Random musings on a Friday

Mailbag: Ryan, Nunez, Park Factors, Super Twos
9/13-9/15 Series Preview: Boston Red Sox
(Rob Carr/Getty)
(Rob Carr/Getty)

1. I know I mentioned this on Twitter the other day, but can you imagine being a fan of the Orioles or Rays right now? As infuriating as the Yankees have been at times, I’m guessing fans of those two teams have had their fair share of angst as well. The Rays were tied for first as recently as a couple weeks ago. Instead of running away with the division, or at least securing the wild card spot, they’ve been pretty lousy. Now, they have the Yanks, Orioles, Indians, and even the Royals all breathing down their neck. As a fan, I suppose it’s still better to be rooting for the team being chased than the team doing the chasing, but yeesh, the Rays’ world must be pretty stressful at the moment. Ditto for the Orioles. Like the Yankees they are trying to make a final desperate run for that final playoff spot. The Yankees almost got swept by the Sox and yet the other wildcard contenders have nothing to show for it. That’s how it goes though sometimes. Baseball is odd.

2. Mike has talked about the bullpen workload of late, specifically how often Mariano Rivera has been called into duty. I get it. He’s retiring after the season. The team is at a critical point. They need Mo to be Mo whenever the occasion arises. But the man looks gassed out there, at least he did two nights ago. I was surprised, and thankful, last night that he pitched as efficiently as he did honestly. That’s what happens when you have a closer coming in basically every night of the week though, and sometimes for more than one inning of work – never mind the fact that the guy is in his forties. It’ll be cruel if the Yankees make the postseason and Mo is burnt out by the time they get there. Hopefully, the Yanks can string together some big wins (preferably against the Sox) and give the man a break. Frankly, the whole bullpen needs it. The team needs every player contributing at his peak, and a day or two off each week, might be the difference between blown saves and big wins over this final stretch. Unfortunately, that’s not something that Joe Girardi can control — particularly with the rotation being a mess. From a purely selfish standpoint, I also enjoy seeing Mo out there everyday. If this is the last we get to see of him, then let us enjoy it as often as possible.

3. Is anyone else frustrated with the team’s inability to grab a win without seemingly losing someone to injury? This year has been incredible in that regard. The other day it was Austin Romine, Ivan Nova, and Derek Jeter. Last night it was Brett Gardner. Things like this happen, but gosh, the Yanks have got to be setting some kind of dubious record for it this year. Of course, it goes without saying that losing Gardner hurts the lineup especially. Aside from being a fantastic outfielder and solid base runner, he’s been an important offensive force all year long. The team won’t be able to duplicate his contributions with any of the replacements. If a guy like Ichiro Suzuki takes over his lead-off spot, it’ll definitely represent a downgrade.

4. You know what’s funny? Alex Rodriguez is still a really important player. We saw this season how miserable the alternatives are. A-Rod, on the other hand, has had some big hits since returning, and has looked really sharp at the plate in general. Love him or hate him, he is a necessary part of the lineup. He’ll have to continue hitting well for the Yankees to make any kind of run into the playoffs. Also, I really enjoyed seeing him in the two spot these last few days. I think he’s done a good job there and I wouldn’t mind seeing that continue for the rest of the season.

5. Want some Friday humor? Well this is the best I got. My dream is that the Yankees make the World Series and A-Rod wins game seven on a walk off  home run, and as he rounds the bases he mimes the act of injecting steroids into himself and then flips the world off at home plate. Then in a beautifully terrible and ironic nightmare, Bud Selig is forced to award him the World Series MVP award. Alright, that’s all I got. Happy Friday.

Mailbag: Ryan, Nunez, Park Factors, Super Twos
9/13-9/15 Series Preview: Boston Red Sox
  • YankeeGrunt

    If Betances is healthy they need to try to find him some work. He’s really the only call-up with late inning potential (aside from Cabral as a LOOGY). He has had a few hiccups, but he was dynamite for SWB this year and if they can get him in a rhythm he may be their best chance for keeping Robertson and Mo fresh for the final stretch.

    • Havok9120

      Yeah, they need to work Dellin in in some capacity. He’s gonna be in the bullpen next season barring something totally unexpected, and desperate times, desperate measures, etc.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        You really have to wonder how much of a certainty that is anymore. Would it surprise anyone if he gets quietly released in the off-season at this point?

        • Havok9120

          Yes, actually. We’re gonna need some serious bullpen help. Just as a body in the Joba role would be useful.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            He’s not getting much of a chance to show them he’s even warm body material at the moment, though.

  • Kosmo

    I agree as I´m sure all Yankee fans would Arod has been indispensable. For that matter all the returnees + Soriano who is kind of a returnee.
    I´m sure Mariano says he´s good to go 100% of the time.

  • burnettscreamfilling

    you know i was thinking kind of the samething, though not as graphic, how cool would it be for Arod to win the WS MVP and Selig be forced to give him the trophy? that would be awesome just awesome.

    • Bartolo’s Colon

      Would be unbelievable, i find i am rooting for him now more than ever. i have always been a big a-rod fan and other than him running the bases, he has been awesome this year. plus if he really taunted the fans, that is just so great.

      even if somehow the yanks were to win the world series and a-rod had a monster series and single handedly won it, i just think there is no way they would actually select him a s MVP, no matter how great his performance was. Who actually chooses the MVP anyway, i would imagine it is some sort of MLB panel?

      • TCMiller30

        Mo will be WS MVP regardless of how he pitches in the WS if the yankees win it.

        • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

          Since he is god, he will probably win the MVP even if the Yanks lose.

    • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

      Someone (Vicki?) posted this the other day as well. My version has him taking the trophy and then telling Selig to suck his fat roided up (A)Rod.

      Btw, Viagra is a PED.

      Shit. I may have to change my screen name again.

  • burnettscreamfilling

    with the hitting finally stable i think the most important thing is to get CC and Kuroda back on track, if those 2 can pitch like the Aces they are, i don’t think it would be a stretch to say the Yanks could make some serious noise.

  • Eddard

    1. The Rays and Os just aren’t good clubs. Rays can’t hit, Os can’t pitch. Os don’t have as good a pen this year as we observed in this series. Once the Rays stopped hitting they went into a slide. Yankees have now combined pitching and hitting, except Hughes and CC.

    2. Mariano is emptying the tank and will pitch everyday for a week straight if that’s what it takes. I don’t suspect we’ll see him as much in the Sox series because the games are usually higher scoring.

    3. It’s been a nightmare season. Nova is the key injury because there’s nobody to take his place as staff ace. Hiroki has struggled, CC is a joke, Andy is pitching well but 41 and on his last legs.

    4. I like Alex. Once he came back they started winning again. They had that sweep in Chicago but that’s when Alex was still getting his sea legs under him. Let’s just hope that hamstring heals.

    5. That would be over the top even for Alex. Johnny Football did that and was crushed. I would like to see him get WS MVP but he should do it with class.

  • EricVA

    I was at the game last night. When Johnson threw the ball into CF on the bunt and then threw the ball away to lose the game, my O’s fan friend said, “this game is a perfect example of the entire season.”

    Last season Camden Yards was filled with O’s fans every time the Yankees were in town. It was a playoff atmosphere. Last night there were a ton of Yankees fans and O’s fans seemed demoralized.

    Also, regarding A-Rod. He’s playing like he doesn’t give a crap anymore and it’s kinda awesome to watch. I’m not even sure he cares if the Yankees win or lose, he just wants to go out with a bang.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Matt Warden

      Thanks for commenting EricVA. That’s a funny anecdote about your friend. I imagine that feeling is shared among many of the Baltimore faithful. I kind of feel like this year’s version of the O’s is how last year’s version should have performed.

      Also, I think I agree with your A-Rod stance.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        In reality, both teams should have performed closer to the middle.

        This O’s team is the worst in the league in 1 run games, while last years was the best. It’s silly to predict either of those outcomes, the reality is somewhere in between.

        • Captain

          I saw something on Twitter after the game last night that the O’s have lost 9 games in which they entered the 9th with a lead. they’ll most likely miss the postseason because of that which is funny because people outside of Baltimore will point to Johnson’s save total as a good thing when O’s fans will be pulling out their hair because of him.

  • Vern Sneaker

    The A-Rod scenario is hilarious and you know what — not 100% impossible, given how unpredicatable and wacky baseball can be. Only 99% unlikely, but still . . . .

  • the Other Steve S.

    Ray’s fans? Who are these Ray’s fans you speak of?

    • http://riveraveblues.com Matt Warden

      +1 Other Steve S.

    • Havok9120

      Lowest attendance again while in the midst of the playoff hunt for virtually the entire season.

      Surely the league and their owner can’t let this go on forever, can they?

      • pat

        Sadly, the Rays aren’t even MLB’s biggest problem in that state.

        • Havok9120

          I’m not sure about that. If Miami was competing, I’m pretty sure they’d pack that place. Meanwhile the Rays, while being a perennial contender for much of the last decade, can’t climb out of the bottom five in attendance.

          • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

            Miami seems like the epitome of hot or cold. When the team is good, the city will likely flock to support them, but otherwise, there’s just far too much to do in Miami to care about a bad baseball team.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              The only non-bandwagon fans in that town are Dolphin fans and Miami Hurricane football fans.

              Keep in mind who else besides the shit Marlins plays in that town. I’m not even sold that there’s much of a diehard Heat fanbase.

              The Marlins don’t deserve fans.

              • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

                Total agreed about Heat fans.

          • pat

            Well I was thinking about how Miami begged their taxpayers for a new building then sold off everything that wasn’t nailed down and pocket the difference.

            • Havok9120

              Yeah, Loria’s a problem and I agree the league sees him as such. But I also think the long-term potential viability of Tampa/Miami would be a more important consideration. And I think Tampa, or at least St. Pete, has proven totally and completely untenable as a site for an MLB team.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                Loria’s certainly a problem. So was Henry. So was Huizenga.

                Folks forget that, before Henry somehow found a bag of cash in a dumpster somewhere, he was yet another Marlins onwer crying proverty.

                1997 changed everything. They could have built a strong fanbase and packed that stadium with Latin American fans who grew up on baseball. It was a beautiful thing to go around Miami and watching each country have their heroes. You had South Americans and Renteria, Cubans and Livan, and the one white guy in Miami and Jeff Conine. *snare* Breaking that team apart told that potential fanbase that business came before winning and building a connection, though. They never recovered.

                The fact that they’ve done the same things twice over since, INCLUDING a month after building that stadium, for which they knocked down the fucking ORANGE BOWL for, is more disgusting than Alex Rodriguez injecting himself with bits of Jhonny Peralta on the field any day.

                Blow that shit up, MLB.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        St. Pete’s mayor is up for re-election this fall, you can bet the Rays are throwing big money ($2500?) at his opponent so they can at least look into getting out of that lease.

  • Caballo Sin Nombre

    The Yankees seem to lose a player every time they win. But the Yankees have shown they can win even with replacement-level players. So the obvious solution is to get about 130 replacement-level players. They can sacrifice one to injury in exchange for each win, so they could easily win over 100 games and still fill a roster. With 140 such players, they could go all the way.

    • Havok9120

      This….this is genius.

    • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

      I’ve been through the desert…

  • Pat D

    If #5 happened, I would never stop laughing.

    Frankly, I’m so sick of non-Yankees fans that I know giving me shit about anything Yankees related, that I would just go full heel on them and tell them that it’s too bad their team sucks.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      I just can’t stand the people who have tunnel vision on ARod with this whole PED thing.

      I seriously heard a woman in Camden Yards(who was a Yankee fan until last year, then mysteriously switched allegiances to baltimore, or so she claimed) say that she respected RYAN BRAUN because he apologized, but could never forgive a fraud like the cheating Arod bastard.

      I mean, look. I expect cognitive dissonance from most people. But at some point it’s just ridiculous.

      • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

        When I went to Tropicana Field a few weeks ago, I heard the same kind of shit from somebody, about how Ryan Braun at least took his suspension like a man.

        I could swear, the fact that I try to remain respectful in the presence of people is the only reason I wasn’t overcome by maniacal laughter in the ensuing split second that followed. Seriously, some people are just thoroughly deranged. And, while there are some Rays fans I know and have respect for (two of whom are my brothers), it’s assholes like that who would make the Rays collapsing from the playoffs altogether be something that I would just thoroughly revel in.

        • Pat D

          Just goes to show how fucking stupid some people are.

          Sure, Braun took his suspension like a man. Only after denying it for two years and basically destroying the reputation of a sample collector.

          • vicki

            and spending the season injured and playing for a non-contender.

      • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

        People believe Fox “News” so what do you expect?

        (Yeah I went there)

        • Kenny

          Some people even believe MSNBC. So what can you expect?

  • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

    The silliest part of the A-Rod fiasco is if MLB had treated him like any other player, he’d probably get suspended for 50 games, be treated the same way by fans of other teams, but most of us Yankee fans who have jumped on the ARod bandwagon would likely not be rooting for him nearly as fervently. He very well might not have even appealed, depending on how quickly it was made official.

    Selig handled this whole thing about as stupidly as we should expect him to.

    • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

      Pretty much. The stupidity of how MLB handled it, plus the fact that assholes like Dempster decided to take out his own personal agenda on a national stage the way he did, has given us all the ammo we need to support ARod like hell despite the fact that he has a pretty strong dirtbag reputation by this point.

      ‘cuz, well, he might be a dirtbag, but he’s our dirtbag. As I said a couple nights ago – there’s plenty I don’t agree with regarding ARod, but as long as he’s a Yankee, I will back him 100%. You can bet every time he came up at Tropicana Field, I was clapping.

      Dumbass baseball fans can go screw themselves.

      • Havok9120

        It doesn’t help that so many people are really determined to take things personally. Any success by ARod, or person that doesn’t despise him, is taken as a personal affront. This can be expanded to the Yankees as a whole.

        • vicki

          it’s aristotle’s mimesis and catharsis, and it goes to why we watch sports in the first place. i’m thrilled alex has risen to it; he was so awkward and too eager to please for a long time.

          me, i don’t get how papi can be considered a good guy. even irrespective of the juicing.

          • Twains Yankee

            Liberal Arts College or Classics major?

          • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

            I knew there was a reason I love you. Now I know there are several.

          • silvio

            He’s the pharmakos.

            • vicki

              stealing it.

  • mike

    nothing would make me happier than Alex finishing off a monster season, then having all winter a huge lawsuit where his attorneys go bezerk and subpoena the “list” and every GM to say with a straight face under oath they had no idea steroids were in the game….

    • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

      Subpoena the list. Now THERE is a screen name.

      My devolution continues…

      I’m not the droids you’re looking for…
      Selig is an opportunistic hypocrite
      I’m a looser baby, so why don’t you kill me?

      Contemplating: BTW, Viagra is a PED


      Subpoena the list


      • I’m One

        Either is a good one.

      • vicki

        you’re droids! i knew i liked you too.