By: Joe Auriemma
The sun is shining in wonderful Stamford, CT, the home of the YES Network’s studio. I was really starting to think that New York had inherited Seattle’s weather pattern. What a brutal month this has been for both weather in New York and for the baseball teams that reside here. How appropriate that they are both ending June by playing each other in the last weekend series.
The Yankees will finally check out the Mets new digs. I’m going for the first time on Saturday to get some interviews with some players and hopefully chat with both managers. I know that Jerry Manuel has to be pleased, that even though his team is not playing its’ best baseball, they are still only one game back of the Phillies in the division. The Mets have suffered some major injuries this season that would cripple any contender into the cellar, however, they have endured and continue to compete. Even though they have won their last three out of four, they are only 9-13 in the month of June and this series with the Yankees might give them an opportunity to leave this month unscathed after getting swept by the Pirates to start June. The other teams in the NL East continue to struggle giving the Mets the golden opportunity to stay in the race, while some of their main cogs try and get healthy.
The Yankees are five games back of the Red Sox, who seem to have had a stranglehold on the Yankees and the AL East since the meltdown of 2004. Now I know the Rays won the division last season, but it just feels like the Red Sox get all of the breaks the Yankees used to get before the 2004 ALCS. The Yankees need to figure out a way to beat those guys in the second half of the season or else it’s going to be another long offseason for the team’s fans and especially the team itself.
This weekend series is more than just a regular Subway Series for the Yankees; they need this series to make a push and finish out their first half on a high note. Let’s hope for sunnier days after the All-Star break.
Other Sports Related Notes
According to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, the Nets and Orlando Magic have agreed to
a trade that would send Vince Carter to the Magic. The official deal is Carter and
Ryan Anderson for Rafer Alston, Tony Battie and Courtney Lee. Orlando
would add Carter to an already star-studded lineup that would include
Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis and Jameer Nelson, while Hedo Turkoglu is
most likely going to opt out of his contract this summer. The Nets are
trying to be big players in the big free agent market next summer, when
all of the big names seem to be free agents at the same time. The Nets
are going to be well under the cap with this move.
Shaquille O’Neal will be 38 years old next season and has one more opportunity to win a championship by teaming up with LeBron James. The Suns and Cavs have agreed on a trade that would send Shaq-daddy to Cleveland. My question is, when is Nike going to make a Shaq puppet. This should be interesting to see how Shaq and LeBron play together.
Wasted Fantasy Baseball Pick
Literally my pick was wasted on Geovany Soto this season. I thought I was getting a stud catcher and in his second major league season, he is turning out to be a dud. I’m happy that I traded for Victor Martinez, but Soto has been a huge disappointment. Now word is that he has failed a drug test administered by the International Baseball Federation for marijuana use during the World Baseball Classic. Thanks Geovany!
Can you believe the decade is almost over?
I want to put together a poll here on YESNetwork.com about the best and worst moments of the decade in New York and National Sports. I don’t know about anyone else, but this decade flew by. Give me a shout on twitter, https://twitter.com/JoeAuriemmaNYY, or comment on here if you like the idea and I’ll start to come up with some moments.
Till next time!
By: Joe Auriemma
To say that I went off the grid for a little bit is an understatement. On June 12th, I got married to my lovely wife Kelly. I’m quickly learning to say things like that in the early stages of married life. However, the week leading up to the wedding and then the honeymoon thereafter has made me lose touch with the team that I not only have been covering for the last eight seasons, but watched faithfully since I was a little boy.
Before I left, the Yankees again got swept by the Red Sox but were still in decent shape in the division — even after the Fenway massacre. I would try and get some sports updates in Aruba, but I was lost. It wasn’t until I came home and watched the team lose to Atlanta 4-0 and saw Chien-Ming Wang fall to 0-6 on the season that I realized how much trouble the Yankees could be in soon. The Red Sox are now five games up in the division, the Yankees still have not beaten them, and they are losing series to the Nationals and the Marlins. No offense to the Nationals and Marlins, but the Yankees that were rolling along in May wouldn’t have had that much trouble with any team.
Are the Red Sox still in their head? Will the offense start to show up again? How long are they going to go with Wang continuing to lose and not give them length in his starts? What happened to that powerhouse that we all saw in May winning day in and day out?
Over the last 13 games, since the beginning of the Sox series, the Yankees are 4-9 and the offense has sputtered. They are averaging four runs per game while hitting .240, and have hit one home run per contest over this span. To make things worse, A-Rod’s batting average is now down to .207. The previous 29 games before this 4-9 stretch, the Yankees were 21-8. Over that time the Yankees were hitting .279, scoring 5.8 runs per game and hitting 1.8 home runs per contest. The numbers speak for themselves.
This team is at a crossroads right now and it could start spiraling out of control sooner than later. I still think this team is good enough to compete for a championship, but they need to start answering some of the questions surrounding them and move on.
Well I’ve finally given in and I have my own Twitter account. You can follow me at https://twitter.com/JoeAuriemmaNYY. I’ll update it as much as possible, but I’m still on my Facebook kick. I’ll catch you next time.
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