Who knows what the MLB was thinking when they created the 2010 schedule but I can only guess that they didn’t think the AL East would come down to the Yankees and the Rays.

While the Yankees play out the final three weeks of the season against the Rays, Orioles, Rays(HOME), Red Sox(HOME), Blue Jays, Red Sox in that order.  Plus, as you probably noticed only two of those 6 series are home or 7 of the total 19 games that will be played.  All are against AL East rivals.

Comparably, the Rays will play out the final three weeks of the season against the Yankees(HOME), Angels(HOME), Yankees, Seattle(HOME), Orioles(HOME), and Royals.  Four of the six series are at home or 12 of a total 16 games.  Only 10 games are against division rivals and 9 of the games are against teams with a losing record, or pretty much every team not named the Yankees.

I don’t think this qualifies as a conspiracy against the Yankees or anything but it is something to think about.  Draw your own conclusions, but the Yankees face an uphill battle finishing the season while the Rays can coast to a potential division title.

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Alex Rodriguez confirmed to the Associated Press Friday that long-time agent Scott Boras is no longer representing him.  Boras had been A-Rod’s agent for his entire major league career, starting in 1993.

With A-Rod in the third year of a 10 Year, $275 Million contract with the Yankees, coupled with the low number of endorsements A-Rod has, means he most likely won’t need an agent for the remainder of his career.  At the very least, he will not need an agent of Boras’ stature.

Rodriguez told the AP that there was nothing specific that led to the separation, simply saying “some of the things I needed 20 years ago I really don’t need now.”

Rodriguez actually negotiated his last contract with the Yankees after a falling out with Boras and the way he was handling A-Rod’s free agency.  It’s been rumored that the Yankees had initially been prepared to pay him in excess off $300 Million over ten years had Rodriguez not opted out of the final three years of his previous deal.  Instead, Boras announced that Rodriguez had opted out in the middle of Game 4 of the 2007 World Series, a move that generated criticism across the sport.

Boras seemed to misunderstand the market for A-Rod and when no other teams bit at Boras’ demands of $300+++ Million, Rodriguez started communications with the Yankee directly and ended up negotiating the current 10-year deal.

It’s unknown how much their relationship has soured since that fateful offseason and if it has played any part in this separation almost 3 years later.

With Javier Vazquez’ recent demotion to the bullpen, I can’t help but ask myself if this is the end of the Vazquez in the Bronx.  Two times Vazquez came to the Bronx among high expectations and two times now he has failed.  He might even be done there for good.

After a great start to the 2004 season which saw him start the all-star game, Vazquez finished the season like a chump and was shipped off to Arizona.  I personally had high hopes for the guy when he was acquired from Atlanta this offseason for Melky Cabrera.  Vazquez was coming of a season which might have been his best ever as a pro.  He was 15-10 for an Atlanta team that was at best an average squad.  He boasted a career best 2.87 ERA and his second-highest career total in strikeouts with 238.

For his career, Vazquez even appears as a safe bet.  Since 2000, his numbers are eerily consistent.  He has not started less than 32 games or more than 34.  He has won at least 11 games a season, but never more than 16.  Excluding 2009 and 2010, his ERA was always between 3.42 and 4.84.  His career record is 151-148 with a career 4.23 ERA while playing mostly for

Vazquez is 9-9 this season with a career-worst 5.05 ERA.  Even worse, he has not won a start in 4 weeks and has not made it to the 7th inning since July.  He has lost two of his previous four starts and has experienced an astounding drop in his pitch velocity, requiring him to pitch around batters and throw anywhere from 80-100 pitches in 4-5 innings.  Not exactly the definition of effective pitching.

Don’t quote me on this, but I believe his contract is over at the end of this season and pitching .500 ball with a 5.05 ERA sort of makes him expendable.  Newcomers Dustin Moseley and Ivan Nova have been more than willing to and seem more than capable of filling the roles left behind by Vazquez and the injured Andy Pettitte.

On September 1, the rosters of every team expand to 40.  Unless Vazquez can reinvent himself as a member of the bullpen, he’ll just be one of the pitchers in the ‘pen that the Yankees never use.  He won’t make a potential playoff or World Series roster and will find himself somewhere other than Tampa for spring training next season.

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A scathing report on the Florida Marlins new stadium came out today on Yahoo Sports, essentially calling out the Marlins franchise for lying to public officials about the need for civil monetary support of the Marlins new stadium.  The report also goes into detail about how this is becoming the norm in American sports – taxpayers footing the bill for gigantic stadiums and keep all or most of the revenues for them.

Check out the article here.  It’s a great read.

This picture was taken at the Sunday afternoon game in the Bronx.  After a lengthy rain delay which saw non-stop heavy rain, someone I was at the game with asked what they were going to do with all the water stuck on the tarp.  I had no idea until I saw the grounds crew pull the tarp in the outfield dumping all the water you see forming a lake in left field in front of the tarp.

Amazingly, 20 minutes later, ALL that water was gone and all that was left was the small puddle you see in shallow right.  Apparently the grounds crew missed that because the following inning a grounder was hit into right toward Seattle right-fielder Ichiro Suzuki and stopped dead in that puddle.

I had heard about the amazing drainage system when they were building the new stadium, but this was the first time I was able to see it live.  Needless to say I was impressed.

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