Thoughts before tonight’s game (July 3, 2014)

July 3, 2014 | 3 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Rupert Pupkin

Thoughts on both teams before tonight’s series opener against Minnesota:

Things have been just brutal lately. The offense has more or less disappeared. Aside from Brett Gardner, the team itself has been boring as sh*t to watch too.

Once again: if Alex Rodriguez was allowed to regularly contribute to this team, they’d have at least 2-3 more wins. I’ll just leave it there!

Yankees

Impression Lately: This is as bad as I can remember a Yankees team being since 1993. Almost no offense. Seems like there’s a commitment from the front office to continuing to trot out these over-the-hill veterans simply because they’ve got EXPERIENCE. No other team would give Brian Roberts, Alfonso Soriano and Kelly Johnson this many starts. The team is now below .500 with a 41-42 record to accompany their sickening -37 run differential. They are 2-8 in their last 10 games. It’s just been brutal lately.

Thing I Hope to See: Tanaka is on the bump tonight, so I’m hoping he’ll find some way of besting his last start. Most people probably don’t look back on it and think anything positive, given the way it ended with that bonehead fastball to Mike Napoli that was promptly deposited 315 feet into the front row of the right field seats. But Tanaka pitched a complete game and allowed only 2 runs. I’d take something better than that any day of the week. I mean, I’d also take exactly that, or even something slightly worse. Bottom line: I’m expecting Tanaka to achieve his 17th Quality Start in 17 games.

Player I Want To Watch: Zelous Wheeler was called up today, with Yangervis Solarte being sent down as the corresponding move. It’s a shame because Solarte’s first two months were a lot of fun to watch, and his versatility as a switch hitter was even more tantalizing. But now it’s time to look toward a man with an equally fun name and similar abilities. Wheeler is capable of playing most positions sans catcher and 1B. I like the flexibility he gives Girardi in the field, and I hope he can hit well enough to justify starts over guys like Soriano, Roberts and Kelly.

Twins

Impression Lately: The Twins have been bad all season. They have a -30 run differential – which is still better than the Yankees – but that accompanies a 38-45 record, which is good for last place in the AL Central. They are 3-7 in their last 10 games and are coming off a 4-0 loss to the Royals.

Thing I’m Expecting Tonight: Phil Hughes has been a revelation for the Twins since signing with them in the offseason. He’s 8-4 with a 3.58 ERA (2.60 FIP/3.31 xFIP) and has a K/9 of 7.69 in exactly 103 IP. Where was this output when he was a member of the pinstripes? Why did you wait until now to do what we all hoped and dreamed, Phil? Anyway – I expect Hughes to compete with Tanaka, but perhaps fall a bit short. I think the Yankees are familiar with whom they’re facing in Hughes and so the bats might wake up against someone they know so well. Then again, I wouldn’t say my expectations of this happening are especially high.

Player I’m Afraid Of: Brian Dozier. He’s a sneaky good player – in just about every way. He’s hitting .232/.345/.416 but has 15 HR, 38 RBI, 15 SB and a wRC+ of 116…and he’s a second baseman. He leads the team in WAR (2.8) by a sizable margin. He’s someone who should not be underestimated.

MLB gave A-Rod permission to use PEDs

July 2, 2014 | 17 comments | in Uncategorized | by Rupert Pupkin

Bleacher Report:

Before the 2007 season, Rodriguez asked for permission to use testosterone, which has been banned by baseball since 2003. The IPA in ’07 was Bryan W. Smith, a High Point, N.C., physician. (Baseball did not yet have the advisory medical panel.) On Feb. 16, 2007, two days before Rodriguez reported to spring training, Smith granted the exemption, allowing Rodriguez to use testosterone all season.

In 2007, of the 1,354 players subjected to testing, 111 were granted a TUE. Only two, apparently including Rodriguez, received an exemption for “androgen deficiency medications,” the category that would include testosterone.

So MLB gave him permission to use PEDs for at least two seasons (that we know of) and then attacked him later on for doing the same thing? He’s not playing right now because of something they initially allowed him to do!?

Mayo Clinic Definition of Drug Addiction:

Drug addiction is a dependence on an illegal drug or a medication. When you’re addicted, you may not be able to control your drug use and you may continue using the drug despite the harm it causes. Drug addiction can cause an intense craving for the drug. You may want to quit, but most people find they can’t do it on their own.

For many people, what starts as casual use leads to drug addiction. Drug addiction can cause serious, long-term consequences, including problems with physical and mental health, relationships, employment and the law.

You may need help from your doctor, family, friends, support groups or an organized treatment program to overcome your drug addiction and stay drug-free.

bud_asg

“Ah well, I encouraged and enabled the guy — may as well make him a scapegoat too!”

Kuroda allows two runs: What an a**hole

July 1, 2014 | 10 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Hiroki Kuroda NoMaas Yankees Dick

Thoughts before tonight’s game (July 1, 2014)

July 1, 2014 | 8 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Rupert Pupkin

Thoughts on both teams before tonight’s game against Tampa Bay:

Before I get into my little hopes and dreams section, I just want to say that I find it truly pathetic that this team has somehow managed to play worse than last year’s. They were in better shape this time last year and they didn’t have Jeter, Teixeira, Ellsbury, Beltran or McCann as “upgrades” at their current positions. Just an abysmal first half. They’re one game over .500 and only 2.5 games back of Toronto for the division lead. Disgusting.

I’m just gonna come out and say it: this wouldn’t be happening if A-Rod was out there everyday, allowed to play. Now that I got that out of the way…

Yankees

Thing I’m Expecting: Low scoring offense. Maybe they’ll bump Brian Roberts up in the order for hitting that game tying HR in the 9th last night. I know I picked him to suck again – well, he made me eat it, alright. I bet we’ll all be rewarded with another month of his futile bat thanks to that (ultimately) meaningless dinger. Sorry, Rob Refsnyder, but you’re no veteran!

Thing I Hope to See: A win. That’s all. It’s too much to ask for anyway. I don’t care if they piece together 4 sac flies and win 4-3. Maybe they can get some length out of Kuroda considering the Yankees used 6 pitchers in 12 innings last night, but y’know, we’re probably not going to get any of this.

Player I Want To Watch: I’m looking forward to seeing Alfonso Soriano bailing and wailing in all his ABs against David Price. I expect nothing but horrific output, and that’s what I want now because maybe it’ll convince the front office to dump him once and for all. This team has turned me masochistic.

Rays

Thing I’m Expecting Tonight: David Price has a career ERA of 3.84 against the Yankees in 145.1 IP. He’s had a sensational season so far and seems to have a chip on his shoulder due to all the trade rumors swirling around him. As the deadline approaches, I expect him to go all out to dominate the Yankees, which shouldn’t be difficult as they’re mostly pitiful at driving in runs.

Thing I Hope To See: I’d like to see Kuroda dominate Tampa Bay’s short, weak lineup. But anything positive seems to be out of the question right now as far as the Yankees are concerned. I hope to see them turn it around, but I also hope the entire of city of Boston mysteriously disappears like people on that new HBO show “The Leftovers.”

Player I’m Afraid Of: Matt Joyce. I don’t know why I neglected him when I wrote this yesterday. He was 5-6 on Sunday (against Baltimore) with 2 HR, 1 2B, and 4 RBI. Joyce smashed a bomb off David Phelps in the top of the 1st last night to build upon that, but went hitless for the rest of the night. I worry about his powerful lefty swing in Yankee Stadium, opposing Kuroda who can tend to leave his sinker up at times.

Tuesday morning humor

July 1, 2014 | 2 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

CBS New York:

As the third-place Yankees (41-40) hit the midpoint of their season just off the pace in the muddled AL East, general manager Brian Cashman reiterated he’s eager to upgrade the roster via trade.

“There are some things I need to do,” Cashman said before the game. “I’m ready to rock and roll. But again, I think those who have, are taking their time. Certain pieces, it’s been communicated that if they get what they want, which would be an extreme haul, they’re ready to move sooner than later. For those who want to step up and really pay the price a month before the (trade) deadline hits, obviously there’s going to be a higher price for that.”

Surprise! Yanks lose another low scoring game!

July 1, 2014 | 6 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Kevin Long Lap Dance NoMaas Yankees
What, me worry?

But let’s continue to talk about how the Yankees want to acquire more pitching.

Thoughts before tonight’s game (June 29, 2014)

June 30, 2014 | 4 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Rupert Pupkin

Thoughts on both teams before tonight’s series opener against Tampa Bay:

Yankees:

Impression Lately: Pretty obvious. They’re blundering offensively and can only rely on two of their starting pitchers to keep them in games. If they can’t figure out a way to start scoring more runs, they’ll have to learn to enjoy watching Whitley, Nuno and Phelps get torched beyond their offense’s scoring ability on any given start. They’re still only 1.5 games out of 1st place, behind Toronto. They are projected as 17.4% likely to win the division, 7.5% to earn one of the two wild cards, and 25% overall to make the playoffs (all per fangraphs). Their run differential is still terrible, at -32 and they are 4-6 in their last 10 games.

Thing I’m Expecting: Brian Roberts to contribute little on offense. Seems like a pretty safe bet, given the fact that he’s contributed next to nothing for the first 80 games.

Thing I Hope to See: Carlos Beltran had 3 hits and hit a solo HR last night to help the team pull to within 1 run. They’d never come closer to leading the game after that. But maybe Beltran is starting a hot streak at the plate, which would be long overdue. He brought his hideous slash line up to .220/.276/.415 after last night’s game. Maybe he’s about to go on a tear for a month.

Player I Want To Watch: I’m interested in seeing if David Phelps can bounce back from a poor start against Toronto last week (5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 7 K). He’s an average starting pitcher which is something the Yankees could use, given the fact that they trot out someone named Vidal Nuno every 5 days and Chase Whitley appears to be turning back into a career minor league reliever. Phelps could stake a claim to the rotation with a few strong performances and tonight is a good time to begin.

Rays

Impression Lately: The Rays, as many know, are absolutely ravaged by injuries this season and are a big long-shot to miss the playoffs and finish at the bottom of the AL East like we all had grown accustomed to before 2008. They’ve had performances beneath projections from guys like Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist and have struggled to find a sustainable closer option, despite signing Grant Balfour in the offseason. Tampa is coming off a resounding shellacking of the Orioles (winning 12-7), however, and have won 2 in a row. Still, their run differential on the year is -37 which is the worst in the division, to accompany their 10 game deficit in the East. They have a 1.8% chance of making the playoffs right now (per fangraphs again).

Thing I’m Expecting Tonight: Chris Archer seems to have the Yankees’ number so far in his career. The 25 year old right hander is 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA over 28.2 IP against the “Bombers.” So, naturally I’m going against the grain and expecting him to finally have a bad performance. That’s right, I’m not buying what he’s selling. I don’t care if his ERA is a respectable 3.29 to accompany an even nicer 2.96 FIP. Sometimes unexpected outcomes happen in baseball. Tonight I’m expecting the unexpected.

Player I’m Interested in Seeing: The Rays always seem to have good, young talent but honestly I can’t think of one player on their current roster who piques my interest. Brandon Guyer had 3 doubles a few nights ago, but I think his face is kinda dumb (full disclosure: I couldn’t pick him out of a crowd), so I don’t really care to watch him play, nor do I even know if he’ll be out there tonight. I guess I’m looking forward to seeing Joe Maddon over-use the shift and perhaps hear a philosophical quote he relayed to the team to help them get over the fact that they’ve been awful in 2014 so far.

Player I’m Afraid Of: Ben Zobrist was 3-6 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 8 TB yesterday. He’d been injured and playing below expectations recently, so I’m thinking he’s starting to get hot and that frightens me. He’s another quiet Yankees assassin, and I’m fearful he’ll haunt David Phelps’ (and my own) dreams tonight.

Sweet mother of God, what is the hold up?!

June 30, 2014 | 10 comments | in Farm System | by SJK

Rob Refsnyder Yankees NoMaas Herlihy Boy Saturday Night Live Chris Farley NoMaas
You vicious bastards! Let the boy play second base!

Refsynder at AAA: .371/.500/.629, 206 wRC+

ESPN didn’t get the fellatio reference

June 29, 2014 | 3 comments | in Mediot Observation | by Wade Garrett

Here you go, ESPN.

Thoughts Before Tonight’s Game (June 29, 2014)

June 29, 2014 | 4 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Rupert Pupkin

Thoughts on both teams before tonight’s game:

First let me address my personal thoughts on last night’s game: It was one of the most depressing results to a baseball game I’ve ever seen. Forget about Tanaka for a moment and realize that the Yankees failed to score an earned run throughout the entirety of the game. They kept putting men on base and kept leaving them there. There were guys caught stealing, bad at bats and just all around terrible offensive baseball.

Now, on to Tanaka: He’s really something special but he’s still learning and, while it couldn’t have hurt worse, he pitched 9 innings of 2 run ball, striking out 8 and allowing only 8 baserunners all game. The choice of a fastball in a 2 strike count has already been discussed ad nauseum, so I won’t get into it beyond saying that Napoli was right, it was idiotic…and it ruined my life for a few hours last night. It was as if Tanaka woke up yesterday morning determined to write the next Great American Novel and decided, just before finishing the last page, to settle on a bestseller.

Oh well, onwards and (hopefully) upwards…

Yankees:

Thing I’m Expecting: Inept offense all around. Maybe Kelly Johnson will start over Solarte and Ichiro will be out there instead of Soriano, as the Red Sox send up RHP John Lackey. All things considered, though – I don’t expect more than 2-3 runs and I hate this offense even worse than I did last year when names like Chris Nelson, Luis Cruz, Brent Lillibridge, Ben Francisco, Alberto Gonzalez and Brennan Boesch showed up on the reg. I’d rather see some of those clowns than the decaying corpses of Brian Roberts and Alfonso Soriano. Seriously, please, at some point, I beg of Brian Cashman – make it stop with these over the hill jokes.
Make. It. Stop.

Thing I Hope to See: Maybe, just maybe, after putting 1-2 guys on base, a run might score. I don’t want to overreach with my hopes here.

Player I Want To Watch: It’d be nice to see Chase Whitley bounce back from his only poor start of the season, last week against Toronto – 3.1 IP, 11 H, 8 ER, 3 BB, 1 HR. I don’t think a better performance is unfathomable. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the stars will align to allow for good pitching AND offense in one game. Also maybe world hunger and the Middle East crisis will go away tonight too.

Red Sox

Thing I’m Expecting Tonight: David Ortiz has been pretty quiet so far in this series, which is entirely unlike him against the Yankees who tend to go out of their way to accommodate Big Sloppy Papi. So it wouldn’t stun me if he hits a crippling or even meaningless HR at some point tonight.

Thing I Hope To See: Chase Whitley hitting David Ortiz in this ass in all of his plate appearances. Tanaka didn’t do it last night, so my hope remains in tact. Also it would dash my expectations of a huge hit.

Player I’m Interested in Seeing: I’m interested in seeing John Lackey get slapped around – literally and/or figuratively. If they don’t start scoring off him by the end of the 6th inning, maybe someone could go up to the mound and punch him in the face. Soriano could do it, though he’d probably miss wildly. Maybe someone can fight Ortiz too. Just give me something to get over the last game’s kick to the balls, I don’t care if it’s sophomoric and unprofessional. Just make ME (and by extension, all Yankee fans) feel better about what happened last night. That’s all I ask!

Player I’m Afraid Of: Something tells me AJ Pierzynski is going to get a big hit. It’s a baseless premonition. I’ll be glad to be wrong. I’ve already seen someone punch him in the face, anyway.

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