Tagged: Rays

Oh, Geez.

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As if my allergies were not enough to depress me.

Javier Vasquez welcomes himself back into the Yankee ballclub by sucking. Tremendously.

I mean, that was a trainwreck of an outing. He couldn’t get anyone to make an out at a certain point, which was a shame because he had started off the game so well. Still, it was a very inconsistent and poor game for Javy, and if that’s what we’re going to see all season long this year, I doubt he’ll be a Bomber by July.

With that said, do I think he’ll be this terrible all year? No, I think he’ll have many outings that are considerably better than today. I don’t believe, however, that Vasquez is going to be the dominant starter he was in Atlanta. It’s obviously different, facing the Red Sox and Rays rather than the Nationals and Mets. That’s why I always got skeptical when people thought he’d have a terrific year for the Yankees. It just wasn’t going to happen.

By the by, Javier Vasquez happened to be solid in that one year he had with the Braves, but when he was with the White Sox before, he wasn’t nearly as dominant. I doubt that he got so much better from suddenly having great command and poise. Obviously the ballpark and competition he faced got worse.

What We Did Right

Ehh, not terribly much, to be honest. You had a few decent offensive performances; Derek Jeter had two base knocks and a run scored, Nick Johnson finally came through with his first two hits of the year and an RBI, and A-Rod had an RBI triple and a run scored. Pitching-wise, Sergio Mitre wasn’t horrible, going 2.1 innings and giving up one run in his first performance of the year for the Yanks.

That was it.

What We Did Wrong

Well, a lot of things.

Namely, Javier Vasquez’s 8 earned runs surrendered in 5.1 innings of work was pretty bad. You had some bad performances with the bat for New York, like Teixeira’s 0-for-4 outing, and Curtis Granderson was 0-for-4 as well. Plain and simple, we just couldn’t play effective baseball today, and so the Rays, who are a good team, took advantage.

Next Game

The big man, CC Sabathia, will make his second start of the year against Wade Davis of the Rays. I wouldn’t treat this as an easy win as most Yankee fans are. First of all, Wade Davis is a young right hander with very good stuff. I’ve been following him since 07 and he really can blow away a competition with his arsenal of pitches. Second of all, the Yankees seem to struggle against pitchers that they haven’t hit against in the past. Third of all, it’s on FOX. The Yankees suck on FOX.

Other than that, there is good reason to be optimistic. Just hope Sabathia can put on a very strong performance this afternoon, that the offense can start to warm up, and that all generally goes pretty well.

Around the MLB

Jose Reyes is back with the Mets. As my mom would put it, “Por fin!” Finally! Jesus, he was getting injured every five seconds. I got the feeling he just didn’t even want to come back sometimes, and I wouldn’t blame him. These Mets are a trainwreck.

Hot hitters? How about Edgar Renteria, who has 11 hits in 15 at bats? He’s doing pretty well, wouldn’t you say? It’s strange to see the veteran Renteria, who is long removed from being an actual good big league player, start hitting again for the Giants.

You’ve got Jason Heyward, who hits a three-run, go-ahead, 451 foot big fly in his first ever MLB plate appearance. He could have just retired there and made the Hall of Fame, but I get the feeling the Braves and Heyward both would like to keep that success going for a long period of time. By the way, Heyward is hitting .176 on the season including that homer. He’s struck out 8 times. What a bum, huh?

Beats my NL Rookie of the Year prediction, anyway. Madison Bumgarner is in the minor leagues. I don’t know why I make the picks that I do.

Around the World

We have an international tragedy of giant proportions, as the president of Poland, his wife and several officials have died in a plane crash in Russia. I’d add more, but I’m not sure there’s a need for me to do that at this point.

Tiger Woods is back. Am I the only person on the face of the Earth who doesn’t give a damn? I’ve never liked golf.

What You Need to Look At

I typically detest sensations like this, because they go on for a little while, annoy the hell out of everyone, and then die down eventually. But this is kind of cool.

This Taiwanese boy has a voice like Whitney Houston. And I mean that.

http://tv.yahoo.com/blog/chinese-susan-boyle-channels-whitney-houston-becomes-internet-star–1137

Make sure that you read it by the end of this weekend because I’ll be sick of it by Monday.

The Song of the Day

I love this song and have loved it ever since I saw it in a commercial. The lyrics are great, the melody is great and the music is great. It’s just an overall terrific song and it’s my favorite right now. I’ll leave it at the bottom under the signature.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

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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

EJ Busts a Rap

Yo!

I bust a phat rap cause I’m a fat cat–okay, I’m not saying that. …I’m just, I refuse to say that. Let’s try this again. 1… 2… 3…

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Yo,

The Yankees beat the Blue Jays and upset the Doc

Longoria in Tampa gave the Red Sox a shock

We got some breathing room when Evan hit one out

A walk-off blast to left made the Red Sox pout

1 and a half games is a nice improvement

Than the half game of work room we were usin’

Andy Pettitte scuffled at the end but

He got a W for the pinstriped men

Damon and Tex went back to back

The main component of New York’s offensive attack

Matsui gave us breathing room by drilling one to center

And when Mo got the final out I sang like Eddie Vedder

I guess, it’s just, a day in the life

Of a Yanks fan when the AL East is alright

It’s tight, the feeling of being in first place

Now if only we could win one on Virginia’s birt–no. I’m not saying that…

You don’t get that oppurtunity in baseball’s rat race

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Meanwhile, the Mets’ Castillo made us scratch our noggins

He got more NY headlines than Igawa’s joggin’

When he took a fall and sprained his ankle

You look at that and it’s only a sample

Of the sheer bad luck the Mets have come across

Every day there’s an injury another player lost

So nowadays baseball fans wonder “Who’s next?”

Well today Niese is the newest victim of the hex

Yeah… that’s it… no more rapping…

The Song of the Day is a very touching, sensitive war-themed song and I think you all should hear it, it’s not a heavy rock song or a catchy rap song, it’s an acoustic song by a band I really like. The song is called Hero of War by Rise Against

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

 

Still In First Place: Barely, but Still

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Yesterday was a tough loss, we had a lot of stuff going for us offensively and pitching wise, not to mention the 17 game errorless streak being continued, and to see it slip away like that was not exactly thrilling. However, it wasn’t a discouraging game to say the least, being that we’re still in first place and we did come back on the shoulders of Marky Mark.

Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira have been red hot this road trip, and they’ve collected long hitting streaks over 10, I’m not sure what the exact numbers are but they are fairly big. Hopefully, Joba can pitch well today and we can take advantage of this great Yankee offense and blow out the Indians, who have soft tossing southpaw Jeremy Sowers on the mound for them.

Some background on Sowers as the first inning has ended, still 0-0 in Chase Field Yanks-Indians: Jeremy Bryan Sowers, 6’1″, 180 lbs, is 1-2 with an ERA very well over 7. Ever since his 127 ERA+ in ’06 for Cleveland, he’s been the epitome of suckiness: a 6.42 ERA in 07, a 5.58 ERA in ’08, and you see his numbers up there. Sowers has below average stuff and doesn’t strike out many batters, so his key is to throw quality strikes(something Flash Flaherty talked about last year with Chien-Ming Wang) and pitch to contact.

Okay, so apparently we have some controversy right now going on with Bob from Eat, Sleep, Baseball and I. For those of you who don’t know, Bob is an 11-year old Red Sox fan who has a blog that you can check out right here.

Bob doesn’t seem very pleased with a comment I made on him saying that Jason Varitek is much more deserving over Martinez for 2nd place on catcher votes(by a billion votes). Here’s my comment on that:

“That’s a very ignorant statement, clearly. If you compare the statistics, you can very easily see how Victor Martinez is blowing Jason Varitek out of the water this year. Martinez is hitting over 100 points higher than Varitek with a way better OPS+. And if you want to say JV’s been much better than he was last year, sure don’t seem like it from the numbers.”  

Now you can call that harsh, but IMO he had it coming. Here are the statistics comparing V-Mart and Tek:

OPS+

Martinez: 149

Varitek: 111

Batting Average:

Martinez: .350

Varitek: .239

Extra-Base Hits:

Martinez: 23

Varitek: 19

Well, Bobby did not take kindly to this. I’ll answer his long response on my last blog on the first place Yanks right ‘ere:

Okay first off yes my comment about Varitek was not ignorant it was biassed. If Posada was third you would probably say the same thing.”

Well, I appreciate that you admit your bias: however, bias is ignorance, therefore, to say it was not ignorant, it was biased would be a funny thing to say. As for the second statement, I try not to be biased and when one guy clearly has a huge statistical advtange over my guy, I’m not going to say my guy is more deserving. I admit that Kevin Youkilis has been miles better than Mark Teixeira this season. I’m well aware that Aaron Hill and Ian Kinsler are significantly better second basemen than Robinson Cano, and I’m willing to have that discussion about Pedroia.

And you said Victor Martinez was blowing Varitek out of the water. In some stats like OBP and batting average yes. But Varitek has more homers then Martinez and only has ten more strikeouts them Martinez. He has ten homers while Martinez has 7. Varitek’s average is .239 while Martinez’s is .350. Tek has 19 runs, 33 hits, 22 RBI’s, 17 walks, 31 strikeouts, and on OBP of .327. Martinez’s stats include 33 runs, 69 hits, 36 RBI’s, 28 walks, 21 strikeouts, and an OBP of .350.”

Bobby, that’s nice and all, but you look really silly when you present the statistics, and Martinez has done much better in every stat you put up, but because Tek has more homers Martinez is not better? That doesn’t make sense. Also, you have to realize that statistics like OBP, slugging, average, OPS, OPS+ are way more notable than homers and RBI.

“You also said that Varitek had a better season last year when he was in a massive slump. Well last year Tek batted .220 with 13 home runs, 43 RBIs, and an OBP of .313. This year he is batting .239 with 3 less home runs then he had all of last year and about half the RBIs he had last year. His OBP is also higher.”

I didn’t say Varitek had a better season last year, I said his season last year wasn’t way better than 09.

“Yes I was wrong about Martinez but seriously. You really did not have to say that. You could have just said, “Martinez is having a better year because his stats are better then Varitek, blah, blah, blah.”

In no way was what I said intended to be offensive nor was it offensive in my opinion. The most insulting sentence in that comment I guess was “that’s a very ignorant statement, clearly” which, notice how I said the statement was ignorant, not you. If I said you’re ignorant, then I could definitely see why you’d be angry. But you’re at a ten, when you need to be at a two, as Cenk Uygur would say.

“I actually voted for Jesus Flores five times even though he has only has 4 homers and 13 RBIs. Because I wanted to help you with your ‘campaign’.”

Well, thanks for voting for Flores 5 times. I appreciate it, although with the needless mentioning of his 4 homers and 13 RBI, I’d assume you really didn’t get why Flores deserved to be in. Bob, you gotta understand, again, that OBP and SLG and OPS+, and OPS and batting average are much more important than homers and RBI. I see this mistake very often among baseball fans.

I’d like to comment on some very controversial and downright unintelligent statements that Bob made in his latest blog, “The ‘Future'” because I’m bored and I like pointing out people’s mistakes. Call me whatever, I’m just for some reason like that.

“While the Orioles are having a good season for their standers they are 22-26. On the bright side they are tied for last with the Rays. So there are two young teams who many thought would be good. Both suck.”

Standards, first of all.

Second of all, nobody expected the Baltimore Orioles to be good this year. The Rays, yeah, people expected them to be good because they were amazing last year, they went to the World Series. I’m sure you know this, since they beat your Red Sox in 7 games in the ALCS and took us out of the playoffs.

Why do both teams suck? Well, the Orioles have six veterans along with no pitching at all. I mean what other team (besides the Nationals) would have Jeremy Guthrie as their ace? The Dodgers who have the best record in baseball have nine veterans without Manny Ramirez. Along with great pitching. And ohh ya they are super young with guys like Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Russell Martin, James Loney, etc.”

Uhh, what’s the point of this paragraph here? Like, I thought for a second that he’d be making the experience argument, which I can understand, but then he says how the Dodgers are super young (which they’re not by the way, they just have a few young players).

And the Orioles have six veterans? I consider a veteran a person who’s played at least 4 full seasons. Let’s see here, Baltimore 25-man roster.

Danys Baez

Mark Hendrickson

George Sherrill

Jamie Walker

Gregg Zaun

Aubrey Huff

Cesar Izturis

Melvin Mora

Brian Roberts

Ty Wigginton

Luke Scott

That’s more than 6. Even if you think a veteran has to be an ooold guy: Baez, Hendrickson, Walker, Zaun, Huff, Izturis, Mora, Wigginton. Eight.

I mean, how do you make statements like this and not check yourself?

“James Shields is three and four with an ERA of 3.63. To high for an ace.”

Yeah, and the Red Sox, their ace, Josh Beckett, has a 4.60 ERA! Man, those Red Sox suck, huh?

When will the Rays and the Orioles get better? Never. The Rays have a one percent chance for winning the A.L. East and Baltimore what a joke they are. They have a 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% chance of winning the wild card for the rest of the teams future.”  

This here is the one statement that set me off. Pardon me, I don’t mean to offend, but who the heck are you, Bob, to tell me who the good teams of the future and the bad teams of the future are? Are you some sort of psychic who can see into the future? What basis, what argument did you have to make that ridiculous comment? And by the way… need I remind you that for almost 100 seasons, your precious Boston Red Sox never won a single championship, and they struggled and their fans still stuck with the Sox and still loved their team. The Red Sox were awful, year after year, over and over again, always in the shadow of the powerhouse New York Yankees. I’m sure people thought they’d never win again at times. However, they finally won again in 2004, and again in ’07, and now they’re maybe the best team in the MLB. Now that you guys are the boss, you guys are winning championships, you can suddenly tell us who are and who are not going to succeed in the future? You guys, of all people should know that that’s a dumb statement.

If the Rays and Orioles want to get better they need to fire their manager, trade for Albert Pujols or Ryan Howard. The only problem? Well, the Rays love Joe Madden and I don’t even now who the Orioles manager is.”

The Rays love Joe Maddon because he made it to the World Series last year, and because the players love him. He’s a solid manager, and easily won Manager of the Year. But of course they have to fire him! Also, if you’re going to criticize a ballclub over and over again to try to humiliate them, you could at least know a thing or two about them. It helps that they’re in the same division as you and they face you quite often during the regular season, so you would think you’d be aqcuainted with their manager. I mean, you expect us to look at your point of view in baseball seriously, yet you obviously don’t pay attention to baseball games all that much if you don’t know who the Orioles manager is.

His name is Dave Trembley. Learn it. Live it. Love it.

Now Bobby, I understand you were angry for some reason and you were taking it out on the Rays and O’s, but I blog angry sometimes, and I’m still able to make intelligent, well thought out blogs. Think things through before you rant endlessly. I don’t mean to rag on you, just saying.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ The Kid “durr, what’s their manager’s name again?” From New York

We Love The Little Guys

You know, the Yankees have a 4 game losing streak, Mark Teixeira is slumping badly, and our pitching smells like donkey, but that’s totally irrelevant(sarcasm). I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and the more I think about it the less riled up I get about it, but I still want to share this with you since I figure it makes for an interesting blog and I don’t want to rant about the lack of consistency we’ve had this year and our completely suckiness with runners on base.

So, allow me to share with you just exactly what “We Love The Little Guys” is supposed to mean.

I’ll commence this discussion with sharing a little fact with you: did you know that Jason Bartlett was 18th in the MVP voting in 2008? Yes, Jason Bartlett. The speedy but not that speedy, average hitting, powerless Jason Bartlett(although he is the proud owner of 4 home runs this season).

That Jason Bartlett(although if it were any other random Jason Bartlett, we’d have to behead the guy(s) who voted for him).

Somehow, even though he hit .286 and had a .329 OBP, even though he had an 82 OPS+, he still managed to not only be in 18th place for Most Valuable Player, but he was also voted the Tampa Bay Rays Most Valuable Player.

Really? For the love of God, he had a .329 On Base Percentage. How valuable could that possibly be?! You mean, he was more valuable than Ian Kinsler, Mark Teixeira, and Ichiro Suzuki that year(ranked in 20th place, below Bartlett)? I know he didn’t get any first place votes, that would be disastrous, but regardless, this guy should be nowhere near consideration. Now let’s be clear: I am not a Jason Bartlett hater. I am not having a tall glass of Hatorade right now. And I am not saying that every player who should be considered for MVP should have 30 homers and 100 RBI. I thought Joe Mauer would’ve been a much better MVP pick than Pedroia.

But seriously, how is this guy in any way a super valuable player? First of all, people will say that he was a big boost defensively. So, of course, I looked up some statistics. And I gathered that his defense was average; maybe even below average. His range is in no way superior to the typical shortstop, and if you say his fielding percentage is good then I will smack you across the face. Over the internet, anyway.

But you know what everybody says. They say he’s valuable because “he always seems to come through” and “he always does the little things to help you win”. Of course, we don’t know this because he’s the little guy. He’s the little guy, he only hit one home run and so you’re all overlooking him and you always look at the 30 home run guy instead of this guy, who always comes through.

Oh really? How exactly did Bartlett always come through and do the llittle things to help you win? What little things? Please, I want you people to tell me because I have had such a hard time trying to find out just what little things he does. He had 5 sacrifice bunts and 4 sacrifice flies in ’08, so it can’t be those little things. It wasn’t his magnificent eye; 22 walks in a full season is not an enormous source of pride. It’s not like he always seemed to come up clutch; .293 with 2 outs and RISP is not terrific. So why is he so incredibly valuable?

Well, let’s be honest here. Baseball fans love little people. Not necessarily people little in stature, though David Eckstein is a primary example of this. People simply adore the guy who hits only a couple home runs, is fast but is not that fast, plays average defense, and is on an extremely successful team. Whenever a team has a very good record and makes the playoffs, and usually goes deep in the playoffs, it’s never the guy who was a catalyst for his team, it’s never the guy who steals his way into scoring position and took extra bases or had heads up baserunning all year long, it’s never the guy who gave his team leads and put his team on the board with extra base hits. It’s always this guy. In ’07, it was Dustin Pedroia (although he did hit for a very good average, he was mediocre defensively but he hit well that year). In ’06, it was David Eckstein. In ’05, it was Scott Podsednik.

People always do this and they never seem to realize that maybe Evan Longoria, a guy who was great defensively and great offensively, was more valuable than this guy. I wonder when this unhealthy obsession with the little guy ends, if it ever does.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

The Rivalry is Strong.

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Well, this Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees rivalry, which is storied and has been going on for decades, appears to be alive and well in 2009. Even though it’s a few games into the year and the two teams have yet to face eachother this year, they are tied for second place.

The Toronto Blue Jays are in first place, if you didn’t know. The Jays are finding ways to win; walkoff hits, home run fests, solid pitching performances. The bullpen, as far as I’m concerned, has been solid. For the first time since 1993, the Yankees might have to take a page out of the Blue Jay book.

Isn’t it funny that these teams are both at disadvantages, yet still manage a 7-6 record? The Yankees are missing the huge bat of Alex Rodriguez, and the Red Sox have to deal with a slumping David Ortiz?(Yankees obviously have a greater disadvantage)

Imagine what happens when the Yankees get A-Rod back and he does what A-Rod does? What happens when Big Papi swings for the fences as he used to for Boston? Not to mention the Tampa Bay Rays, the AL champs in 2008 and who may soon pose bigger threats and become bigger rivals with the Yanks than the Sox.

So the game yesterday was spectacular, Posada got the best hit of the year for the Bombers with that two run instant replay shot. Today’s game was postponed, which is good, because I can’t watch that game with school back. =(

So yeah, that’s the blog today. Have a nice day,

Stay positive, Yankee fans!

-EJ the Kid From New York