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The View from the Cheap Seats

October 7, 2009 under Cheap Seats

By Eddie Mayrose

Yankees Manager Should Tell Burnett, “Shut Up and Pitch.”

I can’t believe Yanks’ manager Joe Girardi is planning to bench Jorge Posada in Game 2 cheap_seats_3_owumof the ALDS because of the perception that A.J. Burnett pitches better when Jose Molina is behind the plate.  Now, I might give Girardi a little wiggle room here if say, C.C. Sabathia preferred Molina.  But Burnett?  What, exactly, has he done this year to warrant such a huge accomodation?  Here’s a little perspective on A.J.’s season:  He’s got 13 wins for a team with the best offense in the game at the not-so-bargain basement price of $18 million.  Conversely, Minnesota’s Game 3 starter, Carl Pavano, had 14 wins while pitching most of the year for the last place Indians.  See how many Yankee fans you can find that’d want Pavano in pinstripes tomorrow night.  To bench Posada, a proven post season vet enjoying one of his best seasons, for such a disappointing pitcher is ludicrous. And with Girardi facing dismissal if he doesn’t bring home a ring, it’s really ill advised to alienate one of the team’s leaders.  For the skipper’s sake, Burnett had better throw a gem.

Gardenhire Thumbs Nose At Robotic Managers

Despite the fact that there were really no pennant races in Major League Baseball outside of the AL Central, The Twins and Tigers certainly made up for it Tuesday night.  Of all the moves and counter moves made by both managers throughout the twelve inning marathon, my favorite came in the top of the eighth.  With two on and one out, Twins’ skipper Ron Gardenhire handed the ball to,(hold on to something before you read this), his closer Joe Nathan.  Yes, in the most crucial part of the game and season, a manager finally decided that he needed his best pitcher to get him out of trouble, no matter what inning it was.   Look for Gardenhire to have his Manager’s Union card revoked.

Jets Look To Bounce Back With Some Extra Help

While it’s true that there is no such thing as a good loss, that wasn’t such a bad one suffered by the Jets in New Orleans.  It’ll have no impact on Division or Conference tie-breakers, they held one of the league’s top offensive units to just ten points and were done in by the mistakes of their rookie QB; something they knew would eventually happen.  Mark Sanchez had better start tucking that ball away in the pocket, though, and the offensive line has to step it up in order to make use of RB Thomas Jones.  We’ll get our first look at how Sanchez handles adversity this week.  I like his chances. Especially with WR Braylon Edwards in the fold.  Maybe all  he needed was a change of scenery.  Jet fans certainly hope so.

Give Eli A Week Off To Heal Heel

I’m not saying the Giants can win a Super Bowl without Eli Manning. But, they can absolutely beat the Raiders with David Carr under center, something I hope to see this Sunday.  No sense losing sight of the big picture while facing such a bad team.

New York Mets Broadcaster At Top Of His Field

Tuesday night, during Twins-Tigers on TBS, a national audience saw first hand what Mets fans have known for a few years: Ron Darling is a superb analyst.  Never too wordy, always on point, Darling had his best moment in the bottom of the seventh.  With one out and one on, Orlando Cabrera stepped into the box with the Twins trailing 3-2.  “Orlando Cabrera is a winning player who always seems to get a big hit when his team needs it the most”, said Darling.  The Twins’ shortstop made Darling a prophet with his two tun homer just a few minutes later.  And, as Cabrera rounded the bases, not one “I told you so” from Darling.  A total professional.

Fifty Years? Already?

On October 10th 1959, Notre Dame traveled to Berkeley and laid a 28-6 pasting on California while LSU, the #1 team in the country, knocked off Miami 27-6. The West Wing’s Bradley Whitford was born, Pan Am announced the beginning of the first global airline service and Eileen Forsyth married Artie Mayrose at St. Anselm’s Church in Brooklyn. In the fifty years since, through four children, twelve grandchildren and all of the excitement, disappointment, triumphs, setbacks, achievements, failures, milestones and heartbreaks that make up half a century, they have been a shining example of the invincibility of two people that love each other.  They created a strong family that spawned four others by living and teaching one simple rule:  There is nothing that parents can give their children that is more valuable than the parents themselves.  Though they never missed anything, even though our time took up all of theirs, and we never wanted for anything, despite the fact they were not wealthy, it is a simple fact that they never sacrificed anything for us.  At least, that’s what they’d say.  As kids, our lives didn’t take away from theirs, rather, our lives became theirs. It is a legacy of love that now benefits their grandchildren as well.  So, Happy 50th, Mom and Dad.  Here’s hoping the next fifty are just as much fun.  Eat your heart out, Lou Kennedy.

The View from the Cheap Seats

September 2, 2009 under Cheap Seats

By Eddie Mayrose


Joba Chamberlain: Is He or Isn’t He?

Are the Yankees serious about these Joba cheap_seats_3_owumRules?   I have to admit, when I first heard that they were looking to limit his innings this year, I thought it would be based on his level of success.  He’d pitch somewhere around 160 innings as the fifth starter due to days when he’d be pushed back or skipped altogether to keep the others in the rotation on their normal, five day cycle.  If he finally developed the command that had been lacking since he was taken out of the bullpen, everyone would benefit and he’d be in the 180 range.  The lunacy that has transpired, however, boggles the minds of even the strictest of the pitch-count police.

Sunday, Chamberlain was lifted after three innings and thirty five pitches.  Thirty five! That’s not even an off-day, bullpen session.  But, according to the way Yankee brass has dictated Chamberlain be handled, that was all he’d be permitted to throw.  So, for the rest of the season, multiple relievers will get extensive work each time Joba takes the hill.  A plan with little downside as long as the other four starters go deep into games each time out.  If they don’t, then the workload on the bullpen could negatively impact what looks to be a long post-season.

The process by which Chamberlain has been brought along has been ridiculous since the outset.  Despite tremendous success in the bullpen and the potential to be a solid closer, the Yanks insisted upon inserting him into the rotation.  Then, ignoring his struggles with his command and endurance, they staunchly refused to send him back.  Now, it seems like a case of not wanting to admit a mistake, as he remains a starter but will only shoulder a reliever’s role.

It’s time for the Yankees to decide what this guy is going to be and let him be just that.  As it stands, he’s a burden to both the coaching staff and the bullpen as well as a distraction to the rest of the team.  And, if he’s a starter, take off the shackles and let the guy pitch.  He’s a big, strong kid; let him act like one.

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Are the Giants Ready for Prime Time?

There’s usually very little coming out of Giants’ camp during the preseason, as Tom Coughlin has fashioned a successful, all business style over the course of his tenure.  The tranquility was disturbed somewhat this week as DE Osi Umenyiora stormed out of camp; apparently as a reaction to criticism during a film session.  Umenyiora returned, accepted full responsibility and apologized but, on the heels of two straight, sub-par performances in the exhibition season,  Big Blue fans have to be a little concerned about the Jints’ readiness heading into Opening Day; especially if Eli Manning’s receivers continue to struggle.

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Michigan Football Coach in Hot Water

Tough week for Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez.  First, he learned he was the subject of a University investigation after current and former players complained to officials that they were practicing far beyond the time limits set down by the NCAA.  Two days after a tearful press conference (Thanks again, Dick Vermeil) where he denied the charges, he was hit with a lawsuit by a bank charging that he failed to pay back $3.9 million on a loan for a struggling Virginia condominium complex.  Not exactly the way you’d like to prepare for your season opener.  I think I’ll take Western Michigan and the points.

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Jets Fans Know Better

Cheap Seater and long suffering Jet fan, Lou Ricciardi, chimed in last week on the Mark Sanchez – Kellen Clemens QB battle and how he would have decided it.  Have to say, it’s a shame Rex Ryan didn’t have a chance to sit down with Ricciardi because his logic is flawless.  “A loss to Houston, whose team is on the rise with some of the best pass rushers in football,  followed by tough home games and likely losses to Pats and the revenge-seeking Titans, makes me think Clemens was the wiser choice to start”, said Ricciardi.   “An 0-3 start under Clemens, with a subsequent move to Sanchez, appeals to me a lot more than a  confidence-crushing, winless September for the rookie, with no where else to go but Clemens to continue a lost season.”  Excellent points all around but it’d be hard to convince Ryan and his staff that their optimism is not shared among the fan base.

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Notre Dame Football’s Weis Under the Gun

“Best Wishes to Charlie Weis in the 5th Year of his College Coaching Internship”, reads a sign just across from the Notre Dame campus.  Apparently posted by former Irish players from as far back as the 60’s, it is simply signed, “Linebacker Alumni”.  Weis has been good natured about it, thanking his anonymous critics for their good thoughts but, there’s no mistake that Weis is on the hot seat this year.  It’s expected that anything less than a BCS Bowl appearance will cost him his job.   The journey begins Saturday vs. Nevada, a much better team than the San Diego State squad that almost walked out of South Bend with a win last year.  It’ll be interesting to see how Weis, now acting as his own Offensive Coordinator, reacts to a slow start by QB Jimmy Claussen.

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