Thursday, July 28, 2011

Boone Logan Must Go, Carlos Beltran Does

I had a feeling the Yankees would lose yesterday's series finale with the Seattle Mariners.

And lookey what we have here: Phil Hughes got outpitched by "King" Felix Hernandez, but did not pitch badly: 6 innings (okay), 9 hits (a lot), 1 walk (very good), 2 runs (reasonable with what our lineup can do). But Hernandez allowed only 1 run over 7.

But the final score was Mariners 9, Yankees 2. It was the bullpen that messed it up, including... ARGHHHH... Boone Logan!

Cory Wade started the 7th, and got the first out, then allowed 2 hits. Then Joe Girardi brought Logan in, for the only purpose for which a pitcher like Logan is supposed to be brought in: To force a lefty-on-lefty matchup.

The batter was Dustin Ackley, a rookie infielder who entered the at-bat with 133 major league plate appearances to his credit, albeit with a batting average of .301, an on-base percentage of .351, a slugging percentage of .512, an OPS of .863 and an OPS+ of 145. Thus far, lefties have a 138 OPS+ off Logan, whose sole purpose is to get lefties out.

As they say in the military, "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?" (Check the initials.) I don't know about you, but in my opinion, this invalidates Logan's very reason for being in the major leagues.

But Girardi brought him in. Now, in all fairness, the Yankees were already losing (though only by 1 run, 2-1), and Wade had already gotten in trouble, putting the potential 3rd and 4th Seattle runs on. But Wade hasn't already gotten on my nerves the way Logan does.

Logan appeared to do the job. He got Ackley to ground to 2nd. Should have been a double play. Except Robinson Cano threw it away. 3-1 Seattle.

Then Logan walked Justin Smoak. Can't blame his defense or the preceding pitching for that. Bases loaded, one out. To his credit, Logan struck out Adam Kennedy. Bases loaded, two out.

Logan gave up a triple to Adam Kennedy. Bases cleared. 6-1 Seattle.

Out goes Logan, after giving up 4 "Logan's Runs." Luis Ayala came in. Not much better: Frankie Gutierrez doubled home another run. 7-1 Seattle. Hector Noesi was no prize, either, allowing 2 more Seattle runs in the 9th, after the Yanks got one back in the 8th (RBI groundout by Cano, hardly making up for the error, but I'm not going to blame him for the loss).

On the one hand, the Yankees had already won the first 2 games of the series. On the other hand, the Mariners had lost 17 straight games, and The Scum won, too, so the Yanks are back to being 3 games out of first place.


The Mets had 4 big question marks regarding big stars and big salaries. They have now answered 2.

Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez took his mercurial ways to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers are a very good team. That trade may win a Pennant, but not for the Mets.

Now, the Mets have traded Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants, the defending World Champions. That trade could win a Pennant as well -- but not for the Mets.

That leaves David Wright, solid and mentally stable, but prone to injuries and disappearing acts by his bat in September; and Jose Reyes, spectacular at times, but not right in the head, and also prone to injuries and disappearing acts by his bat in September.

The Mets will probably keep one, but not both. Which one do they let go?

Whichever they choose, it will turn out to be the wrong one. This is the Mets we're talking about.

Even if they have won 3 straight in Cincinnati against the Reds, a Playoff team last season and having a shot at it again this season.

For every trade of Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey for Keith Hernandez, the Mets usually have about five Rusty Staub for Mickey Loliches. Staub for Lolich would have been a great trade after the 1966 season. Or even a reasonable trade after 1970. The Mets made it after 1975, and Staub then reached his peak, while Lolich was pretty much done. They did get Staub back, but...

Ah, the Mets, the Mets, the Mets, the Mets.


Days until the Red Bulls play again: 2, this Saturday, in the Emirates Cup, the preseason tournament hosted by Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London. At 9:00 New York time, the Red Bulls will play Paris Saint-Germain, the largest team in the French capital; the nightcap of the doubleheader will feature Arsenal play Boca Juniors, the legendary club out of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Usually manned by European clubs, the Emirates Cup is hosting Western Hemisphere teams for the first time. On Sunday morning, PSG will play Boca, and the Red Bulls will bring Captain and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry back onto his former pitch to play his former club. The ovation should be huge. Let's be clear about this: I'll be rooting for the Red Bulls against PSG (a club with a reputation for bigotry of various kinds), but against Arsenal, they're out of luck. Although the Red Bulls were playing as my "home team" for 12 years before I became aware of Arsenal, it was Arsenal that drew me to get into this sport, and thus guided me to the Red Bulls -- not the other way around.

Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series begins: 8, a week from tomorrow night, on Friday, August 5, at Fenway Park. Just one week.

Days until Arsenal play again in a competitive match: 16, on Saturday, August 13, against Newcastle United at St. James Park. Just over 2 weeks.

Days until the Red Bulls play another "derby": 23, on Saturday, August 20, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. Just 3 weeks. And they next play their CLOSEST rivals, the Philadelphia Union, in their regular season finale, on Thursday night, October 20, at Red Bull Arena.

Days until Rutgers plays football again: 35, on Thursday, September 1, home to North Carolina Central. Just 5 weeks.

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: 43, on Friday night, September 9, at Monroe. Just 6 weeks.

Days until the next North London Derby: 65, on Saturday, October 1, at White Hart Lane. Just 9 weeks.

Days until the Devils play another local rival: 72, on Saturday, October 8, at 7:00 PM, in their season opener, at home, against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Prudential Center. Just 10 weeks. The first game against the New York Islanders is a day-after-Thanksgiving matinee, Friday, November 25, at the Nassau Coliseum. The first game against The Scum isn't until Tuesday night, December 20, at the Prudential.

Days until the Rutgers-Army football game at Yankee Stadium: 107.

Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving clash: 119. Under 4 months.

Days until the last Nets game in New Jersey: 265, on Wednesday night, April 18, 2012, against the Chicago Bulls, at the Prudential Center. Under 9 months before New Jersey no longer has an NBA team.

Days until the 2012 Olympics begin in London: 365 (July 27). One year.

Days until Alex Rodriguez collects his 3,000th career hit: 712 (estimated -- adjusted for his current injury). Under 2 years.

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 700th career home run: 843 (estimated).

Days until Super Bowl XLVIII at the Meadowlands: 920 (tentatively scheduled for February 2, 2014, although it could end up being moved back a week or 2).

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 756th career home run to surpass all-time leader Hank Aaron: 1,454 (estimated).

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 763rd career home run to become as close to a "real" all-time leader as we are likely to have: 1,568 (estimated).

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