He’s (still) OUR disgrace!!!!
Clutch hit today, Manny. At the moment the game isn’t over, so now Curt just needs to do his new job.
Consider this a post-trade deadline all-purpose Sox/Yanks discussion thread.
Sunday, July 31st, 2005
Saturday, July 30th, 2005
Congratulations to Hideki Matsui and the Yankees on a much deserved comeback victory. This one, after so many tough defeats by the Angels, was certainly due. With 18 innings on Thursday, and another 9 last night, LA was surely prone to tire. We’re glad that collapse came, even if at the last moment. Bully, and a nice debut for Mr. Chacon.
The Daily News reports Cash is/was in talks with Cleveland over Kevin Millwood, and is still searching for other pitching help, though a new CF for our Bombers is apparently not likely. (Note: Womack was playing in center last night, to give would-be shoppers a nice viewing.)
As for Boston, we expect something, if not the Sox/Mets/Rays three-way that puts Manny in Shea, Cameron and Huff in Beantown, Minaya’s first born in Tampa, and Big Papi in a permanently bad mood.
Elsewhere, Byrne went to Baltimore for Bigbie in the alliterative move of the week. So he’s off the table.
Consider this your open trade thread…..
There are some nights in baseball where The Fates just don’t have you in their favor, and this was surely one of them for the Yanks. We were on hand to see the sad doings, joined by AngelsFan, who pulled a classic LA manouver and showed up in the third (he blamed the subway). Our report: The Yanks hit the ball on the button all night—Sheffield smacked one to deep center on a low-line trajectory that was truly astounding—but those shots, including the aforementioned, always seemed to land in an Angels’ glove. Incipient rallies died. Womack (playing center) was thrown out at third on a foolish double steel by Womack with Sheff at the plate. Then Derek went down on the pads. Nothing seemed to bounce right. Meanwhile, Moose was effective save for a brief spell in the second, when Garret Anderson, who always seems to kill the Yanks, and Molina #1 homered to put the Halos up 3-0, a lead they did not relinquish. With the Sox up on the away board, that made for a dispiriting evening. Insult to injury: both Sheff and Matsui were hit. Hard. Did Moose respond? Does he ever? There was an opportunity to plunk Juan Rivera in the ass with a base open in the eighth, but Sturtze passed. (He did brush back Vlad, however.) The Angels seem to have the Yanks number lately. We hope the boys turn that around over the weekend. We’ll be watching.
Thursday, July 28th, 2005
First Nomo. Now Chacon. Is Manny next? He wants outta Beantown. (Who can blame him?) The answer is obvious. The Yanks need an outfielder. The Sox could use a second baseman (Bellhorn sucks!). Manny for Womack. Straight up. Except the Sox should throw in some cash.
Behind another solid inning from Aaron Small and some clutch hitting from Cano and Sheff, the Yanks won the day 6-3 and took a series win against a Wild Card rival. Kudos. But special props to Mariano Rivera for another 3-up, 3-down save, his 26th. With due respect to Roy Halladay, we have to believe he’s the frontrunner for the Cy. His ERA is now .83. Opponents OPS: .398. K/9: 10.21. And it was only a few months ago that SF was preparing his epitaph. Fuhgetaboutit.
You say desperation breeds delusion? Perhaps. Brian Cashman on Yankee acquisition Hideo Nomo:
He’s Hideo Nomo—he’s one of the premier pitchers of probably all time for what he accomplished coming over from Japan….You know he’s not afraid. He’s one of those rare special ones.
Rare. Special. And dumped by the pitching-heavy D-Rays. We take what we can get.
Gordon Edes takes on the newest Manny Ramirez scandal in today’s Globe, and he doesn’t mince any words. Edes calls Ramirez a "disgrace", and though in the past it’s been easier to dismiss some of Ramirez’s foibles as simply enigmatic and acceptable because he produces, in this case there’s no room for the "Mercurial Defense". Edes is right. Ramirez, when approached by Francona before yesterday’s Sox-Devil Rays game to forgo a scheduled day off to help fill out a depleted lineup, declined to accept, stating he was "tired". This after Matt Clement gets lifted off the field in a stretcher, Trot goes on the DL, and also before a scheduled day off today.
This incident illustrates a by-product of signing a prima-donna athlete to a long-term contract, and this is a residually corrosive piece of fallout: the emasculation of the manager in front of the entire team and in full public view. As Edes explains, Terry Francona backpedals a bit from his explanation on why Ramirez asked out, but does so with a zombie-like cadence, and this cover job fails to hide his utter lack of power over certain aspects of the team. It’s a bad situation, and the only saving grace is that Manny has already helped the Sox to a championship and there are only three years left on his contract, so shipping him off gets financially easier every day. I think this incident also gives the Sox’ brass a weapon to use on Francona, when Tito’s day of reckoning begins to approach. I await Yankees’ fans accusing me of "throwing Manny under a bus", but for the team’s highest-paid player to ask out of a game after being requested by his manager to step in to help the team after a fellow teammate is nearly maimed and a fellow outfielder is sent to the DL in the thick of a pennant race (and it shouldn’t matter where the team is in the standings, to be truthful), is, just as Edes says, disgraceful.
Wednesday, July 27th, 2005
Our Bombers got a fine start from the irrascible Unit last night, god bless him, an 8 inning, 2 hit, 10 k performance that brought his record to a respectable 11-6 with a 3.96 era. Is the Unit back to form? Is it that the Twinkies can’t hit? We’ll hope for the former, and be encouraged that with him and Moose apparently throwing well, the Yanks have a nice 1-2 punch at the front of the rotation. The problem is what comes next. Which is anyone’s guess. The NYT reports the Yanks are looking to sign the released DRay “Hideki” Nomo and his 97.43 era to replace Doans Poster Boy Kevin Brown. Or maybe he’s replacing Pavano, whose rehab has been pushed back. At any rate, Aaron Small is back in the rotation, which, given his outing in Texas, may not be such a bad thing.
Meanwhile, we extend our best wishes to Matt Clement. We wish him a speedy recovery. When the Sox go down, we’d like them to do so without excuses. As it is, we note that the Yanks, Sox, and A’s are tied at 45 in the loss column.
Tuesday, July 26th, 2005
I didn’t see the play, but apparently Matt Clement was hit in the head squarely by a line drive tonight, and was unconscious for a considerable amount of time. It was, by all descriptions available, quite horrifying. No word on his condition, but we hope he is ok.
UPDATE: More news on ESPN here, though not much new added. Also, Trot leaves the game with some sort of possible back injury. Theo may have just been relieved of chasing after rentals, as if Clement and Nixon are both gone for significant amounts of time I’d say the Sox are cooked, and understandably.
We hate to toot our own horn, but we’re happy to have Forbes magazine do it for us. That estimable publication has named Yanksfan-vs-Soxfan to its “Best of the Web” roll call. Admittedly, we may not be crazy about its publisher’s flat-tax plan, but we’re honored to be listed nonetheless. And of course we couldn’t do it without you, Dear Readers. So on this day we can all give ourselves a collective pat on the back. Well done, and thanks.
Monday, July 25th, 2005
The Yankees return home today after what we have to believe is an encouraging 11-game road trip against 2 division leaders and the slugging Rangers. They left on this grueling exercise with exactly two starting pitchers in the fold, and returned with 6 victories, including 3 against the Sox, and a brief stop in first place—we hope they will return to that position soon. Save for a few blown games at the tale end of the trip it could have been even better. Tomorrow the Twinkies arrive for yet another important series (think Wild Card), and then the Angels, and an opportunity for a bit of revenge. As for those Angels, they look good but hardly unbeatable. In an offensive league, they’re a pitching-and-defense team. So far the formula has worked. (Special props to uberutility man Chone Figgins).
Meanwhile, we feel compelled to comment on the amazing resurgence of Jason Giambi. We didn’t think he could do it. We’re glad for him (we wish no player ill) and especially for the Yankees that he has. That doesn’t mean we’ve become big Giambi fans, however. And we do note that it is only thanks to his (ill-gotten) monster contract that he was allowed the time to straigten out. This is a curious fact that has gone unremarked, but it’s the kind of thing that has prevented young Yankee players from rising and must also tick off a vet like Bernie Williams. The only thing that kept Giambi in the lineup on anything like a regular (even occassional) basis during the first half was his contract. For better or worse, no other player gets that kind of opportunity. On the Yankees, the formula has always been, produce immediately or you’re gone. The younger the player, the shorter the window. That’s why we’ve seen so many flashes-in-the-pan over the years (Kevin Maas comes immediately to mind) and one of the reasons the Yankee middle relief is such a shambles today. So in this context, the Giambi extended rehab project is an especially interesting one for the Yankees to consider.
Sunday, July 24th, 2005
During today’s pre-game show on NESN, there was an in-depth career retrospective of Wade Boggs, on the week of his induction into the Hall of Fame. During this feature, Boggs revealed that as he sat on 2999 hits, he awaited an at-bat in the on-deck circle in Tampa. Cleveland, their opponent, brought in the lefthander Chris Haney, at which point Larry Rothschild, the DRays’ manager, called Boggs back to the dugout and indicated to Boggs that he was pinch hitting for him. Seriously? Did this happen? Pinch hitting for a guy with 2999 hits, one of the all-time great hitters, just because of a lefty-lefty matchup? According to Boggs, he told Rothschild that he was not being pinch hit for, went to the plate, and proceeded to get his 3000th hit, in the form of a home run. I know Boggs is a serial narcissist, and this story smacks of fiction. What manager, even one as hackish as Rothschild, would pinch hit for a guy like Boggs sitting on 2999?
I am looking for a second confirming source, so Larry, if you visit the site, please, write to me here. Like Judy Miller, I won’t tell anyone.
Saturday, July 23rd, 2005
What a nice day First, an afternoon spent upstate with Mrs. SF and Soxbaby Isaac, baseball free. Then the team nips old foe El Duque and the White Hot Sox (on NESN tonight, to boot, so no Hawk Harrelson to contend with), Wade Miller tosses 7 shutout innings, Manny goes deep and All-Star ‘Tek homers to put Posada back in his rightful place, the win ultimately topped off with a Schilling save. All this after the Sox sign super-prospect Craig Hansen to a deal earlier in the day, and the Orioles lose to the woeful D-Rays.
Whereas a week ago the team seemed in disarray, all of a sudden there’s reason to think of possible flexibility coupled with some serious upside: could Curt be moving back to the rotation? Would this facilitate an Arroyo move to the pen, adding needed depth? It remains to be seen if Schilling can get it done for more than an inning, and Hansen’s obviously never even smelled a minor league locker room. Regardless, the last few days have brought a welcome change in the Sox’ level of play.
One more thing, to make the day even better: go Angels!
Friday, July 22nd, 2005
For those housebound, treat this as an all-purpose Sox/Yanks open thread to discuss tonight’s shenanigans. I’ll start it out by stating that I am at home, forced to watch the awful Ken Harrelson-led White Sox broadcast of tonight’s Boston/Chicago matchup instead of my beloved NESN. Thanks, Directv.