I don’t want to be that obnoxious person that’s all, “I told you so.”
But I really did tell you so.
I really don’t want to be that fan who feels overly-bitter towards a player so soon, but I really can’t help it. It’s not like I wanted this to happen – I just had a feeling that it would. Am I glad I’m right? Am I right, or am I jumping the gun here? I’m not glad, because I want what is best for my team. And I hope I’m just overreacting.
It’s all just so confusing.
Okay, I admit it: I never really fully accepted the Jesus Montero/Michael Pineda trade (what a surprise!). I still think my tears and fears were justifiable. Surely, I understand that you have to give if you want to get in trades. But from the beginning, I felt this trade wasn’t equal. Jesus Montero – in very limited Big League action – went above and beyond my expectations. It’s not so much that he hit .328 with 4 HR in 18 games with my Yanks last year. It was the way he hit: raw power to all fields. The ball just jumped off his bat in a way I’ve never seen from any other 21 year old rookies. I can’t get his opposite field line drive home run out of my head. And obviously, being the most highly-touted prospect in New York meant that the pressure was on. But that wasn’t any kind of excuse for him. Montero still performed. It would have been a lot of fun to see him grow as a ballplayer on the Yankees.
Michael Pineda’s stats from 2011 appear to have been impressive: a 3.74 ERA, a 9-10 record on a stinky team, and a guy in the conversation for Rookie of the Year. Looks pretty good. But after digging deeper into the stats and discovering that his ERA post-All Star break was an A.J. Burnett-reminiscent 5.12, and his ERA away from the pitcher-Heaven SAFECO Field was a mediocre-at-best 4.40, his “good” doesn’t look as “pretty.” What annoyed me about this trade wasn’t that the Yankees traded away Jesus Montero – it’s that they traded away Jesus Montero for a guy who was good for about half a season in SAFECO Field. Obviously, Pineda has great potential. But so does Montero. For the Yankees, I believe Montero had higher potential than Pineda does, simply because he fit the Stadium so well. And power to all fields that he possesses is something beneficial no matter what ballpark you play in. Again, I realize that both players are young and need time to develop, but if they are willing to wait for Pineda to develop, I don’t see why the Yanks weren’t willing to watch Montero grow. They needed pitching (which it’s hard to have enough of), but they do appear to have an abundance of starters as it is right now. And they have the luxury of being able to sign guys via free agency, like they did with Hiroki Kuroda, who are proven pitchers. This trade bothered me because I didn’t think the Yankees got the talent back for Jesus Montero. Pineda too has a lot of potential, but I think that for the Yankees, he won’t be as beneficial as Montero would have been.
But here’s what scares me: now, I don’t think Michael Pineda appears anywhere near as good as Jesus Montero. I thought this trade wasn’t equally balanced before. Now I’m really worried, and I know it is early, but this definitely looks like a problem.
Last night was actually the first time I was able to see Michael Pineda pitch from the beginning of a game (pitiful, I know, but I’ve been so busy between work and school that I’ve barely had time to do anything fun). I haven’t really been following Spring Training too closely, and that really bothers me because I love Spring Training (rookies galore!). I’ve only been able to get the gist of it, and all I knew about Pineda was that he wasn’t doing well. I saw it last night, and it wasn’t pretty.
My brother had told me that Michael Pineda came into camp in not-too-great shape. He was a little fat, and supposedly, Pineda has the potential to get big like CC if he doesn’t control himself. I’m sorry, but there is no excuse for coming into camp out of shape. You’re on the New York Yankees for goodness sake. Show a little respect, or some work ethic. How a young man whose job it is to play baseball can let himself go like that is something I don’t understand. I was so annoyed at Phil Hughes for being a fatty last season, but apparently he learned his lesson. Look at Hughes now – he looks like a different pitcher, just as I was ready to write him off as lazy and stinky for good. I’m proud of him. But Pineda…really? Everyone’s eyes are on you, you’ve got a lot to prove here in New York, and you have the nerve to start out your Yankees career by not being anywhere near physically prepared to pitch? That alone makes me think he’s not Yankees material. First impressions mean a lot. That’s just unacceptable.
CC Sabathia is chubby, but he can still pitch. If Pineda happens to have a larger body type that doesn’t interfere with his performance, then that’s fine. But that’s the problem: he’s not pitching well. At all. Last night, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew Pineda was a guy who was struggling, but what I saw was a guy who could not locate (Martin’s target was never hit), who had no velocity (most fastballs between 88-91mph), and who had horrible body language on the mound. He allowed 6 runs in 2.2 innings, he threw 70-something pitches, and his ball to strike ratio was awful.
Oh, and now his shoulder hurts.
Really? REALLY? Try being physically ready to start playing baseball. What did you think was going to happen? And his attitude on the mound last night showed me that he’s not mentally ready for this either. Even David Cone made a note of that during the broadcast. Michael Pineda might not even make the starting rotation – that’s how bad he has been. Imagine that: the Yankees traded away their best prospect for a guy that might not even make the team. So much for wanting to win immediately, Yankees – like a Triple-A pitcher is really going to help you out. This is the New York Yankees. If you’re not going to perform, you’re not going to play – end of story. Nothing is guaranteed just because you’re supposed to be a good pitcher – you’ve got to show it. Sure, it’s a competitive, high-pressure atmosphere in Spring Training, especially because the Yankees have the pitching depth. But that is absolutely no excuse to suck. It’s competitive for all the guys who are trying to prove their worth, and some guys have stepped up. I mean what did you expect? You’re going to pitch for the Yankees; it’s not exactly an easy ride. If you can’t handle Spring Training, how do you expect to handle Yankees/Red Sox games, or postseason games where everything is amplified and means so much more?
I can’t believe this. I didn’t think he would be this bad. I finally was able to see Pineda pitch last night, and I thought I would see a little something to get me excited, to get him on my good side. Nope. The complete opposite happened.
Am I being too harsh? Perhaps. It is only March, but I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not….only March and already having physical, performance, and maturity issues with this kid who was supposed to be so great. My brother jokingly said that the Yankees should try and swap Pineda now while he still has some value. I wonder how long that will be a joke for. I just knew this was going to happen. I really didn’t want it to. I want to win this year. But I didn’t think this move was right, and so far, it’s showing.
Michael Pineda, I know it’s early, but it’s wearing thin already. You’ve got a lot of work to do. I don’t want to hate you, but if you’re going to make me hate you, then I have no choice but to hate you. I know you didn’t mean for this to happen, but it’s up to you to fix it.
Show me you can do it.
*Update: MRI showed that Pineda has shoulder tendinitis. He’ll begin the year on the DL. WOW. 😦
The World Series has been over for awhile now, and I’d like to express my congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals. They had the most heart out of any team I’ve seen in awhile. I said that if my Yankees couldn’t win, I’d be pulling for them, and I’m glad they took the title home. I hope the Cardinals can keep Albert Pujols. As much as I love the guy, I don’t want the Yankees to get him, and they have no need for him, so I don’t even know why I’m mentioning this. The Yankees still have a lot on this year’s offseason agenda, and a bat and price like Albert Pujols, or Prince Fielder for that matter, is not on the list.
So now that baseball is officially over and I don’t have to deal with the pain of other teams playing while my team is not, I’m feeling a little bit better. The offseason can be pretty exciting, at least through the holidays. I think this offseason will be more rewarding for Yankees fans than last season’s was, because the already crossed off the big #1 on their list: bringing back their ace, CC Sabathia.
I had mixed feelings about the CC Sabathia situation. Now I love my Chubby Chunk, but I feared that this lefty was getting a bit too hefty. I remember how he lost about 25 pounds last offseason, and progressively gained it all back by the time the season ended. To me, that’s a sign of laziness. An athlete of Sabathia’s caliber (and price) should be doing whatever possible to maintain tip-top shape, and stuffing your face with Cap’n Crunch isn’t acceptable.
At first I was unsure to whether or not I even wanted Sabathia- he has been one of the best aces in the bigs and has worked a tremendous amount of innings – but even so, I felt his weight gain and lack of success at the end of last season was worthy of concern. Since the Yankees have an excessive amount of long term contracts, some of which I don’t want (ahem, A-ROD), and CC was starting to get on my nerves and I thought he would want a huge contract, I felt that maybe it was better for the Yankees to just let him walk.
But then I wondered: what would the Yankees do without CC? Was it really worth it to let him go, just because we didn’t want those extra few years, and to not have the rest of the prime years? On the other hand, were the prime years worth the giant contract?
Luckily, I didn’t have to worry after all. The Yankees gave me the best of both worlds: an extended contract, but not too huge.
Instead of the 4 year/$92 million he had left on his original deal, CC now has a 5 year/$117 million deal with an option for a sixth year. I recently said that I don’t want any more contracts greater than 5 years, so this deal made me happy. I feel that long term contracts create laziness, just like with many teachers I’ve had who have tenure: their jobs and money are guaranteed, and in the case of these big money guys, it’s hard to move them, so they kind of have a free pass. But this deal is just the right length. Hopefully, Sabathia will come into camp in solid shape at the start of the 2012 season.
Another huge priority has been crossed off the offseason to-do list for my Yankees, and that was bringing back Brian Cashman, one of the architects of the organization. He’ll be back for another three years at least, meaning that he’ll be around to craft #28.
Let’s make it 28 in 2012 my boys!
106 days until pitchers and catchers report.
The last time I posted was September 6th. Although I haven’t been active with the blog, I have remained active in watching baseball. I’ve come to the conclusion that 2011 has been the single-most surprising season that I have ever watched – and that I might EVER see. I still can’t believe that anything I’ve seen in the past month has actually happened.
So remember way back when I said I’d still have time to blog and that the college workload didn’t kick in yet? Well, it kicked in. Big time. Commuting is tough. But I’m glad I don’t live at my school, because they don’t have the YES Network! I wouldn’t be able to survive. Although now, the games are nationally broadcast because IT’S THE POSTSEASON! DAHH! How did this happen?
Last time I posted, the Yankees had a slim but solid 2.5 game lead over the Red Sox, who possessed a seemingly-insurmountable 7 game lead over the Rays in the Wild Card. I’m sure any conscious baseball fan is aware of what happened next: that Red Sox lead began to dwindle, while the Yankees and Rays kept on climbing.
Although I witnessed it all happening, I never really processed it, and I still can’t wrap my mind around it. What happened? The Yankees finished with the best record in the AL. Now I love my boys, but that stat surprises me. The Yankees are the best team in the American League, with all the question marks they have? The Rays made it in to the postseason on the last day of the regular season despite trailing all year long? And the Red Sox – the anointed World Champions – went 7-20 in this past month, failing to even make it into the playoffs? And their pitching had a 7 – something ERA over that stretch? And the Yankees pitching was good? It shouldn’t be a surprise. The Yankee pitching was beyond “good” all season long. But for them to have held up, and the Sox to have fallen…it’s incredible. Only in this game will something like this ever happen.
It still pains me that I missed blogging about so many things that happened in this month. In the spare amounts of time I had to write a blog, I had to do it for my PHILOSOPHY class…yeah. Blogging for class. The “class participation and engagement blog.” 10 percent of my grade for that class. And considering that philosophy isn’t easy (How do we know we exist? What? I’m right here!), I have to do well on that part.
As always, the season ends too quickly. I enjoyed the last week of regular season play, in which my Yankees took things easy, rested, and contributed to the Red Sox collapse. It’s fun not worrying whether they win or lose. But after awhile, both they and I begin to itch for that intensity…
So here’s the postseason. ALDS. Yankees vs. Tigers. Set to start on a Friday. I was excited. This week was long and strenuous, and I wanted to come home and relax in front of my boys. But actually, there was no way that was going to happen. I probably would have fallen asleep, despite the adrenaline of the postseason. Already being exhausted, and then exerting so much energy watching the game…don’t think I would have made it through last night. Nevertheless, I was still annoyed when the game was postponed in the 2nd inning. But maybe it’s for the best…maybe the Yankees and I will be more ready for the resumed game tonight. Sure, CC’s not pitching, but neither is Verlander. It’s gonna be a good matchup tonight.
I just want to say a few things to my Yanks: Yankees, I want to thank you for an amazing season. I know it’s not over yet, and I know you will play to your fullest potential to reach your goal. I honestly never expected this much from you this year. Best record in AL? Despite everything? I’m still in disbelief. I never thought you’d be where you are right now. But since you are here, I want you to win. You have shown me what it means to be strong, to fight the odds, and to play like a real team should (as opposed to the Red Sox who sit around and get drunk during games). I love you. I’m still processing everything that’s happened this year. I do believe you can win, though when I think about it, I don’t know how. On paper, surely, you are not the best team.
But paper can’t measure heart.
Good luck in this Chase for 28. I’ll be watching.
Things have been pretty crazy since the last time I posted, both for me and the Yankees. The Yankees have gone 6-6 since my last post, losing their position atop the AL East in the process. They had some really good games, and some games where they were so bad that I didn’t even think they were my Yankees.
The most exciting game during this stretch was definitely last Thursday’s series finale against the Athletics, in which my Yankees made baseball history: the first team to have three players hit grand slams in one game. Robinson Cano, Russell Martin, and Curtis Granderson. The Yankees scored 22 runs that game – a historic offensive explosion I will surely remember.
Yankee fans, like myself, were so caught up in the excitement of that game that we may have forgotten: the Yankees still lost that series against the A’s. They dropped 2 of 3 at home against a stinky team that can’t hit to save its life. This was a stretch of games I thought the Yankees would coast through: 3 against those A’s, and 5 against the last place Baltimore Orioles. They lost the A’s series and split 4 against the O’s (thanks to Hurricane Irene, one game was left out).
Speaking of Hurricane Irene, she’s a b!tch. She screwed up my start of college. Marist College was holding Welcome Week this past weekend, but because of the storm, Sunday’s activities were cancelled. Which meant that Sunday move-in was cancelled. Which means it was moved to Monday. And that meant classes were cancelled Monday. So I’m sitting home in a blackout, just itching to just get started. No. Make the anxious/excited/nervous kid suffer that much more.
Today (Tuesday) everything worked out. My first day of classes, my first day in COLLEGE! The 40 minute drive to Marist might soon get old, but oh well. I sit here now, typing up this post, from the awesomely huge and amazing library at Marist. I’ve been here since 8am, and my next class is at 5pm. Quite a large gap. In high school, I remember not having enough time to do anything…now I sit here with all the time I could ever hope for (I’m sure that will change once I start getting assignments).
Due to the Hurricane, the blackout, and my preoccupation with school, I kind of haven’t really been following the Yankees as much as I would have liked to lately. Time sure flew. When I looked at the Yankees schedule a few minutes ago, I noticed they start a three game series against the Red Sox tonight. At Fenway. Ohhhh boy…here we go again.
The Commuter Leader here at Marist made it a point in his introductory speech to tell us that he hates the Red Sox, which totally made my day. Colin, you are already awesome!
Honestly, I’m really not thaaaaaat confident about this series against the Sox. I hate Fenway Park and I know the Red Sox steal signs. I’m annoyed at the pitching matchups: we have CC going in game 1, and he really needs to prove to me that he can pitch against this team without stinking. Game 2 is Phil Hughes, who, despite a few good starts after coming off the DL, still sucks to me. And game 3 is the always insane A.J. Burnett. The only reason I bother watching the games he pitches in is because there is always a chance he will get so mad that he’ll turn around and punch Joe Girardi.
I hope I don’t see that. But if it happened on live TV, I wouldn’t want to miss it.
The Yankees haven’t exactly been playing their best baseball of late…and I don’t really think NOW is the time to go to Fenway. I thought they’d be hot now, coming off games against bad teams, but they really aren’t.
Hopefully last night’s 3-2 win gives the Yankees the momentum they need to go out there and WIN. And hopefully Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez will be in the lineup tonight.
I want a good game. I’m going to get home at 7, and I know I’ll be exhausted. I don’t even know if I’ll have the energy to go through a Yankees-Red Sox game – they are very draining.
Oh well. I can’t believe how fast this season has gone. And my summer…but my Dad said to enjoy these next 4 years, because they too will fly by.
This past week, the Yankees played a 4-game series against the White Sox followed by a 3-game set against the Red Sox. It was a long week on the road, and I’m just happy my boys are coming back to the Bronx.
The Yankees swept the 4 games in Chicago. I almost hate to say it, but during those games, I really felt bad for the White Sox. They looked miserable, lost, and just didn’t play good baseball. Oh well…those are the kinds of games the Yankees have to win, and they did.
The Yankees went into the Red Sox series tied for first place…it was as if August 5th was Opening Day again. It was such a refreshing feeling. That series started out nicely, but didn’t end the way I’d hoped for.
The first game of that series was intense…Colon vs. Lester. The Yanks had to play catch-up after quickly falling behind 2-0. In the 5th, Eduardo Nunez led off with a walk, Derek Jeter singled, and Granderson drove in a run with a single to cut the deficit in half. After Mark Teixeira’s walk, Cano grounded into a double play, which tied the game at 2. With 2 out, I wasn’t sure if the Yankees would be able to go ahead, but Nick Swisher delivered with a double down the third base line, and the Yankees had a 3-2 lead.
It became a battle of the bullpens after that, and the Yankee bullpen proved victorious. Boone Logan especially – he looked like the Logan of 2009 again. Cory Wade, Rafael Soriano, David Robertson, and Mariano Rivera nailed it down for the Yanks.
I was ecstatic that the Yankees had sole possession of first place. I figured they maybe had the confidence they needed to keep on winning – they beat Jon Lester in Fenway Park, which is no easy task. I did a little boasting and bragging on facebook after Game 1, not really caring what I was saying. I was experiencing some leftover euphoria hours after the game’s ending.
So maybe I look stupid, but I don’t really care. The Yankees lost the next two games and are now a game behind the Red Sox. Of course the games the lost were on FOX and ESPN, places where the announcers fawn over the Red Sox as much as Chris Matthews fawns over Obama. “Oh, Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, the top 3 guys for the AL MVP…oh, they’re sooo good…better than anyone the Yankees have…OHH MY LEG!”
Joe Buck and Tim McCarver made me not want to watch the Saturday game. I missed most of it anyways because I was out, and I’m glad I did. CC didn’t pitch well and I’m sure they kept on mentioning how he hasn’t been the same pitcher against the Red Sox and how he sucks, and maybe how he’s not worth the jumbo contract because he can’t beat the Sox, blah blah blah…
So on to the finale, and the two teams were tied for first once again.
The pitching matchup of Freddy Garcia and Josh Beckett initially had me a little nervous. I was aware of their numbers.
Freddy Garcia really battled last night for my Yanks. He’s such a pitcher. Over 5 innings, Garcia allowed just 1 run (and it was a cheapie, he had some baaaad breaks in the 2nd inning when that run was allowed) and 5 hits, but threw 96 pitches. Beckett was throwing well, and I wasn’t sure if the Yanks would be able to get to him.
Two rather-unexpected heroes emerged for the Yanks last night. Eduardo Nunez and his quick stroke of the bad hammered a high fastball into the seats above the monster to tie the game at 1. My Grandma couldn’t believe it, “Ohhh, the young guy did it! And I wanted A-Rod to come back, Virginia…”
The second guy, I don’t know why, but something told me he’d do it. When Brett Gardner came to the plate in the 7th and his stats appeared on the screen, I thought, “Ahh, he’s having a nice year just like I expected…4 homers? When was the last time he hit one…due perhaps?”
Gardner did homer, and the Yankees had their first lead of the night. 2-1. It was such a long, slooowww paced game, me and my Grandma wanted to go to bed, but we wanted to watch.
The Yankee bullpen did its job and handed the ball to Mariano. Again, something just told me he wasn’t going to do it…I had a bad feeling. When I saw who the first guy up was – Marco Scutaro – I just knew. He was already 3-3 on the night, and I remember a few years back when he was with the A’s, he hit a walkoff homer off Mo. So when he led off the inning with a double, I can’t say I didn’t see that coming. Mo eventually blew the save, and right there I knew the momentum had permanently shifted for the game. The Red Sox have a “knack” for winning at home…let’s just say I’m not the only one who thinks they steal signs, but whatever.
When I saw PHIL HUGHES was coming in for the Yankees to pitch the next inning, I called it a night. I knew what he was going to do…so I just went to bed and accepted it before it even happened.
I know from an outsider’s perspective, it looks like the same old thing: The Red Sox are owning the Yankees. But I just don’t see that. All three games were well-played. And last night’s loss was tough. I truly believe that if that game was played in Yankee Stadium, the Yankees wouldn’t have lost. The Yankees are still better position-by-position, they have way better pitching, they just had a bad break. It’s Fenway. That happens there.
Maybe it’s better for the Yanks to say out of first for now. They’ve played well all year being the underdogs. But I’m confident that next time these teams meet, things will be different.
Still love ya, Yanks. I always will!
Enjoy the off-day!
…Or are my Yankees really just that good?
When I heard that the Yankees were going to play the Brewers, and that the Brewers were in first place in the NL Central, I thought that maybe the series would be a little bit competitive. I was totally wrong. I can’t say I’m disappointed, though. A sweep is always fun. I never see the Brewers, and I had heard pretty good things about them. They didn’t show any of that on the ballfield.
But let’s give some credit where credit is due: the Yankees played some pretty darn good baseball over this homestand.
Clutch hitting, offensive explosions, and amazing starting pitching. All that together…up against a team that didn’t play solid baseball…huge advantage there. Everything the Brewers couldn’t do, the Yankees did.
-Making The Plays
Aside from Eduardo Nunez (as usual) the Yankee defense was extremely solid over this series. They were fundamentally sound. In the first game of this series, Nyjer Morgan misplayed a ball in centerfield, wound up falling down, and pretty much gave Curtis Granderson a triple.
Yankee outfielders, Nick Swisher especially, play fantastic defense. Swisher showed time and time again how well he plays the wall out in right, and he also showed off a cannon of an arm. There was one play where Swisher threw out Corey Hart, who tried to score with 2 outs when his team was down (dumb move). It was a perfect 1-bouncer right at Russell Martin.
-The Big Home Runs
It seemed that in this series, whenever the Yanks were down or the game was tight, someone came up with a big home run that either got them back into the game, or solidified the fact that they were going to win. Nick Swisher had a big 3-run home run in game 1. Russell Martin had the go-ahead 3-run homer in game 2, and Mark Teixeira hit his 300th career home run in the 5-0 finale. The Brewers, a team with so much power, didn’t do anything. I really was surprised.
-Beyond Solid Starting Pitching
Starting pitching really sets the tone for how the game will play out. And when my Yankee starters, Freddy Garcia, A.J. Burnett, and CC Sabathia, appear solid early on, I have a good feeling about the game. I couldn’t be more proud of the Yankees starting rotation this year. I thought it would be a weakness, especially after the ravaging injuries. Everyone has really stepped it up big time, especially A.J. Burnett, who last June went 0-5 with an 11.35 ERA. This year, he had himself a solid June, and even when he struggled, he was able to minimize the damage instead of exploding like he did last season. And with his 7 inning, 2-run outing against the Brewers, I’d say he closed out the month nicely.
CC Sabathia closed out his June in lights-out fashion, throwing 7.2 innings of shutout baseball and striking out 13 Brewers along the way. I guess he just gets a little more into it when he faces a former team.
The Brewers did not pitch, hit, or in general, play good baseball against the Yankees. After the series, I was surprised they were even IN first place to begin with! A little over-matched against the AL East leading Yankees I guess.
AL East leading Yankees…yup, and I love saying it. My boys are currently 2.5 games ahead of Baahston. They start the big Subway Series tonight, and I am confident that they will win this series, just as they have won every other interleague series this year.
ly did me a favor by hitting it. So thank you, appreciate it” (Smiles at camera, walks away).