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Author Archives: Jamie Insalaco

Jacoby Ellsbury works on Wall Street

You may have already seen the “Jacoby Elsbury is a Trader” photo that has been circulating around the web. Personally, I prefer the Johnny Damon defection signs that read, “Looks like Jesus, throws like Mary, acts like Judas,” but hey, to each his own… until you bring grammar and spelling into it. Now, you’re on my turf and I gotta come after ya.

Look, I studied English in college, and while I don’t claim to be a master (and lucky for me, I have a copy editor that fixes my mistakes – Thanks, Dr. Girlfriend!), I do try to check my work before publishing it. Now, I’m going to let the fact that this young lady is at a Yankees/Astros game and is wearing a hat of a team that’s not playing go. Let’s concentrate on the two big problems with the sign:

1. ‘Ellsbury’ has two Ls in it. If you’re going to be pissed at the guy, at least bother to look up the proper spelling of his name.
2. A “trader” is someone who trades stuff. Like a trader on a wall street, a kid who trades baseball cards, people who trade vintage dictionaries… that’s what trading is. A “traitor,” on the other hand, is one who betrays trust – that sort of thing. Kinda like the way this lady betrays all of her former teachers with her atrocious grammar and spelling.

Anyway, if you’re going to display a sign at a sporting event that’s not especially relevant to the game at hand, at least bother to get the grammar and spelling right.

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Brian Cashman is sad that the Yankees have lost their first series to the Astros

"Boy, I sure am glad the Yankees organization spent all that money this past off season just so we could lose a series to the Astros. The Astros. The team that prognosticators are picking to win 70 games this year – an improvement over last year’s 51 wins. The Astros. Seriously. Imagine if we miss the playoffs by one or two games this year? That would be AWESOME."

Opening Day shows some promise but little return for Yankees

It sure does suck to lose to the Houston Astros, huh? Well, that’s just what happened to the Yankees – a hell of a way to start the season.

The reasons the Yankees lost were obvious – CC Sabathia was awful in the first two innings and the infield didn’t play so well behind him. It seemed to me that he pitched pretty well in innings 3, 4, 5 and 6, but when he gives up 6 runs in the first two innings, it hardly matters. Meanwhile, the bullpen was lights out behind him, so that was nice, but too little, too late.  Sabathia is going to have to adjust his pregame so he starts the game with his A control.  Maybe Andy Pettitte can help with that while the Yankees are in Houston…

The offense was sputtering – there were a few hits and walks, but it’s easy to blame Alfonso Soriano for striking out and grounding into a double play to end potentially big innings.

Still, I like this team… at least, I like this team a hell of a lot better than the 2013 edition. Sabathia might end up being the worst starter in the rotation… who knows. If this team stays healthy, they might do great things. Might.

There are two games left with the Astros. I’m not a big believer in winning streaks (they sure do help, though), but if you’re a good team, you have to win series against bad teams, so the Yankees need to take these next two. If they start the season by losing a series to the Astros… whew. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

QUICK NOTE: THE END OF AN ERA
The Yankees have designated Edwardo Nunez for assignment. The grand experiment (which everyone should now readily admit was a huge, embarrassing failure) is finally over. Who knows where Nunez will head next, but I think it’s safe to say, his days in pinstripes are over. That’s probably a good thing. The fact that he couldn’t make this team even with the added help of the Brendan Ryan injury speaks volumes about what the Yankees think of Nunez.

The 2014 Yankees opening day lineup

Opening Day is almost here and now, we’ve got a good idea of what we’re going to see on a day to day basis from the Yankees. The only real question is whether or not Jacoby Ellsbury starts the season on a DL.

If Ellsbury does start the season on the DL, think we’ll get this:

LF Brett Gardner
SS Derek Jeter
DH Carlos Beltran/Alfonso Soriano
1B Mark Teixeira
C Brian McCann
RF Alfonso Soriano/Carlos Beltran
3B Kelly Johnson
2B Brian Roberts
CF Ichiro Suzuki

If Ellsbury is healthy, then we’ll get this:

CF Jacoby Ellsbury
SS Derek Jeter
DH Carlos Beltran/Alfonso Soriano
1B Mark Teixeira
C Brian McCann
RF Alfonso Soriano/Carlos Beltran
3B Kelly Johnson
2B Brian Roberts
LF Brett Gardner

I have Beltran and Soriano in the same spot because either could be DH or RF; I think Beltran will bat third and Soriano will bat sixth assuming they’re both in the lineup. Meanwhile, Jeter and Teixeira are both nicely insulated/protected in the lineup, so hopefully, this will get them both some fastballs to hit… who knows what to expect out of either of those guys this year.

On paper, this lineup looks like it can do damage, but in reality… who knows. The good news is, the waiting is almost over!

Bruno Mars delivers the best Super Bowl Halftime Show in recent memory despite The Red Hot Chili Peppers

The game was basically a snooze fest – we all know that – but the Super Bowl Halftime Show really delivered, despite the programmer’s best efforts. We all understand that the Red Hot Chili Peppers were forced upon us after people whined, so it’s a miracle the thing turned out as well as it did. Sure, I knew Bruno Mars was great, but I’d never seen him perform live, so this was a real eye opener. Even FOX’s never ending quest to drive "Locked out of Heaven" into the ground didn’t ruin the show by playing the opening bars during every single mention of the impending show. Thanks to the heroes at FOX and the NFL, we can’t seem to watch that performance again – indeed, the only videos available on the NFL’s website are stuff no one ever wants to see again. Oh well – maybe next time.

Super Bowl predictions

Here are our Super Bowl 2014 predictions.
Dr Girlfriend: Broncos 24 – Seahawks 20
Jamie: Broncos 21 – Seahawks 14

Responding to Steve Politi's 7 tips for Super Bowl visitors to stay on our good side in NJ

Oh Steve… why’d you do it, Steve? Isn’t Jersey Shore causing us enough trouble? Let’s dig into Steve Politi’s 7 tips for Super Bowl visitors to stay on our good side in NJ, one of our resident’s most recent attempts to make New Jersey citizens look bad.

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Yankees 2014 everyday lineup projection

As the off season draws to a close, the 2014 Yankees position players lineup is shaping up. I’m thinking that the Yankees are going to run something like this out there every day.

Jacoby Ellsbury (CF)
Derek Jeter (SS)
Carlos Beltran (RF/DH)
Brian McCann (c)
Alfonso Soriano (RF/DH)
Mark Teixeira (1B)
Brett Gardner (LF)
Kelly Johnson (3B)
Brian Roberts (2B)

I assume Derek Jeter is the starting short stop and hitting in the two hole until it becomes certain that he is not up to the task. I am not one to ever doubt Jeter, but it’s a fair question: he’s not young and that ankle injury is a serious thing. Who knows what the Yankees will get out of Teixeira following his surgery, and the animated corpse of Brian Roberts… well, that’s a frightening prospect.

There’s a lot of question marks here, but on paper, this could be a great team.

Yankees need to sign a legitimate 5th starter

After the blockbuster signing of Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees 2014 starting pitching rotation goes a lil’ something like this:

  1. CC Sabathia
  2. Masahiro Tanaka
  3. Hiroki Kuroda
  4. Ivan Nova
  5. ?

As you can see, there’s a hole down there at the bottom, but let’s put that aside for a second and look at the Yankees top four pitchers.

CC Sabathia was kinda stinky last year. True, an off season elbow clean out messed up his off season workouts, but he’s not getting any younger. Now I don’t think Sabathia forgot how to pitch and will be that bad in 2014, but it’s worth mentioning that 2013 was (without looking at the data) probably his worst season ever.

Again, the Yankees have signed international superstar Masahiro Tanaka, but this guy has been the United States like three times in his whole life, never mind the fact that he’s never pitched for an MLB team. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’ll be fine, but we can’t ignore the fact that growing pains should be expected.

I love me some Hiroki Kuroda, but let’s be fair – the guy completely ran out of gas last year. He’s a great pitcher, but he’s not exactly a spring chicken. They’ll need to control his workload carefully to keep him viable for an entire season and, hopefully, the playoffs.

I think Ivan Nova has enormous potential, but the guy has never put together a full season of quality pitching. I think he can and will be an above league average pitcher for a full season and beyond, but until he does it, he remains an unknown quantity.

So there’s a lot of "buts" in there – a lot of question marks, right?

Given all of the aforementioned details, who should the Yankees pick for their 5th starter? Here are the in house candidates and their 2013 innings pitched.

  • Vidal Nuno: 45 IP between the majors and minors
  • David Phelps: 86.2 IP
  • Adam Warren: 77 IP
  • Michael Pineda: 40.2 IP, minors only

Yeah… this seems like a problem to me. I think a lot of these guys have some potential: Pineda obviously has the best overall stuff and I like what I’ve seen out of Nuno (and he’s left handed), where as Phelps probably has pitched the best as a Yankee… I’d probably like to see both Warren and Phelps in the Yankees pen…

The bottom line is the Yankees need something like 150 innings out of one of these guys, and I don’t see that happening. It’d be a huge increase for any of them based off last year’s work load. Maybe they could do some rotation of these guys migrating from long reliever and/or minor league starter to MLB starter… I dunno, but I don’t see one of these guys getting the job out of spring training and keeping it all year.

I don’t know what the answer is, but the Yankees need another reliable starter. The free agent market is thin and the Yankees trade chips are not great… I don’t have any suggestions, but the internal options seem like a pipe dream.

Take this Super Bowl 2014 merchandise – PLEASE!

image

This New Jersey CVS is trying to unload it’s Super Bowl merchandise as no one is buying it. I don’t know why someone at the NFL thought us locals would want this crap just because the game is going to be played in the Meadowlands.

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