Tag Archives: New York Yankees

“AND NOW THE END IS NEAR ” – A-ROD’S CURTAIN CALL

In the end, he’ll most certainly say “I did it my way ” and you can watch Sinatra sing it here because the song is as haunting as it is true………. And nothing comes closer to the real story of A-Rod…….

Very few ballplayers get the chance to go out “their way “. David Ortiz is trying to imagedo what Derek Jeter did two years ago rounding the ballparks one last time. Others like Michael Cuddyer seemingly wake up one morning and say, “That’s it, I don’t have it anymore ” and they disappear from the baseball landscape in the blink of an eye.

Still others imagehang on simply because they can’t let go even though they are but a shell of what they once were. Willie Mays comes to mind getting those last few hapless at bats with the (then) hapless New York Mets.

And for others, it’s the trap of that lucrative long term deal you signed when you were young and seemingly invincible. Although now, you have aged and your skills have proportionately diminished – and because of the money you are owed – it’s like you’re being hung out there to dry and you look for a lifeline that isn’t quite reachable……..

This now is the story of Alex Rodriguez…..

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“MATT THE BRAT” AGAIN!

Along with me, you may be getting a bit annoyed with the episodic relapses  stemming from Matt Harvey’simage diva personality and his ensuing behavior. 

In his latest rant, he is refusing to speak with the media since last Wednesday because he didn’t like how  he was portrayed in local newspapers following a health scare he had related to a issue with his bladder.

Never mind that anyone living in the New York City area and with any intelligence at all knows that there are clear ways to distinguish  the New York Post and the Daily News from the New York Times, and that both papers use attention getting headlines to attract readers, and that some (actually many) of their headlines fall way short of being imageflattering to the subject of their story.

And never mind that Harvey brought this illness on himself by continuing to regularly “hold it in” instead of relieving the pressure on his bladder. But then again, this is what we expect little boys to do.

Harvey is not a kid. He’s 28 years old and it would be hard to imageimagine that the Mets front office as well as his teammates aren’t getting weary of making excuses for his propensity to whine every time adversity arises in his life.

Matt Harvey wants to be Joe Namath? No problem. Just know that there are consequences for going in that direction ……. because in this town you ain’t seen nothin’ yet……..

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CC SABATHIA GETS THE BALL – AND THAT’S ABOUT ALL………..

To no one’s surprise, imagethe New York Yankees announced that CC Sabathia would be their fifth starter getting the nod over Ivan Nova. Brian Cashman, the Yankees GM continues to insist that it’s not really about the money ($25 million compared to $4 million) and for the moment let’s give him a pass and assume that is true. The real story then might be that Sabathia is the fifth starter and not the pitcher the Yankees gave that huge contract to back in 2009 when he was highly touted as a “workhorse” who would never break down. 

But thoseimage predictions were based on his arm never breaking down – and they have largely proved to be correct. The problem though is that legs are everything in pitching  – not necessarily the arm. Your legs create power and when used effectively take strain and wear and tear off your arm. 

So, it should come as no surprise that a 325 pound hulk of a man finds himself in a situation where his legs, and in particular his knees, have abandoned him from the pounding they have taken on the mound landing strip over the years. And as many of us know, knees are a special challenge for surgeons. Or to put it another way, there is no Tommy John surgery for knees.

But there’s more to the Yankees decision than meets the eye and that’s why it’s a story of life’s twists and turns  with built in intrigue – and therefore a compelling story about baseball ………..

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LOOKING THROUGH THE CRYSTAL BALL……

It’s always fun to be present at this time of the year as we approach the renewal of a baseball season when all things are bright and Spring Training becomes a memory that is soon lost in the posting of standingsimage      that actually count as the long season begins.

Because at this time of the year, all thirty teams have hope that is not only the breadth of spring in the air, but also the promise that yesterday is no more and this is a brand new season that holds mystery and intrigue that could imagelead to places yet unknown……..

But rather than joining the ever expanding list of “predictors “, I thought it might be a better conversation to ask some questions that are relevant and designed to provoke some thought…….

Answers are free. Correct answers cost five bucks each………

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DECISIONS, DECISIONS – ALL THOSE DECISIONS……

As Spring Training winds down and Opening Day creeps closer, decisions will be made by managers and general managers of  all thirty teams in the coming days that will trigger and affect not only the performance image of each team for the first month or so of the season, but they’ll also have an effect on the lives of many people (ballplayers) who are on the cusp of being cut or making the team.

As fans of the team(s) we follow, we’ll be watching the transactions section of newspapers and MLB.COM to weigh the decisions our team chooses to make, as well as those that participate making your final selections in your Fantasy League.

Whittling down to 25 from as many as 60-70 invitees to your camp is not a welcome or easy task. Especially when you realize that at some point or another you’ve sat down with this particular player and said imageto him, “We want you to be a part of our organization.” 

And yet, these decisions have to and will be made. Not all, but some of these decisions will sever ties with players forever while some will not be a divorce but only a temporary separation from the team with a renewal of life to come at a later time.

The factors and questions that go into making these decisions are complex and one decision often leads into another decision creating almost a domino effect that can change everything for a team……….

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WHAT TO DO ABOUT A-ROD (AGAIN!)

Coming intoimage the 2016 season, Alex Rodriguez sits imageat 687 career home runs. That puts him a mere 27 home runs shy of Babe Ruth while Hank Aaron lies well beyond with 755 (-68) and then there’s the second man in baseball we love to hate – Barry Bonds at 762 (-75) for A-Rod to strive for.

But this imageis not really about those numbers. Whether A-Rod finishes at 1,2,3, or 4 doesn’t really matter. He’s had a prodigious imagecareer………somewhat tainted of course………but still the numbers speak for themselves.

Instead, the real issue revolves around $$$$$$$. A considerable amount of money. His contract extends through next year and is incentive laden with “bonuses” when he reaches imagecertain plateaus – some of which will be attainable this year. 

Money! What’s it worth to Alex – and coupled with that an even more interesting question……what’s it all worth to the Yankees……….as well as Major League Baseball……..

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PRE-SEASON WISHES

IT WOULD BE A GREAT YEAR FOR BASEBALL IF…….

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***** Giancarlo Stanton stays healthy, plays 155 games, hits 50 home runs, and drives in 130 runs.

***** The American League “Least” turns into the most competitive Division in baseball.

***** Dusty Baker lasts more than 40 games as the manager of the Nationals.

'OK, that's strike two. What is your third wish?'

‘OK, that’s strike two. What is your third wish?’

***** Clayton Kershaw continues to pound the strike zone and wins another Cy Young.

***** Justin Verlander figures out how to be Justin Verlander again.

***** Dr. James Andrews takes a month long vacation in July and no team has a need for his services.

***** The Dodgers figure out what to do with Yasiel Puig – or better yet – Yasiel Puig figures out what to do with Yasiel Puig.

***** David Wright imageproves me wrong that he’s washed up and will never be able to play more than 120 games a season again.

***** Major League Baseball announces that the 2019 All Star Game will be played in Havana, Cuba.

***** Those expensive prime seats at Yankee Stadium remain embarrassingly empty and StubHub wins its war against the richest team in baseball.

*****The people in the Tampa Bay Area realize that it’s a privilege and not a right to have a Major League Baseball team.

“WHO REMEMBERS………..” JIMMY PIERSALL

This is Chapter Fourteen in a developing series titled “Who Remembers…..” that aims to highlight the careers of colorful and intriguing ball players, who made their mark on the game not only with their impressive stats, but also with the sheer force of their personalities.

In keeping with the developing theme of this series, Jimmy Piersall’s life in and out of baseball is about more imagethan the back of his baseball card. Yes, he played in all or parts of seventeen big league seasons with five different teams collecting more than 1600 hits and ending his career with a respectable.272 batting average……..check to all of that………

But as you might suspect, he is not remembered for any of that. Instead, he is the man who once celebrated hitting his 100th home run by running around the bases backwards. And in days when imagemonuments stood on the field at Yankee Stadium 461 ft. from home plate, he is the man who hid behind them refusing to come out so the game could resume. He is also the man who, on the same playing field, met two would be “fan” attackers coming onto the field toward him with a few kicks in their butts.

Filled with intrigue, disaster, success followed by failure and then success again………the story of Jimmy Piersall goes far beyond the lines of a baseball diamond………

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PREDICTIONS……DON’T EVEN BOTHER….

I’m bored already with the endless cascade of so called “predictions ” about the 2016 season even before Spring Training officially begins. Two days ago, for instance, the USA Today crowned the Nationals, Giants, and Boston among others as Division winners. The New York Mets don’t even make the cut for the playoffs.

All of what they predict may turn out to be true, but if we step back and remember that 162 games remain to be played , it does get kind of ridiculous…..no?

What is the use, for example, of predicting anything when injuries play as much a role in a team’s success as home runs and batting averages? And yet, we can expect a continuing barrage of these procrastinations from media who need to fill print and talk radio space…

But here are the questions they should  be asking…… And not answering…..

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FREE AGENT CLOSEOUT SALE – WHILE STOCK LASTS…………

It’s probably a good time to pay a visit to the bargain basement section of the free agent store that’s still open for business 24/7. Because while all of the big splashes have been made and the big fish reeled in, imagethere’s still time to grab some decent talent while not having to break the bank to get it done. You might need to be a little creative with these players by softly playing a refrain similar to…….”I don’t mean to bust your bubble …………but maybe there’s a reason why you are still out here……..so let’s see if we can get together on something we’ll both be happy with”………..

Front row center we have Mark Beuhrle, Dexter Fowler, Marlon Byrd, Doug Fister, and Ian Desmond. If the price is right, is there a General Manager who would not want any of them on their roster? So how might deals with these and others shape up and what would be your sales pitch to ownership to make it happen……and before we begin let’s remember the possibility of proposing an opt out after the first year of a short term deal………..managements newest lure in reeling them in……..

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