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.

Fighting Temptations

Baseball fights are stupid. It’s essentially a pig pile of grown men. No one ever lands a clean punch, and all it does is increase the hostility between the two teams. Players’ egos are getting out of control.

With that being said, 3rd base coach DeMarlo Hale body slamming James Shields was awesome.

Thefoulline.com Quick Hits:

  • I would trade Coco Crisp for James Shields/Jonny Gomes any day of the week.
  • The Red Sox are a close-knit team, but you have to figure if anyone is going to fight in the Sox dugout, it’s going to be Kevin Youkilis and Manny Ramirez. Youk is an intense, hardworking, blue-collar player. Manny is a naturally talented, lazy idiot. I’d be surprised if this was the first fight between the two.
  • With Manny’s contract up at the end of this season, I think Boston should make a serious run at Colorado Rockies Matt Holliday. He’s younger than Manny, would have a comparable salary, can play left field, and would absolutely destroy Fenway Park.
  • Please, please, please…. let’s hope Jacoby Ellsbury didn’t break his wrist in last night’s game. If he did, the Sox are in big trouble. Ellsbury has been doing a great job as Boston’s table-setter.
  • After last night’s basebrawl game, the Rays are now neck-and-neck with the Yankees as public enemy number one at thefoulline.com
  • Jonny Gomes, Carl Crawford, and Akinori Iwamura are a bunch of punks. These three are the biggest cheap-shot artists I have ever seen. Punching Coco when he was being he held down by Dioner Navarro was cowardly. These three should receive longer suspensions than both Coco and Shields.
  • I have to mention Joba Chamberlain’s performance the other night at Yankee stadium: 2.1 innings, 148 pitches, 4 walks, 55,000 dejected fans, one foolish looking owner. Question: If a guy is playing great in the set-up role, why mess with that? Answer: Hank Steinbrenner is a friggin moron.
  • I hope the Rays enjoyed their 22 days in first place of the American League East. It will be the last time they sniff first for the rest of the year.

Everything in Its Right Place

Thefoulline.com quick hits:

  • For the record, I wrote a few months ago that the Red Sox should make every attempt to trade for Johan Santana. This included dealing Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, pretty much anyone. Obviously the Sox front office is smarter than I am.
  • In case you missed it, Jon Lester threw a no-hitter against the K.C. Royals the other night. I’ve always figured that Lester would be a solid contributor for the Sox. He’s a guy that I thought could go out and win 12-15 games a year and be a solid #3 guy in the rotation. After Monday’s performance, I think I’ve underestimated his ability.
  • Watching the Sox as a kid, they were always a slow, prodding team that relied on the long ball. They rarely manufactured runs, and stolen bases were nonexistent. The 2008 team with Ellsbury, Coco, Pedroia, Youk and Lugo stealing bases and playing small ball is a lot more fun to watch.
  • Speaking of Lugo, his tenure in Boston may be coming to an end. What kind of message is Terry Francona sending when Lugo gets a defensive replacement four games in a row? Paging Jed Lowrie…
  • Jacoby Ellsbury stole 25 bases in a row to start his career, two short of the record set by Tim Raines. Ellsbury was thrown out on a pitch-out and a perfect strike from the catcher to second base, and he still was barely out. This kid is scary fast.
  • Manny Ramirez stated that he has stopped hitting home-runs on purpose. He said that fans aren’t excited enough about it, and he is going to wait to hit them on the upcoming west coast trip. The reason fans aren’t excited, Man-Ram, is that you’re hitting .178 with 11 strikeouts over the last 12 games. And you’re an idiot.
  • The Sox have had solid contributions this year from their young players: Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Manny Delcarmen, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Jed Lowrie, Justin Masterson, and Brandon Moss.
  • The Yankees “top” young players have done the following: Phillip Hughes 0-4, 9.00 ERA; Ian Kennedy 0-3, 8.48 ERA; Jeff Karstens 1-4, 11.05 ERA; Melky Cabrera, .252 batting average; Joba Chamberlain, 10 holds, 2.66 ERA, 700 cheeseburgers eaten. Advantage: Boston.
  • Bartolo Colon is wicked fat, but he pitched pretty well last night. He may make his Fantasy debut for the Yankeehaters next week.
  • Joba Chamberlain is joining the New York Yankees starting rotation. This is going to be just the boost the Yanks need to leapfrog the Blue Jays and seize fourth place in the division.
  • Ex-Sox and current freak show Eric Gagne is being sidelined with a shoulder “injury.” Have you seen this guy lately? Not only is he stinking it up in Milwaukee, but he may be the ugliest human on the planet. 7.45 ERA, multiple blown saves, $10 million… money well spent.

A blessing in disguise

Yesterday when I read that Curt Schilling had an injured shoulder and was going to miss the first half of the season, I was pretty worried. I was hoping that Schill was going to have a solid final season in the major leagues and make a push for making the Hall of Fame someday. I was concerned that the Red Sox would miss his leadership. I wondered how the Red Sox rotation would fare with two young guns assuming a very important role. I was wondering if Theo Epstein blew it by not making a serious run at Johan Santana.

But then I came to my senses.

The Red Sox had the best rotation in baseball last year in spite of the elementary performance of Schilling. Schill came into spring training looking like a poor man’s Joba Chamberlain, and it showed with his injury. The once dominant fast-baller had morphed into a finesse pitcher with a weight problem. Hitters were no longer intimidated by him, which was evident by his 9-8 record. He couldn’t blow the pitches past the hitters and resorted to nibbling the corners. I was on the edge of my seat every time Schilling pitched last year, because he was always one pitch away from serving up a three run home-run. I had big hopes for Schilling this year. He seemed motivated to come to camp this year in better shape and erase the memories of his disappointing 2007 season.

With Schilling missing at least the first half of the season, this is the opportunity Clay Buchholz needs to prove why he is Boston’s top pitching prospect. Buchholz was dominant during his short stint with the Sox last year, but being that he is only 24 years old and still developing, the Sox will want to limit his innings this season. So maybe he can assume the #5 spot in the rotation until Schilling comes back, then go to a six-man rotation for the playoff run. This will give everyone a little rest and get them ready for the playoffs.

I still really like Boston’s rotation this year. Beckett will be Beckett and should chalk up another 20 wins. Dice K, with a season of experience under his belt, should take his game up a notch. Wakefield is always good for at least 12 wins. Then we have the always improving Jon Lester, and the wild card Clay Buchholz. If any of these guys falter, Boston will have some options. Kyle Snyder and Julian Tavarez are always available to start. There some kids in the minors worthy of a call-up. And if all else fails, Theo will make the deal to shore up the rotation.

We all know pitching wins games. We’ll soon see if the Sox have enough to defend their title.

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.

Foulline playoff notes

I love the baseball playoffs. It really is the best time of the sports year. If you didn’t get excited watching either of the American League Division games last night, you might be a cyborg… or maybe J.D. Drew. Here are some of the things that caught my eye during these two games last night.

  • Boston fans might want to reconsider A-Rod joining the Red Sox next season. This guy is 0 for 24 in the postseason with three more strikeouts last night. If the postseason started in May, he would be our guy.
  • Fausto Carmona is the real deal. He will win a Cy Young within the next three seasons.
  • Watching Joba Chamberlain pitch last night was a thing of beauty. The bugs flying around his head turned him into a shell of the pitcher he normally is. I’m surprised he was able to get anyone out the way he was affected. I bet if it were Snickers bars instead of bugs flying around his fat head he would have been ok.
  • I may have given Dice K too much credit. He looked a little out of sorts. Not a terrible game, but I was expecting more from the #2 guy.
  • Joe Torre aged 30 years over the last two games. He is now officially 112.
  • For a while last night, I really thought Manny Ramirez was drunk. He played like he drank a bottle of Jack Daniels before the game, over-running a ball in the 2nd inning, turning a routine fly ball into a circus catch. He really looked lost. He needed that walk-off home run just to redeem himself.
  • Anytime you get walked four times during a playoff game, you win the official title of Baddest Dude in Baseball. 2007 winner: David Ortiz.
  • Kelvim Escobar deserved better. He really pitched well last night. With the exception of the first inning, he was excellent. I can’t remember a pitcher hitting the outside corner as often as Escobar did last night.
  • Manny Ramirez will get beaned in game 3. After he hit his game winner, he admired that shot a little too long. You have to act like you’ve done it before, Manny. Enjoy the plunking. By the way, that blast was wicked awesome.
  • I can now see why the Angels won their division. They are scary on the basepaths.
  • The WTBS announcers are horrible. They regurgitated every fact that has been reported this season. Wow! Breaking news! Jonathan Papelbon was supposed to be a starting pitcher this year! That is top-rate reporting. Not to mention they both have faces for radio.
  • Has anyone seen Derek Jeter this post season? Isn’t this guy supposed to be Captain Clutch?
  • In a one-run game, Mike Scioscia let Scot Shields pitch. This guy’s ERA at Fenway is 17.65. He makes John Lackey look like Sandy Koufax.
  • That was not a typo above. The Shields family opted to give their son only one “t” in his name.
  • Roger Clemens is pitching his last game in the Major Leagues tomorrow. Four years too late.
  • I know I am reaching on this one, but I really believe Boston and Cleveland will meet in the American League Championship Series.

The American League playoffs have been great so far and have really lived up to the hype.

Does anyone know when the National League Playoffs start???