Tag Archives: Joba Chamberlain

New York Yankees Eliminated! Dynasty Dead!

24 Sep

Yankees Urn.jpg

It finally happened tonight.  The Yankees were eliminated from baseball’s postseason.  Even more delicious for this Red Sox fan was that it was a Boston victory that knocked them out.

With Boston’s win over the Indians tonight, the Yankees 1,000 year playoff streak was finally broken.  Millions and millions of hours of my prayers and church going were finally answered!  The Yankee Dynasty is dead.

Will it return anytime soon?  My first reaction is with that much cash, there’s no doubt that the Bronx Bombers will be a serious threat to the BoSox claim to the mantle of the “New Evil Empire”.  Of course, there will be challenges and questions to answer along the way.

  Let’s take a quick look at some of them!

Brian Cashman – is he a genius or is he highly over-rated?  Will he come back or will he bolt at the thought of coming back with deminished powers?

The Steinbrenner Boys – probably should have put them at the top of this list.  Will they be as hungry to win as their dad was?  Will they be as undisciplined in that quest for winning as their pop was?  If so, you’ll start to see it this off season as they persue every just past his prime free agent with the gusto of a prostitute at the GOP and/or Democratic national convention chasing after drunken superdelegates.

Joe Girardi – So… He came to the Yankees with exactly how much experience?  He was supposed to be Mister Tough guy to Torre’s old softie act.  Somehow Girardi didn’t crack down as much as let the franchise crack up in year one.

Joba, Joba, Joba – Jorge Posada says he belongs in the pen.  Chamberlain says he doesn’t care so long as he isn’t forced to bounce between two jobs.  And Cashman actually raised the idea of starting him in relief AGAIN and then converting him to starting later in the seaons.  Hmmmm… Maybe Cashman isn’t a genius.  As I’ve long said, pick a role for Joba and keep him there. 

Old Guys – Posada is an old injured catcher.  Giambi is old and no first basemen.  Jeter (and lightning may strike me down now) looked older this year.  Alex plays old in the clutch if you believe in that kind of thing.  Godzilla isn’t getting younger and was hurt this year.  Damon has aged rapidly and you’ve got to wonder how many years he’s got left.  Mussina has made me eat my words and he may yet win 20, but how many will he get next year?  Does Andy Pettite want a next year and if you’re the Yankees do you want that with you?

Under Achieving Young Guys – Just about every young Yankee pitcher underachieved either by their play on the field, getting hurt or in most cases all three.  Can someone from among Hughes, Kennedy or Rasner and their ilk step up and throw strikes for a full seaon?  And then there’s Robinson Cano and Melkey Cabrera out to show that not only young pitchers underperform.  What’s their true value?

Wow!  That’s a lot to tackle and I barely follow the Yankees.  Good luck to them and their fans.  But not too much.  This is one Red Sox that wants to appreciate them when they’re down cause it likely won’t last long.  It may not be classy but after suffering for the first 30 years of my fandom at the Yankees’ rough hands, what else can you expect from me?

One last thought on the Yankees’ demise.  It makes the Rays a fun story for me again.  When it became clear the Rays weren’t going away earlier this season, I was worried between a Red Sox slump and Bronx surge that Boston might be left watching October baseball from the sidelines.  I went from almost rooting for the Rays to actively rooting against them.  It was maddening and incomprehensible that the Sox weren’t able to catch them.  After all, what’s it worth being the New Evil Empire if you can’t crush the Tampa Bay Rays?

Anyway, with the Yankees safetly dispatched, I can now go back to rooting for Tampa.  That is, until Boston plays them in the playoffs should either team get that far…

Yankee fans, it was a great run.  You earned a little break.  Enjoy the time away and see you next spring!

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Joba, Barack, Palin, Oh My!! WARNING! Don’t Waste Your Time Reading This!!

3 Sep

Alright, so I’m back.  Break out the champagne or your beverage of choice.  Summer is over and here are some quick thoughts on the news that I would have blogged about if I’d been able to blog during the past week or so.

Joba Chamberlain 

Wow!  Did the Yankees mess up on him this year.  And for the record, I’ve been right about him all this year.  I warned against moving him to the starting rotation.  Despite my dire warnings, that’s just what they did.  The result?  A few nice starts followed by a stint on the DL and now a return as a reliever.

I’m not against Joba as a starter.  By why they were dead set against delaying it until he could have a full training camp as a starter I’ll never know.  Even more incredulous, I heard Brian Cashman said today that Joba might begin next year as a reliever again before being converted to starting in season. 

Just plain stupid.  I’m so divided on whether Brian Cashman is really good or really bad at his job.  But, that’s a topic for another day.

The AL East Race

Full disclosure.  I’m a Red Sox fan and hater of the Yankees.  Remember them?  They used to be the Evil Empire.  But, this year they may finally miss the playoffs.  Given their long history of comebacks, I’m not about to write them off although it’s getting tougher for them everyday.

As an example, tonight the Yankees have a 6-2 lead at Tampa Bay over the surprising division leaders as I write this.  However, up at Fenway, the Red Sox have a 13-1 lead over the Orioles.  So a win tonight does them no good and helps their arch rivals.

The Rays were a cute and inspiring story.  Now, they’re a serious thorn in the side for my hopes of the Red Sox defending their title.  I was kind of rooting for the Rays to get into the playoffs with the wild card.  Now, I’m trying to stay confident that Sox will make the playoffs as the wild card.

Best case for me is for the Sox to win the Division, the Rays to get the wild card and the Yankees to go home.  Even after two recent championships, the long suffering Sox fan inside me just can’t give up on the idea of seeing the Yankees’ playoff streak finally come to an end.  That might be a little pathetic, but if the tables were turned, I’m sure the Bronx fans would feel the same way about the BoSox.  And that’s what makes it such a great rivalry.

Joe Biden

Good pick for Obama, despite the overly long hair in the back.  It’s as if he’s making up for the thinning at the front.  Note to Joe Biden.  Your hair is thinning and we know.

That aside, Biden helps on foreign policy of course, experience and it doesn’t hurt that he’s got Pennsylvania roots.  Also, he seems prepared as possible to be a heartbeat away…

My gut tells me, though, that somewhere along the way Biden’s mouth is going to get him in trouble.

If you’re Obama, you’re just hoping that the damage won’t outweigh the good that he brings in terms of all I mentioned above and his willingness to go on the attack for the ticket.

Sarah Palin or Tina Fay – You Decide!

BEFORE YOU GO ANY FURTHER…. READ THIS CORRECTION – PLEASE NOTE THAT REPUTABLE NEWS SOURCES ARE NOW SAYING THAT IT WAS PALIN’S HUSBAND NOT SARAH PALIN HERSELF WHO WAS A MEMBER OF THE ALASKAN POLITICAL PARTY THAT ADVOCATES ALASKA BOLTING FROM THE US.  I GOT MY INFO YESTERDAY FROM ANOTHER REPUTABLE NEWS OUTLET THAT WAS APPARENTLY WRONG.  SORRY FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE & HOPE IT DOESN’T INTERFERE WITH YOUR ENJOYMENT OF MY WITTY YET INSIGHTFUL COMMENTARY.  CAUSE THAT WOULD JUST BE SAD…

Well, she’s definitely not some recycled boring old white guy (Joe Lieberman, Mitt Romney you out there?).

When I heard the pick, I was completely shocked.  I’d heard some brief mention of her, but it always seems like a very minor possibility.

I’m still wrapping my head all around it.  Like many others have said, it could prove to be genius or his dumbest mistake.  Right now, I’m leaning toward NOT genius.

On the plus side, it was a surprising pick and it absolutely made news, which seems to have been a big requirement as they were calculating who to chose.  Her gender helps offer out the possibility of something extraordinary happening on the Republican side this year and may offset some of the excitement about the first African American potentially elected Commander In Chief.  Further, her gender may lure some of Hillary Clinton’s former supporters. Palin’s got very solid conservative credits, which oddly enough seem to have only been enhanced by the revelation that her teenage daughter is pregnant (because like in the Madonna song “she’s keeping my baby”.  And really I think this is where she’ll help McCain the most – sureing up the base.  Evangelicals are saying she’s walking the walk when it comes to being commited to her anti-abortion rights views.

On the negative side, despite being “fully vetted”, she’s under investigation in Alaska for trying to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from his job as a State Trooper, her daughter is pregnant at 17 , her husband had a drunk driving conviction decades ago, it seems she was a member of a political party advocating Alaska bolting from the United States and of course there’s the experience thing.  Plus, realisically, is a woman against abortion rights REALLY gonna steal many of Clinton’s supporters away??

Live by the sword and die by the sword they say.  McCain’s most effective weapon against Barack Obama was pressing the experience question.  Now, with the choice of Sarah Palin, it seems out the window to me.  McCain is 72 and has survived multiple cancers.  He was a POW for a very long time and brutally tortured.  I sincerly wish Senator McCain many more years, but how are we not to factor all of this in when we realize that his VP is basically the mayor of a town smaller than a lot of us grew up in?

Whether Sarah Palin was fully vetted or not, we’ll never really know.  But, the reality is that I don’t think many presidential candidates would’ve signed her on if they’d known all the baggage she’d bring along.  Worse yet, the press and bloggers aren’t going to stop speculating about how fully she was vetted.  It brings into question Senator McCain’s judgement.

McCain, claims he’s a different kind of politician.  He’s a maverick.  With his VP pick, he proved that for sure.  Now, his greatest appeal, his very maverick-ness, may come back to bite him in the @ss.

As for me, I’m officially staying undecided, but I have to admit I’m swaying in Barack Obama’s direction…

The Yankees Are Like James Bond!

25 Jul

It starts tonight.  The real baseball season I mean.  Yankees versus the Red Sox at Fenway. Joba versus Beckett.  Can it get get any better than this?  Unless you are a Devil Rays, excuse me, a Rays fan I don’t think so.

Three quick observations for you all from my POV as a BoSox fan:

First, the Joba experiment has worked out much better than I ever anticipated.  Despite the completely messed up way that Chamberlain was handled by the Yankees, Joba’s transition to a starting role has been almost without bumps.  Now, they’re counting on him in one of the biggest spots of the season.  Will he crack?  I don’t think so.  At least, I don’t think Chamberlain will under perform until the end of the season when he’s worn down, if at all.

That said, the whole Joba thing doesn’t worry me much.  In fact, I think the Yankees did Red Sox Nation a favor by converting Joba.  Let’s say he pitches a lights out game tonight and gets the Yankees that all important first game victory at Fenway.  So what?  Joba is one and done.  The Red Sox won’t have to face him again.  When he was a reliever, he might have had an impact in all three games.  As it stands now, the Sox just have to deal with him once.  I’ll take my chances facing him once when he has to be out there for many innings at a time versus having to face him for short spurts everyday.  And that’s why I still think The Yankees made a mistake pulling him out of the bullpen.

Finally, the Yankees piss me off and scare me because for the last two years they’ve reminded me of a James Bond movie.  I’m much too lazy to actually look up the movie or get the dialogue exactly right, but the scene I’m thinking of goes like this…

James Bond is tied down on a table.  He’s on his back and his legs are spread apart and restrained.  Bond’s enemy (the usual megalomaniac, evil, lunatic) has a laser beam started and charting a path toward Bond’s cherished family jewels.  Bond asks the villain “do you expect me to talk?”.  The villain replies “no, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die”.  Then, of course, Bond doesn’t.

For the last two seasons, the Yankees have started out like Bond.  Seemingly done and about to die.  But, only then, they don’t.  If I wasn’t a Red Sox fan I guess I’d admire it.  Posada’s been hurt as has much of the rotation they started the year with.  Yet, there they are still in the thick of it. 

Last year, I was pretty sure the Yankees were finished.  I could see Torre getting fired and the dynasty ending.  And then they made the playoffs.  While they did fire Joe Torre, it seems like replacement Joe Girardi is using Torre’s script from last season.  Once again, the Yankees are rising from the almost dead.

You have to give them credit.  Unless, you are a Red Sox fan like me.

The last five years have been a great time for me baseball-wise.  Suddenly, the culture in Sox Nation has changed from how will we blow this to we’ll come through in the clutch.  I’ve seen the Red Sox win two world series titles after I resigned myself to possibly dying without seeing that happen even once.

I’d like to see a third that includes a total collapse by the New York Yankees.

Is that too much to ask, Mr. Bond?

Joba Gets Jobbed by The Yankees!

4 Jun

Joba Chamberlain, eighth inning wonder, turned into an ordinary 22 year old pitcher tonight in his starting debut at Yankee Stadium.  Much as I dislike The Yankees, I’ve got to admit that Joba will probably be better in his next start or maybe the one after that.

Joba seems like the real deal.  He’s got a great backstory.  He’s done everything that the Yanks have asked of him and done it well.  That is, until tonight.  Tonight, he was more Ian Kennedy or Phil Hughes than Whitey Ford or Ron Guidry. 

For his failure tonight, in which he lasted all of two and third innings while struggling with his control throughout, I blame Bronx management.  The kid should never have been put in this position.

First, the Yankees had a choice of making his starting debut happen on the road (I think in the relative quiet of Minnesota) or at home, where it was sure to come off as a rock show.  Unfortunately for Chamberlain, the Yankees decided on a Bronx premiere and he was the one who got rocked. 

Someone on the Yankees should have taken a moment to realize that the guy was going to be all sorts of pumped for his first start at home.  From the little we’ve seen, it’s clear Joba runs on emotion.  Usually, those emotional outbursts help him perform well.  Tonight, those emotions came back to bite him and he couldn’t get himself or his pitches under control.

Second and perhaps the biggest error of all in dealing with Joba is that all this should have been taken care of in spring training.  The Yankees should have stretched his arm out then so he could have started the season as a starter and felt confident in his ability to succeed.

Instead, the Yanks wanted it both ways.  Joba as both an eighth inning stopper and starting rotation savior should the other kids or shakey vets break down.  Now, they’re left with a guy on a pitch count who the opposition will wait out and whose confidence will certainly suffer.  Joba may become a great starter before all is said and done, but his road just got a little harder tonight.

Hmmmm….

Remind me again as both a Red Sox and Mets fan why I’m complaining?

 Thanks, Hank!

Hank Steinbrenner loses his mind. It’s good to be a Red Sox fan!

22 Apr

Showing himself to be more like his dad with every passing explosion, Little Steinbrenner went off recently about Yanks Phenom Joba Chamberlain.  In a season in which, so far, the young Yankee pitching (they resisted trading for Johan Santana) has let them down, Hank could take no more.  It was time for the chip off the old block to pull one of his dad’s favorite moves.  Pointing the finger of blame squarely at somebody else.

Hank has just come out in favor of Chamberlain joining the Yankees starting rotation as soon as possible.  But, that wasn’t enough for him.  He had to get to the root of the problem.  He needed someone to blame.  It was Joe Torre or maybe it was Brian Cashman, but it was NOT him.  That much was VERY clear.  According to Hank, Joba was handled the wrong way last year.  Rather than being used as a set up man, Hank thinks Chamberlain should have been put straight into the Yankee rotation.

If Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes keep pitching like Ted Kennedy and the late Howard Hughes (ok, that was an admitted stretch…) respectively, then The Little Stein will soon get his wish.

And how will Joba do in the starter’s role this year?  Not as good as Hank may think.  First off, kiss a few miles off of his fastball.  If Chamberlain’s going five plus innings, he’ll have to pace himself.  Secondly, while he has two fantastic pitches, his other two are not as stellar.  Major league hitters will exploit that relative weakness when he’s forced to throw them more.  And lastly, how exactly is he getting tuned up to be a starter?  Do you send him down to the minors for a while in the middle of a pennant race and give up your eighth inning lights out set up guy?

As a Red Sox fan, I certainly hope so.  I’d love to see Joba only once in a seven game series rather than three or more times. 

Bring it on Hank!