For the first time in my brief time as a Yankee fan, I can peacefully say without objection: Red Sox suck, Red Sox suck.
Since the All-Star break, the Yankees have been about as close to unbeatable as humanly possible, as we’ve gone from a few games out of first place to tied for the best record in the game. We are, without a doubt, the best team in baseball, and I think that that’s pretty clear. We’re tied… for the best record in the game… and we play in the AL East, where we have a comfortable 3.5 lead. I feel like a Red Sox fan!
And hey, you others might think that us Yankee fans are being too spoiled and stuck up about our success. But the people who say that are probably on non-first place teams, and therefore are envious of our sexiness, basically.
Because, we’re really, really, sexy.
I was about to post up a suggestive photo(not of myself, of a hot Yankee girl, put down the barfbag… unless you’re into me, in which case, *wink*) but I thought better of it. Google Images, men. That’s all I’m saying. 😛
Anyway, there was a massive load of trades yesterday, and the Yankees made one, but it wasn’t… it wasn’t a big move, which doesn’t surprise me, but apparently it surprises other Yankee fans. We traded for minor league righty starting pitcher Jason Hirsh. Now, let me give you a little information on Hirsh in case you wanted to know.
Jason Hirsh is, first of all, still somewhat young. He’s 27 years of age, born in Santa Monica, California, and of the Jewish faith. He has a decent amount of MLB experience, as a starter in 9 games in his rookie season with the Astros in 2006. In 2007, he was a member of the NL champion Colorado Rockies, starting in 19 games with them. His numbers were not impressive; 5-7, 4.81 ERA, 112 innings pitched, but considering he had a 6.04 earned run average in ’06, he really didn’t do a bad job in Denver. Last year he pitched 8.2 innings, with a 55 ERA+(not good). This year, pitching solely in AAA Colorado Springs, he’s been very ineffective, with a 6-7 record and a 6.66 (ZOMG POSSESSED BY THE DEVIL) ERA. He’s a former AA all star, a guy who, according to this scouting report, has or at least had really good stuff. But according to my video game, his stuff ain’t that impressive. Here’s Wikipedia’s scouting report on him, notably a little dated:
“Hirsh has good leverage and pitches down to hitters. Hirsh had one of the most refined repertoires in Triple-A in 2006. He has a plus 2-seam fastball that has sink and good movement at 91-94 mph, while Hirsh’s plus hard-breaking slider is consistent and has bite at 80-86 mph (managers rated it the best breaking ball in the Texas League). Hirsh continues to refine his moderate changeup, which has fair deception and movement in the low-80s. He also throws a 4-seam fastball in the 94-96 mph range, and touches 97-98.  He’s not afraid to pitch inside, and throws strikes to both sides of the plate.”
Hirsh is also big and pretty athletic, he’s 6’8″ and 250 pounds, no lightweight by any stretch of the imagination. He might not pitch at all this yet, this move was simply to get a little depth at the starting pitcher position and, frankly, they made a pretty nice move for what they were looking for.
Today’s Song of the Day is the most gangsta song ever, and I picked it partially because I feel like a gangsta, and partially because the Red Sox need to “run n!gga run n!gga, duck n!gga, duck n!gga, run motherf–ker run”. I’m really enjoying first place. The Song of the Day today is Vato by Snoop Dogg.
Stay positive, Yankee fans.
-EJ the Kid From New York
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
Another Offensive Blast; Yanks Win 4 Straight
Well, the Yankees have done it again! For the second time in 4 days, the Yanks destroyed their opposing team’s pitching by putting a bunch of runs on the board. Both times have come on the first game of the series. The Yankees just really looked on top of their game last night; Ponson gave you the outing you expect from him, a decent start. He went 5.2 innings, 3 runs. He got out of some jams, so all in all, he was good enough to win and won. The Yanks got clutch hits, and even when they blew the lead early, nobody was really worried. Molina got 3 hits, A-Rod hit a bomb, Cano hit a longer bomb(odd, huh?), everybody seemed to have contributed except Giambi, but, you can excuse Giambi.
Alright, so keep reading, as today I’ve got a lot to write about. I’ll talk about the two big recent trades and how they affect the Yankees, I’ll discuss some of the lefties out on the market not named Brian Fuentes, and finally, I’ll back up last night’s bold statement and tell you why I would pick Joe Girardi over Joe Torre.
Two fairly big trades were made today. Two pitchers on the market; a reliever and a starter; were moved to brand new locations.
Jon Rauch to Arizona
The Washington Nationals closer is no longer a National. Right-hander Jon Rauch was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for top shortstop prospect Emilio Bonifacio. Jon Rauch is not a special pitcher, but I really don’t know if the Yankees were interested in him. With the recent performance in the bullpen and considering it took a prospect like Bonifacio to get Rauch, the Yankees probably lost interest.
Randy Wolf to Astros
Randy Wolf, left-handed starter for the San Diego Padres, was traded to the Astros for a minor league pitcher by the name of Chad Reineke. This has a little more effect on the Yankees because Wolf was really one of the guys the Yankees were looking to get. It’s even more surprising we didn’t get him because the Astros acquired Wolf by giving up a 26-year-old pitcher with a mid-4s ERA in AAA. I mean, I don’t know, I’ve never seen Reineke pitch, but his stats make him look almost mediocre. San Diego will help him, but… I dunno. If that’s what the Padres were looking for, the Yankees missed out. And the Astros aren’t even contending, really. I don’t see why they would need Wolf in that rotation. Sure, their pitching is awful, especially with Oswalt down right now, but maybe they should’ve acquire somewhat lesser pitchers, like Paul Byrd and leave a guy like Wolf to the contenders. I dunno, that’s what I think.
Good LOOGYS Not Named Fuentes
That’s right, people. There are lefty relievers out there not named Brian Fuentes who are also very effective, particularly against lefties. These lower-tier guys could be a key to the Yankees’ playoff run. Here we go;
#1: John Grabow
Here’s a real interesting guy. So far this season, lefties have a higher batting average off him then righties at .250, but he’s still a solid reliever who can get lefties out pretty well. I’m not sure if he’s on the market, but if he is, the Yankees have good reason to be interested in the Pirate lefty.
#2: Bobby Seay
Bobby Seay is very similar to John Grabow. He’s a solid left-handed reliever, but lefties hit him better than righties. This time, however, lefties are hitting much better against Seay than righties, with a .322 average against him, with righties hitting just .200 against him. Still, he has the capability to get left-handers out. Also, like Grabow, I’m not sure if he’s on the market, but I bet the Yankees have some interest in him if he is.
#3: Jack Taschner
And there he is. Possibly the most intriguing of lefty relievers not named Brian Fuentes, Taschner HAS gotten lefties out, who are hitting just .190 against him. He’s been solid as well, with his ERA in the lower-3s like Seay and Grabow. He’s not like Billy Traber, either; He’s had success in the past. He’s been asked for in several trades, including the Ray Durham trade. I’m not sure what the Giants would want from him, but considering he’s mainly a LOOGY, he’s not going to get more than a second-rate prospect or so. Keep your eye on Taschner.
Joe Torre or Joe Girardi?
Alright, so my friend and colleague The New Mexican Yanks Fan asks me why I like Joe Girardi over Joe Torre. If more people read this blog, then NMYF wouldn’t be alone on that. Let me tell you why I said what I said in my Bold Statement of the Day. First of all, before he came to the Yankees, was he that good a manager? No. I think when he joined the Yankees, he was never a great manager, but his team bailed him out. He came in with a fantastic bullpen. He came in with guys, top to bottom, who could hit. From Martinez to Jeter to Brosious to Mo, he had great players throughout his tenure. So now, when he moves to a new team in the Dodgers who do not have great players in abundance, he’s a game under .500. Coincidence?
Well, let’s talk about what he did wrong. First of all, even YES admits that Joe Torre had a big tendency to stick to one reliever until his arm blew off(do I even have to say Scott Proctor?), which is not how you manage a bullpen. The man can’t handle a bullpen. You might say, “Well, EJ, just because he overused relievers means he can’t handle a bullpen?”. I respond with a big PRETTY MUCH. I mean, Scott Proctor isn’t the only one. Think about Edwar Ramirez. He worked this guy, a rookie, over and over and over and over again, and then he like left him alone for 2 weeks. That’s why Edwar was so bad last year; he was either being tired out or didn’t pitch enough, and you can’t do that to a rookie. That’s two. Now you add Luis Vizcaino. Vizcaino sucked at the beginning of the year, but then he became one of the best guys in the bullpen. He was dominating, and Torre overworked him. He ended up pitching 75.1 innings last year, and at the end of the season, guess what? He started sucking again. And then he sucked in the playoffs and is sucking in Colorado right now.
But that’s not just it with Torre. He’s soft. He lets the players do what they want. He lets players play as much as they want and do what they want. He doesn’t get fired up. He doesn’t argue calls. How many times have the cameras shown Joe Torre sitting on the bench, staring on to the field looking kind of mad but not doing anything? It looks a little something like this:
Now compare that to Joe Girardi. Now, Joe Girardi’s only managed a year and a half, but look at what he’s done: He took the Marlins, a team that people thought would set new losing records, and turned them into a fairly respectable team in ’06. He’s taken the Yankees, who have been injured and have lost their key players, they lost Matsui, Damon, Jeter, A-Rod, Wang, Posada, and they’re still in contention? Do you honestly think Joe Torre would do that? Girardi took a bullpen that was thought to be one of the worst and turned it into one of the best. He took guys like Veras, Farnsworth, Ramirez, and made them into great relief pitchers. He’s managed to use all the guys in balance and moderation, which Torre didn’t do. Finally, Girardi gets fired up for his players. He argues calls, he shows emotion. Remember that Orioles game earlier this year? You can’t forget it. Jason Giambi, for some reason, is called out on a foul tip on a pitch well inside, and he went ballistic. He kicked dirt on the umpires shoes, threw his hat down and screamed like crazy! Next batter, Robinson Cano gets a walk-off single to left field. I’m telling you, I’d take Joe Girardi over Joe Torre, and that’s why. Good enough for you? Alright. 🙂
Alright, folks, it’s time for the Final Thoughts. Now, if you’re a first time reader, I’ve started something here called the Bold Statement of The Day where I type a sentence that is very arguable and can even be considered outlandish. You ready?
Here it is:
The Yankees will be in first place at the end of July.
Oooh, quite a juicy bold one today, eh? Anyway, leave your comments. I’ll explain why I said my Bold Statement in tommorow’s post, coming up at 8:35 PM EST. Again, leave your comments and thoughts, I’ll comment on your blog and give you my response.
Stay positive, Yankee fans!
-EJ/Kid From New York