Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
According to Joel Sherman in today's Post:
After a 5-3 loss that diminished the Yanks' AL East lead to one game over Boston and diminished Rodriguez even further in the eyes of the fan base, A-Rod vowed the best of his 2006 season is coming.
For the first time, he revealed that during the first four months he was coping with injuries that, perhaps, should have sent him to the DL, but that he could not go due to the DL devastation already ensnaring the Yanks. He would not disclose what the injuries were. However, he said, that the problems caused both terrible throwing mechanics and a change in his swing that led him to constantly get beat with even tepid fastballs. He admits that on defense he still needs to regain his aggression, but that his swing is back and "I can see the light at the end of the tunnel."
He added, "This is the best I have felt all year" and explained that, because of that, it feels as if he "just finished spring training" and is ready to tackle the season.
Now, this being Alex Rodriguez, such statements will be dissected. Is this reality? An excuse? Both? With Rodriguez there are never easy answers. But for the purposes of this exercise, let's take him at his words and, therefore, say a season within a season begins now and see if Rodriguez is a man of these words: "I think it is going to be a good ending."
If Rodriguez has been hurt, it would behoove him not to be coy about it. In spite of another poor weekend with the leather, he looked good offensively until Sunday.
Tonight gives a match-up of two of the fugliest pitchers around: The Big Unit and John Lackey. Unfortunately, for the Yanks, Lackey is the ace of the Angels' staff, while it is hard to know what to expect from Johnson on any given outing. But after a poor week, now is as good a time as any for the Yanks to get on the good foot and start playing up to their capabilities again.
You know, when Sportscenter lists Alex Rodriguez as (1-4, HR) it looks like he had a solid game, instead of the reality: a harshly criticized performance where he left men on base early and then hit a "meaningless" two out, ninth-inning home run.
Damon: 9 for his last 47, .191 (.283 OBA)
Jeter: 8 for 41, .195/.312
Cabrera: 5 for 27, .185/.290
Posada: 0 for 25!!!, 1 BB, .000/.038
ARod: 10 for 22
7 pm Angels YES
7pm Baltimore CSN-B
7pm Baltimore YES
1pm Baltimore YES
1pm at Boston NESN
8pm at Boston NESN
1pm at Boston NESN
10pm at Seattle FSNW
10pm at Seattle FSNW
10pm at Seattle YES
10pm at Angels FSW
3:30pm at Angels FSW
7pm Detroit YES
7pm Detroit YES
1pm Detroit YES
How can you not just laugh with pity to see him hit that home run yesterday? The poor man. I felt very, very sorry for him at that moment.
Why blame Arod? I think it's natural to have someone on the team, especially someone who oozes talent as he does, who's willing to step up and say, "The buck stops here."
And he does.
He seems to accept his role on the team and he does take responsibility for his performance, which is admirable. I just wish he'd start carrying the team a bit, is all. These are the games championship teams find ways to win, whether on the back of their slugger or by other means.
I think we're all just very frustrated right now, is all, to be losing games we might have won.
To have had the opportunity to be like 5 games up on Boston and now we're (practically) all even again.
Very, very frustrating.
Oh, I think that Derek is in a mini-slump also.
I'm no A-rod apologist but I would temper this a bit. His only poor AB yesterday was his first one. Weaver received a very generous strike 3 call on the 2nd K. The pitch was outside. He hit the DP ball hard but it was right at somebody and then the final laser to the net. The last few games it is apparent that he is seeing the ball better and more comfortable at the plate. I don't think yesterday changed that.
And 2 is absolutely correct. They're losing collectively as a team.
The Unit needs to go 7 strong tonight.
You gotta take the man at his word, no?
Now he tells us he's had a nagging injury?
Just hit, catch, throw, and run. I don't much care about the rest.
I don't want to make this a Jeter vs A-Rod debate. It's not about that.
If A-Rod was hurt and got all fouled up, I'm glad to hear he is feeling better. I hope his play begins to resemble the MVP player we had on the club last year. The Yankees need that player now, for sure.
I've said this before, but I'll say it again. We have zero idea what goes on in the clubhouse. Its possible after Sheff and Matsui went down that A-Rod hurt himself, went to Torre and said it was borderline but wanted to stay with team and they agreed not to mention it to the press. Its really not that hard to imagine.
But anyway ...
I'm glad that he is starting to hit, even if the late-inning-down-by-a-bunch-of-runs homers add fuel to the "stat padding" fire. BTW, no one will believe me but I called both of his homers this weekend. As A-Rod came to bat Friday night I told my wife that this is the kind of situation that he usually hits a homer. Next pitch, BOOM. Then again on Sunday I said the same thing to her and next pitch, BOOM again. She accused me of "tape delaying" the game with TIVO...
My biggest worry with A-Rod is his inability to catch the ball. I know he is a "guess" hitter, but is he a "guess" fielder too? Maybe he needs to play back a little more or do something to help his reaction time but he seems to miss some grounders that other 3Bmen catch. Like someone said in yesterday's game thread, his first name is starting to become "pastadiving"...
Bird could carry the Celts. Phil Simms carried the Giants. Jeter carried the Yanks with very special plays during their (too-long-ago) run....
"This is the best I feel all year, head and shoulders," he said after the game. "I feel 100%. Feel like spring training just ended. I'm fresh out there. Me swinging the bat like now can be conducive to a better streak."
"Is he delusional? Maybe..."
Delusional? Maybe??? How about ABSOLUTELY NOT? The insinuation is insulting. A-rod's comment is 100% fair and is supported by his recent offensive performance. You don't have to be a stat hound to see with your own eyes that A-rod is hitting better this past week. But, hey, let's look at those numbers: In the past week, his BA has jumped 9 points. So far this series, he's 5-11 with 2 doubles and 2 HR's. He hit a laser Friday night only to see Figgins make a great diving catch. Even when he makes out he's hitting the ball hard.
Sure, it's silly to pretend that there are no issues to discuss regarding his play (there are) but let's stick to some objective reporting rather than unfair insults.
28 I agree.
The people getting on A-Rod for hitting a homer yesterday are asinine. The guy comes up with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth with his team trailing. Exactly what do you want him to do? Is it his fault that Jeter and Abreu couldn't reach base to make his homer count for more runs? Sometimes the criticism of A-Rod is valid, like when he GIDP with runners in scoring position or makes a costly error. Sometimes its laughable. The columnists should listen to themselves, "A-Rod's meaningless homer in the bottom of the ninth with his team trailing..."
I've just come to accept that when it comes to the media in this town, A-Rod can't win. If he goes out tonight and he hits 5-5 with 5 HRs, there will be an article about how the last 2 came when the game was meaningless. Sometimes beat writers need an angle. In '61 it was the "rivalry" between Maris and Mantle, with Maris being the bad guy (even though they were good friends and roommates). In '06, its A-Rod is a delusional head case who is costing the team games. Fine, write it, so long as he keeps hitting I don't care.
Last week, on a day when ARod went 3-for-3 with a HR and 2 walks, lots of people pointed to a missed foul pop up that was probably 250 feet from home plate and tried to somehow pin the loss on ARod. With Ponson due to come out of the bullpen, the Yankees would have probably lost the game, anyway.
This is not scrutiny. This is simply bad journalism and a misrepresentation of baseball and how baseball works.
This statistical gem courtesy of Joel Sherman: http://tinyurl.com/l9t35
"And, now, eight of his 25 homers have come in the fifth inning or later with the Yanks ahead or behind by four runs."
That's good, right? A whopping 17 out of 25 have come early and close? Or late and close? He's the freakin' MVP, I guess.
Must I remind Joel Sherman of last week's Yankee game vs. Chicago? ARod's meaningless RBI single and Posada's meaningless RBI sac fly won the game. Four runs is not a lot.
We get it, we get it, we all get it.
Wright 85 rbis = MVP. ARod 83 rbis = Can't Play in New York.
Loduca gambling and cheating on his wife = no big deal. ARod sunbathing = bad.
After Jeter's magnificent series against Oakland in 2001, he was terrible against Seattle and Arizona. But those godawful series don't detract from what he did well - which is as it should be. Just give ARod a little credit for what he's accomplished, rather than having it be negated anytime he makes an out.
"I feel fresh. I feel great. I'm ready to help the team. I feel better than I have all year."
So do I. Maybe it's the weather.
Just coincidence, or has his low average caused him to finally try to go the other way?
And at the risk of jinxing the Yanks, I really don't see the Sox pitching holding up. How many 11-9 and 8-7 games can a team win without destroying their bullpen? So call me cautiously optimistic ...
Johnny Damon CF
Derek Jeter SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Jason Giambi DH
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada C
Craig Wilson 1B
Melky Cabrera LF
Randy Johnson LHP
A-Rod's not batting cleanup...
It would be nice it they scored on something other than a solo HR.
No, it's not his fault that no one was on base before him, but I think the point is that it really seems as if the fact of no one being on base was a necessary condition for his hitting that homer.
In other words, there was minimal pressure.
That's why the situation just seems so ironic.
Throw all the numbers at me you like, whatever.
I'm just talking about perception.
And frankly, watching this guy at plate, my perception is that pressure gets to him
I could be dead wrong, fine, but I do watch games fairly closely when I do and I do believe I have a fairly keen eye for such things as a batter's comfort level, approach, and focus.
He seems to be a better hitter in low pressure situations.
Of course, it's possible he only seems that way because that's narrative and so I only notice what conforms to the narrative.
But it's also entirely possible that the guy just doesn't respond well to pressure, that he can't manage the adrenaline for some reason.
Is this fair?
ATHLETICS 8TH: RIVERA REPLACED MENDOZA (PITCHING); Jason Giambi
singled to right; broken bat; Chavez forced Jason Giambi
(first to shortstop); Long popped to shortstop in foul territory
[Chavez to second]; Jeter fell into the seats as he caught
the ball and Chavez was awarded 2B because Jeter carried the
ball out of play; Gant grounded out (third to first); 0 R, 1
H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Athletics 3, Yankees 5.
Interesting logic you have there.
Robbie makes an error. Posada makes an error. A-Rod bails them out with a strong throw.
And please, just cool it with the snide quips ("Interesting logic you have there.")
If you're really interested in understanding my point, let me know.
Or if you think my point is invalid, that's fine too.
But snide remarks that evidence no understanding of my point do neither of us any good.
Also A-Rod does not understand the impact of comments he makes to the press and how his 'handlers' should coach him better, to say things like "I wish I would have hit that HR eariler in the game with men on base".
I can't explain this, but it felt more like an 'agenda' piece than Monday morning quarterbacking of Alex's performance yesterday. Seemed like Kitty drew the short straw to be the bad guy tonight...
AVG .298 | HR 41 | RBI 106 | OBP .386 | SLG .631
Is this guy REALLY worth $355,000?
75 I saw it. My "guide" says coverage starts at 7:05, but if I turn to the channel at 7pm I get the opening comments. And those comments were retarded. First they complain A-Rod seems like he's just saying the right thing, what people want to hear, then they complain that he's not saying that. A-Rod is a person, he makes mistakes, says stupid things sometimes, get over it.
And that was one hell of a throw in the first. If this is the new, uninjured improved A-Rod, me likey.
Giambi! Opposite field power?! Two nights in a row? Is this a new, improved Jason?
2 On, 1 Out: No Runs.
That was still idiotic. If he was fast, I could see trying for it. But he's not. He knows he's not. What a putz.
Its like a mental block I have on it.
Please bring Melky home.
The Bronx Banter
.760+ OPS, 100 Runs, 30 doubles, 14 HR, 75 RBI, 70 BB, 70 K, 18 SB, 20 assists.
Not bad for a guy who just turned 22 last week.
And a Jeter double to rub the salt in...
I can't hate on guys just for playing well for a team that's not the Yankees.
And Loretta GIDP to end the RS threat.
And Melky can't play all the infield positions except pitcher and catcher, and all the outfield positions. Figgins plays them all pretty well, too. Imagine having that flexibility on the roster. Torre could carry 13 pitchers... ;-)
Why, someone should write a book about it. . .
now, just enjoy how it all will unfold and cheer.
And here come the Yanks...
obviously, it doesn't mean anything that ortiz cannot do that. I just felt like being silly.
98% of baseball writers
FOX Sports (just because...)
Did Kay just call him Pop Up A-Rod?
But if I know our fortunes and karma, A-Rod DPs or Ks here.
Please hit it to the outfield.
Yankee fans everywhere
Still didn't like the bunt.
Say what you want, but A-Rod came through.
Bases loaded, one out, we get one run. And people don't understand why we can't beat the Angels.
And even when Cano makes it out he rips it.
Maybe save a little, Kyle, pitch 2 days in a row? Hmmmm?
(cue rim shot!)...
Slump? What slump?
anyone checking out MNF? How's the new announcing crew (I don't give a rat's patooie about how teams perform in preseason.)
And as good as jorge's been tonight, I would like to see him sit a couple games vs. the O's this week, so he'll be fresher for the weekend.
Meanwhile, the 'Bronx Bunters'? I like!
On the other hand, a six run lead hopefully means no Mo.
it is all unfolding....
But Damon was only bluffing, relax all. ;-)
Jeter couldn't have given us a fly ball? Cripes.
I got's to go mis amigos. Adios.
For all of us here at the Channel 4 News Team,
I'm Ron Burgundy.
You Stay Classy, San Diego.
411 413 I've noticed the same. Everything is heating up now - even the Toaster !
Can't we use Mo 2 innings this week?
And rbj, by the way, good call on the booze for this weekend, in lieu of nicotine. I believe I have half a bottle of Jack left over from the last Sox series.
Thanks in advance...
Man, that's sweet.
464 I'm SURE it'll be on the radio somewhere -- isn't Tampa half Yankees fans?
I'm leaving the wife and kids home and visiting my 75 year old parents "solo". Lots of reading, running, 4 pm dinners out at the Outback and Olive Garden, and then enjoying the games with my dad, old school style - lots of munchies and soda - just like when I was a kid !
BTW, man they cut out of the game quick on MLB TV huh ? They can't get out of there fast enough :>
Have a safe trip.
From here on out, a Yankee win and a Tiger loss is a good thing...
And I think it threw the Angels off their game. They started making all kinds of goofy errors.
My brother lived down there and got all the Yankee games on radio, and there are many bars who have the package and air the games. Find a decent bar and ask them. I know they're on. It's another reason the Tampa ownership hates us. I love ya George!
I'd almost rather not have homefield, and start Wang in the away game that would otherwise be played at home. At least he'll pitch well on the road.
Home 9-2, 2.97 era
Away 4-3, 5.16 era
We have 9 games left with Boston. Recent history says that ends in a 5-4 split, you pick the team. We're 3 up in the loss column right now. Same old story beat the bad teams, split or win with the good ones and we're in.
Detroit is catchable. I want homefield!
"recent history says" Over the last 100 head to head meetings between the Yanks and Sox, it's damn close to a 50-50 split. Don't have the exact stat in front of me, but it's a coin flip.
Again. We control the AL East, 2 games or whatever. If we don't beat up on Boston and the Baltimore's of this divison, we have no business being in the postseason anyway.
I'm guessing we'll hold our own within the AL East, but we will need help knocking Detroit out of the top spot.
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