I spent nearly 5 hours in the car today and got pretty tired of listening to music, so I turned on sports radio, catching some Mike and Mike in the Morning (who I always listen to), some Colin Cowherd and even a little bit of Doug Gottlieb this evening.
As expected, most of the talk today was about the World Series and the news surrounding it. There are a few big stories out there that I want to talk about tonight.
First, a lot of criticism is being levied at Yankees skipper Joe Girardi for his “micro-managing.” As an example, he has chosen to use three pitchers in relief when another manager might have just left the first pitcher in. Take a look at my previous post for more on this issue.
#2 – Apparently Cole Hamels is tired of the season. He said after his Game 3 loss, “I can’t wait for it to end. It’s been mentally draining. At year-end, you just can’t wait for a fresh start.” Many people interpreted this to mean he wants the season and the World Series to be over, win or loss.
But, I can relate with Hamels. One year after an outstanding postseason where he was named both the NLCS and World Series MVP’s, Hamels is struggling on the mound with an ERA over 7.00. The Yankees knocked him out of Game 3 in the fifth inning. Obviously the man would probably like the offseason to relax and focus on getting his pitching back to where he feels it should be.
Plus, in the midst of all this, Hamels and his wife just had their first child last month, a baby boy. I am sure he is proud to be a father and would love to spend time at home with his wife, spending some quality time with the newest addition to their family.
Rumors are abound that Phillies pitcher Brett Myers confronted Hamels in the dugout during Game 5, reportedly saying “What are you doing here? I thought you quit.” This was initially reported by Yahoo Sports. The two apparently had an exchange of words and had to be separated.
Good. Drama like this can tear a team apart. Good for the Yankees.
#3 – Shane Victorino told the media today that his hand is fine after being hit on the right index finger during Monday night’s game 5. I didn’t think a fiery guy like Victorino would even think about missing a crucial game 6.
#4 – The Yankees need some Mark Teixeira. Fortunately the team is set up well that if one guy isn’t performing, others can step up and clinch a win. But winning game 6 would be much easier if Teixeira could find a way to spark a good game at the plate.
It seems as if Teixeira is feeling the pressure at the plate. Most of his hits aren’t falling and he just looks weird at the plate. With the Yankees rallying in the top of the ninth last night, Tex struck out swinging to end the game – with A-Rod on deck.
Tex is not giving us many clues to his actual state-of-mind right now. Slumps are normal in a baseball season and unfortunately they even happen during the postseason. It’s just surprising to see a guy who was so clutch in the regular season not be able to be there for his teammates when it truly matters.
Finally, much respect to Alex Rodriguez – who with his 3 RBI Monday night set a new Yankee record of 18 RBI in a single postseason. After struggling most of the first 3 games, Rodriguez got pissed off about getting hit all the time by the Phillies pitchers and started hitting strong again in Game 4.
It’s nice to see him doing well and setting records. I’d love to see # 13 retired in Monument Park, right next to # 2 (Derek Jeter) and # 42 (Mariano Rivera).