Tagged: Martinez

Should I Be Surprised?

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I’m not sure if I should. I mean, come on. We’ve gotten late hits in games so many times in the past, it’s ridiculous. Tex just added to the list of late inning go ahead hits. We’ve got to be the most clutch team in the game right now, no questions asked. We lead the MLB in walk offs and comeback wins. If it’s late and close, somebody will come through. Teixeira came through tonight. Before, it’s been Matsui, Posada, Cano, Rodriguez, Jeter, Damon, you name him, he’s come through in a big situation. Hell, Ramiro Pena’s first career RBI came against the Angels in late innings with the bases loaded. If I’ve got a really good pitcher on the mound who’s setting down the Yankees, I leave him in for as long as I possibly can. He’ll go 12 for me. 150 pitches? I could care less, man. I don’t take the chance of bringing in another pitcher who may or may not put out a terrific outing. The New York Yankees always come through in the clutch. Always. And don’t you forget it.

As for the game in Texas, I shall speak no more. I like Frank Francisco. In fact, I think he’s on my fantasy team. Therefore, I will not say anything more about that game.

 

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And it seems as though, for the first time ever, the Yanks are not on FOX on a Saturday. And you should know how I think about that. Thank God. If I had to listen to Tim McCarver’s clueless rambling about Derek Jeter’s Godliness… if I had to listen to McCarver stumble and mumble and repeat himself constantly on a point that we really already knew anyway, but he just feels so glad that he’s right that he’ll try and constantly mention it so that we don’t forget his rightness… for another damn Sunday, I think I’d crack the wall open. And it’s not just McCarver, either. It’s FOX’s damn inability to give you a nice ballgame without screwing up the volume so that you have to mute it on commercials and then put it up to freaking 40 during game time. They have an extremely shoddy audio crew, and that’s being kind.

But thank God that the game is at 10. I usually prefer 7, but 10 is late enough so that I can enjoy my Saturday without feeling pressured to watch the game.

As for the Song of the Day, well, it’s Breaking Benjamin weekend, Break My Fall was yesterday, today it’s one of the tracks from their 2006 album “Phobia”, ladies and gentlemen, Dance with the Devil.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

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Behold the Art of the Comeback

The 2009 New York Yankees hath perfected it.

I have to be honest; when the Yanks were unable to score in the 7th inning, when we usually come back and score, it pretty much got to me. I thought we had no shot. I didn’t watch the top of the 8th. But I knew that we still had 6 hitters left, and that the Bombers this year can always make something out of that. Sure enough, they did. 

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And now the Yankees are the first to reach the 70 victory plateau in this year’s Major League Baseball year. That would be something that the best team in baseball would do, is it not?

I know that I repeat it a lot, but it’s worth being said, mainly because I enjoy pissing off Yankees haters. We are the best team in baseball right now. As I said in my last entry, there are no ands, ifs, or buts about it. Red Sox? We’re definitely better than them. Dodgers? Of course we’re better. Phillies? Bahaha! Bahah! Bahaha! That was good, wasn’t it?

By the way, something happened in Fenway tonight that I should bring to your attention. And in this context, something means freaking awesomeness in the convenience of a can. Or, rather, a good awesome minute. You saw it.

Last night, a couple of guys– including DAH YOUKAH– were hit by pitches, one probably retaliation for another. So in tonight’s ballgame, Tigers vs. Red Sox again, the 2nd of the series, Miguel Cabrera gets hit in the hand and is later taken out. Then Victor Martinez gets one up and in from Ricky Porcello, known as the 20-year old rookie right hander and first round draft pick by Detroit with 10 wins on his belt in 2009. Martinez doesn’t like it, he shares a few words. The next inning, the bottom of the 2nd inning of play, the first pitch thrown to Kevin Youkilis is high and tight and it gets Youk in the shoulder.

And (s)he didn’t like that one bit.

And so, in a total Kevin Youkilis p-ssy(no offense to my female colleagues, you know I love ya) moment, he charges the mound and pathetically tosses his helmet at Rick Porcello. I mean, who does that? That’s a b-tch(again, no offense to my female colleagues) move by Youkilis; you’re not fighting for your life, don’t use whatever utilities that can cause the slightest amount of damage. Then, when Youkilis attempts to go in for the kill and bring Porcello down, the kid Porcello does an unbelievably awesome jiu-jitsu move (I SHALL USE YOUR OWN ENERGY AGAINST YOU) and brings Youkilis to the ground before he falls. Maybe you should’ve just stuck with the helmet, Youk. It would’ve only caused half the embarrassment.

And now, in an even more embarrassing twist of fate, the idiot is now going to get probably a 6 day suspension for his actions, when he’s one of the biggest contributing factors to the Red Sox, defensively and offensively. He puts Boston and their manager, Terry Francona, in a very difficult position. Nice job, big guy. Grow a pair, why don’t you?

Song of the Day? Gimme a Hell Yeah by Rev Theory, cause I’m in that kinda mood. Who wouldn’t be if you’re a big Yankee fan?

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

The Biggest Surprises of 2009

As presented to you by me, EJ the Kid From New York. Sorry that I couldn’t make a blog entry yesterday, I was babysitting kittens with wings.

Today, I’m doing a blog that I’ve planned on doing for a long, long time. You read the title. You know what this is about. As we head towards the All-Star Game(props to Prince Fielder for juicing those balls last night), it’s time to review the disappointing players and the players who have come out of the blue and delivered more than their ballclubs could’ve imagined.

I will separate all of the surprises in this ’09 MLB season by category. and give one to three things by category. So let’s get it started, as the Black Eyed Peas say.

We begin with one of the more obvious categories when you’re discussing baseball surprises.

The Breakout Stars

Aaron Hill, 2B, Toronto Blue Jays

There’s a second baseman in the American League who isn’t as tall and as strong-looking as a lot of his fellow baseball players, but he’s already hit 20 homers prior to the ’09 All Star break and has made the All-Star Game. To go along with that, he’s been great defensively, has 114 base hits, and steals a base every now and then. He’s been one of the main reasons his ballclub has been in contention in one of the toughest divisions in the game. He is not Dustin Pedroia, he is not Ian Kinsler, or Robinson Cano. His name is Aaron Walter Hill. He is 27 years of age. He plays for the Toronto Blue Jays. His 20 big flies already give him a career high, his previous mark being 17 home runs. This year, he is better than Dustin Pedroia, better than Ian Kinsler, better than Robinson Cano,, than Brian Roberts, than almost any second baseman in this game that you can give me(Chase Utley is a rare exception). Go ahead. I dare you.

Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore Orioles

Adam Jones was one of the players that the Orioles recieved in the Erik Bedard deal with the Seattle Mariners. and oh boy, is he showing it now. When you talk about athletes… when you talk about five tool players… when you talk about talent… this has to be one of the names you bring up, and if you don’t bring him up, shame on you. 12 longballs, 6 stolen bases, a .303 batting average, and not to mention Gold Glove defense. If he and Hill don’t win those Gold Gloves, it’ll be just another year in which the defensive award isn’t given to the best defensive player.

Honorable Mentions: Russell Branyan, Juan Pierre, Adam Lind

Comeback Kids

Andruw Jones, OF, Texas Rangers

You know the story.

Disappointments

New York Mets, 42-45, 6.5 Games Out of NL East

This is a ballclub that even I predicted would make the World Series– boy, how naive I was. These Mets have David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado on offense, Johan Santana leading a rotation with talented on-the-rise sinkerballer Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez, a guy who can be so nasty at times and is inconsistent but he could work that out, and they had a bullpen that after blowing so many games last year was revamped and supercharged with Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez, and JJ Putz and they were going to be so good! What possibly could have happened? Well, almost all of the players I just named have been sidelined for a long while now with injuries, and after trading away so many minor leaguers for Johan Santana and Putz and not focusing on building that farm system, they have absolutely no depth. Depth is what separates the contenders(Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers) and the pretenders, namely the Mets.

Milton Bradley #21 of the Chicago Cubs walks back to the dugout after making the final out of the game as Brian McCann #16 of the Atlanta Braves walks to the mound on July 8, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Braves defeated the Cubs 4-1.

Chicago Cubs, 43-43, 3.5 Games Out of NL Central

The Chicago Cubs were supposed to, for the second consecutive year, be the powerhouse of the National League(mainly in the regular season). They had signed Milton Bradley, a guy who put up great offensive numbers in the 2008 season and who was a switch hitter, able to mix things up in that right handed heavy lineup. They had the returns of All Star starting pitchers Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano, and they had Gold Glover Derrek Lee at first who can also swing it with the best of ’em, and Hank Aaron Award winner and good fielding 3rd baseman Aramis Ramirez, and Rookie of the Year backstop and All-Star Geovany Soto. So what happened here? Basically, Milton Bradley, defensively and offensively, stunk. Really bad. Aramis Ramirez got injured. Alfonso Soriano, after a good start, couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. And even though they haven’t been that bad this year, they certainly have disappointed their fans and a ton of people who predicted they’d win it.

Honorable Mentions: Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics

That’s it for today.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

If there is anyone I missed, please say so in the comments below.

-EJ the Kid From New York 

So Much To Talk About!

We’ll start with the Yankees-Mariners ballgame.

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Last night, the Yankees won again, continuing their 6-game winning streak. Joba Chamberlain turned in a decent start and, needless to say, got a no decision. After Alex Rodriguez hit a towering homer to left to give the Yanks a lead, Brian Bruney once again looked off and had an awful outing. However, Brunester got himself the W when the Yankees came back to score 3 runs off the Mariners’ Sean Green, headed by an RBI double by Mr. Clutch, Melky Cabrera, who had 3 RBI that day.

And how about Melky Cabrera this year? He’s on pace to hit 13 or 14 homers, be in the 60s or 70s in RBI, and steal 10 or 11 bases. That’s nowhere near what we’ve expected Lil’ Leche to be after that severely disappointing year he had in 2008.

Now, while that win is all fine and dandy, something else happened in the AL East that is about 7 thousand times more awesome.

The Red Sox got pwn’d.

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After facing a commanding Red Sox lead of 10-1, those beautiful beautiful Orioles down in Baltimore rallied for 10 runs over the next few innings, the last couple off of dominant closer Jonathan Papelbon.  How freaking unbelievable is that?! It’s hard enough facing the Red Sox losing 2-1, but 10-1? What happened now, Boston?! I thought you could pitch?

So beautiful…

And guess what? As I speak, the Red Sox are losing to the Baltimore Orioles by the score of 1-0! These guys are incredible!

Nick Markakis is dreamy, too…

And once again, even though the Subway Series has been over for well over 48 hours now, I still find myself talking about the patheticness of the New York Mets.

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Johan Santana was angry after a 4 run inning full of sloppiness(what else is new, it’s the Mets!), he was shouting, he was just pissed. And you know what? It’s good that he was pissed. Somebody’s gotta be pissed!

I don’t think Johan Santana should have been shouting and screaming like a madman, let’s be clear on that. However, I also don’t agree with Johan getting in the dugout, breathing for a couple seconds and telling F-Mart(you see his mistake above) “I’m sorry, I should’ve picked you up.” Instead, I would have rather seen The Johan use his anger in a more calculated manner. When you shout and yell, you only scare the heck out of everybody. You only intimidate and that doesn’t do anything but hurt your cause.

Instead, Johan Santana should have gotten into the dugout, dropped his glove and said “What’s the point of me working my **** off every day and giving my all every five days when I know I’m going to lose anyway?”

And that gets to you. It sends the team a message. “Dude, you’re letting me down. I’m frustrated here.”

But no, the Mets have no true leaders in their clubhouse. They don’t seem to have a single player who knows how to get to his teammates and control his dugout. And when you don’t have a leader like that who can motivate his team, all you have are a bunch of frustrated ballplayers. And guess what? That only compounds the problem.

It’s sad what has happened to this Mets ballclub.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

Early Season Awards Part 1

We’ve played a somewhat significant amount of time already this year. We haven’t seen too many games where we can make a sound and un-risky judgment on how the season will end, but we’ve seen enough games where we can take a look at all the happenings of the season, and say “This has been so thus far, and this has not been so.”

And let’s face it. Us baseball fans love giving people awards, especially giving people who are underrated awards. So let’s do so right now, here are the early season awards for teams and players as of May 16, 2009.

First are the Most Valuable Players.

May 16, 2009 NL MVP

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It’s really hard to argue with Hanley Ramirez to win MVP in the National League here so far. A 166 OPS+ at shortstop is extraordinary and quite rare, and of course you can’t doubt the obvious power speed combination that Ramirez has. 6 homers and 6 steals. Han-Ram seems to have flown under the radar thus far in the year, but he has truly produced for the Fish.

Now if only they could win games.

Runners Up:

Raul Ibanez, Philadelphia Phillies: The veteran outfielder has consistently crushed balls in for the Phillies this year, as he’s really been a great pickup, with a 173 OPS+.

Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals: Check out how well represented the NL East is! The young third baseman for the struggling Nats notably picked up a 30 game hitting streak this year. Zimmerman not only has produced offensively, with a 159 OPS+ and leading the league with 54 base hits and 21 extra base hits, he also has played stellar defense, as his range is well above league averages.

Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals: Do I really even have to say anything? He’s done really well defensively, with a range factor per 9 innings of 10, but he’s also been Albert Pujols offensively, leading the league in slugging percentage and putting up an OPS+ of 182.

Adam Dunn, Washington Nationals: The slugging outfielder known for his tape-measure big flies has put up a 172 OPS+, is 6th in the league in runs created and, strangely enough, has only whiffed 34 times. Nice job, big guy!

Brad Hawpe, Colorado Rockies: Hawpe’s production has really seemed to fly under the radar out there in Denver, but this guy’s got a 173 OPS+ and his .363 batting average is good for fourth in the National League.

May 16, 2009 AL MVP

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I mean, this seems fairly obvious to me, I don’t know if it really was so easy for you, but it was definitely not challenging for me to get this one. Victor Martinez is a catcher– and he’s hitting .400. I mean, think about that for a second. How many people hit .400? How many of them are catchers? Look, he’s probably not going to do it all season, it’s not like I’m saying that, but these are the May 16th awards, not the end of year awards, and when you lead both leagues in hitting, put up an OPS+ of 186, lead both leagues in hits, times on base, runs created, 4th in the league in slugging percentage, 2nd in the league in on base percentage, and you’re a catcher? No, it’s too easy for me.

Runners Up:

Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox: Youk’s the only guy who I can accept voting as AL MVP over Martinez. I mean, this guy has been ridiculous even though he’s on the disabled list now. He’s been on base literally over half of the time(leading both leagues in OBP with a .505 clip), he’s leading the majors in slugging and thus, OPS, he’s leading both leagues in OPS with 206. Even though he’s been sub-par defensively at first base this year(check the statistics, Julia, you can not tell me otherwise), he’s also played third base a fair amount, which is ridiculous. How many guys who are hitting like he is will be willing to play third base as often and, as a matter of fact, as well as he does? …although Albert Pujols did play 2nd base once last year…

Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers: 8 steals, 11 homers, a 156 OPS+ and a .318 average to go along with solid defense at a premium position in second base? I’ll take it.

Aaron Hill, Toronto Blue Jays: Aaron Hill has dominated offensively, with a 146 OPS+ and above average defense at second base. He’s also tied with Victor Martinez for the most hits in both leagues and his .347 batting average is good for 7th in the league.

Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays: The young third baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays has played great defense, and he also kinda sorta has a 175 OPS+.

Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles: This guy has really stood out for me. Power? He’s got a .669 slugging percentage and has hit 8 jimmy jacks this season. Speed? He’s got 3 stolen bases and has 13 extra base hits, which also partially has to do with speed. Average? .370 good enough for ya? Defense? This guy’s range factor is well above league average, and he’s got 3 assists to go with it.

Now for the Cy Youngs. This should be really easy.

May 16th 2009 AL Cy Young

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Not even a question at all, really. His ERA+ this year is 773. 773. No, this is way too obvious that it’s almost silly.

Runners Up

Edwin Jackson, Detroit Tigers: Did you know that Edwin Jackson’s ERA this year is 2.42? Did you know that he has a WHIP of 1.038? Neither did I.

Roy Halladay, Toronto Blue Jays: Halladay has been classic Halladay this year, really. He’s got the most innings pitched in the majors with 61, he has a very nice ERA+ of 157, he’s been a workhorse, he’s been efficient, he’s only walked 7 hitters and is leading the majors in most strikeouts per walk with 7, he’s really just doing his thing for those surprising Blue Jays.

Kevin Millwood, Texas Rangers: Milly’s really performed astoundingly, as he’s got an ERA+ of 163 in 58.2 innings, good for 3rd in the league. This is for a Texas Rangers ballclub known for it’s bad pitching, in part due to the park they play in in Arlington which puts Millwood in a large disadvantage because it’s so favored to hitters.

May 16, 2009 NL Cy Young

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Again, not really much difficulty making this decision. 11.7 strikeouts per 9 innings, 566 ERA+… this guy’s pitched like the ace that he is for the first place Metsies so far.

Runners Up

Johnny Cueto, Cincinnatti Reds: The Dominican righty with a great heater and a stellar changeup has been living up to his promise, putting up a 241 ERA+ in 46.2 innings.

Wandy Rodriguez, Houston Astros: Wandy has undoubtably gone under the radar, as he’s put up a 231 ERA+, good for 3rd in the NL. In 52 innings, the southpaw hasn’t allowed a homer yet, and he’s put up a great WHIP of 1.000.

Dan Haren, Arizona Diamondbacks: The hard throwing right hander has really dominated the teams that have faced him so far this year in his second season in Arizona, as he’s put up a 227 ERA+, and his 0.857 WHIP is good for tops in the NL.

Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta Braves: Jurrjens has really been surprising, as the young righty from Curacao has racked up a solid 213 ERA+ in 48 innings pitched.

Now for the rookies of the yearrrr!

May 16, 2009 AL Rookie of the Year

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This decision was difficult to make, not because there have been so many good rookies in the AL; rather, it’s because they’ve all been sub par. Uehara has been decent this year, as the righty from Osaka Prefecture who pitched in the Nippon Professional League before coming to the MLB this year at 34 years of age has put up a 123 ERA+ and a 1.125 WHIP in 42.2 innings.

Runners Up:

Scott Richmond, Toronto Blue Jays: The 29-year old Canadian has a 108 ERA+ in 40 innings.

Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers: The main, big prospect acquired by Texas in the Mark Teixeira trade, Andrus has hit 3 triples, 2 homers, has stolen 6 bases, and he’s provided terrific range at the shortstop position for Texas.

Trevor Cahill, Oakland Athletics: Cahill performed stellarly in the minors last season, well enough to make it to the big leagues this year as a 21-year old. While he’s shown mediocre command to say the least, his 3.69 ERA is still the best for an AL rookie this year, and that’s gotta be something.

May 16, 2009 NL Rookies of the Year

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Dexter Fowler has been decent this year, so he shares the ROTY award with Shairon Martis, mainly because he’s stolen 10 bases including I believe 5 in one game, a rookie record. Not only that, he’s also had very good range in center field, and he’s beginning to develop some major league pop in his bat. As for Martis, well, he’s yet to lose a start for the Washington Nationals, and his ERA+ of 110 is pretty decent.

Stay tuned for part two, where I will give the second string of awards; Comeback Players of the Year, Managers of the Year, and my own personal award, Underrated Players of the Year. That is, as of May 17th, when the blog will be out.

Stay positive, Yankee fans! Back to back walkoffs!

-EJ the Kid From New York