Game Preview | ALCS Game 6 | Angels at Yankees, Sunday, October 25, 2009

As much as I wanted the Yankees to play last night, postponement was probably the right call, I thought to myself, as I trudged through Tribeca in the pouring rain to meet Scott at Mudville9 for a game that wasn’t coming. It initially sounded as though Jered Weaver might toe the rubber for the Angels in Game 6, a development which pleased me no end, as the Yankees have mostly been able to handle Weaver, especially in their home ballpark. However, it appears that Mike Scioscia is also sticking with his original starter, Joe Saunders, which is probably the right Continue reading Game Preview | ALCS Game 6 | Angels at Yankees, Sunday, October 25, 2009

Kikuchi staying in Japan

Rather than pursue a career in the MLB, Yusei Kikuchi has decided to stay in Japan. The Yankees, along with several other Major League organizations, were interested in the young lefty. However, he’ll be a part of the Japanese amateur draft which is scheduled for October 29th (he’s projected to be the first overall pick). Either way, for Kikuchi, I’m sure he was faced with a difficult decision and, at the end of the day, he ultimately chose what he was most comfortable with. During the press conference in which his decision was announced, Kikuchi said, “I don’t think I Continue reading Kikuchi staying in Japan

International Bits: Hinske, Kikuchi

Here are two quick international items to chew on before the game. Apparently, the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, a Japanese team (Pacific League), are interested in signing Eric Hinske this offseason. They like Hinske for his left-handed power against righties (enjoy New York while you still can, Eric) and reportedly tried to sign him a year go. In addition, NPB Tracker notes that Yusei Kikuchi, the young lefty who is torn as to whether or not he should pursue a career in Japan or the MLB, has scheduled a press conference for tomorrow. The conference will likely serve as the forum Continue reading International Bits: Hinske, Kikuchi

Nick Swisher = Streaky = Benched?

As a fan, streaky hitters are one of the most aggravating facets of baseball.  It seems inexplicable how a guy can carry a team one month and be an anchor the next.  Nick Swisher, right now, is an absolute anchor.  It’s come to the point where the Angels will walk every hitter before him to get to Slumpy McSwingsandmissesalot.  Swish is no longer his nickname, but the sound the ball makes as it passes by his bat.  Yankee fans have had to deal with this in the past, of course, with Bernie Williams, but that’s not much of a consolation.  Continue reading Nick Swisher = Streaky = Benched?

Scioscia’s Stock Falls in ALCS

. . in the Peanut Gallery that is the world of Sports journalism. Mike Vaccaro writes in today’s NY Post what many other pundits have been saying, that the ‘genius’ label for Angels manager Mike Scioscia has worn thin over the course of this series. He writes: Lesson 2: Familiarity breeds contempt. Mike Scioscia came into this series with a reputation as something of a baseball Yoda: wise, savvy, capable of managing the Angels year after year to 90-plus wins and the playoffs because his team played the game smarter, harder and with more purpose than anyone else. It didn’t Continue reading Scioscia’s Stock Falls in ALCS

The impact of a post-season surge

A side-effect of ARod’s big post-season to-date:

You couldn’t find people to buy Alex Rodriguez collectibles in February, after he was outed for using performance-enhancing drugs.

No one would even buy a signed baseball at $200. Now he might be at an all-time high. People are buying his autographed baseball for $500,” said Bobby Mintz, vice president of sales and celebrity relations at Tri-Star Productions, a Houston-based sports collectibles company.

So it’s still about the money, right? Just making sure…

Thanks to Pete Toms, our Canadian correspondent, for the link

Continue reading The impact of a post-season surge

Lookout Landing: AJ Just As Consistent As Pettitte

When AJ Burnett allowed 4 runs in the first inning last night, I received a number of angry text messages from friends. Most of them were along the lines of “I told you he cannot be trusted!!! He is way too erratic and inconsistent!!!” My response was the same as it has been all year: this is just a narrative that was created due to his personality, and the numbers do not support that point. Because he has always been seen as flaky, people take every poor start as a sign of some inner failing which suggests that he cannot Continue reading Lookout Landing: AJ Just As Consistent As Pettitte

Whither Phil Hughes?

Upon further review, I may have been too quick to vilify Joe Girardi in looking for a scapegoat for last night’s loss (slightly off topic, Dave Cameron at FanGraphs has a great post today about Girardi’s overmanagement in the ALCS). I still think Joe should have removed Burnett after Jeff “Hanley Ramirez” Mathis picked up his third hit of the game to lead off the bottom of the 7th inning, but as many folks have pointed out, the bullpen simply did not get the job done. The bullpen, considered to be one of the team’s strong suits coming into the Continue reading Whither Phil Hughes?