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Sunday, April 22, 2007


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And great job by management realizing what they had this quickly.

I think it's funny that all the LOHUD clowns can talk about is how mediocre Boston has looked this weekend. I'm not entirely sure what would have had to happen for them to impress, maybe two consecutive routs? Granted, Torre had a lot to do with Friday's win, but even so...

I understand taking solace in the fact that the team losing to Boston isn't really the team it could be. But whatever happened to the old, "You play with the team you have and don't make excuses" meme? I thought injuries were part of the game, and the REAL teams could always just sorta gut through it? All I hear is, "When everyone's healthy, it'll be different," and that's definitely true, because it's April...but it also completely trashes the idea that Boston's 2006 was anything but a promising season ended by injury. Ours just came a few months later then New Yorks did...and lasted a hell of a lot longer.

swiftly and silently he wordlessly incapacitates his foes like the countless samurai warriors in red before him.. but how weird is it that in his delivery he is looking at the ground when the ball reaches the strike zone?

d1, I'm the one who said that, not anyone over at Lohud.

Right now, Boston is the better team. But honestly, not by much. Which is scary considering the Yankees are pretty much playing at 60% of what they'll be at in the future, while Boston is firing on all cylinders.

And while that doesn't really excuse anything - a loss is a loss no matter how you slice it - it certainly gives me hope for the very near future. And would give me pause if I were a SF.

d1: I wrote about that very same topic on my blog, (sorry for the plug). I've noticed an abnormal amount of whining on yankee blogs in this series. I'm used to bluster and egotism, but whining is a new one. Well, live and learn.

Oh. Well, I think I combined that in my head with the "Look how well we hit Schilling and Beckett hooray! Boston's pitching sucks!" crowd.

Couple of things. When Manny Ramirez is sub-200, Boston's not firing at all cylinders. Healthy, yes, but not quite at top form. (Yes, I'm nitpicking) Varitek and Crisp are waking up, though, which is great to see.

Honestly, I don't think this series says a damn thing about where either team is at in relation to each other. It's nice to win, but what exactly is the benchmark we're using? If Boston had turned both these games into laughers, would that put them miles above New York right now? If so, when NY gets healthy, would the two be regarded as equals? If Pettitte had had a rough start, would YF's think he's cooked, or that Boston has his number?

Small sample. Again. Nothing to do for SF's but smile, cheer, and hope Boston's offense is really waking up, while also keeping our collective fingers crossed that Schilling and Beckett will bounce back in their next starts. Meanwhile YF's can pray that Beckett & Schilling's games weren't outliers, that Mo is OK, and...well, that's sorta it, since this really isn't the team you can expect for most of the season. (I guess I might worry a little about Vizcaino and Torre's game management skills, too.)

"Ours just came a few months later then New Yorks did...and lasted a hell of a lot longer."

Not to rehash last year but the whole sox had it worst with the injuries thing is getting a little old too. If you remember we lost our two starting OF who the previous year combined for a total of 67 HR and 239 RBI for basically the whole year. Cano was out about six weeks and there were plenty of injuries to the pitching staff. Loosing Veritek was a huge loss for the Sox but I dont think it can can compare to the losses the yanks had. (I dont want to hear about Manny being "injured" after the 5 game sweep, you guys know what you get from Manny at this point.)

This all said, you gotta win the games you play with who you have. Kudos to the Sox for their wins. Mo blows at least one save to the Sox every year and Papi's bat alone will be good for at least 2-3 Wins vs. the yanks. So these two events happened in the first two games of the season series. I have been happy with how the yanks played the first two games for the most part a few bounces or better ABs and I think we could have won them both. If SFs are happy with how you team played more power to ya.

I dont think its a stretch to for YFs to take solace in the fact that we have been running rookie starters out there and a lineup missing lots of our prime players. There is NO chance you wouldn't be singing the same tune if the Sox lineup was missing 3 of its most important players and you were starting 2 Pawtucket retreads. So save some of the holier than thou stuff for someone else...

It's amusing how YFs dismiss any success by Okajima as being due solely to the Yankees never having faced him before.

Are there any Yankee pitchers in this series with whom the Sox are unfamiliar? Have you been and will you continue to apply this same yardstick to their performance, or will NY fans revise their excuse to fit the situation?

Good point Hudson. Sox fans never ever make excuses for anything. It was to the credit of the sox nation that last year when they finished 3rd not a single fan blamed any of it on injuries.

Okajima has pitched great, Im the first to admit it. That said the season is very young and many pitchers go through stretches where they are unhittable (see vizcaino last week). I think the point about this being the first time players are seeing Okajima is a valid point however. He has a tricky delivery and good stuff. But if you dont think Giambi is gonna be more comfortable facing him next time, I think thats just naive. Thats not to say that Okajima may not make adjustment and continue to perform great either. But look at his first appearance, when he doesnt have his best stuff he is clearly hittable. So you may find it amusing that YFs say what they do but we find it amusing when SFs label him a "Yankee killer" after getting 7 outs in april. Its a long season....

It's all just too much, really.

I dont think its a stretch to for YFs to take solace in the fact that we have been running rookie starters out there and a lineup missing lots of our prime players. There is NO chance you wouldn't be singing the same tune if the Sox lineup was missing 3 of its most important players and you were starting 2 Pawtucket retreads. So save some of the holier than thou stuff for someone else...

So injuries are an excuse if the Sox have them, but a reason if the Yankees have them? So far, Pettitte (not injured) was good, but the Yankees still lost the game after the uninjured bullpen blew up. Yesterday, Josh Beckett shut down the ENTIRE Yankee offense for five innings, including Jeter and A-Rod. Would Posada and Matsui have done much better?

I think it's funny how before the series, the line was: "The Sox pitching hasn't faced the Yankee lineup yet." Now that the Sox have taken the series and largely silenced the Yankee lineup (five non A-Rod runs in two games), the line is: "Wait until we're at full strength!"

As for last year: When you lose both Jeter and A-Rod out of your lineup, Posada and Nieves out of your lineup, lose Pettitte (as well as Mussina, Pavano and Wang), and Rivera out of your bullpen, then you can come back and start comparing your situation to the Sox' last season. I think the Sox gladly would have lost two outfielders over 5/6 of their starters and 5/9 of their lineup, as well as their closer and their backup catcher. You can try to revise history all you want. But thus far, the Yanks have nothing close to the injury problem the Sox had last year, and already we're starting to hear the whines.

(This is largely aimed at the LoHud crowd, I suppose. I should stop reading those game threads).

Question: How is your pointing out the Sox injuries last year any different than YFs pointing out the current Yankee injuries this year?

Also, I repeat, the yankees and the red sox both had extensive injuries last year. Instead of Jeter and Arod, we lost Matsui and Sheff for the entire year! Mo was hurt for most of september. Make what you want of it, its essentially pointless to argue about it, just dont be surprised when YFs bring up our injuries b/c they exist like like it or not.

"5/6 of their starters and 5/9 of their lineup"

Can you explain this please?

Sam YF, you completely dodge the question... How many in the Sox lineup have faced Karstens? Wright? The point is your double-standard.

And in point of fact, I don't recall injuries being used as an "excuse" by Sox fans last year in August. We were almost uniformly angry at and disappointed with our team; we have a long history of being very hard on the same players we root strongly for, due to decades of misery.

A larger point I'd like to raise:

The Yankees have even less reason to complain about injuries than most teams, and here's why: Bomber management has relied heavily in recent years in buying up proven, older stars. It has set itself up for injuries by stocking its lineup and rotation full of top talent, at very high prices.

Such a roster is more likely to produce runs and wins, but it is also more likely to have lots of injuries. That's something you as fans ought to live with, not use as an excuse -- take the bad with the good.

Meanwhile, the Glass Carl Watch from today's Post:

Carl Pavano tossed lightly with Ron Guidry yesterday and told the pitching coach he still feels something in his right elbow area.

"He played catch at 60 feet and still feels it," Torre said of Pavano, who is on the shelf with what's being called a strained muscle. "We will do it again [tomorrow], and when he doesn't feel anything we will send him up on a mound."

Translated: Don't look for Pavano in action for a while.

(five non A-Rod runs in two games)

I hate to point this out, but A-Rod's on the Yanks. He's a part of the line-up. That said, the Yanks have done very well against the vaunted Soc starting pitching. Not so well against its less vaunted bullpen.

And Hudson, the Sox's average starter's age is just as old as the Yanks. They are also set up for injuries (remember last year).

yeah, we're not going to see Pavano pitch again as a Yank.

Paul. What do you want me to say? Okajima is gonna be the best pitcher in baseball this year since he was lights out in 2 appearances against the yankees?
I think he looked great and said as much above. My point is that baseball is a game of adjustments and it remains to be seen if he can maintain it. I said he very well may be able to just that it is too early to call him a " yankee killer" Would you not agree with this?

I seem to remember a different story last year vis-a-vis the discussion of Boston's injuries. There was much discussion of the state of the team's injuries at the end of the year and many comments along the lines of if we werent so banged up we would have made a much stronger run for the playoffs.

To be clear, i and many other YFs am not making excuses for the yankees losses. The sox played well, their bats came alive, and their pen has been fantastic no matter who is in the yankees lineup right now. As a YF i think it is natural for us to think to maybe we do a little better if we have our full squad. That doesnt mean i think we would have won the last two games if we werent facing injuries. Sure there is a population of less educated fans who will blame two losses on injuries but those types are on both sides.

I'm a Yankees fan, maybe BoSox fans won't like it. But I think Boston found the answer, Okajima closes.

Papelbon back to the starting five. If he really does have shoulder problems, it's the perfect way to protect him

Because he is already racking up innings. A very good starter is better that a very good closer. And in Okajima it seems Boston would have a very good closer.

Both teams had players added this year to the teams.

The obvious reason that Mo has the most blown saves against the Sox has been pointed out numerous times. We understand because how often the teams face each other. That same reason is why both these teams have such good results (i.e. Beckett 5 runs yesterday).

Both teams in the series have won games they should have lost and lost games they should have won. Not sure how things would have been if the Yanks had thier full squad, but any win right now that placed distance between us and them I will take.

This weekend could be the difference in the end of the season, not sure if that will be the case, but it is only April and there is a lot more baseball to be played.

5/6 of the starters -- Schilling, Wakefield, Clement, Wells and Lester.

5/9 of the lineup -- Crisp, Ortiz, Ramirez, Varitek, Nixon

I'm pretty sure there was a week when all of those players were out at the same time. Not that it matters anymore for this season. In fact, I think this will be my last comment forever on the Sox' injury situation in 2006.

My point was just that YFs criticized Sox fans for even discussing the Sox' injuries as "making excuses." It's just interesting how the baseball world turns that YFs now are left to discuss how the team will perform if and when its healthy. This apparently is no longer "making excuses"...

The main worry I have is that the Sox have looked great against the Yanks early in the season before (2005 and 2006 both, if I remember right), and struggled at the end (though in both those years, the Sox won the final series of the season). I'll be much happier if we're having this same discussion in September.

Beckett shut down the Yankee offense? Four runs isn't shutting anyone down

I wouldn't say that Beckett shut them down. As was pointed out yesterday he did a good job of shutting down the NASA launch pad of sending homeruns into outer space. That was his major problem last year.

He did manage to retire 14/15 batters in a row yesterday.

Schilling, Manny, and Ortiz never went on the DL last year. Players get banged up all the time, Damon, Jeter, Giambi all missed time last year with injuries. But I digress, last year was last year.

According to you discussion of injuries is "making excuses" Do you not think it was valid for YF to bring up the injuries during this series? Was it valid last year?

No, Sam, according to YFs, discussion of injuries was "making excuses," at least when it was Sox fans doing the discussing.

There's a difference, I think, between making excuses for finishing in third place, and having hope for the future.

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I for one am certainly am not making excuses for the Yankees losing this series, but simply stating that the Sox (and everyone else) should look out when the Yankees have everyone (cept Carla) back. You certainly won't hear me saying "well, the Yankees WOULD'VE done better" or "you can't say the Yankees wouldn't have won the division" at the end of the year if indeed the Yankees lose by a matter of a couple games. That's making excuses for injury. Stating that the Yankee team will be much, much better when everyone is healthy is not.

And Paul according to you YF discussion of injuries is "making excuses" I fail to see the difference.

I just point out again, re. the efforts to talk down Okajima, that Karstens had not faced the Sox before (accodording to the Post, he hadn't faced anyone in the lineup), so in theory he had a big advantage over Beckett in that regard... The same is true of New York's starter today, Wright, as far as I know.

Who's talking down Okajima?

Oh yes, the Yankees definitely had the huge pitching advantage last night's game and this one. They should be embarrassed if they lose because their advantage is so great.

"Beckett shut down the Yankee offense? Four runs isn't shutting anyone down."

Erick, given how daunting the NYY offense is, I'd say four runs is shutting them down.
And I mean that as a compliment.


I've read lots of these posts and skimmed a few others and came to this:

NYY and RS play 18 times this year. We've all been around long enough to know that these games and series stand on their own merit. They are what they are, to reference BB. Injuries, luck, whatever. April games are April games. Wins are wins. Losses are losses.

Last year, NYY humiliated RS is a five-game series. What did I learn? That Theo didn't have a team built to win when it mattered. You have to factor in injuries because everybody deals with injuries. When the RS injuries mounted, they were less prepared and able to overcome them than the NYY. It is what it is.

What I know today is that the RS are 2-0 vs. NYY with 16 games to go. There's a lot of baseball to be played and there's a lot of analysis to be overanalysisized.

"Stating that the Yankee team will be much, much better when everyone is healthy is not."

Andrew, of course, recognizing that the Yanks will be better once the injury bug passes is not "making excuses," It's a statement of fact. But what if the Yanks don't get healthy? What if Mo gets a tired shoulder, Pettitte takes a line drive off a knee, Damon breaks his index finger, Melky breaks a hamate, Proctor has back issues, Posada's knee gives out, Wang gets back issues, Mussina has back issues, Abreu has an elusive knee injury, Matsui has back problems, Arod gets heart palpitations and Hughes gets cancer? Wouldn't your above statement fact shift very easily into "the Yankee team would be much, much better if everyone was healthy"?

And, no, Walien, I still haven't started drinking.

Tyrel, if all of those situations occurred that would be horrible. But what use is it in wondering if games would be different if someone weren't injured? It's even more useless than wondering what would have happened if Minky was playing closer to the line Friday night, or if Crisp's down-the-line triple went foul.

What happened, happened, and whining that injuries hampered the team's success is silly. The games are there to be played, and once they are played there's no changing them. You don't get second chances or replays now that your players are healthy. You play with the team that you've got. And the difference is that analyzing games or extended periods of time where key players were injured after they've occurred, and saying that they somehow matter less, or don't really count because the team wasn't playing with their full squad, is a lot different than what Yankee fans are saying, where these games certainly matter just as much as later ones, but even if they get swept tonight, this most likely the team that isn't GOING to be playing for the majority of the season.

It's the difference between sighing about past games lost, and being excited for the future, when the team will be even better.

And if everyone gets injured, and the Yankees can't overcome it, well, then that's what happened, and that's what the players did. I know that, with the exception of Griffey (because if he wasn't snakebitten...just wow), that I don't discount players' injured seasons when judging their past performance. The injuries are part of the player's career. You don't get in the HOF based on what people think you could have done.

"And if everyone gets injured, and the Yankees can't overcome it, well, then that's what happened, and that's what the players did."

OK. the end of the season, there won't be even one instance of, "Man, wonder what might have been if W, X, Y, and Z had stayed healthy?"

No one is saying YF's can't look at this series and be optimistic for the rest of the season, because, well, injuries are pretty significant right now. But that's the EXACT same thing as Boston fans seeing last season and looking forward to this one; the time frames are just different.

First off neither the Sox or Yankees can ever make the excuse that injuries kept them from winning. That's a luxury that neither team has. There is too much money invested in both teams. Regardless of the amount of injuries, we can never make the excuse that we would have won if....

This has been a very interesting series, no excuses from this Yankee fan, just disappointment in some moves and the performances of certain players. By no means am I worried though. So mattymatty (I would rather read the back of a pasta box then your blog) and you Sox fans can say whatever you'd like, go ahead you have every right, this weekend at least.

As for Okajima, he looks good thus far. Definitely will be an improvement over what was there last year, but by no means does he strike fear in my heart.

"But that's the EXACT same thing as Boston fans seeing last season and looking forward to this one; the time frames are just different."

D1, yes.

Absolutely, D1. Great point.

Sam, I never said YFs were "making excuses." YFs said SFs were doing that when we discussed the injuries last season. Now that the Yankees have a bunch of injuries, it's interesting to see that phrase go away.

I think both sides -- the Sox fans last year and the Yank fans this week -- are just discussing the injuries, their effect on the team, and what the return of those players might mean in the future. There's nothing I can do about the fact that YFs labeled that "making excuses for injuries" in 2006.

SOME YFs. Others were more magnanimous.

From what I understood, Sox fans were discounting the awfully embarrassing failure the Sox had for a team the second half of last season because of injuries. Glad to know that's not the case.

To a point, we blame injuries for what happened, but that was a flawed team from the beginning. I blame injuries for their dropping from second to third, and that's about it; in hindsight, I don't think they were a playoff team. Maybe in the years before the Central got to where it is today, but not last season.

I just read Paul's concession post from last August, and while he mentioned all the injuries, he did say that it can't excuse anything and admitted that the Sox weren't well-constructed to begin with.

I must've been remembering Sox blogs like those on most valuable network or joy of sox, or over the monster, where less level-headed Sox fans reside. Because I didn't see much of what I claimed to remember on this site.

Last year:
Sox fan: our lineup is injured, we will get better when we are healthy
Yanks fan: EXCUSES...quit making excuses for why your team is doing bad

Thsi year:
Yanks fan: We will get better when we are healthy.
Sox fan: quit making excuses...
Yanks fan: i never said it was *looks around nervously*

that sums it up pretty much.

Psst: Before and during The 5-Game-Sweep, both teams were relatively healthy. Well, okay, the Yankees were still without Matsui and Sheffield.

Game 1: Jason Johnson.
Game 2: Jon Lester, just before his cancer diagnosis.

But no, you're right, we were pretty much a healthy club. ;-) Game three Beckett got hammered, games 4 and 5 the bullpen and offense let us down, respectively. Anyway that was a flawed ballclub, as I said, but having Jason Johnson start one game and a rookie a couple weeks away from a cancer diagnosis start the second sure didn't help any.

yeah and sidney ponson started one of those games for the yankees! Both teams were forced into putting some garbage out there due to all of the games in such a short period of time

Hehe, can I counter with Sidney Ponson and Cory (RIP) Lidle?

Jeter and Mo were the MVPs of that series, I'm thinking. If only because of Game IV.

Haha, yeah I guess Ponson balances out Jason Johnson...but Lidle at least had some marginal success that year. ERA wasn't great overall, but he threw some pretty good games against Baltimore, Minny, and Toronto.

If I remember correctly, Damon had a monster series as well.

Other than the last game of that series which was Lidle and Wells with a score of 2-1, the pitching was basically crap for both sides. The scores were 12-4, 14-11, 13-5, 8-5

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