Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 8/10

I'm playing in a charity golf tournament this afternoon.  That's noteworthy because I don't play golf.  At all.  I go out of my way to not play golf.  I hate golf.  Mainly because I suck at it, but also because there's nothing about it that appeals to me.  It's a sport that's built on patience and focus and mechanics, and nothing I was ever good at in sports (playing longpole defense on lacrosse, rebounding in basketball, dominating the Wario Stadium track in "Mario Kart 64") involves those things.

I'm playing in the tournament because I'm good friends with the family who's hosting, and also because it means I get to leave work early to go drive around in a golf cart and drink beers in the middle of the day.  The added bonus to leaving early today is that my boss won't be in the office next week, so it'll be fun to just bail before he has a chance to talk to me about what he needs me to do while he's gone and hopefully make him a little nervous while he's on vacation because he's too dumb to realize that I actually already run our department.


Suck it, Corporate America!  I'm getting my chipping wedge on today.  Now onto the links!

- On Monday, Mike Newman of FanGraphs posted a very less-than-flattering scouting report on 2010 1st-round pick Cito Culver, even going so far as to suggest the Yankees would be better served converting him to a pitcher.

- William Juliano of The Captain's Blog had a solid pair of posts earlier this week.  On Monday, he re-evaluated the C-Grand trade based on 2012 performance and the new CBA.

- And on Wednesday, he looked for ways for the Yankees to optimize their lineup without A-Rod.

- On Tuesday, Andrew Corselli of Yanks Go Yard had an amusing, and pretty accurate, post pairing up Yankees with their "Breaking Bad" counterparts.  If you watch the show, you'll enjoy it.  If you don't, then something's wrong with you.

- On Wednesday, both Josh Norris and Mike Ashmore posted their interview with Mark Newman.  It's a great read with lots of interesting quotes from Newman  on a ton of Yankee prospects, and kudos to both Josh and Mike for a job well done.

- Steve Goldman of Pinstripe Alley commented on Ivan Nova's struggles with consistency this season and the role the Yankee defense might be playing in those struggles.

- Mike Axisa of RAB broke down some of Phil Hughes' key stats by month and pondered how Hughes should be handled for the remainder of the season.

- Greg Corcoran of Bronx Baseball Daily mused on some former Yankee outfield prospects who are having big seasons and wonders what could have been if they were all still in pinstripes.

- On Thursday, Mike Eder of TYA looked at Mark Teixeira's improved performance against the shift this season since he decided to abandon his opposite-field approach.

- El duque of It Is High... had an idea for an alternative option to sign as a base-stealing threat rather than risk bringing Brett Gardner back for the job as a pinch runner.

- William Tasker of IIATMS brought up a name who got away as a possible outfield option that could come in handy right now considering what the Yankees have done to address the loss of Gardner.

I had a song picked out for this week on Monday, and it's a kickass song, but that plan went out the window on Wednesday night because OH MY EFFING TEBOW THERE'S NEW DEFTONES OUT!!!!  Well, not officially.  It's just fan-shot concert footage of them debuting songs from their new album on tour, but still.  NEW DEFTONES, GUYZ!!!!  The sound quality blows, but I really don't give a damn.  I wouldn't be doing my duty as a diehard Deftones fan if I didn't substitute this for the song I originally had planned.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.

Some Numbers From Detroit

(Joe wants some more numbers!  Courtesy of The AP)

Why, you ask?  Because that series was just bizarre and it warrants more conversation about it, that's why.

Game 111 Wrap-Up: NYY 4 DET 3

(Throw your motherf*ckin' hands up!!  Courtesy of The AP)

It was the final game of this series, it was the first afternoon game of this series, and it was the first time there was crummy weather for the series.  There's been tension building on the Yankees' side since Monday, tension caused by some questionable umpiring in their eyes, some HBP shenanigans on Wednesday, and the team's continued inability to make things easy on themselves.  The way Wednesday night's win went down probably didn't do much to ease that tension, and add that to the tension built up from the past 3 weeks and it was bound to come to a head at some point.  It came to that head in the bottom of the 5th yesterday afternoon, and it came to a head in a big way.

Game Notes:

- The Yankees kept their recent string of getting big 2-out hits going in the top of the 2nd, when Raul Ibanez tripled to center to score Eric Chavez and Ichiro followed up with an RBI single to score Ibanez to make it 2-0 New York.

- Hiroki Kuroda worked through the first 4 innings scoreless, and he looked sharper than he was his last time out.  He got some help on some bad baserunning by Miguel Cabrera in the 1st, and a "strike 'em out/throw 'em out" DP in the 3rd, but he was solid.

- Kuroda's 1 bad inning was the bottom of the 5th, and it was made worse by a very bad umpiring call by Tim Welke.  After giving up a double and 2-run HR to Alex Avila to tie the game, Kuroda sandwiched 2 GB outs around, you guessed it, an infield single.  Then the fireworks began...

- Andy Dirks hit a bloop down the left field line that Welke initially signaled foul.  Replays later showed that the ball DID hit chalk and was fair, but Ibanez checked up after seeing Welke's initial call and then had to scramble to chase after the ball when Welke changed the call to fair, which allowed a run to come around and score.

- Joe came out to argue, was told by Welke that Welke was "too quick" on his initial call, and then just lost it.  He yelled, he screamed, he got tossed, he yelled some more, he gestured, he ranted, he raved, he tried to protest the game, he threw his hat, and when he did finally leave the field he made an over-dramatized "fair/foul" signal while point to the line.  It was easily Joe's greatest blow-up in his Yankee tenure.

- It didn't do much to spark the Yankees, though, until the 8th inning rolled around.  Mark Teixeira got a belt-high 2-0 fastball from Joaquin Benoit that he crushed to right for a game-tying HR, and on the very next pitch Chavez took one the other way and over the wall for the go-ahead HR.

- With D-Rob out, David Phelps and Clay Rapada had to handle the Tiger order in the 7th and 8th, and after putting runners on the corners with 0 outs, Rafael Soriano retired the next 3 in a row to preserve a dramatic win.