Thursday Morning Thoughts After a Sweep and Before a Four-Game Series

Song playing when I started the post: “You Kill Me With Silence” by Duran Duran

I feel like I haven’t done one of my infamous random thoughts posts in a while so here it goes…

  • It’s amazing how good the Yankees are against the Twins.
  • I feel slightly bad for Twins fans because it’s as if there’s really no hope for their team to win against the Yankees.
  • Well, okay, not really. I don’t feel bad. I like winning.
  • How about #GREGBIRD‘s performance yesterday?
  • That was awesome.
  • I also love the whole helmet removal thing the Yankees do to each other whenever someone hits a home run.
  • A-Rod did the honors both times for #GREGBIRD during yesterday’s game.
  • I’ve seen Gardner, Gregorius, and McCann do it for A-Rod.
  • Now I’m going to be watching for it all the time.
  • Oh, did you hear that Ervin Santana called Yankee Stadium a joke and said that Bird’s second home run – which was measured at 420 feet – would be a double in other parks?
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Monday Morning Musings: I will not quote Meatloaf

Although it is very tempting to do so, I will not, I repeat, I will not quote Meatloaf in this post.

You all know the quote. The extremely overused, cliche, uttered since at least the summer of 1977, that usually comes after a team wins two games in a three game series.

But I will be good and I will not use it. It’s lazy to do that. It’s lazy and predictable, and who wants to be that? Not I!

I do want to gloat a bit because I did predict that this (taking two of three in Toronto) was going to happen during the IIATMS podcast on Thursday night. If you haven’t listened yet, what are you waiting for? Anyway, I was a bit fired up on that particular night because Blue Jays fans were becoming a tad too obnoxious for my taste, and I had to knock them down a peg or three in my rant. I also commented on Mets fans and how gloating in August is never a good idea, and what happened to that team this weekend?…

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That Happened Fast

Welcome to second place, Yankee fans. That happened quickly didn’t it? Thirteen days ago, the Yankees had a seven game lead in the division. Now they are a half a game behind the Blue Jays. I suppose if there is any good news, they are still two and a half games up in the wild card standings. The other good news is that this collapse did not happen at the end of the season. Gene Mauch is safe in that legacy.

What happened here? The bottom line is pretty easy to see. The Blue Jays have won ten in a row and seem incapable of losing (at the moment) while the Yankees have gone 3-7 in that stretch and have lost their last five in a row. Yes, that will do it right there.

If you dig deeper, then two trends emerge: The offense has tanked and the bullpen is built to protect leads, not ties. Let’s start with the offense.…

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Monday morning musings: Please calm the @#$% down

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Hey Yankee fans, take a page from Alex Rodriguez’s book of “Zen Baseball”:

“It’s a long season. Two good teams. We definitely took a punch this weekend, but good teams punch back.”

The Yankees just went through a stretch of nine series where they were 8-0-1 (the one split being the four-gamer in Texas a couple of weeks ago) before getting swept by Toronto. They were playing well and now they’re in a stretch where they’re not playing so well. It happens. It’s called baseball.

And I get it, Toronto is on their heels, they can lose the division and Toronto may never lose again, but let’s get some facts right out of the way:

  • It’s still only August 10.
  • The fight for the division is far from over.
  • The Blue Jays are a good team.
  • And guess what? So are the Yankees.

Yes, I realize the Blue Jays are leading in the season series. Good for them. It’s been a while since they’ve had a team doing this well, and in turn, getting their fans legitimately excited for the possibility of playoff baseball.…

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My take on the Yankees/Red Sox ‘rivalry’

In October 2003, I sat in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium and watched a home run ball launch into the night sky, completing the greatest game I have ever seen.

Aaron Boone hit a home run in the 11th inning against the Red Sox in Game 7 of the ALCS.

The next year, the Yankees lost in seven in a monumental comeback by the Red Sox, who went on to win the World Series.

And the New York/Boston rivalry has never been the same.

The Yankees facing the Red Sox will always have extra zest compared to most other games, but this burning rivalry has felt lit by a matchstick recently.

I still HATE losing to the Red Sox, but losing to them doesn’t have the same oomph anymore. I wish it did. I wish both teams were good at the same times again so instead of Boston winning every other year and the Yankees plucking a World Series victory in 2009, these two teams would go at it with hard bitterness.…

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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

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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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