Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Big Bang Rule Change

Last week, Giants catching sensation and team glue, Buster Posey, was severely injured in a collision at home plate. The throw came in to Posey who was set up to receive the ball while blocking home plate. The runner came in hard and, as many have done before him, he bowled into Posey. Posey dropped the ball and the runner was safe. The play was clean but Posey broke his leg and tore several ligaments in his ankle. He will likely miss the entirety of the season.

This incident has sparked much debate on whether or not the collision at home should be banned from the game. Some feel that "it's always been a part of the game" is not enough of an argument anymore and the league must step up and change the rules to prevent further injuries. I am not one of those people.

There has been discussion after discussion about the use of instant replay and many are against it because they say "where does it end?" The way I see it, there are certain topics that are just changing with the times and others that are sacred. Do you think if instant replay had been available when baseball was invented, it would be a part of the game? ABSOLUTELY!

My view about the home plate collision is that it is just one of the sacred things that should not be touched. If baseball decides to eliminate it, the game will be approaching a very slippery slope. Where do those types of rule changes end? Do we also eliminate the inside pitch? Or how about breaking up a double play? Baseball is a sport and in sports, injuries happen. Eliminating collisions at home plate is changing the very dynamic that makes the game great. In many ways, a collision at home plate represents the game beautifully. It shows how important one run could be and many people are forgetting that. This is a game where every run matters.

Every now and then, a catcher gets roughed up and everyone talks about getting rid of the play. In some regard, it might be called for. Yankees GM, Brian Cashman, told the media that he would support eliminating the play in spring training. Cashman may be on to something here. During the season the games matter. Risking injury to win a game could be argued but as far as spring training goes, it is pointless. However, it doesn't stop the younger runners from plowing into a catcher and it doesn't stop the younger catchers from standing their ground. These kids are simply playing their hardest to make a spot on the big league club. They are trying to prove something. So it is not uncommon to see a young catcher get hurt in spring training. Eliminating the play in spring training is something to consider but as far as regular season and post-season, LEAVE IT ALONE!


Phil Hughes is making progress in the early stages of his rehab and could be facing hitters in as early as 1 week. Hughes says that he is hoping to be back in a couple of weeks but the Yankees believe that might be a little quick, although they believe it will be before the allstar break.

Bartolo Colon has tasted the water's of the fountain of youth. He had managed to find his way back to his Cy-young form and be exactly what the Yanks need. Last night Colon pitched his first complete game since 2006 and gave up just 4 hits in the shut out effort. He has been nothing short of spectacular to watch but the question remains, can he stay healthy the entire season? I know 24 guys who certainly hope so.
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Monday, May 16, 2011

The Circus Is Back In Town

"Nothing happened, nothing at all." That was the response given when reporters asked Derek Jeter what happened at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night. As far as the Yankee oganization is concerned, the Posada matter is closed, forgiven and forgotten. Each party had something to be sorry for come Sunday morning.

It was Saturday afternoon and reporters strolled into the stadium to find the lineup card posted as usual. But on that card was something that hadn't been in 12 years. Jorge Posada was batting ninth. Reporters then went to Posada and asked if he was aware of his place in the lineup and if he was upset. Posada's initial reaction was the one he should have stuck with. The long time catcher turned DH explained that he was aware and that he put himself in the postion and "the only way out of it is by producing."

Sometimes our initial reactions are not how we really feel. Sometimes we can only truly react to something after it has been internalized. Joe Girardi had needlessly dropped Posada in the lineup. The drop to the 9 spot served no effective purpose and seemingly threw salt in an open (and some might say already infected) wound. Posada wasn't happy and he intended to make it known. He went to Andruw Jones and informed him that Jones should expect to play. Then, about an hour before game time, Posada went into the manager's office and asked to be pulled from the lineup. What actually took place in what was said to be a short meeting is unclear. It has been suggested that Posada took issue with being batted ninth although Girardi just said that Posada told him "he needed a day." Posada got his wish. He spent the entirety of Saturday nights game on the bench.

It has certainly been tough on Posada. He has gone from being in the most important position on the field to not even on the field. He has an incredibly diminished role and he is not trasitioning well at all. Posada is batting just .160 this season.

During the game, rumors swirled over what could be the reason for Posada's actions. Initial reactions were that the fan favorite was going to announce a mid-season retirement. Then, slowly, that was ruled out and dispelled by his father and tweets from his wife. Tales of back stiffness began to leak to the media but Brian Cashman believed otherwise. So much so that he appeared on national television before the end of the game to let everyone know that the situation was not injury related but further than that, he would not comment.

Posada took issue with Cashman's actions as well. The media is not supposed to be addressed about the day's matters until the game is over.

Finally, the game ended. What had been an embarrassing 6-0 loss was remarkably overshadowed by the looming statement to be made by Posada. Girardi spoke first. Joe handled the press conference with the utmost amount of professionalism and respect for his player's situation. Despite the fact that what Posada did was a clear case of insubordination, the manager protected his player. Regardless of how upset Girardi was at Posada, it was not made public.

At last, it was Posada's turn. He explained that he "felt stiffness in his back" but assured reporters that it was nothing to be concerned about. He then went on to say that he needed some time to clear his head. Kim Jones, the on field reporter for the YES network, went on to ask the dumbest question of the night. "Jorge, is it clear now?" She asked in reference to his head. Although the question itself was incredibly stupid, Kim did her job by making Posada open up a little and give a not so scripted response. Posada let out a small laugh and explained that he would need a bit more time and that him playing Sunday's game was not yet decided. He said he needed time to talk to the people around him in his life and specifically mentioned his wife. When asked if retirement was ever on his mind, Posada's reaction was of shock and amusement. He laughingly explained that retirement was not on his mind.


Sunday came and with that came an apology. Posada went to Girardi and had what was said to be an emotional meeting with the manager. Posada apologized to Girardi and likely Girardi to Posada for dropping him needlessly in the lineup. Posada chalked it all up to a bad day. Girardi told Posada that he can turn this around and that he wanted Posada to feel "joy" again.

Posada also set things straight with Cashman. Cashman then briefed Hal and Hank Steinbrenner and Randy Levine. The organization then released a statement that they were accepting Posada's apology and that no disciplinary action would be taken. The Yankees considered the matter closed.

Jeter, who's silence was noted on Saturday night, addressed the media and explained that there was no need for Posada to apologize to his teammates. Jeter said "if I felt he had done something wrong, I would be the first to tell him."

Soon the game was under way and the Yankees showed more life than the night before. However, some more sloppy mistakes put them down 7-5. Although the Yanks would go on to lose by that score, one question was certainly answered. The question was; are the fans still in Posada's corner? The answer is undoubtedly yes.

The "Bleacher Creatures" had already shown their support of Posada by including him in roll call. Posada responded with a wave from the dugout. Later, Andruw Jones was set to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning. But when a batter emerged from the dugout to take some practice swings, it wasn't Jones. Posada had a helmet on and was ready to go. The crowd rose to their feet and let Posada know just how much he means to the fans. The fans let out a thunderous applause that seemed to last the entirety of his at-bat.

That show of support for Posada not only showed him how we as fans feel about him but also showed the rest of baseball that through the trials and tribulations, we Yankee fans stand tall.

Posada eventually walked but was stranded on first.

The team is playing badly. But like Posada, Girardi believes that the team too can turn this around.

Sloppy baseball will get you to last place and no where else.



Rafael Soriano is still feeling tenderness in his elboy. He will be unavailable for the Tampa Series and may need to be put on the DL.

Cough, what a mistake it was to sign this over paid baby. Cough cough
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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Questions and Comments

The Yankees lost to the Royals last night in what was a sad show of offense. The Yanks had 3 runs on 12 hits. The Royals had 4 runs on just 4 hits. The reason for this lopsided box score is that the Yankee bats were just 2 for 16 with runners in scoring position. Surprisingly, that's not what I want to dwell on this morning. Why? Because that's horrific and everyone knows it. No need to tell you that the sky is blue.

There are two topics I want to focus on. The first might be a bit obvious. Did A.J. Burnett hit Jeff Francoeur on purpose? The truth is, we will never know the answer to this question. The Royals will tell you there was intent and Burnett will tell you it got away from him. A person can clearly argue both sides. In the half inning prior too Francoeur getting hit, Cano was hit in the head by relief pitcher, Nathan Adcock. I do not believe there was intent to hit Cano but you have to be more careful. Even accidentally hitting someone in the head looks bad, you can end a guys career. Is it possible that Burnett was trying to send that message? Definitely.

The situation did not seem to be ideal for Burnett to retaliate. A runner was already on and the it was a one run game. However, Burnett had always been known for being an emotional guy. So was burnett trying to send a message? I hope so!

The second topic I want to touch on is the undertone of what happened to Jorge Posada last night. Posada had a good game, getting on base 4 times with a pair of hits ands pair of walks. There is one at bat I want to focus on though. In the bottom of the 9th with Nunez on second, the Royals decided to walk the struggling Nick Swisher to instead face Jorge Posada. The Royals felt more comfortable trying to get Posada out than a slumping Swisher. It used to be that Posada was one of the last guys you would ever want to face in the 9th with the game on the line. What happened? Posada needs to figure out the problem quick because teams have officially started to pin him as an automatic out. It's tough enough to not see him behind the dish but now to see him batting .150 is just painful.

I will not do to him what everyone has done to Jeter. I do not believe that Sado's career is over. Most of his 6 homers came on fastballs which means that his bat speed is still there. It seems that he is simply uncomfortable in the DH position. Hopefully he can turn it around.
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Tired of reading about Derek Jeter? Too bad.

It has become trendy to question Derek Jeter. It has become a fad to talk about his age and his batting average from last season. Well here is a number I would like to throw in the mix; .406. That is what Jeter is hitting over the last 7 games.

For the past week and a half, Jeter has been breaking out of his slump and is now batting over .280. Now that we have seen that the Captain can still do what he has made look easy for so long, can we please stop filling out his retirement papers for him. He is about to turn 37 and his best years are likely behind him, but it is an absurd notion to think that Derek Jeter cannot still do his part to help this team win.

I expect this sort of talk from ESPN and maybe the MLB network. And I definitely expect this from the morons at Sports Illustrated (with the exception of Tom Verducci and Jon Heyman). I can even understand it when the local papers are talking bad about Jeter because I suppose it sells papers. But Yankee Universe?

I expect the Yankee faithfuls to be the voices of reason. Since when are we the type of fans to hop on a band wagon? It is up to us die hards, just as it is up to the team, to stand behind our captain.

Derek Jeter has helped our beloved Yankees to win 5 World Championships. I think he has done all that is necessary to earn our undying support. So next time someone throws a stat out there about aging short stops, remember that this is DEREK JETER we are talking about. If anyone can do it, he can.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

To Our Children

There are many Americans that were not alive on September 11th. Some of them will be turning 10 years old. They don't know what it was like to be alive on that day or before that day for that matter. They were forced to be born into a nation on constant alert from terrorism. For these children, we entrust our history books to teach them of that day and we entrust ourselves to express the impact one September day had on our country.

When these children are ready, they will be taught of a beautiful cloudless sky that quickly became dark with black billowing smoke. They will learn of what it was like to be in New York or Washington D.C. that day and of the fear and uncertainty we all felt. They will also learn of the heroics of the people on board United flight 93 who, in an attempt to take back the plane, forced a crash in an open field in Pennsylvania and saved us all from further destruction and sadness.

They will learn of the wave of love, unitity, and selflessness that washed over our country in the days, weeks, months, and years following the attack. They will also be told of the years of war that took place as a direct result of an attack on our home soil. They will learn a lot from our stories and from their history books but now we can conclude our tragic and sorrowful story.

The final page of the chapter can teach them that almost 10 years later, a group of highly trained American soldiers raided a compound in Pakistan. They had been preparing for the mission for months and because of this, they swept through the compound with seamless precision and after a 40 minute firefight, America prevailed.

There was a code word to be radioed if the mission was a success. The code word was Geronimo. Once the mission was completed, the team leader radioed in; "For God and Country! Geronimo! Geronimo! Geronimo!"

The chapter in our children's history books will have a overall message. It will teach our kids that we are a nation of strength and resolve. You may knock down our walls but you will never break our spirit. You will only make it stronger. And to all those who seek to do harm to our country, you will be hunted and no matter how long it takes, you will be brought to justice.

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