Friday, October 5, 2012

Who Cares If It's The O's Or The Rangers?

Everybody has been doing the "who would you rather face?" posts the past day or so in preparation for Game 1 of the ALDS on Sunday.  To be honest, I don't see the value in it.  There's no way to predict which of those teams is going to win and actually be the opponent, and at the end of the day there really isn't a clear advantage for the Yankees over one or the other.

Against the Orioles and the Rangers this season, the Yankees were a combined 13-12 with a +1 run differential.  They were practically dead even with both teams.  Both teams sport a pair of potentially tough lefties to match up with CC and Andy, they both have solid bullpens, and they both have lineups capable of doing a lot of damage in a hurry.  If you want to make the "yeah, but the Rangers blew a huge lead and aren't playing good baseball right now" argument, I'll admit that you're right and then remind you the O's just loss 2 of 3 to the Rays to close the season and only scored 1 run in the game they won; they aren't exactly burning the world down themselves.

There's too many similarities between both teams and too little of a past history advantage to point to for the Yanks to really feel better about facing one or the other.  What I am rooting for is a long game tonight, preferably 15 innings, with a lot of scoring early so both teams have to chew up their bullpens and possibly get another starter involved.  That will give the Yankees an advantage and that's something I would root for.  As far as the colors of the jersey and logo of the hat, I really don't give a shit.

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 10/5

On my journey back home and back to Dover, DE last weekend, I was reunited with 2 of the greatest loves of my life, Dogfish Head beer and Yuengling.  A few years ago, Dogfish ended their distribution to the state of Wisconsin, for the simple reason that they just couldn't keep up with demand.  Anybody who has had their beer before and knows how great it is can surely understand how that's possible.  They are in the process of building another facility to allow them to distribute further west, but that plant is years away from being operational.  Yuengling is in a similar situation and also working on a new facility to allow them to expand their distribution, but for the time being I only get a few chances a year to enjoy these fine brews.  I'm only slightly exaggerating when I say I would drink Yuengling 24/7 if I had access to it out here.  There's really no clean ending or point to this intro; I just wanted you all to know that I got to drink a lot of beer.  Now onto the links!

- On Monday, Jimmy Kraft of Yanks Go yard asked if Eduardo Nunez is still the heir apparent to Jeter at shortstop.  After Joe's latest instance of removing Nunez because of his defense, I think it's safe to say that he is not.

- On Tuesday, Mike Axisa of RAB examined Ichiro's late-season hot streak and the positive impact it had on the Yankee lineup.

- Brien Jackson of IIATMS addressed the notion that Joe shouldn't have let CC Sabathia go 8 innings on Monday and concluded that second guessing Joe in this case would be stupid.  As a constant questioner of Joe, I actually agree with Brien's logic and Joe's decision.

- On Wednesday, Andrew Mearns of Pinstriped Bible got deep into the postseason roster contstruction and proposed his 2 roster versions, 1 for if the Yankees won the division outright and 1 for the 1-game playoff scenario with Baltimore.  Props to him for going through the exercise.

- Bryan V of The Greedy Pinstripes made his postseason bullpen selections.

- William Juliano of The Captain's Blog looked at the polar opposite performances from Mark Teixeira and Raul Ibanez in clutch situations over the past few games.

- On Thursday, fishjam25 of Yankees Fans Unite wondered if the Yankees having to play so hard all the way through the regular season will be beneficial to them in the playoffs.

- Steve Lombardi of Was Watching made a frightening connection between Curtis Granderson's 2012 and Jose Canseco's 1998.  Yeesh.

- EJ Fagan of TYA wrote the definitive "Trumbo or Cabrera for MVP" piece on the web.  It's brilliant in its simplicity and the manner in which EJ's points are conveyed.  If you're even remotely intelligent you'll read it and nod your head in agreement.

- SJK of NoMaas poked a hole in the Fraud Sawx biggest excuse balloon with relative ease.

- Mike of Pride Of The Yankees made his personal selections for the AL and NL award winners, and the Yankee winner in each major category.

- Marc Hulet of FanGraphs checked in with his latest Yankee prospect scouting report, this time focusing on the players he saw in the Double-A playoffs.  Lots of good info there on guys like J.R. Murphy, Zoilo Almonte, Mark Montgomery, Nik Turley, and even Graham Stoneburner.

For today's Friday Jam, I'm throwing a little Mos Def out there.  I've got a smattering of his songs on my iPod (still rocking the old scroll wheel version), and every time one of them comes on I always enjoy it.  This song, "Ghetto Rock" is especially groovy.  It's got a great bass line and Mos lays some serious rhymes down, but it also has that great guitar riff and I love me some catchy guitar riffs.

P.S.- Mos Def was absolutely hilarious in his old guest spots on "Chappelle's Show."  His "Black Head of the CIA" character was a riot.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.  Wild Card game is tonight and I'll be watching and scouting, and ALDS Game 1 is Sunday for the Yankees.  Series preview posts will be coming tomorrow.

AB4AR "Best Of The Month" Awards: September/October 2012

(Who will take home the certificates in the last month?)

After a very blah August that saw them lose most of their division lead and set them up for a competitive and pressure-packed final regular season stretch run, the Yankees rebounded nicely in September to overcome the undesirable situation they had created for themselves.  They got healthier, with CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, and Mark Teixeira returning from injuries, and started to fix some of the problems that plagued them over the summer in what ended up being a 20-11 final month plus of the year and ended with another division championship.  After the jump, check out the AB4AR choices for best performers and moments of the last month.

Alex Rodriguez And The Postseason Batting Order

(Hasn't been a lot of kick from The Horse in a while.  Courtesy of Getty Images)

I was legitimately shocked to hear about Alex Rodriguez's 83-plate appearance/67-at bat extra base hitless streak when I watched game 162 the other night.  I clearly had not been following the numbers closely enough because even though I was well aware that his power has been greatly diminished this year, I thought surely a hitter of his caliber had snuck a double down the left field line or into the right field gap somewhere in those 83 PA.  Thinking about Alex Rodriguez going that long without an XBH, even an aging, breaking down, power-sapped Alex Rodriguez, is just incomprehensible to me, and the fact that he did go that long gets me thinking about his place in the batting order and if 3rd is the proper spot for him.