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A message to Arod: Demand a Trade now or Opt Out!!!!

With the All-star break, Home Run Derby and All-Star game generating lower than expected ratings (The HR Derby was down 10% form last year) the baseball writer’s of America turned to the one place they know they will get headlines and create discussions…..Where will Arod play next year? So this week we have seen reporters write about and provide their insight as to where Arod will end up at the end of the year:

Cubs – Piniella is his second dad and Piniella’s wife is his second mom
Angels – Artie Moreno loves him
Dodgers – They have the money and are low key
Giants – They have the money and need a big name draw once they elect not to resign Barry next year
Red Sox – They would love to stick it to the Yanks
Mariners – A coming home party
White Sox – Kenny Williams needs a big name after he deals some veterans this trading deadline

As a life long Yankee fan, I do not care. All I want is for him to opt out of his contract. He was a loser in Seattle, a loser in Texas and is clearly a loser in New York. It is fitting that he is having his best season as a Yankee and the Yanks are not competitive and having one of their worst seasons in a long time. A lot of Arod supporters say he is not to blame, that Cashman signed bad pitchers, or the team is not hitting around him or the bullpen is weak. These are excuses that some can point to and Arod is certainly not responsible for Luis Vizcaino’s horrible year. Here is fact, plain and simple, Arod is not a winner, never has been and never will. I wish I could provide more insight as to why this is or explain how the Yankees clubhouse is different since he showed up. I follow and pay attention to facts and the fact is a very simple one in my eyes….Arod is a loser and his team loses when he plays for them.

So I want Arod to opt out. I want that money freed up to pursue the moster free agents that will be available in 2009, not even next year but in 2009 like Texeira, Johan, Miguel Cabrera. I would rather see any one of these players than Arod and I might just see all three. Cashman has said he will not negotiate with Arod if he opts out and I hope he sticks to his guns. It was rumoured today that Cashman was willing to negotiate during the season to try and sign Arod to an extension, something he has been unwilling to do with Bernie, Rivera, Posada, etc… I do not know if this was rumor or not but Boras already said he will not negotiate with the Yanks during the season. I love it. I love hearing this. It pretty much assures me that Arod will opt out and the Yanks can reverse their recent cycle of losing.

Arod..we will never forget that you were part of the largest collapse in the history of sports when the Yanks choked their 3 game lead to the Red Sox and you were absolutely terrible. We also remember how bad and messed up you were when Torre had to drop you to 8th in the lineup.

So please opt out when you are eligible. I found out that he can opt out 10 days after the World Series ends and I am counting down the days. I will likely set up a counter once I find out when the baseball playoffs are scheduled. Please please please opt out. I will send your classy wife as many F*** You shirts as she wants if you opt out and leave the Bronx forever. The Yanks fans deserve better than you.

***7/13/2007 Update*** Looks like the Yanks were also reaching out to Mo and Posada. Smart move on their part. the Yanks need these players especially now more than ever. Check out the article.

This is a great sign also. Cashman is the man. Yankees opt to give A-Rod an ultimatum. I love that the Yanks are drawing a line in the sand right now saying that it is all up to Arod. They will negotiate a new contract EXTENSION now, not a new contract and if, or more likely when he opts out they will not negotiate with him at all. If the Yanks are not in the market for Arod in the offseason than Boras will not have any leverage in the open market. Boras needs the Yanks involved. It will be great to see Cashman say that he wanted Arod to stay and had a contract letting him do so and Arod chose to opt so it is all on Arod’s shoulders. He never really wanted to win in NY, he could not stomach the pressure, he really wanted more money and the list goes on and on. Bye Bye Arod, you will forever remain the player who played to Jeter’s right in the field.

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July 12, 2007 Posted by | Cubs, Giambi, Joe Torre, Mariano Rivera, MLB, Red Sox, Sports, State of the Yankees, World Series, Yankees | 3 Comments

Roger Clemens Update

For all the haters in the media, you can now eat a full serving of shut the hell up. Since Clemens joined the Yankees he has used his “family escape clause” exactly zero times. All of the media members and yankee haters proclaimed how Clemens was a bad teamate because he was not going to be with the team and how could the Yankees let a player do this and blah blah blah. Well now we see what Clemens plans on doing with that contract clause…..he plans on being a great teammate. The Yanks need him now and he knows it, the Yanks young pitchers need him around and he knows it and the clubhouse needs his passion and fire and he knows it so he is focused on helping the Yanks win. Media members, Clemens haters and Kyle Farnsworth….Go suck it!!!

Flash Flash

June 13, 2007 Posted by | Kyle Farnsworth, MLB, Roger Clemens, Sports, State of the Yankees, Yankees | 9 Comments

Roger Clemens: Will he matter?

You must have heard the news by now, Roger Clemens is coming back to the Yankees. I do not think anybody thinks he is going to be the clear cut leader to start at the top of their rotation and he is probably more like a 2 or 3 starter at this point in his career.

There is one thing the Yankees really need from Roger and it has nothing to do with how fast he can throw, how many games he wins, how many strikeouts he tosses….they need his attitude. The old Roger had a I do not give a F*ck who you are, I am going to throw inside, I am going to brush you back, I am going to hit you. Just ask Mike Piazza if he liked having a broken bat thrown at him. The Yanks need the attitude. Torre is managing a clean “we are better that, we will not retaliate” approach to things and the Yanks do not need that. Their pitchers need to protect their hitters.

In today’s game versus Seattle, the Yanks finally had some fire. Josh Phelps went hard into Johjima at home and took him out of the play, then Washburn hit Phelps, both sides were warned and Proctor came in and pegged a guy to start a bench clearing almost brawl.

The Yanks need the intensity, they need the fire Roger provides. Wins will be great but the desire, the fire and intensity will be far more valuable. Now Yanks fans just need to keep their fingers crossed that Roger is coming to NY to do more than collect a paycheck, he needs to change the mindset of the pitching staff and get the pitchers fired up. Roger can be the missing piece to the rotation but it will only be the case if he brings his “A” game intensity wise and teaches the rotation and bullpen to take pride in their team, protect their teamates and regain some of the confidence they have lost through the troubles the pitching staff has encountered this year.

As a Yanks fan, I am hoping Roger is coming to town as a mentor and a leader. This is really what the Yanks need at this point in the season. Welcome back Roger!!!

Flash Flash

May 7, 2007 Posted by | Mariners, MLB, New York, Roger Clemens, Scott Proctor, State of the Yankees, Yankees | 4 Comments

MLB & NBA Picks

Been a while since I made some picks. Here are my results to date:

  • MLB: 16-18
  • NBA: 16-6-1
  • UFC: 4-2

Let’s see if I can get my MLB record up where it needs to be. Unfortunately, I only like three lines for tomorrow’s (Friday’s) action.

  • Braves @ Rockies. Two of the games young guns square of in this one. James for the Braves. Francis for the Rockies. I like Francis a lot. I don’t think he is even close to hitting his potential. Even in that park. He is a slight underdog at home (Braves are -108, Rockies -102). He shouldn’t be. I’m taking the Rockies -102.
  • Rays vs. A’s. Rays’ current streak is a little misleading. They are coming off an absolute beatdown of the Yanks, but that is somewhat deceptive. The Yanks are terrible and play with no heart on a consistent basis and they have the worse manager in baseball. A win against them isn’t that impressive, even for the Rays. However, things like that, especially for a young team, can build momentum fast. Real fast. They will be without Baldelli (possibly), but the A’s have been decimated by injuries. Harden. Swisher. They are all banged-up. They still play with fire though and never quit. Hats off to Bob Geren. That said, I think the Rays take this one. I think they ride the Yanks series and keep pressing. I like the line, too. Shields MOWED in his last start. I’m taking the Rays +140.
  • Red Sox @ Yanks. Couldn’t let this one go. Espeically given the two starters: AP for the Yanks, Nomo II for the Sox. Between Sockgate, Schilling’s vagina, Nomo II’s overratedness, the Yanks being soft and having the worse manager in baseball, there is always so many sideshow debacles to this series that even if you don’t like either team, it is impossible not to check it out. The thing about last weekend’s beatdown is that the Yanks were in every game. They should have taken two out of three. I think they right the ship tomorrow night. I think they get to Nomo II early and often. I like AP as a stopper. I don’t think the Yanks will lose 7 in a row (despite Torre). I’m taking the Yanks -122. 

NBA

  • Bulls @ Heat. The Heat have looked terrible in this series. The Bulls have been playing like a team possessed. I think they hate the Heat and are looking to crush them. Despite that, the Heat are favorites at home. Vegas must be thinking that Riley can motivate them and right the ship. I think he will enough so to win, but not cover. I think this game will be close. I’m taking the Bulls +5.5.
  • Raptors @ Nets. This has been a great series. Love watching Kidd run the floor and Bosh just be Bosh. Bosh is probably my favorite player the the league right now. HUGE fan. Wish he didn’t play in Toronto though. This will be another good game. I like the Nets to cover at home though. I’m taking the Nets -4.5.
  • Warriors @ Mavs. Can someone pull Stephen Jackson aside and shake the sh*t out of him? Please! I think he was jealous that Baron got tossed, so he acted a fool just so he wouldn’t be left out. That team makes no sense. Nellie looks like he is going to explode in every interview. Everytime. Even when they win. Baron went off the reservation in a game his team still had a legit chance of winning. Nellie should bench him to start the game. No need for that prima donna crap. I think the Mavs figured out that they actually need to start playing. I think they CRUSH the Warriors. It will be ugly. This line is a joke and a mistake. I’m taking the Mavs -4.5.

Those are my picks. Good luck.

Runny

April 27, 2007 Posted by | Betting, Derek Jeter, Dice-K, Fenway, Francona, Gambling, Giambi, gyroball, Hall of Fame, Heat, Hideki Matsui, Japan, Jeter, Joe Torre, Kei Igawa, Kyle Farnsworth, Lacrosse, Mariano Rivera, Matsuzaka, Mike Mussina, MLB, nba, NBA Playoffs Picks, New York, Red Sox, Schilling, Scott Proctor, Shaq, State of the Yankees, Terry Francona, ufc, Winning Picks, Yankees | Leave a comment

Yankees versus Red Sox – Let’s Get Ready to Rumble….kind of,

Well baseball fans, it is that time of year again. Yankees versus Red Sox, the cream of the crop of the AL East, two of the best teams in baseball, all the big names….Arod, Jeter, Pettite, Rivera, Giambi vs. Beckett, Schilling, Dice-K, Papi, Manny…basically it is a baseball fan’s dream. So how do we look at this weekend? The pressure is entirely on the Red Sox, 100%. Why do you ask? It is simple:

Pettite vs. Schilling – Red Sox are favored
Karstens vs. Beckett – it is really no contest, Red Sox are favored
Wright vs. Dice – K – Yeah you guessed it, Red Sox are favored

All of the pressure is on the Red Sox. This is not Pettite, Mussina and Wang rolling in, even Pavano would be a step up over Karstens and Wright. No, it is Andy P and Schilling and then Yank’s minor leaguers versus arguably the Red Sox two best pitchers. If I am a Red Sox fan, which I am not, I would be disappointed at anything but a 3-0 sweep. The Sox get to roll out their 1,2,3..their top of the rotaion guys and those guys expect to win and the fans expect them to win. So why is the pressure off of the Yanks, because if they do get swept they can simply say they are banged up and had to throw minor league pitchers at the Red Sox. They have an out.

Schilling and Beckett know what this series is all about but Dice-K has no idea. Dice-K has one Fenway start and he was completely outpitched by King Felix. The Yankees batting order will be like nothing Dice-K has ever seen. The one stat I blogged about earlier in the week is key to the Dice-K start. Dice-K’s OBP when pitching from the stretch is 90 pints higher than from the windup. This stat is not based on this year but spans his entire career. I think the Yanks hitters will take a lot of pitches and will frustrate Dice-K. The Yanks also have speed at the top of the lineup, which is something Dice-K has not seen yet as well. This could be a long start for him and I am predicting that this will be the worst start of his short MLB career.

The Arod debate. Arod is on fire and does not need any more attention. Yankee fans still do not trust Arod and this series will either keep Arod hitting on the war path or will humble him a bit. The entire world knows Arod crumbles in big spots and the Yanks inexperienced starters are going to need all the offensive help they can get. This series will be big for Arod because everybody will want to know if he can remain hot or if he crumbles under the pressure like he has in Fenway in the past and especially the playoffs. A hot April does not predict a hot October and Arod still has a lot to prove.

I am willing to live blog the Dice-K Sunday start if peple request it. Check out my live blog of his first Fenway start to see what I can do. I hope this is a good series and a competitive one.

Flash Flash

April 20, 2007 Posted by | Derek Jeter, Dice-K, ESPN, Fenway, Giambi, Hideki Matsui, Japan, Jeter, Joe Torre, Kei Igawa, Kyle Farnsworth, Mariano Rivera, Matsuzaka, Mike Mussina, New York, Red Sox, Schilling, Scott Proctor, Sports, State of the Yankees, Yankees | Leave a comment

State of the Yankees

We are nearly though the first two weeks of the season. Very happy to see MLB celebrate Jackie Robinson Day today. Very classy and it should be done every year. Only disappointing part of the celebration was that I wish EVERY player wore #42. I like that a few players from each team wore Jackie’s jersey, but it would have been a great sign of solidarity if everyone wore his uniform as tribute.

As you probably know, Flash and I are HUGE Yankees fans. Neither of us live in NY, but we make the pilgrimage to the Stadium every year for opening day. The Yankees are pretty much all we think about, and we obsess over the team like crazy. Throughout the season, from time-to-time I will write a State of the Yankees post to cover various topics concerning the greatest sports franchise ever assembled. So, here goes my first shot:

Starting Pitching

Not sure I’ve ever seen a collection of sallies this large and this well paid. Leading the charge of my angst is, of course, Carla Pavano. Is there a worse athlete?!?!?! Ever?!?!? His latest stint on the DL began today with Carla mysteriously injuring his forearm. How does he get away with this?!?!?!? He looked great in his last start-probably his best pitching performance since he shat on the Yankees in the 2003 Series. So, he must have injured the said forearm doing something else that wasn’t related to his last start….I can only imagine what that was and it fits his sorry MO. Here is my first plea to Cashman: PLEASE CUT HIM NOW!! Pretty please! We are better off bringing up a new starter from the minors every fifth day than to let Pavano take the mound again. Remember, this is the same guy who missed a start because his girlfriend was sick. Nothing against his girlfriend (I hope she was OK), but c’mon!!!!!!!

Speaking of his girlfriend, as an aside I’d like to give herprops for doing what we want to do-kick him to the curb. For those of you who don’t know her, her name is Gia Allemand and she booted Carla right at the beginning of the season. Of course, she is an aspiring model and has her own website. Check her out at www.giaallemand.com. A little warning, the site is horrendous and if you visit, turn the volume on your computer off. There is cheesey, 70’s porn theme music that relentlessly plays over and over again. Again, terrible site, but she deserves our respect.

Also, take a look at this article from the NY Post: www.nypost.com/seven/03302007/news/nationalnews/pavano_gal_pal_drops_bomber_nationalnews_richard_johnson_and_david_k__li.htm

This could be the funniest thing I have ever read. Especially her quote of “I was the one that trained him and got him there all year,” she told Steppin’ Out’s Chaunce Hayden. She trained him?!?!?!?!?!??! Please tell me that is true!!! Please!!!! Would help explain many things about Carla. Back to the Yanks….

Unfortunately for the Yankees, Carla is not the only clown on their pitching staff. Wang has yet to make a start. Joining him on the DL (and Carla, too) is Mike Mussina. He walked off the mound in his last start because of a bum hammy. He’ll probably be out until the all-star break. I do like Moose  a lot. However, now hat he is on the DL, too, I wonder if Carla will now be giving him grief for “not wanting to be a part of the team,” “or not proving to his teammates that he wants to pitch”? If you remember, Moose publicly blasted Carla before camp started about his stints on the DL for seemingly minor injuries. I guess that doesn’t apply to everyone. Nice showing, Moose.

Kei Igawa…I don’t even need to write more. He needs to be gone immediately. I rip on Red Sox fans I know for spending too much money on Nomo II, but the Yankees signing of Igawa (almost $26 mil total) may be worse. Cashman jumped the shark with that signing and I can only imagine he did so as a knee jerk response to losing out on Nomo II. No other explanation. I’ve seen him pitch a few times. Joe Kerrigan throws better warm-up in the Pen.

The state of the current pitching situation leads me to conclude one thing: the Philip Hughes Era needs to begin today. Call him up to fill one of the three DL spots they have. Give him a spot and shot to try it out. He is young and cocky. His confidence is not going to be ruined if he gets roughed-up. He is tough. In fact, guarantee his spot and let the the four clowns mentionedin this post compete for the job whenever they decide it would be good to earn their checks. After-all, Torre guaranteed a spot to Mientkewicz (I don’t care if that is spelled wrong-he is terrible) and that turned out super (I think through today’s game, he wasn’t hitting his weight).  Why not do it for someone with talent?

Offense

#13 (still not calling him by name) has started the season with a flourish. Absolutely killing the ball. However, I’ve seen enough of him in clutch situations to know that the other shoe could drop at anytime. For now, I will compliment him and say that he has looked DAMN good at the plate and in the field (notwithstanding the bonehead play on opening day). He has popped out a lot with the bases loaded. he is still leaving a lot of runners on. However, it is a great start so far. Hopefully he keeps it up.

Giambi has started slow, but recently he has been hitting the ball hard. He had a good series in Oakland. Hopefully he will capitalize on that momentum. Jeter is Jeter (except for his glove). With the exception of Vlad Guerrero, there is no other hitter in MLB that I’d rather see at bat than Bobby Abreu. He pummels pitchers. Absolutely eats them up. His ABs earlier in the week against Ponson were priceless. The ESPN announcers calling that game even commented that after Ponson faced Abreu, he was sweating so much they thought he was going to pass out. Plus, his swing is a thing of beauty. Posada is starting off well. So is Cano and Melky is finally starting to show that last year was no fluke.

Bottom-line is the offense is looking good. Hoping it will be even better once warmer weather sets in.

Defense

The defense has been atrocious. This is not a good defensive team, but no one thought they would be this bad. Leading the way, very surprisingly so, is Jeter. He is already halfway to his error total for the entire 2006 season. Very unlike him. Hopefully it is a fluke and he puts it together. I think he will. This team has a good offense, but not good enough to overcome the errors on a consistent basis to win games. Definitely not enough to win the Series. They need to improve.

Bullpen

Has been the best part of the club. Bruneytime is legit and will unseat Proctor and Farnsworth as Torre’s main set-up man for Mo. With the exception of Mo’s blown save today, the pen has been phenomenal. Very happy with their performance to date.

Overall Grade: I know it is only the first two weeks, but I will give a grade for each State of the Yankees post. For the first two weeks, I’ll give them a B-.Their offense has been good, their pen has been amazing, but both are heavily outweighed by the piss poor defense and the sallies on the starting staff (with the exception of AP). They need to get better in both areas if they hope to compete for a long October run. This team should be much better, but they are underachieving big-time.

So that’s my first shot. I’ll keep them coming.

Runny

April 16, 2007 Posted by | Derek Jeter, Dice-K, Gia Allemand, Hideki Matsui, Jackie Robinson, Joe Torre, Kei Igawa, Kyle Farnsworth, Mariano Rivera, Matsuzaka, Mike Mussina, MLB, Pavano, Scott Proctor, State of the Yankees, Yankees | Leave a comment