Tag Archive | "alex rodriguez"

A-Rod’s grandstanding act: Great theater, but a PED user is a PED user

Tags: , , , ,

A-Rod’s grandstanding act: Great theater, but a PED user is a PED user

Posted on 21 November 2013 by Drew Forrester

As we’ve seen with our very own President of the United States, once you outright lie — and get caught — the confidence level of those who are in place to judge you and your future endeavors is almost unfairly going to be low.

In the case of Alex Rodriguez, there are about fourteen people in the country who stare into his movie-star eyes and think to themselves, “Wow, they sure have railroaded that guy…”

The rest of America — the smart ones — knows the truth.

We don’t know “the story”, per-se, but we know the truth.  The truth is, whatever A-Rod is saying about his involvement in PED’s over the last three years and his attachment to Anthony Bosch in South Florida is, almost without question, a fib.

Yesterday, in a surprise interview on New York’s WFAN, Rodriguez said, “I’m guilty of nothing.  I didn’t do anything wrong.  Nothing.”

Yeah, OK, and “if you like your plan, you can keep you plan…”

Give A-Rod and his team of story-weavers high marks for grandstanding their way out of the courtroom on Wednesday and trying to get folks to shower them with sympathy.

That was Academy Award script stuff.

Director — “OK, now, in this scene, you’re going to get sooooooo mad at the landslide of evidence placed in front of you that you’re going to just storm out of the courtroom.”

Actor — “Should I bang my fist on the table as I get up and gather my briefcase, cell phone and syringe?”

Director — “Yes!  Great idea.  Why don’t you call the guy the prosecution brought along to present the evidence a “Slimy Bastard!” as you walk out.”

Actor — “Yeah, yeah, that’s good.  Should I leave my phone number with his wife as I get to the back of the court?”

Director — “No, that’s probably not necessary.  It won’t fit with the whole scene where you’re so irate and disgusted with everyone and everything that you can’t stay in the courtroom one more second.”

That’s what unfolded on Wednesday in New York, where A-Rod basically gave up the fight to have his 211 game suspension reduced and decided to play his final card.  The one that reads: “The Commissioner hates me and it’s personal now.”

A-Rod is probably right.

I’m sure Bud Selig probably does strongly dislike him.

And why wouldn’t he?

Rodriguez is already an admitted steroid user who once pledged to anyone who would listen that his naughty days were over and that he “loves the game too much to disrespect it by lying to the fans”.

Baseball believed him.  Right up until the Anthony Bosch story broke last spring and there was #13′s name, along with mountains of evidence that connected him to performance enhancing drugs.

Selig and the rest of the folks running the game then said: “OK, that’s it.  This creep is done.”

Does anyone with a brain really think baseball would embarrass and denigrate their own product and business with a national court case/lawsuit of this magnitude if they didn’t have evidence beyond evidence that one of their game’s biggest stars was an ongoing fraud?

What’s in it for baseball to do this to themselves?

Why would they put their product on a national pedestal like this and subject their sport, teams and players to ridicule and, potentially, loss of big business from corporate America — unless they were prepared to battle like hell to get this germ out of their system once and for all?

Bud Selig’s not the coolest guy on the planet.

He’s made his fair share of mistakes as baseball’s Commissioner.

But, he’s not a dummy, either.

Major League Baseball wouldn’t have handed down this historic suspension and put themselves in front of an arbiter unless they knew they were likely going to win.

A-Rod knows he’s going to lose, too.

That’s why he walked out yesterday.

 

 

Comments (4)

Your Monday Reality Check-What a gutless bunch in Beantown Sunday night

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your Monday Reality Check-What a gutless bunch in Beantown Sunday night

Posted on 19 August 2013 by Glenn Clark

My love for Leonardo DiCaprio and a set of trailers that were incredibly artistic lead me to choose to see Baz Luhrmann’s take on “The Great Gatsby” earlier this summer.

As I should have realized considering what he did to “Romeo & Juliet” that he was destined to make the special effects in the movie more interesting than the story itself. It wasn’t worth the 10 bucks. It’s probably not even worth a dollar in the Redbox machine. If for some reason you’re not familiar with the story, go get F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book from the library (there are still libraries, right?) instead.

The only saving grace of going to see the flick was the reminder of one of my favorite lines in all of literature. The line is better if you read it through a monocle while sipping a spot of tea.

“‘They’re a rotten lot,’ I shouted, across the lawn. ‘You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.’”

The line was shouted by Nick Carraway to the title character, Jay Gatsby. It came after an ugly scene involving the other characters in the story, all of whom were terribly flawed in many ways.

I was reminded of the famous line upon learning what had happened between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees Sunday night (and to a much lesser degree knowing what has gone on between the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals recently). The entire group in Beantown was an absolutely rotten lot.

Actually, that’s not fair enough. The entire group in Beantown was a cowardly lot. A gutless lot.

You’re almost certainly familiar with what happened at Fenway Park Sunday night, as Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was plunked by Ryan Dempster in his first at-bat. Dempster made it evident that he intended to hit A-Rod, throwing behind him on the first pitch and hitting him on a 3-0 count after throwing two more pitches inside.

Inexplicably, home plate umpire Brian O’Nora allowed Dempster to stay in the game (and ultimately ejected Yankees manager Joe Girardi for arguing that decision). Boston fans suddenly forgot that intentionally hitting another human being with a baseball is a disgusting act that should be considered criminal and gave Dempster a standing ovation. Rodriguez would later hit a home run off Dempster, forcing those of us with brains in this country to feel the need to take a shower after actually feeling good for the man facing a 211 game suspension for (allegedly) being a lying, fraudulent performance enhancing drug user.

They’re a gutless, cowardly, rotten lot.

For what it’s worth, Rodriguez isn’t absolved of being described with similar adjectives. If guilty of the crimes accused by Major League Baseball, the man whose numbers would otherwise be Hall of Fame worthy deserves to be described the exact same way Nick Carraway described Tom & Daisy Buchanan and company.

But it provides absolutely no excuse for the actions of Dempster, O’Nora, the Red Sox fans and anyone else involved with the activities at Fenway Park Sunday night. Rodriguez’s punishment will be determined in arbitration, a right the MLBPA (which represents Dempster among others) fought for in Collective Bargaining. Dempster himself is the worst perpetrator, and the term “chicken sh*t” is perhaps even more fitting than gutless, cowardly or rotten.

(Continued on Page 2…)

Comments (3)

ARoid HOF Plaque

Tags: , , , , , , ,

A-Roid is Special

Posted on 18 August 2013 by Tom Federline

Alex Rodriguez is special in his own mind and to the thousands of nieve Yankee fans that still support him. He is so special, he has been allowed to put his inevitable suspension on hold. He is so special, he is still playing baseball and he is still getting paid. He is so special, MLB is not even going to hear his case until November/December of this year, (after post season). Why is that? The 12 other suspended players accepted their defeat, accepted their guilt. You caught us, suspend us without pay (we don’t need all that ridculous cash anyway), and BTW thank you for enforcing this now. That way we can have a vacation and then return for the playoffs. Review all of the above, as it presents more evidence that professional sports “Is Fixed”.

A-roid, could you just do us all a favor and “Don’t Come Around Here No More” – (Tom Petty). You make me sick. If you never show your face again in Baltimore or at Camden Yards – our city and our experience at the stadium is better for it. Just go away. Don’t even stop by and pick up Brady for one last butt PED injection. You have tarnished the game of baseball. In this Steroid Era (1990-Present), you and the other 70% fellow needle sticking butt buddies, have managed to place doubt whenever excellence is being achieved, i.e. currently the Orioles own Chris Davis.

Chris Davis has offered is two cents on any allegations directed at him by addressing talk about chasing the single season Home Run record. Not verbatum – but here’s the jist – “The only record I’m concerned about is Roger Maris’ 61. The others don’t count.” Those are my sentiments and more than likely the sentiments of all true baseball fans. Hopefully Davis is not pulling a Rafeal Palmeiro. Hopefully he is legit. Hopefully Albert Pujols is legit. Hopefully Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are legit. What are your thoughts? Here’s mine – thanks to Bud Selig, the players union and MLB – they are all guilty. And if they have not tested positive, they are the ones with the good agents, they are the ones paying off the right people at the testing labs. I don’t know what happened with A-roid and his 28 million a year. Maybe Biogenesis got to greedy with A-roids’ name on the list and the buy-off price got to high. That’s why the other 12 had to surrender.

It’s just not right. It’s all fixed, plus one. Meaning – it’s “all fixed” with performance enhancing drugs simply adding salt into baseballs wound. A-Roid is special and pretty and rich. Kinda makes you a little envious of A-roid. It makes me so envious – it makes me gag. Which I almost did, last Sunday. I can tell you one thing, I’m glad I did not have a heavy object in my hand or I would have been out buying a new television this past week.

Last Sunday afternoon – I turned on the PGA golf tournament. Within minutes my stomach started to rumble and become mildly upset. For ten miuntes all I heard were the “commentators” continuously swoon over Tiger Woods and Phil Mikelson. Whose rounds by the way, were long completed and they were on their way home. The golf “groupies” couldn’t accept the fact that competitive golf could still be played without Tigger ” Mr.4-iron” and Phil “how do you like my fake smile?” I digress. Bottom line – golf is off, what else is on? I turned the station to find Detroit vs. the Yankees. Oh joy, Justin Verlander (another potential juicer) vs. A-roid. I was asking for pain at this point.

Here comes A-Roid and his first at bat…. Home Run. RUKM? My stomach has now begun to rumble. There were some boos in the crowd………. prior to his at-bat. All of which, turned to cheers and a standin ovation after the homerun. RUKM? Just wasn’t right, man. More reasons not to respect Yankee fans. At this point I buckled over, while shouting a few choice “unmentionalbles” at the television. And for those who know me – it was quite “juicy”. At this point, I was hoping that was the worst of it. Oh no, MLB and Fox Sports wasn’t convinced I was sick enough. Next they put up a stat – “A-Roid is 1 RBI away from tying Stan Musial.” That was it – dry heaving and piercing pains in the back of my head almost did me in. A-roid and Stan Musial in the same sentence. You just gagged like I did, didn’t you? Just how wrong is that? My take – the Steroid Era boys get their own record book and Wall of Shame.

Enough already. Let’s get positive. Orioles – whoops – that’s a tough one. They are not hitting in the clutch and how about this newsflash? Jimmy JJ Johnson – no more 9th inning! Bench him for 50 games and no pay. Guess what happens? He gets a vacation, he gets to ponder the use of “juicy juice” and he’s back for playoffs. Orioles in the PLAYOFFS? Not at this pace. Not with thier current attitude. They have experienced their second low-point of the season. And no extended high point to off-set the lows. It’s not all Jimmy JJ’s fault. They all are guilty, including Buck-Buck. Where is your “closer by committee”, Buck-Buck? What’s with the all the LOB in scoring position, Buck-Buck? O’s are not going to the Promised Land with current state of affairs.

Summary – no more juicy juice talk please. O’s have an outside shot at making a run. Let’s have fun. Just go away A-ROID and take your other suspected/questionable PED teammate buddies with you: Teixeira, Sabathia, Jeter (oh yeah throw him in there too), Granderson, etc. etc. Yankees go home. Let’s just make it O’s, Red Sux and some team that plays inside in Florida. Fan in need of Orange Kool-aid.

D.I.Y.

Fedman

Comments (4)

Selig vs A-Rod and the Yankees Bailout

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Selig vs A-Rod and the Yankees Bailout

Posted on 05 August 2013 by Thyrl Nelson

If Bud Selig is indeed on his way out, and there are still plenty of reasons to doubt that, he’s doing it with guns blazing. On Monday, at long last the speculation regarding Biogenesis will end and the punishments will be doled out…maybe.

It seems that over the weekend MLB, and Selig’s office specifically, have let go of their willingness to negotiate with Alex Rodriguez, and at the same time may be backing off of their plans to try and ban Rodriguez for life while hitting him with 3 strikes at once under MLB’s PED policy.

In the process of attempting to to drop the hammer on A-Rod, Selig may be creating an empathetic figure out of a guy whose actions would and should have left him beyond redemption already, Selig has shown himself for the petty bully that he has been throughout his tenure as commissioner, and gave birth to a wave of new conspiracy theories regarding baseball’s favoritism of the Yankees.

First, it’s seems all but clear that there’s no coincidence that at the heart of baseball’s desire to punish everyone involved in the Biogenesis fiasco, is an underlying mission on the part of the commissioner to exact revenge on the 2 guys who have made Selig look dumb in baseball’s “post-steroid era”. There’s Ryan Braun, who long before he tested positive for PEDs and had that violation overturned was routinely lauded by the commissioner, along with Troy Tulowitzki, as proof of baseball’s ability to continue to churn out stars in an era where testing has again “leveled the playing field”. And there’s Alex Rodriguez for whom baseball implemented instant replay to insure that their “fair haired boy” wouldn’t be cost a single opportunity to chase down Barry Bonds and rescue the record book. Neither guy asked to be Selig’s poster boy for post-steroid baseball, but both made the commissioner look silly when placed in that spot and were ultimately found out to be cheating.

Both deserve to be punished, but for cheating, not for leaving egg on the face of baseball and those who run it. And both will be (or are being) punished. But Selig’s attempt to punish Braun amounts to little more than an inconvenience to a player and a team that were already cashing in their chips for 2013. And if reports of what he’s trying to do to A-Rod are true, it seems like little more than a transparent attempt to help the Yankees achieve their stated goal of getting below the luxury tax threshold for 2014 and resetting them from a payroll, and tax standpoint.

It’s hard to believe that the rest of baseball’s owners would be on board with this, considering that they’re the ones who divide and share the payroll taxes that the Yankees have to pay. But if everyone stands to earn more when the Yankees are successful, it may be an indication of where everyone’s priorities lie.

How else can baseball explain the creation of a 214 game penalty? It’s just convenient enough to excuse the Yankees from accounting for A-Rod’s preclusive salary next year without MLB actually accepting the burden of trying to prove 3 seperate violations of the PED policy for a guy who didn’t even test positive for PEDs.

Baseball said Rodriguez lied to investigators, everyone lies to investigators. In Braun’s case that got him an extra 15 games. Baseball says that Rodriguez attempted to destroy evidence. Melky Cabrera created his own evidence and presented it to MLB, for that he got no additional penalty. And baseball accuses Rodriguez of recruiting for Biogenesis, as opposed to everyone just finding their way to Kirk Radomski or Dr. Gallea once upon a time. Maybe the evidence they have will trump these other instances by comparison and maybe we’ll get to see it. I won’t be holding my breath.

MLB ought to take what they can get when they go after Rodriguez or what they’re likely to get is embarrassed…again. That would be a fitting legacy for Bud Selig to leave behind.

Comments (1)

Pay-Rod, Payroll & a Yankees Bailout

Tags: , , ,

Pay-Rod, Payroll & a Yankees Bailout

Posted on 18 October 2012 by Thyrl Nelson

When assessing the 20 questions that the Orioles must answer as they formulate their own plan for 2013 and beyond, one of the questions I posed was whether the top end of the AL East was leveling a bit or coming back to the pack. It seems a question worth asking, as the Red Sox, fresh off the heels of their 2011 season ending meltdown followed it up with an even more disappointing season in 2012. As a result of their misfortunes the Sox were willing and able to dump over $100 million worth of future payroll commitments on the suddenly viable Dodgers. In freeing themselves of those contracts, Boston was also forced to part company with a debatable (or arguable) amount of elite talent. It seemingly stands to reason that the Red Sox would be willing and able to put that now freed up money back to use, if and when the situation calls for it; but considering the numbers of prospects that the Sox dealt to bring some of that highly priced talent into the fold in the first place, it might be quite a while before they’re able to put back together a nucleus that a few big splash signings might successfully compliment.

The case of the Yankees was more curious still, because of the lingering and long-term commitments that they already have assigned to aging stars moving forward. The Yankees, having paid better than 90% of all luxury tax payments in the history of MLB’s luxury tax era, have stated a commitment (or at the very least a concerted desire) to get themselves below the echelon of having to pay luxury taxes in the years to come. It seemed like a difficult position to believe, considering the decisions they’ll have to make on stars whose contracts are expiring in the next year or so, including Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson. Despite Cano’s struggles this postseason, he remains one of the most prolific hitters in all of MLB and arguably the Yankees best offensive talent. Getting themselves below the luxury cap would seemingly suggest a need to allow Cano and others to walk by 2014.

 

Before we begin however, to celebrate the Yankees’ struggles and what appears to be their unceremonious demise, before we can revel in the meltdown of Alex Rodriguez in these playoffs and the 5 years and $114 million plus commitment that the Yankees still have to him we’re already seemingly getting the signal that Rodriguez career in the Bronx might be coming to an end. Of course Rodriguez’ full no trade protection will be a factor in whether or not he’s traded this off-season, but speculation is already rampant that A-Rod may be set to follow the likes of LeBron James and take his talents to South Beach.

 

On the surface this would seem to be more Yankees folly worthy of celebration from fans elsewhere, but in reality it may be a glimpse into exactly what the Yankees mean when they talk about slashing salary.

 

The Yankees after all are baseball’s undisputed revenue kings. In stating their desire to avoid baseball’s luxury tax many of us may have been guilty of misreading their intentions. The Yankees’ desire to cut payroll seems less an effort to save themselves inordinate expenditures in an attempt to buy another decade or so worth of contention and more of an effort to avoid paying into a system that rewards the teams unable (or more aptly unwilling) to spend freely and an effort to stop padding the pockets of owners who never put their luxury tax earnings to work in actually trying to improve their clubs.

 

When the Red Sox signed Daisuke Matsuzaka after posting a record posting fee of over $51 million then coupling it with a $52 million contract, many looked at it as $103 million plus in expenditures (and they were right). But not all $103 million expenditures are created equally. The $51 million that Boston paid to post for Matsuzaka was money spent but not salary, Therefore only about half of the $103 million spent to land the gyro-baller was considered payroll and therefore subject to the luxury tax computations. Likewise if the Yankees ship A-Rod to the Marlins this off-season and even if they absorb as much as $100 million of his future earnings to do it, they’ll still have unburdened themselves from about $30 million per year of salary and as a result will have moved much closer to their stated goal of establishing a payroll below the luxury tax echelon, even if they take on Heath Bell and 2 years worth of his contract at $9 million or so per.

 

The long and short of it being that the Yankees will have the opportunity to shed “payroll” obligations and avoid luxury tax while still spending like the Yankees always have and perhaps more. One or two more of those types of trades (albeit on much more modest contracts) and the Yankees have the money at their disposal to re-up Cano and Granderson if they choose along with Raphael Soriano and could still make a splash in free agency while also accomplishing their goal of avoiding the luxury tax by 2014.

 

The other questions that both the Yankees and Red Sox will have to answer for themselves is which free agent players will be worth the price of poker in the coming free agent classes, and whether it’s still prudent to offer big money to aging free agents in the post steroid era of MLB. Figuring out the answers to those questions will be the biggest determining factor in whether the Yankees and Red Sox will be able to exert their financial dominance over the pack moving forward. But in the event that they choose to try, the means to do so are there, as are the financial means of both clubs despite rampant speculation to the contrary.

 

Comments (0)

Orioles get “Sabathia’ed” — My final post-card from The Bronx

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Orioles get “Sabathia’ed” — My final post-card from The Bronx

Posted on 13 October 2012 by Drew Forrester

As I sat in the upper deck of Yankee Stadium on Friday night and watched Game 5, all I kept thinking about was how unbelievably thin the margin of quality was between the Orioles and Yankees in 2012.

They played 23 times.  New York won “the series” 12-games-to-11.  I assume if they started another 7-game playoff series today, the Yankees would win that one, 4-games-to-3.  It truly was “that close”.

Or was it?

Sure, the 5th and final game went right down to the final three outs for the Orioles, but a few things stood out over the last six days that clearly displayed the difference(s) between the two clubs.

Without sounding like I’m part of the TBS broadcast crew, let’s go ahead and give credit where credit is due for the victors.

Make no mistake about it, New York won the series because of one man: C.C. Sabathia.

It’s that simple.  He beat the Orioles twice.  The Yankees won three games total.  That says it all.

Some players get paid 20 or 25 million dollars and put up a season or two worthy of that kind of production before starting to show cracks in the armor.  Sabathia earns every penny of his $23 million salary.  He’s a horse.

With all due respect to what turned out to be an Orioles strength in 2012 – starting pitching – the biggest reason why the Orioles will be on the golf course this Monday and the Yankees will be flying to Detroit is because New York has a true, legitimate #1 starter and the Baltimore team does not.

No disrespect to Jason Hammel.  Or Wei-Yin Chen.  Or Joe Saunders.

Those guys are decent major league starters.  Good pitchers more often than not.

But they’re not even close to Sabathia.

And that’s the biggest reason why New York won the series.  Sabathia beat us.  And, I guess, for $23 million a year, he probably should beat us.

Lesson learned for the Orioles moving forward:  If you want to be a champion, especially coming out of the American League East, you need to spend big money on a #1 starter.   Or Dylan Bundy better wind up being awfully freakin’ good someday down the road.

The play Derek Jeter made in the 8th inning of Game 5 should be the one they show on a continuous video loop in Cooperstown when his bust gets bolted into place sometime around 2020.

He’s no longer even close to the best shortstop in baseball, but when he needed to make a difficult play – with the game and perhaps his team’s season on the line – #2 moved gracefully to the top of the infield grass and made one of the most stylish plays of the year to nip J.J. Hardy at first on the slow chopper that snuffed out the Birds’ 8th inning rally.

If Jeter doesn’t come up with that play, Lord only knows what kind of inning the Orioles wind up producing.  I might be sitting in a coffee shop in Detroit right now getting ready for Game 1 of the ALCS between the Birds and Tigers.  That play from Jeter was a monster.

The final piece of bragging I’ll do on the Yankees centers on Joe Girardi.  Because he manages the Yankees, everything he does gets magnified x 100.  He has his detractors, as nearly all managers do, but Girardi had a spectacular series, aided greatly by the fact that his team swept Boston at season’s end to help give his aging roster a rest and set up the possibility of having Sabathia pitch twice if the series went five games.

I don’t think it’s fair to say Girardi “out-managed” Buck Showalter in the five games.  Buck made nearly all the right moves as well, particularly with his stellar use of the bullpen.  But Girardi got an “A” on his report card.  The biggest move, of course, was his decision to sit Alex Rodriguez for Game 5.  I heard lots of Yankee fans on Friday night bemoaning the fact that Girardi sat A-Rod, but it was the right call.  The $30 million man was making Chris Davis look like Babe Ruth.  And it was clearly getting to him.  So Girardi did the right thing, as tough it was.  He went with his “best line-up” for Game 5.  That’s what you do when you want to win.  We might not ever know if Sabathia bucked Girardi late in Game 5 or whether the skipper himself decided C.C. was going to pitch the whole night, win or lose, but the manager won again when he his workhorse finished the game off with runners all over the place and the Orioles foaming at the mouth for one big hit in the 8th or 9th inning.

(Please see next page)

Comments (5)

Orioles-Yankees lineups and pre-game notes for Game 5 of ALDS

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Orioles-Yankees lineups and pre-game notes for Game 5 of ALDS

Posted on 12 October 2012 by Luke Jones

(Updated: 3:55 p.m.)

NEW YORK — It all comes down to one game as the Orioles and Yankees finish off an incredible American League Division Series in the deciding Game 5 on Friday at Yankee Stadium.

The Orioles will send Jason Hammel to the mound against New York’s CC Sabathia in a pitching rematch from Game 1 of the series last Sunday. Pitching in his first game in nearly a month, Hammel pitched well over 5 2/3 innings of work, allowing two earned runs and four hits while displaying some shaky control with four walks.

Sabathia earned the victory in game one as he allowed two earned runs in 8 2/3 innings of work to rebound from a mediocre showing against Baltimore in the regular season. The big left-hander makes his 17th career postseason start and is exactly who manager Joe Girardi wanted on the mound in a deciding game.

As for the state of the Orioles bullpen after 7 1/3 scoreless innings in Thursday night’s Game 4 win, manager Buck Showalter anticipated having all relievers available prior to the start of batting practice. Showalter revealed left-hander Wei-Yin Chen and right-hander Chris Tillman were also available to pitch in relief for Game 5. Those two would be the most likely candidates to pitch a potential Game 1 in Detroit on Saturday if the Orioles were to win and advance to the AL Championship Series.

Showalter explained that he regularly asks pitchers how they’re feeling but he ultimately makes the decision whether an individual is available in any given game.

“You don’t put them in that position [to choose],” Showalter said. “I haven’t heard anything that would make me think people are not available. Don’t hold me to it. We can gain something, hear something, find out something between now and game time, but so far so good.”

The biggest names in question for Game 5 are right-handed setup man Darren O’Day, left-hander Brian Matusz, and closer Jim Johnson. O’Day threw 30 pitches in his 2 2/3 innings of work on Thursday night and has appeared in all four games of the series.

Matusz only threw five pitches in Game 4, but he has also been used in all four games of the series and it remains to be seen if Showalter would be willing to use a pitcher still getting acclimated to a relief role for a third straight day. The young left hasn’t appeared in game three straight days since moving to the bullpen.

Johnson has also received extensive work in the series — appearing in all four games — but his 14 pitches to close out the 13th inning on Thursday night were a reasonable amount, making one assume he’d be available for an inning in Game 5 without many reservations.

There were no major surprises in the Baltimore lineup as Lew Ford will start in place of Jim Thome as the designated hitter and Robert Andino will play second base instead of Ryan Flaherty with the tough left-hander on the mound for the Yankees.

However, the Yankees made the bold decision to bench third baseman — and the highest paid player in the league — Alex Rodriguez for the start of the deciding Game 5. The 37-year-old is 2-for-16 with nine strikeouts in the series and will be replaced by Eric Chavez at third base despite the fact that Rodriguez has four career home runs against Hammel.

Game 3 hero Raul Ibanez was back in the lineup for the Yankees, batting fifth and serving as the designated hitter.

Here are Friday’s lineups …

BALTIMORE
LF Nate McLouth
SS J.J. Hardy
CF Adam Jones
RF Chris Davis
C Matt Wieters
3B Manny Machado
3B Mark Reynolds
DH Lew Ford
2B Robert Andino

SP Jason Hammel (2012 regular season: 8-6, 3.43 ERA)

NEW YORK
SS Derek Jeter
LF Ichiro Suzuki
2B Robinson Cano
1B Mark Teixeira
DH Raul Ibanez
RF Nick Swisher
CF Curtis Granderson
C Russell Martin
3B Eric Chavez

SP CC Sabathia (2012 regular season: 15-6, 3.38 ERA)

Comments (1)

I just took a vicious gut punch and can’t wait to do it again

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I just took a vicious gut punch and can’t wait to do it again

Posted on 08 October 2012 by Glenn Clark

There is no 15-7-0 this week. I’m a man with priorities.

My priorities Sunday were quite simple. I wanted to get through pre-game and post-game shows, enjoy a Ravens win and get to Oriole Park at Camden Yards as quickly as possible to watch a playoff game with my family.

At the end of the night, those priorities were realities even if the day didn’t play out exactly the way we had hoped it would.

Sunday night was everything baseball in Baltimore should be. It was an incredible gathering of friends and family for a vitally important civic event in a town where family names have baseball connections. We’re familiar with these types of nights in Baltimore, we just know them as “football games”. We’ve waited not so patiently for another one on the baseball diamond for a decade and a half.

It finally came Sunday night and it was absolutely as intense and electric and meaningful as any lifelong (or even Johnny-come-lately) Baltimore Orioles fan could have imagined it would be.

You know what’s amazing? I stood in the outfield for two hours during a rain delay and never heard a single complaint. Not about the lines for beer, not about the weather itself, not about the massive crowds making it difficult to maneuver or find space to stand comfortably.

Hell, we had waited 15 years. What’s another couple of hours?

After the New York Yankees were introduced to a less than partial crowd, there was a break before introducing the home team to their fans. The break might have been mere seconds, but it felt like time stood still. I remember the first time being alone with a girl at 16 years old, but I don’t remember my anticipation ever being as great as it was in those moments. The opportunity to show appreciation for ending one of the most miserable runs a fan base has experienced was a moment not soon to be forgotten.

That moment was followed up by a ceremonial first pitch thrown by Perry Hall High School shooting victim Daniel Borowy and guidance counselor Jesse Wasmer, the man who stepped in and defined heroism in fending off the shooter that August morning. As a PHHS grad who has remained very close to the school in recent years (and who both went to school with and grew up down the street from Jesse to boot), I will admit that I lost it a bit during the moment. Even those without Gators ties could certainly revel in the significance of the occasion. THIS is truly a representation of what Orioles baseball should be. The most important things happening in our community should be tied to, recognized by and celebrated with the franchise that has remained in our city since 1954.

This was a moment that far transcended sports.

As Game 1 of the ALDS went along, it felt like every pitch was the most important ever thrown in the history of the sport. Each tantalizing inch around the plate was crucial, with fans hanging on every centimeter afforded to CC Sabathia but taken away from Jason Hammel. When the Birds were able to break through and plate two runs off the bat of Nate McLouth in the 3rd inning the staff at OPACY could have set off actual fireworks and they might have gone unnoticed by a crowd that could only be described as bat-sh*t bonkers.

(Continued on Page 2…)

Comments (1)

Let’s watch the Yankees crumble today in the aftermath of the blown call on Teixeira

Tags: , , , ,

Let’s watch the Yankees crumble today in the aftermath of the blown call on Teixeira

Posted on 09 September 2012 by Drew Forrester

Just as I wrote last Thursday, the Yankees are going to leave town today no longer in first place and with their tail firmly tucked between their legs.

Remember what I wrote?  ”You’ll be fortunate to win two of the four games, more likely to win only one and, of course, there’s always a chance you’ll go 0-for-4 in Charm City.”

And that looks like how it’s going to play out.  With Wild Pitch Freddy Garcia on the mound today, the only way the Yankees depart Camden Yards with a Sunday win is if they score 7 or 8 runs.

(Yes, I’m fully aware that Mark Teixeira was safe on Saturday night, for those of you who are about to hit the down arrow and comment in the space provided below.  So what?  That would have only tied the game.  Who knows what would have happened after that?  That’s like blaming Billy Cundiff for the loss in New England last January, like a lot of idiots have done since then.  His miss only cost the team a shot at winning in overtime, it didn’t actually “cost the Ravens the game”.  But why let reality play a factor in the discussion?  So, yes, Teixeira was safe last night.  Deal with it.) 

Speaking of Teixeira and last night’s umpire gaffe, it will be interesting to see how New York responds today.  Do they have the heart to come out for today’s game and “turn it on” after having one half-stolen from them last night?  Or will they just curl up in the fetal position?

I’ve watched all three games of this series and I’ll tell you what stands out to me.

The Yankees are old.  And fairly one dimensional.  Their pitching staff stinks like one of my 2-year old daughter’s diapers.  They’re just not that good.

All you have to do is look at the top of the 9th of Saturday’s Orioles win for proof.  Bases loaded and no one out, down 5-3.  The “old Yankees” (as in, the teams of three or four years ago) would have piled on there, with a double into the gap, a floating single into shallow right field and another double to finish off a five run uprising and an 8-5 win.

Last night, Nick Swisher couldn’t get the job done.  And neither could Teixeira.

Sure, A-Rod turned on a pitch from Wei-Yin Chen on Friday that most Division 1 college hitters could have belted out of the park (speaking of out-of-gas…that’s Chen), but #13′s bat speed is about 60% of what it was five years ago.  I hope he gets some firewood together to keep himself warm in this, the November of his career.  Swisher looks lost.  Teixeira is hurt, obviously, so it’s probably unfair to judge him, but he looks like a guy in dire need of a few months off.  Their oldest player is their best player.  I’m not sure if that says more about the Yankees or more about Derek Jeter.

They’ll hobble out of here today and continue on with their quest to make the post-season, but from my viewpoint, the Yankees are just trying to will themselves to wins now.

Here’s one piece of good news for Teixeira, who injured his hamstring in the 2010 playoffs and had to watch some of the post-season from his couch:  You’ll be on that couch again in a few weeks, resting comfortably.

 

Comments (9)

Yankees’ Rodriguez gives post-game nod to Ray Lewis

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Yankees’ Rodriguez gives post-game nod to Ray Lewis

Posted on 08 September 2012 by Luke Jones

After hitting a two-run homer to help the Yankees beat the Orioles Friday night, Alex Rodriguez paid tribute to Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis in his post-game interview.

Rodriguez wore a No. 52 University of Miami jersey in the Yankees clubhouse following their 8-5 win over the Orioles to retake sole possession of first place in the American League East. The third baseman grew up in Miami and attended Westminster Christian High School before being drafted by the Seattle Mariners with the first overall pick in the 1993 amateur draft.

Lewis played his college football for the Hurricanes from 1993 through 1995 before entering the NFL draft after his junior season.

“He’s my boy,” Rodriguez said. “I love Ray Lewis, I love the University of Miami, and I’m in his hometown. So, I’m honoring the Hall of Famer Ray Lewis.”

Though Rodriguez offered respect to one of Baltimore’s greatest sports heroes of all time, it’s highly unlikely the veteran won over any local fans as the Orioles are in the midst of their first pennant race in 15 years.

Here’s the post-game interview, courtesy of the YES Network:

Comments (0)