Friday, July 14, 2017

Yanks Begin 2nd Half With Lots of News, Not Much of It Good

Tonight, the Yankees begin the official, though not numerical, 2nd half of the regular season, in Scum Town, facing The Scum at Scumway Park.

As you might have guessed, I want to win these games. The Yankees go into the series 3 1/2 games behind Boston in the American League Eastern Division, 2 in the all-important loss column, having lost 17 of their last 25 games, now only 45-41, 4 games over .500.

Taking at least 3 out of 4 is a must, to send the Red Sox the message that we aren't going to let them run away with the Division, that we are going to battle them to the end. And if we can take all 4, well, sure, that would be even better.

The projected pitching matchups are as follows:

* Tonight, 7:10 PM: Jordan Montgomery vs. Drew Pomerantz.

* Tomorrow, 4:05 PM: Luis Severino vs. Chris Sale.

* Sunday, 1:05 PM, opener of a rain-forced doubleheader: Bryan Mitchell vs. Rick Porcello.

* Sunday, 8:00 PM, the originally-scheduled game of the day: Masahiro Tanaka vs. David Price.

Why is Mitchell starting? Because that was supposed to be Michael Pineda's spot in the rotation, but his elbow is hurting, and he's been told he needs Tommy John surgery -- in his contract year, no less. His contract runs out at the end of this season, and there goes any shot he had at a big payday. Most likely, the Yankees won't try to re-sign him, so he has probably pitched in Pinstripes (and road grays) for the last time. Indeed, there's a not-insignificant chance that he may never appear in the major leagues again.

Mitchell is starting because it's too soon in the rotation for CC Sabathia, who will start in Minnesota on Monday, or Luis Cessa, who will start on Tuesday.

In addition, 1st baseman Greg Bird, who seemed so promising at the end of 2015, but has missed all of last season and most of this season due to injury, may need surgery again. We probably won't see him until Spring Training next year, and possibly never again.

With this in mind, Brian Cashman finally decided to do his job, and fill a major hole. He sent little-used pitcher Tyler Wade to the Milwaukee Brewers for Garrett Cooper. He is expected to make his major league debut tonight, at 1st base. He's 26, and, despite having hit like hell for Triple-A Colorado Springs, the Brewers had not yet chosen to bring him up to The Show. So what does that tell you? It tells me that Cashman was getting a guy on whom his previous team had given up.

There is some good injury news: Matt Holliday, who's been sick, should return tonight. Starlin Castro's had a bad hamstring, but is expected to return tomorrow.

But we need more good news. Can we possibly get it against The Scum this weekend? Stay tuned.


Days until The Arsenal play again: 1, tomorrow morning, 6:00 AM our time, as they complete their 2-game excursion in Australia. Having beaten defending A-League Champions Sydney FC 1-0 yesterday, they will play the preceding club's local rivals, Western Sydney Wanderers, also at Stadium Australia in Sydney.

Days until the U.S. national soccer team plays again: 1, tomorrow night at 7:00, in the Group Stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, against Nicaragua, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, home of the NFL's Cleveland Browns. They opened Cup play with a sluggish 3-2 win over Martinique in Nashville.

Days until the Red Bulls play again: 5, next Wednesday night at 7:30, home to the San Jose Earthquakes. This past Wednesday night, they advanced to the Semifinal of the U.S. Open Cup, by, for the 2nd time in 9 days, going on the road and winning a "derby" against the New England Revolution, having taken a league game against them the previous week. It wasn't long ago that Metro couldn't beat the Revs away, no matter what they did.

Days until the Red Bulls next play a "derby": 23, on Sunday, August 6, against New York City FC at Yankee Stadium. They will next play the Philadelphia Union on Sunday, September 17, at at Red Bull Arena. They will next play the D.C. Scum on Saturday, September 27, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. They are not scheduled to play the Revs again this season. The Red Bulls might make the Playoffs, but the Revs probably won't, so they almost certainly won't face each other again until next season.

Days until the Premier League season begins: 28, on Friday, August 11. Just 4 weeks. The Arsenal open the season at home to Leicester City, in a game moved back from the intending opening to suit British TV.

Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series (after this one): 28, on Friday, August 11, at Yankee Stadium.

Days until Rutgers University plays football again: 49on Friday, September 1, home to the University of Washington. Just 7 weeks.

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: 56, on Friday night, September 8, home to Sayreville, a "derby." Just 8 weeks.

Days until the New Jersey Devils play again: 85on Saturday night, October 7, home to the Colorado Avalanche. Under 3 months.

Days until the New Jersey Devils next play a local rival: 92, on Saturday night, October 14, against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden in Midtown Manhattan. Their 1st game against the New York Islanders will be on Sunday, January 7, 2018, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn -- and they'll have played the Rangers 3 times by then. Their 1st game against the Philadelphia Flyers will be on Saturday, January 13, 2018, at the Prudential Center in Newark -- and they'll have played the Rangers 3 times and the Islanders once by then. This is a weird schedule. But at least we have it. The NBA usually doesn't release its new season's schedule until August.

Days until the Alex Rodriguez Contract From Hell officially runs out, and the Yankees can spend his salary on new players: 109, on October 31.

Days until the next election for Governor of New Jersey: 116, on Tuesday, November 7. Under 4 months until we elect Phil Murphy, defeat Kim Guadagno, and end Christieism forever. But only if you vote!

Days until the next Rutgers-Penn State football game: 120, on Saturday, November 11, at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.

Days until the next North London Derby: 127, on Saturday, November 18, at the Emirates Stadium. This game could be moved to the following day, for TV purposes.

Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving high school football game: 132, on Thursday, November 23, at 10:00 AM. Under 5 months, and thank God it's at home, at Jay Doyle's Green Grove, rather than at that purple shit pit on Route 9.

Days until the next Winter Olympics begins in Pyeongchang, Korea: 214, on February 9, 2018. Under 7 months.

Days until the next World Cup kicks off in Russia: 335, on June 14, 2018. Just 11 months. Has Bruce Arena turned our chances around? Maybe. Or maybe, with the tournament on his soil, Vladimir Putin will tell his bitch Donald Trump to tell Bruce Arena to tank the games. Maybe not. Or maybe only if we end up playing Russia. I don't think Arena will listen. If he doesn't, I hope his life insurance is paid up, because Putin has had people killed for defying him.

Days until September 2018 roster call-ups, when we can finally start to expect seeing most of these wonderful "prospects" for whom Yankee general manager Brian Cashman threw away a chance at the 2016 Playoffs: 414. A little over a year, or 13 1/2 14 months. Of course, Clint Frazier is already up, but we've hardly benefited. We could end up seeing another of them sooner than that, but since most of them are at Double-A Trenton now, if that, who's kidding who?

Days until the next Congressional election: 480, on November 6, 2018. Under a year and a half, or a little under 16 months.

Days until the Baseball Hall of Fame vote is announced, electing Mariano Rivera: 544, on January 9, 2019. A little under a year and a half, or a little under 18 months.

Days until the Baseball Hall of Fame vote is announced, electing Derek Jeter: 909, on January 8, 2020. A little under 2 1/2 years, or a little under 30 months.

Days until the next Summer Olympics begins in Tokyo, Japan: 1,114, on July 24, 2020. A shade over 3 years, or 36 months.

Days until the next Presidential election: 1,576, on November 3, 2020. Under 3 1/2 years, or a little under 40 months.

Days until Liberation Day: 1,654, at noon on January 20, 2021. A little over 3 1/2 years, or a little over 42 months. Note that this is liberation from the Republican Party, not just from Donald Trump. Having Mike Pence as President wouldn't be better, just differently bad, mixing theocracy with plutocracy, rather than mixing kleptocracy with plutocracy.

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