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Release the Killer B's

It would seem that the Killer B's (Betances, Brackman, Banuelos ..) will never get an opportunity to showcase their talent in any significant way in the big leagues. The Yanks are again making a splash in the free agent market. Well it does appear that the foundation of the Bronx Bombers is now going to be different. The "core four" have been reduced to just one. Derek Jeter is the last stalwart. Before we talk about rebuilding the roster, I believe it worthwhile to discuss some personnel management issues.

English: Jorge Posada (#20, left) with Mariano...

English: Jorge Posada (#20, left) with Mariano Rivera (middle) and Derek Jeter (right) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Starting with Alex Rodriguez and the Biogenisis allegations. The ball desperately wants to have his contract nullified. Regardless of what you might think of Alex, he deserves to have his day in court. Cashman and Yankee braintrust decided to offer the 10yr deal without caring about the consequences of an aging athlete. That is not the fault of Alex Rodriguez. He certainly did his part in helping the club earn a World Series title in 2009. Regardless how this plays out, Cashman looks to be quite to ruthless negotiator.  Thus far the hot stove is piping hot for the Bronx Bombers, and rightly so methinks the club did very little in the way of safeguarding the franchise against aging veterans.

Although, the 2013 campaign could be considered an anomaly, it became painfully obvious that injuries can wreck a season without having sufficient depth of players above replacement level. Unfortunately,  the ballclub used players who were marginally above replacement level for the entire season and this eventually was their undoing. While people applaud Cashman as a genious who pieced together a club which stayed in the hunt until the final weeks of the season, many fans wondered with seemingly infinite financial resources ( payroll of $180M), how did the Yankees get into that predicament anyway?  Absolutely, amazing if you analyze the problem.  How could a club whose farm system developed Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter (we'll get to Robinson Cano later) now become totally inept in producing viable candidates to replace this aging core of veterans?



Time to Step Up

I'm appalled at the lack of leadership on behalf of the Bx Bombers. I realize that they are a much older club now, but it is very disheartening to watch these guys flail at pitches out of the strike zone.  Jeter and Rivera are down with season ending injuries, and Alex Rodriguez seems to have lost his confidence. In a season, where they have had to battle for every inch of success just to keep the upstart Baltimore Orioles from stealing AL East Division, I am baffled at their play against Detroit.

I am not taking anything away from the Tigers pitching rotation, but how can you explain the anemic batting averages of Rodriguez, Cano, and Teixeira? Who is going to stand up and be accountable for this effort?  Benching A-Rod has done nothing for his confidence, but it was certainly warranted. However, his replacement at 3rd base has not fared well at all. Chavez 0-12 with six strikeouts in the ALCS.  At this point, I would tell Joe Girardi to simply challenge A-Rod and Cano. You cannot allow either of them to hide. If A-Rod is to fail, so be it. His Yankee legacy will be written as appropriate, he will be judged well before he is eligible for Cooperstown. In a weird way, I think Girardi has been protecting A-Rod from embarrassment during his most recent slump by pinch hitting for him in tight spots.

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Ibanez has been a true professional and really has made the Yankee postseason enjoyable to watch. However, this will never be Ibanez's ballclub to lead. That job is for Cano or Rodriguez (now that Jeter is gone for the rest of the postseason) should they choose to embrace it.  To date neither one of them has shown any signs of willingness to step up their game and punch someone in the fscking  mouth. Their approach has been lethargic and devoid of any emotion. In Game 1 of the ALCS, the Bombers stranded approximately 16 men on base through 12 innings of baseball. This is an astounding number and you simply cannot be victorious under any circumstances with that sort of poor offensive numbers.

Swisher and Granderson have also been missing in action. In fact, I believe the Yanks will allow Swisher to walk in the off-season. He simply has not been very reliable defensively or offensively this postseason.  His offensive numbers were also putrid during the 2011 MLB post season too. Granderson seems to have regressed from his very disciplined 2011 campaign, he can't seem to hit lefties at all anymore.

Let's talk about the starting rotation. Pettitte, Kuroda, and now Hughes have been forced to become nearly perfect.  Obviously this is due to the anemic offense (of course with the exception of Ibanez). What has been working is their pitching. I have been very impressed with their starters thus far. How long can their starters pitch shutout ball deep into the late innings?  Tuesday Phil Hughes will take the mound, and faceoff against Verlander.  A tall order, but the Yankees have roughed up and chased Verlander during the regular season (June 3, 2012 Hughes defeated Verlander). Perhaps they will remember this fact when the series shifts to Detroit on Tuesday evening.

If the Yankees can pull out a victory, they will have their ace Sabathia take the mound on Wednesday with an opportunity to tie the series at 2-2. No the ALCS is far from over, if the Bombers can collectively decided to hit to all fields and force Detroit to throw strikes, they can actually become competitive again.  As stated earlier, Cano and Rodriguez will need to take center stage and the others will follow this leadership.  In the absence of their captain Derek Jeter, someone else must decide to let their play speak rather loudly. What better time than the present?

Anatomy of Championship

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19:  The scoreboard a...

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The great Yankee closer, Mariano Rivera now sits at the precipice of history. He is now two saves away from being unequivocally the best closer in the game. Rivera has the uncanny ability to avoid injury and is quite consistent.

Opposing batters rarely square up any of his offerings and this provides numerous opportunities to shut down offenses and secure saves in bunches. The Bx Bombers are indeed fortunate to have a fabulous bullpen. No ballclub can be successful in the post season without a reliable closer.

In all honesty, Trevor Hoffman's accomplishments do not even hold a candle to Rivera's.  Hoffman folded like a cheap suit in his only post season appearance against the Yankees.  Hoffman does not have very many pressure save opportunities.


Bring on the Twins Redux

Joe Girardi

Image via Wikipedia

Now that the Bx Bombers have stumbled into post season, I have to share a few thoughts on their matchup with Minnesota. Before we get there, it is worth noting that the Yankees had a lousy September.  It is clear that the core 4 had various nagging injuries this year. The Bx Bombers are the oldest and most experienced ballclub in the post season. So, I was not surprised that manager Joe Girardi took great lengths to make sure key players were rested coming down the stretch. However, I'm not so sure that sacrificing the AL East Division crown was a wise choice. The Yankees have the second best road record in the AL, but they truly excel at home. Their murderous row lineup takes advantage of the short porch in left field.
I suppose that I should take solace in the fact that they will be facing the hapless Twins. At first glance, Yankee fans should be downright giddy. Somehow, I am not convinced that it will be a cakewalk. If there is one team that should be motivated to get a post season series victory, that would be the Twins.  The Bx Bombers have owned the Twins in both regular and post season match ups. One difference about the 2010 Divisional Playoff, Twins have home field advantage and they are not playing in the homerun friendly MetroDome.  I understand that  their new Target Field is quite cavernous. To succeed in that ballpark you must either be able to pitch well or dominant a week division. The Twins did both, thus they have one 6 of the last 9 AL Central Division crowns.  If the Twins are ever going to beat the Yankees, this would be the year.  The Twins have homefield advantage, and they are meeting a ballclub that has played horrendous down the stretch.  The Twins should be seething and really motivated to upend the champions. Especially since the Minnesota ballclub has been absolutely inept against the Yankees.

Perhaps the Yankees biggest issue is the starting pitching has been awful down the stretch. Outside of CC Sabathia, there  really has not been any consistency. The loss of Pettitte hurt the stability of their rotation. Before Pettitte suffered a groin injury he was 11-3 and probably well on his way to winning at least 15 decisions for the ballclub.  In his absence, the team used some journeymen (ie Mitre, Gaudin, Mosely) none of them did more than mediocre. It was difficult to watch their starts. Cashmen finally decided to promote from within, and gave young rooking Ivan Nova a chance. He looks to have a bright future, but might not be ready for the pressures of post season.  For the Bombers to succeed they must simply pitch well.
Timely hitting would also help their cause as well, take exactly what the pitcher gives you. The team has speed in Granderson and Gardner. If they both hit well in this series, you could really see them playing havoc on the basepaths.  I'm not certain that the Twins have a great defense, forcing them to make plays could prove disastrous.  At this writing, I have not seen Girardi's published pitching rotation. It would be safe to assume that AJ Burnett will be skipped in the short Divisional round. 

My pitching starting rotation is as follows -
Game 1 - CC Sabathia
Game 2 - Phil Hughes 
Game 3 - Andy Pettitte
Game 4 - CC Sabathia
Game 5 - TBA        

I have no idea who I would throw in a Game 5. Actually, I do not believe the series will go that far. If I did need a Game 5 starter I would like someone with experience in the postseason, obviously the pitcher with most post season innings is Andy Pettitte but you can't bring him back on two days rest!  This is why Girardi gets paid millions.  I chose Hughes as the number 2 starter because he has the knack for giving up home runs. Target Field is a huge stadium and it will help him. I don't think Girardi will start Hughes in Game 2.  I believe if the series goes 5 we'll see CC and Pettitte twice.

Regarding our hitting..  Robinson Cano has been carrying the club for most of the year. He basically has replaced Matsui in that 5 slot behind Rodriguez. He hasn't hit well in the post season for his career, but I think that will change. Hell if A-Rod could finally get the monkey off his back, why not Cano?  If Texieria, Cano, and Rodriguez drive in runs. The Yankees will be tough to beat. Pitching must hold the opponents to 2-3 runs, and let the offense grind. If their lineup truly becomes circular with Nick Swisher actually hitting in the 8th spot, the team will really flourish. Let's go Bombers !!  First pitch 8.37p EST





Pennant Race Redux

Mariano Rivera

Image via Wikipedia

It's been awhile since I have waxed poetic about my beloved Bx Bombers. I really don't get much opportunity to watch many games, as I'm pretty busy these days.  In fact, I did not get a chance to gush over championship # 27!  The truth is I watched most of the world series last year, but I found myself unable to see the game until completion. No it is not old age.. Because the networks are seeking prime time revenue, the games start much later on the East coast. Subsequently, the contest end after midnight. I'm usually asleep on the couch at that time.

Since, my mythTV project is yet to be finished, I didn't record any of these games. Regardless, it does appear that this 2010 Yankee campaign will be equally exciting. Despite the loss of George Steinbrenner and Bob Sheppard, the inspired play of this team is taking center stage.

I watched Mo Rivera prove yet again that he is absolutely a first ballot Baseball Hall of Fame talent. Yes, I understand that he's not infallible.  However, if you ask the Texas Rangers and many other teams in MLB, he is pretty damn close. Case in point, he entered the game in the 9th inning, Yankees clinging to an improbable 7-6 lead (comeback from 6-1 deficit against former Cy Young winner Cliff Lee).  He surrendered a triple (actually should have been a double, provided Austin comes up with the ball cleanly) to Elvis Andrus.  After the triple, the young player behaved as if he'd helped is ballclub win a World Championship.  Unfortunately for him, he would be stranded at 3rd. Michael Young popped out to Austin Kearns.

rns, and the AL leader in batting average, Josh Hamilton grounded out harmlessly to the mound.  The final out was Vladimar Guerrero, he too weakly grounded out to end the game.


It would appear that the 2010 Texas Rangers are more formidable than the team the Yanks easily dispatched during their dynasty campaigns. Those Rangers never had enough pitching to beat very good teams and advance deep into the playoffs.  Juan Gonzalez was the chief threat on those clubs. Now there is a better mix of youth and veterans.

Though 2010 Yankee ballclub is without the services of Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui and Johnny Damon, I still like our chances. Perhaps the biggest concern is the age and depth of the starting rotation. Pettitte is out for awhile longer with a groin strain. He is expected to return within 1 week.  So, the erratic AJ Burnett and a healthy Pettitte are major concerns.  Yes, it is clear that the team is capable of winning in the postseason utilizing a 3-man rotation.  Possible but not ideal. It is almost certain that Phil Hughes will revisit the bullpen during the post season. I have no idea how Javier Vasquez will be used in October.  The good news is that the bullpen seems to have corrected itself.  Now that they are being used, on a somewhat frequent basis Girardi now understands who can be trusted with the game on the line and who to deploy during a mop-up circumstance.

There is still a great deal of baseball to be played and the AL East is the toughest division in the league. The Rays appear to be real this season, I thought they would fade by mid-season, but that has yet to happen. There starting pitching is excellent, but I still believe that they are a free swinging club. They certainly do not take as many pitches as do NY and Boston.  Hopefully, the Bombers will be at full strength for the next Rays confrontation.  The Bosox do not scare me at all. The will not catch NY, as they will need to play .630 ball through August and September. Very unlikely indeed.

I'll be back shortly before the playoffs to preview likely opponents.


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Much Ado about short rest

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 04:  Starting pitcher Andy...

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As the Bx Bombers stand at the precipice of their 27th Word Series Title I am bemused about all of the hoopla surrounding veteran lefty Andy Pettitte second WS start on short rest. Many talk show pundits have chosen to focus on negative than the positive. Judging from the comments, you would think that the Yanks trail the Fall Classic 3-2.

The theory is that starting pitchers are most effective on full rest vs. those that pitch on short rest. Yankee skipper Joe Girardi has rolled the dice and decided to have his most effective starters pitch on short rest in an effort to avoid using Godin, their fourth starter who last pitched nearly thirty-five days ago. I do not believe it makes much sense to avoid pitching their most seasoned veterans on short rest.

I suppose it is unfair that I write this while watching the Yanks pour it on the hapless Phils. Pettitte looks very strong now. Hideki Matsui is having a monster Game 6, quite remarkable indeed. I do believe he is in a contract year, funny how that works ;-)

Andy now has the most post-season victories of any active starting pitcher. Not bad company whatsoever. I would imagine the naysayers would be squelched with another quality start from the big left-hander. When you look at the 09' Yankees you really must marvel at the Quad Core and the talented blend of youth. Pettitte, Posada, Jeter and Mo Rivera. These guys still set the tone and show the good example. The youth corps of Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Robinson Cano and Cabrera. Clearly reminds me of the process that made dynasties of 96-01 so formidable.
Should they emerge triumphant tonight, we could be witnessing another robust title run in the making, stay tuned..

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Scintillating October

As I sit here watching AJ Burnett yield four runs in the first inning of the Game 5 of the ALCS, I still have to marvel at the play of my beloved Yankees (aka Murderous Row Bx Bombers). Before I wax poet and appreciate what a difference a year makes (see NY Yankees 2008 campaign). I have to comment on the very poor performance of the umpires. For those who do not follow baseball, the umpire crew is basically hand picked for post season play. So, you're not watching a group of meatballs. It just begs the question of instant replay and its place in major league baseball.
While I do not appreciate poor officiating, I am not quite sure how the game stoppage would play out within baseball. Clearly the flow of a baseball game is quite different than that of football. The NFL seems to have mastered instant replay, but I am not so sure that MLB will know how best to implement it. Nonetheless, the umps have really been an embarrassment for MLB.

Regarding the Yanks, they have been dominant this post season. Everyone likes to talk about high payrolls and money ball, but at the end of the day you must have players that execute. It does appear that they are doing just that. The play of C.C Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez have been particularly remarkable. The pitching staff has a collective 1.91 ERA in the post season. Very impressive stuff. Sabathia signed a huge contract during the off-season, and in the words of Mike Lupica, he has accepted the responsibility of winning in NY without any hesitation. Actually, the Bombers have lacked a "lights out" ace in their rotation '96-'98 seasons. As good as Chien-Ming Wang has been, he was not an ace. He could not pitch on short rest, nor could he win big post season contests on the road. Sabathia has been "all that" and then some. Without question he has set the tone for the Yankee rotation. I do not believe that he has any fear whatsoever.

For the moment, Rodriguez has quieted the critics and has delivered All-Star caliber performance. I have noticed that his batting stance is a bit different. He has given up on the leg kick prior to swinging the bat through the zone. Obviously he is very relaxed at the plate. There is only one Mr. October, but A-Rod is certainly earning his pinstripes at the best possible time.
The Yankees are building the type of momentum that will make them difficult to beat. The quest for 27 World Championship titles will be an exciting one indeed. The Phils await a very hungry NY ballclub. It should be a fun World Series. Yanks in 6.

Joe Girardi is clearly a manager who loves to make decisions, I also understand that he has an engineering background (Industrial Engineering - Northwestern), so it stands to reason that he will use tons of data to make a decision. The trouble with this approach is that the game that is being played before your eyes usually holds all the evidence you need. Moreover, Girardi has a ton of tools at his disposal, which could also be his undoing. I generally have liked our skipper's decisions; however, I do believe he over-managed Game3. Another curious move was leaving journey utility man Eric Hinske off the ALCS roster. Girardi opted for speed Guzman over power Hinske's bat. I do hope that Girardi reverses his decision against the Phils.

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Boston Massacre II

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 18: (L-R)  A.J. Burnett, h...

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Last Couple weekends ago was perhaps the best scenario for Yankee fans. It reminded me of the 2006 5-game sweep that sent RSN into a death spiral that landed their club in 3rd place in the AL East. Somehow I still believe the AL East race is not quite over yet. I loved the pitching and clutch hits the Bx Bombers displayed. AJ Burnett, C.C Sabathia and Andy Pettitte were absolutely astonishing in this pivotal 4-game set.

The Bx Bombers had built some terrific momentum coming into the Bosox series, much like previous contest in June. Melky Cabrera hit for the cycle at Cellular-One Field and helped the Yanks avert a 4 game sweep at the hands of the Chi-sox. As typical Melky seems to have cooled quite a bit since that enjoyable hot streak. If he could ever hit with any consistency, he would be well above 'replacement' level.

Nonetheless, everyone seems to contribute in what has truly become a murderous row lineup. In contrast the Bosox have done a role reversal, as their pitching staff resembles the injury riddled 2008 Yankee ballclub. The vaunted Red Sox farm system is indeed finite, as they do not seem to have very many replacements for the ailing staff. Additionally, they are also struggling with nagging injuries to position players.

Clearly the Bombers are in control of the AL East; however, I'm more concerned with postseason challenge that the Angels will bring. For whatever reason, they halos seem to matchup well with the Yankees.

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Gets Late Awful Early Around Here

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mo_rivera42.jpg

Roughly 4 weeks ago, sports writers and fans alike were grumbling about the Bx Bombers inability to defeat the Bosox in head-to-head contests in 2009 campaign. There could be any number of reasons for this problem. To be certain the manager Joe Girardi should take some culpability in the most recent failure. In a critical 3-game set at Fenway, he pitched AJ Burnett on extra rest. He showcased a struggling Chien-Ming Wang and CC Sabathia.
Burnett and Wang's starts were abysmal. The Yanks had been playing quite well, winners of 19 of 26. After being swept by Boston, they stumbled into interleague play. They then promptly lost the next two series to the Marlins and lowly Nats. The bats were anemic in both series.

They went into that Boston series tied for the AL East lead. After the dust settled they were 2 back. Fast forward to 7/1, they are 2.5 back of division leading Bosox. What I have learned over the years is that the division is never decided by how the Yanks and Bosox play against each other. It is certainly how well they play against the other teams in the division and other AL ball clubs. However, it is true that no Yankee club every started 0-9 against Bosox in regular season. If there is a silver lining, they still have 10 games remaining against their bitter rivals.

500 Saves club member Mo Rivera has always lead by example. He has certainly been playoff battle tested, unlike all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman. I would venture to guess that Rivera has had more saves under duress than his peers (Papelbon, Hoffman, etc).

It is remarkable how Rivera has largely been healthy during his career. He never seems to be affected by a poor outing (not that he's had many of these). My hat is tipped to a great leader and sure first ballot Hall of Famer.

*Aside* - One day the statistician in me will construct a model that will illustrate Rivera's greatness when compared to his closest peers.

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New Yankee Stadium Musings




Fair pole


Originally uploaded by AG_



I had the pleasure of visiting the new stadium for the Interleague matchup Yanks vs. Phils. Memorial Day festivities abound, I was also treated to umbrella at the ballbark. Though it was a great game, the Bx Bombers fell in extra innings 4-3.


The impressive array of Cisco networked LCD monitors caught my eye immediately. However, the severe latency problems also were quite remarkable. It almost reminded me of watching Kung-Fu theatre, as the audio lagged the video. I wonder what sort of video codecs they're using? Moreover, what sort of network pipe is Cisco using to push the data to probably 10K LCD monitors around the stadium.


Onto the less exciting stuff, the concession stands were plentiful and accessible at every deck. In fact, I didn't have to wait more than 10min for my nacho supreme - $9 ouch.. Once curious oddity was the you couldn't order pizza in nachos line. Basically, the food spread about the entire stadium, no consolidation here. Luckily, I pay for nathan at the ballpark. Err should I say , I don't pay for much.
Needless, to say I was not running all over the place to order food.


I got my mugshot snapped prolly twice by headz working for the Yankees Photo Program. Heh, perhaps they wanted to get some flava for their digital photo album. I was in the bldg for real ;-)


Though we arrived roughly 1.5 hrs before first pitch, I still did not see Monument Park. It seems they stop tours about 2hrs before game time. Try as I might, the new stadium has a very different feel than the other spot on 161St. Something about the old stadium. I miss the acclaimed facades that nearly encapsulated the upper deck. The new stadium seems to have toned it down significantly.


There was only on homer hit in the ballgame and it came off the bat of 1B big Tex.


My thoughts of Bombers 0-8 futility against the Bosox (thus far in 2009 season) will be forthcoming.

Bring On Baseball 2009

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I'm crazy amped for the upcoming Yankee 2009 campaign. The club addressed several needs during the Winter meetings. Looking at these off-season moves, I am impressed that Cashman et al were committed to upgrading the club. The irony is that we still have holes that need to be resolved. The outfield still lacks speed, and much needed pop. However, the loss of Abreu seems to be much less of an issue.

Let's run down the newest acquisitions


  • Nick Swisher 1B/OF

  • CC Sabathia LHP

  • A.J Burnett RHP

  • Mark Texiera 1B

The Swisher pick-up will bolster our bench and immediately provide alternatives to playing Damon in the outfield each day. Damon is also in his mid-thirties, it is unlikely that we can expect huge offensive numbers from Damon next season. As stated earlier, we still do not have speed in any of the outfield positions. Watching Abreu field balls against the right field wall was pretty painful; nonetheless, he routinely reached 100RBIs each season. I don't see any immediate help for outfield coming from our farm system. Time will tell.

I suppose with all of the hype behind off-season signings, people have forgotten about our homegrown youth movement. Pitchers Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy are still considered the future. Hughes is much closer than Kennedy, but he'll need to prove himself to get another crack at the now loaded lineup. Big Joba Chamberlain is also going to be a treat to watch next year. I fully expect to see him continue to improve our chances of returning to another World Series.

Lastly, I want to address the nonsense I have been hearing from these small market clubs. The question I keep hearing is "Are the Yankees Good For Baseball?" My response is an emphatic YES. Whether you love them are loathe them, postseason baseball always means Yankee Pinstripes. If you know anything about baseball you've at least heard of the Bx Bombers. To be clear, dollars cannot buy a championship. In a 162 game season, anything can happen. For instance, look at the toothless Tigers 2008 campaign. They spent big last year and finished dead last in their division. They brought in players that had limited success in other uniforms, their pitching bottomed out and they were unable to finish above the .500 mark.

I will never understand why people think a salary cap in baseball would bring parity to baseball. People use weak rationale and then point to the NFL and NBA as shining examples of how parity works. Total bullshit. Salary caps are not going to keep dominant teams with dominant culture/pedigree from dispatching weaker foes.
The salary cap is not a panacea. I don't care what anyone says. With all the salary caps in place, the NFL still crowned the Pats champions 4 of the last 7 years.
If small market teams wish to compete, they ought to find investment instruments to help create other income streams.

The Yankees have the YES Network, partnership with Dallas Cowboys and a newly built Stadium. It truly is a very diverse business entity. Not many baseball programs are as creative. Not to mention they have 27 World Championships to their credit. It is no wonder why free agents _want_ to play baseball in the Bronx.

Can't wait till April gets here..

Tradewinds breeze through Yankeeland

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I've not talked much about baseball lately as I've been distracted with some weirdness in my professional life. Nonetheless, I have been watching Yankee Baseball. The ballclub has been active on the tradewire of late. It seems that they have addressed some glaring deficiencies.

Before I begin discussing the specifics, I will recognize the loss of a legendary Yankee, Bobby Murcer. When I began to watch the Yanks as a child, I remember all of the teams that he played on. From 77' to 81' Yankee clubs, I always remember Murcer staying out of the limelight (Something Jackson, Munson, nor Gossage could accomplish) of the big city. Nobody could ever accuse Bobby of being a hell raiser. He clearly was a role player and was quite content at being a contributor. When his playings days subsided, he still made contributions to the younger players, particularly Jeter. Though he would later succumb to Cancer, he was always the epitome of courage and valor. Murcer will truly be missed.

Now we know that the Bombers had several needs:


  • Power Right-Handed Bat
  • Starting catcher to replace injured Posada
  • Lefty specialist in the bullpen
  • Backend rotation starting pitcher

Going into the trade deadline, Cashman seemed determined to soothe wounds that were the inflicted by rookie starting pitchers Kennedy and Hughes combined 0-7 start. Quite simply the ballclub needs to get younger and you must groom and nurture the farm system. Both of these young pitchers were sent down to AAA for extra work on their mechanics.

The pick-up of cast-off Richie Sexton addressed the right-handed pop. Recent pickup of Pudge Rodriguez helps to fill the void for a tier I starting catcher. Pudge is a free agent after this season and could potentially walk without much resistance if Posada can come back healthy.

Luckily there are some hefty contracts coming off the books next season (Mussina, Giambi, Abreu) so we could sign Pudge for insurance in the event that Posada's shoulder does not respond to rehab.

Yanks also dipped into the Bucs sell-off and acquired Marte (lefty bullpen specialist) and Nady to provide another right-handed bat. Placing Nady and Pudge at the end of the lineup helps to stretch it significantly. The 6-8 spots in the lineup are no longer easy outs and both players have BAs well above replacement level.

The ballclub was making a run before the acquisitions took place, nonetheless, the team is better positioned to challenge for the AL East crown with these pieces in place. The starting pitching has done great works despite the losses of the Chien-Ming Wang and Phil Hughes.

Bringing back another castoff, Ponson appeared to be fools gold. However, he has been respectable in his seven starts. Time will tell if the rotation can hold up until the reinforcements arrive. If the club can stay within shouting distance of the front running Rays and Bosox, we have the makings of a very interesting division race.

I'm not sold on the Rays, as it remains to be seen if that young ballclub can withstand the dog days of Summer.

G-Men Upended the Pack , Eye Pats

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Photo compliments of Blogcritics
g-menvspack.jpg

Contrary to popular belief the outcome of the game does not rest upon Manning's shoulders.
If the G-Men can dominate time of possession with a potent rushing attack. They will be victorious.

Win The G

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I'm thrilled with inspired play of the G-Men. Though Eli is still learning, he played within the system and did not lose the game. The defense did not give up very many big plays, they were very disciplined.. A stark contrast to previous years under Coughlin. One can only hope this will continue at Lambeau Field next weekend.

Tale of Two Joes

Now that the dust has settled and A-Rod has opted out of his contract. I figured it would be time to discuss the 2007 Yankee Postseason and the departure of legendary skipper Joe Torre. Yes, I have recovered and can pontificate on the future of the ballclub.

First I was pleased that the Bombers made a huge push and seized a playoff spot. You have to realize that the team was left for dead in June. They were 14.5 behind the Bosox and trailed five other teams for the Wild Card spot in the AL. Obviously, the lionshare of the credit goes to the ballplayers for finally playing up to their potential and also the faith of the GM in playing the youngsters from the farm system. You have to recognize that Torre does not lead with a great deal of emotion and you will never see him in a fit of rage on the bench. This demeanor clearly rubs off on his players. If there were any doubters in that clubhouse, they were well hidden.

Perhaps this is why Mets manager Willie Randolph, a Torre protege never showed much trepidation as his ballclub slid out of playoff contention?

Torre's tenure in NY was extremely successful, 6 WS appearance 4 World championships and 12 consecutive postseason appearances and 9 consecutive AL East Titles. The latter a streak that ended this season. Oh yeah, congrats to RSN, but I am not ready to crown Bosox as the next baseball dynasty. If Boston can show me success over a decade, I will consider it. For now, their recent success is simply "thermal noise" when compared to what the Yankees accomplished in the 90's.

Murderous Row (Redux)


Great ballgame with a clear postseason atmosphere. Although the Yanks may not win their 10th straight AL East title, I do believe they sent a message to the Bosox.
The lefties in our lineup are driving the ball with authority. Unfortunately, Pettitte did not pitch one of his better games, but his teammates picked him up in a big way.

Defensively, there are some concerns for the Bombers. Losing Andy Phillips for the season is blow that could easily rear its head in the postseason. Although, Giambi swings a big stick, he is a defensive liability at first base. He demonstrated this on a big stage last night. Phillips was a great utility player that was a much tougher out than Doug Mientkiewicz. Nonetheless, if given a choice the punchless Mientkiewicz will only be used in the late innings. The question is how many defensive lapses can a ballclub overcome in a short postseason series? Giambi looked almost as bad as Sheffield did last season. Personally, I would platoon Giambi and W. Betemit at first base. Betemit has already demonstrated that he _can_ drive the ball and has decent plate discipline. Certainly not an easy out.

The game was enjoyable but there are still a few question marks. Pettitte will be fine, he just didn't seem to have much command over his location. I was surprised that Torre sent Sean Henn to the mound, as a Henn sighting typically spells doom for the Bombers. Perhaps Torre was attempting to conserve his best bullpen arms (Joba Chamberlain was not available) for rest of this series?

Anyway the rest of this series should be a grind for both club. This series could be another reminder that Bosox would be better off not facing us in the postseason.
Angels have a very tough pitching staff (Shields, K-Rod, etc) are tough, but the way our club is pounding the ball right now.. I like our chances.

Bonus Coverage: Yesnetwork PostGame

Road greys

I've always sported my road jersey, regardless of the city. Sitting amongst Tigger fans and watching very poor Yankee starting pitching is inexcusable. Mussina's career is done in Pinstripes. There really is no place on the Yankee roster for a soft-toss, back of the rotation, veteran starter. Clearly, Mussina will not reach 300 victories in a Yankee uniform or any other uniform for that matter.

You must be able to challenge MLB players with your best pitch. If you can throw that pitch for a strike, your days should be numbered. I fully expect Moose to either be placed on the DL or demoted to the bullpen. Though AAA should be a real possibility, Torre probably would not suggest it simply because Mussina has earned the right to remain in the majors. Tonight his fastball topped at 84mph, which is basically the velocity you get in the average batting cage. It was awful to watch that performance. Certainly glad that I didn't come out of pocket.

If the Bx Bombers are to remain in contention for a post-season birth, they must quickly address Mussina. Luckily they didn't really burn up their bullpen tonight.

Sean Henn sucked up enough innings that only Brian Bruney was used after the eighth inning.

The next 10-12 games will decide if one of the longest post-season streaks in MLB remains intact. BoSox and Mariners loom. Gotta stay close.

Swagger of a champion

After watching segments from the ESPN baseball drama, "The Bronx is Burning", which is a collection of various NYC happenings in 1977. All of which I can say, much like KRS1, "I was there." Yes, I do remember all of the events described in the show. Son of Sam, the huge blackout, and the Bronx Zoo. No not the actual caged animals, but the weird story that was the 77' NY Yankees. However, as some have noted, the Son of Sam murders took place in Queens not the Bronx. How do those murders add anything to a sports drama? I suppose it makes for good TV, and ESPN is struggling for that right now. Anyway I digress.

The interesting backdrop of this story is the treatment of Reggie Jackson. Whether you liked him or not, he certainly was a charismatic figure. Oddly, it seems that he was not consulted prior to the release of the series. He had no qualms in telling people that he was good and then he went out and showed everyone what "good" really meant. People seem to dislike a gregarious champion. Since when have champions been meek or soft? I do not believe that there are many champions that do not have a bit of swagger. Hell even Nadia Comaneci would probably rip your head off while in the heat of battle.

Some of the conversation that Reggie had with members of the press would probably be suitable for Alex Rodriguez. I wonder if those two did much talking at all. It seems that Reggie would do well by coaching Alex. Rodriguez and Jackson were both highly paid athletes playing under the microscope of NY press and fervent fans.
Unfortunately, nothing short of championship will vindicate Alex, such is life in Gotham.

Resurrection of Season

It looks as though the demise of the Bx Bombers was highly exaggerated. Although, the team is only a few games above .500 (certainly not the goal set by the most storied franchise in baseball). There is still a great deal of baseball left to play. The team has too much talent to struggle the entire season. Abreau and Cano are beginning to drive the ball with authority and the pitching rotation seems to have stabalized. Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, and Derek Jeter have been very consistent all season. All three could potentially carry the team offensively. Nonetheless, contributions from the bottom of the order will be necessary for the team to make a run at the division.

There also seemed to be much talk of the struggles of the overworked bullpen. Now that the starters are going deeper into the game, the bullpen can get much needed rest. On the other hand, Mariano Rivera is seeing more regular action and that translates into better outings. I really got tired of hearing that he was ineffective and that he was a cause of concern. In fact, I had planned to collect some meaningful data and prepare some statistical evidence to prove the contrary. It is not unusual for Rivera to struggle in April and May. Take a look at his career numbers.
When you compare his stats to his peers, nobody comes close to matching his ability. Even veteran relievers like Trevor Hoffman, Padres relief pitcher who has 500 career saves, does not have career saves, ERA or strikeouts that can match Mo.
Besides, how many championship rings does Hoffman own?

If the season ended today (but it does not end today) the Yankees would miss the postseason. They have not missed the postseason in nearly 20 yrs. If I know anything about statistics, I would not expect that aberration to occur this year.
Lastly, General Manager, Brian Cashman will need to bring in reinforcements for the bench, first base, and bullpen.

What is the price of fame?

Recently the George Foreman (aka Big George), alleged that he was drugged before his heavyweight title bout against Muhammad Ali. The irony is that the fight took place 30 years ago and the statements come on the heels of Foreman's new book.

Unfortunately, Ali is afflicted with Parkinson's disease and cannot defend himself. Perhaps his daughter could knock some sense into Foreman? Although, not really big news, it does serve as an under handed means of diminishing the greatness of the Ali. This is descpicable, as Foreman has made a good fortune from his health conscious grill. Why take shots at a man who cannot fight back? Clearly, the only drug which affected George was the rope-a-dope and flurry of well placed left-hooks and uppercuts.

Go Rattlers !

I will be watching my FAMU Rattlers with great interest, as they battle Niagra in Dayton for the play-in game. The victor earns the rights to play #1 seeded Kansas in the West Regional.

FAMU won the MEAC tournament on a thrilling last second shot and earned an automatic bid to the dance. Actually the Rattlers were the last HBCU to win the play-in game.

Best of luck to them.
NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Play-In Game: Information from Answers.com

Run Tiki, Run

As both the G-Men and Gang Green bowed out of the playoffs, I clearly have to give props to Tiki Barber. He is clearly deserving of NFL elite status. I'll never understand why athletes catch so much hell, simply because they opt to leave the game on their terms, not that of management or the press.

If and when Eli Manning receives the proper tutelage, the Giants will finally go deeper in the playoffs. Playing QB on any NY squad certainly puts you under the microscope. Most believe his maturation process needs to be accelerated. However, it is difficult to execute when you have guys who drop passes, and offensive schemes that do not play to your strengths.

Other intangibles:
I also believe that they need to improve their special teams (read: get some playmakers), and the defensive secondary. The O-line and D-line is very capable and will improve, though it wouldn't hurt to get more depth. The problem is that offensive lineman and capable reserve defensive lineman are not commodity items in the NFL.

I think Jets have fewer holes to fill; however, in the impending retirement of Curtis Martin does not bode well for them. I'm not certain that they will be able to find a Tier I running back. Their time of possession was nearly one-third that of the Pats, a clear indicator that if you do not have a running in January, you'll likely to go home early.

G-Men Ballin'

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Though I don't care for the music, I do respect the swagger and excellent play. Personally, I liked Pepper Johnson's "cabbage patch" during the Super Bowl XXI victory of the Broncos.

Go G-Men, shoot that jay ;)








Lackluster Effort

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And there was only one NY team standing in the MLB post season. After learning of the injury to Pedro Martinez, I would have expected the Mets to get bounced and _not_ my beloved Bombers.

Well another early exit, and what makes matters worse, I'm stuck in the middle of snickering whisker laden, downtrodden Detroit headz. Hell, were it not for their Pistons, the locals wouldn't have much to discuss. The local economy is another story.. I suppose it could be worse. My hat is tipped to the Tiggers.

Most people will point to the large Yankee payroll and all star 'murderous row' lineup, but the truth is the Yanks have been rebuilding quietly since 2001. Unfortunately, it is very difficult (and ill advised aka Pavano) to buy good pitching. So you have to gradually cultivate the farm system. Help is on the way, Phil Hughes is an excellent prospect; however, we will absolutely need more than two quality pitchers.

There really is no quick fix for an aging pitching staff. The offense will eventually click in the post season. I have no idea when this will occur, but I'm sure it will happen this decade. In fairness to the squad, it is close to impossible to have plate discipline when you're already down by four runs in the 3rd inning.

Changes are sure to come. I don't expect to see Sheffield back next season. Perhaps Randy Johnson or Mussina will also be sent packing in favor of some of the younger talented pitchers from the farm system.

Bonus Coverage:
Yesnetwork Steve Goldman:Epitaph, Game Over, Series Over, Season Over

Postgame:Bernie Williams || Derek Jeter || Jorge Posada || Joe Torre || A-Rod || Sport's Desk

Update: Sources indicate that Joe Torre will staybe fired on and manage through 2007 and replaced by Lou Pinella

Boston Massacre

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Yep all the ingredients of the historical New England slaying.. Well, there was no Crispus Attackus, but there was a Coco Crisp. I guess that doesn't count ;)

Absolutely estatic by the way my squad played during a crucial five game set. Awesome sweep. Though, I know that there is plenty of baseball left, it is clear that the Bombers are headed in the right direction. The RSN seems to be scuffling at the worst time. The recent domination is reminiscent of the way the dynasty Yanks played during the 96-01 magical run.

An excellent blend of farm system talent (ie Philips, Wang, Cabrera, and Cano), coupled with seasoned veterans (ie Jeter, Posada, Damon, A-Rod, etc), it is going to be very difficult to deny this team in October. Our pitching has been stingy when needed. The difference between this year and last, is that the bridge between starters and Mariano Rivera was sufficiently bolstered by Proctor, Villone, Myers, and Farnsworth. They have absolutely been getting the job done.

As I look at the Bosox demise, it's clear that the absence of Pedro Martinez, aging Schilling and Wells is taking a huge toll on the club. Perhaps most telling is their very abysmal bullpen, as it was completed shredded by the thunderous Yankee lineup. I've heard alot about young Papelbon, and I realize he has Rivera aspirations of greatness. Nonetheless, you can't get to the Hall of Fame by having a pretty good month. To be mentioned in the same breath of Mariano Rivera, you have got to close out games year after year in very big spots. Papelbon has much to learn.

I'm sure RSN apologists will point to the injuries that beset their club immediately before the trading deadline. I don't have much sympathy, as the Yanks were able to overcome injuries to more key players. Besides Yankee General Manager, Cashman made the right moves to improve the club without giving up any of our young talent. Very textbook and again reminiscent of the dynasty years.

Clearly, that 2004 ALCS Bosox comeback down 0-3 was an abberation ushered in by the silly wildcard and poor Yankee pitching. Yeah, the curse may be over but the torment continues.

They're Baaack..

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Well it appears that the unthinkable has happened. Despite the loss of Matsui and Sheffield (last season each drove in over 100RBIs respectively), the Bx Bombers are keeping pace in the AL East.

After sweeping the World Champion Chi-Sox, there is definitely reason to be optimistic. This week the Yanks begin a very important string of games against teams in their division.

It appears that Matsui could be cleared to join the team early next week. Sheffield isn't far behind.
The unsung heroes are the youngsters that have been unexpected boost. As the club seeks to get younger, they are going back to the strategy of their earlier dynasty programs. Build the farm system, and mix youth with proven veterans. Cabrera, Chin-Ming Wang, Proctor and some recent call ups will be important to the success of the club. General manager, Brian Cashman seems to be very reluctant to part with farm system prospects.
History would suggest that he has good reason not to deal these prospects, as Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte (Andy has since left to play with Houston) were farm prospects who propelled the team to five titles in six years.

Replenishing the farm system should be very important to the club. Especially, if they wish to win
another divisional title.

YES Network: News

Though Rivera gave up a rare walk-off homer during a contest against Toronto (hadn't done that since 7/21/04 against Boston), he's been automatic for over a decade. In fact, Mo reached the hallowed 400 career saves last week. No question he is a first ballot Hall of Fame candidate.
Special Mariano 400 Career Saves

Maturation process

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Perhaps an overused phrase is the 'maturation process' of an athlete. In the NFL, we often hear this term applied to young quarterbacks. I witnessed a very painful exhibition, as the Giants were defeated 23-0 by the underdog Panthers. The Giants had never been shut out at home in a Playoff game. In fact, the last time they had home playoff game, they crushed the Vikes, 41-0. The G-Men typically dominate teams in the Meadowlands during the postseason, but not on this day.

While I'm pleased about what the G-Men accomplished this season, I wasn't very happy with the coaching schemes or the leadership of Eli Manning. Yes, I know it was just his sophomore campaign, but it would've been great for him to have stepped up his game much like Steelers QB Roethlisberger in his 2nd year. I suppose that is too much to ask, even for a Manning.

G-Men Rising

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I'm totally recovered from the Bombers post-season failure. It appears that the Giants have a very legitimate shot at the NFC East title. However, I believe they're one-year away from a return to the SuperBowl. We now have a deep threat in Plaxico Burress, and Jeremey Shockey seems to have dedicated himself to the game. Perhaps he's picked up some lessons from another great Giant tight-end Mark Bavaro?

If Tiki Barber continues to run the ball extremely, it will certainly take the pressure of Manning, as he seeks to continue a yeoman-like sophomore campaign. Go G-men..

Houston we have a problem

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My beloved and once proud Knickerbockers have become perennial losers in the NBA. In the past several years I've watched the Nets(soon to be B'klyn Nets) catch and surpass them. Although, Houston did play with some the Knicks' more notable players, Ewing, Starks, Oakley, and Mason. He only experienced one trip to the NBA Finals in 1999. In fact, he was the last such member from that team which was defeated by the Spurs in five games. I suppose the fact of the matter is clear.. After Ewing's departure, the Knicks never again were a real threat to compete for a championship.

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Nonetheless, I did appreciate Alan's talents and professionalism on and off the court. Although, I never really thought he had the ferocity required to play on the very physical, yesteryear Knicks. Alan's game was all about finesse, and he could score points in bunches. Perhaps, the bigger picture is that his exit will free some salary cap room, which the Knicks sorely need.

Gosh, I must be getting old. See Goodbye Alan

Gothamist: Allan Houston Retires

Game of inches

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2005-6 Yankee Season Over - Postmortem:
While I'm pleased by the grit the Yanks showed in their pursuit of postseason and the AL East title. Especially, considering the 11-19 (9.5 games behind the O's) start. Nonetheless, NY sports and expectations are quite different than say Atlanta, DC, Chicago, and Detroit (just to name a few). Our teams and fans expect to win championships. Our teams are equipped to compete at a very high level. Obviously, I'm not very pleased by an early ALDS exit. The Halos defeated us 5-3 in a contest which was full of various subplots. I'm still suffering from sleep deprivation and the ridiculous TV schedule.

Getting ready for postseason

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Yes, I know we've not yet clinched we clinched today. Taking 2 of 3 in New England this weekend was not necessary to secure the AL East and 98th consecutive divisional title. It will also likely end the fantasy that Bosox have experienced over the last 300+ days. The sputtering Indians kept Bosox in the hunt for post season play. It's very likely that Boston will again knock on the door in Bx to decide who will win the AL Pennant.

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The only change I'd make to the lineup would be to move Mussina down in the pitching rotation. I'm not sure how healthy he really is now. It also is a shame that Mendoza hasn't had the opportunity to pitch more. Not sure why Torre hasn't run him out there to get more innings. I suspect that he isn't quite healthy. Our PH capability isn't very much to write home about, much like our long relief. Unfortunately, we can't hand the ball to Aaron Small for long relief each day. Our starters will be expected to give 6-7 innings each game during the post season. YanksBlog.com » The Chosen 25

No said date

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Don't look now but the Bombers are in the heat of a pennant race. I was very pessemistic due to their slow start, but I'm sure that team in New England can hear footsteps, and their record shows it. The emergence of Giambi, Big Unit, A-Rod, and Cano (pictured above) is enough to scare anyone. Enough can't be said about the former castaways Chacon and Small.
These guys have done a yeoman's effort shoring up a pitching rotation beset with injuries. Between them they have at least ten quality starts which has thrusted the Bx Bombers into playoff contention. Of course the very steady closer duo of Gordon and Rivera have made it impossible for opponents to score in the eighth and ninth innings.

I'm very confident that the last three games against the Bosox will determine the AL East winner. I can't determine exactly when we will claim first place, but the victory will be sweet and the revenge exacting.

American Pastime - Few Blacks

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There has been a notable shortage of African-American baseball players in recent years. I can think back to 1980's and there were several excellent black players at all positions.

For whatever reason, fewer young black athletes are choosing baseball as a primary sport. As a result fewer players are competing for spots into the major leagues. The problem is that as some of the established veterans (ie Sheffield, Jeter, Carl Everett, etc), enjoy some success in MLB, eventually they will opt for retirement. Who will replace them?

As far as I can tell, there are only a handful. In fact, most of them play for the Florida Marlins.

Philadelphia Daily News | 08/24/2005 | A DREAM GROWS IN COMPTON

Let's Get it On

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I'm amped about the upcoming contest against the hated Bosox. My beloved Bombers are only 2.5 games out of first, and have a four-game set at Boston. Considering where we began the season (11-19), to still be in contention is an achievement. I suppose we'll know alot about this team going into the trade deadline 7/31. The Yankees have one of the toughest second-half schedules in all of baseball. Of the 12 teams that the Yankees will face in the second half, nine of those teams are not only above .500, but are within five games of a postseason berth. Additionally, the Yankees’ second-half opponents have a combined winning percentage of .508.
Nonetheless, if we close the gap, and the pitching holds up, we could be buyers instead of sellers.

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I'm still very concerned about the much beleagured pitching staff. In particular, Randy Johnson, has not lived up to the hype. The Big Unit was supposed to be the ace of the staff, but has come up very short. He is pitching with such inconsistency, that you cannot rely on him to give the team a lift.
As expected, the offense is very potent and has resurrected itself at the best possible time, particularly Giambi and Matsui.

Update: Yanks grabbed game one (8-6) in an emphatic, heartbreaking fashion. Schilling wasn't worth a six-pence. Our pitching is still very inconsistent. I'll be happy for a split. After the Friday laugher, we're assured at least a split. Hell if the Sunday, starter Al Leiter is inspired by the pinstripes, we could take 3 of 4. Imagine that Sox Nation, to be defeated by patchwork starting rotation. The AL East is truly weak this year.

NYC2012 - tale of bid (Revisited)

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It's official, NYC lost the opporunity to host the 2012 Olympics and probably will not make an attempt to lobby for the 2016 games. London was awarded the 2012 Games, unfortunately, their glee has now changed to sorrow. It's unlikely that the IOC would reverse their decision, in the aftermath of the horror that took place in the London.

London team shocked as blasts rip city

Not sure why NY failed in its attempt to host the 2012 games; however, I still assert that it would have been great for the country and the city. Some people suggest that New Yorkers were rather subdued about the prospects of having the Olympics in their backyard. Others point the finger at the confusion surrounding the failed West Side Stadium.

I suppose that the truth will forever be hidden, but according to Rep. Anthony Weiner, ``We don't need the reassurance from the International Olympic Committee or anyone else that New York is a world-class city,'' said U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, a Democratic mayoral candidate, after London was awarded the games. ``We don't need to put New York on the map. It's already the center of the universe.''

Well perhaps we don't need to be so arrogant, but it would be nice to take a crack at the 2016 games.

New York: Disappointed but not devastated

The Young Son of No one

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Iron Mike Tyson retired over the weekend and left behind a sport that he once dominated. He was the youngest champion ever, at a tender age of nineteen. During the early 90's, he represented Brooklyn lovely during his rampage through the heavyweight ranks. He was the epitomy of survival, as any kid growing up in Brownsville could attest. He escaped the slums and deprivation and headed upstate to Catskills to hone his boxing talent.
Unfortunately, he never had much guidance and most of his handlers were only interested in the next payday. I've often wondered what would have become of him if he had the proper mentoring.

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Love him or hate him, he clearly has left an unmistakeable mark on the sport. Without, Iron Mike, few would have understood the ferocity required to be a champion. Because of the way he ended his career, many will choose to remember his ever popular sound bites and one liners. In his prime, was a scientific brawler, devasting puncher, who loved to punish the body with vicious combinations. He feared no one. At thirty-nine, it was time to hang-up the gloves. I suppose in the end his undoing was lack of discipline and poor understanding of women. Hopefully, all of the ill-fated relationships (Givens et al) will not have drained all of his finances. Methinks that a good mentor would have helped him stay clear of the gold-diggers.

Oh how the mighty have fallen

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What has happened to the Bx Bombers? It appears that age, mismanaged talent and poor free-agent selections have doomed the season for the legendary Yankees.
It has been 5-yrs since our last world title (yeah I know its tough), but it doesn't appear that they will contend in the near future. Recent moves by the management have severely hampered any chance for improvement.

The farm system is all but depleted. Aging and tempermental veterans will not resurrect this franchise. I have no idea why Steinbrenner has not decided to eat Kevin Brown's contract. He has done nothing to improve his standing as a contributor in the rotation. Pavano and Wright have not lived up to expectations, in fact their numbers have worsened since donning the pinstripes.

Jason Giambi's best years are behind him, and it appears that without the roids he's a mere mortal.

Randy Johnson has been a mystery. Obviously, at 41 he has lost some of his velocity, but he does not have command of his breaking balls. He has surrended more long balls this season than any previous year.

The irony in all of this turmoil, is that it will actually make the Bombers a better team. Yes, I did say better.

If GM Cashman is retained, he will be forced to develop the young talent. Talented pitching prospect Ming (pictured below) and and infielder Robinson Cano appear to have a bright future ahead of them. It is just what the organization needs to retool its core.

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The great Yankee dynasty of 1996-2000 was made possible by a very capable farm system. Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera came from the farm system. The only way to get well, is to get younger, and add only very proven veterans to the mix.

If Brian Cashman is wise, he will resist the urge to go after Roger Clemons, as the season winds down. The AL East is actually very weak this year, and it is not impossible for the Yanks to remain in the divisional race. If they are lucky to steal a wild card berth, don't expect anything more than heartbreak.

Lucky Break?

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Ahh.. Spring is almost upon us. I am brimming with excitement of the prospect of Bx Bombers avenging their defeat at the hands of the hated Sux err I mean Bosox. I'm confident that the road to the World Series will again go through the Bronx.

It appears the maligned San Francisco outfielder, Barry Bonds will be out for the remainder of the year.
Speculation has it that MLB, may pressure Bonds to retire prematurely admist the allegations of illegal performance enhancing drugs. BALCO scandal aside, Bonds really has not been a fan of the media, and now that he is suffering from knee ailments, he may actually catch a break, by sitting out the rest of the year.

Clearly, the media sharks were circling and tasted blood. Whether you like him or not, I really did enjoy watching him hit the long ball. He may never get the chance to break Hank Aaron's record.

Baseball's Lucky Break

Brawl at the Palace

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I'm sure that by now everyone has heard about the fight that broke out during an NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons. The most notable combatant was former St. Johns player, Ron Artest. I must admit that I have always been partial to NY born athletes because they always show tremendous heart, grit and determination.

However, I'm sure that Mike Jarvis is getting flooded with calls regarding the incident. Obviously, the news in MI. has been very one-sided and often sensationialized. After reviewing some of the footage, I believe that it could have been far worse. In fact, the following ESPN articleadds a bit of reason to the incident.


Long Cold Winter

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All good things must eventually come to an end. The Bosox finally defeated my beloved Yankees in a postseason series. I'm clear that this loss was particularly painful, as the Yanks lost four straight. In fact, they were only 3 outs from making their 7th World Series appearance in the last 10 years.

What should Steinbrenner do during the off season ?
Here are my suggestions:

1) Eat Kevin Brown's contract - He was pathetic in the ALCS.
2) Go out and find some quality lefties to strenghthen the starting rotation and the bullpen. Quantrill and Gordon saved their worst performances for the postseason.
3) Develop the farm system again.
4) Begin to understand that the, eventual Hall of Famer, Mariano Rivera has at best two more good seasons left. Start grooming another quality closer. He has earned his pinstripes.

Despite the lack of production in the last four games of the ALCS, the Yankee offense is a Murderous Row. Very potent indeed.
I hate to think that they choked, but I have no other explanation. Certainly, a historic defeat and I'll forced to tune out miserable Sox fans for the next couple of weeks.

Fall Classic

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As I watched my beloved Bx Bombersdispatch the Twinkies, I realize that the we're probably be in for another fun MLB playoff season. I'll be honest, I spent time flipping between the Presidential debate and Yankees playoff game.

Which do you think was more exciting? Anyway, I know Red Sox nation looms in the distance. It will be great to deny them once again.

Oh yeah, I made a few changes to the layout of the blog. I now have a Category archive and a Most Visited Entries. The latter was no easy task. Much sweat and bytes. For the cost of a virtual brew, I was able to get it done. Special thanks to EJS for sharing the knowledge.

Hopefully, the changes will allow you to find stuff a bit easier :)

March Madness

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My alma mater - Florida A&M Rattlers, made it to the NCAA Basketball tournament this week. Actually, they defeated Lehigh and were rewarded with a date against Kentucky. They held their own for 20 minutes, but were thoroughly dominated in the 2nd Half. Nonetheless, I'm proud of the fact that they did not quit. Hopefully, their basketball program will continue to get more national exposure and better recruits. Their football program will be going Division IA, beginning 2004. I suspect that there will be many lopsided defeats, but it will only be a matter of time before they improve.

In other news, I finally finished the photo gallery, feel free to peruse and share your comments. I plan to link it to the main page this evening.

Raising the Ante

I am a violent NY sportsfan, and the events of recent weeks have brought a huge smile to my face. First, Zeke(I. Thomas) has made some bold moves to make my beloved Knickerbockers competitive again. Hell, because the East is so weak, they could actually grab the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. He brought a couple of native NYers back to a Garden, in the person of Stephon Marbury and Lenny Wilkins. Both of them are from B'klyn. I still believe that we'll need to get a true bigman to replace Pat to have a legititmate shot at an NBA Title.

Perhaps the biggest news of the week was the Bx Bombers acquisition of A-Rod. All I have to say to the Red Sox Nation is "You Blew It." George von Steingrabber is one of the most aggressive owners, and always does what it takes to improve his ballclub. I give him much dap. Despite the uncertainties in our starting rotation, I'm very optimistic about our chances of capturing another World Series Title.

Peep this batting order -
1- K. Lofton
2- D. Jeter
3- A. Rod
4- G. Sheffield
5- J. Giambi
6- B. Williams (DH)
7- Matsui
8- J. Posada
9- Enrique Williams

The possibilities are endless.

Bronx Bombers Demise

Yes, I'm officially in mourning. Oddly enough I am resigned to the fact that these Yankees are not the squad of old.. In fact, there are only 4 core members of those great Bomber teams of 96-01. It certainly was a great run.. Don't get it twisted, I'm clear that they will return to the World Stage, but I'm also clear that the talent gap has significantly been reduced between the Yankees and the rest of Major League baseball.
What will General Von Steingrabber do to stem the tide? If I could be owner for the day, I would definitely find some middle relief. Should the starters fail to go seven innings, there really isn't anyone that I would put out there, to shut-down the opposition for 3-4 innings. Of course, Mariano Rivera is lights out, but you've got be able to maintain a lead so you can bring him out of the bullpen. Second, I would find some better defensive infielders to compliment Jeter. It was very difficult to watch Game 5, I think we had a Spring Training moment during a routine, run down play. I always thought that you chase the guy back to the bag and your 3rd baseman covers.. Well what do I know..

Final thoughts, sign Pettitte and ship Wells out ASAP. He refuses to shed weight and really put the club at a disadvantage. If he lost 100 lbs, I believe he would be a far better pitcher and would be less susceptible to back spasms and other assorted injuries. I believe he could learn a great deal from the Rocket. Hell at 40 yrs, nobody should be carrying around 250+ lbs. Nuff said.

I'm going to be posting more Europe pics.. Stay tuned..

Pinstripe Euphoria

How about those damn Bronx Bombers !! I know its been awhile since my last scribe, but I've been all up in a hellified ALCS. It is truly something special to witness a post-season game in Yankee Stadium. Perhaps one day I'll get an opportunity to go to the stadium and watch a live game. When you think about winning tradition and attitude, you've must think about the guys in pinstripes.
There will probably be alot of NY transplants in FL for the World Series. So, the Bombers will have home and away advantage..

Yankees in 5..

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