Susan Lulgjuraj has been a sports reporter for more than 10 years, covering the Super Bowl, the Philadelphia Phillies, Little league and everything in between. Susan also grew up a New York Yankees fan and sat with the Bleacher Creatures for many years.

Author Archives: Susan Lulgjuraj

Jeter going to the All Star Game isn’t the problem

jeter3400Derek Jeter is going to start the All Star Game at shortstop in his final MLB season.

Many people have a problem with this. I don’t.

At 40 years old, Jeter is hitting .273 with a .323 on-base percentage, .328 slugging and .651 OPS. It’s not pretty.

Should Jeter start the All Star Game based on those numbers? If the nature of the ASG is to truly honor the best of the best (and part of it is), then no. There are more deserving short stops in the American League such as Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar.

Yet, the problem isn’t Derek Jeter or that fans get to decide the starters. The problem is – and will be – that the All Star Game is supposed to mean something more than just an exhibition for fans. Using the All Star Game to decide which league gets home field advantage for the World Series has been an awful idea. Downright terrible.

The All Star Game is meant to be an exhibition game for fans getting to watch their favorite players represent their teams.…

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Sad night for baseball: Oakland 7, Yankees 4

ZimmerThe actual baseball game didn’t seem to matter for one night. About midway , through, the baseball world learned the beloved Don Zimmer had died — right around the time of Yoenis Cespedes‘ second home run of the night.

Zimmer, 83, was part of those magical late 1990s teams. He was New York’s bench coach from 1996-2003, but also had stints with the Yankees in 1983 and 1986. Zimmer was brash, funny and was a wonderful baseball lifer.

One wonders what he would think of the current state of the Yankees. The A’s scored seven unanswered runs on Wednesday, beating New York 7-4.

New York pitching gave up three home runs, the last coming in the seventh inning by Josh Donaldson off Yankees reliever Jose Ramirez, who made his MLB debut. Donaldson smashed a 95-mph fastball that missed its spot.

Trailing by four runs early, the A’s gradually worked back. Cespedes started the comeback with the first of two solo home runs in the fourth to make it 4-1.…

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It’s good to be back: Minnesota 6, Yankees 1

theres_no_place_like_home_matWelcome home, Yankees.

Not really. The Yankees are now 11-12 at home this season (they are 17-13 on the road).

This time, the loss came at the hands of the Minnesota Twins and New York dropped the game 6-1.

New York starting pitcher Vidal Nuno lasted nearly seven innings without walking anyone. He scattered seven hits, but three of those went for home runs.

On the other side of the ball, New York actually went 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position, but ugly base running managed to keep the Yankees off the board.

New York’s lone run came in the third when Jacoby Ellsbury doubled in Brett Gardner.

The good

- News came out before the game that Carlos Beltran’s elbow is feeling much better. He hopes he can return to the Yankees lineup without surgery.

- Brett Gardner swiped two bases raising his season total to 13.

The bad

- Nuno got touched up for three home runs.…

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Who is Chase Whitley?

Chase WhitleyWhen Joe Girardi made the official announcement that Chase Whitley would start, there was a collective response from Yankees fans …

Who?

With all the injuries to the pitching staff, New York needed to fill CC Sabathia’s Thursday start. So, Girardi dug into the minors and yanked...

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New transfer rule interpretation goes against how players are taught

Has anything been more annoying in baseball this season than the new interpretation of the transfer rule?

We’ve had pine tar issues, catchers can’t block the plate, and replays galore.

However, the most universally hated “new rule” has been the interpretation of the transfer rule. Essentially, after a player catches a ball – whether it be turning...

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Triples for everyone: Yankees 10, Tampa Bay 2

The New York Yankees might have expected a tough pitching duel on Thursday night. One person held up that end of the deal, surprisingly CC Sabathia.

Tampa Bay’s David Price was batted around by the Yankees and was chased after five innings after giving up six runs on 10 hits. Yankees beat up the Rays 10-2.

New York gave Sabathia a 4-0 lead by the second inning, thankfully, because Sabathia has struggled in his previous three outings. It may have seemed Sabathia about to hit those bumps again as he allowed a double to Evan Longoria and a walk to Wil Myers in the second inning.

Yet, Sabathia was bailed out when Sean Rodriguez hit a ground ball to third baseman Yangervis Solarte.

Solarte fielded the ball, touched third, threw to second and the ball went around the horn to complete a triple play. The play marked the second straight year Sabathia has been the beneficiary of a triple play.…

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Why players don’t care about Michael Pineda’s “dirt”

Bk6idBvIAAEsBRAMichael Pineda threw with the type of gusto through Thursday he had three years ago when the Yankees traded for him from Seattle.

His slider made batters look foolish. His fastball set up off-speed pitches. And he mixed in a cutter and changeup to keep the Boston Red Sox off-balance.

However, on Friday morning, no one seemed to be talking about Pineda’s pitching performance. Instead, it was about the substance on Pineda’s pitching hand. Television stills showed a brown substance on the base of the palm of his hand.

Pineda called it dirt. Others called it pine tar.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he didn’t know anything about it.

The Red Sox players said it didn’t matter.

There are reasons that it doesn’t matter to Boston – or most players asked around the league.

1. No one wants to be the team to point it out. If a manager does, he will set up his own team for the same kind of scrutiny.…

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