There are several topics to get into this afternoon —So let’s just dive right on in, shall we ?
First up is the Red Sox/Athletics series in Japan …
I actually set my alarm for 4:30 AM yesterday and today
so that I could watch both of these first two regular season games being played
in the land of the rising sun.
And in first of these two games I actually saw a
microcosm of the 2007 Boston Red Sox.
In game one the Red Sox got behind an then rallied to
take the lead and then fell behind again.
Daisuke threw a ton of pitches early and got behind every
hitter and then after getting out of a bases loaded jam early in the game he
went on to kind of settle down a little because the Oakland hitters just seemed
to let him off of the hook.
These same batters who had been so patient early on (and
who hadn’t been swinging at pitches out of the zone) started chasing pitches
low and outside and high and outside.
Even more maddening is that they were chasing these
pitches in 2-0 and 3-1 counts.
In the first couple of innings alone Daisuke had walked 3
or 4 batters and had thrown close to 50 pitches.
Why then do you ever swing 2-0 or 3-1 in the third or
fourth inning when he’s proven to you that you have to respect his out pitches
out of the zone and that he is almost completely incapable of throwing three
consecutive strikes to any hitter.
But that’s what happened with Daisuke almost 15 times
last year and it happened almost any time that the Red Sox weren’t playing a
team with patient veteran hitters like the Yankees.
He’d get into trouble early on and then the hitters would
just start swinging at every pitch.
The Athletics needed to play inning three, four, and five
the same way that they did the first two innings.
But they got impatient and let him off of the hook.
And make no mistake about it…
Daisuke has got filthy stuff and if you are going to
swing at all of his borderline pitches and chase
his breaking stuff off of the
plate — he’s going to wear you out all night long.
Despite all of this, the A’s went into the 9th inning
with a one run lead and their closer on the mound with a chance for a win
against the Red Sox.
That’s when it happened…
That thing that happened more times last year than I want
In the 9th inning with one out already recorded in the
inning — They rally again (this time off of Oakland closer Huston Street) and
then win the game by one run in 10 innings.
I don’t want to call the Red Sox lucky — because they
They’re very good.
But they also seem to have started to catch breaks more
often than a lot of other teams do and that’s been happening ever since game 5
of the 2004 ALCS.
Maybe the baseball gods had gotten their fill of watching
the Bostonians suffer and watching the Red Sox catch every bad break imaginable
from 1918 to 2004.
Maybe their karma changed a little bit.
I don’t know.
I just don’t think that they have a team that’s any
better than the Yankees.
I truly don’t.
And I don’t think that their pitching is that much better
than ours either (contrary to popular belief).
And we’ve won the season series with them each of the
past several years.
It just seems karma finally caught up with them and it’s
been a pretty steady tide of it.
They should have been down and out in 2004.
And yet somehow they weren’t.
I’m not sure how or why …
They just pulled it out …
Cleveland and yet they pulled that out
to.Conventional wisdom left them for dead last year when
they dropped to 3-1 in the ALCS against I couldn’t believe it.
They just seem to have been fortunate enough to get the
breaks when they need them and get hot at the right time.
And now I keep reading each and every day about the Red Sox and their supposed standing on top of
the Yankees (and everybody else) in baseball in 2008.
But I wonder if these people would still be saying these same things if the Red Sox lost one more game out of seven to Cleveland last year or if those damned midges hadn’t eaten Joba alive in the ALDS?
Probably not …
I have noticed that the proponents of the idea that Boston is the central focus point in professional sports have been some what less demonstrative since the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots in the 2008 Superbowl.
Now how would it be portrayed in the sports media if the Giants and the Yankees were BOTH Word Champions in 2008?
Would it be a Yankees Universe or a Red Sox nation? Because hang on Yankees fans — I really do have a suspicion that their luck (and ours) may be in
for a change in 2008 as the ghosts of Yankee Stadium will surely want to raise
the cups and celebrate one more World Series Championship victory in good old
Yankee Stadium before the pinstriped legion moves into the new Yankee stadium
in 2009 …
(Oh — And by the way — This morning’s game was much
more fun to watch… Maybe the tide is already starting to turn …?)
Second on deck is the Spring Training game between the
Philadelphia Phillies and the New York
Yankees today at Brighthouse Field in
The Yankees got shut out and lost the game 4-0 to the
Phillies who were lead by RHP Brett Myers.
Chien Ming Wang absorbed the loss for the Yankees and he
was sort of shaky on the hill today against the Phils.
He got into too many deep counts and seemed to have
trouble keeping the ball down.
But — Looking at it from a glass half full perspective
— Wang gave up all of his four earned runs and the majority of his six hits
in the 2nd inning and was pretty effective in the first inning and in innings
three, four, and five (despite obviously not having his best stuff).
Also Joba was able to get into the game and he and Ross
Ohlendorf looked pretty sharp and ready for the 2008 Yankees bullpen.
So, all in all, I’m happy with Wang and I’m happy with the ‘pen.
I’m not happy with the loss — but it is still Spring
Training and those losses don’t count.
Besides — All of our regulars weren’t in anyways.
And in off topic sort of random note, I read this on
Steve Goldman’s Pinstriped Blog over on the YES Network Website:
“Over at ESPN today, Rob Neyer says he wouldn’t go so far
as to call Brett Myers a terrible human being. With all respect to my friend Rob, I would go that far, and I would suggest
that what he did — punching out his wife — far outweighs juicing as reprehensible behaviors go. The media will be writing about the Black Syringe
ballplayers for the next hundred years, condemning them until you can’t even see them anymore for all of the noxious clouds of false
piety being spewed into the air, while Myers will remain a player in good standing. Perhaps wife-beaters are less of an existential threat to
the game than are cheaters, but when we’re getting ready to ride the latter out of town on a rail, we
should at least make a show of reserving a spot for the wife-beaters alongside them. If we’re going to hold
a crusade, let’s get rid of all the reprobates, not just some of them … I feel entirely comfortable in
passing judgment on Myers, and in regular times would probably let it go at that, but since we’re in
ongoing McCarthyism mode these days, it is right and proper to keep reminding people of where the true *******
replacement level is.”
I happen to absolutely agree with Mr. Goldman on this one.
Brett Myers is an absolute disgrace to the Philadelphia Phillies, to himself,
and to all of major league baseball.
The fact that he’s still allowed to toe the rubber on a
big league field is an embarrassment to the game of baseball.
I don’t approve of the use of HGH or steroids and I don’t
approve of cheating.
But this sort of stuff is just as bad and I would actually
say that it’s probably worse.
Mr. Goldman didn’t address how Myers verbally abused Sam
Carchidi, a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and threatened him with
I don’t know why Carchidi didn’t file charges against
I would have at least filled out a police report.
I don’t like the Red Sox and I don’t like the Angels.
But this is a different sort of dislike and I think that
it’s a disapproval all fans should show to this jerk.
If you have a moment of two — check out these two links to see what I’m talking about … ?
And for my last topic — I’ll briefly mention my 2008 Yankees
Spring Training sojourn to Tampa.
I made my annual trip to Florida in the middle of this
month and took in so Yankees spring training
games as well as a Astros/Tigers
spring training game and a Phillies/Reds Spring Training game while I was
It was loads of fun and I got to be there for the
Yankees/Rays brawl in Saint Petersburg and got to attend the Spring Training
game at Legends field when Billy Cystal got his one and only at bat.
If anybody is interested I have 6 photo albums now posted
on my blog with photos from four Yankees Spring Training games as well as the
other two I just mentioned.
Just thought I’d give you guys and gals a heads up.
Well, that’s all for now …
Keep the home fires burning and start making your plans
now for the Yankees home opener next Monday against he Toronto Blue Jays.
It’s going to be Wang against Halladay and so it should
be a good one !