Sunday, September 2, 2007

Yankee haters go home...

Like or not, here come my Yankees. This year has been particularly rewarding having listened to all the nay-sayers diss the greatest sports franchise in the history of civilization- especially the banter which has come forth from our arch nemesis (oh no, if Boston wins 22 more championships they'll catch us...we're in trouble now...).

Here's a great, must read, analysis of why the Red Sox better hope they don't see the Yanks in the ALCS this year (by Kevin Hench, FOX sport):

1. This Chamberlain does not appease
With Joba Chamberlain in the bullpen, the Yankees are a dangerous team. (Frank Franklin II / Associated Press)With the call-up of flamethrower Joba Chamberlain (17 K, 5 H, 4 BB in 11.1 scoreless innings through Saturday), a weak point for the Yankees has become a lights-out strength. Chamberlain's dominance coupled with Mariano Rivera's increasing mortality evokes that 1996 championship season when the setup man (Rivera) was filthier than the closer (John Wetteland). Chamberlain's willingness to buzz the tower on Kevin Youkilis on back-to-back pitches showed a nastiness that the Yankees have lacked for years.

2. No. 2
Derek Jeter is quietly having another great season, hitting .325 and on his way to 200 hits for the sixth time in his career. And is there any player in baseball an opponent would less rather see at the plate when a base hit will beat them?

3. Caught between A-Rod and a hard place
Yankee fans may have to reconcile themselves to the departure of Alex Rodriguez. After he wins his second American League MVP award in four seasons in the Bronx, and third overall, he will have either A) a bad postseason, eliciting the boos that will drive him into another suitor's arms or B) a good postseason, eliciting the raise that will drive him into another suitor's arms. My guess is B.

4. Robinson Cano bats 8th
Pretty self-explanatory. The guy has 57 extra-base hits with a month to play and is hitting .348 with a 1.011 OPS since the All-Star break.

5. The fountain of Jorge
I'll have what he's having. Doesn't Jorge Posada know that 36-year-old catchers are supposed to be broken-down train wrecks who hit .190 in the second half and ground into a ton of double plays? After hitting .325 with a .901 OPS in the first half, Posada has ramped those numbers up to .333 and 1.016 in the second half.

6. Dandy Andy
All Andy Pettitte did in August was go 6-0 with a 2.36 ERA. His last four starts were against contenders Cleveland, Detroit, Anaheim and Boston and he dominated them all, going 4-0 with a 2.15 ERA. A spate of tough early-season losses and no-decisions took him out of the Cy Young race, but no team's ace is pitching better than Pettitte heading into the home stretch.

7. Wang numbers
Chien-Ming Wang is 15-3 with a 3.48 ERA since May 16 but has been inexplicably shut out of the Cy Young debate. He's 35-12 over the last two seasons and enters September tied for the league lead in victories as he tries to lead the AL in wins in back-to-back years.

8. Rocket fueled
Yes, Roger Clemens is a six-inning pitcher, but he just two-hit the Red Sox in his last six-inning performance and Boston hitters said he was throwing much harder than they expected. Would you rather have the Rocket or the Indians' third starter (Paul Byrd?) in Game 3 of a playoff series?

9. Beware the sleeping Damon
The last time Johnny Damon had an utterly disappointing regular season was his lone year in Oakland in 2001 when he hit a career-low .256. All he did in those playoffs was rake the Yankees for nine hits and a .409 average in Oakland's five-game loss. Damon enhanced his legend as a clutch playoff performer with his two-homer performance in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS and then went on to post a .619 slugging percentage in Boston's four-game sweep of St. Louis. He may not be the player he was then anymore, but after eight playoff series in the last six seasons, Damon won't be fazed by the pressure of the playoffs and could salvage his season in a one-month burst.

10. The skipper
If anyone deserves to go out on his own terms, it's Joe Torre. He set the bar impossibly high for himself with four titles in his first five seasons in New York and getting the team to the playoffs every year since just hasn't been good enough. From the street corner to talk radio to the front office, Torre has been kicked around. But Chamberlain's arrival has made him suddenly seem as smart as he used to be. If he does steer this edition of the Yankees to a title — despite using EIGHT different rookie starting pitchers this season — here's hoping he invites all his detractors to kiss his posterior on his way into a well-earned retirement.

The Yankee train is rolling, here comes October. October means championship baseball. Championship baseball includes the Yankees far more often than not.

4 comments:

Rick Calohan said...

Tony,

Growing up in KC I know all about the Yankee haters, apparently they never learned that thou shall not covet thy 26 World Series Championships, in my brief life time, since 1967, or for you beleaguered Royals fans since 1969, here are the facts.


Since 1969 shall, we compare Rings.

1977 Yankees
1978 Yankees
1985 Royals
1996 Yankees
1998 Yankees
1999 Yankees
2000 Yankees

The Yankees have been to the World Series in 1976,77,78,81,96,98,99,2000,2001,2003 that makes 10 trips with six championships.

The Royals lets see there were so many oh yeah 1980, ok, well the 1980 Yankees were managed by whom? Oh yeah Dick Howser not Billy Martin; in 1985 that is two trips one championship. Funny it was the year they expanded the format if memory serves me correctly from a five game to seven game league championships. That prevented the Bird Series between the Jays and Cardinals and that is why when I pass by the lonely little trophy at the K I know in my heart in belongs in St. Louis.

As for the Red Sox, yes they went in 1967, lost to the Cardinals. Went in 1975, lost to the Reds; Went in 1986, lost to the New York Mets. Therefore, they have 2004 when they beat the Yankees and the Cardinals, I still say MLB and the movie “Fever Pitch” was nothing more than a WWE conspiracy to keep me from seeing a rematch of the 1964 World Series, but I digress.

hough said...

The fact that you think A-rod might have a good season makes me think you might be nuts in regards to the other ideas. Yankees spend money, they ruin sports, they don't do much else. Go Astros

AJF said...

Hough- whiney, whiney, whiney...and thanks for Petitte and Rocket back!

Rick- brillian analysis!

Frontier Forest said...

You talk as thought there was there a baseball game going on?