Tag Archives: CC Sabathia

On Opening Day In New York All Is As I Knew It Would Be!

7 Apr

KROD.jpgDay one of the baseball season doesn’t mean much.  For one thing, there’s another 161 games to go.  So, day one doesn’t mean a lot.  Unless it does.

If you’re a Mets’ fan you better hope this is how the rest of the year goes.  Putz sealing off the eighth and K-Rod doing what he’s supposed to in the ninth to earn his millions.

If you’re a Yankees’ fan, you had better hope C.C. and Teixiera bounce back quickly.  The big guy got shelled and the big bat was silent today.  If that’s how their season goes, they’ll be no playoffs in the Bronx.

For me, I saw all of this coming.  I figured the Mets bullpen would be improved.  Truth be told though, I’m not convinced about their starting pitching beyond Johan and some of the lineup is suspect to me (Castillo, Delgado, Sheffield and who ever else plays the outfield there).

As for the Yankees, I previously posted that C.C. would start off badly.  And so he has.  I’m no genius.  It’s been part of C.C’s pattern the last few years.  He’s pitched a lot (what with playoffs and the WBC) and so it’s understandable that he’s started off each of last few seasons pretty slowly.  My guess is that he’ll be alright in the end as well Texiera.

As with the Mets however, I’m not sold on the Yankees either.  I think they are simply too creaky (Posoda, A-Rod, Jeter, Matsui and others).

But what do I know, it’s only opening day.

WTF! Yankees Sign Teixeira And Unleash A Bucketful of Questions!

23 Dec

Sports Illustrated is reporting on their web site that the Yankees just got bigger and badder.  With money seemingly seemingly flowing like water out of the Bronx this winter, the Yanks just hauled in Mark Teixeira with an eight year, $180 million dollar deal.

Here are some thoughts from a slightly biased Red Sox fan:

This explains why the Yanks weren’t courting Manny.  I was actually just about to sit down to blog about how the Yankees weren’t living up to their end of the rivalry by not pursuing Manny more aggressively.  I thought Manny to the Yanks made sense cause he’s still one of the best hitters in the game, he’d love to come home to the Bronx and most importantly he’d be motivated to go head to head against the Sox.  Imagine the drama that might have been…

In this crazy winter could something completely insane happen like the Red Sox feeling threatened enough to bring Manny back?  While I don’t think either side wants to reunite, the Sox have to be sobered by the Yankees’ acquisition of Teixeira.  And with his bad deeds catching up to him, Manny is left without much of a market for his services relatively speaking (he’ll still wind of up with millions of LA’s or someone else’s money).  It’s closing time and you find yourself alone with someone slightly below your standards, you and she say “what the heck” and leave together.  Sound like a story you’ve heard before??  That’s maybe where the Red Sox and Manny are about to find themselves.

How does this impact A-Rod?  Is this deal bigger than his on a per year basis?  (I haven’t crunched the numbers)  Is that a problem?  Having another big bat has to help unless ego gets in the way, right?

With the CC signing, the AJ deal and now this one, it’s guaranteed that lightning won’t strike three times.  Now, you can look at this in a positive or negative way.  I’ll go positive but from the Red Sox POV…  There is absolutely no chance that all three of these deals will turn out to be great deals for the Yankees.  Life and really I’m talking about sports, just doesn’t work that way.  So, count on one or more of these signings to turn out just awful.

Are the Yankees better?  ABSOLUTELY.  The question is how much better.  Well, Nick Swisher isn’t their starting first baseman anymore so that’s got to mean something.  Again, maybe I’m a bitter Boston fan, but there’s still a lot of holes on this team, which is has aged.  Do the names Damon, Matsui, Jeter, Posada mean anything to you?  They are all old guys who are past their prime.  Yes, even Jeter.  Somebody is going to break down and likely more than one.  Although with their cash, the Yankees will have the resources to get replacements next winter.  So much for rebuilding with youth, Yankee fans…

Didn’t the Yankees (and my second favorite team the Mets) just ask the city of New York for a ton of additional money to complete their new stadiums? During these tough times will it bother any Bronx tax payers to know that their hard earned money is going to Mark Teixeira and others who they’ll never be able to buy a seat to watch?  In fairness, that’s the state of sports accross the US, not just in NY.  When will tax payers wake up and demand that these subsidies end?  If the Yanks have money for this signing, they ought to pony up the rest of the dough needed to finish their new homes themselves.  And that goes for the Metropolitans too.

How will the Red Sox respond?  Sure, there’s my Manny fantasy, but that’s not likely.  And with their starting pitching mostly set, who among everyday players is left that makes sense for them to chase?

Stay tuned…

The rivalry is back on!

PS – speaking of rivalries.  How would you like to be the Mets this winter? You land the best closer in baseball as well as another closer who was pretty good two years ago to fix your bullpen.  Meanwhile, your crosstown rivals go nuclear and sign the three biggest prizes available this year.  It’s like you can’t win for trying if you’re Omar Minaya.  But that won’t stop him from taking another crack at it. And that’s why sport is so much fun!

Signing CC! Not An Ace Move?!

11 Dec

Here was the state of the Yankee pitching staff as the free agent market opened up.  Their most consistent pitcher, Chien Ming Wang doesn’t deliver come playoff time and had arm trouble last season.  Their best pitcher last year, Mike Mussina, decide to forgo a shot at 300 wins and just retire.  That should tell you something right there.  Moving on, Andy Petitte simply isn’t what he was in Houston.  Joba belongs in the pen.  And their other heralded youngsters either got hurt or simply weren’t ready in  ’08.

With all that as the background, upgraded pitching clearly needed to be a goal in this off season.  Upgrade-wise, they don’t come any bigger than C.C. Sabathia.  Despite my natural bias against the Yankees, clearly I have to be praising this signing.

And yet, I’m not.  Here’s why:

TSee full size imagehe Ed Whitson Effect – Whitson was no CC but back in his days he was a very effective pitcher.  Just not in NY.  Both before and after his Bronx stint, he pitched capably in the Major Leagues, but he just couldn’t handle NY.  Over the years, baseball watchers have seen numerous other cases of big contract players wilting under the big city lights of New York.

Will CC be another victim?  Consider this.  He had to be talked into coming East despite the Yankees having an offer that blew away the competition on the table for weeks.  Apparently, Reggie Jackson had some words with the boy.  But, remember that CC’s wife really wanted be closer to home.  How will they like New York the first time they make the back page for some trivial thing?   New York’s not Milwaukee or Cleveland is all I’m saying.

The A-Rod Effect– Fair or not, Alex Rodriguez has a reputation for choking come playoff time despite being perhaps the game’s best position player during the regular season.  Hmmmm.  Have you taken a look at CC’s playoff numbers?  They’re none too pretty.  Will he come to New York only to become A-Rod’s bookend?  Will he dominate during the first 162 and get beaten up in the post-season?  As they say “fool me once, shame on you.  fool me twice…” You know the rest.

The Long Term Pitching Contracts Are Jinxed Effect– Very few big money pitching contracts end up playing out well for the team shelling out all that money.  Don’t believe me?  Do the names Mike Hampton,  Barry Zito and Kevin Brown mean anything to you?  No?  Then what about Carl Pavano?

The AL Effect– The American League is just way tougher for pitchers to pitch in than the NL.  You only need to look at CC’s time in Cleveland last season versus his time with the NL’s Brewers to see the difference.  Even if CC has a great year, it won’t be the burst of dominance we saw down the stretch in Milwaukee.

The Innings Matter Effect – CC is coming off of two of the busiest years of his career.  All those innings logged two years ago when he almost pitched the Indians to the World Series may have accounted for his collapse that post season against the Sox.  It also may have accounted for the way he started this past season.  In case you missed it, his year started off really badly in Cleveland before he turned it around so dramatically. 

Still, the innings last season may have led to his inability to be an ace come playoff time.  After all down the stretch he was pitching every three days and going deep into games.  Count on CC starting out a bit roughly again this season Yankee fans.

The Rest of The Team Effect – Yes, the Yankees have tons of money.  But, after signing CC, they’ve vowed to continue their pursuit of more pitching help.  That will cost them.  Will they have the money to upgrade the day to day lineup?  If not, keep in mind that the Yankees’ starting first baseman is current ly Nick Swisher.  In addition, the team is getting older not better.  Only two Yankee starters were under 32 last year.  Those two, Robinson Cano & Milky Cabrera, had bad years.  Then there’s the defense.  The Yankees up the middle are made up of Cano, Derek Jeter and as of now Johnny Damon.  That threesome isn’t making any pitchers life easier.  Welcome to New York CC and hey, sorry we didn’t turn that double play…

The bottom line is that CC is a fine pitcher, but he’s no savior or even a sure thing.  The Yankees need way more than pitching to keep up with the Rays and a Red Sox team that may add Mark Teixeira.

After all, Teixeira plays everyday.

Cubs Trade For Harden and Seal Their Doom!

9 Jul

What a great two days in baseball’s NL Central!  First, the Brew Crew lands CC Sabathia.  Then less than 24 hours later, we get the announcement that the first place Cubs traded for Athletics’ ace Rich Harden.

There’s no doubt now.  It is sooooooo on in the NL Central!  Will Milwaukee’s big two of Ben Sheets and CC Sabathia put them over the top?  How do the Cubs’ twosome of Victor Zambrano and Rich Harden stack up?

Both teams are desparate.  The Cubs haven’t won a world series in a century.  As for the Brewers, well, they’ve never won period.  And did I mention that half the Milwaukee squad is leaving via free agency next year?  Yup, both teams are strongly motivated to win it this year.

My guess is that the Cubs are doomed.  Harden is a great pitcher.  He’s 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA as I type away.  So, what’s not to love?

I’ll tell you what.  Something like six trips to the disabled list in six seasons.

I’m not superstitious, but given the Cubs’ history of heart break and Harden’s track record of injuries, it doesn’t take a psychic to figure out this is gonna end badly in Chicago…