Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"Disappointing"

"Dangerous"

I guess there's a thin line between fiery and whiny.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

You don't actually know any Yankee fans.

You know the most memorable part of Pedro Martinez's Hall of Fame career?

Mike Lupica.

Because after Lupica gets off his personal phone call with Reginald Martinez Jackson, he can explain the great story of the time he shook hands with Pedro Martinez:

"The room was full of ballplayers and media, everybody waiting for the game to start, and suddenly Pedro and I were in the middle of the room, and briefly became the floor show.

'Why did you call me a drama queen?' he said.

I told him that I hadn’t, and asked him if he’d actually read the column, although we never really established whether he had or not. But he got on a roll pretty quickly, and it was hard to stop him when he got on a roll. When it was finally my turn, I explained what I’d meant and told him the column was about how truly gifted I thought he was, but that if he’d misinterpreted my meaning, I was sorry about that.

All he heard was 'sorry.' In that moment he acted like he’d gotten another win. He put out that amazing right hand, and I shook it, and that was that"

Sounds like two drama queens whining about silly nonsense ... and a sad confession by a writer who actually apologized to the subjects of his column.

I mean ... no wonder you ignore the fact that Pedro took steroids. You wouldn't want to lose a friend.


Back to "baseball," I think the following observation is intended as a dig against the first-place Yankees:

"Somehow, even the way the Yankees hit at home, and even with the way the Mets score runs about as often as the U.S. men’s soccer team scored against Jamaica this week, the Mets still have a better home record than the guys on 161st St."

1) "Somehow" = "pitching."

2) The conclusion I'm reaching is that the Mets have a really awful road record.

3) Nobody who reads your column knows anything about the U.S. soccer team. It's a backwards metaphor which explains nothing to your audience.


On to the Big Unit:

"In what became a Madison Bumgarner world last October, it is worth remembering the time when Randy Johnson started and won Game 6 of a World Series against the Yankees, then finished and won Game 7 the next night.

He pitched seven innings the first night and 1.1 innings the next, and got the victory because Luis Gonzalez blooped one over Derek Jeter’s head to plate the winning run of the 2001 Series."

Yeah, but we want locker room handshake stories.


"And, of course, that was the second time in Johnson’s career that he came running out of the bullpen in a deciding game in October against the Yankees.

It also happened in 1995, Game 5 of an unforgettable division series between the Yankees and the Mariners, at the Kingdome in Seattle.

Johnson had started and won Game 3 on Friday night and then in Game 5 he came out of the bullpen and struck out six in three innings before Edgar Martinez chased home Junior Griffey to send the Yankees home that year."

My head was under the covers.

Jack McDowell was pitching for the Yankees, keeping with your "out of the bullpen" theme.

Jack McDowell will not be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame today.


"Sometimes Yankee fans remember only the seasons Johnson had here, one of which saw a 5.00 earned-run average even if he did win 17 games."

But you just said those other events were unforgettable.


"Sometimes Yankee fans remember only the seasons Johnson had here, one of which saw a 5.00 earned-run average even if he did win 17 games."

OK, you don't know any Yankee fans.

I always thought it was bogus and weird that Schilling got co-MVP of the 2001 World Series because Johnson won 3 freaking games ... and it's possible that Johnson's dominance is sort of combined with Schilling and Luis Gonzalez  and Mariano's throw into CF in a Yankee Fan Bad Memory Stew ... but there is NO CHANCE that Yankee fans have FORGOTTEN ABOUT the 2001 World Series.

Or the 1995 series against Seattle. Come on. McDowell to Edgar Martinez; Gerald Williams in LF; Leyritz catching. Maybe some fans have forgotten who was pitching in relief for Seattle that day, but that play is seared into our memories, and we don't need youtube.


Ask Yankee fans about Randy Johnson's Yankee career.

Randy Johnson pitched for the Yankees for two years, don't you remember?

Oh, yeah! Now I remember, now that you mention it.




Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Michael Conforto is batting .317 in double A.

Not sure what fans and media are expecting from this guy. He may be better than the current Mets bench, but let's not get carried away.

Same goes for Zobrist -- a good player, but not exactly Ted Williams.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Worth it.

A decade spent just to prove Lupica wrong.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Let's talk about Tiger Woods.

Mike Lupica on golf:

"We have seen it with Alex Rodriguez and have seen it from Lance Armstrong, who now rides in charity events on the Tour de France course and probably wishes he had a team to take him back the way the Yankees took Rodriguez back, even before they — or he — knew he could still hit the way he has this season, all the way through that go-ahead home run he hit the other way against the Mariners on Friday night at the Stadium."


Did ARod reject your facebook friend request, or something?

Do you realize you're the only person on Earth who devoted an entire column to ARod's ESPY sketch? What do you think that says about you?


Mike Lupica on sports journalism:

"Everybody knows how much I like David Wright, and how hard I am rooting for him to come back and be the old David Wright for the Mets, instead of just an old David Wright."

Everybody knows how much Mike Lupica likes David Wright.

But does everybody know you can save fifteen percent on your car insurance in fifteen minutes?

  
"He is as nice as anyone, and that includes Yogi, I have ever covered in a New York baseball clubhouse."

When is the last time Mike Lupica actually stepped in a baseball clubhouse? Or covered baseball? Or watched a baseball game on TV?

And when did you cover Yogi Berra? You were a beat writer when you were a tween? Or you think shmoozing with coaches qualifies?


"But there can be no Franchise Four list of New York Mets that doesn’t have Doc Gooden on it."


There can be, and there is.


"I’m not sure, when you add everything up, that Mike Piazza deserves to be on that list more than Darryl Strawberry, or even Gary Carter."


Or Keith Hernandez, who is on the list. Unless you're counting broadcasting, at which Keith Hernandez is pretty darn awful.


"And when you look at the whole grand scheme of things, I happen to think you can make a case that William Hayward (Mookie) Wilson could have made the cut, too."

Oh, that's the problem.

You are just dumb.

When you say the "whole grand scheme of things," you are seeing it from the point of view of a stupid person.

I thought you might have been messing with us when you talked about visiting baseball clubhouses and stuff ... ha ha ha ... you had me going for a minute. That was a pretty good one, though: "Mookie Wilson."

I mean, Mookie did have that one season when he came in 25th in MVP voting ... and he topped out at 55 RBIs one year, which is like a good weekend for Mike Piazza.

Mookie was probably a nice guy in the clubhouse ... and he may not have been using steroids or cocaine, like 4 out of the 6 Mets Franchise Four candidates ... so he's got that going for him

Which reminds me ... come to think of it ... with all your constant high horse moralizing about ARod ... why are you insistent that a multiple DWI girlfriend-beating junkie deserves the Franchise Four honor for the Mets?

Is it because Gooden gave you good interviews and ARod gave you the ol' brushoff?

It's sports writing! Go to clubhouses! Talk to people! Decide which ones you like, then use your column to constantly slag on those you don't like!

It's such a diabolical strategy, it just might work ... if I can control the popularity of others, I will be popular myself!

This could all end tomorrow if only ARod would return my texts ... not that I even care. I don't even like him. He's so arrogant. You talked to him? Did he mention me?  What did he say, not that I even care? Really? Does he just like me, or does he like like me?







Saturday, July 18, 2015

I keep expecting Gardner to try to steal bases.

His on-base% is way up, his steal opportunities are way up, but he has either lost his aggressiveness, lost a bit of his speed, underestimates the strategic importance of stolen bases at the top of the lineup (i.e., he would rather wait for the power hitters to drive him in), or he is afraid of injury.

I wish someone would ask him.

Like a sports reporter who covers the Yankees.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Seaver, Piazza, Wright, and Strawberry.

"There is no question Wright is the face of the franchise these days, even though we haven’t seen his face in months. When his career is over, he will go down as the team’s all-time record holder in almost every offensive category and he clearly is a fan favorite. He will likely join Ed Kranepool as the only homegrown Mets to play their entire careers in Queens, and certainly is deserving of his place in Mets history. But Gooden wasn’t just the biggest player on the Mets or in New York in the mid-’80s, he was the biggest thing in all of baseball. He was on the cover of Time Magazine and had a huge Nike ad on the side of a building in midtown. Every start was must see TV."

Wright belongs.

If you want to make a case for Gooden ... I'll go with Strawberry instead ... then the guy who gets replaced is Hernandez.


"Think Harvey Day is a big deal now? Multiply that by about 1,000 and maybe you come close to the aura and excitement every Gooden start produced."

Multiply it by a million trillion zillion.


"It’s crazy to say now, but Gooden, had he stayed away from drugs and out of trouble, could have even surpassed Seaver as the greatest Met of all time. But his drug troubles and the suspensions that came with them put an end to his Met career after 1994, just 10 years after he took New York by storm."

No, that doesn't sound crazy, but it's a pretty big if, wouldn't you say?


Also, when you said "just ten years," that is a longer Mets career than Hernandez or Piazza ... and, come to think of it, that's basically the same length as Seaver's career with the Mets.

So when you say "just 10 years," what the heck are you talking about?


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Waiver Wire

Brian Cashman?

Have you thought about shoring up the bullpen?

Felz Stats of the Day

  • Nathan Eovaldi's record is 8-2. Does he "know how to win"? No. He is just lucky.
  • Carl Crawford has one walk this season. He is making $21 million this year. His stat line: .245/.260/.408, 4 runs, 3 RBIs.

Is that an apology? Because it didn't sound like an apology.

On yesterday's Fox broadcast of the Yankee game, I watched about one inning.

Aaron Boone (I think) said that Brett Gardner is a guy who doesn't strike out a lot and puts the ball in the play. Aaron Boone (I think) said this while Gardner was batting in the first inning.

Without getting into advanced metrics about plate discipline, Gardner has struck out 71 times so far this season. He struck out 134 times last season and 127 times in 2013.

It is probably the biggest problem in Gardner's game.

So what are you gonna do? Aaron Boone is an ignorant national broadcaster. It's one of the problems with the national broadcasts.

The local writers, to no surprise, aren't any better:

"For all the media obsession about Alex Rodriguez making the All-Star team — his presence in the game would have increased TV ratings by two people, because his daughters might have watched ..."

I don't think that's accurate, but it begs the question: how many people are tuning in to see Brett Gardner?


" ... what was much more meaningful and much more important to Yankee fans I know was that Brett Gardner make it to Cincinnati, which he did this week when he replaced Alex Gordon of the Royals."

"Yankee fans I know."

Kind of explains why Gardner was 4th in the voting. The overwhelming meaningful and important pop culture phenomenon that Brett Gardner has become in New York.


"Somehow Gardner has been here since 2008.

Somehow he turns 32 in August.

You say 'somehow' because it seems like just the other day he was a dirty uniform just trying to find a way to last at Yankee Stadium, even though he didn’t look the part of the kind of stars that the Yankees were obsessed with for years and years and years."

Huh???

Gardner didn't look the part???

For what it's worth, all fans everywhere love gritty white guys. He's a good player. I think the media coverage underestimates the fan's knowledge and appreciation of Gardner.

Don't blame us.


"Now he is playing better than he ever has in his career and even though he was never going to win the fan vote and be the last player sent to Cincinnati, he is going, anyway.

Clearly no one who covers him will ever find him as fascinating as Rodriguez, who is only treated like the most interesting man in the world here."

This is just about the first time you've ever written about Gardner ... and, when you do, half the article is devoted to ARod.

Gardner exists only in his relation to ARod.

Then, you blame the audience for their obsession with ARod, when we're not obsessed with ARod.

You. You are the problem.







Friday, July 10, 2015

Without looking, name the starting lineup of the All Star team.

I got about half of them, and that was giving myself the leeway of not knowing the exact name of the KC shortstop and the knowledge that Josh Donaldson had been elected as the AL third baseman ... with the most All Star votes ever (?):

"Part of the debate over whether Rodriguez deserves to be a member of the American League All-Star team Tuesday night in Cincinnati includes a perception he can draw eyeballs to the Foxies’ party. Many mouths have highlighted this angle, including Michael Kay, the play-by-play voice of the Bombers on Al Yankzeera."

Not really part of the debate, it's just an observation.

The ratings would undoubtedly go up with ARod because at least there's a chance that the viewing audience has heard of him.

Harper, Trout, ummm ... Cabrera is hurt ... ummm ... Prince Fielder deserves it, Buster Posey ... that's about all I can name with certainty.

Paul Goldschmidt is quite good, but, get serious. Who's tuning in to watch him?


"Kay, and the many others who share his opinion, never quantify it. If they did, they couldn’t back up their words. Through July 7, Yankees TV ratings on YES were averaging a 2.55 rating, down a hefty 15% from the same point in the 2014 season, according to The Nielsen Co. And average total viewership on YES’ Yankees cablecasts is 237,000, down 17% from the same point in 2014."

Not relevant, and it's embarrassing to suggest that it is relevant.

Hey, Bob Raismann, quick question: Have you ever heard of this guy who used to play shortstop for the Yankees and wore #2? He was very popular. What was his name, again?


"So, if A-Rod can’t put the Yankees ahead in the ratings department on YES, where the majority of peepers have forgot about his PED past and mostly have forgiven him (as long as he continues being productive) for past 'sins,' there is no shot — absolutely none — that extraneous eyeballs from sea to shining sea are going to go out of their way to tune into Fox’s All-Star telecast to see A-Rod. Why waste time watching a guy they still despise?"

Holy crap.

I'm shocked.

They would watch the All Star Game precisely for that reason. 

Just like you and your colleagues at the Daily News are obsessed with the guy. Generally speaking, people will pay a lot more attention to people whom they despise ... and the Daily News writers are a prime example of this.


"Understand? Rodriguez would have zero impact on All-Star TV ratings. And even if A-Rod were on the team, viewers would see him only during the opening introductions and likely in a pinch-hitting role. Maybe, MAYBE, ESPN would enjoy a ratings boost from A-Rod if he were added to the Home Run Derby. In that freak show, an oddity of A-Rod’s proportion could be a ratings difference maker."

God damn, you are dumb.


"That said, it’s surprising that A-Rod is not driving ratings higher on Yankees telecasts. Think about it: The numbers were better at this point last season WITHOUT him. YES voices are not shilling, or bringing false hype to the table, when they describe every Rodriguez at-bat as 'must-see TV,' especially when he is closing in on milestones, albeit ones his employers publicly will not recognize.
Rodriguez brings controversy, legitimate star power and a possible comeback of the year storyline to a team with little marquee value to sell, unless you believe Chase Headley, Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira or Didi Gregorius are all major attractions. Still, the sum of the parts has kept the Yankees at or near the top of the AL East, but the combination of winning and A-Rod has the ratings trending downward from last season.

Stunning."

No mention of the absence of Jeter.

I mean, this is your job. This is what you do. This is all you do.

You are discussing Yankee TV ratings and scratching your head in disbelief that ratings are down this year.

The level of incompetence is truly staggering.

The arrogant attitude just makes is slightly more embarrassing and indigestible, but mostly it's just laughable incompetence.

It's like going to Subway to get a sandwich and Bob Raismann is working behind the counter and he forgets to put the mustard on your sandwich ... and he forgets the lettuce and tomatoes ... and he forgets the meat ... and he forgets the bread.





Sunday, July 05, 2015

Pace

At the season's midpoint, I'm sure we all can agree that we predicted the Yankees would be on pace for 88 wins and Teixeira would be on pace for 118 RBIs.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

God Bless America and God Bless the Yankees.

I mean, I don't think anyone really cares about ARod's bonus or ARod's ball.

But at least it provided Mike Lupica a chance to write a masterpiece:

"In the end, Hal Steinbrenner is better than this whole business with Alex Rodriguez and his records and his milestones, tainted by as famous a user of sports drugs as Barry Bonds or Lance Armstrong ever was."

Those three are the Mount Rushmore of Famous Users of Sports Drugs.

They all took "sports drugs." Alex Rodriguez is not a famous athlete who used drugs. He is a famous athlete who used "sports drugs."


"After what Rodriguez put the Yankees through a couple of years ago, calling the president of the team the 'Devil' and accusing a team doctor of malpractice and threatening to sue everybody and everything except the monuments in Monument Park to save his sorry reputation, Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine, the guy Rodriguez called the Devil, could have fought him on those bonuses the way baseball fought Rodriguez on the lies he told about Biogenesis."

Think of the children.


"But at least some good comes out of this. It has hardly anything to do with Rodriguez and everything to do with the Yankees, the ones who broker this deal so that the bonus money goes to charity, and the baseball Rodriguez hit over the fence to get to 3,000 hits goes back to Rodriguez and his daughters."

The Yankees are Saints.


"The Yankees were not just better than Rodriguez, whose ability to still hit has been the fuel for one of the great and relentless public relations campaigns in history. Steinbrenner and Levine were bigger, and not in an artificial and inflated and even dishonest way."

Okay:

1) I don't trust Mike Lupica's ability to judge a person's honesty.

2) He just wrote ... he actually wrote this, in actual English words ... that ARod's ability to hit in the 2015 baseball season has been the fuel for "one of the great and relentless public relations campaigns in history."

So, dear reader, is this a non sequitur dropped into a serious column? Or is the whole column a prank?

Or, most likely, Lupica is so deluded and lacking perspective that he truly believes that the general acknowledgement of ARod's surprisingly good 2015 offensive output qualifies as "one of the great and relentless public relations campaigns in history."

Goebbels had nothing on Steve Serby.


"This had nothing to do with the old and out-of-date concept that the Yankees are still the Evil Empire of baseball. This was about the Yankees taking the high road here. Even the point-missers who thought Rodriguez had some sort of sacred right to those 'milestone' bonuses must be able to figure that out."

The concept that the Yankees are the Evil Empire can't really be out of date, because it was never in date. Only foolish people like Mike Lupica gave it any credence in the first place.

I think the Yankees always had a strong case against ARod regarding the milestone bonuses. Nobody cares anymore because he cheated. I personally never cared much in the first place -- a "3k hit" tee shirt just isn't my thing.

But the so-called "point-missers" may just be stringent supporters of Contract Law in the USA.



"This isn’t about what kind of numbers Rodriguez would have put into the record books if he hadn’t started juicing, whenever he actually started doing that in his baseball career."

It's about the children


"This isn’t about whether you think he’s still getting away with something now, or simply still reaping the benefits of baseball drugs, which studies say can benefit you for a long time."

 "Studies say they can benefit you for a long time." Very detailed observation, thanks for the information. Unnamed studies say that "baseball drugs" can be beneficial for "a long time."


1) PEDs are not "baseball drugs," just like they're not "sports drugs." They're just drugs. If a baseball player uses a drug, the drug is not transformed into a "baseball drug."

2) As for the time frame, I'd say the time frame is easy to determine. Start with the last time Robinson Cano took a PED and then end with Opening Day 2015. Subtract those two dates and that is the definitive length of time "baseball drugs" can benefit you.



"This isn’t even about what it will be like at Yankee Stadium someday if Rodriguez actually passes Babe Ruth on the all-time home run list."

Unlikely event, but now that you've explained all the things it's not about, please tell us what it's about.


"This is about the Yankees showing class toward a guy who showed them none when he was caught as captain of the Biogenesis All-Stars."

Because the Yankee are, above all, classy.

Now Kate Smith will sing God Bless America.



Friday, July 03, 2015

Sure, let's get an ace.

Let's say Tanaka throws a no-hitter tonight with 22 strikeouts. The Yankees could still use an ace:

"Say hello to Masahiro Tanaka’s start Friday night at Yankee Stadium against the Rays. At this time last year, the Yankees’ $175 million investment looked like a bargain. Tanaka was 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA and the favorite to win the AL Cy Young and Rookie of the Year."

He was also in the midst of a hand-wringing losing streak.


"Now, with the July 31 trading deadline approaching, the Yankees would like to know what they have in Tanaka. And if it comes back that the 26-year-old pitcher is more of the same hurler who was spanked in his previous two outings, then the Yankees might have to part with prospects they would rather not trade to acquire a front-end starter, because the AL East is wide open and the Yankees have missed the postseason for two straight seasons."

The Yankees would like to know what they have in Tanaka! Tonight's game is the final determinant!

Can I please say something?

The Yankees could always use an ace. If Tanaka does not qualify as an ace, then are there even any aces left in MLB?

If the Yankees did this ... if the Yankees traded unnamed prospects to acquire an unnamed front-end starter ... this front-end starter certainly wouldn't replace Tanaka in the rotation.

You know which pitcher would be replaced. He is a large man who uses his initials to identify himself instead of his full first name and full middle name, but for some reason, doesn't use periods to signify the abbreviation.


"When Tanaka returned from the wrist and forearm issues June 3 in Seattle, the Yankees were encouraged for three starts — in which he went 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA, allowed 17 hits, didn’t issue a walk and whiffed 21.

The next two starts against the Tigers and Astros tripped loud alarms. In 10 innings Tanaka gave up 17 hits (six homers), 11 earned runs, four walks and struck out 11. Most disturbing was he flushed a 6-0 lead in Houston in his last start."

Tanaka will probably pitch well tonight.

If he gets defensive support, offensive support, and bullpen support, then I predict a Yankee victory.