Thoughts following the back-to-back wins over the Orioles

(Patrick Smith/Getty)

(Patrick Smith/Getty)

Thanks to their back-to-back come from behind wins over the Orioles, the Yankees are right back in the thick of the wildcard hunt with 16 games to play. Yeah, just 16 games left. The end of the season is right around the corner. Here are some thoughts as we await the final of this four-game series against Baltimore:

1. The Yankees crept to within two games of the second wildcard spot in the loss column, and you know what the most ridiculous thing is? They haven’t evenly played all that well recently. They’ve lost four of their last seven games — the Red Sox just demolished them over the weekend, that was ugly — and trailed in all three wins. The Rays are letting New York and every other team right back into the race. Tampa has dropped five of their last six games and 13 of their last 17 to fall from tied atop the AL East to eight back in the loss column. Last night, in the biggest moment of their season (to date), Joe Maddon brought the pitcher former known as Fausto Carmona out of the bullpen. He promptly walked the bases loaded and surrendered a grand slam. You kinda deserve to collapse when you do that. The Yankees were going to need some help to climb out of the hole they dug themselves a few weeks ago, and the Rays have happily obliged. The Bombers just have to start playing a little better to finish this thing off.

2. Can you imagine where New York would be right now if they had gotten anything out of CC Sabathia this season? I was pretty optimistic about him coming into this year because he finished 2012 well (ALCS Game Four notwithstanding) and had his elbow cleaning up over the winter, but boy was I wrong. Think about it, Sabathia’s has been replacement level this year (0.2 bWAR). Replacement level! Nearly 200 innings (198, to be exact) of 4.82 ERA (4.15 FIP) ball. That’s hard to believe and tough to swallow. Obviously Sabathia isn’t the only reason the Yankees are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, but there’s no doubt he has played a big role in the team’s general mediocrity this summer. I think we all knew CC would decline during the course of his contract, but I don’t think many expected to see him go from ace to fifth starter in one year. Yuck.

(Patrick Smith/Getty)

(Patrick Smith/Getty)

3. I’m convinced Derek Jeter will return next season. I don’t see him going out like this, not in a million years. He’ll pick up his $9.5M player option and work like hell this offseason to make sure there are no more physical issues next year. I’m sure of it. At the same time, I don’t see any way the Yankees can count on him in 2014. I think they need to go out and find a permanent shortstop solution this winter so they can treat Jeter as a full-time DH who can step in and play the field on occasion. If he can do more than that, great. I just wouldn’t expect it. I know he’s Derek frickin’ Jeter and a god around these parts, but we are talking about a 39-year-old shortstop who lost what amounts to a full season with a series of leg injuries. The Yankees should plan for the worst because guys like that usually don’t come back and be productive.

4. Hypothetical: what happens if, after the season, Andy Pettitte decides he wants to pitch again in 2014? He had that really ugly stretch after coming off the DL, but he has been vintage Andy of late. Not dominant, but steady and reliable. Pettitte is already the oldest starting pitcher in baseball at 41 and he’s shown that he’s not physically up to the rigors of a full season, meaning 30+ starts of 100+ pitches. The Yankees will need pitching next year and, despite that hiccup a few weeks ago, I think most people would welcome Andy back with open arms. What’s a reasonable cost though? He’ll earn $12M this year and I don’t see any way the team could give him a raise. If Pettitte wants to come back, I think my absolutely maximum would be $10M for the year. Preferably, I’d guarantee him like $6M with incentives that kick in around 20 starts or so. Let’s say a $6M base salary plus $500k for every start after number 20, giving him a chance to match this season’s $12M salary if he manages to make a full 32 starts. Reasonable? That would be a pain to work into the luxury tax-drive payroll, but I think it’s fair considering Andy’s expected production and marquee value to the franchise.

Categories : Musings


  1. 28 this year says:

    Its a tough race because the Yanks are so close but there are three teams right on their tail. Its gonna take a lot of winning from the Yankees and continued failure from the Rays.

  2. Slugger27 says:

    thank you maddon for that terrible decision despite your “never mistake a mistake/walk on water” reputation.

    also, thank you for mcgee against soriano.

  3. I’m kind of surprised you didn’t mention Texas in that opening header too. They are on the same 3-10 skid that the Rays are currently on, and it has opened up not just the WC2 spot that we all were hoping the Yankees would flag down, but now the WC1 spot is opening up, too. Yankees are only 3.5 off the pace of hosting the wild card game, and the Rangers have a tough schedule coming up – three vs. Oakland, four at Tampa, and three at KC. Yes, the same KC team that is 4.5 behind Texas but running 6th in this wild card race. Absurdly packed race right now, no room for slip-ups from the Yankees.

    Pretty remarkable. And also pretty irritating to think where the Yankees would sit if they had won a couple of those games from Boston last week.

  4. CountryClub says:

    Obviously, the yanks lost 3 of 4 vs Boston over the weekend. But saying they got destroyed is going a little overboard. They could have (and maybe should have?) won the first 2 games. It’s not like they were getting beat 15-2.

    That said, all the good that came from winning 3 of the past 4 can be erased over this next 4 game stretch. Hopefully they can at least split these 4. Winning 3 would be awesome.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Their pitching certainly got destroyed, no matter how valiant the fight was.

      We’ve seen this movie before, though, and this team can just as easily walk right back into Fenway and embarrass the mangy beards off of the Sox. Anything and evertying can happen when those two teams get together, no matter who the personnel is. Best rivalry in baseball.

      • MannyGeee says:

        And to add to this, its LITERALLY like this every season. NYY/BOS play each other SO HARD year in and year out, regardless of who is where in the standings. Best rivalry in American sports, not just baseball.

        • gc says:

          Historically speaking, it’s not much of a rivalry though. The Yankees are 182 games over .500 against Boston all-time, 1151 wins -969 losses. (Interestingly, against Detroit the Yankees are “only” 117 games over .500, 1051W-934L)

          The much better baseball rivalries are…

          Cardinals vs Cubs, the Cubs are ahead 1110-1073 (difference of just 37 games)

          and Dodgers vs Giants, where the Giants lead 1114-1097 (difference of just 17 games!!!)

          I will say that Boston/Yankees is easily the most over-hyped baseball rivalry, and indeed, the games have been much closer over the past decade or so, but Alec Baldwin was right when he said, “For the last time, this is not a rivalry, just like fire doesn’t have a rivalry with kindling, lawn mowers don’t have a rivalry with grass, and the United States doesn’t have a rivalry with Costa Rica.”

          • jjyank says:

            Disagree. I don’t think the value of a rivalry is derived purely from how close the historical head to head records are. When I think of the rivalry, I think more about the fan reactions to the games, to players getting hit and the benched clearing, to the fact that Fox and ESPN chomp at the bit to air those games nationally, etc.

            And while funny, that Alex Baldwin quote really makes no sense. I hate the Red Sox, but they are most certainly not kindling, grass, or Costa Rica.

            • gc says:

              Of course passion plays a role, but I’ve always felt the whole rivalry thing has meant FAR more to Boston fans than it has to Yankee fans. Yankee fans reveled in the joy of being able to gloat about it for decades because, well, the Yankees were dominating them. And I did mention that the games have gotten much closer in the past decade or so, and with that, the ratings increase, the networks tear themselves to pieces to schedule bullshit Sunday night games that don’t end until well after midnight where both teams have to fly halfway across the country the next day, and there we are.

              I couldn’t care less about the bean-balls or benches clearing. Fan reaction to the games are ALWAYS going to be extreme and way out of proportion. In the end, though, those records DO matter. In just about every measurable way, the Yankees have CLEARLY been the better team. The best rivalries are when both teams are so close in terms of won/loss, and considering how often these two teams play each other and the overall Boston inferiority complex to New York City, I feel that the whole thing has been way overblown in relation to what has actually happened on the field. Historically speaking.

              I’m also aware my opinion is in the minority. Most fans have bought into the media blitz (and once more, their records have been much more even in the past decade). But I just have never really bought into it to the degree that most fans have. To me, Boston is just another team in the way.

              • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

                I mean also, this has been a real rivalry ever since I’ve been of rooting age. 90% if not more of the historical games were played before I was born.

              • Havok9120 says:

                You know, it’s actually possible that a lot of people are just more excited than you about the games. It doesn’t mean they’ve been duped or “bought into” the media hype. For people my age, those “closer games” are all we remember, and even for older fans the more recent games will play a big role in shaping their perceptions.

                • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

                  Although, I frequently won’t even stay up when the teams play on Sunday night anymore. 5 hour game with 400 commercial breaks, 9 pitchers and 400 pitches? No thanks. I’d like to avoid getting fired for sleeping at work.

                  • Havok9120 says:

                    It’s a major advantage of the Central Timezone. I get the game an hour earlier (but still after work/class) and it’ll almost always end at a very reasonable hour.

                  • John webber says:

                    The only thing you forgot was listening to Tim McCarver telling you how much he knows about the game, can,t figure out why he is not a manger,GM and owner all warped up into one.

                • gc says:

                  Yes, of course it’s possible. As I said, passion does play a role, as does age. But you have to acknowledge that the media HAS tended to overplay a lot of this as well. I mean, hyping games in April and May as if they’re the end of the world. Newspapers with outrageous headlines about a loss in June. Close games will definitely shape the perception, but so will the media reaction (or over-reaction).

                  • Havok9120 says:

                    Oh, no doubt. But they didn’t pick Boston out of a hat when looking to hype up some Yanks games. Nor was it all a result of 2003 and 2007, since the media did quite a lot of hyping in the pre-03 years as well, from what I can recall.

                    It’s definitely a combination of the two, but I think it’s hard to claim that, because of the historical records, records which date back a century, the rivalry is somehow “less real/important” than rivalries between teams with closer records. If for no other reason than the Yankees spent a pretty solid portion of the last century demolishing every opponent.

                  • toad says:

                    The sports media wildly over-hypes everything. It’s nauseating.

                    Every game is the most important ever, every good play spectacular, every issue the most important thing in the world. Talk about hyperventilating over nothing. They really are ridiculous.

                    That said, I think the perception of the Red Sox – Yankees rivalry has a lot to do with age. When I was growing up the Red Sox were just another AL also-ran and the enemy was the Dodgers. I know that’s changed, but I can’t get quite as excited as others over the whole thing, and I even live in Boston.

                    On the other hand, maybe that’s why. There’s a tremendous amount of incredible a$$hole behavior about it, like cursing at people driving cars with NY plates, so everyone needs to calm down.

                    They are some good games, though.

                • Betty Lizard says:

                  Central Time and baseball: The only thing that makes up for the pain of living inland.

  5. Tim says:

    While those two games were huge, this one is as well. There is a very good chance that Boston wins again today based on the pitching matchup, bullpen status and current play of both teams. With Boston on deck NY can’t afford to lose 3 of 4 at this point. Getting today’s game distances them from Baltimore and doesn’t make the Boston series as much of a must win.

    After the weekend the outlook is much better for NY since Tex/TB/Balt have games against each other or other contenders and KC and Cle still have each other (and Det for KC). NY will have a chance to gain distance on someone each night they win.

  6. Robinson Tilapia says:

    …..or they need to find the best UTL option possible. The question is whether that player who is both an actual upgrade over Eduardo Nunez can step in for Derek, if he winds up either missing additional time or can’t handle the field even 2/3 time, is out there.

    I’m a sentimental ass for Andy Pettitte, but it has its limits. I’ve never been an advocate for guaranteeing him a rotation spot. Yes, I’d strongly consider bringing him back if he feels up to it, but I also don’t think your leash should be infinite with a 40+ starting pitcher who, despite still showing streaks of awesomeness, is just as likely to show strong symptoms of how old he actually is. It also shouldn’t stop the Yanks from pursuing a Garza or Tanaka.

    Remember that Boston team from last weekend? Time to do better against them this weekend.

    I don’t except CC to stay at #5 starter, and certainly didn’t expect him to pitch like one until the tail end of his deal, but point taken.

    • Maybe this time when Stephen Drew gets a better offer from the Yankees, the turd will take it.

      • fabricio says:

        idk about that the guy gets injured somewhat easily already so maybe johnny peralta?

        • Silvio says:

          Highlarious! Why bother with the question mark when you don’t use periods, commas, semi’s, or caps? Whazzat? some dim memory of fourth grade?

      • MannyGeee says:

        The only reason I even came on to comment… I think Drew in Pinstripes next season is damn near inevitable. Which kinda sorta bums me out.

        Good thing they’ll be rid of the contract of the only guy whos been consistently hitting in November for 2014, amirite?? Biogenesis, huzzah!

  7. Skip says:

    I think you’re discounting the effect of having any type of surgery. From a layperson standpoint, having an elbow “cleaned out” or undergoing debridement sounds way less severe than having Tommy John Surgery or even having bone chips removed. However, a surgery is a surgery and is a major impact to the body. I think CC has had some problems adjusting his mechanics as a sequelae of his surgery. I also think that given a healthy offseason, rest and mechanical adjustments, I think CC will rebound next year.

    Basically, I’m nowhere near as pessimistic about CC as you are, Mike.

    • ROBTEN says:


      Maybe CC has fallen off a cliff, but it is also equally possible that a) the elbow issue was more than it was reported and, as a result, he’s changed his mechanics; b) the elbow issue was as reported but still led to a change in mechanics; c) that his elbow is still injured and will require additional investigation this off-season.

      I think it’s likely we’ll find out after the season that, like A-Rod in the playoffs last year, he’s playing when he shouldn’t be because there are no real alternatives. Now, we can debate whether that’s a good idea, but given the state of the pitching staff, it wouldn’t surprise me that this was the case.

      • I'm a looser baby so why don't you kill me? says:

        I think we just need to set him up with Fresh Direct delivering like a gross of boxes of Cap’n Crunch each week in the offseason and he’ll be an ace again in 2014.

        Not super kidding.

  8. FLYER7 says:

    Yankees need to tread water with Sox and Jays and then take it to the Giants, Rays and Stros to the tune of 8 of last 9 to win the wildcard

  9. gc says:

    1. The Yankees crept to within two games of the second wildcard spot in the loss column, and you know what the most ridiculous thing is? They haven’t evenly played all that well recently. They’ve lost four of their last seven games — the Red Sox just demolished them over the weekend, that was ugly — and trailed in all three wins.

    Well Mike, I would say that more than anything, they haven’t PITCHED all that well recently, especially in those losses, but they also scored a shit-ton of runs against Boston during that series, and were very much in those first two games (and probably should have won them both…that sure would make things look differently in the standings right now, wouldn’t it?!). So yeah, I get it, they lost those games, but they also displayed some pretty tremendous comeback capabilities in some of those losses that seems to have carried over to what they’ve been doing in Baltimore so far. Who knows if gets them to the playoffs, but one thing I do see in this team right now is BELIEF. As I said, it might not be enough, but there are 16 games left in the season and the Yankees are playing meaningful games. Enjoy it while we can!

  10. Matt DiBari says:

    I don’t think Andy Pettitte is coming back next year.

    But if he wants to how can you not take him back? Sorry Andy, but we really want to see what Adam Warren brings to the table?

  11. If the Yankees can survive the next four games, then they have nine games with cellar dwellars and the Rays in the middle of all of that.

    Just have to get there first.

  12. Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

    2 games with 16 to play when we still have to play the Sox is a tall order.

    One thing we’re forgetting is that we have several non-Yankee teams to worry about too, and we’re not playing that well. I think it’s very possible we pass Tampa because they’re playing so badly and then lose the wild card anyway.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      Have you been watching the non-Yankee teams? Like, at all? Because they suck too. It’s almost as if everyone has colluded to make it interesting, given how many things had to go right for the race to end up this close.

      Your first statement is just silly. You can just as easily say 2 games with 16 to play when we still have the Jays, Astros and Giants is a piece of cake. The truth is somewhere in between.

      We have a chance. It’s basically playoff baseball in September, and I’m enjoying the hell out of it. Whatever may come.

      • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

        Why is the first statement silly? Seems like common sense. We’re about to play the hottest team in baseball. Sure, we have an easy schedule afterward, but we have to get through them first.

        Of course I have. The Rays suck. The Indians are behind us at this moment….barely. The O’s can pull ahead with a win tonight. And our biggest challenge, honestly, is the Orioles.

        I look at the loss column, I don’t really care if it’s technically one game.

        I still don’t see it. Our pitching is just not good enough.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

          Whatever. You can find any reason to be negative. Enjoy.

          • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

            All rightie then? Being negative makes people angry, I get that. I’ve stopped really caring about that. It’s like the “true fan” moniker. When it comes down to it, who gives a shit if you make the arbitrary standards of “true fan”? I want to have fun watching my team, and if they’re losing a lot it isn’t fun. If that makes me not a “true fan”, whatever.

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

              I don’t care about being a “true” fan. I don’t think I said anything even remotely accusing you of not being a fan.

              But focusing only on the negatives is annoying, yes. You choose to look at the boston series. I choose to look at every other series. We have more winnable games than not. If you want to zone in on the 3 most losable, you can.

              • Kenny says:

                Who cares if he’s “negative”? or if this annoys you. Who you? Somebody important? Some sort of Li’l Miss Sunshine, board censor? Accentuate the positive?
                Eliminate the negative?

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      Also, it’s 2 games in the loss column. It’s 1 game, though.

    • Havok9120 says:

      Jays, Giants, and ‘Stros don’t factor into your first sentence, why?

      I mean, of course it’s a tall order. They’re back with just 16 to play in a very tight race. But there isn’t a single team in the mix that’s been regularly distinguishing itself over the last two months. I can understand not wanting to get your hopes up, but you seem to just be going out of your way to see absolutely no positives. Including possibly the most important positive: this is a ton of fun.

      • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

        Oh, this is fun to watch.

        If we had any sort of pitching besides D-Rob, okay. And we CAN do it. I just don’t see it.

        I mean, saying this doesn’t particularly bother me. So I end up wrong. Cool! It doesn’t particularly matter to me if I am. A lot of people who don’t predict positive outcomes seem really worried that they’ll have to eat crow.

        But really, who cares? I figure I might as well say how I feel about this and if I’m wrong, great, say what you want to me. I don’t even know any of you, you’re faceless people on the internet. Heckling won’t kill me.

        • Havok9120 says:

          Fair enough. Just seems like an awfully Greg-like way to “enjoy” a tight playoff race, is all. If I felt as you do I’d probably have gone into full-on football mode a couple weeks ago.

          • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

            I try to get really into football, and I love my Giants, but it just doesn’t have the same draw to me. It’s hard to really throw myself into something when they only play once a week. One game, and then a week of talking about it.

            Don’t get me wrong, I like football a lot. When the G-Men won their super bowls it was amazing. But despite my complaining, the Yankees are always going to be my team.

            I think it’s a joke that people criticize baseball for being slow moving when in football there is, literally, more non-game going on then game. Seriously, it’s a one hour game stretched over three. And the penalties drive me nuts too.

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

              16 minutes of action packed into 3.5 hours of TV.

              • jjyank says:

                Yup. I can’t stand football fans who criticize baseball as being “too slow”. It’s almost as if they’ve never paid attention to the football games. Ten seconds of action, followed by 3 minutes of standing around, repeated a few times, then a commercial break.

                Don’t get me wrong, I like football. But yeah, that’s a poor reason for football fans to dislike baseball.

            • Havok9120 says:

              Agreed on all points regarding football. Though I follow the Giants almost as rabidly as I do the Yanks once the Yankee’s season ends.

            • Carlyle says:

              I love football, but it lacks the suspense and drama of baseball, a much more intellectual game. It’s why limited folks go on about “no action.” There’s too damn much action in baseball, enough to wear a man out. This business about lack of “action” in baseball started in the late 60s and just built from there, hand in hand with the cultural plague of attention deficit disorder that now afflicts the American people, virtually wholesale. RUN THROW JUMP DO THINGS ALL THE TIME KEEP ME FROM BEING BORED WITH MYSELF. HEY, WHERE’S MY PHONE, etc

              As others have pointed out (one hour game stretched out over 3 hours), though, it’s not as if there’s all this non-stop “action” in football. Hell they’re always stopping the “action.”

  13. mt says:

    Rays losing has kept us in it and Baltimore has a tough remaining schedule on paper – (although after Boston clinches AL East will Boston rest a lot of players? – Baltimore still has 6 games with Red Sox, I think).

    I ma really worried about Cleveland, who has the easiest remaining schedule (White Sox for 6, Astros for 4, Twins for 4, etc.) – the only contender Indians play is Royals next week for 3 games and if they lose to Royals, that may help Royals pass the Yankees in standings. Seeing Nick Swisher in playoffs – where he will probably rake for a change – while Yanks sit at home is not something to which I look forward (in addition to AJ Burnett and Russell Martin, of course).

    We are so close to playoffs but still odds are against us with number of teams involved – I am trying to be optimistic but I can’t help but thinking that even though we have been offensively challenged for most of year given how other teams have lost and kept us in wild card race to this poinand our offense/power has picked up, we will eventually look back and pitching – failure of CC to be at least average in second half, the failure to address the fifth starter spot disaster (Hughes/Huff coupled with Pineda/Phelps/Nuno injuries) and the untimely disappearing injured set-up crew (Kelley, Robertson, Logan resulting in overuse of Mo) – will eventually be the reason we may have failed at end.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      Russell Martin has just flat out collapsed the last month.

      wrc+ of 21 in september. Obviously he’s been WAY better than anything we’ve put behind the plate, but yeesh.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      And actually, if you look at it as a 5 team race (TB,BAL,CLE,NY,KC), 20% means we’re pretty much the definition of even money.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I get the sentiment with Swish, Martin, etc., but players move on. This is part of being a fan.

      I still love the way Swisher approaches the game and, if weren’t there competing, then it might as well be him doing it. Besides, we need some GARBAGE TIME in our threads.

  14. Chris Z. says:

    RE: Andy’s Marque value to the Yankees:

    Marque value is starting to hurt the team where it counts, on the field! We already saw what happens when the team plays well. People go to games. When they win, they draw. When they don’t…well they dont.

    At this point how many people are specifically buying tickets to see Andy pitch? Is anyone? If he comes back for the 6 mill plus bonus then great but don’t bring him back simply because he is one of the core 4 and you think that can be sold. People care about seeing Jeter, thats basically it now.

    Andy at anything above 7-8 mill would hurt the team.

    • Havok9120 says:

      They drew over three million in attendance in their worst season in over 5 years, and one of their two or three worst seasons of the last 18. Somehow I’m not sure I see them changing the “marque” formula all that much if they can avoid it.

      And, yes, people still buy tickets to see Andy. He’s not Mo/Jeter popular, but he, like Jorge, is still a home crowd favorite. And they don’t really have a ton of better options.

    • Evan3457 says:

      Marque value is an interesting concept, but I’m more interested in someone on the Yankee staff showing a little Reprisal value against somebody on the Sox this weekend for Dempster/A-Rod.

      I know, I know, they’re in the race, so it won’t happen. Joe G doesn’t do that…etc., etc. etc.

  15. mt says:

    Love Andy Pettite’s competitiveness but feel Yanks need to move away from aging pitcher syndrome, especially if they bite the bullet and re-sign Kuroda. If CC acted like an ace this year, they may not feel as much pressure to try to sign Kuroda but obviously CC has looked shaky.

    Andy would have to substantially reduce his salary for me to feel good about him coming back, especially if they stick to $189 million plan.

  16. Eddard says:

    1. The Rays can’t score, that’s their problem. They need to keep losing.

    2. They’d be competing with the Sox for the division. CC has been as terrible as Roberto Hernandez and he needs to go in the offseason.

    3. The Captain will be back. He won’t go out like this. He may play a different position, though. If Alex is gone next season then Jete can slide over the 3rd and Eduardo Nuney can step into that Yankee SS position.

    4. He won’t. Andy is done, Mo is done. Girardi can try to talk them out of it all he wants but they are old men and they are on their last legs. This is it for them, that’s why you’re seeing Girardi use them as much as possible. They are emptying their tanks.

  17. NeilT says:

    I just want to see what happens when there’s a 6-way tie for the 2 WC spots… or better a 7-way tie including a tie for the AL West, with the A’s getting reeled back in by the Rangers. Figure that one out, Bud & Joe!

  18. JLC 776 says:

    Hell of a year…

    Mike, I think your thoughts are right on point. It’s amazing to look objectively at where we are and muse about what worked, what hasn’t, and how we amazingly managed to get here. CC’s case is certainly at the top of my list. Everyone wants to focus on Hughes, but there’s a bigger elephant (excuse the pun) on the team.

    16 games is a freaking eternity. Right now there are lots of teams trying to back their way into that second WC slot, but let’s face it, ANYONE can suddenly get hot and take it by storm. Don’t think for one second that Cleveland, Baltimore, or even Kansas City are done.

    Going to be a fun few weeks!

    Hughes is going 7 strong tonight. Count on it.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      The race is insane. I love this time of year!

      • JLC 776 says:

        It really is! Nothing better than September baseball. Say what you will about the play-in WC game, the races to get there have been incredible.

        • Havok9120 says:

          This year. Last season bombed in that respect due to the proliferation of playoff spots.

          Honestly, I think MLB made a good trade off if this kind of thing happens even semi-regularly (and I think it will). This opens up exciting Septembers for all sorts of fans who have no business paying attention to baseball this late in the season.

          • JLC 776 says:

            The national league sucked, but at this point last year there were five or six teams still in the WC hunt (along with AL East and AL West hunt). But, yeah, I think it’s better for the fans on balance.

            • Havok9120 says:

              Yeah, if by “in the hunt” you mean 3-4games back with 2 weeks to play. One each of Oakland/Texas and Baltimore/Yankees was almost a lock for most (all) of September. And even that took our comically bad collapse during The Summer of Injuries.

              Not to mention that it sucked a good proportion of the drama out of two of the three AL divisional races. Sure, nobody wanted the play-in game, but all four contenders had spots which were theirs to lose for a pretty significant chunk of the season, including most/all of the stretch run.

          • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

            It happened semi-regularly anyway though.

            I actually have to agree with Mitch Williams. This is fine and all, but it has to be a best two of three game wild card series. This one and done crap is incredibly unfair. The rest of the analysts compared it to football playoffs and college basketball. This isn’t football or basketball, it’s the MLB. After 162 games, it should never be one and done. It’s ridiculous.

            • Havok9120 says:

              It didn’t happen for this many teams is more my point. If this kind of race will happen more often it gives a LOT of fans reason to keep paying attention to their baseball team once football season starts. Which is a big deal to non-perennial contenders and teams not based in Tampa.

              I do agree that it needs to be best of 3 though. One game is nonsense.

              • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

                If it was best of three, I could get behind this. That’s really my biggest beef by far.

              • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

                Best of 3 would also seem to give the other teams a break, as they’d be off for 4-5 days.

                I know I know I know “momentum” and all that. Bullshit. Which team wouldn’t want to have 4 days off to reset the rotation and heal up all the nicks and bruises?

                • jjyank says:

                  I’m somewhere in the middle of that. A break is nice for rest purposes, but players can cool off and lose their stride too. Anyone remember the 2007 Rockies? They took the NL by storm in September, and swept the NLCS. But then they had to wait 4-5 days for the World Series, because the ALCS went too long. And we all know what happened next.

                  That said, I do think the WC battle should be a best of 3.

                  • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

                    Boston was head and shoulders better than Colorado, though.

                    • jjyank says:

                      Yeah, I know. Just the first thing that popped into my head. I do think there’s something to momentum. Maybe not for the team as a whole, but for individual players. If a guy is hitting .350/.450/.600 over a couple weeks, do you want to give him 5 days off? Hell no, ride that streak while it lasts.

                      Again, I think having a best of 3 WC series is more important that the idea of momentum, but I do think it exists.

                    • MannyGeee says:

                      Hard to mention “2004-7 Red Sox” and any shampoo product in the same sentence, isn’t it?

                • JLC 776 says:

                  It’s a real tough balance. One game is BS. Too many and the other team will bitch if they lose, saying the break was too long…

                  Here’s something crazy – how about three games in two days in two cities? The team with the better record (or wins the coin flip) hosts a double-header. If game 3 is necessary, it’s a night game at the other city on the next day.

                  Way too gimmicky, but fun to think about.

                  • jjyank says:

                    Fun to think about, but there’s the obvious logistical problem if the two teams are on opposite coasts.

                    • JLC 776 says:

                      That would make it more fun! Send your game 3 starter to the next city ahead of time, just in case? You’d lose them for Game 2…

                      Then imagine if Game 1 of the DS were back on the opposite coast?

                      Good times.

    • Evan3457 says:

      7 what?

      7 batters?

      7 outs?

  19. Mike HC says:

    If Pettitte wanted to return it would definitely have to be at a major discount, incentive laden deal. But I doubt he is coming back regardless of how this season ends.

  20. brian says:

    1. Yup, I’ve said all along I think the yanks get the 2nd wild card spot.. and i’ve also said I don’t really care UNLESS they win that 1 game playoff, real playoffs start game 1 of division series

    2. CC doesn’t have the pinpoint control to accommodate a loss in velocity as well as certain others, he’ll still be good but I think his days as a legit #1 for a contending team are over

    3. Mike is on point with Jeter on all fronts… he’s def coming back, and he’ll probly play a pretty full season, but the team can’t count on him anymore, he has to be seen as a bonus, not a given

  21. Frank says:

    Yanks are somehow in this thing despite their pitching going south and now a depleted BP. However, they can’t keep throwing Mo out there in the 8th inning even if he is retiring. D-Rod also can’t be used alot since almost every appearance by him is a high wire act in which he throws almost 20 pitches. I like Kelley, but not that much. The luster appears to have worn off a bit on Claiborne. That said, Girardi is going to have to rely at some point on Cabral and Betances in a key spot. Overall, however, the starting pitching is key. Unlike most of you, I’ve never been a big CC fan and was against his extension in 2011. I see continued mediocrity for the remainder of his Yankees career. I for one am not surprised at all with where he’s at. Kuroda, Pettitte and Nova will have to carry this team for as far as they go. Hughes? No way. As for the schedule, I wouldn’t be too quick at assuming the Yanks can skate against the Jays, Giants and Astros (assuming they are still in it after this weehkend or after playing the Rays). The Jays handled the Yanks quite well in their last meeting and the Astros took 2 of 3 from the Yanks (and should have swept) earlier this year. Those last 3 games, if the Yanks need them, are far short of a given.

    • Havok9120 says:

      Of course they aren’t a given. It’s baseball. But can you honestly tell me that you’d rather those series not be against last place teams?

      What teams, aside from the other cellar-dwellers, do you think are out there that give them a better chance? Houston has the worst record in baseball (again!) for God’s sake. Who would you rather the last, crucial, series of the season be against if not the acknowledged worst team in baseball?

  22. Deep Thoughts says:

    Brendan Ryan’s “Infield Triple”:

  23. zachbaff says:

    Hey, how bout the fact that CC is pitching at a lighter weight this year than he ever has before. He’s barely even got a gut anymore. Thats gotta have a substantial impact on his balance and mechanics which I think is why his command has been so terrible and lead to his high 4s era

    • MannyGeee says:

      Slightly overstated, IMO, but in fairness he has gained weight over the past 3 season after dropping pound in the off-season. This is the first year he kept the pounds off. Is it the cause or is it a coincidence? I’m not one to say. But they are facts.

  24. MB923 says:

    Wonder what happens if there’s a 5 way tie between Tampa, NY, Baltimore, Cleveland and KC

  25. Andrew Brotherton says:

    I don’t think the Yankees should resign Andy Pettite, I think they should go after Masahiro Tanaka and try and bring back Kuroda, I also think they should go after Jhonny Peralta and see if they can get him on a 1yr deal. So Peralta, Reynolds, Tanaka, Kuroda, Cano, and Benoit or Balfour. I think that would be a very productive offseason. I’d like to see us go after McCann but I don’t see it happening.

    • Havok9120 says:

      So CC, Kuroda, Nova, Tanaka, Pineda, Phelps, and Warren are starters 1-7 here?

      Yeah. Gimme Andy too.

      • Kosmo says:

        Pineda is an unknown quality at this time and he has to prove he can pitch over an entire season and remain healthy. Phelps and Warren are no great shakes and I could see one of them involved in a multiple player deal to land a position player.

        So yes on Andy.

    • mt says:

      I know Reynolds strikes out a lot but given Arod suspension for some portion of next year, he may be best, least costly alternative for 1-2 years. He can back up first (very good defensively) and although below average at third, he has power which Yanks may struggle with again if Grandy leaves and Soriano goes back to a more normal HR pace next year. Of course Reynolds can DH (and even play 2b in a pinch – LOL) and does walk and lengthen counts.

      I just don’t see Chase Headley being traded and not sure Yanks will go after Peralta with his Biogenesis background for 3B or SS.

      I prefer Balfour to Benoit.

    • Kosmo says:

      + Dioner Navarro and Kendrys Morales. Anyone noticed former Yankee farmhand Dioner has turned into a decent all around catcher ? Morales as a DH/1B .

    • Rick says:

      You realize that what you want in free agency never happens, right? There are so many circumstances surrounding every signing that we never hear about. Yet we will all jump to conclusions about how terrible a GM Cashman is. #rantover

  26. Darren says:

    This excitement is sort of making up for the Reid Brignac months we had to endure in June and July. Ay ya yay that was some painful baseball.

  27. Kosmo says:

    In the event Arod is suspended for the 2014 season, I would like NY to pursue David Freese. There are a couple of SS that could be had via trade , Eric Aybar is reported to be available, Gregorius might become available if the D-Backs want to go with Chris Owings and there is Alexi Ramirez.

    If Pettitte wishes to return he would slot in nicely as the 5th SP. That way he´d throw less innings. Tanaka and the return of Kuroda would be great.
    Like I´ve said all along if CC and Hughes pitched to expectation NY would currently be in the drivers seat.
    If NY wins today and a 10-5 finish NY would finish the season with 89 wins which could be enough to catapult them into the playoffs.

  28. brian says:

    #4… offer him 1 yr in the 5 million range

  29. Rick says:

    I agree with many of the comments posted, but I don’t like that so many people are saying the Yankees “should have” won the first two against Boston last week. In reality, they should not have had a remote chance of winning Thursday’s game. They were dominated throughout and almost stole one late. However, I will agree that they should have won Friday’s night game with the late lead they had. That one game could end up being the difference on the season, but let’s hope it isn’t.

    • JLC 776 says:

      I agree, but for slightly different reasons. Shit happens in baseball and for every game where the other team miraculously comes back, there’s probably another one where your team miraculously came back as well; on balance, things tend to even out.

      I feel like the only time a game is a ‘should have’ won/loss is if there was an obvious umpiring mistake that clearly led to a changed out come.

  30. Matt says:

    As someone mentioned above, the Yankees did not play as badly this weekend as the results would indicate. They arguably should have won 3/4 in that series, and at least split the 4 games if they weren’t missing the entire setup corps on Friday night.

    The Red Sox beat up on minor league pitchers of ours that would never have faced them otherwise, and our starters and better relievers for the most part held them down. On the other hand, Boston’s top pitchers outside of Lester got completely obliterated by our offense. If we were to face them in a 5 game series, I wouldn’t be surprised if we beat them relatively easily.

    • Red Sox fan says:

      Sorry I don’t remember Buccholz getting obliterated. Also, while most of your starters were successful avoiding total destruction you ignore one important point. The Red Sox completely dominated them from a pitch count stand point which they will do again. Nova couldn’t even make it through 5 innings. Saying the Yankees would beat them easily in a 5 game series is just silly and drew me out from my lurking. I’ve been watching sports for a long time and often the teams that win championships have a certain aura around them. Hitting a grand slam to tie a game and then another one less than a week later in extra innings is indicative of said aura.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

        Yep, that aura is something you assign after the fact.

        Whatever team wins this year will magically have had an “aura” or an “atmosphere” that should have told people they were meant to be.

        Your granny last night, while greatly appreciated, was pretty meaningless to the red sox’ season. And came AFTER they blew a 2 run lead.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

        Of course, most of us would agree with your premise that beating the red sox in a series of any length wouldn’t be easy, by any stretch.

      • KD says:

        If any team ever had an aura, it was the 2001 Yanks. We all know how that turned out…

      • JLC 776 says:

        Not buying that the Red Sox will ‘completely dominate from a pitch count stand point’ again.

        There’s some guy on the radio that always says something about ‘not being able to predict baseball’, and while it’s trope, it’s also true. Shitty teams can beat great teams any day of the week – regardless of the stakes behind the game. The Yankees have actually shown, despite the perception of most of their own fans, that they aren’t that shitty with their core players back in the lineup. They hung with the Sawx for three out of four games, so I’d say their chances in the future are just fine.

  31. Moike says:

    Wait, who is King Nova?

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