Playoff baseball…it does not get any better!! New York Yankees 5, Cleveland Indians 2; Yankees advance to the ALCS…by Chuck Duboff

IMG_1372

© Chuck Duboff

“Ball game over, Yankees win, theeeeeeee Yankees, Win!!”  Those are some sweet words from the great Yankees broadcaster, John Sterling, as he shared in the excitement of a drama filled Yankees 5-2 win over the Cleveland Indians.

As I watched and listened to Game 5, I kept saying to myself…it doesn’t really matter how this game turns out, this is one hell of a ballgame.  As my good friend Mickey Steen said yesterday afternoon: “there is just something different about playoff baseball”.  Every pitch matters, every at bat can change the game…think about Brett Gardner last night and his two epic, 12 pitch at bats.  Fouling pitch after pitch after pitch and the excitement just kept ratcheting up; and the top of the 9th inning Gardner comes through with a HUGE 2 run single to give the Yankees the needed insurance runs!!  One of the all time great at bats for a New York Yankee!!

gardner

Brett Gardner, 3 hits; outstanding patience at the plate!

How about Sir Didi Gregorius, crushing two home runs off of Cleveland Ace and likely Cy Young Award winner, Corey Kluber; you want excitement?   WOW!!!

Then there is the pitching…it always comes down to the pitching.  I said to my grandson Ben yesterday afternoon, whichever team gets the better starting pitching will win the game.  Well, Yankees veteran workhorse CC Sabathia out duelled Corey Kluber, striking out 9 in just 4 1/3 innings of work and that left the Indians scratching and clawing their way back the whole game.  Sabathia may not have a lot left in the tank, but that was one hell of a performance for the old man!!

CC

What a fantastic game by CC!!

You want to talk about pitching, David Robertson came in to relieve CC and to me, saved the game for the Yankees with another outstanding job of middle relief; 2 2/3 innings of sparkling pitching against the heavy hitters he faced.  Years ago, and I’m dating myself, middle relief was left for the guys who weren’t very good pitchers…but, it’s a different story today.  You’ve got your 9th inning closer, your 8th inning set up man and the 7th inning guy who is the bridge to the closer; the Yankees still had Kainlee, Betansis, Green, Warren waiting in the bullpen, but David Robertson did one hell of a job of shutting down the Indians.

dave r

David Robertson with a great 2 2/3 innings pitched!!

Joe Girardi rolled the dice and brought in his closer Aroldis Chapman to start the 8th and to try and get a two inning save.  Chapman had struggled at times this season, at one point even losing his closer’s job to Robertson, but he found himself the last month of the season and last night shut the door on the Cleveland Indians.  He was throwing smoke, hitting 104MPH and then mixing that in with an 85MPH slider/change up.  He did what he was called on to do…silence the Indian’s bats for two innings and lead the Yankees to an historic comeback from 2 games to 0 down!!   Pitching, pitching, pitching…if you’ve get it, you’ve got a chance, without it, you’re watching the games on TV in October!!

IMG_1377

Chapman shows the emotion of a great two inning save!!

I’ve just got to throw in a quick word for Yankees 3rd baseman Todd Frazier, who grew up in Jersey a Yankees fan.  He played in the Little League World Series and is living out his dream right now playing for the Bronx Bombers.  He is a great 3rd baseman and brings so much energy to the team…he’s a free agent at the end of the season and has said many times he’d love to keep playing for his boyhood team!!  You’re my kind of Yankee Todd, enjoy!!

frazier

Enjoy it Todd, you’re livin the dream!!

Now it’s on to the ALCS and a seven game series with the Houston Astros; the Yankees are playing with house money right now.  Nobody expected them to get this far, so, since you are there anyways: Judge, Bird, Sanchez, Sevarino and gang…a trip to the World Series goes with beating the Astros.

LET’S GO YANKEES!!!

Advertisements

56 years after the Mick and Roger…Aaron Judge gives us a magical summer; by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

My earliest memories of the New York Yankees goes back to 1961.  At that time it was just black and white TV and just one game on Saturday afternoon.   CBS owned the New York Yankees and every Saturday afternoon it was the Bronx Bombers…featuring Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris; and that is how I became a New York Yankees fan.

There was no social media at that time.  You got the newspaper late in the afternoon with the previous days box score.  But, those box scores were inhaled…additionally, I had a subscription to the Sporting News, which I somehow made last for a week, until the next week’s edition was delivered.

cropped-mickey-mantle-roger-maris-signed-photo-bb32e.jpg

I wanted to be Mickey Mantle.  The powerful arms, the swing, the good looks…that New York Yankees uniform…and in 1961 it was the Mick and Rogah going for 61 in 61.  Oh how I wish I was living in New York city at that time, to experience the excitement of that race.  I was cheering for the Mick…but, even more significantly that season…I became a New York Yankees fan for life.

One regret I have had over the years, was reading biographies of the Mick…and what a terrible father he was to his boys.  On his deathbed he expressed his regrets for how he had been with them.  He lived a life of drinking and partying…and had he taken care of himself the way athletes do today, who knows what kind of father he could have been and what he would have done as a baseball player.

Fast forward 56 years and the summer of 2017.  Aaron Judge.  52 Home Runs as a rookie!!  114 RBI’s!!  I can truly say that at times I felt like that little kid again…but, 56 years later I was able to watch every home run, watch his pre and post game interviews and read copious quantities of articles about the great young man that he is.  I will never forget sitting with my grandchildren Laine and Ben as we watched him hit #30 and break Joe DiMaggio’s record for home runs by a New York Yankees rookie.  Don’t think the kids have ever seen me cheer like that.  We watched the Home Run Derby together, as Judge crushed one 500 ft home run after another.  I watched as Judge handled himself with grace during a post all star game slump.  Never complaining, just talking about his team.  This past Monday afternoon I watched as Aaron first tied Mark McGwire with #49 and then I let out a huge YES as he crushed # 50.  What was even more exciting than watching number 50, was the manner in which Judge carried himself in the post game press conference…he wouldn’t talk about himself, only about his team mates and team; the closest he came to talking about himself was saying “I’m very blessed”.  Athletes from every sport could learn a lesson about humility and class from this young man.

Michael Kaye calls another monster home run by Judge.

I felt like a kid again watching Aaron Judge this summer.  If he never does anything again, I can say I felt the Yankee magic again.    Listening to Michael Kay and John Sterling call Judge home runs was such a treat…”track, wall, see ya…another monster home run for Aaron Judge”  Michael Kay; “It is long, it is far, it is out of here!! Oh my, another Judgian Home Run” John Sterling

I got back to collecting baseball cards again Aaron, and for that I thank you.  I have five of your cards now and they  will sit proudly beside my Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris autographs…one day, your autograph will be right beside those two legends.

Judge specail

Triple header today; if you love sports, this is the best time of year!! Yankees, Jets & Bombers on the menu…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

aaron-judge-hits-50th-home-run#50…sets the record for Home Runs by a rookie.

Aaron Judge first rookie ever to be ranked as favourite MLB player in ESPN Sports Poll;

“It’s special,” Judge said. “They are the ones watching the games, watching you do your thing, so that is pretty cool.”

“I think it is an unbelievable accomplishment,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I don’t think you have that fanfare unless you put up big, big numbers. He did it in a big market, No. 1, but he did it in a way people appreciate — your humility, the grace that you do it with, the way you play the game, how hard you play the game.

“There is no arrogance to Aaron Judge. I think that’s why people probably rallied around him.”

andrew-harris-2016-6

Bombers workhorse, leader and outstanding RB: Andrew Harris

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers go into Commonwealth Stadium tonight to take on the stumbling Edmonton Eskimos.  A win tonight would all but clinch second place and a home playoff game…Bombers have been playing sound football: offence clicking on all cylinders, special teams outstanding and defence making strides.  It’s that time of year when the weather cools off and the running game takes over.  Bombers have two stud running backs in Andrew Harris and Timothy Flanders.  When teams key on those two backs running or catching swing passes, that opens up the passing game for Matty Ice and his receivers.  My biggest concern tonight is Edmonton getting back their big receivers, like Adarius Bowman, who could do a big number on our shaky secondary…if our DB’s can pick up their coverage, Bombers have a great chance of winning.

 

copp

It’s crunch time for Jets players like Andrew Copp.

Winnipeg Jets play their final exhibition game tonight in Calgary.  This will be the final chance for the likes of Andrew Copp, Marko Dano, Nick Petan, JC Lipon, Brendan Lemieux, and Brendan Tanov to show the coaching staff that they deserve to stay with the big club.  Adam Lowrey has one spot on the bottom six and Joel Armia would seem to have the upper hand on another spot…leaving four spots open.  I’m not sure what the lineup will look like on Wednesday night when the Jets open against the Leafs, but its nice seeing the organization at a point where there is some significant depth…remember the days when Patrice Cormier seemed to be the only call up from the Moose?  On defence the certainty is that Trouba, Morrisey, Buff, Myers and Enstrom are locks; I haven’t been impressed Dimitri Kulakov…perhaps he just needs some time to adapt to his new team…but, so far, I would go with the rookie, Tucker Poolman as my sixth defence man, with Kulakov and Chairot in the press box.   Poolman, 24 years old, looks a ten year vet out there, composed and a good decision maker.  As for the goal tending, it’s Steve Mason and Conner Hellybucyk who need to give the Jets better goaltending than we’ve seen since the return of our team.  If the Jets are to aspire to the heights that everybody is forecasting…then our goalies need to play, at the very least, at a solid level.

girardi and sanchez.jpg

The skipper, Joe Girardi and his rookie catcher, Gary Sancez.

Having MLB TV has allowed me to watch I’d guess almost 90% of the Yankees games this season.  It’s been like having a season ticket and getting to watch Yankees rookies like: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Jordan Montgomery set the foundation for an exciting future.  With a lineup that also includes: Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Starlin Castro, Jacoby Ellsbury, Aaron Hicks, Chase Hedley, Todd Frasier and Matt Holiday, the Yankees should be able to make some noise in the playoffs.  Luis Sevarino has become the Yankees Ace and should pitch the Wild Card game against the Twins.  With Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Sonny Grey to follow, Yanks should be in every game.  The bullpen is outstanding and is anchored by Aroldis Chapman, David Robertson, Delon Betancis, Chad Green and Adam Warren.

Judge curtain call

His Yankees team mates had to encourage Aaron Judge to go out for a curtain call upon hitting #50.

My prediction is a Yankees win over the Twins on Tuesday…but, having to face the Cleveland Indians in the next round will be difficult; I expect the Indians to take that series in six.  But, not having expected too much from the Yankees this season, that will be a big step they’ve taken this season, and with a farm system overflowing with talent, the future looks exciting.

 

 

Jack Curry; New York Yankees writer: Aaron Judge has given Yankees a season for the ages

Aaron Judge has given Yankees a season for the ages

Judge’s discipline, humility have been on display both on and off the field

09/26/2017 2:04 PM ET
By Jack Curry
Aaron Judge has capped off his epic season with 13 homers so far in September. (AP)

The home runs that soar off Aaron Judge’s bat are things of beauty. Towering shots. Mammoth blasts. Scorching line drives. Over and over, Judge has driven the barrel of his bat through the baseball and turned it into another souvenir and another memory. Judge has created 50 memories this season, 50 and counting.

After Judge broke Mark McGwire’s rookie record and became the first rookie to hit 50 homers on Monday, he was his usually sheepish self. The Yankees had to nudge the gigantic Judge on to the field to embrace a well-deserved curtain call, and he later wondered if it had been an acceptable curtain call, as if there is any right or wrong way to wave to the fans. Of course, the respectful Judge was worried about disrupting the game.

We are witnessing an historic and magical season by Judge, a season that is one of the most glorious ever by a rookie and the type of epic season that we might never see again. Yes, we will obviously see rookies who perform at an incredible level in future seasons. Heck, Cody Bellinger is having almost as impressive a season as Judge with the Dodgers.

But, in terms of drama and excitement and handling all of the peaks and valleys of a season like a gentleman, I’m guessing Judge’s actions will stand alone for decades. When I watch Judge on or off the field, the word that typifies him more than any other is “disciplined.” Disciplined in his approach at the plate. Disciplined in the way he puts the focus on winning and credits his teammates. Disciplined in the way he answers questions, always pausing for a spell before offering his thoughts

In a season where the Yankees acknowledged they were “in transition” and where most observers didn’t expect them to compete for a postseason spot, Judge has been the guiding force in helping them secure a wild card berth. Judge leads the American League in homers, walks, runs, on base percentage and WAR and is second to Mike Trout in slugging percentage and OPS. He is as much of an MVP. as anyone in baseball, a list that includes Jose Altuve, Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor and Trout.

During the first half of the season, Judge was the best player on the planet, a 6-foot-7-inch, 282-pound monster who was hitting monster shots. Commissioner Rob Manfred said he could become “the face of baseball.” After the All-Star Game, Judge vanished offensively for about seven weeks and was a lost hitter, chasing more sliders and showing susceptibility to high fastballs. Suddenly, the best player on the planet was one of the worst hitters in the Major Leagues, although he continued to pile up walks and maintain a solid OBP.

And then September rolled in and Judge has been amazing again, like Clark Kent turning back into Superman. He has 13 homers this month, the most he’s hit in any month in his phenomenal season and that includes four homers in his last six at-bats. If an MVP is supposed to be a player who has the strongest finish, well, Judge is finishing this race like Secretariat.

For me, Judge’s lull in July and August shouldn’t expel him from MVP consideration. While he wasn’t an MVP during his lengthy slump, he has been an MVP for the rest of the season and is one of the primary reasons the Yankees will play meaningful baseball in October. Study the statistics, analyze the impact and search for the player who has been the most valuable to his team. I think the search leads to one player, the one who has created 50 memories. And counting.

Yankees crush the Red Sox, taking 3 out of 4, while the Bombers take it on the chin from the Riders…by Chuck Duboff

LDC

Moe Leggatt…a warrior on defence for the Bombers.

© Chuck Duboff

The ying and the yang of pro sports; emotions rising and falling with every play.  Sunday gave us a perfect example of what that expression means.

There had been the usual big buildup to the annual Labour Day Classic between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Saskatchewan Roughriders.  I really wasn’t sure what the expect; even with their five game winning streak, the LDC has always been a tough game for the Bombers.  In the impressive new Mosaic Stadium, splashed in a sea of green and over 30,000 fans, kickoff finally arrived at the 3:00 in the afternoon.

Winning the coin toss, the Bombers chose to kick off to the Riders, who marched the field and got a field which the Bombers immediately matched, to make it an early 3-3.  That was the last time the game was close.  Saskatchewan, off of sloppy play by all three phases of the Bomber’s team, exploded to a 24-3 lead and never looked back.

Matty ice

Matty Ice…under pressure all game.

The only positive out of the game would be that the Bombers never gave up and kept fighting right to the end of the game; that, however, cannot mask some of the serious flaws which were exposed.  As I stated a few days ago, our secondary is a mess and getting beat regularly; Sam Hurl is not a MLB; there was no pressure on Glenn all game. On offence, Ryan Lankford and Clarence Denmark should not be starting; sitting TJ Thorpe just made no sense…the only reason Lankford is in the lineup is because of one kickoff return for a TD…he’s done nothing since.

MEMO TO CFL: those bush league tactics of faking injuries by the Riders were an embarrassment to the CFL; that is typical Chris Jones…the Riders should be fined and warned that they will receive delay of game penalties if they repeat their acting:

“if you wanna play soccer, go play soccer” Matt Nichols on Sask faking injuries.

cheat

The Riders player who faked an injury and walked off the field laughing.

It was a bad game, as many LDC are; this coming Saturday’s Banjo Bowl will show us what this Bombers team is made of…if there is no improvement from yesterday, then there will be real concern for the rest of this season.  There needs to be some massive changes to our defence…it was badly exposed yesterday and unless Richie Hall magically learns how to call a game, I’m afraid we’re in for a repeat performance.

It’ll be an exciting buildup to Saturday afternoon at IGF; 33,000 fans will be cheering on their Blue and hoping for a better performance

The New York Yankees had Luis Sevarino up against Chris Sale and the Red Sox; the Bronx Bombers had won two out of three and this was a pivotal game.  Win and the Bombers are only 3 1/2 back, however a loss would see the Yankees fall 5 1/2 game.

severino15s-3-web

Luis Sevarino…turning into the Yankees ace.

Hoping for a Yankees win to ease the pain of the Big Blue’s afternoon performance, Sevarino came out dealing, while the Yankees got to Sale early, hitting three solo home runs.  Getting injured players back has made a huge difference for the Yankees…Matt Holiday, Starlin Castro, Greg Byrd making the lineup and bench a lot deeper.  Castro hit a bases loaded double scoring three runs…and the big Aaron Judge crushed a 469 foot home run giving the Yankees a 9-1 lead.

Holiday

Matt Holiday…2 HR in first two games back from injury.

The Yankees starting rotation has given them solid starts for weeks now and with the return of the injured starting nine, this could be a fun last month of the season.  CC is pitching as good as ever, Tanaka has been outstanding the last ten games, Sevarino is a rising star and Sonny Grey has just pitched with some bad luck…you can see all the talent.  With a bullpen of Betances, David Robertson, Chapman and many more strong arms, this should be interesting.

The ying and the yang of pro sports…one minute you’re down and the next minute you’re up.

Saturday Morning Random Thoughts…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

  • Love the buildup to this classic Labour Day game between the Bombers and Riders; both teams playing great football, a new stadium and passionate fans…this is what football should feel like.  Been a long time since both teams were playing well at the same time.  Bombers #1 ranked offence against the Riders outstanding defence!!
  • To quote Michael Kay, Yankees broadcaster: “there’s an autumnal feel in the air.”
  • Jets season tix arrive!!!!!
  • Horrific hurricane destroying Houston and surrounding areas…this is the wrath of climate change…and deniers are living with their heads in the sand.
  • Exciting new gig…supervising and overseeing LSAT and MCAT exams…first one September 16th.

     

     

  • What a fabulous summer we had…steady all summer in the high 20’s, low 30’s…sun shine, no mosquitos, warm temps all behind us now…so, Puerto Vallarta, I shall be seeing you and your beautiful beaches and mountains in a few months.

     

  •  Joe Girardi…is your message getting tired?…have the players stopped listening to you?  There is so much talent on that team…no way should that talent laden team be struggling to hold onto a wild card spot.  You’re fortunate George isn’t around, because you and i both know he would be exploding right now, doing his best Donald Trump blowhard…and he’d have fired you weeks ago.
  • Last Sunday I wrote a blog “Luvin my AmeriKKKA..”  It certainly created a stir. Many uncomfortable reading it…BUT, more than 370 people took the time to read a very disturbing piece of writing.  The only responses I got were positive: “an important read”  “way to go Chuck” “that was scary and horrifying”.  One of the things I always taught my students was that if your writing produces a reaction in your reader, then you have done a good job; I dare say that was one of my better pieces of writing, eliciting a very strong reaction; if you didn’t get a chance to read it, here is the link:
    https://chuckduboff.com/2017/08/27/lovin-my-amerikkka-warning-strong-language-by-chuck-duboff/
  • Cannot wait for the Jets season to start…training camp around the corner and my “brother from another mother” Geoff Brookes, will be writing a weekly Jets column. I have instilled in Geoff to not just produce run of the mill blogs…don’t be afraid to question, to challenge, speculate…remember Geoff, you want a reaction out of your readers!!

    NHL: NOV 16 Jets at Blues

  • Herr Trump is feeling the noose tightening; Robert Mulleur made a brilliant move by working with the NY Attorney General, which will nullify Trump’s ability to issue pardons.  My prediction:  Trump will resign claiming he can’t work with Congress and Senate..unable to accomplish anything because of them.  Martyrdom will ensue and there will lots of violent clashes on the streets of the USA.
  • I hope Weston Dressler burns the Riders again; Chris Jones arrogance, not wanting to have someone “bigger” than himself in the eyes of Riders fans is unreal…how do you get rid of a talented player like Dressler.
  • To the believers out there, muchos gracias…to the negatrons, you’re not worth my time or energy.
  • Watching True North Square come up in downtown Winnipeg is so exciting…our city in a renaissance!!

    true north square

  • Always thought customers wishes come first…great customer service at Best Buy this week, meanwhile, another city business lost a loyal customer.
  • First musings of a novel…we shall see, but it seemed to have some life to it.
  • Was very cool this past summer…watched both ET and Field of Dreams with Laine and Ben; I think they found ET a little cheezy, but Field of Dreams really, really had them captivated, with lots of questions being asked.  Their commentary was so wonderful;  Laine:  Zaida, that’s not a baseball movie, that’s about having dreams in life!!   WOW, just WOW!!!   Ben ten minutes before this happens in the movie:  Zaida, I think he’s going to play catch with his dad!!   WOW, just WOW!!!
  • Here we go Bombers, here we go!!!!!  Here we go Bombers, here we go!!!!!
    My prediction:  38 – 27 Bombers.

    andrew-harris-2016-6

Monday morning Major League Notebook…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

 

Mike Trout

Mike Trout

  • Mike Trout is as good as they come; make it six seasons with at least 25 Home Runs and playing a defence that is incomparable.  I can only imagine the hype there would be about him if he were playing on the east coast; a New Jersey boy…loves his Philadelphia teams.  One of the greats.
  • Speaking of great…that is some kind of lineup the Red Sox put on the field.  Adding Rafael Devers and Anthony Binatendi has only made them stronger.  Going to be tough for my Yankees to catch them.
  • Speaking of my Yankees…this past weekend in Boston, Hicks, Judge and Sanchez each went 1 for 12…a combined 3 for 36; you’re not going to win many games with the meat of your order not producing.
  • Aaron Judge, pre All Star break: .334 BA and 30 HR; post All Star break: .122 BA and 7 HR.   He’s got to find his swing…chasing everything, sliders, high pitches…he looks lost.
  • Very well done MLB; your synergy with Little League baseball was terrific…watching major leaguers playing in a 2000 seat stadium, with little league teams watching…can only help to build our great game.  Then watching big leaguers shaking hands…just like the kids do…love it!!shaking hands
  • There is so much incredible young talent in the majors right now: Cody Bellinger, Rafael Devers, Anthony Binatendi, Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Jose Altuve,  John Carlo Stanton, Jose Ramirez…the future of baseball looks bright.
  • I had heard a lot about Sonny Grey before the Yankees got him at the trade deadline; sure haven’t seen much of him in his first few starts as a Yankee…always seems to be labouring on the mound, pitch count gets high really quickly and low strike out totals.  Hope he’s not another one of those guys who can’t play under the big spotlight in New York city.
  • Love, love, love this idea…all teams will be wearing specially designed socks…I’m a traditionalist and always loved the high socks and stirups…MLB is catching onto what the fans want…well done!!
    Socks_6fxw8hot_w2iizltw
  • Though I’m not a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals like my dad was, they sure do know how to rock those uniforms.
  • Aroldis Chapman has lost his closer role with the Yankees…costing them games in the 9th inning…three games in a row, he gave up two runs in the 9th; been relegated to 6th or 7th inning to regain his form.  Yankees are fortunate to have David Robertson and Dellin Betances  to close.
  • I think MLB umpires are feeling the heat with all the talk of virtual strike zones; though all the technology in baseball is not something I’m getting used to…watching some of the missed calls in the strike zone and then players being thrown out of games…you wonder if a virtual strike zone would calm down all the arguing about strike zone calls.  I don’t envy umpires and the pressure they are under.
  • It’s really something watching the way teams are setting up their infields based on the analytics; numbers don’t lie..and when a guy hits a ball right at an infielder who was positioned in a weird spot  (3rd baseman between 1st and 2nd), there is something to be said for all the analytics and number crunching.  David Cone, who does colour on the Yankees broadcasts, is obsessed with the numbers and sure makes the game interesting with all the information he gives the listener.
  • I DO NOT LIKE the “go to first base” intentional walk…where a manager just puts of four fingers and the hitter goes to first.  This is an attempt to save time…really two extra minutes??  What if there is a wild pitch on an intentional walk…what if the pitcher mixes up the batter and throws a strike?  Sorry MLB, this one I don’t agree with!!
  • Cubs are getting back into form…they may peak just in time for the playoffs!!

    andrew-mccutchen-little-league-world-series

    Pirates Andrew McCutchen witting with the kids at the Little League World Series!!

Major League Baseball notebook…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

brett-gardner_ero4c3usuimo10fltpwdqn2fk (1).jpg

Yankees LF and lead off hitter Brett Gardner…having a great season, getting better with age.

  • I was adamant in my claim that Aaron Judge should not participate in the Home Run Hitting contest, as it has historically messed up hitters’ swings.  Well, Judge was amazing in the the HR contest…but, as I said, he has seemed lost at the plate since then.   He is batting in the low .160’s after hitting in the .330’s the first half of the season.  Judge is swinging at sliders that he was laying off of in the first half, resulting in strikeouts in 26 straight games.  He’s a kid and has had a great rookie season…and probably has great things ahead, but…

    AP APTOPIX ROCKIES GIANTS BASEBALL S BBN USA CA

    Nolan Arenado

  • The Colorado Rockies are a fun team to watch…Nolan Arenado is a special player.
  • Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw….that’s some pretty sweet pitching right now in the Majors.
  • What else is left to say about Bryce Harper and Mike Trout?  They truly are generational players…superstars!!  Watching them both play is a treat…Harper has a little more swagger to his game, while Trout is just a joy to watch, whether in the batters box or making amazing catches in the outfield.
  • Watching the Winnipeg Goldeyes Reggie Abercrombie play centre field gives you a brief glimpse into what got him to the Majors; playing Independent League baseball, he still gives it everything he has…and makes catches that you don’t normally see in Indy ball.  “Why isn’t Reggie playing in the Majors Zaida?” asks my granddaughter Laine.  I respond, it’s probably because his bat wouldn’t be fast enough and being in his late ’30’s, not many teams want to take a chance on someone that age.  We’re lucky we get to see a player of his calibre right here in Winnipeg.

    Reggie

    Winnipeg Goldeyes Reggie Abercrombie

  • Talkng about great catches; this might be the best catch I’ve ever seen…Austin Jackson of the Detroit Tigers crashing into the Red Sox bullpen and making a spectacular catch:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCBCnHly59w
  • As a follow up to my blog of last week, I’d suggest Mr. Girardi’s managing seat is warming up quite a bit.  The team isn’t hitting, at all…there doesn’t seem to be any life in them.  After being in first place a full game ahead of the Red Sox, the Yankees suddenly find themselves four games out of first this morning.
  • The Red Sox were slumbering along (see NY Yankees) when they made a trade for Eduardo Nunez and called up their number one rookie prospect Rafael Devers; what a jolt of energy the two have brought to their team…woke them up and they are suddenly in first by four games.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers are playing some kind of baseball; they recently completed a 43-7 stretch, the likes of which has not been seen for over 100 years. Again, it is the youth of that team that is talented and playing with great energy.  I’ve never disliked the Dodgers, but have never really been a fan…I must say I am enjoying watching this team.  It’s surprising when you realize they haven’t won a World Series since 1988.  That’s a long time in Dodger Land…I’m sure Mr. Lasorda is one happy Dodger fan these days.
    Turner

    Dodgers 3B man Justin Turner

     

  • Would love to see teams like the Brewers and Pirates make the playoffs, but it will still be the big money Cubs and Dodgers who squeeze those teams out.  Small market teams, like the Minnesota Twins, always seem to be at a competitive disadvantage trying to beat teams like the Yankees and Red Sox.
  • Seriously, what is it that keeps Mike Scioscia as manager of the Anaheim Angels…he’s been there for, I believe, 17 years and all they ever seem to do is tread water.
  • Brett Gardner has really grown on me this season, giving the Yankees a great left field and hitting out of the lead off spot at a level I never expected for him.  Seems to be getting better with age.
    Terreyes

Joe Girardi, Paul Maurice…let me introduce you to: the Hot Seat!!…by Chuck Duboff

 

 

© Chuck Duboff

In professional sports, there’s one place you don’t want to be, and that is on the Hot Seat. Coaches and managers throughout the long history of sports have always said that they are hired to be fired.  It’s a what have you done for me lately business and if your record was 1-17 last season or if you are on a 15 game losing streak, the noose tightens and you know that your job is in jeopardy.

Two of my favourite teams, the Winnipeg Jets and the New York Yankees now find themselves with a coach and manager who are on the proverbial hot seat.  Both Paul Maurice, head coach of the Winnipeg Jets, and, Joe Girardi, manager of the New York Yankees have been given lineups which now preclude any excuses.

Last season the Winnipeg Jets were one of the highest scoring teams in the NHL; they featured Patrik Laine, Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Nic Ehlers.  The Jets had no problem putting the puck in the net, but it was between the pipes where they struggled. Not having a veteran goalie put a lot of pressure on the rookie Conner Hellybucyk. Additionally, the Jets needed at least one more solid defence man if they wanted to make a move in the standings.

So, Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff went out and got veteran goalie and former rookie of the year, Steve Mason, to stabilize the goaltending, and Dmitri Kulakov to fill out a six man D rotation, featuring Trouba, Big Buff, Morrissey, Enstrom and Myers.

Paul Maurice now has all that he wanted and the pressure is now on him to produce; I dare say, if the Jets struggle out of the gate, Maurice could be gone really quickly.  There is a reason that he is entering the upcoming season without a new contract.

Paul Maurice, you are on the hot seat.

Meanwhile, over in Gotham City, Joe Girardi finds himself in the same situation as Paul Maurice.  It’s make the playoffs and go for a deep run, challenging for the World Series. Anything less, for example, not making the playoffs…and Joe  will be managing elsewhere next season.

Yankees GM, Brian Cashman, has provided Girardi with an absolutely complete roster, with the additions of Sonny Grey and Jaime Garcia to the starting rotation, Todd Frazier to the 3B bag, and David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to an already dominating bullpen.  The bullpen is so strong now, that all the Yankees need is 5 or 6 innings from their starter and then its shutdown time.

Looking at the everyday players, the lineup now looks like this:

  1. Brett Gardner (Jacoby Elsbury)
  2. Clint Frazier (Aaron Hicks)
  3. Aaron Judge
  4. Gary Sanchez
  5. Didi Gregorious
  6. Matt Holiday
  7. Starlin Castro
  8. Chase Headley
  9. Todd Frazier

I dare say that is one very intimidating lineup for any pitcher to face.  The Yankees have a mix of both veterans and kids to ride through the playoffs.  Girardi has a solid starting pitching staff, shutdown bullpen and a powerful everyday lineup.

Paul Maurice and Joe Girardi…you are now on the hot seat.  Anything less than deep playoff runs, and I dare say your jobs are in jeopardy.

 

The Sunday Morning New York Yankees report…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles

Yankees skipper, Joe Girardi

  • Yankees are going for it…acquire Jamie Garcia from the Twins; still in talks with Oakland to acquire Sonny Grey; both Sevarino and Montgomery are hitting innings pitched totals they’ve never thrown before…it’s wise on Cashman’s part to acquire starting pitching.
  • That trade with the White Sox that brought Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle was the turning point of the season; there is a confidence about the team that wasn’t there prior to the All-Star game; Frazier plays a great 3rd base and has a solid bat; Robertson and Kahnle are two outstanding relief pitchers, giving Girardi a really deep bullpen.
  • What a great story Todd Frazier is; grew up in Jersey, just miles from Yankee stadium…Paul O’Neil was his favourite player; and now, here he is, playing for his boyhood team; he said he feels like a little kid again playing ball!!  How cool is that!!

    toddfrazier27s-web

    Todd Frazier

  • Speaking of Frazier, the other Frazier, the kid, Clint Frazier, is going to make it very difficult for Cashman to send him back down to the minors; the kid has a great bat, lots of power and plays a solid left field; when Aaron Hicks is healthy, not sure what they are going to do with Jacoby Ellsbury…no way I send Clint Frazier down to the minors.
  •  Ronald Torreyes…has been invaluable this season…filling in for Didi, Castro…and swinging a solid bat…the dude is “smaller than you Zaida Chuck”, yet he has played his way into an important role with the Yankees.  Every team needs a Torreyes.
  • Have never been much of a Brett Gardner fan…but he is having an outstanding season; he’s always played a great centre or left field, but this year his bat has been sensational…with Friday night hitting his 19th HR for a walk off in the 11th inning and then yesterday, hitting a clutch single in the bottom of the 9th to give the Yankees their 6th win in a row.  Well done Brett…they call you the undisputed leader in the locker room!!
    brett-gardner_ero4c3usuimo10fltpwdqn2fk

    Brett Gardner

     

  • The middle of the Yankees order, after Gardner leads off…Clint Frazier bats second, Aaron Judge third, Gary Sanchez fourth, Matt Holiday and then Didi…that is some kind of lineup for a pitcher to navigate through.
  • Nice seeing Chase Headley find his bat again…playing a very nice first base.
  • The Yankees are doing all of this without Starlin Castro..they are being extra cautious with his hamstring…but when he gets back, that’s another smokin bat in a very deep lineup.
  • What a bullpen…from Adam Warren, to Chad Greene, to David Robertson to Tommy Kahnle to Dellin Betancis to Aroldis Chapman…wow!!
  • Oh yeah…there’s some kid named Aaron Judge, whose mere presence at the plate has got opposing managers trying to figure out how to pitch to him…you know Judge is in his groove, when he is getting walks…and not chasing pitches out of the strike zone!!
  • There is nothing better than listening to Michael Kay and Paul O’Neil broadcast a Yankees game on the YES Network…brilliant and hilarious!!
  • Mind you, listening to Jon Sterling and Suzy Waldman on WFAN radio…brings out the little kid in me…listening to ballgames on my transistor radio
  • Luis Sevarino, CC, Masahiro Tanaka, Jaime Garcia…maybe Jordan Montgomery or Sonny Grey??…nice rotation for Joe to work with.
  • Having MLB TV allows me to watch every Yankees game…essentially a season ticket for both home and road games…have never enjoyed Yankees baseball as much as I am this season.
  • Be nice to see Matt Holdiay heat up…he’s a solid bat right in the middle of the lineup…been struggling, but, he’s a veteran and will figure it out.
  • To quote the bleacher creatures in right field (that would be right at the top of my bucket list…to be sitting in right field and doing the role call with the crazy Yankee fans)….LETS GO YANKEES!!!!!  LETS GO YANKEES!!!! LETS GO YANKEES!!!!


Sunday Morning Random Thoughts…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

  • What better way to start the day then watching Aaron Judge absolutely crush another Home Run…almost completely out of Safeco Field.
  • Bombers chocked on that game Friday night…with a 42-27 lead and 7 minutes left in the game…Coach O’Shea calls yet another one of his head scratchers…a fake punt on your own 26 yard line….HUH???
  • President Doofus…why would anybody be looking into Pardons if nobody is guilty about anything.  When I listen to highly respected Conservative politicians and journalists talk about the shame of your presidency…I shake my head in disbelief as to the embarrassment  you are to your country.  You have time to have several meeting with that Despot, Putin…but you don’t have time to speak to the NAACP convention.
    trump-ahh
  • Made in AmeriKa week…yet all of Trumps products…and Ivanka’s…are made in 3rd world slave houses!!!  The hypocrisy knows no limits…
  • Some people bring a calming, peaceful understanding to your world and you feel blessed to know them…
  • While others whom you would hope care about you…don’t even make the time to respond to messages or say hello/chat at social gatherings.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers are a prime example of how important developing young players is…they are an exciting to watch play because of the kids on their team…and…watching Clayton Kershaw pitch is a true joy…I’ve never been much of a fan of the Dodgers…but, I would put Kershaw right up there with the greats in baseball history…with the likes of Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan…there are the must see home run hitters like his team mate Cody Bellinger, but, Kershaw is a pitcher who is worth making the time to watch.
    Clayton-Kershaw-windup
  • Beautiful weather…better enjoy it while we can..July is coming to an end and then we have a few good weeks in August…looks like a sun filled, warm week ahead.
  • Love me a good thunderstorm.
  • All the hockey forecasts for next season have the Jets rated as one of the most talented teams in the league…with most predictions have the Jets going deep into the playoffs; that being said, every forecast also has Coach Maurice #1 on the hot seat list…if he can’t do something special with the lineup that he is being given this year…then he will be Toast!!  This is your chance coach…a stacked lineup, a solid, proven goalie…time to work your magic!!
  • Something else watching the Goldeyes hit four home runs in the first inning of an afternoon game!!
  • Brian Pallister…you heartless human being…I have zero respect for you and your lying.  You promised to maintain health care services, you promised to cut the PST…none of which you have made happen…you are only gutting essential services…a health care system that all Manitobans have been proud of!!
    brian-pallister-nurse-001
  • So all of the people still left standing around Trump, those he hasn’t fired, are all lawyering up…hmmm…I wonder why that would be?  From Jared Kuschner to Paul Manifort to Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum…pops is going to throw you under the bus…I hope Mueller and his team are able to dig into the Orange Haired Bluto’s tax returns and find out what he has been hiding.
  • …and talking about hiding…I would love nothing more than to know what Putin has on Trump…it must be Huuuuuuge…and Trump is sweating.
    trump-putin-1024
  • Big trade by the Yankees this week getting Todd Frasier and a couple of solid bullpen arms; Yankees still need a starter…with Pineda down with Tommy John surgery, you can’t rely on rookies to take you deep into the playoffs.  I’m guessing either Yu Darvish or Sonny Grey will be a Yankee by weeks end.
  • Seriously, is this not once of the greatest baseball moments you’ve seen!!  I don’t know who raised Aaron Judge, but he has turned into one fine young man: (click the link:
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwfskegATmY

Thursday morning random thoughts…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

Dylan stage

  • Thank you Mr. Dylan for a great show…best you’ve done in years!!  The songs and lyrics were clearly recognizable…and you got me with Highway 61, that was awesome!!
  • Did I happen to mention that my grandson Ben is an absolute baseball freak!!  He’s 8 years old and can tell you who every player is, what team he is on and the position he plays…sounds like his Zaida Chuck!!
  • Bombers’ QB Matt Nichols needs a bounce back game tonight…big time!!  I’m a fan of his, but were he to have a second bad game in a row, the doubt would start creeping in for all fans.
  • Speaking of creep…Donald Trump, you bloated megalomanic, you gonna throw Don Jr. under the bus to take the rap for you…or will it be Jared Kushner!!  God knows that if you throw “that Jew” Kushner under the bus, your KKK base will be thrilled!!
  • Last summer it was Tavern United and the Tragically HIp with Carly and Matt, while last night we hit Tavern first and then enjoyed Bob Dylan together…doesn’t get much better than enjoying one of your music icons with your two grown kids!!
    Pic with Car and Matt
  • I couldn’t be more thrilled than to have bought an Aaron Judge jersey…while wearing it, the little kid in me comes out, imagining myself slugging home runs for my New York Yankees.  Watching him break Joe DiMaggio’s rookie season HR record and then watching him with the HR Derby with Laine and Ben…priceless, just priceless.

     

  • Geoff and I had a nice long chat about the Jets the other day…and the fact that our window to win is quite small; we are going to have to be putting out big money to Trouba, Morrisey, Laine and Ehlers; fitting that all under the salary cap is going to be tough.  Chicago hasn’t won anything since signing Toews and Kane to long term deals.  Winning is paramount this season…and that’s why Chevy is referring to “winning now” in his interviews.  Both he and Maurice know, now is the time to win.
  • Brian Pallister…you heartless, lying human being.
  • brian-pallister-nurse-001 (1)
  • Goldeyes seem to be getting on a role…but Forney better track down some rookies…that bench is looking very thin right now.
  • Bomber game tonight, then family parties Friday and Saturday night…one busy summer!!
  • There are times when you just need to move on from certain friends…they had a time and place in your life, but no longer are they a positive.  You let go and move on.
  • Thanks Jono for the long talk and caring.
  • So very cool watching True North Square coming up in the heart of downtown…what an exciting change it will be when completed.
    TNSquare
  • It’s sad when certain Americans move up to Canada and then try and impose their Donald Trump values upon us…you’re entitled to your opinion, but racist rhetoric belongs in your homeland with Herr Trump.
  • Thank you Carly and Matt…that was one great night together…love you both so very much and couldn’t be prouder of the adults you have grown into!!
    19944336_10155202756375783_4067379004772247880_o

Aaron Judge breaks Joe DiMaggio’s 81 year old New York Yankee record…by Chuck Duboff

 

© Chuck Duboff

They are the New York Yankees.  A history like no other team.  Winners of 27 World Series.  You think of the great New York Yankees and the list is the whose who of the baseball greats.  The Babe, Babe Ruth…The Iron Horse, Lou Gehrig…Joe D, Joe DiMaggio…the Mick, Mickey Mantle, the Captain, Derek Jeter.  These Yankee greats set records and helped the Yankees become the storied franchise that they are.

It was in 1936, 81 years ago, that Joe DiMaggio broke into the Majors with the New York Yankees; during that memorable season, Joe D homered 29 teams to set the New York Yankee record for Home Runs by a rookie.  That record has held up for 8 decades.

It’s 2017 and along has come a rookie who has broken Joe DiMaggio’s record in just 84 games.  Last evening, 25 year old Aaron Judge hit his 30th home run of the season.  Think about that for a moment.  30 home runs in 84 games.  For 81 years no Yankee has come close to Joe D’s record, yet, young Aaron Judge, a humble, courteous, team first player, has not only broken the record, but is on a pace to set all sorts of records.

When a young player has his name mentioned in the same breath as Joe DiMaggio, you know you have got a special player.  Judge has made tremendous adjustments at the plate; no longer is he swinging at bad pitches.  He is leading the Majors in taking pitchers to a full count.  He has a .333 batting average and leads the Majors with 66 RBI’s.  He leads the Majors with 12 Home Runs over 430 feet.  Yet it was one home run, a 495 foot bomb, which captured the imagination of Yankee Nation,

Yankees broadcaster Jon Sterling called it the best: “A Judgian Home Run”…495 feet!! That is the kind of Home Run that brings back memories of Mickey Mantle crushing them and the Babe with his “Ruthian Home Runs.”  Judge has crept into the annals of Yankee lore and with his mammoth Home Runs he has become must see At Bat every time he gets to the plate.  Upon hitting that 495 foot Home Run, Topps baseball cards, rushed out this card celebrating that Home Run….and being the Yankee fan that I am, I ordered it and it arrived just yesterday:

Topps Judge

When I saw the package in the mailbox, I felt like the little kid whose boy hood hero was Mickey Mantle.  Here it is, some 56 years later and Aaron Judge has made me feel like a little kid again.  I had the good fortune of watching him tie Joe DiMaggio’s record along with my grandchildren Laine and Ben.  I jumped up in the air when I saw it going to deep centre field…the reaction by the kids was special…they had never seen the little boy in me..and getting to watch Yankee history with them was so very special.

Managers may come up with ways to pitch Judge; pitchers may find a weak spot in his swing…and he may still go into protracted slumps…but, for the first 3 1/2 months of the season, 25 year old Aaron Judge, has added him self to the New York Yankee record book and brought electricity and excitement back to New York Yankees baseball.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Morning MLB notebook…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

Tumpane

Umpire John Tumpane saves the life of a young woman in crisis about to jump off a bridge!!

  • John Tumpane, MLB Umpire…restores our faith in humanity by saving the life of a young lady about to jump off a bridge.  Good on ya John!!  Well done.
  • Miguel Montero…you just don’t do that man; you never throw a teammate under a bus.  Montero, after having had the Washington Nationals steal 7 bases on him, went to the media and blamed pitcher Jake Ariata for all the stolen bases.  Theo Epstein acted swiftly and the next morning Montero was released…as he should have been.  Well done Theo…
  • Roberto Osuna…that took a lot of courage to publicly speak about your anxiety, depression…”I fee lost”.  You’re not alone Roberto; the more people talk about mental health issues, the more accepting society will be come.  Stay strong my man.
    Osuna

    Roberto Osuna:  “I feel lost”

     

  • It seems like every season the New York Mets go through an endless stream of players on the DL; just this week, former Met pitcher Ron Darlin, now a broadcaster for the team, called into question the skill/talent of the training staff for the Mets.  Having a great training staff is so important to any professional team.
  • Hands up if you saw the San Francisco Giants nosediving like they have this season.
  • The NL West…now that is exciting baseball; the D Backs and Rockies playing great ball, while the Dodgers unearthed another gem, with rooki Cody Bellinger exciting fans with 22 Home Runs; love watching young kids breaking into the majors!!
    cody-bellinger-topper-jaffe
  • With video replay and the strike zone so defined on TV…it amazes me how many times umpires miss the strike zone by a very significant margin; saw one the other day where the pitch had to be at least a foot outside the strike zone and the ump called it a strike…and of course, the batter went off on the ump, as did the manager.  Robots for umpires are coming…I hate it, but…the technology is there.
  • Nice seeing the Atlanta Braves finally show some progress in their massive rebuild.
  • Surprisingly, the St Louis Cardinals don’t have much…for an organization that prides itself on developing players (hello Winnipeg Jets), this current crop of young Cardinals are nothing more than average.  (sorry Dad..lol)

    Yankees News and Notes:

  • The Yankees DL is overflowing…currently, CC Sabathia, Aaron Hicks, Starlin Castro, Matt Holliday and last night, Yankee phenom, Dustin Fowler was added to the list.
  • Speaking of Dustin Fowler, he had his dream come true and with all the Yankee injuries, was called up to the Majors for the first time.  Sadly, he sustained an horrific injury: ruptured his right patella tendon and out for the sdeason; its hard watching the following videos; Yankees manager Joe Girardi was in tears
  • http://web.yesnetwork.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=1555729283
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGxodzBxAXc
  • Aaron Judge is at 27 HR’s and is on a pace for 58 for the season.  Don’t know if he can keep it up, but sure has made for an exciting season.
  • Yankees bullpen has been in shambles during this struggle to hold on with all of the injuries.
  • Masahiro Tanaka seems to have found himself again; with Tanaka, Sevarino and rookie Jordan Montgomery, here’s hoping they can stay within breathing distance of the Red Sox.  Good Michael Pineda is outstanding, but, you never know what you are getting with him.
    Sevy

    Luis Sevarino

     

  • It’ll take some kind of juggling act for Joe Girardi to navigate the Yankees through this tough stretch, but, all teams go through injury woes and the depth of the organization is severely tested!!

Saturday Morning MLB notebook…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

Joe DiMaggio holds the New York Yankees rookie record with 29 Home Runs in 1936.
Aaron Judge has now hit 25 and it’s only June 24th.  Mark McGwire has the rookie
record of 49 in 1987.
  • Wake up this morning to see that the Yankees finally released Chris Carter and brought up Tyler Austin from AAA; I have been saying for months, Carter is one of the worst major league players I have ever seen; from Houston to Milwaukee to the Yankees…plays with no emotion, can’t field and is a terrible hitter.  I have lots of respect for Brian Cashman, but this is one move I questioned the day they signed Carter in the off season.
  • Nice story coming out of LA, with yet another rookie crushing baseballs; Cody Bellinger, who was almost sent down to AAA in April, is doing for the Dodgers what Aaron Judge is doing for the Yankees.
    Bellinger
  • How bad are the Philadelphia Phillies; when I checked on Wednesday, they had won only 11 of their last 49 ballgames.  The conjecture is that the Phillies are aiming for 2019 to field an exciting team…they are following the path of both the Cubs and Astros, who completed gutted their teams, picked up high draft picks and now are stacked with great players.  How’d you like to be a fan of a team which says in spring training, we still have a couple of years to go before we’re any good.  Both the Phillies and the Padres are on this path and both play mind numbingly bad baseball.  Wonder if the owners would consider lowering ticket prices for the fans who have to put up with a mediocre team.
  • The unwritten rules of baseball: you don’t bunt to break up a no-hitter or perfect game.  Sorry, last time I checked a bunt was considered a hit…if you don’t want the bunt to break up the no no, then make a freaking play to stop it; if you’re talented enough to drop a bunt down and beat out the throw to first, good on ya.Bunting on a no hitter
  • Interesting watching Big Papi have his number retired in Boston last night; I’ve never had a problem with Ortiz ( Pedro is a different story), but if you look at his baseball card from the season he was brought over to the Red Sox from the Twins, you will see a man, much like Barry Bonds, who was half the size he was when he was crushing home runs.  When asked about steroids, PED’s, he gets very defensive…
  • Watched Max Scherzer pitch again for the Nats; what a great pitcher he is.  Felt badly for him…had another no-hitter going and was into the 8th inning; you could see he was running out of gas, but given the sorry state of the National’s bullpen, he stayed in there and ended up losing the game 2-1.  That loss is on the GM of the Nats, Mike Rizzo…go out and get your team some bullpen help!!
  • The National League West is going to be some dog race, right to the end of the season.  As of this morning, Arizona, Colorado and the Dodgers are all playing over .600 ball…that is really something.  They would appear to have a lock on both wild cards…so NL Central and East…you’re going to have to win outright.
  • Though the Twins have the foundation for an exciting young team, the Cleveland Indians are going to start pulling away.  They’ve got great starting pitching, a shut down closer in Andrew Miller and Edwin Encarnacion is starting to heat up.  With Terry Francona driving the bus…I can see the Tribe in the World Series again this season.  FYI…love Tito…great manager and just loves baseball.  Bonus points if you remember Terry Francona playing for the Montreal Expos.

  • Yasiel Puig…time to grow up buddy…I know it’s a big adjustment from life in Cuba; but you’ve been in North America for several years now…you’re not going to have a more understanding organization than the Dodgers…learn to show some respect to the game of baseball.

New York Yankees News and Notes:

  • Nice to see Masahero Tanaka back to his old form last night, facing his countryman Yu Darvish.  Though it may seem tedious to others, there’s nothing better than two great pitchers going up against each other.
  • Ronald Torreyes…talk about a guy living the dream.  A journeyman infielder whom the Yankees picked up…I dare say he’s been one of the most valuable players for the Yankees this season, filling in for Didi for a long stretch and Hedley the past few days.  Last night he picked up his first walk off RBI…so great seeing his teammates excited for him.  You don’t have to be a big man in baseball to play the game  (see Jose Altuve)Terreyes
  • Tyler Clippard has just suddenly lost it; had a great April and May coming out of the bullpen, but has been awful the last few weeks.  Same with Dillon Betances…not the dominating pitcher he was.
  • I love the Yankees double play combo of Didi and Starlin Castro…but, watching both of them commit inexcusable errors the other night, is just a reminder that no matter how good you are…mistakes are going to happen.
  • Aaron Judge is 1 of 6 players in Yankees history to hit at least 25 HR through 70 team games. The others:
    Babe Ruth
    Roger Maris
    Lou Gehrig
    Mickey Mantle
    Alex Rodriguez 

    Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle.