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Season Over

That’s one way to end a season.

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ALCS Game 4 will be today at 4 est?

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Is MLB kidding?  They rescheduled an 8 pm night game to a 4 pm day game?  Can you imagine what people who have tickets to this game are thinking?  I guess I could buy the $5 thing from MLB, but right now, I’m too pissed off.

Better get your last looks at Nick Swisher in pinstripes

The Yankees might only have two games left this season… So Nick Swisher fans, be aware: On October 15, Mike Axisa of River Ave Blues wrote, "I’ll be stunned if the Yankees do not re-sign Ichiro Suzuki to replace Swisher next year." I was thinking the same thing.

I tend to agree that this will happen and with this as a move the Yankees should make. There was little chance the Yankees were going to resign Swisher anyway because of their 2014 reduced payroll plan and the big dollars Swisher is likely to command – couple those nuggets with the fact that Swisher has been a dud in all four post seasons he’s played with the Yankees (Swisher’s lifetime quad slash in the post season is .167/.284/.300/.584) and that Ichiro looks to be rejuvenated by playing on a good team and will probably only going to get a 1 or 2 yr deal (at most) for maybe $8 million/yr (at most) where as Swish is more likely to command something like 4 yrs @ $15 mil/yr. Ichiro fits in better with the Yankees long term plans and their needs to diversify their offense by adding more contact hitters. Not that Ichiro will be here long term – maybe 2 years, max – but Ichiro helps them as a stop gap right fielder until they can get their 2014 ducks in a row while a new contract for Swisher will just make their path going forward that much more difficult.

What i’m saying is, better get your last looks at Swisher in pinstripes while you can.

Yankees offensive slumber continues, NY Giants rock 49ers

Both games started at 4 PM – that’s just genius. I’m sure you know how things went down by now (even though watching all of both games was impossible) – The NY Giants obliterated the 49ers and the Yankees offensive slump continued as the Tigers went up two games to none in the ALCS.

I was surprised that the Giants were able to run all over the 49ers and had two interceptions, but I guess that’s the reality of the situation – I just didn’t think the 49ers were the sort of team that made those kind of mistakes.

Oh the Yankees and their awful, awful offense – what can you say? Here’s some facts that will make you ill: Robinson Cano is hitless since the first inning of Game Two of the ALDS (his last 26 at-bats) and is 2 for 32, and if that doesn’t sound bad enough, please consider:

- it’s the longest hitless streak in Yankees post season history
– 2 for 32 works out to a .063 batting average; small sample size, I know, but still, that’s the number

I know I’m bashing Cano a lot, but I think he deserves it. Well, at least more than A-Rod does. I know A-Rod stinks (3-23 in 2012 post season), but I don’t expect much from him – Cano is in the prime of his career. On the other hand, the umpires took away one hit from Cano and an out he made at second via the tag, so Cano is just having a lot of bad luck in general besides my bashing.

Hiroki Kuroda was brilliant yesterday – let’s not forget about that. Win or loose, I’ll always remember his excellent start in this series. The Yankees need to make bringing him back for 2013 a top priority as this guy was clearly built for the big stage.

Where’s the crowd?
Yankee Stadium looked a little empty – for a playoff game, that is. Just keep jacking up those parking and ticket prices, guys. Oh, and the $12 George Washington Bridge toll is also great for business!

Well, let’s hope Phil Hugues has some magic in him and Joe Girardi continues to yell at the hitters for not making in game adjustments.

Yankee Fans: Do You Still Want Cliff Lee?

cliff leeNow that the playoffs are over and the New York San Francisco Giants are World Champions, it’s time to take a hard look at the free agent market.  As a Yankees fan, I think the biggest need is starting pitching:  the Bombers have to keep up with the AL East arms race.

Since before the trade deadline, the Yankees front office and Yankees fans alike have wanted to bring Cliff Lee into the fold.  The trade never happened, and despite a lackluster second half, Lee beat the Yankees in the ALCS.

Now that the World Series is over and Lee put up a 6.94 ERA, I was asked if I still wanted the Yankees to sign him.

Yes.  A thousand times, YES!

Take a look at Lee’s 2010 Post Season Gamelogs.  Game 1 of the World Series was a bad start by Lee; there’s no question about it.  But he threw a great game in the deciding event; 1 bad pitch cost him a 3 run homer in the 7th inning.  In his other three starts against the Rays and the Yankees, he threw 24 innings of superb ball, allowing only 2 ER.  Now that’s pitching.  I still think Ron Washington road Lee a bit too long, especially in game 5 of the ALDS, but given how bad the Rangers bullpen is (and it is bad; I will argue with anyone on this!), I don’t blame him.

But yes, the Yankees desperately  need to sign Lee.  Not only is he a great pitcher, but the Yankees need him for several reasons:

  1. keep up with the Rays and Red Sox (not to mention the Jay’s pitching staff)
  2. fill the hole vacated by Javier Vazquez
  3. Andy Pettitte might retire, and even if he doesn’t, he’s an older guy and is susceptible to injury
  4. AJ Burnett is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get
  5. Phil Hughes had a good 2010 campaign, but he’s still not a front of the rotation pitcher.  Not yet, anyway.

The Yankees need to send a dump truck to Cliff Lee’s house and dump money all over his lawn.  Hopefully, he spends the afternoon building a fort with it rather than sending it back to the Bronx.

Yankees comeback against Rangers seals the deal

brett gardner alcs

the beginning of the end

If you read my ALCS picks, you’ll see I had the Yankees winning in 6 games, but I’m probably wrong, and Michael Kay is probably right – Yankees in 5 games.  But after last night’s late inning collapse by the Rangers, it’s almost difficult to expect them to win any games at all. 

I mean, what else do the Rangers need to go right for them to win a ball game?  CC Sabathia was terrible (again), CJ Wilson pitched a great game and they had a 4 run lead to start the eight inning.  Then it all came undone, starting with an infield single by Brett Gardner, during which he slide into first base.  I still have no idea why guys do this – again, to invoke Michael Kay, if sliding was faster, then Olympic sprinters would slide over the finish line, right?  I guess it did make him more difficult for C.J. Wilson to tag, and it turned out to be the start to a great rally for the Yankees.

Following Wilson was a parade of relief pitchers who just couldn’t get anybody out.  This isn’t all that shocking to me – although the Rangers have a zillion relievers that throw 95 MPH, none of them seem to be that great.  Darren Oliver, Darren O’Day, Clay Rapada and Derek Holland all combined to stink up the joint – not that they got clobbered, but the Rangers needed these guys to come in and restore order against the Yankees best hitters, and the blew it in spectacular fashion, with walks and singles for anybody who wanted one. Holland was able to stay on after he gave up a run and he did keep Robinson Cano from scoring, but that’s all the praise one can heep on him.

And speaking of Robinson Cano, I think he gets our ‘keep hope alive’ award for the lazer beam home run off Wilson in the 7th, which was the first home run Wilson has allowed to a left handed batter since June of 2008!  That’s some streak, and a fantastic way to end it.  Derek Jeter doubled Gardner in, then Swisher walked, Alex Rodriguez singled in a pair, then it was Cano time again for another RBI and Marcus Thames singled in the winning run.

But without Joba Chamberlain and especially Dustin Moseley giving the Yankees a chance after Sabathia’s bad start, this never would have happened.  The bone head award of the day goes to Ian Kinsler for getting picked off by Kerry Wood after he walked him on 4 pitches.  He didn’t even move as Wood fired the ball to Mark Teixeira, he didn’t even try to dive back to first, he just conceded to a run down.  Was Wood’s move that good?  It sure was fast, but Kinsler can’t allow himself to be put in that situation.  Suddenly, Wood had things going his way after a tough start.  The Rangers might have thought they had a chance against Mariano Rivera since they got to him in August, but honestly, that was Mo being crappy, not the Rangers being great.  Mo got it done, and there it is – an improbable Yankees win.  But that’s what great teams do – beat inferior teams.

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