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Dear Yankees: 2004 Was Legitimate

In an article posted on the New York Yankees website regarding the 50 game suspension for Manny Ramirez, writer Anthony DiComo wrote: “The natural reaction of those in the Bronx is to wonder what might have been that October. If it was indeed steroids that triggered Ramirez’s positive test for performance-enhancing substances, then has the validity of the Red Sox’s 2004 World Series title taken a hit?”

This was in reference to the 2004 ALCS, where the Red Sox came back from 3 games down to beat the Yankees in four games.

Are you kidding me?

First of all, the Yankees were up three games to none and legitimately choked.

Don't touch me!!

Don't touch me!!

And let’s look at Ramirez’ stats that series.  DiComo mentions that Ramirez batted .300, but leaves it at that.  I wonder why?  Oh, maybe it’s because during the 2004 ALCS Manny Ramirez did not hit a single home run and did not have one single RBI.

Are you kidding me, Yankee fans?  Are you actually serious here?  You’re going to question the 2004 Red Sox validity over this positive test for Ramirez.  Please try.  No home runs and no RBIs.  Hm, what an impact Ramirez made.

But maybe Manny scored a lot of runs.  Oh, nope.  He scored three runs in seven games.

Now, Manny has tested positive for hCG, a masking agent.  So he has not tested positive for an actual PED or steroid.  A-Rod, on the other hand, tested positive for and admitted to taking Primobolan, a steroid.

In the 2004 ALCS, Alex Rodriguez hit two home runs, had five RBIs and scored eight runs.

Compared to Ramirez, A-Rod was a freak.

But the Yankees still lost in the biggest comeback in the history of the game.  Yet Yankee fans and writers are trying to find that one black mark to take away what the 2004 Red Sox earned.

Maybe wonder how Mark Bellhorn, a career .233 hitter hit two home runs and knocked in four RBIs that series.  Maybe wonder how Trot Nixon hit a homer and knocked in three.  But the big boy was Big Papi.  David Ortiz mashed three homers and had 11 RBIs.  And you’re going to try to take this away from Boston over Manny?  Really?

What about Kevin Millar working a walk against Mariano Rivera in game four, then being pinch run for by Dave Roberts?  The whole ballpark, no, the whole world knew Roberts was going to steal, yet Rivera and Posada could not keep Roberts at first base.  Bill Mueller knocked in his only run of the series right there, tying Game Four and sending it into extras.

Maybe explain how Derek Lowe went 2-0 with a 2.92 ERA that series?

The point is that yes, Manny Ramirez probably took steroids.  But Alex Rodriguez definitely took steroids.  Gary Sheffield has been linked to the juice, and arguably the best closer in recent history, Mariano Rivera, gave up one earned run all series, and that very run was the spark the Red Sox needed to win it all.

So shut up about Ramirez.  He did nothing in the 2004 ALCS.  But small-time role players and gutsy pitching from a starter banished to the bullpen to start the playoffs beat the mighty Yankees.

Oh, and A-Rod’s slap sure didn’t help, either.


In Wake of Ramirez Suspension, Players Have to Take Responsibility.

Manny Ramirez is out.

One of this generation’s most prolific hitters from the right side has been suspended for 50 games.

Ramirez’ agent, Scott Boras, said the positive test was triggered by a doctor-prescribed drug.

I don’t understand how a player can let this happen today.

Now the finger-pointing turns to Ramirez

Now the finger-pointing turns to Ramirez

The player has a responsibility here.  If you are taking ANY kind of substance, especially prescription drugs, you HAVE to go to the player’s union to get it cleared.  This is not the ’90’s.  This is not a time where everyone is in the heat of the Mitchell Report.  This is the era where testing for steroids and banned substances has become commonplace, and prescription drugs contain some of these substances.  The excuse “I had no idea” holds no merit anymore.

It is still unclear as to what Ramirez was taking, and under HIPPA agreements, unless Manny discloses what the drug was or there is a leak, the pubic will not find out what it is.

Steve Phillips said on ESPN today that for Ramirez to clear his name, he must produce the medicine, what he used it for, and the prescribing doctor.  I couldn’t agree more.

Now Ramirez does not have to do any of this, but with all the scrutiny surrounding him the past two seasons, Ramirez has to think about his legacy.  This could severely dent Ramirez’ shot at the Hall (he was a lock before these allegations).

Ramirez was widely thought to have been clean, much like A-rod was.  However in a statement just made by Ramirez, he said he is sorry and that is was a prescribed drug.

How can the public be so sure anymore?  And how can we be surprised?

Manny’s aloof persona has let him get away with a lot in his career.  It is possible that Ramirez is just oblivious enough to not know what he was ingesting.  But again, in today’s game, the player must protect himself and ask what is in what they are taking.  Until this all clears up, the word “steroid” will be commonplace.  I hope for the good of the game that Ramirez wasn’t juicing.  But sadly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.

Yankees Sign Chewbacca; Hope Move will Alleviate Pitching Woes

In a surprise move, the Yankees have signed free agent hurler Chewbacca to a 20-year, $200 million contract in hopes of jump-starting their pitching staff.

Chewbacca, from the planet Kashyyyk, is very excited to be joining the Yankees.

Chewbacca seen here throwing to an Ewok on the planet Endor

Chewbacca seen here throwing to an Ewok on the planet Endor

“Grrraaaaaawwwwwwwwwrrrrrggrggggggg!!!” said Chewbacca, a 14-time all-star on his home planet.

“Obviously we’re very excited to have Chewie on our team,” said Yankee GM Brian Chashman, who hopes this move will save his job.  “Chewbacca is a very established athlete.  He’s had anger issues, sure, but we feel he fits well as a Yankee.”

Han Solo, Chewbacca’s agent, says the Yankees have been scouting his client since CC Sabathia blew up in his first start of the year at Baltimore.

“I’m very excited for Chewie,” Solo said.  “We were dodging Star Destroyers on the Millennium Falcon when we got the call.  It is only fitting the Evil Empire finally wants to stop chasing us and start paying us.”

Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis, whose man-beard is now 2nd in the AL East, is not phased by the signing.

Chewbacca has been signed by New York

Chewbacca has been signed by New York

“Listen, I dominate the Yankees,” said Youkilis.  “I’m a pimp for sure, but this signing puts an even keel on things.  Chewbacca’s a tough pitcher, and Goddamn is his facial hair fantastic.”

In the KBL (Kashyyyk Baseball League) Chewbacca has career numbers of 472-103 with a 1.89 ERA.  His fastball has been clocked at 123 mph and also sports a curveball he learned from Barry Zito, a changeup and splitter.  He is also able to throw with both arms, a talent that can be seen in the pictures provided.

The problem has been Chewbacca’s anger issues, which have put a damper on solid outings.  In 2002 Chewbacca became enraged after losing a perfect game in the 9th inning in game 4 of the KBL World Series.  He tore off the arms of the umpires and proceeded to beat the batter to near death before he was subdued.  The KBL sees this type of aggression frequently, after all, they are all Wookies.  But this type of behavior will not be looked highly upon in Earth’s MLB league.

Chewbacca is confident anger counseling and the return of the Galactic Senate over the Empire have calmed him and his violet tirades are behind him.

“Raarrrwwwwggg!” said Chewbacca.  “Grrrrwwwwfffffff.”

“I’m very excited to play with Chewbacca,” said Yankee catcher Jorge Posada.  “He’s a great talent.”

“I love this move,” said Yankee captian Derek Jeter.  “Now we have somebody on the team who will actually maim A-Rod.”

Rodriguez could not be reached for comment, but he was seen crying in Tampa upon hearing about the signing.

With Chewbacca’s level of talent, the Yankees can now afford to trade both Sabathia and AJ Burnett if necessary, freeing up salary space.  Chewbacca is expected to start every 2 days, as a Wookie’s recovery time is extremely fast.

The Yankees are currently 11-10, good for 3rd in the AL East to start the season with a team ERA over 6.00.

*Note, this article is complete fiction.  None of the quotes are real.  The events are fake.  So don’t sue me.

Yankee Front Office to Blame for Poor Start

The Yankees’ bullpen and front office miscues are going to keep the Yankees from being respectable this season.

After spending close to half a billion dollars on three players in the off-season, the Yankees did not put any focus into their bullpen.

Brian Cashman has screwed this team.

Now, I’m a Sox fan, so I love the fact that the Yankees are having a tough time, but I can’t stand to see a guy like Joe Girardi take the fall for this.  It is in no way the manager’s fault.  The Yankee organization is too full of misplaced pride to suck it up for a two to three years and rebuild their team and bring up great prospects.

The Yankees didn’t need Mark Teixeira when they had already gotten Nick Swisher (who is on fire) for a much lower price.  I could see CC Sabathia or AJ Burnett, but not both for that long and that much money.

Burnett is coming off a bombing from the Red Sox, and Sabathia has been a wildcard so far.  Not to mention his contract length is absurd.  The Yankees have long-term and expensive contracts with Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, AJ Burnett and Sabathia.  This prevents them from investing a lot of money into their farm system, especially with a brand new stadium to finance.

The Yankee team ERA is 6.26.  Burnett is coming off an 18-win season, but had 12 losses and a 4.07 ERA.  The last pitcher that had an 18-win season during his contract year that that the Yankees (and Cashman) decided to invest in was Carl Pavano.  Cashman’s priorities are all wrong.  You can win every year with money, but not when that money is spent poorly.  The Red Sox are winning because they have invested a ton of money into scouting and their farm system.  Out of the starting lineup, the Red Sox have home grown stars in Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Justin Masterson, Jonathan Papelbon, Jon Lester, Jacoby Ellsbury and plenty of others who are on the fast-track to the majors.  The Yankees have Derek Jeter, Andy Pettite, Joba Chamberlain, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Robinson Cano along with a plethora of bullpen rookies who are not performing well and a slew of bench players.  The Red Sox are not in the business of grooming bench players.  The Yankees seem to be in the business of grooming backups to their high-priced free agent acquisitions.

Girardi is going to do the best he can with what he is provided.  With A-Rod on the shelf, that’s the best he can do.  Instead of blaming the manager, Yankee fans and press should start blaming the front office for screwing this team’s future.

The Mets have done the same thing.  Omar Minaya turned that team into a geriatric ward and the Mets have folded every year since.  So what happened?  Willie Randolph, a very solid and improving manager got fired and Minaya kept his job.

The Yankees are bad because of bad signings and decisions.  The only thing Girardi can do that will seriously help this team is smarten up and put Chamberlain where he was born to be: throwing 100mph from the bullpen.  Bring up Hughes and Kennedy for Chamberlain’s starter spot.

Even the Yankees have to rebuild every so often.  They need to wise up now before they get stuck in an 86-year drought.

Youkilis Blast Beats Yankees

The Boston Red Sox had no right winning this game.

The Red Sox and Jason “Canadian Bay-con” Bay jacked up Mariano Rivera (again) and Kevin Youkilis further demonstrated why he wants to be the 2009 MVP in a 5-4 walk off win over the hated New York Yankees Friday night.

The Sox grounded into four double plays and left a slew of runners on base, but somehow managed to scrounge up three runs to win the ballgame.  With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Jason Bay brought his Canadian cool to the batter’s box and smoked a two-run shot off of Mariano Rivera to tie it.

Then, in the 11th, Kevin Youkilis sealed the deal.

Kevin Youkilis and his man-beard are on a tear.  This was a game that had “Yankees win” written all over it.  OK, I know I’m a Sox fan, but in watching all of their games to this point, this is a HUGE win for Boston.  Stuck in a rut offensively for part of the year and struggling to find a groove, the Red Sox added on to their winning streak in dynamite fashion.

Manny who?

On the other side, the Yankee bullpen needs serious help.  Joba Chamberlain, although he had a decent start, is not built to start.  He needs to be a gas thrower in the bullpen for New York to be successful.  The Yankee ‘pen will be their downfall this year.

Maybe Teixeira should learn to pitch.

Sox Double Plays Severely Hurting Run Production

The Red Sox are getting doubled up more than an adult film star.

The all time team record for team GIDP’s or “grounded into double plays”, is 174 set by the 1990 Boston Red Sox.

The 2009 Red Sox desperately want to break that record.

It is the top of the sixth inning on Friday, April 24 and the Red Sox are losing to the Yankees 2-1 because the Yanks have turned four double plays.

The Red Sox have 16 GIDP’s on the season.  That’s 16 in this, their 16th game.  So the Sox are on pace to hit 162 double plays.  But alas, the game is not yet over.  I’m sure more base-runners will be eliminated tonight via the double play.

This is unnaturally frustrating to watch as a Red Sox fan.  Jon Lester is pitching well, and Chamberlain has not.  Yet Chamberlain has given up only one run to the Red Sox, and Melky “Melk-Maid” Cabrera is on fire.

I would blame the Red Sox’s lack of speed, but Jacoby Ellsbury grounded into a bases loaded double play and was out by a good two steps.  So obviously, the Sox like hitting the ball right at people.  There’s poor luck, and then there’s the inability to loft a fly ball deep enough to score one of the many runners the Red Sox have had at third this game.  Right now, in the bottom of the 6th, the Red Sox have one out and runners at the corners with Nick Green up.

I’m trying to remain civil and not throw my television out the window.

Well HOLEEE COW.  Nick Green actually put a liner into right and the Red Sox scored.  It’s 2-2.  However, the double play is still in order, with runners at first and second.

More from this game at its conclusion, but Boston could easily have five or six runs if it was not for the double play.

Just How Good Is Albert Pujols?

Livan Hernandez was targeted for termination.

In today’s ballgame between the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets, Cardinals’ first baseman Albert Pujols went 3-4 with a walk and hit two home runs off Hernandez.  Phat Albert now has six home runs on the season and 21 RBIs.

Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols

He really is a machine.

Let me explain to you just how freakishly good Albert Pujols is.

He broke into the majors in 2001 at the age of 21 and played in an unheard of 161 out of 162 games his rookie year.  He hit 37 home runs and batted .329.  Without a doubt, he won the NL Rookie of the Year award.  He hasn’t slowed down a bit since then.  He’s been in the majors only eight-plus seasons and has career totals of 325 home runs, 997 RBIs and a batting average of .334.  Oh, and he’s also won a gold Glove Award at first base.

Shut up.

It was widely thought after the Mitchell Report that Alex Rodriguez was going to be the savior of baseball.  Oops.

Pujols is the savior of baseball.  He is not the jewel of the game because of his statistics, although they certainly help fill out an astounding resume, but his work off the field is what makes him one of the best.  He and his wife set up the Pujols Family Foundation, a foundation for those afflicted by Down Syndrome and their families, after his daughter was born with Down Syndrome.  The Foundation also reaches out to his native Dominican Republic, a nation crippled with poverty.

There is nothing bad that can be said about this guy.  He has never trashed the fans, has never acted bigger than the game and as far as we know, hasn’t been ‘roided up.  Now, we said the same thing about A-Rod, but A-Rod isn’t the man Pujols is.  Few baseball players are.

Now let’s look at Pujols’ career and see what injustices have been done to him.

In 2002 and 2003 Albert Pujols came in second to Barry Bonds in MVP voting.  This simply will not do.  Not only is Bonds an ego maniacal persona, he is also a ‘roid freak for the purpose of feeding the beast that payed attention to him.  So we’ll just go ahead and give Pujols those two MVP’s.  He won the award outright in 2005 and 2008, so his total should be four NL MVP’s.  Pujols lost the 2006 award to Ryan Howard, who had a beast year in 2006.

Pujols has a World Series ring to his credit, and has played in two fall classics.  He lost to the Red Sox in 2004 and beat Detroit in 2006.

A-Rod is stuck on zero championships in zero World Seires appearances.  Bonds also never won a ring, because the Baseball Gods do not reward those who disrespect the game.

Pujols should put up another high-caliber year on his way to the Hall of Fame.  Enjoy him while you can.  Players who perform as well off the field as they do on it don’t come around very often.