Results tagged ‘ Angels ’

What, Exactly, Is a “Performance Bonus?”

Along with the news that Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon are reuniting to join the Rays comes word that Damon will be paid a $750,000 performance bonus. I’m not even going to attempt to make a bad joke about performance.

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(Okay, I just did. Sorry about that.) Anyhow, I’m wondering how the Rays will determine whether or not Johnny earns his $750,000 in 2011. Will the bonus be based on the number of tickets sold throughout the course of the season or the number of bodies that actually show up at the Trop? If so, how would they attribute the totals to Damon, as opposed to any other player? Or maybe it has to do with how many Damon jerseys they move? How many bobble head dolls? I don’t mean to be deliberately obtuse. I just don’t get it. Can someone explain?

As for the Angels’ acquisition of Vernon Wells, I’m glad he’s out of the AL East. He may be a streaky player for whom Anaheim overpaid, but he always seemed to do damage against the Yankees and I’m not sorry to see him go west.

Meanwhile, we head into another weekend without answers for our rotation. I remain mystified by this. Yes, Yankee fans are spoiled, used to having our pick of the best guys available, blah blah blah. So what. We’ve long moved past the years when Andy Hawkins and Dave LaPoint were our aces. We deserve better. Right, Hal? Look at me. I’m talking to you.


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The New Year Ushered In A New Yankees Friendship

I’m relieved to say I survived last night’s New Year’s Eve karaoke party. Actually, I not only survived but ended up having a really great time. Our hosts were gracious, everyone was in the holiday spirit and, once the machine started shooting out song after song, we all got into it. (Alcohol helped.) I’m hoarse today, so I must have been belting them out without realizing it. Anyhow, as promised, here are a couple of guests covering the Beatles. (Notice the guy in the background with the beard and glasses? That’s Michael, who claimed he didn’t sing, but as it’s plain to see he was moving his lips!)
Next up were our hosts (I promised I wouldn’t reveal their names so they wouldn’t be mortified). I hardly remembered the song “King of the Road” by Roger Miller but now I can’t get the damn thing out of my head.
The party was moving right along toward midnight when suddenly the karaoke machine started playing Neil Diamond’s….you guessed it….”Sweet Caroline.” I immediately held my ears and yelled, “God, no! Not that awful Red Sox song! I’m a Yankee fan!”
“You are?” asked Steve, one of the other guests.
“Absolutely,” I said, a little wary of admitting my allegiance in a town where most people root for the Dodgers or Angels.
“So am I,” said Steve, who explained that he grew up in Connecticut and has been a Yankee fan his whole life. “I’m really worried about the team going forward. The Red Sox made so many moves and we didn’t. I still can’t believe we didn’t get Cliff Lee.”
Well, that led to a discussion of the Bombers and our concern about the pitching, etc. Before we knew it, the TV came on and Ryan Seacrest was in Times Square counting down to midnight – and Frank Sinatra was in the background singing “New York, New York.”
“Now that song makes me feel a lot better,” I said. “We could be at Yankee Stadium right now.”
Which was not a bad way to end the evening.
 

Day 4 of “Operation Cliff Lee Countdown”

Michael and I were on our way to dinner with friends when I said in the car, “The winter meetings have been a big tease this year.”
“Yeah,” he agreed. “Aside from the Werth deal before they started the meetings, things have been pretty quiet.”
“Apparently, Cashman can’t even get Cliff Lee’s agent to respond to an offer,” I said. “And now the agent has left Orlando and gone to Arkansas to talk to Lee. Which means more waiting and wondering.”
“This agent seems to have everybody waiting and wondering,” said Michael. “Who is he anyway?”
“His name is Darek Braunecker,” I said. “Sounds like a German coffee machine.”
We got to the restaurant, a cute Italian place here in Santa Barbara called Trattoria Victoria, and sat down with our friends. During dinner we all talked about the updates in the murder investigation of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen, about the recent ruling in the McCourts’ divorce case and what it might mean for the Dodgers, about the bones I found in my otherwise delicious piece of sea bass. And then we went home. I went straight to the computer to see if there was Cliff Lee news. Nope. Only the fact that Carl Crawford will be a Red Sock for the next 7 years. My condolences to the Angels, whose offer wasn’t enough to hold off those busy shoppers in Boston. But what about Lee? Is he planning to make a decision about his future soon or not? I’m tired of this guy Braunecker acting like his client is an undercover agent with the CIA. I’m tired of all the secrecy. I’m tired of waiting. Just tell us straight up: Does Lee want to pitch for the Yankees or doesn’t he? Even Andy Pettitte is waiting for an answer.
Tonight’s Operation Cliff Lee Countdown video is actually audio. Even if you listen closely, you still can’t figure out what Braunecker is really saying. He’s a master of double talk, which explains all this waiting and wondering. I’m glad he’s not my agent, that’s for sure.

Rookie + Bad Defense + So-So CC = Loss

Tonight’s game against the Indians felt like a replay of every other game featuring a rookie starter for the opposition. Taking nothing away from Josh Tomlin, the Yankees are incapable of hitting pitchers they’ve never faced. They stand there at the plate looking absolutely clueless.
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Why is that? They can watch videotape beforehand. They can make adjustments each time through the order. They can use their experience to figure it out. So why don’t they? Boggles my mind.
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CC wasn’t his usual dominant self, but his defense definitely let him down. Ugh. There’s nothing positive to say about tonight’s loss except that Chan Ho Park didn’t give up a run. Oh, and Brett Gardner made a great throw home. That’s about it.
After the Yankees were done, I switched over to Angels-Red Sox, curious to see how Lackey would be greeted by the fans in Anaheim. I’d heard he was hopeful that they’d give him a warm reception, seeing as he spent his entire career there before going to Boston. Here’s what happened: people booed him. A lot. And there were signs like this:
“LACKey of Loyalty”
and
“Traitor John.”
I can’t stand Lackey, but I felt sorry for him. I guess I should have remembered the way they always boo Tex when the Yankees play the Angels. Do their fans not realize that management decided not to retain the services of Lackey and Tex, not the other way around? Sure, the players became free agents, but that’s baseball. Why not applaud your former heroes for the great work they did when they helped you win ball games? Easy for me to say, you’re thinking. I haven’t lost Jeter or Mo to free agency. But even if I did, I’d like to think I’d always cheer for them. When Pettite went to play for the Astros I didn’t boo him or call him a traitor. I don’t get the sense of betrayal, I really don’t. Someone needs to explain it to me.
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All Sorts of Things

1) A-Rod didn’t get drilled as badly as I feared.
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That said, his eighth inning at bat with the bases loaded sure didn’t go the way Yankee fans hoped it would. I mean, a grand slam for your 600th after a two-hour-plus rain delay? Now that would have been amazing. But at least he’s OK. Or so we’re told.

2) Congrats to Cano for hit #1000.


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He’s not even 30. Think how many hits are in his future if he stays healthy and continues to work hard. Somewhere, Melky is either happy or really, really jealous.
3) What’s up with Huuuughes and all the homers he’s giving up in the Bronx?
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Maybe he should go back to wearing those glasses? Sure, the Stadium has a short porch, but two dingers to Posednik? Really?
4) Nice to see the bats working for Jeter, Tex and especially Granderson.
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Wouldn’t it be great if he finished up the season with offense like he demonstrated today? I want so much for him to succeed in pinstripes.
5) Joba. Oy.
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It’s kind of ironic that he and Alex Gordon were both college phenoms in Nebraska. Both were rushed to the majors. And both have kind of flopped with their respective teams. Today they were on the field together, and neither was distinguishing himself. I felt sorry for them.
6) The Yankees didn’t get Dan Haren.
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It doesn’t sound like we were even close to making that trade, but I got swept up in the rumors just the same. Such a gullible fool. I vow NEVER to believe what I read until a deal is done. (OK, I say that every time, but this time I mean it!) At least Haren won’t have to change colors, seeing as he can wear red as an Angel. But what about me? Last night I posted a video about how much I wanted him in pinstripes on YouTube. Such a fool to jump the gun, as I said. Oh well. Never again. Never!
Update: Well, I see my video was blocked by YouTube during the night while I was sleeping, blissfully unaware that the gremlins were at work. Interesting. Was it copyright infringement to use my own voice in the narration? Or iMovie’s sound effects? Ah, must be those photos of Haren because, after all, they shouldn’t be subject to “fair use,” because that would be, like, fair. And yes, I’m mad. Excerpts of my books get plastered all over the internet and I don’t say a word. I’m flattered, actually. I would think photographers would be flattered too, but then I’m a gullible fool, as I’ve already said. Bleh. Anyhow, sorry for the big blank in this post.

Colin! Colin! Colin! (With Sad Update)

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What a time to hit your first home run in the majors….You’re sitting on the bench, not planning to get in the game today against the Angels, when Brett Gardner is tossed by the home plate ump for arguing balls and strikes in the middle of his at bat. Suddenly, you’re a pinch hitter. You walk to the plate, with two base runners aboard, and BAM! You smack one into the seats off Scot Shields, putting the Yanks up 10-6 and sealing the win and a series split. It doesn’t get much better than that.
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I loved the offense in general in this one. Jeter, Swisher, Tex, Cano and Miranda really stepped up, which was nice for Vazquez, since he doesn’t usually get much run support. And congrats to him for becoming one of only three active pitchers who’ve beaten all 30 teams.
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I do wish my stomach didn’t get tied up in knots when I see Joba coming in. He gave up a run and just isn’t lights out. Is not. It wasn’t a terrible outing for him, obviously, but as someone said on Twitter during the game, “He gives me the heebie jeebies.” I don’t want heebie jeebies.
Update: Just read that former Yankees manager Ralph Houk died. I’m actually old enough to remember when he managed the Bombers in the ’60s after taking over for Casey Stengel. RIP, Ralph. 
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Maybe The Yankees Were Still Hungover?


Diaz keeps head down at Yankee bash

Last Updated: 1:17 AM, July 20, 2010

Posted: 12:13 AM, July 20, 2010

Comments: 53

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Cameron Diaz is playing it smart with Alex Rodriguez — keeping a low profile and fitting in with the Yankee wives at CC Sabathia‘s birthday bash.

Diaz, who’s gone to great lengths to avoid being pictured with A-Rod, bonded with Yankee women, including Laura Posada and Nick Swisher‘s actress fiancée, Joanna Garcia, at Jay-Z‘s 40/40 club Sunday. Diaz even asked to be introduced to legend Reggie Jackson, now a team adviser who works closely with A-Rod.

A happy Sabathia was spotted downing shots with Jay-Z and greeting teammates Derek JeterJorge PosadaMark

Cameron Diaz
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Cameron Diaz

Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte — who made it despite his groin injury.

A source told us, “Cameron doesn’t cling to A-Rod like Kate Hudson, whose front-row antics didn’t go down well with the wives. Cameron kept it low-key and hung with the girls. She and Alex stayed on opposite sides of the room but they kept glancing and smiling. He didn’t look at another girl.”

The pair — described by Sabathia’s wife, Amber, as a “cute couple” — later escaped through a back door and headed to a West Side heliport.

Amber, who’s about to give birth to their fourth child, planned the lavish $150,000 bash for 400 guests, with an open bar awash with Ace of Spades champagne, dancers with pythons and a three-foot alligator in a tank — which sparked a minor panic as it tried to escape its keeper. Spies said one snake terrified Jeter, “who jumped a mile as soon as he saw it,” while A-Rod and Giants star Brandon Jacobs refused to touch it.

Meanwhile, Beyoncé fueled pregnancy rumors by avoiding alcohol. Teixeira stuck close to his pregnant wife, Leigh, while champagne-swigging Joba Chamberlain was surrounded by admirers before leaving at 2:30 a.m. with a leggy brunette.

All I know is that they looked utterly flat tonight against the Angels. They couldn’t hit – not against anybody. They didn’t play good defense (I’m talking to you, Grandy and Swisher). And, most of all, the pitching was nothing to cheer about. Hughes? Where’d you go? And Park and Gaudin? Why aren’t you gone? The only bright spot – and I mean only – was Jorge throwing out Abreu twice. Oh, and it’s always entertaining to watch Girardi get tossed. Otherwise, what a boring game. I hope the Yanks sober up by tomorrow so that Friend of the Blog Mike and his sister-in-law Steph will see a better contest than they did tonight. Here they are before the first pitch, hoping for a win. Sorry, Mike.


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Where Have You Been All My Life, Dustin Moseley?

The big news from today’s thrashing of the Jays was Brett Gardner’s slam, the Yankees’ 11-run third inning and Andy Pettitte’s continuing success. But what really got me going was the relief pitching by our most recent call-up, Dustin Moseley. Did you see that guy? He set the Jays down in the seventh and eighth as if he actually knew what he was doing. What a concept, given the state of our pen lately – and what a break if he can repeat his impressive performance over the second half of the season. I just had to find out more about him….


Yanks’ Moseley wants to forget 2009

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TAMPA, Fla. – All Dustin Moseley can do about 2009 is shake his head, shrug and offer a laugh.

It was more frustrating than funny, though.

“It was a tough year, man,” Moseley said, smiling through the harsher reality. “But it definitely makes you thankful for the good or bad when you do go out there, and you come off the field still healthy.”

Walking off the field healthy is something Moseley has been able to do throughout this spring training, as he hopes to earn a spot in the big leagues with the Yankees and erase the memories of a rocky 2009 with the Angels.

It started off in the big leagues, and essentially, it ended on a trainer’s table in Arizona, with the former first-round draft pick surrounded by players who didn’t speak his language, himself facing an uncertain future and hoping a new treatment would get him back on the field before he had lost too much time.

In between, he battled health problems – hip soreness that led to a sore right arm and a lost season that ended with surgery and a series of experimental Platelet Rich Plasma injections to repair a torn labrum in his hip. He also battled tragedy – the death of his friend and fellow Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart in a car accident after making his first regular season start last April.

That pain hasn’t subsided.

Luckily for Moseley, the physical pain did.

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound right-hander spent parts of the last four seasons with the Angels, posting an 8-7 record and 5.41 ERA in 64 career games. After struggling to a 6.79 ERA in 2008, last season started off like it was going to be his best: He allowed three earned runs in six innings in his season debut against Oakland on April 7, then beat the Red Sox five days later when he surrendered only two runs in 5 ²/³ innings.

He’d leave his next start against Minnesota after three innings with a sore arm, though, and that would be the extent of his season. A lingering hip problem altered his mechanics, which caused the arm soreness. And even when the arm stopped bothering him, the hip didn’t.

“I’d think I’d be over it, and then I’d get out there and start going, and it would bother me again,” Moseley said.

By August, he settled on the inevitable. Surgery was necessary. But even after the surgery – the same one Alex Rodriguez went through last spring – the pain persisted.

Never mind staying in decent shape, Moseley’s hip ached after short jogs. He could throw well enough, but th
e mere physical process of doing so caused just about every other joint in his body to ache. To make a start every five days would have been impossible.

That’s why, even as the offers rolled in from interested organizations, Moseley wouldn’t entertain them.

“I signed the day before camp started, and it was because I told my agent, ‘I can’t have you tell them I’m ready when I’m not,'” Moseley said. “I would never have someone question my honesty or integrity. I finally got healthy, and I called him and said, ‘Dude, I can run sprints. I can run bleachers. I can throw. I can do everything now – finally.'”

His hope is that he can earn a spot on the Yankees’ opening-day roster. If not, he’ll go to Triple-A “with a smile on my face.”

This spring, he says he feels as healthy as ever, looking forward to life in a new organization and facing a new start.

“After these last two years,” he said, “I’ve got to be destined for a good one soon.”

***

Oy.  Not wild about his injury history. Another one with a bum hip, never mind an arm? He says he’s healthy now. But that’s what Nick Johnson said. 

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My Chat With Javy

It was time for an intervention. Yes, it’s still early in the season, but I didn’t like what I saw today from Vazquez in the Yankees’ loss to the Angels. (I didn’t like what I saw from Marte either, but that’s another story. At least we got a look at Mitre and have confirmation that he does, in fact, exist. As for the Yankees’ offense? It took the day off.)
Vazquez doesn’t seem to have any confidence in his stuff, so I figured I’d better get to him before the team left the west coast. Here’s our conversation. As you can see, he’s very troubled. But I believe we rooted out the problem.

Has Pettitte Been Drinking From The Fountain Of Youth?

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He was absolutely spectacular today in the Yanks’ 7-1 win over the Angels. I mean, eight innings with eight K’s and zero walks? So what if he’s showing a few gray hairs. OK, more than a few. Maybe someone will get him a box of this.
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All I know is that he pitched like an ageless wonder and it couldn’t have come at a better time, given the Yankees’ modest two-game losing streak and the prospect of facing the same Pineiro who stymied our offense recently. The good news there was that it wasn’t the same Pineiro. This version got hit early and often.
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Everybody (almost) contributed offensively, with Cano, Swisher and Cervelli deserving special mention. And then there was Brett Gardner, batting second in place of the injured Nick Johnson. (I was snarky on Twitter; I said Johnson hurt his back because he finally swung at a pitch. Bad me.) Gardner was a revelation, not only playing his running game but spanking the ball. Would it be a stretch to hope he develops into the kind of #2 hitter some of us have been missing?
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Well? He’s got more speed. He has a better arm in left field. And he slaps hits around, like Damon does. He doesn’t have Damon’s power, but maybe that’ll come. In the meantime, he was fun to watch today. Doesn’t he kind of look like Damon here?
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Also worth a mention was Marte. Nice job, Maso or whatever nickname Girardi has given you. Up next? Vazquez. I’d really like the Yankees to win this series, which means that Javy will have to hold up his end. Or, if he falters, it’s possible we could see Mitre…unless he really has gone missing.
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