A few quick hits for the week, as the Yankees head to Anaheim for another big series against the "Whatever You Want To Call Them Tonight" Angels, as Paul O'Neill calls them:
* When the media has placed a skilled player on a pedestal, when said player becomes injured and it could affect a team's playoff chances, the press makes a point to hammer that possibility. The Joba Chamberlain tendinitis coverage was surprisingly matter-of-fact and not panic-ridden. Even more surprising, Mike Lupica provided excellent analysis in his Wednesday column, proving that when he wants to concentrate on a piece, he can still write very well. Buster Olney was solid as usual, also.
* With Joba out and not much hope on the Chien-Ming Wang front, YES is showing a number of graphics tracing the progress of Phil Hughes and Carl Pavano in the minors. Relying on Pavano as providing any kind of support for the rotation this year is laughable. Hughes could be a wild card. I'd expect to see him soon, particularly if Darrell Rasner continues to pitch his way out of a job. Mike Mussina is the team's only reliable starter, especially given Andy Pettitte's situation and the perceived lack of confidence in Ian Kennedy.
* It took Brett Fav-ruh to knock the Joba coverage to the deeper pages of the local sports sections. For all you Jets fans reading this, I hope the Favre era Jets are more Joe Montana leading the Chiefs than Joe Namath as a Ram or Emmitt Smith as a Cardinal. I had to choke at the thought of Chad Pennington potentially becoming a Ram. I may relinquish my fandom if that happened.
* I am a fan of Ken Singleton, as a broadcaster and a person. But sometimes, he drops some weird quotes on us unsuspecting YES viewers. Recounting a conversation he had with someone on the Rangers' staff regarding the strength of the Texas Rangers' lineup (I apologize for not recalling the exact person), Singleton said, "They're not guess hitters. They just see the ball and hit it." Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that the definition of a guess hitter?
* Speaking of guess hitters, Alex Rodriguez is becoming more and more disappointing to watch. His 0-for-14 performance in Texas was atrocious. He looked out of balance, out of sync, and completely fooled by even mediocre pitchers. Even when he's on a tear, I get the sense that opposing managers aren't afraid to let him beat them, because the pitchers can follow this pattern: fastball up and in; changeup, slider down and away. In three of the last six games I've watched, A-Rod struck out looking on fastballs down the middle three different times. If A-Rod had the plate coverage of a Vladimir Guerrero, who is another guess hitter but because he can hit the ball out of the park even if you throw it at his head, he'd be scary. I wish the broadcasters would have the gumption to call A-Rod out on his approach, or even go so far as to say he's guessing up there.
* Although his Civil War reenactment is over, for the balance of this year, I'm referring to Jason Giambi as "Jason Giambi's Moustache." It's too good to pass up.