And if you think otherwise, you don’t know what you’re talking about.
The Song of the Day is Count on Me by Default. I’d really appreciate if you guys can leave just a small comment on the song of the day on my blogs, cause I feel kinda like I’m wasting my time putting these songs up when nobody cares, you know? Haha…
Stay positive, Yankee fans.
-EJ the Kid From New York
Jeez’m Lord Mercy I have a lot to talk about today!
How about the Yankees these first three days?
In game one, A.J. Burnett and the Yankees defeated the Tigers by the score of 5-3, thanks to the clutch homer deep into the night off the bat of Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the 7th inning.
On the second game against the Tigers following the All Star break, the Yankees were again victorious, as 7 great innings by big lefty CC Sabathia and a longball into right field from Alex Rodriguez propelled the Bombers to a 2-1 win.
Today was the third game of the series with the Tigers, and the New York Yankees were looking for a sweep. On the mound for the Yankees was struggling young righty Joba Chamberlain. On the mound for Detroit was first time All-Star and flamethrower, Edwin Jackson.
It ended nicely from the standpoint of a Yankee fan.
Today, we had, yet again, a 2-1 victory thanks to sheer power.
Power on the mound, power at the plate. You can always depend on power from the Yankees.
I know you’re thinking, 2-1? I can see power on the mound, but power at the plate?
Well, you’re fairly right. There wasn’t power all around for the Yankee offense on today, July the 19th.
But there was enough power.
We scored both of our runs on solo homers by the 3 and 4 batters in the order, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, both of them not cheapies by any stretch of the imagination. Tex’s came on a pitch below the zone, A-Rod’s came on a pitch down and in. And they were both hit extremely well.
So with this offensive contribution by the two main components of the Yanks’ offense, Joba Chamberlain and the Yankee bullpen took the Tigers offense to town.
Joba Chamberlain scuffled with his command at the beginning, but trust me– he bounced back. He pitched like an absolute ace today: he had ace stuff, first and foremost, with a mid-90s fastball, a sharp, devastating slide piece, a hard curve and a very strong change-up. But he had command of that ace stuff, too. Although he hit a batter and walked 3 guys, that does Joba no justice. As he went deeper into his outing, he was sharp as a needle. He threw pitches in tough locations, and when you have the velocity and break that he had on his pitches, it’s practically illegal.
Joba Chamberlain, your stuff is in violation.
If he can do this consistently when he goes out there, I will love him forever.
Now on the mound tomorrow, we got the Yanks’ worst starter. It’s the veteran left hander Andy Pettitte.
Andy Pettitte has some nice outings, and occasionally a great outing, but he hasn’t been that good. His ERA is 4.80, which is not very pretty, and he’s coming off a bad start. Granted, Andy Pettitte has been known to come alive during the 2nd half, but it was actually kind of the opposite in 2008, as he wore down as the season went on and his final numbers were not very impressive. He’s going to be facing rookie right hander David Hernandez.
Now, you guys know what the deal is with Andy Pettitte, ’cause you’re mainly Yanks fans, so I don’t really need to tell you anything. I do have to let you know what we’ll be up against in Hernandez, the starter for Baltimore.
So here’s the deal on him.
I looked at his first MLB outing, where he went 5.2 innings and gave up 1 run, striking out 3. Here’s the deal on his stuff: it’s very good. And I mean, it’s good.
I can’t tell you if Hernandez has a tough breaking ball, I know he has a fastball that gets up there as hard as 95 or 96 miles per hour. and it has tough, late life and movement on it. I know that he has a slider and a change to compliment his fastball, I can’t say whether either of those are particularly tough pitches. Hernandez had 79 strikeouts in 57.1 innings in AAA Norfolk, so he was a tough cookie down there. Up here, he’s 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA. He’s inconsistent with his outings, sometimes he’s pretty good and sometimes he’s pretty bad, usually not either extreme. Although his SO numbers down in the farm system were really solid, his career high for K’s in a ballgame is 4 in the Major Leagues, and he tends to be… too hittable, I guess, for MLB batters. In 32 innings pitched, hitters have collected 38 hits off him. He doesn’t walk many batters from what I can tell from his minor league numbers and his MLB sample combined.
In other words, it could be a nice day or a tough day. We’ll see if the Yanks can get some runs off him, enough for Pettitte anyways.
Song of the Day is Linkin Park – Given Up.
Stay positive, Yankee fans!
-EJ the Kid From New York
The New York Yankees defeated the Chicago Cubs last night by the score of 7-4, and the Yanks won again today 10-1, sweeping the Cubs in the two game exhibition set at New Yankee Stadium. The two games were highlighted by the amount of home runs hit by the Yankees.
In the first game, Robinson Cano put the trailing New York Yankees on the board with a 2 run blast to right field, which was not only the first home run at Yankee Stadium II(I guess, though it doesn’t matter yet), it was the first ever run scored by the Yankees at their brand new ballpark.
Later in the ballgame, Hideki Matsui hit a 2 run bomb right off the foul pole down the line in right field, giving the Bombers a 4-3 lead. Although a 4th run would be scored by the Chicago Cubs to tie it up, Cody Ransom would follow with a 3 run jack for New York, giving the Yankees a 7-4 lead they would never relinquish.
Derek Jeter hit a blast and Mark Teixeira slammed two home runs today, and a strong combined pitching performance by veteran southpaw Andy Pettitte and hard throwing new acquisition AJ Burnett held a strong Cubs lineup to only 1 run. That run was scored off the bat of Alfonso Soriano, who jacked a homer to left field.
So that series went spectacularly. I absolutely love the new ballpark, I think it’s going to be really fun to watch the season unfold down there in the Bronx, and I’m really hoping that no. 27 comes this season. Of course, my mind says otherwise, but that’s a completely different matter.
I found out something really awesome and strange today. Of course, y’all know how Cody Ransom, who was supposed to be the backup infielder, is going to be the starting third baseman for the Yanks until Alex Rodriguez can come back from his injury. That leaves an empty slot in the backup infield position. Well, we found out who would be taking Ransom’s place on the bench, and that is oddly not Angel Berroa, the favorite for the job who had a great spring offensively and beat out Hideki Matsui for the ROTY in 2003. Nope.
It’s Ramiro Pena! How neat is that?
I mean, I have nothing against Berroa. I like the guy, I really hope he can make a comeback with the Yanks and that he’s able to redeem himself for the awful past few years. On the other hand, you’ve gotta admit, it’s always sweet when you see a young guy like Pena, who had never played past AA prior to this season.
So now it’s time for me to answer a few questions about this guy, as we wait for Opening Day in Baltimore on Monday.
Who Is Ramiro Pena?
Ramiro Gauna Pena, born in Monterrey, Mexico, on 7/18/1985, is a Yankee prospect(I guess Yankee ex-prospect with this news) who is known for his glove work more than his bat. He has decent speed and below average power, but he is solid defensively. He has very good range, and although he has commited a large amount of errors in his minor league career, that’s something that can get better as he gains more expereince. As for his offensive production, I’d predict his stats would be something like this in 09:
185 at bats
.253 AVG, 1 HR, 5 SB, 20 RBI
The switch hitting young Pena made it to the All Star Futures Game in 2008, so that should give you an idea of how talented he is.
So how did he win this job? I’ll quote the MLB.com article:
“Despite having not played above Double-A Trenton, Pena opened eyes in camp when Derek Jeter left the club for the World Baseball Classic, showcasing a slick glove and a developing bat. Pena batted .277 (18-for-65) with two doubles, a triple and seven RBIs in 30 Spring Training games for New York.”
I hope he’ll reach his potential and becomes a mainstay for the Yankees. He has the ability to replace Derek Jeter at shortstop, and while he certainly will not be the second coming of DJ, he could be a fairly productive player for the Yanks. Okay, maybe I’m overhyping on Pena. But I just love prospects, mmkay?
You know you like the pictures.
Is that enough pics for y’all? Haha.
And that’ll be all. Stay positive, Yankee fans!
-EJ the Kid From New York
Win with minor leaguers.
Win outside of the organization.
Win with superstition.
Win without ’em.
Anyway that the Yankees can win, we will take it. We need it. We’re at the near end of August, and we’re 5 games outta the Wild Card. Wins are huge. Anyway that you can get wins, I don’t care. Get them. The Red Sox are in the Bronx to kick off this week. It’s a 3-game set that likely will determine the rest of this season.
No 2-out-of-3 bull.
Losing the series is unthinkable at this point.
We need to sweep. Sweep, sweep, sweep. Sweep them like they’ve never been swept before. Make them wish they were never Red Sox fans. Embarress them. Make them feel uncomfortable. The intention here is to play incredibly well, as well as you can, and gain as much ground from this series that’s POSSIBLE. The only way we can do that is to sweep.
We swept the Orioles like we should’ve. We had all the pressure into the world to sweep Baltimore, and we kicked their @$$ around. That’s very good. Now lets beat up the Red Sox.
The Yankees admit that now is the time to make a move. Darrell Rasner has to go.
Rasner Must Go
There’s nothing left to say. There’s nothing left to do. Rasner has tried to prove himself numerous times, and he’s rarely ever shown that he can pitch up here. If Darrell Rasner pitches his next start, I will burst into a fit of rage. What is the use of putting this guy up here? What do we gain from it? It’s a huge risk, minor reward kinda move to just leave this guy to keep starting? He’s already proven he’s not gonna help us win. We need somebody; whether it’s a minor leaguer, whether it’s Washburn… whoever it may be, Rasner can’t do it anymore.
Minor leaguers like Jason Jones, Phil Coke or Eric Hacker could replace Rasner in the rotation. There have also been rumors that Seattle lefty Jarrod Washburn could be the answer in a deal. At this point I don’t care who it is, as long as it’s not Rasner.
Let’s be serious about this. We’re hot, we’re aiming for the playoffs. Are we really gonna make it there with this guy?
The Ransom Factor
It looks like the Yankees have got a gem on their hands, by the name of Cody Ransom. Ransom has hit 2 homers in 2 at-bats so far as a Yankee. He had a great spring for the Yanks this year, and he was an impressive power hitter down in the minors. I guess we don’t need Betemit, then?
I just love this guy, because he reminds me of me(not trying to be loathsome). He reminds me of what I’m trying to be. He isn’t a big guy for baseball; 6’2″, 190 pounds. He isn’t shaped like a prototypical power hitter. But I find that his hitting style is so fundamentally sound, he’s able to drive the ball. Just check this out; I give credit to MESN HD for the video footage.
Look at this batting stance, I love it, it’s so fundamentally sound. Look at his head; it’s completely focused on the pitcher, he’s locked in. He has his elbows up, like you should. His feet are pointing towards the camera. His knees are slightly bent. His legs are spread shoulder-width apart.
Check this out, it looks eerily similar to Alex Rodriguez. You see how he kicks his front leg in the air, just a little bit? That’s so he can get some momentum on his swing, so he can drive the ball. It’s something I like to do when I’m hitting. As the pitch is about to be delivered, he lifts his front leg for momentum. Look at his front half, it looks remarkably similar to A-Rod. See how he keeps his hands back, almost pulling them back? That’s so he can get some more behind his swing, so he can drive the ball, at least that’s my understanding of it. It’s part of what Orestes Destrade calls an “Ichi-Ni-San”(1, 2, 3 in Japanese) style of hitting. Also keep note of how his eyes are still locked in on the ball.
Now this is the fun part. More solid fundamentals; his eyes are completely focused on the ball, as they should be. Look at how he’s bending his back leg to drive the ball. Look at how the ball hit off his bat; right on the sweet spot.
Look at how he follows through on his swing. That’s very important, because you’re not going to be able to drive the ball very far if you stop your swing before you can follow through. Go ahead, raise your fist, hop up and down or maybe just walk the first few steps. You just hit a home run.
Let’s see more of this guy.
Final thoughts time, so it’s time to do the Bold Statement of the Day! Here I say something bold and arguable about the New York Yankees. Here we go!
The Yankees will take the first game in a slugfest.
Oh, boy I hope so. I’m not confident if it’s true or not, but the way our offense is going, why not? So that’s it for today’s issue, stay tuned for tomorrow’s edition of The Squad.
Let the games begin.
The Yankees have scored 23 runs in the past 3 games, sweeping the Orioles. We’ve gotten timely, clutch hitting. We’ve gotten clutch pitching. We’ve gotten the outs when we needed to. We’ve been able to pile on and leave the opposing team behind. These are the Yankees we were expecting at the beginning of the year.
The main problem this season for the Bombers is the Yanks’ lack of capitalization. When the big hits were required, they weren’t coming. When the big pitches needed to be made, they weren’t. The Yankees had to rely on homers and occasional RBI hits to win games, and they needed a pitching staff to shut the opposing team down. The Yankees had unrealistic expectations for their pitching staff, and you gotta admit, the pitchers have done better than all expectation.
But now it’s time to get real. The real Yankees have showed up, and now they’ve gotta stick around and beat up all the times that bother trying to face them. We’ve got to hope. We’ve got to hope. We’ve got to cheer on the team, and hope that the playoffs are coming home to the Bronx this year. So let the games begin!
A brand new, full, that’s right I said it, full episode of The Squad is coming tomorrow.
Well, there’s a reason I decided to watch the Olympics.
It was fun to watch, and I knew that if I decided to watch the Angels-Yankees game I would not be entertained.
I did watch some of the game during the commercial breaks. The game started off nicely, with the Yankees leading 2-0. Well, I don’t need to talk about everything else.
Yesterday’s loss was one of the most heartwrenching and discouraging losses of the New York Yankees season. Sure, there were some ugly losses, particularly early in the year; the Red Sox pillaging Yankees pitching, the entire 4-game sweep at home against the Tigers, the walk-off single off Mariano Rivera by Gabe Gross to score Johnny Gomes in Tampa Bay. How about the recent game against the Orioles where the Yankees rallied for 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th, but Wilson Betemit struck out as the Yankees came up just short? Yeah, those weren’t fun either.
But you can definitely make a case that last night, when Chone Figgins hit a slow single into right field to sweep the Yankees at Los Angeles, on the day where the Rays won and the Red Sox lost.
The worst part of this loss is that you think to yourself, “Where is this going?”. Will the Yankees surge for the rest of the year, motivated by this excruciating loss? Or will they crumble under the pressure of being so far out of the AL East? The Yankees certainly still have a playoff shot, the Wild Card is quite close. But the Yankees will need to play hard and win as many games as they can in order to not only catch up, but to get past the tough Red Sox. Darn you, you stupid Rays!
Anyway, onto our next segment, a new one called Out Of The Draft!
Out Of The Draft
Here, in this new segment we take a look at 3 (as always) players who were drafted this year by the Yankees and see how they’re doing, statistically.
#1: David Adams
While he’s not the most sparkling draftee talent, he still has the potential to be a solid player. He’s not the fastest guy, his speed is below average, but he is a good baserunner. He’s got a real solid arm, he has nice hands, but his range is average. He isn’t a huge power hitter, but he should top out at around 18-20 homers in his peak. He’s got a good approach at the plate, as he goes the other way for contact. He hasn’t been doing all that well in Staten Island so far, hitting only .242 with 3 homers and 3 steals. Will he replace Derek Jeter as the new great Yankee shortstop? Probably not. But he does posess enough talent to be a decent starter or a great backup infielder.
#2: David Phelps
David Phelps doesn’t have overwhelming stuff. He throws as hard as 90, his breaking pitch is pretty slow. He doesn’t have a tremendous out pitch, and his control tops out at good. But he could be a solid starter in the future. He’s having a good season so far, with a 2.98 ERA and a 5-2 record in 10 starts (48.1). He probably won’t end up an ace, but he has enough potential to be a good, but not great starter of the future.
#3: Daniel Brewer
Daniel Brewer is quite an exciting young outfielder. He’s got very good speed and pretty good power. He was the first Bradley Brave ever to hit 20 homers (21) and swipe 40 bases (47). He is in the Bradley Braves’ all-time Top 10 in six offensive categories; triples (9, 4th); hit-by-pitches (19, 4th); stolen bases (47, 7th); doubles (47, 7th); runs scored (142, 7th); and total bases (325, 9th). He’s been decent in Staten Island, batting .267 with 2 homers and 7 stolen bases. I’m not sure about his defense, but Brewer has played 2nd base, so the Yankees will probably play him a few games in the middle infield. He’s got plenty of talent, and we could see him a few years from now making a few all-star appearances in the bigs.
And that’s it for Out Of the Draft!
Here’s today’s Bold Statement of the Day, where I say something bold, something that other people wouldn’t say because it is quite arguable. Here we go!:
The Yankees will hit 3 home runs today in Minnesota.
Well there you have it! Quite a bold statement for today, but I’ll make it. That’s it for the blog, be sure to continue to cheer on your Yankees no matter how hard it gets, because that’s what a fan does. You don’t cheer a team on because they win, you cheer them on because you love the team.
Stay positive, Yankee fans!
-EJ/Kid From New York
Triple Trouble; Yankees Sweep Athletics
Get out the brooms! And you may need a mop, too, considering the mess that we made out of the A’s this series. No offense to A’s fans, but the Yankees were plain and simple the better team this series. We outpitched Oakland(pretty rare considering how they’ve pitched this year), and we got more big hits… or big hit by pitches, then the A’s this series. We played good defense. It’s time for the skeptics and the critics to accept it; the Yankees pitch well. The other day I heard Kevin Kennedy of FOX say about Tom Coughlin throwing out the first pitch, he said that we may need him as a pitcher… grow up.
It’s incredible how these retards can be so ignorant and so ridiculously whiny that they can completely ignore this long stretch this season of good Yankee pitching and pretend it’s still 2007. We have good pitching, and we have one of the best bullpens in baseball. I’m not a hopeless Yankee fan, I’m basing this on fact.
This series sweep should be very, very encouraging to Yanks fans. It proves that, yeah, our offense is subpar at times, but we can still win. Look at the Angels, look at the Twins, look at the A’s, look at the ’69 Mets! The offense doesn’t have to be spectacular to be a spectacular team. And it goes without saying; the Yankees could score 40 runs in their next 4 games and nobody’d be surprised, because this team CAN hit, it’s only a matter of timely hitting and consistency.
LaTroy: Our Boy?
One of my friends and fellow blogging colleagues, El Fanatico de Nuevo Mejico (The New Mexican Yankees Fan, not really Mexican) asked me a very interesting question. He asked me if LaTroy Hawkins will stay as a mop-up reliever or return to his set-up form. Well, it pretty much goes without saying that unless something happens with Veras and Farnsworth, LaTroy Hawkins will not play a huge role in the bullpen this year for the Yanks. It should also be mentioned that LaTroy Hawkins isn’t the big time reliever that he used to be. Now, with that being said…
I really think that Hawkins will be able to lower his ERA to the low 4s. He is still a pretty good relief pitcher, and he should be able to pitch pretty well as a mop-up reliever. He’s got pretty good stuff; a low-90s moving fastball and a good breaking ball. He should be able to pitch very well in mop-up relief, as long as we pitch him enough. You heard me, NMYF! I called it! LaTroy Hawkins will pitch very well in the second half.
Alright, here we go, Yankee fans. This will be the first in a series of Bold Statements I will make at the end of every post I make. Alright, this’ll be fun. Here we go:
EJ’s Bold Statement of the Day
If the Yankees obtain Brian Fuentes, they will have the best bullpen in baseball.
Alright, not so bold, but still. The Yankees’ bullpen has come a long way this season after heavy criticism before the year.
To the delight of The New Mexican Yankee Fan, I close out with this statement;
Stay optimistic, Yankee fans.
-EJ/Kid From New York