Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ha! Day!

I have no idea what that means.

The Daily News has an allegedly humorous imaginary article about Alex Rodriguez. Because the Daily News would never pander.

This is what "Ha! Day" means, by the way:

"Blue Jays hold, 'Ha! Day' for A-Rod, commemorating the 2007 game in which baserunner Rodriguez shouted, 'Ha!' as if he were going to catch a pop-up, confusing shortstop John McDonald and third baseman Howie Clark.

Rodriguez takes a seat near third base. As clips of A-Rod’s press conferences are shown, McDonald and Clark shout, 'Ha!' at every one of his PED denials. Fans get to scream, 'Ha!' as well. Eventually, A-Rod is asked to join in the fun himself."

Hi-la-ri-ous.

You know, if I wanted to be exposed to unfunny Yankee-related stuff on the Internet, I can always go watch some Foul Territory episodes. At least Teixeira has a day job.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

One of these players is probably inspirational to his teammates. One of these players is probably not.

Martin Prado played in last night's game while experiencing stomach pains. This morning, he had an emergency appendectomy.

Mark Teixeira is sitting out today's game with a sore wrist.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

I thought Jeter was going to rebound in September.

Probably not at this point.

But what do you expect Girardi to do? Despite claims to the contrary, this season is the Jeter Farewell Tour.

Girardi doesn't have much to gain by embarrassing Jeter. I'm actually pleasantly surprised that Girardi moved Teixeira down in the order.


Now, I know the Orioles play in Baltimore, but Mike Lupica's moral outrage need not be limited to New York players.

So you just KNOW the prominent anti-ARod crusader is going to go after the Orioles in the wake of the Chris Davis suspension.

Duck for cover, y'all, this is going to be nasty:

"They should give Buck Showalter two Manager of the Year awards for his work this season with the Orioles.

He has lost his catcher, he has lost his third baseman, now he loses his first baseman, Chris Davis, on an amphetamine rap.

And the Orioles, who started out the season 0-4, have been 33 games over .500 since then, and will go into the playoffs with the second-best record in baseball.

Oh, and by the way, Buck had to give a kid who’d never been a closer, Zach Britton, a battlefield commission after the season started."


Dang.

That's cold.

Straight up moral crusader stuff right there.


"Mets fans have a right to wonder how this season would have gone if Matt Harvey had pitched this season and David Wright had hit."

Without a doubt.

For, like, the 5th or 6th season in a row, the Mets are totally the best sub-.500 team ever.

If their bad players played better and if their good players remained healthy, they'd be a lot better. Probably 120 wins or so?

That's assuming Eric Young scores 120 runs and that injured closer guy gets 45 saves.

As for the Yankees, I wonder the same thing. If nobody got hurt and everybody hit, I wonder how the season would have gone.

"Better."

The season would have gone better.

I'm trying to imagine a newspaper's obsession with Alex Rodriguez. I wonder what that would be like.

Daily News columnist Bob Raissman anticipates a pre-occupation with ARod in 2015:

"In the middle of the Ray Rice/Roger Goodell media scream, this amounts to hardly a whisper. It is the name Alex Rodriguez.

Yet as the Yankees’ season, and the Summer of Jeter, heads towards the finish line, with playoff possibilities slim, that name is beginning to appear in columns. In the Valley of the Stupid, there are brief discussions, too.

One baseball scribe went as far as to write A-Rod was again a candidate to become 'The Most Interesting Man in the Baseball World.' We agree. And as fall turns to winter — and if the faucet doesn’t freeze — the name A-Rod will drip, drip, drip, some more."


"One baseball scribe" is Joel Sherman at the New York Post. I googled it.


 "It does not matter if you like him, love him, or loathe him. It does not matter if you believe he is psychologically addicted to PEDs and can’t play without them. It doesn’t matter that he is 39 and has had two hip surgeries and could be shot.

None of this will stop the media, even those who want him gone forever, or rooting for him to fail, from once again becoming obsessed with Rodriguez, whenever he surfaces. We all want a good story to cover. This is also about reality — including the Yankees’ business reality."


It sounds like an apology for lazy reporting.


"No matter what side you take, if Rodriguez makes it to spring training he brings the kind of excitement, uncertainty, and chaos that was missing this season. It’s a story with the ability to jump-start the baseball season — something to actually look forward to.

And here’s hoping he doesn’t sit down for one of those lengthy soul-cleansing interviews. Just show up in Tampa, Mr. Rodriguez. And let the fun begin.'


Just so you know, one newspaper recently ran a story about ARod's LinkedIn account.

Very uninteresting.

As uninteresting as Raissman's column warning us that uninteresting ARod commentary is on the way in 2015.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

September

Just a hunch the Yankees are ready to tank in September, rather than show some pride and stay above .500 and out of 4th place.


Jeter is 0-for-his-last-20.

Teixeira is down to .217, worse with all the clutch stats.

1 run in 20 innings yesterday, and that was a HR from a Mets castoff.


It seems like a bunch of disinterested veterans with nothing to prove.

Of course, the problem might not be attitude ... the problem might simply be deteriorating skills.


Stephen Drew is not passing his audition.

With Yankees: 100 AB, 13 H, 2 HRs, 10 RBIs, .130/.214/..250.


August: .153/.225/.306.

September: .071/.188/.107.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Chris Davis cheated and got caught.

Three national columnists expressing their opinions regarding Chris Davis's suspension. None of them use the word "cheat," except in the context of "cheating is not his worst crime."


First up is Bob Nightengale. Cheating is not Davis's worst crime, stupidity is:

"You couldn't help but feel sorry for Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis last year."

 Poor Chris Davis.

  
"He had the mother of all breakout seasons, hitting a major-league leading 53 home runs, and all of the while, fending off the insinuation and constant questions that he must be cheating."

I insinuate that Tuesday follows Monday.


"Well, on this day, you can't help but feel sorry once again for Chris Davis, wondering how a man can possibly be this stupid."

Well, I am chock full of compassion, generally speaking. I don't feel too sorry for Chris Davis.


"He should be suspended for sheer stupidity.

Davis, diagnosed years ago with attention deficit disorder, did not bother seeking an exemption for at least the last two years, according to a person close to Davis with direct knowledge of the condition. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about Davis' condition.

Davis simply believed he didn't need the medication any longer.

Yet, when Davis started to struggle this year, what does he do?

He turned to Adderall."

I don't believe his problem is attention deficit disorder.

I believe is problem is hitting the curve.

Adderall helped him hit the curve. That's why he started using Adderall again.

I actually don't think taking Adderall is a stupid decision. He would be in the minor leagues without Adderall. Even after getting caught and suspended, the benefits outweighed the costs.


"He can't be in the Orioles celebratory clubhouse when champagne is doused when they clinch the AL East - as soon as next week, thanks to their 10-game lead.

He can't be with the team during the American League Division Series.

If the Orioles reach the second round, he can't be with the team at the start of the American League Championship Series, and probably not at all.

And, if the Orioles make the World Series, why punish any player who helped the Orioles get to the final round, taking him off the roster to play Davis, who won't have seen live pitching for a month?"


I think I'm going to cry.


Well, that was unsatisfying.

Let's see if Jayson Stark sticks it to a cheater:

"I've spent the morning hearing people say that Chris Davis was selfish, getting himself suspended for 25 games in the middle of a September pennant race.

I've spent the morning hearing people say that Chris Davis was stupid, taking a substance like Adderall, which he knew he couldn't take without getting nailed.

Well, there's certainly an element of truth to both of those labels. But there's a part of this I haven't heard anyone talk about.

Chris Davis has a problem. In his apology statement on Friday morning, he indicated the problem is with Adderall. And if that's true, his problem is actually shared by thousands of people in this country -- quite a few of them athletes, by the way."

Of course this is true.

Lots of people do lots of illegal or unethical things -- and quite a few of them are athletes.


"It's easy for all of us to say that guys like Davis should just stop taking it if they know they don't have a league-approved, therapeutic use exemption. Obviously, that's what they should do.

But Davis' suspension Friday was just one more reminder that it's something many of them can't do."


Of course this is true. Same could be said for steroids, HGH, alcohol abuse, wife-beating, and gambling.

Hitting HRs is probably addictive, as is financial success and national prominence. I'm sure it's better than playing in the minor leagues.

Adderall is probably also addictive.

I hope Davis stops taking Adderall and resumes his rightful baseball career in the minor leagues rather than his bogus near-MVP performance.


"So think about this. If Davis got suspended for using Adderall, it means he tested positive previously, knew he tested positive, knew he was going to be tested at least eight more times in the next year and . . .
Kept taking it anyway.

If you think this through logically, you know what that suggests. It suggests he didn't keep taking Adderall because he thought he could somehow beat all those tests. Maybe he kept taking it because he couldn't stop."

Whichever.

Couldn't stop, wouldn't stop.

He's a fraud and a cheater. This is certainly not a surprising revelation.


So maybe Jeff Passan can bring some "moral clarity" to the situation:

"Chris Davis knew exactly what he was doing when he started popping Adderall again. More than any sport, baseball’s relentless toll can ruin a player’s psyche, cause him to forget who he is and what he’s done, send him into the sort of spiral that makes him look for something, anything. Davis sought answers in a pill bottle."

Baseball's relentless toll ruined his psyche and caused him to forget who he is and what he has done.

Hmmm.

Maybe he remembered what he had done while taking Adderall.


"Long a proponent of playing clean – just last year he called Hank Aaron and Roger Maris the all-time and single-season home run champions – Davis found himself ensnared in the complex world of amphetamines"

Never a proponent of playing clean. Long a proponent of talking about playing clean.

I don't know, maybe it's just me. I was always lucky enough to avoid getting snared in the complex world of amphetamines.

How about you?

Did amphetamines ever jump out of the bottle and ensnare you?


"The difficulty manifests itself with players trying to get through the grind of a 7½-month spring-to-fall season, with constant travel, day games after night games and injuries sapping energy. They believe amphetamines help, so every spring, dozens of players apply for exemptions, hoping a league-appointed doctor will grant it. Though rejections exist, they’re not altogether prevalent."

Yeah, the grind of the baseball season must be demanding.

Especially when you can't hit.

Which Chris Davis can't.

Unless he is taking Adderall.


"And it’s more stupid than selfish, because certainly the intent was to help the Orioles overcome those losses, to play like he believed he should. A 53-home run, MVP-type season morphing into a Mendoza Line mess (.196/.300/.404) is enough to make any player question himself."

That's it. I'm done.

"Trying to help the team" is all I can take.

You all are cowards who should demand the immediate revocation of ARod's suspension.








Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Nobody perceives the Yankees to be relevant in 2014.

Neither team is relevant in terms of the 2014 playoffs. I don't think anyone perceives anything contrary to this fact:

"So the Mets, who have not even finished above .500 since they moved into Citi Field for the 2009 season and who will now be without David Wright for the remainder of the 2014 campaign, would have to gain a chunk of ground on a bunch of clubs to pull off their minor miracle.

That’s not likely to happen. Nor will it be easy for the Yankees to move past either Detroit or Kansas City (one of them will finish first in the A.L. Central and not end up as a wild-card contestant), Seattle, Toronto and Cleveland (we’re running out of breath, here) and sneak into the postseason as wild card No. 2.

Still, let it be said one more time: The Mets are right there, right now, with the Yankees. As for what it all means, well, it does challenge the perception that the Yankees, even in a flat year, usually manage to remain relevant while the Mets simply do not."

The perception for the majority of the past twenty years? Yes.

The perception for this year? No.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

$200 million sure doesn't buy as much as it used to ... because the Yankees spend $200 million on their baseball team ... and their baseball team isn't very good ...

Aside from a template tribute to Jeter (wherein Lupica reminds everyone that he's personal friends with Joe Torre), there isn't much positive to say about the New York baseball teams.

How can one express the poor return on investment for the Yankees?:

"Once the Yankees, even after they stopped winning the World Series, still felt like the greatest show on earth, and could draw 50,000 a game to the old Stadium. Now they’re grinding away for the second wild card in the American League, which makes you believe, more than ever, that a $200 million payroll officially doesn’t buy you nearly what it used to in baseball.

It just seems so unfair."


Let's say you're a man.

A man who writes columns and these columns get published in a newspaper.

You have a joke.

It's not a great joke, it's a so-so joke. It's a snarky joke.

The joke is, "$200 million doesn't buy as much as it used to."

You use this phrase to demonstrate the Yankees' recent lack of success (2001 - 2014), especially compared to the Torre Dynasty years (1996 - 2001).


How many times can you use this joke?

You have been using this joke since 2001.

Is the voice in your head telling you this is a funny joke?

Or is the voice in your head telling you that a joke retains its dubious hilarity despite overuse?

Either way, the voice in your head is wrong.




Thursday, September 04, 2014

Balance?

Not winning on one side of the scale.

On the other side of the scale, an active player wearing a patch of himself.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Mark Teixeira dropped to 5th in the batting order.

Not exactly a tectonic shift, but you wonder why it took until September for a small light bulb to go on above Girardi's head.

May as well keep Jeter batting second and not embarrass him.

Starting pitcher gets bombed, Beltran embarrassing base running blunder, Gardner (batting third!) gets ejected from the game.

Girardi remains unfazed:

"What Jeter has become is clear. He's 40-year-old doing something almost no 40-year-olds do in baseball: holding on to a starting job, in only by the tips of his fingers.

That's impressive. But it's not enough to warrant a top-of-the-order spot for a team who's mantra has been championship or bust since the start of the Steinbrenner era.

The problem: We're past that point. It's too late. The buzzards are circling, eying the meat beneath the pinstripes.

Nothing Girardi does from today through Sept. 28, the Yankees' last regular season game, is going to turn their offense into a playoff-caliber force. Especially not moving Jeter and putting someone else in his No. 2 spot.

Notice I said his No. 2 spot. That's because it is and it's been Jeter's since 1998, when he batted there in 145 games. In 1996, his rookie year, he mostly hit No. 9 and he was the leadoff man in 1997.

He's got 1,982 more plate appearances in the second position more than his next most frequent lineup spot, at the very top. This season, he's hit there in 117 of the 121 games he's played — three others were spent leading off and one was in the No. 4 hole."

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Pile on Bo Porter.

"Two springs ago, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow gathered his players to introduce his new manager, Bo Porter.

That very day, some players foresaw trouble.

'It was extremely uncomfortable being in that room,' one remembered.

Players and coaches remember a weird dynamic between the two men.

'Bo kept interrupting Jeff,' one player said. 'He seemed to think he was the boss. If you'd been there, you would have known it wasn't going to work.'

It really never did.

That Porter held the job for 300 games -- he was dismissed on Monday -- reflects the fact that Luhnow simply had other priorities."


....

"Luhnow said the team's won-loss record -- 110-190 under Porter -- was his responsibility, which is damning to Porter on several levels. In other words, he didn't dismiss Porter for losing too many baseball games. Luhnow dismissed Porter because he no longer respected his leadership skills and his ability to be a team player in the organization.

From the beginning, there was a disconnect. In that first Spring Training, Porter did things that struck the front office as silly.

For instance, Porter had the walls papered with motivational sayings and placed mirrors in each locker to remind players to look at themselves first before blaming a teammate. He had players turn their chairs away from their lockers, his way of telling them to look forward.

If Porter had been managing a Little League team, that stuff might have played well. Adults? Not so much. When one coach left the big league staff, he went directly to Luhnow and said, 'You had better get that guy away from your young players.' "

That's quite a talent evaluator.

A scout whose qualifications are owning a television and watching Yankee games:

"The lineup poses two distinct problems for Joe Girardi in particular. He has no everyday replacement for Teixeira, yet watches his first baseman struggling to make contact, let alone drive the ball into the gaps. Over the last month, Teixeira has been striking out once every three at-bats, a decline so steep one talent evaluator said, 'It feels like I’m watching a totally different player' than the one the Yankees signed in 2009.

'[Teixeira] only seems to hit mistakes now,' said the scout. That’s what’s so demoralizing to ownership: Teixeira is owed another $45 million through 2016, which means the Yankees are stuck with him, just as they’ll be left to figure out what to do about Carlos Beltran, who’s also signed through ’16."

Friday, August 29, 2014

Jeter plays shortstop and bats second.

The Yankees made this decision 10 years ago, when a 'roided-up ARod was moved to third base.

With a month left on the Jeter Retirement Tour, nobody is going to mess with the captain now.

"Now some may ask, what’s the alternative at this point in the season?

We actually came up with one based on a simple premise: ranking the Yankees hitters by their August OPS.

That produces a lineup of Jacoby Ellsbury (CF), Martin Prado (RF), Carlos Beltran (DH), Mark Teixeira (1B), Chase Headley (3B), Brett Gardner (LF), Stephen Drew (2B) and Jeter (SS)."


Guess who I'm about to mention?

At this moment, the Yankee first baseman -- who goes by many nicknames -- Nails, Iron Horse, Solo HR, AL MVP, Foul Territory -- has an actual batting average of .226.

So bat Prado fourth and send Fatso to the bench.

Jeter is past his prime. He hits into too many double plays and always has. He doesn't walk enough perhaps, though he can still handle the bat, so to speak. He is also in a midst of a slump, which he'll probably break out of soon. You could have said the same thing about Ellsbury a week ago.

The problem with the Yankee offense?

It really isn't Jeter.

Ice cream sandwich diss.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Yankees scored more runs than a bowlful of puppies.

I'll admit that's a nonsense metaphor, but no worse than George King's:

"As one hit off David Price followed another and Yankees’ runners moved around bases like marbles set free in a bathtub, the architects understood how rare the scene was."

You're free, marbles.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Let's simplify your mission statement.

It doesn't look good, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt with the injuries. He seems like a man who isn't particularly committed to physical conditioning or proactively fighting the effects of aging or making sure he's always on the field. But you never know. Maybe he's a tough guy and his body is sending cautionary signals.

In any case, he overestimates his contributions when healthy:

" 'Physically, this has been a very difficult year for me,' Teixeira said. 'The only consolation I take is that when I am healthy and feeling good and can get a nice stretch of games, I’m still driving in runs and hitting home runs and that’s what I’m here for.' "

This is the problem right here.

He thinks his job is to hit home runs, and that's a complication. His job is to drive in runs.

If he scores 100 or so, that would be fine, too. Can't discourage walks.

Bu this fundamental misunderstanding is precisely how you end up with a cleanup hitter with 14 solo HRs and terrible RISP stats.


Also, if you project his stats for 700 plate appearances, it's, like, 35 HRs an 91 RBIs. Still nothing special for a cleanup hitter playing home games at Yankee Stadium.



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Underachieving team, once again.

Good quote from their untouchable manager:

" 'When you look up and you’ve got as many errors as you’ve got hits, that’s not a good feeling,' manager Terry Collins said."

I'm hoping to jinx Mark Teixeira right now. Today, he hits three grand slams.

I also am aware that this blog is sort of turning into a two-trick pony -- anti-Lupica and anti-Teixeira.

But it's my blog and I'll do what I wanna do.

What do you want? A refund from a free blog?


By the way, I will not hassle Teixeira for his two walks in last night's game. It should be noted that Ellsbury was walked intentionally to get to Teixeira in the ninth with the winning run at second base. That's an embarrassment, even if Teixeira managed to get a walk. But I will definitely take a walk instead of an out.


The updates of my favorite stats in the whole wide world:

RISP: 22 hits in 96 at-bats (.229), 1 HR.
Two outs and RISP: 6 hits in 38 at-bats (.158), no HRs.