10 years for $240 million is not for the faint of heart. Nor apparently is it for the Steinbrenners. The big winner: Jay-Z. So long Robbie.
The past few months have been bizarre for Yankee fans. CC stinks, Kuroda is having a Cy Young-worthy season but can’t rack up wins because the Yankees have no offense, and the only real constant – the A-Rod Circus – keeps throwing up fresh fodder for the back-pages and radio talk-shows with none of it having anything to do with what is actually happening on the field.
And then there is Mariano Rivera, turning in another stellar year to close out a career full of them. The guy’s performance is simply unbelievable, which is a very over-used word but is appropriate in his case. If he is perfect over his next three innings, then his career WHIP will dip below 1.000, putting him in the company of just two other pitchers in baseball history, both of whom have been dead since long before anyone reading this was born.
I have been sparse around these parts of late for many reasons, with the diminished state of the Yankees actually being pretty far down the list. And for those same reasons I have been unable to get to a single Yankee game for the first time in years and won’t be able to do so before re-locating my family overseas next week.
But by the grace of the same God that Joe DiMaggio thanked for making him a Yankee, work will bring me back to NY for a few days that happen to coincide with the Yankees’ last home-series of the season, and so yesterday I splurged on tickets to the September 26 game against the Rays for me and my brother. The game will almost certainly mean nothing for the Yankees’ post-season prospects, as they will probably have long-since been mathematically eliminated from October ball. But I am praying that Mariano will still be healthy and that Girardi will bring him in for that last home game regardless of the score so Yankee fans can watch him trot in from the bullpen just once more and give him the goodbye he deserves.
As tough as this season has been to watch, that memory alone will make the 2013 season a very rich one in my life as a Yankee fan.
Already preparing for Opening Day without Granderson, Teixeira, A-Rod, Hughes, and now likely Jeter, the Yankees – owners of the worst contract in baseball – are apparently looking to buy a piece of the second worst. Let’s hope it’s a very small piece. All signs point to Vernon Wells joining the Yankees in the next few days though details, including how much the power-packed Angels will eat of his contract, are still to be hammered out. I can’t recall ever feeling so ambivalent about the start of a baseball season.
In his last nine games of the 2012 regular season, Robinson Cano went an astonishing 24 for 39, yielding a line of .615/.628/1.026, practically single-handedly keeping the Yankees a step ahead of the Baltimore Orioles in the race for the division title.
In the eight games of the World Baseball Classic he hit .469/.514/.781 on his way to winning the MVP and helping the DR take the title.
Unfortunately, in between these stretches of batting genius, he went 3 for 40 in the 2012 ALDS and ALCS, yielding a line of .075/.098/.125.
Baseball is such a tease.
The only thing more surprising to me than the fact that she only got three years for this is the fact that – in retrospect – that seems to have been just about right.
Terry Francona dishes on Sox ownership’s desire to start “winning in more exciting fashion”. Perhaps most revelatory is the notion that Dustin Pedroia is a sex symbol, proving once and for all that size really doesn’t matter. Darn. On the other hand, neither do receding hairlines. Yippee!!
2012 post-season “hitting” of Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher, and Curtis Granderson as of the 7th inning of Game 1 of the ALCS.
Comment away. Please.
I’m no Ansel Adams and there is good reason why my blackberry (yes, I still have one) is not known for its camera feature, but here’s the one shot I took of the post-game celebration as the Yankees ended the 2012 season 2.0 games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles to clinch the AL East title and the best record in the American League.
Tonight brought to a close an extraordinary month of baseball during which at no point were the Yankees more than 1.5 games ahead of Baltimore until tonight. Indeed, the last time The Yankees’ division lead swelled to 2.0 games was one month and one day ago – September 2.
Baltimore proved an incredibly persistent and scrappy club, not only sticking with the Yankees but pulling even with them repeatedly throughout September. But even on those days when the Orioles won and edged in front of the Yankees by a half-game while the Yankees were still playing their own game, the Yankees held the line and ensured that no day of baseball ended with Baltimore sitting alone atop the standings. It is perhaps not as amazing as an Oakland A’s team that spent exactly one day in first place all year – the only day that matters – but YFs have been treated to an incredibly resilient team that never panicked, even while many of us did.
Enjoy a well-deserved 3 days of rest fellas. And see you on Sunday!
No matter what happens tonight, the final day of the season will still be meaningful for the teams atop the AL.
The Detroit Tigers have the seventh-best record in the American League, but are the most likely to be the first AL team to clinch their division. By tomorrow morning they are likely to be relaxing, watching the chaos play out in the rest of the AL, rooting for Cabrera to stay atop the stats-lists that would win him the triple crown, and prepping for Justin Verlander to tee things up for them in a short-series against – someone. Must be nice to play in the AL Central these days…
No such luxury for the Yankees, who have at least two, and likely three high-stakes games to play against the Red Sox. But first things first. CC Sabathia faces Clay Buccholz in the first game of what is the biggest late-season series in the Bronx in years. All eyes on Mark Teixeira, who will be back in the lineup for the first time in two weeks. With Ivan Nova still slated to start tomorrow night, the Yankees need a bullpen-saving vintage CC performance tonight.
Andy Pettitte has pitched 11 scoreless innings since coming back from the DL and may be the most trustworthy Yankee pitcher in history when it comes to late- and post-season ballgames. Ricky Romero has had a horrible season though finally secured a W in his last start against Baltimore. Meanwhile, X-rays on Robbie Cano’s left-hand came back negative and he’s slated to play second and bat cleanup today.
Every game is a playoff game now – and has been seemingly for weeks – as the Yanks struggle to shake the Orioles loose while striving to lock down the best record in the AL, now just one game out of their reach. Plenty of important games today but the Yanks-Jays will be the first. A win would put pressure on the O’s to keep pace and the Rangers to stay ahead in the race for home-field advantage in the playoffs. A loss would suck.
After carrying the Yankee rotation for much of the year, Hiroki Kuroda has crashed back to earth, pitching to a 5.29 ERA in his last 5 starts. His only previous start at the Rogers Centre was his worst start of the season. Meanwhile, A-Rod is carrying a 1-for-16 slump into tonight’s game.
These are not good indicators.
The Yankees have frittered away what little cushion they bought themselves and now must outpace the O’s over these final 6 games if they are to secure a spot in the post-season without a one-game play-in. Meanwhile the Rays are once again making a stunning late-season run as the surging Angels go to Texas for the match-up of the night.
October is right around the corner – great time for baseball. Comment away…
Ivan Nova is coming off his worst – or at least, shortest – start in the majors and needs to show the Yanks something. With a week to go the Yanks may win the division, may clinch the best record in the AL and homefield throughout, may end up in a one-game wild-card playoff, or could miss the playoffs altogether. For now, they focus on beating Brandon Morrow and the Blue Jays and adding a half-game to their lead over the idle O’s.
Not sure if there will be a Gardner, A-Rod, or Teixeira siting tonight, but first pitch is in 60 seconds so we’ll find out soon enough. Comment away…
CC seemed to finally right the ship in his last outing, though Soriano’s blown save kept him from getting the win.
A second straight dominant start from the Yankee ace would go a very long way in calming the jitters in Yankee-land. He faces off against rooking Samuel Deduno who is sporting a 15.63 ERA in his last two starts.
Productivity is about to drop across the NY metropolitan area as the Yanks play a rare weekday day-game before heading to Toronto to start the last seven games of the season tomorrow.