Tagged: Red Sox

Eight is Enough

Eight wins. Just eight wins stand in the way of the Yankees and their 27th World Series title.

The Bombers won 103 games in the regular season, so eight may not seem like its much.  However, the last eight wins will be the hardest eight wins of the season. It will mean the Yankees would have beaten a very good Angels team four times, and either the Dodgers or Phillies another four.

On a side note, speaking of the number eight, if you’re Dick Van Patten, “Eight is Enough.” There I go dating myself again. Eight is also the number Grover used to paint on the blue bald guy’s head on Sesame Street. Why couldn’t the SATs been more about primetime television from the 80’s, and not Geometry and Algebra? A2 + B2 = Chris is going to a college after he gets good grades at a community college because his SATs were awful.

Me and my tangents.

Anyway, a couple interesting facts for you about the Yankees and this series. This regular season, the Bombers were 15-0 when the score was tied at the end of the seventh inning.  According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the second longest streak in Major League history. Only the 1906 Giants had more wins in a row. They had 16 when the game was tied after the seventh. Why is this important you ask? I think this series will come down to the bullpens. The starting pitching is lights out on both sides, and the Yankees have the edge in the pen. They have the best pen left in the playoffs, hands down. So if the game is close or tied late, Shearn: Chapter 1, Verse 1 of the 2009 ALCS Bible says, “It’s advantage Yankees, boys and girls.”

Another cool stat to keep all of my Twitter followers from committing Chip Caray in the first inning after a lead-off double: The Yankees were a combined 21-14 against the teams in the AL that made the playoffs — 9-9 against the Red Sox (after starting 0-8, by the way), 5-5 against the Angels and 7-0 against the Twins.

If you are an avid reader of, “Off the Wall” or you listen to the “Off the Wall: The Podcast,” you know what I think about things “on paper.” If it’s on paper, it means it’s in the past. You can break down stats all you want. It’s a new season, it’s a new day, and at the end of this series, there will be new heroes to revere.

Timeline to live by

May 12, 2009 – Yankees lose 5-1 to the first place Blue Jays – drop to 15 – 17 and 6.5 games out of first place.

May 21 – Yankees win their ninth straight game, 1.5 games out of first

May 29 – Yankees beat Indians 3-1 in Cleveland, take over first place by .5 game

June 11 – Yankees lose their eighth straight to the Red Sox, 2.5 games back

June 17-23 – Yankees go 1-5 and get shut out in the first game in Atlanta – five games back

June 24 – July 9 – Brian Cashman visits Atlanta and Yankees win 13 of next 15

July 10-12 – Yankees swept by Angels, three games back

July 17-27 – Yankees win 10 of 11, in first place by 2.5 games

July 28 – August 1 – Yankees lose four of five and their lead drops to five games over Boston

August 2-15 – Yankees win 12 of 13 including a four-game sweep of the Red Sox, 6.5 up

August 28 – September 9 – Yankees win 12 of 14 increase their lead to nine games

September 11-21 – Yankees lose 6 of 10 – lead down to five games

September 22-27 – Yankees win five straight – including another sweep of Boston, AL East Champs

Do me a favor, take this timeline and live by it. It perfectly illustrates the highs and lows of a very long baseball season. A little over six months to be exact. Time and time again this season, people on Twitter, people in the blogosphere, and people calling into radio shows, acted as if the sky was falling. These people hang on every pitch, of every inning, of every game, like it was the last pitch of the season. I give them all the credit in the world for being the kind of fan they are, but please whenever you doubt a Yankees team go back to this timeline and remember the end result. Print it out. Put it on your bulletin board, your fridge, your computer monitor, or your favorite Yankees poster. Let it be a nice little friendly reminder from yours truly, “The Lighthouse of Hope.”

Is winning the division nice? Of course it is. Is winning the division after dropping eight in a row, then winning 9 of 10 against the Red Sox, including the clincher at home nice? Absolutely! However, there is still some work to be done boys and girls. The Yankees haven’t been to an ALCS since 2004 and we all know what happened in that series. Joe Girardi established three goals in Spring Training: Make the playoffs. Win the AL East. Win the World Series. Two down, one to go.

The talk of the previous couple of weeks was of the Yankees magic number. In case you’re wondering, one still remains and it resides squarely on Girardi’s back – 27.

By the way, be the lookout Friday for an Off the Wall chat session here on YESNetwork.com with yours truly. See you then!

1998 Redux?

Ho hum. Another day, another win. Remind you of any other Yankee teams? Maybe one from 11 years back? The team that seemed like it won almost everyday? The team where if it lost you were like, “Ah, whatever. What are we? 70 games over .500?”

I’m not saying this team is going to win 125 games. I’m just saying the day in and day out winning lately, just got me reminiscing a little bit that’s all.

The Yankees are six straight wins away from reaching an unbelievable 40 games over .500 this season. Why is it unbelievable? Do you remember last year? My, what a difference a year makes. My, how the glasses go from half empty to half full. Although I guarantee you there are some fans out there that STILL aren’t satisfied. Maybe they are upset they lost the series to the Rangers? Get over it. It was the first series they lost since they were in Chicago at the beginning of August. In fact, since the All-Star break the Yankees have played 13 series. They are 11-2. By the way, the 11 wins include two series wins and a four-game sweep over the Red Sox. They also swept the Tigers, Orioles, Blue Jays and White Sox.  This team is playing how everyone expected it to play after an unbelievable offseason of signings.

Let me throw some more numbers at you. Since Alex Rodriguez came back into the lineup in Baltimore on May 8, the Bombers are 59-33. Since June 25, they are an unreal 42-16. Since the All-Star break, they are 31-11. They have the best record in the Majors, they are the best team in baseball right now. Not arguably the best, they ARE the best, right now. Some more numbers now for the remaining naysayers and people who can just never be happy. Maybe this will turn that frown upside down. August 31, 2008, the Yankees were 72-64 — just 8 games over .500, 12.5 games back of Tampa and in third place. Do I see a smile? Or was that just gas?

Come on people! Stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. This team is flat out good. They are proving it on the field everyday! You know who you are. Don’t make me sic Susan Powter on you. Children of the ’80s you know who I speak of — “STOP THE INSANITY!”

powter.jpgLet me take you back to a past blog. At the All-Star break, if you remember, I was asked to grade the Yankees as a guest on WFAN. I gave them a B+ and I got destroyed. Here’s an excerpt that entry:

Baseball is cyclical. If you have ever played the game you would
understand that sometimes the ball looks like a pebble and you’re trying
to hit it with a toothpick, and sometimes it looks like a beach ball
and you have that big fat red wiffleball bat. 

There are 73 games left, 73. That’s almost an entire NBA or NHL season.
What? I’m gonna worry? GLASS HALF FULL PEOPLE! I said this last year
and I’ll say it again. If you don’t like rooting for a team that
consistently runs out players that are fit to win championships ever
season, there’s always Pittsburgh, Kansas City or Washington. Pledge
your allegiance to teams and owners who put money into a new yacht
instead of putting money into their team.

Am I patting myself on the back? No. Was I right? Yes. The Red Sox won eight straight in the first half of the season. In the second half, the Yankees have taken six of seven. The Yankees are 19-4 in their last 23 home games. They are scoring close to six runs per game, and they are batting .287 with 38 home runs. The fat red wiffleball bat is in full effect. The pitchers are keeping it in the park as well, pitching to an even 3.00 ERA.

Back then there were 73 games left, now 32 remain. The Red Sox keep winning and are still lurking, just six games back. Chew on this though. If the Yankees played .500 ball the rest of the way, that’s 16-16, Boston would have to go 22-10 just to tie. I’m not a betting man, but I like the odds.

So, as the Tempo’s once sang, “See You in September,” everyone. It’s been a heck of a ride, and hopefully the good times will keep rolling along. Hopefully we’ll see you in October, and November where the only number that will matter is 27.

You Don’t Live in Boston…

The New York Yankees run a VERY classy organization and their fans are dubbed by the players as the most knowledgeable fans in the league. Well this week the Boston Red Sox come into town and David Ortiz will bring his cheatin’ heart along with every other cheatin’ part of his body into the Bronx. This will be the time, ladies and gentleman and boys and girls, to show the rest of the country, especially Boston, that not only are you the most knowledgeable, but you handle yourselves with class. Not only because your own team has been caught out on more than one occasion with steroid use, but because you have more CLASS than your “school on Sunday” counterparts in Beantown.

The field microphones picked up plenty of steroid chants when Alex Rodriguez came to the plate whilst the Yankees were in Boston. I don’t want a repeat of that happening at the Stadium. It’s just plain embarrassing.

First of all, for these gulli-bulls, for these nin-cow-poops (Bugs Bunny terms) up in Boston, who thought their precious team was pristine, and free from PED’s … oh wait, that’s right, these are the same people that have re-elected Ted Kennedy over and over and over again, so I shouldn’t be shocked there. The wool is, how you say, easily pulled over their eyes. The entire game was jilted by the juice. Not just New York teams as the Mitchell Report would have you believe, which by the way was run by a guy with ties to the Red Sox.

So Yankees, fans when the big bloody sock machine pulls into town on Thursday for a four game set at the stadium, leave your blow up syringes and steroid chants at home. You don’t live in Boston, YOU live in the greatest city in the world. You, ladies and gentleman boys and girls of all ages, have something your counterparts from the North will never have … class. It reminds me of a coach who took the microphone once and said something along those lines to his hometown crowd.

Cement Shoes

I was at the gym earlier today, on the elliptical, and one of the Master Trainer’s came over and we started talking.  Malik is a Mets fan, I am a Yankees fan, so the comedy always ensues in our conversations. 

This time though it wasn’t at each others expense.  It was at the expense of one of the Yankees arch enemies, and it made me raise an eyebrow.  Malik pointed out to me that David Ortiz is doing awful this year, the same year his jersey was buried at the new Yankee Stadium.
Did this anger the ghosts maybe?  Or does Ortiz just have a Tom Selleck size hole in his swing? 

He’s only batting .189.  He only has one home run.  He is no longer batting third or fourth.  He was recently sixth in the Boston lineup.

Regardless of what is going on, I think it was a great point by Malik.  I told him I would blog about it, and I am a man of my word. 

We Want Torre?


And you were worried about swine flu? I’d be more worried that JJD is spreading at an alarming rate and it affected all those in attendance at the Yankees’ latest loss to the Red Sox.

Fans were chanting, “We Want Torre?”

Really?! You really think this has to do with the manager? You really think Joba Chamberlain going out and giving up four runs in the first inning (even though he rebounded for a strong finish the damage was already done) had nothing to do with the Yankees latest loss? You really think Jorge Posada being on the DL had nothing to do with the Yankees latest loss? You really think not having A-Rod has nothing to do with the Yankees getting out to a mediocre start? You really think Chien-Ming Wang basically forgetting how to pitch has nothing to do with the Yankees and the position they’re in right now? You really think the bullpen instead of being a bridge to Mariano Rivera is The Bridge on the River Kwai after the explosion has nothing to do with the Yankees being 500 after 26 games? You really think Mark Teixeira’s slump, hitting out of the three hole, has nothing to do with the Yankees not being able to stay consistent? Really?!  

The Bombers are now 0-5 against their arch rivals (which is more fan driven now, the players are too huggy kissy for me these days). Their record matches the Munsters’ address number, 13-13, and there seems to be just a general malaise floating through the air.
And you know what that general malaise is called boys and girls. Yup I am going back to the well until its bone dry. You can all say it with me, Janet Jackson Disease.

While the only cure for Bruce Dickinson’s fever was more cowbell, the only cure for the spread of JJD is, quite simply, winning.

Seriously though people, you want Joe Torre back? The same Joe Torre most of you wanted out of here? The same Joe Torre that you were fed up and disgusted with? This is why the city of New York will always be single. It’s impossible to be in a relationship with this place. It falls out of love too damn fast.

No one is more prepared, and no one gives more attention to detail than Joe Girardi. Who, by the way, is a former Manager of the Year…with the Florida Marlins. Just chill out, we haven’t even played a quarter of the season yet and the Yankees haven’t had their full team on the field once.

For some comic relief and to ease your Yankees tension check this out it always makes me laugh…RIP Dom DeLuise.


Saturday hangover


Is it me or do all Yankee fans feel like they were on a Patron Silver bender last night and are suffering from the worst headache you could think of this morning?

Pick a team. Any team. Except the Red Sox. Arguably the best closer in the history of baseball gave up a two-run lead in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. He’s human. It happens. However, the way the Yankees lost last night is just a hard pill to swallow. If it was any other team, it would be a tough loss, but it would easier to deal with today.

The Yankees are probably the only team that makes me lose sleep. I will lay in bed after a loss like that and try to figure out a way they could have and should have won. Tossing and turning, turning and tossing, tossing and turning all night.

Eventually I will get to sleep and dream about the end of the game, and the dream will be so vivid, so real, that I wake up thinking that my dream was the ACTUAL outcome of the game. Obsessed much? Who me? Yes, yes, I am. I can’t help it. It’s the way I’ve always been, much to my wife’s chagrin.

It’s how I am in every aspect of my life. I hate to lose and I hate when my team loses.  Speaking of how I am in my life, I hate making mistakes. I’ll be the first one to admit it. I am by no means perfect. Another glaring example of me and my foot in mouth disease happened last night on “Yankees Batting Practice Today.” I incorrectly stated that Johnny Damon would be the only lefty to face Jon Lester. Well, unless Robinson Cano learned how to hit right handed in the Yankees off day, I was sadly mistaken. That is also the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night. I want to do the best job possible for the fans watching these shows. I want to get you ready for your night of Yankee baseball. When I do something like that it’s inexcusable, and I apologize. Apparently I don’t know how to dress either (see the Blob).

I admit I am not GQ. Never have been. Never will be. That’s not my thing, obviously. I like being a little different. I like being a little colorful. My outfit may have been a little out there when I did my Time Out during the Mike Francesa show, but Blob, have you seen Craig Sager?

Last night my fandom took a BIG hit. The Rangers got blanked down in D.C., and the Yankees, well, we know what happened. Thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach, but, today is a new day, right!?

Oh yeah, wait a minute. It’s a new day without Brian Bruney and Cody Ransom, and the Yankees have to face Josh Beckett. Maybe I’ll go back to sleep and dream the outcome.  At least I can fool myself into thinking they got a win. Wake me up tomorrow before Sunday Night Baseball. Oh wait, I can’t go to sleep. I have to see who the Giants take in the draft.    

Musings from the WCBS 880AM Radio Booth

No score through an inning and a half…A-J Burnett 22 pitches through his first two innings 14 strikes and eight balls.  Tim Wakefield w
johnsuzyn.jpgas knuckling the Yankees to sleep until Robbie Cano just lined the first Yankees hit back up the middle almost hitting Wakefield directly in the bum. 
Burnett 37 pitches through three innings of work…12 in the first, 10 in the second, 15 in the third.  Still no score.  Jorge Posada with another throw out at second.  After throwing out three of four in a minor league game on Sunday…Posada gunned out Jacoby Ellsbury…the speedy Sox CF.  Wakefield and Burnett are both throwing one hitters.  Chris Carter and Robinson Cano have the hits for the Sox and Yanks respectively.
Suzyn told the radio audience that A.J. Burnett should throw between 75 and 80 pitches tonight and he is out for work in the fourth.  Another quick inning for Burnett.  Derek Jeter leading off the inning.  The Captain making his return to the Yankees after the WBC.  He didn’t have to report until Thursday, but told the media, he has to play.  He has to get some games in at shortstop. 
A.J. Burnett is as cool as a cucumber in the clubhouse and you know what kind of mood he is in for the day just by looking into his locker.  He has a four sided, four faced, Buddah doll.  The right handed fireballer turns it according to what mood he is in on every day. 
Paid attendance tonight including standing room…11,113…a GMS Field Record. 
55 pitches for Burnett through five innings.  Still pitching a one hitter.  Chris Carter’s double in the second is still the only Red Sox hit.
Xavier Nady strides to the plate to Eminem’s Without Me.  Wakefield goes three up three down once again as he gets Nady and Cano on strike outs to end the frame…End of five…the YMCA grounds crew doing there thing. 
Burnett gave up his second hit…a slow rolling swinging bunt down the third base line…Cody Ransom had no play.  We talked to Ransom about taking over for A-Rod at third while he recovers from his hip surgery.  You can see that in our video section.
A.J Burnett just gave up his first run of the game on a ribbie single into right…we also talked to Burnett along with Johnny Damon which you can also find in our video section…Look kids Big Ben…Parliament.
Burnett’s night is done…5 2/3 82 pitches.  Bases loaded for Rocco Baldelli…and he grounds out to SS…Jonathan Albaladejo came in relief and induced the grounder.
You are probably either listening to this on the radio or watching it on TV…but you have to be here to really appreciate the speed of Brett Gardner…I can’t say it enough..Does he have power no…Does an opposing pitcher shudder when he comes to the plate…no…but the corner infield does.  Speed kills…and he just scored on an infield single from third. 
By the way no crazy fans so far screaming charge into the field mic placed just outside the booth by Carlos Silva…John and Suzyn’s producer for the radio call.  The last game they did here…every time the PA would play the cavalry charge…there was a guy right by the mic screaming charge in his best Tarzan voice as Suzyn pointed out.  Plus the beer and cotton candy vendors would pass under the window screaming, “BEER HERE” and “COTTON CANDY!” which prompted John to ask Suzyn if she needed anything…great moment…and we all heard it was last call for alcohol in the seventh and John again asked Suzyn if she wanted a beer before they shut things down.  Tonight though there have been no incidents.  I will let you know if there are. 
Well if I type it they will come apparently…this time it was two fans with beer glasses raised saying hi to John and Suzyn and they were on the air…classic.
Here is Mariano Rivera…getting his work in…Mo has been a beast…coming into this appearance…28 pitches in three innings of work…he retired eight straight until Gerald Laird singled off of him in his outing against the Tigers last week. And Mo works another perfect inning 13 batters up…12 sat down…in four innings of work so far this spring after coming back from shoulder surgery…its like he never left…he struck out his last batter swinging and P.J. Pillitere who has been the Yankees system since 2005 got to catch a living legend…that had to be a thrill for him…Pillitere also caught Roger Clemens in his tune up tour in Trenton with the Thunder.  
Damaso Marte as Suzyn said on the air has great stuff, but doesn’t go after hitters.  He was facing minor leaguers and walked two of them.  If it wasn’t for a fortuitous bounce on a wild pitch, Marte would have uncorked the go ahead run while facing a minor leaguer as well.  Pillitere made a sparking play getting Ellsbury, who was hung up between 3rd and home.  As John just said on the air you can’t fault Ellsbury, he had to think it was an easy run. 
Big error by Chris Carter allows the Yankees to be set up first and third with no one out…Suzyn with great analysis…the ball was pitcher Manny Delcarmen’s to field and Stewart’s momentum even if he fielded it was bringing him toward home and it was going to be a very tough play for him if he fielded it.  Good stuff in the booth…and Angel Berroa continues his great spring doubling in the go ahead run with a high chopper over third…and John followed with the first commandment in baseball…Delcarmen walked the leadoff batter which is when all the trouble started…
AJAX cleans up the base paths…Austin Jackson hit a grand slam right as Suzyn was describing how Reggie Jackson thinks the power will come for the Yankees coveted prospect.  After the home run, on the YES network, who was right there with a smiling A-Jax?  Reggie Jackson.  Another great job by Suzyn. 
John Sterling’s call of the homer was a little off, but in his defense that ball hooked over the fair pole just fair…it was tough to call…being as that the ball was hit like a laser down the line.  Edwar Ramirez finished things up in the ninth.  Yankees win 7-1 after getting six runs, five earned, including the four courtesy of Jackson’s blast…Again thanks to the WCBS team for letting me hang out and experience the game once again.  This trip was better than last year and I can’t wait for next year.  I have one more day here, but its a complete off day for the Yankees, so this will be my last blog.  I hope you enjoyed my time down here as much as I did bringing it to you.  Thanks for reading, and I will catch you back in the studio for the YES Network Sports Sprint next Monday.  This is CMS signing off from GMS field.

Dr. Evil is happy because Number 2 is back

Hey everyone!  Deuces are wild today here at the Boss.  I am sitting in Section 211 Row D…Seat 2…The D is for Derek and the 2 is for the number on his back. Derek Jeter is back from the World Baseball Classic and will be in the lineup tonight when the Yankees face the Red Sox at 7:00pm on YES.  Jeter walked into the clubhouse and within seconds he was a morsel of bread tossed to the flock of seagulls of reporters that surrounded his locker.  Picture the scene in Finding Nemo when the seagulls were chasing after the fish in the birds mouth.  Jeter talked to reporters for about 10 mintues about his experiences while away at the WBC.  Including getting up close and personal with guys he has played against and getting to know their personalities. 

Right now I’m just hanging out…no one is in the stadium…its quiet except for the sounds of some birds and the cars on the Dale Mabry…the road that stretches the length of the outfield wall.  There are two guys hosing down the infield and the batting cage is set up.  There is a tarp with the interlocking NY on the pitchers mound…and its about 78 degrees and sunny with some puffy white clouds as far as the eye can see.  Its days like today, that I thank my lucky stars that I am alive and doing the job I always wanted to do.  These are the times I love.  The ballpark is empty with the exception of the YES camera crew setting up.  All I hear now is the nice light breeze whipping through the flags in the outfield and some birds still.  Out in the distance you can see the Buccaneers gigantic Jolly Roger flag blowing in the breeze.  Its right over the right field wall.   

The lineup for tonights game is in the YES Blog.  Jeter is at short and batting second.  Just a reminder I will be in the booth tonight with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman bringing you another blog from above as the Yankees take on the Red Sox.  It wont be an inning by inning…for that you can just tune into YES tonight or WCBS 880 on your AM dial.  More later…TTFN