Wednesday, March 31, 2010
The Yankees today announced that Phil Hughes will throw out the first pitch at the annual YANKEE TAX PROTEST DAY, April 15, when fans carrying crazy-ass signs or festooning their bodies with bizarre slogans will receive an extra 4% surcharge on the price of concessions.
Hughes became 5th starter after besting Joba Chamberlain (now in bullpen), Alfredo Aceves (in therapy), Sergio Mitre (in limbo) and Chad Gaudin (in Oakland.)
The TAX DAY game is against the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles, California.
March 21, 2010 Sunday
I read with interest a letter to the editor of the sports section asking for more coverage of the San Francisco Giants and less coverage of the Arizona Diamondbacks. That's a great idea....
And while we are at it, my friends Evan and Scott follow the Seattle Mariners and would like more coverage of them...My brother-in-law Steve grew up in New York and would love to see more coverage of the Yankees and Mets here in Reno. Since the RGJ is not in San Francisco, Colorado, Seattle, Los Angeles, or New York, good basic coverage of all the teams is appropriate.
Lynn Ault, Reno
We must bomb them. We must kill them. We must pull the trigger on their deaths.
I speak metaphorically, of course.
We do not want to physically harm our American League opponents, but merely exercise our freedom to stomp our spiked heels upon their home plates, to march around their inner bases and crush them in the free marketplace of diamond competition.
Dear Madam or Sir,
Yankee or not, he could be one of the great stories in sports. And yet, you favor the hitter?
Sixteen point five million dollars a year, folks. That's what he's paid.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
What a horrible thing to do to a team: Yankees get visit from Olympic Gold Medalst, but it's not Lindsey Vonn
Can you imagine the excitement when they heard an Olympian was coming? The perked ears! The bounce in the step! The extra dash of Right Guard anti-perspirant. Every one was locked into his batting stance: Lindsey Vonn!
And then some sprinter, who cares what his name is, shows up and gives the yatta-yatta-yatta about staying hungry and going for the gold -- when the real information he could give would concern masking agents for drug tests: Hopefully, they got face-time later for some in-depth communications.
We are torturing our World Champion Yankees.
The Republican Party is going to bondage clubs, while we play SkeeBall.
Wake up, Yankee Nation. We will not win the pennant with sprinter speeches and Pacman points.
March 22, 2010 Monday
As the new chairman of the Downtown Sioux Falls board of directors, Scott Gullickson wants to continue to improve downtown and make it as good as it can be. Gullickson also is the vice president, business banking manager at First Premier Bank.
Question: What are your goals as the new chairman of the Downtown Sioux Falls board?
Answer: To continue on with the strategic plan that was put in place and just to continue to improve and make downtown as good as it can be.
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: I love to golf and like to do pheasant and deer hunting in the fall.
Q: If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
A: Abe Lincoln - because I think he did such a great job in some of our country's most difficult times; Warren Buffett - to get investment advice and discuss economic issues; and Derek Jeter - because he's the N.Y. Yankees' team captain and I'm a huge Yankees fan.
Q: What's your favorite place to travel to?
A: Somewhere warm with sand.
WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS
Large Hadron Collider today will seek to recreate 2005 collision between Bubba Crosby and Gary Sheffield
Yankeetorial: With its bondage-club pride, the Republican Party is channeling great Yankee teams from the past
It is time to separate the true prophets from those fools who are blinded by bloggery egoism.
10 PREDICTIONS MADE BY ME, EL DUQUE, ON THIS STAR DATE: MARCH 30, 2010.
1. The Yankees will finish in second place in the American League East. They will not win the Wild Card and they will not play in the post-season. This is because Baltimore and Toronto will be much improved. (The Jays didn't, as has been popularly reported, give Halladay away for nothing.) As a result, the AL East will be one tough somebich division. And second place will not offer a Wild Card.
2. Johnny Damon will hit more home runs and bat higher than Curtis Granderson, who nevertheless will have a fine season and be popular in New York. It will not be Granderson's fault that the Yankees fail to make the post-season. But Damon, as a point of personal pride, will make sure his numbers exceed the man wrongly viewed to be his replacement.
3. Mariano Rivera will pitch into August, then break down from age, and the Yankees will not have an adquate closer. If you saw me now, you would see tears in my eyes as I write these terrible words. But it can't go on forever. He will tweak a muscle or something will fail, and when Mariano is not right, our whole team is not right. Who is going to replace him? Joba? Maybe someday. Not this year.
4. The Yankees will trade Jesus Montero and Brett Gardner for Carl Crawford at mid-season. The trade will backfire, as Crawford suffers adjustment pains in New York, and then, they have nobody to deal for a relief pitcher, down the stretch. But Jesus Montero will face growing pains at Triple A, when smart baserunners steal on every pitch. It will affect his hitting, and the Yankees will have no place for a DH. Tampa will be looking to trade Carl Crawford, and the Redsocks will be sniffing, and there will be no middle ground. Worse, we won't just give up Montero and Gardner. It will also cost at least another top prospect. Yeow.
5. Javier Vasquez will pitch well for the Yankees, with an ERA of about 4.40; but he will not be offered a contract at the end of the season. It was never in the cards. They only traded for him because he was one-and-out. I don't know how this will affect him, but I think he will give his heart and soul for this team, trying to win back fans who will never forgive him. He won't get a shot at post-season redemption, and then he will be gone.
6. A-Rod will have the first off-year of his career, and questions will surround the future of his hip and the past of his bloodstream. He grew tired last year and really lost his swing for a while. Because of the great post-season he had, and that last game, when he drove in a pile of meaningless runs, we forget the ebbs and flows of his year. Also, he won't have Hideki Matsui behind him in the order. We took Matsui for granted last year. We'll miss him more than we think.
7. John Lackey will lead the Redsock pitching staff and become a notorious Yankee killer. He is a great pitcher and competitor, the closest to a Teixeira-type mentality that was on the market. I said it in December: Cashman is trying what Theo Epstein attempted in 2009 -- to be too clever with his tinkering and outsmart everybody. The Penny/Smoltz/Baldelli/et al follies blew up in Epstein's face, even though, just like Cashman's moves this year, they were roundly cheered by the "experts." This may be the year Cashman learns his lesson: If you got the cards, lay them down.
8. Nick Johnson will hit .300 and 20 home runs, but with nagging injuries to other key Yankees, his fulltime DH presence will prove a poor fit, and he will end up platooned. We will often lament the fact that he is slow on the bases, and we will look for a base-stealing benchplug, a Freddie Guzman, for the late innings, which will mean having to pare our outlandishly large pitching staff down to 11 or 10. This is the folly of a full-time DH on an old team.
9. Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes will pitch hot and cold, finishing the season as question marks for the 2011 rotation. Seriously, can you imagine either of them ever being a sure thing? Even though it seems as if they must be pushing 30, they are still years away from their prime. That's because we long ago began marketing them as future stars. Hell, we treat them as if they are all-stars. We turned them into china dolls. They'll come of age around 28, and I think they'll be good. But that's two-three years away. Question: Will they still be Yankees? Or will we be sick of them?
10. Kei Igawa will return to Japan by the All-Star break. Everybody wants him gone. It was amazing that he was one of the first slobs cut from spring camp. He must have been awful. First, they announced that he would get a looksee as a situational lefty. Then he had a fine 1-2-3 outing. Then he got tagged. And then he was gone. No word yet on whether he'll be a starter in Scranton. But really, can you imagine them paying all that money to a situational lefty out of the bullpen in Triple A? Nahhh. He's gone.
Take it to Vegas and bet the house.
I'm laying it out folks. How about you?
Monday, March 29, 2010
March 21, 2010 Sunday
To the Editor,
Johnny Damon is amazing, truly incredible. What in the world was the new Tigers outfielder thinking when he turned down the Yanks offer for two years at $14 million only to settle for a one-year deal for $8 million with Detroit? He shortchanged himself.
After playing 15 seasons, wouldn't one think it's about World Series rings and titles more than another few million dollars? How much more is needed for these athletes to enjoy life? Obviously it's a necessity when they choose a team that has not won a title since 1984, and in this case, snubbing the best of all time. The Yankees have won only five rings since the last Motown celebration.
Who would you rather play with, Jeter or Guillen, Posada or Laird, Inge or Arod, Cabrera or Teixiera? Best wishes to John Damon, who most likely will be golfing come early October instead of chasing what most players should covet, a chance for immortality playing for the finest sports team in the history of organized athletic competition, one that is gunning for its 28th World Series championship.
Joseph V Zanghi
Teixeira looked in obvious pain and slammed his helmet to the ground in frustration.
Check this out:
Protesters carried signs and banners letting the right-wing Coulter know what they thought of her.
"Yankee bigot go home"; "Ottawa didn't want you, neither do we"; "Racists not welcome"; and "You aren't controversial, just plain stupid" were just a few of the messages.
Ann Coulter is a Met. Don't they know that?
BUT HEAR ME, YOU EMMYLOU HARRIS COMMITTEE MEMBERS -- AND HEAR ME WELL...
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Joining us now live from Capitol Hill, Democrat from Ohio and member of the Senate Banking Committee, Senator Sherrod Brown.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: And an Indians fan, Barnicle tells us. Barnicle, do you want to ask the Indians fan the first question?
MIKE BARNICLE: Well, no, because they have low scale on their payroll. I don't want to upset him; it's too early in the morning.
SCARBOROUGH: Why? You mean -- is he going to have to suffer through another bad Indians season?
BARNICLE: I think so.
SHERROD. BROWN: You know, Joe, Barnicle needs to understand, rooting for the Red Sox is like rooting for the drug companies. I mean --
BRZEZINSKI: Oh, wait a minute!
SCARBOROUGH: That's the Yankees!
BROWN: They steal players --
SCARBOROUGH: You can't say that!
BROWN: Yeah, well, the Yankees -- the Red Sox have become a lot like the Yankees.
WILLIE GEIST: Thank you. That's correct.
BROWN: They're this big machine. Their fans are a little bit -- just a little bit over the edge, so that it's just uncomfortable for the rest of us. Joe Morgan --
BARNICLE: Senator, your version --
BROWN: Well, wait a second. Joe Morgan said on TV one time, he said baseball's the greatest sport ever because the owners have tried to ruin it for 100 years and it's still a great sport.
And when the Red Sox and the Yankees act that way, it's just -- you know. Anyway, back to business.
GEIST: Sorry about that.
BARNICLE: Senator, I saw you sit one night in Fenway Park, right across from me, a Red Sox-Yankees game.
BROWN: I know. Miserable. It was miserable.
BARNICLE: And you were rooting hard for the Red Sox.
BROWN: No, no, no, no. (Laughter.) It was a Red Sox- Indians game.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, you were.
BROWN: It was when you guys knocked Cleveland out of the playoffs. It was a Red Sox-Indians game, Barnicle. So get your story right. I never would go to a Red Sox-Yankee game because I wouldn't know what to do, except eat. (Inaudible) -- so I just have to eat popcorn.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Letter to the Editor: "I am constantly annoyed ... by cats, right-wing Republicans and Yankee fans..."
March 21, 2010 Sunday
I was saddened and angered to read that Lowell Mueller felt justified in shooting from his window and killing a neighborhood Chihuahua. I was even more saddened and angered by the overwhelming support Mueller received in the comments section on adn.com.
There has long been a proven link between cruelty to animals and cruelty to human beings (see americanhumane.org for more information). I shudder to think what might happen if a noisy kid wanders by the yard of some of those posters on adn.com -- or happens to be in the line of fire while they're taking potshots at poodles.
I am constantly annoyed and/or harassed by cats, right-wing Republicans and Yankees fans but it never occurred to me to take a shot at any of them.
Folks, you can call animal control, call the dog's owner or even scoop up the furball and take him to the pound yourself. A nuisance dog is just that: a nuisance. He doesn't deserve to die.
This had to be like one of those touchy-feeling bonding experiences: When that sportswriter one day has to write the truth about Girardi's bad decision, will he be able to stare directly into the eyes of the man who saved his life -- and do what needs to be done?
Next year, maybe they'll pass rattlesnakes.
Pictured, left to right, are: Bern Baby Bern, Whitey Fraud, Mons Meg and Jason Zillo.
Jon Weber? (Great spring for invisible player)
Phil Hughes? (Won coveted fifth starter role)
Joe Girardi? (Still never been honored)
Javier Vasquez (peace offering?)
Chad Gaudin (Continue tradition of awarding out-the-door players)
Jesus Montero (The Moosic Messiah)
The green lights began flashing, bells rang, and confetti dropped from the rafters. Alphonso was the 10, 245th attendee yesterday, breaking a 45 year record for the largest crowd ever at the fabled, Joker Marchant Stadium.
After receiving a 2.5 liter tiger paws plastic cup full of diet strawberry soda, and a coupon for a smoked turkey leg, I settled into a backless seat on a football field length aluminium bench. I was surrounded by refugees from the "Supersize Me" movie about McDonalds, and their 2000 calorie big boy burgers.
This was a special day at the ballpark for some or all of the following reasons;
1. Austin Jackson led off for Detroit and is, apparently, their starting centerfielder. He didn't do anything memorable either at the plate or on defense. But he will.
2. Johnny Damon received a huge ovation from the Yankee fans who had made the road-trip for the game. He also showed he can still hit AJ Burnett, as he scorched a double off the RF wall.
3. We got to see Joba in his first relief appearance ( he closed out the 2-1 game in the ninth ) since Phil Hughes was named the fifth starter. He gave up two base hits, got some help with a double play, and struck out the last dude. His velocity was 91-94 on the gun, which was not the Joba we all remember.
This did not compare well with some monster Detroit reliever ( name?), who had hit 101 on the gun while striking out the side an inning or two earlier.
4. D. Robertson was his usual. Electric stuff; a lead-off hit; no problem. No runs.
5. Even Chan Ho was good enough. A little shaky but he got out of jam he created.
6. I still think that Brett Gardiner can't hit. I have seen 8 of his at bats now in two games, and he walked once, I think. Yesterday, he struck out and then hit into two identical outs. Both were high choppers to first base, about one foot off the bag. No zing, no pop, not a solid contact with the ball even on a foul. Nothing. Nada.
El Duque will tell you that we need to give him a few weeks of playing everyday to find his groove. Duque is often right about these things. My personality requires that I continue to drink whenever there is a good bar nearby, and denegrate the player in hopes that I shall be humiliated for my hasty judgements.
7. I still like this Laird kid at third base. He has a great arm, is a good defender ( though yesterday he was saved by Nick Johnson on a low throw to first, and couldn't hold on to a throw from Pena on a guy advancing to third...but it was a major collision and a tough, tough play).
8. Randy Winn ( is that his name?) looks like he will be useful for the year. He made several fine catches in a horrible and tricky wind yesterday in right field, and threw out a dude trying to score from second on a single to RF.
Last night at the bar, we met Gabe Paul's daughter ( Gabe used to own the Yankees for those senior citizens among us ) who has written a book
called, " Yankee Princess ," or some such. It is due out in two months. She had plenty of fascinating tales to share from the era of Mickey, Billy, and the boys.
I'd like her to meet She-Fan who remains my author of choice for Yankee lore.
Am worried about possible rain-out today in Tampa, but I'll be there.
The scouts aren't the only people who love Yankee pitching phenom Christian Garcia: So do the doctors.
Garcia missed most of last year, and most of practically every year since signing with the Yankees back when George Bush seemed a one-term president.
We need this guy. Imagine the 2012 battery:
Christian pitching to Jesus.
Ha ha. Anyways, most recently, a scout for the prestigious AOL Funhouse watched Christian pitch and came away raving at how he made a monkey out of Jayson Werth. (Yes, the same Werth that we couldn't get out last October.)
As Jayson Werth learned on Wednesday, working out with the Phillies' Double-A squad, Garcia has the type of curveball that's close to unhittable even if you are expecting it in an 0-2 count. Werth struck out swinging twice against Garcia, both on breaking balls following high fastballs that he also swung through. His curveball grades out easily as a 7 pitch on the 2-8 scale.
Garcia has hurt practically every body part thus far, and there is little left for medical science to replace.
So what could Garcia hurt in 2010?
We're thinking dementia would be the perfect career capper. It can't just be routine mental. He's gotta do show up wearing a cop uniform or something. If Garcia can do that, he can go down in baseball history as one of the greatest set of injuries ever to not play the game.
Anyways... let's hope he doesn't catch a cold.
This guy is hereby appointed the official musical director of IT IS HIGH.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Marcus Thames, our youngest 35 year-old outfielder, hit a sharp single to left in his first at bat, raising his Yankee spring average to a nearly even .090. Another slugger was J. Weber who started a no run rally in the ninth. Too bad, earlier J. Weber dropped a soft liner at first to allow a 2 run inning for the Phillies.
Despite the fact that the Yanks never got a runner as far as second base, there were several medium fly balls to the outfield, usually struck on the first or second pitch. I think the game took about an hour and a half.
Nonetheless, the Yankees improved by more than 50% over their previous shut-out loss to the Orioles. The shut-out loss to the Phillies was 3-0 vs. a more ominous 8-0 to the Birds.
What we can take away is this:
1. The Yankees are ready for the real games to begin.
2. Phil Hughes threw more pitches in 3+ innings than Jamie Moyer did in 6 2/3. If Phil can ever find the plate, he'll be good. He looks good. Gets lots of K's and threw not one, fair gopher ball yesterday. He also got screwed by poor defense, and a little bit of umpire squeezing.
3. Zack Segovia, named after a sandwich at the Carnegie Deli on the west side of manhattan, looks like trade bait. Or maybe just bait.
4. Lot's of strange names remain as fodder. I think they are all the older full-time minor leaguers.
5. Mitre did well enough. Ring was looking good until an error and a walk undid him. We are really digging deep in order to have a second lefty for the bullpen.
6. Kei Igawa was send back to Scranton because he is still competing to be our 16th starter.
7. Mo was great in the 6th.
8. Someone named, A. Sanit pitched a 1,2,3 ninth. Is Sanit short for "garbage?" I hope not.
The bottom line is that MLB might as well begin the season, because this group is currently listless, uninterested and uninteresting to watch.
Off to Lakeland for Yanks-Tigers this afternoon. Bringing my own Xanax.
TAMPA _ Yankee slugger Alex Rodgriguez denied having visited the city of Buffalo Friday, calling the reports "a smear campaign" designed to cripple his cool-guy reputation with New York fans and undermine his chances with future Hollywood hook-ups.
"There was no meeting," Rodriguez told reporters.
Speculation had surrounded the Queen City trip since reports surfaced two weeks ago that he would meet federal investigators Friday to discuss his relations with a Canadian doctor. Sources said the meeting would involve dinner at a Tim Hortons and a brief tour of grain elevators.
Buffalo, the birthplace of grain elevators, has the largest collection of them in the world.
Rodriguez admitted a "personal interest" in grain elevators but cut short the interview when reporters questioned several other locations said to be on his itinerary.
"I'm not here to talk about the Penn Dixie Paleontological and Outdoor Education Center," he snapped. "I'm here to talk about baseball."
Asked if he were considering a trip to Batavia, Rodriguez declined further comment.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Is it too much to ask for one Yankee victory in spring training?
Is it wrong to simply want something positive?
Don't our Yankee children deserve at least an exhibition victory now and then?
Episode III: In Anchorage, it's "Anchors away!
Episode IV: "Before you have that abortion..."
Episode V: "Life in the Totalitarian Obama Police State."
And don't forget interviews with prominent Alaskan newsmakers.
Our 1989 lineup.
No hot club time machine, thank you.
5:46 a.m.: Touchdown by private plane. Coming in, had an incredible view of Tonawanda!
8:15 a.m.: Wow. I didn't realize any city on earth could have so many beautiful women!
9:30 a.m.: The Goo Goo Dolls are from Buffalo? I didn't know that! They're Yogi's favorite band!
9:45 a.m.: Yeah! It's good to know this town has a station that plays classic rock!
10:00 a.m.: An IMAX theater!
10:39 a.m.: Damn. Not enough time to see the Buffalo Museum of Science. But, you know, when it comes to roaming those exhibits, there's never enough time.
11:00 a.m.: OK, gotta get my game face on and meet with the feds. They look angry. I wonder if Kurt Russell got to them?
Noon. Lunch break. That early session was a nightmare. They did good-cop/bad cop. The bad guy kept bringing up the 2005 ALCS against Anaheim.
12:30 p.m.: Mm-mm. This beef on weck is delicious! I didn't realize you could get so much flavor from a boullion cube!
1 p.m.: Back to the feds' meatgrinder. I hope that mean one doesn't blame me for Johnny Damon leaving.
2 p.m.: Whew. Thank God it's over. Now, I can get back to the business of baseball.
2:10 p.m.: At last, the Canadian Ballet! When in Buffalo, you want high culture!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
In the dead of December, the town of N.Y.
He was surfing the Internet site, IT IS HIGH,
He was knee deep in twitters, way late in the night,
When Cashman the G.M. said, “Something’s not right!”
He heard a small voice, like the squeak of a squawk.
“It’s Santana!” it said. “He has gone on the block!”
Then he heard it again, just a tiny sad groan,
Like some gas from the cheeks of Sir Sidney Ponson,
He untwittered his twitters and picked up the phone...
As Ben Franklin shouted, after Betsy Ross nearly trod upon his snake, "Unhand my liberty!"
In recent months, the Redsocks have been carping about Yankee spending on salaries to anyone who'll listen. They want baseball to be like pro wrestling, where everything is controlled by Connecticut-based Vince McMahon.
Enough is enough is enough!
Major League Baseball is broken. The owners aren't listening. The players aren't listening. The announcers aren't listening. The media is in on it, too. We are the greatest team in the world, and we should stop playing their game.
On opening day, the Redsocks will play to their own agenda, regardless of what we do. Their fans will cheer them and boo us. They'll get what they want.
IT'S TIME FOR REAL YANKEES TO STAND TALL.
DON'T PLAY THEIR GAME. HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH OPENING DAY.
THE YANKEE PEOPLE NEED SOLIDARITY.
WE NEED ALL 25 YANKEES, PLUS THE PLAYERS AT SCRANTON-WILKES BARRE, TO STAND FIRM AND NOT ACCEPT A PITCH.
WE WILL HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SERIES IN BOSTON.And by the way, the address for them is 4 Yawkey Way, just in case any of you would like to pay them a visit, leave a little calling card, so to speak... heh heh... you know what I mean, dammit. (BUT DON'T GET CAUGHT.)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Edwar flies from Texas -- (Admit it: You didn't know he was with Texas) -- to the moneyball A's.
Says commenter THEBIG3CatBlueHoltz:
"This is the type of trade that makes total sense."
Chris Malec, Seth Fortenberry, Mike Lyon, Isaac Harrow, Julian Arballo, Griffin Bailey, Buck Afenir, Dan Miller and Paul Heidler. Lohud has the bloody details.
The Redsocks have signed Alan Embree for their bullpen.
Apparently, they lost out on Billy Traber.
Check out this quote, from pitching coach John Farrell.
“I wouldn’t say there’s a concern there.’’
(Updated 10:34: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.)