LADY AT THE BAT: September 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Should I Stay Or Should I Go, Now?"

Now that the 2008 season has ended for the Yankees, that old song by The Clash has gotten stuck in my head: "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" It's a song and it's also a question that needs to be answered by several people on and/or affiliated with the team.

Brian Cashman is one of those people and, as everyone knows by now, he answered the question today with a "yes," signing a 3-year deal to remain as GM. Now he and the rest of the front office will have to decide if some other people will stay or go. Not that they care (lol) but, here's what I think they should do:

Jason Giambi-- He should go. He's a great teammate; he's loved by everyone in the Yankee Clubhouse. But, this means nothing from a fan's perspective. His numbers aren't what they were before he stopped using steroids. Besides, he'll be 37 years old on his next birthday. The Yankees need to get younger, not older.

Andy Pettitte-- Go. He got a clean bill of health when he had his arm looked at a few weeks ago but the Yankees shut him down and he missed making his last start or two. That arm of his scares me. Besides, he'll be 37 years old on his next birthday as well. The Yankees still need to get younger, not older.

Mike Mussina-- Stay! Moose totally re-invented himself this season after being left for dead, so to speak, last year. He learned to pitch inside and won 20 games for the Yankees this year. He is, hands down, the team MVP and, without him, the Yankees wouldn't have finished as well as they did this year. I know, he'll be 40 years old on his next birthday. But, I can over-look that if he's going to pitch as well as he pitched this year.

Bobby Abreu-- Stay. Although he has a great throwing arm, he is still a below-average outfielder. That being said, the guy is a professional hitter. I'd love for him to come back as the Yankees' full-time DH. I don't know what I'd do with Hideki Matsui, however. But I'm not a GM so, that's really not my problem, lol!

Other minor pieces of the puzzle include Robinson Cano (Keep him; one bad year doesn't a bad player make.); Melky Cabrera (His trade value is low but see what you can get for him).; Ian Kennedy (Give him another shot but keep his leash short and listen to any and all offers for him.); and, Phil Hughes (Were the glasses the answer? Time will tell, but give him the time.).

So, who will stay and who will go? Hopefully there won't be too much of a "clash" before the decisions are made.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Joe Girardi Is A Liar, Pt 2

Today Joe Girardi apologized for lying to the media throughout the season. This comes after he was caught lying about whether or not Mariano Rivera is injured. (He is.)

Why did a deeply religious man like Joe Girardi get caught in a lie so many times? Because he's a deply religious man and, as such, he doesn't know how to lie, or to cover up a lie.

Girardi has promised to be more forthcoming in the future. We'll see how that goes, especially if Brian Cashman doesn't come back as GM; a different GM who didn't hire Girardi may not have the patience for a man who's bad at lying.


Update, 9/27/08: During last night's/this morning's game (*yawn*) against the Red Sox, announcer Michael Kay said that Girardi lied about Mo because the closer wanted to be the one to tell the media he was injured. Joe, please! Mariano Rivera is no longer your teammate. Stop acting like he is!

Joe Girardi Is A Liar

Liar, liar, pants on fire!
Joe Girardi appears to be lying about Mariano Rivera's shoulder. Pete Abraham's recent blog post has all the details. Click this link to read it, then come back here tonight for my take on it.


Monday, September 22, 2008

The Closing Of The Cathedral: Memories & Observations

The House That Ruth Built closed its doors last night after the Yankees beat the Orioles 7-4. I wasn't there but I wish I had been, especially after a friend took the above picture with her cell phone camera and sent it over to me. However, I didn't mind at all that I had to relax in bed while watching all the events unfold on TV. As I watched, I thought about my personal memories of The Big Ballpark In The Bronx:
  • Earliest Memory: My first game. It was on August 4, 1979, two days after the tragic death of Thurman Munson. As in last night's game, the oponent was the Orioles. I sat in the left field bleachers with my aunt and my two cousins, and vividly remember Jim Kaat acknowledging me after I waved at him wildly. The Yankees won the game, though I don't remember the score.

  • Biggest Memory: That took place on July 4, 1983. It was the Dave Righetti No-Hitter. I went to the game by myself and sat in the upper deck, down the left-field line. My Summer hadn't been going well so far and this day really lifted my spirits. I remember coming home and that night, watching the Macy's Fireworks from the roof of my apartment building. That game and the spectacle over the East River later that night made that July 4th one that I'll never forget.

  • Last Memory: Leaving The Stadium at the end of Opening Night this season. It was late in the evening and I was tired. As I walked down the ramp with my friend I saw a guy with what I thought was a Mets tee-shirt on. I began teasing him about it and wouldn't let up, until I noticed that the shirt, though it was blue and orange, did not say "Mets." It said "Mess." Ooops, my bad, I thought.

Some observations about last night:

  • Bob Sheppard. He wasn't there, never made it to The Stadium at all in this final season, but, what a pleasant surprise it was to hear his recorded remarks and his announcement of the Yankee lineup. (Someone should have told Johnny Damon they were going to be doing this!)

  • Willie Randolph's slide into second. Once more, for all time's sake, huh, Willie? Good stuff!

  • Bern Baby Bern!The fans finally got a chance to say goodbye to #51, Bernie Williams. It was goodbye but, it wasn't enough. He's got to come back again. Bernie Williams Day had better be in the plans for 2009.

  • Bye, George? The fact that George Steinbrenner was not in attendance last night speaks volumes to me. I can only conclude that he wasn't well enough to attend. Sad. I was kind of looking forward to seeing him.

  • No Hanky Panky. Hank Steinbrenner wasn't there last night (at least, I didn't see him) and I could not have been happier. If that doesn't spell out that this guy isn't as involved with the team as he wants you to believe, then I don't know what does.

  • Molina's House. Jose Molina hit the last home-run. Muy bien, Borinquen.

  • Got Melky? No, not last night. This year was not a good one for Melky Cabrera. That being said, he's given fans some great thrills over the past couple of years, and for that, he should have been given the chance to make an appearance during the game last night. The Bleacher Creatures seemed to agree: they chanted his name late in the game. Good job Section 39. [Corection: My friend called to tell me that Melky did get into the game, in the 9th inning. That's why the Bleacher Creatures were chanting his name. Thanks for not mentioning it, ESPN!]

  • Who pulled the lever? They made such a big deal about that Met Life countdown lever all year, but they never said who pulled it the last time. What kind of crazy crap is that?

  • Derek Jeter. What can you say? Nothing but class, all the way to the end.

So, it's over. The Baseball Cathedral has closed its doors. I'm a very emotional woman but, I didn't shed single tear last night. I suppose that, if the Yankees were leaving New York, or even leaving the Bronx, I would have been sobbing uncontrollably. That was, after all, my biggiest fear. For years, the prevailing thought was that, if the Yankees got a new stadium, it would be on the West Side of Manhattan or in New Jersey. But, they're staying right here in the borough I call home. For that, I am truly grateful. Thank you, New York Yankees.

(aka, The Lady)

Friday, September 19, 2008

South Bronx Boy Makes Good: Humberto Sanchez

Pitcher Humberto Sanchez grew up in the South Bronx and attended South Bronx High School. Last night he made his Major League debut, pitching the 8th inning at the most famous address in the South Bronx: 161st Street & River Avenue. Yankee Stadium.

I found out all about Humberto when he was traded to the Yankees in November of 2006 in the deal that sent Gary Sheffield to Detroit. I couldn't wait for him to make his first appearance at the Stadium. However, he underwent Tommy John Surgery in 2007 and I was afraid that he wouldn't get the chance to pitch in the old Stadium before it closed.

Although I don't know him, I know that pitching at a Big League Stadium which just happens to be blocks from where you grew up has got to be a really big deal. As a long-time Bronx resident myself, I was proud to learn this morning that he'd gotten into the game (I was working last night so I didn't see it live.).

Humberto hasn't forgotten his roots. A former star of the baseball team at South Bronx HS, he returns to the school each off season to mentor and instruct members of the current baseball team. Great stuff!

Congratulations Humberto Sanchez and here's hoping your success continues at the New Yankee Stadium.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Joba's Mom & Posada Are Talking About Him

Joba Chamberlain continues to finish the 2008 season in the bullpen, last night striking out two and giving up one hit in the 8th inning of the Yankees' win against the White Sox. It's not clear if he'll stay in the pen in 2009 or return to the starting rotation. It's also not clear if his mom will ever see him pitch in person again.

As for whether Joba starts or remains in the pen next season, Jorge Posada has made his own feelings known. You've probably heard that he thinks Joba should stay in the bullpen next season. Why? Because he'll get hurt if he starts. That makes no sense to me, but that's probably because of the context in which Posada made those comments. If there was more time for him to explain himself he probably would have made more sense.

Joba's mom, Jackie Standley, is getting more time to explain herself these days. She's granted an interview to a reporter in which she says that Harlan Chamberlain did not raise Joba all by himself. She was in his life as well. I'm not sure what to believe here. Was she around, as she says she was, or was she not, as Joba and Harlan say? My guess is that, as is always the case in situations like this, the truth is somewhere in between. My best to Jackie and Joba.

(aka, The Lady)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Final Homestand At The Stadium Set To Begin

The Yankees limp home from a mediocre 5-5 roadtrip today to prepare for the final homestand of the final season of Yankee Stadium. As a Yankee fan, I'm saddened by this, of course. However, I'm also angry, not so much because the Yankees will not make the playoffs, but because this final homestand is now, rather than at the end of the month as it should be.

The closing of Yankee Stadium is a monumental event and, as such, it shouldn't be happening in the middle of September. What cramped brain at MLB made that decision? The final homestand should be during the final week of the season! The last regular season game of 2008, especially if it's the ESPN Sunday Night Game, should be at Yankee Stadium. What's the problem with scheduling that? They can always pre-empt it if there's a more meaningful game out there. I'd understand that, but to move up the entire homestand by a week and a half is nothing but a big insult, both to the Yankees and their fans. Bad job, MLB.

(aka, The Lady)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Angels Announcers Call The Yankees Frustrated

After the 6th inning brawl between the Yankees and Angels in Anaheim last night, Angels announcers quickly came to the conclusion that it started because the Yankees are frustrated at being close to elimination from the playoffs. I went to bed and missed most of the game, but I just watched the video and, it seems to me that, the only person on the field who was frustrated last night was Torii Hunter. Click here to watch the video.

It's obvious that Pudge Rodriguez barely touched Hunter and that Hunter overreacted to the entire situation. The video clearly shows that Pudge's attempt (and that's all it really was) to go after Hunter was half-hearted at best. Yet, the Angels announcers felt this attempt was an example of the difference between a "frustrated team and a team going to the playoffs." I don't buy it.

Put a sock in it, Angels announcers.


(aka, The Lady)
[Photo: AP/Kevork Djansezian]

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Once Again, A-Rod Is In The Middle Of Things

Why am I not suprised that, when instant replay is used in MLB for the first time, it involves Alex Rodriguez? This guy is always in the middle of things and he seems to enjoy every second of it.

In case you haven't seen the replay, click here.

[Photo: Chris O'Meara/AP]

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Will Mike Mussina Get 20 Wins?

Last night, Cliff Lee of the Indians became the first pitcher to get to 20 wins this year. Lee has been ridiculous this year, and last night he was even more so, pitching a complete game shut-out against the White Sox. Several other pitchers have a chance to get to the 20-win mark this year. Will they?

Which brings us to Mike Mussina. Moose has 16 wins and goes for number 17 tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays. As most baseball fans know, Mike Mussina has never won 20 games in a season. With the Yankee season essentially done, whether or not Moose gets to 20 wins seems to be the only thing left for Yankee fans to hang their hopes on. All of Yankees Universe is hoping that this is the year that he does it. Everyone is saying, "Let this be the year that Mike Mussina wins 20 games."

What do you think? Will he do it? Tell me what you think. Click on Cheers and Jeers below and put in your two cents!

(aka, The Lady)