After watching the Yankees fall behind 6-1, and bored, I went channel surfing. No college championship (rain) and an uninspired Mets, losing again to the Nationals, I eventually settled for women’s fast pitch. Forty minutes later, I return to the game to find the Yanks down 7-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth before coming back and snapping the Rangers' four-game winning streak. Yes, you’re reading right. Our hapless Yankees snapped a three-game losing streak with their largest comeback of the season. A 9-7 walk off win!
In danger of falling 10 games behind AL East-leading Baltimore, the Yankees began their comeback when Brian McCann hit a solo homer off Cesar Ramos in the 8th. Rob Refsnyder starts the 9th with a single off reliever Matt Bush, Jacoby Ellsbury walked and the Rangers go to their closer Sam Dyson who had saved 16 of 17. Brett Gardner singled and Refsnyder came home when center fielder Ian Desmond bobbled the ball for an error. After Alex Rodriguez lined out, McCann homered again, into the right-field bleachers, Starlin Castro walked and Gregorius lined the ball into the right-field seats for his first career game-ending homer. I’m thinking, did this really happen?
I’m trying not to get duped by this moment of sizzle or the one last week when Starlin Castro ended the game. They are still 1 game under .500 and 9 games out. I still say if this win doesn’t kick-start a true turnaround they must consider putting up those for sale signs.
Pat Summitt who built the University of Tennessee's Lady Volunteers into a perennial power on the way to becoming the winningest coach in the history of major college basketball, died yesterday. Her death came 5 years after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. She was 64. In her 38 years at Tennessee, Summitt won eight national titles and 1,098 games -- the most by any Division 1 basketball coach, male or female. She was probably more responsible for ushering women's basketball into the spotlight, more than anyone else. And she did it not by playing by the old, demure, ladylike rules of women’s sports, but by crashing the boys’ sports party.
The always colorful and brash Buddy Ryan died Tuesday at age 85 after leaving his mark across the NFL. He was a linebackers coach for the Super Bowl champion Jets in 1968, and the mastermind behind the innovative "46" defense in Chicago, a scheme built solely on the premise of traumatizing quarterbacks. It helped the Bears win the 1985 Super Bowl. Later in his career, he went on to become head coach at Philadelphia and Arizonia. He often argued with other coaches he worked with. Buddy Ryan was an innovator, a motivator, an incinerator. Just ask Kevin Gilbride.
Casual college baseball fans probably never heard of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers before this week. This little known mid-major forced college baseball to take notice. They aren’t the first small school to make it to the College World Series, but they are the smallest to make the finals. Smaller than the other mid-major, Fresno State, who won it all in 2008, the Chanticleers (54-18) from Conway, South Carolina, will play the winner-take-all game for their school's first national championship in any sport against perennial power house Arizona who have won 4 national titles. If you’re debating whether to watch the Yankees or Mets, or tonight’s final, it’s a no brainier. Exciting old school baseball, college style. Oh, one more thing…What’s a Chanticleer?
It was a very long day in the Bronx yesterday. It started in the afternoon with the announcement that A Rod would not be in last night’s line up and probably not against most right hander’s in the weeks to come. It ended at 2:33 this morning with a shocking 9-6 loss to the Texas Rangers, thanks to the Yankee bullpen. Well, maybe not so shocking.
The start of the game was delayed over 20 minutes. I must have missed something because I never heard a reason. There was no tarp on the field and it never actually rained till the 5th inning. It was a night in which neither starting pitcher had it as the clubs traded leads in the early going. The Yanks had 15 hits, including three each from Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira and Didi Gregorius. The the rains came in the 5th, but they played through it. And it got heavier and they played thru it. Now Im wondering when they are going to stop it.
After Texiera hit a homer in the 7th, Dellin Betances pitched, striking out one. Andrew Miller struck out three in the eighth but allowed Odor’s 14th homer, a one-out shot into the second deck in rightfield that made it 6-5. The rain got heavier as Aroldis Chapman starts the 9th. Still no stoppage of play. Chapman throws the ball all over the place and walks the first batter he faces. With a 3-and-1 count on Shin-Soo Choo, Joe Giardi jumps out of the dugout and convinces the umps to put the tarp on the field. Ranger manger Jeff Banister gets into it with the umps, the tarp remains and the rain continued . . . and continued . . . and continued.
Play resumes at 2:15 a.m after a 3-hour, 35-minute rain delay. Kirby Yates, comes out of the pen with on with one on and none out in the ninth and the Yankees leading, hits three batters in the inning and allows two-run singles by Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus. The Rangers win and extend the American League’s best record to 50-27.
Ok, so the Yankees find another way to lose. But I’m wondering why the umpires allowed the game to continue during the last 3 innings, during what was almost a downpour. There was water all over the place and it was obvious that the players were struggling with something as simple as throwing the ball, or running. Now, if it was the last time these two teams were facing each other for the season, I could understand their reasoning to continue play and try and complete the game, but it wasn’t. While Im not blaming them for the loss, they certainly contributed to the poor conditions that helped the Yankees find another way to lose.
I know. You’re tired of me repeating it over and over…One step forward, 2 steps back. But thanks to Nathan Eovaldi and again, the lifeless Yankee offense. The Yankees lose to the Twins and fail to go 2 games over .500. Tyler Duffy (who?) had a no hitter going into the 6th inning, held the pathetic Yankee offense to just 2 hits. Given a chance to climb those two games above for the first time in two months, the Yankees were instead the first team all year to let the Twins hit more than four home runs in a game this year. Actually they hit 6 home runs. 3 back to back to back.
Duffey had been one of the worst pitchers in the majors this year but made the Yankees (37-37) look completely inept, giving up one run on two hits in eight innings, while Nathan Eovaldi continued his horrible June by falling apart in the sixth inning, during which he gave up four runs on those three homers. If there was any good news, it was the fact that Mark Texiera homered. His first since April 13th.
The Yankees just finished an extended stretch against some of the worst teams in baseball. Yet they could only manage a 6-5 record, and now one of the best is coming to the Bronx for a four-game series. The Rangers, owners of the best record in the AL at 49-27, will be in town this week. A Ranger sweep is very possible. If so, don’t be surprised if there is an emergency meeting of the Yankee brass.
Let’s face it, this team is mediocrity defined. Baseball’s trade deadline is five weeks away, and there still seems to be a real chance the Yankees will be putting up For Sale signs.
It’s no secret that WFAN hosts Mike Francesca and Craig Carton aren’t best buddies. In fact, they don’t like each other. We had a reminder of that on Thursday. Francesca mistakenly reported on his Wednesday show that Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler suffered a torn UCL. He went on and on how bad the injury will affect the Mets season. Francesca (on the air) asked his staff to confirm the information once he was questioned about its accuracy from a caller. As it turned out he saw a report on SNY that was actually from last year. Carton and Boomer Esiason mocked Francesa for the mistake on their show Thursday morning.
Francesa is so brash that he didn’t want to believe it was an old report. He kept questioning it and it comes across quite hilariously. The morning hosts played the clip, making fun of the mistake which was later cleared up by Francesca’s producer. On Francesca’s Thursday show, the host barked back claiming that Boomer and Carton are jealous of him and remarking (in typical Francesca fashion), “I never paid attention to them since the day they’ve been here”. Did you expect anything else?
Late last year, rumors swirled he was unhappy with management at WFAN over no longer being handed preferential treatment due to the rising success of the “Boomer and Carton” show. This past January he announced he was retiring from the FAN. While announcing his departure, he claimed “At the end of 2017, there will be no more FAN, I promise.” The soon to retire wind bag clearly has no sense of humor and has had many other conflicts with other on air personalities. Just ask Michael Kay, Rick DiPietro, Keith Olbermann and of course Boomer and Carton.
While being teamed up with Chris Russo, and on his own, his ratings were always good, but both YES and FOX both dumped his simulcasts. It wasn’t his fault, it was theirs, just ask him. After so many years of him insulting, arguing, hanging up on callers, and bashing anyone he considered a threat, his soon to be retirement will be a welcomed change. Francesca has long been accused of being smug, condescending, arrogant, self-absorbed and self-serving. I couldn’t agree more.
Starlin Castro hit a 9th inning home run to cap off a come from behind-walk off much needed 9-8 win over the Rockies. Amongst the cheers from the crowd were some boos.The boos were for the struggling Alex Rodriquez. A-Rod struck out three times Wednesday. He did have a single. He continues to fail in big spots, yet Joe Giardi still bats him in the 4th or 5th spot in the line-up. For the season he is batting .215 with 34 hits and 50 strikeouts. His slugging percentage is .399, and his on-base percentage is at .259. Rodriguez has 25 RBIs in his 42 games. He’s no longer getting it done.
The 35-36 Yankees have put themselves in such a hole that they cannot wait forever for Rodriguez to produce. Over his last 9 games, Rodriguez is batting .187 with one home run and four RBIs. He is smack in the middle of this frustrating season. He must produce for the team to have any chance at success, but he is long past his prime. A Rod is not just hurting the team at the plate. Because he is essentially limited to the designated hitter role, the Yankees cannot put Beltran at the DH spot, where he belongs. Not in the outfield where he has hurt them defensively. Continuing to play him every day makes one believe their success depends too heavily on a “past his prime” once superstar with two hip surgeries.
The soon to be 41 year old is just 5 home runs away from 700. Maybe that’s the reason he plays every day. Is that historic accomplishment more important than winning to the Yankees? In my opinion, leaving him in the middle of the line-up on a daily basis will just make the team sellers sooner than later. When Rodriguez retires, baseball will lose one of the most polarizing figures in sports history, but right now he is a major reason why the Yankees aren’t winning.
The Yankees just can't seem to find a way to beat the Rockies. Subpar starting pitching, sloppy defense, wild pitches, passed balls, poor base running, it went on and on. An ugly game and another loss. 8-4. Not a great way to start the homestand.
No need to detail this one. It was an awful game to watch. But it did accomplish one thing. It proved without a doubt that Ivan Nova does not belong in the starting rotation. Problem is the Yankees don’t seem to want to bring Lois Severino, their best viable option, back up from the minors. Since being demoted, Severino has pitched really well for the RailRiders. Since joining the Triple-A rotation, Severino is 3-0 with a 2.52 ERA and looking like the pitcher everyone thought he was. But for some reason the Yankee brass doesn’t think he’s ready for another go at it in the bigs right now. Something tells me we’ll see another Nova start…ugh!
Offensively, the Yankees did manage to put together 10 hits, but they went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Alex Rodriguez did drive in a run in the bottom of the 1st on a ground ball double play and Didi Gregorius scored on a fielding error in the 2nd to make it 4-2. An A-Rod sac fly scored another run in the 5th and Didi tripled home the final run in the 6th. That was it.
So here we are, basically in the same place we were last week. Struggling just under .500 with an opportunity to get some wins against weak teams. And again we begin the week with another loss. I know in a recent post I pleaded not to give up the ship, but the ship continues to take on water. If we don’t plug up the leaks real soon, the ship is going to sink.
I like lists. Sports league rankings are lists. Rankings are different then standings. My rankings are done by a combination of performance, standings and a gut feeling. Nothing too scientific. So each week I update my rankings. Since it’s baseball season, I rank the MLB teams. In the fall it will be football. Again, just for fun and conversation. The only thing missing is your opinion. If you disagree or agree, give me your opinion. Now this week’s…
This week's rankings look fairly similar at the top. The Chicago Cubs remain the unanimous No. 1 team for the 10th straight week, with no signs of slowing down. The Giants come off a long win streak and the Rangers are the best team, no one is talking about. The Blue Jays were surging till they went to Baltimore this past weekend, and then there is the New York Mets…swept at home by the lowly Braves.
Look to the right. What do you think??
For the first time in NBA history, a team has come from a 3-1 deficit to win the Championship. That team would be the LeBron James led Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s the first time in 52 years that a Cleveland team has won a major sports title. James scored 27 points, collected 11 rebounds, delivered 11 assists, blocked three shots and had two steals…his seventh Finals triple-double as the Cavaliers defeated the Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 on Sunday. He was named Finals MVP for the third time in his career, averaging 29.7 points.
It was the first game of the series that wasn’t a decisive win. In other words it was close with the lead changing hands over 20 times. The Warriors did mange an 8 point lead, but the Cavs came charging back and it went down to the wire. Kyrie Irving, hit a 3-pointer with 53 seconds remaining and gave the Cavaliers the lead and the improbable title.
James was drafted by the Cavaliers to bring a title to a championship-starved city. He left the city, went to Miami and won two titles with the Heat. Returned to the Cavs. Lost to Golden State in the 2015 Finals. Found himself and teammates down 3 games to 1. Finally…when the final whistle blew, James collapsed on the court and openly wept. He had led his team, beating the seemingly invincible Warriors for the 2016 championship.
James shaped his legacy with a series of Hall of Fame performances in the Finals. He is now 31 years old with three NBA titles to his name, and in my opinion, has to be considered in the conversation about the best who ever played in the NBA. Now I know why they call him “King James”
You may have thought I didn't see,
Or that I hadn't heard,
Life lessons that you taught to me,
But I got every word.
Perhaps you thought I missed it all,
And that we'd grow apart,
But Dad, I picked up everything,
It's written on my heart.
I miss watching sports with you,
I miss the debates we had
If you were still here with me
My memories wouldn’t be so sad
Whenever I was in trouble,
You always have a plan.
You were far from perfect,
But I was your biggest fan!
What Is This?
It's a somewhat tongue in cheek OPINIONATED sports blog that promises to cover baseball, football, hockey, basketball, and any other INTERESTING, stupid, and absurd STORY related to sports.
All comments and opinions welcome.