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Umm what?

At least that was my response to an ESPN report that the Boston Red Sox have claimed former OF Johnny Damon off waivers from the Detroit Tigers.  It’s unclear why Damon was on the waivers to begin with, although from my understanding, teams regularly put almost every player on waivers in August, however most aren’t claimed.

It’s also unclear at this time what the Red Sox true intentions are – whether it was to keep a competing club, like the Tampa Bay Rays or Chicago White Sox who need outfield help, from claiming him.  Boston itself does need help in their injury-plagued outfield.

Damon was a member of the Red Sox championship team in 2004 which broke Boston’s 86 year championship drought.  He left the Red Sox after the 2005 season, spending 4 seasons as a fan-favorite Yankee.  He declined contract offers from the Yankees this off-season and instead signed with the Detroit Tigers for less money.  Damon is hitting .270 with 7 homers and 40 RBI, well below his numbers while with the Yankees.

There are a few things that need to happen for Damon to join the Sox again.  First, he needs to waive his no trade clause.  Then, the Red Sox and Tigers have 48 hours to negotiate a trade.  If that can’t be done, then the Tigers have the option of letting Damon go for nothing, or they could pull him off waivers and keep him for the remainder of the season.

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Ten games into the toughest part of the Yankees schedule this season, the Bombers are 5-5.  After taking two of three from the Red Sox, the Yankees lost three of four in Detroit to start 3-4.  Another series win against the Twins brought them back to 5-5.

The Yankees are in the midst of a stretch of 20 straight games against teams with winning records and/or are named the New York Mets or Boston Red Sox.

And it doesn’t get any easier this week.  The Yankees play two each against the Red Sox and Tampa Bay before ending the week with a three game set at CitiField against the Mets.  They’ll then earn a day off to travel to Minnesota for their first series at Minnesota’s new Target Field.

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When trying to find a ticket seller for baseball tickets, try VividSeats.com. They’re a leading seller of sports event tickets and have reasonable prices for some of the biggest games this year. They offer cheap Yankees tickets throughout the season and you can view the full schedule and seating charts.

The Yankees-Tigers game in Detroit Tuesday night has been postponed to Wednesday.  Since the teams don’t play in Detroit again this season after this Thursday, the teams elected to play a day-night doubleheader at 1:05pm and 7:05pm.  No word yet on if Javier Vasquez and Phil Hughes will still be the starters of those games.

It looks like the E:60 report on ESPN about Mariano Rivera will be a great watch tonight.  The theme appears to be about how the best closer in baseball history in well-regarded not only in New York, but even more so in his native Panama.  Check it out at 7pm on ESPN.

It started May 7 and doesn’t end for at least three weeks.  In fact, one could argue that it doesn’t even end for nearly 5 weeks.  For the first 20 games of this stretch, which started this weekend, the Yankees began what is looking like the toughest part of their schedule all season – from May 7 to May 27.

To start off, the Yankees will have to play 20 games during those 21 days, with the only day off coming on Monday May 24.  The worst part, however, is the opposition they are scheduled to face.  Boston, Detroit, Minnesota, Boston, Tampa Bay, NY Mets and Minnesota – all of which having winning records or are the Boston Red Sox.

May 7-9 @ Boston – The Yankees routed the first two games of the series 10-3 and 14-3, before being routed themselves in the Sunday night game, 9-3.  The Yankees are 4-2 against Boston this season in the 6 games they’ve played, all at Fenway Park.

May 10-13 @ Detroit – The Yankees lost the first game of the series, 5-4 on a night that long-time Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell was memorialized after succumbing to cancer last week.  The Yankees send troubled pitcher Javier Vasquez to the mound Tuesday night, high-flying youngster Phil Hughes to the mound on Wednesday night and ace CC Sabathia on Thursday night.  Vasquez skipped his last scheduled start (Friday in Boston) to get some bullpen work in and calm some nerves.  Yankee fans have been pretty hard on him this season for his poor play.  Hughes and Sabathia have been dominating this season, going 4-0 and 4-1 respectively.  Taking the next three in a row would be nice and is very possible, but I would be content with the Bombers leaving Detroit after going 2-2 against the Tigers.  Either way, they should have some momentum built up heading into the weekend series with Minnesota.

May 14-16 vs Minnesota – The Twins sit atop the AL Central at 21-11 and appear to be the third best team in the majors after the Rays and Yankees.  They are tough offensively and are much stronger than the team that the Yankees dominated last season.  This will be a tough series for the Bombers, especially considering the scheduled pitchers are AJ Burnett, who’s always volatile, Andy Pettitte, who’s coming off arm stiffness, and Vasquez, who will be hearing some loud boos if he doesn’t play excellent.

At this point the Yankees will have played 10 straight days – meaning that the Bombers would have most likely scheduled a day off for aging infielders Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez in order to rest them up for the next 10 games.

May 17-18 vs Boston – Boston maybe struggling this season with a 17-16 record as of Monday May 10, but it isn’t because of their hitting like most everyone thought it would be – it’s because of their pitching.  Surprisingly, the Sox are the fourth highest-scoring team in baseball this season.  The problem is they happen to have allowed the third most runs this season too, for a minus 11 run differential.  Still any series against the Sox is tough.

May 19-20 vs Tampa Bay – No doubt this is the strongest team in baseball this season and they are accomplishing it with much less talent then teams like the Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies have.  Fortunately, the Yankees have had this team’s number lately, having beaten them 2 out of 3 this season and 9 of 13 dating back to the mid-point of last season.

May 21-23 @ NY Mets – The Mets have had their ups and downs this season but have been mostly up the last couple of weeks.  Games between these two can hardly be called home or away games since the two team’s stadiums sit less than 20 miles apart.

May 24 – That one off-day…But can it really be called an off-day when you have to travel to Minnesota?

May 25-27 @ Minnesota – Previewing a series almost 3 weeks away is pointless.  Just imagine I copied and pasted the description from their previous series in this place.

However, it doesn’t stop here.  Without another day off, the Yankees will face off at home against the Cleveland Indians for a 4 game Memorial Day Weekend series (May 28-31), division rival Baltimore for three games (June 1-3), and finally wrapping it up in Toronto from June 4-6.

In case you lost count, that’s 30 games in 32 days, with 23 of those 30 games coming against teams with winning records.

Whew.

———————————
When trying to find a ticket seller for baseball tickets, try VividSeats.com. They’re a leading seller of sports event tickets and have reasonable prices for some of the biggest games this year. They offer cheap Yankees tickets throughout the season and you can view the full schedule and seating charts.

The Yankees got a taste of what they are missing this season after Johnny Damon’s fifth inning home run gave the Tigers a 4-2 lead on a night that ESPN and Detroit honored longtime Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell, who passed away last week after a battle with cancer.  The Yankees fell short during an eighth inning rally to finish the game down 5-4 for their second straight loss after winning 6 in a row and 9 of their previous 10 games.

The Yankees got a good look at three former members of the organization who are playing in Detroit this season.  Austin Jackson, a former Triple-A star for the Bombers has led the AL in hits this season and although he was held hitless Monday night, he did have a sacrifice fly for an RBI.   Johnny Damon was 1-3 with a HR and a walk.  Both hitters are batting .360 and .295, respectively.

Former relief pitcher Phil Coke also faced off against his former squad, coming in during the top of the eighth with the bases loaded.  After allowing one run to score on a fielder’s choice at second, Coke got Randy Winn to pop out before he was relieved of his duties with right-handed hitter Derek Jeter coming to the plate.  The lefty Coke threw 5 pitches in his 2/3 of an inning.

It’s hard to see three former Yankees doing well for their new squads.  Damon was a free agent acquisition for the Tigers after he and the Yankees brass couldn’t come to agreement on a contract price.  Jackson and Coke were part of the deal that sent Curtis Granderson to the Bronx.  After a great start to the season, including a home run in his first at-bat as a Yankee, Granderson has cooled off big time in the last few weeks, hitting only .225, and has not had an RBI since April 16 or home run since April 7.  He was placed on the 15-Day DL May 2.

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