Results tagged ‘ Robinson Cano ’

This Was a Game Even Yankee Haters Could Love (Maybe)

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I mean, seriously. Talk about a happy ending. After memorable tributes to Steinbrenner and Sheppard (such a nice touch dispensing with the player introductions), the Yankees somehow found a way to win one for The Boss. It just took awhile. The Rays had the lead. Then the Yankees tied it up. Then the Rays got the lead back. Then the Yankees tied it up. The script was practically written for Jeter to send the winning run home in the bottom of the ninth, but it was Swisher who played the hero and it was Granderson’s nifty slide at the plate that made a winner of Mo and took CC off the hook for the loss. What more could George ask for – his boys snuffed out the Rays at home in a tight contest.
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There were some funky moments though – from A-Rod’s error and subsequent near decapitation by that splintered bat, to Swisher’s adventure in right field after Upton and Kapler had made incredible catches. And CC wasn’t at his sharpest. But high points included the back-to-back homers by Cano and Posada when it finally looked like Shields was tiring, and an outstanding relief performance by Robertson. Oh, and there was Mo’s pickoff of Upton; he made it look effortless. Somewhere, George is smiling.

We Lost to the NL?

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Oh, well. All streaks come to an end eventually. Congrats to that other league; they pitched really well and got the big hits. I just hope Huuuuughes wasn’t traumatized by the loss, given that it was his first ASG and his friends and family were there watching. I’m also wondering why A-Rod was the only AL position player who didn’t get into the game. Not to play third. Not to pinch run. And, especially, not to come to the plate. I’m sure I’ll wake up tomorrow morning and Girardi will have given the media an explanation. It’ll sound like:
“Beltre’s batting .330. Had to let him hit there in the 9th.”
Or:
“I couldn’t substitute Alex unless we went to extra innings.”
Or:
“He felt a twinge in his hip/groin before the game, so we decided to be cautious.”
Obviously, I’m hoping it’s not Answer #3. The FOX camera did catch A-Rod talking animatedly to Cano. Was he upset? Or just jawing about the game?
I loved when Jeter came up in the first with Bob Sheppard’s introduction. Very classy move by the Angels to make that happen. And baseball took a moment to honor The Boss, which was appropriate and appreciated.
OK, can we get back to the regular season now? Please?

I Don’t Mean to Sound Crabby…

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…but I’m just not a fan of the Home Run Derby. I enjoyed seeing Swisher for the 10 seconds he was in the batter’s box…and Cano laughing and cheering for him…and Pettitte holding his adorable kid on his lap…and A-Rod doing a mini-interview. It’s just that having to watch hitters essentially take batting practice and listening to Chris Berman say “Back back back” over and over isn’t my idea of a great time. I’ll be looking forward to the actual game tomorrow night, and that’ll be enough for me until we get back to the pennant race.
In the meantime, speaking of blue crabs, I wanted to pass along info about a fun new book called “What the Great Ate: A Curious History of Food and Fame” by Matthew Jacob and Mark Jacob. Did you know that Ken Griffey Jr. was allergic to the candy bar named after him? That Ted Williams used to time his hotel room service with a stopwatch? That Roberto Clemente was nearly killed by robbers but ended up with a box of takeout chicken? Take a look at the authors’ web site for more anecdotes.

At the Break: My State of the Universe Address

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On the eve of the All Star break, I thought it was the perfect time to assess the state of the Yankees Universe and discuss what needs to be done to insure a successful second half. Here goes…
“With the best record in baseball, the Yankees are already on a pace to win it all – again.”
“Our starting rotation is strong, Cliff Lee or no Cliff Lee.”
“The Captain is perking up at the plate. He just has to stop swinging at first pitches.”
“Swisher is a better #2 than Nick Johnson ever would have been.”
“Tex is finally heating up – for real – and his defense has been outstanding.”
“A-Rod keeps knocking in runs. And HR #600 will quickly lead to #601, #602, #603, etc.”
“Is there really anything Robinson Cano can’t do this season?”
“Having Posada healthy means that Cervelli can go back to being a good backup.”
“Granderson has been somewhat disappointing so far at the plate. More productivity would go a long way toward making people stop wishing AJax would suddenly re-appear.”
“Marcus Thames isn’t useless after all. It turns out he’s a decent DH/pinch hitter.”
“Brett Gardner is the most exciting Yankee in years. He has to keep getting on base though.”
“Mo is Mo – a precious asset never to be taken for granted.”
“Dave Robertson has pitched better lately, but more consistency would be helpful.”
“Chan Ho Park is OK for one inning maybe – but that is all.”
“Damaso Marte doesn’t scare me as much as he did early in the season.”
“Joba….Well, if Joe keeps running him out there in the 8th I’ll need a defibrillator. He must be fixed or I won’t make it through the rest of the season.”
“Chad Gaudin is not Alfredo Aceves. Alfredo Aceves is no longer Alfredo Aceves. Therefore, we need a better long man.”
“We need another reliable arm out of the pen, period – someone not named Jonathan Albaladejo.”
“We need a bat off the bench. I love Ramiro Pena and Colin Curtis, but are they the players I want to see pinch hitting in a big game? Nah.”
“We need better communication between the Yankees and the media when it comes to player injuries. No more ‘Yes, he’s hurt. No, he’s not hurt.’ Just tell us.”
“It’s not necessary to have the grounds crew dance to ‘YMCA’ anymore. It really isn’t.”
“Where’s Hank Steinbrenner? And why isn’t he firing off Steinbrennerisms this year?”
“Why can’t YES re-hire David Cone and phase out John ‘the Snooze’ Flaherty?”
“We need to keep Dave Eiland from ever leaving the team again.”
“And finally, there should be more Yankees merchandise for she-fans – from Yankees lipstick to Yankees nail polish (the same color Jorge wears) and especially Yankees hair products. I mean, who wouldn’t want pinstriped hair?”
 

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That concludes my address. God Bless America and God Bless the New York Yankees.
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Cliff Lee Broke My Heart and I Don’t Even Know Him

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When I woke up this morning and read that the Yankees were thisclose to signing Lee, I jumped out of my chair and started cheering. The news was so unexpected. I never thought we were in the Cliff Lee hunt – at least not now. As the day went on, I walked around with a little spring in my step, knowing that instead of facing Lee tonight in Seattle, he would be pitching for us any day. He even called his friend CC and talked to him about where to live in New Jersey once he was in pinstripes. 
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But oh well. The Mariners spurned the Yankees’ offer and sent Lee to Texas. If he doesn’t wilt in the Arlington heat, maybe we’ll have another shot at him in December.
Meanwhile, the Yankees continued to roll here on the west coast (I’m really trying to take good care of them). Phil Huuuuuughes was excellent over seven innings, and the offense gave him nice run support thanks to A-Rod’s sac fly, a triple by Cano and two homers by Tex (one from each side), Chan Ho Park made things interesting in the ninth, but got it done. The Yanks have now won seven straight. Would there have been a “W” if we’d faced Cliff Lee? Who knows. Who cares. Not me. Not anymore. I’m over him.
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I Love Sweeps

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Last night the formula was CC + A-Rod = Victory. Tonight it was A.J. + Tex/Swisher = Victory. I know people don’t want to make too much of Dave Eiland’s return to the team, but it’s not a coincidence that A.J. has looked like a different pitcher since Eiland came back. He’s gone from God awful and grouchy…
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…to focused and fabulous.
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Sure, A.J.’s defense helped him out tonight (sometimes I just sit there and marvel at the plays Tex makes – I guess I didn’t realize he was that good), but his stuff was nasty and the Oakland hitters were overmatched. Luckily, the Yankees hitters weren’t. They worked Gio’s pitch count up and then pounced. Tex’s three-run shot got things going, but what a night for Swisher. A single, double, homer and a walk? Not too shabby for the All Star candidate. (Did we really get him for Wilson Betemit? I’m still pinching myself.)
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Even Ramiro Pena (I groaned when I saw Cano was out of the lineup – his back better not be all that sore) had a couple of hits. Marte and Joba did their jobs in the eighth and ninth, and that was the ball game. Oh, well there was one other moment that must be mentioned. Somebody ended up being very embarrassed.
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A-Rod overran a pop-up in foul territory and dropped the ball – and himself.
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He went face down onto the field, and it didn’t take long before Jeter was laughing hysterically. After A-Rod got up, the two of them kept cracking up and I couldn’t help smiling too.
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(Thanks to caitlin on Twitter for the screen grab.)
So for those east coasters who missed the game, it was basically more of the same: good pitching, hitting and defense – a pleasure to watch.

Torre Story 3

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The third and final game in the Yankees’ series against the Dodgers was one of the most exciting contests of the season, in my opinion. Gone was the nonstop chatter about Torre leaving New York and A-Rod not talking to him and blah-blah-blah past history. Well, ESPN couldn’t resist bringing up “the soap opera,” as they called it, but once the game turned into a nail-biter, it was all baseball. After stinking up the early innings – how many bunts could Pettitte not handle? – the offense and relief pitching got serious. Robertson and Marte did their jobs (Joba, not so much) so that A-Rod could pop one into the seats and put the Yanks on the board. We were down 6-3 in the ninth when Torre brought in Broxton.
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Yeah, he’s large, but he’s not Mo. A parade of hits greeted him, including a huge at bat by Chad Huffman. I know, I wasn’t thrilled to have Huffman up in that situation either. He’s just a kid we got off San Diego’s scrap heap.
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But he came through big time to pull us to 6-5. Clap Clap Clap, Chad. I take back what I said about you on Twitter.
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My boy Colin Curtis was up next, and his ground out after about 1,000 pitches (I exaggerate, but he really worked that at bat, didn’t he?) sent Granderson scurrying home (thank you, Loney, for not making the play at home). Wow. All tied up. My stomach was in one big knot.
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Why was I so nervous? I mean, Mo was on the hill. What drama could possibly take place? Especially when the normally placid Garret Anderson was batting.
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Oh. G.A. didn’t like Chris Guccione’s strike zone and got tossed. Torre came out to have his say, and he and the Guccione went at it – for like ever. Was Joe really that upset or was it a bit of gamesmanship to disrupt Mo’s rhythm? No matter. Mo took care of business. On to the 10th and George Sherrill.
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Maybe his beard distracted him, or maybe Robinson Cano is just that good. All I know is that Cano’s homer put the Yanks up 8-6, capping an improbable six-run rally. Mo was a hammer again in the 10th – and again the Dodger hitters weren’t happy. This time Russell Martin slammed down his bat in anger, nearly hitting Posada with it, and there was more arguing with Guccione.
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I’ve watched Mo fan batters over the years. I get the frustration. But the Yankees won fair and square to finish off a very entertaining series. Bravo.
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I Almost Lost My Sanity Tonight

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And I doubt I’m the only one. If you stayed up to watch the finale of Yanks-Diamondbacks, you’re with me. What a crazy game. It started off with Dontrelle Willis walking SEVEN batters and yet the Yankees kept screwing up scoring opportunities with lousy at bats and base-running blunders. Cano, who’s been genius for us, had an off night at the plate (for him), and Jeter and Posada (pinch hitting) were frustrating. Vazquez wasn’t as sharp as he’s been, and Marte? Please. How can you call yourself a reliever when you come in and walk two, balk and throw a wild pitch? How? That’s the opposite of relief, Damaso.
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The happy news is that the Yankees, who’d been trailing, tied the score on a hit by – yes, indeed, Colin Curtis – and, after Marte stank it up, a sac fly by A-Rod pulled them even again. And then it was on to extra innings! (Sorry for you, east coasters.)
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A solo shot by Granderson gave us the lead in the 10th – nice night for him, btw – and with Mo coming in for a second inning of work I figured we were golden. Not so fast! Mo actually loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the 10th! I nearly died.
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But then – instead of giving everybody nightmarish flashbacks to 2001 – he pulled out a miracle, retiring the side as if it were no big deal. The Yankees won the game and the series – and gained ground on the Rays and Red Sox. I’ll sleep well, I think, once I calm down.

Moyer Oldest Pitcher To Beat Yankees

You bet he’s celebrating. Drink one for me, J-Mo.
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Somehow, he managed to stymie the Yankees and make them look utterly inept at the plate – on a night when our own starter was struggling in every possible way.
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Don’t you love the New York papers? This headline from the Daily News cracked me up. Anyhow, A.J. was wild (not unusual) but he was also throwing fat pitch after fat pitch…
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…and the Phillies, who’d been slumping, suddenly unslumped. The last straw was when A.J. failed to cover first on a grounder to Tex. He left to a chorus of boos, as if he had just walked off the mound in Philadelphia, not the Bronx.
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As a matter of principle, I’m against booing any Yankee for any reason (except when I’m on Twitter and have no problem typing the word “boooo”), but A.J.’s lack of hustle – particularly after CC failed to cover first the night before – made me mad. On a positive note, the pen was terrific. Boone Logan and Chad Gaudin (yes, Chad Gaudin) came through for multiple innings, giving the Yankees a chance to get back in the game. It didn’t happen. Sadly. But tomorrow night we’ll have Andy on the hill. He’s bound to be our stopper.
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P.S. Super she-fan Peggy, friend of the blog, sent me pics from her daughter Kristyn’s trip to the Yankees’ meet and great on Tuesday with Cano and A-Rod. Here’s Kristyn cheek to cheek with Robbie.
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Are we jealous or what?!

Today’s Heroes: World Cup Style

The Yankees swept the Astros. Yay. Huuuughes won #9. Posada had another granny. Cano went deep. Pena made a terrific play at third and got a crucial base hit. And Mo wrapped things up after fine jobs by Marte, Park and Joba. I thought I’d feature today’s stars of the game in a tribute to….soccer. No, I’m not into it, but I’m trying. And yes, Pena’s missing – I inserted myself instead – but only because I couldn’t find a decent picture of him with a big enough head and didn’t want to spend my entire afternoon searching Google images. Enjoy and Go Yanks.
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