A Visit to the Florida Shrine

YankeesHub.com’s Don Wilding had the opportunity to visit Steinbrenner Field in Tampa this past weekend for the Yankees-Phillies spring training game on Saturday. The highlight of the day was Masahiro Tanaka’s impressive debut. It’s been a good spring so far for the Bombers, but there’s still a long way to go. Here’s a few photos from Saturday’s game, and, in case you’ve never seen it, a look around the outside of the ballpark.

Mark Teixiera on the practice field before the game.

Francisco Cervelli

CC Sabathia.

Francisco Cervelli, right, chuckles with John Ryan Murphy.

CC Sabathia says, "What the ..?"

CC Sabathia warms up in the outfield.

CC Sabathia warms up in the outfield.

Ichiro loosens up in the outfield.

Masahiro Tanaka gets some pointers in the bullpen before his debut.

Masahiro Tanaka removes his hat and bows to the crowd upon his introduction.

Ichiro Suzuki.

Derek Jeter grounds out -- or so it seems. The throw to first was wild and Jeter advanced to second.

Derek Jeter grounds out -- or so it seems. The throw to first was wild and Jeter advanced to second.

Derek Jeter grounds out -- or so it seems. The throw to first was wild and Jeter advanced to second.

The TV camera catches the fans reactions and projects them on to the centerfield screen.

YankeesHub.com's Don Wilding oversees everything from his perch in right field.

The BOSS!

Batting practice.

Gotta love it! Billy and Reggie together!

The man who started it all for the YankeesHub.com poobah -- the Mick!

 

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A Pinstriped Papelbon? NNNOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Is Jonathan Papelbon and that ridiculous glare coming to the Bronx to take over for St. Mo? Pass the Pepto.

Hold on to your hats, Yankee fans. Your pinstriped faith is about to be tested like it never has before.

To all of you who endured the dark days of the Horace Clarke era, Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps, the 1995 playoff loss to Seattle, the trade of David Wells for Roger Clemens, the Great Choke of 2004, and last year’s signing of Kevin Youkilis, brace yourselves.

Word has leaked out of the City of Brotherly Love that the Phillies are “selling the crap out of (Jonathan Papelbon), according to CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury. “The Phillies are willing to pay some of Papelbon’s salary to facilitate a trade.”

And guess who’s on the phone trying to make that trade happen? Yep, our own Brian Cashman.

Yeah, Jonathan Papelbon. One of scary, but more stupid-looking, glare. The guy who celebrated the Red Sawx truimphs of 2007 by “Riverdancing” in his underwear on the Fenway infield. After 19 years of Mariano, this clown, loathed by the Yankee fan base, is going to ride into town and take the spot of one of the greatest to ever put on a Yankee uniform?

Pardon me while I puke.

Look, I know the guy throws gas and is one of the better closers in the game. As good as David Robertson has been as our setup guy, we know he’s pretty much untested in the ninth. But, still, puckerface Pap? Ugh.

I was fine with all of the other defectors coming over from the Red Sawx. Even though Johnny Damon slammed the nails into our coffin in ’04, I grew to like the guy, especially after his base running antics in the 2009 World Series. And, yes, Youkilis got on my every last nerve as member of the Red Sawx, but I was even somewhat forgiving when he joined us last year (many Yankee fan friends of mine weren’t).

But … Papelbon. Ugh. This one is tough. Go out and shop for a black wardrobe, everyone. We’re about to go over to the dark side.

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A Good Day for Trades in Yankee History

Major League Baseball’s winter meetings are underway, and, fresh off plenty of free agent signings, the Yankees are in search of trade partners this week in an effort to reconstruct their aging team after a mediocre 2013 season.

Although opinions may differ on how well the Yankees fared in recent weeks, what happens in the next week or two may determine if the slide into mediocrity (or worse) continues, or if they’re on the way to more success. If Dec. 11 in years gone by is any indication, well, that’s a good sign.

It was on this day that in 1959 that the Yankees made the deal that brought them Roger Maris (above) from the Kansas City A’s, otherwise known at that time as the Yankees’ farm team. The Yankees sent heroes of years past, Don Larsen and Hank Bauer, long past their primes, along with Norm Siebern and the legendary Marv Throneberry, in the seven-player deal. The rest, they say, is … well, you know.

But that deal wasn’t the only dynasty saver. Sixteen years later, the Yankees made another pair of trades that proved to be pivotal in their success of the late 70s. Although they had acquired Bobby Bonds a year earlier in a trade for the popular Bobby Murcer, Bonds was not the player coveted by new manager Billy Martin, and the “Next Willie Mays” was shipped to the California Angels for a package that included speedster Mickey Rivers, the leadoff catalyst for the next four seasons, and pitcher Ed Figueroa, who would win 55 games over the next three years. In another deal with the Pirates, once promising pitcher Doc Medich was sent away for pitchers Dock Ellis and Ken Brett, and a young second baseman named Willie Randolph.

Of course, not all was rosy on this date. In 2000, the Texas Rangers signed Alex Rodriguez to that record 10-year, $252 million contract that would eventually lead to his trade to the Yankees, and grew into an even bigger albatross after the 2007 season. Yeah, you know the rest.

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Hot Stove Still Warming Up

It’s only been a few hours since the announcement of Robbie Cano’s 10-year, $240 million defection to the Seattle Mariners was made public, but the proclamations of doom for the 2014 Yankees are already circulating.

On the surface, it’s not pretty. After all, you don’t lose a 27 HR, 107 RBI, .314 BA, .383 OBP guy and not feel it. But let’s look a little bit closer here.

First of all, Cano is NOT worth $240 million. Few are, and even those are only the VERY elite. In fact, anyone who is deserving of that number hasn’t received it. Cano reminds me somewhat of Carmelo Anthony — very, very good, but only flashes of greatness, and he isn’t likely the one to take your team to the Promised Land by himself. If you’re a Knicks fan, you understand what I’m saying here.

There’s been talk of the Yankees signing Omar Infante, or inserting the recently signed Kelly Johnson, or both, to replace Cano at second base. Silly, you say? Yeah, that’s what Red Sox fans were saying in 2004 after the team traded away Nomar Garciaparra, who had been putting up Cano-like numbers for many years, and replaced him with a guy with Infante-like numbers named Orlando Cabrera. We all know how that played out.

The Yankees have now spent on Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann what the Mariners have shelled out for Cano, but holes are still aplenty across the Yankee diamond. There’s still lots of time left in this Hot Stove Season, the busiest one we’ve seen in some time, and these vacancies will be addressed.

Want another Boston analogy? OK. In June of 2007, Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge made a trade for Ray Allen, and the deal was immediately met with skepticism all over Eastern Massachusetts and beyond. “What the hell is he doing?” talk show callers and commentators barked, kind of like many observers said after the Yankees signed Ellsbury.

Only a month later, Ainge traded for Kevin Garnett, and, suddenly, he was a friggin’ genius for assembling the new “Big 3.”

The point here is that Ainge wasn’t done dealing after getting Allen in ’07, and neither are the Yankees after the early stages of wheeling and dealing in 2013.

And as far as the predictions of doom for our beloved pinstripers, it should also be noted that as recently as April 2013, there were few — DAMN few — who were predicting that a certain baseball team from Boston would even get over the .500 mark in 2013, let alone win the World Series, after a 2012 “Season From Hell,” and disastrous collapse to conclude the 2011 campaign. Many experts had the Yankees and Red Sox fighting it out for last place, while Toronto ran away with the AL East.

As a certain Yankee broadcasting icon likes to say, “Ya know, Suzyn, as I’ve said MANY times in my 25 years covering the Yankees, you can’t predict baseball.” Yeah, no shit — but, especially at this point of the Hot Stove Season, the man does have a point.

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Robbie Cano, There Ya Go!

If this morning’s latest report out of ESPN is correct, then Robinson Cano is a Yankee no more. He’s off to Seattle to become the face of a franchise that hasn’t been in the postseason in over a decade, and still doesn’t appear to be heading back anytime soon.

But Cano has his reasons — 240,000,000 of them — and he’ll have the next 10 years to count it all. His good buddy, A-Rod, took a similar pact to leave Seattle in 2001, and all we hear about is the difficulty that he’s had in dealing with that monster contract ever since. Didn’t Cano learn anything from being his Bronx BFF? Apparently not.

So now, many options exist. The Bombers can now use all that money to fill some of the big holes that they have elsewhere. Omar Infante might be signed to fill some of the glaring holes in the infield. Shin Soo Choo is the next biggest prize on the market, even though he’s an outfielder. If Choo is signed, the chances of Brett Gardner being dealt for pitching help increase dramatically. Maybe Alfonso Soriano could play second base again?

Oh, the next couple of weeks could be very interesting — and for the sake of the Yankees’ 2014 season, they’d better be. Let the holiday season shopping spree begin.

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Lots of ‘Could Be’ for Cano, and other thoughts

So word has now leaked out that the offense-challenged Seattle Mariners are offering a whopping $230-240 million over 10 years to Robinson “Doncha Know” Cano.

And if the Yankees stick to their word that they won’t go over $200 million, then could it be that our best hitter over the last few years could be outta here?

Yep, could be.

Those are some whopping totals, but it makes one wonder why Jay Z was brought on in the first place. After all, wasn’t Jay Z all about improving Cano’s image while also getting him the big bucks? He’ll get his money, but … really, does anyone really hit the big time by GOING to Seattle?

Now, could Cano and company be offended by the Yankees giving Jacoby Ellsbury the same amount of money that he’s being offered by the Bombers? Could be. If he does sign to stay put, the Yankees will likely cave in somewhat and go for eight years and $200 million, maybe even a bit more, but we don’t want to get into A-Rod territory now, do we?

The Yankees’ selling point has been that, if Robbie stays in the Bronx, he’ll be remembered forever like Mo and Jeter and enshrined in Monument Park. Stay in New York, excel even a little bit, and you’re set for life. Excel in Seattle, and, well, maybe you’ll get free coffee for life. Word is that Robbie’s been told that if he helps the Mariners win their first ever World Series, that will top even being a Yankee legend.

Hmmm … not sold on that.

And, besides, what are the chances of Seattle winning the World Series, even if the M’s do manage to trade for, say, David Price and pair him with King Felix? Not great.

Hey, but whatever Cano does, I’m fine with it. If he doesn’t stay, life goes on …

Speaking of lefty sluggers who may not stay in the Bronx, Curtis “I Enjoyed the Salmon” Granderson is reportedly close to signing with the Mets.

Now, picture this — say that happens, and in his first homer for the Mets (might be a long time coming in cavernous Citi Field), the play-by-play announcer gushes, “The first homer as a Met for Curtis Granderson!” and the commentator follows up by saying to his partner, in a shot at John Sterling, “You’re not going to burst into song, are you?” …

Now that Masahiro Tanaka may not be posted after all, the Yankees may have to seek their starting pitching help elsewhere. After CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova, neither of which are terribly reliable these days, there’s three spots that need to be filled. The return of Hiroki Kuroda could fill one of those spots.

Michael Pineda? I’ll believe it when I see it. Adam Warren? David Phelps? Vidal Nuno? *YAWN*

What else is available?

The Yankees have been linked to trade talks with the A’s for lefty Brett Anderson, who turned in a nice 2.80 ERA in 2010 but has been riddled with injuries ever since. If he returns to form, great, but, if not … ugh.

The top free agent starters include Matt Garza, Ervin Santana, and Ubaldo Jimenez. Let’s say no to Santana and his 65 home runs allowed in the last two years; we already had plenty of that with Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain. Jiminez has had short bursts of spectacular outings, but his motion alone sparks concern that many more trips to the DL await him, perhaps even stints of Pavano-esque proportions.

That leaves us with Garza, who was no slouch during his days with the Rays, facing the beasts of the AL East on a regular basis. True, Garza didn’t exactly shine in Texas late last year, but, at 30, there could still be plenty left in the tank. If I’m going with any of these three starters, I’d say Garza — no contest.

Another name not mentioned often is Bronson Arroyo. Having faced the AL East as a member of the Red Sox, he might fit in well as a No. 3 or No. 4 starter. And let’s not forget Roy Halladay, who, at this point, could probably had for peanuts, or at least a minor league deal? Might he still have something? It might not hurt to give him a look in spring training …

The Yankees have said that, even with the addition of Ellsbury, Brett Gardner will not be traded. Right, and Bubba Crosby was our starting center fielder in 2006. As much as I love Gardy, don’t be the least bit surprised if he’s shipped elsewhere for a pitcher or a third baseman.

 

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Yanks’ 2013: ‘I got a rock’

Let’s start this off by saying congratulations to the Boston Red Sox, their fans and the city of Boston. After a year and a half of everything going wrong on the field and the Boston Marathon nightmare this past April, the city finally has good reason to celebrate.

The World Series is now over, and for Yankee fans everywhere, that means we now turn our attention to the Hot Stove circuit and the upcoming 2014 season. On this Halloween, I’m reminded of a few scenes from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Fresh off a Trick or Treat stop, all of the Peanuts characters are raving about the treats they just received — “I got five pieces of candy! I got a chocolate bar! I got a quarter!”

Those, my friends, are the Red Sox fans this morning. And us Yankee fans? Well, we’re Charlie Brown.

I got a rock.”

Of course, Red Sawx fans were getting rocks since September 2011, when the “Greatest Team Ever” collapsed in the middle of “Chickengate” and not only fell out of first place, but the playoff race as well. Then the Sawx hired Bobby Valentine, which was baseball’s equivalent to Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown. And, yes, Boston fans and media know-it-alls were beginning to question just how good the once prosperous Red Sawx farm system really was.

By August 2012, the tide began to turn back to Boston. In an effort to end the steady flow of rocks into their trick or treat bags, the Red Sawx exiled the malcontents. In New York, the Yankees were working their way toward the ALCS, but it was there that the Yankee misfortunes really began when St. Derek went down for the count and never really recovered, setting the pace for the Pinstripes in 2013. The steady hand of John Farrell took over for Valentine and vital role players replaced the malcontents in Boston, but, even then, everyone was pretty much sold on how the Red Sawx — and the Yankees — would be fighting it out for last place while Toronto took over the AL East.

Given their circumstances, the Yankees overachieved somewhat in 2013, but not nearly to the extent of the fan base’s — or ownership’s from 1973 to 2010 — expectations. Proclamations of getting under the $189 million mark became common. Sure, we’ll pass on the big ticket players, and instead, sign the sputtering Vernon Wells, Ichiro and Travis Hafner projects of the world, and the Great Pumpkin will still show up in October. Right. Like Sally, some of us actually believed it for a while.

So now, we’re sorting through a bagful of rocks and hoping that the Great Pumpkin turns up next October, like he did for the Red Sawx this year. Certainly, that’s not a great outlook, but, as the Red Sawx proved this year, stranger things have happened. We can only hope.

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Yankee fans: You can do it — root for the Red Sox

There’s no doubt that Yankee fans everywhere are in distress today, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why. Unless you’re just crawling out of bed following a 15-hour slumber (or stupor, for that matter), or living under a rock, you’re well aware that the (*GULP!*) Boston Red Sawx are headed to the World Series.

Yes, Yankee fans — I know. It’s painful, and that’s just because that the Sawx have won the AL pennant. Imagine the noise that you’ll have to endure for the next 12 months if they should go ahead and beat the Cardinals, which I do believe they’ll accomplish in five, maybe six games.

Despite all that, I have a suggestion, one that may be even more painful to those of you sporting pinstripes and interlocked navy blue NY logos, still smarting from this train wreck of a season (according to Yankee standards).

Root for the Red Sawx to win the Series.

Yes, you read that right. Root … for … the … Red … Sawx (*OUCH!*) … to … win … the … Series.

Forget the constant barrage of “Yankees Suck!” taunts that you might here on a regular basis. Forget those dopey beards. Forget the memory of loudmouth Curt Schilling and his bloody sock, or Dave Roberts stealing second. Forget all those less than flattering things they might say about our beloved St. Derek.

Forget all about that for the next couple of weeks.

Instead, remember what happens when tragedy strikes, and everything else, including this silly game of baseball, suddenly falls to the bottom of the priority totem pole. We rally behind each other. Boston fans, many reluctantly, did so after the September 11 attacks in 2001. And, yes, Yankee fans showed their support by singing along to the otherwise annoying “Sweet Caroline” (“There are two types of people in this world — those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don’t.” — Bill Murray) at Yankee Stadium following the Boston Marathon attacks.

YankeesHub is based in Massachusetts, and many of my friends are Red Sawx fans (that’s how many of them pronounce it, by the way). My son, Matt, is a Red Sox (his pronunciation) fan, although he’s not into the “Yankee Hate” as many of his fellow fans might be. A long time resident of Boston, he happened to be at work, just a few blocks away from Copley Square, when the bombings occurred. His good friend, Aaron Bouvier, designed the immensely popular “One Heart Boston” t-shirts.

So, go ahead, Yankee fans, you can do it. Pull for Boston during the World Series or, at the very least, don’t get too annoyed if they win. We’re not rooting for the Red Sawx because we want the team to win; we want something good for the city of Boston. Remember, when you really think about it, all we’re really rooting for as baseball fans is a logo, whether it be red foot garments or pinstriped outfits. Many Boston fans were there for New York after 9/11. We should so the same for the next couple of weeks. Go Red Sox.

There, I said it.

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Zero … Point … Zero — and Other Not-So-Great Grades

There’s still three games left in the regular season, but, aside from being the grand finales for Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera, they’ll be about as important as those final half days of school in June. You remember those days, when the testing is all done and you’re just waiting for the bell to ring, with Alice Cooper riffs dancing through your head.

So, note that the final grades are already in before the report cards are handed out. So, let’s not waste any more time. Let the 2013-14 off-season begin, complete with grades from the YankeesHub Dean …

    • FIRST BASE: Lyle Overbay gets a B- for stepping in and doing pretty much what was expected from him after being forced to step in full-time for Mark Teixiera. He gets the Daniel Simpson Day grade here — “has no grade point average. All courses, incomplete.”
    • SECOND BASE: Robbie Cano gets a B for his season, but the free agent-to-be also gets fitted for a dunce cap after requesting $305 million for the next 10 years. Robbie, we love ya, doncha know, but not at those prices.
    • SHORTSTOP: Another incomplete goes to El Capitain, after spending more time on the DL than anywhere else. Jeter insists he’ll back, but he said that last fall too. Don’t be surprised if the last surviving link to the glory days retires early next season; Father Time may very well have caught up with him.
    • THIRD BASE: Kevin Youkilis was signed to fill in for A-Rod, but everyone’s worst fears about Joba Chamberlain’s one-time favorite target was realized when his back gave out early. Speaking of A-Rod, who gets a C for his efforts this year (after all, he is now strictly an “average” ballplayer), is another one who talks about returning to prime form, but probably won’t even get the chance if Bud Selig’s sentence holds up. End it now.
    • CATCHER: Chris Stewart proved that he was in over his head, getting a low C-minus. Same grade goes for Austin Romine. Francisco Cervelli gets an incomplete, but may be their best option here. Yeeeesh.
    • OUTFIELD: Curtis Granderson never got on track after those two fractures (C-minus) and could very well be heading out of town. Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki (D and C-minus, respectively) need to move on, even though the Yankees are stuck with them for another year. Zoilo Almonte (B-minus) has potential, but isn’t there yet. Brett Gardner (A-minus) may have been the best feature about the Yankee offense and defense this year. Alfonso Soriano (B-plus) was everything that was expected of him, providing plenty of punch in the middle of lineup, but also providing a few “WTF” moments (see his base running blunders from the Boston series earlier this month).
    • STARTERS: For whatever reason CC Sabathia broke down the way he did, he gets a C-minus (it would easily be a D had he not improved slightly in the last few weeks); his return to at least No. 2 starter form is critical, especially since we’re carrying him for the next three years. Hiroki Kuroda gets a C after fading badly in the second half. Andy Pettitte, knowing he was done, still toughed it out for a B-minus. Ivan Nova (B) is looking like our best option going forward, and that’s a bit frightening. Hey, there’s always C students David Phelps and Adam Warren. Oh, and Phil Hughes? See below.
    • BULLPEN: Farewell to the Great Mariano, who gets a high A in his 19th and final season. No matter how good David Robertson (B-plus, would be higher if not for the Houdini antics occasionally going bad) turns out to be, Mo’s loss will be felt for years to come. Preston Claiborne (C-minus) faded after starting out well. Sean Kelly ( a solid C) was an average reliever. Boone Logan (C-plus) may or may not return. And Joba? OK, quit laughing. See below.

  • JOBA CHAMBERLAIN and PHIL HUGHES: Oh, they get their own category. Let’s go back to that classic piece of cinema from 1978 — Animal House. You know the scene — where Dean Wormer reads off the final grade point averages to the Delta crew, then gets to John Blutarsky (played by John Belushi), who has pencils hanging from his nostrils. After being initially startled, the Dean utters the words “ZERO … POINT … ZERO!” That, my friends, describes the grades of Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes in 2013. Once the major untouchables in trade discussions for the likes of Johan Santana and other elite names and considered to be the future of the Yankees pitching staff, the pair plunged like stones in their move it or lose it year. They’re done in the Bronx, and the Yankees will get zero-point-zero in return for them. In fact, their departures will actually be a positive for this team.

Manager Joe Girardi actually did a good job, earning an A-minus. In fact, as noted earlier on this blog, the only difference between the 2012 Red Sawx and the 2013 Yankees was their managers. Both teams were injury-riddled train wrecks, but Girardi kept this team in the playoff mix until the final week of the season. Bobby Valentine had the Sawx rolling off the rails by early August last year. Will Girardi, a free agent-to-be, be enticed if his hometown Cubs come calling? Don’t be surprised if he does.

So how does 2014 look? As of right now, not good, but neither did the Red Sawx at the end of 2012, and look where they are today. The Yankees could very well blow up a good portion of their roster this winter. Gone will be the meaty salaries of Rivera, Pettitte and Youkilis. If someone like the Angels or Tigers are crazy enough, Cano could bolt the Bronx for A-Rod-plus money. Granderson and Kuroda could very well leave too. Whatever the salaries of Hughes and Chamberlain are spent on, it will be an improvement. Then there’s the cash that a season-long A-Rod suspension could free up. Of course, that’s a lot of talent there too, but with a few smart moves here and there in the off-season, the Bombers’ GPA could be on the rise. Then again, we could be looking at 1965-66 and 1990 all over again — the Yankees’ historical answer to “Zero … Point … Zero.”

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A Sorry Season in Bite-Size But Undigestible Bits

The latest painful portion of the 2013 season came today when Andy Pettitte, shown here pitching in Fenway Park in April 2010, announced his retirement, capping off a season full of so many other sorry moments. (Photo by Don Wilding/YankeesHub.com)

As the Yankees Universe ponders the retirement of Andy Pettitte today, let’s take a look back at some of the more prophetic posts from our Facebook page during this sorry, sad season. It’s your 2013 Yankees season in a nutshell …

  • June 13: “Another quiet night for the Yankee bats. The silence is deafening.”
  • June 19: “Other than Hughes killing us every fifth day, the pitching has been pretty good.”
  • June 21: “All tied at 1-1. We’re doomed.”
  • June 27: “And what’s really sad is that Hughes was actually decent for change.”
  • June 30: “History doesn’t lie: This is BAD.”
  • July 2: “So A-Rod strikes out and grounds into a DP in his first rehab outing with Charleston tonight. Yeah, here comes the cavalry.”
  • July 3: “Oh, man — we have a lead! As Mel Allen used to say, ‘How about that?!’”
  • July 5: “Jeter as been cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment! Choirs of angels are singing!”
  • July 7: “Are you friggin’ kidding me???!!!!” (A blown Mo save)
  • July 9: “Everything is broken.”
  • July 12: “It’s a Grade 1 strain. We’re screwed.”
  • July 19: “Derek goes back to the DL. Final nail in the coffin?”
  • July 21: “Remember when we could offset a bad performance by one our pitchers by just outslugging the other team? No more.”
  • July 28: “The time is now, Yankees — WAKE UP!”
  • Aug. 9: “A run! Wow!”
  • Aug. 10: “Game officially conceded. Joba now in to pitch in the 6th.”
  • Aug. 10: “A new Joba Rule: Go Away.”
  • Aug. 12: “Three wins in the last four games! Remember when we didn’t have to wait several weeks for that to happen?”
  • Aug. 13: “Damn it, CC!”
  • Aug. 13: “Party time at the Stadium — 8 runs!”
  • Aug. 15: “How the hell does a team get 12 hits and score only 1 run? Ladies & gentlemen, your 2013 New York Yankees!”
  • Aug. 16: “Sterling on A-Rod’s line-out DP — “He hit it right on the nose! That’s the way to answer your critics! Unfortunately, it was right at Middlebrooks.” Wha … Whaaaat?!”
  • Aug. 16: “Soriano does it again!”
  • Sept. 1: “Why is Joba in there? WHY? WHY? WHY?”
  • Sept. 5: “Joba’s warming up? Goodbye season!”
  • Sept. 6: “Today is like Christmas Eve on the Island of Misfit Toys at Yankee Stadium — only Santa’s not flying in to save the day.”
  • Sept. 13: “Brett Gardner has probably been the only guy that we could really count on during this season from hell, and now he might be gone for the season. Noooooooooooooo!!!!!”
  • Sept. 16: “How the hell is this team still alive in the race for a playoff berth???!!!”

Of course, a lot has changed in the last four days — we’re all but out of the playoff race. That didn’t take long, much like how it didn’t take long for our team to crumble and fall apart right before our eyes. It’s like we said on June 21: “We’re doomed.”

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