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The Yankees acquired Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez today from the Detroit Tigers for RP Kyle Farnsworth. It was a trade that made sense for both sides.
While Jose Molina has been defensively excellent behind the plate with throwing out 48% of base runners, he has never started this many games in his career before and his offense is struggling (currently at .226 on the year), the addition of Pudge will help relieve the burden on Molina and enable the Yankees to get rid of Chad Moeller.
I-Rod is a 14-time All Star and previously was the AL MVP 9 years ago. While his offensive years of the 1990s are long gone, his offense is a vast improvement over Molina. His arm isn’t what it used to be — he’s throwing out 36% of base runners, the Yankees clearly need the offense to make a serious push towards October.
A big bonus is that I-Rod and A-Rod are teamed up again after previously playing for the Rangers a couple of years ago before both of them parted ways.
As for giving up Farnsworth, several bloggers have mentioned that Farnsworth has actually improved in the bullpen and getting rid of him doesn’t make sense. I disagree.
With the addition of Marte, the Yankees felt they could part ways with Farnsworth and the Tigers needed a reliever with the problems with Todd Jones and Joel Zuyama. The Yankees have Ramirez, Robertson, Giese, Viera, Rivera, and possibly will get Brian Bruney back soon and might see Melacon in September.
It was the perfect trade for two teams and their push for October.
Now let’s see if Boston gets rid of Manny Ramirez.
The Yankees weren’t going to let the O’s get their first sweep at Yankee Stadium in 22 years, and they responded the way they should be everyday.
A 13-3 drubbing of the last-place O’s.
Behind Bobby Abreu’s double and two homers, the Yankees provided all of the firepower that Joba Chamberlain needed to collect his second straight victory, improving to 3-1 as a starter.
Abreu hit his 444th career double, tying him for the MLB record for Venezuelan-born sluggers (he’s tied with Andres Galagarra) and hit his first multi-HR game in pinstripes.
A-Rod hit his team-leading 23rd homer of the year and Xavier Nady continued to improve his offense in pinstripes, contributing with a 2-4 day with two doubles and two ribbies.
Melky Cabrera continued his slump, going zero fer three, and Molina also went 0-3. Cabrera is now .245 on the year. Jeter continued his struggles at the plate today, striking out three times, only to be pulled by an even more pitiful Wilson Betemit. I still don’t get Girardi’s fascination with Betemit. He cannot hit.
On the mound, Chamberlain went six innings, striking out six batters while allowing 5 hits and one ER. He was replaced by Edwar Ramirez, who threw exactly one pitch, this one at the head of Kevin Millar and was promptly ejected. If Ramirez pitches tomorrow and does not allow a hit, he will have gone the entire month of July without allowing a hit.
Dave Robertson came in and was excellent, pitching 2 innings and striking out 3 and Dan Giese came in to finish the top of the ninth.
The Yankees continue to be inconsistent with their offense. Every time a poor pitcher starts a game, the Yankees appear to leave their offense on the bench, as was evident yesterday and the day before yesterday. With 41 of their next 55 games on the road, they need to get out of the offense slump. Perhaps Pudge will help.
In a night where the Red Sox and the Rays both lost, giving the Yankees an opportunity to close the gap in the AL East race, they also lost in fashion to division rival Baltimore, 13-4.
Mussina was uncharacteristically off last night, pitching five innings and allowing 8 hits and 6 runs, and two home runs. Dave Robertson had to have his bad outing at some point and it came last night. He only pitched .1 of an inning, and allowed 5 runs to score. Simply put, both were awful last night. Damaso Marte, late of the Pirates, did good, pitching one inning and struck out two batters. Edwar Ramirez continued his pace for a hitless July with an empty frame of 2/3 of an inning pitched.
The Yankees offense must have stuck around in Fenway park as they only got four runs. On the positive side, Xavier Nady got his first Pinstripes homerun, and Johnny Damon hit a 3-run home run to avoid a shut out.
Yankees look to tie the series tonight with Darrell Rasner on the mound. Daniel Cabrera pitches for the O’s. Cabrera had the Yankees’ number last time he faced them, so it’s a 50/50 game — as long as Rasner pitches well and the offense shows up, the Yankees should be able to avoid a three-game losing streak.
Sir Sidney Ponson of Aruba, that of his 10 hits allowed, 7 runs scored one walk issued, one strikeout and one bleacher homer given to David Ortiz was all the Red Sox needed to avoid a sweep last night.
The Yankees’ offense was no help either, losing 9-2 behind four pathetic innings by Ponson.
After Jeter caused Jacoby Ellsbury to go to the warning track to catch a long fly and Abreu hit a two-out double gave me hope that the Yankees could break their jinx against Red Sox starter Jon Lester, they could not muster any more runs.
Even getting the bases loaded in the top of the fifth inning with no outs, the Yankees only got two runs out of that. They would not threaten for the rest of the evening.
Ponson’s replacement, Dan Giese was slightly better, but still is, and cannot be, the fifth starter the Yankees need. Ponson’s performance (and that of Darrell Rasner) just points all the signs in the right direction: that the Yankees need to get another arm — until Wang, Hughes, or someone from Triple A can effectively shore up the rotation.
Along with Ortiz’s home run, Manny Ramirez, Ellsbury, and other Red Sox hitters had a good night. I won’t go into details because it was a stupid loss for the Yankees.
But, admittedly, 2 out of 3 at Fenway ain’t bad. The Yankees are two behind Boston and three behind Tampa Bay in the division.
Manny Ramirez just announced today in a interview with ESPN Deportes that he would welcome a trade this season.
“If the Red Sox are a better team without Manny Ramirez, they should trade me; I will not object,” said Ramirez in a telephone interview with ESPNdeportes.com on Sunday.
“I don’t have any preferences: I could choose a team that offers me the best conditions or one in the chase for the postseason. I don’t care where I play, I can even play in Iraq if need be. My job is to play baseball,” added Ramirez
Funny thing here, sure, go to Iraq, help the Armed Forces team play better and boost troop morale.
There were reports in the Boston media that the team was planning to take disciplinary action against Ramirez if he did not return to the lineup for the last two games of the series against the Yankees.
“I don’t want to be a problem and a distraction to the Red Sox in such a critical moment of the season. I want to help the team, even if that means I have to go,” said Ramirez.
Distraction and a problem? Umm…isn’t he already one?
According to the ESPN Deportes interview Ramirez is convinced that all the fuss surrounding his injury and his contractual situation is part of a Red Sox campaign to portray him as the “bad guy.”
“The Yankees are getting closer and getting stronger, while we haven’t done much,” said Ramirez.
That is a legit statement. The Yankees acquired two good players a couple of days ago and are actively looking for a pitcher for their rotation (Jarrod Washburn is still possible), while Boston has done nothing up to date.
The Red Sox will definitely have a gaping hole in their offense. If the Red Sox think they can fill in the hole, props for them. But there is only one Manny, prima donna and all.