August 10, 2009

Alright, so I was talking to my friend Sal this morning and he asked about “the bule”. I had to reply to him with a slight feeling of shame because I have not done anything to this site as of late, let alone even think about posting anything. Sal’s questioning may have caused a resurgence as I will again attempt to keep myself dedicated to writing. So for all my friends in Colts Neck as well as up in South Orange, Let’s Go!

The one and only Sal Miggs.

 The biggest news of the weekend obviously starts with the Yankees going into their closet and grabbing their brooms. So much can be made of this series, but I will keep it to this. Both teams pitched great, (Smotlz not so much), but the Yanks pitched better. New York swung the bats significantly better than the Sox, as the boys from Beantown went 30+ innings without scoring a run at one point during the series.

A-rod finally came up big against Boston, hitting 2 home runs in the series, the first one ending a seemingly endless 15 inning game, and the other one coming last night to put his team up 1-0. Sabathia and Burnett earned their pinstripes and their incredibly large paychecks by pitching almost flawless baseball, while veteran Andy Pettitte gave arguably his best performance of the entire season. It’ s a real shame that the Yanks can’t get him a win, but no doubt, Pettitte has pitched extremely well this second half. 

Granted Boston was a little banged up, no Wakefield, Dice-K, and Bay, the Bronx Bombers have certainly erased talks of how Boston defeated New York for the first 8 games against each other this season. The Yankees are now 6.5 gamed ahead of Boston with just about 50 games left in the season.

Okay, enough about those guys. In other baseball news, the acquisition of Cliff Lee by the Phillies led me to believe they were going to be the team to represent the NL in the World Series this year. Lee has done his job, compiling a 2-0 record and a 1.13 ERA in his first two starts in the National League. However, the rest of the Phillies are heading in a completely different direction after losing 7 out of their last 10. The most recent 3 losses come against division rival Florida who is now only 4 games back heading in to Monday.

The Rockies and Giants are certainly making the NL Wild Card an interesting story to keep an eye on. The two teams are in a dead tie for the Wild Card spot with both team’s records standing at 61-50. In my opinion, the Giants are my favorite to win the final playoff spot because of their pitching and recent acquisitions. 

Well all know that Tim Lincecum is a pitching feign (leads baseball with 198 k’s and a 2.20 ERA) and that he will continue to deal. Matt Cain has been great this year, Barry Zito has contributed a bit, Jonathan Sanchez threw a no-hitter to boost his confidence some, not to mention Randy Johnson, who is currently on the DL, has won 8 games for the club. Unsung relievers include Jeremy Affelt with 24 holds (2nd in NL) and closer Brian Wilson (tied for 1st in NL).

I’ve heard all year that the Giants have no hitting and I can attest to that statement. However, who needs amazing hitting when you have a one-two combination of Lincecum and Cain for the post-season? If the Giants can muster up enough bat strength with Pablo Sandoval, Aaron Rowand, Randy Winn, Freddy Sanchez, and Ryan Garko, then they just might be the team you see winning that Wild Card spot.

Oh yeah, but don’t forget about the Cubs, Marlins, Braves, Astros, and Brewers though. They are all within 6 games of Colorado and San Fran.

More to come later in the night if I can concentrate and write some more news while watching the Yanks take on the Jays at 7.

Thanks to Sal for the unintentional encouragement and motivation to continue to write and also to Rob, Sal, Jerry, and Aimee for making last night’s Yanks/Sox game a great time. Be back soon!!


Are We All On Drugs?

June 19, 2009

Earlier this week the New York Times reported that Sammy Sosa was among the 103 players that tested positive for performance enhancing durgs  steroids during  the 2003 Major League baseball season. While this may seem like old news, no official evidence was ever found in the past accusing Sosa of steroids or PEDs, only the fact that he started hitting crazy amounts of home runs and got significantly larger.

He did testify in court a few years back stating he had never used steroids or any performance enhancing drugs. Nice going, Sammy. It’s funny how these athletes not only take steroids, but then lie to the court about it. This puts them in a completely separate bind because we all know that lying under oath is a crime, or maybe some people don’t know that, cough cough, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmiero, Miguel Tejada, ah the list goes on and on.

Less than a month ago, Sosa made it known he was planning on officially retiring and would “calmly wait” for his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013, his first year of eligibility. How do you feel about that now Sammy, you pompous jackass?

Having Sammy finally be recognized as a cheater PED user, it prompted me to take a look at the all-time career home runs list. It looks something like this…

       1.  Barry Bonds- 762                        17. Manny Ramirez- 533
       2.  Hank Aaron- 755                            18. Frank Thomas- 521
      3.  Babe Ruth- 714                                 24. Garry Sheffield- 507
      4.  Willie Mays- 660                             32. Jose Canseco- 462
      5.  Ken Griffey- 617                              37. Juan Gonzalez- 434
      6.  Sammy Sosa- 609                     44. Jason Giambi- 405
      7. Frank Robinson- 586                     80. Albert Pujols- 342
     8.  Mark McGwire- 583
     9. Harmon Killebrew-573
    10. Rafael Palmeiro-569
    11.  Reggie Jackson-563
    12.  Alex Rodriguez-562
    13.  Jim Thome-553

Okay, so let’s evaluate this for a minute. I have the top 13 in there, plus other notable players that are high on the home run list.

We all know that Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Palmeiro, A-Rod, Manny, Sheffield, Canseco, Gonzalez, and Giambi all did steroids. That means numbers 1,6,8,10,12,17,24,32,37, and 44 are all tainted.

That is just ridiculous. The only players in there that have not been seriously linked to steroids (most recent players) are Griffey, Thome, and Thomas, and Pujols. I threw Pujols in there for comparison sake because he is essentially the only player who is young enough and steroid free (or so we hope), to challenge any kind of home run record.

I could go through each and every person’s story about their steroid use, allegations, trials, and much more, but I will refrain.

The point I’m trying to make here is that we have heard of people using steroids here and there, but now it is getting to the point where it seems like almost every player was using them, or at least using some performance enhancing drug. With the most recent stories surrounding A-rod, Manny Ramirez, and now Sosa, it is really starting to shed even more light on just how prevalent steroids were in the Majors.

With this being said, I want to make people realize that steroids were all over baseball. Look at the names in the Mitchell Report (all 89 of them). They range from Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens (would you just give up already?, dude, you did drugs and cheated), and Brian Roberts to Adam Riggs. Who the hell is Adam Riggs?  It seems like any day now another name, big or small,  will surface and the baseball world will become less than less surprised. That’s how I feel.

For now, I will offer big congratulations to Griffey, Thome, Thomas, and all the old timers who made their way up the home run ranks. I will sing their praises until news reports discover that Griffey used a cork bat most of his career, Thome and Thomas actually did use steroids, and Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron were the inventors of steroids. I can only hope that is not the case.

Patience Is A Virtue

May 30, 2009
Andy Pettitte gave up only 1 run in 5 innings of work before being pulled from the game with a strained lower back.

Andy Pettitte gave up only 1 run in 5 innings of work before being pulled from the game with a strained lower back.

October 1st, 2006 to May 29th, 2009. It sure seems like a long time to me. Over two and a half years, 972 days to be exact. With a win last night against the Cleveland Indians, the New York Yankees were able to sit atop AL East for the first time since October 1st, 2006, which was the final day of the 2006 regular season.

Andy Pettitte threw 5 strong innings until he was pulled from the game for what appeared to be a strained lower back. The decision to pull Pettitte was a precautionary move by manager Joe Girardi. The Yanks will not afford to lose any starting pitcher mainly because of the struggles on Chien-Ming Wang. He is currently in the bullpen after throwing several games in the minors trying to regain his pitching touch. Phil Hughes has already made a solid contribution to the rotation and will most likely stay in it if he continues to build off his most recent success.

Catcher Jorge Posada returned to the lineup and batted 6th. He had two hits, raising his average to .325 on the season. Posada had missed the previous 22 games with a hamstring injury.

Reliever Alfredo Aceves threw three scoreless innings giving up 1 hit and striking out three. The game was then turned over to Mariano Rivera who closed it out for the victory.

With Pettitte picking up the win and Rivera getting the save, the Yanks made some history. It was the 58th time Pettitte won a ballgame that was saved by Rivera, breaking Bob Welch and Dennis Eckersley’s record of 57 games.

The Red Sox have already played today and lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, giving New York a 1 game lead over their rival. The Yankees can look to increase their lead to 1.5 games when they take on the tribe once again at 7:05pm in Cleveland.

CC Sabathia will be making his first start in Cleveland as a Yankee since he was traded from the Indians to the Milwaukee Brewers in the middle of last season. It will be interesting to see what kind of reception he gets from the crowd. He won the Cy Young for the Indians back in 2007 and was well liked by the fans.

Now that the Yankees are back in first place, are they there to stay? Let me know what you think!

This Is What Happens When You Look For Videos

May 29, 2009

Okay, so I was looking for baseball videos on youtube for a possible upcoming story, but I ran into this video and felt it was worthy of sharing with those who visit the site, so basically like 50 people haha.

With that being said, I just want to thank you to whoever comes to the site and checks out what I have to say. I appreciate your comments and the time you take to read whatever is up. Your support is important to me and I hope that it will continue now and in the future. Be sure to check out my other article below that I wrote today. Thanks guys!

Now check out this hilarious video of this umpire. Around the 40 second mark is where it gets me everytime. Enjoy!

Jayson “Babe” Werth??

May 24, 2009

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth and his wife Julia Werth celebrate their division pennant after a 6-1 win over the Washington Nationals in Philadelphia, September 30, 2007.

It is my understanding that a friend of mine has a slightly unhealthy, let’s call it…obsession, with Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Jayson Werth (yes, I know what you’re thinking, but my friend is female). #28 is not only her number one player on the field, but also number one in her heart. Call it crazy, but she refers to Mr. Werth as “Babe”, as if she knows him personally and is quite possibly having an affair with the 30 year old from Springfield, Illinois. 

Oddly enough, Werth is married with two children, which does not bold well for my friend considering she would shack up with him at any moment if she got the chance. Anyone in support of a little homewrecking?

After heading up to Yankee Stadium yesterday with a few friends of mine, one of them being the infatuated Werth girl, we were able to watch “Babe” in action as the Phillies faced off against the Yanks. With his lovesick fan watching his every move, Werth gave her something to cheer about and remember when he smacked a deep two run homerun in the top of the 5th inning, making him the first player to reach the left field second deck at the new stadium.

Werth reached another career milestone a few weeks earlier when he became one of only 49 players to steal all three bases in the same inning, ending with a dramatic steal of home against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Only nine players have stolen all three bases since 1942, which says a lot about how rare the feat really is.

Hitting record breaking homeruns, becoming a kleptomaniac on the base paths, and having an enormous patch of facial hair right below his lip has become Jayson Werth’s calling card. Leave it to my obsessed friend to spend hours flipping through the White Pages, searching on the internet, and possibly driving around Philadelphia, to find any trace of where Jayson Werth might be at any given time.

Being Robbed of the Winning Lottery Ticket and Snubbed by Santa Clause

May 23, 2009

If I were to compare what happened to the White Sox yesterday to a real life situation other than baseball, I would say it was the equivalent of someone walking down the street with a massive headache, then being kicked to the ground and beaten, getting their wallet stolen, and maybe having that nights winning lottery ticket that was in their pocket stolen too.

Pretty harsh, right?

Well you tell me how you would feel if you were 3-7 in your last 10 games. How about losing 13 of your previous 19 games? That doesn’t sound like a good situation and I would venture a guess that there are no happy campers in Chicago right now (Cubs fans, disregard that). If it weren’t for the disappointing Oakland Athletics, the Sox would be last in the AL in almost every hitting category. Take a look for yourself.

However, the White Sox could have scored a total of 19 runs yesterday and still lost the game after they were shellacked by division rival Minnesota by a final of 20-1. It was the worst loss in the team’s 108 year history. Watching the highlights on SportsCenter made me sick, just like when the Yankees got roughed up this season against the Indians, a final that yielded a 22-4 loss in just the third game at the New Yankee Stadium. After watching the highlights, I didn’t feel so bad anymore after remembering Minnesota has been struggling lately as well, especially after getting swept by the Yanks and losing 3 straight games to walk-off madness.

During Chicago’s game, trade rumors were circling that San Diego Padres ace pitcher Jake Peavy was going to be making his way to the White Sox for a few minor leaguers. If my favorite team had  a shot at getting Jake Peavy, I would gladly lose 20-1, maybe even 50-1, if I knew at the end of the day that Peavy was going to be joining my ball club.

Turns out Peavy has a no trade clause is his contract, which means he has the right to decline any trade he wants involving him (how about that for telling people what to do!?). To turn a day’s worth of speculation into one sentence; Peavy blocked the trade and decided to stay in San Diego. It was quite a shocker for me personally because he seemed so desperate this off-season to leave San Diego that he would have went anywhere. His reason for staying was he wanted to remain in the National League and not join a team that just got spanked 20 to 1 and is on the verge of falling apart early into this season.

For White Sox fans, it could have been like waking up on Christmas morning, finding no presents under the tree, maybe a hint of coal in your stocking, only to find out that Santa Clause actually DID come to your house, decided to devour his milk and cookies,  and then saying “Nah, I don’t really feel like leaving presents at this house this year”.

Either that, or getting robbed like I mentioned above. Take your pick. Got any other equivalents? Feel free to share them in the comments section.

A Week’s Worth of Wins and More for the Streaking Bombers

May 22, 2009

Everything seems to be going the Yankees way lately. Maybe three walk-off wins and A.J. Burnett pies in the face will do that to a team. Alex Rodriguez has finally returned and is swinging the bat fairly well after his steroid controversy and injury plagued off-season. A-Rod’s return has sparked the slumping bat of Mark Teixeira who the Yankees practically stole from the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles by throwing $180 million at the Gold Glove switch hitting first baseman. Second baseman Robinson Cano is off to a hot start (it’s about time) and has shown no sign of slowing down. The resurgence of outfielder Melky Cabrera and the blazing speed of fellow outfielder Brett Gardner has given New York a slightly different look than in years past, causing teams to work hard to retire the bottom third of the Yankees lineup.

A little bit about newly acquired Nick Swisher. “Swish”  has become a major sparkplug in not only the Yankee offense, but in the Yankee clubhouse. Anyone who watches a Yankee game can see Swisher’s excitement for the game and love for Red Bull. Yes, the energy drink Red Bull. Without Swisher and his Red Bull obsession, the Yankees might not have not survived the first 30 games of the season, especially ones played away from Yankee Stadium. He has become the “Anti-Dorothy” of the Yankees and other players in the clubhouse might have even caught Swisher murmuring to himself at times, “there’s no place like road”. He is batting .315 with 8 homeruns on the road as opposed to .127 with 1 homerun at home. He was able to punch one out into the newly controversial “wind-tunnel” in right field at the Stadium last night for his first homerun in front of the home crowd. Throw in steady Derek Jeter and peculiar homerun hitting Johnny Damon and it is pretty evident why New York is amidst an 8 game winning streak.

All that news and pitching has not even been mentioned. CC Sabathia is starting to settle down and finally looks like the dominant pitcher he was last year down the stretch for the then playoff seeking Milwaukee Brewers. Joba Chamberlain, Andy Pettitte, and Phil Hughes have all pitched quite average so far this season, but good enough to get the job done.

It is great to see Yankee pitchers finally get deep into games and not rely on the bullpen, which has been atrocious at times, making fans pray that each starter can pitch a complete game every time they take the mound. After some number crunching, between the Yankees current 5 starters (Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, Chamberlain, and Hughes) they have averaged to go 6 innings per start. Excluding the rehabbing Chien-Ming Wang, 6 innings per start is quite impressive in my book, especially with the Yankees recent history of struggling starting pitchers, aka Carl Pavano, Kevin Brown, and Kei Igawa, just to name a few. 

 A.J. Burnett, another Yankee new comer, has thrown the ball well at times, but also has seen his share of hard times (his first start against the Red Sox, loss to Roy Halladay and the Blue Jays). I may be going a bit too hard on A.J., but I have high expectations for him with the kind of stuff he has. 

The bad news comes from the bullpen. It seems like every time a relief pitcher enters the game, barring Mariano Rivera, the first batter they face gets on base via a walk. As a Yankee fan, I can’t stand the team when they give up walks. Any true baseball fan knows the repercussions of giving up walks and how they can lead to the destruction of a team. During the team’s 8 game winning streak however, the bullpen has been exceptional with a record of 3-0, holding opposing teams to a .195 batting average. Hopefully they have turned a corner and are set to throw strikes consistently. With 8th inning set up man Brian Bruney back in the mix after a short stint on the DL, the bullpen is finally starting to take shape.

Hopefully all this praise for the team will not jinx them tonight as they take on the Orioles one more time before they start a three game weekend series with the defending World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies. It will be interesting to see if the Yankees can continue their hot play and continue to surge up the ranks in the always competitive American League East division.

There will be more to come with the Yankees in the near future, as well as other teams making noise around the majors.