Overall, the most successful NL team regarding wins is the St. Louis Cardinals, with 84.
The Cards have an 11.5 lead in the NL Central. In front of the pathetic once again team of the Chicago Cubs, which makes them look, like a lock for the post-season.
Albert Pujols, the clear MVP of the NL just hit his 47th homer of the season is a force by himself but not for a team to win. The Cards acquired Matt Holiday in July from the A’s and the tandem have been dominant consistently. Holliday’s recent bruised knee looks to be just that so nothing for concern for the Cards.
Since the all-star break St. Louis has had an easy schedule playing fallen teams such as the Mets and the Nationals. Starting now the teams schedule gets a lot harder so that will be the message of how tough this team actually is.
Not trying to take away from the Cardinals recent success because a win is a win no matter what team you beat.
The biggest concern for any team in the majors is pitching. This plays the most critical role in the post-season.
Any team that is playing baseball in October has to be a winning and talented team. Inevitably, each will consist of the most gifted hitters, which mean the starting, middle, and closing pitchers have to have their best performances.
With the first round in the playoffs being best of five games that gives absolutely no room for error at all. Each team will have an ace on the mound, if not two arms that will make the hitters jobs almost impossible. This makes the pitchers jobs the most crucial as if a hitter catches on to a mistake it could mean the game.
This post season, as with any other is a fresh start for the eight teams. The Yankees seem to be the favorites as of now but that is not a guarantee for the outcome at all.
Each game has to be treated with the ultimate goal in mind and that is to win.
The Yankees win tonight is #90 for the team this year, a far cry from last season’s finish.
It is safe to say that the money spent in the off-season was well worth it as the Yankees are playing well, consistently.
Here are three factors to this teams undeniable success this season.
1. Phil Hughes had begun the season in the starting pitching rotation. Hughes got disregarded a lot due to all the concentration on his fellow comrade Joba Chamberlain, who was grasping the entire spotlight. This fact is a huge reason, if not the main one, to the current success of Hughes.
The ‘Joba Rules’ might had saved Joba’s arm but it surely hurt his head. The Yankees had no rules on Hughes and due to injuries they moved the starter to the bullpen to set-up for the great Mariano Rivera.
This was a move that at first seemed desperate but has proven to be the key to the team’s success.
Since Hughes has been the 8th inning guy and occasional closer the team has just fallen into place.
Clearly this change has been pivotal to the beating the Yankees bestow on opposing teams.
Hughes has been practically un-hittable. This is while displaying confidence of a veteran and has deemed to be as deserving if not more than Joba to his important for the team in the future years.
Tex has fit in perfectly and put up excellent numbers this season with the Yankees as a batter and with his defense at 1st base.
Going from Giambi and the slew of utility players the passed few seasons to Tex, just highlights his abilities in the field. He is one of the most talented players and the Yankees filled a spot that was obviously more desperately needed than originally thought.
MVP award is definitely in this player’s reach this season.
Sabathia is a badass. He can throw for strikes, go deep into games and has no problem throwing 100+ pitches each outing.
Sabathia also is a main reason that this Yankee team is having so much fun. He has been the guy who has made sure that off the field the team hangs out. Sabathia spent $60k in Cleveland for the team to attend the playoff game of the Cavaliers. I was watching the NBA game that night. To see the Yanks in street clothes, laughing with one another and enjoying each other’s company by choice is not seen enough around team sports.
Cy Young talk has started around CC but I do not think that is a surprise to anyone.