Greetings from Gate C27

There are a lot of great things about having the opportunity to cover Major League Baseball. 4:45 a.m. wakeup calls after a four-hour game on Sunday night, though? Not one of them.

Hello from Boston’s Logan Airport, where a pack of bleary-eyed reporters are sleepwalking through security checkpoints on their way to Tampa. The Yankees themselves touched down just two hours ago back at the old stomping grounds, having been defeated in two out of three games at Fenway Park.

I don’t think anyone knew quite how costly this series had been for the Yankees until it was over. If you had told me that, after 13 games, the Yankees would have both Jorge Posada and Jose Molina on their roster — but no idea who would catch on April 14 at Tampa Bay — I would have said this team was in a lot of trouble. You’d venture to say Chad Moeller can fill in, but it serves the Yankees best if Posada gets back in there, as soon as possible.

Maybe the Yankees get creative and figure out a new destination for Wilson Betemit, though it looks like Alberto Gonzalez will go to Triple-A if Derek Jeter is indeed ready to play. They want to stay with 12 pitchers and, two bad starts aside, Phil Hughes is in the rotation to stay. Same goes for Ian Kennedy. Darrell Rasner is 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA for the Triple-A affiliate of a team that doesn’t have a legitimate long reliever (though Ross Ohlendorf is giving them everything he’s got in a manufactured role), but that’s another story.

Like Casey Stengel once said, “If you don’t have a catcher, you’re going to have a lot of passed balls.” Brian Cashman’s job today is to figure that one out.

54 Comments

Top of the 4th…

Bases loaded….one-out….Johnny Damon up, (1-2 pitch), …Fair Ball, down the first base line, for a 2-run double…Yankees 5, Rays 1

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Candy,

I agree ! Two wins vs. the Rays….then, we beat the Red Sox in both games at the Stadium…A four-game winning streak, and we are right back on track…The only thing I don’t agree with you on, is about Farnsworth…He really should not be on this team…so far, he has pitched just like he did last year…NOT VERY GOOD !!!

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Derek Jeter just legged out a single on a ground ball to short…He ran hard down the line, and looked okay as he beat the throw to first for the single…then, on a groundball to first by Abreu, Jeter slid hard into second base, as he was forced-out on the play…It looks like the “Captain” is back !!!….Going into the bottom of the third…It’s still, Yankees 3, Rays 0 !!!

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I’ve just read all your comments. How about a little less negativity??? You’re all acting like this franchise has a god-given right to win all the time and if it doesn’t go right over 13 games then there’s hell to pay.

Stuff on Betemit fine. He’s an abject failure. But beating up on Girardi, Farnsworth, Damon just because the team’s 6-7 is a little pathetic.

Lighten up. We can’t hit, the SP has been shaky, yet this team’s still in close games. It’s 3-0 after 2 against the Rays. Who’s to say we wont win both at Tropicana Field then take 2 off the Sox and all will be well.

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Going into the top of the third…

Yankees 3, Rays 0 ….Kennedy looks sharp, so far !!!

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Well,

Great Start For The Yankees Tonight !!!….Damon, leadoff HOMERUN….and, A-Rod, HOMERUN…in top of the first…., then…Ensberg, HOMERUN to lead off the top of the second….Yankees 3, Rays 0 !!!…All they needed was some warm weather, under the Dome, in Tampa !!!

http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

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Couldn’t have said it better Pamela. WE ARE ALL FRUSTRATED RIGHT NOW.

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I know I’m a little bit late getting here, but I wanted to second rcngolf’s comment from this morning re: small ball. Where is it!? I saw brief glimpses of it during the Red Sox series and it seemed to be really effective; we actually scored runs! Would somebody please tell A-Rod and Giambi that they don’t have to hit a homerun EVERY at bat? If they wouldn’t swing for the fences every time, maybe we could get a base hit or two out of them. I love my Yankees no matter what, but I am extreeeeemely frustrated with them from top to bottom.

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My reference to Betemit being a .230 hitter was based off his performance in 2006 and 2007. Even then he was a garbage player. I agree, though, that he’s been so putrid this year that .230 looks respectable in comparison. This guy is an albatross on the roster.

http://ggwp.mlblogs.com

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Unfortunately Duncan must stay in the minors for 10 days before he can be recalled. If he’s upset maybe when he returns he can take it out on the opposition…
“GO YANKEES”

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Wow!!!! “Pissed” didn’t get sensored!

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Can you imagine how pissed I am?

Betemit has already set a new standard, the “Betemit Line”, Giambi is a getting a good view of that.

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A .230 hitter? That would be awesome! We only have a few of those right now. I mean we are off to our slowest offensive start in 3 decades. we could use a guy with that kind of ability.

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It’s funny because even if the Yankees SOMEHOW wake up and replace Betemit with Duncan and Duncan only hits like .230 with a few dingers, we Yankee fans will think he’s Babe Ruth because of the “standard” Betemit has set.

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Can you imagine how pissed Duncan must be?

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Cashman obviously suffers from a severe learning disability.

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Unfortunately, the Betemit is one of many mistakes this organization has made in the recent past. The longer Betemit stays with the Yanks, the more he makes Cashman look like a *******!!!!!!!!!!

For those of you interested, Duncan is hitting an even .500 with 3HRs in 22 ABs. Yanks should cut Betemit, and call up Duncan.

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Problem is, Robert Kramer, that we’ve been making these same mistakes, ad nauseum, for the better part of a decade. When is enough going to be enough? Gimme back my Yankees!

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OK everyone, we learn the most from past mistakes!
And today’s date is APRIL 14. There are 150 games left!

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Gonzalez has played pretty much at SS in the minors, don’t know he would do at 2B only way to find out is in minors.

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YANKEES MINOR LEAGUE SCOREBOARD April 14, 2008

Scranton/WB 9
Durham (Rays) 1
W: S. Strickland (1-0, 2.84); L: M. Talbot (0-2, 11.12)
HR: None.
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_14_swbaaa_dubaaa_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Altoona (Pirates)
Trenton 7:05PM
—————————
Rome (Braves)
Charleston 7:05PM
——————————-
You may also see http://www.yankeesdaily.com for details.

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This is great. Good way to send off the old yard with a bang, fellas. Maybe after you are done, you can go and pee all over monument park?

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Problem is, can Gonzalez play 2b? He’s got short down. He’s done a game at 3rd.

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YANKEES MINOR LEAGUE SCOREBOARD April 13, 2008

Scranton/WB 0
Durham (Rays) 2
W: C. Medlock (1-0, 1.42); L: K. Igawa (1-2, 1.72); SV: G. Balfour (1)
HR: None.
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_13_swbaaa_dubaaa_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Harrisburg (Nationals) 4
Trenton 8
W: C. Wright (2-1, 2.12); L: I. Ramirez (0-2, 10.00)
HR: None.
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=g_box&gid=2008_04_13_haraax_treaax_1
Sarasota (Reds) 0
Tampa 1
W: M. Melancon (1-0, 8.10); L: J. Smith (2-1, 1.40)
HR: None.
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_13_sarafa_tbyafa_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Rome (Braves) 4
Charleston 5
W: L. Pendleton (1-0, 2.35); L: Y. Castro (0-1, 16.20); SV: J. Ortiz (4)
HR: ROM: C. Rodriguez (3), S. Sime (1). CHA: W. Rufino (1).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_13_romafx_crdafx_1&t=g_box&did=milb
You may also see http://www.yankeesdaily.com for details.

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The Yanks would be better off dumping Betemit and keeping Alberto Gonzalez as the utility man. Gonzalez has a good glove, a decent enough bat, good speed, and good baseball instincts. He plays the game the right way and fits the utility role ideally. Betemit, on the other hand, contributes nothing to this team other than strikeouts. I’ve never heard of filling the utility slot with an overweight, .230, wannabe-power hitter who is a defensive liability in the middle infield and who can’t run well. Betemit is a corner guy, and a pretty subpar one at that. Ensberg and Shelly Duncan fill that role much better. Betemit is dead wood and carrying him on the roster gives the Yanks’ zero flexibility. They should just dump Betemit, but Cashman seems reticent to do so because he was the one who made the foolish decision to trade for Betemit in the first place.

http://ggwp.mlblogs.com

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Wang is a #1 starter, he may may not be a true staff ace, but he is the closest thing the Yanks have to that, especially on this staff. There really isn’t much difference between what Wang is right now, and a true definition to what a staff ace is. I don’t think you will see the like of Karstens, Igawa or Rasner on this roster any time soon, Ohlendorff I think has established himself as the team’s long reliever. Be prepared to hate Cashman, for some reason he loves Betemit. He needs to open his eyes.

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Heritbry are you kidding, Wang isn’t a #1? He’s only gone 3-0 pitched a complete game this season. If anyone expected Kennedy and Hughes to come into a starting role and just blow away hitters you were living in a dream world. The beginning of the season is hard because the weather is cold and for a young player you’re still enamored with your surroundings. Wang is a #1, he’s won the most games out of any pitcher in the last two seasons, he made it through 9 innings against a Boston lineup that is supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread in under 100 pitches where Dice-K (the most overrated pitcher in baseball) couldn’t make it 6 without throwing 100 to a team that can’t buy a dammed hit. I see what everybody’s means about Girardi not bunting in a 2 on 0 out situation that a little leaguer would recognize as a bunt situation, but I’m not concerned with Girardi yet. Cano will hit soon he’s a .300 hitter in a huge slump to start the season. Do you think Boston is going to put Ortiz in the 7 or 8 hole because only Peña Jr. has a worse average in the MLB? No, Cano isn’t a 2 hitter, he’s a 6-7 hole hitter only because our lineup is usually that good. Giambi and Matsui should be switched in my opinion though. If Cashman options Gonzalez to AAA instead of Betemit I will officially hate his guts completely. And last, Rasner looks good in the minors, but so does Kei Igawa who has an ERA under 2 right now, but bring them up to the big leagues and watch as they get pounded, Ross O. has done a fine job in that makeshift long reliever spot, plus he used to be a starter.

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jeterstar,

You’re right Gonzalez is struggling, his swing is off a bit as does Cano’s. Until their bats get going this team will continue to struggle. Giambi is also going to have to get himself over the “Betemit Line” forget about the Mendoza Line for now. We’ve seen this before, once they get their bats going it could be ok.

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What the hell happened to us? We have UNLIMITED resources, crazy scouting, ridiculous $$, and the honored reputation as the winningest sports franchise in the history of the world. It’s almost like our 26 titles mean nothing when compared to the Red Sox’s last 2. It makes it tough to even watch Sportscenter.

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Brian Cashman has NOT been able to put together a solid team. His WS rings are 100% a product of Bob Watson’s work before he left. In fact, Theo Epstein is SCHOOLING him in every way. Until we get rid of Brian Cashman, any World Series titles won will be IN SPITE of Trashman, NOT because of him.

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Not a big fan of the Manny move, but once Arod wakes up and Cano hits ANYTHING and maybe, just maybe, Giambi does something, New Joe will look a whole lot better.

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My concern is who the Yankees are going to call up to play catcheras Molina strained his left hamstring last night, and posada can’t even throw. Maybe Chris Stewart or they may brign up old garbage like Chad Moeller who can’t hit a lick, but at least he can throw and play a little “D”, just another player who can’t hit.

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I’m still more positive than negative for Girardi right now because for every one of those poor moves Chaz stated, he’s had some really good ones. First of all, his usage of the bullpen has been excellent so far. He didn’t come into the season with the whole Joe Torre “Farnsworth’s my guy” or “Hawkins is my guy” attitude. He’s tried out every reliever in every situation and if you notice the one who’s been succeeding, Bruney, is getting more of the big time spots now. The one who’s been shelled, Farnsworth, is being used in more and more meaningless situations. This all leads me to believe that he’ll be willing to switch it up again if Bruney starts to tank and someone else like a Hawkins start to catch on fire. That to me is something Torre was HORRIBLE at.
Also, that game where he left Wang in was such an underrated move. I mean you probably laugh at that statement because he threw like 80 pitches going into the 9th and was in total control. Of course they leave him in! Well I’m sure some of you remember that “You stay there!” game involving Torre being yelled at by Mussina because he was about to lift him with 1 out to go in the 9th while the Yanks were up by like 5 or 6 runs.

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Is it possible for the Yankees and the Red Sox to play a 3 hour game? They were in the top of the sixth at 11pm last night and if I had to hear John Miller say the word “slugger” and Joe Morgan say the word “sliiiiiiider” anymore I would have thrown up.

With Hughes right now it’s location, location, location. I did not watch the postgame comments unlike Bryan Hoch I try to get some sleep. His release point seemed very off & all of his pitches were very high in the zone and there are not too many pitchers in the world that can live high in the zone and get away with it.

That being said … haven’t we seen this movie?? Bad early start, big run, first round playoff loss? Any chance we can get a different ending?

The kids need to step it up and pitch better and health is ceratinly a factor moving forward. Do they have talent? YES Can they put up a lot of runs? YES Can they give up a lot of runs? YES

They really don’t have a lock down # 1 shut you down starter (Oswalt, Peavy, Johan, Beckett) and that leaves us with a lot of scratching and clawing and they are eventually going to dig themselves a hole that is too deep to crawl out of.

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I don’t understand sending Gonz down and keeping Bet. At least the kid is hitting and he’s playing a respectable short, he would be more valuable to keep, since Jetes may not be in shape to play. The hitless wonders continue to flounder, The only thing they know is the long ball, We need singles too in certain situations. We can’t score if there is no one on base. Why doesn’t G try to go to left field, Is he so proud that moving up runners or getting a run in from 3rd is a problem, In ST they were saying he’s learned to spray the ball more, did he forget how already? As said by someone earlier, Cano is not hitting, He should not be in the 2 hole move him down and have him stop swinging at the 1st pitch, It sure hasn’t helped. He’s trying too hard.
Right now our pen is out performing the starters. Only one that is really doing the job, Wang, and he can’t do it alone. Were going to need help now that Jobe isn’t going to be available, We all hope that his father gets well soon. Our prayers will be with him.
“GO YANKEES”

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I have questioned Girardi a couple of times myself, call me crazy, but I’m going to give him some more time before I call him an incompetent idiot. It’s driving me crazy that Hughes can’t get ahead in the count, he is pitching from behind to almost every batter he faces. And you know Alex is struggling when he tries to pull a low and outside pitch, so annoying.

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I agree chaz, I’ve been saying the same thing since before ST. The Yanks had their chances, but they weren’t very agressive on theFA market this offseason for whatever reason, just one mistake on a gowing list of mistakes. I get the feeling the Suks have a spy in the Yankess front office trying to sabotage the Yankees’ season. His name? Brian Cashman.

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I’m sorry, but we should’ve made a move for a lights out setup man this season via trade and put Joba in the rotation. We will regret this move as well.

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Hughes had a tough time spotting his fastball in this game as he has done at various times this season, it’s still a very hittable pitch. He also seemed to be lost out ther on the mound in the 1st inning, either not knowing what pitch Molina had called as he crossed Molina up at least 3 times (totally inexcusable) or he just had no control at all. I thought Farnsworth wouldn’t show improvement at all this season, and so far I’ve been proven right, again about something about this team. i’m absoulutely dumbfounded about the crush this organization has on mediocre players like Farnsworth, and Betemit, it’s just hurt this team. Once again Farnsworth showed his inability to shut down an opponent as he had another bad outing after a horrendous appearance against KC in which he allowed 2 runs in 2 innings. Someone should tell Farnsworth outing like that are a backbreaker for a team that is struggling as badly on offense as the Yanks are. As for Betemit, he should consider himself extremely lucky he is still on this team at all, especially since he no longer has any clear role on this team, Gonzalez just stepped in and took it from him. My confidence in Girardi is shaken as well, as he has made some questionable decisions both on the field and off.

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Actually Mussina only went 5 2/3 innings giving up 4 R on 8 H. Hardly what anyone would consider a quality outing, he did ok, but he has yet to show any reason for anyone to have any confidence in him, it was pretty much a typical Mussina outing. A quality outing is considered 6+ Innings with 3 runs or less.

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I am seriously starting to question Girardi’s ability as a manager. Think about it, we have had a chance to win EVERY game this season except for that laugher in Tampa. Girardi has had relatively easy calls to make in each game and has failed to make the right decision at every turn. If the team is not hitting the broad side of a barn, why in the hell are we swinging away in a situation that CLEARLY warrants a bunt? Why are we leaving in Moose to face Manny when Manny was the only guy that had touched him; and when he did, he took him yard? Why is free-swinging Cano hitting in the 2 hole? Why put in Betemit late in the game when Gonzalez has 100 times the glove? Why is hot-hitting Matsui hitting 8th?

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So the yankees went 1-2 agains the SOX over the weekend. another series where we watched the Yanks could not buy a freaking hit whenever it freaking matter. this team needs to start hitting as they cant win games without scoring runs. and they dont have A-rod hitting as he did last april. and what the hell is wrong with Hughes. 2 straight starts in which he cant go pass the third inning. this is ridiculous. other than pettite and WANGER our rotationis filled with nothing but question marks. yes moose has been good and has performed well over what each yankee fan expected. but still, can he keep this up over 35 starts? very doubtful.

Another thing. Can’t the yanks just ship Farnsy somewhere else, THIS GUY JUST FLAT OUT SUCKS. he can’t get through an inning without giving up at least a run. Jesus. THe Yanks need help in all aspects of the game this time around. so its not looking too good. This will be a very very long season if things keep going this way.

P.S. WHY THE HELL WAS MOOSE PITCHING TO RAMIREZ WITH A MAN ON SECOND IN A CLOSE GAME?

C’mon Girardi. that’s a big NO NO. its in the play book..

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I second that, Jimmy.

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It is sad news to hear the reports that Joba Chamberlain’s father, Harlan, collapsed at his home yesterday, and is listed in critical condition at St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, in Lincoln Nebraska….Joba was informed of his father’s condition at the end of last night’s game, and is now in Lincoln, to be with his father…Hopefully, all will go well for Mr. Chamberlain, as our thoughts and prayers go out to Harlan, Joba, and is family !!!

http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

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Also, Chaz, I think the reason Girardi has been going with his lineups is he’s trying to get Cano and Giambi started. However since no one around them is really doing all that much either, it’s not working. I’m with you. Throw those guys at the bottom of the order and let them figure it out there.

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How on earth can ANYONE move Gonzalez over Betemit? I’ve actually been defending Cashman a lot over the last couple of years, but this would be indefensible. It says one of two things about Cashman: 1.) he just flat out doesn’t watch games, which would make sense, or 2.) he does watch the games, but doesn’t know what he’s watching. I have no clue what the Yankee obsession with Betemit is. I believe Gonzalez has a hit in all of his games since being called up (am I wrong about that?).
Chaz, I logged on today to post the lineup I wanted to see and BAM, it’s there already. Yours is exactly mine. The only problem with our lineup is of course the three lefties in a row at the bottom. However, none of them are hitting RIGHTIES at this point so I guess it’s not really a big deal afterall, heh.

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When Jeter comes back, this is how the lineup should look:

Cabrera
Jeter
Abreu
Rodriguez
Matsui
Posada
Cano
Giambi
Damon

At least this would put the guy that are hitting in spots where the hits might get strung together. That is, if the captain can manage to find his stroke.

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What the hell was Cano doing in the 2 hole? Not only is hit hitting like a girl, but that also stacks our lineup with 3 left handed hitters at the top. Yeah, that’s smart baseball to make it a no-brainer for an opposing skipper to bring in the lefty to snuff out the table setters of our lineup? Girardi is an idiot. Until Cano can learn to stop swinging at the first pitch, he shouldn’t hit above the 7 spot. Matsui needs to be hitting where Giambi is, and Big-G needs to have a nice, shiny new spot in the 8 hole. Girardi doesn’t even know how to structure this lineup. He’s a dolt.

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I am a little puzzled that the small ball we’ve been hearing about hasn’t materialized.

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Where is Joe Torre? At least when he didn’t call for a bunt in that situation, I didn’t get mad about it because I never expected it. This team better learn to manufacture runs, and then keep the ball out of the middle of the plate, or this is going to be a LOOOOOOOOOOONG season.

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OK, taking aside Hughes’ ABYSMAL showings, injuries, Giambi’s .080 average, Farnsworth’s inability to pitch a scoreless frame, A-Rod chasing sliders 18 inches off the plate, Cano’s slow start, more injuries, and Our overall inability to even buy a base hit, I would like to complain about the following:

Johnny Damon is the worst leadoff hitter in the American League. He has NOT even come within 100 miles of replicating his numbers when he played for the RedSux. My biggest pet peeve with last night’s ridiculous game was that AB Damon had in the late going with 2 on and NOBODY out. What the hell? WHY DIDN’T HE LAY DOWN A BUNT? If he would have gave himself up, Cano’s pansyass dribbler to second base would have scored a run and Abreu (one of the few of these losers that is actually hitting) would have been up with the tying run at 3rd. I don’t give a crap if this is the American League, THAT IS A SAC BUNT SITUATION IN ANY BASEBALL LEAGUE AT ANY LEVEL, ANYWHERE, ANY TIME!!!!!

Typically, the thing I hate most about “Red Sox Fan” is that obnoxious “Yankees suck” chant they insist on using every waking moment of their lives. However, I didn’t mind it at all in last night’s game because it was well deserved. Right now this Yankee team SUCKS. I’m sick of this crap already. I thought Girardi was supposed to bring fundamental baseball back to the Bronx? He doesn’t call for a sac bunt when we have 2 on and 0 out with a guy at the plate that can’t BUY a basehit?

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About the only amusing thing from Saturday’s box score is this:

Giambi avg: .080
Ortiz avg: .070

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I should mention Moose put in another decent outing (4 runs in 6 innings is his era basically). And the ‘pen didn’t hurt us. But yet we STILL couldn’t get it done. We MUST find a way to get to Paplebon. I’m sorry but I’ll be damned if I’m going to live thru his career like they had to live thru Mo’s. We have got to figure out how to make him pay.

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Ok, I for one am NOT going to be happy to go through another early part of the season like we did last year. This is patenly ridiculous. It’s not the fact that we had to lose two to the SUCHS (living in SUCH land makes it that much worse) but that just compounds it.
I’m glad we’re finally stealing some bases. I’m glad Giambino has finally put a couple over the wall. And I’m glad that DJ is close to coming back but not glad that it’s Gonzales that we’re losing and not Betimit. He’s had a game at 3b. We’ve got Ensberg for 1b, can he play 2nd? DAMMIT! This is frustrating.

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