Tagged: defense

Don’t Ya Know?

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Who would have thought that at any point in the 2010 season, Robinson Cano would have as many home runs as Ryan Howard and Matt Holliday combined, as many steals as Hanley Ramirez, a higher on base percentage than Joe Mauer, a higher slugging percentage than Albert Pujols and the best batting average in the majors?

I mean, I thought he’d be pretty good this year, but this is ridiculous.

The sweet swinging second baseman has always been known for having outstanding potential but never quite reaching it. While the production from Cano has been solid throughout his major league career, he’s always found himself considered less valuable at second base than popular players like Chase Utley, Ian Kinsler, Dustin Pedroia, or even Aaron Hill last season. Cano was always a good hitter and fielder who was just not quite good enough to be considered top tier.

Now, Robby Cano is 27, often considered the prime age for a major league baseball player, and the numbers only back up that well-known theory. Robinson Cano is leading the league in average and OPS+, while putting up other notable numbers like 34 hits, 8 HR and an OPS over 1.000. To add to that, Cano’s been stellar with the glove, committing only one error and showing great range and a great arm to go with that efficiency.

Robby has suddenly entered contention for the MVP award early on, as well as being the favorite to start at 2nd in the 2010 All-Star Game in Los Angeles, California. While it may be a bit early to make statements like that, it would most definitely not be a stretch to think Cano could at least stay very productive for the remainder of the year. Cano typically does not hit very well in April, but he tore it up this month. May has been the most difficult month in Cano’s 5-year major league career, as Cano only hits .269 in the second month of the baseball season with a .296 OBP along with that. Look to see if Cano will hit well this second month; if he cools off significantly, do not be too worried as Cano hits well over .300 in June, July, August and September. If he stays relatively productive, this could be Cano’s year. If he stays as hot as he did in April, Cano is almost certainly the favorite to win AL MVP.

Here are some notable performances that Cano has had in 2010, in order of earliest to latest.

  • April 6, Yankees at Red Sox – Cano goes 2 for 3 with a home run, 2 RBI and a walk, helping the Yankees to their first win of the year against arch-rival Boston.
  • April 10, Yankees at Rays – In a 10-0 rout of Tampa Bay, Cano collects 2 hits in 5 at bats with a home run and 3 runs driven in.
  • April 15, Angels at Yankees – Yankees win a 3-game series against Anaheim as Cano hits 2 home runs in 4 at bats and drives in 3.
  • April 24, Yankees at Angels – Yanks win 7-1 as Robinson Cano goes 4-for-5, scores 3 runs and drives one man in.
  • April 29, Yankees at Orioles – Cano leads the Yankees to a 4-0 victory with a 3-for-4, 2 home run performance as well as a very nice back-hand, off balance throw up the middle defensive play.

Cano, to go with these strong performances, has been consistent in almost every game. With offense like this coming at a premium position like 2nd base, Robby Cano has definitely been highly valuable to the Yankees.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid

Winning Baseball…

It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?

This is just a quick little blog– I’m going to have a full blog tomorrow talking about… stuff, I guess, but expect that to be at around late noon because mah cuzzin’s coming over to stay for a few days and the greeting is going to be long and fun. But let’s get to the substance.

Throughout this season, the Yankees are winning baseball games in such a way that would make you think they have to win the World Series this year. I mean, think about it. Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter and our starting pitcher, Double Tre were all not nearly at their best tonight, but we won anyway. Why? Because Damon picked them up. Because Teixeira picked them up. Because Aceves picked them up. Matsui picked them up. This ballclub has no one player that carries the team, no one player that is “the straw that stirs the drink” so to speak. On any given day, any given ballplayer can hit a home run or move a runner over(I’m looking at you Mr. Cycle) or get an important, run scoring single. If the offense is not performing like it should, our starting pitcher is there and shutting down the opposing offense. And no matter what, we always find a way to get that big play.

Whether it’s a defensive play or a strikeout or a clutch base hit as it usually is, it’s a-comin’.

With that, ladies and gentlemen, I have a feeling that Barack Obama’s going to be wearing a Yankee jersey by the end of the year.

Song of the Day tomorrow, along with the next post.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York, bizzatch

Goodness Gracious.

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I left as soon as they took the lead cause I wanted to watch the last three outs of Jonathan Sanchez’s no hitter. That no hitter is a thousand times more important than a tough loss like this one. We’ll recover. It was nice to be tied for first place, of course, but it’s actually quite possible to lose ballgames.

Yes, my optimism frustrates me too.

I could easily go on here and rant and rant about the awful pitching performance by Chamberlain that makes me wonder if he really should be in the rotation or not or the lack of use of Eric Hinske despite the fact that he wanted to be traded because of lack of use or how we wasted a nice day offensively with sloppy pitching and defense. But I don’t feel that anger. I am truly not an angry person, or not a person who gets angry at a baseball game. It’s funny, because I’ll curse and scream at a video game, but baseball games just do not anger me. They upset me, but after a game, I’m always able to take a deep breath and just forget about it.

Whatever I’m feeling, I bring it straight to you. That’s why they call me the Straight Talk Express! 😀

They don’t really call me that…

The Song of the Day is Common – Universal Mind Control. Warning, it is a whippersnapper hip hop song. I got your back, Julia. xP

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

 

Luis, Luis

I probably wasn’t the first one to use that headline, but it’s clever, right?

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I’ve willingly seen more highlights of that last play of the game more than any other play in baseball. It was maybe the most interesting, exciting and downright unexpected play of the year. Why? This scenario was the classic stereotype clutch scenario: long, exciting game with lead switches and homers and bad pitching and good pitching and it was really fun to watch all the way through. It’s Mets-Yankees, a well known, intense rivalry, especially for me, since I live in Queens.

Anyway, we go to late innings, it’s tied 7-7, and David Wright, the leading hitter of the NL and young phenom of the Mets, is facing Mariano Rivera, perhaps the best closer in the history of the game. A classic match of the prodiguous pitcher against the superstar hitter: a classic match of established veteran versus young, rising star. The go ahead run in the top of the eigth inning in the Subway Series is on first base.

 

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And all David Wright does is lace a cutting fastball on the outside part of the plate into the right center field alley for a double. The run comes across the score uncontested, and although the Mets are on the road, their fans are well-represented, as the crowd is a deafening combination of cheers and jeers. The score is 8 to 7 in favor of the New York Mets.

So now, the ballgame becomes more climatic, because after the Yanks and Mets are unable to score in the following two half innings, it goes down to the bottom of the ninth. It will be the perfect Frankie Rodriguez coming in to pitch the ninth against the top of the order: 9, 1 and 2, with the AL home run leader Mark Teixeira coming up to bat if anyone gets on.

Gardner is retired.

Jeter didn’t share the same fate. El Capitan took a moving fastball down and away, off the plate on a 2-2 count up the middle for a base hit. Jeter takes second on a stolen base on a blown hit and run by Johnny Damon, as Damon struck out on a 3-2 delivery. Had Jeter been thrown out, the game is over. But no, Jeter keeps the Yanks alive with a swipe.

Mark Teixeira is intentionally walked, bringing up arguably the game’s best hitter, Alex Rodriguez, to the plate. A-Rod isn’t hitting well of late, as his statistics indicate, and he’s facing Francisco Rodriguez, one of the best closers in the MLB and a guy whom he never has success against. He works it to a 3-1 count. Fastball low down the middle. And I’ll let Michael Kay on YES and Cary Cohen of SNY take it from there.

“And the 3-1…

Popped up… Castillo…”

“Popped up! Castillo settling under it! Now backpeddling!”

“He DROPPED THE BALL! HERE COMES JETER! TEIXEIRA COMES IN!”

“DROPPED THE BALL! HE DROPPED THE BALL! HERE COMES TEIXEIRA!”

“THE YANKEES WIN IT!”

“AND THE YANKEES WIN!”

The best part of this was definitely the calls. Michael Kay was absolutely friggin ecstatic. He was juuuuumpy. He kept shouting and yelling.

In the SNY booth, there was this thick, stunned feeling that was shared mutually by Gary, Keith and Ron. You can just hear the absolute disbelief in Gary Cohen’s voice when he cried out “The Yankees win it!”

 

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You know, when you hit a pop up and the opposition’s settling under it, you always hopelessly think to yourself “Drop it! Drop it! Drop it!”. But you never actually think it’s going to happen.

I know this is controversial, but I knew the Mets were some way, somehow going to blow this game. They seem to find ways to lose. You never really know how they’re going to do it: maybe they’ll give up a home run to the backup infielder, or slip heading from second to third, or maybe just not slide into a base. Maybe they’ll lack hustle and determination. And you certainly saw that in that final play.

I mean, that last play was so characteristic of the Mets: you can see Luis Castillo kind of peddling and peddling, and you can see him looking towards the dugout, ready to head home after a win, and he just closed his glove too early. He took the pop up for granted and simply forgot to actually stand there and catch the ball. And that’s the New York Mets for you. They don’t know how to perform fundamentally sound, they can’t play the game the way it needs to be played, and that’s why they’re 4 games out of first place in the NL East.

So now it’s time for me to do some rock hard analysis for today’s game. Are you ready?

First of all, bench Posada today. He’s holding us back: he’s not providing any astounding offensive production or defensive production, and he’s not calling good games. He’s struggling to throw out runners and he’s calling bad pitches and as a result, the Yankees’ pitchers are getting whooped. On the other hand, you have the rookie, Cervelli. Now Francisco’s not going to hit .300 or going to provide really any notable production at the dish. But Cervelli is at least going to call quality games, and throw out runners. Not only that, but he provides good energy and he’s going to get a knock from time to time.

Second of all, don’t be afraid to jump out at Fernando Nieve, the Mets’ starting pitcher today. He’s pitched two shutout innings this year after being claimed off waivers from the Astros by New York. As far as I know, he has pretty good stuff, but on first pitches in his career, the opposition is hitting .352. On a 1-0 count, opposing hitters hit .375. On a 0-1 count, they’re hitting .355. He throws pretty hard from what I know, and has decent breaking stuff, so if you get behind in the count to this guy, he has a chance of getting you down on strikes.

Finally, Andy Pettitte has to go deep. He absolutely has to. Our bullpen needs a good ol’ rest after the past few beatings it’s gotten.

Before I end this entry, I need y’all to tell me what subject my next entry should be on. Here are your choices.

  • The Best Relievers of 2009 In One Bullpen!
  • Minor Leaguers Who Could Get Called Up For the Yankees
  • The 5 Best Starters of 2009

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

Not the Most Fun Game…

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…but I’ll tell you what, we’re still in April, and so there should not be any cause for concern. I know a guy online who said he’s lost all hope in the phrase “Go Yankees”. All of it. Why? Because we’re frigging 5-5. This guy is not an idiot, he’s a pretty good guy, but he’s ridiculously naive baseball-wise. Before, his screen name was “CC Sucks”. He then changed it to “Chien-ming sucks” which is stupid, especially since nobody calls him Chien-Ming except Flash Flaherty.

Again, it’s no big deal. We’re not going to be .500 for the whole year, it’s only April. We’ll get things going eventually. Do not lose hope. I highly question your intelligence if you’ve already given up on the Yankees. We’ve proven time and time again that you can not count us out and you can not give up on us. We’ll prove you wrong.

In other news, Yankees have called up Juanito Miranda for insurance(his name is Juan, I like calling him Juanito… just kidding, I really don’t, I’m just bored).

Now what kind of insurance would we need from Juan Miranda? Welp, it says in the article that the Yankees, still somewhat concerned about the health of Hideki Matsui and Mark Teixeira, made this move prior to today’s game. Now I don’t know if he’ll be in the lineup, I doubt that. However, it should be interesting to see what Miranda could do.

Miranda, once considered by me to be the Yankees’ future first baseman, earned International League Player of the Week in the first minor league week of the season. He was redhot down at AAA, hitting .361 with three big flies and three RBI.

Can Joba get the Joba done? He did well in his first start against the Royals. We’ll see if the hard throwing right hander, who definitely should be in the rotation, can take down a Cleveland Indians lineup that beat up the bullpen yesterday.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York 

Marvelous.

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What a terrific game yesterday, eh?!

Burnett pitched fantabulasticularily, and the offense delivered to score 7 runs(on the back of Derek Jeter and Brett Gardner, and of course Nick Swisher)to deliver the 4th win of the season. Sure, we only have put up a .500 record and we’re capable of so much more, but it’s only 8 games into the season. I’ll worry about record when we’re 20 games in. Right now, we’re doing fine as far as I’m concerned.

I’m very, very sorry I did not blog twice yesterday. I’m not even going to try to do it anymore. I’ll keep up one a day and if I want to blog again when the time comes to blog again, well, that’s when I’ll do it.

In other news, I’m terribly lazy. About 20 minutes ago, I was watching TV and trying to decide just what to do after the show I was watching(a re-run of MLB Tonight on MLB Network). So I’m lying down on the bed, all comfortable and full of bliss, and I think about playing MLB 09 The Show on my PS3. Then I realize, “But then, I’d have to get off the bed, bend over, turn on the PS3 and the controller, and go back in bed.” Obviously that was too much for me.

So I asked my brother to pick up my laptop and put it on the bed for me, and so he asked my godfather(my godfather is not an old man, so my brother’s not abusing the elderly) to do the deed, which he did. So here I am!

I’m so awful.

In other news, the battle for the center field position appears to be heating up once again. Brett Gardner won it out of spring training, but Melky Cabrera is still performing and doesn’t appear to be giving up a starting spot so easily. You know that Cabrera is going to give you solid defense, defense that no other Yankee player can match in center field. Gardner might be able to cover a lot of ground, but Cabrera has a phenomenal throwing arm, and he seems to be able to get to any ball out there(even though his RF/9 is only somewhat over the league average). There was a point where last season, Melky had at least one great catch every day.

 

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Now, Melky is batting .333 in 8 at bats, forcing the question: is Brett Gardner going to lose some playing time? Well, with the way Gardy performed yesterday, I doubt it.

He’s a grinder; he works the count and fouls off tough pitches, Damon-style. He can hit for a pretty good average, .285-.290. And, of course, he has that blazing 50 steal speed. Nobody can doubt that last one.

He’s performing fairly well this season, and I’m definitely satisfied with the 25-year old 5’10” center fielder from Holly Hill, South Carolina.

And that’s it for today’s edition.

Stay positive, Yankee fans!

-EJ the Kid From New York

Yankees Victorious Again– A Message to CC Haters

The catchphrase for the 2009 New York Yankees right now is “Ohhhh yeah.”

There are a ton of moments in which that phrase would be so very fitting. CC throws a fastball at 95 miles per hour on the inside corner for a strikeout? Ohhhh yeah. Nick Swisher blasts a ball into the night sky in left field? Ohhh yeah.

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Come on. If that picture doesn’t scream “Ohhhhh yeah.”, then I don’t know what it screams. Maybe “DARN TOOTIN'” or something. I dunno.

All I know is that the Yankees have been absolutely marvelous. Their offense is great: we’re getting hits in RBI situations from almost everywhere in the lineup(except one player, he’s not hitting. He bats 8th, used to be a journeyman minor league infielder, filling in for a slugger, playing third base, could be gone soon. Here, I’ll give you one more hint. HIS NAME IS CODY RANSOM)

Our hitters are getting on base. They are patient enough to walk, but also swing at hittable strikes. They drive drivable pitches. They capitalize on mistakes. I mean, it sounds like it’s so easy and it’s no big deal, but this wasn’t happening for a LOT of last season.

Now I have to get something off my chest, excuse me.

A Message to Stupid CC Haters

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Look. There are a lot of haters out there, and those haters are some of the most annoying things in the world. Haters are like a very irritating itch. They seem to never go away, but scratching it only makes it itchier and makes it stay longer. The only way they go away is either if you rip the skin off or just wait for it to go away.

CC Sabathia gets a truckload of haters, and you could understand why. Look at all the money he makes. He’s so awesome, you know?

However, some people really hate this guy and they make extremely stupid insults to CC. “Oh look at him. He’s so fat.” I could understand why you think he’s fat. I mean, look at that picture of him. The guy is huge. However, these people don’t get something. Some people are just big. Some people have big bodies and they can not change that. You would think that the fact that CC’s body type is very large would be obvious to some people, because MLB players work extremely hard on their body, so since CC is an MLB player and the ace of the New York Yankees, you would think people would actually connect the dots and think “Ohhh, this guy is working out hard but he’s still like this. Maybe it’s his body.”

But oh no, these dumb… people think he’s a sloth. Ignorant fans are obsessed with his weight. “CC, go lift some weights or something. You’re so fat.” Oh yes, because obviously all CC does is just sit around the house watching his flat screen TV and eating barbecue potato chips and ice cream. And then when it’s his turn to start a game, he goes 7 quality innings and throws mid-90s fastballs and sharp sliders. Yes, that totally makes sense.

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In a huge ironic twist, the people who say these ridiculous nonsensical comments about Sabathia are the same people who are struggling with their weight because they’re too frigging lazy to get off their… butts and lift a couple weights. The same people who stink at playing baseball pick on one of the most successful players in the game, for his weight. The same people who make these hilariously stupid smears on Sabathia for his weight and accused laziness type those insults in the comfort of their large bed while snacking on Cheetos and Pepsi Cola.

And I bet a small percentage of those people get offended when you call them names like “pig” or “fatty”. Unbelievable.

On that subject. I bet you find it really funny that people are overweight. Oh, that cracks you up, doesn’t it? I bet it makes you giggle that people out there are dealing with obesity and weight problems and diabetes. Their misfortunes make you crack up, don’t they?

Also, if CC Sabathia can sit around on his fat butt all day snacking on chips and watching The Simpsons, and then be able to throw high 90s heaters and strike out major league baseball hitters while you do the same things and you can’t do dog poo, well. Wouldn’t that mean that CC Sabathia is better than you? That would mean you would be insulting a guy out of jealousy! Gasp!

But you know it’s about jealousy. You know that these people are so upset that he makes the most money of any pitcher in the history of the game, and they cover this insecurity by pretending they are better than him. Well, if you’re so much better than CC, then why don’t you strike out David DeJesus with a 96 mile per hour fastball? Better yet, I’d like to see you take on Mr. Sabathia in a fight, mano y mano. Oho! I’d pay money to see that.

You CC haters are all such humongous buffoons.

I would take Julia’s advice to talk about my first game and how I became a Yankee fan, but since she was so outrageously mean to me, I’ve decided to just forget the idea. I’m so hurt.

So if anybody wants to make any nice suggestions, feel free to do that. I’m always here.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York