Aug
31

Winning games and gaining no ground

By

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Last night’s win was the Yankees’ third in a row, just the third time they’ve won that many consecutive games since before the All Star break. They’ve also won four of their last six, six of their last nine, and nine of their last 13, a pace we’d sign up for any time of any season. The Yanks have also outscored their opponents 90-61 over that 13 game stretch despite a shaky rotation, an absent Alex Rodriguez, and a generally unproductive Derek Jeter (just 8-for-48 during those 13 games), a testament to how deep and talented this roster is.

And yet, the Yanks have picked up zero games in the standings. That’s because those damn Tampa Bay Rays have also gone 9-4 in their last 13 games, though their run differential is a less spectacular +11. Go all the way back to August 2nd, and the two teams share identical 15-11 records. There just hasn’t been any separation between the Yanks and Rays for a month now.

Of course, that’s not a surprise. These two teams, along with the pre-injury Red Sox, were expected to compete all season for the division crown. The fact that it’s now just a two team race actually makes things easier, even though it doesn’t feel that way. Both teams have better than a 94% chance of making the postseason, but making the playoffs is just the beginning. Winning the division affords the added benefit of having home field advantage throughout the ALDS and potentially the ALCS if they were to qualify. At 43-22 (.662), the Yanks have the best home record in the American League, and even subjectively we know how helpful it can be playing in front of the home crowd more often than not in October.

The Yankees and Rays still have two series left against each other, both coming in the middle of September. They’ll play in Florida from the 13th to the 15th, and then meet in New York for a four game set four days later. The Yanks are 5-6 against the Rays this season, so at a minimum they need to go 4-3 in those seven games just to tie the season series and the first tiebreaker. The next tiebreaker is record against AL East competition, where the Rays hold a bit of an advantage (32-19 vs. 27-20) with fewer games left to play. In the end it won’t matter, because both teams are all but assured of postseason berths.

They Rays have a stacked and powerful farm system, and will benefit room the arrivals of Jeremy Hellickson, Jake McGee, and possibly Desmond Jennings in September, not to mention the addition of Brad Hawpe. The Yankees, meanwhile, can look forward to just getting healthy. Lance Berkman will be back tomorrow. A-Rod probably by the weekend. Andy Pettitte will hopefully be back in time for that mid-September stretch against Tampa. Then there’s Damaso Marte and Al Aceves, who could deepen an already strong bullpen. I’m not sure we can safely say one team has an advantage over the other when it comes to September call-ups, but Tampa will benefit form having their guys right from the start of the month.

We put a lot of emphasis on winning the division, but making the playoffs is the first goal. Once the Yanks secure that – the magic number for a playoff spot is just 25 – they can focus on the division, but really the priority should be resting players and getting everyone healthy for a deep playoff run. Jeter, Robbie Cano, Brett Gardner, Nick Swisher, and Mark Teixeira have played basically every game this year, while CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Phil Hughes have made basically every start asked of them. Getting the legs fresh and rotation lined up for the postseason is far more important than winning the division, no matter how much we fans want another AL East crown.

Categories : Musings
  • https://twitter.com/SteeeeveO Steve O.

    We put a lot of emphasis on winning the division, but making the playoffs is the first goal. Once the Yanks secure that – the magic number for a playoff spot is just 25 – they can focus on the division, but really the priority should be resting players and getting everyone healthy for a deep playoff run.

    This is bullshit, we’re greedy Yankee fans who expect 120 win seasons, with the MVP/Cy Young/ROY all coming from our team. We want a sweep of every playoff series and atleast 15 no hitters and perfect games in the playoffs. Anything less than winning the division is unacceptable. We want exciting walk off wins and 10 run beatdowns all in the same game. Is that really too much to ask?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      I would also like for the Yankees to Restore Honor to America.

      • Pat D

        America’s honor was lost in 2001 when Luis Gonzalez’s bloop hit the outfield grass.

    • Apollo22237

      No, no, you got it wrong. We as Yankee fans want to trade our ROY for the MVP… NOW!

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        I’m pissed that in all these years of winning the division, we never once one anyone else’s division.

        The NL Central is always ripe for the taking, but we’re never good enough to win it. That’s unacceptable.

        • https://twitter.com/SteeeeveO Steve O.

          Yeah, what’s up with that shit? I’m even more pissed at how CC Sabathia didn’t win a ROY after his spectacular 2009 season. Year after year, the ROY award has been going to some undeserving 20 year old rookie schmuck. That’s unacceptable.

          • Apollo22237

            Gotta admit, this gave me a pretty good laugh.

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    a testament to how deep and talented thick this roster is.

    fixed

    • tc

      Sweet Dick Willie, I bet you are popular with the ladies!

  • JobaWockeeZ

    Personally I’d really prefer going for the divison crown so the Yankees can pick the playoff format of their liking and so they potentially won’t face the Rangers with Lee and their ridiculous home offense.

    And I laughed at this.
    a testament to how deep and talented this roster is.

    Tempted to use thick there weren’t you?

    • Chris

      I don’t think the Yankees would get to pick the playoff format, even if they won the division.

      They would, however, have home field advantage.

  • Pat D

    I know that the Yankees don’t play bad on the road, but the fact that they seem to play so much better at home makes me think that winning the division will be important.

    Though I acknowledge that winning the playoff spot is more important. Hopefully the Orioles win a game or two from Boston before going back to their previous losing ways when playing the Yankees.

    • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

      O’s are like 5-3 against the Sox or something. Maybe even better, not sure.

      • https://twitter.com/SteeeeveO Steve O.

        6-6, .500. The Orioles usually lay down for the Sox, but not this year.

        • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

          Beckett vs. Matusz tonight. Should be interesting.

          • https://twitter.com/SteeeeveO Steve O.

            If by interesting, you mean Josh Beckett will get chased in the third inning by a Josh Bell three run HR, followed by a HBP and the Sox lose 8-2, then yes, it will be very interesting.

            In all seriousness, why the hell would they extend him?

            • Brad Toughy

              HOF PLAYOFF ACE!

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                The Red Sox have 144M in combined contractual obligations to Beckett, Lackey, and Matsuzaka over the next four years.

                That shit is sexy.

                • Pat D

                  OMG!! But we have Burnett for 3 more years!!

                  Teh horror!!!!!

                • ecks

                  *tears of joy*

            • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

              That’s pretty much what I meant. But my final score was 10-2. I added in two wild pitches with the bases loaded.

  • http://twitter.com/AnthonyMartins Anthony

    It’s better than what the Redsox are doing: Losing games and losing ground.

    • https://twitter.com/SteeeeveO Steve O.

      What the f&*% is a Redsox?

      • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees

        I may be wrong, but I believe a “Red Sox” is an old wooden ship used during the Civil War era.

        • Pat D

          The network is not interested in old wooden ships from the Civil War era.

          Or colored socks.

    • http://twitter.com/AnthonyMartins Anthony

      *Red Sox

  • Sam P.

    Winning but gaining no ground? Doesn’t seem to matter to Mitch Williams over at MLB.com … he’s picking the Yankees to miss the playoffs as the Red Sox get the Wild Card! Just thought that was interesting based on the Yanks playing well w/out A-Rod, Javy being a sore spot, Burnett having trouble, Andy on the DL, etc.

    Link

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Williams: Don’t count out the Red Sox

      Mitch, the Red Sox are as dead as that pitch of yours that Joe Carter killed.

      • Sam P.

        That was the first thought that went through my head as well. Let’s get John Kruk’s opinion on this! I know he’ll pick Boston too. Haha.

      • tc

        Wait, am I wrong: the Unmentionable Ones seem to have a decent shot at the wild card?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder
        • Joe West’s Music Career

          Assuming you don’t find mentioning the Rays tasteful, absolutely.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      They should call Kelly up. He’ll help their pitching and he’s completely killing double A. Oh wait…

    • Chris

      Clay Buchholz has been the ace of this staff all season, compiling a 15-5 record with a stingy ERA of 2.21. And the Red Sox have been able to limit his innings to just 146 2/3.

      I get it… the Red Sox were planning ahead and told him to get injured so he could miss some starts and keep his innings down. Brilliant!

    • Ross in Jersey

      I believe Boston and Tampa Bay have better bullpens than the Yankees

      HAHAHA, OH WOW

      Has Mitch even watched the Red Sox’s lolpen lately?

      Also:

      Josh Beckett is only 4-3 and has missed most of the season, due to injury, but he’s back now, and we all know how tough he can be in September and October.

      He was “tough” the tune of a 4.14 ERA last September/October.

      • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

        Shhh, you’re ruining his narrative, which is based on the past.

        • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

          Shhh, you’re ruining his narrative, which is based on the past.his incorrect recollection of the past.

    • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

      Wow, I really thought the “Don’t count out the Red Sox!” nonsense would die. It really feels like ESPN and MLB Network employees are under contract to not say anything negative about the Red Sox and/or their chances.

    • Damian

      Almost died laughing when I saw:

      MITCH WILLIAMS
      Columnist

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Let’s gallimaufry this shizz.

      If you think the battle for the American League East is a two-team race between the Yankees and Rays, you are sadly mistaken. The Red Sox are still in this thing.

      Yes, the Red Sox are still “in this thing” in the same way that Colin Quinn is still “an up and coming young comic”.

      I base that statement on their starting rotation, which is very solid.

      A turd left on a rock in the desert under the hot sun is also “very solid.” Both the turd and the Red Sox starting rotation emit a similar odor, by the way.

      Josh Beckett is only 4-3 and has missed most of the season, due to injury, but he’s back now

      And he’s sporting a 5.65 ERA in his seven starts since the All-Star break, which technically is an improvement on the 7.29 ERA he had before the break, so, point to you, Mr. Wild Thing,

      and we all know how tough he can be in September and October.

      Josh Beckett, 2003 and 2007 playoffs: 9 starts, 6-2, 1.73 ERA, .159/.209/.278 against
      Josh Beckett, 2008 playoffs: 4 starts, 1-1, 7.71 ERA, .314/.375/.640 against

      Maybe if someone gives him a “B-12 shot”, I’ll be scared. Until then, meh.

      Then there’s Jon Lester (14-8, 3.12 ERA), who has some of the best stuff of any left-handed starter in baseball. Clay Buchholz has been the ace of this staff all season, compiling a 15-5 record with a stingy ERA of 2.21. And the Red Sox have been able to limit his innings to just 146 2/3.

      Agreed. Lester and Buchholz are solid.

      John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka round out a rotation that gives the Red Sox a legitimate chance to gain ground on the Yankees and Rays.

      “Player X and Player Y round out a rotation” = These two guys suck and I know it, but let’s gloss over their suckitude and just pretend they’re as good as the previously mentioned players simply because I included them in this article. That way, the narrative I’m trying to spin for you seems well thought out and logically sound.

      To have endured the injuries they have and still have the fourth-best record in the AL proves this team will fight to the end.

      Just like the Americans at the Alamo, the Red Sox will fight to the bitter end. Because they’re scrappy warrior poets.

      As for the Yankees’ rotation, beyond C.C. Sabathia and Phil Hughes, who have combined for 33 wins, it’s got problems.

      Just like every rotation in baseball, like the one of the Red Sox, who look mighty questionable beyond Lester and Buchholz, if you ask me.

      I mean, Josh Beckett, who hasn’t been good in two years? Jon Lackey, who is sporting the lowest ERA+ and K/9 and highest WHIP and BB/9 of his career and leads the league in hits allowed? Diasuke Matsuzaka, who’s been a below league average pitcher for two years now and has given up 4 or more runs in half of his starts? Yeesh.

      After that, the dropoff is significant.

      Agreed. I mean, Josh Beckett, who hasn’t been good in two years? Jon Lackey, who is sporting the lowest ERA+ and K/9 and highest WHIP and BB/9 of his career and leads the league in hits allowed? Diasuke Matsuzaka, who’s been a below league average pitcher for two years now and has given up 4 or more runs in half of his starts? Yeesh.

      Oh, we were talking about the Yankees rotation? My bad. Please, enlighten me.

      A.J. Burnett and Javier Vasquez have struggled, and Andy Pettitte has been hurt.

      Beckett and Lackey have struggled, and Dice-K just sucks. There’s no rest and rehab from sucking, you know.

      If they don’t pick it up, the Yankees will have a difficult time holding off the Red Sox.

      If they don’t get off their ass and start winning like 23 games in a row like the Colorado Rockies, the Red Sox needn’t bother worrying about the Yankees “picking it up”, because it won’t matter, they’ll still be sitting on their couches in Wooster listening to “Sweet Caroline” in a darkened basement eating their Wawa microwave burritos.

      The Yankees and Rays can both play listless, uninspired, mediocre baseball down the stretch and still coast to playoff berths. They’re not the one trying to overcome a playoff odds number in the single digits. The Sox need to be not just “solid”, but white-hot. What of that team and their mighty mighty rotation that’s lead them to a pedestrian 23-20 post ASB record (a .535 clip, actually lower than their pre-break pace) leads you to believe the 2010 Boston Red Sox can play white-hot baseball?

      The Rays have six starters they can plug in and expect to win.

      And they have six regulars with sub-100 OPS+. Zobrist, Upton, Bartlett, Rodriguez, Brignac, and Aybar. Pitching is good… hitting is also a part of the equation. With their pitching, if they could score runs, they’d have the AL East in a stranglehold. They can’t, which is why they keep getting no-hit and one-hit.

      David Price, Matt Garza, Jeff Neimann, Wade Davis and James Shields are a formidable five, and Jeremy Hellickson is an ace in the hole.

      They’ll need it, so they can win every game down the stretch 1-0.

      I believe Boston and Tampa Bay have better bullpens than the Yankees,

      Many people believe Barack Obama is a communist sleeper cell terror baby born in Kenya secretly smuggled into the country to tear it down from the inside by slowly working his way up the bureaucracy until he became president, probably all secretly orchestrated back in the 1950s by in an evil cabal formed by Bill Ayers, Mao Tse Tung, Jeremiah Wright, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Moamar Khadafi, Pol Pot, Sam Giancana, Mata Hari, Ellen Degeneres, Michael Vick, and Keith Olbermann.

      Neither that belief nor yours is accurate, though.

      Bullpen ERA:
      Tampa Bay: 3.24 (3rd)
      New York: 3.52 (7th)
      Boston: 4.17 (20th)

      so here’s my prediction for the AL East:

      Phillies win it by a game, Blue Jays come in second?

      The AL Wild Card will come out of this division

      :: floored ::

      and I believe it will be

      Obama’s death panels?

      the Red Sox

      who play in Tampa Bay or New York and sometimes go by the name “The Rays” or “The Yankees” instead of “The Red Sox”, an old name they no longer use?

      which means the Yankees or the Rays will be left out of the postseason.

      Yeah… no.

      I think the Yankees will fall short, because they lack depth in the starting rotation.

      I think your pitching will fall short, because you lack command and leave hittable pitches up in the zone.

      Sincerely,
      Joe Carter

      I could be dead wrong about this

      You are.

      and Pettitte could come back and give the Yankees the boost they need to hold off Boston.

      The “boost” the Yankees need to hold off Boston happened months ago when the Boston Red Sox couldn’t assemble an effective starting rotation or bullpen, and then lost half their position players to injury. This race was over before it started, Mitch. Just like your career as an “analyst”.

      But if that doesn’t happen, the Yankees are going to have to hit a ton in September in order to be playing in October.

      Good thing the Yankees already hit a ton, eh Mitch?

      • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

        That….was….amazing.

        Thank you, sir.

      • https://twitter.com/SteeeeveO Steve O.

        Dude, you just FJM’d this shiz. This comment is better than most of the crap that writers put up on a daily basis.

        (golf clap)

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

          • Pat D

            First rate, as always.

          • sleepykarl

            The Alamo was a perfect analogy to the Sox as everyone defending it died. Nicely written.

      • Jobu

        *Fist Pump*

      • Normando

        Stunning. The “Shakes the Clown” of Mitch Williams smack-downs.

      • Ross in Jersey

        This makes me miss FJM so much.

      • Sam P.

        Gone for a 2:00-3:00 meeting and come back to find pure gold. Well done!

        Seriously though, everyone, thanks for also agreeing with me on this. I practically spit out my beer last night when I saw that while watching the game.

      • Klemy

        Easily best comment of, well…a long time. lol Good show.

      • ecks

        If I may so, sir, you absolutely fucking destroyed his “logical” arguments.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        This is fucking amazing. The greatest comment in a long, long time. (bows down)

      • http://soxandpinstripes.net Angelo

        I’m not surprised or amazed. This is expected.

        Well done, sir.

      • thurdonpaul

        im late to the congrats on a great post party, but i still wanted to say, excellent post tommie !!

      • Total Dominication

        Why don’t you do a blog again? Your like, the #1 poster on this site. No offense to Rebecca/Bexy/Mondesi/JGS/Matt. You should totally do something.

      • Brian in NH

        We don’t have WaWa’s in New England. I’ve never seen them north of Scranton. They would likely be eating burritos from 7-11 or Cumberland Farms! In Worcester (i know it looks like wor-chester, but its usually pronounced “woosta” even by those of us who learned to speak english outside of new england). But you are spot on with the obsession of “Sweet Caroline.” Its played at literally every non-high school sporting event I’ve been to since 2000, including college football, college hockey, minor league baseball, and college basketball.

        other than being nitpicky though..this was pure genius

  • Frank

    To win the division, it’s going to come down to those final 10 games which clearly favor the Rays. They have the M’s and O’s at home and the final 4 at KC. Yanks, on the other hand, have 6 with the RS (home and away) and 3 at Toronto (that after playing 4 vs. the Rays at YS).

    • Ross in Jersey

      If the Rays sweep those 10 games, sure, we’re in trouble. But chances are they won’t win all of them. All of those teams have aces who can shut down the Rays on any given day.

      Also, Boston may very well be in 2011 mode by the time we see them. They could, theoretically, have shutdown Bard and Buchholz to preserve their arms for next year. Boston fans may want to beat the Yankees at all costs, but I don’t think Francona and Theo would play that game and risk their young arms.

  • Tampa Yankee

    In the end it won’t matter, because both teams are all but assured of postseason berths.
    I don’t understand!!1! Bob Kalpisch, Mitch Williams and Dave Feldman told me today that the Yankees rotation is terrible and they are not going to make the playoffs!11!!

  • tc

    Yo, somebody hep me, I am number-challenged: how is the magic no. 25?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I have no idea, but that’s what MLB.com has it as. Just go to the standings and look at Boston’s Wild Card elimination number.

      • https://twitter.com/SteeeeveO Steve O.

        I believe they were going on the basis that the Yankees own the advantage over them, making a tie favor the Yankees.

    • Ross in Jersey

      Magic number is the combined number of wins by the first team and losses by the second team that it would take for the second team to be mathematically eliminated.

      Crude example, if the Yankees/Rays/Sox all went 25-0, the Sox would be 7 games out with 6 games to play and would be eliminated.

    • https://twitter.com/SteeeeveO Steve O.

      The magic number of 25 is any combination of Yankee wins and Sox losses. At 81-50 and the Sox at 74-57, with 31 games left, then subtract how many games the Sox are behind which is 7. So, 31-7=24. The magic number is 24, I guess. I could be wrong. But, the Yankees have a better record against the Sox, so they have the advantage, making the number 25. I guess 24.5?

      • tc

        Gotcha! Had a lil brain fart (silent but deadly) and forgot that the Yankees/Rays are fighting over BOTH the division and WC slot.

      • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

        It’s way simpler than that. If the Sox win out, they’d be 105-57. The Yankees need to win 25 to surpass that.

        • https://twitter.com/SteeeeveO Steve O.

          That makes sense, but for the purpose of explaining how something works it must be done the way it’s calculated.

    • Chris

      Here’s the definition from the MLB.com standings page:

      E# – Elimination Number, the combined number of wins (by the first place team) and losses (by the trailing team) that will eliminate the trailing team from winning the division. The Elimination Number for any team is determined by adding their number of losses to the number of wins for the team leading the division, and subtracting that total from 163. The Elimination Number for the second place team is the “Magic Number” for the first place team. “E” indicates that the team has been eliminated from winning the division.

      So…

      163 – (81 + 57) = 25

  • Hughesus Christo

    You know who worries about seeding, opponents, and home field advantage?

    Not the Yankees.

    • Jobu

      Your right! Its the Res Sox because the need to line up their rotation and rest their starters for . . . charity golf tournaments?

  • Januz

    There is little doubt the Rays have the advantage because of the schedule, and have to be considered the favorites to get to the World Series. But there are two guys that can be a major fly in that ointment. One is Andy Pettitte, the other is Manny Ramirez. The importance of Andy has been rehashed over and over again, so it does not need to be repeated. As for Manny, If the White Sox can overcome the four game deficit to the Twins, and Manny gets hot, he along with Konerko and Rios can make life very unpleasant for any team that plays them (Particularly a team that relies on Lefthanded starters like Price or CC).
    One story that is getting limited attention, is the utter collapse of the Cardinals. Any team that has to deal with Carpenter, Wainwright, Garcia & Westbrook in a short series cannot feel comfortable, and the idea of no St Louis in the playoffs could be potentially huge for the Yankees.

    • Hughesus Christo

      How about Doc/Hamels/Oswalt?

      • https://twitter.com/SteeeeveO Steve O.

        Who I’d face in the WS in this order: Reds/Giants/Padres/Braves/Cardinals/Phillies

        • Januz

          I think the Giants would get swept. They have no offense (Posey might be their best hitter (Think Tampa regrets not drafting him over Beckham?)), and their starting pitching has really went south this month.

          • https://twitter.com/SteeeeveO Steve O.

            They won’t make the playoffs, but they’re contending so I mentioned them for the sake of mentioning them.

            • Januz

              To me the most dangerous team in the NL West is the Rockies. I know their schedule is difficult (Ending up with four in St Louis). But if they could ever find a way to win the division, they would be a team that could come out of the West and make a lot of noise. I would rather face SF or SD then them.

      • Januz

        I happen to agree the Phillies have three very good starters (Halliday is of course, outstanding). But I would rather face them than St Louis. The big problem the Phils have is still Brad Lidge, and the bullpen, and in a close series, I would certainly go with Mariano & Co.

        • Hughesus Christo

          I have nightmares about Ryan Franklin and Blake Hawksworth

        • CS Yankee

          Doesn’t St Louis still have that Franklin closer dude who made the Dodgers look good last year? Lidge hasn’t cornered the market on blown saves and the Phils are a little stronger with the bats I believe (when healthy).

          I’m not sure either of those teams are better than the Braves and the real test will be Tampa in the LCS (Yankees win in 6 BTW)

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

            Doesn’t St Louis still have that Franklin closer dude who made the Dodgers look good last year?

            Ryan Franklin isn’t anything to be afraid of but that was really more due to that fly ball bouncing off Matt Holliday’s taint, no? (Of course, if Franklin just got the next out without imploding… but that’s another debate for another time.)

    • https://twitter.com/SteeeeveO Steve O.

      Page breaks are your friend, Januz.

      TLR is just an idiot. He’s not the root of their collapse, but he’s a part of it.

      • CS Yankee

        TLR is one of the all time great managers of the game. Name one other manager that could fall asleep with the car in drive while keeping his foot on the brake?

        HOF* worthy

        *= Jack Daniels Hall of Fame, Lynchburg, TN

        • https://twitter.com/SteeeeveO Steve O.

          I’m stumped. He was only charged $500, if memory serves.

    • Jobu

      First, Manny is not really Manny any more. I don’t really fear him like everyone should have five years ago.

      Second, I live in the DC area and just watch the Nationals beat the piss out of the Cardinals. I know it is only one series, but it was the Nationals and they beat the crap out of them . . . a lot of crap out of them . . . like the amount of crap left around the mound after a Curt Schilling start.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        First, Manny is not really Manny any more. I don’t really fear him like everyone should have five years ago.

        He’s been injured a lot, yeah, and he’s clearly not quite MVP candidate worthy. But have you seen his stats? His OPS is over .900. I think it was fourth among qualifiers in the NL.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      There is little doubt the Rays have the advantage because of the schedule

      I can follow this.

      and have to be considered the favorites to get to the World Series.

      I don’t follow this.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        I think he’s implying that if the Rays get HFA over us, you’d have to favor them over us in an ALCS.

        It’s wrong, but that’s the likely rationale.

        • Tom Zig

          Yankees need only to win 4 games to win the ALCS, they can steal one in Tampa and win all 3 in NY.

          Garza, Shields, and Niemann are all good pitchers but all are beatable.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            You: preaching
            Me: the choir

      • Januz

        At this point in time, I would put TB as the favorite. It is based on the favorable schedule leading to a division title, and everyone knows how good they are at home (Plus not having to face Cliff Lee twice in a 5 game series could be huge). Plus we don’t know about Andy’s health going forward.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          There is a big difference between “I would put TB as the favorite” and “have to be considered the favorites to get to the World Series.”

          I can see picking them as the favorite, but not to the point where they have to be considered the favorite.

        • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

          Both the Yankees and Rays are both good at home and good on the road. Also: right now the division winner would face Cliff Lee in the first round.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            That.

            The Twins and Rangers are pretty even, so there’s no way of knowing yet whether winning the division or winning the WC avoids Texas.

            Also, avoiding Texas and Cliff Lee may not even be what we want to do. Minnesota’s pitching (both starters and bullpen) looks much better than Texas’s at the moment.

    • Tom Zig

      Carpenter, Wainwright, Garcia & Westbrook

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etuPF1yJRzg

      (SFW)

  • Yank the Frank

    Lets just beat the A’s tonight and take it from there.

    • https://twitter.com/SteeeeveO Steve O.

      What if the Rays win too? Then what happens?

      (grabs popcorn)

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        (grabs Kit’s red velvet cupcakes)

        • Pat D

          Oh, boy, here we go.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder
            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              The unintentional double entendre in this clip is PRICELESS.

        • https://twitter.com/SteeeeveO Steve O.

          (gathers around Yank the Frank at campfire)

      • Yank the Frank

        Then we see what happens tomorrow night.

  • nathan

    Getting the legs fresh and rotation lined up for the postseason is far more important than winning the division, no matter how much we fans want another AL East crown.

    Thats dubious, i have never heard fans clamor for AL east crown. We only clamor for the WS. This year the emphasis is on the AL EAST because of the treacherous road in the playoffs, but would you rather meet the Rangers in the ALDS or ALCS.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Meh, fans clamor for both.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        Meh, fans clamor for both everything.

    • Januz

      I would rather see Lee and Wilson in a 7 game series. I don’t think the Rangers would beat the Yankees or Rays in seven, but with those two, and that lineup (Hamilton, Vlad, etc) five is very doable. My perference to play in order is. 1: Minnesota then Texas. 2: Chicago then Texas. 3: Texas then Minnesota. 4: Texas then Chicago. 5: Minnesota then Tampa. 6: Chicago then Tampa. 7: Texas then Tampa.

      • Apollo22237

        Texas and Tampa would be a tough one.

  • http://riveraveblues bob

    this years team may not be as good as other but i like the way they play we got cc and mo cano and tex and nick. no way this team could have best record in mlb but we do. I think everyone will be talking about the rays and rangers come oct and we will have a fresh arod andy AND I THINK AJ WILL WIN MVP ALCS WE ARE THE WORLD CAMPS I say here we are try and take it

  • Pat D

    Red Sox traded Delcarmen to the Rockies.

    I’m upset by this.

    • Ross in Jersey

      Why? Tie game, Yankee Stadium, 7th inning. Tex/A-rod/Cano due up.

      Boston’s going to…. Felix Dubront??

      • Pat D

        I’m upset because now we won’t have him around to ridicule any longer.