In the halcyon days of Yankee history (and that includes the late 90s too), all (we) had to do was throw our gloves on the field and teams would fold like the day's laundry!
So what does it say when ... even without a super winning streak, Tampa Bay starts playing like the June - July - August Yankees, and all it seemed to take was the team getting back it's basic starting team just in time for the final charge.
Wow! They are 2-9 since the Yankee series.
I mentioned several times how just playing .500 ball would make them all but uncatchable but, hehe, they don't read this blog!
So Tampa has to hope the Red Sox (who definitely don't want to see the Yankees in the post season), can help them out. But, failing that, they still have three remaining head to head games with us. But they are in New York where Tampa should not expect the close calls, and drilling any Yankee batters may require rescue by the riot squad!
Then there is Baltimore, but a careful high wire dance step is required because Tampa's best hope is for a down the middle split of those games.
Alfonso has played well above his seasonal stats, and now so has Reynolds. And make a mistake against either one of them promises to get you another ball toseed in by the umpire! Combined, I would say that makes up for the loss of Tex this season (except for defense, which is clearly deficient vs Tex's).
Mariano has now got to deal with the (retirement) renege speculations because, quite simply, he continues to defy his birth certificate. All Yankee fans are glad he has tied Hoffman's MLB record for 9 seasons of 40 or more saves - it is so fitting that he did so.
It's now down to three in the loss column, and Tampa knows its whole season might come down to three lousy games at the big ballpark in the Bronx.
It is always good when the Yankees win and Phil Hughes is on the mound. The only problem with this situation is that Hughes didn't really pitch much of the game.
A rain delay caused his early departure, but that was alright with one fan.
"The guy isn't Kevin Youkilis. He can't do anything right. We want anyone but Hughes in." added Arnold Tricycle Jones.
And that is what happened. Hughes barely pitched so the Yankees were able to get a win. The Yankees are looking to get wins anyway they can, and that is exactly what happened.
They need each game from here on out.
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The subject (if you've never heard it or heard of it before) are the famous words from the old testament (Daniel) that down through the years has become known as "The handwriting on the wall".
Translation - if we can't win even with our ace on the mound, then how are we gonna play the .700 ball almost necessary now to steal even the second wild card?
J. Happ has personally tried to dismember our team this year, and how has he been paid back, other than sucking as a pitcher?
Take a lesson from history - In the days when the pitcher batted, you would think that made it easier to drill him. But the fact that he would take a stance with one foot halfway back to the dugout made him not so easy a target.
The late Tommy Tresh showed us how it's done! Even with a five run lead, this power hitter bunted up the first base line such that only the pitcher could play it because the 1B was naturally playing deep. And when he fielded it, Tresh would run out of the baseline and drill the S.O.B. so hard in the collision, the 2B could field him!
Knowing exactly what was what, the umpires in those days recognized payback and ejected the offending player without warning - - - but you CAN'T eject the message that was conveyed!
In 1972 playoffs, and it was an ugly incident, make no mistake about it, Bert Campaneris was doing so well against Detroit that Billy Martin ordered him drilled with a pitch. Hindsight proves that Billy was often prone to do this, justifying it by "necessity to win" standards.
But Bert KNEW it was intentional (even if only in his own mind) and he whipped his bat at Detroit pitcher Lerrin LaGrow - and I mean he WHIPPED it - it could've seriously hurt him!
Naturally Martin had to be physically restrained! Campy was suspended, but too late for Detroit to do anything except watch Oakland go on to win the 1972 World Series!
BUT, no one ever threw at Campy's head again!
Tampa Bay locker room earlier on Sunday:
"Listen guys, we don't give a rat's tail about Cleveland or Baltimore, right now! We need to bury these Yankees while we can, before they realize that "not" throwing high & tight would curtail all the homers several of us in the A.L. have been using to feast upon them.
Longoria here has homered six times off them, and against six different pitchers, including Mariano, this season. I'm sure Chris Davis in Baltimore and that Klingon Cabrera in Detroit have also feasted because they knew the Yankees would pitch them low instead of high & tight.
So we must bury them ourselves, end their season, and let Detroit take care of Cleveland. Ironically, the Yankees will help us vs Baltimore.
This kid Nova can pitch anywhere from nearly untouchable to being relieved in the 5th, but if he is beating us low, let's hit them at Nunez, who hasn't fielded ten in a row cleanly, all year! Overbay is also over-rated on D at first base, so there are two avenues to exploit.
As the game gets late, our bullpen is a good match with theirs, no problems there, and we have the hammer.
All we need to do is stay out of double plays and we should sweep them right out of Florida!"
The Yankees, as if they needed this, will finally lose to Toronto, in Toronto next week. That's just by the laws of averages.
How they can possibly recover is anybody's guess, but it will almost certainly require folds from two other teams, and Tampa Bay has served notice that they will not be one of them!
So how is the Home Run race doing? As of 8/25...
Maris 50, Mantle 46, Davis 46 so far ...
Back to tragic number?
Tampa Bay, at Sunday's beginning of play, is now in FIRST PLACE! Boston is percentage points behind, though in a virtual tie.
We're getting to that point in the MLB season at which it becomes appropriate to start looking at the playoff picture. Of course, diehard fans keep an eye on the pennant races all year, but that's a separate ballgame, so to speak. By now, the division standings (in some cases) are starting to solidify, and we're getting a clear picture of at least a few teams who seem playoff-bound barring total collapse or disaster.
Specifically, as of August 21, the Dodgers and Braves look like absolute locks for the playoffs, and it's extremely hard to imagine the Pirates or Tigers stumbling to the point that they don't even receive wildcard berths. Perhaps, then, it's no surprise that the Betfair Gambling Exchange gambling exchange lists the Dodgers, Braves and Tigers with the best odds of winning the 2013 World Series. The simple fact is, these three are runaway favorites at the moment. But this is baseball, and in baseball anything can happen. So, in that spirt, here's a look at 4 teams who could storm back into contention and factor into the playoffs.
The A's are already a team strongly positioned to contend, hovering around 20 games over .500 and boasting one of the best pitching staffs in the American League. But the reason this team will make the playoffs is simple: 20 of its final 23 games will be against teams with sub-.500 records. That's the virtue of playing in this year's AL West, and it looks like a playoff spot will be the Athletics' to lose.
New York Yankees
Chuckles McGee just got a parking ticket for parking on a sidewalk. He is pissed.
"I didn't feel like reading the signs and look what happens. Why am I at fault for that? So dumb. There is no way I am losing $25."
When asked what he thought about A-Rod possibly losing millions he gave his opinion.
"The guy should just accept it. He did something wrong and won't own up to it. He didn't pay attention to the rules and should live with the consequences."
We didn't want to explain the similarities to McGee, because he just wouldn't get it.
I wonder how both of their situations will turn out.
List of events.
Dempster hit Arod intentionally.
Umpires leave Dempster in the game, but warn both teams
Joe Girardi gets tossed out
MLB later realizes that they look dumb and fine Dempster $2,500 and gives him a 5 game suspension.
MLB gives Girardi a $5,000 fine
MLB ends up looking dumb again because the 5 game suspension of Dempster doesn't make any sense, seeing he won't miss a start.
Therefore, Dempster gets a suspension, but it isn't really.
Makes no sense and tells the league. "Go ahead and hit A-Rod, we don't care"
Ten days ago, in my article (It's Stretch Time) I mentioned how many long odds occurrences must come to pass for the Yankees to salvage just the second wild card - it is reprinted below:
[With that in mind, here is the easiest scenario for us: Tampa suddenly only plays .500 ball the rest of the way, and other teams do not take advantage, meaning they also falter, a very long odds possibility.
But if Tampa plays .500 ball, they will finish 89-73. It's doubtful that 89-73 will win any wild cards, but it's the best case scenario. Then, the Yankees will need to go 29-17, possible with the rejuvenated lineup, but of course, it puts a lot of pressure on the pitching staff. They don't score for Kuroda, CC needs to rebound, as does Andy Pettitte, both of whom are clearly laboring. We must rely on Nova to keep his rejuvenation intact. We must rely on Cano to get out of his mega slump, and for neither catcher to get hurt.]
Amazingly, EVERYONE that the Yankees needed to lose while they got hot has done exactly that!
Except Cleveland, but Cleveland is only one game ahead of the Yankees (right now), so it doesn't really matter yet. Oh, and Tampa Bay, but Tampa Bay hosts the Yankees for three games, starting Friday night - so by Monday, the Yankees bubble could be burst, or fear can overrun the rest of the league.
Soriano has spurred the latest Yankee spurt, and with his abysmal .295 OBA (.788 OPS), his two run HR vs Toronto were his first RBI since that improbable 18 RBI streak. But desire and motivation are viable factors in this chase for redemption.
Sadly also, the Yankees lost Nix for the remainder of the season. Pettitte has his first well rested test today vs Toronto, then on to Tampa Bay's bigger test.