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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Game 79 Recap: Yankees 3 Angels 1

High Fives vs LAA

Courtesy of Getty Images

The Yankees were guaranteed a losing road trip when they dropped the second game of this series on Tuesday night.  It was all about saving face and not getting swept in the finale last night, and to their credit the Yanks were able to do enough to prevent that.  They matched the offensive output of their previous 3 games and got a solid all-around pitching performance to get the W.

It wasn’t exactly an offensive outburst for the lineup.  They got their first run in the top of the 3rd the hard way.  Didi Gregorious led off with a single, moved to second on a Stephen Drew sac bunt, third on a Brett Gardner groundout, and home on a Chase Headley ribbie single.  If you can’t mash ‘em, manufacture ‘em, I guess.  The second run came much easier in the 6th, as the heart of the order came up for a third time against Angels starter Matt Shoemaker and Garrett Jones smashed an 0-2 fastball into the right field seats for a solo home run.…

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Game 79: Eovaldi vs. Shoemaker

Here’s your game thread for this joyous occasion – a west coast game beginning at a reasonable hour for us east coasters! Tonight’s lineups are:

New York Yankees Los Angeles Angels
Brett Gardner, CF Johnny Giavotella, 2B
Chase Headley, 3B Kole Calhoun, RF
Alex Rodriguez, DH Mike Trout, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B Albert Pujols, DH
Brian McCann, C Erick Aybar, SS
Garrett Jones, RF David Freese, 3B
Chris Young, LF Matt Joyce, LF
Didi Gregorius, SS Chris Iannetta, C
Stephen Drew, 2B Efren Navarro, 1B
Nathan Eovaldi, SP Matt Shoemaker, SP

Enjoy the game!

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Quick hit: Esmil Rogers has been designated for assignment and Andrew Miller is still alive

While I feel bad for Rogers, because it can’t be fun being designated for assignment, I also feel great about this move because nothing said “white flag” more than seeing Esmil Rogers entering a game.

As for Miller, this is happening:

Huzzah!

West coast games are the worst

Here are five reasons why west coast games are the worst:

1) The games start late and they end late. Duh.
2) If the Yankees lose and you stay up to watch the whole game, you’re too annoyed to fall asleep and when you wake up the next morning, you’re cranky both from the loss and from going to sleep so late.
3) If the Yankees lose and you didn’t stay up to watch the game, you usually find out as soon as you wake up the next morning that they lost and the rest of your day is annoying because, again, you’re cranky.
4) It feels like the Yankees never do well out there: they can’t hit, they can’t play defense, etc. Does anyone else remember the 2005 ALDS when Sheff and Bubba Crosby collided on the right field wall in Anaheim? I do. I still have nightmares about it.
5) And why does it seem like the umpires they pick for west coast games/series are always awful?…

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Quick Hit: Dem Road Hittin’ Blues

As cold as they’ve been in the last week or so, it’s been difficult to criticize the Yankee offense this season.  They remain firmly entrenched in the top 5 in MLB in home runs (103), runs scored (365), team slugging percentage (.427) and team wRC+ (107).  Over the full 78-game sample size, the offense has been the most consistent part of this year’s team.

But if there is a legitimate gripe to have with the O, it’s the ever-widening gap between the team’s home/road splits.  That’s been on full display during this road trip, with the Yankees managing a total of 3 runs in their last 3 games.  As of this morning, the Yankees have a .282/.350/.496 team tripleslash at home, good for an MLB best 130 wRC+.  On the road, however, they’re hitting just .233/.300/.369, a slash line that ranks them 19th in baseball with an 87 wRC+.  To put it into a different perspective, the Yankees are basically Jose Abreu at home and Michael Cuddyer on the road.…

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Game 78 Quick Recap: LAA 2 NYY 1

Nova vs LAA

Courtesy of the AP

The Yankees really aren’t doing much lately, so there’s no point in spending too many words on last night’s game.  You only get 2 hits as a team, you lose.  Pretty simple.

The first of those 2 hits came in the top of the 2nd, when Mark Teixeira homered to lead off the innings against Andrew Heaney.  It was his 19th of the year and the only run the Yanks would get.  Brett Gardner had the other hit, a 2-out single, the next inning and that was it for the rest of the game.  The Yanks drew 2 walks over the final 6 innings against Heaney and the Angel relievers and never advanced a runner to second base.

To his credit, Ivan Nova was pretty solid in his second start back from Tommy John.  This one definitely had more of that post-TJS feel than his first start.  Nova had to work around 2 on/1 out in the 1st inning and bases loaded in the 2nd to keep Anaheim off the board.  …

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Game 78: Nova vs. Heaney

Here’s your game thread for this evening. Tonight’s lineups are:

New York Yankees Los Angeles Angels
Brett Gardner, CF Johnny Giavotella, 2B
Chris Young, LF Kole Calhoun, RF
Alex Rodriguez, DH Mike Trout, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B Albert Pujols, 1B
Brian McCann, C Erick Aybar, SS
Carlos Beltran, RF David Freese, 3B
Chase Headley, 3B Matt Joyce, LF
Didi Gregorius, SS C.J. Cron, DH
Stephen Drew, 2B Chris Iannetta, C
Ivan Nova, SP Andrew Heaney, SP

Enjoy the game!

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