Tagged: Alex Rodriguez

Yankees silenced as Bucs continue Spring fling


In 2008 actor Bill Crystal got his birthday wish as he signed a one day contract with the New York Yankees. 
In his lone Spring Training at bat he struck out at the hands of Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm. 
Three years later, six actual Yankees struck out against Pittsburgh pitchers. 
On Tuesday the Bucs blanked the Yanks 2-0 at McKechnie Field in Bradenton. 
Although the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Mark Teixiera did not take the field, come one, they’re still the Yankees. 
James McDonald took the hill for the Pirates and lasted two solid innings, allowing just a pair of hits. Curtis Granderson tripled in the first inning and Eric Chavez notched a single in the second. 
Behind McDonald, Aaron Thompson gave up two hits. New York would only reach base those four times. 
Daniel McCutchen earned the win, his first of the Spring. He fanned two batters including Nick Swisher. Former first round pick Daniel Moskos was given the save and did not allow a hit in the 9th inning.
The Pirates now stand at 3-2 in the Grapefruit League. The other two wins came against the Tampa Bay Rays. The win against the Yankees was clearly the best performance from the pitching staff, thus far. 
But, there was bad news in the day.
Relief pitcher Joe Beimel was ordered to be shut down due to discomfort in his left arm. He has undergone and MRI with results coming later Tuesday, or Wednesday. The newly acquired lefty was to be a strong hold in the bullpen. Working with Evan Meek and closer Joel Hanrahan, the back end of the pen looks to be one of the strongest in the NL Central. 
Beimel was once a Pirate before this spring. From 2001-04 he was a reliever in Pittsburgh. He was anything but spectacular and has since spent time with the Dodgers, Nationals and Rockies reviving his career. 
Just look at him. 
He brings an edge, a fire of sorts, that will be utilized. His recovery needs to be brisk for his untapped potential to come about.
photo credits: bleacherreport.com, yahoo.com

Yanks spook the Phils in a Halloween Game 3

While “Thriller” was probably heard playing at your Halloween party last night, the baseball game was anything but that.

The Yankees handily defeated the Philies 8-5.

It surely was a good and memorable game and I’m dissapointed that I missed a good portion of it. Considering it was Halloween and the fact that I am a college student, one would assume that I had other plans-which I did.


“You gettin’ this camera guy?” I was indeed the shamwow guy for Halloween last night. My group of friends had a lot of equally clever costume ideas as he hit the scene in Morgantown. Within my group the was Bob Ross, Luke Skywalker and Kenny Powers. With thousands of other students out last night there were plenty of humorous get ups, some not suitable for mention on this site.

While I could go on and on with Halloween stories and West Virginia tales we’ll stick to baseball.

Cole Hamels looked like he did in last year’s World Series-dominant. He had the confidence in an early 3-0 lead, but things headed south in the 4th inning.

arod.jpgThis guy finally showed up. A-Rod went deep for a 2 run homerun and his first hit of the World Series. The call which was originally ruled a double was over turned thanks to instant replay. Instant replay has been a hot topic for discussion in this series. Many pundits argue that it is a necessity in all facets of the game. I disagree. If you are going to have it, why do you need umpires. Put robots on the basepaths if you really want the right call. I’m all for instant replay on the homeruns, it’s great that every run is accounted for.

However, on the basepaths, keep it up to the umpires. For all the heat they take, they’re not praised enough for their expertise. It’s not like these guys are  slouches they are seasoned and  have so much experience following baseball. Yes, there have been some buthcered calls on those bang bang plays at first but its the game of baseball. Nothing is perfect-why mess with tradition?

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Even though there is obviously not a DH in the National League, Hideki Matsui still showed up. He came in to pinch hit for Joba Chamberlin in the 8th inning and pulled off his best Matt Stairs impression. There was another Godzilla sighting except this time the Philly Phanatics got a glimpse of the beast. Matsui went deep for a pinch hit solo shot. If there is to be named a World Series MVP, Matsui looks to be a frontrunner for the title.

You want to talk about a comeback player of the Series look no further than Nick Swisher.


Batting a miniscule .111 through the course of the playoffs its safe to say Yankee fans have been dissapointed in their rightfielder. He was benched in favor Jerry Harriston Jr. in game two. Game three was a different story. Swisher belted a homerun and nailed a double to go 2-4. He was so pumped up and brought a new life to the New York club. All season long Swisher has been a leader and brought the fire. Game 3 was a big confidence booster not only for Nick, but the Yankees as well.

The series has flip flopped completely. Many people already gave this to the Philies after their domination in game one. After three games people are jumping for the Yanks. All along I figured the Yankees are the better team but the Philies do no need to be taken out of the discussion completely.

Sports taking a backseat

Hey all.


How ’bout those games last night.


First we had the Angels-Yankees. 3 solo homers from A-Rod, Damon and Jeter were not enough to hold off the battling Angels. A walk off win by Jeff Mathis allowed for LA to notch their first victory of the ALCS. The Angels are gettin some great production from their lineup especially Kendrick (3-5) and Vladdy (2-4, HR)Tonight’s pitching matchup looks brilliant as C.C. goes up against Scott Kazmir.




NLCS17910200422.jpgOn the night cap there was yet another exciting game.

The Philies jumped out to another lead and the Dodgers looked just as sluggish as in Sunday’s 11-0 beatdown. However, a nice string of hits in an inning allowed LA to come back and eventually take the lead. The Big Man as they call him, Jonathon Broxton comes in looking for a save and a win. He is in a sticky situation but he knows what needs to be done. Broxton throws pitches upwards of 99mph but is wild as Rick Vaughn and walks a batter and hits a guy to set the stage for that guy on the right. Jimmy Rollins, the hero of Philly belts a laser to right center field scoring to and winning the game 5-4. A great night for eastern PA, but not for me, nor Crzblue or Cat. Now I’m not a Dodgers fan by anymeans but I hate to see Philly win. I’m a fan of the Dodgers in the series and was really looking forward to blasting some Randy Newman, no not “you’ve got a friend in me” rather ‘i love LA

But while these teams are celebrating and gearing up for another grueling game there is one team that is trying to cope with a loss, while gearing up for their tough contest.

uconn.jpg Known mostly for their basketball power the, UCONN Huskies suffered something so terrible that no team, family or anyone should have to go through. A member if their football team was stabbed to death Saturday night following Connecticut’s victory over Louisville. At the homecoming dance following the win cornerback Jasper Howard was stabbed following an altercation. He was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead.

jasper-howard-uconn-stabbingjpg-f47d0543d4baae83_medium.jpgHe was known as a great teammate, friend, son and soon to be father. He was just a junior and 20 years old, like myself. Watching this unfold over such news outlets as Sports Center and even Nancy Grace is very touching and scary at the same time. I didn’t know this guy but I know how important it is to be part of a team and treat my friends like a family. The UCONN family lost a brother over the weekend and it shatters the minds of everyone thinking, what if this happened to me?

I go to West Virginia University as much of you know, so you may be thinking why is this such a big deal to me. It is rather a huge deal to me because UCONN and my WVU Mountaineers square off on Saturday here in Morgantown. I’m nervous for this game because the Mountaineers snuck by a mediocre Marshall team 24-7 on Saturday and UCONN handled Louisville well. However aside from stats and figures, the Huskies will be so pumped up for this game in hopes of winning for the fallen teammate.  I’m a huge fan of the Mountaineers, no one can question that, but I have to wonder of life is more important than a game. There’s no question it is. That being said, I will still be cheering my heart out for my ‘Eeers, however I can only hope I will be joined by my Mountaineer brothers in honoring Jasper Howard at Mountaineer Field on Saturday.


this link shows that I am not the only one who wants to get Mountaineer nation on board for honoring the life of Mr. Howard. There is talk of making armbands with a blue #6 on them to pay homage to Howard who wore number 6.

West Virginia is known for having rowdy fans so there are questions out there whether or not the movement will be followed. It is customary to boo the opposing team when they run out of the tunnel just like it is anywhere across the world when your opponenet rushes out onto your home turf. We see it in every baseball park when a batter steps up to the plate. Heck, the entire Yankees roster is booed whenever they are out there. I hope for Saturday that the UCONN team will be cheered when they come out. The fact that they are still playing this game is a tribute to the strong will of the Huskies, that in itself deserves an applause. 

From my front row seats it is tough to be respectful to the opposing team. They stretch in fronT of the student section and even taunt some of our fans. It’ll be interesting to see the reaction of players and fans alike on Saturday. 

The game is televised at noon eastern time on ESPNU. I plan on being front row in the end zone, I’m going to be making a sign honoring Jasper and I hope to not only get on TV to show off my handsom figure but also so the world can see the Mountaineer fans have a soft spot for those who are in need.


The above link has a musical tribute to Howard, honestly brought a tear to my eye.

alg_jasper-howard.jpg                                                            R.I.P #6 

Predictions from Pittsburgh

Well technically I am not in Pittsburgh but rather in Morgantown, West Virginia. I’ve had many arguments with buddies because I say that Morgantown is a suburb of Pittsburgh. Considering it is an hour away and the citizens here are big Pittsburgh professional sports team fans. But in my eyes the Pittsburgh metropolitan area is encompassed by Morgantown. Actually come to think of it, Youngstown, OH, my summer home too is a Pittsburgh suburb. The tri-city area which I call my home is considered “Pittsburgh” in my eyes.

You see how close the states are? Plus Pittsburgh is the heart of it all. From Morgantown to Youngstown it is only a two hour drive. Pittsburgh is the halfway meeting point between the two cities and a great meeting point at that.

Now back to what really matters here, the NLCS and ALCS.

Tonight it gets going. LA vs Philly. 

Here at WVU there are many students from Eastern, PA, big Phillies fans at that. The Fever is catching and turning Morgantown into the City of Brotherly Cheesesteaks. It really upsets me. I don’t like seeing the other MLB team in Pennsylvania getting all the pub. Not that the Pirates deserve any, it just gets under my skin that my team has never been here in quite some time. Nothing would please me more than to see the Dodgers pick apart the Phillies.


He is 21 years old, a few months older than me but yet he is being called upon to notch a victory for the Dodgers. People are saying that Clayton Kershaw may be too young to make theimpact the Dodgers expect. I disagree. Kershaw has been lights out all season and his age is not a factor. 21 year olds are tough people and in the prime of their lives. Experience will not play a factor becuase talent will ultimately prevail.




The Philies have a high potent offense lead by Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez. I said before that experience really shouldn’t be a factor but these Philies have been here before and will be hungry for a repeat.

They are equally matched on the opposing side with the Dodgers.

Matt Kemp, James Loney and Andre Either make up the best lineup in my opinion. Supporting actors Rafeal Furcal, Casey Blake and Manny Ramirez add to the balanced aggressive attack.

These two teams are rather carbon copies of each other and it will be great to watch.

I give the nod to the Dodgers in six games. With decent pitching on either sides of the squads the offense will be the key. I see LA breaking out and scoring more runs.

The ALCS tells the same story.

a-rod.jpgEveryone in New York is smiling along with you Alex. He is breaking out here in the playoffs and showing power when it needs to be there. He along with Tex, Jet and Godzilla may actually see their way to the trophy for the first time in quite some time. The Evil Empire has been in a drought and this year they have shown that the wait has paid off. The team is better this year with an improved pitching staff. The threesome of C.C. A.J. and Andy-the Yankees have a full team, something we haven’t seen since the days of Boomer Wells and Bern baby Bern Williams.






toriihunter.jpgTorii Hunter says don’t count me out yet.

Hunter wants this playoff series more than anybody. He is a vocal leader and his passion for the game is unmatched. The entire Anaheim club wants to win in honor of #34, Nick Adenhart. The team ahs come together since the very beginning to honor their fallen rookie. Nothing will prove more fitting than an Angels World Series. They manhandles the Red Sox and are ready for the Yanks.

This series too is evenly matched. It’ll be tight all the way and I’d say at least two games will go to extra innings. In seven games the Yankees will be propelled back into the limelight to face the Dodgers in the World Series.

In Aaron Boone type fashion I can see a walkoff in game 7 by a New York player.



This postseason looks to shape up to be one that will forever go down in history. There are familiar faces and new stars to be made. What will 2009 bring to the baseball world? We’ll have to wait and see.



Pride. Passion. Pinstripes:My evening with the New York Yankees


In no way shape or form am I a fan of the Evil Empire. For one night, I wanted to experience what life was like in the shoes of a fan of the Bronx Bombers. I am a Pirate fan through and through. I bleed black and gold and could never cheer for the Yankees. On May 29, 2009 I “supported” the club in an effort to be an away fan at a ballpark. I had no intentions of cheering for either team (Yankees/Indians), so why not make the evening fun and tranform into a New Yorker.

Well in my first hours of me becoming a Yankee “supporter” I was greeted with heavy downpours of rain. From 7:00 til 8:30 there was nothing but torrential rain and thunder coming from the Cleveland skies. Maybe it was a fitting entrance, mother nature must have known I did not belong in Yankee attire.

The rain delay was quite shocking because just a few hours earlier the weather looked beautiful. I made my Facebook status read that it is a beautiful night for baseball. You can see from these next pictures that it surely looked that way.

Upon parking at the garage across from Progressive Field and Quicken Loans arena at about 5:30, I saw this towel sitting on a rail by a police officer. I hollered over to the cop and politely asked if it was anybody’s towel. He politely responded with a “no”, tossed it to me and said “its all yours.” Now I am by no stretch of the imagination a Cleveland Cavaliers fan. I liked the team back when they were God-awful but since Lebron has taken over I really don’t like their whole mentality. They are facing elimination in the NBA playoffs and the city is buzzing with Cav-pride. I myself am cheering for teh Orlando Magic in hopes that they will make the Finals against the LA Lakers. I am however a huge fan and collecter of random sports paraphernalia and a Calavliers One Goal Towel fits that bill perfectly.

The picture to the right was taken when we entered the park at 6:00, still bright out and no sign of rain. The kid to my left is Andrew, my good buddy and friend for the longest time. He is a die-hard Yankees fan and has been his whole life. His grandpa can tell you anything about New York and the team from the Mickey Mantle days til now. Andrew supplied me with my Yankees garb. You can see I’m rocking the 2009 innagural season at new Yankee Stdium hat as well as a #13 A-Rod jersey. Andrew is wearing a Derek Jeter jersey, his favorite player. For all 20 years of my life and as long as I’ve known Andrew, very close to that 20 years, I’ve harrased him for his Yankee loyalty. But for one day and one day only I was on his side, root root rooting for his team.

At the scheduled gametime of 7pm the white tarp was thrown onto the field. The skies began to look ominous but still no liquid was falling from the sky. I was shocked that the groundscrew would put the tarp out so prematurally, less than ten minutes later they proved themselves correct. Torrential rain would start to pour, we took shelter under the walkway near a concession stand. We bought hot dogs, peanuts and a pop, classic ballpark fare. Andrew made out like a bandit though. The guy working behind the counter at the stand somehow gave him a free pretzel and a pop upgrade to a large. For 10.50 he got a hotdog, large pop, peanuts and a pretzel. I paid that same 10.50 at a cashier down a ways and got a hotdog, peanuts and small pop. Something fishy, but it made matters a little better when we split the pretzel.

There are 2 things I enjoy about the concessions areas at Progressive Field…


The large dinisng areas are prevalent throughout the park and were perfect in last night’s situation. We were able to stay dry and enjoy our meal during the rain delay. Now the brown ballpark mustard is indeed a special creation. You can notice right away that it is not normal mustard. Normal mustard is yellow. This is brown. It is also thicker and tangier. I think it also adds more of a kick. You can only find it in Cleveland and no trip to the Prog is complete without some on a hot dog.

When we were finished eating we looked out at the jumbo tron and saw this glorious sign.

By this time it was nearly 8pm and we ran to the restroom to get paper towels to dry off our seats. The lines were out the door, everybody had teh same goal: dry seats.

We mosied on down to our seats and were surrounded by “fellow” Yankee fans. It’s also fun to have a meet and greet with fellow fans. We sat next to a family who traveled from Buffalo, NY to cheer on their Yanks. Andrew had a fun time discussing personnel issues with teh club and how they will look for the rest of teh season. I just sat back, nodded my head and whispered “Lets Go Bucs” to myself.

We talked to some more Yankee fans throughout teh game and even some Indians fans were cordial to us and we enjoyed talking about Ohio, the Cavs and our drive from Youngstown. Nobody in attendance last nigth was more vibrant than this guy.

Adorning his Mickey Mantle jersey, official white baseball pants, suspenders and cane his blood was Yankeed blue through and through. The entire game he was spouting off facts and figures from Yankee lore. He downgraded Cleveland like it was his job and made New York seem like heaven. Andrew and I got plenty of kicks from him. He reminded me alot of Andrew’s grandpa they way he told stories of former great baseball players such as Al Kaline, Duke Snider, Mickey Mantle and Cool Papa Bell. Many people were annoyed by him but I knew it was all in good fun, he was a real baseball man.

The game itself was rather boring compared to other games I’ve seen live. The final score was 3-1 in favor of NY. The Yankees put guys on base but couldn’t get them across to score. They left the bases loaded twice. Andy Petitte pitched a decent game only giving up one earned. Andrew was concerend in teh 5th inning when the trainers came out to check on him. Nothing has been reported about his condition so I take it he’ll be fine.

The entire lineup for the Yanks was generally booed by the hometown Cleveland crowd. This guy got the most boos by far.

Proper and well deserved? I’d say so. The A-ROID chants were out in full force and a throng of cheers would go up when strikes were thrown on him. What I feel is great about the Yankees though is that for the entire lineup to be acknowldged like that shows how much of an impact they have on the MLB. Everybody knows them, everybody can name them, they are baseball. While its the front office paints a bad picture of the franchise with the spending sprees the on the field guys are first class when in uniform.

One thing that was annoying about last night was these little boogers.

That is indeed a midge. The little bugs that are famous for getting all up in Joba Chamberlains grill must have known the Yankees were in town. They wer eflying all over the place last night. Like little mosquiots I had to brush them off periodically throughout the game. The in-game entertainment crew took advantage of the incident by showign a clip of it on the jumbo tron and when the Tribe was up a graphic that said RALLY MIDGE appeared. A little corny for my liking, I don’t think you should be proud of these nuisances that are invading your stadium.

To close off the game Mariano Rivera came in the game and recorded the save. We were sitting right above the bullpen in right field and seeing Rivera warm up was really cool.

This sign graced the bullpen walls and it kept some people in check. When the Sandman entered the game, the NY fans in my area went bezerk.

A classic New Yorker and future hall of famer.

The game concluded at 11:30 very late but the show still went on. A fireworks show graced teh skies of Northeast Ohio. As a whole very lame compared to a Pittsburgh firweorks show. Sorry to citicize and this is strictly unbiased. In Cleveland it was very structured and the scoreboard got in the way of some of the sparks.

As a whole I must say I found a greater respect for the New York Yankees. They take alot of heat but still are always very loyal. Many fans claim they are front runners, they are not. Many claim they are mearly uneducated, they are not. Yankee fans are a strong breed and a corps that loves their team. The history, the pagentry, the legends are all second to none. 26 World Championships dont lie. That being said….