Saturday, June 20, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
As I read A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez by Selena Roberts, I thought back to an introduction to journalism course I took at UMass a long time ago.
The professor one day spoke about the difference between writing a story for a newspaper and a column. A story, he explained, contained only what you could prove. A column was what you thought.
The book is 246 pages of what Roberts thinks about Rodriguez. What she proves isn’t much of anything.
Because Roberts broke the story in February about Rodriguez having tested positive for steroids use, I wrongly assumed the book would include other revelations. Instead it’s page after page of “one teammate” suggesting Rodriguez did something wrong. Or “a player” insinuating that he did something else. “Friends” of Rodriguez paint him in unflattering terms.
In her postscript, Roberts acknowledges the use of 19 anonymous sources. But no explanation is given as to why these sources needed anonymity. It’s also unclear whether the 19 sources were used equally or whether one or two sources provided the bulk of the information. We’re supposed to trust her judgment, apparently.
Even those facts that could be documented are not. Roberts, for instance, reports that notorious Dominican trainer Angel Presinal was signed into major league clubhouses by security officers while attending to Rodriguez. But no dates or places are given.
Throughout the book, Roberts even places herself in Rodriguez’s conscience and writes as though she knows what he was thinking. In her version of his thoughts, Rodriguez is a weak-willed, narcissistic cheater and womanizer willing to do anything to succeed.
Given the completeness of the February story in Sports Illustrated, I expected more in the book, certainly more detail. But the book does not meet the standards of the magazine. It is, in essence, a 246-page column.
This is not to say that Rodriguez deserves the benefit of the doubt. He has admitted to using steroids from 2001-03 and it’s difficult to believe he limited himself to those three years. Roberts is able to prove he associated with suspicious characters and she is a skillful enough writer to lead you believe that Rodriguez probably did use PEDs at other points of his career. There are many layers of hearsay evidence.
But she doesn’t prove anything beyond that he’s not particularly well-liked by his teammates and says a lot of dumb things. That we knew. The rest is unfair to Rodriguez.
Roberts come close. But a good editor would have kicked the manuscript back and told her to come back when she more.
A-Rod might have a tough time saying the right thing; he might attract the wrong kind of spotlight too often. He is our player, though, and deserves and needs to get all the support we as fans can give him. We need him, and he needs us - let's not let him down.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I don't usually participate in viral emails, but I thought this was worth it -
I don't usually participate in viral emails, but I thought this was worth it -
Last week I was in
When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for, it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red-blooded American who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families. Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work and home without fear or reprisal.
Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women, a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers. He kneeled down and said 'hi.'
The little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her.
The young soldier, who didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her Daddy. Then suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.
The mother of the little girl, who said her daughter's name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Marine and had been in
When this temporarily single mom was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second. Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military-looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it.
After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, 'I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you.' He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying 'your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon.'
The mom at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet, he saluted Courtney and her mom. I was standing no more than 6 feet away from this entire event.
As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in one last act of selflessness, turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.
We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it's good to be an American.
RED FRIDAYS ----- Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the 'silent majority'. We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers.
We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing. We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions. Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of
Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday - and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that.. Every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar will wear something red.
By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the
If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family. It will not be long before the
The first thing a soldier says when asked 'What can we do to make things better for you?' is ... We need your support and your prayers.
Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example; and wear something red every Friday.
IF YOU AGREE -- THEN SEND THIS ON. IF YOU COULDN'T CARE LESS THEN HIT THE DELETE BUTTON --- IT IS YOUR CHOICE. I don't know if you've seen this, but I couldn't delete it.
WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE, ONLY BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE.
THEIR BLOOD RUNS RED ---- SO WEAR RED! ---
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Avg fastball Speed - 92.76
Max Speed - 96.3
Not bad numbers but compare that to last years starts;
Best Avg FB Speed - 95.51
Worst ang FB speed - 94.57
Total Avg FB as starter - 95.00
Best Max Speed - 99.6
Worst Max Speed - 97.8
Average Max Speed - 98.86
So where is the other 2 mph? Those 2 are what take him from a very good pitcher to a once in a generation talent. His average FB as a starter last year would put him second in the majors behind only Justin Verlander while his 2009 average only puts him in the top 20. So the question that needs answering is why the drop in velocity? Is he hurt? Is it poor mechanics? Whats the deal with Joba?
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Anyway, TM is making his season debut against el Tigros (is that right? I don't speak any Spanish) tonight in the land of unsold inferior cars. I for one, am really looking forward to it. In my opinion, Phil is still every bit the pending stud everyone dubbed him before last season's debaclous showing.
Why, you ask, am I still so high on Phil? How about these numbers so far in 2009 in SWB-
3 wins, vs zero losses
17 hits and 3(!!) walks allowed in 19 ip
And just as important as the above...he has yet to turn 23 years old!
I have no doubt that this kid is both the real deal and headed for stardom.
I hope it starts tonight!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
With Wang looking like Hideki Irabu-redux, might be time for Phil to step in!
Hey Papi, how about hitting a home run before telling other people what to do...just ONE!
You know what Joba...bean em both!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Nady is a nice player. At worst he is a top 4th outfielder and excellent trade bait; at best Nady is a 280/25-30/100 producing corner outfielder.
I've heard many people say that his loss is a good thing in that it will insure Nick Swisher gets an everyday job. Let's not go overboard- Swish is on fire, and probably does deserve the everyday job. Saying, however, that the Yanks are better off without Nady is simply not true.
Not only is this extremely poor timing for the pending free-agent, but Nady was slotted to be a nice piece of the puzzle (whether starting or off the bench) that the Yanks will certainly miss as the season goes on.
Update- The guys over at RAB are reporting that Austin Jackson and Kevin Russo have been lifted from today's SWB Yanks game- not sure what that means, but an Ajax sighting at the Stadium Thursday would be fun to watch!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
In addition to the a serious lack of velocity (89-91 instead of 93-95), Wang's signature sinker has had more lateral movement then downward tilt the last 2 games - essentially, the sinker ain't sinking.
A thigh-high 90 mph fastball with only a little in and out movement is gonna get hit hard - and has.
In the past, Wang as shown that he adds velocity as the weather warms. This season, it seems, the heat is even more lacking than usual. Having lost most of last season to injury, I believe that we will see the radar gun light more as Wang gains more arm strength.
As for the sink on the sinker, movement on a pitch is directly related to the amount of spin imparted upon the ball by the pitcher. If a pitcher is lacking arm strength he will usually 'muscle-up' in order to compensate and try and get more velocity. This restricts the free and easy release of the ball and squeezes some spin out of the pitch.
In other words, as we see Wang's arm strength increase I believe not only will the velocity return, but, as a result, we will start to see the downward dart of Wang's sinker return too.
Let's hope it happens sooner rather than later!
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Boston Red Sox owner John Henry renewed his call for a salary cap on Wednesday after an offseason in which the New York Yankees added three free agents for $423.5 million.
Henry's call came exactly five years after he first proposed a salary cap in the wake of the Yankees' trade for Alex Rodriguez after the Red Sox failed in their attempt to obtain him from the Texas Rangers.
So let's see...Henry first called for a salary cap after the Red Sox were foiled by the Yanks in their efforts to land A-Rod. He now renews his call for a cap after an offseason during which the Yanks stole Mark Teixeira away from the Sox at the last moment.
He lost A-Rod and Teixeira for the same reason - he got cheap at the last moment. Henry was willing to go to $20+mm for Tex, but not $21mm; he was trying to force A-Rod to cut the value of his contract by $9mm over 7 years - and wouldn't budge.
These are 2 examples of Henry losing impact players over a petty amount of money.
Note to John Henry - Quit crying and trying to blame your incompetance on the Yanks. A salary cap won't cure idiocy!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I think I speak for baseball fans everywhere when I say that we have no interest in continuing to discuss the Arod steroid controversy - the ONLY people that want to talk about is the media! If left to choose what the media was going to cover I guarantee that each and every true baseball fan would choose to be done with steroids, who did them, who supplied them, who tested positive and who didn't - and have the media instead focus on the game, our teams and the upcoming season. This is a prime example of the media trying to suck every dime out of a dead story by exploiting something that real fans have moved passed a long time ago.
I'm not saying that Arod didn't make a huge mistake by using; I am saying only that we know enough about it already and anything he says at this point is only to satisfy a media that will crucify him unless he plays their game.
One way that Arod could come out looking good in all of this would be to pay to have his blood tested once a week by an independent testing lab and have the results released to the public every week. That way we all know for sure that he is clean and anything he does here in is unaided.
As for the Hall of Fame and steroid users, I think that for the most part it is unfair to keep guys like Bonds and Clemens out. These guys were not only stand-outs within the steroid era, but were also hall of famers before their probable use of PEDs.
I do believe that there are circumstances, however where it should affect someone's election. A guy like Mark McGuire, for example, only garners HOF consideration because of the production he saw by using. McGuire 's '88-'92 season saw him hit 33, 32, 39,22, 42 (168 total) home runs; an average of 33 per year. After essentially missing the '93 and '94 seasons to injury, Mac came back to hit 284 home runs in the next 5 years, an average of almost 57 HR per year (with a high of 70 in '98). Without the 'roids Mac would have had a nice career; with them he put up numbers among the all-time greats.
As for Arod, I believe that he has enough playing time left to repair the damage done to his reputation and retire a sure-fire first ballot HOF'er. I think it would certainly help if he follows my advice to have himself tested weekly, but either way I think he should get in.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
For the hard of hearing - I DON'T CARE!
Yeah, it sucks that the legacy of Arod is being draggen through the mud, but I really could care less.
It's not because he's a Yankee (though it doesn't hurt); it's because as more and more information comes out on the "Steroid Era" it has become obvious that pretty much everyone was doing it!
There are 103 unknown names on the 'tested positive' list, and countless others that were smart enough to get off before testing started.
Let's stop making each and every new name a news-worthy revelation and just concede that if the person played between 1998 and 2003 he was on the juice, ok?
I've been reading both the papers and the blogs and comments the past week or so and while it sure seems that most fans feel the same way as I do (a non-story at this point), the main-stream media keeps pushing and pushing the issue. The Super Bowl is over, spring training hasn't started yet, the Knicks won't be news-worthy 'till the King comes in 2010, and hockey...well hockey is just hockey - there's nothing else to write about!
I am sick and tired of steroid talk - we're 2 days from pitchers and catchers. Go Yanks!
Sunday, February 8, 2009
"at least 104 barreled ahead and peed into bottles when they knew there was a chance they would be dirty; reportedly, A-Rod was among those."
Where are the other 103 names? Leaking one person's name screams of someone having an agenda. Who leaked it and what is their agenda against A-rod?
I am not an A-Rod fan. His performance in the clutch and annoying insecurities make him almost impossible to root for. His steroid use is damaging to his legacy and the Yankees, but you have to wonder why his name was the only one leaked. Will the other 103 names be leaked? And why is A-Rod being targeted?
This is going to get ugly, but I hope the media swarm spends some of their 6 billion hours of coverage trying to get these questions answered. A-Rod's legacy is ruined but what I want to know who wanted to ruin it?
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Wow...could Jeter have been more tepid in his 'backing' of Arod? How hard would it be for him to remove the annoyed tenor and issue true support for his teammate? I get that he has a parental love for 'Mr. T", but Joe is gone and Arod is gonna be around for a long time.
Do your job as Captain, Derek, and support your teammate- even if you don't want to.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Damon and Jeter to hit 300 and score 100 runs.
Tex to hit at least 285 with more than 30 hr and 100 RBI
Arod to hit at least 300 with more than 35 HR and 110 RBI
Matsui to be healthy and post in the area of 285/385/485
Posada to post numbers in-line with his career norms and catch 100+ games (270/380/485)
Nady to hit 275/20/85
Cano to hit +/-300/20/85
Melky/Gardner to stay above the mendoza line and play plus defense.
This is what I EXPECT- I hope for more. If all we get is the expected numbers, we should be comfortably above 900 runs scored for the year.
As for the starters, I expect:
Pettitte will have no problem at worst duplicating his 2008 numbers. Andy pitched the second half with a mild shoulder strain that kept him from properly finishing his pitches and he therefore was up in the zone from August on. While a 3.75 ERA might be too optimistic for a guy on the wrong side of 35, I believe he will do better than 4.54 he posted in '08.
I expect CC to get off to a slow start. Everyone knows Carsten leads the universe in innings pitched the last 2 years, and if you look at his splits he is a consistently slow starter. As the Yanks have said they plan to bring him along cautiously in spring training, I think that slow start is a given for '09. After May 15th, however, I expect he'll be the best pitcher in the AL.
I expect AJ to make 25 starts and post a 4.00 ERA.
I expect Wang to be Wang; the best #3 in the game, challenge for 20 wins and have a sub 4 ERA.
I expect Joba to make 20-25 starts and have an ERA under 4.
I expect Phil Hughes to make 20+ starts and have a 4-ish ERA.
I expect the Yankee pen to be very solid and build off of last year's success.
I don't feel that any of my expectations for '09 are unrealistic; they are pretty much based on the back of the baseball cards for each player. I don't expect 35 starts from AJ (though he could surprise), I don't expect a 2.50 ERA from Joba (though, again, it could happen)- everything above should happen, and might be too conservative.
Granted (as evidenced last year!) injuries are the potential fly in the ointment, but short of limiting Joba and AJ's starts there is no way to forecast them.
Therefore, and based on the above expectations, I see 100 wins.
What do you think? Are any of my expectations unrealistic?
Monday, January 5, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
I also have developed a serious man-crush on Phil Hughes. I am expecting that by the 3rd year of CC and AJ's new contract they will both be slotted in behind Phil Phranchize on the depth chart.
That being said, we have to resolve our last rotation spot. Our offer to Andy has been gathering dust for a couple of months now and I think it's time to shake things up a bit.
Kernan of the Post suggests Oliver Perez - nah. If we wanted a young, immensely frustrating kid with huge potential we could have signed Daniel Cabrera for a relative bucket of balls.
No; there is only one direction to move in - Ben Sheets.
Take the same offer made to Andy, add a team option for 2010 and put it on the table as well to Sheets; the first to sign wins.
If we land Sheets we get a guy who has the 'stuff' and ability to be an ace. A guy who is every bit as good as the Boston god (he's a god according to the Gammonites, anyway) Josh Becket.
If it forces Andy to sign then we have the guy we wanted to begin with.