Thursday, May 19, 2011

In the year 2013...

...assuming the world hasn't ended in 2012 per the Mayan calendar, we will finally have flying cars, food will come in pill form, and this will happen to the Yankees.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sox Sweep Stanks

As I write this Boston is losing to Baltimore 3-0 but nevertheless, the Red Sox swept a three game series against the Yankees over the weekend. I can't remember the last time I saw the Red Sox sweep a series in the Bronx. Fortunately, I have every sports media outlet on Earth to tell me that is was in 2004. The Sox won it all in '04 in case you forgot. Am I drawing any parallels? What do you think I am? A stunad? I wouldn't dare.

In fact, I think it's probably a really bad omen. Boston will probably go 5-20 from here. I will say this though. The Yankees look old. That's what happens in sports. One day you're an invaluable, wily veteran. The next, you're dead weight, ready for Shady Pines. That's where Posada is now. Jeter and A-Rod aren't quite there yet. I think they will still show flashes of former brilliance this season. But how stupid do people look who said that Rodriguez would hit 800 HR's? All I can say is, I told you so.

All that aside, if the Sox keep getting gutty starting pitching they will be fine. Lester didn't look great last night for a while, but he settled in and kept the Sox in the game. He gave them a chance, and the bats finally came through. No matter who you sign and how much money you spend, sometimes it just comes down to guts.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Things Begin to Unravel

Things are pretty bad in the Yankee Universe right now. The team is losing. Competitive games are few and far between and now Jorge Posada is upset at the Yankees lack of faith in his .165 batting average and .621 OPS.

We'll start with Jorge first. It's easy to understand why Posada would have trouble adjusting from catching every game to just taking his four hacks a day, it's hard to understand why he would think the Yankees are in the wrong for handling his situation as they have.

It must be difficult for every aging veteran to look at young players doing what they used to be able to do and thinking that they still have the ability, but the fact of the matter is Jorge never had the defensive ability that Russell Martin has and the Yankees are clearly a better team with Martin as a receiver than Posada. And the fact of the matter is that Jorge can't hit then Jesus Montero is sitting in Scranton. Montero is unlikely to complain about batting ninth either.

It's a shame that things are going poorly for Posada. But when you hold out for the money and the years that he did after his fantastic 2007 season, you run the risk of embarrassing yourself at the tail end of the contract and your career. Posada will be 40 in August. New York is unlikely to bring him back after the year. Young cheaper players are waiting in the wings and older slower players are waiting for the DH spot in the Yankee lineup. It is tough to watch someone who was great for so long struggle at the end, but it's worse to watch him whining about the unfairness of the situation.

I'm sick of players and the media whining about teams owing players things. All the team owes them are the ridiculous salaries they get paid, especially in the case of aging Yankees. The deal is the get paid and then they play. That's what the two sides owe each other.

As for the rest of the Yankees, things don't look good and it's not for the reasons everyone was anticipating at the beginning of the season. The pitching has been good. Except for Rafael Soriano, the bullpen has been as strong as anticipated. The starting rotation has been far better than anyone could have reasonable expected. It is the hitting that has been a grand disappointment.

While the home runs have come as expected, the Yankees seem to lack the ability to hit with runners in scoring position. For a team that has the scored on average more runs than any other in baseball, they haven't done so lately. It has been almost a week since they have cracked the 5+ run barrier. And if you eliminate that Sunday affair in Texas, they haven't put up more than five runs in a game since April 29.

This extended dry spell has made me feel like I'm back in 2008 when the Yankees also had major inconsistencies at the plate. Maybe the whole Posada affair will give the Yankees an open door to make a tough decision and bring up Jesus Montero. It definitely feels like the Yankees will need some kind of spark to get this ship moving in the right direction. Right now it doesn't seem like that catalyst is on the Yankee roster.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Buchholz Beats Yanks

So far this season, Clay Buchholz has pitched just a'ight for me dog. Moments of efficiency have been overshadowed by notable lapses. The 4.00+ ERA and the 1.500+ WHIP have been nothing to write home about. But last night in an important game for the Sox against the Yankees, Buchholz went 7 innings for the first time allowing two runs along the way. Buchholz showed great control and made only one big mistake, a two run homer to Russell Martin.

Though Buchholz left with a 5-2 lead, Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon tried their best to give the game away. Bard was all over the place. He looked like Daniel Osterbrock from the AA New Britain Rockcats game I went to on Thursday. Papelbon uneventfully retired the first two batters he faced then allowed hits to Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson, which closed the game to within a run.

The Sox need Clay to have more games like this especially with the back end of the rotation floundering. Dice-K is Dice-K, Wakefield is too old, and who knows what to make of John Lackey. Lackey's wife's battle with breast cancer was recently revealed. Who can blame the guy for pitching poorly? Far be it for me to suggest how person should deal with a major illness in his family, but Lackey seems totally miserable. I wouldn't be surprised if he takes a leave of absence soon.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fulham v. Liverpool

It seemed about time for a blog post and considering I have been out of the country for the past week and not keeping up with the Red Sox, I have decided to shift gears. Liverpool Football Club is the newest acquisition of the Fenway Sports Group, so this is somewhat related to the Red Sox. On Monday, I was fortunate to be in London watching my team, Fulham, get absolutely embarrassed by the North England club. The final score was 5-2 and Liverpool (Maxi Rodriguez) scored twice in the first seven minutes and once in the first 30 seconds. The Reds came screaming down the field and showed why Simon Davies spent most of the season on the bench. Here are some more observations from my first EPL game.

· Craven Cottage is a great place to watch a game. Ironically, it is similar to Fenway as it feels like you are on the field. I was so close to the field I could hear Clint Dempsey tell the ref to “fuck off” more than once.

· The Liverpool fans are fanatical. Their chants started before the first whistle and didn’t stop for 90 minutes. This was a regular season game of no real consequence and the atmosphere was electric. I don’t think we have a U.S. equivalent. Even Sox v. Yanks regular season games can be slow and pedestrian. The only potential equal might be college football or basketball, but their fan bases are built into the student body.

· Luis Suarez is the real deal and everyone knows it. Not selling Torres is what got Roy Hodgson sacked and Suarez is more than comparable as his replacement.

· The speed and accuracy of the game is incredible.

· Dirk Kuyt is a lot bigger than you think. Dude must be a gym rat.

· If Liverpool’s right back, Glen Johnson, was American he would probably lead the NFL in rushing. He is compact and explosive.

· 18 year old left back John Flanagan was impressive. He was very composed on the back line and fit right in next Jaime Carragher.

· I am calling it now; Liverpool will be at the top of the Top at the end of 2012. Steven Gerrard will be back and Kenny Daglish seems poised to lead the lads to another title.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gonzalez Going the Other Way

One of the finest sights during the first six weeks of the season has to be watching Adrian Gonzalez smash home runs to the opposite field. When the Sox got Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, I knew much more about Crawford as I've seen him wear out the Sox year after year. Therefore I was more excited about his acquisition than Gonzalez just because of familiarity. But Adrian is a big time hitter. It's just awesome to see a guy with no weaknesses in the middle of the order.

Most of the time pitchers try to stay away from left handed hitters (ie: David Ortiz). You can't do that against Gonzalez. And when he hits one out the other way, it just looks so effortless. I bring this up because I'm watching the Sox now. Down a run against the Jays, Gonzalez leads off the top of the ninth with an opposite field bomb on a pitch you didn't think he could reach never mind hit out. I think I have a jersey to purchase.