Friday, July 30, 2010

We Need a Hero

We’re aware that after two straight wins, that you probably think that this blog will be dedicated to begging AJ Burnett to come back to us, but you’d be wrong. We’re not that easy. It’s going to take more than 2 straight well-pitched games for us to forgive him for his inconsistencies. We know that he’s a good pitcher. We wouldn’t have dated him otherwise. He needs to prove that he’s reliable in order for us to take him back. That’s the point. We don’t want to spend our lives with a man who’s going to make us happy one minute and disappoint us the next. In light of his inconsistencies, we asked you what you thought AJ’s problem was. We care about him and want to get to the bottom of this so that he finds happiness. 4 of you sounded off. 2 people think that Dr. Phil is the answer, 1 person thinks that a Rock of Ages Circle Line cruise around Manhattan will cure his woes (and who wouldn’t enjoy a Rock of Ages cruise? C’mon), and 1 a-hole (who we’re wagering is an ex-employee of ours) seems to think that AJ’s malfunction has to do with us writing him letters. Well, guess what, jerk off? We wouldn’t have had to write that letter had he lived up to society’s accepted boyfriend standards.

Since we know you’ve been dying to find out, we must say that Winkie is handling this whole change heroically. Granted, he’s insisted on sleeping on AJ’s side of the bed every night, but we feel strongly that once he becomes acclimated to AJ’s absence, he’ll utilize more of the bed. And we’ll admit that when we watched AJ pitch against the Indians the other night, Winkie’s meows were a little sadder than usual whenever AJ’s face was shown on the television screen, but it’s only natural that he misses his daddy. He’ll get over it, especially since we’ve planned a weekend sleepover for him at daddy’s new apartment during the next Yankees’ homestand. His coping ability at such a young kitten age qualifies him as TBB Super Hero of the Week. Even though AJ and the TBB are in the middle of a rough patch, we’re confident that AJ will be proud of his little fur ball man.

Just 6 days before the trade deadline, the Angels acquired Dan Haren from the Diamondbacks in exchange for pitcher Joe Saunders, 2 minor league pitchers and a player to be named. During his first start as an Angel, Haren was forced to leave after his right forearm was hit by a Kevin Youkilis line drive. According to team doctor, Craig Milhouse, Haren has a bruised right forearm.

The Rays’ Matt Garza threw the 5th no hitter of the season in their 5-0 rout of the Tigers. It’s the first no hitter of the franchise. Earlier this year, two of the no-hitters thrown were perfect games against the Rays.

Rockies’ closer, Huston Street bruised the right side of his abdomen when he was hit by a line drive during batting practice on Tuesday. He was taken off the field by ambulance and transported to an ER for further examination. According to head trainer, Keith Dugger, Street passed out “2 or 3 times” and had ringing in his ears. One would think that this injury occurred while Street was on the mound, but it didn’t. In a weird turn of events, the ball hit off of Ian Stewart’s bat nailed Street while he’d been warming up in right field. Street also complained of pain down his right leg and stomach discomfort. Stomach discomfort? That’s putting it mildly. We’re thinking with all of his injuries lately, he might need to be put in a bubble. His availability is listed as day to day, but Street claims he’s ready to pitch. Easy, boy. You can’t go from fainting and ringing ears to Super Closer.

Wednesday was very exciting in the baseball market. The Dodgers traded for outfielder Scott Posednik from the Royals. Presumably this move is to make up for the fact that both Manny Ramirez and Reed Johnson are out without a definite time frame for their return. In exchange for Posednik, the Royals received top catching prospect, Lucas May and Class A pitcher, Elisaul Pimental.

Just prior to game time (literally. According to YES Network’s Kimberling Jones, during batting practice Peralta had no idea he was about to be traded), the Indians traded Jhonny Peralta to the Tigers for minor-league LHP Giovanni Soto. Peralta is expected to take over third base duties while Brandon Inge is on the DL with a broken left hand. He’s still an a-hole for spelling his name incorrectly.

A’s pitcher Ben Sheets is out for the season due to a torn flexor in his right elbow. So much for the A’s contending for the western division.

Roy Oswalt accepted his proposed trade to the Phillies on late Thursday. He waived his no-trade clause in order to be dealt for LHP J.A. Happ and 2 prospects, outfielder Anthony Gose and shortstop Jonathan Villar. Oswalt has been with the Astros organization for 10 years. It will be extremely strange to see him in a Phillies uniform. We still haven’t adjusted to Roy Halladay in a red uniform!

The Orioles got busy yesterday as well! In addition to hiring Buck Showalter as manager, they shipped Miguel Tejada off to the Padres in exchange for Double-A RHP Wynn Pelzer.

Reviewing the extensive list of moves and injuries, one has to wonder why the three wealthiest teams in baseball (are you listening, Mets, Red Sox, Yankees?) have done absolutely nothing. It’s not like they don’t need it. The Red Sox are practically crippled by injuries, whereas both the Mets and Yankees lost a starting pitcher to injuries (we’re not even including the meltdown that Oliver Perez experienced). Thankfully, for the Yankees, Andy Pettitte is expected to return within a month or so (at this point in the season, a month puts us at the end of August, prime playoff contention time), but the Mets seemed to have lost John Maine indefinitely…not that he did much while he was here. The Tigers are another team plagued by injuries, but they’re at least making business decisions to improve their situation (i.e. Jhonny Peralta). While AJ’s had two good starts in a row, it means nothing in the grand scheme. This entire season has highlighted his tendency toward inconsistent pitching. We know that we sound like dogs with a bone in regards to this topic, but when it’s true, it’s true! Without Andy Pettitte’s reliability (plus, the man’s no spring chicken in the baseball world and the older you get, the more difficult it becomes to bounce back from injuries), we’re concerned for the stamina of the Yankees’ pitching rotation. Even if they make it to the post season, it’s not enough. You still have to be able to perform and compete. No one wants to make it to the playoffs only to be steamrolled, especially when you have a collective salary as high as the Yankees.

In addition to pitching, Lisa’s hoping that the Mets follow the Orioles’ idea and shank their manager. Or fire him. Whichever’s fine as long as Jerry Manuel is no longer running the SS Mets. It’s not too late to hire Serena. She’s still willing to take the helm and right the ship. Okay, no more nautical references.

The fact that the Mets desperately need help and that they’ve done nothing to get it is extremely troubling. It’s like the ownership doesn’t care. It’s not even just this season when the Mets need it the most. The team’s business decision makers have sat on their laurels long enough while the Phillies and Braves work hard to become stronger competitors each off season. It’s become clear that Johan Santana cannot win the NL East alone. Contrary to popular belief, he actually needs a team to back him. He’s not Jesus, ya know. Minnesota’s got Baby Jesus.

People speculate that the cost of ticket and concession prices have driven fans from the ballpark and that may be partially true. However, the fact remains is that their cross town counterparts have increased prices in their new stadium as well, but continue to perform to sell out crowds every night because on most nights (it would be a lie to say that it was every night), the Yankees perform as they should. No one likes to pay exorbitant prices for a hot dog, beer, pulled pork sandwich, souvenir, or whatever else they may sell at a sporting event, but certainly no one wants to pay these prices to watch a team run around a field like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off. Especially when the aforementioned players are being paid a boat load of money to act like sh*tstains. Say what you want about high-priced talent and the ridiculous cost of taking your family to a baseball game, but when your team wins, people tend to complain less. It has nothing to do with being a fair-weather fan and everything to do with having fan loyalty being taken advantage of.

Can we pretend that baseball execs really care about fans underneath the night sky? We could really use a wish right now, wish right now, wish right now.

BallHype: hype it up!

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