Familiar Story

This might seem unrelated, but every April my fraternity has a dinner for its alumni in NYC.  Every year, the Yankees and Red Sox are playing the same weekend.  3 of those 4 years, Mariano Rivera has blown a save the night before the dinner.  It’s really like clockwork and particularly annoying because my fraternity has a disturbing number of Red Sox fans in it.  The one year, Mo looked so bad he couldn’t throw a strike and had to be taken out of the game; that was quite possibly the low point of his career. 

I still remember one of my friends from high school calling me that same night, screaming “Mo’s done! What are we gonna do!? How could Mo do this to US!?” 

I told him to calm down.  It was early in the year and Rivera works himself into shape and builds arm strength and control as he goes.  I turned out to be exactly correct and Rivera reverted back to MVP candidate form. 

This exchange has awarded me a good amount of credibility with my friend, at least as far as the Yankees and Rivera are concerned. 

Well, last night I went to a concert and only watched the beginning of the game.  But I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was no way the Yankees were going to win this one.  And unfortunately, I turned out to be correct.

So sure, it was a depressing loss.  But there are lots of reason for optimism.  Mo didn’t even really pitch all that bad – he just threw one bad pitch (that would have been an out in most ballparks).  You could even say the same for Marte – this was hardly a bullpen implosion.

I’m much more troubled by the continued ineptitude of the Yankees to hit with runners on base.  They should have put last night’s game out of reach long before the 9th inning.  If this continues all season, I really don’t know if I’ll be able to take it.  But now it’s another day and another game, and hopefully AJ Burnett comes up big.

Other thoughts:

–  In fantasy baseball, normally stay away from all Red Sox players as a rule.  Well this year I ended up getting two of them in my auction league because I just couldn’t stay away from what I perceived as a market inaccuracy.  So what two did I take?  Jason Bay and Kevin Youkilis of course.  Lesson learned.

–  Angel Berroa has been called up to replace Cody Ransom but I am really surprised he’s immediately being named the starter.  He’s never played third in a Major League game before; wouldn’t it make some since to start Pena for now?  And once A-Rod is ready for game action, is it even worth having him play in minor league games?  Isn’t a rusty A-Rod probably better than what the Yankees are running out there now?

–  Hopefully Bruney’s injury is relatively harmless and he’ll only miss a week or two.  But I have to say, I am excited to see Mark Melancon get his chance.  He’ll hopefully be a big player for the Yanks moving forward.



One response to “Familiar Story

  1. Jeff Lisciandrello

    It is always frustrating to see how many guys the Yanks leave in scoring position. Especially with no outs – there is absolutely no excuse for that. Maybe Girardi should call a day of bunting and sac-fly practice. Still, given the way they’ve been putting up runs without A-Rod, it’s hard to really criticize the batting. When the bottom of your order includes a long succession of guys like Pena, Ransom, Molina and Gardner, you’re bound to leave a lot of guys on base. With the way Melky’s back from the dead and Cano is erasing last year’s start, the hitting should be unstoppable this year.

    I’m much more concerned with the pitching than the hitting – the Yanks must be leading the league in runs against and close to the top for runs scored; though the against numbers have to still be dwarfing the runs scored. And beyond that, I am a bit concerned about how Girardi is using his pitching staff: Mo got his 3. Girardi seems as willfully ignorant of the fact that Rivera is a 3-out man as Torre was. Take the 3 and don’t get greedy. There have been a lot of questionable relief decisions so far this season. I know Girardi’s got a tough job when starters can’t make it through half a game, and there doesn’t seem to be anyone reliable outside of Rivera and Bruney, but this endless major minor shuffle does not bode well for the long-term development of the bullpen.

    Hopefully Hughes will bring a pleasant surprise. But then what? If he’s good enough to stay and Hwang returns before Bruney, does that put Joba back in the pen? What about Hughes as a long reliever?

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