free page hit counter

Monday, July 31, 2006

Yankees Announcers Are Deaf, Dumb & Blind

In today's New York Post, columnist Andrew Marchand points out that the Yankee Broadcasters on the YES Network are acting a little too much like Tommy:

July 31, 2006 -- In Yankee ads Michael Kay voices for the YES Network he exclaims, "Pride, Power, Pinstripes." It may be time to officially add Propaganda.

This weekend, when it came to the booing of Alex Rodriguez, YES - as if scripted by the Yankees - chose to either ignore the issue or accentuate the positive.

On Friday the YES-produced Ch. 9 telecast failed to even show the crowd's reaction as Rodriguez walked to the plate for his first at-bat in The Bronx since the epic "To boo or not to boo" debate peaked with Rudy from Manhattan taking a moment from plotting a presidential run to call WFAN.

Despite the monumental buildup, Ch. 9 chose a pitch-by-pitch replay of a Jason Giambi strikeout instead of A-Rod and the fans.

When Rodriguez was neatly tucked in the batter's box, Kay said, "Here is Alex Rodriguez, who just got a very warm hand from the crowd."

Wow. That would have been nice to see and hear.

During Rodriguez' second and third strolls to the plate, drop-in advertisements, voiced by Kay, superseded the crowd's reaction.

While we couldn't see or hear for ourselves, Kay and Bobby Murcer informed (propagandized?) us that Yankee fans love Rodriguez and he works really, really hard. On Saturday, Kay said his "work ethic is amazing" and "it is not for show."

On Friday, Murcer said there were "a lot of cheers tonight for Alex Rodriguez." Kay told us, the fans were chanting "A-Rod's" name.

But yesterday on YES, when Rodriguez struck out three times and the boos were easy to pick up from our couch, neither Kay nor Murcer somehow heard a thing.

There seems to be only two explanations. Either the network is turning its baseball games into state-sponsored telecasts. A YES spokesman denied this charge.

Or YES totally missed the A-Rod story.

Either way, it smells.

What do you expect from Murcer and Kay? Michael Kay probably wouldn't be able to hear any of the fans with his nose so far up any member of the Yankees jock. Michael Kay, the ultimate Yankee shill.

Yankees Get Abreu; Sheffield Ready To Explode

So, the Yankees pick up Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle for some players that no one knows anything about. I must admit that it is a good trade (for now) for the Yankees, but in the long run, it means absolutely nothing for the Yankees' chances on making the playoffs.

Does no one realize that the Yankees did exactly the opposite of what they needed to do to help their team? The Yankees need PITCHING, not HITTING! The Yankees are already loaded with hitters: Giambi, Jeter, Damon, Cano (when healthy), Posada, Gay-Rod (when they are up or down 10 runs in a game and it no longer matters). The last thing the Yankees needed was another bat in the lineup. What they needed to focus on was getting a solid, quality pitcher and their "amazing trade" failed to pick up what they so desperately needed.

But we got Cory Lidle, you stupid, ignorant Yankee fans say. I don't give a crap about Cory Lidle and neither does anyone else in the American League. The guy was a number 3 or 4 starter for the Phillies - which makes him about a number 5 or 6 pitcher on any respected pitching staff. The guy has a near .500 career win/loss record and an ERA in the high 4's - in the National League, the weaker of the two divisions. This guy is going to get blown up when he pitches against a real hitting team like the Red Sox, Blue Jays, etc. Give me a break, Lidle is one step above Sidney Ponson, which makes him "slightly better than shitty."

Here's the real question: What are the Yankees going to do when Matsui and Sheffield are ready to come back and play every day? Someone has to sit the bench. Assuming that Abreu will be playing in right field, Damon in center, and Matsui in left, that leaves Sheffield and Giambi as players needed in the lineup. You're going to need Sheffield to DH, which leaves Giambi as your everyday first basemen. Can you ask for a worse fielding player in an important position such as first base? They guy will routinely make more errors than Gay-Rod! Can you expect Giambi to dig out an errant throw by Gay-Rod? I think not. Giambi playing first base is like having a little leaguer playing with the pros: He looks out-of-sorts and never knows exactly what to do. You're practically giving the opposing team an extra two or three outs a game. Should be interesting.

What will also be interesting is seeing how Sheffield will handle all this. Sheffield is well-known for having meltdowns when things don't go his way. Now that the Yankees have given his position away to Abreu, do you think Sheffield is going to be a happy man? I think not. The guy is in his final year on his contract and only wants to play with the Yankees and, in his mind, they have just given his money away to Abreu. Sheffield is going to come out swinging in the press in no time. All it takes is for one of the weasly New York writers to ask him his feelings on the trade and his spot on the team and Sheffield will run his mouth and drag down the Yankees' morale. You expect little ol' Derek Jeter, the Yankees captain, to tell him to cool it and keep his mouth shut? Forget about it. Sheffield always has, and always will, play for himself and himself only. He may not explode on the team and its management now, but when he comes back and is ready to play and sees that Abreu has taken over what he thought was his role on the team, Sheffield will be on the attack.

So, where does this leave us? The Yankees are a 1/2 game out of the AL East with Toronto coming to town tomorrow. Good luck there. They are also a 1/2 game in the lead in the Wild Card with the White Sox a 1/2 game behind and the Twins 1 1/2 back. The White Sox play Kansas City and the Twins are playing the Rangers. Look for the Yankees to start their fall. You shouldn't be teasing your fans like this Yanks! You're just setting them up for disappointment!

Friday, July 21, 2006

New Post Coming Soon

No, I haven't died and my hate for the Yankees is stronger than ever. A new post will be up soon....

Friday, July 14, 2006

Yankees Pick Up Fat Bastard To Start Second Half

Though Whiny Steiny predicts a Yankees rebound, many other people are predicting quite the opposite. Even the blowhards on ESPN's Baseball Tonight, who are always on the Yankees jock, are now claiming that the overpaid team from the Bronx will be watching the postseason from home come October.

It's no secret that the Yankees need a lot of things for them to even have a chance to make it to the playoffs this year. Many claim that they need an extra bat in the lineup, while others say they need another arm in their starting rotation. Yankees nerdy, wimpy GM, and Steinbrenner whipping boy, Brian Cashman, went out and made a huge deal. And, when I say huge deal, I mean the fat, bloated, troublemaker Sidney Ponson.

I'm sure Yankee fans are happy in their delusional oblivion thinking the Yankees made a good deal and Ponson will help them make the playoffs. Think again, you arrogant fools. Ponson hasn't been a decent pitcher since 2003, when he won 14 games for the Orioles. Near the trading deadline of that year, he was traded to the San Francisco Giants, where many saw him as the starting pitcher they needed to push them in to the postseason. Ponson's record after coming to the Giants that 2003 season: 3-6. First half of the 2004 season: 3-12!!!! Ever since, the only thing he has been successful at is stuffing his fat face, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol before he steps in a car, and being a part of physical altercations.

Over a nine month stretch, beginning on Christmas Day in 2004, Ponson has been arrested three times and was cut by the Orioles due to his bad behavior. Here are Ponson's offenses since Christmas 2004:

December 25, 2004: On a beach in his native Aruba, Ponson is accused of harassing a group of people with his personal watercraft, then punches out a judge. According to Ponson's attorney, alcohol is a factor in the incident, which leads to the hurler spending 11 days in jail on the island.

January 21, 2005: Clocked at 85 mph on I-95 in Fort Lauderdale, Ponson is charged with speeding, then DUI after he fails a field sobriety test and refuses a Breathalyzer.

March 23, 2005: Arrives at Orioles' spring training camp with swollen right hand after altercation at a Fort Lauderdale-area restaurant.

August 25, 2005: Stopped on I-95 in Baltimore for drunk driving, Ponson winds up receiving a five-day jail term in December.

September 1, 2005: Orioles terminate Ponson's contract. Pitching coach Ray Miller says, "If you got one DUI, you'd probably lose your job. When you get two or three and you're in the public eye and making that kind of money, things are going to happen."

Ponson was picked up yesterday after being let go by the Cardinals, who may have more of an issue with their pitching than the Yankees - and they didn't even want him! Put it this way: the Cardinals dropped Ponson to make room for Jeff Weaver. Yes, you read that right: Jeff Weaver. The Jeff Weaver who was 3-10 with a 6.29 ERA for the Angels in the first half of the season. Good going Yankees.

If you believe that this trade has actually helped the Yankees then you are sadly mistaken. If anything, you just guaranteed other teams the opportunity to add more games to their lead. What a joke.

Oh, and one last thing: Have fun with Jose Contreras tonight, Yanks! Remember when he used to be on your team after you outbid the Red Sox for his services? Yeah, he's now won 16 straight games for the White Sox and hasn't lost a game since August 15, 2005. With Randy Johnson (the #2 "most unsexiest man in the world") pitching tonight, you can see what a true pitcher looks like - one that now consistently wins.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Greatest Fans On Earth?

I've been meaning to post these pictures for a while now. I was at a Yankee game recently and came across the "usual suspects" of Yankee fans:

Suspect 1: Eric Nies. Yes, former MTV Real World star and former host of The Grind. This winner was walking around as if it was still 1994 and he was the King of the World.

Suspect 2: This Yankee fan didn't want to pay the $20 for a Mariano Rivera Jersey Shirt so he went out and purchased a fake. Which begs the question: Where the hell do you get these poorly produced Yankee shirts? Do you go down to Chinatown and pick them up? Here's the real deal. Now compare the two shirts. It's like the horribly fake Louis Vuitton bags, where the "V" and "L" are replaced by stars and circles. It sort of looks similar, yet completely different. I must stress that this shirt looked even worse in person.

Suspect 3: In 2006, it's hard to find someone who still wears a fanny pack (German tourists excluded). Note the "Hulkamania" shirt.

More pics to come in the future - I am attending many more games this season. And after the Yankees start dropping out of playoff contention, I should be able to go to numerous half-empty games in September.

Got any embarrassing Yankee fan pictures? Please send them my way!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Happy Birthday, George!!!!

How was your big day, George? You turned what, like 114 yesterday? Did you have a great time not only celebrating your birthday, but also the independence of our country? I sure hope so!

How was my Fourth of July? Thanks for asking! Well, to be honest, it was GREAT! I got to light some sparklers, have some good B-B-Q'ed food, enjoy a day off from work and....oh yeah, I got to see your Yankees get decimated by the much inferior Cleveland Indians by a score of 19-1.

Cleveland Indians:

19 runs.

21 hits.

6 home runs.

5th inning: 14 Indians came to the plate.

Ronnie Belliard & Jhonny Peralta: back-to-back home runs.

Travis Hafner: 2 home runs.

Grady Sizemore: 3-for-3.

Victor Martinez: 5-for-6.

Todd Hollandsworth: 3-for4.

The list goes on....

New York Yankees:

1 run.

18 earned runs.

Shawn Chacon: 1 1/3 innings pitched: 6 hits, 7 earned runs.

T.J. Beam: 2/3 of an inning pitched: 6 hits, 6 earned runs.

Mike Myers: 1/3 of an inning pitched: 3 hits, 2 earned runs.

Scott Proctor: 2 innings pitched: 4 hits, 3 earned runs.

Johnny Damon: 0-for-3.

Derek Jeter: 1-for-3.

Jason GiamBALCO: 0-for3.

Nine total hits.

Now before you go and drive your golf cart off a Tampa Bay cliff, I think you should do what you always do when you go into panic mode: start throwing more money out there for players who won't perform. According to today's NY Post, there are rumors that you are considering adding another bat to your lineup. Noteable names include the Phillies' Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell, and David Dellucci, Nationals' Alfonso Soriano (remember him?), Royals' Reggie Sanders, Pirates' Craig Wilson, and the Cubs' Jacque Jones. However, your farm system and current roster is totally depleted from past horrible trades (Esteban Loiza, etc.) I can't see many teams wanting to do any deals with you. But I'm sure that won't stop you from throwing money at the problem. This time, I'm sorry to tell you, a new bat in the lineup won't come close to covering up your anemic bullpen and spotty starting pitching.

Going into Wednesday's game, you are still 4 games behind the Red Sox (and tied with Toronto) in the AL East and 7 games behind the White Sox in the Wild Card Standings. With last night's game being the Yankees' 81st game of the season, we are now officially at the halfway point. It looks like it will be a cruel summer for you this year.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Yankee Broadcasters Hate A-Rod Too

According to the NY Daily News, the higher-ups at the Yankee Entertainment & Sports Network (YES) are involved with broadcaster and former-Yankee David Justice's ripping of Alex Rodriguez.

If I were Gay-Rod, I would let this one slide. From what Justice's former wife Halle Berry claims, I think Justice could kick Gay-Rod's ass any day.

From the Daily News:

David Justice's pointed critique of Alex Rodriguez Tuesday night on the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network was not a solo act.

A variety of moles, some embedded inside YES, said Justice, the network's pre- and postgame studio analyst, was strongly encouraged - perhaps even ordered - to criticize A-Rod, by YES brass, including the network's production boss, John Filippelli.

"It (Justice's A-Rod rip) was verbatim what they wanted him to say," one mole said.

The question is, did the order to verbally hit A-Rod come directly from the Yankees' high command?

Justice was not the only YES voice approached to put the wood to Rodriguez, who was mired in another slump until breaking out Wednesday with a game-winning home run. The three voices who worked Tuesday night's game on YES - Michael Kay, Jim Kaat, and Al Leiter - were also "encouraged" to come down on A-Rod. Saying Rodriguez was not the only problem the Yankees have, they flat out refused to single him out and trash him.

When asked about the situation, Eric Handler, a YES spokesman, would only say: "As always, there is a healthy give and take among production personnel regarding the direction of the show."

Apparently, this particular "give and take" lingered after Tuesday night's postgame show ended. After hearing Justice's spiel on A-Rod, the three voices were stunned by the length and intensity of the spew. "They (Kay, Kaat, Leiter) could not believe this ---," one source said. "They were all still steamed when they came back to the Stadium Wednesday morning (to work Braves-Yankees game)."

The timing of Justice's soliloquy was curious for one reason: He had recently encouraged fans to lay off A-Rod and stop booing him.

And yet Tuesday night, Justice, in one of his more compelling moments as a YES analyst, delivered a measured but hard-hitting riff on Rodriguez. Even if it was scripted, it had impact.

"If the game is 9-2, he might make it 9-4. If the game is 7-1, he might make it 9-1. But when it is 2-2 late in the ballgame and I need a base hit to score a run, the numbers show he has not been getting it done," Justice said.

"... The one guy you need more than any of them (Damon, Giambi, Jeter), just because of his sheer talent and ability to carry a ballclub on his back, is not answering the bell and that is what is so frustrating to the fans. And I'm sure it is frustrating to him," Justice said.

"...Everyone says he is going to come around, but if he comes around in two weeks, where will the Yankees be between now and two weeks?" Justice asked.

To put this episode into historical perspective you must go back long before YES was in business. Ten years ago if a particular Yankee was slumping, and getting paid millions, George Steinbrenner would have called a baseball writer, blasted the player, and sent a harsh message in the form of a blaring back-page headline.

Now that Steinbrenner is not inclined to smoke players through the newspapers, maybe his people - perhaps Yankees prez Randy Levine - are doing it through their TV network.

"This is the same thing George used to do, but simply done differently," a source said. "Any number of people could have been involved in this, but everyone seems to agree David Justice didn't do this on his own."

And if the hit on A-Rod was not ordered by Yankees brass, it could be Filippelli again anticipating what Steinbrenner or Levine wants to see on the network - the kind of message he believes they want to send.

However, this all could simply be a case of Filippelli micromanaging his broadcast team. It is not uncommon, sources said, for him to telephone the booth multiple times during a game with instructions or suggestions for the voices. This habit apparently is wearing thin on the announcers and creating frustration.

Since he has come to the Yankees, A-Rod has been a lightning rod for controversy. Now, in a certain sense, he has created a storm in the broadcast booth. YES has always had its share of static - from Steinbrenner ordering a ban on Don Zimmer camera shots to the suits feeding Kim Jones questions to ask Joe Torre - so this A-Rod episode is not unusual.

Still, by the reaction of YES broadcasters to this Justice/Rodriguez thing, one must wonder if they are getting tired of what passes for business as usual at YES.

On Wednesday afternoon, during the seventh inning, Kay, Kaat and Leiter were discussing how umpires are affected by QuesTec.

"This is like Big Brother looking over your shoulder," Kaat said. "Nobody likes to do their job with somebody standing behind them trying to influence how you do your job. You hire a guy, you ought to give them the right to call 'em as he sees 'em."

Considering this latest YES flap, one wonders if Kaat was only thinking about umpires.

I love it. Not only is A-Rod getting booed by the fickle Yankee fans, he is now getting shelled by the YES broadcasting team. Yes, the same station that employes Michael Kay, resident Yankee jock-sniffer. Besides, I don't think Justice said anything but the truth about A-Rod. He has been playing poorly and if he continues to play the same and the Yankees continue to lose, other teams will climb in the standings. I guess you must take after the other members of the YES Network's broadcasting team and never say a bad thing about the Yankees, no matter how crappy they are playing. Keep making the fans feel OK with your lackluster team that won't make it to the postseason.

Hopefully this is a sign of things to come, finally ending with Steinbrenner stepping in and trashing Rodriguez himself and then spontaneously combusting.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Yankees Drop To 3 1/2 Back; Starting To Fight With One Another

What a wonderful loss for the Yankees last night as Horacio Ramirez (Horacio Ramirez???) made the Yankees look foolish, ultimately silencing their bats, handing them a 5-2 loss. With the Boston win, the Yankees fall back to 3 1/2 out of first place and 6 1/2 out of the Wild Card. Though the season is only about half-over, the slow decline in the standings is something that Yankee fans should get used to.

Believe it or not, Wright finally pitched a pretty good game but it was the lack of offense that killed the Yankees last night. That offense, supposedly the best in MLB, could barely put up two runs against one of the worst teams in the National League.

Who is to blame? Is it Johnny Damon, with his lackluster evening, stranding two runners on base by striking out looking in the 7th? Is it Ron Villone, whose first pitch was a home run to Adam Laroche, giving the Braves the needed insurance runs? Is it Kyle Farnsworth who has everyone shocked because he is showing his true colors and isn't a quality pitcher like many Yankee fans would like to believe? Or is it Gay-Rod, who once again failed miserably by going 0-for-4 (one hit in his last 14 at-bats) and striking out as the tying run in the 8th inning? They are all at fault and are wildly overpaid players who can't get the job done when it is needed most.

And the Yankee "Boo-Birds" came out in full effect last night, letting their displeasure be known to Gay-Rod every time he made an out. Now Gay-Rod has acknowledged that it is affecting him. Awww, poor guy. I can't imagine why people would be upset with you when you are being paid $25 million/year and you just can't produce. Hey, Gay-Rod: You said you wanted to play in New York all your life. You know what comes with the territory - lame-ass fans that will turn on you in a second if you don't produce. So don't start your crying now. You could have easily stayed in Texas and been a perennial loser. You didn't need to come to the Yankees to make that a success.

The "Boo-Birds" were also all over Farnsworth last night as he left the game. No surprise there. When has that guy ever been better than "average" in his career? And now he is getting a huge paycheck from the Yankees to assist in losing games for them?

The Yanks can feel themselves slipping in the standings too. The pressure is starting to get to them as Jorge Posada and Farnsworth got in a heated argument after Posada was crossed-up on a Farnsworth pitch. Posada called time, approached the mound, and had a fiery conversation with Farnsworth. Slightly thereafter he walked away disgusted, causing pitching coach Ron Guidry to come out and try to calm some nerves. After the game both players claimed that there was no disagreement. I know what I saw. Other people know what they saw. Hell, even the Yankees resident bitch, Michael Kay was flapping his gums about it as it was happening. Note to the Yankees: this is just the beginning. The side effects of this inevitable slide will be much worse. Just wait until you drop the series to the most loved team in New York, the Mets this weekend and fall further out of the playoff hunt. You'll have the New York press after you and then crusty,old George Steinbrenner will be on all your cases, making the situation worse by calling you out individually. It's just a matter of time.

The Yankees play the rubber game of this Braves series in less than an hour. Chien-Ming Waaaaaah vs. John Smoltz. I like Smoltz in this one. If the Yankees lose this series - especially due to the lack of production from Gay-Rod, be prepared for the attack of the New York press.