The ''I Always Know Better Than The Manager''Syndrome

As fans, we often get fairly cocky about our knowledge of the sport. We make sweeping generalizations about a manager and a decision based upon our own store of experience, often criticizing moves as being clearly wrong. However, in actuallity, baseball is a complex sport that often presents multiple reasonable courses of action. Yet we tend to see things in absolutes: my way or the highway. Let me give an example. In the 6th inning of last night’s game, Robbie Cano hit a leadoff double. Jerry Hairston Jr was not bunting, the Yankees did not score, and lost by one Continue reading The ''I Always Know Better Than The Manager''Syndrome

The Coke Decision

When Alex Rodriguez went deep in the 7th inning of last night’s game, most Yankees fans were already planning the next two innings. Coke for Ellsbury, then Hughes to finish the 8th, and Mariano for the 9th. When Coke was left in to face a righty in Pedroia, then a switch hitter in Martinez, and then two more righties in Youkilis and Bay, most of us were dumbfounded. Where was Hughes? Here is what Joe Girardi had to say: “He was off today,” Girardi said of Hughes, who has dominated as Mariano Rivera’s set up man and had thrown a Continue reading The Coke Decision

Spoiling The Mood: It Is Not Over

Many pundits and have declared the AL East race to be over. The Yankees have opened up a 6.5 game lead on Boston, while putting 8 games between themselves and Tampa Bay. While it does seem at this point that the Yankees have all but sewn up the division, I would like to be a wet blanket and suggest a bit of caution in making that assertion. I am not going to reference the Mets or Phillies of years past as evidence, because this Yankee club is better than those teams that have blown leads in the past. Instead, I Continue reading Spoiling The Mood: It Is Not Over

Baseball Is The Greatest Sport In The World

After an always exciting, often euphoric weekend, I have so many thoughts jumbling around my head that it has taken a while for me to distill them into some reasonable, conveyable thoughts. There are two in particular that I would like to share about the greatness of baseball. 1) I was at the game last night, and the Stadium was electric from about the 4th inning forward. Once Pettitte got Jason Varitek to fly out with the bases loaded in the fourth, the buzz in the building began to slowly grow, to the point where the fans were just ready Continue reading Baseball Is The Greatest Sport In The World

Despite everything we've seen, Smoltz still drawing interest

If you change his name from “John Smoltz” to almost any other name and relied on your eyes and data, there would be no reason the player known as John Smoltz, 2009 edition, would draw any interest. Yet, according to Olney, he is.

Some National League teams, as well as the Texas Rangers, have interest in acquiring John Smoltz, major league sources say, which is an early indication that he will have another opportunity to pitch this year — if he chooses to take it.

Is the NL really that bad?

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Game 111: Red Sox 2, Yankees 5

Red Sox and Yankees fans were all feeling a bit of deja vu as the Yankees completed the Boston Massacre II, sweeping Boston out of the Bronx. It was not quite as dramatic as 2006, when the Yankees swept a five game series against the Red Sox at Fenway, but the implications are the same. Then, as is the case now, the Yankees took a season high 6.5 game lead ahead of the Sox in the AL East. In fact, the end of 2006 was the last time the Yankees were 27 games above .500. The Red Sox fell apart during the second half of the 2006 season and failed to make the playoffs. As it is now, they are tied for the Wild Card lead after losing 5-2 on Sunday.

Last nights game felt similar to Friday’s 15 inning affair, as both pitchers had their good stuff going. Lester threw a great game, allowing no more than one base runner per inning through six. Pettitte managed to keep the struggling Boston offense at bay (no pun intended but convenient). In the fourth inning, Andy started to struggle, giving up singles to Bay and Drew. With Lowell at the plate Pettitte must have momentarily thought he was playing cricket, as he continually bounced the ball to the Boston DH, eventually walking him to load the bases. With two outs, Pettitte gave Varitek something to hit, and he drilled the ball to left – directly at Johnny Damon who made the catch.

In the bottom of the seventh, Alex Rodriguez put the first run on the board with a solo shot. Posada followed with a single, but Swisher, Cano and Melky all grounded out, leaving the score at 1-0. With Pettitte in line for the win Girardi brought in Coke. After Ellsbury struck out looking, Pedroia singled and Victor Martinez sent a monster home run into left to end Boston’s 31-inning scoreless streak and give Boston the 2-1 lead. Coke gave up another single to Youkilis before getting Bay to ground into a double play. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Damon tied the game back up with a solo shot off Daniel Bard. Two pitches later, Teixeira would send another Bard pitch into the stands and the Yankees regained the lead. A-Rod would walk and Posada would double, putting two on with two outs for Nick Swisher who tried to make like he got hit by the very first pitch. The ump didn’t buy it, and this was perhaps for the best as Swisher singled, plating A-Rod and Posada and giving the Yankees the 5-2 lead. Rivera then came out in the ninth and picked up his 32nd save of the season.

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Minors Recap, 8/10

Scranton defeats Lehigh Valley, 6-1 Jason Hirsh put together a strong outing, giving up a run on 6 hits and a walk in 6 innings, with 2 strikkeouts. Damaso Marte walked 1 in a shutout inning of relief. Mark Melancon gave up 2 hits in 1 inning of work. Jon Albaladejo pitched a perfect 9th. Kevin Russo was 3 for 4 with a double and a walk, but was caught stealing. Austin Jackson was 2 for 5 with 2 strikeouts. Shelley Duncan was 1 for 4 with a walk. Juan Miranda was 3 for 5 with a double. John Rodriguez Continue reading Minors Recap, 8/10

Schadenfreude

A series of tweets from ESPN’s Sports Guy (and vocal Red Sox fan) Bill Simmons.  Enjoy: 10:41 PM:  Welcome to the Red Sox, Victor Martinez! I’d like to thank NYY for inexplicably pitching Phil Coke for this entire inning. 10:48 PM:  Note to America: Meet the Boston Red Sox closer from 2011 through 2015 (and hopefully beyond), Mr. Daniel Bard. 10:53 PM: OK, this is devastating. Bard was my favorite subplot of the season. I can’t even type. 11:05 PM: Note to America. Reacquaint yourself with the NY Yankees closer from 1997 through 2015 (and hopefully beyond), Mr. Mariano Rivera! Continue reading Schadenfreude