Another loss, another postgame where the word "frustrating" was uttered about 749 times.
It’s understandable, since the Yankees went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. I can’t blame them for not being able to hit Roy Halladay. If a Cy Young winner can be underrated, I think Halladay is. People don’t realize how good this guy is.
Not to get to the bullpen, that’s another story. New York had its chances, but couldn’t break though. Not a huge deal, but given what happened on Tuesday, it’s something to watch.
Jaret Wright wasn’t bad on Friday. He gave up the early homer to Frank Catalanotto, but settled in to put up zeroes from the second through the fifth. Let’s see what he can do in the next 2-3 starts when pitching on regular rotation. I think he might surprise some people.
People shouldn’t overlook the Blue Jays. They’re very good, and they’re going to give the Yankees and Red Sox a run for the AL East this year. I don’t think they’ll fade away like the Orioles did in the second half last season.
A-Rod continues to struggle in RBI situations, but he’s not alone. Matsui, Sheffield, Posada … no one other than Jeter is really doing much. Still too early to worry.
Big weekend coming up with Johnson and Mussina taking on Toronto, with Wang and Chacon set to face Wakefield and Beckett in Boston. Should be interesting to see how the Yanks are playing heading into the road trip.
I’m off for the next two days, as Ryan’s first birthday is Saturday. I’ll post again on Monday from Fenway.
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On a separate matter, what the heck are the Houston Texans thinking? I know Mario Williams is a stud defensive end, but Reggie Bush is a once-in-a-generation talent. I won’t go as far as to compare this to Sam Bowie-Michael Jordan — at least not yet. Come back to me in five years.
I’d love to see Bush land with the Jets, just so I could see him blossom into an NFL star less than 10 miles from my house. If not, I’d love to see Matt Leinart end up with Gang Green. If the Redskins can’t land one of my two favorite college players, they may as well play in my backyard.
I’m not the most technologically advanced guy in the world. I pretty much stick to the basics when it comes to most things in the world of electronics, but over the past few years, I have received a few items that have changed my life.
1) TiVo. I can’t say enough about this invention. For somebody who enjoys as many shows as I do (though, with West Wing and Alias heading off the air, that number is dwindling fast), it’s wonderful not to have to remember to set my VCR. Throw in the fact that I travel as much as I do, and it’s almost as though they invented TiVo for me. Brilliant.
2) iPod. I spend what seems like half of my life on airplanes or in airports, so having 3,500 songs at my disposal at all times is a great pleasure. In the old days (read: the 90s), I would bring my bulky Discman around with me, as well as a case with several CDs. Not anymore. Ever since my lovely wife bought me an iPod for my birthday (it should be noted that she bought me the TiVo the year before … man, she’s great with the gifts), I have been able to enjoy music I haven’t listened to in years. Again, brilliant.
3) Bose noise-canceling headphones: For the same reason my iPod is great, these headphones are simply a must for anybody who travels on a regular basis. They drown out the engine noise on a flight, and you can’t say enough about that. Props to Mackerel Daddy of the Daily News with the repeated recommendation of these. Nice work, A-Mac.
Now, all of that said, my boy Bordo showed me a new gadget he just picked up, and it has the potential to be on the same level as the previous three.
It’s called a Slingbox. What this genius invention does is allows you to watch your home TV — and that means your TiVo, as well — from your computer, as long as you have a high speed connection.
So, in other words, instead of having to avoid all newspaper and radio contact for the four days after Survivor airs, so I can watch it after a road trip and not know who got kicked off, I could watch it in my hotel room after a night game. Or if I wanted to view one of the 357 reruns of Seinfeld, West Wing or The Practice on my TiVo instead of watching whatever is on the four channels in the hotel, I could.
I’ll have to wait and see how Bordo likes the Slingbox, but it seems like a can’t-miss item. There’s also no monthly fee, which I find incredible.
Here’s to technology. What a wonderful world.
I’ve seen a lot of things in the comments section tonight, so I’m going to address three of them.
A-Rod: I can’t argue with anybody who is killing him. He’s just not coming through when it counts, which is something that has followed him for much of his time in New York. Last year’s criticism was not fair, as he did come through with several huge hits during the season (and before you start blasting me, I’m NOT including the playoffs, which is another subject entirely). But this year, he hasn’t been carrying his share of the load with the exception of that three-game stretch he had on the road.
Wang: He looked very shaky early on Wednesday, and I can’t blame you guys for worrying about his ability to throw from the stretch. But if you watched his final four innings, you have to be feeling a little better. Seven innings and two runs, you’ll take that every time. He’ll be fine.
Boston and the AL East: Several of you claim that the Red Sox should be the obvious favorites to win the AL East, even going as far as to say the Yanks are in "serious danger of missing the playoffs" as one user wrote.
Give me a break.
In case you haven’t noticed, the Sox haven’t exactly been lighting it up, and the Yanks are one game out in the loss column. Oh yeah, there are also 143 games left to be played, so it’s unlikely that the division race is over.
Schilling had a bad start, Beckett had a bad start, Wakefield looks shaky. As concerned as Yankees fans are about their staff right now, Red Sox Nation is having the same fits of panic up in Boston.
Like the Braves, I can’t count the Yankees out until someone actually dethrones them. Had they gotten any one of those 16 men they left on base (there were 23 combined in the game, not 30) to score on Wednesday, they would be tied in the loss column. Take it easy, folks. Stop being so dramatic.
Mike Mussina did it again, throwing another solid game. That’s five in a row for those of you scoring at home. So much for him being done.
The Yanks manhandled the Devil Rays tonight, but let’s pause for a second and realize that Tampa Bay was without five — yes, five — of its regular starters. Crawford, Baldelli, Cantu, Huff and Lugo. That’s a lot of their firepower. It was a great win for New York, but I have to imagine the next 18 (or at least the 16 after this week) will be a little tougher.
The best reason for optimism for Yankees fans should be the three straight pitching performances by Chacon, Johnson and Mussina. One run in 21 combined innings, good work by the bullpen and plenty of run support. I know the Yanks are supposed to beat teams like Baltimore and Tampa Bay, but they had a lot of trouble doing so last year. A win is a win, especially this early in the season.
Jeter is killing the ball, Giambi is off to a great start and Cano (who sat tonight) may be the hottest hitter on the team. Just imagine what they’ll look like when A-Rod, Sheff and Matsui start hitting, too. I feel bad for AL pitchers. I wouldn’t want to face this lineup when it’s at its best.
In a blatant ripoff of my boy Bordo’s blog, I am starting a Question of the Week here at Mark It Down.
This week’s question comes courtesy of Sippy of Stewie’s Pelican Factory, the most intense baseball fan I know.
What is the biggest home run for the Yankees in the Joe Torre era?
Feel free to leave your answer in the comments section, or e-mail it to me. I’ll post the best answers later in the week.
Interesting two days for the Yankees. Everyone has said all spring that Wang and Chacon will need to get it done this year for the Yanks to succeed, and the last two games have seen mixed results.
Wang had what is becoming a typical game for him this season, looking unhittable in some innings and all-too-hittable in others. The Yanks’ offense didn’t help him, stranding the bases loaded twice, as they lost a close one Friday night.
Chacon, on the other hand, gave the Yanks a great start on Saturday, allowing one run in seven innings. He looked more like the guy who helped carry them down the stretch last season, working his way out of the little trouble he found himself in.
My buddy Bordo has been giving me the business for the last week or two after I said Chacon would win 15 games this season. Only 13 more to go.
The best news from Saturday was that they got the game in at all. Things didn’t look so good driving in from New Jersey, and everybody seemed to think that this game would be rained out before noon.
But some late reports showed a "window" of decent weather, and it didn’t start raining until the sixth. Of course, it was freezing all day, and I felt like I was sitting at a football game in December rather than a baseball game in April.
One more game against the O’s before the dreaded Devil Rays come to town on Tuesday. Randy Johnson takes the mound Sunday looking to rebound from his awful outing in Toronto. Baltimore has a good lineup, but I think Randy sticks it to them. He wants to show the world that he’s not hurt, that he’s not over the hill and that he should still be considered one of the best in the game. We’ll see what happens.
At 8-8, the Yankees haven’t set the world on fire, but they’re only two out in the standings, so people shouldn’t start their annual early-season panic (of course, reading some of the blog comments, it appears that warning may be too late already). Look at Boston’s last two days: Beckett blows a big lead in the eighth, then the Blue Jays hammer the Sox on Saturday. No one in this division is going to run away with anything for quite a while. I’m sure the fans in Boston are starting to shift into panic mode after Saturday’s game, and a loss on Sunday will surely throw them over the edge.
It’s April, folks. If I’m not panicking over my two terrible fantasy teams and my underachieving home run pool team, there’s no reason for anybody else to panic just yet. Trust me on this one.
OK, I officially can’t feel my fingers anymore. Time to leave the ice box … I mean the press box.
Every year, when the baseball season is ready to kick off another 162-game campaign, experts from all around the world make their predictions to show everybody how smart they are. I did it in my first blog entry, picking the Yankees to win their 27th World Series title.
There is no science to these picks, just a gut feeling based on what I saw the teams around the Majors do this winter to make themselves better, and what I think each team’s ceiling may be.
I have rarely — if ever — gotten these predictions right.
To show you how silly predictions are, I had my 11-month-old son, Ryan, make his picks for the 2006 season. I wrote the names of the teams in each division down on paper, then had Ryan point to the teams he thought would win the division and then the wild card.
DJ, Ryan’s buddy in Baltimore, also made his picks. DJ (right, in the Ravens jersey) is three weeks younger than Ryan, so he probably won’t be as good at this. DJ’s dad, Danny, has been my archrival in rotisserie baseball and video games since 1987, so it’s nice to see our sons competing against each other already.
Ryan’s 2006 MLB predictions:
AL East: Yankees
AL Central: Twins
AL West: Angels
AL Wild Card: Blue Jays
NL East: Mets
NL Central: Cardinals
NL West: Diamondbacks
NL Wild Card: Braves
ALDS: Angels over Blue Jays, Yankees over Twins
NLDS: Braves over Cardinals, Diamondbacks over Mets
ALCS: Angels over Yankees
NLCS: Braves over Diamondbacks
World Series: Angels over Braves
AL East: Blue Jays
AL Central: Indians
AL West: Mariners
AL Wild Card: Angels
NL East: Mets
NL Central: Cardinals
NL West: Rockies
NL Wild Card: Dodgers
ALDS: Angels over Indians, Mariners over Blue Jays
NLDS: Cardinals over Dodgers, Rockies over Mets
ALCS: Angels over Mariners
NLCS: Cardinals over Rockies
World Series: Cardinals over Angels
We’ll see how they stack up against me by the end of the season. Good luck, boys.
Just got home from Toronto … what a great feeling. There’s nothing like walking into your house after a road trip.
Good game for the Yankees on Wednesday. Mussina was outstanding, and more importantly, the Yanks managed to win a game without scoring nine or more runs. Last season, it took until July 3 for them to win a game when scoring three or less runs. Teams have to be able to win those games if they want to go deep into October.
A-Rod certainly seems to have broken out of the funk he was in before the Twins series, homering in each of his last three games. He’s still down on himself, but I don’t know if that’s ever going to change. He’s a perfectionist, and he’s not going to hit 1.000 this season.
It’s late, so I’m going to cut this a bit short. Not sure if I’ll post on Thursday, but Ryan will be making his long-awaited picks. I’ll post them by Friday, along with his buddy DJ’s picks.