Nicole's Yankees Blog

Monday, October 31, 2005

Additional Information


Here is a picture of the past/present/future Yankees GM Brian Cashman at his press conference on Thursday announcing his three year extension.


Also, in terms of my web poll, no one was correct! I supposse that is my fault though, because I did not even put the White Sox as an option. I guess that is how unpredictable the World Series, and sports for that matter, cand be! Look for a new poll soon to vote on!

Some new changes

Hello everyone! My first piece of news is about the future of the Yankees' center fielder, Bernie Williams. He has been in their outfield for the past 15 years, but in the upcoming 2006 season, he will be a free agent, and New York has made it no secret that they are looking for a replacement. Some big names that have been thrown around are Johnny Damon of the Red Sox and Ken Griffey Jr of the Reds, two quality outfielders. However, I do not feel Damon will join the "dark" New York side, (although Roger Clemens and Wade Boggs did), but Griffey could definetly spark some interest of the Yanks, especially because they could afford his eight figure salary. I think they should keep it in house and give Hideki Matsui or Bubba Crosby a chance. What do you guys think?
As Theo Epstein stepped down from the Red Sox as their GM today, last Thursday Yankees GM Brian Cashman announced he will return for his ninth season at the helm in the Bronx. He agreed to a three-year contract extension. I am excited to learn that he was once a Minor League intern and worked his way up to be the GM. Hmm, maybe all of those days of me being a Minor League intern could pay off after all! This contract extension will take the team until they move into their new staidum in 2009. Interestingly enough, the forever talked about item of the New York Yankees, their $200+ million dollar payroll, is something Cashman wants to reduce. I think this is a good idea, because although I am a fan, I think their payroll is a bit ridiculous and maybe not having high end players at each position will help them. Obviously, the best players will be paid the most, but to find a mix of players who will play like a team and not individuals is a huge task that not many teams/managers can do.
To wrap up the week's activities, the Yanks will probably look to keep Matsui on so they can concentrate on a center fielder, and will look at other pitching prospects to offset injuries like Carl Pavano, although he is assuming to be healthy to play by next April when the season starts.
To answer my fan mail, (or just my blog comments) as pinstripes mentioned, I am also a little wary of Larry Bowa joining the coaching staff. He is only the third base coach, but I know Phillies fans did not like him and he was ousted quickly. I am glad Matt posted about the All-Latino team that Alex Rodriguez made, although I thought he was born in New York? Can anyone clarify that for me?
On a last side note, Gary Sheffield and A-Rod were awarded Silver Slugger awards, which are awarded by managers and coaches who voted on the best offensive players for each position. A-Rod, who had won it before in 1996 and 1998-2003, won it for third base, and Sheff won the award for having the best offensive production in right field. A-Rod is also up for the AL MVP and a gold glove. Other Silver Slugger winners in the AL were Texas' Mark Teixeira and Alfonso Soriano, Baltimore's Miguel Tejada, Los Angeles' Vladimir Guerrero, and Boston's Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and Jason Varitek.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Yankees Update



I will admit that in the beginning of the semester, I thought the Yanks would still be playing now and I would be able to write about the World Series. Or even the American League Divisional Series. Now for the next 5 or 6 weeks or so, I pray that enough interesting things happen within the Yankees orgainization that I can continue posting! Well, it turns out that the Yanks did not hire Leo Mazzone as their new pitching coach. Instead, he will be working with the Baltimore O's right down 95 from us. Turns out that he and Baltimore's manager, Sam Perlozzo, are best friends. Coincidence? I think not! Here to the right is Leo Mazzone himself. According to www.yankees.com, The club has some in-house candidates, including bullpen coach Neil Allen, former Yankees left-hander and current spring instructor Ron Guidry and Triple-A Columbus pitching coach Gil Patterson. They are also looking outside of the team with Dave Righetti, who pitched for them from 1979-90, or White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper. Cooper may be a good choice for them, as the White Sox are in the race to win the World Series as of now! The other in-house news is that the Yanks are also looking for a new bench coach (why are they even important anyway, can someone explain that to me, other than if the manager gets thrown out) , as Joe Girardi accepted the Marlins job. Rumor was Don Mattingly would be up for the position, one of the greatest (in my opinion) Yankee players, especially at first base, but Torre seems to feel he is more valuable as the hitting coach, which he is!
This will be interesting news to all the Phillies fans out there, that former manager Larry Bowa was offered the Yankees' third base coaching job. There is no word yet on if he would take it or not. Presently he is a baseball commentator for ESPN and XM radio. His picture is up on the left. You can read more about Larry Bowa and the pending decsion here.
Some other good news is that Joe Torre, Yankees manager, would return for his 11th season. He is one of the best managers in baseball, and the Yankees need someone like him around to hopefully bring them closer to the World Series next season. Also, Brian Cashman's contract runs out next week, and there is no word yet if he will stay with the Yanks or not. I will definetly update when that decision is made.
In response to Jackie's comment, I never acutally listened to the Bernie Williams CD. It is funny that you acutally have it, is there any reason that you bought it? I am surprised it is even decent, as most athletes who try to make it in the music business do not do well. Can anyone remember when Shaq came out with his song?! But I do agree with Kyle that he should bow out gracefully, while he is on top.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

New Pitching Coach?

Since Jackie enjoys my colors so much, I think I will keep changing them! Or at least until I get sick from them. Not much to report now. To answer Joann Pavone, I will mostly be updating my fellow Yankee fans on what is taking place during the off-season. I planned on talking about the Yankees American League Divisional win and the eventual World Series win, but I guess I'll have to wait until next year.
Ok I have a question for you, is anyone actually watching the playoffs now? I feel if the Yankees or Red Sox are not in the playoffs, it's not worth watching. But I did notice that the Chicago White Sox won the American League, almost sweeping Los Angeles. Do you think the Yankees could have beaten the White Sox? As for the National League, I know that Houston was leading the series 3 games to 1, but I believe St. Louis may win tonight, making the series tighter. I am still rooting for Houston. Who is everyone else rooting for?
The most interesting Yankee news to date is that Mel Stottlemyre, 11 year pitching coach for the Yanks, will be stepping down and the Yankees would like to hire Atlanta Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone to replace him. I agree with pinstripes that George Steinbrenner had something to do with his leaving. I think there will be plenty more changes to come as well in the near future. Brian Cashman, GM of the Yanks, has his contract up on Halloween of this year, and is rumored that he will leave as well. Along with Cashman, Joanne is correct in saying that Bernie Williams, long time center fielder for the Yanks, may be out of the door. I personally think he should retire, as he would end his career on a high note, and he is getting older and inevitably weaker and slower. That does not take away from his career of a great player though!
As pinstripes stated, many ex Yankee pitchers are still in the playoff hunt. I think many players cannot handle the pressure that playing in New York has on a person. The Yankees are known as one of the greatest teams in the world, and they are expected to win every season (especially with the payroll that they have) I still think Contreras was not that impressive, but El Duque could have probably stuck around and performed for a while. Clemens was not supposed to be playing again, but he wanted to be back home in Houston.
I will leave with a cheer for Houston!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Some Good News

This color changing effect is cool. Maybe I will post every blog in a different color and font! Well in the aftermath of the Yankees elimination from the post season, at least we can celebrate Mariano Rivera's DHL Delivery Man of the Award. This award is given out to the best reliever in baseball. Check out his credentials . It states he had 43 saves and a 1.78 ERA over the season. I would agree that this season he was the Delivery Man of the Year, and he did not blow an important game as he did in last year's ALDS. (Yes I am still bitter about that). No, I believe it was partly defense, but mostly an offensive problem this year that kept the Yankees out of post-season play. While I am on the topic of offense, I have to mention Alex Rodriguez's numbers in the regular season. He lead the team in almost every category: RBI (130), Home runs (48) and average with . 321. Now with team leading offensive numbers, wouldn't you think that he would be stellar in the post-season? Nope, he played average at best, and had nowhere near those numbers.
The season in general was up and down. For the Carl Pavano and Kevin Brown (who were disappointments to the Yanks), Aaron Small and Sean Chacon stepped up their play. Tony Womack was another disappointment, but Robinson Cano played very well throughout the season, especially for being a rookie. The Yanks were acutally second in the American League for runs scored with 885. But throughout the year, they were up and down, playing in between first place of the division and third place. There are many changes that will probably be made in the off season, which will be the focus of my future posts.
I will end this post with a quote from Mike Mussina, one of the Yankees pitchers who received the lost in their last game of the season. It sums up their season pretty well, "We found contributions from people we didn't expect to get contributions from, and guys came through for us," the pitcher added. "It's hard to get to the postseason, but we've been doing it every year. When we get to October, we like our chances. We just didn't play well enough." ( According to www.yankees.com) I agree with you Moose.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

In Denial






I am trying out this new blue font for my post today. What do you guys think? I figure it would perfectly match my mood-blue tha the Yankees' season is over. (Yes that was a terrible attempt at a joke by me.) I think the picture below of Bernie Williams hanging his head in frustration describes every feeling of Yankees players and fans around the world.
So yes, I am in denial that the Yankees season is now over. I feel that it is just one of the summer months and I did not watch a game because there are still 70 or so left in the season, or they had the night off. But alas, the Yankees fell in game 5 of the American League playoffs to Los Angeles, 5-3, on Monday night.

The game saw Bartolo Colon, who the Yankees had beaten the week before, pitching against Mike Mussina again. Colon, in only the second inning, became injured and the Angeles were forced to put in a 22 year old rookie, Ervin Santana, on the mound in place of him. As sad as it sounds to say, Yankees fans were happy to have one of the best pitchers in the league off of the mound and a rookie that the powerful Bronx Bombers should hit off of easily. However, after allowing two runs early on, pitched an excellent 5 1/3 innings to shut out the Yanks and help the Angels to the American League Division Championship. Mike Mussina, who had pitched well in the first game, allowed five runs on six hits. Alex Rodriguez left a runner in scoring position in the second inning, when the Yankees could have taken control in the game. In fact, the whole series A-Rod looked terrible.Many fans are blaming the Yankees' loss in the series on Rodriguez, who, after a stellar MVP candidate regular season, did not hit well in the playoffs, when they needed him the most.To be exact, he hit .133 in the series with no RBI's (runs batted in for you non baseball fans) and was 2-15. What also majorly hurt the Yankees was when Bubba Crosby, who usually does not play center field, and Gary Sheffield collided in center field in which should have been a routine catch and ended the inning. I have a picture of this collision at the top of the post. If either Crosby or Sheffield caught that ball, the inning would have been over and the game most likely would have been a different outcome.

This was the second time in four years that Los Angeles has stopped the Yanks postseason, as they beat them in the 2002 ALDS and went on to win the World Series, I believe (someone check me on that if I am not correct!)

So now the Yankees return home for a long winter, watching the ALDS between Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Angels, or the other divisional playoff of the National League between the Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardnials. Personally, I will be rooting for the Astros because I still am a fan of Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite, who used to pitch for the Yankees. But it could also be consoling to say that if LA wins, the Yankees lost to the World Series champions. I suppose we will see!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

One More Game



Baseball in October, does it get any more exciting than this? As of right now, from a Yankees fan perspective, there are positive and negative points that can be said as of now, October 8.
First, the positives begin with a good first game on Tuesday by the Yanks in Los Angeles, winning 4-2. The Yankees collected six two-out hits over the first two innings to jump out to an early 3-0 lead, and Mike "the Moose" Mussina pitched a strong five innings to collect the win. This was very important for the Yankees, as the Moose was starting to pitch after injuries, and has been inconsistent throughout the year. This looked like the old Mussina that won big games for the Yanks, as he did Tuesday night. Robinson Cano, who is in the picture to the left up top,(Rookie of the Year for the AL? Does anyone agree with me, or can you think of a better candidate than him?) hit a three run double to set the pace for the rest of the game. Mariano Rivera unfortunately let up a run in the ninth to give Yankees fans a scare, but pulled out his 33rd postseason save to preserve the win.
Also, a few short days later, the Yankees arch nemisis, the Boston Red Sox, were SWEPT by the Chicago White Sox. Their hopes as repeat World Series champions were finished! It was humorous to see the video footage at Yankee Stadium the response by Yankee fans to the final out in Boston to end their season. Everyone was cheering! It was also announced that Jason Giambi was named the AL Comeback player of the year. You can read more about this story here.

However, the next two divisional playoff games did not fare so well with the Yanks. Errors and poor hitting with runners in scoring position keyed the Yanks loss. This was also a game that the Yankees were winning and let the Angels come back to win 5-3. This game could have been the turning point in the series, as the Yanks would have taken the two game lead back home into the Bronx and used that momentum to hopefully win game 3 and end the series. However, the loss meant they would have to work harder to win a spot in the Divisional championship.
Then in the rain on Friday night, the Big Unit, Randy Johnson, who is pictured up at top to the right, was supposed to give the Yankees the edge in the post-season. However, his usual style of hard throwing strikeout pitching was way off, and the Yanks were losing 5-0 early on in the game. According to www.yankees.com, "Johnson's subpar outing came as a surprise to the Yankees, who had watched their ace dominate over his last eight starts, going 6-0 with a 1.92 ERA. "Afterwords, usual reliable, strong pitchers Aaron Small and Tom Gordon also could not hold of the LAA offensive. The Yanks scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth to get a rally going, and were winning 6-5 in the bottom of the fifth after Bernie Williams sac flied to score Robinson Cano. However, the Angels answered back with a pair of runs in the sixth against Small to regain the lead 7-6, and never looked back. By the time the rain soaked game was over, it was LAA 11, NYY 7.
This causes the Yankees to be in a one game elimination from the divisional series playoff, and an end to their season. The Angels are up 2 games to 1, and the first team to win three games will move on to play the Chicago White Sox for the American League Championship. Tonight's game 4 at New York was post poned due to the heavy rain, and will be played on Sunday at about 8 p.m. This is good for the Yankees because they get to rest their players and bull pen, which they need, and hopefully regroup and put together a game plan to even the series and keep their hopes of a World Championship alive. If they lose on Sunday, their season is over. However, this is also good news for Chicago, as they also gain another day of rest before they being their own quest for the championship.
On Sunday, Shawn Chacon will pitch against Jarrod Washburn. This will definetly be the biggest game of the Yankees season. I hope everyone is rooting for the Yanks!

On some side notes, to respond to Eric and Patrick, unfortunately, Philadelphia sports teams do not live up to their hype and disappoint their fans again :) , and on my survey, 70% of you thought the Yankees are going to win the World Series this year. Good work guys!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Response Blog

I was so excited in my last post about the Yankees winning the Division Series that I did not respond to any of my comments! So here it is....

Matt, if you go to freepolls.com or something like that( I actually think the link is underneath the poll), you can create a poll and put it in your blog. I did hear about your trip to Camden yards, and was actually invited by your twin to attend, and too bad for me, I could not make the trip. I am glad you had an awesome time! As a Yankees fan, I am going to say A-rod should take MVP for carrying the Yanks throughout the season, and homered on Saturday to seal the Yankee's divisional championship. He also contributes more defensively than "Big Papi". There is no doubt that David Ortiz is an excellent player and makes big offensive plays when the Red Sox need him to, but I just feel that the MVP is a player who does all things for his team, as A-rod does, not just makes big hits.

Jo, that is so awesome that you were that close to #42. He is one of the best closers in the Majors, and is probably a future Hall of Famer. Too bad for that punk kid, right? I will remember to try to check out Camden Yards when I get the chance. How far away is it?

Pinstripes, yes I was so happy to know of a Yankees win. Randy Johnson showed why he is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and how badly he wants to win a championship with these Yanks. A-rod came through again (can we all say MVP) I hope the Yanks can keep up with Colon on Tuesday, because he is a quality pitcher! I have faith though, most recently they took 2 out of 3 games against the Angels. Also, lets hope that the White Sox can trample Boston so at least they cannot win another World Series again!

Also, thank you to all those who have voted in my interactive poll. Thus far, the Yankees are the sure favorite to win this year's World Series, with presently 80% of the vote. Nice voting!!

THEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE YANKEESSSSSSSS WINNNNNNNNNNN




Here are some Yankees pictures to celebrate their AL East Division title! Above is the starting pitcher for Tuesday night's game against Los Angeles, and to the right is Yankees star closer Mariano Rivera!

This past weekend was the biggest series on New York's and Boston's schedule for the 2005 season. It came down to who was going to win the American League Eastern Division, and who would squeak into the playoffs on a wildcard spot. In fact, that wildcard spot was only available because of an Indians' loss to the Chicago White Sox, allowing the loser of the New York/Boston game to continue their season in hopes of a World Series championship.
On Friday 9/30, the Yankees lost to Boston, 5-3, as Wang allowed 5 runs while walking six batters. This caused a tie in for first place in the AL East, making Saturday's game HUGE. Oh, and for all you Derek Jeter fans out there like myself, he did hit a two-run home run on Friday night!
Saturday's game could not have turned out better for the Yanks. They scored three runs in the first, two in the second, and one in the third as they hung on to beat Boston for their, yes this is true, eighth straight AL East title. The Yanks won this title over the Sox because although they have identical records, the Yankees have the advantage in the season long series, winning 10 games to Boston's 9. This is dedicated to everyone who thought that when the Yankees were in a slump a few months ago and were not thought of as playoff contenders. That is one thing that is consistent in baseball; one can never count the Yankees out. Yes they may have not won a world series in a few years, but they have been there and have come close. On Sunday, the Yankees lost 10-1, with only "Godzilla" Hideki Matsui scoring for the Yankees. However, because of this loss, they lost their home-field advantage during the playoffs.
To look forward to the playoffs, the Yanks take on the Los Angeles Angels in California beginning Tuesday night at 8 p.m. eastern time, and then again on Wednesday at 10 p.m. eastern time. Tuesday matches up The "Moose" Mike Mussina against quite possibly one of the best pitchers, Bartolo Colon. For the Red Sox, they are slated against the Chicago White Sox, beginning Tuesday as well.
Let us hope they make it past the Angels, who the most recently played July 31 and took two of three from them at the Stadium in the Bronx. This should be a quality match up with hopefully a Yankees Victory!


 
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