Archive for the ‘New York Yankees’ Category

Rivalry Renewed

It’s that time again.

I’ve noticed over the last decade or so that the MLB schedule every year has the Red Sox and Yankees play an early April series, on the weekend, with the Sunday game always being shown on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. You can seriously set your watch to it.

So off we go with the first of 187 meetings this season in the greatest rivalry in sports. I’m actually intrigued to see how this one goes.

Personal Dan the #1 Rays Fan punching bag Wade Miley toes the slab for the Sox in game one, and I’m interested to see how he fares in the little league ballpark that is the new Yankee Stadium. If he goes out and throws 7 scoreless, I may have to turn my phone off for the night. Although I’m sure when I turn it on again, I’ll have three┬ámissed messages from Dave, laughing at my expense. He’ll probably throw in some cracks that Rays Those Cowbells can’t crack the 100-point barrier in week one either. I’m getting there, slowly but surely!

As for New York, big-time offseason addition (lol) Nathan Eovaldi tries to slow down one of the best offenses in the American League, and I’m sure it will work out great. I’ve always found that the recipe for success is trading for a mediocre pitcher who posted a 4.37 ERA in the light-hitting National League, and bringing him over to the best hitters’ park in the American League where the big-boy offenses play. The Yankees front office is already in mid-season form.

My only regret is that this series isn’t in Fenway Park. I’d love to see the Red Sox faithful make Alex Rodriguez regret ever returning for this year, one AB at a time.

Red Sox take 2 of 3.

Perfectly Clear

I wrote a post Monday stating that the New York Yankees are the best team in baseball and are poised to finally land their 27th World Series title. I didn’t get into a lot of the details on why I felt this way, because I thought I was pretty much stating the obvious.

After reading some comments that disagreed with the post, I figured the thing to do was to plug all the players, stats, and information into thefoulline.com’s supercomputer and find out for sure which team is the best. So, I’ve ranked the positions of the three teams that are the cream of the crop in the AL East: New York, Boston and Tampa Bay.

If I were a General Manager, these are the guys I would want.

First Base

  1. Mark Teixeira
  2. Kevin Youkilis
  3. Carlos Pena

This position was pretty close. All three guys are Gold Glove-caliber players with some pop in their bats. Teixeira has more power than Youkilis, Youkilis has a better batting average than both guys, and Pena grew up in the next town over from me. Each guy brings a lot to his respective team, but if I were starting a team and could pick a prototypical first baseman, it would be Teixeira.

Second Base

  1. Dustin Pedroia
  2. Ben Zobrist
  3. Robinson Cano

Pedroia is the reigning MVP and has emerged as a team leader for the Red Sox. All-Star, Gold Glove, Rookie of the Year – this guy has already had a great career and he’s only been around for three seasons. Zobrist has emerged this year as the all-purpose All-Star for the Rays who delivers big hits in the clutch. Although he doesn’t have much of a track record, he’s reliable at any position; I’m still waiting for this guy to play catcher. Cano has had an up-and-down last couple of seasons, but this enigmatic Yankee can hit for average with above-average power. What knocks Cano to third is his inconsistent defense and mental lapses on the basepaths.

Shortstop

  1. Derek Jeter
  2. Jason Bartlett
  3. (Distant 3rd) Whichever has-been SS Boston has thrown out there this year

Derek Jeter wears his pants too tight, but the Yankee captain always delivers in tight situations. Just when I thought Jeter was on the decline, he puts up a monster year and is the AL MVP. Speaking of MVPs, Jason Bartlett was the St. Petersburg Devil Rays Most Valuable Player in 2008. He provides the Rays with solid defense and is among the league leaders in batting average, and he’ll be a top 5 shortstop in 2010. As for Boston: Julio Lugo, Jed Lowrie, Alex Gonzalex, Nick Green… enough said.

Third Base

  1. Evan Longoria
  2. Alex Rodriguez
  3. Mike Lowell

As much as I love Mikey Lowell, this is obviously a two-horse race. Longoria is going to be a Hall of Famer and arguably one of the best third baseman of all time. Meanwhile, A-Rod is a steroid-using, Madonna-dating douche bag that can also play some ball. Not to mention, A-Rod is still owed a billion dollars on his contract and is playing with one hip.

Outfield

  1. Bay/Ellsbury/Drew
  2. Crawford/Upton/Gross
  3. Damon/Cabrera/Swisher

Carl Crawford is the best all-around outfielder out of all these players, and Upton is the best defender, but BJ is still living off his amazing ’08 postseason and has done absolutely nothing all year. The fact that Gabe Gross has a Major League job blows my mind. Boston’s triumvirate is superior as a whole; all three Red Sox outfielders are all-around solid players with base stealing ability. J.D. Drew drives me nuts and is overpaid, but he has the tendency to come up big when it counts. I love to watch the Yankee outfielders play. Johnny Damon makes every routine pop-up an adventure, I’m certain that I have a better throwing arm than Nick Swisher, and who the hell names their kid Melky? New York will upgrade this position in the offseason with either Matt Holliday or Jason Bay.

Catcher

  1. Victor Martinez
  2. Jorge Posada
  3. Dioner Navarro

Martinez is a great hitter but a defensive liability behind the plate. Posada can still hit, but he’s getting old and dinged up. Navarro is hitting .221 and has fallen off considerably in 2009. This is the weakest of all the positions. I’ll take V-Mart.

Starting Pitchers

  1. Josh Beckett/Jon Lester/Tim Wakefield
  2. James Shields/Matt Garza/Jeff Niemann
  3. CC Sabathia/A.J. Burnett/Andy Petitte

This was the toughest choice for me. I ranked this one on who I thought I would want to pitch in a five-game series. I’m obviously unsure who would be in each team’s rotation, but I’m guessing that this is pretty close. Boston has the best big game pitcher in baseball in Josh Beckett, the best left-hander in the the AL in Jon Lester, and an oft-injured 50-year-old knuckleballer in Wakefield. I would have felt better if Dice-K had been better this year, but I like this threesome. As for the Rays, Shields has the “big-game” moniker but has taken a step backwards this season. Garza was lights out last year in the playoffs but has become average. Jeff Niemann is a rookie, but he shows the poise of a veteran and has been Tampa’s best pitcher. If Garza takes his psychiatric medication and Shields regains his form, these guys could be tough. New York has the most money committed to their pitchers, but with the exception of Andy Petitte, no one has had post season success. Until CC and A.J. can prove themselves in the playoffs, they’ll bring up the rear.

These three teams are going to beat each other up for a long time. But with the playoffs right around the corner, I think Tampa will be odd man out. It’s close, but here’s how I rank them:

  1. Yankees
  2. Red Sox
  3. Rays

Change of Ideas

I’m the biggest Sox fan I know. The Red Sox can do no wrong in my eyes, and the Yankees are the most evil team in the universe.

Who doesn’t prefer the quaintness of Fenway Park over the sterility of the new Yankee Stadium? Who doesn’t prefer hanging Sox over pinstripes? Or Pedroia over A-Rod?

That’s what makes writing this post so difficult. The Yankees are without a doubt better than Boston, and are arguably the best baseball team I’ve seen in the past several years.

I used to argue that New York bought championships, that they couldn’t develop any of their talent and relied on throwing buckets of money at any and all high-profile free agents. Take Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, just to name the 2009 off-season. They committed over $200 million to three guys? I thought that this was a bad thing, and horrible for baseball.

But the more I think about it, I can’t help but think that they’ve got the right idea, and maybe Boston should get off their pocketbook and throw some cash around. Can you imagine if Theo Epstein had given in to Teixeira’s demands and given him an additional ten million? They would be running away with the division. Instead, they get to face him 19 times each of the next eight years, and we’ve already seen how that’s worked out.

Epstein thought it would be better to sign low-cost, potentially high-reward players in John Smoltz, Brad Penny and Takashi Saito, all of whom have equated to bust, bust, bust. To make matters even worse, Boston is now trying to add 38-year-old Billy Wagner. Wagner is fresh off Tommy John surgery and is due to be paid $8 million this year. That’s a lot of money to pay four aging ex-all-stars, all past their prime. What’s next, is Theo Epstein going to make a run at Sandy Koufax?

The last high-profile free agents that Boston signed have been Edgar Renteria, J.D. Drew, Julio Lugo and Dice-K Matsuzaka. I just threw up in my mouth.

If Boston’s free agent scouting was half as good as their farm development, they could avoid these money-pit signings and land some real talent. Is it time to start looking at a new General Manager in Bean town?

I hate that the Yankees are better than Boston. I hate that this may be the norm for the next several years, unless the Red Sox change their off-season approach. I hate that the Yankees are arrogant douche bags that are far too clean shaven for my liking.

But what I hate most, is that New York is primed to win their 27th World Series title this year.

When Love and Hate Collide

Foulliners, there is something I need to get off my chest that I’m not very proud of. I am embarrassed to admit I am a huge New York Yankees fan. After writing this blog for the past year, I felt that now was the time to finally come clean. I love the Yankees.

I love their 26 World Series rings. They’re so retro.

I love the supreme intelligence of Hank Steinbrenner.

I love the rules that they have in place for Joba. Next year he may get to pitch 12 innings.

I love pinstripes. They even make Don Zimmer look slim.

I love their professional grooming policy. Because everyone knows beards don’t win ballgames.

I love that they have a $200 million payroll. Because $190 million only buys 4th place.

I love that they made the playoffs for 13 consecutive years. I love even more that it won’t be 14.

I love the originality of the Yankee Universe.

I love Mantle, Gehrig, Ruth, Berra, Boone, Jeter and Bucky Effing Dent.

I love when Mariano Rivera comes on the field to “Enter Sandman.” Metallica is huge in Venezuela.

I love to watch Alex Rodriguez mash home runs, collect MVP awards, and cheat on his wife with skanky strippers and geriatric pop stars.

I love the Bronx. I can smell it from here.

I love Giambi’s mustache. It distracts from his fat ass and poor fielding percentage.

I love the Yankee fans’ passion, loyalty, and 3rd grade educations.

I love “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch at Yankee Stadium. It reminds me of the 4th of July, when they were still in contention.

I love Billy Crystal and Rudy Giuliani. They throw better than Johnny Damon.

I love that the Yankees pounded the Rays last night during game one of their series.

I love that the Yankees have the chance to play playoff spoiler this season.

I love the Yankees. At least until Thursday.

New York State of Mind

Don’t look now, but the New York Yankees have climbed to within three games of the AL East co-leaders Sox and Rays and are in Boston for a three-game set at Fenway Park that starts tonight. Like a bad case of athlete’s foot, New York refuses to go away. These guys have been decimated this season with injuries to Chien-Ming Wang, Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. Add to that the disappointing pitching from Ian Kennedy and Philip Hughes, plus the media circus of the A-Rod/Madonna/Cynthia Rodriguez/Lenny Kravitz Quadangle, and it is a miracle that these guys are still in contention. What is Hank Steinbrenner pumping through the air conditioning ducts to keep these guys motivated?

I’m not sure that the Yankees have enough pitching to make a long run at the playoffs, but you can be certain that Hank Steinbrenner will mortgage the future at next week’s trade deadline to at least make it interesting.

Objects in the rearview mirror are closer than they appear.

Thefoulline.com Quick Hits

  • I don’t know what Joba Chamberlain’s problem with Kevin Youkilis is, but if he hits Youk again tonight, I hope he gets his face smashed in with a Louisville Slugger.
  • You can tell that autumn is here when the leaves change color, and you can tell it’s almost August when Manny Ramirez starts faking another injury. This season it’s his sore knee. It never fails.
  • The attendance at Tropicana Field for the last two games for the Rays was about 12,000 and 16,000. That equates to 30.1% and 40% of total capacity. I know that it’s not the temperature in Florida that’s keeping them away. It’s always fair-weathered in the dome.
  • Big Papi David Ortiz rejoins the Sox tonight after a long layoff. This might be the big move at the trade deadline that everyone has been hoping for.
  • Speaking of the trading deadline… I really hope that Boston deals Manny to the Mets for prospects, takes those prospects and adds a top-line Red Sox prospect to the mix, and makes a deal for Matt Holliday. He would make people forget about Manny pretty damn quick.
  • Playoff atmosphere at Fenway tonight, and there is no one better to have on the mound than the best big game pitcher in baseball, Josh Beckett.

Go Sox!

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Attention all Major League ballplayers, playing hard against the Yankees will no longer be tolerated!

After some no-name Tampa Bay Ray ran over some no-name Yankee player a few days ago, the Bronx Bombers took exception to anyone daring to challenge them, and they vowed revenge. Yesterday, during Round 2 of the epic Yankees-Rays brouhaha, that revenge took the form of Shelley “My Parents Really Wanted a Girl” Duncan.

By now, I’m sure everyone has seen the replay. Duncan did her best Pearl Harbor impression into the unsuspecting second baseman Akinori Iwamura. What made this dirty play even worse was when Duncan stood up and acted like (s)he didn’t do anything wrong. This chick is your typical, cheap-shot, idiotic, self-entitled Yankee. I expect this stuff from A-Rod, not from some moron that has done absolutely nothing in this league.

Thefoulline.com Quick Hits

  • The Red Sox released Doug Mirabelli today. How this one-trick pony has lasted in the league this long is beyond me. This guy hasn’t been able to hit his weight in average over the past several years. If the Sox are going to use a weak-hitting, defensive-minded backup catcher, make it one of the young kids. Jason Varitek needs to start grooming his heir.
  • Clay Buchholz is dating a Penthouse model. This just proves my theory that woman are attracted to dumb, lanky, goofy-looking men. She is in no way interested in his potential future earnings.
  • Bartolo Colon looked pretty good today. Two innings and 1 ER against the always-potent Tampa Bay Rays. Not a bad way to begin his epic comeback.
  • To be filed in the Talk Is Cheap folder: Coco Crisp vowed at the beginning of spring training that he would not be happy with being a backup outfielder and would win the starting centerfielder spot. Since this bold statement, Crisp has played in two spring training games. Thanks for totally killing your trade value.
  • In sad news today, the loyal thefoulline.com reader/contributor known as “the Canadian Yankee/Pirate fan” has suffered a serious injury. It appears that in an attempt to simultaneously cheer for his two favorite teams during the Yankees-Pirates game today, his head exploded. We all hope for a speedy recovery.

Anybody but Ellsbury

The Boston Red Sox have seized the momentum in the great Yankees/Red Sox feud with another World Series victory. Let’s hope that they don’t let up. They have a great opportunity to upgrade their already potent pitching staff and drive a stake into the heart of the Evil Empire by finally beating out the Yankees for the best player available. I don’t care if they knock New York off the top of the high-salary mountain; everyone knows that Boston is loaded with cash after their second World Series victory in four years. If I were Theo Epstein, I’d have the Minnesota Twins on speed dial and start giving up players until they agree to give up Johan Santana.

With the exception of course of Jacoby Ellsbury.

Ellsbury has already proven that he belongs in the Majors. He plays the game like a seasoned veteran and should be a lock for the American League Rookie of the Year in 2008. We had the opportunity to see all aspects of Jacoby Ellsbury’s game last season: his speed, great defense, surprisingly potent bat, and most importantly his heart.

In professional baseball, it’s obvious when someone can play. This evaluation is a lot easier with a position player than it is with a pitching prospect, which is more like playing the stock market, where no one is guaranteed to perform. There have been countless “can’t miss” pitchers picked in the first round of the draft that have flamed out faster than you can say “Todd Van Poppel.” Does anyone know which Baskin Robbins former #1 pick Brien Taylor is working at these days? With young pitchers it is never a sure thing.

With that being said, I would give up Lester, Buchholz, Lowrie, Crisp and whichever Minor League pitcher they want. I would make them an offer they can’t refuse. With Josh Beckett, Johan Santana, and Dice K locked into the starting rotation for the next several years, Boston has the opportunity to become a legitimate dynasty and have time to restock their farm system.

The funny thing is, I would prefer it if the Red Sox made a deal for the Oakland A’s Dan Haren instead. I think he is just a notch below Santana in talent but would still fit in well in the Boston rotation. Haren wouldn’t cost as much in terms of salary and prospects as Johan but would still be considered another legitimate staff ace.

But knowing how bad the Yankees want and need Santana makes me want the Sox to push even harder for him, because no matter how many times I see the Yankees lose, it never gets old. Even if it’s just a player they’re playing for.

Reunited and it feels so good

The more things change in Major League Baseball, the more they stay the same. I know that it is still early in the offseason, but I can’t help but to be a little amused that the Yankees and the Red Sox haven’t made any new acquisitions. Both teams have elected to re-sign their own free agents and have resorted to pretty much put the same teams on the field as last season. Are both teams that content with last year’s lineups? Or is the free agent market that inflated with overpriced and overrated talent? Either way, I was expecting both teams to make some upgrades by now.

Looking at both teams, it’s obvious that the Yankees have more holes than the Sox. They have a lousy bullpen that features an overpriced and rapidly declining Mariano Rivera. They have a starting rotation that may be losing Andy Pettitte. Mix in big-game choker Chien-ming Wang and three unproven youngsters in Phillip Hughes, Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain, and this may be the area of the biggest need for the Evil Empire. I have been impressed the last couple of seasons that the Yankees have given their farm system a chance to develop and have avoided trading these guys. Let’s see if this patience pays off for them. It could be long year (I hope) for the Yankees.

The Red Sox have some holes of their own. Although not as glaring as the Yankees, there are some needs to be addressed. First and foremost, the Red Sox infield appears to be locked in for the next three years. Youk, Pedroia, Lugo, and Lowell have proven that they play great defense and they make each other look better. The outfield of Drew, Ellsbury, and Manny looks good for next year, but this will be without a doubt Manny’s last year in Boston. The Sox are going to have to keep an eye open for someone to replace his offense. I have no idea who this could be, but I’m sure it will be addressed.

The biggest concerns for the Red Sox in 2008 are their bench and backup catcher. There is going to be some major overhaul here. I would keep Alex Cora since he can play several positions, even though he is an offensive liability. I would try to keep Bobby Kielty, since he hit the game winning home run in game four of the World Series, not to mention he is a switch hitter. I would use Coco Crisp to land a quality backup catcher that can learn from Jason Varitek and be his eventual replacement. Gerald Laird of the Rangers is a name that has been mentioned in possible trade for Coco, which I think makes sense for both teams.

Being a Red Sox fan/Yankee hater, I am content with the Red Sox keeping their World Series team together for a chance to defend their title. I am also really happy that the Yankees decided to re-sign perennial loser/team cancer/MVP Alex Rodriquez and keep the rest of the team as it was. This guy has shown that he can lose at every level of baseball. Mix in a lousy bullpen, tax evading shortstop, the league’s highest payroll, and two crazy owners for the price of one, and next year should be no different for New York, as they sit at home watching Boston win another title.

Dylan’s letter to Red Sox Nation

Another inspiring post from Dylan “And you may ask yourself, how can I serve Red Sox Nation bigger and better this offseason?” Hamilton.

Dear Red Sox Nation,

I know, I know, this has been a crazy week. I mean, wow, World Series champs……..again. I hope you all have had a great work week, wearing some form of Sox gear almost everyday and simply basking in the victory. I also hope everyone had a chance to be at, or at least watch the parade on the duck boats. Papelbon truly earned the right to be called the craziest man in baseball with his performance this year in the parade. So, I hope this letter truly finds everyone well.

I’m listening to the Talking Heads song “Once In a Lifetime” right now. You know the one, it has the chorus, “and you may find yourself, in another part of the world, and you may find yourself, in a beautiful house…” Well, and you may find yourself, as World Series champs, and you ask yourself, “well, how did I get here?” It’s a good song. Anyways, the purpose of this letter is that I know some of you are feeling a little out of place after winning this World Series. I talked about it a few days ago in my last post on here, how this title feels different. Well, I’m sending you all this letter to outline what we need to do this offseason, not as trades or signings, I’m not talking about the team here. This letter is from me to you, from Dylan to the entire Red Sox Nation.

First of all, winning the World Series on Sunday night is perfect for the Mon-Fri 9-5’ers. Come in to work Monday a little rough looking from Sunday, with a big grin on your face, looking for the closest Yankee fan. It’s awesome. Well, the week is now over, and any other sports fan would let this die down, it has been a week, and start thinking about next season, maybe football, who knows? Well, Red Sox Nation, we need not do that. This offseason, let’s ride this title out. Let’s spend the entire offseason bashing the Yankees, and really, the entire American League. After 86 years of struggle and ridicule as being 2nd best, let’s just get flat out cocky about this. I’m not saying get rid of the lovable-losers attitude, but we’re all Mass-holes in one way, shape, or form, so let’s show it. For the rest of the offseason, go ahead Red Sox Nation, and brag, brag, brag. We’re the best, let people know it. Let’s be as loud and obnoxious as we all so very well can, and let everyone know that we are all very happy about this title.

Secondly, follow the Yankees matters very closely. All this winning in the Red Sox Nation does not sit pretty in the Rotten Apple, and the few Yankee fans that are left are going to desire to break out any sort of 26 rings comment to take us off of our pedestal. Well, we can’t let this happen. Their team is in complete shambles, and odds are most Yankee fans don’t follow the team with as much devotion as we follow baseball. So, get read up on all the Yankees facts, rumors, trades, etc., and when you come in with your head held high and they come back with some “Your mom wears 26 rings” comment, back it up with “All your All-Stars are going to leave town” comments. I can’t wait for that. We always gave a huge fight to New York, but they always had us in a corner. Now we’re out, and we gotta start swinging.

Lastly Red Sox Nation, don’t forget where you came from. We are the only city, only region in America where baseball is the biggest sport around. We have the greatest football team possibly ever put together this season, but we’re a baseball town. The Sox will always be more important. It’s religion. We’ve come a long way to get here as two-time champs in less than five years. We’ve sat through a lot of struggle, and we can’t forget it. During this offseason, watch old Red Sox DVDs, read some old articles about the Curse, even try not closing your eyes when Buckner comes up on TV. We have the richest tradition in sports as Red Sox Nation, and for once, it’s time to be proud.

So, Red Sox Nation, as the buzz of this championship simmers down, I hope we all can embrace this great change that comes from winning. I hope you all have a great offseason. There’s much to discuss this winter, so stay tuned to the thefoulline.com, and don’t forget: the best way to get a Yankee fan off your front porch is to just pay for the pizza.

See you all in Fort Myers in a few months.

Sincerely,

Dylan “I’m putting all my trust in Theo about trades and free agents” Hamilton

He made them an offer they can’t refuse

The New York Yankees announced today that George Steinbrenner is giving up control of the team to his sons Hank and Hal. Something tells me the apples didn’t fall too far from the tree. Hank’s first order of business was to announce Joba “the Hut” Chamberlain will be a starting pitcher next season. You read it right. Not re-signing Joe Torre. Not negotiating with the 2007 AL MVP. Not trying to re-sign Jorge Posada or Mariano Rivera. He decided to focus on a lard-ass rookie pitcher who gets unraveled when a few bugs fly around his head. Hank’s a chip off the old block.

With Steinbrenner getting older, I knew his time running the Yankees was coming to an end. I was disappointed I wasn’t going to see or hear from this whack job any more when his team starts losing games. And what does he do? He turns the team over to his two sons. If one nut job is good, then two nut jobs must be really good, right?

For some reason, I keep seeing this unfold in a Godfather-esque fashion. But instead of turning over the power to someone smart, ruthless, and powerful like Michael Corleone, George turns power over to Fredo, the dumb, no-common-sense imbecile. And we all know how it turned out for Fredo.

We may have seen the end to this once proud franchise. It now looks like the New York Yankees sleep with the fishes.