Monday, July 18, 2005

Yankees Leap Over Red Sox For First Place

For the first time since 9 April 2005, the Yankees have taken over first place in the AL East. The suprising thing is that the news is suprising at all. Nevertheless, after months of soul-searching, they appear to be on a post-All Star break roll that might threaten to bury the Schilling-less Red Sox before Labour Day.

(yes, we know, the Sox are not Schilling-less in that he's available to blow games out of the bullpen but for all intents and purposes, the great bloody-sock'd Republican sycophant is paying for last season's bravery, as they always do...)

But perhaps the best part is that it's the Tampa Bay Devil Rays knocking out the Sox just months after Schilling's cheap shot on Tampa manager Lou Piniella.

What's that big mouth filled with today, Mr Schilling?

Oh yeah, and thank Christ, the hitting streak of Jesus is over.


I want to be the first on the block for a premature welcome to...

The new head coach of the New York Knicks...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Second Half Begins With A Bang

via AP

Actually, this isn't the start of the MLB's second half but Daytona Cubs pitcher Paul Schappert throwing against the Tampa Yankees during the sixth inning Tuesday evening, July 12, 2005, at Jackie Robinson Field in Daytona Beach.

Here's another eye-catching photo which I can't quite tell symbolises "Peace" or a "Piece" - who knows - in England, flashing the fore and middle finger is the equivilent of the American upthrusted middle finger meaning in essence, piss off. Dates back to the days of archers on the battlefield. The French used to cut off the two fingers of any Brit archers they captured so eventually, the piss off sign became flashing these two fingers to demonstrate that the archers still had their fingers, still had their deadly aim.

via A Large Regular.


Now that I've gotten those two out of the way and now that the first half of the 2005 MLB season as well as the suprises of the White Sox, Orioles and Nats are history and behind us, we were served a mouth-watering start to the second half of the season with a Yankees-Red Sox series, much as the first half begun.

Much like the Opening Sunday Night game of the season, the Yankees were victorious and the second half began with a bang as A-Rod Smacked Schilling to give the Yankees an 8-6 victory over the Red Sox and move them to within 1 1/2 games of first place.

A-Rod circles the bases after humiliating the Bloody-Sock'd Republican Mouthpiece

Schilling, making his bullpen debut in the 9th, gave up a double to Gary Sheffield to start the inning, then Rodriguez homered over the bleachers in left-center. Game over. But certainly not the last anyone will hear about these two. A-Rod and Schilling are in essence, the fulcrum around which this rivalry turns.

If Schilling is effective out of the pen (and one certainly can't read much into his debut), the Red Sox have pretty much all the other ingredients they need to match the Yankees other than say, the ability to throw away millions in cash at any free agent that happens along the way.

Although A-Rod is not the key to the Yankees by any stretch, after all the sidemouthed innuendo he's taken from the mouths of obnoxious Red Sox fans and players, it's nice to see AT FENWAY no less, that he's ready to rub their noses in it.

I probably needn't remind that these are the two teams, other than the Braves, that I hate the most in baseball.

Although I'd like to see the Orioles make a dramatic run for the title and perhaps even Peter Angelos to fall victim to a fatal heart attack along the way, early odds from Sports Amnesia are that the Yankees will win the AL East. Why? Because they aren't going to have three quarters of their rotation on the DL for the rest of the season, for starters. Yankee starters may be the laughingstock of the millionaire's club and Brian Cashman may seem the Bronx town Idiot for signing the likes of Pavano and Jared Wright but there is depth, even on the DL and eventually, the Yankees will have just too many arms to throw out at their opponents. With that many choices, odds are that some will get hot whilst others are cold and there will always be someone to pick up the slack.

Sports Amnesia predicted at the season's start that the Red Sox would not make the playoffs this season and we are sticking by that prediction. Root for the O's but put your money on the Yankees.


Out at Shea, Mike Piazza wants to conclude his Mets career with some heroics and had a good start towards a memorable second half with a three run homer that led the Mets over the hated Braves 6-3 last night.

This is almost unheard of. Not just the Mets beating the Braves in an important series, but Piazza leading the charge. Oh how we'd like to read alot into this but can't. The Braves get their two aces, Hampton and Hudson for the series and chances are, this series will determine little in the end.

Full coverage at Archie Bunker's Army.

The early Sports Amnesia prediction for the NL East is that the Nats and in particular their bullpen, will falter in the dog days of the late summer opening the NL East race into a five-team dogfight and perhaps the most exciting race in baseball.


It ent easy to get worked up about the NL West but it is interesting to see how last year's failed Yankee Project Pitcher, Javier Vasquez, is blossoming like a cactus flower in the Arizona desert.

Last night, in the opening salvo of the series between the division-leading Padres and the second place Diamondbacks, Vasquez went eight sharp shutout innings in the second-half opener, allowing just four singles, striking out four and walking one as he evened his record at 8-8 and the Diamondbacks beat the Padres 6-0.

With the victory, the Diamondbacks pulled within 4 1/2 games of the NL West-leading Padres.

Tonight, Brandon Webb, RHP (8-6, 3.57) will pitch against Cardinals-reject Woody Williams, RHP (5-5, 4.10) who lost to the Diamondbacks on May 1, giving up three earned runs in 6 2/3 innings at PETCO Park.

Troy Glaus celebrates with Alex Cintron. Apparently, after an 0 for 4 night dropped his batting average to .253, Troy can still take pleasure in the success of others.


I'd add some info for the Chicago lads but really, the White Sox are so far ahead of the field in the AL Central and the Cubs so hopelessly far back of the Cardinals in the AL Central, what's the point of covering them? The vague hope that the Cubs can land the NL wildcard? Phat chance. They might not even make 2nd place with the way the Astros have been charging of late.

Andy Pettitte, LHP (6-7, 3.09) will take the mound for the Astros tonight as they face the monsterous Cardinals and their weakest pitching link, Mark Mulder, LHP (10-5, 4.34).

But oh, ok, if you're dying for Cubs material, how about this picture of Mark Prior rubbing Todd Walker's head for good luck?

Oh yeah, if you want to have another laugh at the Yankees expense, think about how last night there was not just one former Yankee on the mound looking well in form but TWO, if you include Jose Contreras and his mean looking delivery:

Contreras, in case you've missed it, allowed three hits over seven scoreless innings against the Indians in last night's 1-0 victory that further underscored White Sox dominance in the AL Central.


I didn't mention the All Star game at all because frankly, I don't care about it. What did homefield advantage mean in Game Seven of last year's World Series? Oh yeah, there WAS no game seven last year!

I didn't mention the All Star game because they still let the idiot fans have a say in who starts which gave us all sorts of hometown biases and a rubbish starting lineup more indicative of sentiment than performance.

I will watch the All Star game again when they decide to make it interesting and have an all-out US v World All-star game chosen only by the players with the fans allowed only to vote the bench.


If you are one of those people who likes to whinge about how much Interleague plays sucks and how unfair it is and blablahblah, have a look at what some of the standings would have looked like at the break without the Interleague records:

AL East

Baltimore 39-30 --
Boston 37-32 2
NYY 35-33 2.5

Not huge, but then look at the NL East:

Atlanta 43-31 ---
Wash 40-30 1
METS 39-34 3.5
Philly 38-36 5
Fla 34-37 7.5

You could certainly make the argument that Interleague play helped the Nats quite alot. Perhaps the Interleague games should count towards the final record, but an InterAL, InterNL record should have more weight. Perhaps the Interleague games should only matter in counting the best record in baseball for homefield advantage in the playoffs.


Lastly, the Viagra Man has almost reached 3000:

Good luck, Raffi Boy.