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Every Game Counts, Except These
2005-09-27 20:47
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

It took four hours and sixteen minutes and 398 pitches, but last night's 17-9 Yankee loss to the Baltimore Orioles finally came to an end just before 11:30 p.m. EST last night. And in the end, it meant nothing. Yes, despite the fact that the Yankees are in a three way tie for the AL East and the Wild Card with just five games left to play in the season, last night's loss meant nothing. That's because the Red Sox, Indians, and White Sox all lost last night as well.

In the end, the evening was a complete wash for the American League save for the Angels clinching the West with a 4-3 win over the A's. All that happened was that one more game came off the schedule. Thus, despite the Yankees failure to emerge with a victory last night, their Drive For Five is down to four. With four wins the Yankees will win the American League East.

For those gluttons for punishment, the bloody details of last night's games follow the jump.

Things started off encouragingly enough when Derek Jeter homered on Bruce Chen's second pitch of the night, but Mike Mussina gave that run plus one right back in the bottom of the first. Making his second start since returning from a three-week layoff due to elbow inflammation, Mussina pitched the way I had feared he would in his last start. He had nothing. His curve ball hopped, but didn't break, and though he was able to get ahead of the first three batters he faced, he quickly discovered he couldn't locate and didn't have an out pitch.

In the bottom of the second, Mussina retired the first two batters, but couldn't get another out, allowing three more runs to score before Joe Torre came out to get him. That began a parade of horrors out of the Yankee bullpen starting with Al Leiter, who, in his defense, did manage to retire the first four batters he faced (though, in classic Leiter style, it took him 25 pitches to do it).

Gary Sheffield dug the Yankees out of the hole dug by Mussina with a two-run homer in the third and a two-out grand slam in the fourth, but Leiter handed it right back in the bottom of the fourth, the decisive blow being a two-out two-run homer by lefty Jay Gibbons.

From there Torre went to Scott Proctor who gave up a solo home run to Javy Lopez to start the fifth then, after striking out Luis Matos, loaded the bases to earn the hook. Torre's next sacrifice was Felix Rodriguez. Rodriguez's fourth pitch to tailed in on the right-handed Melvin Mora and tipped off Jorge Posada's glove for a run-scoring passed ball. Felix then walked Mora to reload the bases and walked in another run to make it 11-7 O's. Torre then turned to Wayne Franklin who walked in another run before finally getting the final two outs of the inning (the first on a sac fly that scored the Orioles thirteenth run).

Miraculously, Franklin returned to pitch a scoreless sixth and Alan Embree followed with a 1-2-3 seventh. Meanwhile, the Yankees chipped away with a run in both the seventh and eighth. Down 13-9 going into the bottom of the eighth, Joe Torre got serious, bringing in Tanyon Sturtze to hold the O's in anticipation of a ninth-inning Yankee rally only to watch Sturtze surrender four more runs, three of them on a two-out nail-in-the-coffin home run by Melvin Mora.

Meanwhile, in Boston, Curt Schilling was unable to make five Red Sox runs hold up, leaving the game after surrendering a game-tying single to Vernon Wells in the seventh. The Blue Jays then took the lead against Chad Bradford and Craig Hansen in the eighth and added an insurance run against Chad Harville and Jeremi Gonzalez in the ninth. Many Yankee rooters had hoped that the double-header that resulted from Monday's rain out would force the Red Sox to play a tight game with a weakened bullpen. Indeed, both Jon Papelbon and Mike Timlin were used to nail down the win in the day game and the remaining members of the pen coughed up the night cap.

In Cleveland, Scott Elarton coughed up five runs to the Devil Rays in six inning, four of them on a pair of homers by Julio Lugo and Alex Gonzalez, while Scott Kazmir held the Indians to a single sixth-inning run. The Tribe got a pair off Joe Borowski in the eighth, another in the ninth against Tampa closer Danys Baez, and pushed the tying run to third with one out in the ninth, but Ronnie Belliard ground into a game-ending double play to give the Rays the win.

In Detroit, Nate Robertson out-pitched Brandon McCarthy for six and a third, yielding to the pen with a 3-1 lead in the seventh. The White Sox picked up a run against Fernando Rodney in the top of the ninth, but left the tying run on second when Jermaine Dye flied out to end the game.

As a result, the Red Sox, Yanks and Tribe remain in a three-way tie, two games behind the White Sox, meaning these scenarios still apply.

Comments (54)
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2005-09-28 01:26:14
1.   Marcus
Great googly-moogly, I'm back from rural Tanzania and am just catching up with this mess. Tied for first and the wild card?!? the deciding series coming up this weekend?!?! I guess it's not time to relax...
2005-09-28 04:38:30
2.   singledd
Last night, Cliff said the White Sox loss meant nothing. I'm not sure how he could say this. There is still the outside change that they will content for the WC. But even more important is:

The WSox/Indians play the last three. If they go into the series 2 up, one win clinches 1st. If they do this the 1st game, they will rest their players and field a team that would make Womack look like a star.
They will borrow 2 starting pitchers from our Pen. It will assure the Indians 2 easy wins to close the year, one of which may be the 1 game they beat us by for the WC.

2005-09-28 05:09:51
3.   Max
Howard Bryant's column in the Boston Herald today gives us this little tidbit from Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi, after making special note of Ricciardi's close ties to the Sox -- freqently dining with writers, scouts and Red Sox employees in the Fenway press lounge (given his Worcester heritage):

"Ricciardi loves David Ortiz, even compared him to Barry Bonds in terms of the fear factor that comes when Ortiz approaches the batter's box....

But, Ricciardi says he likes Alex Rodriguez as the MVP. ``I love David Ortiz, don't get me wrong. How can you not love what he's done? But Alex can beat you with his glove,'' he said.

Should Ortiz not win the MVP, a common lament will be that he is a designated hitter, but Ricciardi makes the distinction between wearing a glove and knowing what to do with it.

'If Alex was a butcher in left field, there would be no difference, but he isn't just a good fielder, he can win games with his defense. He did it to us. You don't know how big that is.'

2005-09-28 05:10:27
4.   rbj
Well that sucked. Even Proctor got hit, and the scary thing is Embree didn't. Embree's still toxic, don't use him in meaningful situations, or in the post season.
Good news is that AJ Burnett won't be back with the Marlins. Let the bidding begin.
2005-09-28 05:15:31
5.   Simone
The Yankees score 9 runs and had no shot to win that game. That pitching performance from Mussina downwards was simpy atrocious. What a fiasco. I saw the expressions on Joe and Mel's face, they must have some major self-control because I would have been cussing out those pitchers left and right as they stood on the mound. Good thing, the three rivals lost as well.
2005-09-28 05:17:16
6.   mikeplugh
It's funny how quickly your confidence can be shaken. Just a day ago I was feeling like nothing could stop the Yankees and now I'm super nervous about Chacon and Small rounding out the series in B'more.

I'm already hedging my bets with myself by saying that we can afford to drop one but not two of the games in Camden. Going into Boston a game back would only mean that we need to win the series to get a playoff in Yankee Stadium. Losing both games and falling two back would require a sweep.

I think I'm actually more optimistic than that, but I'll stick with the idea that Boston will win out against Toronto, and that we'll need to do the same. I can't see us dropping two and therefore our scenario remains the same. Worst case scenario is that we need two in Boston to either tie and force the playoff or win the whole enchilada outright.

I can easily see Boston losing one against the Jays though. Toronto is a .500 club and plays like it, but that means that they win 1 out of every two and that's what remains with Beantown. Two games. Win one for the Clipper.

How I would love a one game cushion. Mr. Chacon and Mr. Small.....we're behind you and if the clock should strike twelve, it's just the alarm to let you know all's well.....no pumpkin in sight.

2005-09-28 05:18:34
7.   Ben
singledd,

You make a good point, but wouldn't the White Sox want to try to bury the Indians if they have the chance? As it stands, I'm not sure they would be smart to play soft when they could eliminate the Indians from Playoff contention. The Indians may be cooling off, but they have felt a lot like the team to beat for the past few weeks.

Bury the team at hand.

2005-09-28 05:28:26
8.   debris
re: number 3 above.

And probably next Yankee manager Piniella is on record that Ortiz is the MVP.

The MVP will likely be decided by what happens on the field over the next five days. As for yesterday, Ortiz delivered in game one, knocking in two runs in a 3-1 win. When he came up in the ninth of the second, they were two runs down and the bases were empty. Had the Jays not scored in the top of the ninth, he likely would have tied the game with a 420 foot bomb.

On the other side, A-Rod, while it was still a game, struck out twice, once looking, both times with two runners on. He hit a very impressive, but useless, rbi double after the horse had left the barn.

The MVP will come from the team that wins the division.

2005-09-28 05:43:40
9.   Knuckles
"When he (Ortiz) came up in the ninth of the second, they were two runs down and the bases were empty. Had the Jays not scored in the top of the ninth, he likely would have tied the game with a 420 foot bomb."

Likely? So if he swung for the fences down one run, Ortiz would have 'likely' homered? If it's likely then, then why not hit a homer when down two runs? The guy behind you still needs to score as well, anyway.

Your twisted logic is a bit of a joke.

2005-09-28 05:44:37
10.   Dimelo
One thing about ARod that pisses me off, I'd like to know how many times he takes strike three. Does anyone know that? It's been way too much lately.

Yesterday, he came up twice with RISP and couldn't deliver. That pisses me off. He had the chance to put the nail in the coffin and really hurt the O's pyschologically with his bat. A team like the O's starts to pack it in if they down by 4 or more runs. They don't think about coming back, let alone scoring 17 runs. I'm not saying that Leiter, Felix, Proctor, etc, would have come in and shut them down but they would've had a better cusion and probably changing their philosophy on how they pitch to the batter in the box.

2005-09-28 05:44:47
11.   KJC
"With four wins the Yankees will win the American League East."

Of course, the same can be said for the Sox. Personally, I'm not ready for the playoffs to essentially begin on Friday, but looks like we don't have a choice...

2005-09-28 05:47:57
12.   Max
As I've said before, the MVP is not that big of an issue (the playoffs and WS are), and I'm fine with Ortiz as the winner. However, there's questionable reasoning and poor reasoning, and debris, it's really hard to take anything you say seriously.
2005-09-28 05:52:20
13.   pmarcig
The two most important games of the year are the next two. And we pin our hopes on Shawn Chacon and Aaron Small. Wow. Can they go 16-3? I think they can. Tonight's game is huge and for more reasons than the obvious. Chacon is pitching not only to keep us in the race, but perhaps to prolong his career as a Yankee. A loss tonight and that puts more pressure on Aaron Small than anyone would wish for. Dude needs to deal tonight.
2005-09-28 05:57:15
14.   DarrenF
Actually, the official scorer didn't give ARod an RBI, ruling that Jeter scored because the outfielder made an error picking up the ball. Which is funny to anybody who ever watched baseball before. Also funny how some people forget the game where ARod had 3 rbis by going 2-for-3 with two outs and runners in scoring position. It was a whole two nights ago, so it's tough to remember back that far. Clearly, the two strikeouts vs. Bruce Chen yesterday invalidate his case for MVP.
2005-09-28 06:21:23
15.   domvjr
The only thing worse than watching that game on TV, would be to be there, which I was. I blame this loss on Mussina. He couldn't get me out. Going just 2 innings was a killer, the Yanks score 9 runs and still lose.
What are the Yanks going to get from him on Sunday? Is he going to be the last start Mussina, or last night. Sunday, could be the season, and if I was Joe & Mel, I would be worried what they are going to get out of the Moose!
2005-09-28 06:31:46
16.   Bob B
I like Al Leiter................as a person. But as soon as he came in I thought "Uh oh, 6 runs" since it seems Al gives up six runs no matter how many innings it takes him. He killed the Mets last year, he killed the Marlins this year and now he's killing us. I think his career is done and don't understand why, in such an important game, JT didn't go to Sturtze for a long outing, especially after the offense took the lead. Another opportunity lost to get a lead on the RedSox.
2005-09-28 06:31:54
17.   Dan M
Wow, same as last Thursday: Al gets out the bottom of the O's order, then struggles with Mora and Tejada, Torre leaves him in to face the lefty Gibbons, and Gibbons rockets a ball to right. Last week we were lucky it was just a double. But I'm sure Joe will use him to face Nixon this weekend - with the same result.
2005-09-28 06:37:07
18.   Yanks in NH
Hey KJC - the playoffs started a month ago and the Yanks have stepped it up just to get where we are now. As far as I'm concerned, our games have been must win for at least the last week if not the past two weeks.

Unfortunately, Mussina had one of those bombs last night that exposed our woefully inadequate bullpen. It's scary when our starter is worse than the middle relief. At least Mo and Flash got a rest, but that's about all I can come up with as a positive.

Regarding A-Rod, it would not have mattered much if he had knocked in a few runs rather than striking out, because we lost by quite a bit more than a few runs.

To Debris though, it is a given that A-Rod would have homered at every at bat last night if Mussina was on and the game was closer, but he could see that it would not matter so he didn't bother!

2005-09-28 06:42:55
19.   Yanks in NH
#16 - I'm sure no one was impressed by Leiter, but Sturtze was pretty pathetic as well. Unfortunately, when it comes to our stellar bullpen, you can pick your poison. On a good note (hear the sarcasm), Embree pitched well setting him up to be called upon when it really matters in the Yanks-Sox series this weekend. Boy, I can hear the Sox snickering on how they pulled that one off - "come on Joe, just send him in so we can get our bats cranking!"
2005-09-28 06:52:40
20.   Ben
Speaking of Leiter, did anyone notice the Grimace-Off, or Mutter-off, when Surhoff was at bat. These two leatherbags had me in stitches, each on doing more muttering and making more ouchy faces than the other. A small moment of humor in an otherwise painful night. Erin actualy coudn't watch, she hates to see her boys go down so drastically. She made me switch it to TBS for her Sex and the City fix. Grimace, Mutter, OUCHY!
2005-09-28 06:56:14
21.   Murray
I'm not fine with giving the MVP award to a player with no fielding value who plays his home games in a hitters' park. I'm fine with giving the MVP Award to the best player in the league. Let's see who that is at the end of the season.
2005-09-28 07:20:54
22.   debris
Murray,

First off, while Fenway is a good place for left handed hitters, it has not been a hitters park since they put up the 600 Club some 20 years ago.

As for giving the award to players with no fielding value, how do you feel about giving the award to players who spend 130 games sitting on the bench, such as Clemens in '86, Gibson in '68, Koufax in '63, Blue in '71? Or to players who appear in 80 innings per season, such as Hernandez in '84, Eckersely in '92, Fingers in '81? Or to players who had less than no fielding value, due to their inability to play their position, such as Killebrew in '69, Powell in 70, Jackson in '73?

Would Ortiz be more valuable if he'd played a mediocre first base all season? If you look over the list of MVPs, you'll find that, while some were great fielders, they all won it for what they did with their bat. How many MVP awards do you see for Ozzie Smith or Bill Mazeroski?

Right or wrong, and I'm on the side of those who agree it's wrong, defensive accomplishments are rarely, if ever, taken into consideration when ballots are cast.

2005-09-28 07:32:28
23.   Yanks in NH
That's right debris, besides pitchers (we all know how important pitchers are, especially when they are dominant) there have only been a few exceptionally great players that have won the MVP without having the defensive assets. They may get the votes for their bat primarily, but they bring more than one dimension. Ortiz is less valuable exactly because he would be a defensive liability if he were to play first base everyday.
2005-09-28 07:33:07
24.   DarrenF
Debris,

Manny had 165 rbis in 1999 and Ivan Rodriguez won the MVP.

Cecil Fielder led the league in RBIs three years in a row and hit 50 hrs when nobody else was hitting 50 hrs. He lost MVPs to Cal Ripken and Rickey Henderson. It would seem that defense and even baerunning (!) can add value to the team and are taken into account by the voters.

The voters are not always consistent, that's for certain. But defensive accomplishments are always taken into account. If they're not taken into account, then a baseball fan such as yourself should decry that fact.

Ortiz may be the MVP. But if you think that RBI Leader = MVP, then you're simply factually incorrect.

Yes, Ortiz would be more valuable if he palyed a mediocre first base. That fact is too obvious to even debate. If he could play a mediocre first base, perhaps the Red Sox could cut Millar and replace him with a bullpen pitcher. If Ortiz could play gold glove 3b, then he'd be even more valuable than a first baseman. If he could drive in 150 runs, play a gold glove 3b, steal 50 bases, and close games out of the bullpen, then he'd be even more valuable.

Pitchers and DHs can win the MVP, obviously. But they have an inherent disadvantage, as they should. If Ortiz had 170 rbis and ARod had 95, there would be no argument. The RBI difference is only 14 or 15 last time I checked.

2005-09-28 07:34:40
25.   debris
NH,

While some have gotten boosts in the voting because they were good fielders, I challenge you to find me one guy who was ever denied an MVP award because he was a lousy fielder.

2005-09-28 07:38:00
26.   joe in boston
The next thing debris will say is that Ortiz deserves the MVP because he's been caught stealing 0 times, while AROD has been caught 6 times....
2005-09-28 07:38:18
27.   carl
I think we did lose something last night-the opportunity to go 1 game up. Everybody losing last night was not a win for us.
2005-09-28 07:39:47
28.   debris
Darren,

It's not just about the rbi, but when you get them. Look at the difference between Arod and Papi with runners in scoring position, in late innings of close games. How many of the rbi and hr, created ties or put his team ahead. It isn't even close.

It's not just about numbers, but how those numbers are perceived by the voters.

When the ballots are cast, they guy who gets the award is likely to be the guy who has better numbers over the next five days. Or the guy who plays on the team that wins the division. Or both.

When the game is on the line, Yankee fans hope A-rod will produce. Sox fans expect Papi to. Why? Cause he does it over and over again.

2005-09-28 07:42:26
29.   Cliff Corcoran
2: I take that comment back. I was trying to focus attention on the game at hand and the two teams that mattered most, but the White Sox loss did indeed mean something.

27: Actually, everybody losing was exactly the same as a win for the Yankees, as they needed five wins last night and need just four today. Of course this everybody losing thing will only work for two more days because starting Friday everybody can't lose because they're playing eachother.

2005-09-28 07:58:55
30.   Alex Belth
Hey Max, could you e-mail me Bryant's article at alexbelth@aol.com if you get a chance. Thanks.
2005-09-28 07:59:12
31.   DarrenF
Debris,

You wrote that fielding is not taken into account by the voters. I write one paragraph in response, and you change the argument to clutch.

ARod's "clutch" numbers are fine. .300+ with power and walks with RISP, same with RISP and two outs, .400+ with bases loaded.

If you think Ortiz' superior RISP BA trumps ARod's gold glove 3b play, then that's your argument. I disagree. At least that's a clear line in the sand.

For what it's worth, I agree that the writers will pick Ortiz as the MVP. It may come down to the final weekend, but that's ignorant and silly to me. If ARod hits 5 hrs over the weekend and Ortiz hits .250 -- or vice versa -- that shouldn't override the previous 159 games. Sheffield is the MVP based on yesterday.

2005-09-28 08:02:48
32.   debris
Darren,

I didn't say that Ortiz would win the MVP. Unless, of course, you think the Sox will win the division. I said that I think the MVP will come from the division winner, whoever that may be. And you'll get no predictions from me.

As for A-Rods gold glove third base play, that is a matter of perception and I think it's a perception the voters share. According to the numbers at BP, A-Rod's defense has cost the Yankees 9 runs over the course of the season in comparison to an average defensive third baseman.

2005-09-28 08:05:34
33.   Dimelo
I'm a big fan of ARod and I think Debris expressed my own sentiments - and probably a lot of other Yankee fans as well.

The thing is we remember more of ARod's failures than when he succeeds. The reason being is that we want to keep remembering the dramatic hit. I remember his glove work against Toronto in that one run game (he was big) but I want more. I think many Yankee fans expect more. We see the flashes: the Schilling homerun, the key single vs. the A's, his defense, etc. But those moments of greatness are too spread apart, not lumped together. We want to be reminded again-and-again of his greatness. Papi can go 0 - 22 but then he'll have one key hit and everything is fresh in your memory on why this guy is so dangerous. I'm not sure the same applies for ARod.

Is it our own expectations that are way too high for the guy? I just feel there's something missing to elevate him to that level of Reggie, Jeter, Bernie, Mo or even Sheff.

2005-09-28 08:08:28
34.   Dimelo
The other thing about ARod I hadn't realized is how mentally fragile he is, he doesn't seem to have Jeter's confidence or Sheff's determination. He seem to get affected by his failures more than even Giambi.
2005-09-28 08:13:52
35.   Shaun P
Wow, it only took me about 40 minutes to read through last night's 561 comments. The wife and I had our first "getting ready for childbirth" class, so my first view of the game was of Wayne Franklin pitching. I was sure we'd come back, until Sturtze came in . . .

This is going to be such a long weekend, I really hope Chacon pitches a nice quick game tonight - I don't know about everyone else, but I need sleep!

Finally, on the MVP debate, I say again:

WARP1 (wins above replacement player - includes hitting, baserunning, and defense, adjusted for league and park):
A-Rod: 10.2
Ortiz: 7.7

There is no question who the MVP should be. I'm sure the voters will pick whoever's team wins the AL East.

2005-09-28 08:22:11
36.   Schteeve
A-Rod is mentally fragile????? So, the guy goes to see a shrink and that makes him mentally fragile?

He doesn't have the confidence of Jeter. Ok well,News Flash, nobody on the planet has the confidence of Jeter.

He doesn't have the determination of Sheffield? Prove that statement and then show how it's germane because I don't even know what it means. Sheff tries harder than A-Rod? Well I've never seen A-Rod lollygag after a ball in the corner, and I've definitely seen Sheff do that.

All these jabs at A-Rod are really pretty sickening. The guy is an AMAZING baseball player. Probably the all around best baseball player we'll ever see in our lifetime and instead of enjoying that, people need to question his determination?

Grow up people, this whole debate is pretty juvenile. If Ortiz wins the MVP it will just prove how subjective and silly the whole award process is. That's why the results on the field are really the only things that matter. They are completely statistcally measurable and not subject to how much you like the cut of someone's jib.

2005-09-28 08:24:28
37.   KYK
Cliff,

Re: 29, #2 - Do the Yankees need 4 wins or is the magic number (combination of NYY wins and BOS losses) 4?

(And yes I know the condition is also true for BOS, whatever the answer is)

2005-09-28 08:40:29
38.   bobtaco
Do you think we will see DePaula again if we have to go to the bullpen the rest of the week? He looked better than Embree, Sturtze, Frod and Franklin.

Also, what happened to pitching a SP whose "throw day" it was for a couple of innings? Might the game not have gotten out of hand if we had pitched another SP for two innings and remained ahead going into the 6th??

2005-09-28 08:42:38
39.   DarrenF
Dimelo,

I really don't know how to respond to the perception that ARod doesn't get big hits.

The game-tying hr off Wickman comes to mind, ninth inning, about to get swept by the Indians. Does that loom kinda large now that you look at the WC standings?

Walk-off single against the Royals. (Ha ha, "walk-off single.")

Ninth-inning double against the Mets, setting up Giambi.

It goes on and on. Plus, all the big hits in the first eight innings that apparently didn't capture your imagination.

See, you're looking at a player who's going to score 120 and drive in 130. No Yankee has done that since 1961. How is it even possible that this production is skewed towards the "meaningless" or "un-clutch"? Have you seen this team play? I wish more of ARod's RBIs were meaningless tack-on runs. That would imply lots of Yankee blowout victories. We could use a few more of those. In all the recent one-run victories, all of the runs seemed kinda meaningful to me.

2005-09-28 08:47:19
40.   Yanks in NH
"I challenge you to find me one guy who was ever denied an MVP award because he was a lousy fielder"

Hey Debris, news flash, Ortiz is not a 'lousy' fielder - HE'S JUST PLAIN NOT A FIELDER! Unless the numbers are that dramatically different, it's always better to get the offensive numbers from a guy that can contribute in the field as well.

We all know that A-Rod is probably one of the best players ever and Ortiz is simply a great and feared hitter - I'd take A-Rod any day, though I wouldn't mind having both!

2005-09-28 08:47:25
41.   KJC
I think we can all agree on one thing: except for Mo, both the Yankees and Sox bullpens are pretty sketchy. Starting pitching will decide those last 3 RS games. Of course, if either (or both) teams make it into the postseason, those bullpens might not get them too far...

(And I can't believe that with this weekend series coming up that anybody gives a rat's ass about the MVP...)

2005-09-28 08:47:46
42.   Max
debris wrote:

>>And probably next Yankee manager Piniella is on record that Ortiz is the MVP.<<

Uh, wrong, but another nice example of your way of arguing your points, which amounts to baiting.

Piniella is on record as supporting Ortiz deserving "serious consideration" for MVP, and for not having the DH be a disadvantage. This is hardly the same as "being on record" in naming him the MVP.

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2005/09/23/ortiz_receives_some_backing/

http://redsox.bostonherald.com/otherMLB/view.bg?articleid=103713

2005-09-28 08:47:51
43.   Dimelo
Schteeve, I understand what you are saying and I'm not dissing ARod, I'm a big fan of the guy. Constructive criticism never hurt anyone - unless you don't think what I said was constructive.

Anyhow, on his determination, I wasn't talking about lollygagging after a fly ball like Sheff - a crime in an of itself. I was referring more to when you want that big hit, that big blow, he seems to fail more than someone like Sheff - not comparing him to Ortiz either because my point was not because of the entire MVP debate. I don't think he tries any less or any more than anyone, that was not my point, you can see that failure bothers him and he's not able to brush it off as easy as Sheff and Jeter. That's a trait you want of your best player - no holds barred, I'm going to get you and I will stomp on your neck if I sense that you are bleeding. There's no disputing that ARod is probably the best player in baseball - five tool guy - but he's not the most feared. Reminds me of a line in the Bronx tale, would you rather be feared or respected? Would you rather ARod be feared or respected? He has the respect - though some Sux fans would debate that point too - but I'd rather he be feared.

2005-09-28 08:49:15
44.   Max
Hey Alex, article should be in your mailbox now.
2005-09-28 08:51:19
45.   Dimelo
DarrenF I remember those hits. I don't expect him to succeed every time, I know that's humanly impossible, but I can't stand the swing-and-misses, the call strike 3, the number of missed opprutunities, etc.
2005-09-28 08:57:24
46.   Schteeve
Dimelo you're a good guy and I didn't intend to bash you, but the fact that Sheff hits better with RISP, to me doesn't mean that Sheff is trying harder in those situations, or wants to succed more than A-Rod. I think more than anything it's probably a function of the pitches they see, and luck. You can tell that I don't really believe in clutch.
2005-09-28 09:02:27
47.   Schteeve
Look baseball isn't the mafia. I don't care if A-Rod is feared or respected or laughed at. As long as he keeps putting up the numbers he's put up this season and throughout his career, criticizing the guy or insinuating that he somehow doesn't measure up to some tough guy standard, is just laughable.

So here's the deal. Gary Sheffield looks a lot more menacing than A-Rod. A-Rod out produces Sheff like crazy.

2005-09-28 09:04:25
48.   Cliff Corcoran
KJC, re 41: AMEN! Enough with this MVP debate already, it's irrelevant! (p.s. on that post, Gordon's been crucial to this team the last two years and remains so)

re 37: that's not the magic number, the magic number is 6, but as two of those wins would have to come against the Sox (or Yanks from your perspective), that would tally six toward the magic number, so it's easier to just say "four wins = playoffs." It's also 6 for the Wild Card, but that's more complicated and, really, is there's no excuse not to win the division as it's there for the taking for both teams.

2005-09-28 09:10:10
49.   KJC
// Gordon's been crucial to this team the last two years and remains so //

True, but I'd put him in the same league as Timlin: important to the team, great to have in the game, but not necessarily a guarantee (like Mo or 2004 Foulke).

2005-09-28 09:23:58
50.   tocho
After last night's debacle and showing that they DO NOT have middle relief we can conclude that:

The Yanks season is in the hands of Chacon, Small and Wang.

I find that very appropriate since they would not be in this position if it wasn't for them. RJ and Moose's performance may be moot if we these 3 guys do not deliver.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-09-28 09:56:22
51.   Cliff Corcoran
If the Yanks win the next four, Moose's performance will be moot in a good way and the Yanks ALDS rotation will be: Chacon, Wang, Johnson, Small
2005-09-28 10:00:48
52.   Dimelo
My impartial opinion likes the 2005 Foulke more than the 2004 version.
2005-09-28 11:01:48
53.   boo
#51 If the Yanks win the next 4, Torre will hold out Mussina for the ALDS and start him regardless of yesterday's performance no matter how well Small does tomorrow. Proven veteran, you know.
2005-09-28 11:58:41
54.   Cliff Corcoran
Could be, boo, could be.

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