Welcome in ’07: UT Longhorns, “Dice-K”, Pettitte, Dumping The Unit & The Sheff, Missing Bernie

Hello to everyone! Charles has returned. Sorry I disappeared all of a sudden last year. One day I was blogging, the next day I wasn’t. What happened? I learned that I can’t multi-task and following baseball and passing classes was going to be impossible. So, with my grades all around low Cs and high Ds, I cut out the blog from my daily routine and focused on getting through the semester. I still followed the end of the season and watched the Yanks fall to the Tigers in the ALDS. The playoffs in the National League were more interesting, given that epic 7-game battle of Randolph v. La Russa. I, for one, was shocked that the Mets didn’t sweep them, but as the season closed down their foibles did become pretty apparent so rationally it was explainable. I’m glad the Cardinals ended up winning. I like Tony La Russa. He’s cool. If you haven’t yet, read the book Three Nights in August by Buzz Bissinger. It’s one of the best baseball books you’ll ever read. I promise.

I haven’t been keeping up with the blogosphere, so I don’t have a beat on what types of things are being discussed, over-discussed and under-discussed. So I’ll start out with my school team, the UT Longhorns. Yeah, I go to school in Texas. No offense to all the Texans out there, but I hate Texas. It blows. I guess Austin is an improvement over every other patch of land in this dried up, backward state, but it’s still on my list of places to leave and never return to. Anyway, so the Longhorns, after winning the National Championship in ’05 and going out with a whimper in ’06, are knocking out wins with an explosive offense. Check out our regular lineup (keep in mind, the season is only 34 games old):

Tucker, 2B, .335
Wheeless, 1B, .381, OBP of .483
*Danks, LF, .354, OBP of .494
*Suttle, 3B, .415, OBP of .494, 8 HR, 39 RBI
*Russell, RF, .353, SLG of .912, 17 HR, 40 RBI
Clark, C, .280, 29 RBI
Prince, SS, .431, OBP of .485
Fuller, DH, .323
Peoples, CF, .281, 28 RBI

*Murderer’s Row

Into the mix throw headcoach Augie Garrido, record holder for most wins in college baseball, and you’ve got the best offensive threat competing for all the marbles in Omaha. Our pitching isn’t too shabby, definitly not a pushover, but at the same time our only weakness. Defense is sometimes an issue, but nothing a huge rally can’t erase, because with this lineup hitting is contagious. There could be two outs and if someone gets a hit you might as well expect the next six or seven hitters to get hits as well.

Alright, so after dissing the whole state of Texas I comeback with some rooting for their main school. Hypocritical I know. Anyway, Daisuke Matsuzaka…

After reading Verducci’s article about him in Sports Illustrated I don’t understand how "Dice-K" (he needs a new nickname) has ever lost a game period. I don’t understand how anyone has ever even made decent contact off this guy. He long tosses at a distance of about 300 feet? He never ices his arm? He throws bullpen sessions the day after a start? He regularly throws between 120-180 picthes a game? He throws 8 different pitches? ***? The guy’s a freak of nature. I’m not jealous that the Sox got him and we didn’t. I’m glad Cashman didn’t blow $50 million just to talk with the dude’s agent. But holy cow I’m scared of this guy. He’s going to kill everyone. At least, I want him to. He seems like the type of player who literally eats and sleeps baseball and more specifically, his craft of pitching. Of course I don’t know him personally, but from all accounts I’ve read I assume he has the most rigorous work ethic of any MLB big-leaguer. He just seems to be an honest to goodness epitomy of 110%. There are other players like that too, I consider Jeter in that category, but right now I’m letting my imagination get the better of me because I want to believe that I’m in store for the greatest single season pitching performance of my lifetime. And if Daisuke Matsuzaka doesn’t do it, hopefully Kei Igawa will.

Pettitte is back. Sweet. Part of me doesn’t care just because last year wasn’t so good for him. But two years ago he had 17 wins and a 2.39 ERA. If that Pettitte shows up, it was money well spent. I think it’s going to work out. I think we’ll get the Pettitte of old back on the mound. And by that I mean that I anticipate him being much better than last season, which was pretty crappy. On paper Wang, Igawa, Pettitte, Pavano and Mussina is a darn good starting five. And if something goes wrong we have Karstens waiting in the wings and Phil Hughes behind him. Whether or not Hughes starts a game this season is beyond me. My guess is he might pitch a few games near the end of the year, like Karstens did last year when Moose was on the DL. I don’t like the idea of inserting him into the bullpen. He’s bred to be a kick-rump starter so he should stay there.

Other than picking up Igawa and Pettitte, the best moves made by the Yankees’ brass was getting rid of Johnson and Sheffield. The Big Unit’s days are numbered and he’s falling apart before our very eyes. And Sheffield, though I’m sure he has another 30 homeruns left in him, was kind of a nuisance and seemed to be bad for team chemistry. He has an unfathomably gargantuan ego that isn’t justified by his numbers and I think Abreu is a better all-around outfielder. I’m also overjoyed that Melky’s still here. Melky Cabrera is awesome.

You know who had the sweetest baseball swing I ever saw? Bernie Williams. I sure am going to miss seeing it this year.

It’s time to play ball. If you’re a new blogger or were a regular last season, leave a comment just to say hi so I know who’s out there. Peace.

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2 comments

  1. Jacob

    Welcome back! For all the talk about Matsuzaka so far, he didn’t pitch that much better than Igawa this Spring. So, basically, I’m still in “i’ll believe it when I see it” mode.

    I totally agree about Sheffield. I kind of liked him as a Yankee, but as 2006 wore on he seemed like more of a hassle than he was worth. I’m glad he’s gone.

    Jacob

    http://yankeesco.mlblogs.com

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