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Julian Tavarez Puts His Best Pimp Foot Forward
2007-05-22 23:23
by Emma Span
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

I was generously offered an unexpected ticket to the game tonight, and was at the Stadium, along with a very quiet sell-out crowd, for the Yankees’ truly disappointing 7-3 loss to Boston. Even the obligatory upper-deck fights seemed half-hearted. Mike Mussina had absolutely nothing in the first inning, and the Yanks were lucky to get out of it with only 3 runs scoring (all on a Manny Ramirez home run). But with the way this team’s played much of the season, three runs seemed like an insurmountable hurdle… and, well, it was. Per the New York Times,

“I can’t keep pitching like this,” said Mussina, who has a 6.52 earned run average. “It’s depressing, frustrating and disappointing, and not what we need right now. I can’t stand it.”


Ouch. Mussina actually settled down and pitched much better, aside from a Mike Lowell solo homer to left, but unraveled again in the seventh, and two more runs scored. A third was charged to Moose when Mike Myers was unable to retire David Ortiz. Jose Vizcaino and Ron Villone then stunned everyone present by allowing no further damage, but although the Yankees put up a fight against the atypically wild Okajima – loading the bases -- they just couldn’t get the big or even medium-sized hit. Their only runs came on a wild pitch and two fielder's choices. (I couldn’t see it from my vantage point at the time, but that last run, in the eighth, only scored because Alex Rodriguez threw an elbow while sliding into second, giving Posada just enough time to beat the double play throw as Jeter scored.)

I cannot begin to understand the hold Julian Tavarez has over the Yankees this year. He gave up only three hits, and few well-hit balls of any kind, though his ERA against all other teams is well over five. Does anybody have a plausible explanation for this? I’ve got nothing. And if the Yankees end up missing out on the playoffs by two games, I'm going to be irate.

Random note: one of Derek Jeter’s at-bat songs is now “I’m a Flirt” by R. Kelly (no idea if this was the original or the remix, sorry). I know Captain Intangibles is hitting like crazy, but I just can’t let this one go without mockery. Sample lyrics:

“I’m a I’m a I’m a I’m a flirt
Soon as I see her walk up in the club I’m a flirt
Winkin eyes at me when I roll up on dem dubs I’m a flirt
Sometimes when I’m wit my chick on the low I’m a flirt
And when she’s wit her man lookin at me damn right I’m a flirt
So homie dont bring your girl to me to meet cause I’m a flirt
And baby dont bring your girlfriend to eat cause I’m a flirt
(It better be real tight you know what I’m talkin bout)
Please believe it unless your game is tight and you trust herrrrr
(You bring your girl around me you better put your best pimp foot foward)
Then don't bring her round me cause I’m a flirt.”


Um. Yeah, Derek, we know, we read all about it in Page Six. Jeez. So, boys, you’ve been warned, but no worries -- I imagine you fellas always put your best pimp foot forward.

Anyway, my fascination with at-bat songs is always inversely correlated to the quality of the game. This was a night to focus on the music. Let’s hope tomorrow I forget all about the fact that Jose Vizcaino enters to “Limelight,” by Rush.

Update Alex here. In case you missed the back-cover of the News (which features a photograph of Jason Giambi with the headline, "Flunked!"), according to T.J. Quinn, Jason Giambi failed a test for greenies at some point over the past year. Looks like things are about to get rough all over for the Yankee slugger.
Comments (108)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-05-23 05:38:41
1.   Mattpat11
Well then. Good news all around.
2007-05-23 06:01:40
2.   rbj
Looks like I've picked the right weekend to go to my college reunion, and miss a bunch of ugly news.
2007-05-23 06:14:45
3.   Yankee Fan In Boston
the only thing about all that was covered above that makes me grin is the captain's choice of music.

although he's a truly disgusting human being, i find myself helplessly enthralled by r. kelly's music. the beats and music are usually quite catchy and his lyrics are so juvinile that they border on unintentional brilliance. i don't usually listen to much contemporary R&B (give me otis or marvin or al green and i'm happy), either.

i just downloaded his new album this morning (i'm not going to pay his lawyer's fees), and there are a couple tracks on there that are so ridiculous it is worth swiping online.

the truly astounding use of the word "rainforest" is only surpassed by the fact that he rhymes with it when he calls himself a "sex-o-saurus" for the love of god...

i sometimes wonder if he knows how ridiculous he is, or if he truly believes his own hype.

sorry for the tangent.

go yankees.

2007-05-23 06:15:16
4.   C2Coke
2 Too bad you can't extend the trip.

How many disappointing games have the Yanks had this season thus far?

2007-05-23 06:23:38
5.   Felix Heredia
Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.
2007-05-23 06:24:24
6.   pistolpete
So if a player is suspended for illegal substances, does he still take up a roster spot?

In other words, can we just go get Helton and plug him in or would we have to free up another spot?

2007-05-23 06:25:38
7.   Sliced Bread
Jeterbrenner?

-----------------------------------------
"I would like to own a team," Jeter told New York's 1050 ESPN Radio prior to the Yankees' 7-3 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday. "That would be kind of cool to get an opportunity to call some of the shots."

Jeter then predicted he will achieve his goal.

"I will do it one day," Jeter said.

When asked specifically if that team could be the Yankees, Jeter laughed.

"Do you know how much money that costs?" Jeter said. "That is a lot of money, baby."

--------------------------------------------

2007-05-23 06:39:48
8.   ric
heres the arod slide btw-

http://tinyurl.com/2b5a9t

2007-05-23 06:42:03
9.   Shaun P
Didn't Bonds also flunk a greenies test last year? IIRC, the penalty is counseling and more frequent testing.

Sucks to be Giambi, but he's not alone. All sorts of MLB superstars of yesteryear used greenies regularly (see at least Ball Four). The rags and the screaming wags will make a big deal out of it, but is it a big deal? My guess is that 90% of the people in the Yanks clubhouse have used greenies at least once - including the manager, the entire coaching staff, and Captain Flirt. ;)

7 Jeter could always buy the Marlins. I'm guessing they are more in his price range. =)

2007-05-23 06:42:27
10.   yankz
Wow. Terrible day. Giambi's going to get blasted.

But this quote from Joe Torre, taken from the Pinstriped Blog, is amazing:

A writer queried Joe if, during this difficult season, he had ever asked, "Why me, Lord?" Joe answered, "A lot of times you say 'Why not me?' Why shouldn't things happen to you? It's something you have to deal with and you just move on. Through my career here with the Yankees I can guarantee you I've looked up and said, 'Why me?' when it was on the good side. And I'm certainly not going to go question what's happening now."

3 I hate myself for it, but I too like R. Kelly's music. His voice is velvet-smooth. Got any recommendations on songs? I personally love "Go-Getta."

2007-05-23 06:52:33
11.   Yankee Fan In Boston
10 i thought the entire "chocolate factory" album was terribly/hilariously brilliant. i'm also a sucker for the album that followed. "in the kitchen" and "remote control" took his whole schoolyard sexual metaphors schtick to a new level (until the new song about space travel... he's lost his mind).

if you want to download the new album without giving the perv a single red cent, go here:

http://tinyurl.com/33ekl5

you can get it as a zip file. you'll need a password to unzip it, but the password is in the filename, between parentheses. enjoy. try not to laugh at the track where he turns an outgoing voice mail message into a slow jam. i dare you.

2007-05-23 06:55:32
12.   williamnyy23
The more this season plays out, the more things kind of get ugly on the offensive side for 2008. Assuming Giambi's continued off-field struggles hasten his departure, very little seems settled going forward. If you go around the horn, here's what you have:

C-Posada is a free agent, but should be back and at least solid in 2008.

1B-Black hole - god forbid they are back.

2B-Cano should be around, but I think the jury is once again out on the extent to which he will be productive.

SS-Jeter - here forever.

3B-Arod - How ominous does that opt out look now? With the lineup crumbling around him, is there anyway the Yankees don't offer (and Boras doesn't demand) a blank check?

LF-Matsui - Still here...should be solid.

CF-Damon - Still here, but appears to be in a worrisome, injury hastened decline.

RF-Abreu - His 2008 option is no longer as attractive and his return no longer a given.

DH-Giambi - see above.

If the Giambi/Arod situations play out adversely, you could enter 2008 with only Jeter and Matsui confidently expected to be productive. With very few position prospects on the verge, the 2008 lineup could be scary (in a bad way).

Meanwhile, on the pitching side, the Yankees appear stocked. It seems to me that if they do fall out of it, the team needs to do three things:

1) Go to Arod (and Posada and Rivera) and make a decision either way so as to give more lead time on preparing for 2008.

2) Try to trade veterans for position prospects (no more pitchers!), or at least solid major leaguers who could at least be useful bench players going forward.

3) Deal some pitching prospects for offense prospects.

Just because this season goes down the tubes doesn't mean the near-term future has to go down with it. It is going to be very important for Cashman to get a good read on this team and react accordingly. Nothing would be worse than "throwing good money after bad" in an attempt to save the season. Once he determines that 2007 is a lost cause, he needs to immediately act on plans for 2008.

2007-05-23 07:00:24
13.   Schteeve
They better win tonight.
2007-05-23 07:02:09
14.   Sliced Bread
9 I could see Jeter going into business with the Steinbrenner boys. It's certainly not beyond Jeter's reach to put together an investment team to purchase a substantial chunk of the Yanks someday.

Anyway, that speculation is a pleasant diversion in Yankeeland this morning.

The Giamphetaroid saga is officially depressing.

A-Rod's horseshit slide into 2nd would only have been more embarassing if he was laying the lameshot on Jennifer Aniston, or Sasha Cohen etc.

Moose's momentum-sucking stinkbomb opened a new trap door on rock bottom, and the team is freefalling again.

No, better to think about Jeter owning the Yanks someday. When's "Scarlett Johansson Bobbleass" day at the Stadium?

2007-05-23 07:04:08
15.   JeterChrist
12 Solid analysis, and don't forget the $18 million we're spending on Clemens this year, and the $32 million we're committed to Mussina, Pavano, and Igawa next year.

At this point the best thing I think the Yankees can do is identify a young catcher to bring in to either split with or take the load off of Jorge until Cervelli could be ready.

2007-05-23 07:06:22
16.   williamnyy23
10 Great quote from Torre...amid the crushing disappointment and frustration of this season, I wouldn't want to be a fan of any other team.
2007-05-23 07:06:37
17.   JeterChrist
14 I'm convinced A-Rod only slid that way because he was trying to figure out a way to retaliate for all of the times the Red Sox have pitched He and Jeter inside without reprecussions. Plus, on a normal middle infielder, A-Rod is only elbowing them in the thigh instead of the face.
2007-05-23 07:11:39
18.   williamnyy23
14 I have no problem with Arod's hard slide. The bottom line for me is Arod was desperately trying to save that inning. I am not going to kill him for being a little too aggressive. If the umpire thought he was out of line, he could have ruled a double-play.

Also, earlier in the game in the 2nd inning, Pedroia went well out of the baseline to take Jeter out on a double play. While he didn't pop up and go forward, he was far from the bag. Sometimes, what goes around, comes around.

2007-05-23 07:17:06
19.   Yankee Fan In Boston
17 this is a bunch of bologna. would i have slid that way? probably not. was it the "right" thing to do? probably not.

thankfully nobody got hurt.

he was trying to break up the double play. that's his job. pedroia moved out of the baseline to throw and rodriguez tried to still make contact. it happens everyday. while it may not always be so blatant, this shouldn't be as big a deal as they're making it.

2007-05-23 07:18:43
20.   RIYank
Williamnyy23, I'm with you on both 18 and 12!

It would be very weird to be on 'the other side' at the trading deadline, unloading useful but time-limited players for prospects. But if we haven't made up significanct ground by then, it's the right thing to do.

2007-05-23 07:19:19
21.   Sliced Bread
Sorry, but A-Rod's slide was a cheapshot, made even worse by lame execution.

I don't blame him for trying to break up the play, but that was very poorly done, and if a Red Sock had done it to one of our players they would be rightfully mocked and scorned here.

2007-05-23 07:22:12
22.   JeterChrist
19 Haha, wait, why are you quoting me on this, I completely agree. Too big of a deal was made on this. Pedroia wasn't even close to the bag on his slide in the second.

Watching it again, especially in slow motion, its not even that bad of a play. ARod goes into the bag (proper slide) and pops up towards the fielder, the only questionable part is that he tried to lean into pedroia on his way up (calling it an "elbow" is silly). I wish more guys would try this hard. He was running the risk of getting them both called out for sure, but Posada was going to be out anyway, so he might as well have taken the chance.

2007-05-23 07:22:57
23.   Chyll Will
Hmm, why is Tavarestop has our number this year... well shuck my corn if I know the answer to that. Maybe he's got some Calvin Klein obsession with this team this year, an idiot-savant when it comes to pitching against the Yanks in a RS uniform. As with other things, time will tell.

Could it be Moose's time as well? I dunno, leaving him in past the six was questionable to begin with in light of his struggles early on, but when your only immediate option past him is Luis Vizcaintno, well the game was doomed from the first inning. Meh.

Like most R.Kelly songs, he's got great music backing up creepy lyrics, and that's the main reason most people give him a pass. I admit that I think of three instances where I'll sing along with sexpense; "Bump'N'Grind", "My Body's Callin'" and the "Best Of Both Worlds" album, (sans Lil'Kim); again great music, lyrics I'll pass on. "I'm A Flirt" made me cringe the first hundred times I had to hear it on some blaring radio or IPod, but now I'm numb (and that's probably why it gets a pass from most people who would otherwise violently rip the IPod phones off the clod's head leaning over them at full blast; it's not worth the trouble).

My at-bat music? "Straight From The Seweh", "Microphone Checka" or "Hosts Wit'da Most" from Das EFX to lead off an inning, "The Wrath of Kane" or "Set It Off" by Big Daddy Kane during rallies and anything by Art of Noise or Negativeland for anything else >;)

Giambi... cricket, cricket...

I'll buy the Marlins if no one else wants it...?

2007-05-23 07:24:54
24.   Simone
Depressing, but good comment, Emma.

R Kelly is repellent and I'm not into his music because other than Mary J. Blige, I have no interest in contemporary R&B. All that said, those lyrics as Derek's choice of hitting song are too funny and deserve to be mocked. Derek is not faking the modesty any more.

10 Joe has an amazing outlook on life. Very Buddhist. I wonder if he refers to Jeter as "grasshopper."

8 Slide? More like something from kick boxing.

MLB gets its revenge on Jason Giambi for taking them on by leaking his positive test. Karl Rove must be flattered.

2007-05-23 07:26:04
25.   williamnyy23
21 Sensible people can disagree...I have no problem with Arod's slide and don't think it was any worse than Pedroia's. In fact, the only thing that makes one appear worse than the other is Pedroia's diminutive size
2007-05-23 07:26:55
26.   Yankee Fan In Boston
21 people take jeter and cano out all of the time. this was an exaggerated move, but i've seen guys go further outside of the baseline and essentially slide sitting up using their elbows as a shield in an effort to take out the fielder at the knees.

however i will admit that it was clumsy, potentially dangerous, and probably a bad idea.

2007-05-23 07:33:58
27.   williamnyy23
25 I just watched the Pedroia slide again on MLB.com and THAT was a dirty play. Dusty ranged a good 3 feet off the bag and slid right into Jeter's legs. There was no attempt to touch the bad...just to go right into Jeter. What Pedroia did had a much higher chance of causing injury than Arod leaning into Pedroia. A shoulder to the hip is nothing compared to a full body jumping into the ankles and knees.
2007-05-23 07:35:04
28.   rbj
I've got no problem with A-Rod's slide. Gotta do whatever it takes to win a game these days.
2007-05-23 07:44:05
29.   unpopster
does anyone have a link to the video of Pedroia's slide?
2007-05-23 07:51:25
30.   Bama Yankee
I'm okay with the A-Rod play (although I would not have argued if the ump had ruled interference due to the elbow). I was a little surprised that they let that one go after the nitpicky calls the umps have been making against us lately (the Minky HBP and Wang going to the mouth -- I probably should have worded that last one a little better ;-)

To me the Phelps collision the other day was more of a cheap shot than the A-Rod play (in fairness to Phelps, I don't think he was trying to hurt anyone). I have seen players take out the 2B/SS in worse ways with no call (IIRC, Sean Casey even took out Jeter last year on a stolen base attempt which I had never seen before).

The real question is what the Red Sox think about the play and will they try to retaliate when A-Rod comes up to bat in tonights game?

2007-05-23 07:55:07
31.   JeterChrist
29 Not sure where to find it, I watched it because I have an mlb.tv subscription, and you can jump to any half inning of a past game. He wasn't even close to the bag. Ditto A-Rod's slide in the 6th. Again I think those type of plays are the worst, popping up and leaning into a fielder isn't going to injure him, you're actually more likely to get hurt yourself.
2007-05-23 07:57:27
32.   unpopster
I'm pretty confident that Arod will be plunked at some point. Maybe not tonight, but he will get a message sent to him. I think the Sox must feel like the division is theirs and that in order to punctuate that fact they will send a strong message to Arod, the Yanks, and to their own team and fans

When Arod does get plunked, I'm most curious how the Yanks will react. Arod is their best all around player and Torre and Co. can not just sit there and take it. If he does, then he will have lost all of my respect and quite possibly the respect of some of his players.

Having said all that, a nice good fight might just be the red ass thta this team needs ot wak them the fck up!

2007-05-23 07:59:55
33.   Peter
30 I'm sure they will.

I wonder if this is only a big deal because it's ARod. If it were Abreu, for example, making that slide I don't anyone would be talking about it.

2007-05-23 08:02:50
34.   Yankee Fan In Boston
33 i'm guessing that rodriguez's involvement is a big part of why this is being made an issue. you know that as soon as that happened there was a rush to cue up the arroyo swat footage. it gives certain media types an opportunity to rehash old non-storylines.
2007-05-23 08:03:48
35.   williamnyy23
32 You know what...that might be just what this team needs. The Red Sox have suggested that the Varitek Mask fight with Arod turned around their 2004 season, so maybe a similar episode will inspire the Yankees? If I was Francona, I would leave the sleeping dog alone.
2007-05-23 08:05:54
36.   williamnyy23
32 Besides, do the Red Sox throw at .308 hitters with 18 HRs and 43 RBIs? :)
2007-05-23 08:06:12
37.   Shaun P
I didn't see A-Rod's slide, but a run is a run, right? I imagine if my kids were older I wouldn't be explaining it to them like that, but they aren't, so . . . Didn't Hal McRae once slide in on Randolph at second, and then just lay on top of him so Willie couldn't throw home? I remember Bill James writing about that, but none of the particulars.

As for Tavarez, these things happen. Big fluke . . . except that it almost fits the URP pattern. Tavarez isn't unknown, or a rookie, but he's a guy the Yanks ought to destroy. Lots of those pitchers over the last 4-5 years have instead destroyed the Yanks.

I'm not sure if that's just because I never noticed it happening before, or if it really has been that way lately. Someone ought to do an URP study - but expand it to include crappy pitchers, like Taverez, as well as unknown rookies.

2007-05-23 08:07:24
38.   Yankee Fan In Boston
re: plunking rodriguez

if schilling touches a baseball tonight, he'll throw it at rodriguez. he's known for his theatrics, isn't he?

2007-05-23 08:11:13
39.   unpopster
38 if that's the case, then I say we start Farnsworthless tonight!
2007-05-23 08:13:18
40.   Alex Belth
As Leo Durocher once said:

"If a man is sliding into second base and the ball goes into center field, what's the matter with falling on him accidentally so that he can't get up and go to third? If you get away with it, fine. If you don't, what have you lost? I don't call that cheating; I call that heads-up baseball. Win any way you can as long as you can get away with it."

2007-05-23 08:13:28
41.   vockins
ARod's slide was great.

The way the Yanks play the Sox these days, I'm not going to be surprised if the Yanks starter offers Ortiz and Ramirez a glass of iced tea and a cookie before they take their AB. They've got to play them more aggressively.

2007-05-23 08:15:11
42.   williamnyy23
39Or have the Rocket parachute onto the mound in full army fatigues and camouflage to a chorus of "I am a real American".
2007-05-23 08:16:04
43.   williamnyy23
41 Lemon snaps?
2007-05-23 08:17:27
44.   Yankee Fan In Boston
42 nice... i was going to recommend bringing back jeff nelson and karim garcia... whoever that is...
2007-05-23 08:18:02
45.   Yankee Fan In Boston
44 and zim, of course.
2007-05-23 08:26:18
46.   Sliced Bread
40 But Durocher would have rolled his eyes at A-Rod last night.

Again, I can't fault Rodriguez for trying to break up the play, but his attempt was so clumsy and lame, it was laughable.

I have nothing against playing the game aggressively but that slide was a bad joke.

2007-05-23 08:27:17
47.   yankz
11 Thanks a lot.
2007-05-23 08:37:12
48.   Yankee Fan In Boston
47 you're quite welcome.

"sex planet" may just be this generation's "stairway to heaven."

2007-05-23 08:39:10
49.   williamnyy23
46 I won't question your personal opinion, but I have hard time imagining Durocher "rolling his eyes".

Let's let Leo speak for himself:

"As long as I've got a chance to beat you I'm going to take it."

"Give me some scratching, diving, hungry ballplayers who come to kill you."

If I were playing third base and my mother were rounding third with the run that was going to beat us, I'd trip her. Oh, I'd pick her up and brush her off and say, 'Sorry, Mom,' but nobody beats me."

"Some guys are admired for coming to play, as the saying goes. I prefer those who come to kill."

2007-05-23 08:39:46
50.   Bama Yankee
29 Here's the best I could do on the Pedroia slide:
http://i19.tinypic.com/52m1ifb.jpg

It does not look like he could have touched the bag...

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-05-23 08:43:25
51.   Yankee Fan In Boston
50 people do that all the time. it is nice that he happened to have done it in the same game, though.
2007-05-23 08:51:56
52.   Bama Yankee
51 I agree, they do it all the time. I just wonder what our old friend ric 8 thinks about that play?
2007-05-23 09:05:00
53.   JL25and3
37 I don't think it's the URP pattern. I think Julian Tavarez is channeling Frank Castillo.
2007-05-23 09:12:05
54.   mehmattski
53 If I hadn't seen the game last night I'd be wondering what everyone was talking about:

5.2 IP 3 H 2 ER 4 BB 2 K

as a box score line it looks like a typical Tavarez start, other than the low number of hits given up. It does look identical to his other start agains the Yankees, though.

Meanwhile, if he were on the Yankees we'd be pointing to this game, his previous start (7 innings, 1 ER vs the Tigers) and a 7 K in 6 IP start agains the Twins and claim that Tavarez is "finally coming around."

2007-05-23 09:13:34
55.   KJC
Damn, that's funny about Jose Vizcaino's music. Rush is one of my guilty pleasures (a holdover from 5th grade that I haven't been able to shake) and always enjoyed when Buell Mueller played for the Sox -- his at-bat song was "Tom Sawyer" (the live version).
2007-05-23 09:17:30
56.   Emma Span
10 11 The "Trapped in the Closet" DVD is perhaps the single most unintentionally hilarious thing I've ever seen in my life. My old roommate made me watch it, and once I got over the initial shock, I don't think I stopped laughing for three days...

Anyway! As for Giambi and his amphetamines, what bothers me is not so much that he once took them -- everyone did, it seems -- but that he was dumb enough to continue taking them despite the testing now in place. You'd think he would have learned something by now, right?

Also, what the hell is up with MLB and their "confidential" results? Yeesh. Tight ship there, Selig.

2007-05-23 09:21:52
57.   ric
52

if you dont see the difference between THAT and sliding, getting back up and falling backwards towards the pitchers mound with an elbow, then i dont know what to tell you.

56

i turned it off after the midget made his appearance.

2007-05-23 09:22:02
58.   weeping for brunnhilde
The slide was clearly out of line but you know what?--Good!

I'll take it.

It's nice to see that someone cares.

2007-05-23 09:25:06
59.   mehmattski
57 It's not that there isn't a difference, clearly one was more violent than the other. The point was retaliation- you don't go three miles out of your way to take out The Cap, after the ball was already halfway to first base, and then whine about some contact later in the game. Pedroia ain't nothin but a diminuative hypocrite.
2007-05-23 09:37:00
60.   rbj
56 "Also, what the hell is up with MLB and their "confidential" results? Yeesh. Tight ship there, Selig. "

I don't doubt that it was intentional on MLB's part, same as with the Barry flunking the greenie test leak. And while I want steroids out of the game, I support the players not cooperating with Mitchell and not divulging their medical records what with the way Selig lets things slip out.

I really wouldn't mind if there was a new commish, say, perhaps, Frank Robinson.

2007-05-23 09:41:27
61.   weeping for brunnhilde
By the way, Emma, I just had to tell you how much I enjoy your writing and your presence here.

"So, boys, you've been warned, but no worries -- I imagine you fellas always put your best pimp foot forward."

Do you have any idea how hilarious this is?

Thanks for the warm humor, it's very appreciated.

2007-05-23 09:43:14
62.   JL25and3
56 There are a couple of good reasons players might continue to take greenies despite the risk. One is that the penalty is light - increased testing, maybe counseling? The other is that amphetamines wash out of your system quickly. Players probably don't use them every day, so to get caught you have to be kind of unlucky as well.
2007-05-23 09:48:59
63.   Max Nomad
Anyone notice that the Daily News has not cited a source on the Giambi/greenies article? How can you just throw an article up like that without proof? Even the obligatory "higher MLB official" that seems to always leak something.

If Giambi ends up saying he's not guilty, I'd be inclined to believe him, just because the DN is such a tabloid anyway, and is proving it now.

2007-05-23 09:53:53
64.   Bama Yankee
57 I never said they were the same. I don't have a problem with either play (although both could have been ruled a double play according to the rule book). I fall a lot more in the Durocher camp than most people, I guess. I would do what I could to win the game, it's up to the ump to decide if the rule was violated or not.

My point was that you called the A-Rod play "bush league" last night and you brought it back up again today by posting that video link. I just wondered what you thought of the Pedroia play. Is it "bush league" to take out the SS when you can't even touch the bag? Or is it only "bush league" when you think A-Rod has violated a rule?

BTW, I'm not trying to start something with you ric. You post on here a lot and as you have said in the past you are not trying to be a "troll" (I agree that most of the time you are not). However, I guess I take exception to the whole "bush league" thing when it comes from fans of a team whose captain starts a fight with his catcher's mask on and had a pitcher throw an 80 year old man to the ground. So I guess I would say: "He who is without a Manny cast the first 'bush league' comment"

2007-05-23 09:55:24
65.   weeping for brunnhilde
20 Hey, RI. Just to continue the conversation about homeruns v. no homeruns, I think last night's game is a case-in-point of what I'm talking about. They had opportunities to take charge of the game with a couple of timely hits, but failed to do so.

That's the thing that makes me nervous--their apparently inability to eek out those kinds of runs.

Of course I'll take homeruns, but my point was that I want to see them win games precisely like last night's when they fail to hit homeruns.

That's the foundation of a consistent team, imo.

Does that make sense? Is it at least moderately convincing?

2007-05-23 10:07:01
66.   Zack
All that really matter is winning the game tonight. I know its been said before, but it's a pretty big game for the Yanks and Pettitte. And its the kind of game Schilling loves too, though perhaps its not a big enough stage from the Sox point of view. If the Yanks lose tonight and once again drop 2 of 3, I just don't see the team being able to turn it around. They have to start winning these games in order to make any kind of move. So we'll see...
2007-05-23 10:12:17
67.   ric
64
yeah, i posted it becasue it was mentioned in the post without the video link and i though it would be helpful.

"I guess I take exception to the whole "bush league" thing when it comes from fans of a team whose captain starts a fight with his catcher's mask on and had a pitcher throw an 80 year old man to the ground."

i didnt do either of those things myself. i can comment on any baseball player's actions without being a hypocrite. and for the record, if a 200+ lb man were running straight at me, i wouldnt push him aside, id give him one right in the toothless puss ;)i know youre not trying to start something with me, its cool. im posting on a yanks website. i rib sometimes, but its better than the morons fighting in the stands right?

2007-05-23 10:17:48
68.   Yankee Fan In Boston
56 the commentary on that DVD is what got me.

"did you see that? that was the cliffhanger. we made you think that there was going to be a cliffhanger, but there wasn't a cliffhanger... and that was the cliffhanger."

he is so completely proud of every single thing that he has ever done. well... maybe almost everything.

go yankees.

2007-05-23 10:29:12
69.   Bob B
Is there anybody besides me who gets pissed off when Johnny Damon hugs and kisses Ortiz and Ramirez before every game?
2007-05-23 10:32:01
70.   Yankee Fan In Boston
69 i play in a league where i am friendly with guys on other teams. they're good guys. i usually make a point to go say hello before the game gets going. once the field is taken, that all gets placed aside until the last out. i don't think that's anything to be too concerned with.
2007-05-23 10:42:06
71.   RIYank
69 Not me, I think it's cool.

65 My take was almost the opposite. What they needed, in my opinion, was a couple of dingers. The Sox scored their first four entirely on homeruns -- true, Moose came unglued again in the seventh but right up until that point you'd have to say that the game was all about who could get the long flies just a little further. (Well, Manny's certainly had a lot of room to spare, so maybe that's not a good way to put it.)

I'm not really sure what the issue is here. Obviously, I'd love to be able to score seven runs without any home runs. But I definitely do not think that the emphasis on homers is misplaced. If the Yanks can make a run this summer, it will be because they (a) get baserunners with walks, and (b) cash in those baserunners with a lot of home runs and some doubles.

2007-05-23 10:51:16
72.   williamnyy23
70 I'm in the same boat and agree with your take. Hugs and handshakes are fine before the game, but once the game starts, it's all business.
2007-05-23 10:51:58
73.   claybeez
I was glad to see A-Rod do all he could to prevent the double-play. Clumsy? Perhaps. Who cares? He did what he felt needed to be done to help win a game. We could use more of that.

Growing up Nettles was my favorite player. Watching his Yankeeography I realized while his defense was as incredible as I'd remembered, I'd forgotten how feisty and aggressive he was. To this day I'll take that every time over placidity.

Maybe a team of superstars that is winning can afford to play it cool and classy. A team approaching the precipice needs to claw its way back.

2007-05-23 10:54:20
74.   jkay
Daily News says Giambi met with MLB officials this afternoon.

http://tinyurl.com/yva5or

Giambi meets with MLB officials

BY CHRISTIAN RED and T.J. QUINN
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITERS

Posted Wednesday, May 23rd 2007, 12:50 PM


Jason Giambi, with agent Arn Tellem (l.), leaves MLB's Park Avenue headquarters after hour-long meeting with top baseball officials.

Fresh off a Daily News report that he failed an amphetamines test within the past year, troubled Yankee slugger Jason Giambi arrived at Major League Baseball's Park Avenue headquarters around noon today, meeting with executives for an hour before he left in a black limousine just after 1 p.m.

Giambi, with agent Arn Tellem in tow, was called before commissioner Bud Selig's top lieutenants to explain his comments to USA Today last week, in which he elaborated on his previous steroid admission and said all of baseball should apologize for its steroid sins.

2007-05-23 11:06:05
75.   The Mick 536
Does anyone really think that the Jankees are going to miss the playoffs by only two games?

Hard to explain the lack of hitting. More understandable is the lack of pitching, porous defense, and inability to produce runs. No bench. No arms in left or center. No backup catcher. Three first baseman. Starting pitching that don't make it into the seventh inning with a lead. No pop on the bench. Two second year wonders, wondering. No speed. Guys get on. No one drives them in. Negative energy (Abreau). Unstopping of the stopper. And, questionable moves by the manager (pitching changes, pinch hitters).

Just don't see the resuscitator.

2007-05-23 11:06:26
76.   The Mick 536
Does anyone really think that the Jankees are going to miss the playoffs by only two games?

Hard to explain the lack of hitting. More understandable is the lack of pitching, porous defense, and inability to produce runs. No bench. No arms in left or center. No backup catcher. Three first baseman. Starting pitching that don't make it into the seventh inning with a lead. No pop on the bench. Two second year wonders, wondering. No speed. Guys get on. No one drives them in. Negative energy (Abreau). Unstopping of the stopper. And, questionable moves by the manager (pitching changes, pinch hitters).

Just don't see the resuscitator.

2007-05-23 11:07:12
77.   L-girl
Hi, please forgive the cut-and-paste comment.

I've started a petition to tell Major League Baseball that a significant number of fans dislike interleague play and want it abolished.

Please visit Petition to End Interleague Play (http://www.petitiononline.com/mlb2007/petition.html) and read it. If you agree, please sign it and consider posting it on your blog.

I'm hoping to spread the word among serious baseball fans. I realize it may do very little, but I thought it was time we stop complaining to each other and tell management how we feel. Thank you!

2007-05-23 11:07:31
78.   The Mick 536
Sorry.
2007-05-23 11:07:44
79.   Bama Yankee
67 We're cool, ric.

"id give him one right in the toothless puss"

LOL, although you might want to watch out for that steel plate in his head... ;-)

I've got no problem with the friendly ribbing (even if I don't understand why you guys come over here in the first place... closet Yankee fans, perhaps ;-), you always seem to be able to take it in return without getting nasty. Heck, I even gave you a hard time about posting that long link yesterday (www.TinyTROLL.com is your friend).

We've just had some actual trolls recently (Mets fans mostly and some have even been banned) and IMO all the old A-Rod "bush league" stuff starts to sound a little too "troll-ish" for me (but maybe it's just me).

2007-05-23 11:12:29
80.   weeping for brunnhilde
71 Fair enough, RI. As I've said, in the end, perhaps it's just a matter of taste.

I think it's also perhaps that I'm still shellshocked from that drubbing we took from California in 2002, especially in the final game four, that 5th inning (I think it was the 5th) when they just hit one line drive after another.

And watching Boston last night, getting some critical basehits (Youkilis, Ortiz and Lugo, was it?) in big spots just made me feel that the difference comes down to hitting the ball up the middle and the other way, rather than looking for the bomb.

It's real tough to get guys out if they're not looking to hit homeruns.

Whatever, though, it's just one person's perspective.

2007-05-23 11:14:51
81.   KJC
79 "even if I don't understand why you guys come over here in the first place... closet Yankee fans, perhaps"

Nah, just fans of good baseball writing & discussions. (Not to mention it's good to know what's going on with Boston's AL East competitor.)

2007-05-23 11:22:45
82.   Max Nomad
On a separate note, ultimately regarding the Elijah Dukes restraining order incident, the VP of the Rays is named Rick Vaughn.
2007-05-23 11:26:46
83.   Bama Yankee
81 Fair enough. BTW, if you guys hang around here long enough you just might get converted...

There's hope for you guys yet, just look at Zimmer, Boggs, Damon and Clemens... ;-)

2007-05-23 11:27:55
84.   pistolpete
67 Gee, another reason to hate A-Rod, right?

I for one was glad to see a little dirty play from the Yanks - they're more often on the receiving end.

Maybe this is the way to go if we're out of contention anyway...

;-)

2007-05-23 11:28:48
85.   Bama Yankee
75 & 76 I'm with ya, Mick... Who knew that Bernie Williams was that much of a difference maker... ;-)
2007-05-23 11:42:01
86.   weeping for brunnhilde
77 Can you throw the abolition of the DH into the bargain?
2007-05-23 11:42:33
87.   Yankee Fan In Boston
off topic a bit, but living here in boston, you're constantly bashed over the head with everything and anything red sox. over the past couple of years i have come to covet kevin youkilis.

the guy works his rear end off. (i've seen him shagging flies in LF while everybody else was evidently in the clubhouse.)

there is a great article on him in the ny times today that made me like the guy even more:
http://tinyurl.com/24ds9a

what are the odds of the yankees getting him from boston for pavano and mientkiewicz?

2007-05-23 11:42:36
88.   Marcus
80 The Sox did do a good job of getting key hits, but remember it was the long ball that really won the game for them. Everything else was just gravy.

I can understand wanting the Yanks to string together some hits and spray the ball all over the field, but to cast aside the long ball completely is to hand-cuff your offense.

2007-05-23 11:46:18
89.   weeping for brunnhilde
87 Ha ha! :)

But come on, YF/Boston, that hardly sounds fair. Let's be realistic here, they'll probably want us to sweeten the deal a little, I mean, they're not looking to do us any favors, right?

Let's not insult Boston, but deal squarely with with them.

We'll throw in Nieves.

He's gotta be the cincher, no?

2007-05-23 11:48:33
90.   Yankee Fan In Boston
89 fine, fine... you drive a hard bargain... whose side are you on?
2007-05-23 11:59:34
91.   weeping for brunnhilde
88 Thanks for the reply, Marcus.

First off, I'm not saying cast off the long ball completely, of course not.

Just that I want to see them generate five runs or so without it, because some days the opposing pitchers just won't make many mistakes and the team's got to be able to find a way to win all the same.

And sure, they did score 4 runs via the longball, but that's not an insurmountable lead. The death knell was that seventh. 4-2 is a game, and with some timely hitting of our own, we could easily have come back.

Scoring 3 runs with two outs was the backbreaker.

The stolen base and the nice little hit by Lugo was just demoralizing. When he got that hit it was clear to me just why Boston is the better team. They displayed an extremely diversified attack.

You take away Manny's homerun (which came on a cookie, it was hardly earned) and I still think Boston would have won.

Watching Ortiz hit the ball around the park was amazing--he showed how he can beat you without the longball.

I don't know, maybe I'm gushing too much, but if that's how they play, they've got a great shot at winning the WS.

2007-05-23 12:00:09
92.   weeping for brunnhilde
90 Hee hee.
2007-05-23 12:08:13
93.   KJC
83 Actually, I already was a Yankees fan in my late-70s confused youth (though I still liked the Sox, too). I was a big Graig Nettles fan...
2007-05-23 12:31:48
94.   mehmattski
91 From my stats yesterday, though, I showed that the Yankees can score five runs without a homer- they've done it seven times this season, and are 5-2 when doing it. In Phil Hughes' busted no-hitter, the Yankees scored ten runs without a home run.

Boston, meanwhile, has only managed to score 5 runs without a home run three times (winning all three games).

In the end, I think it comes down to common sense: a team that hits a lot of home runs is going to score a lot more runs than a team that hits few home runs, but lots of singles and doubles. And a team that scores more runs is going to win more baseball games.

2007-05-23 12:34:33
95.   Bama Yankee
93 Ah, so we actually have something there to work with... you'll come around, just give it time.

BTW, how old are you? If you were a Yankees fan in your late-70's during the Nettles era... let's see you must be pushing 110 by now... ;-)

Wait, you meant the 1970's... I see now, I thought we might have a Baseball Methuselah in our midst...

2007-05-23 12:53:31
96.   pistolpete
87 And good riddance to the awful, 'Dateline-NBC-esque' goatee in the process!
2007-05-23 12:58:33
97.   cult of basebaal
93
95

we probably have several, i was a yankees fan during the 70's ...

2007-05-23 13:05:46
98.   vockins
87 Youkilis is great. He's on my fantasy team and he's tearing the roof off.

I drafted no Yanks, BTW. No Mets, either. I rarely draft from NYC teams if everyone in the league is from there. Got Hughes off of waivers, though.

2007-05-23 13:11:01
99.   nick
91 scoring runs without the homerun is constantly invoked by TV guys: it stands for "character", for "gutsy", for "scrappy", for "playing the right way"--a lot of folks see it that way, but I don't--I think 94 has it right. 91 reminds me of an old thing Bill James did once, parodying some manager: "if we just had ten or twenty more hits last year in close games with men on base we woulda been in the race...." The Yankees are 4th in the league in OPS right now; they were expected to be easily the best offensive team. There's our offensive problem. It's that simple.
2007-05-23 13:16:54
100.   bbfan1
"You take away Manny's homerun (which came on a cookie, it was hardly earned) and I still think Boston would have won."

That's complete nonsense. Most home runs come from hitting mistakes. That's the difference between good hitters and great ones. You don't get away with a mistake against great hitters. Go back and look at arods home runs. Most will be against mistakes. The walkoff against cleveland? A batting practice pitch. You don't want to give him credit? A less talented hitter pops that pitch up.

Your understanding of hitting is lacking.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-05-23 13:42:07
101.   debris
No question that Pedroia was out of the baseline when sliding into Jeter, though it was a classic takeout. Had the double play not been recorded, certainly an interference call would have been justified. We've seen this particular play happen all the time. Quite as often as we see the "neighborhood" out recorded by a middle infielder.

As for Mr. Slappy April's throwing an elbow at Pedroia well beyond the bag, I must confess I've never seen anything like that on a ballfield. Apparently, Mr. April hasn't left the sandlots behind. He didn't pick the best night to do it, with Schilling pitching tonight. Look for Slappy to get drilled.

2007-05-23 13:52:28
102.   unpopster
101 I don't understand what the hub bub is all about? Did Pedroia get hurt? no.

So then what offends Red Sox fans is that Arod didn't play the game "right" by making that take out.

Ok, I'll buy that. If that is so, then I am all for Schilling beaning Arod -- as long as for the next 38+ times that Manny comes up to the plate that he also gets a fastball in the ear. I mean, his admiring of all his homers doesn't neccesary speak to "playing the game right" too.

deal?

2007-05-23 13:57:02
103.   debris
102 Yeah, but Manny has an excuse. For the life of me, I can't remember what it is despite the fact that we're reaching for it on a near daily basis. But trust me on this one: Manny has an excuse.
2007-05-23 14:02:07
104.   RIYank
Dude, just A-Rod being A-Rod?
2007-05-23 14:05:13
105.   yankz
David Ortiz: .907 OPS in September/October
Mr. April (good god, you people are clever- actually wait, no, I'm pretty sure Bill Simmons used this two years ago): .895 OPS in September/October

A whopping .012.

Both, BTW, are lower than their overall OPS, so it's not like Ortiz kicks it up a notch.

2007-05-23 14:07:10
106.   weeping for brunnhilde
I understand I'm in the minority, and I also understand that what I say may be nonsense.

That said, I'm not convinced it is.

100 I think you're maybe misunderstanding my point.

My understanding of hitting may be lacking, not much I can say to that other than to keep voicing my observations and to begin expanding my view of the game as people point things out to me.

One of the problems is that my observations come from watching at-bats and based on those, I offer commentary, to which I often get statistics in response, as well as appeals to authority (Bill James) and allusions to bad broadcasting teams.

It's as if we're talking past each other, so I'm not sure if I should bother trying to refine my observations, with a little help from my friends, or what I should do.

I'm really not so dim as I might appear and I'd ask a bit of generosity before my remarks are dismissed as nonsense.

But it's ok, I understand I push a lot of buttons. Please know that it's by no means deliberate, it's just me bringing my own background to my appreciation of baseball.

100 The thing is, bbfan1, I really do believe that a game has its own internal logic, its own momentum, its own voodoo.

And having watched the entire baseball game, I still contend that had Mussina managed not to make that mistake to Manny, Boston probably would have found a way to win the game. I base that on their rally in the seventh.

I don't mind being disagreed with, but please don't patronize me.

2007-05-23 14:11:03
107.   weeping for brunnhilde
100 Oh, and as to Arod, I'm the one who's called him a glorified mistake hitter, based largely on your point, which is that his swing is so good that he'll hit the mistakes out a very high percentage of the time.

I watch these hitters fairly closely and have a pretty good sense of their strengths and weaknesses. Not as good as some, to be sure, but nor am I just making things up. I really do pay attention.

2007-05-25 05:26:02
108.   DJSample
With regards to the at bat songs, I was actually a little disappointed this year when Jeets dropped the "All Biggie" theme from last year. What better way to rep NYC than B.I.G.?

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