What’s up Yanks Go Yard faithful? I have a lot to get to so I’m just going to dive into some news and notes:
First, let me say that I am not superstitious and I don’t believe in things like fate and destiny, but it is an awful coincidence that we lost Ed McMahon, Farah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson within 48 hours of each other. I was too young to see any of these legends in their prime, but I’ve been able to value them mostly through those fortunate enough to see them perform. I’m not sure if they sell old Tonight Shows on DVD, but if they do I need to get them; most of my knowledge of Ed McMahon comes from Phil Hartman’s impression on SNL. Farah is easier to appreciate because her image has lasted so long.
Then there is M.J. I’ve always loved his music. Always. Even before I understood who he was and what he meant to popular culture for over four decades, something about his music spoke to me. He was able to effortlessly switch between pop entertainment like Thriller and Smooth Criminal to songs with heavy meaning and a message like We Are the World and Black and White. Unfortunately my generation grew up during the Wacko Jacko tabloid era of his career. I don’t have enough space to truly express what he meant to our culture, so let me just say that despite his eccentricities, his failures, and his personal battles, he was the greatest performer I have ever seen, and I never even saw him live. That’s saying something.
I also have to apologize for not updating Yanks Go Yard frequently enough. I’m in the process of moving, which SUCKS, and it has really eaten into my time. I promise that once things settle down you can get ready for more Yankee content every week.
Which reminds me, this is a Yankees blog! I should probably mention them in some capacity:
Happy Belated Birthday Derek Jeter! Jete turned 35 on Friday, which is wild to think about. Jeter is the first superstar I have watched through their entire career, and it’s been really cool to watch. I will be able to tell my kids about the great Yankee captain the same way my grandfather told me about Berra and DiMaggio. Jeter had four hits and four runs scored Thursday night; when Derek is on base that many times, only good things will happen. Jeter also has 17 stolen bases this year, which means he’s healthy and relishing the leadoff spot. Considering who is hitting behind him, if Jeter gets on second with no outs, it’s a veritable certainty he’ll cross home plate.
Speaking of having a good night: A-Rod! He’s baaaa-aaaack! I hope. You could see in the past few games his swing was slowly getting better. He was making loud outs and swinging at better pitches. It seemed to me that A-Rod was taking pitches he would normally crush because he wasn’t sure of himself at the plate. As the YES booth constantly pointed out, A-Rod was consistently late on the fastball and early on the off-speed pitches. His timing was off by a millisecond, so he developed some bad habits like starting his motion a hair early to catch up to the hard stuff. As a consequence he was too early on every change up and breaking ball. In Atlanta his timing started getting better, but the hits didn’t fall until Thursday night. Then against the Mets on Friday A-Rod blasted an opposite field home run. When A-Rod goes yard to right center, it means he’s on. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come. Lord knows the Yankees and my fantasy team need his bat. A-Rod will also give Tex some protection again. Teixeira is in a mini slump because teams started to pitch around him and go after A-Rod; now they will be forced to throw strikes. We all saw what happened last time opposing pitchers threw Teixeira strikes.
Which reminds me of Girardi and his poor handling of A-Rod’s injury. If you don’t remember, here’s what happened: A-Rod had a torn labrum and had invasive surgery to temporarily fix the problem. With some luck the procedure might totally correct what was wrong with his hip, but it was generally assumed Alex would have to undergo additional surgery after the season. A-Rod, being the hard worker and phenom-freak athlete that he is, was able to return to the Yankees ahead of schedule. “Wonderful!” as C-3PO would say. Then, for some inexplicable reason, Girardi did not give Rodriguez a day off until Alex had to go to Girardi and ask for a freaking day off, which turned into two days because Alex was in rough shape.
A-Rod was coming off of major surgery to a part of the body essential to a baseball swing (and just about every athletic move you can make), and Girardi doesn’t give him one off day in a month? How is that possible? Did Joe think that because Alex didn’t ask him for time off that A-Rod didn’t need time off?
Let me tell you something about athletes, Joe, especially all-world super-competitors like Alex Rodriguez. He’s not going to tell you he’s hurting. He’s not going to bench himself. How many times did we hear Michael Kay say the phrase, “Derek Jeter didn’t want to sit tonight but Torre made him take a night off.” Athletes at this level want to play, expect to play, and will play dammit, unless you put a gun to their head. What worries me is that it was getting so bad that A-Rod actually had to come and ask for time off. It was that bad!!! How many exclamation points do I have to use? Now he has to sit once a week until the All Star break. Nice.
Speaking of injuries, Xavier Nady injured his elbow during a rehab assignment and is out for the year. Not a huge loss since he hasn’t played a game all year, but it would have been nice to deal him for a reliever.
Speaking of relievers, Brian Bruney is back and pitching well. This is good, expect that I still want Joba in the 8th inning role. We all know that’s what he’ll be doing in October anyway. I’m pretty sure Joba has a 170 inning limit, so he will HAVE to go to the pen to save his arm. Then again, he won’t get to 170 innings going five innings every start. For now, I will take Bruney and Rivera in the 8th and 9th and Aceves holding down the 6th and 7th. Truth be told, I don’t trust Bruney or Aceves, and even Mo has shown signs of aging this year. Sigh. Getting old sucks. Happy Birthday Jete.
Mets suck! 9-1! Three errors by the Metropolitans! Ahahaha!
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