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Melky Cabrera paced the Yankees past the Angels on a foggy, drizzly night in the Bronx, defeating the team that has always tormented the Yankees, 7-4.

After Angels manager Mike Scioscia walked Nick Swisher to load the bases with one out, Cabrera plopped a RBI single, followed by Ramiro Pena’s first MLB RBIs coming off a double to deep right field. This would be all the Yankees needed against the Angels as the Sandman came in the top of the ninth to clinch his fifth save of the year.

Hideki Matsui started the offense for the Yankees tonight with a RBI single in the first inning, bringing home Mark Teixeira. Johnny Damon became the latest Yankee to homer into right field in the third and Derek Jeter singled to right field, right at Bobby Abreu, who promptly had an error and allowed two Yankee runners to score.

Robinson Cano extended his hitting streak to 17 games dating back to last season. Cano has been one of the bright spots in the lineup lately, as has been Jeter and Swisher. Jeter also earned his 1,014th RBI, moving him past Bob Meusel into 10th place on the Yankees career list.

Starting pitcher AJ Burnett went seven innings tonight, allowing 8 hits and 4 runs, while throwing 108 pitches (66 for strikes).

Andy Pettitte will face Jered Weaver Friday night at 7:05pm.

New York Yankees
Hitters AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
D Jeter SS 4 0 2 1 1 0 0 .287
J Damon LF 4 1 1 1 1 0 4 .295
B Gardner CF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .220
M Teixeira 1B 4 1 1 0 1 1 5 .200
H Matsui DH 4 0 1 1 0 0 1 .292
R Cano 2B 4 1 1 0 0 1 2 .366
J Posada C 4 1 1 0 0 1 0 .275
N Swisher RF 2 2 1 0 2 0 0 .312
M Cabrera CF-LF 4 0 2 1 0 0 2 .327
R Pena 3B 4 1 2 2 0 0 1 .269
Totals 34 7 12 6 5 3
BATTING
2B: M Teixeira (3, A Ortega); J Posada (6, J Speier); R Pena (1, J Speier)
HR: J Damon (4, 3rd inning off A Ortega 0 on, 1 Out)
RBI: H Matsui (9), J Damon (10), D Jeter (12), M Cabrera (9), R Pena 2 (2)
2-out RBI: H Matsui, D Jeter
GIDP: M Cabrera, M Teixeira
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: M Teixeira 2, R Pena 1, J Damon 1, R Cano 1
Team LOB: 8
BASERUNNING
SB: M Cabrera (2, 2nd base off A Ortega/M Napoli)
FIELDING
DP: 1 (R Pena-R Cano-M Teixeira).
New York Yankees
Pitchers IP H R ER BB SO HR PC-ST ERA
A Burnett 7.0 8 4 4 1 5 1 108-66 5.40
P Coke (W, 1-1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 18-13 3.72
M Rivera (S, 5) 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 14-10 2.79
Totals 9.0 9 4 4 1 8 1 140-89
PITCHING
WP: A Burnett
Batters faced: A Burnett 27; P Coke 3; M Rivera 4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls: A Burnett 11-3; P Coke 1-1; M Rivera 1-0
Game Scores: A Burnett 49

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (9-11) @ New York Yankees (11-10)

Thursday April 30, 7:05pm; TV-YES, Radio-CBS 880 AM, 94.3 FM

Friday May 1, 7:05pm; TV-YES, Radio-CBS 880 AM, 94.3 FM

Saturday May 2, 1:05pm; TV-YES, Radio-CBS 880 AM, 94.3 FM

Sunday May 3, 1:05pm; TV-YES, Radio-CBS 880 AM, 94.3 FM

Preview:

Since starting the season 6-11, the LA Angels have won their last three, including a 2-game series sweep of the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore.  Sitting now a 9-11, the Angels will look to capitalize on the new Yankee Stadium and ride a huge offense to a series win and a winning record.

Since starting the season 9-6, the Yankees lost three in a row to Boston and their first game of the series to Detroit.  The Yankees rode two huge innings of offense to two-straight wins to take the series in Detroit and raise their record above .500.

Both teams have momentum heading into this crucial four game series and the Yankees especially need to keep their momentum heading into three straight division matchups – against Boston and Tampa Bay at home and in Baltimore next weekend.

Former Yankee Bobby Abreu returns to New York for the first time since signing with LA in the offseason.  Although he has slowed down in recent games, Abreu is very hot at the plate this season, leading the Angels with a .363 BA and .422 OBP.  Torii Hunter has also been hot for the Angels, hitting .329 and leading the team eith 16 RBI, 8 HR and a massive .740 Slugging percentage.

After slumping in the Boston series, Nick Swisher has returned with a vengeance at the plate, hitting three HR in his last two games and bringing his average back over .300 at .307.  He leads the team in RBI with 19, HR with 7 and OBP at .416.  Mr Robinson Cano has been the most consistent Yankee, hitting .389 with a .406 OBP.  He is second in RBI with 16 and HR with 5.

Melky Cabrera seems to have earned himself a spot back in the starting lineup.  He has started 6 of the last 7 games in CF, and has hit .321 with 4 RBI and 2 HR.  Brett Gardner had won the starting CF spot in spring training but has apparently lost it after starting the season with a .220 average.

Pitching Matchups:

Thursday: RHP Anthony Ortega (0-1, 7.20) vs. RHP A.J. Burnett (2-0, 5.47)

Friday: RHP Jered Weaver (2-1, 2.45) vs. LHP Andy Pettitte (2-1, 2.96)

Saturday: RHP Matt Palmer (1-0, 6.00) vs. LHP CC Sabathia (1-2, 4.73)

Sunday: LHP Joe Saunders (2-1, 3.51) vs. RHP Phil Hughes (1-0, 0.00)

AJ Burnett gets the opportunity tonight to bounce back from his horrid outing last Saturday which saw the Red Sox smack him around for more then 8 runs in 5 innings.  Phil Hughes will pitch the last game of the series on Sunday and show his great outing on Tuesday was not a fluke.

First things first, I have not read the book.  My thoughts are based purely on the news that has been released this morning and is in the previous posting.

I am skeptical.  The sole purpose of this book is for Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts to make money.  Period.  This is not an autobiography or a biography meant to chronicle history.  Its not a documentary designed to inform the public of a subject or issue.  It is 100% for money.

In fact, the release date of the book has been changed several times in order to capitalize on getting the most amount of headlines and publicity.  It went from an April release to a May 12 release conspicuously after A-Rod got injured and was going to be out until sometime in May.

I think its clear that we all need to take this story with a large grain of salt.  Despite the fact that she has never been “wrong,” there are apparently a lot of anonymous sources – which means people who spoke are worried about backlash.  And the only backlash they can be worried about is a slander or libel lawsuit from A-Rod. If they are worried about libel or slander, that means they are either a.) lying or b.) have no evidence to back up their allegations.

Although Roberts quotes a lot of “anonymous sources,” I must point out that she is widely considered to be a reliable source of information.  Everything she had initially alleged about Rodriguez failing a test in 2003 turned out to be true and several commentators and writers, including ESPN’s Buster Olney, have vouched for her professionalism and accuracy.

But I still think she is only in it for the money.  This book will sell a lot of copies due to the publicity and Roberts will most likely make millions.  Or at least hundreds-of-thousands of dollars.

That being said, I just don’t buy most of the allegations.  Too many of them are unsubstantiated and can be explained other ways.

I also put on nearly 15-20 pounds from sophomore to junior years of high school and I was not using steroids nor was I doing very much weight lifting.  I also grew from 5′ 4″ (shorter then Chris) to 5′ 8″ virtually over the summer.  I went from a substitute varsity soccer player to an everyday starter.  That spring, I took off 4 seconds from my 400 hurdles time and nearly 8 seconds from my 400 meter time.  For those of you not familiar with track, those drops are HUGE.  I went from a slow underclassman to one of the fastest guys in the league (15 schools) in one year.

I am also having a hard time buying the allegation that A-Rod was tipping pitches until I know who said it.  The person who said it refused to be named and must have an agenda.  Period.  If its true, name the players he helped and helped him tip pitches.  Otherwise, the guy is lying.  Because if he knew it was happening, he must have known at least one other player who benefited from it.

Finally, the allegation he used PEDs as a Yankee – I could really care less.  If its true, big friggin’ deal – everyone was doing it.  Assuming he was, I guarantee it was only HGH and it was not for long.  Rodriguez is not stupid – he knew if he was using steroids it would be caught in a test.  After Barry Bonds and former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Jason Grimsley were vilified in the press and it was found that someone could track who ordered HGH, I guarantee he stopped using it after that.

My point is we need to remember where this information is coming from and that much of it seems to be unsubstantiated.  That doesn’t mean its not true – any of this is likely to be true – but while it can be explained by other things, or is too unsubstantiated we need to take it with a grain of salt until we learn more.

After this, my biggest concern is hoping the Yankees hold off on A-Rod returning until this all blows over – that way the publicity does not ruin the Yankees team chemistry.

A new book by Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts is a doozy.  It has not even been released yet and won’t for nearly two weeks, but it is creating a firestorm of activity in the sports world already.

The book not only alleges that Alex Rodriguez lied about only using steroids as a Texas Ranger from 2001-2003, but that he used steroids as a Yankee and even as early as high school.  Going further, the book also alleges that A-Rod tipped off friends on other teams about what pitches were coming their way.

Roberts was responsible for breaking the initial story in February that A-Rod used Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) and had tested positive in 2003.  Rodriguez then admitted using a steroid called primobalin while a member of the Texas Rangers.

The book, which I have not read, quotes an unnamed Yankee source as saying that Rodriguez was seen with Kevin Brown and both gentlemen had HGH (human growth hormone).  Brown has denied this through a lawyer.  The Yankees sources go on to say that A-Rod seemed to put on nearly 15 pounds before the 2005 season and develop round pectorals, a problem found with some anabolic steroids (think Meatloaf’s character in Fight Club) and as a result, many Yankee players referred to him as “Bitch Tits.”

Apparently though, no Yankee source saw him use steroids or confronted him about it, but merely made their assumptions based on observations around the clubhouse.

A former high school teammate apparently told Roberts that Rodriguez was using ‘roids in high school.  Another source said Rodriguez put on 25 pounds between his sophomore and junior years and people saw him using steroids and that his connection was a dog kennel owner.

The most shocking is probably the cheating allegation.  The book accuses A-Rod of disclosing to friends on other teams which pitches Rangers pitchers were going to throw – as long as the game was lopsided.  He also apparently expected the same in return – if he was having a bad night and it wouldn’t affect the outcome of the game.

Much like the Joe Torre book earlier this year, I assume more will come out about this subject as the days pass and we have not heard the end of it.

My hiatus from blogging over the weekend was interrupted with this — a trip to the National Academic Bowl Tournament.

This was the second year in a row my team was invited to the Nationals. We won the regional tournament to capture the trip.

Many people didn’t expect us to do well since we lost three seniors from our team, including the National MVP in our best player last year. Even I had my own reservations — telling myself that I’m just happy to be there with such a young team (one senior, two sophomores, and two freshmen).

Guess what? We went undefeated in pool play 7-0, but lost in the semifinals to eventual National Champion University High School from Irvine, CA. We were able to capture third place eventually in the consolation.

People are already telling us to watch out, we’ll be marked next year as both University and the second place team have three seniors and aren’t expected to threaten for the title next year. It’ll be ours, baby!

I’m the coach on the right with the tie in the photo.

2009msd3rdplace

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