Suffering from Wang dysfunction?

I thought this topic was still in the cup, but after doing some reading today in my, ahem, spare time, it’s out of the jock.

 

After last night’s outing by Joba Chamberlain, the argument of ” Joba should go back to the bullpen and Wang be put back into the starting rotation”, has raised it’s ugly head again.  Here’s my take for the now: JOBA STAYS IN THE ROTATION. Why? Dysfunctional Wang. 

 

 

I know people that I can go back and forth on this topic with, for days. Damn people, I don’t have time for that in my everyday, mundane routine. Sheesh. They will argue with me that they’re confident AND comfortable with Wang back in the starting rotation. I’m sorry, but I have no confidence right now, in a pitcher that can pitch 13 scoreless innings at Triple-A Scranton, and then come back to the Majors and go only 3 innings in relief, giving up 2 earned runs. Do I sound petty? Perhaps, but the Yankees have no room to make more adjustments.  If the Yanks can get Keith Olbermann’s mom to come out of her first base line seats at Yankee Stadium, and put on Cervelli’s uniform and call a game, perhaps Wang will throw strikes. I know some of you are probably saying, “Jeez Megan, you HAD to bring up the curse of Chuck Knobloch”. Hey listen, if Wang’s problems aren’t mechanical in nature, then they’re psychological. I’m at the point where I think that a “hip flexor” is not the problem here (not that a hip flexor was the ACTUAL reason for his placement on the DL in the first place). Do I think Wang forgot how to pitch? No. But his head is definitely playing tricks on him. My prescription? Keep him in the bullpen….or put him back on the DL until SOMEONE can finally figure out what is wrong with him.

 

I think it’s unfair after last night’s performance, given a two hour rain delay, plus the fact that Chamberlain was nailed in the knee during his last outing by a line drive, that folks are demanding his placement back in middle relief. I find it amazing that no one is really pointing out AJ Burnett for his lack-luster performance as of late (but boy he makes a mean pie). I don’t hear anyone suggesting that he needs to go to the pen. Are salaries the issue? Perhaps. The perspective is a little warped. No one saw Teixeira benched for his horrible performance in April. Leave Joba alone. It’ll work out.

 

You want to know what’s really bothering me concerning the series with the Texas Rangers? The fact that Saltalamacchia’s name on the back of his uniform goes from his belt loops on his left side, up to his shoulders, and back down again to his waist again. Shorten that huh? Get a nickname or something.

 

This is what happens: The Yanks go on a winning tear. Then they have ONE bad game and need someone to pin it on. Did Joba have a good start last night? No. Did the bats come back to support him? Yes. Did the bullpen keep the Yanks in the game? No. Outcome? Loss. It’s that simple. It’s not rocket science. It’s baseball, people.

 

If anyone out there has a better formula or equation, I want to hear it.

I think I’m going to start gambling.

I’ve been feeling rather superstitious lately. It’s one of the main reasons why I haven’t written in over a week. The other being that I had company who didn’t have a clue about baseball and I HAD to entertain. What a cramp in my style.

 

I was in Baltimore for the game on the May 9th.  A-Rod was back, tons of Yankee fans in the stands. Hughes was on the mound and I had great hopes. So did Jeff Levinson, who sat behind me with his fiancĂ©e. This game was a college graduation present for Jeff. With Hughes giving up 8 runs in the 2nd, and after further innings of commiserating with my fellow fan, I soon realized that he would have rather gotten an enema than watch this debacle. I felt his pain, and kept thinking , “ok, A-Rod’s back. It’s gonna turn around now. HE TOLD ME SO”. But he went 0-3 with a walk, after going yard the night before on the first pitch of his first at bat. A good friend of mine tells me, repeatedly, that “you can’t count on them. Don’t get your hopes up Megan.” He actually told me that he was going to buy a KC Royals hat BUT they were sold out of his big head size on MLB.com. Well, you know what? The next time I talk to him, I’m going to get all Harry Kalas (may he rest in peace) on his ***. I’ve got high hopes baby, and you ain’t stopping my 4 train of thought.

 

Numbers and pie.

 

Say all that you want to about Alex Rodriguez. The man has come to save the day, just like he told me in my dream. That cape is a-flowin’. Since his return, the Yanks are 9-2. He’s hit 4 dingers in 4 consecutive games. Teixeira and Damon have become the Wonder Twins to his Superman. Rodriguez is a catalyst. And there has been a major reaction to his return. Teixeira’s batting average has jumped almost 50 points in 10 games, along with doubling his RBIs to 30 in the same period of time. Damon has been on fire, with his slugging percentage well above .600. The starting pitching has come around. CC has won his last 3 starts, striking out 7 batters, in 7 innings to achieve the Yankees 7th straight win, after the Yankees scored 7 runs in the bottom of the 7th (now you know why I want to gamble). The bullpen isn’t as shaky, with Coke even earning his first major league save.  Three walk-off home run wins, in three back-to-back-to-back games. A feat that hasn’t been done by the Yankees since 1972. Solid performances by Cabrera, Cervelli, Gardiner and Cash have helped. And even though A.J. Burnett was the last Yankee pitcher to lose a game in the past 11 match-ups, he has started what hopes to be the new Yankee tradition of taking a pie in the face. A positive pie. The negativity has to end.  And my high hopes are telling me that’s it’s only going to get better, especially with Bruney coming off the DL yesterday.

 

Tonight sees Hughes against Guthrie. My negative thoughts want to scream “oh good God”. I was witness to Hughes’ last start against Baltimore. While I may not bet that Hughes will go 8 innings, striking out 8 batters for the Yankees 8th straight win, I refuse to let the Donny Downer thoughts of my friend, who seemed ready to jump ship, seep back into my head. This is a different team than it was before May 8th. The fight and fun are back. Even Girardi has been smiling. Hughes needs the vibes of the past 12 days to resonate in his fastball. Unlike my AL Central, bandwagon jumping friend, I HAVE faith. I’ve been a Yankee fan since birth. You DON’T jump ship.

 

A.J.- get the pie ready. Victories are sweet.

Is it safe to come out now?

Ok, so I’ve been hiding the past couple of days. As much as I wanted so badly to charter “The He-Man (or women) Mo Haters Club” after Thursday night’s loss, I decided to keep my mouth shut. And besides, if I DID write, no one would have been able to understand it anyway because it would have been written in Wingdings font. You can take the girl out of the Bronx, but you can’t take the Bronx out of the girl, and quite frankly, it would have been very apparent that I suffer from New York Tourette ‘s Syndrome.

 

CC! You finally did what we’re paying you to do!!!! You can have your Twinkies back now. A four hit complete game shutout! Way to go big guy! This is EXACTLY what the Yankees needed last night.  A pitcher that can do his job; giving the whole bullpen the night off. You were worth every penny last night CC. There’s nothing like working both sides of the plate like a fat man digging into a Swanson Hungry Man meal. Come on, we all know the brownie goes first.

 

Alex. What can I say? You didn’t let us down. Welcome back. As some of you may have read, Alex came to me in a dream at the start of this week. He sat on the edge of my bed telling me that he was coming to save the day, with a cape on. Put an S on your chest for Superman, baby, as Dick Vitale would say. It was Hollywood-like to see him belt one out, on a Guthrie 97 mph fastball; his first at bat; on the first pitch. I would have patted you on the *** myself Alex, if I could have reached. If this is any indication of what the rest of the season CAN be for him, and for CC for that matter, the rest of the AL East should watch their backs. The Yankees will come up behind you in the standings, like a wedgie from a bully, in an elementary school playground.

 

Oh, and Alex, don’t forget. Please send Manny a “thank you” note. I think you owe him one.

 

Let’s not forget though, that the Orioles aren’t slouches. They may be keeping the basement warm in the AL East but their lineup is formidable. Markakis, Roberts and Mora are dangerous at the plate. Phil Hughes gets the start tonight at the Yard, and I’m hoping the momentum continues for the Yanks. Remember Detroit, Phil? Bring yourself back there mentally and you’ll be aces. You know you have it kid. Use it.

 

I will personally be at this game tonight. I’m thinking my presence will add some extra spark (Humor me and just let me think this). Eutaw Street, here I come. And I have a 6 year old, ace heckler at my side. Watch out.

 

The excitement continues at Oriole Park at Camden Yards at 7:05.

Then thou shall count to three, no more, no less.

I thought for sure last night, that the Yankees held the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. They were going to blast that rabbit to shreds. That *harmless* little bunny.

 

Well, that’s no ordinary rabbit. RUN AWAY!!! RUN AWAY!!!!!

 

I’ve been trying to figure out what the problem was. Lost sleep over it as a matter of fact. You really can’t blame Joba, even after a poor start, which led to a 3 run shot by Jason Bay, and an RBI single from Big Fatty (as my 6 year old son affectionately calls him). Joba got his act back together in the 2nd inning. The next 4 2/3 innings, he was almost flawless, totaling 12 strikeouts for his outing; a career high for him. When Joe came to the mound in the 6th inning, my heart broke. I felt like I was at the prom and some chick walked over, and took my date. I got to tell you, I think these Joba rules stink. But I do understand them. And I couldn’t help but to think what would have happened if Joba stayed in. Can “pitchous interruptous” be coined as a new term? It’s now in my dictionary, even though it would have never been used as a term in my Labor Law classes at Cornell.

 

The Yankee bats just weren’t supportive. And when they tried, they were snuffed. What would have happened if Cabrera didn’t try to stretch his double into a triple in the 4th inning? Would the mood of the game have changed? If only that Cabrera shot didn’t bounce into the left field stands in the bottom of the 6th inning, giving Swisher the opportunity to round for home? Game could have been tied, 4-4 at that point. And during both of those innings, what would have happened if Molina made contact? My head is spinning. I know. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

 

The bullpen. I don’t even know where to begin. It appears that Coke has the most dependable arm out there right now. Again, I can’t help to think what would have happened if the bullpen was on last night, but even if they were; it still goes back to the bats ultimately.

 

My Yankee optimism still lurks. But yet haunts me. Since 1985, the Yankees have never lost their first five games against the Red Sox. Yogi Berra also lost his job. I’ve been reading a lot of the message boards and some fans are thinking that Joe should meet the same fate as Yogi did. I think that’s absurd. While we can all be critical, don’t point out Joe just yet. Luckily it is just May, and the season is very long. I believe the Yanks have fallen to circumstance and a pinch of bad luck. And the Red Sox? Well, that rabbit’s got a vicious streak a mile wide. And so far, it’s been a killer. But who’s to say that they won’t fall to circumstance and a dab of mal temps? Yup, the season is that long. And that’s why I have faith. We’ll see you again, rabbit. And next time we won’t skip 3 on the count with the hand grenade, Monty Python style.

 

Focus shifts to the Rays tonight, who are 2 games behind the Yankees. Game starts at 7:05 in the Bronx.

Stop stealing the blanket, man!

Ring…. Ring…… Ring………

“Hello?”

“Ummm. Yeah, Tonya?”

“Yes, this is Tonya.”

“Hey, listen. I’m inquiring about your services. You know…skills, connections?”

“Who is this?”

“That’s really not important. I just need your help.”

“Skills? Services? Connections? I have no clue what you’re talking about, lady.”

“Yes, you do…..My friends…ummmm…The Hamiltons, led me in your direction. They said, ummmm…you’re the person I need to talk to.”

“The Hamiltons? What?”

“Ummmm, I mean the Franklins”.

“The Franklins? Oh….the Franklins! I know the Franklins! Keep talking”.

“Well, you see…I’ve got a….situation…up on 161st street. We got robbed last night. Can’t let it happen again tonight. You know what I mean? I heard, ummm….that you’ve got a way to stop that kind of stuff. I’ve got the supplies already in the building.”

“You’ve got what I need already?”

“Oh, yeah. And a kid to hand you more supplies when you need them. I’m not fooling around sister. This ain’t Ice Capades.”

“Do you have a description of these robbers?”

“Yeah, there were a bunch of them. They got names on their backs, too. Pretty silly, if you ask me, that they need THAT kind of attention.”

“What time do you need my crew there?”

“7:05.”

“Consider it done.”

CLICK.

 

“Megan…… Megan…….”

“Stop stealing the blanket, man! I’m cold….and having a great dream.”

“You don’t need Tonya Harding.”

“WHAT? Oh, yes I do. I need her like a bagel needs cream cheese.”

“And lox?”

“Oh yeah…mmmmm…lox.”

“Wake up!”

“COME ON MAN! LET ME FINISH THE JOB!”

“Megan, wake up. Look, it’s me, Alex.”

“Alex?’

“Alex! It’s 3 o’clock in the morning! What are you doing here?’

“I’ve come to tell you a bedtime story.”

*Eyes try to open, squinting. Alex Rodriguez is sitting at the foot of my bed. With a cape on*

 

“Megan, once upon a time, there were a group of guys, who wore stripes. A great group of guys. Hardest working guys out there on the diamond. They built a new house, during the offseason. A big, strong house. One day, they came home, to find a group of no good thugs. No good, I tell ya. They wore the color of the devil. And they robbed the place.”

“I know! I watched last night on YES! Jeez, Alex. You came all the way to Pennsylvania to tell me this? Tell me something I don’t know, huh?”

“There’s more to the story, little girl. They fought a worthy fight in the end.”

“BUT THEY LOST ALEX!”

“Shhhh….The robbers may have won this battle, but they awoke the giant, Teixiera. A big, sleeping giant, who can swing his sword from either side. And now….he’s angry. And after sending two long balls into the stands last night, he’s not done. He’s gathered his minions, and a man named Joba. A man so fierce, with blazing pitch speed, and eyes…. so mysterious. A wizard on the mound. They will lead the fight to revenge!”

“Are you sure I don’t need Tonya Harding?”

“Yes, Megan. I’m sure.”

“Ummmmm….hey, Alex?”

“Yup?”

“Ummmm…what’s with the cape?”

“I’m coming to save the day…..soon.”

“Oh, ok.”

“Go back to sleep, little girl. Dream pleasant thoughts, Megan. Happy thoughts…men in pinstripes…..shhhhhhh.”

 

WHOA!

 

So there you have it. Rodriguedomus came to me and told me HIMSELF, that the men in the devil’s color will be defeated; led by men named Teixiera and Joba. I feel it now. I FEEL IT! CAN YOU? Who’s with me?!!!!!

Sadly enough, they were robbed last night. Perhaps it was fate. Perhaps it was the smaller than average strike zone. Perhaps the rain delay didn’t help. Perhaps tipping pitches (ironically this is a household term now) had something to do with it. We all know that spying in sports is rampant among New England teams, don’t we? Perhaps last night’s game was meant to be the biggest wake up call this young season for the Yankees.

I’m awake now. I think the Yankees are awake now. And now it looks like a superhero is on the way, a little ahead of schedule, to join forces with his teammates in the coming days.  

The battle continues this evening at 7:05 in the Bronx. 

 

You’ve got to be kidding me….

In my last post (which happened to be my first here), I mentioned the ridiculous thought of the implementation of MLB cheerleaders. No, I was not for this, mind you. And now I’m a little perturbed. A good friend of mine from high school, Scott Coombs (there…I said your name. Happy now?), read my post and then led me in the direction of something disturbing, the Florida Marlins website. There they have posted a page for the Marlin’s Mermaids, their cheerleading squad. I think this is one of the signs of the apocalyspe.

Silly Megan. How could she possibly think that MLB cheerleaders did not exist? Is she that in the dark? Is she uninformed? No, not at all. Who follows the Marlins in the first place? I guess ever since they lost Jeff Conine, they needed a draw. Some appeal. Some “oompf”. I personally think they would have done better actually placing a Hooters in Dolphin Stadium. Cheerleaders are geared to the male eye. But wings? Now that speaks to all! When I get wings, I could care less if it’s served by a Hooters Girl. All I can say is that the sauce better be as hot as the weather in Miami Gardens. 

I hope other teams don’t do this. Honestly. No team in MLB should have to resort to cheerleaders. I don’t care how small their attendance numbers are. Of course, not every team can be like my beloved Yankees. Not every team can go without player’s names on the backs of their jerseys, like my beloved Yankees. Not every team has the fabled history, such as that of my beloved Yankees. Every team should, however, let the focus fall on their players. Not bimbos with pom poms who stand on the top of a dugout, thinking that they’re sexy Phanatics.

Hey listen, if you’re going to have cheerleaders for your baseball team, and have them wear Hooters-like uniforms, let them toss wings into the seats, for Pete’s sake. I bet you can get a half dozen wings, wrapped in tin foil, in one of those t-shirt/hot dog nitrous-fueled cannons, and shoot them into the stands. Put these chicks to a good use.  

Just my two cents.

 

 

The Perfect Plate

At the beginning of this very young season, additional reports of alleged steroid use, a battered pitching lineup, and a “cursed” ballpark are the front page highlights for the Yankees, yet again. April showers bring May flowers – and a boatload of negativity in New York. It’s become a tradition, it seems.

Without the implementation of MLB cheerleaders (PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS AS A HINT TO DO SO), it appears to some fans, that the food at the new Yankee Stadium is the best thing going so far. And hey, don’t get me wrong – I’m a big fan of stadium food; but my sushi platter can’t hit from both sides of the plate. And my quality draft beer can’t fly through the air to catch a looper in shallow right (though I’ve often pondered how I might make that happen). You want a real treat at the stadium? Chew on Nick Swisher for a minute. He can satisfy my hunger in a way that my brew and sushi just can’t do. Eat him up… savor the Swisher. Mark my words – he’s on deck to be the best bellyful in Pinstripes.

He’s more interesting than the Dos Equis man. Pine tar loses its grip when it sees him. Walls duck at the mere sight of him. Opposing teams write his name on their batting lineup in the dugout, just to see what it would look like. Home plate dusts itself off when he comes into the box. The wind changes its direction to be at his back. Twitter tweets about him. His smile is more contagious than swine flu. ConEd uses him as a power source. Chuck Norris would intentionally walk him. If John Tortorella threw water at him, he would stay dry. He is Nick Swisher, the most interesting man in Pinstripes.

Take your energy, folks, and redirect it. It serves no purpose to dwell on the three ring circus stories circulated by that Serena Roberts chick. We need to channel our energy to the positive. Have faith in the present lineup and look to the kid in right field, playing the game with such enthusiasm, that chalk line moves out of his way for him to catch balls. The boys of summer are back, with a new leader. Stay hungry, my friends.

I promise. You won’t be sorry.