-BIG trade today. The Phillies acquire Roy Halladay, the Mariners acquire Cliff Lee, and the Blue Jays acquire a boatload of prospects. Updates as they come.
INSTANT ANALYSIS: I don’t really think the Phillies are winners in the trade. Sure, Halladay is better than Lee but not by a landslide and the trade is essentially Cliff Lee and a few top prospects for Roy Halladay AND a 3 year $60M contract.
-Red Sox sign John Lackey to a 5 year $85 Million contract.
INSTANT ANALYSIS: I really am not just saying this because I am a Yankees fan, but I dislike this move in an enormous way for the Red Sox. 5 years for an injury-prone pitcher? More than Burnett? Sure, Lackey is a clutch pitcher but he should not be getting paid that much.
-Angels sign Hideki Matsui to a 1-Year deal.
INSTANT ANALYSIS: This came as a surprise to me. He is essentially the new Vlad Guerrero for the Angels. I like the move but it all depends on the amount he is getting paid. He will be missed in New York.
HOW ALL THIS HAS TO DO WITH THE YANKEES:
-Roy Halladay is out of the AL East!
-The Yankees have to deal with Lackey in the AL East, however, and also the fact that they do not have much leverage on free agent pitchers.
-The Yankees have much less leverage on Johnny Damon. Hideki Matsui was basically the second-option for the Yankees. He is now gone.
UPDATE: 6:50 PM: Do you know the answer to this? (Hint: do not look in comments or you will find the correct answer, 99% sure)
UPDATE: 9:55 PM: Hideki Matsui signed for a 1 year $6.5M deal. Mike Cameron signed with the Boston Red Sox.
Latest from the Winter Meetings:
– The Rangers traded RHP Kevin Millwood to the Orioles for reliever Chris Ray
– LHP Randy Wolf and RHP Latroy Hawkins both signed with the Milwaukee Brewers
– The Atlanta Braves GM officially stated that Rafael Soriano will be traded
– The Cardinals officially signed RHP Brad Penny
– The Marlins sent RHP Matt Lindstrom to the Astros for 2 minor leaguers and a Rule 5 pick
– 2004 Rookie of the Year SS Bobby Crosby signed with the Pirates
– The Phillies signed PH/1B Ross Gload
Overrated. That’s all I have to say. I respect the Phillies. I like the Phillies. I do not respect or like this man. He should not be even called a man. (In case you didn’t know that is Jimmy Rollins, who stated that if they were lucky the Yankees would win one game this series)
The Yankees defeated the Phillies tonight 7-3, and won the World Series in six games. With tonights victory the Yankees have 27 World Series victories and 40 pennants.
-Clutchest Pitcher in baseball history=Mariano Rivera
-Only the Yankees fans would go crazy over not winning a World Series in 10 years. In a place like Kansas City, making the playoffs twice in 10 years is an amazing feat.
-I was in Philadelphia earlier today and I was booed heavily (I wore a Yankees jersey)
-I was cursed at by two 80-year-old ladies and challenged to a fight by a teenage girl
-Philadelphia has great food, so they at least have that going for them
-Damaso Marte just skyrocketed his status with the Yankees fans. What a postseason for him.
-This could have been Andy Pettite’s last career game.
-What a postseason for Hideki Matsui. It will be very tough not to bring him back next year….don’t be surprised if the White Sox sign Damon and the Yankees sign Matsui/Bay/Holliday.
-Cano needs to step it up in the clutch.
-The Yankees won the World Series.
-Spike Lee is one impressive fan.
-Alex Rodriguez finally won a World Series.
-The Yankees won the World Series
-Tough loss for the Phillies, even tougher for dirt-bag Jimmy Rollins. (I don’t mind any other player on the team)
-THE YANKEES WON THE WORLD SERIES
Tonight the Yankees come back home to New York after a fairly successful stretch in Philadelphia. I am curious as to why the mood has swung in the Phillies favor. The Yankees took two out of three as visitors to Citizens Bank Park and did so with one dramatic victory in game 4 and a sound victory in game 3. They lost game 5 but only because AJ Burnett imploded in the early innings. The Yankees fought back, scored 5 runs off of Cliff Lee who has been the most dominant pitcher this postseason and were in a position to win the game. Not only does this show that the Yankees have regained some offensive prowess that was lacking in the first two games but it also shows that the bullpen was able to hold things together and give the Yankees a chance to win. With Andy Pettitte working on short rest in game 6 the show of strength from the bullpen has got to count for something because it puts less pressure on Pettitte to get directly to Mariano Rivera. So my question is, why all of a sudden does every Yankee fan, anti-Yankee fan, Philly fan, or sports pundit all of a sudden think that the Phillies have the momentum in the series?
The only thing that really should make the Phillies confident is that Chase Utley has been a man among boys and that some, but not all, of the Phillies bats are starting to wake up. But has their pitching, both starting and in the bullpen, been any better? Has Ryan Howard stopped slumping? Did they demolish the Yankees at home and take a lead in the series? All of these questions are answered simply by saying no. Brad Lidge was given a mental health day in game 5. And how confident should the Phillies be if they win game 6? Are they going to start Cole Hamels who apparently doesn’t even want to be playing baseball anymore or are they going to mix and match Joe Blanton and JA Happ? Howard seems to be doing his best to tie the World Series strikeout record. Oh, and by the way, the Yankees lead the series 3-2! For all the questions being raised about the Yankees, shouldn’t there be more about the Phillies? The Phillies have a much tougher task than the Yankees do.
Certainly I would have liked the Yankees to win game 5 and end the series. But for seemingly the entire sports world to suddenly believe that the Yankees should hit the panic button after game 5 is fairly ridiculous. All we need to do, as fans, is have faith in the Yankee’s ability to win the series. And that is pretty easy to do considering the winningest pitcher in postseason history is taking the mound for the Yankees tonight.
The Yankees were unable to close out the series last night and there really are not very many positives that came out of that game. The only things I can say are that they were able to hit Cliff Lee and that Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Damon are really picking it up during the World Series. Other than that there is not much to be pleased about.
Last night I tried to find some more positives but couldn’t. I tried to convince myself that if Mark Teixeira had found a way to get on base, Rodriguez could have tied the game for us. This seemed perfectly reasonable at the time given how well he had been playing but today it just seems unreasonable because they had no business winning the game last night. How often are you going to win when the starting pitcher goes less than 3 innings, gives up 6 earned runs, and the bullpen gives up two more insurance homeruns? The answer is pretty much never. Barring an historic collapse from Lee, the Yankees were going to go back to New York up 3-2 in the series and that is exactly what happened despite a decent effort in the 8th and 9th innings.
Placing aside my negativity concerning the game last night, however, I actually am not unduly worried or upset. Where normally I would be incredibly nervous about the Yankee’s chances to close it out, today I feel confident. Andy Pettitte, our wily veteran with more postseason wins than any other pitcher in history, is on the mound in Yankee stadium. Cliff Lee won’t be pitching for the Phillies tomorrow night. They are playing in a ballpark that has baffled opposing teams so far this postseason. And, there is nothing like the comfort of your own bed. Experience on the mound, not facing a dominant pitcher, and the comforts of home all lead me to believe that game 6 will be the final game in the World Series. The Yankees have too many things swaying in their favor. And, if all else fails and for some reason the Yankees cannot pull it out tomorrow, there is always the comforting fact that CC is waiting in the wings.
Baseball’s postseason is something of a marvel and this World Series is no exception. The playoffs can make or break careers on all levels of the organization from the players right up to the owners of the teams. There are players like Alex Rodriguez who have had incredible careers but have struggled mightily in the post season and because of their hardships in the playoffs we tend to think of them as failures. Where am I going with this? Before the series started every analyst and fan thought that plenty of matchups were going to be the determining factor so far in this series. I seriously doubt anyone would have thought that the key to the series would be Ryan Howard’s total lack of production. If he does not want to be the goat of the World Series, he needs to change something and change it in a hurry.
Ryan Howard was as much a devastating force at the plate in the first two rounds of the post-season as Rodriguez. His numbers were absolutely astounding and he looked poised to carry the Phillies to another World Series crown. After watching nearly every game this postseason, going into the World Series the one thing that was on my mind was how could the Yankees get past Ryan Howard? Chase Utley hits before him and Jason Werth, who is on a tear this postseason, bats behind him so it is unlikely that with such a devastating combination of speed and power protecting Howard the Yankees were going to be able to pitch around Howard.
I was afraid, plain and simple. I was afraid because if you watch highlights of the Phillies playoff run, every time Howard was up in a crucial spot he got the hit the Phillies needed. How were the Yankees going to win the series if Howard came up with runners in scoring position? The short answer in my mind was that they weren’t.
But, my fears were marginalized, almost magically, because Howard has struggled mightily. If this series ends in a Yankees victory I believe that more than Brad Lidge or any other Phillies player, Ryan Howard will be the goat, however unfair that may be. Ryan Howard is a spectacular player and will continue to be one of the best players in baseball for many years to come. But in this postseason, in this World Series, the only way he can redeem himself is by rectifying his current woes at the plate and having a monster game 5. If Howard does not, then the pressure of the postseason might wind up crushing him in the same way it has done to Rodriguez in years past.