I guess I’m just not as affected by the idea of A Rod not being able to play for the Yankees like so many others Yankee fans seem to be.
I was a Yankee fan before A Rod joined the Yankees….I remember when Clemens intimidated the hell out of him during the 2000 playoffs and loved it.
Living in Texas, I remember all of the hype when he came to play for the Rangers and how he signed with the Rangers to ‘dethrone’ the Yankees. All the talk was that Rangers owner Tom Hicks was set to become the George Steinbrenner of the Southwest…And after a year of that approach not working and the popularity of “Money Ball”, he decided to switch philosophies…(Being a Yankee fan in Texas was fun during that time as every interview Tom Hicks did about the Rangers started off with him blaming the Yankees for their lack of success within the first five minutes…The only silver lining about the 2010 playoffs that was the Rangers won AFTER he was no longer the owner…But I digress.)
Then A Rod got traded to the Yankees….I’ll admit it….I was thrilled. The best player in baseball in pinstripes….Playing along side Derek Jeter. He would put the Yankees over the top..Right?
Well, then the 2004 ALCS collapse occurred with the memory of A Rod slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s hand and then feebly trying to make it look like it happened because he was moving his arms while running.
That image still makes me want to hurl.
Then came 2005 when after losing in the playoffs he went to a club and asked that the dj ‘pump up the hip hop’ while the Pinstriped Faithful writhed in agony.
06, 07 and 08 are kind of a blur to me. I remember how he was photographed in Toronto getting into an elevator in his hotel with a buxom woman who was not his wife. I remember him not coming through in big moments.
Is it unfair to use A Rod’s off the field issues against him right now?….Probably. He had a knack for saying the wrong thing at the most crucial time. And while I’m sure a lot of what drives him is insecurity and the fact that he didn’t know his father while he was growing up, at some point it just always annoyed me every time he came up on the wrong side of things.
I really wanted to have his back….And at times I did try….But there were some things I couldn’t get past.
Then 2009 happened….He started off the season in spring training admitting that he had used PED’s before joining the Yankees while the rest of the Yankees sat behind him looking as uncomfortable as uncomfortable can be. He realized he made a mistake…He was clean now. And he was determined to show that he could win when it counted.
And so he did. He came through that year in the clutch during the season and really played well.
And then came the postseason. What a performance. It looked like he would finally get the monkey off of his back…He came through….In a huge way. Sure, Matsui got the World Series MVP….And it was deserved. But A Rod was huge during that playoff run.
And he was clean…..
Well, maybe not.
Now it turns out that he may have been juicing then.
After 09, the old A Rod returned. He struck out in big playoff situations and last year, it was reported that he was flirting with girls in the stands while in the on deck circle.
It was as if after being convinced that the annoying friend who always embarrasses you and your other friends had finally gotten a clue did something extremely stupid as if to say “gotcha!”
Was A Rod good for the Yankees?….He helped them win in 09….And that should not be forgotten.
But taking EVERYTHING into account, he has been a source of embarrassment for me as a Yankee fan ever since he first arrived.
And while I realize his exit may signal dark days ahead for the Yankees, I would submit that those dark days have been coming for a long, long time…..And as a fan base, we are due to have to suffer a bit.
Think we’ve already suffered enough for one lifetime?….Trying explaining that to a Cubs fan and see what happens.
And you know what?…..I’m to the point in my life where while the idea Yankees stinking makes me cringe, in light of being a father, a husband and an adult trying to do something worth a d@mn with the rest of a life….It’s an idea that doesn’t signal the end of all things good like it did before.
So A Rod….Thanks for the memories.
Suddenly, Pettitte is not an ageless wonder, CC’s drop in velocity IS showing itself to be an Achilles heel, Teixiera’s and Jeter’s return to action are even more in doubt and the two games in which Boone Logan looked like he was more than a spare were merely a mirage.
I know it’s a long season, but I fear what we’ve seen since the end of April is more what we can come to expect from this team as the season goes on.
Right now they seem to be in that mode that teams get in when they do just enough to lose with some kind of dignity. When they don’t pitch well, the bats come alive to make an impressive rally that falls short. Then they do pitch well enough to win, the offense can’t buy a hit.
Hopefully they’ll be able to pull out of this soon.
There have been bright spots……Hughes seems to have found his sea legs and Mo is still Mo.
But the team is going to have to find something more in order to be in the thick of the race come September.
I think getting Granderson back could be a boost.
I am not expecting anything else from A Rod, Teixiera or even (gasp) Derek Jeter.
I know he intends to play this season and I really hope he can make it back. But the only time he ever had this kind of an injury was when his shoulder got banged up in the season opener in Toronto. A fractured ankle at his age just seems to be a lot harder to recover from.
No one is as big of a Jeter homer as I am and, as I said, I really hope he can come back and help out….In which case I prefer to eat my crow fried to a crisp.
But now things seem to have taken a turn towards reality.
And that really seems to bite.
I am liking what I’m seeing out of this team…..and I hate to bring things down….but…
CC’s velocity has me going back and forth between optimism and panic. It happens to every pitcher that plays in Major League Baseball. And he did pitch well enough to win yesterday. The worry is that he’s going to run out of tricks and get tagged badly enough to not be effective.
All there is to do is to keep watching with fingers crossed
And now Joba Chamberlain may be vying for Mariano’s job after the year is over….But I get the feeling that he’s on thin ice with the Yankees front office.
Phil Hughes is pitching well enough to win. And I like being wrong about Boone Logan….Hopefully I’ll be wrong more often about things like that.
Anyway, hopefully Pettitte will continue to drink from the fountain of youth and will keep his streak going.
Until next week.
So where to start…..
Phil Hughes had a quality start. It’s been suggested that the fact that he got injured during spring training prevented him from really being ready by the time the season started. If his next start is like his last one, that argument will have some validity.
CC had another good start. .Kuroda has looked great and Pettitte is showing himself to be an ageless wonder.
Nova is still struggling.
Both Nova and Hughes need to be aware of a certain Taiwanese pitcher in Scranton who at one time was a staple in the Yankees rotation. Chien Ming Wang may be able to step up and take someone’s rotation spot if someone is unable to give the Yankees the quality starts needed to contend of a postseason spot.
Boone Logan showed us all again today why just keeping a guy around just because he’s a lefty is not always a great idea. It looks like he’s going to keep sparing Yankee fans to death.
And Phelps didn’t do any himself any favors in his last two stints out of the bullpen.
Sad to see that Jeter is still having issues with his injury. It’s not something that Yankee fans want to think about, but it looks as if time if catching up to the Captain.
And now another big test is coming against the Rays in Tampa.
Six days ago Yankee Universe was in peril with the Pinstriped Faithful shocked and perplexed…..Now all of a sudden all seems a little more right with the world.
I lamented about the state of CC in my last blog. What I should have kept in mind is how one of my favorite pitchers of all time, David Cone, did some of his best work after he began to lose his velocity and had to learn how to pitch with a little finesse. It seems that CC is turning the page and may just be aging gracefully as a pitcher. He looked really good tonight….And he got a big help from a triple play……Was that cool to watch or what?
Andy Pettitte’s start is being pushed back due to back spasms…..Don’t like the sound of that.
Joe Girardi was complaining about how there are too many opening series in cold weather cities and that what MLB should’ve done was to keep the first month or so of games within the division.
As much as I really like the fact that Girardi is managing the Bombers, (No…Really I do) I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that New York, Boston and Baltimore are all cold weather cities without indoor stadiums….Meaning that they are as prone to wintery weather just as much as Cleveland or as Minnesota is…..Remember when Hideki Matsui made his big debut in the Bronx?….He was wearing a ski mask because of the weather…..So how would keeping games in the division keep weather from being a factor in the Al East?
Zack Grienke is out for two months after Carlos Quentin charged the mound and broke Grienke’s collarbone. I know that Grienke did his share of talking after the beaning and before things escalated…..But Carlos Quentin has taken getting hit by pitches to new heights throughout his career….And the fact that it was a 3-2 count in a one run game would suggest that the beaning wasn’t intentional. Of course Grienke does seem to have some madness to him….But he would have to be beyond certifiable to intentionally hit someone in that situation.
I had reservations about Vernon Wells being in pinstripes, but he genuinely seems happy to be in the Bronx….And his play reflects that. Plus, the fact that he publicly said that he would have no issue with platooning once Curtis Granderson returns is making me a little more than lukewarm on the idea of Wells being a Yankee. He seems to have a great attitude about the whole thing….And guys like that are refreshing to see on your favorite team.
Jeter is running, Granderson is throwing and Teixiera is close to swinging a bat. That’s always encouraging.
So another week of Yankee baseball is in the books and the Yankees are tied for first place with their natural nemesis, the Red Sox.
If this is what the pennant race is going to look like this year, it should be a lot of fun to watch.
Thanks for reading….If in fact you did.
Will try to blog again this time next week.
The Yankee season so far has not been pretty. CC’s velocity being down, Boone Logan being back to spare us all to death combined with the fact that Jeter may be out a lot longer than expected have all been a kick to the groin for Yankee fans everywhere.
I would like to say that the idea of Hughes stepping into the rotation to pitch tomorrow is a comforting one, but the last two seasons have shown him to be something less than the phenom we all thought he was when he almost no hit the Rangers in his rookie season.
There’s a lot that can happen this year. Jeter and Tiexiera could come back and energize things. Hughes could be effective. Hell, Chien Ming Wang may end up being a big help.
But this is an older team prone to injuries. And CC, as great as he is, is another year older and, in spite of what Yankees.com has been telling us , did not experience a dramatic loss in weight over the offseason. Eventually that catches up with ballplayers….See David Wells.
It will be interesting to see if the Yankees can pull something off and make a run for the post season again.
In his post season press conference today when asked about his treatment by the Rangers fans in attendance at the Ballpark In Arlington, Josh Hamilton reminded any of us who paid attention in Sunday school that Jesus was hated in his home town and that Dallas/Ft Worth is his baseball home…..Interesting being that he said that DFW isn’t a baseball town.
Even though I don’t entirely disagree with him concerning the importance of football over baseball around DFW, he really took things too far when he suggested that the only way Rangers’ fans could show the sports world that DFW is a baseball town would be if they sold out every game for thirty years.
Pardon me Mr. Hamilton, BUT THERE ISN’T A BASEBALL STADIUM IN AMERICA THAT HAS SOLD OUT ALL OF IT’S GAMES FOR THIRTY YEARS!….NOT NEW YORK, NOT BOSTON, NOT PHILIDELPHIA, NOT ANYWHERE!
That idiocy combined with his comparing himself to Jesus should make every Yankee fan that the Yankees didn’t try to sign him.
If only he’d a signed with Boston.
Hopefully I will be able to keep this thing going for real this time.
Go Yankees…..No Really….Please….Go Yankees.
Buster Onley posted that Mariano talking retirement may be a ploy as negotiations will be coming up. I guess I can’t blame him if that’s the case. But it’s always kind of a kick to the groin when baseball becomes a business again.
Still, who knows what will shake out over the next few months. If anyone has earned the right to go out anyway he wants to, it’s Mariano Rivera. He has proven his worth time and time again. And given the amount of money that others in pinstripes have been paid who had one glorious post season in 09….Yeah, I’m talking about A Rod, it makes sense for him to not want to be lowballed by the Steinbrenners.
Incidently, it’s kind of nice to watch a team struggle at the plate that isn’t the New York Yankees….Especially being that team is the one that swept the Yankees right out of the playoffs.
Anyway, until nex time.