The Gospel of Smoov

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Tag Archives: Opening Day

Gameday Post #1: Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays

It’s that time again, boys and girls … OPENING DAY!!!!!

Last year I got a little sidetracked and crazy busy, but this year I’m gonna give it another go: 162 games, 162 posts (the “high” watermark is 16 games). I’m gonna do a preview of each game consisting of the pitching probables, up-to-date division standings, a recap of the previous game and lineups whenever available. I’m also gonna try to sprinkle in some video entries every now and then … something new for the blog. It should make for a fantastic 2012 season so sit back, relax, and enjoy yourselves as the Yankees push towards their 28th World Series title!

*****

A.L. EAST STANDINGS

NEW YORK………..0-0

Baltimore………….0-0

Boston……………..0-0

Tampa Bay………..0-0

Toronto……………0-0

 

DATE/TIME: Friday, April 6th, 3:10pm

TV/RADIO: YES, MLBN, WCBS 880, WADO 1280

PITCHING PROBABLES: CC Sabathia (0-0, -.– ERA) vs. James Shields (0-0, -.– ERA)

 

PITCHING PREVIEW (from MLB.com)

CC Sabathia (NYY) — Sabathia will make his ninth career Opening Day start, and his fourth as a Yankee. He has gone 95-40 with a 3.09 ERA over the past five seasons, leading the Majors in wins, winning percentage and innings pitched.

James Shields (TB) — Shields is coming off his best season after going 16-12 with a 2.82 ERA in 2011. Included in his body of work were 11 complete games and 249 1/3 innings. Shields is 5-11 with a 4.14 ERA in 20 career starts against the Yankees.

 

YANKEES LINEUP

SS Derek Sanderson Jeter

CF Curtis Granderson

2B Robinson Jose Cano

3B Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez

1B Mark Charles Teixeira

RF Nicholas Thompson Swisher

DH Raul Javier Ibanez

C Russell Nathan Coltrane Jeanson Martin

LF Brett Michael Gardner

RAYS LINEUP

CF Desmond Jennings

RF Ben Zobrist

3B Evan Longoria

DH Jeff Keppinger

SS Sean Rodriguez

2B Elliott Johnson

1B Carlos Pena

C Jose Molina

LF Matt Joyce

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Gameday Post #1: Detroit Tigers at Yankees

Welcome to Opening Day 2011! Hope you all are ready to see the Yankees start up the quest for World Series #28 yet again! I, of course, will be manning section 120a/120b for the third straight season at the Stadium — and maybe I’ll run into most of you today. But whether you’re at the game or following at home/school/work, make sure to enjoy the day as a whole and cherish the fact that baseball is officially back!

This season I’m going to attempt to put together a gameday blog post. More often than not, it will be a preview of the game consisting of up-to-date division standings, date and time, TV and radio info, probable pitching match-up, lineups whenever available and a brief recap of the previous game. If there’s anything you guys want to see in the gameday post feel free to hit me up on here, the Facebook fan page or my Twitter.

Enjoy the posts this season!

*****

A.L. EAST STANDINGS

NEW YORK……..0-0

Baltimore……….0-0

Boston……………0-0

Tampa Bay………0-0

Toronto………….0-0

DATE: Thursday, March 31st

TIME: 1:05pm

TV/RADIO: YES, ESPN, WCBS 880, WADO 1280 (Spanish)

PITCHING PROBABLES

DET: Justin Verlander (0-0, -.– ERA)

NYY: CC Sabathia (0-0, -.– ERA)

PITCHING PREVIEW (from MLB.com)

Justin Verlander (DET): This is why Justin Verlander adjusted his offseason training program and pushed himself all spring: He wanted to be in top form at season’s start and avoid the April struggles that slowed him the past three seasons.

Verlander vs. Yankees

CC Sabathia (NYY): Sabathia, coming off a career-high 21 wins, draws his third straight Opening Day start for the Yankees. Finishing third in AL Cy Young voting, Sabathia was 11-2 with a 3.00 ERA at Yankee Stadium, beginning the year 11-0 at home.

Sabathia vs. Tigers

TIGERS LINEUP

CF Austin Jackson

2B Will Rhymes

RF Magglio Ordonez

1B Miguel Cabrera

DH Victor Martinez

LF Ryan Raburn

SS Jhonny Peralta

3B Brandon Inge

C Alex Avila

YANKEES LINEUP

LF Brett Michael Gardner

SS Derek Sanderson Jeter

1B Mark Charles Teixeira

3B Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez

2B Robinson Jose Cano

RF Nicholas Thompson Swisher

DH Jorge Rafael Posada

CF Curtis Granderson

C Russell Nathan Coltrane Jeanson Martin

What Opening Day Means To Me

I hope you all are ready for a 4th season of Smoov Security at Yankee Stadium!

Happiest security officer in the building

As I prepare to work my third Opening Day out of four (I didn’t work ’09 because of the unfortunate surgery on my right index finger), I find tons of emotions and thoughts being evoked in my mind. Opening Day in MLB is always a special time, as it signifies new life coming into my sports fanhood. I can’t tell you how excited I am to welcome the 50,000+ fans into the Stadium on Thursday as our beloved Yankees push towards World Series #28.

So what else does Opening Day mean to me?

  • WARM WEATHER. Although recent weather trends say otherwise, Opening Day is the unofficial day of packing the winter gear away. Fur coats, long-johns and skully hats are replaced with t-shirts, sunglasses and fitted caps. Guys break out their six-packs and chiseled biceps, and the women show off their cleavages and firm thighs. The kids are out playing ball like their favorite athletes. And thousands of fans come out to the ballpark to enjoy the beautiful weather throughout the spring and summer. No better feeling, in my mind.
  • NEW BLOOD. Yes, we were all sad to see Andy Pettitte ride off into the sunset and subsequently weaken our pitching rotation. But with Rafael Soriano and Pedro Feliciano shoring up an already solid bullpen and Russell Martin taking over the full-time catching duties, there is still much to look forward to in 2011. Add in the potential emergence of prospects such as Jesus Montero, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos down the road, and you can’t help but be excited for the future.
  • LOVE OF THE GAME. I have grown to love the game of baseball over the years. Being a Yankees fan has helped me come to understand and appreciate the history of not only the franchise, but the game as a whole. Having grown up around basketball from birth, I never imagined that I would fall in love with baseball and have it become so instrumental in my life. But I’m glad that it has. I can’t wait to be in the Stadium on Thursday and to start playing baseball outside as the weather gets warmer.

However you guys and gals celebrate Opening Day, make sure you take a chance to reflect on how much March 31st will mean to you this year. You’ll be surprised to find all the emotions it evokes.

Oh, and one more thing …

LET’S GO YAN-KEES! *clap-clap clap-clap-clap*

*****

After weeks of going back and forth on it, I’ve decided that I will attempt to do one blog post for every Yankee game this season. I’m really looking forward to the challenge of 162 posts in approximately 180 days. Maybe it’ll bring in some much-needed blog traffic.

Let’s get it!

Guess the Roster v2.0

Here we are, Yankees fans. Pitchers and catchers report to Tampa in one week and some position players get some early work in. Warm, sunny weather takes over for blistering cold temperatures up north. The crack of the bat and the ball pounding the glove become music to our collective ears. And roster spots are won and lost.

In the days since my initial guess of the roster, there were more low-risk minor league signings designed to add depth in case of injury and potentially fight for roster spots. And the issue of starting pitching got a little clearer, albeit at the expense of many fans’ sanity. Questions remain unanswered, but that is the joy of spring training — anticipating how the team will take shape in the coming weeks before the Yankees head back up to the Bronx for their March 31st season opener:

LINEUP

SS Derek Jeter, CF Curtis Granderson, 1B Mark Teixeira, 3B Alex Rodriguez, 2B Robinson Cano, RF Nick Swisher, DH Jorge Posada, C Russell Martin, LF Brett Gardner

The personnel stays the same, but I thought I’d give a different variation of what Joe Girardi might go with to start the season. Grandy’s improvement late in the season would reward him with the #2 spot in the order, thus keeping Jeter in the lead-off spot. Gardner’s speed in the #9 spot is an excellent tool in turning over the lineup and keeping the pressure on the defense. Martin hitting lower in the order in a hitter’s park like Yankee Stadium should help him rebound from an abysmal last two years.

BENCH

C Francisco Cervelli, IF Ramiro Pena, IF Eduardo Nunez, OF Andruw Jones

I’ve got a gut feeling that the bench will be the last to be finalized. While Cervelli, Pena, Nunez and Jones are the favorites, there are just too many options to consider. Top prospect Jesus Montero looms in Scranton, and he can easily force Girardi to play him with his tremendous bat. Greg Golson, Colin Curtis and Kevin Russo all gained valuable experience last season and can step in in the event of an injury. Proven IFs Eric Chavez and Ronnie Belliard were brought in on minor-league deals, adding a welcomed veteran presence to this area of the team. It should make for a interesting spring battle.

ROTATION

CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett, Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova

While Andy Pettitte’s retirement broke many Yankees fans’ hearts, it also meant that the rotation picture got a bit clearer. Garcia and Bartolo Colon were brought on to compete with Nova and Sergio Mitre for the final two spots. Aside from the back end, there’s still the story of Dr. A.J. and Mr. Burnett. The $82.5M man was the first Yankee SP with a 5.00-plus ERA since 1992 and will try to show fans that his 2010 season was a fluke. Hughes will look to further build upon his All-Star season, and CC should hopefully continue to be the workhorse he has been. I know the rotation has gotten weaker recently, but this is where Brian Cashman’s patience mantra needs to be at its strongest. There’s no telling which potential trade targets develop, and there’s always a chance Garcia or Colon actually perform well.

BULLPEN

Mariano Rivera, Rafael Soriano, David Robertson, Pedro Feliciano, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Sergio Mitre

Much like the lineup, the personnel stays the same. While Meat Tray will surely be in the running for a rotation spot (why that is, I’ll never know), it is more likely that he will be the long reliever on Opening Day.

*****

There you go, boys and girls: my Guess the Roster remix. With more options this time around than the previous version, it should make for one helluva spring training at Steinbrenner Field.

Guess The Roster v1.0

Damn, I’ve missed blogging about the Yankees.

I didn’t realize that it’s been over two months since my last Yankees-centric blog post, which I find to be indicative of how patient Brian Cashman has been this offseason. While the biggest hole (starting rotation) has yet to be filled*, the lineup and bullpen have been strengthened to all but ensure a third straight playoff appearance in 2011. And with pitcher & catchers due to report to Tampa in less than a month, what better time than now to take a crack at what the Opening Day roster might look like on March 31?

LINEUP

LF Brett Gardner, SS Derek Jeter, 1B Mark Teixeira, 3B Alex Rodriguez, 2B Robinson Cano, RF Nick Swisher, DH Jorge Posada, CF Curtis Granderson, C Russell Martin

Joe Girardi will have most of the same cast from 2010 back. The major shakeup involves arguably the most important regular Yankee. After 12 years as the everyday starting catcher, Posada will move from catcher to designated hitter in an attempt to keep him in the lineup as often as possible. It was believed that top prospect Jesus Montero would be in the mix to replace him, but the Yankees decided to attempt to resurrect Martin career after two disappointing season with the Dodgers.

What I like about this lineup is the flexibility when it comes to who hits where. For example, I have Gardner leading off and Jeter hitting 2nd. The two of them can easily be flip-flopped, and Girardi can also elect to have Jeter and Swisher go 1-2 in the order. There’s even a chance that Robbie can challenge Teixeira for the #3 spot ahead of A-Rod, but knowing our manager that is unlikely to happen.

BENCH

C Francisco Cervelli, IF Ramiro Pena, OF Andruw Jones

If there’s anything I’ve learned over the years, it’s that the Yankees’ bench is rarely set in stone over the course of any given season. While Cervelli, Pena and Jones are the favorites for their respective roles, there is some much-needed depth in the minors ready to step in if need be. Montero’s bat is ML-ready and has been working extensively on his defense over the last few seasons. Eduardo Nunez and Greg Golson showed enough promise in 2010 to earn a shot at the final bench spot, and the contributions of Colin Curtis and Kevin Russo cannot be forgotten. It should be interesting to see how the bench looks come Opening Day.

ROTATION

CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova

For those of you that have been living under a rock this offseason, the starting pitching is the Yankees’ biggest concern. While Sabathia and Hughes are fresh off career years, the uncertainty of Andy Pettitte’s future and the sporadic performance of Burnett cast a dark cloud over this staff. With a weak free agent SP pool and even worse trade market, this is where Ca$hMoney’s “patience” mantra kicks into high gear. The likes of Justin Duchscherer, Freddy Garcia, Kevin Millwood and even *gasp* Carl Pavano have been kicked around as potential pieces to add, thus taking the pressure off Nova as he looks to build on last season. Stay tuned to find out whether Pettitte comes back or not and who gets to replace him in the rotation.

BULLPEN

Mariano Rivera, Rafael Soriano, David Robertson, Pedro Feliciano, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Sergio Mitre

While Alfredo Aceves and Damaso Marte will be missed this season, it’s safe to say the Bombers will be fine in the bullpen. With Soriano stepping in as Mariano’s set-up man, it shouldn’t be long before we’re saying “NoMo runs for you!” in the 8th and 9th innings. D. Robby and Logan will be expected to continue their positive progression in 2011, and Feliciano should more than hold his own as the second left-hander in the ‘pen. Chamberlain has some work to do; after falling behind Robertson, Logan and Kerry Wood last season, he must do all he can to return to the elite status he had in 2007 and 2008. I included the Meat Tray Experience here because this is where he best fits the team — as the long reliever.

*****

It’s easy to get discouraged with the make-up of the 2011 Yankees given the slow pace of Cashman’s moves and the Red Sox’ earnest acquisitions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. But this team is still built to win, at the very least, a playoff spot. And you can bet on the Yankees making countless moves between now and the end of September to put them in the best position to win the A.L. East crown.

What does your 25-man roster look like right now? Feel free to discuss.

*insert “That’s What She Said” joke here