Game 158: Yankees 6, Blue Jays 1

In the top of the fifth, Brett Gardner tripled to center.  This time it was Jeter’s turn to drive in a run, as he hit the ball to third and Gardner made it home to give the Yankees a 3-1 edge.  The score stayed the same through the seventh inning, but the Yankees added some insurance in the eighth.

A single by Jeter got things going and Swisher followed with a single of his own.  Greg Golson replaced Swisher and Teixeira worked a walk to juice the bases.  Rodriguez walked, bringing Jeter home.  Robinson Cano then drove sac fly to left, scoring Golson and putting the Yankees ahead 5-1.

New York picked up another run in the ninth and Sabathia, who was still under 100 pitches, started the ninth.  Snider singled and Yunel Escobar walked before Sabathia got Jose Bautista out on a long fly ball.  Girardi decided it was time to bring Sabathia out and Mariano Rivera entered the game for the last two outs.…

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Blame Thrown in Wrong Direction in Tampa

But someone has to be blamed! Who? Who?!?! I’ll say the owners and front office deserve most of the blame. Clearly, the players aren’t going to criticize the bosses, but I think that’s who deserves it. Now, as I go into this, I realize the Rays gave away 20,000 tickets to last night’s game, but it needed to happen earlier. Not doing so on such a scale was being unrealistic. Essentially, they said they preferred having an empty stadium to giving away most of the tickets and losing revenue they weren’t getting anyway. If they weren’t going to be sold anyway, then what did you have to lose? I commend the front office/ownership for finally realizing it because I don’t think anyone else has, but teams need to learn to be more proactive. Imagine if this was more common. 10-20,000 more fans coming in the gate a night. You weren’t going to get their ticket money anyway, so you’re not missing out on that.…

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Overstating the Importance of a 4th Starter

Since AJ Burnett’s awful performance in last night’s game against the Blue Jays, the pundits have ramped up the “Yankees have no pitching” storyline. Of course, these articles tend to ignore the similar lack of depth in all of the AL contenders’ rotations, and make it seem like the Yankees have major pitching issues. As...

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Starting CC Tonight A Mistake

With 5 games left in the season and a 5.5 game lead over the Red Sox in the Wild Card race (Sox have 6 remaining), the Yankees have a playoff spot all but locked up. The Red Sox have a less than 1% chance of making the postseason, as they would need to win all...

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Tampa Bay Plans A Step Backwards (More On Why Revenue Sharing Is Dead)

Sternberg has no choice, really.  All of the numbers are moving against him.  His players making the league minimum are becoming eligible for arbitration; his players formerly eligible only for arbitration are now also eligible to file for free agency.  Like any good young team, his team is getting older, and more expensive.  But the Rays’ revenues are not keeping up with their expenses.  Attendance at Rays’ home games is static at best.  The Rays’ TV ratings are up, but there’s no evidence that these ratings will improve the Rays’ bottom line. In short, Sternberg cannot afford a $72 million payroll, let alone the greater payroll that would be required to keep the current team together.

But it’s a shame, a damn shame.  It shouldn’t be this way.

How will the Rays trim $22 million from their payroll?  Consider that a number of Rays’ players are scheduled for pay increases in 2011.  Ben Zobrist is due a $4 million increase. …

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