Giddy up now ….
by tophatal ….
Well, the baseball season is now entering its final phase and the remaining 60 plus games on the teams’ schedules . And yes, there have been one or two surprises along the way, along with the inevitable plotlines we have come to expect each year . The New York Yankees remain the ever-present resourceful powerhouse they have always been . Joe Girardi and his team are now content to ride out the rest of the season , merely playing .650 ball or better , while the rest of the AL East simply plays catch-up.
Slide show .
On Sunday , the Yankees wasted no time in shutting down the Seattle Mariners in a totally lopsided game , coming away with a 6-2 victory over the Mariners . Brian Cashman’s latest acquisition to the rank and file members of this All Star roster , is none other than Ichiro Suzuki . And while there have been idiotic statements being made, that the player is having a down year , statistically . I would say this, to all of the doubters, 85% of the players within the game could only wish to have the career , that this future Hall of Famer has achieved . Let’s put into context , since being acquired by the New York Yankees , Ichiro has been on a twelve game hitting streak and there appears to be no signs in abatement in his or that of the team’s prolific productivity this season .
The New Yankees now travel to Comerica Park , home to the Detroit Tigers , who currently sit 1 ½ games behind the Chicago White Sox (59-48) , who at present lead the AL Central. Jim Leyland’s team , if they are to have any hope of winning the division or perhaps be in with a chance of attaining a wildcard berth , will need to be victorious in this three-game series that begins with today’s game . Taking the mound for the Yankees will be Ivan Nova (10-5, 4.53 ERA) , who will face Justin Verlander (11-7, 2.63 ERA) . In the teams’ head-to-head series this season the Yankees currently maintain a 4-2 lead over the AL rivals.
As prolific as the two teams’ offenses are said to be , I expect this series to also be about the strengths of the pitching staffs in question. Both the Tigers and Yankees are in the upper echelons of baseball’s team pay scales as it relates to their respective rosters . Brian Cashman and his opposite number Dave Dombrowski have not been afraid to spend , as and when necessary , and it has been this sort of “ capricious spending “ that in recent years has a number of teams teetering on the brink of financial disaster . However, you would be hard pressed to convince a number of fans of that fact, even when the evidence is there right in-front of their very eyes . Word of advice to Bud Selig and the paeans who are his subordinates ……… for Christ’s sake pull your heads out of each others’ ass and do something in terms of a sound fiscal policy as it relates to your franchises !
Postseason ambitions, as it relates to the New York Yankees is not solely based on making the postseason but actually winning the god-damn World Series . And if I hear another asinine word about teams building for the future when during their history , when ball-clubs such as the Kansas City Royals , Houston Astros and Pittsburgh Pirates have simply shown an aversion to even being remotely competitive . The Pirates for all of the results achieved this season, are but an Andrew McCutchen slump away from seeing their year spiral out of control . And the less said about the Astros and Royals are present , the better off , I actually feel !
At this point , clearly the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers are by far the best teams in the AL , and that is reflected in the teams’ standings within their respective divisions and by their overall statistics .
Should both the Rangers and Yankees meet at some point during the postseason , preferably however , with the AL pennant on the line . Then we may well have one of the more exciting match-ups when it comes to ALCS in recent history The two teams have met on three occasions this season with the Rangers , now holding a 3-1 lead in their series’ match-ups . . Two successive seasons of having fallen short in winning the game’s biggest prize, has left the Texas Rangers’ front office simply bewildered . On each occasion Ron Washington’s teams were slightly favored but somehow they found a way to blow leads or just under-perform when it mattered most . In 2010 , the Rangers were sent packing by the San Francisco Giants in a rather lopsided 4-1 series loss . While , in 2011 , it became the St Louis Cardinals’ turn to expose the flaws in Ron Washington’s team once again . And as inconceivable as this might sound , should that particular scenario raise its head once again , are you be of the opinion that the Texas Rangers , this team , in their present guise will actually win ?
—- Mike Trout ! Look , let’s get something clear , Bryce Harper is good but Mike Trout is even better ! Trout , drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 2009 MLB Draft , has risen up the ranks within their organization and had his first taste of the Majors in 2011 . However, it has been this season where the young sensation has proven his worth to the Angels and be one of the inspiring stories within game this year . Harper , drafted number one overall in the 2010 MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals , while having an exceptional season with his team, he has not been asked to bear the burden of having to lead their offense .
Mike Trout has simply distinguished himself this season with his all-round game . In doing so, he has played his part in making the Angels , an ever-present danger to the Texas Rangers within the AL West . He certainly has to be seen as one of the leading candidates for the AL Rookie of the Year , in 2012 . While many might favor Bryce Harper over his AL counterpart as the best rookie in the game today , I would suggest that Mike Trout has a slight advantage over Harper ! Trout leads the AL in batting average , posting a .346 average , with 19 home runs and 58 RBI’s . Bryce Harper by comparison has posted the following stats in 2012 , .260 BA, 10 HR’s , 30 RBI’s , 57 runs and 13 stolen bases . Intangibles yes , they actually do count for a great deal and so too does maturity , and the skill-set shown on the field of play. What is and will become abundantly clear , is the very fact that upon both becoming free agents it may well take a king’s ransom to re-sign both players to their respective teams , the Los Angeles Angels (team payroll) and Washington Nationals (team payroll) .
Fate could play a twist in the impending futures of both of these young players but I would like to think that for now , both Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are enjoying every minute of their experience of playing baseball in the “Big Leagues” !
This just in , Bobby Valentine is not that good a manager ! And it has now taken the Boston Red Sox —- front office almost two-thirds of their 162 schedule to figure this bull#hit out ! I will say this for Ben Cherington , he may well have felt it a humbling experience to succeed Theo Epstein but he has shown me that apart from hiring Valentine , with the “final approval” coming from team President Larry Lucchino , the along with the entire front office they have not got a god-damn clue as to what they are actually doing ! The Boston Red Sox general manager has for all sense and purpose presided over the biggest cluster-f#ck within that organization, since the events of last September . Anyone who in their right mind , who felt that a team having gone 7-21 in the final month of the regular season , would still be a credible contender in the postseason . Well my advice for those individuals , would be to “ seek life elsewhere “ by resorting to laying in a fetal position and sucking on a thumb or whatever bodily appendage that makes you feel happy .
This season the Red Sox have simply been an abomination and just everything else you would care imaginable . Dissention within the ranks of the players , and with their being about as maturity being shown as envisioned from a Kardashian sister in a room filled with haute-couture designer clothes . Which reminds me, has Kanye posted a porn video of him ‘boning’ Kim, as of yet ? Inquiring minds need to know, in order that we might judge the aesthetic value of her first performance against her second such , endeavor . At (54-55 ) the Red Sox are barely playing .500 ball , and things are liable to get much worse as their season meanders towards its inevitable end . It is highly unlikely that Valentine will be fired but there is every certainty that this roster will be gutted at the culmination of the season. The vultures are already hovering over Fenway Park , with many of them now said to be defecating on the “ Green Monster “ , and the signs are not really encouraging at this juncture . Any thoughts on what you believe would be a fitting requiem for the Red Sox’s season ?
There are many things that we can take away from this baseball season and there also some very ominous signs that are not too encouraging . There is a tremendous group of very young players in the game , who are contributing to the efforts of their respective teams . To the game’s detriment , well Bud Selig is still clinging to power and even he , is unwilling to step into the light and make use of the technology at the game’s disposal , while the umpires ( officials) continue to make complete idiots of themselves , concerning their on-field decisions .
Picture gallery .
What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? Chime in with a comment as you see fit .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) Home plate umpire Angel Campos , top right, watches as New York Yankees catcher Chris Stewart, left, tags out Seattle Nariners’ Jesus Montero at the plate in the first inning of their baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. AP Photo/Kathy Willens ….. .
(2) New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter , left, congratulates Ichiro Suzuki after Ichiro ‘doubled’ in the seventh inning of their 6-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners in their baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …
(3) Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen (22) is congratulated by third base coach Nick Leyva (16) after McCutchen hit a solo home run off Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Logan Ondrusek in the ninth inning during a baseball game, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Cincinnati. The Pirates won 6-2 . AP Photo/David Kohl …
(4) WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 03: Bryce Harper (34) of the Washington Nationals against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park on August 3, 2012 in Washington, DC. The Nationals would defeat the Marlins 7-4 . Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images …
(5) Bryce Harper (34) of the Washington Nationals hits a home run in the eighth inning — against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park on August 4, 2012 in Washington, DC. Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images …
(6) CHICAGO, IL – AUGUST 04: Alexei Ramirez (10) of the Chicago White Sox forces out Mike Trout (27) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the fourth inning on August 4, 2012 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by David Banks/Getty Images …
(7) Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout (27) is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a solo home run against the Detroit Tigers in the sixth inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Thursday, July 19, 2012. AP Photo/Paul Sancya …
(8) Boston Red Sox’s Carl Crawford (13) is welcomed to the dugout by manager Bobby Valentine, bottom center, after he was brought home on a two-run home run by Adrian Gonzalez in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park, in Boston, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. The Red Sox won 6-4 . AP Photo/Steven Senne …
(9) (L-R) President and CEO of the Red Sox Larry Lucchino , Executive Vice President and General manager Ben Cherington , Bobby Valentine and Principal Owner John Henry attend a press conference announcing Valentine as the new manager of the Boston Red Sox during a press conference at Fenway Park on December 1, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. Getty Images / Elsa Martinez …
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