"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The series ahead

The Yankees will play a weekend series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. The pitching matchups are:

Friday, 6/1/07 - 7:05 p.m., YES
Chien-Ming Wang - RHP (3-4, 4.13 ERA) vs. Tim Wakefield - RHP (5-5, 3.36 ERA)

Saturday, 6/2/07 - 3:55 p.m., FOX
Mike Mussina - RHP (2-3, 5.86 ERA) vs. Curt Schilling - RHP (5-2, 3.68 ERA)

Sunday, 6/3/07 - 8:05 p.m., ESPN
Andy Pettitte - LHP (3-4, 2.51 ERA) vs. Josh Beckett - RHP (8-0, 2.65 ERA)

In other news, Jason Giambi was placed on the Pavano List (PL) [my new name for the disabled list] this afternoon after he was diagnosed with a tear of the plantar fascia.

Update - 8:49 p.m.: According to Peter Abraham over at the LoHud Yankees Blog, Kevin Thompson will be called up to replace Giambi.

The "hah" incident

By now, I'm sure you've seen and heard about Alex Rodriguez's incident at third base last night against the Blue Jays.

If you haven't, here's a quick recap: Jorge Posada popped a ball up to third base with two outs. As Rodriguez was passing by Howie Clark, he seemed to say something (video clearly shows Rodriguez opening his mouth). The Jays claim he said, "Mine," while Rodriguez claims he said, "Ha." Nevertheless, the ball dropped in and allowed a run to score. Cameras cut to the Blue Jays dugout where they were all staring at Rodriguez.

Critics have undoubtedly compared this to the "glove slap" and the "slide." However, this was probably the most harmless of the three, as no contact was made.

Some quotes:

"I just said, 'Hah!' That's it," Rodriguez said. "Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I don't know what my intention was. I didn't say, 'I got it' or anything like that."

"I heard a 'Mine' call and so I let it go," Clark said. "What do you do? It makes you mad."

"The thing about the Yankees, one of the reasons they're so respected, is they do things right. Always have," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "They've got a lot of pride and a lot of class. They play the game hard. That's not Yankee pride right there. That's not the way they play. I thought it was bush league."

My feelings are that if this was anyone except Rodriguez, no one would care or they would say that he is just doing his part to help his team win. I feel that this play wasn't that dirty, but others will feel differently and the haters now have more fodder to call Rodriguez a "dirty player."

I have a feeling people will come around to liking A-Rod when he is approaching Barry Bonds' all-time home run record. Hopefully he will still be a Yankee at that point.

With the Michael Vick dog fighting saga (among other things), Tank Johnson going to jail, players getting pulled over for drunk driving and possession of controlled substances, etc., all of the criticism Rodriguez gets is unwarranted. He has never been caught doing anything illegal and he is a great baseball player. He does not deserve the treatment he gets.

Source: Associated Press via Yahoo! Sports

Review of Citizens Bank Park

Last night, I went to my first game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, and I must say that I came home very impressed.

It is a beautiful stadium with all of the modern amenities. The food was great and they offered a wide selection. They have barbecue, cheesesteaks, hot dogs, pizza, etc.

The outfield concourse, known as Ashburn Alley, offers great views of the entire ballpark. In addition to the views of the ballpark, it goes right behind the visitor's bullpen. Of course, former buddy Randy Johnson (pictured, right) was pitching for the Diamondbacks last night, so I got to see him warm up. Needless to say, it was great yelling at him.

When walking to the seats, the entire concourse is open, so you can look out and see the field. The wideness of said concourses is also a plus.

The crowd was quiet for most of the game, and I expected the Philadelphia fans to be a little more rowdy, but maybe this had to do with it being a Wednesday night game against Arizona. Phillies starter Jamie Moyer gave up a first pitch home run to Eric Byrnes, and that was the last offense until the eighth inning, when he gave up three more runs to take a 4-0 lead.

The Phillies were able to come back in the ninth, scoring three runs. 2006 MVP Ryan Howard came off the bench to pinch hit, but lined into a double play to end the game.

All-in-all, it was a fun game in a very nice stadium. Going to a game in a 21st Century stadium made me realize what we as Yankee fans are really missing out on, and I am now excited for the new Yankee Stadium. I would definitely want to come back to Citizens Bank Park.

The above pictures are from my Canon PowerShot A540. I followed Maria Sharapova's advice to make every shot a PowerShot.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Game preview: Yankees at Blue Jays 5/30/07

Starting pitchers

Yankees (21-29)

Tyler Clippard - RHP (1-1, 3.60 ERA)

Blue Jays (24-27)
Jesse Litsch - RHP (1-1, 4.24 ERA)

Time: 7:07 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880

Pregame concerns: The Yankees have never faced Litsch and they always struggle against unknowns. For that matter, the Blue Jays have never seen Clippard. ... The Yankees are 0-4 since I started the blog and are on a five-game losing streak overall. ... Joe Torre had a quick hook for Clippard last Friday, so if there is any sign of early trouble, expect to see the bullpen for many innings.

Prediction: Due to the law of averages, the Yankees should win a game sooner or later. Tonight will be the night, and will win 7-5.

There will be no liveblog or game recap tonight. Check Yahoo! Sports or ESPN for the boxscore and game stories.

In other news, my Andy Roddick post was quoted on FanIQ.com. I think that's pretty cool.

For a last place team...

...the Yankees are getting a lot of play on SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight. On the inside, all of the on-air "talent" must be very giddy.

Hopefully as July comes and the Yankees are 24.5 games back of the Wild Card, let alone the AL East, ESPN just lets Yankee fans mourn in peace.

We have already been through enough this year.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Clemens update plus more

I know I've churned out a lot of posts today, but here's another one.

Manager extraordinaire Joe Torre announced that resident mercenary Roger Clemens will make his much-anticipated 2007 debut Monday against the Chicago White Sox in Chicago.

For all the money the Yankees are paying Clemens, they should at least pitch him in Fenway, but I digress.

Did anyone see Giants closer Armando Benitez tonight against the Mets?

With the Giants leading 4-3 going to the bottom of the 12th inning, Benitez, returning to Shea Stadium, walked Jose Reyes to lead off the inning. He then was called for a balk, allowing Reyes to take second. He was then sacrificed to third. Soon after, he was called for a balk again, allowing Reyes to score. He then gave up a walkoff home run to Carlos Delgado. Pretty funny stuff.

I will not be around for the Yankee game tomorrow night, as I will be going to my first game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia to see the Phillies play. As an added bonus, Randy Johnson will be pitching for Arizona.

Game recap: Yankees at Blue Jays 5/29/07

Another great start from Andy Pettitte was wasted Tuesday night as the Yankees fell to the Blue Jays by a score of 3-2. This is becoming all-too-familiar for the Yankees left-hander.

In his four losses, Pettitte has pitched poorly in only one of them. In his other three losses, he has gone at least seven innings, giving up no more than three runs. The vaunted Yankee offense should be able to overcome such a deficit.

The Yankees only scored two runs tonight in support of Pettitte. The Blue Jays were able to break a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning on an Aaron Hill steal of home. The Yankees were then able to tie the score again after two Blue Jay errors.

Trouble occurred again in the eighth, when Pettitte gave up a leadoff double to Adam Lind. Jason McDonald then sacrificed him over to third with one out. He was driven home on a sacrifice fly by Alex Rios. Between the bunt and the sacrifice fly, Joe Torre took Pettitte out in favor of Scott Proctor. The more logical move would have been to bring in Brian Bruney, who is averaging one strikeout per inning, meaning his K/9 is 9.00, while Proctor's is only 5.47.

Jeremy Accardo (1-0) was awarded the win for the Blue Jays tonight, pitching 1 2-3 innings. Starter Shaun Marcum gave the Jays a solid, six inning effort.

Pettitte lowered his ERA from 2.66 to 2.51 with his solid start tonight but fell to 3-4 on the season.

The Detroit Tigers beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays tonight by a score of 14-2. The Boston score is irrelevant to Yankee fans. At least they won't have sole position of last place due to the Devil Rays losing.

Tyler Clippard goes for the Yankees tomorrow night to prevent this losing streak from continuing.

Photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports

Liveblog: Yankees at Blue Jays 5/29/07


Yankees (21-28)
Johnny Damon - CF
Derek Jeter - SS
Hideki Matsui - LF
Alex Rodriguez - 3B
Jorge Posada - C
Jason Giambi - DH
Bobby Abreu - RF
Doug Mientkiewicz - 1B
Robinson Cano - 2B

Andy Pettitte - LHP (3-3, 2.66 ERA)

Blue Jays (23-27)
Alex Rios - RF
Lyle Overbay - 1B
Vernon Wells - CF
Frank Thomas - DH
Aaron Hill - 2B
Jason Phillips - C
Royce Clayton - CF
Adam Lind - LF
John McDonald - 3B

Shaun Marcum - RHP (2-2, 4.33 ERA)

Time: 7:07 p.m.
Radio: WCBS-AM 880

Pregame concerns: Yankees are winless since I started the blog. ... Wells owns Pettitte (10-20, 1 HR, 5 RBI).

Prediction: Yankees lose 3-1. Pettitte pitches well, but the Yankees continue the trend and don't score for him.

7:24 p.m.: Here we go again. The Yankees are already down 1-0 after a Rios single and a Jeter throwing error, a steal of third, and a ground out. At least Michael Kay isn't calling the game.

7:31 p.m.: Giambi finally hits the ball to the left side of the infield to beat the shift for an infield single. He should've been doing this for 5 years now.

7:34 p.m.: Jason Giambi: track star. After getting the infield single, the Yankees send Giambi on a 3-2 count with Bobby Abreu at the plate. He strikes out swinging, Giambi is safe at second base, and takes third on an error on the shortstop.

9:05 p.m.: Giambi homered off Scott Downs earlier in the seventh inning to tie the game. The score is now 1-1.

9:18 p.m.: Hill steals home to give the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead. The Yankees are like the New York Giants: they are finding new ways to lose.

9:27 p.m.: Yankees get two men on, on two errors. However, Matsui flied to center for the first out. Runners at first and second, one out for Posada.

9:29 p.m.: Posada singles over the head of Hill to drive home Jeter. The score is now 2-2.

9:39 p.m.: This just in: Bobby Abreu sucks.

9:42 p.m.: After a leadoff double and sacrifice bunt, there is a runner at third and one out. Pettitte is coming out and Scott Proctor is coming in. Personally, I would've gone with Brian Bruney here. He has a better chance of getting a strikeout here.

9:47 p.m.: Proctor induces a fly ball to center field for a sacrifice fly. Of course Damon and his girl arm doesn't even attempt to throw home. 3-2 Blue Jays. I still think Bruney should've come in.

9:50 p.m.: I'm getting sick of YES showing commercials for the Roger Clemens Yankeeography and classic games. Clemens signing with the Yankees was a big deal three weeks ago. It isn't anymore. As I write this, Josh Phelps just struck out for the first out in the top of the ninth.

9:55 p.m.: Yankees go down 1-2-3 in the ninth. They have now lost five in a row, and are 0-for the blog. They managed to waste another good performance by Pettitte, who is now 3-4 and did not deserve this loss.

Game recap to come eventually.

Andy Roddick would be a great Yankee

If you're watching Andy Roddick's first round French Open match against Igor Andreev on tape delay, he lost.

Roddick (pictured) is an overhyped tennis player who is known for only having a hard serve. He has only won one major Grand Slam event, the 2003 U.S. Open.

If Roddick was a baseball player, he'd fit in perfectly with the post-2001 New York Yankees. He is a big name who is not a winner. He would be a power hitter, who hits long, majestic home runs. But he would not be not a complete baseball player. A Jason Giambi, if you will.

Since the heartbreaking loss in 2001, this is the type of player the Yankees have turned to. Giambi, Alex Rodriguez (to an extent), Gary Sheffield, etc. The names are attractive, but they do not help your team win in the long run.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images and Yahoo! Sports

The players can say what they want, but this team has quit

Obviously Derek Jeter won't go in front of reporters and television cameras and say, "Yeah, this team is terrible. We're 13.5 games out of first place. We have no chance of winning anything this year, so we might as well give up."

Their actions on the field are speaking louder than if they pulled a Bart Simpson and placed 20 megaphones back to back and spoke in front of them.

I knew a year like this would come soon, as they can't finish in first every year. However, I did not think that this year would be the year. The team got old really fast and caught a lot of bad breaks.

There is no way to fix this mess this year. Firing Joe Torre and Kevin Long (the hitting coach) would accomplish absolutely nothing. Torre will be gone after this year, and I want him gone. However, there is no need to fire him. The players are the problem. Johnny Damon is playing like a 45-year-old, Bobby Abreu is inept, and Jason Giambi is a recovering drug addict. However, it is impossible to trade anyone of these guys. Why would MLB general managers want to help out the big, bad New York Yankees and take on their bloated contracts?

Brian Cashman may take the fall, and he made some bad moves (Kei Igawa, anyone?), but it isn't his fault that Robinson Cano regressed and that Abreu totally fell off. The bench, bullpen, and backup catcher are his fault, and a $200 million team should be able to improve these areas. However, the construction of the roster essentially inhibited many moves from being done.

Also, there are no great replacements for Cashman. He made some decent trades this off season that were meant for the future. There are some good prospects in the minors that we should see in the next two to three years. All is not lost. However, this year is lost. It's time to pack up and move on.

The above phrase was on the Yankee Stadium marquee after a George Steinbrenner statement following the 22-0 debacle against the Cleveland Indians in 2004.

By the way: Rachel Nichols does not blink; Duke lacrosse

Here at SPA, I am always trying new things; you know, throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks. For "By the way," I will talk about things that don't really have much to do with the Yankees but feel are interesting and should be mentioned here. These items may or may not be about sports, either. These two items, incidentally, do indeed deal with sports. These may be frequent, considering the way the Yankees are playing this year.

ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols (pictured) does not blink during her reports. If she does, it is an extremely rare occurrence. I have recently started to notice this, and it is pretty remarkable. Next time you see her on SportsCenter, look closely at her eyes, even though the rest of her is rather attractive.

Duke University's lacrosse team had a great run this year following the "rape" "allegations" by an "exotic" dancer from last year. The 2006 season was canceled and their coach was forced to resign. Three players' lives were seemingly ruined. However, the charges were dropped earlier this year and the team was restored for this season. They finished with a record of 17-3 and lost in the championship game to Johns Hopkins University by only one goal on Monday. Love or hate Duke, this is a great story.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Game recap: Yanks lose 7-2, but at least Clemens pitched well!

If you can't tell, the title of this post is very sarcastic. Roger Clemens (pictured) will end up being a giant waste of money. For those that still care, he pitched six scoreless innings for AAA Scraton/Wilkes-Barre, striking out six and allowing no runs.

However, with the Yankees continuing to lose (they have won only seven games out of 20 since Clemens announced he was coming back and have fallen 8 games further in the standings), Clemens will not make much of a difference.

I didn't watch any of tonight's Yankee game (which explains the lack of a liveblog), but the Yankees were shut out for seven innings by Toronto starter Dustin McGowan, who had a 7.17 ERA before the game started. The Yankees eventually scored two runs on a Hideki Matsui home run in the eighth inning.

The Yankees had an hour-long team meeting prior to the game. Obviously, the Yankees have tuned out manager Joe Torre, after putting together this joke of a performance after a closed-door "meeting."

The Tigers, the team that leads the Wild Card, lost. It doesn't even matter what Boston does. The Yankees have no shot of catching them, so they can win all the games they want.

Photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A look at the standings

Now that all of the Sunday games have been completed, here is an updated look at the American League East standings and the American League Wild Card standings.

AL East
Boston Red Sox - 34-15
Baltimore Orioles - 23-27, 11.5 GB
Toronto Blue Jays - 22-27, 12.0 GB
New York Yankees - 21-27, 12.5 GB
Tampa Bay Devil Rays - 20-28, 13.5 GB

The Red Sox magic number (or Yankees tragic number) to win the East is 102, so there's still hope!!! NOT.

AL Wild Card
Detroit Tigers - 29-20
Chicago White Sox - 24-21, 3.0 GB
Seattle Mariners - 24-22, 3.5 GB
Minnesota Twins - 24-25, 5.0 GB
Oakland Athletics - 24-25, 5.0 GB
Baltimore Orioles - 23-27, 6.5 GB
Toronto Blue Jays - 22-27, 7.0 GB
New York Yankees - 21-27, 7.5 GB
Tampa Bay Devil Rays - 20-28, 8 GB
Kansas City Royals - 19-32, 11 GB
Texas Rangers - 18-32, 11.5 GB

The Tigers magic number to win the Wild Card is 107, so there's even more hope!!!

As you can see, the American League East race is over. The Yankees have dug themselves a huge hole and will not crawl out of it. The Red Sox are too good and the Yankees are not.

The Yankees have not played Detroit yet this year, and the Yankees, on paper, are better than most of the teams they are behind in the Wild Card standings.

This all being said, the Yankees have to play better baseball and at least get above .500, because the "that's early" excuse is not going to fly in the middle of August.

The way things are now, the team has no pulse and it does not seem like they want to win. You get a feeling that when they fall behind early, they stop caring. It may be best if they miss the playoffs, start playing some young guys to see what the system has, and build a better team for 2008-on.

Orlando Cabrera is a moron

In today's Los Angeles Times (registration required), Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim shortstop Orlando Cabrera ripped into Yankee fans.

"They don't appreciate good baseball," he said. "They just appreciate the Yankees beating up on everybody."

I'm sorry, but what is wrong with appreciating winning? Baseball is based on winning. This reminds me of a famous Ruben Sierra (pictured) quote: "All they (the Yankees) care about is winning." This was said during his first stint with the team.

Cabrera continues to put his foot in his mouth: "In Boston, they admire baseball," he said. "In Anaheim, those fans are some of the best in baseball. They know you care there. They know you can't do it every day. I appreciate that. These people here, they're mean. And they're really mean to the other team."

Nice loser mentality there, Orlando. Fans should expect perfection. I don't know how this makes Yankee fans not appreciate good baseball. When the other team beats your team, are you supposed to be happy that you witnessed a good game? Maybe that works in Kansas City, but it certainly does not work in New York. One pays good money to attend games and watch his or her team win. Anything short of a victory is unacceptable.

I'm sure in Boston, Red Sox fans are "mean" to the other team, especially the Yankees and their fans. This is part of being a fan. In Los Angeles, fans arrive late and leave early. They need thundersticks to generate crowd noise. I'm sure they aren't as knowledgeable as fans in New York or Boston.

Thanks, Orlando, for making me even prouder to be a Yankee fan.

Thanks to Yanks473 at The Yankee Zone for originally posting this article

Game recap: Yankees vs. Angels 5/27/07

Reports of the demise of Yankees starting pitcher Mike Mussina have been greatly exaggerated, for now. However, the demise of the 2007 Yankees is very real after being swept at home by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Yankees lost a disappointing game on Sunday by a score of 4-3, and are now 12 games back of the first place Boston Red Sox, pending this afternoon's outcome.

Mussina pitched a great 6 1-3 innings before being taken out of the game with 95 pitches, while leading 2-1, after surrendering a one out walk to Casey Kotchman, the Angels first baseman.

Scott Proctor relieved Mussina and promptly gave up a double to Howie Kendrick. Proctor followed this by walking Mike Napoli and then pinch hitter Erick Aybar, scoring Kotchman. Proctor's control problems continued to the next hitter, Chone Figgins, whom also walked.

Proctor was awarded the loss.

Brian Bruney came in next and induced a sacrifice fly to Reggie Willits. Aybar was tagged out trying to advance to third base.

The Yankees scored two runs, both off the bat of struggling backup catcher Wil Nieves, in support of Mussina. After the fourth inning, the Yankees could not score until the ninth inning, but they did have their chances.

The Yankees left 12 runners on base, including a runner at third in the ninth inning when Derek Jeter flew out.

John Lackey shut down the Yankees offense over eight innings, striking out four while only allowing two runs. Francisco Rodriguez got the save after making the ninth inning a little interesting.

With this loss, the Yankees fell to 21-27 and will travel to Toronto for a three-game series. Matt DeSalvo will get the start on Monday. The Yankees are only ahead of three teams in the wild card race, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Kansas City Royals, and Texas Rangers. Great company, indeed.

Photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports

Liveblog: Yankees vs. Angels 5/27/07


Angels (30-20)
Reggie Willits - LF
Orlando Cabrera - SS
Vladimir Guerrero - DH
Gary Matthews Jr. - CF
Casey Kotchman - 1B
Howie Kendrick - 2B
Mike Napoli - C
Robb Quinlan - RF
Chone Figgins - 3B

John Lackey - RHP (7-3, 2.38 ERA)

Yankees (21-26)
Melky Cabrera - CF
Derek Jeter - SS
Hideki Matsui - LF
Alex Rodriguez - 3B
Jason Giambi - DH
Robinson Cano - 2B
Bobby Abreu - RF
Doug Mientkiewicz - 1B
Wil Nieves - C

Mike Mussina - RHP (2-3, 6.52 ERA)

Time: 1:05 PM
Radio: WCBS 880 AM

Pregame concerns: The bottom three of the Yankees' lineup is inept. ... Mussina is what is preventing the Yankees from being swept in this series. In his last start against Boston on Tuesday, his fastball did not go above 88 mph. ... In 46 at-bats against Mussina, Shea Hillenbrand is batting .326 with 3 HR and 8 RBI. I wonder why he's not in the lineup today. Figgins is 8-16 against Mussina. However, Guerrero is only 4-21 against the Moose. I'm sure those numbers will get better today.

Prediction: Yankees fall behind early and don't recover. They lose like 8-2 or something.

1:10 p.m.: Moose throws all fastballs to Willits leading off. The fastest pitch was a 3-2 87 mph pitch down and away that Willits whiffed at.

p.m.: Mussina strikes out the side. He got Willits swinging, Cabrera looking, and Guerrero swinging.

p.m.: Do my eyes deceive me? Nieves hits an RBI single over Figgins' head. He is now 2-28 on the season. 1-0 Yankees.

p.m.: Jeter was hitting .609 with runners in scoring position and two outs before flying out to Matthews Jr.

p.m.: Nieves gets hit second RBI single of the day after a good acting job by Mientkiewicz. The ball bounced right in front of his foot and started jumping around pretending that he got hit by the pitch. 2-0 Yankees.

p.m.: Mussina has a penchant for giving up runs right after the Yankees score. A hard hit ball went off his glove and into center field and then a bloop went over Cano's head. After Kendrick grounded into a double play, Napoli singled in a run. After Quinlan singled Napoli over to third, Mussina was able to strike out Figgins. 2-1 Yankees going to the bottom of the fifth.

p.m.: Mussina is coming out of the game after walking Kotchman. He pitched 6 1-3 innings, struck out six, and walked one. The Namesake is in the game now.

p.m.: Scott Proctor comes in, loads the bases, and just walked in the tying run. Mussina did not need to be taken out after surrendering a one out walk. Proctor just walked in another run. 3-2 Angels. Now Joe Torre is going to Brian Bruney. Great decision to take out Mussina.

p.m.: Bruney gives up a sacrifice fly and Erick Aybar was tagged out in a rundown. 4-2 Angels going to the bottom of the seventh.

p.m.: Nieves walks and Jeter doubles. Two on, two out for Matsui. He grounds out to first. Going to the top of the eighth, 4-2 Angels.

p.m.: You know it's a bad game when Nieves is a player of the game nominee on YES.

3:49 p.m.: Giambi is 3-49. Lackey has gone through eight innings, holding the Yankees to two runs.

4:17 p.m.: The Yankees decide to wake up for the ninth inning. They scratch across a run off Francisco Rodriguez before Jeter flew out to end the game. Rodriguez, of course, celebrated like he had never saved a game before. Yankees lose 4-3.

Game recap to come eventually.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Luis Vizcaino: Awful pitcher or just another Joe Torre casualty?

Meet Luis Vizcaino. He is a Yankee middle reliever, wears uniform number 52, and was sent to the Yankees in the Randy Johnson salary dump. He is 2-1 with a 7.66 ERA in 24 2/3 innings. He has struck out 12 while walking 19. He has squandered 24 hits, 3 of which went for home runs.

At first glance, these numbers are awful. But there has to be a reason as to why he is struggling, right? Is he a bad pitcher? Hardly. He was an integral member of the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox bullpen. From 2004-2006, he posted a sub-4 ERA in each of those 3 years. There has to be a reason why his numbers with the mighty Yankees are terrible.

The reason is Joe Torre.

Vizcaino was great in Spring Training and the first two weeks of the season. Out of the first 10 games of the season, Vizcaino pitched in 8, pitching 8 1/3 innings, allowing only 2 hits and 1 earned run, striking out 2, and walkking 3.

Joe Torre fell in love with him, just as he did with Ron Villone last year.

Since then, his numbers have done a complete 180. Beginning April 19, he has allowed 20 earned runs in 16 appearances. The overwork has obviously adversely affected his pitching, and is most likely injured and is not telling anyone.

Let's look at Villone's numbers from last year. Pre-all-star break, he was 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA and a .201 batting average against (BAA). Post-all-star break, he was 0-2 with a 8.35 ERA and a .301 BAA. In August alone, he pitched in an obscene 17 games, which resulted in 22 1/3 innings pitched and a 6.04 ERA. His September numbers were nothing to write home about either. In 9 games, he pitched 6 innings and allowed 18 earned runs.

As a result, poor old Ron was rotting in AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to begin the historic 2007 season. He was one of St. Joseph's most trusted relievers for more than half of the year, but there's only so much a 36-year-old arm can take. Now Villone is back, fighting Torre's fight.

Joe Torre cannot manage the bullpen. His mistakes were often overshadowed by successful Yankee teams and smart personnel around him. This year, this is not the case. The team is awful and his blunders are magnified. There is already one Joe Torre casualty this year, and it is not even June yet. Let's hope that the Namesake (Scott Proctor) is not next.

Photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports

Game recap: Yankees vs. Angels 5/26/07

What else can be said about this awful display that hasn't been said already? The Yankees flat-out suck. Any momentum they may have gained by winning two of three against Boston is out the window after losing the first two games of the weekend set against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

One could tell it would be a long day after the Angels scored three in the first frame. Gary Matthews Jr. tripled to left scored Vladimir Guerrero and Reggie Willits. Casey Kotchman then drove home his teammate. An early lead by the opposing team is the cue for the Yankee bats to fall asleep.

Chien-Ming Wang pitched well, but with the Yankees' unpredictable and usually anemic "all-star" lineup, three runs was too much to come back from. Granted, Kelvim Escobar pitched very well, but a lineup with Bobby Abreu leading off, an incompetent Jason Giambi, Melky Cabrera, and Doug Mientkiewicz most likely won't do very much. Somehow they managed 8 hits against Escobar, Scot Shields, and Francisco Rodriguez.

Alex Rodriguez had a chance to tie the game after Hideki Matsui walked in front of him, but Shields forced a 6-4-3 double play. Luckily for A-Rod, I could not hear many boos from the television speakers.

Francisco Rodriguez, after allowing two 2-out hits made Abreu look silly, which isn't something that is very hard to do as a matter of fact.

Escobar improved to 8-2 with a 2.64 ERA on the season. Shields got his 10th hold and Rodriguez got his 15th save on the year.

Wang fell to 3-4, but lowered his ERA to a more respectable 4.12. Closer Mariano Rivera worked a 1-2-3 9th in order to get some much-needed work.

With this loss, the Yankees fall to 21-26 and are now 11 games back of the first place Boston Red Sox, pending their game against the Texas Rangers which starts at 8:05.

Liveblog: Yankees vs. Angels 5/26/07

Here at SPA (this will be the accepted acronym for Scott Proctor's Arm), I will try to liveblog as much of each game as possible. This will include posting the Yankees' lineup, start time, TV and radio networks, as well as some "pregame concerns," a very uneducated prediction, and any important things that occur during the game. This will most certainly include any Joe Torre screw-ups. The game updates will be posted under "Prediction."

Abreu - RF

Jeter - SS
Matsui - LF
Rodriguez - 3B
Posada - C
Giambi - DH
Cano - 2B
Mientkiewicz - 1B
Cabrera - CF

Chien-Ming Wang, 3-3, 4.28 ERA (RHP) vs. Kelvim Escobar (RHP) 5-2, 2.82 ERA

Time:1:05 PM
Radio: WCBS 880 AM

Pregame concerns: Why is Bobby Abreu leading off? He's been absolutely terrible this year, and while he drew two walks last night, I think this is a mistake. ... The Angels are 56-52 against the Yankees in the storied Joe Torre era. The Angels are 16-8 in their last 24 games against the Yankees. ... There is a rather small sample size of batters against Chien-Ming Wang. Garry Matthews Jr. has had the most at-bats against Wang (7) with 2 hits. Shea Hillenbrand is 0-6 against the Yankee right hander. Chone Figgins and Matthews are the only active Angels who have homered off Wang.

Prediction: Wang holds the Angels down and pitches 7 solid innings. The Yankees won't do much against Escobar, but will scratch across a few runs and win 4-2.

1:17 p.m.: Wang is struggling in the first inning. Michael Kay is already making stupid comments. This will be a long day. Gary Matthews Jr. just hit a 2-run triple and it is 2-0 Angels. Casey Kotchman drove home Matthews, and it is 3-0 before the Yankees come up to bat. It took a half inning for me to get my prediction very wrong.

1:48 p.m.: Robinson Cano just beat out an infield single. Wang worked out of trouble in the top of the 2nd inning. Still 3-0 Angels.

2:26 p.m.:
Cool, Yankees have 1st and 3rd with 1 out for Robinson Cano! Something good is bound to happen! Right!? Wrong. He strikes out and now Doug "Eye Chart" Mientkiewicz is up. Wow, clutch 2-out single for Dougie on a 2-1 count. Score is now 3-1 Angels in the bottom of the 4th.

3:08 p.m.: 7th inning stretch. You know what that means...YES is showing "God Bless America." Now, I love America as much as the next blogger, but enough is enough already. I have no problem that they play this at the Stadium, but YES doesn't have to show this for every home game. That being said, the Yankees are down 3-1 heading to the bottom of the 7th.

4:07 p.m.: The game ended a little over 10 minutes ago. The Yankees had a two-out rally going, with Johnny Damon getting a pinch hit single followed by a Melky Cabrera single. However, Bobby Abreu struck out looking to end the game. That would've been a great spot for him to endear himself in the hearts of Yankee fans. However, he did not deliver. Did anyone really expect him to do anything here?

Game recap to come eventually.

About the author

My name is Andrew Fletcher and I am currently studying journalism at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. Originally from New City, N.Y., I started this blog in May 2007 as a way to hone my craft and write about my favorite team, the New York Yankees.

I have since begun writing for my school newspaper, The Quinnipiac Chronicle (click here to read the articles I have written) and I also edit the student-run radio station's sports blog, WQAQ Sports. I will be Editor-in-Chief of The Quinnipiac Chronicle for the 2009-10 school year.

I hope to cover the Yankees for a newspaper or online publication one day.

Don't hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions, if you want to discuss Yankees baseball or if there's anything else on your mind. My e-mail address is: ScottProctorsArm@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Welcome to Scott Proctor's Arm

First things first, hi, I'm Andrew. I hope you enjoy my blog. Here I will talk about all things I feel important (mainly this involves news about the 26-time World Champion New York Yankees). However, news about my other favorite teams can creep in here at any time, as well as ridiculous stories (from inside or outside the world of sports) that I feel are newsworthy.

As I'm sure you've noticed, this blog is named after Yankees reliever Scott Proctor, specifically, his very valuable right arm. Many Yankee fans felt he was overused last year and that if he pitched any more, his arm would fall off. Thankfully, it did not, and I was able to find a witty name for my blog. My original intentions were name to name this blog the "Chuck Knoblog." However, much to my chagrin, I found out that some clever soul is already using that name for their blog.

I will try to update this blog multiple times a day (at least on game days). Off days can kind of be slow, but knowing the Yankees, there's always some news out there.

I hope you check back often!