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Saturday October, 28 2006.
2006 World Series Champions: St. Louis Cardinals
By mvyb, 23:01

Congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals and their fans on a remarkable postseason run. While their regular season was nothing to brag about, St. Louis defeated San Diego, New York, and eventually Detroit in a hard-fought World Series.
 
(Getty Images)
 
It was a total team effort, as St. Louis produced pitching masterpieces by Jeff Weaver, Anthony Reyes, and Chris Carpenter. Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, and David Eckstein did most of the work with the bat and the glove.
 
For complete coverage of St. Louis' victory check out these blogs: Viva El Birdos, Go Crazy Folks!, and the Gas House Gang.
 
For now, the St. Louis Cardinals are on top of the world.

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Monday October, 16 2006.
Alex Rodriguez- To Trade or Not To Trade?
By mvyb, 22:07

 
On February 16, 2004, the New York Yankees landed Alex Rodriguez in a blockbuster deal with the Texas Rangers. The Red Sox had been the front-runners in the race to sign A-Rod, but just as it seemed they had reeled him in, the Bombers snatched him away.
                                       
George Steinbrenner on signing Alex Rodriguez:
"This is a great day for the New York Yankees and for the City of New York. In acquiring Alex Rodriguez, we are bringing to New York one of the premiere players in the history of the game. But, as I have always said, the way New Yorkers back us, we have to produce for them. The Yankees are in the toughest division in Baseball and now, with the team we have assembled, we have to go out and produce on the field."
 
Joe Torre on Alex Rodriguez
"It's tough to come up with the words to describe how you feel when a player of Alex' ability and class is so suddenly in your lineup. I know that the fans of New York are going to love having him here on an everyday basis. I couldn't be happier."
 
How weird these comments sound three years later... A-Rod has seen no love from the New York fans, and has been the  scapegoat for every failure the team has had.
 
And it's not like he's played that poorly in New York...
 
2004
Home Runs 36
RBI 106
Runs 112
Batting Average .286
Stolen Bases 28
 
Ok, this wasn't his best year, but a lot of players would beg to have these numbers each year.
 
2005
Home Runs 48
RBI 130
Runs 124
Batting Average .321
Stolen Bases 21
 
Most. Valuable. Player.
 
2006
Home Runs 35
RBI 121
Runs 113
Batting Average .290
Stolen Bases 15
 
Again, decent numbers. Very decent numbers.
 
Alex Rodriguez has not had ONE bad offensive year as a Yankee!!!  
 
So if A-Rod's been so good, why do Yankee fans want him gone?
 
Supposedly, it's his postseason performance...
 
2004 Postseason
Matsui .353 BA, 3HR, 13RBI
Rodriguez .320 BA, 3HR, 8RBI
 Williams .296, 3 HR, 13 RBI
 Sheffield .291, 2 HR, 7 RBI
 Sierra .272, HR, 5 RBI
 Cairo .256, 4 2B, 7 R
 Jeter .245, HR, 9 RBI
 Posada  .244, 2 RBI, 6 R
 Clark  .136, RBI
 Olereud  .115, HR, 2 RBI
 Lofton  .071 BA, H
 
Yeah, logical argument....
 
2005 Postseason
 Giambi .421 BA, R, 2 RBI
 Jeter .333 BA, 2 HR, 3 RBI
 Sheffield .286 BA, R, 2 RBI
 Cano .263 BA, 5 RBI
 Posada .231 BA, HR, 2 RBI
 Williams .211 BA, RBI
Matsui .200 BA, HR, RBI
Rodriguez .133 BA, 2R, 6BB
Sierra 1 for 3
Martinez 0 for 8
 
Besides Jeter, no one had a good postseason. But you don't hear fans railing against Matsui, Williams, or Posada- each who played just as poorly as Alex in the ALDS.
 
2006 Postseason
 Posada .500 BA, 2 HR, 2RBI
 Jeter .500 BA, HR, RBI
 Abreu .333 BA, 4 RBI
 Matsui .250 BA, RBI
 Damon .235 BA, HR, 3 RBI
 Cano .133 BA, 2H
 Giambi .125 BA, HR, 2 RBI
 Sheffield .083 BA, H, RBI
 Rodriguez .071 BA, H
Cabrera 0-3
Williams 0-3
 
Again, no one had a good postseason! Cano only had 2 hits! Giambi, Sheffield, and A-Rod only had 1 hit a-piece!
 
What's happened to A-Rod over the past two Octobers? He's run into good pitching. The ENTIRE team has. Alex isn't the only one to struggle against the Angels and Tigers, and therefore, it is unfair to blame him for the Yankee failures!
 
In Conclusion:
 
Alex Rodriguez has had three very good offensive years as a Yankee. He played very well in the '04 postseason, but struggled, along with the rest of the team, in the '05 and '06 postseasons.
 
You want to trade A-Rod? Fine. But it makes as much sense as trading away Matsui, Posada, Cano, Cabrera, or Giambi.

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Monday October, 09 2006.
Aftermath
By mvyb, 15:38

The Question:
 
How can a 200 million dollar team ( with an All-Star at every position, home field advantage throughout the playoffs, and a month's worth of momentum ) crash, burn, and die so quickly in the Division Series? How can a small-market, no-name team like the Detroit Tigers dismantle the mighty New York Yankees so easily?
 
 
I'm sure I'm not the only Yankee fan who has spent the past two days (and nights) pondering those very questions. The regular season was so fun and exciting- for the first time in years, the Yankees actually played with energy and the will to win!
 
2006 Regular Season:
 
April 1st: Yanks mash Oakland, led by an Alex Rodriguez's grand slam and a Hideki Matsui 4-hit night
 
May 16th: The Yanks rally from a 9-run deficit and win in the ninth on a Posada walkoff 2-run homer.
 
May 20th: Down by 4 in the ninth, the Bombers beat up on Mets' star closer Billy Wagner and win the game in the tenth.
 
May 30th: Yanks score 5 in the 11th inning against the Detroit Tigers.
 
June 6th: Melky saves the game with an eye-popping grab, stealing a homer from Manny Ramirez.
 
June 16th: Bernie's hits a game-winning homer off of Chad Cordero in Washington.  Power outing here in NJ so I had to listen to this one on the radio in the dark.
 
June 28th: The one day Yankee fans supported Alex Rodriguez.
 
July 2nd: A-Rod hits 2 homers and drives in 7 against the Mets. ( Nick Green and Jorge Posada also homer.)
 
August 19-21: GREATEST. SERIES. EVER.
 
September 20th: Yanks clinch division. Yeehaw.
 
 
What happened to this magic??? What happened to the Yankees' will to win??? The games I mentioned above were some of the most important games the Yanks played all year ( Opening Day, 5-game series in Boston, Subway Series, etc...) And guess what? The Bombers stepped up and performed like they were an All Star team! Why couldn't they play this way against Detroit in the Divisional Series? New York had a nice 5-2 record against Detroit in the regular season, why couldn't they keep doing what they had been doing for 6 months?
 
The Answer:
 
The formula was changed.
 
A scientist has discovered the cure for the common cold. His medicine is tested and is highly effective. Later that day, another scientist tries to improve the formula by removing "chemical B" and replacing it with "chemical J". But what has happened? The formula no longer cures the common cold. It has been ruined by an ineffective chemical.
 
The Yankees had a winning formula. The had the key to beating good teams ( like Minnesota, Detroit, Boston, and the New York Mets). But when the season ended and the team charged into the playoffs, Joe Torre changed the formula:
 
- Alex Rodriguez bounced up and down the lineup.
 
- Sheffield played first base.
 
- Matsui played left, instead of DHing.
 
- Giambi didn't play in Game 4.
 
- Stolen bases and "hit-and-runs" were removed from the game plan. ( The Yankee didn't even ATTEMPT a stolen base or "hit-and-run" in the final three games of the series. )
 
One man made out the lineup cards. One man decided who played where and when. One man decided the order of batting. One man had the job of making decisions from the dug out. One man had the ability to send his runners, make them attempt to steal a base, or pull off a suicide-squeeze. Joe Torre.
 
 
Now, you have to give credit to the Detroit Tigers who played hard. Like good teams do, they took advantage of their opponents mistakes. And, the Yankee batters ( with the exclusion of Jeter and Posada) carry a lot of the blame for yet another postseason failure. 
 
But looking at the whole thing realistically, this one's pretty much on Joe. When he saw his team struggling to score, he did nothing. When he saw a pitcher losing control of his pitches, Torre did nothing. When one player ( like Rodriguez) was REALLY struggling, Torre left him in the lineup. You understand.
 
Now, I want you to know that I have a ton of respect for Joe Torre. During the '96-'99 Yankee dynasty, Torre was the best manager in baseball. I admired everything he did. He knew how to win.
 
But after this latest Yankee collapse, you wonder- has he lost his touch?
 
If Steinbrenner does fire Torre ( or Joe retires), I don't think I'll really be that upset. After getting beaten by underdog teams for 5 straight years, maybe it is time the Yankee organization and Joe Torre go their separate ways.

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Friday September, 22 2006.
American League East Chamipons: The New York Yankees!
By mvyb, 12:10

Time to celebrate!
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Thursday September, 14 2006.
American League MVP Race
By mvyb, 12:29

So much buzz is floating around the majors about the AL Most Valuable Player award... Some believe Big Papi still deserves it, while other are on the Jeter-for-MVP bandwagon.... so I decided to compare the stats of the AL MVP award front-runners. ( I'm leaving Johann Santana out of it since, being a pitcher, he'll be snubbed.)

Front-runners for the MVP Award:

Jermaine Dye, Chicago White Sox
Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins
Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox

Let's compare some POWER numbers:

Home Runs
Ortiz: 48
Dye: 41
Morneau: 33
Jeter: 13
Mauer: 11

RBI
Ortiz: 127
Morneau: 120
Dye: 112
Jeter: 92
Mauer: 78

Slugging Percentage:
Dye: .637
Ortiz: .628
Morneau: .583
Mauer: .505
Jeter: .492

Ok, so far we see that the big sluggers have been.... slugging. But that's not what the award is all about. Remembers, it's Most Valuable Player. Not- most valuable run-producer or most valuable slugger.

Some SWINGING numbers:

Walks:
Ortiz: 97
Mauer: 74
Jeter: 66
Dye: 52
Morneau: 47

Strike-Outs:
Mauer: 44
Morneau: 81
Jeter: 91
Ortiz: 105
Dye: 107

Ok, pretty simple so far... The sluggers usually are walked more ( though, as you can see Mauer and Jeter have had a lot of good at-bats) and whiff more.

Now, a few ON-BASE numbers:

On-Base Percentage:
Mauer: .433
Jeter: .423
Ortiz: .401
Dye: .388
Morneau: .379


Runs Scored:
Jeter: 104
Ortiz: 103
Dye:93
Morneau: 85
Mauer: 78

Doubles:
Jeter: 36
Morneau: 33
Mauer: 32
Dye: 26
Ortiz: 26

Stolen Bases:
Jeter: 30
Mauer: 8
Dye:7
Morneau:3
Ortiz: 1

These are some very revealing stats. Getting on base isn't all there is to it. Mauer leads all the candidates in OBP, yet he has scored the fewest runs. But, look at Jeter's production. Getting on, moving up, and eventually scoring. He's the fastest and the best base-runner among the bunch.

A few HITTING numbers:

Hits:
Jeter: 192
Morneau: 168
Mauer: 162
Dye: 158
Ortiz: 145

Batting Average:
Mauer: .348
Jeter: .346
Morneau: .324
Dye: .322
Ortiz: .285 ( pretty low)

BA at Home:
Jeter: .358
Morneau: .338
Mauer: .330
Dye: .320
Ortiz: .286

BA on the Road:
Mauer: .363
Jeter: .336
Dye: .324
Morneau: .310
Ortiz: .285

Now, for some SITUATIONAL HITTING stats:

Bases Empty ( rally needed) BA:
Jeter: .322
Morneau: .318
Mauer: .315
Dye: .297
Ortiz: .277

BA with RISP:
Jeter: .396
Mauer: .382
Dye: .353
Morneau: .333
Ortiz: .293

Bases Loaded BA:
Jeter: .455
Morneau: .412
Ortiz: .333
Mauer: .333
Dye: .000 ( 0-4)

BA Late in Close Games:
Jeter: .320
Ortiz: .313
Mauer: .311
Morneau: .307
Dye: .306

My own opinion on DEFENSE:

Defense:
Jeter: 2-time Gold Glove winner at SS
Dye: Gold Glove winning outfielder ( 6 years ago)
Mauer: pretty decent catcher
Morneau: average firstbaseman
Ortiz: designated hitter

And now, I present the top 5 AL Players of 2006:

5. Joe Mauer

Joe Mauer could be the first catcher to win the batting title in the history of baseball. Mauer has very patient at-bats, waits for the right pitch, and hits it well.

Why he doesn't win the MVP award: Even though he has a high batting average, Mauer isn't even in the top 10 "hit-collectors" in the American League. Mauer also lacks power, speed, and a run-producing bat. Even though he has the highest on-base-percentage of all the candidates, Joe Mauer has only scored 78 runs ( fewest among the candidates).

4. Justin Morneau

Justin Morneau became the first Minnesota Twins player in over a decade to hit over 30 homers. Morneau is also second in the league with 120 runs-batted-in.

Why he doesn't win the MVP award: Morneau is a bit too aggressive this year. He has the lowest OBP among the candidates, walks the least, and often chases pitches. ( He has seen 400 fewer pitches then Jeter and Ortiz.) But the biggest fact is that he isn't as important to his team, as other are to their's. He is only a small PART of the Twins' success this year.... sharing the spotlight with Santana, Nathan, Mauer, and Cuddyer.

3. David Ortiz

A few months ago, I would have told you- "David Ortiz is the MVP of the American League for sure!"

Ortiz leads the league in homers and RBIs. He has scored a ton of runs and hits the ball with amazing power every time he comes up. Ortiz works the pitchers he faces, and chooses the pitch he wants to hit. "Big Papi" has power in all directions, and really led his team during the first half of the season.

Why he doesn't win the MVP: While Derek Jeter and Jermaine Dye carried their teams through injuries and pitching troubles, Ortiz has kinda gone down with the ship, so to speak. As Boston's troubles started, Ortiz did not pick them up. Now, I know the collapse isn't entirely his fault, but he has done little to help. Instead, Ortiz complains about his teammates and the league. Not what the league's most valuable player does.

( Some might argue that he isn't even the MVP of his team! [ Schilling, Papelbon, Manny, and Varitek are the other noms] )

Besides this point, Ortiz doesn't hit very well. Of our candidates, he has the lowest Batting Average, fewest hits, worst speed, and gives his team no defensive help whatsoever.

And he bats a lowly .293 with runners in scoring position.

2. Jermaine Dye

If not for Dye, the White Sox aren't even in a wildcard race. Chicago's pitching has been so dismal, that Dye had to really carry this team on his back all year. Dye has 41 homers, 112 RBIs, 158 hits, and 93 runs scored. Woah!

Why he doesn't win the MVP: The only reason for Dye's not winning the MVP award will be the White Sox not making the playoffs. If they do, he will stand a good chance of winning. If he doesn't, then the shortstop from New York has it all wrapped up.

Jermaine Dye does have some noticeable flaws though. He rarely walks, and he has K'd more then any other of our candidates. He struggles sometimes late in games, and he has very little speed.

But I guess those are minor issues.

1. Derek Jeter

The guy who does it all. The most valuable PLAYER.

During the summer, the Yankees had innumerable injuries. Cano, Matsui, and Sheffield were on the DL. A-Rod couldn't hit to save his life. Giambi was on and off. The Yankees trotted out minor league lineups ( with guys like Terrence Long, Aaron Guiel, Miguel Cairo, Nick Green, Sal Fasano, Kelly Stinnet, and Kevin Thompson) But through it all, Jeter remained consistent. He was the Captain of the team, encouraging the rookies and supporting the struggling veterans. Jeter was always on base, making things happen. Whether he dropped down a bunt, walked and stole a couple bases, or homered into the opposite field upper-deck, Derek Jeter did it all. Jeter always worked the pitchers, always hit well with runners on ( especially with two outs and late in the game) and ran the bases wisely( 30+ SBs).

Jeter did it all. That's why he should win the American League MVP award.

Thoughts?

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Tuesday August, 29 2006.
Preview: Detroit Tigers v. New York Yankees
By mvyb, 11:49

As the Red Sox continue to falter ( now 7 games back) the Yankees need to start winning consistently and distancing themselves from all AL East opposition.
 
Now, this series with Detroit is important for another reason: homefield advantage in the playoffs. Detroit ( and Oakland) play very well at home, but struggle a bit on the road. You can see that homefield advantage could be a key factor in how far the Yankees advance in the postseason.
 
 
Game 1: August 29th, 7:05PM
Nate Robertson (11-10) v. Chien-Ming Wang (15-5)
 
Chien-Ming Wang is the ace of our staff with his team-leading 15 wins ( second best in the majors). He has shocked New York fans by his consistency and skill. Wang is 2-0 in his last 2 starts, beating Boston and Seattle on the road. But Wang pitches even better in the Bronx ( 9-2 with a 2.92 ERA).
 
 
Nate Robertson was beaten up badly in his last start ( against the  White Sox):
6.2 IP, 9H, 10R, 2BB, 3HR
 
He got very similar results in his only career start against the Yankees ( 0-1).
 
Yankee numbers against Robertson:
 
Rodriguez: .375 BA ( 6 for 16), HR, 5 RBI
Damon: .500 BA ( 7 for 14), 5 RBI
Giambi: .714 BA ( 5 for 7)
 
Robertson has struggled this month, 1-4 ( 5.03 ERA) Hopefully that trend will continue Tuesday.
 
Game 2: August 30th, 7:05PM
Wilfredo Ledezma (2-1) v. Randy Johnson (14-10)
 
Randy Johnson is 3-1 this month ( his only loss coming against the Mariners, but even in that game Johnson pitched well). In his only start against Detroit this season, Johnson shut out the team through six solid innings of work: 6IP, 2H, 3BB, 4K, 0R
 
NONE of the Detroit batters have good numbers against Johnson.
 
Wilfredo Ledezma has taken over for Mike Maroth ( currently on the DL). Ledezma won his only start of the season, but only pitched 5 and 2/3rds of an inning.
 
Ledezma only has one career start against the Yankees, which he lost after allowing 8 runs. Here are some individual stats against Ledezma:
 
Alex Rodriguez: 4 for 4, 4 HR, 6 RBI
Posada: .333 BA ( 1 for 3), HR
 
That's right folks.... Alex Rodriguez is 4 for 4 against Ledezma with 4 homers.
 
Game 3: August 31st, 1:05 PM
Jeremy Bonderman (11-6) v. Jaret Wright (9-7)
 
Let me guess, this one won't be a pitcher's duel.
 
Jaret Wright is 3-1 in 5 starts ( and 2 relief appearances) this month, alloowing only 1 home run. Wright is a career 5-4 against Detroit with a nice 3.45 ERA.
 
That's the good news.
 
The bad news is that Wright has been terrible lately ( both in runs allowed and innings pitched) with a wicked walk-to-strike-ratio ( 16-16).
 
 
Bonderman is winless in his last 6 starts ( 5.17 ERA), usually imploding in one certain inning. Jeremy is 2-3 career against the Yankees with a 4.85 ERA and 8 HRs allowed.
 
Yankee numbers against Bonderman:
 
Cano: .400 BA ( 4 for 10)
Damon: .333 BA ( 7 for 21), 2 2B
Posada: .357 ( 5 for 14), 3 RBI
Rodriguez: .263 BA ( 5 for 19), 2 HR
 
Conclusion:
 
Yankees will most likely win the series, maybe ( MAYBE) even sweep the Tigers. The Yanks have homefield advantage ( which is big against Detroit), pitching advantages in 2 of the 3 games, and heavy hitting advantages. Plus Detroit has been stumbling against sub .500 teams.
 
This could be a really good, confidence-building series for the Yankees if they play decently. And, maybe, A-Rod can catch fire against one of these pitchers he's hit well in the past.
 

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Friday August, 25 2006.
Preview: New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
By mvyb, 11:54

This weekend, the Yankees play a crucial three-game series with the LA Angels. Why is this series so crucial, you ask? First of all, the Yanks haven't played well against the Angels and need to start doing so right now. If the Angels make the playoffs ( this year or the next), the Yankees are gonna have to find a way to beat them. Also, the BoSox have an easy three-game series with the Mariners. Over the next three days, Boston can easily gain ground if the Yankees falter in Anaheim.
 
The Yanks are 9-8 on this 21-games-in-20-days streak, a good series here could improve that record.
 
Game 1:  August 25, 10:05PM
Jaret Wright ( 9-7)  v. John Lackey (10-9)
 
Jaret Wright hasn't started since August 17th, and in that game, he couldn't get out of the 4th inning. Not good.
 
But. let's look at some positives here: On August 12th ( his only start against the Angels this year), Jaret Wright beat the Angels in the Bronx by a score of 5 to 2. He pitched into the 6th and allowed only one run... not too shabby.  Wright is 3-1 in August and 4-2 on the road this year.
 
Now on the other hand, John Lackey, picked up a loss in his only start this year against the Yankees ( August 14th).
 
Lackey's pitching line: 7IP, 11H, 3ER, 3R, 4BB, HR
 
(MLB.com photo)
 
And the Yankee batters really own this guy:
 
Rodriguez-  .258 BA, 3HR
Damon-  .333 BA ( 10 for 30)
Giambi-  .478 BA ( 11 for 23), 2 HR
Jeter-  .348 BA, HR
Guiel-  .444 BA ( 4 for 9), 2 HR
Cano-  .500 ( 3 for 6)
Cabrera- .667 ( 2 for 3)
 
Ok, so all the Yanks need is a decent outing from Wright, and they should win the game. But what are the chances they get a good outing.... 50/50? No, I think it's a little more in their favor, probably 60/40.
 
Game 2: August 26th, 4:10PM
Cory Lidle (10-9)  v.  Ervin Santana (12-6)
 
We were all impressed by Cory Lidle's last start, against the Boston Red Sox. He pitched 6 shutout innings, establishing his spot in the Yankee rotation.
 
(Reuters)
 
Lidle has been great in August ( 2-2 with a 2.82 ERA), and he has pitched well on the road all year long ( 3-2, 3.91 ERA).
 
Lidle had one start against the Angels this year, and picked up the loss ( allowing only 3 runs), but other then that start, he doesn't have much history against the Angels. None of their players have any outstanding numbers against him- Guerrero ( 0 for 2), Erstad ( 1 for 17), Rivera ( 0 for 7), and Quinlan ( 0 for 2).
 
Ervin Santana has one start against the Yanks this year, a victory. Santana's pitching line: 5.2 IP, 2H, ER, 3BB, HR
 
But, Santana hasn't been pitching as well this month ( 4.87 ERA), which is the one flicker of hope for the Yankees.
 
Yankees against Santana:
 
Jeter-  .714 BA ( 5 for 7), 2HR
Cano-  .143 BA ( 1 for 7), HR
Rodriguez-  .125 BA ( 1 for 8)
Posada-  .167 BA ( 1 for 6)
Damon-  .125 BA ( 1 for 8)
Giambi-  0 for 7
 
Never faced: Abreu, Cabrera, Williams, Guiel, or Green
 
Ouch! Oh, that hurts... I'm not very optimistic about this game.
 
Game 3: August 27th, 3:35PM
Jeff Karstens ( 0-0)  v.  Joe Saunders ( 3-1)
 
Karstens made his major league debut on Tuesday, and did very well ( especially against the lefties). Karstens pitching line: 5.2IP, 6H, 3ER, 2BB, 2K
 
But one start against the Mariners doesn't really tell you much, so we'll have to cross our fingers and hope for the best.
 
Saunders has one career start against the Yankees, a victory. Saunders' pitching line: 6IP, 6H, 3ER, 2BB
 
This one is a toss-up, Saunders has shown that he has great stuff, but we haven't really seen that much from Karstens.
 
This game may come down to a battle of the bullpens, which the Yankees might win. The Villone-Proctor-Farnsworth-Rivera combo has worked brilliantly this year, and, thanks to RJ, all of these pitchers had the day off yesterday.
 
In Conclusion
 
The Angels will at least take 2 of 3, maybe even sweep the Yankees. The Angels have homefield advantage and all the pitching-matchup advantages.
 
But, keep in mind that the Angels just lost two of three from the Red Sox, losing to Beckett and Lester, two pitchers that the Yankees mauled. The Angels averaged just 3 runs a ballgame which would not have been enough to beat the Yankees. Maybe the Yankees can surprise us like they did in Boston, and kick some tail.

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Monday July, 24 2006.
Trading A-Rod: To Be or not to Be?
By mvyb, 13:27

Last night, on ESPN's Baseball Tonight, the subject of trading the Yankee third baseman was brought up. Several of the analysts claimed that this was the best action for Yankee management to take. Yankee fans have been booing Alex since the first day of this season, no matter what he does. He will never live up to New York's expectation, or play comfortably under such a spotlight.
 
Now, I don't know whether or not Yankee fans will ever truly except Alex, but he is desperately needed in New York and I'll show you why.
 
Let's look at Rodriguez's numbers this season:
 
99 hits ( 14th among major league third-basemen) 
67 runs ( 2nd among major league third-basemen )
21 home runs ( T-2nd among major league third-basemen )
71 RBI ( 2nd among major league third-basemen )
.277 batting average ( 12th among major league third-basemen )
.389 OBP ( 8th among major league third-basemen )
.499 slugging P ( 10th among major league third-basemen )
 
Ok, so in comparison to other third baseman, Alex isn't doing too bad. In the offensive categories, he's right on top. The biggest thing I see here is his lack of hitting and getting on base- his batting average, hit total, doubles, and slugging percent are way too low for even an average thirdbaseman.
 
 
Now let's look at his offensive numbers last year:
 
.321 batting average ( 6th in the majors)
48 home runs ( 2nd in the majors)
124 runs (1st in the majors)
130 RBIs ( 3rd in the majors)
 
This year, he's on-pace for these numbers:
 
.284 batting average
37 home runs
120 runs
128 RBIs
 
Imagine the Yankee season without these numbers.
 
Yeah, the home run total and batting average are a bit low, but the runs and RBI totals are almost exactly the same as Rodriguez's MVP season! A struggling Alex Rodriguez is still better then almost any other player, playing at his best. Alex is also hitting above .300 with runners in scoring position this year, up several points from last year!
 
 
Defensively, we don't need to look at any stats- Alex is having an off-year. He's made five errors just this week, but that can be corrected by Larry Bowa.
 
But when discussing the option of trading A-Rod, there is a big problem:
 
Who could the Yankees possibly get to replace him? Who could take over as New York's third baseman, cleanup hitter, and MVP? Alex Rodriguez is one of the greatest players in the history of the game, how do you go about replacing him?
 
The only thirdbasemen even close to A-Rod's caliber of playing would be Miguel Cabrera of Florida and David Wright of the Mets. Wright is locked down with the Mets (they will never let him go), and Cabrera has shown stubborn loyalties to the Florida franchise.
 
So, all in all, trading away Alex Rodriguez would be foolish to an extreme....
 
Alex Rodriguez will show up soon (hopefully this week), both with the glove and with the bat. He played for years in Texas, so he should do well in the upcoming series with the Rangers.
 
Here are Rodriguez's numbers against the Texas starters:
 
Kevin Millwood: .455 BA ( 5 for 11) with a home run and a double
Adam Eaton: .667 (2 for 3) with a home run
John Wasdin: .348 ( 8 for 23) with four home runs!
 
Pretty nice... I expect good things out of A-Rod this week.

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Thursday July, 13 2006.
Moving Day!
By mvyb, 16:18

Well, I've been wanting to do this for quite some time now, and I finally found a good blog hosting site to move to. Now there's nothing wrong with the Blogger system I was using, but after a while, it just got boring. Also, I never got many comments- I'm hoping to have better luck here at Beeplog.
 
 I'm going to try to do something different with this site. Over the previous years, I've gone to many, many Yankee blogs that hold live game chat threads. Unfortunately, I have found that almost all of them ( both the posters and the blog authors) frequently use foul language. This may not bother everyone, but to some it's very irritating. So, anyway, this blog is going to be family-oriented. The threads, topics, and hopefully, the comments will be kept as clean as possible.
 
Heck, I might not get any comments on this site, but at least, it's worth a try. ( Plus, I'm probably going to be a journalism student next year, so the practice is good)
 
Read on, have fun, and  GO YANKEES!!!
 
Former site: Baseball_Mania

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