Better…but…

The Yankees have apparently recalled Alfredo Aceves and demoted Anthony Claggett.  I am all for a long reliever, it’s a move that should have been made a long time ago, but why are we sticking with 13 pitchers? 

Hopefully, we get a game tonight, but the weather in New York is awful.   

Selena And Alex

I am fed up with the whole steroids issue in baseball.  Do I think the majority of the players in the game were using them in the 90’s and up until they were tested for in 2004?  Absolutely, and I likewise think that most players are probably using HGH right now because there is no test for it.  My problem is, I love baseball too much to stop watching, so I keep watching a product that I know is flawed.  I wish I had the power to turn it off, but I don’t.

That doesn’t mean I can excuse certain things.  Hearing Bud Selig say that anyone shamed the game when he ruled the league during this whole period makes me sick.  When players stand up and try and explain why they did this stuff it makes me sick too.  I wish baseball would just step forward and admit that they all screwed up and that they all have blood on their hands.  None of them are innocent here, from the players to the managers to the owners, they all participated in this.  

Despite my weariness over all of this, I tuned into the MLB Network interview with Selena Roberts tonight.  It was done live on the eve of the publication of her new book.  

Now, before I comment on the interview, let me set a few things straight.  I am not an A-Rod fan.  I hoped the Yankees would wash their hands of him when he opted out in 2007.  But, I am also a Yankees’ fan and I understand that I need Alex to produce if the Yankees are going to win.  One thing the steroids and free agency eras have taught me is you truly do "root for the laundry".  A-Rod may be the biggest phony and biggest jerk in the game, but as long as he wear the pinstripes, I am going to hope he gets that hit, drives in that run, etc..  It’s not an easy position to take and I wonder how I will explain that to my daughter when she becomes old enough to cast a critical eye on the players her father roots for.

With that being said, Selena Roberts makes me feel cold.  I am not sure what the reason is, but I draw the conclusion that she simply doesn’t like Alex and she wants to ruin him.  She uses a lot of anonymous sources and there are a lot of people (like the Rangers Michael Young) who have come out and questioned her story.  Jason Whitlock, who also works for Fox Sports, wrote a very interesting piece on Roberts today.  I have no doubt that A-Rod failed that steroids test in 2004, but I have a lot of questions about the other claims Roberts makes.  His life has been ripped apart by everyone, why has Roberts escaped that kind of criticism, especially as Whitlock says, in light of the Duke case?

I don’t know what the answer is, but right now I get the sense we are all pawns in a game between two very flawed players.  Roberts has her agenda, A-Rod his.  I just want to get back to baseball.

The New Place

So, I went up to the new place yesterday and I wanted to share some impressions I had of it.

It’s a wonderful stadium, really comfortable, excellent food and a great experience, but it doesn’t have the history.  Now, part of my experience was definitely colored by the sight of the old stadium sitting there, empty and forlorn.  You come up on the 4 train and see the old stadium just like you always did.  You sit in the new place and you see the old stadium sitting there.  It makes you compare the two and reinforces the history you lost.

But enough about that, the new place is a wonderful place to watch a game.  The concourses are huge and open, so you can watch the game while waiting in line. There are more places to eat and buy things than you can imagine so the lines are short. The people working at the stadium are friendly!  (How did that happen?) They smile, ask how they can help and generally must not be from New York.  

The food options are tremendous, but bring your wallet.  A hot dog is $5.50 and as an added bonus they now serve Nathan’s!  The garlic fries are a must and there are burgers, tacos, pulled pork, cheese steaks, sushi…tons of food.  Plenty of beers, fresh lemonade, gourmet popcorn, fresh roasted peanuts and thanks to NYC laws, you can see the calories of everything you consume. (That is good, right?)

There are stores everywhere that contain intersting and ridiculous things.  (You can buy freeze dried sod from the old place for $75.)  There is a Yankee museum which contains interesting artifacts, Munson’s locker and signed baseballs by thousands of Yankees.  I am a little confused about the layout of the balls because Mickey Mantle’s ball is followed by Morgan Ensberg’s.  There is also an Armando Benitez ball but I couldn’t find Enrique Wilson.  

One intersting thing is that with the open concourses you can watch the game from the lower level as long as you don’t mind standing.  So, you could buy a cheap seat and then just stand by the rail for the entire game.  I did it for an innning and nobody told me to get moving.  The seats are wider, the rows more open and there are cupholders for every seat, so no more kicked beverages.  

In short it is a pleasure to go to a ballgame there, but they need to improve on two things ASAP.  The first is Monument Park which looks like a cave underneath the Mohegan Sun Bar.  It looks terrible and sends a terrible message about what the Yankees think of their history. The second is the retired numbers which can’t be seen and have been put above the bleachers in left.  Could you paint them on the walls or make them visible please?

Other than that, check the place out, it is wonderful.  Now the Yankees just need to create some history there.   

Come On!

Pete Abe is reporting the Yankees are DL’ing Marte and bringing up Claggett.  So, they have a chance to delete a pitcher from the roster and they use it to add another pitcher?  Did anyone notice they haven’t used Marte since last weekend?  Did anyone notice that Steven Jackson sat unused on the roster for 8 games?  Why carry 13 pitchers and keep squeezing your bench? Ugh, I am frustrated.

My review on the new place will be up this afternoon.   

120 Pitches?

I think Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi need to have a meeting.  I understand why Girardi felt he had to throw Sabthia 120 pitches today, he doesn’t trust his bullpen.  But, you just can’t do that right now and it was painful obvious that Sabathia was running on fumes.  I am sure C.C. wanted the ball, he always wants the ball, it’s the managers job to take it from him. Giardi needs to tell Cashman he doesn’t trust the pen.  Cashman needs to tell Girardi not to burn out the starters in May and then they need to figure out a plan going forward. 

I am not sure what the answer is, but the Yankees need to come up with one.   

Bronx Bound

I am headed up to the Bronx for my first look at thie new place.  I will try and get some camera phone pics and I will detail my impressions of the new place later tonight.]

Big start for C.C. today.  He has been mediocre this season and his two starts at home have been dreadful.  If you want a very hopeful sign for the 2009 Yankees consider that they are 13-10 with Sabathia and Burnett both with ERA’s around 5, Wang in the minors, Teixeira hitting .189 and 0 AB’s from A-Rod.   

More later 

It’s Not Just Our Pen!

Nice to see the Angels’ bullpen blow up like that.  Actually, the Yankees deserve a lot of credit, especially Cano.

Caught Nick Swisher on YES after the game, it sounds like he will be ok, but he may miss tomorrow’s game depending on how bad the swelling in his elbow is in the morning.  I am not sure if a roster move is coming or not, but it should.  The problem is Miranda only plays first.  The Yankees don’t have any other options right now on the 40-man.  One move I hope they strongly consider when A-Rod comes back is dropping Berroa from the 40-man and getting a more useful player on it.

Get Rid Of All The PItchers

The way I see it Veras and Ramirez are little more than kindling right now.  They can’t get the job done.  Marte is pretty much the same and Albie can’t be trusted.  Melancon has looked good, but looked bad tonight. 

Coke is the only guy in the pen, other than Mo, that you can trust right now.  Bring back Bruney and you have three.  Keep sending Melancon out there and let’s see what Robertson can do as well.  Jackson is in the minors again, Claggett got one shot and was lousy, but it was only one shot.  There are plenty of other places to turn to, why keep trying the same tired options? 

Get Rid Of A Pitcher

The Yankees will keep their fingers crossed tonight that Nick Swisher’s elbow is fine.  We will learn more after tha game, but the fact that he has been pulled in the third inning is not good. 

What’s extra bad is the fact that the Yankees now have some ugly choices if another outfielder has to come out.  They could lose the DH and try Matsui in the outfield (unlikely) or put someone into the outfield like Angel Berroa.  

The problem is they are carrying 13 pitchers, way too many and it leaves the bench exposed if anything goes wrong.  The Yankees need to pick one of their righty relievers with options and send him down to the minors and bring back a position player.  You know who would be perfect right now?  Shelly Duncan who could play outfield or first.  But, adding Duncan to the roster would require a 40-man move and I don’t see the Yankees doing it.  Instead, I think they will wait until A-Rod is ready (probably next week) and then bring him back in exchange for one of those pitchers.  That means another week or so of a perilously thin bench.  Let’s hope it doesn’t cost them tonight. 

 

UPDATE 8:55pm- Maybe the Yankees are considering this?