Remember the good old days ? Seems like only a few days ago ….

Remember the good old days ?
It seems like only a few days ago that I had photo albums and link lists.
I spent 3 or 4 hours uploading photos to photo albums a few days ago only to see all that work be for nothing as MLBlogs DESTROYED that.
Then I had spent hours adding links and now I have no links…
I had spent hours looking up ISBN numbers for books and was delighted at how next to the book on the link list sidebar that it would display a thumb nail JPEG of the book’s cover art…
No more…
Seems like it was only yesterday that MLBlogs was a great place full of useful features ….
Sigh ….

WHY CAN’T I SEE MY “LINK LISTS?

WHY CAN’T I SEE MY “LINK LISTS”?
WHY CAN’T I HAVE PHOTO ALBUMS?
If ANYBODY knows how to get my links back on the side of my page — let me know…
And if ANYBODY knows how I can hide or delete that moronic looking “TAG CLOUD” — Let me know that as well …..

I just deleted my photos in total frustration… The new MLBlogs is stupid …

I used to be able to have photo albums on the side of the blog in a tab.
You could click on the photo album and look at the photos.
For example, I had a photo album with photos from a spring training game that I went to that had about 50 photos in it.
What does the new MLBlogs do ?
It takes away ALL of the albums and has EACH photo as a separate blog entry.
How ridiculous is that ?
I had about 150 blog entries in a row that used to be INSIDE five or six photo albums …
If I can’t figure out how to make some of this better — I’m just going to delete this blog and blog somewhere else.
MLBlogs used to be very cool and informative and had a classic and easy to use look and feel.
Now it’s almost just a bunch of garbage.
This is a classic example of making totally wholesale and totally uneeded changes to a format that was already working fine …

I just called and spoke with somebody from MLB.Com

No luck trying to navigate this new system.
God — It looks awful.
If I can’t modify this design at all — I will find a new place to do my blogging.
Why is it that anytime a good system is created that people have to try and “improve” it and then go and screw it all up ?
And why is it that you can’t go to the MLB Blogs main page and go to a drop down list to see all the “non-professional” blogs sorted by a particular team?
Man — these changes totally stink ….

They have totally ruined MLB Blogs

It looks less professional, less elegant, less user friendly, and over all just less appealing than ever before.
Why are all my photos listed as entries like they were blog entries?
Where are my links for my recommended blogs to read or web sites to visit?
Where are the books that I had as a type list?
Why do they have this “tag cloud” thing with words in all different font sizes?
Why does my blog now look like it was written by a sixth grader with three different size crayons?
Can I have my old blog back please ???

The Yankees Blog Bobble Desk (In HD where available)

There are several topics to get into this afternoon —So let’s just dive right on in, shall we ?

First up is the Red Sox/Athletics series in Japan …
I actually set my alarm for 4:30 AM yesterday and today
so that I could watch both of these first two regular season games being played
in the land of the rising sun.
Redsoxjapan
And in first of these two games I actually saw a
microcosm of the 2007 Boston Red Sox.
In game one the Red Sox got behind an then rallied to
take the lead and then fell behind again.
Daisuke threw a ton of pitches early and got behind every
hitter and then after getting out of a bases loaded jam early in the game he
went on to kind of settle down a little because the Oakland hitters just seemed
to let him off of the hook.
These same batters who had been so patient early on (and
who hadn’t been swinging at pitches out of the zone) started chasing pitches
low and outside and high and outside.
Even more maddening is that they were chasing these
pitches in 2-0 and 3-1 counts.
In the first couple of innings alone Daisuke had walked 3
or 4 batters and had thrown close to 50 pitches.
Why then do you ever swing 2-0 or 3-1 in the third or
fourth inning when he’s proven to you that you have to respect his out pitches
out of the zone and that he is almost completely incapable of throwing three
consecutive strikes to any hitter.
But that’s what happened with Daisuke almost 15 times
last year and it happened almost any time that the Red Sox weren’t playing a
team with patient veteran hitters like the Yankees.
He’d get into trouble early on and then the hitters would
just start swinging at every pitch.
The Athletics needed to play inning three, four, and five
the same way that they did the first two innings.
But they got impatient and let him off of the hook.
And make no mistake about it…
Daisuke has got filthy stuff and if you are going to
swing at all of his borderline pitches and chase Soxcart
his breaking stuff off of the
plate — he’s going to wear you out all night long.
Despite all of this, the A’s went into the 9th inning
with a one run lead and their closer on the mound with a chance for a win
against the Red Sox.
That’s when it happened…
That thing that happened more times last year than I want
to remember….
In the 9th inning with one out already recorded in the
inning — They rally again (this time off of Oakland closer Huston Street) and
then win the game by one run in 10 innings.
I don’t want to call the Red Sox lucky — because they
aren’t lucky.
They’re good.
They’re very good.
But they also seem to have started to catch breaks more
often than a lot of other teams do and that’s been happening ever since game 5
of the 2004 ALCS.
Maybe the baseball gods had gotten their fill of watching
the Bostonians suffer and watching the Red Sox catch every bad break imaginable
from 1918 to 2004.
Maybe their karma changed a little bit.
I don’t know.
I just don’t think that they have a team that’s any
better than the Yankees.
I truly don’t.
And I don’t think that their pitching is that much better
than ours either (contrary to popular belief).
And we’ve won the season series with them each of the
past several years.
It just seems karma finally caught up with them and it’s
been a pretty steady tide of it.
They should have been down and out in 2004.
And yet somehow they weren’t.
I’m not sure how or why …
They just pulled it out …
Cleveland and yet they pulled that out
to.Conventional wisdom left them for dead last year when
they dropped to 3-1 in the ALCS against I couldn’t believe it.
They just seem to have been fortunate enough to get the
breaks when they need them and get hot at the right time.
And now I keep reading each and every day about the Red Sox and their supposed standing on top ofStory498609836c3ee54f59c69c7d88a5690c
the Yankees (and everybody else) in baseball in 2008.
But I wonder if these people would still be saying these same things if the Red Sox lost one more game out of seven to Cleveland last year or if those damned midges hadn’t eaten Joba alive in the ALDS?
Probably not …
I have noticed that the proponents of the idea that Boston is the central focus point in professional sports have been some what less demonstrative since the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots in the 2008 Superbowl.
Now how would it be portrayed in the sports media if the Giants and the Yankees were BOTH Word Champions in 2008?
Steinbrenner_w_trophy721738
Would it be a Yankees Universe or a Red Sox nation? Because hang on Yankees fans — I really do have a suspicion that their luck (and ours) may be in
for a change in 2008 as the ghosts of Yankee Stadium will surely want to raise
the cups and celebrate one more World Series Championship victory in good old
Yankee Stadium before the pinstriped legion moves into the new Yankee stadium
in 2009 …
(Oh — And by the way — This morning’s game was much
more fun to watch… Maybe the tide is already starting to turn …?)

Second on deck is the Spring Training game between the
Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Wangphils
Yankees today at Brighthouse Field in
Clearwater, Florida.
The Yankees got shut out and lost the game 4-0 to the
Phillies who were lead by RHP Brett Myers.
Chien Ming Wang absorbed the loss for the Yankees and he
was sort of shaky on the hill today against the Phils.
He got into too many deep counts and seemed to have
trouble keeping the ball down.
But — Looking at it from a glass half full perspective
— Wang gave up all of his four earned runs and the majority of his six hits
in the 2nd inning and was pretty effective in the first inning and in innings
three, four, and five (despite obviously not having his best stuff).
Also Joba was able to get into the game and he and Ross
Ohlendorf looked pretty sharp and ready for the 2008 Yankees bullpen.
So, all in all, I’m happy with Wang and I’m happy with the ‘pen.
I’m not happy with the loss — but it is still Spring
Training and those losses don’t count.
Besides — All of our regulars weren’t in anyways.

And in off topic sort of random note, I read this on
Steve Goldman’s Pinstriped Blog over on the YES Network Website:

“Over at ESPN today, Rob Neyer says he wouldn’t go so far
as to call Brett Myers a terrible human being. With all respect to my friend Rob, I would go that far, and I would suggest
that what he did — punching out his wife — far outweighs juicing as reprehensible behaviors go. The media will be writing about the Black Syringe
ballplayers for the next hundred years, condemning them until you can’t even see them anymore for all of the noxious clouds of false
piety being spewed into the air, while Myers will remain a player in good standing. Perhaps wife-beaters are less of an existential threat to
the game than are cheaters, but when we’re getting ready to ride the latter out of town on a rail, we
should at least make a show of reserving a spot for the wife-beaters alongside them. If we’re going to hold
a crusade, let’s get rid of all the reprobates, not just some of them … I feel entirely comfortable in
passing judgment on Myers, and in regular times would probably let it go at that, but since we’re in
ongoing McCarthyism mode these days, it is right and proper to keep reminding people of where the true *******
replacement level is.”

I happen to absolutely agree with Mr. Goldman on this one.
Brett Myers is an absolute disgrace to the Philadelphia Phillies, to himself,
and to all of major league baseball.
Ughuadne
The fact that he’s still allowed to toe the rubber on a
big league field is an embarrassment to the game of baseball.
I don’t approve of the use of HGH or steroids and I don’t
approve of cheating.
But this sort of stuff is just as bad and I would actually
say that it’s probably worse.
Mr. Goldman didn’t address how Myers verbally abused Sam
Carchidi, a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and threatened him with
bodily injury.
I don’t know why Carchidi didn’t file charges against
Myers.
I would have at least filled out a police report.
I don’t like the Red Sox and I don’t like the Angels.
But this is a different sort of dislike and I think that
it’s a disapproval all fans should show to this jerk.
If you have a moment of two — check out these two links to see what I’m talking about … ?

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/articles/2006/06/23/phillies_ace_arrested_in_boston_on_domestic_violence_charge/

http://www.bugsandcranks.com/philadelphia-phillies/brett-myers-blows-the-game-screams-obscenities-at-reporter/

 

 

And for my last topic — I’ll briefly mention my 2008 Yankees
Spring Training sojourn to Tampa.
I made my annual trip to Florida in the middle of this
month and took in so Yankees spring training St_logogif
games as well as a Astros/Tigers
spring training game and a Phillies/Reds Spring Training game while I was
there.
It was loads of fun and I got to be there for the
Yankees/Rays brawl in Saint Petersburg and got to attend the Spring Training
game at Legends field when Billy Cystal got his one and only at bat.
If anybody is interested I have 6 photo albums now posted
on my blog with photos from four Yankees Spring Training games as well as the
other two I just mentioned.

Just thought I’d give you guys and gals a heads up.

 

Well, that’s all for now …

Keep the home fires burning and start making your plans
now for the Yankees home opener next Monday against he Toronto Blue Jays.

It’s going to be Wang against Halladay and so it should
be a good one !

Yanks to wear commemorative patches

Yanks to wear commemorative patches
Logo for final season at Stadium complements All-Star patch

Hdr_asg_581

Pmlb24546620dt

The Yankees announced on Tuesday that their players, coaches and
manager will wear a special patch on their 2008 uniforms commemorating
the final season of Yankee Stadium. In addition, the team also will
wear a patch in honor of the 2008 All-Star Game, which will take place
at Yankee Stadium on July 15.

It is the first time the club’s uniforms will be adorned with a
patch for a full season since 2003, when the Yankees wore a patch
commemorating the 100th anniversary of the franchise.

The "Yankee Stadium — The Final Season" patch will feature the
main entrance of the original Stadium as it was prior to renovation in
1976. A "1923-2008" notation along the top of the patch recognizes the
lifetime of the Stadium since its original Opening Day on April 18,
1923.

The Yankee Stadium patch will be worn on the left sleeves of both home
and road jerseys. The 2008 All-Star Game patch will appear on the right
sleeves of both jerseys.

DON’T DRINK THE DETROIT KOOL AIDE

O.K. ….
So I know that I said I was going to find the time to blog more frequently and
I didn’t.

But this time I really, really mean it…

I’ve got several topics to tackle before opening day and
I’ll start out with my opinion of the 2008 Detroit Tigers.

I’m just not drinking all of the Kool Aide just yet here.

Why?

Because what about the pitching?

Every sportswriter and every broadcaster and every
blogger already has the Detroit Tigers going 132-30 next season, handily winning
the American League Central, winning the ALDS, winning the ALCS, and then
sweeping whatever team happens to represent the National League in the 2008
World Series.

There’s just one problem with that for me.

And that problem is that there is still a beast
slumbering in their own division out in Cleveland.

Because as much as I keep hearing about the vaunted
offense of the Detroit Tigers – Nobody seems to want to talk about their
pitching.

And the fact of the matter is that the bottom three
starters for the 2008 Detroit Tigers went 30 and 37 with an ERA of about 4.99
last season.

And that was WITH Joel Zumaya.

Now with the best relief pitcher on their roster out of commission
until at least the All Star Break they are going to be counting on Kenny Rogers
and Nate Robertson to go deeper into games than they did last year (under 5.9
innings per start) and you’re going to be counting on Dontrelle Willis to give
you something.

Willis_d
And when I say give you something — I mean something
more than his 10 and 15 record last year with an ERA of about 5.17.
And when I remark that he needs to give the Tigers something — I mean
something more than his 87 base on balls and his 29 home runs from a year ago.

I mean, apart from Justin Verlander (a legitimate stud
who is 35-17 with an ERA of 3.74 in his first three major league seasons) I don’t
see anybody on that pitching staff that’s going to go better than 12-5 next
season.

Did you know that nobody on the 2008 Tigers pitching
staff won more than 11 games last year other than Verlander and that the other
four starters for the 2008 Tigers averaged 8 wins each ?

I don’t care how much offense that they have — If their
pitching performs at last year’s level and if Joel Zumaya is really out for the
majority of the season they are going to struggle against good pitching.

Jake
And when I say good pitching I mean good pitching in
their own division where the Cleveland Indians starters average 13 wins per
starter and where they have two starters sitting atop their rotation who are
both under 28 years of age and who both posted 19 win seasons last year.

The Tigers are going to really lean on 43 year old Kenny
Rogers as their number two starter and really depend on their resident 40 year
old homophobe Todd Jones to close games.

I think that the Detroit Tigers will be a fun team to
watch in 2008 and they may set club records for long balls and for runs scored.

But they won’t set any records for pitching and I think
Dontrelle is just broken.

And if it comes down to a three game series in September
to decide the winner of the division with Cleveland_indians_2

Cleveland sending out Sabathia (19-7,
3.21 ERA and the 2007 AL Cy Young award), Fausto Carmona (19-8, 3.06 ERA and
4th in the 2007 AL Cy Young voting), and Paul Byrd (15-8, 4.59 ERA) to face
Verlander (18-6, 3.66 ERA), 43 year old man Kenny Rogers (3-4, 4.43 ERA), and
Dontrelle Willis (10-15, with a 5.17 ERA) — I would take the Indians to win
that series two games to one or maybe a clean sweep.

I was watching the Baseball Tonight Fantasy Baseball
preview show and at the end each of the broadcasters got to make one "bold
prediction".

I agreed with some and disagreed with some others.

But here’s mine…

The 2008 Detroit Tiger will come in second in the NL
Central and will fail to make the 2008 post season.

There I said it.

I could be easily proven wrong.

But that’s my theory for today.

AWOL – Return – Spring Training Tix On Sale Tomorrow

Spring

 

 

 

 

O.K. Guys and Gals,

I’m really sorry to those few people out there who enjoyed reading my Yankees blog last summer for going AWOL on you.
I had some family health issues as well as being extremely busy with work and school.
I’m trying to finish up my masters degree and if all goes well and I get all my work done — I should be wrapping that up by April or May of this year.

Anyway, I’m back again and hopefully can get a few of my readers back.

I’ll write more soon and in the weeks between now and the first Spring Training game I’ll give you my thoughts and ideas about the end of the last season and what’s been going on this off season so far.

In the meantime — New York Yankees Spring Training 2008 tickets will be going on sale on Friday, January 11 at 10:00 AM EST.

Stsched I have added the Yankees 2008 Spring Training Home Schedule for the games that the ‘Bombers will be playing at Legends Field in Tampa here.

If you’ve never been to Spring Training before, I highly recommend the trip if you can spare the time this Spring.

I had always wanted to go and went for the first time last Spring and really did have a blast.

If you have any questions about going to Spring Training for the first time (or if you think you might be going to Tampa around the middle of March and might like to meet up at the Stadium and chat with your erstwhile MLBlog host about the Yankees or baseball in general) then feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an e-mail.

I’ll write a blog confirming my Spring Training 2008 plans sometime in the coming days, but at the moment it’s looking as if I will be in Tampa around the 10th or the 11th and will go to three Yankees home games in Tampa and take in one Tigers game in Lakeland.

Last year I went to three Yankees home games in Legends field in Tampa, one Tigers home game in Lakeland, and one Phillies home game in Clearwater.

One good thing about Spring Training is that so many clubs have home parks so close to each other and it’s easy to go back and forth between them.

Anyway, I’ll catch up more later and I’m sorry it’s been so long with no blog.

Until next time ….

P.S.

I just read on the Yankees website that the Yankees might now be out of the running for Johan Santana (again).

Hank Steinbrenner had this to say on the subject:

Hank_1

"What it comes down to right now is giving up a lot [in a trade] and
then having to do the big contract, as well. If
[Santana] was just a free agent, we could just go ahead and do it.
There’s a big difference this way. We have to sign him as if he’s a
free agent, plus you have to give up major talent. That’s a tall order."

Now, this is going to be a separate blog for a later time but I think that this is probably for the best. We would have to part with Melky Cabrera (and either Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy) along with two other strong prospects to get Santana and then be prepared to extend his deal for 7 years at 140 million dollars as soon as the pact is consummated.

Anyway, Like I said, I’ll blog more of my thoughts on the Santana situation in the coming days …

Floundering in Maryland

OriolesNow after getting swept by the Rockies and losing two games out of three to Colorado we come into Baltimore with no bats and no offense and drop the first two games of this series without even a whimper.
We lost 4-3 on Tuesday and then were shut out last night.
Pettitte and Clemens pitched pretty well respectively — but received almost NO run support of any kind.
And to make matters worse in the first game of the series I sat and watched Joe Torre go and call for Scott Proctor instead of Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the 9th when the score was tied two to two.
What does Proctor do?
What does he do to justify Joe Torre’s uncanny confidence in him?
He allows one hit and walks THREE batters.
THREE BATTERS.
He WALKS THREE BATTERS.
In one third of one inning.
In a tie ball game on the road in the NINTH INNING.
Unreal.
I would have actually prefered to see him throw a strike that was a pretty good pitch and see it get Davidwellsperfectionc10006973_1tatooed to center for a walk off grand slam.
Either way we lose.
At least we would have kept them honest and made them hit something.
We have a pretty good infield.
We may have even gotten an inning ending double play and then won the game in extras.
We’ll never find out because Proctor couldn’t keep the ball in the zone.
That’s what I loved about David Wells.
Love the man or hate the man he went at people and made them beat him fair and square.
In his 4 years with the Yankees (1997-1998 and 2002-2003) he gave up a total of 139 free passes at a rate of about 34 per year.
That was as a starter.
Right now Proctor is averaging 22 walks a season in his four seasons with New York and he’s a relief pitcher.
He’s already walked 22 this year and the season isn’t half over.
In two of Boomer’s four years as a Yankee he had 20 walks per year.
As a starter.
Now as a reliever Scott has put on 22 and we’re a week away from the Home Run Derby.
It’s time for him to go and I he can’t be gone soon enough for my tastes.
He got one out and walked Ramon Hernandez with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th to give the Orioles a three to two win over the Yankees.
Torre_joe2
What possible reasoning can there possibly be where you would choose Proctor or Rivera in a situation where if a run scores you lose the game and then drop two games below .500?
What possible reason for that is there?
Why would you do that?
I love Joe Torre and have been defending him against any and all detractors for the past several years but that was just insane.
I don’t understand that move at all.
This has been something that he’s been doing for far too long and until I get an intelligent response as to why, I’ll call it what it is…
Very poor decision making concerning the use of Mariano Rivera and the Yankee bullpen in crucial games by Joe Torre.
These are games we really can’t lose.
We don’t have any padding to rely on because we started out so poorly.

At the start of each season under the Joe Torre era we’ve had a certain number of games to squander.
If you win 100 games and the closest competition in your specific division wins 93 games, then you had a few games to squander.
And at the start of the season we had a certain number of games like that as a pad.
But we started using them all up right out of the box.
Now we don’t have any close games that we should win left to squander if we still expect to make the post season as either the AL East division champions or the AL Wild Card champions.
We can’t afford to be giving these games away like this at this point in the game.
We can’t afford to lose games like this right now.
And yet we are losing them.
And now as I watch this game tonight we have the bases loaded and one out for Alex Rodriguez and a two run lead in the top of the 7th.
And after being forced to watch on as Alex hits into a double play to end the top of the 7th I then had to sit uncomfortably in my easy chair and watch on as Nick Markakis singles on a soft line drive to left field and that gets followed up by a RBI triple by Kevin Millar.
A triple?
Millar
By Kevin Millar?
How is that even possible?
So now the lead that was 4 to 2 is trimmed to 4 to 3.
And of course getting that run in from third is easy as saying A La Peanut Butter Sandwiches for any current opponent of the New York Yankees and before you know it the score is tied 4-4.
But getting out of that inning 4 to 4 would be too easy on us.
So before I can go get a coke and sit back down we’ve served up another couple of runs and trail 6-4 with Luis Vizcaino reliving a Chien Ming Wang who is probably back in the club house making plane reservations back to Tawian right now.
The way this team is playing he would probably rather be cooling his heels back playing Sudoku than dealing with all of this.
A sweep at the hands of the Orioles will give us two sweeps in the past ten days and give us a record of 8 losses and 1 win on this most recent road trip.
I was going to do more analyzing of this series but why bother?
We stunk up the joint and to add insult to injury — thanks to MLB and their black out policies I was forced to watch all three games on MASN and get the Orioles broadcasters.
Thorne and Palmer have to be near the top of my list for annoying broadcast combos.
An ugly ten days for the Yankees and their fans.
When will the rain end and is it too late to avoid the flood?
Now it’s in a rain delay and since it’s been long enough for it to be an official game I almost hope that it just gets rained out and so the team can get a few extra minutes of rest before they come back home to play Oakland.

Anyway, I’ve been away from the CPU for the past few days so I just rattled off three new blogs in a row for anybody that’s interested.

Classes and work keep me busy these days…

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