Archive for August 2007

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Joba the Head Hunter Sets Stage for September Showdown

Yankees Rumors & News

“If the kid wanted to get our attention, he did a very good job.”

That was Red Sox manager Terry Francona’s take on the latest chapter in the heated Red Sox – Yankees rivalry. Intentionally or not, rookie phenom Joba Chamberlain kicked a frustrated and ornery Sox club while they were down, and fans won’t have to wait long to find out what ramifications, if any, there might be. The two teams meet again for three games at Fenway Park on September 14-16.

In case you missed it, in the ninth inning of yesterday afternoon’s 5-0 Yankee victory, Chamberlain began his second inning of work and first save opportunity by retiring Sox slugger David Ortiz before hurling not one, but two 100 mph torpedos over the head of Boston first baseman Kevin Youkilis. Given the circumstances, why Chamberlain would’ve chosen to throw at Youkilis is anyone’s guess. Earlier in the game, Youkilis had been at the center of a bit of controversy in the seventh inning when he was ruled safe …

How Sweep it is

Yankees Rumors & News

The brooms were out in full force yesterday in the Bronx as the Yankees completed their 3-game sweep of the first place Red Sox. They now stand 5 games out of first. Not too bad considering they were coming off a 2-5 road trip and dropped 4 games to the Sox in the standings before the series. Now as the calendar turns to September, the race for October gets a lil more tense.Yesterday’s 5-0 win for the Yanks also put them ahead of the Seattle Mariners (who lost last night) in the wild card standings.

Pitching for the Yanks dominated in this series. Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens and Chien Ming Wang all delivered quality starts. Via Bill Madden NY Daily News

“We got outpitched three days in a row,” said Curt Schilling. “Outpitched and outplayed.”

Clemens and Wang both held Boston hitless through the first 5 innings. Mariano Rivera came in and got 2 saves, Joba Chamberlain made 2 appearances and left the Yankee Stadium crowd wanting more. Joba added …

Jets Kick over the Eagles

Jets Rumors & News

Mike Nugent’s 35-yard field goal with time expiring led the Jets to a fourth quarter 13-11 comeback victory over the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

Neither team’s starting QB played and the field was filled primarily with reserves and players fighting to make it through the final cuts.

Marques Tuiasosopo’s 11-yard touchdown run just seven seconds into the fourth quarter put the Jets ahead 10-3. The Eagles then scored and converted on a two point conversion (attempted to avoid OT more than to win the game) which setup Tui’s 16 play, 65-yard game-winning scoring drive.

Nugent had this to say about the scoring drive during post-game interviews:

“I think Marques did an unbelievable job. His clock management was great,” Nugent said of the late march. “That’s something we’ve worked on a lot.”

Ben Graham slightly juggled the snap, but Nugent converted on the game winning kick to send the Philly fans off to cry in their cheesesteaks and beer.

With Chad Pennington’s only pass attempts coming during warmups, Kellen Clemens started the game and played the first quarter …

Giants: Some good, some bad in final exhibition game

Giants Rumors & News

A few observations about the Giants 27-20 loss to New England Thursday night.

• You have to get a little excited watching Ahmad Bradshaw. Last night he carried 6 times for 46 yards and returned 2 kickoffs for 51 yards. He has speed, cut-back ability, can catch passes and shows a willingness to run up the middle. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride has to find ways to use him.

• Reuben Droughns (5 carries, 38 yards) and Derrick Ward (4 carries, 25 yards) each had good nights. The Giants have depth at running back.

• Speaking of Droughns, his much-discussed move to fullback didn’t turn out to be a big deal. Rookie free agent Michael Matthews, a 270-pounder, was on the field as a fullback or H-back in most blocking situations. That’s likely to be how the Giants start the season.

• I think 345-pound defensive tackle Manny Wright played himself onto the team with 4 tackles and a half-sack. He’s not an every down player, but in short-yardage situations he is a mountain to move.

• I was …

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Youth movement continues in the Bronx

Yankees Rumors & News

It’s a great day for all those New York Yankees fans who spend their time on blogs and message boards dissecting every move the team makes, or doesn’t make.

IPK is coming! IPK, in case you don’t know, is Ian P. Kennedy, the Yankees No. 1 pick in 2006. Fans on Yankee sites everywhere have been calling for Kennedy (12-3, 1.91 ERA at three minor league levels this season) to replace the struggling Mike Mussina in the Yankees rotation.

Now they get their wish, at least for Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay.

This is great news for those fans who have been demanding it. It’s also bad news for the rest of baseball.

That’s not because you can expect Kennedy to go all Joba Chamberlain on the rest of the league. Kennedy, according to’s Bryan Hoch, is more like Mussina than he is Chamberlain.

The arrival of Kennedy, whether for one start or the entire month of September, is bad news for baseball because of what it signals — the Yankees deepening commitment to developing AND USING their …

Is The Moose Cooked?

Yankees Rumors & News

Is The Moose Cooked?: “Coming off two disappointing starts against the Angels and Tigers Mike Mussina had a lot to prove last night then proceeded to get stomped for six runs in three innings in Detroit.

Before the start Mussina was asked if he was worried about loosing his spot in the rotation and mockingly replied to the NY Post, ‘Who would they replace me with?’

The answer is not much of a joke anymore: Matt DeSalvo, Kei Igawa, Ian Kennedy, or Steven White.

With the Yankees fighting for their playoff spot every game is becoming increasingly important, which may force Torre’s hand in a very difficult decision.

‘There’s no time to lick your wounds,’ Joe Torre said in the NY Daily News. ‘We’ll sit down and talk about it (today) and see how he feels.’

Even the Moose himself is changing his tune. ‘If Joe thinks that somebody else can give us a lift or do the job better, that’s up to him,’ Mussina said in the Daily News.

While the Yankees fight for their …

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Pennington still Piloting the Jets

Jets Rumors & News

Everything you read and hear from every level of the Jets organization gives the clear indication that there is no QB controversy in Jet land.

Much of the blame for the anemic offensive stats during the pre-season is being placed on “units” rather than “individuals.”

Eric Mangini had this to say during his Monday news conference:

“The one thing we look at is the group performance. One person cannot dictate how the group performs. There are a lot of plays where if, as a unit, they had performed better, the opportunities to complete the ball down the field would have been better and the running game would have been more effective. So it’s really more of a whole group total approach than of one person versus another person.”

Chad Pennington chimed in with this:

“To be honest with you, we’ve had a really good camp. Just because the preseason games haven’t gone as well as we would have liked, I don’t think we need to push the panic button. We’ve had a really successful camp. We had …

Yankees renew rivalry

Yankees Rumors & News

Yankees-Red Sox. A rivalry like no other in sports. The two teams begin a crucial 3 game series at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night.Andy Pettitte (11-7, 3.69) faces Daisuke Matsuzaka (13-10, 3.76) in the series opener. The Red Sox are coming into the Stadium fresh off a 4 game sweep of the Chicago White Sox , the Yanks, come off a 16-0 debacle at the hands of the Detriot Tigers in the finale of a 4 game series, which saw the Bombers lose 3 of 4 and lose 3 games in the standings to Boston.

Roger Clemens (5-5, 4.34) takes on Boston ace Josh Beckett (16-5, 3.21) on Wednesday night 7:05pm.The Rocket takes on his former team for the first time since rejoining the Yankees.

Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang (15-6, 3.95) faces Curt Schilling, RHP (8-5, 4.11) in Thursday 1:05pm matinee. He is 2-1 in three starts against the Red Sox this season.

The two teams play again for their final series of the year Sept 14-16 at Fenway Park.With the …

Series Preview – Mets at Phillies

Mets Rumors & News

Via The Orphan: After taking two of three in the weekend series against the Dodgers, the Mets travel 90 miles south to Philadelphia to begin one of the biggest series of the season, four games with the Phillies. The Phillies have struggled as of late, losing four of their last six, but are still in second place in the NL East, six games behind the Mets. Should the Mets sweep or take three of four, it could spell the end of the Phillies playoff hopes, and put the Mets out of reach in the NL East.

Who’s Hot – The Mets’ bats love the Phillies pitching. Carlos Beltran is only batting .261 against the Phillies, but he’s hit a team high five home runs and ten RBI’s. Jose Reyes has hit .381 in eleven games against the Phillies this season. Moises Alou has only 15 at bats against the Phillies this season, but he’s had 7 hits (.467), including two home runs. Carlos Delgado has hit three home runs and drove in seven of elven …

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

Yankees: ‘Joba Rules’ should stay

Yankees Rumors & News

New York Yankees rookie phenom Joba Chamberlain is now a cult hero in the Bronx, and why wouldn’t he be? In seven games, the 21-year-old flamethower has pitched 9 innings, struck out 15, allowed just 3 hits and has yet to give up a run.

All of this dominance has Yankee fans clamoring for an end to the ‘Joba Rules,’ which were established to keep Manager Joe Torre from overusing Chamberlain.

Even Torre, whose overuse of favored relief pitchers has long been an Achilles heel, is starting to rebel against the rules established by General Manager Brian Cashman and minor league pitching guru Nardi Contreras.

From Pete Abraham’s fine Lohud Yankees Blog.

Torre said that he doesn’t quite understand why Joba Chamberlain needs a day of rest when he throws only 10 pitches as he did last night. It’s something “we’re talking about,” he said.

In case you don’t know the ‘Joba Rules,’ they are as follows. No appearances on consecutive days, at least one day off for each inning pitched, and no appearances of more than 2 innings.

Chamberlain …

Giants: Handing out Kudos & Wet Willies

Giants Rumors & News

I thought I would review last night’s 20-12 loss to the Jets ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ style.

In case you aren’t familiar with ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ it is really a simple thumbs up, thumbs down. But, calling it ‘Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down’ is distressingly boring. So, it’s ‘Kudos & Wet Willies.’

Kudos to …

• Justin Tuck: Michael who? Tuck proved last night that he can handle left defensive end just fine, thank you. With four tackles, a sack and lots of good run defense Tuck showed that the Giants will have to get him on the field even if that other defensive end who is under contract finally decides to show up.

• Eli Manning: Good throws, good decisions, good presence. He went 17-for-25 for 146 yards and a TD in his second straight good performance. His play has to thrill Giants fans.

• Anthony Mix: He pretty much cemented a roster spot with seven catches for 45 yards and a touchdown. I don’t know how much the Giants could actually get him on the field in regular season …

Jets with a not-so-Giant win

Jets Rumors & News

Sure, a win is a win, even in pre-season. But anyone who saw or heard the first half of last night’s game between the suitemates of the Meadowlands, certainly realizes this win was not really a win.

The Jets offense was absolutely horrible in the first half. So bad, in fact, that Eric Mangini started the first team in the second half as well. They went three and out again.

Kellen Clemens then replaced Pennington and immediately led the team down the field on a six play TD drive. On his second drive he completed two passes of 45 and 34 yards before sneaking up the middle for a score. Clemens finished with 122 yards passing compared to Pennington’s 89, which doesn’t seem glaring until you take into account that 79 of Chad’s yards came on the first pass of the game. Expect a zillion questions this week about a QB controversy after two dismal performances by the #1 QB.

Defensively Eric Coleman led the Jets with 6 tackles and 2 assists while Darrelle Revis had 5 tackles …

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