Atta boy, A-Rod.
It’s been a while since you’ve hit clutch homers, and since that time people have tried to put you down. (1-0 Yankees in the first)
People have tried to call you a headcase. People have tried to put you down, saying you’re not clutch, saying you never come through when you have to. But I knew the true A-Rod. You were going to come through and hit that late-inning, go-ahead homer eventually. It was only a matter of time before you shut ’em up.
Last night’s game was kinda funny. We started off with a comfortable 5-run lead, and then the bullpen blew it to make it six-six. Both bullpens then pitched very (whoah, Betemit’s throw went through the webbing of Giambi’s glove) well late in the game. Veras went 2 shutout innings and got the win. Edwar closed it out after A-Rod hit a solo shot and Nady hit a two-run bomb, and we won, 9-6.
So now it’s time for a segment I haven’t done in a while, Deal Discussion! The non-waiver trading deadline has been done for a while, but the waiver trades have been very common. I’ll analyze the Paul Byrd trade to the Red Sox and discuss some possible trades that the Yankees could make to bolster their team for the playoff run.
First it was Trade Talk, then it was Talkin’ ‘Bout Trades, and now I’m going with Deal Discussion. So let’s start it off with the Paul Byrd trade.
7 – 10
The Red Sox aren’t exactly adding a huge ace with the acquisition of Paul Byrd. However, Byrd is going to add good depth to the Red Sox rotation. He doesn’t have good stuff at all, he gives up plenty of homers, but he does give you decent innings. He’ll give you 6 or 7 innings, 3 runs, 1 walk and 4 strikeouts. He’s got a funky delivery, and when he’s at his best, he’ll give you innings. His last start was a complete game against Toronto. Byrd should benefit from this trade, as the Red Sox offense is much better than the Indians offense. You could say Byrd is a poor man’s Mike Mussina. Byrd has been redhot since the All-Star break, with a sub-1 ERA. The veteran righty could go either way for the Sox, let’s hope he stinks for ’em.
So, what trades could the Yanks make? There were plenty of rumors before; Brian Bannister and Jarrod Washburn were rumored to go to the Yanks. So what are the rumors now? Most of all, what are my opinions of what the Yankees should do?
Well, first of all, I checked a bunch of sites to look for possible Yankee trade rumors, but mlbtraderumors.com, ESPN Insider and Google didn’t have any possible waiver trades surrounding the Yankees. However, I did get some very interesting free agent information that I’ll share with you tomorrow and give my opinions on. So now what do I think the Yankees should do? Should the Yankees make a move? I’ll give you some ideas and some names right now! Just keep reading…
So here we go. First of all, I think that the Yankees should make a move for a middle-tier relief pitcher to add depth. Though I think the Yankees bullpen is strong enough, the ‘pen has struggled of late. I think that the Yankees should get, not a flashy reliever, but a decent one just to supply some depth in case the bullpen’s struggles continue. Here are some interesting names;
A 30-year-old right-hander with decent stuff. Rivera has a 3.51 ERA for the Nationals in 66 innings, so he can eat some innings out of the ‘pen and supply a LaTroy Hawkins like role in mop-up relief.
Cotts can come in and be a very good Loogy type reliever. He’s got pretty good stuff, and he does well against lefties and righties. The 28-year-old has good experience; Cotts was a part of the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox, he’s got playoff experience and he could be a good part of the ‘pen.
But that’s not all, the Yankees have to get another starting pitcher. Sidney Ponson is a question and Darrell Rasner rarely has a good start anymore. You’ve got to get somebody who you can rely on, whether it’s inside the organization (check out Who’s Next? on previous posts for those guys) or outside the organization. If the Yanks decide to make an acquisition, here are some guys they can get.
John Lannan has been the Nats’ best starter of this season. The young lefty has a 3.40 ERA on the season and he’s been very good on the road. Though he may not be on the trade market, I feel that this would be a great guy for the Yankees to get because he’s young and he’s been solid already in his short career.
Padilla has been having a good year for the Rangers and is probably their best starter. His ERA is in the upper 4s due to recent struggles. He’s a decent pitcher who’s very inconsistent, but he can give you dominating innings when he’s at his best.
And that’s it for Deal Discussion.
Alright guys, it’s time for the Bold Statement of the Day, everybody’s favorite segment! Here I say something arguable and questionable that can go either way about the New York Yankees. Today’s Bold Statement is!:
The Yankees will go on a hot streak after this series against the Twins, lead by Ivan Rodriguez.
Quite a bold one today, hot streaks are hard to predict and Ivan Rodriguez, the newest acquisition, really hasn’t done much yet in Pinstripes.
So that’s about it for today’s post, the next post will come tomorrow. I’d just like to let you know that I’m doing the in-gamer for Saturday’s ballgame, and I’m starting a new segment! Every post I’m going to have something called Ask EJ, where you can ask questions about generally anything and I’ll give you my thoughts on it. To ask a question, leave a comment below.
Reporting live from Queens, New York…
Stay positive, Yankees fans!
-EJ/Kid From New York
A Real Disappointer; 3 Game Losing Streak
The pressure. The momentum. The Yankees were losing 6-1 in the bottom of the seventh, and they started to rally. 2 in the bottom of the 8th, and 3 in the ninth… but after a leadoff homer in the top of the 9th off the bat of Aubrey Huff off of Mo Rivera, the Yankees ended up just short. Wilson Betemit haplessly swung with both hands, reaching a high 92-MPH fastball thrown by lefty closer George Sherill. Betemit had found himself in another clutch situation, but was unable to come through after coming through in his last try. So the Yankees lost another one. You could say it was a painful and tough loss; that would be true. You could also say, however, that it was an encouraging and motivating loss. The Yankees now, instead of losing 6-1 or 7-3 and not putting up a fight, they put up a fight and fought hard, so you’ve gotta think that they’re feeling good and have some momentum from this late rally.
Mark Texeira; Brand New Resident of Southern California
Mark Texeira has been a confusing case this trade deadline. First he’s on the market, then he’s not. Then he might be, but no, he’s not again. But after Chipper Jones and Tim Hudson were put on the disabled list in Atlanta, it became apparent that the Braves were in selling mode. That night, the Bravos (not a typo) GM informed all the interested teams that Texeira was on the trade market once again, and this time, most likely here to stay. The next day, Tex is gone. Mark Texeira has been on 3 teams in 2 years; the Rangers, the Braves, and now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The Angels know what they’re getting with Mark Texeira. Texeira is a big, switch-hitting slugger who hits almost .300 and hits homers. The big guy provides solid run production for his ballclub, and he’ll be protection for Vlad Guerrero, along with having protection in Vlad Guerrero, depending on the lineup. The Angels lineup was slumping, but the pitching was amazing so they were winning games. Now, with Texeira, they’ll have that run production to give their pitchers a comfy lead. But not only that, Texeira is a 2-time Gold Glove Award winner at first base. He’ll be able to pick balls out of the dirt and make diving grabs and catches. He’s a solid player. I think the Angels won this deal; Casey Kotchman is a good 1st baseman with a similar glove but not much power and a similar-yet-slightly-lower average. The Braves also got a reliever in AA at 25-years old, named Stephen Marek. He was pitching pretty well, but he wasn’t exactly dominating as far as I know(he might just have been slumping at one point and IS dominating), but he really isn’t a top prospect at all. I think the Braves rushed to give up Texeira knowing there was no reason to keep him, and at the end of the day, they’re probably disappointed with what they got.
Yankee Trade Rumors
After the Yankees dealt Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Tabata, Jeff Karstens and Daniel McCutchen to the Pirates for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte, there was a thought among the head of many Yankee fans. That thought was, “What’s next?”. There’s been speculation that the Yankees were looking for a catcher, such as Miguel Olivo, Rod Barajas or Gerald Laird. Those talks seem to have died down, though they could make a move for a new backstop. Lately, the trade talks have been surrounding the Tigers and Brewers, mostly. But there’s speculation that lefty Jarrod Washburn, starter from the Seattle Mariners could come over to the Bronx. The Yankees are offering to pay the entire big money contract, but not give away any prospects. The Mariners want a guy like Brett Gardner or Melky Cabrera from the Yanks along with them paying the entire salary. The talks of Jarrod Washburn have died down in the past few days.
There’s also a rumor that the Yankees are interested in young right-handed starter for the Royals, Brian Bannister. Bannister had a very good start to the year but he’s really struggled mightily of late, and he doesn’t have the stuff to dominate hitters, so it really depends on his command. I don’t know if that’d be a great idea, to get Bannister. Finally, the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins are interested in LaTroy Hawkins, who is on waivers. I thought that Hawkins would have a very good second half for us, and we ended up getting Marte so Hawkins was DFA. I think Hawkins gets traded somewhere. Where he goes I do not know. But I think he could be a nice pickup. He’s got no future in the Yankees organization with Marte and all the other guys. It’s hard to tell what Hawkins can do for a team’s ‘pen; will he be an inconsistent and somewhat lacking relief pitcher, or will he dominate? One thing’s for sure, he’s still got a live arm. The last time he pitched, he was throwing mid-90s with movement and had a pretty sharp slide-piece. That’s it for the Rumor Mill!
It’s time for this post to come to a close, but before we do that, it’s time for the Bold Statement of the Day! Most of you probably skipped to the end here (I’m looking at you, Jeff) because of how popular this segment is. If you’re new to the blog, in this section I say something that’s arguable, something that takes serious guts and hutzpah(as Jeff would say) to say. I’ve got that guts and hutzpah. Here’s today’s Bold Statement of the Week;
Joba Chamberlain and Andy Pettitte will go back-to-back great starts pitching at least 7 innings aided by great defense.
Wow. I’ve done some Bold Statements but I don’t think I’ve ever done one so intricate and detailed. I said that Joba Chamberlain and Andy Pettitte would go back-to-back dominating starts, but not only that, I specified that they’ll go 7 innings. I didn’t leave it at that, however; I had to say the defense would be great. So, I can either be REALLY right, kinda right, a little right, or totally and utterly wrong. This will be fun. I know Yankee fans who are readers will be watching the game really closely, or non-Yankee fans who are readers will take advantage of MLB.tv or Gameday, I’m looking at you again, Jeff.
So it was a pretty tough night, but the Bombers have revealed they’ve got some fight in them. Let’s see if this carries over into the next game. Right now, we can only cross our fingers and hope.
Stay positive, Yankee fans;
-EJ/Kid From New York
P.S.: Guys, I want some suggestions on a new section for my blog. I’ve been thinking about the success of the Bold Statement of the Day, so if you have an idea for a new section, feel free to share it.
Yanks Take Another One, Make it 6 Straight
You’re welcome, White Sox.
Thanks to the New York Yankees, the Chicago White Sox now have a 2.5 game lead over the Twins. The Yankees swept the Twins in their trip to first place in the AL East.
The Twins were downright outplayed by the Yankees in this 3-game set. The rotation and the bullpen shut them down like most other teams, except this time, the offense exploded. The Yanks got a comfortable, big ol’ lead in all three games, something we haven’t seen them do in a while. This has to be exciting for tons of Yankee fans.
The Yankees’ pitching has been fantastic. From the rotation to the bullpen, pretty much every single guy has come in and become a dependable reliever. From David Robertson to Kyle Farnsworth, this bullpen has to be considered one of the best in baseball, no matter what you think. But we’ll talk about the bullpen and the possible addition of lefty Brian Fuentes later in this post. Right now, let’s talk more about the starting rotation and one of it’s keys. That’s right, I’m talking about today’s starting pitcher and winning pitcher, Mike “The Moose” Mussina.
A Cy Young for Moose?
If we were talking about this last year, of course you would’ve laughed and pressed the “X” in the top right corner. But now, Mike Mussina is 13-6 with a lower-3s ERA, and it’s getting to a point where he’s in contention for the Cy Young Award. He’s 6 and 2 with a 2.32 ERA, and he’s only walked 7 in 66 innings in his last 10 starts. He’s only walked 16 in 121.1 innings. In other words, he’s had his control for every start. He hasn’t walked anybody in his last start. If Josh Hamilton weren’t having the year he’s having, Mussina’d be Comeback Player of the Year. Plus, if Cliff Lee weren’t having the year he’s having, Mussina’d have the Cy Young Award. He’s just having a magical year.
I don’t see why people think that he’s not going to keep this up. He’ll have 1 or 2 bad starts, but if you’ve seen the way he’s pitched, he’s going to be like this all the way. He’s gone this far, so he will be able to keep this up.
Fuentes to the Yankees? Now?
A week ago or so, I talked about the possibility of Brian Fuentes coming to the Yankees, which has been rumored about. Fuentes is on the trading block, with a lot of teams showing interest. Now, however, with the bullpen pitching great for a long period of time, the Yankees do not really need relievers. Robertson, Ramirez, Veras and Farnsworth have been switching between set up spots with Mo, of course, to close it out in the ninth. Lefty hitters haven’t been a big problem to the Yankees like people think. Ramirez has been able to shut down lefty batters with his great changeup. If you add the fact that the Rockies want a lot for Fuentes, I really do not think that Fuentes should nor will head over to the New York Yankees this season.
Okay! So last night, for my Bold Statement of the Day(today’s Bold Statement coming up in the Final Thoughts section as always), I said something interesting. I predicted that by the end of this month, the Yankees would be in first place; whether that would be the Wild Card or the AL East. I got my share of doubt on that. So now, here is my explanation for my thoughts last night.
First of all, the Yankees are rollin’ and the Rays are struggling to hold on. It seems like whenever Boston or New York tries to take the lead, the Rays get a big win to hold them off another day. But I don’t know of the Rays can keep this up. I believe they’ve won 4 of their last 11. They’re a good team, sure, but they aren’t playoff potential yet. I think as time goes on, the Rays will slowly wear down and eventually head to third place. They’ve already started. I think at the end of this month you’ll see exactly what happened at the end of last season. The Rays would get out of first place down to third, and the Yankees will take the Wild Card lead. I’m that confident. Why?
Because we’ve got pitching: we’ve got Pettitte and Mussina, two veterans leading the rotation and dominating. We’ve got Chamberlain blowing fastballs by hitters and fooling them with nasty sliders and curves. We’ve got Rasner, locating with a good cutter and curveball and mixing all of his pitches. We’ve got Ponson, getting out of jams with double plays induced by a heavy sinker. We’ve got a bullpen. We’ve got Robertson, sneaking well-located cutters by hitters and fooling them with solid curveballs. We’ve got Ramirez, locating with a decent fastball and then completely dominating with a circle-change. We’ve got Veras, blowing high-90s fastballs by hitters and throwing them off with slow slurves. We’ve got Farnsworth, overpowering guys with a near-100 mph fastball and a downright nasty slide-piece. And we’ve got Mo, with a fantastic, spectacular cut fastball, a filthy 2-seamer, and an excellent 4-seamer to just blow away hitters, not to mention his outstanding command.
We’ve got hitting. With A-Rod bombing homers and stealing bases, Jeter coming up with clutch hits, Abreu smashing doubles and homers and stealing bags. We’ve got Cano who’ll hit anything you throw at him, whether it’s at his shoulders or his shoes(like Guerrero, no?). We’ve got Giambi, smashing balls out of the park and off the wall. We’ve got Damon, grinding pitchers, spoiling pitchers and always getting on base, usually with base knocks, and getting himself into scoring position with steals. Don’t even think I’m exaggerating.
If you couple this up with a good defense and a great manager, along with the fuel to win it all in Yankee Stadium’s last year, we are one of the best teams in the game. I don’t care what you say. This is no fluke. These are the REAL Yankees (as Vanessa puts it), and the REAL Yankees are always a dangerous opponent.
Alright, guys, this is the last section of the blog, as you all know. I started a new thing a couple of days ago, called the Bold Statement of the Day. If you’re a first time reader, what I do here is I make a statement that is arguable and quite bold, You can leave your comments as always, I love comments. Leave your thoughts, and if you want me to do a certain topic in my next post, feel free to tell me and I’ll try to do it. So here it is, my Bold Statement of the Day.
Joba Chamberlain will have a spectacular start against the Red Sox.
And another juicy bold one. I’ve really said big things so far. Tonight I say that Joba will have a fantastic pitching performance against the Sox, which is arguable because of the Red Sox’s fearsome offense, but I’ve got a lot of guts and “hutzpah” as Jeff from Red State Blue State says. For this Bold Statement, I won’t have to explain myself. We’ll just have to watch that Red Sox game and see if I’m right or not.
Seattle looking for a walk-off win in the bottom of the 9th against the Sox, cross your fingers, guys!
Stay positive, you good ol’ Yankees Fans!
-EJ/Kid From New York
P.S.: I’d like you to read this really great, touching story I just read. It’s really moving, and I think if you’ve got a heart, you should read it, because it’s really an awesome story. Here’s the link.
Stay positive, Yanks fans!