Dear David Ortiz,
I have seen your letter in which you have addressed the Yankees fans, of which I am one. I felt that I had to reply to you to express my appreciation for you. Over the years you and the Red Sox have battled hard with my beloved Yankees. Sometimes we came out on top, and other times you did. That is the way it goes with such contests.
We have mocked you, goaded you, booed you. But all the while I have appreciated you for the warrior that you are, and for the way you have added to the great rivalry which is so well known that even fans like I who live in the UK have gotten caught up with it and revelled in the clashes.
While I cannot speak for all Yankees fans, I wanted to express right now, as your last season has come to its end, that I really appreciated you as a rival. I do not hate you, but applaud you, admire you, wish you were on my team. In short, thank you. Thank you for so many memories, and for being the best of bad guys, the best of enemies. To say that I love you might seem like a strange thing to say to a guy who played for the enemy and who I never met, but it is not strange. I mean it. Thank you, Big Papi. I wish you all the best in this new chapter of your life and will always be glad to say that I saw you play.
The ironical title of the post on MLB.com about Jose Fernandez’s last start was “Jose saves his best for not likely last start.” It sadly turned out to be his last start, after he was killed in a boating accident on Miami Beach Sunday.
It will be one of those reminders to all of us who love baseball just what a loss his death is to the sport. He was a phenomenal pitcher whose career was getting back on track after losing a season to Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow, and this death just reminds us of the sad truth that we read in Ecclesiastes 9:11 ” I have seen something further under the sun, that the swift do not always win the race, nor do the mighty win the battle, nor do the wise always have the food, nor do the intelligent always have the riches, nor do those with knowledge always have success, because time and unexpected events overtake them all.” His death is just one such unexpted event in which senselessly a bright, warm, and exciting young life is taken. We can strive to find some meaning in his death but that would be pointless.
We can however, always celebrate the joy and delight he had in playing this wonderful game which was so evident in this the last baseball game he pitched in. What a more fitting memorial could a player have.
My thoughts are with his family, his friends, and his teammates.
This was a great show from the Yanks in all aspects of the game which is well needed. I am loving whst I see from the Kids. They are really turning this season around with their joie de vivre and hitting. Keep it up Yankees.
So Mark did announce he was retiring from the game. All the pre-conference hype was right. All the talk about trading him, about how unhealthy he is, how he is not hitting, blah blah bladdy-de-blah can finally stop and now we as fans can celebrate the career of a man who quietly went about playing the game he loved and being a consummate professional. He was never a problem, never a distraction, but always a good decent man who contributed to the team with bat and glove.
He was a big part of the team that won the 2009 World Series, and a big part of every other team, being the clutch player who carried the team. How often was it said that when Mark hit then the Yanks would win?
There will be a lot said about the career of a great player, and how he could have been greater had injury not robbed him the last five years. But I shall not go into that now. What I will go into is how even in retiring he is helping this team and showing just how selfless and how much of a team player he is. I would love his last game to be a World series game. Just like it should have been for a number of the recent great Yankees. But it won’t be. However we can do something, we can send him off on a winning team, we can send him off with the cheers and celebrations that we did Jeter and Mo, let’s show Mark Teixeira that what he did for us, we appreciate.
Thanks Mark, for being a true champion, and a gentleman of the game.
The Yanks have announced that there will be a press conference today at 3pm involving Mark Teixeira. The rumours, of course, are that it is to announce the retirement of the first baseman who in the past was an explosive part of the Yankees lineup, but the past five years have seen more OW! that POW! from him.
But until we hear what he has got to say there is no point in speculating about retiring. There are lots of people who have said that he is going to retire, though how they could know that is beyond me given the conference has not happened. For all we know he could be announcing that he has extended his contract another one, three, or five years. We just don’t know. So I am laughing at other bloggers who have already announced that he is retiring, before saying the conference to announce it will be held later. I admire their crystal ball.
If it is the end of his career then it is a sad one. He was robbed of a better end by injuries and a poor training staff that could have helped keep him on the field playing. The numbers he put up were good, but they could have been better and it is sad that as the Yanks limp through a terrible season, one of our finest players could be limping out of the game after a lame duck year. Still, if it is an announcement to retire, what a better time to do it than after that Mets series in which he played such a massive role in a great game. I for one am grateful to him for helping us win the 2009 World Series, and for being such a good Yankee. If it is to announce that he is extending his contract with us for a few more years then I wish him well, because when he plays well the team does well.
But for all the speculation and early declarations… get a grip. Let him speak first before you declare to all that he is going to retire. It is just bad journalism to tell people something before it has even happened.
Game three of the Subway Series moved the action across town to the Bronx and boy did the Yankees need the comfort of being back home after what was not a good road trip in the end. The series was shared one game each before last night and it looked like it was going to be a long night when during the top of the second Rivera had scored a RBI and Granderson had walked.
It looked like the game was going to fall away from the Yankees. Green had pitched himself into some tight jams in the first two half innings of the game but was backed up by some good fielding when a double play helped him out of the first and neutralised the threat in the second.
Then they were able to get a lead when they were Mark hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the second. After that, the game was never in any doubt for this game, other than a slight blip in the 7th when Severino pitched himself into some trouble but boy did he do good to get out of it and the wWE went over 80 for the Yankees and never went below it meaning that the Yanks had the control of the game. For the most part, they were in control of the game but the 7th was the point of no return.
The bench-clearing antics in the 5th when Teixeira was hit by a pitch from Matz that looked somewhat intentional and sparked a bit of fire to the series was reminiscent of the early 00s when Clemens was throwing the ball at Piazza or when he and Pedro were duking it out in the greatest rivalry in baseball if not in all sport. This was a great game for Yankees fans starved of something to cheer for. If they beat the Mets tonight, then, they will have won the Subway Series and we will be the kings of the City and that is something worth bragging about. It’s the little things that we can celebrate. Sure were bad this year, but rubbing it into the Mets fans faces at water coolers and other places that they were not able to beat us is something that will mean a whole bunch to Yanks fans. Go Yanks.
I get that the trading of Chapman and Miller brought something to the farm system. Some of the guys they got have the makings of some great players in the future. But call me old fashioned. I like the comfort of having a sure thing. Trading one of the best closers in baseball is hard to believe when you are trying to sell the idea of this team being relevant to the fans. Trading the two best closers in baseball is ludicrous. The Yankees did just that.
Yes, they are building up a good youth movement. But didn’t we already have a good youth movement in place? We keep hearing about these kids knocking around in the minors and how great they are, but we just don’t see them. Refsnyder has been an exciting player but he has not really had a whole lot of opportunities to do anything and that is evident in how low his numbers are. Greg Bird was sold to the fans as one exciting reason to buy season tickets last December only for us to be told in January that he was out for the season because the medical staff didn’t pick up on an injury he got playing for the Yanks in May until it was too late. All but robbing the fans. That was the first deflating moment of the new year and the Yanks have given us a whole bunch of deflating moments.
Yesterday’s trade has taken the life out of the clubhouse, and out of the fans. Or most of the fans anyway. There are some that think it is a great move and I get why they are thinking it is a great move. But even Cashman provided the caveat to this trade being a good one in his long winded self-serving conference call yesterday. He said that as long as the kids stayed healthy and as long as they progressed this would be a great trade for the future.
There are far too many ifs in that scenario to justify trading Miller who was tied to the club for two years and short of a major case of the yips would have been a massive tool in helping the Yankees win games. Because that is the point, we still want to win games. I don’t see how the Yankees are going to do that now. We have no faith in the starting rotation because they have been awful. We have no faith in the offence who can’t seem to score but just hit into double plays and leave men in scoring position all the time. The bullpen was the one thing we could be confident with and as had been the case all the Yanks needed was just one run in the seventh and then DMC came to the party and saved the win for us.
Sure they were a luxury because our hitters didn’t do anything. But rather than find guys who could hit, or drop the hitless wonders down to Scranton and replace them with kids who would maybe do better. Cashman got rid of our strong point and has left the team weak as hell going into a Subway Series. He hinted that we may see Clint Frazier in the big leagues this season, probably in September when the roster expands, or next year. But even then chances are we may only see him during Spring Training and the September roster expansion, while the other kids will not be seen in the league for another two to four years time.
Cashman pointed to his getting Adam Warren and Tyler Clippard as signs that the Yanks had not given up on the season, and next year too. But to try and make out that those two guys are anything the fans should be happy about spending a whole lot of money to see, is a joke. They are nothing like the guys they are replacing. And Betances is not a closer. The move to make him one will most likely take a while to work out and even then it may not work out. This Miller trade could be one that hurts us a lot more than all the optimism for the future can cover. To also say that they had not waved a white flag on the season while fielding calls for Beltran, including talks with Boston are sure signs that despite all the talk they have given up. We should trade A-Rod, or Headley to Boston, to get them back for trading us Drew in 2014 when we were in the hunt for the postseason. That was another Cashman trade that hurt the team more than it helped, like the Ackley trade of last year too, which saw us bring in a guy that Cashman said would help this team hit and get to the postseason, only for him to announce less than a day after he became a Yankee that Ackley was to go under the knife and miss out on playing time due to a spinal injury. And what became of Ackley? Has he fallen into the void?
Joe Girardi has said that he has not quit on the season and the players had better not see it as a white flag. But they played so damn flat last night that it was not easy to tune into the game and even then I could not follow it, and was not invested in it. After all, we are basically being told to root for a bunch of guys who are playing so badly that they would most likely have struggled to get onto the Yankees teams during the early 40s when they were made up of stop gap guys who filled in for the big stars who were away fighting the Nazis and Japanese. Joe has to say that, and I believe him. He will not give up because he is a competitor and will not lie down. Nor will he expect that from the players. But I cannot help but pity him because he is in a loser’s situation. The great prospects we got for a guy who could help us not have a disastrous season now, and for the two years after that is gone. This team will fail. They will probably not even finish with a winning record this year at the rate they are going and it will be down to Joe, not Brian where it should be. He will be judged unfairly by Yankees fans who have watched the team go downhill these past few years and will not see that Cashman was behind it. He will get the credit if the youth movement pays off. Joe won’t get the credit of doing a damn good job with a bunch of useless overpaid has-beens who seemed to quit.
With only hours of trading left before the deadline, there is a lot that could happen. Trading Beltran is the last sign that this team will be deemed a bust. Then they will be playing only for pride, and there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of pride in them. For now, I have changed my expectations for this season. Finish no more than 5 games under 500 and for Pete’s sake don’t come last in the AL East. If they do that, then I will not be too unhappy. Only thing is that I cannot count on them to do that, and it sucks.