Tuesday, July 31, 2007

There Better Be A Plan

This trade makes absolutely no sense to me.

The Yankees' biggest weakness right now is their bullpen, not counting Mariano Rivera. So they trade one of the few, semi-reliable options they have in the bullpen for....what, exactly?

26-year-old corner infielder Wilson Betemit has mild pop in his bat, but seems unlikely to amount to anything more than a platoon player. I would have rather taken my chances with Andy Phillips and Not-Eric Duncan at first base for the rest of the year, and kept Proctor.

I know that Joe Torre has abused Scott Proctor's poor, damaged, paralyzed right arm beyond imagination the past 18 months, but he's still a useful piece if used appropriately. Kyle Farnsworth, on the other hand, is a waste of space and an asshole to boot.

Joba Chamberlain might have been able to replace, or likely better, Farnsworth's production. But can he replace Farnsworth and Proctor? I don't know. I also worry that the Yankees will now give up too much to get the brittle Eric Gagne from Texas to replace Proctor. I would much rather have seen Cashman DFA Farnsworth, and bring up Joba to help Proctor and Vizcaino shoulder the heavy workload. Now, the bullpen is even more short-handed than before.

If the Yankees really, as the ESPN article suggests, view Betemit as a potential replacement/insurance policy for ARod, this team could be really dreadful next year if Rodriguez bails. PECOTA forecasts ARod to be worth about five more wins than Betemit, and that's before his monster 2007 enters the projection system.

Let's hope Cashman has something more up his sleeve.

And my sympathies to Scott Proctor's Arm, which now faces a dilemna.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Do Not Try to Shrink Me, Gypsy!

After a week in Rome dodging gypsy pick-pocketers and reading about the Yankees at 3 a.m. in hotel business centers, Psycho Fan's back like a motherfucking heart attack. R-E-U-P...re-up, re-up!

The Yankees are 14-6 against the All-Star Break, including the finish of the suspended Baltimore game. If they can keep up this pace, they'll have a legitimate shot at the Wild Card, even against a strong Cleveland squad. Unfortunately, they can't keep up this pace. They're just about through with the weakest part of their schedule, and when real baseball commences again, the bullpen is still putrid and Roger Clemens and Mike Mussina are still pitching like a couple of older gentlemen.

It seems unlikely that Brian Cashman will be able to accomplish much at the trading deadline, and I hope the Yankees DFA Farnsie Farnsworth if they can't pawn him off on some sucker.

The next couple days should be extremely interesting. I think we all need this off day to catch our breath.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Edwin Jackson has a career ERA of 5.99. His ERA this year is 6.65 (including last night).

Last night, the mighty Yankees managed 0 runs against him in 6 innings. Meanwhile, Moose the finicky cat was pounded by the 90-pound-weaklings of the A.L. East, Tampa Bay.

And today, Matt DeSalvo and Kei Igawa throw in both ends of a double-header. Momentum's gone, folks. Embarrassing.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Boss Weighs in on The Bronx is Burning


It's too bad George Steinbrenner's not alive, because he really needs to fire his spokesperson.

Brief Ballpark Review...Kauffman Stadium

Kauffman Stadium is a very pretty ballpark with a pleasant ambiance and lovely fountains in centerfield. It's too bad they don't have baseball there.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Blame This One on Cashman

The Yankees lost 3-2 to the Blue Jays this afternoon, scraping together an anemic five hits against a Jays staff led by the immortal Dustin McGowan.

A pathetic, uninspired performance all around, but if only there were a simple way the Yankees could have added a little more offense today...


What was it about today's lineup that seemed extra awful?

This is a tough one. What was different today that could be easily changed?

Wait! I know!

In a tight, one-run game, you usually don't want a rotting corpse catching and batting ninth! What do I win!?

I knew that formaldehyde smell was coming from somewhere.

My Application to Become President of Red Sox Nation

The douchiest franchise in all of sports is running some ridiculous contest to elect an honorary president of "Red Sox Nation." (And by the way, "Red Sox Nation" is a moronic, self-bestowed nickname. I think we should start calling ourselves "The YankHeads" or "The Yankees Traveling Circus" or "La Cosa Yankees" or "The Pinstriped Gang of Doom" or "The Four-Million Man March" or MAYBE WE SHOULD JUST CALL OURSELVES YANKEES FANS AND NOT GIVE OURSELVES A GAY-ASS, SELF-CONGRATULATORY NICKNAME. Either way.)

After much deliberation and soul-searching, I've decided to throw my hat in the ring. Forthwith, my application:

I humbly ask you, kind citizens of Red Sox Nation, to elect me, The Psycho Fan, as your president.

My qualifications are myriad and irreproachable:

1) I lived in Boston for six of the most miserable months of my life.
2) I have been to Fenway Park on several occasions.
3) I have watched numerous Red Sox games on television, and listened to more on the radio.
4) I know who all their current players are.
5) I can name all the great Red Sox who have ever played: Ted Williams when he had a head, Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs. See? That was easy.

As if you needed more reasons to give me your vote after seeing that resume, allow me to delineate how I will fulfill my duties if elected. I call this my Hundred Day Plan.

First order of business: Prettier ball girls. I know there's not much to choose from in the greater Boston area, but come on. You've gotta be able to do better than that.

Second order of business: NESN revamp. No more Remdawg. Sorry, guys, that accent is killing me. Also...again with the ugly.

Third order of business: Move Fenway Park to Brooklyn. I am pretty sure this can be done with enforced cables and helicopters. The Cyclones could use a new (old) ballpark, and frankly, the last hundred years or so of Red Sox history does little to convince me they can sustain a winning tradition long enough to deserve such a fine old stadium.

Fourth order of business: Re-name Red Sox Nation. New moniker: Douchefuckers Incorporated. As president, I will have absolute power and you will be unable to stop me.

Fifth order of business: Evict all racists from Douchefuckers Incorporated. Hey, wait...where's everybody going?

Sixth order of business: Make sure that no fans are killed by Big Dig debris collapses on the way to games. HA HA HA HA...you have all been punk'd. Everyone knows that could never be accomplished, even by a president as omnipotent as me.

Seventh order of business: Ensure that Manny is never allowed to be Manny again.

Eighth order of business: Use my position of influence and power to strong-arm Red Sox ownership to trade Curt Schilling to the Florida Marlins, where there is no media, and every word he utters will disappear into a vacuum devoid of light and sound.

Ninth order of business: Bury the rotting, rancid carcass of Douchefuckers Incorporated somewhere in The Combat Zone.

I know it sounds like a lot of work, but I am confident that together, Red Sox fans, we can accomplish anything. How do you like them apples?

I am counting on your vote. If nominated, I will run. If elected, I will serve.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Psycho Fan, That's Who

Guess who's the number one result on a Google search for "tigers fuck?"

Proud day.

I am planning to corner the market on extremely disappointed perverts expecting hot, striped jungle tiger love-making but instead finding crazed rantings about a baseball team.

Smells Like a Sweep

The Yankees salvaged a win last night after blowing a strong outing by Roger the Rocket, beating Toronto 6-1 behind a four-run seventh-inning rally.

The Yankees creep to 7 games behind Boston, and 6 games behind Wild Card-leading Cleveland. I still think the playoffs are a bridge too far, but this is the Yankees' smallest divisional deficit since approximately 1998.

Tonight, it's the ace on the hill, as Chien-Ming Wang goes against Dustin McGowan. Advantage, pinstripes. But the Yankees have been lucky to beat Toronto the last two games, and need to start playing legitimately good baseball, which hasn't really happened yet. The bullpen is still being mishandled, and the offense hasn't caught fire the way it's capable of. If the Yankees are going to be a serious threat down the stretch, they need to play better than they have against Toronto and Tampa Bay. They're winning now because they're facing weak opponents, and they need to absolutely dominate this 28-game stretch against sub-.500 teams. 6-1 is a good start.

Meanwhile, the boobirds are preparing an overture for Johnny Damon and Kyle Farnsworth tonight, and they both deserve it immensely.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Kingdom for a Backup Catcher

The Cubs acquired Jason Kendall earlier this week to replace the insane Michael Barrett (I think it was the ruptured testicle that drove him over the edge). The deal was essentially a contract dump for Oakland, and they didn't get much back from the Cubs.

Jason Kendall is so far past his prime he doesn't remember it through the haze of senility drugs and oatmeal. In his age 33 season, Kendall has moved past his decline phase and segued rapidly into a full-on collapse. He's hitting .226/.261/.281, with an astoundingly bad OPS+ of 46. He is a below-average baseball player. He's bitterly jealous of the sub-mediocre.

And the Yankees still should have traded for him.


Because they currently have a rotting corpse backing up Jorge Posada, and any living, breathing human being can only be considered an upgrade. Wil Nieves's numbers so far this year? .132/.164/.151, and an OPS+ of -14.

That's negative 14.

Oh, and he can't throw anybody out, "gunning" down only 20 percent of would-be base-stealers.

I am not kidding about the rotting corpse thing. This position, along with the Farnsworth debacle and the first-base morass, have absolutely embarrassed Brian Cashman and the Yankees' brain trust this year.

Overheard in The Psycho Fan's Apartment

The following excerpts were overheard in The Psycho Fan's apartment last night during the Yankees/Blue Jays game. This exercise offers a brief glimpse into what life is like for Mrs. Psycho Fan on game nights.

"I can hit a curveball better than Cano. Trade this clown already."

"They're bringing Farnsworth in? Seriously? What the fuck? Where's Vizcaino? Where's Ramirez?"

"Joe Torre is the dumbest person in America. I can't even fucking believe this."

"Nice throw, Farnsworth. Fuckwad. Burn in hell."

"Matsui is a fucking disgrace to mankind." (Hideki Matsui has homered 6 times in 12 games.)

"That wasn't driven to left field, Michael Kay. It was a fucking blooper." (Michael Kay did not respond.)

[crash of remote controls flying into shutters; scampering feet as Mrs. Psycho Fan runs from the room] "Oh my God, I want Larry Bowa dead."

"Wipe that smile off your face, Torre. You don't deserve it."


"God, I love Cano."

Yankees Win a Weird One

The Yankees continue to survive and move on after the All-Star Break, as they beat Toronto 3-2 in a strange ten-inning affair to move three games over .500.

For the second straight night, the Yankees won a game in which the pitching patchup seemed to favor Toronto. Roy Halladay got through a wild first inning to pitch a seven-inning gem, and Andy Pettitte matched him in results if not performance. Pettitte allowed 10 baserunners in seven innings, but struck out a season-high seven Blue Jays to counteract his high WHIP.

The useless (except to his opponents) Kyle Farnsworth gave Toronto a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, setting the stage for one of the strangest half-innings of the season.

Nice Guy Andy led off with a bloop single to left, and was pinch-run for by Miguel Cairo. Cairo stole second on a hit-and-run that Melky Cabrera swung through. Then, after failing to get down a sac bunt, Melky hit a grounder to the right side. Aaron Hill couldn't come up with it, and it leaked through to right field.

At that point, third base coach Larry Bowa made the asinine decision to send Cairo home, even though there was no one out and Alex Rios has a gun in right. Cairo was out by about ten feet, and made a bizarre slide directly into the catcher's shinguards, even though Greg Zaun was standing wide of home plate. I have absolutely no problems with Larry Bowa as a third base coach, but he blew that call.

Cabrera, who had advanced to second on the throw, stole third off a sleeping Jeremy Accardo. Clearly rattled, Accardo walked the inept Johnny Damon and then balked home the tying run.

So, to sum up, the bottom of the ninth featured a stolen base on a failed hit-and-run, a failed sacrifice bunt, a dribbler through the infield, an awful send by a third base coach, another steal, and a balked-in run.

The Yankees went on to win in the 10th when Robinson Cano knocked in ARod (who reached on a HBP) with a solid single to left. Larry Bowa owes Cano a few drinks.

Also of note, Brian Bruney and Luis Vizcaino pitched two scoreless innings after the arsonist allowed the go-ahead run. And Edwar Ramirez has apparently died, and no one told us, because he's getting about as many innings as Chris Britton on the big league club.

The Yankees should now be thinking sweep, with Halladay out of the way and Clemens and Wang waiting in the queue.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

DFA Kyle Farnsworth Tonight. I Beg You.

Serial arsonist Kyle Farnsworth used to be known as a million-dollar arm with a ten-cent brain. These days, the arm and brain are much more closely aligned. They are both retarded.

It is criminally irresponsible for Joe Torre to bring him into the 8th inning of a tie game when there are other players (any other players, including Wade Boggs) available to pitch. And Brian Cashman is simply not doing his job when he allows Farnsy to remain on the roster for Torre to misuse him.

Perhaps the Yankees are trying to lose games. Every beat writer, blogger and casual, drunk fan at the Stadium knows that Farnsworth is probably going to give up a run in any given appearance. Even the dense Michael Kay sounds exhausted when reading Farnsworth's rap sheet. It makes no sense that baseball men with as much experience as Cashman and Torre don't know the same thing. So perhaps we're looking at a "Major League" scenario in which the top brass is actively trying to lose. Or maybe the manager and GM have entered into some bizarre career-suicide pact, and they're trying to leave the Yankees a sub-.500 team before they go. Maybe it's just one last "fuck you" to George Steinbrenner and his brethren.

Because nobody in their right mind thinks Kyle Farnsworth is going to help you win games.

An Open Letter from Gary Sheffield

Dear Elijah:

I offered to mentor you a while back, and I haven't heard anything from you in response. I thought that since we come from the same place, you would at least show me the respect of giving me an answer. So be it. It seems this public offering is the only way I can reach you.

Your marriage has run into some troubled waters. I've been there, right where you are now, young man, so listen to the voice of wisdom and experience. You and your lovely wife will get through this. The two of you are meant to be together, to walk this world as one for the rest of your lives. It might not seem that way now, since you text messaged her pictures of guns, and threatened to kill her. And since she accused you in open court of smoking marijuana daily and taking steroids. But it's true. Getting through hard times together is what makes a marriage strong.

When you told your wife, "You dead, dawg. I ain't even bullshitting. Your kids, too," I could hear the love in your soul aching to get out. The anger is a mask, sweet Elijah. Take it from one who knows. You need to seek The Calmness. Only once you have found peace within yourself can you recognize your wife for who she is — your soulmate, your better half, your Earth Angel, your buttercup. Then, you will reunite in a lasting, blissful union. At long last, you'll be able to stop crying yourself to sleep at night with a pint of Haagen-Dazs and your Tivo'd episodes of "The View." (I miss Rosie, too.)

There was a time when I thought my beautiful wife and I might not make it through our own tribulations. But once she showered enough times that I couldn't smell R. Kelly's piss on her anymore, everything got better. It will for you too. Peace be with you.

Your mentor,


In Appreciation of Mariano Rivera

Troubling legacy or no, Mariano Rivera is still one of the best closers in baseball.

It's become a semi-annual rite of passage: Big Mo struggles a little early, especially if Joe Torre fails to get him enough meaningful work. The media pounces, claiming it's the end of his amazing run, and then, when he pitches well May through September, nobody says a fucking word.

Well, guess what? In 30.1 innings since April, Rivera has walked two batters. His WHIP is 0.89. He is 11-for-11 in save opportunities. He has dominated.

Last night, Rivera looked like his old self while pitching the ninth inning of the Yankees' 6-4 win over Toronto in the Bronx. After giving up a leadoff double to Troy Glaus that Melky Cabrera misplayed into a triple, Rivera buckled down, striking out two and stranding Glaus at third. That old feeling of security is back when Mo comes into the game. I love to watch Rivera's reactions when he gives up a big hit, like Glaus's. He looks like he wants to punch himself in the face. I would prefer he use his anger constructively, and punch Kyle Farnsworth in the face after the game.

ARod blasted his 32nd home run to lead the Yankees' offense, which also featured bombs from Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano, along with a clutch bloop single by Nice Guy Andy.

Kei Igawa continues to benefit from amazing run support, and also continues to be one of the most frustrating pitchers to watch in baseball. He must lead the league in hits and walks allowed after starting with an 0-2 count. And after the count is 1-2, the league is hitting .355/.412/.661 against him. I know Brian Cashman says Phil Hughes is no lock to return to the rotation, but come on, Cash. You've already hampered the Yankees' chances to win enough this year with your poor bench construction and refusal to cut ties with Kyle Farnsworth. You're acting like Terry Ryan. Give this team their best chance. That means Hughes.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Survive and Move On

The Yankees didn't play great baseball over the weekend, but they survived, beating Tampa 7-6 on Sunday to take three of four from the D-Rays.

Every series at this point is a must win if the Yankees are going to entertain champagne wishes and post-season dreams. It doesn't really matter how they win, as long as they do.

The Yankees didn't play particularly well in this series, and they were particularly lucky to get through the eighth inning yesterday without a catastrophe. Kyle Farnsworth is no longer just a fire-starter, he's the serial arsonist from "Backdraft." So far this season, the bespectacled one has made 40 appearances. He has retired the side in order in just five of those appearances.

Mike Mussina, the finicky cat, was knocked around for 11 hits in 6 innings after a long layoff. We all know that Mike Mussina can only be effective when he is on exactly 96 hours rest, no more, no less. And the temperature must be between 63 and 78 degrees. And he has to sleep at a Holiday Inn if the team's on the road. And his eggs the morning he pitches must be runny, though the bacon must be burnt.

Game ball to Andy Phillips, for having a big day at the plate and making a spectacular diving catch/double-play to rescue Farnsworth from the fire he set himself.

Now the Yankees have more surviving to do, as they must somehow get through Kei Igawa's start tonight.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Great Moments in American Race Relations

I 'm no fan of Joe Torre as a manager, but you have got to be fucking kidding me.

I guess Gary Sheffield didn't get as much publicity as he wanted for writing his little book in the off-season, when he dared to to criticize the lionized Mr. Torre. So he's decided to take it to another level.

This guy has to actively search for ways to make himself angry, because that's the only way he stays motivated.

Some people in this world are just assholes — nothing more, nothing less. Gary Sheffield is an asshole.

And I don't know how Derek Jeter's going to sleep tonight, knowing that he ain't all the way black.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bud Selig Should Just Throw Up His Hands in an Effeminate Display of Self-Doubt Again

Dear Buster Olney:

I do not care whether Bud Selig attends the game in which Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron's record. I do not care whether sportswriters think Bud Selig should or should not attend the game in which Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron's record. Kindly stop wasting space in your blog, which I rely on for out-of-town news and occasionally some decent analysis, linking to the opinions of these morons.

Apparently, every sports columnist in America received a memo before the season stating that they're contractually required to weigh in on this riveting national debate. They should have all gotten together in March and teamed up to write two columns: one pro-attendance, and one anti-attendance. Instead, they wrote hundreds of articles individually based on the same two theses.

Bud Selig should watch 756 in person because as commissioner, he has a responsibility to the game, and he can't cherry-pick which aspects of the sport he associates with. And Barry Bonds never even failed a drug test! If Selig rode the McGwire/Sosa season to respectability, he would be a hypocrite to ignore Bonds now.


How dare Bud Selig even consider attending the record-breaking game? Barry Bonds is a disgrace to this wonderful pastime of ours, and Selig's presence is a silent approval of the legions of players who broke the rules (AND THE LAW) for their own financial gain.

There. I just wrote both columns. That's all that needs to be said. The next writer that Buster Olney links to who feels the need to chime in with his own derivative opinion on this topic will be an official enemy of thepsychofan.blogspot.com. That's my promise.

Brief Ballpark Reviews...Shea Stadium

Umm...guys? What's with all the orange?

Good fucking riddance.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Yankees vs. Devil Rays, 7/12

The Yankees open the second half tonight in Tampa against the pesky Devil Rays. Andy Pettitte, who has struggled mightily in his last two starts, goes against Jamie Shields.

Non-fantasy players might not be too familiar with Shields, but he's rather quietly become Tampa's ace while Scott Kazmir has struggled with his control. Shields has a 3.82 ERA, but his peripherals are better than that. He sports a 1.03 WHIP, an 8.05 K/9, and has held opposing hitters to a .671 OPS. Though he throws from the right side, he's fared even better against lefties than righties, which doesn't bode well for the Yankees. Shields has yet to face the Yankees this year, giving him another advantage. If he has a weakness, it's that he tends to tire after about 90 pitches, so if the Yankees can keep it close, they might be able to get to him or the Rays' woeful middle relievers.

The Yankees have 14 games left against the D-Rays, and if they're going to get back in this thing, they'll need to win about 13 of them. Which...seems unlikely. While they're in town, they can say hello to their old friend Carlos Pena, who sure would like nice at first base right around now. Wait! Nevermind! We have Miguel Cairo! We don't need a first baseman! Silly! What was I thinking?

And That's the Rickey Henderson Bit...YEAH!

The Mets have named Rickey Henderson their new hitting coach.

The Psycho Fan couldn't be more pleased with this development. The Psycho Fan thinks the possibilities for comedy over the coming months are unlimited. The Psycho Fan can only write what The Psycho Fan sees, and The Psycho Fan expects to be seeing a lot more things The Psycho Fan can write about soon enough.

The Psycho Fan also thinks this can only help Jose Reyes. At least until Reyes is playing poker in the dugout while the Mets lose Game 6 of the NLCS.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Locking Down ARod

It's being reported today that the Yankees are exploring reaching a new, long-term deal with Alex Rodriguez to prevent him from opting out of his contract after the season.

The first half ARod just put up essentially tied the Yankees hands. They have to either keep him, or get a huge haul of young talent for him in a trade at the deadline. The latter's not going to happen, because the Yankees won't give up on the season and because no team will part with enough for a half-season rent-a-Rod to make a trade worth it. So, the former it is.

Scott Boras is going to be a bitch to deal with, but the Yankees have been able to make it work with him in the past. The key here is whether or not ARod wants to stay. If he does, a deal will happen. If he wants to escape from New York, even a promise from Captain Intangibles to start hosting slumber parties again won't change his mind.

Johan in Pinstripes

Watching the All-Star Game with the sound off last night (Buck and McCarver bore through my skull with their idiocy and then spit in the holes with their ignorance), I was struck by how nice it is to root for a team with Johan Santana on the mound.

I know Aaron Gleeman disagrees, but I think Gleeman has a better chance of dropping another 90 pounds on the old elliptical machine than the Twins do of keeping Santana beyond 2008. And Goddamn, Johan would look pretty in pinstripes.

If the Cubs don't lock up Carlos Zambrano because of their ownership issues, there will be plenty of talk centering around the Yankees signing Big Z. Thanks, but no thanks. Dude's a psycho, and I don't trust him to keep his composure on the mound in big spots. He's a horse, but he's self-destructive, and New York would eat him alive.

Yo-Yo, on the other hand, is the best pitcher alive, and the Yankees have the cash to blow other offers out of the water. They'll have Pavano, Mussina and Farnsworth coming off the books after '08, and the Giambino after '09, so they should have plenty of cash to pay Johan more than what he's worth, provided they don't make a lot of stupid, Igawian mistakes between now and then.

Even with the new ballpark pending, I don't see Carl Pohlad, who's always happy to have his team contracted for a few million dollars, opening up the coffers for Santana when he'll still have Francisco Liriano, Matt Garza, Scott Baker, Boof Bonser and Kevin Slowey under his control for much cheaper. A new, outdoor stadium (with about 5-10 snow-outs annually) won't change the Twins' market size, or their owner's douchefuckerness. Plus, the Yankees will have a new ballpark of their own to unveil, and they'll want a brand new center-ring attraction to showcase on its opening day.

Santana, Hughes, Wang, Chamberlain, Kennedy in '09. Let's make this happen. At 29, Santana will be the old man on the most promising, young staff in baseball.

Some Pictures of Jonny Papelbon Looking and Acting Like a Douche

Because I feel like it.

And I'm not even including his ridiculous "intimidating glare," as he looks in for the signs, in which he strongly resembles a 5-year-old boy who's really mad that you took away his Teddy Ruxpin.

Or the mohawk.

Psycho Fan Ruins...The Bronx is Burning

Monday night after the interminable Home Run Derby, ESPN premiered The Bronx is Burning, its new miniseries adaptation of Johnathan Mahler's 2005 book revisiting the tumultuous summer of 1977 in New York City. As the Yankees were engulfed by Bronx Zoo in-fighting and tabloid exploitation, the city dealt with racial politics, the Son of Sam, the mayoral race and a blackout.

My Pinstripes reviewed the first episode, and I'll chime in with my thoughts, too.

I had no idea what to expect from the miniseries given that it's airing on ESPN, though I did find Playmakers mildly amusing, but I was looking forward to John Turturro's portrayal of Billy Martin.

Well, the rest of the episodes might be better, but the premiere flat sucked.

For Yankees fans, there's nothing new here at all, just limp recreations of famous moments in Yankees history and stilted attempts to work well-known quotes into conversations and context. Sparky Lyle, Graig Nettles and others have already covered this ground in their biographies, and the quips they attrbute to Mickey Rivers simply don't work in this obvious, forced, fabricated dialogue.

For anyone, Yankees fan or not, watching for some sort of cultural context, there was none to be found in the premiere. There were a few awkward scenes, apropos of nothing, of the Son of Sam shooting people we don't care about. Maybe future episodes will offer more on Berkowitz and the foibles of the times. Unfortunately, the first hour came across as nothing more than a C-level '70s Yankees documentary, with a few random murder scenes thrown in for no effect.

Turturro isn't bad as Billy Martin, but this isn't new territory for him. Oliver Platt hams it up as Steinbrenner, and gives us no insight into the man. Daniel Sunjata is fair as Reggie Jackson, but certainly isn't reason enough to watch. Though only given a couple lines so far, Erik Jensen steals the show as Thurman Munson, thanks to a strong physical resemblance and a subtlety the rest of the cast severely lacks.

Or maybe the whole thing was fantastic, and I was just in a horrible mood from the disastrous home run derby, and having to witness Kenny Mayne in a kayak.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Also Sprach Rivera

A very telling quote from The Great Rivera, via LoHud's question-and-answer session with the Yankees' closer:

David: What do you think its the biggest difference between the teams when you first came up and the team now?

Mariano Rivera: “The team when I came here had a lot of veteran guys, like we have. But a lot of guys that were—how had I phrase this?—they weren’t just players, they lived the game, enjoyed the game. That doesn’t mean these guys don’t do that. It’s just different.”

When combined with Jorge Posada's going-through-the-motions quote from a couple weeks ago, these are damning portrayals of the current Yankees.

Yankees All-Stars

Happy All-Star Tuesday, everybody!


As a kid, I used to love the All-Star Game. It was a chance to see stars I didn't get to see everyday, and I truly hated the National League, with its godless no-DH rule. Now, in the era of the MLB baseball package and interleague play, the game itself is kind of pointless. It's a nice notch on the belt for players who make the game, though.

Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada represent the Yankees in San Francisco this year, and its criminal that Pudge Rodriguez is starting over Posada. The A.L. All-Stars of recent vintage have featured less Yankees than the days when Joe Torre was managing every year. The Yanks averaged 5.5 All-Stars in the seasons Torre managed the team, including his sometimes dubious hometown selections. (Robin Ventura??)

More interesting is the pre-Torre, pre-Showalter dark era, when the Yankees stunk for several years. From 1989-1993, the Yankees never had more than two All-Stars in any season, and only sent one player three straight years, none of whom started. In 1990, Steve Sax was the lone Yankee representative. In 1991, Scott Sanderson went, during one of his two seasons with the Bombers. Finally, in 1992, Roberto Kelly and his .706 OPS got the call. Melido Perez and his 136 ERA+ would have been a better choice by Twins manager Tom Kelly in '92.

The only other season, before or since, that the Yankees sent just one player to the All-Star Game was 1972, when Bobby Murcer started in the outfield.

Interestingly, since divisional play began in 1969, the Yankees have had just four pitchers start the game: Mel Stottlemyre in 1969, Jimmy Key in 1994, David Wells in 1998 and Roger Clemens in 2001. In Ron Guidry's Superman year, 1978, Jim Palmer got the start. And he looks better in his underwear. But he could never grow a moustache like Gator.

Other tidbits:

  • Mickey Mantle played in every All-Star Game from 1952-1965.
  • Captain Intangibles didn't get into his first Midsummer Classic until his third season, 1998.
  • Tom Gordon's selection in 2004 (by Torre) made him the Yanks' first set-up man to make it since Ron Davis in 1981.
  • Thurman Munson made six All-Star Games in seven years. I know that's not necessarily a perfect measure of a player's skills, but people today forget just how good a player Munson was.

Great Moments in Sports Radio

On the Dan Patrick Show, ESPN Radio, approx: 1:33 EST. Mr. Rick Reilly has the floor: "These baseball people love their walk stats, Dan. Me, I think it's so boring I'd rather watch hairlines recede."


Chicago's 670 The Score, the Mike Murphy Show, Todd from Waukegan: "I'll tell you my beef, Murph. It's all these professional athletes who...Like Vlad Guerrero, who won the home-run derby last night, and they're interviewing him, and this guy doesn't speak a word of English. It's all in Spanish!"


Can someone please pass me my Baja Men CD?

The 2008 New York Yankees

If you believe, as I do, that the Yankees have little to no hope of making the playoffs this year, then it's time to focus on improving the team for next year and beyond. Baseball Prospectus's PECOTA-adjusted playoff odds give the Yankees a 20 percent chance of getting in to the dance either as a division winner or (more likely) Wild Card. With all due respect to Mr. PECOTA, I think that's a little on the high side.

The Red Sox aren't collapsing — their starting pitching is too strong and consistent, the back end of their bullpen is phenomenal, and they don't have the gaping wounds in their collective psyche that would have haunted them before 2004.

The Tigers and Indians both look strong too, and unlikely to let an 8.5-game lead slip away. The Tigers are much better than they were last year, with Sheffield and a resurrected Magglio Ordonez mashing, and Jeremy Bonderman and Justin Verlander holding strong as the tentpoles of the rotation. Cleveland has a solid roster top-to-bottom, led by unheralded (if crooked-capped) ace C.C. Sabathia. Their two best hitters, Hafner and Sizemore, underperformed in the first half, if anything. The starting pitching is a bit suspect after Sabathia, and Sweaty Joe Borowski (and his 5.35 ERA) is one of the worst closers in baseball, but this is still too good a team to lose a big second-half lead. I hope I'm wrong. But I'm not.

Meanwhile, our tortured antiheroes, the Yankees themselves, prepare to mount a late surge to push back the insurgents and take the land that's rightfully theirs. Sadly, many of the problems that plagued them in the first half won't magically disappear because we want them to:

-Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens are all nearing the end of their careers, and all are capable of solid-to-great performances. But old pitchers and consistency don't go hand-in-hand.

-Phil Hughes can't be relied on to stay healthy, despite recent encouraging developments.

-Even with the Erubiel Durazo signing, the Yanks are shaky at best at the cold corner. Durazo hasn't slugged above .406 at any level since 2004, and Miguel Cairo and Andy Phillips are still in the picture. It's an ugly fucking picture.

-Johnny Damon's body is being used as a host by Bernie William's vengeful spirit. This has caused Damon, and his pain-addled carcass, to post the following OPS's by month this season: .678, .777, .619, .584.

-I'm not sure if anyone has noticed, but a rotting corpse is currently backing up Jorge Posada.

-The bullpen and bench remain absolute war-stricken disaster zones.

-Joe Torre still has his finger on the button.

So...yeah. The playoffs would be an amazing achievement for a team this poorly constructed, this poorly managed, and this snake-bitten (literally...nothing's been the same since the 2001 W.S. loss to the Diamondbacks). I don't think they're getting there. And if they don't, I don't care if they win 80 games or 93 games. Leave the moral victories to cute little teams like the Mariners and the Giants.

If the Yankees can find a way to improve their future at the trading deadline, they have a responsibility to act. Unless they can pull a game-changing, potentially illegal Bobby Abreu-type trade to drastically improve their chances this year, they should be looking forward and letting the '07 team die a quiet, peaceful death. Small moves and band-aids at this point won't be enough to save the current season.

But is there anything available that will help the '08 team? Let's assume that the Yankees don't go nuclear, and they re-sign Posada and Rivera after the season. That means the roster next year won't start off looking that much different from this year's underachievers:

C Posada
1B ???
2B Cano
SS Jeter
3B ARod? (player option to walk)
LF Matsui
CF Damon/Cabrera
RF Abreu? ($18 million club option)
DH Giambi/Damon (It should be a legally sanctioned state holiday when the 2009 season ends and Giambi's albatross of a contract is finally off the books)

Say goodbye to: Minky, Miguel Cairo.

Now how about the pitching?

SP Wang
SP Hughes
SP Pettitte? ($16 million player option)
SP Mussina
SP Igawa (signed through 2011!)
RP Farnsworth
RP The Great Rivera

Say goodbye to: Mike Myers, Luis Vizcaino, Ron Villone.

The smart money says Pettitte stays. ARod will test the market. And the Yankees will let Abreu walk. So there are holes to fill at 1B, RF, possibly 3B, possibly SP, and of course the always woeful bullpen and bench.

At this trading deadline, there are a couple different options for the Yankees. Remember, this is an extremely weak free agent class coming up. In areas where the Yankees need help, Torii Hunter, Andruw Jones, Jermaine Dye, Eric Gagne, Freddy Garcia, Luis Gonzalez, Mike Lowell, Ichiro and Carlos Zambrano are the highlights, such as they are.

The Yankees can sell off, loading up on prospects and adding to the good, young pitching that is the organization's most salient current strength. They can attempt to acquire a long-term solution at a weak position by trading for a player (think Mark Teixeira) soon to be a free agent and then signing him long-term. Or they can attempt to make small moves, fixing problems like backup catcher now, rather than wait until the off-season when there will be other priorities. (Certainly, Brian Cashman hasn't shown any predilection for dealing with the bench in off-seasons past.)

Their most tradeable asset is clearly Alex Rodriguez, assuming he waives his no-trade clause. He's the best positional player in baseball. A contending team trading for him would receive a huge second-half boost and a potential leg up on signing him in the off-season. But it's unclear what kind of haul the Yankees could expect in return for what amounts to a half-season rental. The Nationals pulled Alfonso Soriano off the market last year in a similar situation because they couldn't get the level of prospects they were seeking. ARod's a better player than ASor, but Soriano was in the midst of a career year.

The Yankees could probably get one blue-chip prospect for ARod, a legitimate stud, particularly if they sought a position player like the Tigers' Cameron Maybin or one of the Angels' stock of young hitting talent. They could also probably get a collection of young B+ arms. I doubt they could get a blue-chipper plus a legitimate current major leaguer of value. Young talent is too valuable in today's market.

If they do trade ARod, the pressing problem becomes what to do at third base. There are no good answers on the free agent market. No one is coming quickly in the farm system. ARod's production is near impossible to replace. For that reason, the Yankees should not deal the troubled slugger, but instead pursue him aggressively in the off-season and sign him to an extension. In the later years of that contract, he won't be worth the money he'll make. But for the next 3-4 years, the Yankees need ARod at third if they're going to content.

So how about dealing for Teixeira? Andruw Jones? Dye? Jones and Dye have been abysmal this year, and Kenny Williams seems to ask for unreasonable trades. Mark Buehrle for Phil Hughes? Give me a fucking break, Kenny. Go sign another Darin Erstad.

That leaves Teixeira, who might not fetch too much in return given his post-2008 free agency, and the Rangers' desperate straits. But the Yanks would need to give up some of their good, young pitching to get him. the package would likely start with Joba Chamberlain. That's too steep a price to pay for a 27-year-old first baseman with a career .903 OPS? I honestly don't know.

Unfortunately, the Yankees hands are tied by a lot of their current contracts. And they have a large number of holes to fill without the benefit of a good free agent class. They'll need to give up something to get something. Teixeira is a proven talent, and young pitching fails more likely than it succeeds. Given that the Yankees will also need a right fielder and possibly a third baseman, I'd try to make the deal.

There are no quick fixes coming in the Bronx, that much is clear. The system's young pitching is probably the solution, but unless some of the arms are used in trades, that solution might be three years away.

I've Lost My Edge

Via Deadspin, this site tells you what MPAA rating your Web site would have, if your site were a movie.

The Psycho Fan rates a mere PG. For use of the words "corpse" and "suicide."

Umm...what about "rape"? I have definitely used that one. And isn't "rotting corpse" inherently worse than unmodified "corpse?" And I have most definitely used "fuck." A lot. Usually in reference to the Red Sox or Joe Torre or Carl Pavano.

This is some fucking bullshit. Daddy wants an NC-17. I'll be working toward that goal, I promise you all.

Patti Page and Summer Days on Old Cape Cod

River Ave. Blues has an excellent post on the progress, or lack thereof, of a couple Yankees' draftees in the Cape Cod League this summer.

The Cape League is the premier summer league for college ballplayers. Each year, the best amateur players in the country head out to the Cape, where they are spread out among 10 local teams. While there, the players all stay with local host families and work small-time jobs at restaurants, fish markets and the like to help pay expenses. In some ways, the league is a relic from another era — a throwback to a time when even big-leaguers worked "regular" off-season jobs. It's a place where future millionaires work for $7.50 an hour and sleep in the spare bedroom with Crazy Cousin Rory. And have I mentioned the wood bats?

Despite the quaint charm and lazy, seaside atmosphere, the pressure for prospects on the Cape is enormous. A fantastic or mediocre showing over the summer can mean the difference between signing a big-league deal and heading back to college for another year. A three-week slump might cut a recent draftee's signing bonus in half, or knock a younger player down several rounds in next year's draft. Big-league and college scouts pepper the bleachers and lawns at every game.

For a true baseball fan, there is almost no better experience than catching a Cape Cod League game on a warm summer night, and for most Yankees fans, the ballparks are just a four-to-six hour drive away. You're watching the best, young players in the country playing in a unique atmosphere out of the 1950s. In any given game, you're likely to be watching at least one, and possibly several, future big leaguers. Bring a blanket and some drinks, and you're good to go....admission is free.

The Chatham A's get most of the hype, thanks to a winning tradition and Jim Collins's excellent 2004 book chronicling a season in the life of the team. I'm partial to the Orleans Cardinals, though, de facto home team for all towns on the Outer Cape, and former club of Nomah, Ben Sheets, Scott Proctor, Mark Teixeira and the immortal Aaron Boone.

Peter Gammons has been known to wax romantic about the simple pleasures of the Cape League, and for once, he's not wrong. Go there now. Orleans visits the Hyannis Mets at 7 p.m. tonight.

Monday, July 9, 2007

I'm Still Patiently Waiting for "Rotting Corpse" + "Sweet, Sweet Perversion"

Someone out there stumbled onto this site by doing a Google search for "rape" + "one-act plays."

So...don't be surprised when I start catering the content to that guy in the near future.

And So, Before We End and Then Begin...

Let's drink a toast to how it's been...

Or not.

The Yankees closed the first half (actually, the first 52.4 percent) of the season on an impressive note yesterday, crushing the pesky Angels 12-0. As usual, Ervin Santana had nothing on the road, and the Yanks jumped on him early, riding three home runs, including Alex Rodriguez's 30th, to an easy victory. Chien-Ming Wang was effective, allowing five hits and two walks over 6.1 shutout innings, and clearly solidified his place as the team's ace.

Unfortunately, it's time for a reality check. The Yankees finished their ten-game homestand 6-4, and sit one game under .500 at the All-Star Break. They're 10 games behind division-leading Boston, and 8.5 behind Wild Card front-runners Cleveland, with 77 games remaining. This team is not making the playoffs. Unfortunately, they're also not going to wave the white flag at the trading deadline, meaning they'll be making 2008 and beyond more difficult on themselves. The best the Yankees can hope for is to finish with about 90 wins (still a tall order...they'll have to go 48-29 the rest of the way), within about five games of the Wild Card or division winner.

The Yankees have been somewhat of an enigma, achieving a near-.500 record with long winning and losing streaks, and without any kind of consistency. Are they better than this? Probably. Are they good enough to be legitimate contenders? Probably not.

It's time to take a few days for a midsummer's pause, and consider where to go from here. How can the Yankees improve their chances for next season by July 31? Trade ARod? Trade Melky Cabrera while his value is relatively high? Or simply try to find a living, breathing, non-corpse to spell Jorge Posada once a week?

We'll take a look at those questions and more over the next couple days, as I try to avoid all home-run derby coverage for the next 24 hours.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Yankees 14, Angels 9

The Yankees won a rather disgusting game against the erstwhile California Angels yesterday, beating up on Bartolo Colon and the vaunted Angels bullpen 14-9. In a game marred by base-running and fielding mistakes, the possible A.L. MVP proved the difference.

Alex Rodriguez continued his personal vendetta against Colon, collecting two hits off him before crushing a home run to left field off Chris Bootcheck. ARod is now OPS-ing an asinine 1.630 vs. Chubby Colon. The rest of the offense looked solid for once, as even the Purple Rose of Miguel Cairo got in on the action with a suicide squeeze and an RBI triple (that was turned into a single when Robinson Cano was called out for failing to touch third base en route to scoring.)

For a while in the middle innings, this looked like a classic 2007 Yankees game, one in which the pitching was just bad enough to let down the offense, or vice versa. Andy Pettitte was dreadful for a second consecutive start, as his ERA continues to regress, falling more in line with his middling peripherals. Edwar Ramirez fell from grace, allowing two hits and a walk in an inning and a third (And whether or not he's for real, Ramirez needs a good nickname. Any suggestions?), as he appeared to rely too heavily on his "Bugs Bunny change-up", as Michael Kay incessantly called it.

Luckily, Scott Proctor and Big Mo bailed him and Pettitte out, and the Yanks got a much-needed win against their five-year-long nemesis. Two more wins this weekend will get them over .500 at the break...still out of reach of the playoffs, but a moral victory perhaps.

Good pitching match-up today: Lackey against the Rocket.

Friday, July 6, 2007

To Whomever Broke Into My Apartment and Robbed Me Yesterday...

...if you are a Red Sox fan, or Carl Pavano, and you robbed me out of revenge for all the mean things I've said about you...I still don't apologize.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

In the Hands of the Bullpen

Kei "Shades" Igawa's line today, as the Yanks go for 3 of 4 from the Twinkies: 5 IP, 5 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 3 K. And one 5-2 lead blown.

I really miss Phil Hughes. Sometimes, late at night, it's like he's there in the room with me. I call out his name...but he never answers.

UPDATE: And on the flip side, the bullpen goes 4 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 K. Outudueling the Twins' bullpen is not the way I expected the Yankees to win this game.

Game ball to Hideki Matsui. It must feel great for him to come up with a big hit.

The Worst Benches in the American League

Here's how the A.L. benches stack up, worst to first, by VORP so far this season:

14) Toronto: -14.8. The Jays have been ravaged by injuries, but their bench still wouldn't be awful if not for ex-Met Jason Phillips's stunning -15.3 VORP.

13) Texas: -9.5. Another team getting killed by injuries, but also one without a solid plan going into the season (Sammy Sosa is a starter, so his brutal stats don't even count against them).

12) Chicago: -5.4. A motley crew of rookies and utility types aren't getting it done at all on the South Side.

11) Yankees: -2.3. Absolutely no excuse for a team with a ginormous payroll to have a bench this putrid. (Or this thin...right now the bench runs exactly three deep.) Joe Torre's personal hero, Miguel Cairo, is VORPing -0.8. And the numbers would look a lot worse if the rotting corpse actually got any playing time. Wait until Posada breaks down in late August. Yikes.

10) Baltimore: 2.2. Yawn.

9) Seattle: 4.3. Whatever the reason for Seattle's inexplicable solid play, the Bloomquist-filled bench isn't it.

8) Minnesota: 7.4. The pirranhas are middle of the pack.

7) Boston: 14.2. The Red Sox don't have a great bench, but the Crisp Mo Pena platoony thing keeps things interesting. And at least Doug Mirabelli has some purpose.

6) Anaheim: 15.9. Now we're getting somewhere. The Angels have one of the deepest benches around, filled with youngsters with actual, honest-to-goodness promise.

5) Cleveland: 17. The Indians have the best back-up catcher in the league in Kelly Shoppach, and surround him with useful platoon hitters. This is how to build a bench, Cashman.

4) Oakland: 20.3. How does Billy Beane do it blah blah blah.

3) Detroit: 25.1. Some decent pop masks a putrid back-up catcher (not that the starting catcher is any good, either.)

2) Kansas City: 26.7. Jigga what? True story. The Royals' subs have been getting it done at a rate their starters can't match.

1) Tampa Bay: 32.1. The Rays may have a lot of problems, but positional depth isn't one of them.

OK, so maybe those last two teams prove that you need a lot more than a good bench to win, but you certainly need to have at least a competent group of substitutes to contend. Benches are critical to overcoming injuries, preventing injuries by keeping starters rested, and giving managers flexibility late in games. The Yanks are o-3. Their bench has gotten worse year-by-year, and this year is the nadir. We hope.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

You Can't Beat Superman With a Bow and Arrow (Unless the Arrows are Made of Kryptonite, But Even Then Superman is Probably Fast Enough to Dodge Them)

...and you can't beat Johan Santana with Andy Phillips, Miguel Cairo, Kevin Thompson and a rotting corpse in your starting lineup.

Just sayin'.

Pigs Flying. Hell Freezing. Cliches Rampant.

...and some decent writing at the Worldwide Leader today.

John Helyar, who writes business-y baseball articles for the Bristol boys, looks at the Yankees' succession plans now that Steve Swindal is out of the picture.

There are the usual rumors and whispers about George Steinbrenner's health, and a closer-than-usual look at sons Hal and Hank, who are being groomed to take over someday. Or possibly today. Or yesterday.

Hank Steinbrenner, 50, made his bones in the family business matching up horses to have quality horse sex. Hal, 38, is in hotels or something boring like that. Of the two, Hal seems more inclined and likely to wear The Boss's turtlenecks someday.

One interesting note is that daughter Jenny Swindal, notable mainly for splitting up with Steve, is supposedly a genius, but can't get involved with the team because baseball is a man's sport blah blah blah. Seems like a wasted opportunity, because God knows there isn't much genius in the Yankee's front office these days.

And really...has there been a bigger fuck-up in the last ten years then Steve Swindal somehow letting Jenny slip away from him? Dude was all set to run the most famous, most glorious franchise in sports if he could just hold on to his lady, and he choked like Curt Schilling on a ham sandwich. That was one costly DUI.

Too Little. Too Late.

(that's what she said)

I'm pretty sure every Yankees victory from here on out is going to be greeted by ye olde "Too Little, Too Late" headline, so I thought I'd help the meme along.

The Yankees looked impressive last night, beating the Twins 8-0. Chien-Ming Wang threw like an ace again, surviving some tough jams with the help of a couple well-timed double plays. It's nice to hear Jorge Posada offer a quote like this after the game, instead of talking about the team going through the motions: "He was pretty impressive. Very good stuff."

Actually, Posada was talking about rookie reliever Edwar Ramirez, an overdue call-up who struck out a side full of Twins in his Yankees debut. Now where is Chris Britton? And is that still Kyle Farnsworth I see sitting on the end of the bench?

The Yanks, now two games under .500, remain 11 games behind victorious Boston, and creep to 7.5 games behind Wild Card leader Detroit. If I had any faith at all that this team is as good as they looked last night, that Wild Card deficit might not be impossible to erase. But I don't. There are still gaping holes in the lineup, the bullpen and bench are atrocious, and there's no decent option for the fifth starter. Season's still dunzo, but a nice, easy win sure feels good for a change.

Tonight, it's Yo-Yo Santana taking the hill in the South Bronx against the Moose. Over the last three years, roughly representing his reign of terror over the American League, Johan has a 2.49 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP against the Yankees.

A sweep would be nice, but if I were in Vegas, I think I'd be betting on the best pitcher in baseball against a Cairo-riffic lineup.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I Could Be A Big-League GM

And I'd do a better job than at least half the guys who have the jobs now.

True story.

I know this because SI.com irritant Jon Heyman has asked 14 high-ranking front office types to name the five players that would most like to start a team with from scratch. Tied for the most votes? Jonny Papelbon.

A closer with a balky shoulder. A guy who, at most, will pitch about 60 innings a year. Well chosen, baseball execs. Oh, and guys? Last year's two World Series teams featured Jason Isringhausen/Adam Wainwright and Todd Jones at closer. Al Reyes is having a great year! You can find closers in the fucking garbage can these days. It's not that hard.

Also receiving votes? Takashi Saito. Toriiiiiiiiii Hunter. YADIER MOLINA.

Tied for eighth place were the two best players in baseball today, and presumably for the next five years, Johan Santana and Albert Pujols. Amazing how a slow April can wipe out years of productivity in people's minds. And Justin Verlander's no-hitter vaulted him above more proven commodities with better scouting reports.

So, the next time some asinine Kazmir-for Zambrano trade gets completed, don't be surprised. Remember that the same idiots who think Jonny Papelbon is the most valuable player in baseball are running your team.

For the record, the list should read like this. And there can be no arguments.

1. Santana
2. Pujols
3. Reyes
4. ARod
5. Sizemore

Identity Crisis

I haven't had to root for a losing baseball team since 1992. I don't know what to do with myself. The games don't matter as much. The Yankee's best player strains a hamstring, and there's no reason to panic because the season's already lost. Time for panic has come and gone. The Yankees had the opportunity to fix many of their problems, and simply chose not do so. What the fuck do we do with ourselves now, as fans?

Let's see how Yankees bloggers are handling things. Sorry, Reds bloggers...this whole losing thing is new to us.

Replacement Level came up with the top ten reasons to still watch this dreadful team, and helpfully points out that the Yankees' magic number sits at 99.

It is High, It is Far, It...is...Caught remains ever hopeful.

River Ave. Blues calls out one of the vast sea of underachievers.

The grizzled remains of Scott Proctor's Arm gaze sadly at the standings, wistful for a time when they mattered.

My Pinstripes keeps plugging away, previewing and reviewing games less and less of us are watching.

Yankees Chick tries to keep the focus where it belongs...on the cheese fries.

And 161st and River has the best idea yet....getting the fuck out of dodge.

As for me? I guess I'll continue to amuse myself coming up with stuff that about three people in the world will understand.

Yankee Doodle Do or Die

The long-standing correlation between the Yankees and flag-wrapped, Republican-style patriotism has always made me uncomfortable. From George Steinbrenner sharing a birthday with our somewhat great land, to The Boss's conviction for illegal contributions to the Nixon campaign, to the manufactured "feel-good" moment of W throwing out the first pitch of Game 3 of the 2001 World Series (hence magically curing us all of any lingering 9/11 trauma), to the Yankee's recent police-state tactics during the singing of "God Bless America," to the now-customary moment of silence to honor our troops, it is abundantly clear that the Yankees' brass needs us to know how much this organization loves its country.

We get it.

The Yankees are apple pie, and war bonds, and American Idol, and Rosie the Riveter, and George Fucking Patton, and Country Shade lemonade on the front porch, and the Statue of Liberty, and prayer in schools, and Tim McGraw, and Rambo III, and kinda Ellis Island but not really, and old-timey glamorous Hollywood, and Jeep Liberty, and Andy Motherfucking Griffith, and oversized stars-and-stripes T-shirts stained with Dippin' Dots on the Fourth of July.

All of it kind of makes me sick. I love the Yankees, and I love baseball (if football thinks it's the national pastime, it can go fuck itself with Fred Smoot's dildo), and I guess I sorta love America, maybe. But having George Steinbrenner's version of America constantly shoved down me throat is nauseating, and it's only getting worse with time. So I'd like to mark this occasion, as we prepare for fireworks tonight, to remind everyone that most Americans hate the Yankees. Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for the British Empire in 1770. There, I feel better now.

Sometimes, I just want to go to a baseball game, and not have to think about unjust wars and the politics of the team's owner.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Dear Ken Tremendous:

I'm a fan of yours, and a love the blog that you and your friends have put together. And I agree that Joe Morgan must be fired. And I also recognize that countless writers, myself included, have ripped off your gimmick.

However, in your latest write-up of one of Joe's ESPN chats, the following exchange takes place:
Joe Morgan: Unfortunately, everything seems to be riding on A-Rod. When he's up they're up, when he's in a lull, they are. The biggest mistake they made was getting rid of Sheffield. He's been the leader on that team offensively the three years that he was there, except the year A-Rod was the MVP. He and A-Rod carried the team. Matsui and Jeter were contributors, but those two carried the team. Now they just have A-Rod. He's played great all year, and he's carried the team to victories. But I'm shocked when I did their game against the Mets three weeks ago and they had won 11 of 12 and looked like they were on a roll. Now they're back to where they started from.

KT: Hey, kids! Here's a game you can play at home. What did Joe leave out in his analysis of the Yankees' struggles? (Here's a hint: there are three aspects of baseball -- hitting, pitching, and fielding.)

Some Yankees' WHIPs/ERAs:

Mussina: 1.35/4.98 (65 IP)
Clemens: 1.42/5.09 (17 IP)
Igawa: 1.61/7.13 (35 IP)
Farnsworth: 1.65/5.16 (29 IP)
Bruney: 1.50/1.97) (24 BB in 32 IP)
Vizcaino: 1.54/5.35 (37 IP)

Now Ken, you say. Aren't ERAs kind of a coarse way to evaluate pitchers? Yes, you arrogant dicks, they are. That's why I included WHIP as well. But also...many of these guys are relievers. Do you know what it means when a lot of your relievers have high ERAs? It means they are letting a ton of guys on base, and then their reliever buddies are letting them score.

The Yankees have scored the 3rd most runs in all of baseball. Losing Sheffield is not their problem. They have the 16th best team ERA in baseball. That is their problem. They have Wang, and Pettitte (who I swear to you all is going to come back down to earth soon), and that's about it. Proctor is unreliable. Rivera is steadying after a shaky first few weeks, but it's June 26 and he's had eleven save chances. Eleven. That's bad.

What is the point of all of this? The point is: how do you get asked a question about what is wrong with the Yankees and not mention their pitching? Answer: you are a terrible analyst.

Now, Ken, if you truly believe, in your heart of hearts, that the Yankees' pitching, and not their offense, is their real problem, then you are simply not paying attention (and I know you're a Red Sox fan, so maybe that's the case). Yes, the rotation has struggled at times, and the bullpen is comprised of Mariano Rivera and five or six arsonists, but come on. This is a team that scored five runs in three games at Coors Field. A team that was one-hit by Chad Gaudin. A team that has been consistently dominated by mediocre pitching. A team that starts decaying piles of horse manure at first base and centerfield. A team that has averaged 2.5 runs a game during the crucial stretch beginning June 19.

And yes, I know some of their overall offensive numbers are fair, but that's losing the forest for the trees. The simplest way for this team to improve is by upgrading first base, centerfield, DH and back-up catcher.

Although...Joe Morgan is still an idiot.


Psycho Fan

Jorgie Tells the Truth

After Saturday's miserable one-hit effort against Chad Fucking Gaudin, Jorge Posada said, "At times we just go through the motions. Today was one of those days. I think everybody knows what I'm talking about."

If that's not the ultimate damnation of Joe Torre as manager, I don't know what is.

I also wonder who Posada is calling out. Certainly not Jeter or ARod. Damon, although a paraplegic, doesn't seem like a slacker. Matsui? Abreu? Cano? The last two seem likely candidates.

Either way, it's about time somebody stood up and publicly shamed some of the players on this team, like Mike Mussina did with Carl Pavano in spring training.

Really, Peter? Really?

We all know that Peter Gammons loves to riff on extracurricular topics (and really, the single worst side effect of the rise of blogs is the horror of innocent readers being subjected to the musical tastes and daily-living details of the likes of Gammons, Will Carroll and Buster Olney), but he's outdone himself today.

The venerable, award-winning, revolutionary baseball writer has penned a column about....baseball players' love for the iPhone.

Some choice gems:
"He texted-messaged someone at The Apple Store. 'They texted me back and said they had plenty,' says Verlander. 'My girlfriend went to the store and was able to get one for Justin Morneau, as well.' Same agent, Mike Milchin."
"Somehow, it's unlikely that Virgil (Fire) Trucks blogged on an iPhone (or even downloaded grand nephew Derek Truck's brilliant music), or that Norm Cash watched YouTube."
"So Dave Dombrowski is shopping, but there are no iArms at The Apple Store."
Holy mother of all that used to be good in the world, Peter. You're better than this. Aren't you?