Restoration Of Once Accustomed Success [w/ Update]

Though it may pain the brain to relive the memory, bear with me for a sec for a quick look back to last year in Yankee Universe.

          By
the beginning of August of just last season, a look at the AL East
standings would blow your mind. 3rd place had been graced by the
Yankees’ presence. The deficit was 5.5 games and the team on top was
none other than the Tampa Bay Rays.

Fast forward to present day.

First place is enjoying the reunion with pinstripes.

Boston is attempting to keep pace.

The team from Tampa is slowly returning to nonexistence.

And the Yankees are kicking a** daily.

In other words, exhale.. all is right with the world again.

          Without
a doubt, the 2009 team has partially benefited from the Yanks unlimited
spending plan, which brought big names to the Bronx in Sabathia,
Burnett and Teixeira, during the offseason, but I will share with you
the true secret to the revival.. performance enhancing drugs.
These may be outdated, but the Yanks are tearing it up due to what’s
known as a “chill pill”. Despite the intensity and pressure that
encompasses playing in New York, the 2009 New York Yankees are thriving
largely because of a new attitude in the clubhouse.The boys are
allowing themselves to relax and joke before, during and following
games.. a mentality that hasn’t taken away from their focus.

As the wins keep coming, it’s become clear that ’08 is in the past, and the Yanks are back and bringing the heat. Rest of the league: you’ve been warned.

*More on this post when I return from a three day college orientation.

UPDATE: Really been slacking with the blog.. Apologies. Leaving for college in a few days. Will have to see how much time I have on my hands to keep this up. I’ll try and at least host a game during the upcoming Oakland series. Summary since I’ve been gone: Yanks still kicking a**.

P.S. I utterly forgot how I was going to extend this post.. Don’t murder me.

Going To Bat For Brian Bruney

Consider this my contribution to Hope Week.

All bear witness to this fan’s first stroke against the current.

          Despite
a live 6 win surge for the Yanks and a pleasant change in the AL East
standings following off the All-Star break, the latest item of
discussion by which Yankee fans have unleashed their disdain has
manifested itself with the curious case of Brian Bruney.
Yankee Universe has indulged itself in the familiar of act of berating
the most recent man on the roster delivering less than satisfactory
results.. and there’s nothing Yankee fans do better than releasing
their frustration with humorous criticisms
exploiting the current crash and burn failure. [I should know.. Exhibit A: He Who Shall Not Be Named.. Exhibit B: Nuke LaFarnsworth.. Exhibit C: Wilson Betemit.. Exhibit D: The 2008 New York Yankees.. The list is infinite..]
However, this time, for reasons unknown, I have not been hit with the
urge to participate in the blogosphere’s parade against the player with
a lack of success as of yet, so instead, I’ve decided to risk being the
lone wolf on this and attempt to reduce the hostility.

Giving The Guy Some Credit:

- Brun was the guy who went 7.1 innings without allowing a hit at one point at the start of the season.

- Also dominated by virtue of 12 strikeouts in 5.2 innings in April.

- Bad luck hit him with two essentially back to back DL stints.. rust afterward shouldn’t have been a surprise.

- Jose Veras was DFA’d to make room for Brun’s re-return. Rather have Veras?

- He shaved his head and sported a porn star ‘stache this year.

- Insulted K-Rod and kept his cool while the Mets closer threw a tantrum.

- Bruney hadn’t been used since July 10th before today’s appearance.

- Two strikeouts.. two homers.. Post-game response:
“I just wanted to get Mo a save, that’s what a set-up man does.”
A sarcastic comment following a loss isn’t what a fan wants to hear, but after win, c’mon.. that’s funny.

bruney.jpg

It’s
Hope Week, so have some and give the guy a break. At the very least,
try and limit the hasty trade demands/death threats.. Just sayin’.

Taking The AL East By Storm

Literally.. check the forecast..

forecast.jpg

Yanks could’ve afforded a roof right?

All jokes aside though.. playoff fight in July.. Gotta love it.

          The
next meeting between the AL East titans isn’t for a couple of weeks,
but the Cold War has already begun. It’s a tie on top following the
latest walkoff in the new ballpark and the dramatic battle for October
baseball that was absent in Yankee Universe last season is about to
have a match lit under it.

Notes on the one from last night first..

Mid-Game Musings:

-
A.J. is hysterical. We all knew the pie to the face was coming and now
it’s a game in itself waiting to see how it’ll happen. After this one,
the camera stayed focused on Godzilla at the stadium as the celebration
went wild. Burnett could be seen lurking in the background. Mariano seemed
to be the one to distract Matsui with another handshake as Hideki was
waiting for his on field interview and then the prankster pounced by virtue of assault with a pastry.

-
Whoever is the guy in charge of the highlights shown mid-inning at the
stadium should be bowed down to. Middle of the first, what is shown on
screen? A highlight reel of Joba Chamberlain, complete with endless
variations of his trademark fist pump.. all surely for Aubrey Smart A**
Huff.

- Was Melky & A-Rod’s “Bride Wars” type fight for Hideki’s flung batting helmet not hilarious? Alex took his cue from Hudson.

-
Though it goes without saying, the plays at the plate in the 8th were
beyond incredible.. not solely because they saved the game. Teix’s
throw was “jump onto the field and hug the guy” worthy, as was Molina
& Coke’s effort. Phil’s slamming throw of the ball to the ground
after the ump made his call was beyond badazz.

Beast Of The Ball Game:

beast 6:20.jpg

With the game winner.. no surprise.

Crowd Quotes:

- “Why are they booing?… Boooo… Why are we booing?” – The new mindless level of idiocy at the ballpark never ceases to amaze me.

On Deck: Sergio Mitre is being called up to start in place of Wang, who just a breeder of bad news, to face Rich Hill, with a sparkling 7.22 ERA, for the Orioles, making his first career start against the Yanks. Serg’s chance to make an impression. Make it 5 straight.

Back To Business

          That’s
right. The break is over, the game faces have made thei
r return and no
time’s been wasted for the product of a much needed rest to reveal
itself. Despite the lack of excitement during the extended vacation [for some], void of games that don’t give the illusion that they
count, with the relatively uneventful HR Derby and All-Star Game this
year, the upside following the Midsummer Classic seemingly always
manifests with the surge that comes after. We’ve seen what could be
done with two days rest and now with four,
it’s getting interesting.

Fresh From The Break:

- Teix has hit one that may make it to Mars.

- Alex is milking the new stadium for all it’s worth.

asg surge.jpg

- Joba picked up a how to pitch book.

- CC outdueled Verlander.

moose sabathia.jpg

- And Moose made his return… for a day [as an Old Timer].

Side Notes:

- I mega miss Moose.

- Was let down Paulie & Tino didn’t show.

- Would love to see Mickey Rivers take on Brett Gardner. 60 years can’t even slow those legs down. Must have a 90 feet dash for next year’s Old Timer’s Game.

- My calls are on point this year. Check what I tweeted a few seconds before Teix’s bomb.

- I don’t know who was watching the Ranger game two days ago, but it was delayed thrice
not because of bees, midges, or black cats, but because the home plate
ump Brian O’Nora had to take multiple breaks after a ball bounced and
hit him in the worst possible place a male can get hit. Though O’Nora didn’t get on my good side with a game he called in April, took a hell of an effort to remain in that game, so *swisher salute*.

- Teix = beast beast beasssst.

On Deck: Andy Pettitte to start off the next series with Baltimore against David Hernandez. I’ll be there.. looking for four straight.

For NL, Higher Expectations Bring Same Result

And that result would be this:

asg 2009.jpg

Over/Under an eternity next time National League wins an All Star Game?

Side Notes:

- Hope it wasn’t just me who felt like baseball was dying with the odd “this is the last game that will ever be played” sort of feel to the pre-game.. essentially set it up to be anticlimatic. Producer must receive mid-season Overkill Award.

- Pretty weird, yet cool, to see Major League ballplayers starstruck for a change, during  their meet and greet with the President.

-
That fly swatter himself/leader of our nation, Barack Obama, was called on to toss
the first pitch in this All-Star Game.. and he did so with White Sox
gear.. in the home of the Cardinals.. bold. However, just in
case you  didn’t detect it from the boos Mr. President, the sea of red
and white in St. Louis didn’t appreciate the lack of bipartisanship..

- This was a needle to the retina.

-
Was hoping to see a monster shot from Teix during the ASG, but apparently no one was allowed to take it over the wall at Busch.

- Charlie Manuel has some killer managerial tactics.. The guy still has me wondering how you choose to intentionally walk any guy in a lineup literally
full of All-Stars. The walk served up in the 8th robbed Victor Martinez
of an at-bat in the game, while the guy after him, Adam Jones, drove
in a run with a sac fly.. the run that happened to win the game.

-
Explanation needed as to why the national broadcasts are always the
worst.. Do we not endure enough sportscaster stupidity, Boston a**
kissing and Yankee salary criticisms throughout the year? Just sayin’.

- Your Quick Bit Of Hilarity: Mo nailing down the save.. for none other than Jonathan Papelbon.. and he wasn’t even the one who truly
saved it for Pap, as Crawford’s catch in left robbed what would’ve been a
game-tying home run. MVP honor well deserved.. “Winning pitcher” label
in this one, not so much..

-
National League, your time will come.. when Mo
retires.

- Lastly, the all angles feed by MLB/Fox was seriously the greatest thing in the world since Red Mango:

all angles.jpg

Just about fell in love with it..

asg all angles.jpg

On Deck:
The second half of the season.. A 10 game homestand in store for the
Yanks, beginning with a three game set against Detroit, following the
next two off days. It’s that time again.

P.S. No Derby post because.. it was unquestionably lame. Did we all really want ‘roids banned in baseball?

Disaster With A Side Order Of Delusion

Nuke LaFarnworth has just about been replaced by Nuke LaChamberlain.

joba kendry.jpg

Nuke: “I held it like an egg.”
Crash: “Yeah, and he scrambled that son of a b****.”

Side Notes:

- Still can’t fathom how a game that looked as good as it did at the start could become such a nightmare by the end.

- Digesting The Disaster That Is Joba Chamberlain:

In 17 games this season, he’s lasted more than 6 innings just twice.
9 hits in each of his last 3 outings.. [in just 5.1, 3.2, and 4.1 innings..]
Managed to accomplish a 9 pitch 1st in this one, only to follow it with a 29 pitch 2nd.
Bats jumped on Saunders early.. and he lasted longer than Chamberlain.
Is king of the no-decision.. which may actually be benefiting him.

And he’s beyond delusional.

Joba’s Latest Various Statement’s of Denial:

“I think things are going well.”
“I made great pitches throughout.”
“You can’t change the past.”
“The last two starts is the best my stuff’s been all year.”
[Last two starts: 3.2 innings, 8 runs & 4.1 innings, 5 runs..]
“The sun is going to come up tomorrow.”

I sh*t you not on all of the above.

-
Jeet with a four hit night.. and a Castillo-esque dropped pop-up. Not kidding. Ball must’ve had a mind of it’s own.. never seen
that happen to the Capt’n.

-
Another game, another bomb. A-Rod now one behind Palmeiro on the
seemingly pointless all-time HR list now. With or without the ‘roids
though, Alex is a beast.

-
Posada bare handed play = sick. Facial expression he gave after it =
siiiiick. I’ve realized the reason he and Burnett have the ultimate
chemistry.. badazz’s think alike. Gave Figgins a good stare down.

- Despite the bashing that could [and has been] rained upon Brian Bruney tonight and of late, hey, the guy got it right in the 8th.

- *Virtual bowdown* to Jonathan Sanchez on the would-be perfecto. Uribe must love himself.

Leader Of The Crapfest:

crapfest 6:10.jpg

Fact Of Baseball:
Offense gives you five runs, bright idea wouldn’t be to give them back.

Start breathing through your eyelids.

On Deck: Interesting pitching matchup.. Pettitte taking on Jered Weaver. Redemption after that last start by Andy would be much appreciated.

Comeback Kids Showing Off

Just when you thought a Chamberslaying
had this one in the loss column..

that short right porch comes in handy.
[Starting to like that jet stream.]

Side Notes:

-
Whatever the case may be, Joba is making it really hard to continue
viewing the guy as a starter. I wouldn’t mind having he and Hughes
switch roles right now.

- Whose bright idea was it to bring back up Cody Ransom?

- Hideki on fire. Way to shut me down.

-
And the Mets moments never end. One went right through Overbay’s legs in this
one.. Don’t know what it is about the Yanks that makes other teams lose
all capability to field the ball, but it’s funny.

-
Leave it up to Cano to pick up two hits in this game, neither with
runners in scoring position
, and yet still find a way to look lost.
Was caught stealing and the king of the ground out in every other
at-bat, including ending the first inning with one with two men on
base. Two hits though, so I can’t completely trash the performance
today.. but I’m doubting he’d have gotten them if the bases hadn’t been
clear.. just sayin’.

- Jeet, Tex and Mo representing the Yanks in the All-Star Game. As with every year, there are some questionable choices
that I’d love to complain about, but it’s expected so I’ll leave it at
that. I have to say though, this year the National League may have a chance.

- There’s still the Final Vote left.. Kinsler got robbed, so get him in.

Beast Of The Ballgame:

beast 6:5.jpg

4 innings, one hit, 12 out save. Hell of a job.

On Deck:
Last game with the red hats [at last] with Andy on the mound, coming
off a solid start, to close this series out against Ricky Romero, with
a live 20 scoreless innings streak [meaning he's due to get creamed], for Toronto. How about a four game sweep?

Walk-Off Win For America

Match-up may have had loss written all over it, but..

halladay fail.jpg

sorry Canucks, not today.

Side Notes:

-
In all seriousness.. Halladay on the mound, shoulder strain pulls Wang
out in the 5th, and the Yanks still manage to pick up a W.. what are
the odds?

- Abraham’s Wang Update:

“He
is headed for the DL with what is being described as a strain with
bursitis. But everybody seems to think that he will be back within a
month.”
 

I am itching to mention he who must not be named,
but I won’t do it. Who’s glad that Hughes is a reliever now? Phil is
obviously the only competent option to be the replacement, but with the
decreased arm strength stemming from the move to the pen, he likely
won’t be able to give a full start in 5 days. I’m thinking one will be patched together by he and the other relievers on Thursday, though Abraham suggests Sergio Mitre in Scranton could be the choice.

-
Message to the New York media: Yankee Stadium = launching pad..  we get it. The
restatement of this every time one ends up over the wall in right is unnecessary.

- Digesting The Disaster That Is Robinson Cano:

Now 0 for his last 20 with RISP..
Made the last out in 5 of his 6 AB’s today..
Stranded 10 single-handedly..
Batting near, if not below, the Mendoza line with RISP for the season..
Leading the team in double plays.

And he’s number 5 in the lineup..

The icing on this cake? In the only at-bat he didn’t end the inning with, he ever so intelligently chose to bunt [into a force out at third]… with a 3-0
count. Girardi may or may not be a smart guy [latest managerial
decisions have been raising some doubt] but this one seems simple.. Ice
cold bat + sheer idiocy = bench.

-
Badazz Burnett strikes again, this time with Joba as the
co-conspirator. This date in Yankee history can now add “Posada Pied
to accompany The Birth Of The Boss and Baseball’s Gettysburg Address on
its resume.

Beast(s) Of The Ballgame:

beast 6:4.jpg

I
asked someone to tell me the worth of Hideki Matsui.. and the guy told
me himself with his second tater and multi-hit game in the last three
days.

beast2 6:4.jpg

A bomb and the game winning hit.. How’s the thumb feeling?

On Deck: Joba on the hill to face Brett Cecil, with a mere 7 Major League appearances under his belt, for Toronto in a battle of the 6’2″ 23 year olds.

P.S. Forgot to mention, if you think you’re losing it, Eric Hinske did indeed arrive from Pittsburgh.. three days ago. He supposedly requested a trade  from the Pirates because of a lack of playing time.. must be glad he got it.

For Former ‘Mates, Nothing But. . . Love

And by love I mean…

officer_cartman1.jpg

killer dominance.

Side Notes:

- G’damn those red caps.

-
Fake umps grace Yankee Stadium with their appearance behind home plate.
Leave it to the Yanks to give free Legends seat tix to fans of the
opposing team.

- As I said before, I will praise Robbie if/when he picks up a hit with the game on the line.. or any hit whatsoever with runners in scoring position.

-
Breaking news: It has officially gotten to the point where I don’t even know what
Girardi will do in any given situation. He states clearly Bruney’s the
8th inning man two days ago. The 8th comes around and.. in comes Coke  and Hughes. The job was done all the same, but it’d be great if
our manager didn’t make an a** of himself.. more than he already has.

- Relaxed and ready to enjoy the latest A-Rod home run tear.

- That’s it.. Mo’s pitching forever.

Beast Of The Ballgame:

beast 6:3.jpg

Solid stuff. 1.00 ERA in his last 4 starts. Badazz.

On Deck: Chien-Ming Wang vs. Roy Halladay.. oh this one is going to go well.

Back In The Bandbox, pt. 2

So.. anyone still have a problem with it?

seattle homers.jpg

Me too.

Side Notes:

- I’m still in awe of that Pluto shot by Russell Branyan, off the glass of the Mohegan Sun sports bar.. sick.
Thought A-Rod would be the first to hit it there, but must give the guy
credit. Came one strikeout shy of two back-to-back nights with the
Golden Sombrero so he was due for some redemption.

- Have to quote a tweet by Ross, of New Stadium Insider, regarding Joe G. riding Aceves’ magic for a bit too long. “He is bi-polar with his managing. One night he micromanages, the next he autopilots.” Can’t be summed up any better than that. [Aceves was stellar before that mistake though..]

- Also in the category of what-the-hell, who
was that in the 5-hole? Seemed oddly reminiscent of the old Robbie
Cano, but my eyes must deceive me.. Will praise him when he picks up
one of those hits with the game on the line.

- And who was the guy in the 7-spot? Return of Godzilla? Would be about damn time.. Just sayin’.

- Your Quick Bit Of Hilarity:
Apparently the Subway Series never ends, because we got another Met
moment, courtesy of Ichiro Suzuki dropping one in right. Fans at the
stadium naturally let him have it on the next pop up hit his direction,
and after catching it to end the inning Ichiro exacted some revenge with a
not so smart move. Unlike Suzuki, Castillo took it like a man. Fake
ball toss to the stands? Bush league Ichiro, bush league.

- The latest celeb at the stadium.. Jack Nicholson. Had the best seat in the house, sitting right behind home plate. Supposedly had a ball being on the big screen in the ballpark. Did not partake in the wave. Good man.

Leader Of The Crapfest:

lotc 62.jpg

6 earned runs allowed on 10 hits through 5.2 innings..
Forget you were facing the Mariners?

- In other news.. Kyle Blanks couldn’t handle a bit of bees? C’mon.. Joba had midges making a home on his neck.. Be a man.. Speaking of, Padres get a delay [lasting all of 52 minutes]
in the 9th inning of a game they obviously weren’t going to win, but
the Yanks were to forced to just suck it up [it the middle of the ALDS]? Death to Bruce Froemming.. [If he happens to pass any time in the near future, I never said this..]

For your amusement:

http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/894082/tommy_boy.swf

On Deck: Mr. Badazz facing Brian Tallet to start a four game series with Toronto. Got more one-hit stuff in the tank?

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