Tagged: Yankees

First “Off the Wall” Podcast

In case you haven’t come across it yet, Joe Auriemma (The Godfather of YESNetwork.com) and I, hosted our first foray into the podcastophere (pretty sure I just made that word up). You can call in with your questions or comments (646-487-3668) and we will use the best every week, but I was thinking earlier this morning — there’s no place for you to vent back at us.

We have to be fair. I have to admit — I was hard on you insatiable Yankees fans in my monologue. So every week, if you want to fire back at us for that — so be it — I will put a blog up so you can empty all your frustrations on me. l can take it just as well as I can dish it out. If you want to get on my case — just leave a comment underneath here and I will get back to you.

We will have a brand new podcast up next Thursday and we are working towards doing this more than once a week. Also, Joe and I will be visiting three Minor League parks in 24 hours starting 7 p.m. this Monday in Trenton, followed by 11 a.m. the following day in Staten Island and wrapping up our trip in Scranton Tuesday at 7 p.m. Single-A, Double-A and Triple A in one day. We are documenting the entire trip and it should be a lot of fun to watch, and we will be discussing said trip in our podcast next week.

The Great Debate

Well Yankee fans, both sides of the Joba debate got exactly what they wanted last night in Cleveland. Chamberlain started, and pitched through the eighth, bridging the gap to Mariano Rivera.

I have to stand my ground though on my stance to put him back in the bullpen. As Ozzie Guillen said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “I’d rather face him once every five days then every night.” You get the idea.

John Flaherty talked about this very topic in Flash Forward this week on YESNetwork.com. Find out what the Yankees catcher thinks about the Joba situation by clicking here.

All of you out there who are sick of this topic, well I’m sorry. Some people like to beat Brangelina or Brittany to death in the figurative sense, I am in the business of beating the starter-reliever thing to death. Like it or not, it will be around the whole season. I suggest you get used to it.

There are times this season Chamberlain left you looking at the glass as half empty, and other times like last night, he left you looking at the glass as half full. When he was a reliever the glass was overflowing.

The more Chamberlain is inconsistent, and the closer he inches to his pitch counts every night and his innings limit for the season, this Great Debate will continue to rage on.

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. 

Two is greater than four

Yes, boys and girls, it’s time for a little math lesson. Here is our equation for today: 
2 > 4. For those of you who aren’t math whiz kids, (including myself who had to almost Google which sign was the greater sign) this translates into two is greater than four.  

Now I know in the literal sense two is not greater than four. I think we all know, if I have two snowballs and The Blob has four snowballs, I am leaving the fight with two extra bruises. Thus making four greater than two. 

However, in the baseball sense, in regards to a certain New York Yankees pitcher, two is greater than four (2 > 4). Joba Chamberlain’s two pitches out of his right hand coming out of the bullpen are greater than and outweigh the four pitches he is bringing to the table as a starter. I know I am being impatient, I know I may have a touch of JJD or BJD when it comes to where to use Chamberlain, but I truly believe, as many other people do, that Joba needs to go back to the bullpen.

Think about it. He is not giving the Yankees length on a consistent basis. He is pitching four and change, five and change and six and change at best. He’s on a strict pitch count, and he’s on a short leash because of a season innings limit. Why tax your own bullpen leaving early, when you can become very taxing to the opposing team later in the game.

I’m not an expert. I’ve never put myself out there as one and never will. I’m just an Average Joe fan who has been around the game of baseball my entire life. I’m not the only one saying it either. I’m not going to take credit for this stroke of genius. I don’t have a lab at home where I sit and concoct ways to make the Yankees better.  

However, putting Joba back into the pen will make the Yankees better. Especially now that Brian Bruney is back on the DL. Only time will tell what is wrong with his elbow, and if it’s something serious, it only makes the equation more viable.  

Yes boys and girls, two would be greater than four indeed.

We’re Going STREAKING!

yankees_250_052209.jpgNo, not through the quad Snoop-a-loop, through the Blue Jays, Twins and Orioles. It’s nine and counting and the defending champion Phillies stand in the way of the streak continuing. It should be a fun weekend of baseball in the Boogie Down. It’s the Phillies’ first trip back to the Bronx since 2000. They are 1-5 against the Yankees in New York and 8-10 overall.

Let’s get back to this current nine-game winning streak. You are all probably sick of me bringing this up. Probably even to the point of regurgitation. But even during a winning streak, something positive, people are still out on a ledge with this team in this area. You just can’t make it up. Janet Jackson Disease is still in the air. I don’t get it. Do the Yankees have to go 162-0 for everyone to just remain calm? Somehow I have a feeling if they did, someone, somewhere, would find a way to pooh pooh the perfection and nitpick about how they only won by a run in 50 of their games.

Believe it or not boys and girls, callers on radio shows in the greater New York area were calling up during the Twins series, and moaning and complaining because the Yankees were only winning the games by a run. Let me get this straight: Instead of just sitting back and enjoying a five-game winning streak at the time, you are going to sit on hold for at least an hour, finally get on the air, and this is what you’re bringing to the table? Is there any joy in any of your lives? Seriously. This area has a fever, and the only prescription isn’t more cowbell, it’s winning.

Well at least I thought it was. Now even though they are winning and getting good pitching and timely hitting, people still aren’t satisfied. Enough with the Debbie Downer attitudes, people. When times are good, you have to take your half empty glass, and make it half full. You have to turn the frown upside down or you will be taken in by a new strain. Oh yeah. A new one. I’m putting JJD on the backburner.

We all know swine flu is scaring the bejesus out of people, but I have discovered something far worse. Billy Joel Disease – “I Go to Extremes.” Here’s a refresher if you need it:

Sometimes I lie awake, night after night
Coming apart at the seams
Eager to please, ready to fight
Why do I go to extremes?

Darling I don’t know why I go to extremes
Too high or too low there ain’t no in-betweens
And if I stand or I fall
It’s all or nothing at all

You can’t get too high or too low with this team. Just stay at an even keel and everything will be fine. However, if you can’t, the doctor is always in discovering new afflictions and trying to come up with a cure.

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.


Preaching from the pulpit on a Sunday

I don’t know if I’m the only one who thinks this way, but enough is enough with the whole Alex Rodriguez thing. Secretariat died nearly 20 years ago, and the last time I checked no one was still beating him to death. However, I have a feeling A-Rod and his various transgressions will be billy clubbed ad nauseum for the test of time because it sells papers and it will sell books apparently.

I, on the other hand, will not be partaking in the drivel that Selena Roberts has penned. I give her a TON of journalistic credit for being able to get Rodriguez’ name out of the 104 that tested positive for performance enhancers back in 2003. It turned the baseball world upside down, because Rodriguez was supposed to be the poster boy for clean players, and he was supposed to take us all away from the specter of steroids.

Some of the other stuff she is writing about though in her book we already knew and shouldn’t come as a surprise. She isn’t really breaking any news here. Although if you watch any of the news networks, news breaks and apparently its breaking all day.  One of my pet peeves.  If it breaks at 10 a.m., its not still breaking at 4pm. That drives me absolutely nuts.  Sorry for the sidebar.

Okay so here are some of her gems from the book, which I saw today via the New York Post.  A-Rod visits strip clubs, A-Rod is insecure, A-Rod is in constant competition with Derek Jeter, A-Rod bragged to teammates about being with Madonna, and A-Rod ALLEGEDLY took steroids in high school.

A ball player in a strip club? Wow!  I’m shocked!  He wore a Yankee hat to scream look at me?!  Again, “Elizabeth, it’s the big one!  I’m comin!” You think Alex Rodriguez isn’t going to be recognized if he wears a cowboy hat? A-Rod is insecure? That’s a newsflash, aren’t we all a little insecure? He’s in constant competition with Derek Jeter? You don’t say!  Wouldn’t you want to measure up to what Jeter has accomplished? A-Rod bragged to his teammates about dating Madonna? Is she 50, yes, but as one of my friends told me,”It’s still freakin Madonna!” Finally, A-Rod ALLEGEDLY took steroids in high school?  No concrete evidence to go on, yet it was still printed.  That is NOT journalism.   

That IS National Enquirer type stuff and I leave that stuff to the same people that read that garbage. I can care less if Brittany Spears held her baby while driving her car. I could care less if Kirstie Alley is 80 pounds overweight. I won’t lose any sleep if Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo are on the rocks, or if Brangelina got into a fight about having their 20th kid.  I’m not going to sit at home on my weekend off and worry about millionaires in Hollywood with their goofy little problems, or how Alex Rodriguez was in a strip club in Dallas with a Yankee hat on. 

A-Rod had a press conference, he apologized for using performance enhancers, and he is working with Don Hooton’s foundation. Hooton’s 17 year old son Taylor’s steroid use led to his suicide. 

Is Alex Rodriguez perfect?  Are you perfect?  Let he who hath not sinned, cast the first stone. Put it down, and walk away.

I’ll take the Yankees and Forrest Gump for $1000, Alex

The answer is, “The quote from the movie that most represents the 2009 Yankees so far.” Ooh, ooh, I know this! What is, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” Mama always said it about life, and now I am saying it about these Yankees.

From the lineup, to the bullpen, to the starters, I don’t know if I’m getting butter cream, peanut butter, or coconut filling. I hate coconut filling by the way. And, lately, the Yankees are giving me plenty of coconut.

The losing streak is now at four. Chien-Ming Wang is on the DL with a hip flexor issue, (hip flexor issue in this case means he’s out of options, couldn’t send him down to Triple A) and has an ERA over 34. CC Sabathia was supposed to come in here and be a shut-down ace, injecting CC’s of 0’s and K’s into opposing lineups. Still waiting for that to happen. Yes, I’m aware of what he did last year with the Indians and the Brewers. He was 12-0 over 18 starts last June 10th through September 10th. But, CC, “What have you done for me lately? Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, yeah.” Janet Jackson Disease (JJD) is very catchy and I think I am coming down with it. Everyone is worried about Swine Flu now, but JJD is what I am worried about catching.

Sabathia pitched well enough to win last night, but either Justin Verlander miraculously remembered how to pitch, or the Yankees forgot how to hit.

A.J. Burnett has been OK, but, in his last start, the Yankees had a 6-0 lead on Josh Beckett, and they couldn’t hold on. Unfortunately, that’s what sticks in your head. Big time symptom of JJD. You’re only as good as your last start or your last at-bat.

Joba Chamberlain’s days as a starter should be numbered. I’m Maverick here and I am calling the ball — especially if Phil Hughes can make an instant impact. Hughes has been lights out at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (three wins, 19.1 IP, 1.86 ERA 19K, 3 BB), and tonight he gets the start against the Tigers.

I may be getting ahead of myself with Mark Melancon, but with Brian Bruney being on the shelf, the bridge to Mariano would be a lot sturdier if it went Melancon, Chamberlain, Rivera.  John Flaherty told me in Flash Forward this week that the Yankees were forced to bring Melancon up a little early, but to be put in at Fenway Park in front of a national television audience, and to do what he was able to do was impressive. (You can catch the entire Flash Forward in the video section of YESnetwork.com.)

As far as the hitting goes, Robinson Cano has really been the only consistent plate performer. The Yankees second baseman is the only one hitting over .300. Nick Swisher has cooled off, and Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira are both hitting .220. There is some good news, though.  Alex Rodriguez took live batting practice down in Tampa today, and you will see the video on Yankees Batting Practice Today at 6 p.m. ET on YES.

I know its “still early” in this 2009 season, but when does it start to get late? Yogi Berra said it the best, “It gets late awfully early around here.” He was commenting on the adverse sun conditions in left field at the old stadium. His quote, however, will stand the test of time to the spreading disease that is Janet Jackson. Nineteen games in, I’m already suffering from the symptoms. However, I promise … no, I guarantee … no wardrobe malfunctions will occur on the set.  

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.    

THE I(RS)des of April are upon you

Observations on Tax Day Eve 2009

I Saw the Sein
Page 2 New York Post – Mike Vaccaro’s column on Citi Field – Jerry Seinfeld named his son after a pie? Really? Shepherd? Why do they call Ovaltine? The jar is round, why don’t they call it Roundtine! Gold Jerry! Gold! By the way HUGE Seinfeld fan…had an idea for an episode actually…everyone gets on the computer dating scene…George and Jerry wind up with clunkers…yet Kramer and Elaine are taking things slow with there cyber significant others…and at the end of the show they show up to meet their matches and its each other…Hey Elaine what are you doing here? I’m here to meet my date, what are you doing here? Hoochie MAMA!

Two former members of the Knicks Do Nothing Dynasty (or simply the DND) are back in the news. Stephon Marbury is off to the playoffs with the Celtics and his former coach, Isiah Thomas, accepting an offer to coach Florida International University.

Marbury, talking about his new teammates said, “I want the same feeling (of winning a championship). When you win a championship, it’s like a drug. You’re on a high. I want some of that high.” See the Bruce Beck interview on You Tube…you would think he won a championship…tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Good luck Zeke, maybe you can welcome FIU to the NIT.

Swisher the Pitcher?
Nick Swisher has played the outfield, he’s played first base, and now he could add reliever to his Yankees resume. Considering how its been so far for the bullpen, Swisher and his 0.00 ERA may be called upon again soon.

Biblical Stadium
A fan came up with the best nickname for the new Citi Field, “The House of David.” I like it and David Wright was the first Met to go deep at their new digs. Mike Pelfrey allowed the first ever home run to Jody Gerut to lead off the game.

By the way does Carlos Beltran have to become Kelly Leak from The Bad News Bears and chase down all the fly balls in the Mets outfield?

First Pitch Blues
On another Mets note…do you think the organization will let the battery tandem of Seaver and Piazza throw out another first or last pitch? They closed Shea last season with a loss that knocked the Mets out of the playoffs…and this season Citi Field opened with a loss.

Wang Way
The average age of the Yankees 25-man roster is 29.88. Chien Ming Wang’s ERA currently comes in right under that at 28.93.

Yo Ho Doh
Mad Props to President Obama for authorizing the hit on the Somali pirates by our Navy SEALS…The three pirates were taken out by three snipers, on three simultaneous shots, freeing their captive Captain Richard Phillips. A job well done.

A Fond Farewell
And a so long goes out to two members of the baseball community who passed away yesterday. Harry Kalas and Mark Fidrych. Check out Jim Kaat’s remembrances in Kaat’s Korner.