Monday, September 29, 2008

Thoughts About the End of the Season

First and foremost, I have to mention this. I was watching a little bit of the Mets pregane and postgame ceremony for the closing of Shea stadium and there are a few things that left me annoyed. The most obvious thing is going to be regarding the fact they decided to hold it AFTER the game. Who in the world made that decision?

The other thing that really bothered me was the reaction of the Mets fan when Al Leiter was announced. Are Mets fans really that classless? The man was a Met for how many years? Do you guys not remember the 2000 World Series or the countless number of games he pitched in? This was a celebration of past players, and the mere fact there were boos during this day to appreciate past players was something that I was unable to fathom. Now lets see, maybe Al did something that deemed his accomplishments in NY unworthy. Was he caught using steroids? Was his face plastered in the paper for some not so nice activities or for trashing the mets organization? Well, as of my knowledge the answer is no. He has always seemed to praise all of the teams he was on and was never a player to boast and put down his teammates

So I ask, why that reaction from the fans.... Because he is an announcer for the Yankees??? Its not even worth my time going deeper and trying to make meaning of that. The man pitched some of his best years for the Mets, and if they don't remember, he did have an amazing 2000 (16-8 3.20 ERA making the All Star team) which helped the team make it to the World Series.

Anyhow, the year is over. It appears Pettitte will probably want to come back and Mussina will not be back. That is too bad, but Moose had a great run here and it was a great feeling to see him prove people wrong and win an amazing 20 games. If you are going to go out of the game you might as well go out on top.

Girardi needs to start the new season with a new outlook on how to handle the team and the media. I think the team is going to miss Giambi next year in more ways then one. He brought life and excitement to the team with his antics and these are a group of guys that need someone to get them going. Jeter is too nonchalant- at least to the public eye and Arod is still just a headcase.

Hopefully they get the starting pitching together and try to build some depth to their bullpen. They are going to spend the money once again, lets just hope for once they do it in a smart way so we aren't stuck with another guy like Kei Igawa who has disappeared along with 40 million dollars.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Best AL pitcher?

So who is the best pitcher in the American League? I would probably say Roy Halladay, but he has been one of my favorite pitchers for a while- so I may be biased. I guess it would make sense to look at some stats to see who would be in contention for this years Cy Young.

Roy Halladay 20-11 2.78 ERA 9CG 2SHO 246IP 200K 220H 39BB

Cliff Lee 22-3 2.54 4CG 2SHO 223.1 170K 214H 34BB

D. Matsuzaka 18-2 2.80ERA 163.2 IP 149K 92BB 124H

Mike Mussina 19-9 3.47 ERA 194.1IP 147K 29BB 211H

Jon Lester 16-6 3.21ERA 2CG 2SHO 210.1 IP 152K 66BB

Well, I guess if your one to look at w/l ratio, Cliff Lee would be your pick for Cy Young. The only problem I have with the total of wins that a player has is that I feel it doesnt respresent fully the type of player you are. Some pitchers are fortunte to be provided with enough run support to hold them with a decent number a wins. I know Ponson was a great benefactor of this and there are some pitchers (like Roy Halladay) who are not. From the Jays games I have seen, Hallday has lost out on several games that he would have won, had Toronto provided him with some sort of run support. An example of this would be on April 29,2008 in which he pitched a CG, giving up 1 run and still being given the loss.

In any event, I generally tend to look at ERA, walks, and IP. Strikeouts to me aren't extremely important in the sense that there are many effective pitchers that do not necessary rely on the strikeout to be dominate. IP show durability and ERA shows consistentcy.

When looking at all the stats together, as obvious as it sounds, Cliff Lee has been the most durable and effective pitcher this year. He pitched in 4CG and 223.1 innings. I think it his era of a 2.54 in the American League which is the most impressive. Halladay and Matsuzaka had amazing seasons and will probably be a close second and third.

What do you all think?

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Since the Yankees are back in Toronto (my favorite city to visit of all time), I figured now would be best to recount the road trip I went on this past August to see the Yankees play. It was quite the trip. It took a good 6 hours to drive out there, and were lucky to not hit too much traffic. I always find the QEW an interesting drive. For one, the whole kilometer thing always throws me off. 100km/h is entirely way too slow to be driving, so for me its better to just look at it as its reading 100mph. So when I am hitting 80, I dont feel as if I am really speeding (I know, good try)

I have to say, Toronto is by far the cleanest city out there. I have been to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, and while theres nothing like the Stadium, I feel the need to soak my entire body 25 times after riding on the subway. In Canada, the subways are so clean and the people are extremely friendly. Walking the streets are serene and there are some amazing shops to be seen down near Bloor Street.

So, enough of me drooling over Canada and onto baseball. I went to all three games and I have to say, I was quite surprised to see such a large number of empty seats. In the summer, the Jays generally tend to draw a decent amount of fans when the Yankees come to town. That was not the case this roadtrip. It is unfortunate that the interest in baseball has dwindled so much in Canada. The strike in 1994 really did damage to this club, and I don't think they will ever see those type of numbers again until the Jays ultimately reach the top.

I dont know if anyone has ever been to the Rogers Centre, but there are a few things down there that seem to never change; regardless of how annoying they are. For one, there is this distinct character that is located outside of gate 4? (i think). He sells Blue Jays Merchandise and I really think he is the most annoying person in the entire world. As I am sitting there waiting for the gates to open, he is outside screaming "Get you Blue Jays Hat, Their Going Fast". Now, this may not sound annoying, but you have to take the voice that this man has into account and also the mere fact that he says it over and over and over again for the entire time you are in line. It is one of those things that you just have to experience for yourself. And for all the years I have been going, this man has been there. There is no escaping him.

Also, there is my buddy Andrew. Andrew is known by every major league player in all of baseball that has visited the Jays. Ask anyone. He's a very nice kid, but very loud. And the one thing that I am envious of him is that Jeter threw him his bat during batting practice. That's the only thing I have asked for was a major league black bat. Not anyone specific; I just really want a Louisville Slugger. Well Andrew got one- yes, im jealous.

It just so happened that when I was down in Toronto, the Red Sox also made their way into town the same day. That was very interesting. I did have the pleasure of meeting a handful of players and receiving some autographs, which was very cool. The one disappointment for this trip was the fact I wasn't able to see Mr. Leiter, whom I heard was there announcing the game. I did see his partner in crime, Michael Kay, whom I think is a riot. I have met Michael in the past, and he is extremely nice and fun to talk to. I wonder how he feels about younger girls? lol

Anyhow, the stories are endless. But to sum up my experience, Johnny Damon is probably by far the nicest baseball player out there. I would place Abreu also up there with Damon. Mussina- not so nice. I said hello to Peteabe, and Jerry the security man and I are tight (ok not really, but his friends are cool). I have to say, nothing against people in Toronto, but they cant really hold much of a baseball conversation. Perhaps I just ran into the wrong crowd of people during my 3 day stay, but I think I had more knowledge about the Jays then their own fans even had. Spring training is definitely the place to go if you want to meet other fans that are into the baseball and know their stuff (the Bronx too obviously).

My seat for the final game.

Rookies get the pink backpack. They played the Dora Explorer song while the guys walked to the pen.

Mariano's son was the bat boy for all 3 games.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The End of an Era

This is the saddest time of the year-- for me anyhow. A time in which the baseball season is coming to an end. For the past 13 years or so, we have all been fortunate to continue to watch the Yankees play well beyond September, into the late-coming of October. Now, it's quite evident the season will be over in a mere 10 days or so (though I can't be technical since they are still mathematically "in it").

I for one am very sad that these are the last few games that will be played at 161st and River Ave. While I can't say I have been going there for the past 30+ years, I can say that this was a place I visited as a young child and a place i visited many many times. While I understand the need to "modernize" and upgrade the stadium, I do not understand the need to turn the game away from the average fan. For me personally, what ever happened to just going to a baseball game-- to you know-- watch a baseball game?

Do we really need a martini bar in center field? Do we really need a restaurant or a steakhouse? Do we need 100 luxury boxes? I understand baseball is a business, but there's an extent where the business starts taking over the game. I am a fan who doesn't live very close to the Bronx. I am also a fan that will stick with my team regardless of how they are doing. But I unfortunately am not a rich fan, and that has been what the Yankees have turned the experience of watching a game into. It is not about the true fans being there to support their team-its about the people who can afford to sit in the "golden seats".

I guess I can also "subject" myself to sitting in the bleachers for 20 dollars. And I used the term subject in the tense that those are the only options the Yankees have left a college student fan to sit at. While 20 bucks seems like a decent amount, those are not the only charges I have to pay. A drive to the stadium requires a drive of roughly 180 miles each way, then there are the thruway tolls, the tappen zee bridge tolls, and additional tolls that are in the city. The Yankees have so graciously raised the parking prices to between 25-35 dollars. I am very impressed with the fact they installed a new VIP garage that people can park in FOR FREE. Why do rich people NEED FREE PARKING. EXPLAIN THAT TO ME LONN TROST! (If you can't tell by now, I am not a huge fan of Mr. Trost).

In conclusion to my venting, I am a person who has gone to games and sat by myself. I am content with doing that, as long as I can visually see the game. In 2006 I found a ticket on for a seat TWO ROWS behind home plate. That ticket in 06 was 113 dollars, and was the only game i went to that year. While I complained about the price of that ticket, I decided that instead of going to 2 or 3 games that year, I would limit myself to the 1 game so I could sit in a seat that was somewhat decent. Those tickets now 2 years later are 400 dollars, and in the new stadium are 2,500 dollars. This is my exact reason of how they are driving people out of the seats. But its okay college student, because you can still sit in the bleachers!

My point is this. I paid 113 dollars for the ticket and I cant even say it was even worth that. Batting practice was cancelled due to rain, the security guy yelled at me because I stood up and walked over a section 2 hours before the game started. I paid 113 for these seats if I want to walk a few steps away, I should be able to. No other stadium has an issue with people doing any of these things during batting practice, regardless of their seats. I can't see being able to value 1 seat of one game at 2,500 dollars. What if the game gets called after 5? What if there's a rain delay and its a miserable game? Must be nice to just "throw" 2,500 out the window.

The only thing I can say is that I am glad I sat in those seats when I did for 100 dollars. Had I waited, it would have been something I would never have experienced. Hopefully the Yankees get the point when the seats are empty because their rich fans come in the 3rd and leave in the 7th.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Off Day-- Yankee Stadium Tour

So I went on a tour of Yankee Stadium on Saturday. While I probably spent like 60 dollars on gas, 20 on tolls (I cant believe how many different tolls they now have) and wasted 6 hours of my life driving back and forth, I have to say it was worth it. Of all the years I have been going down to the Bronx, I never was able to actually take a tour of the place- mostly because they don't offer tours when the team has a day game.

Overall, it was pretty fun. Here are some notes of the trip.

*Well first off, Mr. Security man at the players lot pissed me off. I was told we could park there. Then he tells me I can't and makes me park on some ghetto street that said "No Standing". All I could see was myself getting a ticket

*Apparently there was a company picnic or whatever at the stadium. I guess there were 1,000 people and it cost 80,000 dollars. Must be nice to throw around that type of money.

*They let us go in the dugout, monument park, on the field, in the clubhouse, and also sit in the press box. I was in the front row near the Lohud press seats. It looked like each paper was given 2 seats.

*The view from the press box is amazing. I'd love to have that view.

*While in the clubhouse, it was cool to see around where the players are. It definitely looks larger on TV. They said the team gets 75 pounds of mail a week-- and 3/4 of that goes to Derek Jeter. He has a locker just for fan mail and his personal stuff. Crazy. Mariano also is in the corner and has the best locker in the room. They also had some interesting stuff in the lockers. Everyone was fascinated with Pettitte's jockstrap that was hanging in plain view. And by everyone, I do mean the guys on the tour also.

* The tour people were extremely strict. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Reminds me of the time I got tackled down for walking one row over when I was sitting in the Field Box (mind you my tickets were field box 6) during batting practice.

Overall was a great time. For 20 bucks I got to tour around the stadium and see things I never have seen before. Soon this stadium will be just a memory and the new ballpar--- i mean amusement park will be hoarded by the rich people who leave to go to the new martini bar.. What a joke. Whatever happened to just going to a baseball game to watch.. umm baseballl? I don't need no stankin' restaurant, I just want to be able to see the game.....

Thank you Lonn Trost. I am sure the rich people must love you.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Welcome to 4th place

I don't really know where to start with this team. You see the match up for today's game. It started off being Mike Mussina (17-7) vs. Carlos Silva (4-14). Hmm, well you would think advantage Yankees right? Then a twist to the game. Silva is out with an injury, and the Yankees will be facing some no name that has a record of 0-2 with an ERA of almost 7. Even better you would think right? It is very hard to explain why the Yankees have such a hard time hitting nobodys. This is not the first time this year their offense has been stumped by a young guy who has struggled so far while in the major leagues.

In most instances, allowing 4 earned runs would be plenty for the Yankees to give their starter a win. But not with this current Yankee offense. Without looking at the stats, just look at these name. Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu, etc, etc, etc... These are big name guys. Big name guys that are getting paid millions and millions of dollars. This is not an instance of a "poor Yankees team that has been plagued by injuries." This is a team of players that is just not performing AT ALL. Every team has their share of injuries.

So where do we look. Can you really say there is one person to blame? Well, obviously no. This is a team sport. One player doesn't carry a team. You can certainly place this in the hands of many of the players. Do you start with Arod? Giambi? or even Cano? Or do you look at a guy like the manager?

I really am not sure who you can "blame". This team lacks heart, and they lack drive. They also lack a bench. With two guys on and the Yankees down by 3 runs, it would be nice to see someone besides Wilson Betemit as my hero of the day that is coming in to pinch hit. The Yankees have always had that guy who pops of the bench and provides some sort of spark. They are lacking that- among many other things.

Tampa Bay Rays (20)85-56
Boston Red Sox 83-58
Toronto Blue Jays 76-66
New York Yankees 76-66
Baltimore Orioles 63-78

Monday, September 1, 2008

Epitomy of the Yankees Season

While the Yanks won tonight, todays game has been the summarization of the Yankees entire season. Besides the fact they actually put up some runs, they nearly blew it with their horrific pitching. Can someone explain to me why exactly Sidney Ponson is in the rotation? It certainly isn't because he's good looking. And it certainly isn't because he can pitch. So why Joe, tell me why, he is still part of the 5 man rotation???

Let's look at his line for the day.

3IP 9 H 6 ER and 1K

Lets go deeper and look at how hes performed while in pinstripes.

In 11 games started, Ponson is 3-4 with an ERA of 5.64. Hes given up 75 hit in only 60.2 innings and has walked more guys than he has struck out. There is only so long that the yankees can continue to throw out bums like this. There is no excuse for them to have a pull a pitcher in the 4th inning when he is given such a marginal lead.

Now my name may not be Joe Girardi, and I may not have a resume that says my opinion is worth anything, but I think even the most casual Yankee fan would tell you that this pitcher should not be on a AAA ballclub, let alone on the New York Yankees Major League squad. Sure you hear stories how hes getting along well with the other players, but don't let that actually make up for the mere simple fact that he STINKS. Theres no way to put it simpler. I could come up with a profund way to nicely say someone is horrible-- but why waste my time.

Joe Girardi has stated that Ponson is still on their starting staff-- which you know by Girardi's history of making comments that Ponson is on his way out. What I have come to learn this year, is that if you want an honest answer from the manager, you have to just listen to what he says, and then take the opposite of that answer. Trust me.

First Post- Welcome

Well, I never thought I would break down and actually make a blog. I guess it was more of an issue of not really having enough time to think of something profound to write about and then actually being able to put together a well written piece of writing. It took reading other people's baseball blogs for me to realize that I have a lot of adventures to write about, and it might be fun to join the community of baseball bloggers. So here I am. Give me the benefit of the doubt though. I am working a bunch of jobs, and am going to Grad school. My sentences may be jumbled and I may not have the time to really get into profound statistics. If that's an issue, then don't read. Some of us do live busy lives.

I have so much that I have been wanting to write about. So many baseball adventures I have had the ability to take part of and watch. Some of those include the All Star Game, spring training in Tampa for many years, travels to Toronto to see games, among the many other countless visits to Yankee Stadium. Amid the adventures I have been on, I have to admit that I have a strong opinion about the game of baseball. I am for the most part always right about things, and I do not let the male species put my knowledge down, just because they think I am a "girl". Being a female fan has made it harder for people to immediately listen to me, but for the most part, once people know that you know your stuff, they will give you the time of day regardless of your sex.

So to make a very long introduction about myself short, I love baseball, and sports in general. I follow the Yankees with my heart, but I am a realistic baseball fan. I will be the first to admit when they stink and I do not worship Derek Jeter on my sleeve. My favorite players are the little guys that do a lot for a team, but do it by contributing in small ways that people may not always notice. I love learning every aspect of the game, and I really want to learn the mechanics behind pitching the perfect curve ball and slider. Hopefully, one day that will be able to happen.