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The 3 Teams of the American League East

The American League Eastis hands down going to be the toughest division race, yet again. I am not

English: Boston Red Sox Cap Logo

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saying this cause I am a Yankees fan but as a baseball fan. The top three teams being Tampa, Boston and New York are all loaded with star players, old rivalries and new ones that have started.

The second half, the middle-man being the All-Star break of this long baseball season begins and with it comes a fresh start. Let the races begin….

The Rays are hungry as they tasted what it is liek to get to the Championship and how awesome it is to win, they learned that first-hand watching the Phillies celebrate a tough world series for both teams played well. I have said it all season that these Rays are hungry, young and so talented I almost slip-up on the teams name. “Talented Bay Rays” are hungry and it looks like the sneak attack has begun.
The average age is 26 and already household names with Longoria, Crawford, Garza, Shields, Uptown, Pena and that is just to name a few.

MY ADVICE: All in the Rays path better get ready cause watch out, cause here they come.

The Red Sox are the new Yankees. They have been solid and consistent all season never really hitting a slump like most teams. Everyone participates, all the players are good. Continue reading ‘The 3 Teams of the American League East’ »

Sweep Away My Weekend Blues And Focus On The Big Picture

What to say after a weekend the Yankees just had? I decided to let my brain think for a day so I could rationalize the sweep by the Angels that left me so disappointed. It was awful to watch, actually painful at times and just had that ‘oh sh*&’ feeling in my stomach again.

The night of sleep help me to put the past behind and look at the bigger picture for my beloved Yankees. As the second half is a new half but the first one definitely left many questions to be answered.

The Yankees have ended the first half of the season not the way I had hoped. On the other side, it could and has been a lot worse then just three games behind the Red Sox.
With so much of the season left there are many possibilities. Both potential and negative aspects are at this point so it has to be viewed from both sides of the plate.

Since the all-star break is upon us I will do a few posts about aspects of my favorite Yanks that need to be tended too.

Here’s what pitching issues need to be debated before the second half of 2009 season:

  1. What to do with Wang when or if he gets off the DL? Eat the five million, put him in the bullpen or chance starting him? The third option as far as I can see has been done. Option one seems the most legitimate as Wang is not a good fit for the Yankees and he will probably pitch well again somewhere else. No crime in that; he gave us a good two and a half seasons.
  2. What to do about Joba? Now that Joba can’t rule away from Yankees stadium a change has to be made. This is not his year to be a permanent starter. Hughes is a better pitcher and as a starter was improving, unlike Chamberlin. Also Joba needs to lose the attitude with the media after a loss. “Still have a job”, “The best stuff I had all year”…. this kid has no permanent job on this team and he will learn that soon enough. What happened to the spirited kid with the 97 mph fastball? Oh wait that guy’s name is Phil Hughes.
  3. Phil Hughes is the man. Should he stay in the bullpen cause it works for sure? One problem is does Joe Girardi know this as he seems to not use or pulls him out after a nine-pitch inning for no real reason except for…Or does Hughes swap places with Joba? Hughes has the right attitude and wants to be a part of the team. Unlike Chamberlin he treats anyway he can help the team with respect and gratefulness. Sure seems like the Joba Rules were actually written to Jedi-mind trick Hughes. Regardless, it worked and Hughes will appreciate the learning to figure situations out himself as the stepping stone to a bright future. It must have been hard to watch Joba in the spotlight but Hughes is a humble kid who knows he is not bigger then baseball. Joba thinks he is CC or AJ or Andy but someone should chat with him, soon.
  4. Brian Bruney is trying to get back to where he once was. Wait that would be the DL or the pitcher that was just ok two seasons ago? Another guy, whose attitude is bigger then his playing. Bruney had flashes of pretty good but he was no Wang and I don’t know the answer here but stop putting him in games would be one. Maybe a shot of reality would help Bruney. I am sure he can get hurt again which would be convenient. Excuse the bluntness.
  5. Finally the question that is not just for the Yankees to be contemplating but also for a lot a teams as to where the best pitcher in baseball will be after July 21st? Mainly the Blue Jays are drooling to see the offers to acquire Roy Halladay. I would love to be a fly on the wall as there will be a lot and be plentiful. This is a smart move by the Blue Jays cause his value is at its peak and their team’s hopes of winning the AL East are over. And with the Yanks, Sox and Rays in their division the wild card is not happening. They have some young talent and adding to it for next year is only thing to do. Yes, the Rogers Center will never fill the same this season but Canada is hockey country and never filled even the year after the World Series win. Trade Halladay and get the fans excited for next year…..advice for Toronto
Let me say this loud and clear Roy Halladay is NOT a trade the Yankees should make. Joba I could care less about but the young guys like Austin Jackson, Mark Melancon or Jesus Montero are promising. This never did the Yankees any good in the past and the Jays might want Joba and Hughes, and Hughes is too good to go. Let the other teams fight it out and show some confidence in what we already have. Big mistake if Cashman pulls the usual stints. Look I thought after the brooms swept us back from Los Angels it might be a great option but not worth it for our Yankees. I like what we have and its time to be humble.

Pitching has been pretty good the first half of the season. Stranding runners on base, t
extbook errors and bad calls have been on the forefront of the problems. I think Halladay is awesome but the desperate grab will take away any confidences that are team is good enough already and I truly believe we are.

The biggest question is can we hang with the Big Boys? Tampa as I predicted will creep and then pounce but the focus needs to be the same.

New York Yankees Motto…. is first place and keep winning no matter what. ‘This is the AL East and it is the toughest for a reason so le’s win it cause we can!

* This article is also featured on the Bleacher Report as a slide-show. Please click this title below to link to this version and a great sports site as well.

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Baseballs Real Heros: The Middle Men

Every baseball season I have the same thought running through my head:

English: Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Jonny V...

‘Why are the middle relievers basically the yes or no for any MLB team?’

It is the first topic addressed by media, managers and fans alike. These ‘middle-men’ are the talk of baseball and for a position with no recognition compared to the starting pitcher or the closer. The Middle Men sure seem to be a huge component to any teams success or failure.

I hear the phrase following a game finish “well our bullpen” with either lights-out, couldn’t get it done, worn-out, got it done or some other way to reason for the outcome.

So why do these athletes not get more credit or fame or attention? Where are the middle relievers on the all-star ballot?

The game’s outcome is heavy on these guys shoulders as it could be a run or two or three that separates the score and the middle guys have to hold up the opposing bats so their guys can play catch or lengthen their lead.

To think of the last few seasons the thriving teams who win in the regular season and the post season have the strongest bullpens. This is true more then in the past years because the middle guys get hurt, worn out and blamed more then any others on the baseball field. Continue reading ‘Baseballs Real Heros: The Middle Men’ »

Tonight: Yankees Lost To The Devils

Maybe, it’s only reasoning I can conclude for the sloppy mess of a game I stayed up to watch. It has to be a mental issue with the Yankees losing for years to the Angels.

English: Joba Chamberlain, spring training 200...

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Torii Hunter and Vladimir Guerrerowere not even playing as both are on the DL. So as I replay all the reasons it is just getting worse and I am trying not to let it scare me, yet.
Ever since I can remember, no matter what kind of season the Yanks finish with, the club cannot beat the Los Angeles Angels. Every season the two teams play each other I expect the worst and tonight that is what I got, for sure.

I am almost speechless as the first inning was promising. The Yankee bats ripped into the Angels right away. I could only think, wow this team is really, really good and not going to stop for even the Angels. I actually prefer and refer to this LA club as the “devils”.

For fans, players, managers or any other unfortunate soul linked to my Yankees that have to witness this match-up it is not comforting at all. The ‘Devils’ work better for me as a Yankees fan as I go into a dark place when we get beaten year after year after year by this ball-club.Embarrassing, oh you bet it was. Errors are unacceptable and what a time to mess up textbook plays. I guess the best word to use would be sloppy.

It was 5-1 when the fifth inning began and I started to become confident watching the Yanks. All of a sudden Joba became completely undone. This youngster has to go longer into games and start to figure out why he is getting worse. First it was at home he struggled but was an ace on the road. Welcome to the new “Joba Rules” in which rule one states ‘if Joba starts to decline burn the original rule book, figure out what has happened and fix it.’

The 4 Next Biggest Headlines Possible For Second Half Of 2009 Season

What an exciting and competitive first half of baseball in the 2009 season. Never short of drama both on and off the field but keep in mind we are only at the mid-point of the season. Now starts the second half which gives all teams almost a fresh start to regroup and attack.

Even teams in dead last realize that anything is possible. Plenty of teams have been under .500 baseball at the all-star break and made the playoffs. It looks like a lot of the old rivals will be going head to head hoping to be crowned the division champion.

This is going to be exciting and I am sure the way sports are today the drama will continue.

Sadly, in order to get a player attention from the media or press, off-field antics are what gets you the headline; remember when it was actually how a player preformed at the sport of baseball, not who you date or what party you might have attended till 3am when all thought you needed a few days off from fatigue.

I know that some of my “headlines” are so slim but not out of the question and in the MLB you just never know.

Please click on ‘Begin Slideshow’ below and it will take you to my most recent article with a slideshow. Featured on the Bleacher Report. Thanks, enjoy!!
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I’ll Take The Loss Today, Boys: Hot Air Clouds Judgement in New York

Another series, excuse me another series won is more direct. The Yanks took three of four from a fellow AL East team, the Toronto Blue Jays

Let me just commend both New York and Toronto, who were both subject to the hot, humid sun that was over Yankee Stadium. I went to the game and I couldn’t bare it anymore myself and spilt after the seventh inning stretch. Shhh….

I know my Yanks deserve better from me because the team has been playing their hearts out. As just an observer I was so drained from sun I was dizzy for hours after I had left.

I wrapped a sweater over my seasonal Yanks hat like I was in the desert. My hydration technique was desperate. I drank one beer, chugged two waters, had a fountain Pepsi but once a lady five feet from me fainted I waved the boys adios.

A few questioned my loyalty as I charged to the subway as the thought of AC was on my mind. Why you ask……here are the facts:
  • This team can never be counted out until the last out of the game is called.
  • Here are some future deserved headlines….”The Come-back Club”, “Yankees: Team That Never Quits”, “The Team That Plays To Win”, “Yankees Motto: Win Today”, “Watch Out Here Come The Yankees”. If that does not explain why whether you watch, listen or whatever form of technology one might use to see the Yanks game, you stay focused till its over.
  • Petite was not horrible today at all. Toronto is a great team cemented by being in first place in AL East for most of the first half of this season.
  • I try to keep up with as much general baseball as I can absorb. A few non-Yankee players I always keep up with, one being Alex Rios. I had just read over the weekend that Rios was in a slump and got moved down the batting order to sixth or seventh. Rios is a darn good player and that cannot feel good for any athlete so he was bound to get hot. Today “hot” was Rios’s middle name.
  • Eric Hinske seemed a little random at the trade deadline. I had that pit in my stomach that Cashman has given me before. Gladly, it was just obvious dehydration as Hinske made a diving catch that will be a definite ESPN Play Of The Week. This guy left Pittsburgh and never looked back. He was loving it in right field and the fans loved him back. Is Cashman some kind of psychic as each addition seems just add more team spirit and on this hotter than heck afternoon it was nice to see. Continue reading ‘I’ll Take The Loss Today, Boys: Hot Air Clouds Judgement in New York’ »