Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Vazquez Back to Bronx as Cabrera Heads to Braves

Hmm.. Javier Vazquez, Nick Johnson... hey, why not bring back Bernie Williams for LF? 
It'll be like old home week. Not sure why we get rid of them only to bring them back after they succeed with other clubs.  Are they getting seasoned elsewhere?? I don't really get it. Plus if JV screws up at all, the fans will derail him. There is no wiggle room after his Sox series homers to Damon. Oy. It's all just fraught with psychodrama. 
Thing is,  Cashman is looking for next year's gets... for example, who wants to sign Johnny Damon for more than a year when Carl Crawford will be a free agent in 2010?  In fact, danger in raiding the whole Rays team, sooner or later. Not sure Friedman will go for that. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just Grand!

Curtis Granderson is a Yankee!! 

What this means, aside from the NYY having a walking, talking, hitting, running, catching centerfielder for a change, is that I no longer have to feel disloyal putting the guy on ALL my fantasy baseball teams! This is great! 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Evan = Multi-Tooled Gold Glove

Evan Longoria won the 2009 AL Gold Glove Award for 3rd base, only the 2nd Ray to win a Gold Glove (Carlos Peña was first).  Way to go!   (Do they give an award for guys most hit by pitchers during the season? Probably Evan & Peña again...)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rays Keep their own CC

Rays exercise their option on Carl Crawford.  Bill Chastain writes: 

Crawford, 28, is the longest-tenured player in Rays history and the club's all-time leader in hits, at-bats, runs, stolen bases, triples, games played and RBIs. Last season he hit .305 -- his fourth season batting .300 or better -- with 15 home runs, 68 RBIs, 96 runs scored and a career-high and club-record 60 stolen bases.
An eight-year veteran, Crawford ranks fourth among active players with 362 career stolen bases and ranks third with 92 triples. Through his first 1,000 games he totaled 341 stolen bases and 87 triples -- numbers matched only by Hall of Famer Ty Cobb through 1,000 games.
In addition, the talented Rays left fielder won the Most Valuable Player Award for the 2009 All-Star Game after making a game-saving catch; now he has also won the 2009 Fielding Bible Award for left field in The Bill James Handbook 2010. This is Crawford's third Fielding Bible Award.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Top Ten World Series Winners and Losers

Nicely done, Lisa Swan, but I'd hedge more on Mark Teixeira because his all-season and especially post-season defense often won games.

Usually, after one of his stupendous catches, I'd say to John, "I never saw Jason Giambi make that play." And he'd say, "Hell, I never even saw Doug Mientkiewicz make that play!" And then we'd both laugh hysterically, because Mark Teixeira could make that play and now he was a Yankee.

Go on, smile, you guys -- you earned it!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rays Make a Move

Bye, Akinori Iwamora!  You were a great player and will be again, but your injury allowed Zobrist to shine so brightly... and you didn't come back great enough. Good luck in Pittsburgh where you'll be the grand old man.

Topkin in Tampa writes:

...reliever Jesse Chavez, 26, a right-hander who made a major-league rookie-high 73 appearances for the Pirates last season, going 1-4 with a 4.01 ERA. He has a live arm, Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said, and a high upside. "He's got some swing-and-miss stuff," Friedman said. "And now it's about trying to harness it and have it play that way at the major-league level." The Rays wouldn't have gotten anything, and would have had to pay a $550,000 buyout, if they declined the option by the one-day-after-the-World-Series deadline, and Iwamura would have become a free agent. But the Pirates, who have been scouting him since September, wanted him badly enough to offer Chavez, who has minor-league options left and is under the Rays control through 2014. "It's tough to give up a guy like Jesse Chavez," Pirates GM Neal Huntington told Pittsburgh media. "But as we've talked about before, the bullpen is the most difficult to predict future performances."

Iwamura, 30, was a key player for the Rays for three seasons and made the most memorable play in club history, touching second for the final out in Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS. With Ben Zobrist, Sean Rodriguez and Reid Brignac available to play second and Evan Longoria entrenched at third, they no longer had use for him. "It's tough to put into words what Aki's meant to this organization," Friedman said.

See you on my fantasy team, guy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Series Game 5: Awwww : up 3-2

Lee had it again and Burnett didn't. Buh-bye.

 Everyone changed their strategy and got some hits.

Especially this guy.

Oh, no! Not again!  Mother Nature doesn't like it when you break Reggie Jackson records....Can't really fault him though.... I got him on as many of my fantasy teams as I could cause he's so great. And... his name is a sentence. So.
Too bad about another game. We'll just have to win it. Go, Yankees!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Series Game 4: Nailbiter :: up 3-1

Alex got hit in the ribs in the 1st inning. After twice last night. Umps warn everyone, but when Tex gets hit in the 9th, no one says boo. Did anyone think these were unintentional? And why didn't Joba get one of his??

And Mariano's just resting... and then suddenly, he's got to save us!! Again!! In the ninth!! So... he comes in, throws 8 pitches, and .... THHEEE YAAANKEEEES  WINNNNNN! YAY!!


And here he is many moons ago.  Joe Girardi was his catcher, not his manager!
I'd really like them to close it down tomorrow, just get it done already, though it would be so sweet to win at home.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Series Game 3: Reign Game :: up 2-1

Andy's terrific game. Rare to see him walk in a run. But then he pulled it together and pitched with a mission.

He seemed sincere after the game when he said the rain delay affected him. Said he'd been all warmed up and in a good place and ready, and then had to wait over an hour. 

Alex's hit hit a camera. Insane to leave an unused piece of equipment hanging over the right-field fence. Odds are insane of it being hit by a ball, but it was and there you are. And here. At least the umpires went to take a look at what happened. The replay wasn't so disruptive or time-consuming. How about implementing it to help out these old, fat, incompetent umpires (more white men).

Dear Mr. Selig:
I have a couple of things to say to you.   First, from Wikipedia: They love you, BUD FROM MILWAUKEE, the baseball owners love you, that must mean you've lined their pockets. Check out that list of cities with new stadiums since you've been in charge... we know who's paying for many of them. This interminable post-season play, I have to say I'm with Sciosia (and many other commentators) here... 
"Selig's decision to extend the traditional post-season schedule into November in an attempt to increase Nielsen ratings was met with widespread disdain, both inside and outside the baseball community.  Mike Sciosia, manager of the American League West Division Champion Los Angeles Angels, dismissed the decision as “Ridiculous. I don’t know. Can I say it any clearer than that? We should have never had a day off last Wednesday. We should never have three days off after the season. You shouldn’t even have two days off after the season."
Why are there no Series games on weekend afternoons? Don't you want children to grow up watching baseball's biggest games? It's appalling that tv schedules, football schedules -- in essence high-revenue timeslots -- dictate what time the first pitch is thrown. And you're wondering why viewership is down? Because when you can't see the replay because it's being hidden by a beer ad -- like a pop-up on your screen, it's obvious that what's important is selling, not playing. 

  • There is no reason for baseball in November. 
  • There is no reason for games to end at 1:20 AM because you had an 80 minute rain delay for a 8 pm start. 
  • There is no reason for games to be played in sub-freezing weather. Baseball is a summer game, a daylight game, a family game, a once-affordable enjoyable game.
  • There is no real need for the World Baseball "Classic." Don't put it in the middle of spring training when they need spring training and it pushes back the season. Don't put it in the middle at the All-Star Break where it creates a huge distraction.  Oh, wait! How about this -- Right after the season ends, if your team is not in any of the interminable post-season playoffs and you still have your spikes & your uniforms, go play in the WBC. This will stave off football for a couple of weeks, engage the non-natives, and extend the season for the losers. And it won't disrupt the regular season. So lose this loser idea.
  • You're going to need replays. Your umpires just aren't good enough anymore. How about a mandatory retirement age? How about hiring younger people (women, even??) who can see and are lithe enough to run to see a play happen.  You do have eye & ear tests, right? And weigh-ins?  How about computer brush-ups.... you make the call type of games. And what about tracking everyone's bad calls during the season and if an ump hits a threshold, he's .... what? fired? suspended? out of the post-season? sent down to the minors? Just fix it.  Or we'll start to think the fix is in. Some of us already do.

Ugh. Just another thing else that used to be fun and now is monetized and controlled by rich white men. 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Series Game 2: AJ to the Rescue! even 1-1

Paul O'Neill, first pitch throwing. Miss ya, pal!

Derek Jeter gets the Roberto Clemente award. The best!

Weird to see Pedro again. He pitched pretty well for a has-been Red Sock.  

Who's your daddy, dude?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Series Game 1: Cliff Lee: Is he human? down 0-1

Hey, I thought CC was the best. Holy cow!  Down 1. Wow.

This nonchalant catch was awesome & funny.

CC was terrific, but oh, you Cliff!

And memo to Joe Girardi... Love ya, man, but frankly Lee pitched the whole game to righties AND lefties and didn't need to be replaced 5 times. Unless there's something else going on here....

Monday, October 26, 2009

Game 6 Theeeee Yankees Winnnnnnnn!!

Bernie!  Nice shoes! Miss you much! Oh, and you throw like a girl!

Andy Pennant!

Seems like old times....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

ALCS, oy AJ, 3-2 good guys

Terrifying.  Then, oh, so close!  On the road, again.

Extra umps, still a crummy call at first.

Bullpen, what bullpen? Joba the hump.  Phil pyews.  Too bad we didn't have an extra starter we could have popped in there for 2 innings like Mike did. Weaver, whew!

More chanting, please.... no rain, no rain, no rain.

At work, I got congratulated in advance for our win.  Do I have to give that back, or what?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

ALCS, old CC, new Alex, old Derek, 3-1 good guys

Q: Why would you ever want to bat against C.C. Sabathia?

A: Because you have to.

I like having confidence in my pitcher. Never having thrown, I can't imagine what fresh hell it must be trying to get movement, hit spots, & psych out. To me, it seems hard. I keep thinking about what kind of highly developed prorioperceptive system someone like CC's got. To be able to count on the ball going right to where you planned to throw it is nothing short of amazing. I wonder if visualization plays a part here.

Anyway, he was great, the umpires sucked, the NYYs were a bit loosey-goosey, but offensive nonetheless. Jeter tagged stealing, Posada sneaking second.... nice. The Melkman came to play, Alex continued actualizing his potential and the new first-baseman continued to impress.

The Cowherd says umpires are old & in a union, so nothing can be done.  Something can be done and should be done. The outcomes of these games could easily have been affected by this ineffectual reffing. How about every time they blow a call -- other than balls and strikes -- that stands and is shown to be wrong, they get a point or written up, or scored, in some way. Then, you either set a number or a percentage (10%?) of calls you can get wrong per season, and when you exceed it, you get fired, or sent down, or retrained, or retested, or made to play 100 hours of "You Make the Call!" until they get a perfect score. In the meantime, you let the top 32 umps go to the post-season, and you pick teams & positions out of a hat. And keep scoring them, so that only the top ones continue on to succeeding playoffs.  Oh, yeah, and test their eyes & their hearing & make them go on diets.  My 2c.

So, another great game. One more tomorrow. Then off for a week, to play into winter. Ach.

Monday, October 19, 2009

ALCS, new Alex, old Derek, 2-1 good guys

Risk vs reward. If Gardner doesn't get picked off, Posada's HR scores two.

Joba looked a little nonchalant to me. I'm sure he wasn't, but he needed to pitch better. One of many, it turns out.

Too many pitchers.  With Robertson, he had a good one going,  already warmed up & psyched up, too much changing tonight. I think we coulda won.

A couple of years ago, I was desperate for Torre to leave because he was so (seemingly) hands-off as a manager... he let the guys win. But when they couldn't anymore and needed some guidance, it seemed like shaking up the batting order was all he'd do.

Now, Girardi's going by the book micro-managing is obviously successful over the long haul (plus CC, Tex, & AJ) this season, yet still there's the hmm... how to say? ... call it "on the field reality," which might benefit from a little more watchful waiting. Though I like making the changes on the fly... Joe Maddon does this also, usually to good effect.  (I do wonder what the players think of it.)

A secondary benefit to using your whole bullpen every game is that no one is over-used, mental states may be more focused, and you may feel more involved. Also, they maintain physical mechanics, not getting rusty at an inopportune moment.

On the other hand, Mariano Rivera is {enter your superlative here}. Tonight I'll go with "1st round Hall of Famer".... John Sterling thinks it could be unanimous, which apparently never happens. (I watch on the game mute on, and listen to the NYC radio call -- thanks, 760 AM!) This guy....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Almost stayed awake, old Derek, new Alex, 2-0 good guys

Amazing game. Amazing.

I hate freezing rainy baseball. It obscures how teams really play. Overhaul. Next!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Great game, new Alex, old Derek, 1-0 good guys

Revenge is a dish best served cold, and it certainly seemed to be.

I know Torii Hunter could've made that catch... but he didn't.
Yeah, the 1st base call could've gone the other way... but it didn't.
And Alex could've stayed on 3rd, scored later, saved the out, but he didn't.

I hate freezing baseball. It obscures how teams really play. Overhaul. Next!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Yanks Yank Ronan Tynan

Thought we were beyond this kind of crap already. I suspect he'll return to sing, but too much distraction for the post-season.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

All together now....

No rain, no rain, no rain, no rain...

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Clinch, clinch, clinch. A good day.... Yanks win, Sox out, Papelbon blown, Pavano shamed. Moving on....

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ridin' the Cycle!


B.J. Upton clears the bases with a three-run triple in the first inning to put the Rays up 4-0. He later added a single, double and homer to become the first Ray to hit for the cycle, racking up a career-high 6 RBIs. With a standing ovation from the 22K+ crowd & keeping Sabathia from his 20th win, Rays beat the Yankees 13-4.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The pre-Post-season...

Hmmm... I guess that means it's still the baseball season.

Post-season starts next week and I can't believe they gave sold broadcast rights to the four 5-game divisional playoffs to TBS.  This is a cable station. People who don't have cable or dish or whatever, can't just turn on their TVs (assuming they've got the old converter box) and watch baseball playoffs. This is so stupid and exclusive, I can't believe it.

I hate playoffs. The World Series will end in early November. It will have already snowed in Minneapolis, perhaps in Boston, too. It's not a winter game. You can't find anybody on sports radio in SoFla who's still talking about baseball. Not even the Marlins, certainly not the Rays. It's all football, all the time, now basketball, even hockey is rearing its ugly head.

Luckily for me, two of my 5 fantasy teams are still alive... and looking strong:  OUTTA HERE! and Ray RAYS are both still standing.  Tough to decide on my roster this week as I'm over-weighted in Rays and they're out of contention.  Still I decided to go home with the guys who brought me... Longo, Zobie, CC, JB.  Thought they'd still be playing for pride & averages, not to mention Rays vs Yanks for the last 3 games of the season.  I like that match-up because one of my teams is sure to win! Still, when they play, I often find myself rooting for Rays.... underdogs, it would seem, but also young guys playing high-quality ball for low-quality money & respect.

In other great news, Adam Lind of the Blue Jays hit 3, yes 3 home-runs against Boston last night. He's playing against my Ray RAYS team, so his 21 points may kill me -- but 3-for-4 with four RBIs in Toronto's 8-7 win over Boston. He got two off Clay Buchholz and the third off Takashi Saito. When he got up in the ninth, Papelbon hit him hard on the elbow with his first pitch, the chicken way to pitch a guy with a hot bat. Clinched because Texas lost to Angels.

Loser Sox.
© 2009 Creative Commons

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Baseball season '09 is winding down

but at least the Yanks have clinched something. Not sure this is their year, though.... Torre's Dodgers may have an extra bit of vengefulness....

Rays end with a whimper, not a bang, although they wear their brave faces and try to salvage the endgame. Even Upton found his swing, with only 2 weeks left to use it. I hope this is sophomore slump, because there is so much good on this team only Floridians can watch regularly.  When we were in St. Pete a few weeks ago, I couldn't decide whose name I'd wear on my jersey, so I didn't buy one. Now I know it would be  ** ZOBRIST *the go-to guy for what you need.

Four of my 5 fantasy teams have made the playoffs, but Tampa's plunge has not helped my fortunes much. Interestingly, I learned much about managing, scheduling, and psyching-out from fielding 5 teams each week. Also, when points are doled out, you really know who's slumping or swinging.  Dalians, Nu D`Alians, Outta There! and Ray Rays are still standing, but I don't expect much (kind of like the Yankees).  Interesting watching my own online competitiveness, since I figure I'm playing against males 18-34.

In other news, just learned that Gabe Kapler is, but Gabe Gross isn't.

© 2009 All rights reserved

Monday, September 7, 2009

Baseball for Girls

I've been meaning to write this as a column for years; I'd better start before the '09 season is over.

     Which it may be for my dear Rays. 'los got 2 fingers busted by a Sabathia pitch that jumped off the bat & is out for the rest of the season. Just when he'd figured out how to hit... and the ump said he went around, so he didn't even get the ball call. Insult to injury, literally. 

     Gotta be a morale buster for the guys. Along with some other setbacks... like not having the same season they had last year and trading Kazmir just when they maybe needed him most... and Pat Burrell being the anti-DH. Need to have the RSox & Rangers melt down before this boat comes in. Zobie, they hardly knew ye!  My MVP...

Now the Yankees, on the other hand, are not such a huge embarrassment in my life this year. Happy for Joe Girardi, that he showed what he could do in NY, however he did it. Of course, it's true, throwing money at problem positions is always fun (except for Pat Burrell, who has National League disease).

Jeter's closing in on an amazing record, everyone is bringing something to the table, and the WSox are beating up on the RSox. Not sure if Bombers can beat Angels or Cards... or the obvious grudge match to come with Torre's Dodgers (think... "overcome with ambivalence"). Perhaps one more Series win for old George. 

© 2009 All rights reserved