A few cool fun facts about the Yankees, Tex and A-Rod

So last night I was looking at the Yankees’ schedule because I didn’t even know where they were playing this weekend – it’s Minnesota and I know, I should know this stuff – and I noticed something pretty interesting. The Yankees have played in eight one-run games so far in July and they have won six of them. And their last last five games have all been one-run games with one loss in those five coming against Seattle on Saturday.

They’ve also played in four two-run games with one loss coming against the Red Sox on 7/11.

The one-run games:

  • A 3-2 victory against Tampa on 7/4
  • A 4-3 loss to the A’s on 7/7
  • A 5-4 win against the A’s on 7/8
  • A 4-3 win against the Mariners on 7/17
  • A 4-3 loss to the Mariners on 7/18
  • A 2-1 win against the Mariners on 7/19
  • A 3-2 win against the Orioles on Tuesday
  • Last night’s 4-3 win against the Orioles

What does this all mean?…

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Scattered Thoughts Going into the All-Star Break

Hooray!

Hooray!

Isn’t that picture a lovely sight?

I found it amusing, and if I’m going to be completely honest with you, slightly annoying how people – mainly national columnists – were crowing that the Yankees needed to look out for the big, bad Red Sox this weekend, as if Boston didn’t have three other teams to leapfrog in order to cause a stir in the AL East Standings. And what happened? The Yankees won two out of three games anyway.

Would we have preferred a sweep? Sure, but in the grand scheme of things, any time you can escape from Fenway Park with two wins, even when the current Sox squad isn’t doing that great overall, it’s a positive series.

And it was nice to see old man Alex Rodriguez finish his first half* strong. He’s batting .278/.382/.515/.897 with a .386 wOBA and 148 wRC+. Not to mention his 18 home runs and 51 RBI. Pretty good for a guy who was going to be cut during Spring Training.…

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The “Should Be” All-Stars

The All-Star Game. The Midsummer Classic. The inane deciding factor in home-field advantage for the World Series. A rose by any other name would smell as … well, you get the point. There is little reason to describe the All-Star Game – everyone that watches baseball (or most any other sport) is fully familiar with the pomp and circumstance it entails. It’s a tradition, and fandom and tradition go hand-in-hand. And, for some, it’s one of the best traditions around; a means to see players that you would otherwise have trouble seeing. For me (and many fans like me, I suspect), that is certainly rewarding in its own way. Seeing so many great players on the same field is a feeling that I will never quite get used to.

All that being said, I find the tradition of second-guessing the All-Star teams to be far more rewarding.

With that in mind, I present to you my All-Star ballot. But first, two notes for your consideration:

  1. This is based solely on this season, as a means for me to be as objective as possible.
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Confessions, baseball thoughts, and memories on a well-deserved off day

ryans300thwin

I have a confession to make. I barely watched the last seven games. I know, what a terrible baseball blogger I am, but sometimes you get to a point when watching baseball isn’t fun anymore and I have been feeling that way for a while. I was able to watch most of last night’s game because I was out at a restaurant for a friend’s birthday and we had our own giant TV next to the table. Okay, so I was forced to pay attention to it but they won so I didn’t mind.

Oh, and I also watched some of the 9-6 game in Houston on Saturday. I happened to be at a graduation party, it was raining most of the day, and the game was on inside the house. I saw the score when it was 6-0, was happy about that, then went inside again later on, saw that it was 6-6 and wasn’t very happy. Plus my cousin’s fiancé is a Mets fan but one of those annoying ones who always celebrates when something bad happens to the Yankees so he was gloating about Tanaka having a bad game.…

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ARod on the road to 3,000 hits

arodmiami

Courtesy of Getty Images

I’m going to the Yankees game tonight. If Arod is still not at 3,000 hits, I may go tomorrow too.

It’s no secret that I don’t hate him – or many others here at IIATMS. So, I am looking forward to ARod getting his 3,000th hit. Not for me. Not for baseball. But because I think it would be good for ARod.

He needs three more hits to get that elusive mark. Just 28 players have reached that plateau in MLB history.

There has been no fanfare. No crazy marketing push. No ARod to 3K.

And that’s OK.

I think ARod has turned the corner this year. He has said the right things, which is likely calculated, but what ARod has really done this year is shown the non-robot side of him. He teared up when he tied/surpassed Willie Mays on the all-time home run list. He has been one of the biggest cheerleaders in the Yankees dugout even while not playing.…

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Catching up with the RailRiders

refWhen I first started covering the minor leagues for IIATMS about four or five years ago, the truly exciting prospects were in the lower levels and, in some cases, weren’t even stateside. It often felt like Scranton/Wilkes-Barre was stocked with players who were either desperately trying to make it back to the majors, even though their prospects looked bleak, and those who had once been greatly touted, but were never able to breakthrough (see Eric Duncan). This is one of the many reasons I have gotten such a kick out of seeing players like Slade Heathcott, Ramon Flores and Mason Williams all make their debuts this year.

It’s been pretty exciting for me to watch some of these guys as they move along. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some (Chase Whitley wasn’t off my radar, but I didn’t expect much from him) and disappointed by many (Graham Stoneburner – who just seemed destined to put on pinstripes with a name that translates to Steinbrenner, Dante Bichette, Jr., Jesus Montero, and so on).…

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Joe Girardi faces big test in Miller’s DL stint

Having two good – if not great – bullpen options makes being a manager look easy.

There’s not a great formula needed when you have Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller pitching in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively. Pitch them both in either inning, it hasn’t really mattered.

But things got curious over the last couple of days with Joe Girardi’s decisions. First, he said Betances off on Wednesday, and promised he didn’t plan on using him even though the Yankees were off on Thursday. Betances threw 14 pitches the night before.

Sure, there is a long stretch of games coming up, but Betances is not going to be needed in every game in this stretch.

Then, it was announced after yesterday’s game that Andrew Miller was headed to the deal with a forearm muscle strain. There goes the closer, but the Yankees have Betances sliding into his spot in the ninth.

Yet, the worrisome part is that Miller stated to reporters after yesterday’s game that his issue didn’t occur suddenly.…

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Thursday morning reflections after a sweep in Seattle

I said this other day after the Yankees were able to beat Felix Hernandez: This team is confounding.

They will sweep the best team in the league (in the AL and at the time the series began), lose three out of four to a terrible team in Oakland and then sweep the Mariners in Seattle while facing the aforementioned Hernandez.

And guess what? The Yankees are in first place and four games above .500! They’re 7-3 in their last 10 games, not that you’d know that with the way some people are reacting to how they’re playing.

Are they a great team? No, but in the AL Least – no, I did not spell that wrong – being just good enough will probably be more than adequate to win the division.

Were these three games against Seattle good? Yes and no.

Beating King Felix was fun but barely beating a rookie in Mike Montgomery – well, they actually didn’t beat him, they had to wait until Fernando Rodney entered the game to make some noise – and being nearly shut down by Taijuan Walker wasn’t that great.…

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Thoughts following a 7-3 road trip and leading into the Subway Series

Last Friday morning, before the Yankees began their series in Tampa, I had casually mentioned in my random thoughts post that it was too soon for doom and gloom. You know, with it only being the second week of the season at that point. Anyway, I was accused of not watching the team for the past two years, not knowing what I was talking about, yadda yadda yadda. Essentially, I was made to feel silly because I thought the second full week of the season was too soon to panic. I believe I was also told that the Yankees were going to be in Tampa and then Detroit, and with the way they were playing, they could easily end up being 3-13 by the time the road trip ended.

Well, it is now a week later, and it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, the Yankees are now tied for first place in the division. They also have the best run differential in the division and third best in American League.…

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