Archive for May, 2009

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Sports! News! Dinosaurs!

May 21, 2009

The frequency of my posts has apparently dipped over the past 2 or 3 weeks. I would like to use the excuse that I have a life outside of this blog and the internet, but I won’t try and fool you. Anyway, I am currently working on a few other projects, new, exciting and terrifying things! And on top of that I am moving the DNE headquarters from California to New York and my car refuses to drive as fast as a plane can fly so it is going to take awhile. Covering the Yankees will be oh so much easier when I am back home where I can get the insight and top notch writing of the Daily News and the Post.

Updates will be more regular once again, though I still post in here at least once a week so I don’t know what you plebs expect. I can’t handle this kind of pressure, I’m starting to feel like Hulk Hogan in Suburban Commando.

I think I should conclude every post with a Hulk Hogan clip. Leaves it off on a positive note, wouldn’t you say?

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And We Were That Close to a Dingerless Game

May 18, 2009

The Yankees just completed a three game sweep of the Twins in the most exciting fashion possible, three walk-off hits. Two of them were homers (one by A-Rod Saturday in the 11th inning, one by Damon Sunday in the 10th), with the first game concluding on a Melky Cabrera extra innings base hit in the bottom of the ninth.

Cabrera’s hit came shortly after a Brett Gardner home run. Now, this is something you may have seen in the papers, or will, because it is one of the more bizarre things I have ever heard. Turns out, Brett, of all people, was promised by a sick little girl that he would hit a home run with the luck of a bracelet she gave him.

Brett Gardner Fist Bumping a Leper

Brett Gardner Fist Bumping a Leper

The irrationality in here is just running wild. First of all, Brett has very little power. Second, he has not been starting and was not in the lineup Friday, either. However, the powers of the universe manifested themselves in New Yankee Stadium. Johnny Damon was ejected (for only the third time in his entire career), allowing Gardner to get into the game. Later on Gardner didn’t just yank a homer over the short left field porch in NYS, he hit an inside the park home run. That was the first homer of that kind by a Yankee in a decade, and the most implausible circumstance since the events following this exchange.

The next day the girl found out she was getting a new heart.

Things Brett Gardner has in common with Jesus:

  • Under six foot
  • Five letter first name
  • Very fast
  • Cures the sick
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DNE: Still Not Extinct!

May 12, 2009

In spite of a slow week update wise I am still alive and kicking. I think my problem was watching this on loop all week:

It’s just so…compelling.

A quick rundown of things I missed:

A-rod is back, Yankees saved.

Manny Ramirez was suspended 50 games for trying to get pregnant. Poor Manny.

The entire ensuing shit-storm of retardedness that is still raining down from every major sports news outlet.

Manny being Mommy.

Manny being Mommy.

The outrage against Manny wouldn’t bother me so much if it wasn’t so laced with hypocrisy. Sports writers are apparently angels descending to Earth to save our children from the steroid apocalypse. Spare me too, I am a good person!

My favorite train of thought running through all of this is the notion of a lying, cheating steroid era. Damn Generation X and their drugs, why can’t we get back to the good old days when no one would dare put an illegal or harmful substance in their body.

Or better yet, instead of a doctor prescribed drug like HGH to overcome an injury let’s take the Sandy Koufax route:

1965 brought more obstacles for Koufax. On March 31, the morning after pitching a complete spring training game, Koufax awoke to find that his entire left arm was black and blue from hemorrhaging. Koufax returned to Los Angeles to consult with Kerlan, who advised Koufax that he would be lucky to be able to pitch once a week. Kerlan also told Koufax that he would eventually lose full use of his arm. Koufax agreed not to throw at all between games—a resolution that lasted only one start. To get himself through the games he pitched in, Koufax resorted to Empirin with codeine for the pain, which he took every night and sometimes during the fifth inning. He also took Butazolidin for inflammation, applied capsaicin-based Capsolin ointment (called “atomic balm” by baseball players) before each game, and soaked his arm in a tub of ice afterwards.”

Ask me about lubing the ball up like a Thai prostitute!

Ask me about lubing the ball up like a Thai prostitute!

Sandy Koufax is badass but that is still insane.

I’m not pro-drugs by any means but the line that has been drawn between what is good and what is evil in sports is so blurry that it just should not exist. I hoped to avoid steroid drama but the outrage has been so overwhelmingly annoying I couldn’t help it.

There was also something about Brett Favre this week, but I wasn’t paying attention. I assume he announced his final retirement and is about to ride quietly into the good night.

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Chien-Ming Wang: Easiest Word Play in Baseball?

May 4, 2009

As someone so incredibly noted two weeks ago Chien-Ming Wang has been dealing with a sore foot. The foot problem has led to hip and leg problems, which in turn has given him a release point about as consistent as a Sammy Sosa’s English. Wang’s DL stint and rehab will be switching focus from arm  stamina to a lower pitch count lower body strengthening program designed to help his legs and hips recover.

wangrehab

Not having his legs beneath him would go a long way in explaining Wang’s historically bad start to the year, and hopefully he can be back before the end of the month pitching like he is capable of.

In the meantime, Phil Hughes had a suberb start this week, striking out six in six innings against a very good Detroit offense. He allowed only one hit (a single) to Miguel Cabrera, Curtis Granderson and Magglio Ordonez combined, and only two hits total.  His pitch Fx data for the game is here. There is a ton to be encouraged by, even if it is only one start. His pitches ranged from a high of 94 mph to a low of 73 mph, a pretty huge difference in speeds, and his fastball averaged 91.33 mph, which is just where it should be if he wants to have enough velocity to get it by hitters on occasion. The variation pitch to pitch is incredible, and it really looks like his time in AAA has been paying off.

hughes428

Hughes even had some trouble getting his great curveball over the plate, it often was left high, but the break on it is so sharp that he was able to get away with it. If he can consistently throw his curve where he wants to Hughes’ arsenal is pretty tough to match.hughes2

He still has to prove he can be healthy for a full year, even though none of his injuries have actually been arm related, but a game like that one is exactly what everyone who has been following him in the minors knows he is capable of. It is yet to be determined if he will start tomorrow against Boston or be pushed back because of today’s rain out. Boston is probably an even more daunting game than his season debut, but I would love to see how he comes out of it. He could really push the Yankees to keep him in the majors with a good start.