Back to the Bronx

I was in Cleveland, believe it or not. But I went on blog strike for a couple of days. I hope you understand. Just need a couple of days to recharge. We’ll be back at full force here in the second greatest sporting venue in Major League Baseball — Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

I’m curious from you readers: Will you miss Yankee Stadium? Does it matter at all to you that this is the last season of it?

Perhaps I have a different perspective. Before this job, I lived in New York for for baseball seasons (1998-2001) and covered a ton of games here from April through October and I’ve always loved everything about watching a game at Yankee Stadium. It seems strange that we will be across the street next year without all the ghosts and all the tradition.

As for the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, I think Joel Sherman of the NY Post hit a home run with his column today saying that it’s mostly hype these days and not even close to what it was in  2003 and 2004, when we saw two of the greatest ALCS’s of all-time.

I think the teams need to have another ALCS to rekindle this rivalry to its peak, or maybe an AL East race in which the winner advances to the playoffs and the loser goes home,  a la 1978.

On to more current events, the roster move has been made. Alex Cora to the DL and Joe Thurston is here.

Ellsbury is in center tonight as Coco has some soreness in his right leg. He said it’s from all that sprinting in the cold.

I had a leisurely flight from Cleveland this morning, leaving at 11 a.m. while all my colleagues rushed out here on like 7 or 8 a.m. flights. I checked into the Marriott Marquis in Times Square and had a tremendous sushi lunch at a place right in the lobby.

Then, I rode to Yankee Stadium the only way how — The D train — along with Rob Bradford, Michael Silverman and Amalie Benjamin. It’s a gorgeous day in New York.

Play ball:

Here are the lineups:

Red Sox:
Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Ramirez LF
Youkilis 3B
Drew RF
Varitek C
Casey 1B
Lugo SS

Buchholz SP

Yankees
Cabrera CF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
A-Rod 3B
Matsui LF
Posada DH
Giambi 1B
Cano 2B
Moeller C

Wang SP

That’s all for now.

Ian.

37 Comments

I don’t buy that it is mostly hype. Those were playoff series’ so obviously they are going to be even more intense than the regular season. I look forward to and enjoy this series much more than any other series. Two of the best teams going at it, and/or two arch rivals. Some may say that the Sox aren’t an underdog as they were back then, and in some peoples eyes that may take away from the series. But not from my standpoint. It is still great. And will continue to be great.

I will miss Yankee Stadium. One of the greatest places to see a game and all that history. So many great players played there. Also maybe the greatest N.F.L. game ever played took place there. Of course way before my time, LOL.

I think it could be a little hype, Sox and Yankees but it still draws the national audience. I think last September’s Sox–Yankees game on a Sunday Night was the largest in all the years they have been broadcasting games on E.S.P.N. Not only do fans of the Red Sox and Yankees watch but fans of other teams do as well.

I think the best thing about Yankee Stadium closing out is Francona will be the manager of the A.L. during the All Star game this July. Also there will be alot of Red Sox players/coaches on that field as well. Can’t wait for that. That to me is a great way to close out the place, LOL.

Looking forward to see how Bucholtz does in N.Y. tonight. The first couple of innings will be tough for him. Hughes was on the big stage on Sunday Night at Fenway and flopped. I don’t think Bucholtz will. He has alot of confidence as he takes the mound tonight.

If Boston has the same approach tonight as they did last Friday night, they will knock around Wang tonight. I think there was 13 flyball outs that night, alot for Wang. He is usually a groundball pitcher. The Red Sox had alot of good swings against Wang and I expect more of the same tonight.

I agree with you Ian. I think that regardless of how you feel about the Yankees, we all have to agree that every baseball fan has a memory of a Yankee Stadium highlight and we all have to respect the tradition and all the great players that went through that building. But having said that, I hope that starting tonight, the Red Sox win the season series in that ballpark (lets say 6 out of 9), and that will help us all in RSN to have a sweeter memory from Yankee Stadium in years to come!!!

I’ve only been to Yankee Stadium once, when I was a kid, before the remodel. It seemed so huge! If I recall correctly, that was the year Bobby Mercer replaced Mickey Mantle and everyone was all a-buzz about how great he’d be. Quite an experience.
Everything waxes and wanes, the rivalry will be a little subdued, perheps, until the next time the Sox and Yanks square off for an ALCS. Then it will be full-tilt again.
Hope the Sox can take 2. 11 and 6 would be pretty good after all the travel and weariness at the start. Not to mention the interupted spring training. It must have been strange to open the season and then go back to spring training, then have another opener, then have an opener in Fenway.

The stage was too big for Hughes on Sunday night and I think tonight could be the same with Bucholtz.

I thought going into the game the first 2 innings would be tough for Bucholtz tonight but I didn’t think it would be this rough.

Bucholtz needs to settle down and gather himself.

Red Sox had bases loaded and nobody out and didn’t get the ball out of the infield. Sox squandered a chance there. One good thing is Wang’s pitch count is starting to rise. No Chamberlain, there a little thin out there.

Let’s hope Bucholtz will settle down and put that horrendous first inning behind him. I think he will settle down, the kid has some guts.

One of the great memories at Yankee Stadium brings me back to July of 1983. The ” Pine Tar Game “. Tim McClelland was the home plate umpire, the same guy who is behind the plate tonight. That was one crazy incident at Yankee Stadium. A game I will never forget.

Great baserunning by the Red Sox. Abreu and Cabrera have some very good arms but Varitek wasn’t going to be denied. Who says catchers can’t run ? LOL.

Another short outing for a starter, not good.

With some good luck Bucholtz could have gotten out of there without giving up a run. Giambi muscled one in for a hit and Moeller pretty much did the same.

If you can’t throw strikes, you will have problems.

How is this possible? No matter how many runs the sox tag on the Yankees come up with more and then when you think it’s over — the Sox climb back up!
Granted, I’m not complaining at all but it’s pretty darn amazing to me. I think we have two really tired teams in my opinion.

This is another amazing game. I just hope that the next time I check the score, it’s 8 – 7 Red Sox!

What an inning by Boston. Wang couldn’t get anyone out in the 5th. I guess Wang thought it was October, LOL.

I here alot of people talk about how good Ohlendorf is. What good is a 96 m.p.h. fastball if it is not thrown for a strike. Pitching behind in the count will get you in trouble. This Yankee pitching staff is not good. At least the 3rd best in the division.

I think everyone batted for Boston in the 5th except for Ian Browne, LOL.

9 – 6. This is unbelievable. If the Sox can hold the lead — and get more this will be a win. Ya!

What was Lugo thinking ? Then again, was he thinking ?
On the replay it looked like interference by Moeller at second base, there was no way that Moeller could have reached out and touched second. To me that is interference. The Red Sox didn’t argue though, kind of surprised they didn’t.

so if u guys want i can now reveal to u the yankees latest free agent signing….

If we dont come back to win this, I wanna tag Tavarez with two losses.

We really need to rid ourselves of Tavarez. I don’t want to hear any babble about his rubber arm flexibility. Yeah, I know… he can stink in any number of situations… early, late, with the lead, behind, etc… Let’s get Hansen up here.

Dirty bum Tavarez.

tavarEZ single handedly pitched out of that jam in Cleveland and allowed Manny to hit the game winning homer. Also no one else in that bullpen can pitch long relief. We all know that Lester and Wakefield throw 4 great innings then crap out the rest of the way. Tavarez is a great stop gag so as to not waste the entire bullpen on any given night. And last I checked this is probably the best hitting team in the majors, so Tavarez or not the Yankees will probably hit them.

tough loss

o well

nite all ill reveal the identity of yankees new ace later

Ouch! That was UGLY.
We’ll get ‘em tomorrow.

I said it before and I’ll say it again- let’s unload Tavarez, Lugo, Crisp and Lopez. There is no way the Sox will win until we unload this dead wood. What is Francona and Epstein thinking about?? How long do you have to get hit over the head?

The part that I don’t understand is that we always leave our deadbeat relievers in for the full 4 runs. Bullpen is empty… reliever gets completely shelled before Francona brings someone else in. Why not have 2 guys warming when we’re talking about Timlin, Tavarez, Corey, etc.

Rayman,

Just to let you know Brian Corey was designated for assignment last Friday when Timlin came off the D.L.

I would love to know what Timlin’s E.R.A. is vs the Yankees this year? It must be very high. Timlin is showing alot of age out there. He is north of 40 and he has appeared in alot of games over the years and it is showing. I like youth coming out of the pen not players north of 40.

Beckett needs to come up big tonight. At least go 6 innings and perhaps 7 innings. These starters coming up short is going to hurt this team in short-term and the long haul. They better get there act together and soon. If not, this pitching staff will be toast by July. Beckett doesn’t have his stamina/endurance yet but he needs to have some low pitch counts early in this game for him to go deep and stay strong. I don’t think Beckett has his legs yet.

Hopefully,Beckett can give us 6 innings and that Francona doesn’t hesitate to pull him once he looks like he is tiring. Francona has a habit of leaving pitchers in too long and by the time he makes a decision it’s too late. I also feel that he should have people warming up in the bullpen, preferably two at a time, when things begin to look like they are getting out of hand- particularlry against the Yankees. Let’s try to get out of NY with a split.

Did you hear Francona last night. it was the first time he sounded discouraged stating that last year ‘we were more consistent.’ He also said that wins are getting brutal to get. That’s the first time I heard him sound really down and I can’t blaim him. The bullpen is being drained dry with the starters unable to go 4 innings plus. Francona has worn them dry and I know that’s part of the reason that Timlin and Tavarez imploded last night.
In addition the injuries just keep piling up. From the start we had: Crisp, Lugo, Beckett, Timlin, Drew, Lowell, Yuck, Cora, etc. I’m sure Francona is just worn out and the schedule has been brutal. They have not had an easy time since the start of this season. While the others got Tampa Bay, Texas, the Red Sox get New York, Detroit, Toronto, Cleveland.
I think mentally that team is exhausted and discouraged. What do you think?

Dave,

How has Francona worn them dry? His starters don’t go very far in the game. What can Francona do when his starters are done by the 5th? Lester and Dice-K better pick up the pace and soon.

I don’t think the team is mentally discouraged or exhausted. It is April 17th not August 17th. They are going thru a tough time, no doubt but it is way too early too say whether they are mentally discouraged and exhausted. The season has just begun. This team has a nice mix of veterans and some younger players. Injuries are a part of sports. Excuses and more excuses when people start talking about injuries.

That is good to hear bosoxbrian. Sometimes — being a red sox fan since I was 8 — gets me thinking back to those ‘glory’ days of 78, 87, 74, etc where the Sox collapsed on their own weight — I forget this is a different organization and a different management.
I think the Sox will calm down back in Boston facing the Texas Rangers.

Dave…

Dave,

I feel your issues with this team. I am with you, this rotation needs to get guys past the 5th on a consisent basis. That will help the bullpen. Of there is some concern with the bullpen as well. Outside of Papelbon, Okajima, Aardsma and Delcarmen, there is some dead weight in that pen. I would like too see another arm or two out there. Hansen has been pitching very well in Pawtucket so far. I think he’ll be up soon.

I’m sure Francona is frustrated, who wouldn’t be ? One thing I really like about Francona is he does not push the panic button, unlike managers in the past. Francona also sees the bigger picture as well. The guy has won 2 titles, he does a very good job in handling men and treating them like men. There have been so moves he has made and I wonder about them, just like everyone else does.

Random thoughts from sunny Colorado(after yesterday’s snow!):

I think it was the Cleveland announcers that said Tavarez can be abused because of his attitude and “rubber” arm. It’s easy to overwork him. There may be some truth to that. Has anyone tracked how he fares after 2 days rest as opposed to 3 or more? He seemed to have nothing last night and he pitched 2 plus innings in Cleveland. He’s getting older. Also, it is remarkable how he can be so hot and cold. Most people will be either good, bad or mediocre on a consistent basis but not so wildly erratic after, what? 10 years in the majors?

Last night the announcers were saying, half in jest, about how the baseball scheduler makers are trying to even the field by giving Boston and the Yanks(to a lesser extent) difficult schedules. The NFL does it, maybe baseball is following suit.

I was worried after last season that the Sox were due for their share of injuries this year, and that may be the challenge Tito has to deal with. He’s a master at managing a baseball team, so if anyone can deal, it’s him. I’m hoping Colon can get it together soon. Take some pressure off the young guys.

Lastly, they’ll be fine, I really think so. There is just too much talent on this team for them to be a total bust this year. They’ll be successful, you’ll see.

PS, I’m liking Aardsma more and more.

Aardsma is staring to pitch like a real set-up man in early April. But don’t get your hopes up. Last April he was superb and struggled the rest of the year. He even went to Triple-A.The people on Wednesday Night Baseball got it wrong.
Aardsma didn’t sign with Boston

Beckett’s got to step up tonight. He’s the ace, he knows that, and he has to pitch tonight like it’s a playoff game. Give the pen a rest. Hopefully he’s in shape now.

If Beckett can get some low pitch counts early, he could finish the 7th. Beckett has had some issues at Yankee Stadium since joining the Red Sox. I have total confidence in Beckett tonight and who wouldn’t ? Mussina is on the hill and I can see Boston finishing his night early. Sox hit some hard ones off of him the other day and he had some luck on his side, not tonight. Just ask Wang about Boston’s hitters, his neck is sore today. Ortiz will go deep tonight, I can feel it in my bones.

“I don’t what you wrote on your post here. It makes no sense to me. Please explain if you can. Thank you. “
Brian,
Not sure which one you’re having trouble with. Try me at RobertGKramer@AOL.Com.

Kramer,

The post you said timing is everything, if your wife is Catholic. I have no clue what that means. Let me know.

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