Thursday, April 30, 2009
owned by Isaiah Thomas.
There is no longer a line.
pocket. If I was Matt Vasgergan (sp?), I would say he looks like
25. Indians - 5.80 (ERA)
26. Orioles - 6.14
27. Twins - 6.14
28. Rangers - 6.41
29. Yankees - 6.65
30. Angels - 6.82
I'm guessing a fair number of you first heard of this establishment via this post back in February, so from the site's perspective we can't really complain all the dumb shit he's done. On the other hand, most of us are Yankees fans and we'd be lying if we said this makes rooting for the team any easier.
Rodriguez put on 25 pounds of muscle between his sophomore and junior years, and word was that his connection was a dog kennel owner.
A former high school teammate told Roberts the future No.1 MLB draft pick was on steroids and his coach knew it. Another student said the son of coach Rich Hofman admitted he saw Rodriguez use steroids.
Even if this is true, he'll never have to admit it, because there won't be any smoking gun in the form of a failed test. That said, if he was juicing all the way back then, A-Fraud was a truer moniker than any of this teammates could have originally intended.
The article provides some quotes for the book which allege that he used steroids while with the Yankees. Would this surprise anyone? His contrived apology conveniently quarantined his admissions to his Texas years, to place them in the past. He didn't even apologize to New York fans, to make the line even clearer. Whether he did them in New York or not, he wasn't going to admit it, because he didn't have to. That's the kind of advice you have an entire team of PR people and lawyers handling your crises.
What I found curious in this story were the seemingly ancillary details that were included. His alleged steriod connection in high school owned a dog kennel. Okay...? At the very end, the article adds:
He was even hated at Hooters, where he tipped the minimum 15%, the book says.
Have you ever been to Hooters? The service is fucking terrible. Yes, he's rich, but does that oblige him to leave above average tips under any circumstances? (And I believe the minimum would be 0%. Life doesn't occur inside a Zagat guide, douchebags.) Want a real tip from A-Rod, Hooters waitresses? Get naked.
So why include these superfluous details? Craig from Shysterball and Circling the Bases says that Selena Roberts might be trying to frame A-Rod as a "generally bad person":
It's one thing to say that A-Rod lied about certain things and broke certain rules. It's another thing to say that he did so because he's an inherently evil or damaged person. I have no problem with the former. Based on her track record, I am extremely skeptical of anything written by Roberts that posits the latter.
I guess that's the kind of angle one has to take in order to build a storyline and sell books. I've always respected Roberts' right as a journalist to write whatever sort of book she wants, but couldn't put my finger on what exactly seemed wrong about this one. As he so often does, Craig got right to the heart of the matter, and I think he pinpointed it for me. Want to dig dirt on A-Rod? Knock yourself out. But to try to paint him as a defective villian for the sake of making money doesn't seem quite right.
In closing, I'd just like to echo some of Joel Sherman's advice to A-Rod:
Here is my last piece of advice for Rodriguez: Hit home runs. A lot of them. Most baseball fans, especially Yankee fans, care about that most of all.If he struggles, he will be booed vociferously. If he prodouces, no one will give a shit. Let's play ball.
Doesn't get much better than that. And that's his third pitch.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Or, I suppose, you could bring in someone else and go into panic mode when you are still up by 5 runs. The absolute worst case scenario was that Albaladejo gives up a three run homer and the Yanks are up by two, with two out and no one on base. That shouldn't even count as a save situation. It's one out. And again, that's the worst case scenario. Why pull the alarm and rush Rivera into the game? The guy is an extremely valuable commodity and he's 39 years old. Don't jerk him around unless it's absolutely necessary.
When I asked Yankees vice president Randy Levine if this meant the team had misjudged the market, he [said] "For a very small number of seats, in this economy [...] I guess it was a mistake.''
The New York Yankees will charge $500 to $2,500 for seats near home plate in the first five-to-eight rows of their new ballpark. They already have commitments from ticket-buyers for all 122 of the front-row seats.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Honestly, is there anything better than seeing an opposing batter jump out of the way on a big inside curve, only to have the pitch called a strike? Jose Veras gets one of those every once in a while because of his spastic motion, but Hughes just did it on stuff alone.
I'm in the zone like the Bulls at home,
with mad stains on my shirt from the beer and foam,
Cause the crew with all the brew buries squads like treasures,
With the Hennessey and Coke tryin to deal with life's pressures.Contents under pressure (contents under pressure),
I hope for the best and expect the worst,
get stress off my chest everytime I bust a verse.
The team on Tuesday slashed the price of 48 first-row Legends Suite season seats on the outer half of the dugouts and photo cages from $2,500 to $1,250, and 68 others in the final three sections down each foul line from $1,000 to $650.
Those who bought $2,500 first-row season tickets in the 11 sections surrounding the plate that weren't reduced will receive an equal number of free first-row tickets for the rest of the season. Those who bought $1,250 first-row seats in the first two sections past each photo cage will receive free seats for 24 games.
Empty seats no longer?
The price reduction may get a few more people in there, but that doesn't address the issue that Jason from IIATM,S brought up.
While the Red Sox series averaged just over four hours per game, this one went quietly into the night. A letdown game after a clash with their arch rivals, perhaps? I'd like to think a team struggling to stay above .500 wouldn't need any extra motivation to win a game coming off being swept by a division foe.
Who knows how much effort actually correlates to success in baseball? I'd venture to guess the connection is not very strong. It's not like football, where strength has a much greater impact upon success. You can hit the gym and the results will translate much more directly to your success on the field.
At a certain point in baseball, no matter what you do (aside from taking steriods), you are pretty much as good as you are going to get. The greatest player of all-time reached base in less than half of the times he came to the plate. Both pitching and hitting have a fickleness and mystique about them. You don't want to give a sinkerballer too much rest and you wouldn't want to disturb a batter's choreographed routine.
Monday, April 27, 2009
The only thing that eases the pain is the fact that this weekend was absolutely beautiful this weekend here on the Eastern seaboard, and still is. Would you trade three Yankee wins for three straight days of 50 degrees and rain? I'll get back to you in September.
It's still April, and the Yanks are 9-9. They are heading to a pitcher's park and will have their ace on the hill tonight. I just hope this is the last sweep at the hands of the Sox this year, because this is (not surprisingly) the only song in my iTunes library that has anything to do with sweeping.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Thank you for giving us a reason to hate your fucking guts. In the meantime, suck a bag of dicks.Cordially,
- PeteAbe tells us that it was only the second game in franchise history that the Yankees lost by 5 or more runs after leading by 6 or more
- Kim Jones got her wish for 9 innings, but somehow I don't think that was quite what she had in mind
- Ben K. thought the umpiring was terrible
- Matthew Pouliot of Circling the Bases wasn't a fan of the managerial maneuvers either
- Andrew from Scott Proctor's Arm recapped the ups and downs
- The Chucknoblog wonders why Damaso Marte sucks so much
- The blog Center Field surveys the wreckage through Sox-colored lenses
- She-Fan tries to take a look on the bright side
- And Alex Belth makes everything okay ("There's music in the ay-uh").
The rivalry shifts to primetime tonight, or as some might call it, the Spotlight.
(Not a huge DMB fan, but that's a pretty cool version of that song, which he hasn't played live since 1993)
Regardless of your rooting affiliations, I'm sure you are you are thrilled by the inevitability of being entertained by the vocal stylings of Jon Miller, the flawless logic of Steve Phillips and of course the sage insights of Joe Morgan. If you hear anything egregious, feel free to preserve it in eternity by dropping it in the comments section.
Just remember this it's not only an East Coast thing.
Going for the sweep in Kansas City on April 12th the Yankees held their first close, late lead of the season. It was 4-3 entering the bottom of the eighth inning, and Joe Girardi called on Damaso Marte, who quickly retired lefties Mark Teahen and David DeJesus on two fly balls. When the Yankees signed Marte to a $12M/3 year extension this offseason, I'm guessing they thought of him as more than just a lefty specialist. But instead of leaving Marte in to face righty Billy Butler, Girardi went to the 'pen for Jose Veras, who had pitched 3 out of the last four games, and proceeded to walk Butler on 5 pitches.
Sitting in the on-deck circle was the legendary Brayan Pena, with 75 Major League games spread out over 5 years under his belt, 2 career HRs and a .254 OBP. So Girardi brought in lefty Phil Coke, who promptly allowed a double, single, and a double, resulting in the three runs that won the game for Kansas City. Oh yeah, and Pena's a fucking switch hitter.
Baseball is a cruel game. One day Joe Girardi is bringing in a pitcher specifically to face you, and two weeks later you get sent to the minors.
It's amazing how a bullpen can go from being quite effective last year to extremely sporadic this season without any significant changes to the cast of characters. I think at least some of the blame belongs to Joe Girardi and Dave Eiland who have been getting awfully cute with their match-up decisions. I don't want to nitpick every managerial move, but in general, I'm not in favor of bringing in the third pitcher of the inning to face a switch hitter with a .582 career OPS.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I like Girardi as a manager. I was fully on board with his hiring. But all this meddling with the bullpen is not only frustrating to watch, it's costing the Yankees games.
In a 4-2 game, Ellsbury represented the tying run. This year he has TWO doubles, ZERO triples or home runs and is slugging .304. What was Joe worried about? The count was already 0-1. Why not let Albaledejo try and get through this at bat? Because even if he did get a hit, chances are it would have been a single, which would not have scored Nick Green from first.
I'm not against using Rivera for more than three outs. That's one of the many abilities he has that separates him from other closers of this era. But there is no justification for bringing him in the 8th last night to face a shitty hitter. It was at someone else's expense as well. You can see the look on Albaledejo face. He looks dejected... embarrassed, even. He was throwing well and got pulled in the middle of a fucking at-bat for no good reason in Fenway park. Can you blame him?
I can't help but wonder if Alby got that out, and Mariano was reserved for the 9th inning that perhaps this wouldn't have happened:
Maybe this comes across as second guessing, but it was mind boggling at the time and it's not the first occasion this year when his bullpen management has squandered a late lead.
After Bay hit that home run, there was sense of inevitability to the outcome. Although the home team's advantage in extra innings is only 52/48, it feels much greater. The visiting team, in effect, has to play their hand first while the home team has the chance to respond. All it takes for the road team is one mistake, kind of like the one Damaso Marte made to Kevin Fackin' Youkilis.
/punches self in face repeatedly
Friday, April 24, 2009
Look towards the ump's chest plate below. (Click to enlarge)
See that little poof of dust/chalk/smoke?
It has dissipated slightly in the one below:
And it's gone in this screen shot:
Maybe it's just because little Dusty hits the ball so squarely, but I can't remember ever seeing that before. Perhaps Joba was hitting the rosin bag especially hard? I don't know.
Just thought it was worth pointing out.
Led by player-manager John McGraw at Oriole Park in Baltimore, the Yankees won the very first match-up in the storied rivalry 10-6. They took the second and final game of the series 12-6, but ended up splitting the season tilt 9-9.
When Byron "Ban" Johnson reorganized the Western League in 1893, he was only a newspaper reporter, but had the blessing of former St. Louis Brown Stockings star Charles Comiskey and was elected president of the league. He remained at the helm for 35 years. In 1899, the National League dropped four cities (Baltimore, Louisville, Cleveland and Washington) from their circuit, creating an opening for the Western League to establish teams in those locales.
According to Bill James, one of the things that made the American League preferable to the National League for fans was the elimination of the dirty elements of the game that had characterized baseball before the turn of the century. In his Historical Baseball Abstract, James says "[Ban] Johnson realized that the bad manners and frequent fistfights the National League permitted were restraining the public's enthusiasm for the game". It turned out he was right and the American League overtook the National League in terms of popularity, thereby forcing the NL to clean up their act.
After relocating to New York two years later, the Yankees were known first as the "Highlanders" (because they played their games at Hilltop Park in Washington Heights), and then the "Americans" so as to distinguish them from the National League team in New York at the time. The Sox were first known as the Americans as well, so as not to be confused with the Boston Braves. Not very far removed from the Civil War, the name Yankees was synonymous with "Americans" in the North at the time, and the moniker stuck.
It's hard to imagine what it must have been like for the players on the starting rosters of what would become the Yankees and Red Sox on April 26th, 1901. They were miscellaneous parts of no name teams, in a fledgling league, at a hand-me-down park.
Little did they know that over a century and 1774 regular season contests later, the games would be played in billion-dollar palaces, broadcast in HDTV all over the world and people would be complaining that the heated rivalry between these two teams was being covered too much by the national media.
Tonight, the season starts in earnest for many Yankees and Sox supporters. Until now, us Yankees fans have watched baseball being played in an desolate Camden Yards, a full Tropicana Field, a remodeled Kaufman Stadium and the Structure That Mariano Rivera Erected, and none of them seemed quite right.
There will be a certain familiarity to seeing Fenway packed full of hostile exuberance on an absolutely perfect summery night. The pitching match-up pits the two young guns on either team tagged as future aces, Joba Chamberlain and Jon Lester. Does a game in April get any better than this? I'd argue that it does not.
Let's go Yanks.
On Friday night, Joba is the scheduled starter against the Sawx. Shrek body double David Ortiz has already warned him to not try it again. Big Pawpi doesn’t specify what will happen if Joba ignores him...
According to Pawpi: ""This is a guy, as good as he is, the next step for him will be to earn respect from everybody in the league. He's not a bad guy, but when things like that happen, people get the wrong idea."
We here at Fack Youk do not mind head hunting Youk for the sake of his discomfort. But, please, for the longevity sake of this blog (I guess also for the sake of his family), Joba do not kill the man or end his career ala Tony Conigliaro.
Also, since when should pitchers care about being "respected." As Machiavelli says in The Prince, a pitcher needs to be feared, not respected. Being respected does not lead to team wins, high strikeout totals, a low ERA, WHIP or any other individual/team stats.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
...Don't forget about this:
In the 7th inning, with the bases loaded and no one out, Melky came to the plate and struck out on four pitches, the last of which was literally at his eyes. Look at what Suzuki had to just to catch that ball. Russ Springer missed his spot by three feet and still got the biggest K of the game. That at-bat would loom large, as the score remained 7-7 until the 14th.
To my eyes, there-in lies the problem with Melky. He goes up to the plate swinging for the fences, and refuses to believe that he's just not a home run hitter. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut on occasion, so there are going to be days like yesterday when he gets lucky and jacks one or two. But by and large this approach is killing his value as an everyday player.
Let's go to the numbers, shall we?
These are the three seasons in which Melky appeared in enough games to analyze the results. There are differences in PA's, but even when you factor those in, the trends are still clear. The darker shaded numbers are the most optimal ones.
From ages 21 (in 2006) to 23, his average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and consequently OPS have all been in decline. He age 21 season was what got most Yankee fans excited about him. Homegrown talent with a strong arm and pretty decent production at the plate for a CF.
While his home runs were consistent throughout all three seasons, Melky's doubles declined drastically. Why would that be? When he takes his home run cut, Cabrera ends up hitting a lot of pop ups. It's the downside of his "all or nothing" approach to hitting.
The last column represents in-field fly balls, and as you can see that percentage jumped significantly (at the 90% confidence level) from '07 to '08. As a result of hitting more pop-ups, his Batting Average On Balls In Play has been on the decline as well, because a much higher percentage of pop flies are converted into outs than any other type of batted ball.
It's been a while since Max Kellerman tried to sell everyone on the notion that Melky was the second coming of Bernie Williams based on their minor league track records and early MLB performance. I don't know too many people who think he can be an everyday player, let alone a batting champion or top 10 MVP candidate anymore. Rob, the sponsor of Melky's Baseball-Reference page said it best:
Oh, what you, Leche, could have been. With only 280 ABs in AAA they wasted all your options before your 24th birthday. Bernie got 468 ABs in AAA and almost two full seasons in AA. Hopefully you find a chance to develop as a hitter.I suppose for the time being that Melky is a pretty decent fourth outfielder. He has marginal defensive value in CF, but is solid in left and right with a strong arm. That makes him a good choice for a late-inning defensive replacement, and as he showed us yesterday, he's got the potential to make an impact offensively as well. I just don't want anyone to get carried away and say they want to see him starting.