Pinstripes With A Side of Snark: Week One
*Since today is the Fourth of July, birthday of the United States, I guess it makes poetic sense to publish the first installment of my blog on the national pastime. Beforehand though, I’m going to run through some of the ground rules of what this blog is going to be, and what you can expect from me content-wise. Schedule-wise, I’m going to try my damnedest to get one up every Monday. Each entry is going to begin by discussing the previous week’s slate of Yankees games, and a general discussion of where the team is. After that, it’s going to be big and small things from the Yankees Universe (I think I owe the Steinbrenners $25.00 for just typing that) that pique my interest, kind of in a bullet-point style. Some quick things you need to know about me: I’m snarky, tend to be very sarcastic, always try to look at the big picture when it comes to the Yankees, and I’m definitely not a sabermetric guy. Alright, now that the business stuff is out of the way, let’s get started.*
-New York Yankees: 6/28-7/3
Maybe I should take it as a good sign that I was asked to start blogging here this week, since the Yankees are probably the hottest team in baseball right now. Since they were swept by the Red Sox last month, the Yankees have rattled off 7 consecutive series victories, and feasted on comparatively weak National League competition in Interleague play, culminating in this past week, which saw them post a 4-2 record vs. The Brewers and Mets. This recent success has easily been the best team has looked all season, combining very good starting pitching, timely hitting (and not just the dreaded “evil home run ball”), and surprising effectiveness from the bullpen. That said, this upcoming week should prove an interesting litmus test for the Yanks, first playing three games in Cleveland against an Indians team playing much better than the last time we saw them, then four at home vs. the Rays, who’ve defied most expectations (including my own) to stay very much in the AL East race.
For those of you who follow me on Twitter (and if you don’t, you should start now. At least if you like the Yankees and Bon Jovi) you know that I’m a pretty avid user of the medium, especially dealing with sports. During baseball and football season, I spend a delusional amount of time posting about the New York Yankees and The New England Patriots (I know it’s weird) and there are plenty of times when I let my emotions get the better of me. That said, there’s a difference between emotional and downright irrational, and sadly the latter often takes over Twitter sports talk. One need look no further than yesterday’s series finale with the Mets to see this exemplified. Granted, it was certainly not fun to see Mariano Rivera blow a chance to sweep the Mets, and even less fun to see them win the game in extra innings, but some of the stuff on Twitter was downright insane. Phrases like “This team is pathetic” were bandied about after the loss. Yes, the same team that (as mentioned) above has won seven straight series, and is on pace for 100 victories is “pathetic” because of a fluke loss to the Mets. Sure, that makes perfect sense.
I’m going to preface this by saying I really don’t care about the All-Star rosters. Sure, I watch and enjoy the All-Star Game, but there’s so many things wrong with the voting process that I really can’t get my horns twisted about who does and doesn’t get elected. With that out of the way, let’s dive in, shall we. Four of the six Yankees All-Stars deserve to be in the game. Curtis Granderson is having an MVP Type season, Robinson Cano is still the best second baseman in the AL despite his sometimes lax play, Alex Rodriguez has good enough numbers at third to deserve it in a year when Longoria has been injured and somewhat ineffective , and Mariano Rivera is still the best closer in the game. One can’t say the same for Russell Martin, whose season has take a disastrous plummet after a hot start. His presence on the roster is simply indicative of the lack of standout catchers in the AL. Of course the other Yankee on the roster who doesn’t deserve to be in Arizona is Derek Jeter. Anyone, even the biggest DJ fans in the world can see that he is nowhere near the best SS in the AL, and certainly should be starting based on that criteria. However, I don’t understand why anyone is shocked by Jeter’s selection. For better or worse, fan voting has always led to declining “name” players being voted in over more deserving younger ones. It’s just a fact of All-Star life. As for the Yankees “snubs”, all three were deserving, but I think both Sabathia and Robertson were hurt by the 6 Yankees that were already on the team, as was Mark Teixiera’s chance at being picked as a reserve. Saying that, Teix simply would not have deserved the start over Adrian Gonzalez.
Alright, that should wrap it up for this week. Please don’t hesitate to leave me feedback about what you liked and didn’t, be it here or at http://www.twitter.com/Titan4Ever2488. I’ll be back next week with a review of the final look at the final week before the All-Star break, and some in-depth thoughts on the past, present, and future of Derek Jeter.