Sunday, September 30, 2012

Is there any reason in the world to feel hopeful about this team?

Take my hope, please. That's a joke. I have no hope. Help me believe. Give me a reason. Class? Anyone?

OK, lie. Speak gibberish. Speak cat language. Speak Girardi. Glababababababa. That's as good as anything. Wait... here's one: The Grandyman probably won't reach 200 strikeouts during the regular season! Cue the balloon drop. Grandy won't hit 200 whiffs! (If Grandy had another month, he could reach the rare 210-.210 milestone!) 

Here's one: Jason Nix is hurt, which means he can't hit another batting practice fungo and injure Mariano... who also can't get hurt, because he's already hurt! Also, Eduardo Nunez is now our late-inning defensive replacement. That inspires hope.

Andruw Jones is still our RH bat who keeps opposing teams from throwing lefties at us. That inspires hope.

Has Girardi decided whether Ivan Nova will pitch Tuesday? Whatever he decides, that'll inspire hope.

We still have Melky Mesa. Our base-stealers get thrown out, but we still have Miss-Third Melky, waiting in the wings. How old is he? Twenty five? Always great to have those young prospects down at Triple A.

We can hope the Redsocks beat the Orioles.

Ha. That's a joke. Take my hope. Please.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Doing the analysis: Right now, a one-game playoff would fall on Phil Hughes' shoulders

OK, get out your slide-rules, because this is technical stuff, or as the Yankiverse likes to view it: thoughtful speculation.

If the election were held today - that is, we face Baltimore next Thursday in a Division playoff - we could face Chris Tillman, coming off his legendary, one-hit masterpiece over Pawtucket. Hard to say, because Buck hasn't yet announced Sunday's starter. (Of course, if Boston plays like last night, Buck might pitch the game himself. Or maybe Betty White will come onboard to face down the mighty Pawsock machine.)

If we face Oakland in the Wild Card cup, we would probably see Tommy Milone. Tommy Milone. Yikes. WE DO NOT WANT THIS. We haven't seen him since July 20, when he pitched 7 shutout innings and struck out 10. He pitched well against us in May, too.

This is assuming - though I think it's safe to do so - the races go to the final day, and nobody, aside from Bush-Cheney's Texaco, gets a chance to set their rotations.

We could do worse than Phil. But whether it's Tillman or Milone, we'll need a RH hitter named Tex (as opposed to one named Andruw.) And when you imagine any Hughes victory, you project Joba or Logan getting the final out in the seventh, Houdini pitching the eighth and El Silencio pulling out his shirt tail after getting the save. We better have a rested bullpen.

Wait, better idea: Let's avoid a one-game playoff.

Redsocks should join Shaquile in the Dove Soap campaign, because they are clearly comfortable in their own last place skins

Hey, wow, glorioski! A base hit!

Leave it to the St. Valentine's Dove Men's Care Brigade to take revenge on Baltimore for last September's - uhm - disappointment.

Last night, the Redsocks let it be known in the first inning that Chris Tillman wasn't going to pitch a no-hitter, carving out both a hit and a run... forcing the O's to settle for a 9-1 "victory." Ha! That'll show 'em.

Boston on-field mgmt personality Bobby Vee had predicted his club would play the spoiler role, and he wasn't kidding. In this day and age of shrinking penises and stay-at-home hubbies  it's refreshing to see a last-place team so utterly comfortable in its own skin.

Not only that, but the Boston squat-to-pees are willing to forgive and forget, letting goodbye-gones be goodbye-gones. No sense even trying against Baltimore. Just lay down and sleep. Save it for the Yankees. That way, Boston can have an impact on the race!

I hope owner John Henry has enough money for the AT&T bill - because his team is phoning it in from the Dove Mens Care beauty spa where it is currently playing. This weekend, Kansas City, Toronto, Minnesota and Seattle are actually trying. The Redsocks are preserving themselves for the three-game season that starts Monday. They'll have Pedro Ciraco, the Yankee Killer, and the famed "Twitter Bullpen," (of 140 characters or less.)

Bravo, spoilers! Last night, you sure taught Baltimore a lesson!

NO NO-HITTERS! NOT IN YOUR SKINS! Hey, when's tee-time?

Friday, September 28, 2012

As Ichiro Lay Dying

As quoted in the New York Post by Kevin Kernan

EL DUQUE SHOCK: Don't Count On His Juju As The Yankee Season Comes Down To The Wire...

...because, as the Bombers battle for their lives in Game 162, he'll be busy being lionized:

Yesterday, we learned that Mars once had water, and Nova once had control of his breaking ball

Now, they're both barren memories. Hey, that's baseball.

But right now, we have as much chance of building a water park beside Mount Sharp as seeing Ivan Nova pitch in the playoffs. So what happened to the Martians, and what happened to the pitcher?

Well, I've seen enough TV to know the Martians built a super-technological society, then blew themselves up because they forgot the importance of love. Maybe that happened to Nova, too. I mean the love part. Because he fell in love with his curve - and we all know curves are fickle; once let loose, they are looking to connect and leave home.
Last year, the future looked great. (I'm referring to Nova now, not Mars.) This year, he's another former hope, the latest in a string of disappointments that go back to the Yarnells and Kamienieckis - whither goest Eric Plunk? - who gave hope and went bone dry.

Listen: It's too early to give up on Ivan. But the working phrase is: See ya next year, Amigo! For 2012, he's just another pitcher with a line through his name, like Pedro Feliciano  and Freddy Garcia.  Can you imagine Joe starting Freddy Garcia? Well, Elie Wiesel said that whatever evil man can imagine, man will bring it forth. But I think we're more inclined to follow Ellie Howard on this. And Ellie would say, no Freddy Garcia.  Or Ivan Nova.

Six games and a one game lead. I don't feel good about this. I watched Toronto beat up Baltimore at Camden Yards. Now, they're home, on that ridiculous domed tennis court, which kills a veterans' legs. If anybody dives for a fly, goodbye Mr. Collarbone. We cannot let Tex play in Toronto. And short of home runs, we don't make anything happen. Grandy is a 2 for 30 slump from .210 -  God, I wish we could bench him, his discipline is horrible - and now, Ichiro has cooled. And Arod... yeesh... he hasn't come back since his injury. And it took him half a season to get going.

Mars had water once. We had a 10-game lead. Nothing lasts forever. And wither goest Christian Parker?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Chlamydia

JK Rowling... without magic?  

"Adult themes?"


More than ever, we gotta play through October.

Look at the picture, America. Don't turn away, dammit. You scream about injustice in the NFL, but where were you when the Yankees were thrown overboard? Yeah, look at the picture! It's not going away. No justice, no peace. NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE! DEATH TO THE OLIGARCHY!

Faced with the disgrace of one blown game, the NFL was shamed into doing the right thing.

But where was Barack Obama on this night? Where's the Paul Ryan outrage about this game?

That's the last out of the Yankees' one-run loss to Baltimore - with the tying run crossing the plate! That's the season, folks.



We will not forget.

It's time for Yankee fans to start composing our personal vendetta list for the playoffs

It's time to think October. Ahh, yes - the month of orange! Pumpkins in the patches! Leaves changing color! Arod's 0 for 15 blush!  Octoberfest.  Oompa bands.  Attack ads. Time to harvest what ye hath sewn.

Don't gemmie wrong. It's still September. We must beat Tronto, which looks like next year's Balto, and who could do to us what last year's Balto did to this year's Bosto. But with seven left, if we win five, the worst we do is tie for the AL East - if Balto runs the table. Damn. If we fall apart, we'll spend Octo putting Steinbro photos into the shreddo.

Time to think playoffs, which at this blog means on thing:


Yep. Chance to settle scores. And we're talking about Detroit, Texas and the Reds of Cinncy. Vengeance. The long, cold dagger of Yankee retribution.

Right now, we have the second best record in the AL. Last week, that meant Texas got the Wild Card winner while we feasted on the pansy-ass White Sox. Well, not anymore. Last night, Detroit passed that stopped-up restroom of a team. It's time for revenge. Detroit has had our number. Dammit. We have to figure out how to stop Miguel Cabrera and beat Justin Verlander. Detroit in the first round - VENGEANCE.

That meant Texas - our ultimate nemesis -  in round two. But Texico is floundering. We stand one game behind them for best AL record. If we can run the table in these seven games, we could get the AL Wild Card game winner - Balto or Oak. Ouch. I don't want to play either of those teams, unless the Wild Card game goes 18 innings.  Neither has a Verlander. 

So here's the deal. We need to win, and so does Detroit and Texas.

That gives us Detroit in round one.

Then Texas in round two.

Then we want the only team in baseball in history to have a winning record against the New York Yankees.

Cincinnati? It's time we had a talk.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Yankees win, without any known new sex tape... but did someone else bring our bats back to life?

Behind CC Sabathia - whose logo t-shirt hovering atop a toilet stall may be the Yankees' most enduring September 2012 image - the Bronx Bombers today won their 8th game in 10 tries, since the YouTube posting of the now infamous left field bleachers rest room sex video.

Earlier, we opined that the obvious juju boost from the sex tape - we won seven in a row after cell phones captured the video two Saturday's ago - had begun to diminish. To get our boys winning again, we figured some anonymous heroes out there needed to step forward and tape one for the team.

Well, I don't know what you people do in your spare time. In fact, I'm not sure anybody, aside from the Department of Homeland Security, really wants to know what you do in your spare time. (Actually, they probably already do know.) But after today's wonderful laugher, I can't help but think that somebody out there "laid down a few tracks," so to speak, to get CC and company back on the beam.

Or there is another possibility. Longtime readers of this blog know that a few years back, there was disturbing but distinct link between the deaths of beloved celebrities (such as Ed McMahon) and Yankee winning streaks. This posed a dilemma. If we noted the correlation and the Yankee winning streak, we ran the risk of sounding happy about the death of the beloved celebrity.

No one here is happy when a celebrity dies. But the fact is, there is ample anecdotal evidence that when celebrities pass into the next life, the Yankee bats come to life. I report this fact with genuine sadness.  I would never trade a Yankee victory for a celebrity's life. Never. That's a deal none of us wants to start.

That said, I am sorry to report that this man is gone.

All I can say is what's already been said...

Moon river, wider than a mile.
I'm crossin' you in style, someday.
Dream maker, you heart-breaker.
Wherever you're going, I'm your way.

R.I.P. Andy, and thanks.

Open letter to the NFL: Replace the Replacements... and let's review that horrible Yankee injustice

Dear Madams or Sirs,

By now, it's clear that your replacement refs have fumbled away the trust of all red meat Americans. Sunday night, the lovable, public-owned Green Bay Packers - the icon of small markets everywhere - suffered a disgraceful injustice - and for what? So you could save $3 million in ref pension money? Good grief: That's chips and dip! The Giants waste that kind of cash on back up punters. What you've lost in good will cannot be priced.

Nevertheless, you must keep fighting the rising red tide of socialism.

Yes, dammit, you must not lose to a union. We cannot cave in to Big Norma Jean. The Trotskys will declare it a victory. The players will demand protection from concussions. Soon, you'll face striking hotdog vendors, and what then? Replace them? What happens with the salmonella epidemic breaks out?

No. Do not cave in these red pinko refs. In the name of the current Halases, Irsays, Rooneys and Maras, who came naked into this league and had to pay ridiculous inheritance taxes just to take their teams... and all the newcomers who parlayed their fortunes into NFL logos...  You must not show weakness. 

Replace the replacements. Ship them back to Watertown. Find replacement replacements, and when they blow it,  replace them. With three generations of replacements, you can run out the clock on 2012 and break the backs of the big labor thugs who want to run American football!

OK, I know what you're thinking: What the hey? Why does a Yankee blog care what the NFL is doing to help Seattle forget Ichiro? Well, my fellow billionaires, the answer is simple.

The Yankees are the Packers. And not long ago, we suffered at the hands of our real umpires. And nobody complained.

Where was the outrage when Mark Teixeira hurt himself diving into first base on the last play of that game in Baltimore, when the whole world watched Tex beat the throw and let the tying run score? Where was the outrage? Where was Obama? Where was Romney (Redsock fan, by the way!) Look at the picture. LOOK AT IT, AMERICA, DAMMIT, DON'T LOOK AWAY! THIS IS THE PICTURE OF INJUSTICE, THIS IS THE PICTURE OF FAILURE, THIS IS THE PICTURE OF REVOLUTION. WHERE THE HELL ARE OUR LEADERS? WHERE THE HELL IS OUR COURT SYSTEM, OUR SERIES OF CHECKS AND BALANCES?

I say: Tell the union bosses to shove it. Let's do a switcheroo. Replace the MLB umpires with the striking NFL referees, and put the MLB umps in charge of the NFL. Replace the replacements, and let's see what happens. But most of all, don't give in to those money-grubbing workers. Three million dollars? My god! Do those lazy workers think that kind of money grows on trees?

The Ship Lists Yet Again

Our line-up is trying.  We just don't have a solid core.

Yankeetorial: After last night's debacle, the Yankees need another juju-creating sex tape

I think it was Eugene V. Debs who said, "Desperate Yankee losses cry out for desperate Yankee measures," and last night's brain-gouging Yankee defeat by the Host Twinkies - in another era - would have sent 10 Bobby Meachems to Columbus lashed onto the back of an open-air flatbed.  When you waste a) a great outing by Phil Hughes, b) a home run by Andruw Jones and c) a clutch September at bat by Nick Swisher... well, you have done permanent psychic damage to your fan base. And that's how the Yankiverse feels this morning: Hungover, bruised and abused.

WTF happened? Just days ago, we stood gorged and erect, skipping to work, humming Broadway show tunes, and tinkering in our basements with electrified Lionel train locomotives that rammed happily through model mountain tunnels. Hakuna Mutata! Don't Cry for Me, Argentina!  Oooooh-kahoma where the wind comes rushing down the playyyyyyyn....  Dammit, we were on a roll, a 7-game roll, which came on the heels - or I should say - knees of the first-ever Yankee Stadium sex video, conceived in a left field bleachers rest room and disseminated, like all modern discourse, on the World Wide Warp. And who knows, 20 years from now, the child conceived in that tape would become the greatest all-time Yankee, the ultimate dividend!

My friends, we were high on juju - the bath salts of Yankee fandom.

Keep in mind, that this web site staged three International Juju Interventions this year. The first was a rousing success: The team eventually went 20-6.  The second halved the first: We went 10-6.  The third was a disaster. We won one game. You can go to the pickle jar once too often. 

We cannot stage another Intervention, not until the playoffs. But let the clarion call be sounded to Yankee fans everywhere:

It's time for another sex tape!

Take to the streets! Take to the rest rooms! Take to the subways and bus stations!

Now is the time to tape one for the team!

Now, yes, OK, I know... this is asking a lot. For starters, it takes two to tango. You can't do it yourself - well - maybe you could, but let's not.  But this is a worthy cause. I know for a fact that Alphonso and Mustang have been girding their loins for years, imagining themselves in a Yankee Stadium sex tape. Until now, I advised them against it: They might bring ill repute upon this site... and cost the Yankees a valuable ballgame!

But now, in the aftermath of the left field juju boink bounce, it's time to unleash the Hounds of Hughesville, the Kims and Kanyes of Yankeetown.  Folks, we need a couple heroes. They won't come from the bullpen. They won't come from the heart of the order. They won't come from the dugout. They're going to have to come from the Yankiverse.

Eight games left. Who's in?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


The First Lady of the Yankees is out "for the Jewish holiday," according to the Master.

The replacement: former Yankee bullpen lugnut Jeff Nelson.  (Thanks to Manx)

She should be over it by Friday. Let's hope she flushes this Old Testament dogma out of her system soon and gets back to the House that God Built. 

In terms of being a homer, John Sterling cannot carry Hawk Harrelson's mikestand

Rupe Murdoch's Wall Street Journal recently did the math on TV announcing teams, creating what should have been called the Bias Universal Statistical Homer Equivalency Announcing Test - or BU-SHEAT - analysis. By quantifying the number homer-centric comments during a game, the WJB proved what everybody already knows. Hawk Harrelson is the most obnoxious announcer on the planet.

Note, because Mars or Venus might have a sports league with a worse announcer, we cannot declare Harrelson the most obnoxious one in the solar system.

But the YES crews are NOT homers.  Says the WSJ:

While Harrelson wears his bias as a badge of honor, every other crew made at least some effort to appear impartial. Five of the broadcast teams made it through their games without a single biased comment: the Mets, Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers and Blue Jays. 

Broadcasters in larger markets were generally less biased: After the White Sox, the next four teams in the rankings were the Indians, Pirates, Astros and Marlins—all small-market franchises. 

This may not be a coincidence: Curt Gowdy Jr., the senior vice president of production for Mets broadcasts on SNY, said that in a "highly opinionated" market like New York, the fans wouldn't take well to their announcers being blatant homers. "The 'we' and 'our' cannot be in the vocabulary," he said.

OK, I know what you're thinking. This concerns YES, not The Master.

But the rankings were based on tidbits that announcers do, like saying "we" or "us" or blatantly cheering the team. Yes, Sterling goes apeshit over home runs and Yankee wins. And yes, you can tell in ten seconds by the tone of his voice whether the Yankees are ahead or behind. And yes, he whines when they fail, and blathers when they succeed. But he never calls the Yankees "the good guys," he never refers to the team as "we" and he never shouts, "Get out! Get out! Get out!" when a Yankee hits a long fly ball.

If you hate the Yankees - yes, he's definitely obnoxious. But to all you Sterling critics out there, remember... other teams have homers, too.

Some Yankee fans think that every team deserves a homer... except the Yankees. They also think we shouldn't spend more money than other franchises.

We don't need self-loathing Yankee fans. And by "we," I mean us.

An era may be coming to an end

No matter what happens in the next week,
we shall miss this man... forevah.

Brett Gardner could be a key to the first-ever, single-game, all-or-nuthin, 25-man Yankee roster

The one game season roster. What a concept.

What if we slide into that one-game abyss, where the year hinges on one base runner, one batter... maybe one chance to move the man from second to third, which is not our forte this year.

Think about it. The one-game season roster.  We need one starter, plus a crapload of situational pieces. Because if we're on the wrong side of the ninth, we need our fastest runners and a platoon advantage for our best hitters.

So... ponder this.

Starter: Let's say CC, although a solid case can be made for Andy. But only one. The other doesn't dress.

Long men:  Would we use Kuroda? Doubt it. He'd pitch game two in the next series, if it exists. Phil Hughes has bullpen experience. He's in. Nova, at this point, why bother? Phelps, definitely. Freddy, nope. Lowe... hmmm.... write in the margin.  But only if the game goes into extra innings.

Short men: Sori, Robertson, Epply, Rapada, Logan, Joba, and maybe Cory Wade or David Aardsema, if they throw well. (Wade didn't last night.) This is where Pedro Feliciano blew it by recently turning an ankle.  (What a bum. After two years of rehab, he actually might have been a piece of the puzzle, and he gets hurt. That, my friends, is bad juju.)

Catchers: Martin/Stewart. (Ha, Martha-Stewart! Why haven't we called our catching crew this!) As bizarre as it sounds, don't rule out Cervelli. If we fall behind, we would pitch run for Martin and pinch hit for Stewart, and we don't want Eduardo Nunez behind the plate in the 13th inning, right?

Infielders: Tex, Robbie, Jeet, Arod, Nix, Chavez and Nuni (for base-running only). Not sure about Pearce or Casey. There's a chance Tex's leg blows, and we don't want a Buckner situation in the 10th. Pearce made great plays against Oakland, but how would he get into a game? 

Outfielders: Grandy, Ichiro, Swish, Raul and Andruw. That's 23. (Yes, I'm holding my nose with Andruw, but with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, one run down and a lefty up... him or Pearce or Nuni? )

Here's where it gets dicey:

Two more spots. Chris Dickerson or Brett Gardner (assuming Gards looks fully functional.) Pearce? Derek Lowe or a short-man? Without Lowe, Hughes would have to pitch the extra-inning marathon. My take (which, of course, doesn't matter): You cannot leave Brett Gardner out of a one-game playoff. Even without a bat, he's our best fielder, our best base-runner. If he's functional, he's on the team. 

So who is the 25th man? I say, mix and match. It goes down to who's pitching against us? A lefty? Maybe Pearce. A righty? Give serious consideration to Cervelli, because we might need to pinch hit for Martin and Stewart. Or Dickerson instead of Nuni, who I cannot imagine playing in the field.

The one game season roster, folks. What a trip. It's a concept we've never seen.

And hopefully, we won't soon.


Jobba the Huh? Yank rooks dress like Lucas collectables

She thinks she's a fan, we think she's... special

Monday, September 24, 2012

Jeepers, it's sure a good thing we got rid of that there AJ Burnett. The last thing we needed was a 16-game winner.

This week, the man who would be AJ Burnett returns to Gotham with his brand new life, reputation and resume: A 16-8 record and 3.53 ERA, which if you're scoring at home, happens to be a slight improvement over the man who turned out to be his replacement, Freddy Garcia. But - hey, who wants to hear about that? Nope, we traded AJ Burnett to Pittsburgh for a slice of pizza, and for reasons unknown to modern man - this blog somehow appeals to entities that feel compelled to scream against the storm whenever AJ Burnett's record is mentioned - and for you all who want to yell once more into the void... HAVE AT IT!

Yep. We can celebrate the future that is Freddy Garcia and Michael PinHEADa instead of AJ. He was traded because of the overwhelming surplus of pitching that threatened our well-being last March, and which almost lasted to Opening Day.

But... we all know the lines: He couldn't pitch in the AL East. He couldn't pitch in New York. He couldn't pitch for Girardi. He couldn't pitch for Rothschild. He didn't get along with Tex. He needed a change. He didn't have a fastball. He didn't have command. He wasn't worth the money. You're glad he's gone. YOU-ESS-AY...  YOU-ESS-AY... YOU-ESS-AY.

Cashman's biggest blunder. Ever.

Makes the Tyler Clippard deal look like the signing of Lenn Sakata.

At the worst, we could have held onto AJ and, after he showed some zip in spring training, dealt him for honest value. Compared to the Burnett deal, the Redsocks got a steal from the Dodgers, when they dealt the last month of Becket, AGone and Crawford for some actual live arms. At least they got something. We got nothing. We just gave the guy away. Sixteen wins. Ace of their staff. He's got 172 strikeouts - only 14 below Grandyman. Unbelievable.

We have lost the tomato can edge over Baltimore

Two weeks ago, the party line went this way: The Yankees had the easiest schedule down the wire, while the competition had to beat on each other. Well, that's no longer the case.

Baltimore plays seven home games against Toronto and Boston, then finishes in Tampa. By then, Tampa will be also-ran soup. Longoria will probably be resting for next year, and the team will be so disillusioned that Madden won't even bother to call an overshift. Maybe David Price is pitching for a Cy Young Award. After that, nothing.

It is reasonable to think Baltimore could sweep the final 10 games and blow past us. It's more likely that they lose one... or two. Let's say 8-2.

We travel out of our time zone to cold Minnesota, then backtrack to frigid Toronto. Both can freeze our bats. Then we return home for Valentine's last hurrah. Nobody scares you, but the road is always tougher. And let's be honest: Boston will run through walls that final weekend, wanting to take us down.

We need eight of 10.  There is no margin of error for Ivan Nova, for Freddy Garcia, for a bad night by David Robertson or an 0-20 by Arod. There is no margin for Robbie's continual freefall into the .270s, Teixeira's inability to heal - or for another try of Eduardo Nunez at SS: He cannot play the position, OK? Are we good on that, everybody? He cannot play SS.

Damn. That loss yesterday stank. We kicked away the winning run. We went into our usual 5th-through-8th inning swoon. The umps screwed us on another call at first. Grandy... whatever happened to the guy who in 2011 adjusted his swing via Kevin Long and saved his career? He just keeps striking out. I can't watch anymore. He just takes his swings and walks back to the dugout.

Eight of 10? I dunno.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Another Day Another Error

I told you all before the year started that Nunez is the worst defender I had ever seen, and a guy who will make an error every day he plays in the field.

When he gloved that grounder and had to spin around to aim his throw, I knew (as did you all) that his throw was headed for the seats.

A critical error that will cost us today's game.

Will you please all sign my Nunez card?


Stadium juju sexytime streak now at seven for Bronx Boinkers

Murderer's Row. Mantle and Maris. Reggie and Catfish. Donny Baseball.

And now... the Restroom Rompers.

Seven and oh, baby. Seven and... ohhhhhhhhh.

Yesterday, somehow - don't ask me how - the Yankees survived Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova and Misstep Melky Mesa, keeping alive the Streak o' the Sugar Stall and keeping their own heads above the rim. Jiggle the handle, everybody. The Uh-Ohs remain a game up on the O's.

What happened? Well, one week ago, two courageous copulators raised their Yankee fanhood to unprecedented levels, birthing the first-ever Kanye/Kim-style sex video at the new Yankee Stadium. Good grief, it's amazing to think that, after three years, the place still had its virginity.

After yesterday, there is no doubt that this power couple penetrated not only each other, but the upper-atmospheric Higgs-Electro-Rizzutonic layer, a basic quasar-reflection grid which engulfs most of the Eastern latitudes on days when the beta-melk particle frequencies are running below .218. Look, I try not to get Hadron on this blog - I leave the heavy stuff for pay-per-view - so let me put it in Yankee terms we all can understand: We Bernied up and Reggied 'em.

Don't ask how, unless your slide-rule is handy.

We are seven and ooooooooooooh yeah. That is Cat-4, Number-One-with-a-Bullet, prime cut Juju! Touch third, Melky! And let's play two!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Yankees 6-0 since Internet posting of stadium sex video

We wondered then if a Juju WMD had been detonated.  Consider this:

The video was filmed in a left field bleachers rest room. Since then, Yankee leftfielder Ichiro Suzuki has been on fire!

The video showed a man wearing a CC Sabathia t-shirt. Since then, CC has thrown his best game of the season!

The video was reportedly shot during the third, fourth and fifth innings. Since then, the Yankees have scored the majority of their runs in the third through fifth innings!

The video was reportedly taken outside section 236 or 237Since then, the Yankees biggest home runs have come from No. 2 position catcher (Russell Martin - walkoff), No. 3 first base (Nick Swisher - grand slam) and No. 6 (Eduardo Nunez.)

The video was reportedly made Saturday, Sept. 15 and posted the next day. Since then, THE YANKEES HAVE NOT LOST.



Nearly eight seconds from start to finish!

Seven point seven six seconds... 

Longest WinWarble of the 2012 season!

One of the longest SterlHurls 
in regular season history!

See it!

Feel it!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Walk off

We would have had pie, but the Yankees gave away the guy who brought the pie, because everybody knew they had too much pitching and didn't need a guy who would be one of the best pitchers in the National League, but then again, everybody knows he wouldn't have been any good if he stayed with the Yankees, so it was really wise to trade him for absolutely nothing. But it's a good night. Really. I should go to bed. 

Will the Redsocks even try against Baltimore?

What goes around, comes around. Last fall, we sleepwalked with a huge lead and let the Rays win a game that still haunts Boston. This year, they have a chance to get back at us.

Can't say I would blame them for handing Baltimore a broom and saying, "Sweep away!" Bottom line is that while we play Oakland, fighting for its life, the Orioles will play a team that views victories as options.

This is where Bobby Valentine, if he had any clout in the clubhouse, might rally a bunch of players. But that ship sailed three months ago. Lester pitches tonight. Maybe he's got a future contract in mind. And maybe Jacoby Ellsbury is looking to raise his meager stats for the season. But let's face reality:

We phoned in last year, and they'll phone it in this weekend.

To stay ahead of Baltimore, we need to sweep Oakland, and that's no easy feat. We could well be in second place, or tied, by Sunday night.

Grandy jogged, Swish preened, and Alex ran: Something happened that needs to be noted

Last night, the Yankees beat the Toronto Santa Clauses 10-7. In the pivotal fourth inning, the Santas bestowed gift upon gift to their south-of-the-border hosts. I would have them back any time. 

The key gift was a roller hit by Curtis Granderson to the secondbaseman, who bobbled it thrice before finally just squeezing the ball like a rattlesnake in a revival tent.  The YES team, perhaps seeking to advance the theory that Grandy's speed forced the mistake - (batting .230, a guy needs every hit he can get) - watched the replay closely. Nope. Grandy was jogging. A hundred eighty strikeouts and out for a jog.

A few batters later, Robbie Cano smacked one to the secondbaseman. This time, the poor sap made the play, and we got to watch another Yankee aimlessly poodle down the line toward first. Nobody mentioned it. Of course, it came after Nick Swisher walloped a grand slam - a great Yankee moment, yep - and watched the arc of the ball almost entirely from the batter's box. It landed about five rows back - key blast, yep - but it was bracing to realize that, after the wretched adversity of August and September, Swish still feels he doesn't need to run hard on a ball that just might have been off the wall. Nope. Stand and watch. Don Mattingly is more than a half-continent away; he's 20 years gone.

We're in a cutthroat pennant race, and our players are jogging.

Let me repeat that: We are in a cutthroat pennant race, and our players are jogging.

Which brings me to Arod. Last night, to end the fourth, Alex smacked one up the middle, stabbed by the pitcher on one hop.  In full view of the play being made,  Alex sprinted to first. On a hopeless out, he ran hard.

Listen: A lot of Yankee fans get down on Alex. He's critics on this site. But it's time to remember that no player should be held responsible for the stupidity of owners. If a billionaire - yes, they are billionaires - wants to shell out excessively for Alex Rodriguez or Yu Darvish or Pedro Feliciano - that is their decision and it is not the players' fault. We have a tendency to forget that - especially when Arod marches to the plate.

Secondly, Yankee fans - most of all - are not supposed be penny-pinchers. Good grief, we are the Yankees. We play to win. We pay to win.  Let the KC Royals whine about how much a player is making.  Let the Redsocks do that. This is New York, folks. We don't negotiate during the season, we sign players who play to win, and we pay them well.

Thirdly... and this is most important.

We are in a killer race. It will go to the wire. We could end up in a one-game season, and if we're lucky to get beyond it, then face Texas in five.  Comrades, it is going to come down to Alex. He is going to have to hit. If he doesn't, we're done.

Let's give the guy credit.  We have never seen him dog it. Look at the superstars out there who become clubhouse cancers. Not Alex. He is, like Jeter, a throwback. He always plays hard. He never jogs. He never stands at home plate and admires his hit.

And somehow, we need to remind other players that we're in a race. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Let's Play Two !!!

Well, we finally figured out a way to win two games in a row.

Meanwhile, our offense is scary, no?

The Yanks score early and rarely.

We are ok if we pitch shut-outs.

We need to keep Jones, Swisher, Ibanez and Martin on sabbatical.

Let them eat moon-pies in the clubhouse.

No way we win again tonight.

Anybody who still thinks Andruw Jones should be hitting against lefties is living in a fantasy novel

Stephen King moment for today: Imagine yesterday's doubleheader if Andruw Jones plays instead of Ichiro. Carrie in the high school dance, right? For starters, delete seven hits and replace them with two Ks, two pop ups, a DP and - well - maybe a BB or, better, a hit-by-pitch. (This is a Stephen King thing, remember.) Also, toss out the catch in LF that ended the Tommyknockers eighth for David Robertson. Figure Toronto scored four runs and pole-axed us in game one like Jack Nicholson doing Scatman Cruthers. Second game? We're still playing. It's the 80th inning of the Dark Towers series, and we have scored one run.

But Andruw Jones...WTF? Blame age and gravity, I guess. But he started this season with a great ray of hope. The story, according to the writers - Lupica ran with this - went this way:

Last winter, Andruw decided he could make the Hall of Fame, if he put together one last great shining season - a full-time OF, not just a RH specialist. He called his astral twin Arod, who invited Andruw to his Fortress of Solitude, and they ate tofu and worked out side-by-side (not that there's anything wrong with that) as Yankee brothers. Andruw was now in the greatest shape of his life, a lithe and powerful Bengal tiger, waiting to be unleashed upon major league pitchers.

Yep. That's what they wrote. 

Might as well have been Dolores Claiborne. 

Maybe Andruw did enjoy some epiphany about the looming end of his career. And maybe he moved into the West Wing of Arod's supervillain complex. But last spring he never looked one sit-up shy of 235, and by May 1, he was in need of a Jenny Craig intervention. He had a barely decent first half - if .220 with power is barely decent - and he has had a worse last two months than Mitt Romney. I half-expect to hear him in a donors video, whining about young players who earn the MLB minimum.

Yesterday, Ichiro staked his claim to Andruw's ever-diminishing role. Somebody needed to do it. We were almost down to Melky Mesa in a once-around-the-league fantasy. We simply cannot afford to play Andruw Jones anymore. The season is over. It is not salvageable. And next winter, we should listen warily to those who say they've figured it out, and all is going to change. (Remember Swish and the hypnotherapist he hired to keep him out of slumps? Ha.) Might as well re-read "Cujo."

You never forget that 82nd loss

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Billy Connors, age 70, is "relieved" of his duties as Yankee pitching guru

That's not a keyboard fart. He did not "retire." He was "relieved," as in canned, peed, fired, let go, squeeged, feeliwaxed... dinkled.

Billy Connors, George's ol'buddy'ol'pal and the man who presumably headed our Gitmo-Tampa pitching staff for the Lost Generation, is gone. Not retired. Relieved.

Strange choice of words. They suggest Billy refused to go until they dismantled his cubicle and revoked his parking pass. What's stranger is that he lasted this long. Good grief, when I heard he was feeliwaxed, all I could think was, He was still here?

Seriously. In recent years, the Yankees have faced one ongoing, Vietnamesque slog: Our inability to develop pitchers. From Andrew Brackman to Dellin Betances, our top prospects seem to go blooey. The jury remains out on Hughes and Joba (both doing well lately, FINGERS CROSSED.) And it was always Billy Connors, captain of the Tampa Titanic.

I wonder if he was really pulling strings or just yapping, like the B-list codgers across the table from Brad Pitt in "Moneyball." Either way, Billy gave the team about 30 years. Seems like they could have found a nicer word to describe his exit - unless, that is, there were teeth in the parking lot. Hey, nobody likes to get squeeged.

Sori seems to be the easiest word

We won this afternoon, 4-2: A nice, sleepy, lead-all-the-way, small ball victory over a team that is only playing for next year's contract or pecking order.

Once again, we used Raphael Soriano for a four-out save. He did the job. And theoretically, four outs shouldn't be too much more than three.

But realistically, we know where this goes.

Sori pitched because David Robertson could not survive the eighth. He not only nearly blew the three-run lead, but when Soriano arrived, the go-ahead runs were on second and third, and the Yankees hadn't done anything since the first. Disaster loomed. Every ball hit off Robertson was a line-drive, and he was facing the bottom half of the batting order. Listen: This was bad.

It might just be a crapola outing, and maybe Houdini will rebound. But lately, he holds leads like a wet paper bag holds lead pipe. Everybody is waiting for someone - Joba? - to become the eighth inning lock down, but we are not there. Warming up in the bullpen with Soriano in the eighth, during Robertson's near meltdown, was Cody Eppley. That's the alternative we had. Make no mistake: This is trouble.

Another reason to hate the Montero trade

Last night against Baltimore, Jesus hath crappeth thy bed.

Welcome home, Gards. But why am I thinking this is a bad idea?

Brett Gardner - aka, the Yankee Jacoby - could be activated today for the twinbill against the Toronto Not-That-There's-Anything-Wrong-With-Thats.

Gards still cannot hit. Basically, that puts him on an even keel with Nick Swisher after August 1. In fact, with runners on base, I'd take my chances with Gardner bunting over half the "professional" hitters on this team. At least he wouldn't strike out.

Nor should it seem Knicks-like to have a one-dimensional player on the roster. Good grief - with Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez and Clay Rapada, et al - we already have a team of one-trick ponies.

Still, I dunno about this. Gards played nine games this year, not counting botched rehab assignments in farm league swamplands more akin to Sookie Stackhouse than MLB. He kept hurting himself. If there's one thing we've seen about Gardner, it's that he relentlessly runs into walls. He's like a retriever who chases cars. He always pushes the envelope. If he pinch runs, he's going. And over the last two years, he's started slowly on the basepaths.

Last year, in the beginning of the season, he had a miserable record for stealing bases. He turned it around at the end. But right now, which is it for Gards? -- the beginning of his season, or the end?

Don't get me wrong. When the rosters expand, a manager can mix and match. Good grief, we have Melky Mesa sitting on the bench, presumably for blowouts or 26-inning ties. Also, Gardner is a positive influence. No slacker. I just worry that this is a bad time to be shaking off rust. And I  don't see Gards coming into a game to just stand there and look quick.

They'll know he's running. That will only provoke him further. He's been gone a long long time. This isn't rehab. It's crunch time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Did the Blue Jays shortstop question the Redsocks sexual orientation?

MLB is checking whether Yunel Escobar played Saturday’s game against Boston while wearing a homophobic slur in Spanish. Says CBS Sports:

Pictures posted online — including one shot from Getty Images — show Escobar with the message “tu ere maricon” written in his eye-black, a sticker players wear under their eyes to reduce glare from the sun.

The phrase can be translated to “you are a f—–.”

My take: Yunel should be able to wear his mascara any way he likes. Everyone knows if a player feels prettier, he'll play better, and the right make-up always enhances a gal's self-esteem!

Another reason to hate the Jesus Montero trade

Last night, Hector Noesi gave one away to Baltimore.

Jamming Juju: Yanks 2-0 since posting of sex video on Yankee Stadium crapper

Veteran IIHIIFIIc readers know by now that whenever someone mixes the pungent smell of urine with the eighth-grade flirtations of John and Suzyn - well - I need to go sit my babymaker in a bucket of salted ice water. Yowzer. Saturday's sex video in Yankee Stadium certainly beats posted nippletalia from that middle school floozy who played Harry Potter's wet dreams in the movies, and let's be kind here: It totally tops anything the French plan for those royal Harry and Kate Bush photos during their fancy secret peekaboo getaway. Dammit, this is Bob Gamere-level epic. This is Iron Horse, Donny Baseball, Clipper, Scooter, Melky and Moose. This is the House that Ruth Thrilled.

Listen: This is how super generations of Yankee fans get made. It's like in the scary movie, when you finally learn why Jason is Jason. (Turns out, he was conceived during a devil-possessed Sidney Ponson start.) So when news broke Sunday about new park's first sex video - it's roughly three innings of humping in a left-field men's room, framed by the concrete majesty of Rudy Giuliani's field of dreams, and punctuated by the witty comments you'd expect from the William F. Buckleys and Norman Mailers who are nearby peeing - well - I had to feel better about our chances against the jolly old Tampa Bee Stings.

We at IIHIIFIIc have advanced many scientific theories of how Yankee games are won not by the players, but through the Rizzutonic emmissions generated by fans who perform certain acts during each contest. For the most part, this "juju" has been PG-rated, (Parental Guidance advised, due to adult language and expressions of violent themes - usually from Alphonso.)  But others have now raised juju to a higher - and certainly more potent - level.

Make no mistake: If the Yankees win the 2012 world championship, this mystery couple belongs in Cooperstown, or at least Oneonta. Mr. and Ms. CC already deserve a bronze hologram in the Yankee Fan Hall of Fame - up there with the Libyan guy who plugged Gaddafi, the one who gave back Jeet's 3,000 hit, and the hero who set the tacks on Ed Whitson's driveway.

These days, it's rare to find a man and woman willing to hump the extra mile to win a ballgame. Three innings! That's a Freddy Garcia complete game! Considering how Yankee hitters choke with runners on base, it's nice to know that at least someone in Rudy's money pit knows how to score from third.

Bravo! o ye pioneers of porno juju! From now on, whenever John says "safe and secure," I may have to get out a bag of frozen peas.

Monday, September 17, 2012

We may not have a shortstop, but Nuni is certainly our right-handed DH

So long, Smiley. After waiting an entire season for Andruw Jones to awaken from zombiehood,  yesterday, we found the homeless replacement guy who should have been playing all year: Eduardo Nunez.

OK, you're right - it's not only wrong but it's bad juju to annoint Nuni "The New Brett" on the basis of one good game. (At bat, he's had three good games.) But Nuni's hitting HRs and tallying SBs, and all Andruw has done since Juneteenth has been to march to the water cooler grinning like Benny Hill. All this time, we had a .280 hitter with 20 HR pop and 40 SB speed, and because he couldn't field as well as Jason Nix, we banished him to the Thruway Rest Stop team.

So now the question is: Who replaces Raul from the other non-productive side of our DH mess? Well, who's that other guy who's been stealing bases and homering? Well, well, it's none other than Chris Dickerson, who also spent the whole 2012 season digesting the Roy Rogers dinner menus between Batavia and Rochester. Raul is something like 2 for 40 over the last fortnight. Frankly, I cannot remember his last base hit (though, to be fair, he always mashes a line drive foul down the right field line - big crowd-pleaser there.)

Nuni from the right, Dickens from the left. Two guys who can steal a base. Seriously, can they do worse than what we've seen during this swoon?

Listen: Joe Girardi is a loyal manager. He sticks with players, and that's noble. But his ancestor, the prescient Mr. Torre, used to say he lost friends in the playoffs. We squandered a 10-game lead waiting for the Dementia Duo to adjust their swings and start hitting. Aint gonna happen. The answer was always right in front of us - on the ever-traveling bus. Click your spikes, Joe, and repeat after me: There's no place like homelessness, there's no place like homelessness, there's no place like homelessness...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Opening now: The Hunger Games

Fourteen games left. One up on Showalter. Three against Oakland, in our house. After that, a buffet of Dinty Moore: Twins, Blue Jays, Redsocks. The lone uncertainty: Are we a tomato can?

One with Tampa. Today. Win, and they might as well be Sarasota. Back to dodging hurricanes. No more Joe Madden overshifts. No more Longoria. No more Big Game Shields. Go home and start thinking about next year's sound-effects in the Trop. They'll be four out in the Wild Card. All they can do is mess up Baltimore in the last three games.

Meanwhile, Buck must be miserable. If they get swept by Oakland today, they go to Nintendotown and have to face King Felix. Ha. That's a loss. Best they would do on the western trip is 2-4. After that, they play six against the Redsocks, who used to own them, and three with Toronto, who hasn't played a meaningful late September game since Tony Fernandez held down SS.

Fourteen games. One up. If Baltimore beats us, we have no excuse. None. But at least Joe won't have to sweat trying to line up our ace for the one-game playoff. We have no ace. He can just continue his normal turn through the rotation.

Fourteen games. Fifty at bats. Two, maybe three starts. Arod needs two HRs to hit 20. Grandy needs 10 RBIs to hit 100. (And 24 Ks to hit 200.)  Hughes could win 18. Andy could get back into the swing. Tex could heal. Andruw Jones could - well, I dunno - maybe draw a few walks.

Fourteen games. Every one critical. Seven and seven won't cut it. We need 9 and 5, or better. Lose today, and we could be tied with 13 left. That's an unlucky number.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I Told You Nunez Would Never Play a full Game In The field Without Making At Least One Colossal Blunder

It never bothered me that Nunez disappeared onto the Scranton wandering minstrel bus.

His presence in the Yankee line-up always hurt us more than it helped us.

He can hit.  He can run.

But he can't catch and he can't throw.

Does that make him a two-tool player?

I found this stone sculpture, symbolic of his skills as an infielder, displayed in his home town.

It is simply labeled, " Nunny."

And guess what?  He is the best young prospect we have.


Yankeetorial: Andruw Jones is the new Gary Ward

In 1987, the Yankees - almost halfway through the Great 13-Year Barf - signed slugging LF lugnut  Gary Ward. He started the season molten hot and through early June was being touted by the Yankee propaganda mills for the all-star team. For three months, you couldn't watch or listen to a Yankee game without hearing someone congratulate the team brain trust for signing Gary Ward.

Well, Gary fell apart and, by the year's end was hitting about .255 - which was what anybody would have expected, considering his age - 33 (young by today's standards!) and the fact that he hadn't hit well for a couple years. The following season, he fell into the .220s, but - hey, that's what you get in a 13-Year Barf.

But here's my point. (I do have one.) Throughout those delightful three months when Gary Ward was hitting about .340, the law of probability always dictated that a correction was coming. The more he hit at the start of the season, the less likely he would hit at the end.

Which brings us to Andruw. It's easy to take potshots. But it's actually unfair to judge Andruw (and Raul Ibanez) too harshly. They were supposed to be DHs this year. Left field was Brett Gardner's position. But Gards broke a nad making a catch, and we waited through three false-returns before punting and trading for Ichio. In the meantime, Andruw and Raul chased fly balls that they never expected to be seeing.

And now, neither of them can hit. But the question is, was it ever viable to think Andruw Jones was going to have a good year? Let me list his batting averages since 2007, when he turned 30: .222, .158, .214, .230, .247 - and now .200. Early in the year, he went on a mini-tear. And the Yankee propanganda mills congratulated us for being so clever in signing him.

Last night, Andruw went 0-3. Again. It's a killer 0-3, because he bats in the middle of the order, and right now, every left-handed pitcher in baseball dreams of pitching against the Yankees, because the two guys who bat fifth and six (Russell Martin and Andruw) can't hit their weights.

We spent a lot of money in 1987 to sign Gary Ward. We did the same last winter with Andruw and Raul. In fact, we gave AJ Burnett to Pittsburgh so we could free up money to make those signings. And we spent the first three months congratulating ourselves.

This is how you end up in a 13-Year Barf.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Doomsday has arrived

Second place?

Yankeetorial: Here's a way for the Steinboys to cut payroll next season: Stop signing former stars in the freefall of their careers

First, for the record: GOD BLESS FREDDY GARCIA. This isn't about The Chief as a person. He's had a great career. He came through last year, and responded in December by writing him a check for $4 million. That's where the problem started. Brain Cashman ascended into his creative tradesman mode, we sent pitchers to hither and Pittsburgh, and then everything went sour. Freddy Garcia has been a positive. After he's gone, many many years from now, his epitaph should read: Freddy Garcia, a Good Yankee.

But Freddy's last four starts have been disasters, and he is one of the reasons we watch scoreboards every night. And nobody - nobody - is surprised. We all knew the wheels were loose.

Now, some of you are saying, Duque, this is just another one of your bullshit tirades just because a guy's pitched crappy lately, and you liked Adam Warren. If you like Adam Warren so much, why don't you gett back on your meds and become a Scranton-Wilkes Barre Trolly Frog blogger? 

Well, first off, other Voice in My Head, Thank you for being an asshole. Secondly, the record doesn't lie about Freddy, who has now pitched 102 innings on the season. After becoming a starter through injuries, he pitched well for three starts and went steadily downhill.

The trouble with a guy like Freddy is simple: You know he won't get better. He's running out of pitches, and one of these days, boom, it's Deja Ponson, all over again.

So what if Freddy never existed? What if Clarence, the angel of Capra, floated down to the bridge where I'm planning to jump, snapped his fingers and said, OK, Duque Baily, you've got your wish, Freddy Garcia never existed! What if we hadn't signed him? Has David Phelps been better? Not much. And what about Warren or DJ Mitchell, whom we traded for Ichiro?

Adam Warren, 24, got one shot this year. He pitched 2.1 innings and gave up 6 runs. It was horrible. They banished him to Scranton, like Mad Max being sent from Thunderdome. On the Thruway Warriors, though, Adam threw 150 innings, went 7-8 with a 3.71 ERA.

Before we dealt him, DJ Mitchell, 25, pitched in four games. He went 4.2 and gave up 2. Down in Scranton, his ERA was over 5.00, so maybe he's better gone.

And then there's old Ramon Ortiz, 29, the bull of the Scranton rotation. Spent the whole year on the Thruway. Won 13, lost 6, with a 3.45 ERA. Would he had done better than Freddy? We'll never know. Because we were lashed to Freddy by a $4 million chain.

Would Adam Warren - if we had tracked through is opening disaster - now be improving, instead of getting worse? We'll never know. We never had that option.

When you buy an old player, you are closing the door on young players.

Of course, there's also the Andruw Jones example, but that's too easy. Would Kevin Russo (.284 at Scranton) or Ronnie Mustellier (.303, 10 HR) hit better? (It's hard to imagine them fielding worse.) Andruw has fallen off the board. His .203 average speaks for itself. But we play him. Basically, he's a bank that's too big to fail.

Instead of kids who might improve, we keep trotting out seniors with wobbly wheels. Even when they do well, they are always a tweak away from the DL. And then we wonder why nobody is coming up. You know how Joe DiMaggio was "The Yankee Clipper?" Well, David Phelps should be "The Yankee Youth Movement." He's all we got for 2012. Is it because we have no talent, or we simple demoralized it?

Meanwhile, the Yankiverse is celebrating the best news in weeks: Andy Pettitte's coming back, and Freddy - dammit, he was a Good Yankee - is finally gone from our rotation.

The Yankees may collapse, but we're winning in t-shirts

Bronx Goblin T-shirts?
A portion of each sale
goes to ALS research.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Three in a row? Can we?


Are we better off than we were four years ago?

In 2008, we finished third. Out of the playoffs. Dead in the water. A horrible year. We were polarized (Trade Cano? Stick with Abreu?) We faced scandal. (Sidney Ponson, really?) We were falling apart.

Have we improved?

This is the lineup from that tick-infested stable. (Note the ages.)

And the pitchers? Yeesh.

Well? Are we better off? It's the question of the year. We report, you decide.