How’s This For An Edorsement?

So Pete Rose thinks A-Rod belongs in the Hall of Fame.  What’s next O.J. Simpson saying he is a great husband? 

A-Rod doesn’t look like a Hall of Famer right now, but he isn’t alone on this team.  The Yankees are 15-17 and can’t seem to build any consistency.  When they hit, they don’t pitch and when they pitch they don’t hit.  Actually, it really isn’t the hitters fault, the Yankees are 6th in baseball, scoring 5.4 runs a game.  It’s the pitching that’s killing them, 6.2 runs allowed a game, tied for worst in baseball.  

I don’t know what the answer is for the pitching woes.  AJ Burnett isn’t helping, CC has been mediocre, if they pitch to their ability things will be a lot better.  The bullpen is a different story.  I would send Edwar away, use Coke in the 8th (if his back is healthy-ugh) and hope Bruney returns soon.

It’s early, but the Yankees need to put together a winning streak soon.   

Not Good

Reports out of Toronto have Derek Jeter scratched from the lineup because of an oblique pull.  Considering yesterday was an off-day and the fact that Jeter is one tough SOB, this leads me to believe he is hurting.  We will never hear him say it, but it’s not a good omen.

You’re Busted

I would say this makes Manny Ramirez’s excuse seem impossible.  Look at this list and four of the top-10 have been implicated in this garbage.  So when was the last "clean" World Series?  I know the first two digits start "19" I have no idea what comes after them. 

What about the NBA and NHL?

With the recent news of Manny Ramirez’s suspension another blow to baseball, I got to thinking about the 4 major sports, MLB, NFL, NHL and the NBA, and the role steroids has played in each.

With the NFL, steroids were an early subject and it in turn implemented testing much earlier than the other sports.  Each year we learn of a handful of players getting suspended.  One cannot say their system is flawless, but it does yield tangible results.

MLB has received by far the most scrutiny based on the fact that we are slowly but steadily piecing together the number of the modern day power records were aided by steroids.  Baseball was slow to acknowledge and react to steroids and as a result it is paying the price.

The NBA and NHL have largely avoided the fray.  I wonder why that is and if we need to take a closer look.

The NHL was embroiled in a minor controversy when it was learned many of the players took Sudafed prior to games back in the ’90s.  The active ingredient in Sudafed acting as a stimulant.  But I cannot recall one NHL player being nabbed for steroid use.  How can that be?

A quick search reveals that as of December 2007, only 1 NHL had been caught using steroids all the while the NHL refusing to believe steroids could be an issue with NHL players.

NBA commissioner David Stern said he doesn’t think steroids are a concern in the NBA.  The idea being NBA players prefer leanness and athleticism, not bulk or power.  Well, have you seen Dwight Howard?  He looks to be both powerful and athletic all in one.  One can’t help but wonder how NBA players can have such developed deltoids and biceps without some kind of aid.

NHL players are protected by the equipment they wear, not only from physical harm, but judgment by the fans as we cannot see their physical appearance beyond broad assessments.

The fact remains that athletes in all sports, especially sports that reward play with hefty salaries, will and do try to gain any competitive edge possible.  To think NHLers will stop at Sudafed and smelling salts is naive.  And to think a fringe NBA player wouldn’t be tempted to use steroids and HGH all the while trying to cover his tracks is laughable.

I wonder if we will ever get inside these 2 leagues to learn the truth.  I find it hard to believe we are seeing a drug free NBA and NHL when nearly every other sport, both professional and amateur has had to deal with the issue.

Your thoughts?

Daniel Bard

In a surprising move, the Red Sox have promoted Daniel Bard to the big club.  To make room for Bard, the Red Sox designated Javier Lopez for assignment.

You could tell the Red Sox were ready to make a move on Lopez as they have been using him quite a bit in hopes he turn his season around, but he just couldn’t get anyone out this year and with Bard mowing them down in AAA, they made the move.

This move also puts some pressure on Jonathan Papelbon.  Papelbon hasn’t been able to work out a long-term deal with the Red Sox and has been making his outings a bit more interesting than one would want so far in 2009.

I don’t know if Bard has the make-up to handle 9th inning duty, but he’ll likely be given the occasional try.

Sad news on the passing of Dom DiMaggio.  He was from my grandfather’s generation and his loss sort of makes those days seem farther away in the rear view mirror.  I think had DiMaggio not missed 3 full seasons in his prime to WWII, he’d have had a legit shot at the Hall of Fame.

Also, best of luck to Jerry Remy in his recovery.  He has some of the best insight in all of baseball.

A New Bullpen Addition

The Yankees have added Brett Tomko and sent David Robertson down.  I haven’t seen an official move for the 40-man, but since Ian Kennedy is having surgery this week it makes sense that he would be sent to the 60-day DL.

Tomko has been closing in AAA and he has 17 K’s in 14 innings.  Very impressive numbers, but this is also a guy with a 4.68 ERA in almost 1800 innings of pitching in the bigs.  Has he reinvented himself?  At this point the Yankees might as well find out.  Worst case scenario, Tomko is released in a few weeks.

UPDATE: They have DFA’ed Eric Hacker.  Apparently Kennedy cannot go on the 60-day because he is in the minors. 

 

Just As Planned

This was what the Yankees expected when they went to Baltimore, complete game from CC, home run from A-Rod.  Of course they expected it on Opening Day back on April 6th, but better late than never, right?

It’s The DL

Molina is headed to the DL and Kevin Cash is coming up to the bigs.  Cash played for Boston last year and hit .225.  I can’t say this enough, but Brian Cashman YOU HAVE TO TRADE FOR A CATCHER WHO CAN ACTUALLY HIT.  Sorry to freak out there.  The Yankees haven’t announced a 40-man move yet to get Cash on the roster. 

In other news, Mark Melancon has been sent to the minors to make room for A-Rod.  This means we only have 12 pitchers active which is progress.

How Different It Was

I am too young to remember when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees, so I got a real kick out of this article that I spotted on SI.com.  It’s an entertaining read and presents a very different picture of George Steinbrenner, he sounds like the nicest guy in the world!  I also enjoyed learning that John DeLorean was an owner of the team at one point.  Anyway, it’s an entertaining read.

Still no word on Molina. 

Can We Have 2 DH’s?

The Yankees welcome back A-Rod tonight, but there are questions that linger over his return.  Chief among them, can Alex play third everyday? 

The Yankees have to hope he can, because they face a very serious logjam at DH in the coming weeks.  Hideki Matsui’s knee swelled running the bases and while the Yankees say he can play the field in June, it’s hard to imagine he will be able to do so with any consistency.  Xavier Nady is also expected back in the next few weeks and when he returns he won’t be able to play the field immediately.  Throw in Posada’s hamstring injury, squatting with a bum hamstring is hard to do, and the Yankees may have four players who can really only DH.  

This is a problem the Yankees are going to have for a long time.  If they are smart, they will cut ties with Matsui after this season.  His bat still looks good, but he is breaking down physically and the Yankees will need that DH spot.  Posada is the logical candidate to move to DH next season, but unless the Yankees have a viable alternate at catcher, that won’t happen.  Throw in Jeter’s range problems and he might be a DH candidate as well.  And of course we have nine more years of A-Rod.  At some point, he will have to become a DH.  So, we can pretty much assume the DH spot is closed until 2018. 

Back later after we hear about Molina.