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Twins or Tigers, Tigers or Twins

Posted by: Sam Borden - Posted in Misc on Oct 05, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Judging by the e-mails I’ve been getting, most Yankees fans seem to agree that playing the Twins in the first round would be better than playing the Tigers because the Tigers have stronger starting pitching in Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson. And that’s true.

But could you make the case that the  Twins are actually the worse match-up?

After all, they’ve got the best pure hitter on either team (in Joe Mauer), an elite closer (in Joe Nathan), a bigger home-field advantage, some speed (Denard Span), some power (Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel) and they’re by far the hottest team in baseball. If they win tomorrow, they’ll have won 17 of their last 21 to get into the playoffs. In 2007, the Rockies finished as strongly as the Twins – Colorado won 14 of its last 15, including a play-in – and rode the momentum to the World Series.

If the Tigers win, they’ll stumble in having nearly blown a lead that was seven games on Sept. 6 and three games with four to go.

Could the Twins do the same thing the Rockies did even with pitchers like Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Carl Pavano and Jeff Manship? Could the Tigers be more of a hungover punching bag?  Would the Yankees really be better off playing the limping Tigers?

(Nah. Starting pitching counts the most. I still think they’re better off with Minnesota.)

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222 Responses to “Twins or Tigers, Tigers or Twins”

  1. betsy October 5th, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    I don’t care who we face – the Yankees have to beat either of them. If they don’t, it’s disasatrous. They can not lose to either team.

    Um, sorry to bring this up again – or not, I’m not going to apologize for missing the conversation earlier. We have no idea who AJ feels the most comfortable with and, if you believe Kay, he ASKED for Jorge to continue catching him. There’s no point rehashing the stats because anyone that is interested can look to June and July when Posada caught AJ…….If Molina catches AJ, the lineup will be considerably weakened – it’s ridiculous.

  2. ditmars1929 October 5th, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    I think they’re both dangerous, but I’ll agree with Sam and prefer the Twins because of Detroit’s better pitching. Hate to see Velander twice.

  3. Hokiehill October 5th, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    I agree Betsy, we should be better than both teams. At this point I don’t care who gets in. I got what I wanted when it came down to this play-in game. The only thing I could want now is for the game Tuesday to drag on for 8 hours and take many many extra innings so both teams have to throw out every player plus the kitchen sink just to get into the playoffs.

  4. Steve October 5th, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Good call Sam. I’ve been saying the same thing to everyone I talk to about the choice. If the Twins win, we’re toast. They’ll have so much momentum going into the playoffs, they’ll be unstoppable.

    You coined it perfectly.

  5. crawdaddy October 5th, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    From past disappointments, I don’t care who they face. It’s about the Yankees playing well, not which team they meet next.

  6. Andrew GTLU Bronze Medalist October 5th, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Tigers also stumbled into the playoffs in 2006 and spanked the Yankees in round 1; Yankees stumbled into the playoffs 9 years ago and won the whole thing. Cardinals were barely over .500 in 2006 and also won the entire thing.

    The moral of the story is, it’s up to the Yankees either way. They play their game (pitching well, mistake-free, timely hitting), they can’t lose.

  7. m October 5th, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Doesn’t matter. They’ll still roll into town mentally exhausted.

    Although, Kuebel’s the X-factor for the Twins. Hot, hot, hot. (uh, you know what I mean.)

    I simply can’t force myself to “choose” to face Verlander especially in a series where he lines up to pitch a potential game 5.

    Twins!

    Now, who do you guys want to play, and who do you think will actually win the playoff?

    I prefer to play the Twins, and I think they pull it out. HFA and all that.

  8. damon October 5th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    -Sam

    5 threads in 4 hrs,do you want comments?

  9. bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes October 5th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    If the Twins win, we’re toast
    ====

    “We’re”….as in, the Yankees?

  10. E-gawa October 5th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Why bother picking the better matchup. Regardless we’re the better team. The best way to look at it is…

    They have to play us.

  11. Tom October 5th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    They’re hot, but who have they played since the beginning of August? They’ve had a steady stream of cupcakes, if you count Detroit and Chicago completely tanking as being one of those cupcakes.

    The Twins lost to the Angels on August 2, to fall to 52-53. Since then, their schedule has been @Cleveland, @Detroit, KC, Cleveland, @Texas, @KC, Baltimore, Texas, Chicago, @Cleveland, @Toronto, Oakland, Cleveland, Detroit, @Chicago, @KC, @Detroit, and KC.

    Other than seven games against Texas, that’s a whole heap of crappy teams. No wonder they went on a winning streak.

  12. Erin October 5th, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    I think the Yankees can beat either team, so I’m not too concerned with who ultimately gets in.

  13. Tom October 5th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Or, we can put it another way. The Yankees were 7-0 against the Twins, when they HAD Justin Morneau.

  14. Darrin October 5th, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    The Yankees are much better than either team and should beat either team. But of course, we know that baseball does not work that way.

    You cannot look at baseball like the other sports and try to match up on paper. How many times are we going to go through this same argument? (‘Yankees should destroy Kenny Rogers’; ‘Yankees are 7-0 against the Indians’)

    The Yankees are 7-0 against the Twins this year, but virtually every game was a 1 or 2 run game. Are you going to count on winning every postseason game by a walk-off? Good luck with that.

    The calculus is simple: If the Yankees pitch decently and swing the bats decently, they win, regardless of whether it’s the Twins or Tigers. If they don’t, they lose.

  15. Abdababdaserser October 5th, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    The debate will be endless about this. The Tiggers have the starting pitching, but its not like they were this terrific team throughout the whole season.

    The Twinkies have caught fire this last month. When hitting this hot it can be tough to cool them down, which is how the Rockies got in and through the post season all the way to the WS.

    There are points on both sides of this that make sense, but I just can’t see rooting for one over the other. Both have strengths and weaknesses, its up to the Yankees to deal with whichever team gets to win the Central.

    Mauer is a good hitter, but when the team was mainly him and Morneau it was basically a .500 team. Now, Cuddyer and Kubel have started to mash the ball, which is the main reason they are still in it.

    It almost looks like it will come down to either a slug fest or pitching duel.

    With the Yankee starting pitching and well rounded lineup they should be able to take on either team.

  16. Joe October 5th, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    All Im gonna say is…. You gotta be careful what you ask for. All I want is the Tigers and Twins go to a 17 extra innings games that wears them down and whoever wins it, let it be.

  17. bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes October 5th, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Tigers also stumbled into the playoffs in 2006 and spanked the Yankees in round 1; Yankees stumbled into the playoffs 9 years ago and won the whole thing. Cardinals were barely over .500 in 2006 and also won the entire thing.
    The moral of the story is, it’s up to the Yankees either way. They play their game (pitching well, mistake-free, timely hitting), they can’t lose.
    =====

    Yanks had no pitching in 2006 and Tigers did.

    I knew we were doomed in that series and was never seduced by the “Murderer’s Row and then there’s Cano” stuff, because Leyland saying that had nothing to do with anything; whether he said it or not, we still had no pitching.

    Tigers lost to Cards, IMO, because of the long layoff. Their arms just weren’t sharp.

    There are pros and cons to Yanks/Tigers vs. Yanks/Twins, because baseball is a game of matchups to a large extent, but we have the where withal to beat either team, as you point out.

  18. S.A.--Now the real fun begins October 5th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Bring on whoever. Just beat them.

  19. m October 5th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Back to the Cabrera story (who looks like he gained his weight back), this is the comment I referenced earlier. It’s from the initial article about Cabrera having no comment about the mysterious cuts.

    ================================================

    Kevinzz88 (10/4/2009 at 6:36 PM) Report Violation Actually, this story is a big deal. I have a friend of mine that works at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, and Cabrera has had numerous incidents while excessively drinking at the hotel bar. The Birmingham police dept. had been called on more than one occasion to the hotel bar to deal with a drunk, and belligerent Cabrera. He was not arrested in any of the hotel incidents, but Cabrera is a regular at the bar there, and has a “MAJOR” alcohol problem. He lies, and says his dog caused the marks on his face, but that is a bold face lie. It did involve an alcohol related incident. If Cabrera’s dog had caused the marks on his face like he says, then why would the Tiger’s organization say they don’t want to discuss it, and that it’s a personal issue??? Because, all of this involves the alcohol problem that they have known about all along. The Detroit Tigers are aware of the problem, but don’t want to make it an issue, especially during a pennant race. Does anyone wonder why Cabrera’s hitting has not been so good of late? How about his significant weight loss? It’s not a hitting slump, but more of a very serious issue with alcoholism. Once the season is over, you can expect the Tigers to announce that Cabrera has entered a substance abuse program. This is truly a sad thing!

  20. Doreen October 5th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    I’m trying not to have a preference. What I would prefer is for the Twins to not have a dome and turf and the Tigers not to have an effective Verlander. One is more likely than the other, at least this year. :)

    But, I do know the Yankees can beat anyone, as long as they don’t beat themselves. So, I’m rooting for the Yankees to play good baseball and to win 3 games in the coming week. Since they have shown that they have mostly done that this season, it should be doable now.

  21. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    “Other than seven games against Texas, that’s a whole heap of crappy teams. No wonder they went on a winning streak.”

    Beating crap teams, and beating them badly is pretty important. Failure to do that was one of the things that separated the 2008 Yankees from the playoffs.

  22. bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes October 5th, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Doreen, here’s my preference:

    The game goes 23 innings tomorrow, cleaning out both teams’ bullpens with emergency appearances from both teams’ idle starters.

    :D.

  23. Dave October 5th, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    It’s interesting to me that Yankee fans would want the white hot twins in the first round as opposed to the slumping tigers? The tigers seem to be the better match to me with Justin Verlander being the only real post season proven pitcher on the staff. Either way I am quite confident in saying the Yankees will win, but with the Twins it seems more of a team that could potentially give the Yankees trouble.

  24. NYS October 5th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Who Cares? We have beaten both of them and are capable of doing to again. As another poster put it, they have to play US. Lets go yanks.

  25. Lou in SoCal October 5th, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Careful what you ask for. Twins are hot! How many times have we heard Derek Jeter say that it isn’t the best team that has won the World Series but the hottest teams. That being said, to be #1 Yankees have to beat everyone. Tigers seem wounded, but it always comes down to pitching and defense. If Yankees don’t pitch well they will lose.

  26. Noreaster October 5th, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Sam, Thanks for all the posts! I’d rather face the Twins too. It all starts with starting pitching.

  27. Abdababdaserser October 5th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    The pitching is an important part of the playoffs, but the teams need to score runs.

    The Yankees are a very balanced team. Good pitching, good lineup (probably their strongest point) and good defense.

    The Yankees that were dynasties had very good defense up the middle. They also had good pitching. They didn’t get the knickname the Bronx Bombers for being singles hitters.

    This year the defense has improved, especially the infield, thanks in no small part to Teixeira. The offense is terrific, and while there is some station to station, there is also some speed to scratch across runs.

  28. damon October 5th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    The Yankees unlike a lot of teams won,on merit.unlike a lot of teams in postseason the Yankees earned it the old fashioned way,They Beat teams.Our team is stoked and our pen is the best in postseason.They are motivated and hungry.

    This group of guys had fun and are as ready as they ever will be,BELIEVE!!

  29. m October 5th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    And another thing. That stupid Ordonez kills us. And Thames! And Polanco! And Granderson with his homeruns and run-saving dives!

    Although OC from the Twins kills us, too.

  30. bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes October 5th, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Essentially agree, NYS, but it’s just fun to speculate and consider matchups, etc.

    However, an onion rava masala dosa beckons.

    Good job Sam, keep ‘em comin’ so I can backread after lunch.

  31. Rishi October 5th, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    AL Executive of the Year
    1. Brian Cashman, Yankees. How many times since 2000 have we “teased” the Yankees for money misspent? Well, this year they got it right. Cashman’s stealth overnight flight to bag CC Sabathia during the winter meetings was masterful.

    among other interesting picks:

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/story/12312002

  32. Andrew GTLU Bronze Medalist October 5th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Baker, Blackburn and American Idle as a top 3 are not worldbeaters regardless of how hot the Twins have been. All three are guys that pitch to contact and don’t possess the overpowering arsenals of the Tigers’ top 3. Baker is closest to an ace and he is a flyball, control pitcher who has given up a lot of home runs in his day and I don’t think that meshes well with the Yankees’ lineup. That is the reason why as a fan you feel more confident in a Twins series–but really based on this year’s Yankees team I am confident regardless of Twins or Tigers.

  33. Starburied October 5th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Hate to be a ticket troll here but here goes…

    I’m a newbie when it comes to buying sporting tickets. I’m looking for bleacher seats to ALDS Game #2 and will be flying into NY about an hour before game time. StubHub seems to be auction only until game time and the Yankees site doesn’t seem to have 2 seats together (I’m going with a family member).

    Anyone have any advice on other legit places for tickets I can buy (or tickets to sell themselves?). Looking to spend 75-100 dollars per ticket. I’ve been a Yankees fan for 15 year (since age 7) and have never once been to a live game! Thanks to any help advance!

    (Apologies if this is not allowed here at LHYB)

  34. Blackaccord October 5th, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    I was initially saying Twins but now I feel that the Tigers are beatable.. Twins have everything working for them.. Tigers have nothing working for them except Verlander..

  35. m October 5th, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4531930

    Go, Timmy K!

    Did you guys know we set a record with # of bullpen wins? That’s more a product of the late offense than anything. But for the most part, the bullpen did their job to earn those wins. didn’t Aceves have a 1/4th of those wins? :)

  36. pat October 5th, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    AMBIVALENCE! I hate it but I have it when it comes to this debate.

    Can’t we just go straight to the WS? Anything else is too stress inducing. :wink:

  37. Doreen October 5th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    bodhisattva -

    A 23-inning game spending both bullpen and wearing everyone down, in a low scoring game, followed by a flight to NY arriving in the wee hours. Hmmm. Could be a plan. :)

    m -

    Ouch! See, the devil is in the details!!!!! :lol: (Granderson, et al.)

  38. haiku-man October 5th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    The Yankees are a formidable team too don’t forget,you don’t stumble into 103 wins in a season BY ACCIDENT!!

    Tigers or Twins,still have to come to Yankee stadium and play the Yankees,no matter what!

  39. Trevor (Super Mario) October 5th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    What helped the Tigers too in 06 was Zummya. They had a very good pen. Now? Not so much.
    Their offense was also better that year then this years Tigers.

    The Twins are a solid all around team. They play good defense and have a hot offense now. But their starters are nothing to brag about. Decent pen and good closer but Nathan has not been great this year.

    The Tigers despite their good starting pitching, and despite the Twins being 0-7 against the Yankees, looks like the the weaker opponent right now.

  40. jennifer October 5th, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    If someone blows over a .20 than they have a major alcohol problem. MLB needs to get involved and suspend him. I’m not surprised to read that the cops never arrested him. If he got in a car that drunk and killed or hurt someone the cops should be held accountable as well.

  41. Doreen October 5th, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    pat -

    Is ambivalence defined as jumping from one side of an argument to the other in a quick, haphazard manner, or is it not caring one way or the other? ‘Cause I feel like both! :lol:

  42. Erica - always OPPC October 5th, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Andrew GTLU Bronze Medalist
    October 5th, 2009 at 12:29 pm
    Tigers also stumbled into the playoffs in 2006 and spanked the Yankees in round 1; Yankees stumbled into the playoffs 9 years ago and won the whole thing. Cardinals were barely over .500 in 2006 and also won the entire thing.

    The moral of the story is, it’s up to the Yankees either way. They play their game (pitching well, mistake-free, timely hitting), they can’t lose.

    *****

    I agree 100%. It doesn’t matter who you face. They cannot be underestimated and you need to beat them

  43. m October 5th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Doreen,

    See that’s the thing, you’ve got to look at the lineups, too. Did I mention Granderson’s triples?

  44. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    “1. Brian Cashman, Yankees. How many times since 2000 have we “teased” the Yankees for money misspent? Well, this year they got it right. Cashman’s stealth overnight flight to bag CC Sabathia during the winter meetings was masterful.”

    No skill involved in having far more money to spend then everyone else and spending it. If anything, give it to him for the Swisher coup. Or building the depth necessary to cobble together one the game’s more effective bullpens. I’m a lot more impressed with how he built the #11 thru #25 portion of the roster than I am the #1 thru #10 portion.

  45. Rishi October 5th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Rex
    October 5th, 2009 at 12:57 pm
    “1. Brian Cashman, Yankees. How many times since 2000 have we “teased” the Yankees for money misspent? Well, this year they got it right. Cashman’s stealth overnight flight to bag CC Sabathia during the winter meetings was masterful.”

    No skill involved in having far more money to spend then everyone else and spending it. If anything, give it to him for the Swisher coup. Or building the depth necessary to cobble together one the game’s more effective bullpens. I’m a lot more impressed with how he built the #11 thru #25 portion of the roster than I am the #1 thru #10 portion.
    =============

    i think the point had more to do with how the money was spent rather than just that it was spent – too many years of the Yankees just spend b/c they could and throwing money in the wrong direction.

  46. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    *than everyone else

  47. Bill October 5th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    The Twins are the better team. Better run differential (and they’ve been even better since losing Morneau, so there’s a big “yeah but” there, but not as big as you’d think). Better lineup with or without Morneau. Edwin Jackson has proven to be a half-season fluke, and while Verlander is Verlander, I think overall, the Twins’ top 3 or 4 starters are better. Vastly better bullpen.

    The Yankees will be heavily favored against either, of course. But the Twins are tougher.

  48. haiku-man October 5th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    If the Yankees get to bat against Pavano,they will all be motivated.
    I read the clubhouse was a buzz,when it was mentioned Pavano would pitch Sunday.

  49. Doreen October 5th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    m -

    I love Granderson as a player. Hate him as an opponent. And Ordonez never goes away. Thames is the guy who used to be a Yankee, right? His first AB was a HR or something?

    Anyway, both teams are worthy opponents and the Yankees need to bring their “A” game. That’s it.

  50. Noreaster October 5th, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Rex, I’d have to agree with your thoughts on Cashman. The bullpen is Cashman’s and JoeG’s biggest accomplishment this season.

  51. The Ghost October 5th, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Didn’t the Tigers stumble into the playoffs the last time the Yankees lost to them in the first round? I fear Leyland more than Gardenhire in a battle of wits. Leyland shredded Torre the last time they met.

  52. Bronx Jeers October 5th, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Anybody try to get tickets online this morning?

    Not good. But that was predictable.

    I actually had them on the phone and online. No phone orders this year.

  53. jennifer October 5th, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    http://www.baseball-reference......ores.shtml they came in on a 5 game losing streak. But still ended up with 95 wins.

  54. Laura - Matsui in pinstripes in 2010! October 5th, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    We need to stop focusing on the opponent. If we play up to our capabilities, we’ll beat anybody. That being said, if pressed to answer, I’d vote for DET. I don’t like playing hot teams; MIN is hot regardless of who they played during that span.

  55. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    “i think the point had more to do with how the money was spent rather than just that it was spent – too many years of the Yankees just spend b/c they could and throwing money in the wrong direction.”

    I know. Just don’t like the idea of rewarding a front office for no longer acting stupidly. Especially this year, where I think Cashman actually showed off a little acumen in making this a pretty complete team.

  56. arliss October 5th, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Twins scare me more than Detroit…..both scare me…….I dont care who we play, both will make me nervous…..the anticipation of wednesday night is absurd…..i am looking to crush.

  57. pat October 5th, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Doreen

    Exactly. Ambivalence is all that and more. :wink:

  58. Peepee Hands October 5th, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    -Sam
    5 threads in 4 hrs,do you want comments?

    ————————-

    -Sam
    5 threads in 4 hrs, fantastic job!!!! You and Josh are awesome!!!

  59. Bronx Jeers October 5th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Jennifer,

    The police held him until the Tigers GM came and picked him up .

    How embarrassing.

  60. Erica - always OPPC October 5th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    All the Yankees need to do is play up to their capabilities and they can easily beat both teams. All the Yanks need to do is play well and hope for a 20 inning one game playoff between the Tigers and the Twins

  61. Benny Blanco October 5th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    I’m with besty. In order to be the champs, you have to beat the best but I’m much more comfortable with the starting pitching this year as suppose to the previous years.

  62. m October 5th, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Rishi,

    Just submitted a couple of questions to Olney. Look to see if this one pops up:

    “Who’s your pick this week to win the WS? ;)”

  63. Erica - always OPPC October 5th, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    42 Hours and 50 minutes until the Start of Game 1 :-)

    Oh yes, the Countdown is ON

  64. m October 5th, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Robert (St. Louis)

    What NL team best matches up with the Yankees if the Yankees make it to the World Series?

    Buster Olney (1:11 PM)

    Robert: I think the Cardinals do — excellent front-end of the rotation, good bullpen, deep lineup, and La Russa has some DH options. I picked the Cardinals/Yankees in the World Series in the selections I turned in last night. (To be clear: Before the season, I had Rays/Phillies…)

  65. Denise October 5th, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I don’t care either, you can make an argument for both….all I care about is that I’ll be at the game, which looks like it will be Wednesday in the long series. Don’t know why Girardi would pick the short series

  66. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Not digging the 6:00 start times. As always, MLB is television’s b*tch. Honestly, is there anyone that doesn’t get jammed in this? You think LA/Disney people are thrilled with 6:30 starts? How about Rockies fans and 12:30 MT starts? Or Philly and 2:30?

    Selig should man up and not be afraid to put these games on against each other so the fans who want to watch, can watch.

  67. Denise October 5th, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Bronx Jeers,

    I got my tix online off yankees.com right at 10:00, sec 213! no problem!

  68. Nick in SF October 5th, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    I don’t blame anyone for speculating, as this is the biggest unknown variable remaining before everything else falls into place. But some of the spinning in here is funny.

    Here is what we know: the winner tomorrow will arrive in the Bronx with momentum, having just survived and won two consecutive elimination games. Nobody knows how it’s going to actually play out, but we might have been better if either team had backed into the playoffs over the weekend.

    It’s up to CC to stop that momentum. And then the burden falls on…

  69. berry October 5th, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Not sure if I missed the comments on this but I think its a total joke that the Twins-Tigers game is not being played today. Minnesota didnt secure the stadium? too bad, it should be moved to Detroit

  70. haiku-man October 5th, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    -Trevor
    according to mlb.com Follow the leaders stats article.
    Nathan has 47 saves to Mariano’s 44,he must’ve been ok.

  71. jennifer October 5th, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Nick you can say the Twins will come in with momentum. but the Tigers I beg to differ. Either way they will both be landing at 2-3 am in NY after an exhausting weekend, than have a 6pm game to play.

  72. tex's friend October 5th, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    October 5th, 2009 at 1:17 pm
    -Trevor
    according to mlb.com Follow the leaders stats article.
    Nathan has 47 saves to Mariano’s 44,he must’ve been ok.

    ____

    Nathan is good, but doe not pitch well against the Yankees if i recall.

  73. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    “Not sure if I missed the comments on this but I think its a total joke that the Twins-Tigers game is not being played today.”

    Play-in game between Chicago and Minnesota was on Tuesday last year as well, but that was because Chicago had to play Detroit in a make up game on Monday just to qualify for the play-in game.

  74. Erica - always OPPC October 5th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    berry
    October 5th, 2009 at 1:17 pm
    Not sure if I missed the comments on this but I think its a total joke that the Twins-Tigers game is not being played today. Minnesota didnt secure the stadium? too bad, it should be moved to Detroit

    ***

    They cannot cancel Monday night football. And Minny shouldn’t be penalized cause they share the stadium

  75. m October 5th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    lol, Buster’s a good sport:

    mel (HI)

    Who’s your pick this week to win the WS? ;)

    Buster Olney (1:22 PM)

    Mel: I hear you. Personally, I’d like to make one pick and stick to it all year, but folks ask a lot in these chats for predictions, and this late in the year, you gotta feed the beast. I’ve got the Yankees winning the WS over the Cardinals. (And for the record: I had the Yankees out of the playoffs before the year started… My AL picks were Tampa Bay, Boston, Minnesota and the Angels, and my NL picks were Philly, the Cubs, Cardinals and Dodgers)

  76. JsDad October 5th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    I hope the Yankees draw the Twins, only because if there is any justice in this world I’d like to see the Yankees beat Carl Pavano like a drum when it counts the most.

  77. Bronx Jeers October 5th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    I believe Minny had the option to play at 12:00 today.

    They chose to play tomorrow.

  78. Jeremy October 5th, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Will people stop fearing the Twins. The Yankee hitters have good numbers against all their pitchers. On top of that Gardy and the Twins choke every time they face the Yankees especially at Yankee Stadium. Look at their record against the Yankees over the years regular season and postseason. The Yankees have owned them just like the Red Sox own the Angels. Just because a team has a hot streak against weak teams doesn’t make them the greatest team in MLB.

  79. Nick in SF October 5th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    jennifer, you don’t think winning two consecutive elimination games could give the Tigers momentum? I call that wishful thinking, but who knows.

    They could show up exhausted and flat or they could show up amped up at gritty. How would anyone know right now?

  80. Jeremy October 5th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Will people stop fearing the Twins. The Yankee hitters have good numbers against all their pitchers. On top of that Gardy and the Twins choke every time they face the Yankees especially at Yankee Stadium. Look at their record against the Yankees over the years in the regular season and postseason. The Yankees have owned them just like the Red Sox own the Angels. Just because a team has a hot streak against weak teams doesn’t make them the greatest team in MLB.

  81. Denise October 5th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    6:07 start time doesn’t bother me, will be in the city around noon, more time to “get ready” for game!!!

  82. m October 5th, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    My other question was a 2 part one. Who should start Game 2? How do you feel about a possible AJ/Molina battery?

    =====================================================

    Steve (Hopkinton, MA)

    What do you think of the plan to have Molina catch AJ in the playoffs?

    Buster Olney (1:23 PM)

    Steve: Not surprising. I think Burnett is going to be the barometer for what the Yankees do (or don’t do) in the post-season, and they need him to be excellent — and it’s clear that he is just more comfortable with Molina, to the point where pitching to Posada distracts him. So Girardi, a former catcher who was known for his empathy for pitchers, is going to do what makes one of his starting pitchers feel most comfortable.

  83. Mark in Tampa October 5th, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Previous to this year, home field for a play-in game was determined by a coin flip. Now it is determined by head to head record. There was no way they were going to move the game back to Detroit. Baseball players are used to playing everyday, so it shouldn’t be that much of an issue anyway.

  84. berry October 5th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    MLB should not a back seat to the NFL.

  85. Denise October 5th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Red Sox won’t own the Angels this year, not same starting pitching and now they don’t even have Wakefield…Becket with back spasms….just hope that series is a bloodbath, assuming we take care of business in our series.

  86. Joe October 5th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Anyone heard from Pete??? When does he start with the Globe. We all must admit that Sam have been doing an excellent job and made that transition very smooth.

  87. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    “They could show up exhausted and flat or they could show up amped up at gritty. How would anyone know right now?”

    Nobody would. Two most recent examples tell different stories. ’07 Rockies roared into the playoffs and wiped out those who got in their way….well, those in the NL anyway. ’08 White Sox went on to get their asses kicked in 4 games by the Rays.

  88. S.o.S. October 5th, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Good morning,
    My pick is the twins. But be carefull what you wish for. I cant help but think of the year we wanted to face the Tigers who were 0-6 against us. We all know how that ended.

    Bottom line. We will be any team if we dont beat ourselves.

  89. Bill October 5th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    MLB asked the NFL to move the game to Green Bay. The NFL refused. They have the contractual right. There’s not a whole lot of discussion to be had there.
    Moving it to Detroit, after completely screwing the Twins over last year with the ridiculous coin flip rule, would be a travesty.

  90. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    “MLB should not a back seat to the NFL.”

    There goes your career as a program director.

  91. Bronx Jeers October 5th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    I say whoever shows up, comes “cautiously optimistic” with a 70% chance of being downgraded to “naively hopeful” if it’s the Tigers and the hotel bar is still open when they arrive.

  92. S.o.S. October 5th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    “MLB should not a back seat to the NFL.”

    ————

    Ratings says different. Everything takes a back seat to the NFL. I believe College Football has almost passed up mlb.

    How about my COLTS!!

  93. S.o.S. October 5th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    “MLB should not a back seat to the NFL.”

    ————

    Ratings says different. Everything takes a back seat to the NFL. I believe College Football has almost passed up mlb.

    How about my COLTS!!

  94. Bruno October 5th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    For those who believe that the Twins are hot right now because they faced terrible teams, keep in mind that they’ve faced Verlander, Porcello and Greinke (twice) in the last week-and-a-half of the season during their comeback. Also, their pitching is nothing to laugh at either:

    The rotation’s new front four of Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Carl Pavano, and Brian Duensing were a combined 17-9 with a 3.76 ERA over that 44-game stretch and relievers Jesse Crain (1.37), Jon Rauch (1.80), Matt Guerrier (2.00), Ron Mahay (2.08), and Jose Mijares (2.45) each had ERAs under 2.50.

    Joe Nathan at 3.22 and has been shouldering a heavy work load. Baker’s gone about 13-3 since June.

  95. Jeremy October 5th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Denise
    Been down this road before. The Angels had better starting pitching last year than the Red Sox. Beckett was horrible. And guess what ? The Red Sox beat the crap out of the Angels. The Angels only won one game. As far as I am concerned the Angels are choke artists and they can’t beat the Red Sox. The fact that John Lackey is pitching Game 1 when he has bad numbers against Boston, and Lester is pitching Game 1 proves to me that the Angels are not taking this ALDS seriously.

  96. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    “Red Sox won’t own the Angels this year, not same starting pitching and now they don’t even have Wakefield…Becket with back spasms….”

    Acutally it’s almost exactly the same starting pitching as last year. Only difference is Bucholtz instead of Matsuzaka and Weaver instead of Santana for the Angels. Lester and Lackey were Game 1 starters in ’08 and they’ll be Game 1 starters this year too.

  97. betsy October 5th, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    First of all, lol, that poster in Buster’s chat is clueless as Joe hasn’t made any decision re: Molina/AJ. Buster thinks Posada distracts him? Yeah, he was distracted terribly in June and July………..and he was fantastic in Baltimore with Molina behind the plate. I agree that AJ is the key to the post-season for the Yankees, but man – this is utterly ridiculous.

  98. Bb October 5th, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    we need to just win baby, just win.

  99. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Jeremy:

    Lackey’s more recent numbers against Boston are pretty good. Even in the playoffs last year, he left Game 1 in the 7th, down 2-1 and left Game 4 in the 8th tied 2-2. Last two regular seasons, he’s 2-1 with a 2.66 ERA against them and that includes a near no hitter in Boston.

  100. ANSKY October 5th, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Doesn’t matter to me who they play in the first round, since I think they’ll win against either team. But if I had to choose I’d choose to face Detroit as they’re stumbling into the playoffs.

  101. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Anyone hear how the Angels are setting up beyond Lackey?

  102. haiku-man October 5th, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Cardinals bull pen yesterday couldn’t beat the Brewers in a 10 inning game,at home.Piince Fielder was too much for them.

    LaRussa was angry that they were swept,as well as losing the last 8 of 10.

    Their bull pen doesn’t compare to the Yankees.Carpenter and Wainright are very good. Matt Holliday is readable in to the AL pitchers.
    Lugo is a joke and has the Cards fooled,until a new contract is signed.

    The guy that closes Ryan has blown saves down the stretch,and was replaced until postseason,(he’s another Lidge) nothing to fear.

    The CARDS don’t match up to lefties,bad stats against them.They are hoping the Phillies lose for this reason.

    That’s what I’m hearing from my Cards friends.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Here’s a good example of wishing for certain match ups, that come back to bite you.

    When the Yankees were playing the Angels and went on to sweep the Sawx. The Cards wee playing the Rockies,to set the stage for you.

    The Cards fans were hoping to play the Rockies in the NLS,until they were swept by them.The Rockies almost had the best record in the NL,by beating the Dodgers.Now the Cards are worried about what they wished for,WHY.?
    The Rockies are the hottest team in the NL.

  103. Andrew GTLU Bronze Medalist October 5th, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Rex, the Angels are starting Weaver in game 2, then Kazmir and Saunders in Game 3 and (if necessary) 4 in Fenway.

  104. m October 5th, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Looks like Santana’s not starting. Olney just answered a question by saying the bullpen is the Angel’s weakness. But if Santana can step in and do well, it might be okay.

    Lackey/The Other Chubby Guy/Weaver?

  105. mick October 5th, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    betsy

    my take is aj gets his way. Talk is Posada will not even DH game 2. Figure him to pinchhit by the 6th/7th unless aj is dealing. Let Aj have his way, he better deliver or all bets are off game 5, if neccesary.

  106. ANSKY October 5th, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Then the Sox beat the Angels, and the Yanks go to the series after Damon, Tex, A-Rod & Matsui go back-to-back-to-back-to-back off Papelboner in the clincher.

    The last of the 4 HRs being a walk off of course.

    If it happens that way, Chase Wright should throw out the ceremonial first pitch in the WS.

  107. m October 5th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Doh! Forgot about Kazmir. Smart to start Kazmir at Fenway.

  108. Andrew GTLU Bronze Medalist October 5th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    This link should bring everyone up to speed on the Angels’ postseason roster and rotation plans:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.co.....oster.html

  109. PittsburghYankeeFan October 5th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Yawn.

    If the Yankees can’t beat the Twins or the Tigers, something is wrong. Yes, anything can happen in a five game series, but the differential here is pretty large.

    Sox and Angels are good, but they are not “you know who” good, as CC said in the Subway commercial.

    NL? You mean there’s another league that plays a reasonable facsimile of baseball?

  110. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks Andrew. Little surprised at Weaver for Game 2, but we’ll see. Guess they like the lefties in Boston.

  111. m October 5th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    mick,

    You’re the only person in the blogosphere that keeps insisting that AJ is throwing a fit to have Molina catch him.

    I really think it’s a managerial decision.

  112. S.o.S. October 5th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Lackey/The Other Chubby Guy/Weaver?

    ——————

    Didnt get the memo. Did they resign Colon?

    PAPELBONER? How did that get past the filters?
    Is there another guy in the game that his name can be altered as much as his?

  113. haiku-man October 5th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Guys don’t forget the Sawx stumbled into the playoffs too,relying on others to lose.

    Ortiz was boasting about drinking the bubbly in the new stadium,remember?

    The Yankees smacked them silly!

  114. Jeremy October 5th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Lackey has choked time and time again against the Red Sox. I’m sorry but the Red Sox are in the Angels head. Every year they say this will be the year that they will beat the Red Sox and every year they fail. Their hitters also choke against the Red Sox. I expect them to lose once again the the Sox.

    The only team that can stop the Red Sox from making it to the World Series are the Yankees. That’s why their fans are praying that the Yankees lose in the first round.

  115. Patrick Bateman October 5th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    After reading that Miguel Cabrera went out and got drunk during the biggest series of his team’s season, I’d rather face the Tigers in the opening round.

    Maybe Edwar Ramirez can take him out all night and get him plastered.

  116. Just call me Mr. Clutch October 5th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    I don’t think the Twins/Tigers had a choice in playing today. There is a decent amount of work that has to happen to get the field ready for the football game. They were working on the field last night.

    I don’t imagine that either team likes having this off day in between, you know it will be an all out effort on both their parts.

    I think the Yankees have their toughest hurdle with this first round, mainly because it is only a best of 5. Talent tends to come forward in the longer series.

    There really isn’t momentum that takes place with baseball. The only real thing that can happen is a batter or pitcher gets hot, where their mechanics just become locked in. Confidence can help, as that can let them throw away the thoughts of a bad game and just move on to the next.

    The Yankees have been very successful this whole season, especially the second half, winning most of the series they played. They are rested, and as long as it wasn’t too much resting (where their timing is off) they should be in great shape for the battles ahead.

  117. m October 5th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Josh (Newark DE)

    Where do you think Joba Chamberlain’s role should be in the postseason? If he is in the bullpen, who is the 4th/5th guy should the Yankees make the ALCS?

    Buster Olney (1:54 PM)

    Josh: If I were the Yankees, I’d start Gaudin in the Game 4s in the second and third rounds (if they get that far), and I’d move Joba to the bullpen for October. He seems to thrive there, and right now, seems much more comfortable there than in the rotation. This way, the Yankees can have a shut-down bullpen.

  118. S.o.S. October 5th, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    If it happens that way, Chase Wright should throw out the ceremonial first pitch in the WS.

    ———–

    Hey i remember that name. Do you guys remember the guy we signed who didnt like watching his pitches sail over the walls so he wore shades? Whatever happened to him? Can we get him to throw batting practice or something?

    Yesterday i heard that Pavano hasnt been injured all year. Why am i not surprised?

  119. Andrew GTLU Bronze Medalist October 5th, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    S.o.S. I’m thinking the Mets sign Pavano in the offseason. Makes the most sense, from a career and injury standpoint: he’ll get more guaranteed money, and he’ll also get to join a medical staff incompetent enough to insure that he never has to pitch in any games again.

  120. talltenor October 5th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    First, I saw the Yankees take 2 of 3 from the Tigers back in May, and they looked good doing so.

    Second, where can I send Miguel Cabrera a case of beer?

  121. mick October 5th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    m

    of course Aj wants molina. do you think that is girardis idea? let him have his way. put up or shut up.

  122. Josh from NC October 5th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    for all i know, both teams have bad pens with the exception of Nathan. and the pen determines most all of the games in the playoffs. and why do all i hear about on baseball tonight is bard, if they are going to mention him they should definitely mention D-Rob

  123. Just call me Mr. Clutch October 5th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Rex
    October 5th, 2009 at 1:52 pm
    Thanks Andrew. Little surprised at Weaver for Game 2, but we’ll see. Guess they like the lefties in Boston.

    _______________________________

    It may have to do with Kazmir pitching with some success in Fenway. Experience and all that.

  124. m October 5th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....id=4533785

    Ceomeback pleyrs of the year.

  125. braden October 5th, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    2009 Yankees not the same as the 2006 Yankees.

    This team is the only team this season to reach/ break the 100 game mark.
    Even the Angels mgr said it’s not the same(player) match ups.

  126. Just call me Mr. Clutch October 5th, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    The saves total for the year are a little deceptive. Nathan had 8 or 9 blown saves, to Mariano’s 2. I think the odds are more favorable to Mo. Blown saves seem more indicative of how good a closer you are. Nathan is good, but I would still go with Mo over him anyday.

  127. Andrew GTLU Bronze Medalist October 5th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Josh, first, Bard has gotten more hype throughout the year for a variety of factors (I won’t go all pir-rone-y on this one, but the Boston has something to do with it)–and it comes down to the fact that Bard throws 100 and D-Rob doesn’t, even though D-Rob has posted extremely impressive numbers this year. They are both similar, though, in that neither is battle tested in the playoff cauldron and both will be called upon in big situations and either sink or swim. My feeling is that they will both pitch well in October but Bard will continue to get more attention.

  128. m October 5th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    mick,

    I didn’t say that AJ didn’t want Molina. He’s not going to turn down the opportunity, lol.

    I just said he’s not throwing a fit like you keep insinuating.

    Put up or shut up? I don’t think AJ’s insisted on anything publicly.

  129. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    “This team is the only team this season to reach/ break the 100 game mark.
    Even the Angels mgr said it’s not the same(player) match ups.”

    It’s not, but winning 100 means bupkes right now. Last three Yankees teams to win 100 came up empty at WS time, while 3 of the Dynasty teams did not win 100 (one didn’t win 90).

  130. mick October 5th, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    m

    are you kidding?

    don’t you think aj quietly suggested it to joe g?

  131. S.o.S. October 5th, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Andrew,
    That is brilliant!! Ever thought of being his agent?

  132. Nick in SF October 5th, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Of course it would be a managerial decision to start Molina — who else can decide? And I don’t think AJ would throw a fit about it. But if that decision is made, it would be to cater to a perceived mental weakness of AJ’s while depriving the lineup of a huge marginal advantage.

    If it’s really that much in AJ’s head, I would start Molina too. Better to do your best to win a game than to try to prove a point to a headcase pitcher. You’d like to think your big free-agent veteran pitcher is a little less fragile than that, however.

  133. Just call me Mr. Clutch October 5th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Yesterday i heard that Pavano hasnt been injured all year. Why am i not surprised?

    ______________________

    Only because its a contract year. If he were on a multiple year deal that might not be the case. I am sure he pitched hurt with a hangnail or something else earth shattering, but toughed it out to fleece some other team.

  134. Rishi October 5th, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    m
    October 5th, 2009 at 1:10 pm
    Rishi,

    Just submitted a couple of questions to Olney. Look to see if this one pops up:

    “Who’s your pick this week to win the WS? ”
    ==================

    Mel – was in a meeting from 1-2, read through the chat and had to pop in and ask if those questions were you!! Good job getting through!

  135. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    “Nathan had 8 or 9 blown saves, to Mariano’s 2″

    Nathan had 5 blown saves, but your point is otherwise spot on.

  136. Rishi October 5th, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/s.....al-series#

    Breaking down the divisional series (with 2 Yankee options)

  137. Andrew GTLU Bronze Medalist October 5th, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    S.o.S. I would consider it, but I would probably pass in fear of being fired for only getting him $29.95 million guaranteed instead of his desired $30 million on his next contract.

  138. Just call me Mr. Clutch October 5th, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    “huge marginal advantage”

    _____________________________

    Huh? Don’t they mean pretty much the opposite of each other?

  139. braden October 5th, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Rex
    go back and check which teams with more season wins,won the WS,please.

  140. betsy October 5th, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Mick, you keep insisting that AJ is pulling a diva act and demanding that Molina catch him…….That is speculation only and, IMO, baseless speculation.

  141. m October 5th, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    mick,

    So what if he did? It’s up to Girardi, behind closed doors, to set AJ right.

    95% of the people who follow baseball have come around to the idea that maybe AJ/Molina’s just might work.

    2 months ago, everyone one tv and in print said that AJ & Jorge have to get on the same page, etc. Now, they all talk as if they’re the ones that went to Girardi with the suggestion to pair AJ with Molina. 95% of the people have stop resisting what is obvious, what they see with their own eyes. It just might work.

  142. Wave Your Hat October 5th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    “If it’s really that much in AJ’s head, I would start Molina too. Better to do your best to win a game than to try to prove a point to a headcase pitcher.”

    If that’s the case, I’d prefer to start Gaudin and Posada rather than AJ and Molina.

    But hopefully AJ doesn’t have an issue with Posada. After all, AJ got bombed August 22 and September 12 with Molina, and he no hit the Red Sox on August 7th for 7 innings with Posada.

  143. S.o.S. October 5th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Come to think of it. The Twins is my final answer. That was the last playoff series that Alex shined in. I truely believe this is the year that he silences the critics. Look how long it took Bonds to get the monkey off his back.

  144. mick October 5th, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    betsy

    you and m miss the point.

    if i were girardi, i would start molina game 2, and hope aj comes thru.

    if aj prefers him, fine. now go do your job.

  145. betsy October 5th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Nick, that’s not AJ’s fault, that’s Joe’s.. blame Joe for making that decision should he do it. I saw absolutely no weakness for AJ when he was pitching great to Posada in June and July. This is all on Joe’s head if he decides that AJ needs Molina……..He stupidly didn’t even let Po catch AJ when AJ got back on track. He also apparently (IF he goes Molina/AJ) will have forgotten the lousy start in Baltimore AJ had with Molina.

  146. Wave Your Hat October 5th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Andy’s gonna start game 2.

  147. Nick in SF October 5th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    “95% of the people who follow baseball have come around to the idea that maybe AJ/Molina’s just might work.”

    Link?

  148. betsy October 5th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Mick, let’s end it here because we are clearing not on the same page or in the same book.

  149. randy l. October 5th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    ” Better to do your best to win a game than to try to prove a point to a headcase pitcher. You’d like to think your big free-agent veteran pitcher is a little less fragile than that, however.”

    totally agree.

    i really don’t want the yankees to ever be in a position again where the inconsistent aj burnett is their second starter.

    he needs to be bumped back to number three.

  150. m October 5th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    mick,

    Ah. The truth comes out. Your real issues are with AJ. Understandable, he’s fallen apart at times. But he’s also been good. I remain optimistic that he’ll get the job done. No matter who’s behind the dish.

  151. betsy October 5th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    It’s not obvious to me about AJ/Molina………oh well. Joe’s first big post-season decision and it’s a terrible one.

  152. mick October 5th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    betsy

    have another drink…of koolade.

  153. S.o.S. October 5th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    S.o.S. I would consider it, but I would probably pass in fear of being fired for only getting him $29.95 million guaranteed instead of his desired $30 million on his next contract.

    ————-

    Andrew,
    I would beat him to the punch, get him the 29.95 and immediately put yourself on injured reserve/unable to perform list. Im sure he would understand.

  154. m October 5th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Link?

    Yeah…I’m hunting that down right now. ;)

  155. betsy October 5th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Wow, I love how everyone is assuming this is all on AJ and that HE is insisting on Molina. Unbelievable.

  156. Dan @ 116&B-way October 5th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    The Twins coming in on a nice run of the reeling Tigers and hapless Royals is a little bit different than if they did it vs. the Angels and Red Sox…

    Momentum in baseball, especially where there are such different circumstances on a game to game basis (see starting pitchers…) is nothing more than coincidence.

    How can YANKEES fans here NOT say they’d rather see Pavano!!!!

    Go Twins!

  157. betsy October 5th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Mick, get over it. I’m done banging my head against the wall with you.

  158. Wave Your Hat October 5th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    AJ has had 10 good starts with Molina.

    AJ has had 10 good starts with Posada.

    AJ has gotten bombed with Posada catching.

    AJ has gotten bombed with Molina catching.

    AJ has pitched great games with Molina catching.

    AJ has pitched great games with Posada catching.

    Why start Molina? Superstition. Go with the best player.

  159. mick October 5th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    WYH

    wrong about andy in game 2.

    he is clearly better on the road.

    who would you rather have pitch a game 3 tied at 1-1?

  160. noseeum October 5th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    What Bill said above. Twins are clearly the better team based on run differential. The Tigers have no business getting into the playoffs.

  161. Just call me Mr. Clutch October 5th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    AJ is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.

    I agree that he really should be the number 3 starter. That plan all went out the window with Wang getting hurt. It wasn’t the plan for him to be the number 2, even though he has the ability to pitch to that level.

  162. S.o.S. October 5th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    If Burnett can throw a shutout catering to his sensative demands, hell i would sit half the team down if need be. I would even make sure he had only the green m & m’s and cherry 7 up. Now if he blows proceeds to choke? hmmm…

  163. Wave Your Hat October 5th, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    mick-

    I think Andy gets the nod for game 2. And I’d rather be 2-0 for game 3.

  164. Bronx Jeers October 5th, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    I’m not assuming anything except this!

    http://www.nytimes.com/special.....rade.5.jpg

  165. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    “Rex
    go back and check which teams with more season wins,won the WS,please”

    Are you asking how often the team with the most wins is the champion?

    It’s happened 4 times in the last 20 years.

  166. Andrew GTLU Bronze Medalist October 5th, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    “How can YANKEES fans here NOT say they’d rather see Pavano!!!!”

    Dan, I am partly along with this train of thought. My vocal cords, however, do not agree because I don’t think they will still exist after potentially spending 4 hours on Friday night screaming at Carl from left field. Still my rooting interests in the playoff will hinge mostly on having the opportunity to watch Pavano pitch game 2 in the Bronx–schadenfreude is a dish best served in October.

  167. Just call me Mr. Clutch October 5th, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    “S.o.S.
    October 5th, 2009 at 2:26 pm
    If Burnett can throw a shutout catering to his sensative demands, hell i would sit half the team down if need be.”

    __________________________

    Isn’t that what Satchel Paige was claimed to have done? He supposedly was ticked off at the fielders making errors and allowing runs to score (in those days all runs were earned runs) so he told the outfield to just sit down. He would get the outs without them. lol.

  168. 100 pitches of fun... October 5th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I would absolutely pitch AJ in game 2. He has looked great recently. Andy is not going to shut down a lineup like AJ can. Also if the Tigers win(which I think they will) I don’t want Andy going up against Verlander in game 2. If the Twins win their rotation is a mess right now.

  169. Nick in SF October 5th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    ““huge marginal advantage”

    Huh? Don’t they mean pretty much the opposite of each other?”

    Good sematic point. Let me use ‘marginal’ in its more traditional sense:

    Jose Molina is a marginal batter, if that, in the sense that he is close to the lower limit of qualification, acceptability, or function : barely exceeding the minimum requirements.

  170. Erica - always OPPC October 5th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Andrew GTLU Bronze Medalist
    October 5th, 2009 at 2:29 pm
    “How can YANKEES fans here NOT say they’d rather see Pavano!!!!”

    Dan, I am partly along with this train of thought. My vocal cords, however, do not agree because I don’t think they will still exist after potentially spending 4 hours on Friday night screaming at Carl from left field. Still my rooting interests in the playoff will hinge mostly on having the opportunity to watch Pavano pitch game 2 in the Bronx–schadenfreude is a dish best served in October.

    ******

    I said this the other night and I got completely beat up. But I will say it again, but with a disclaimer-

    Yes, I think Pavano is a piece of garbage. No, I do not think Pavano is a particularly great pitcher. No, I am not afraid of Pavano

    Now that I said that-
    The Yankees faced Pavano twice this season and did not hit him either time. I know they won one of the games, but it was a late inning comeback. All I am saying is that facing Pavano again may not be an automatic slamdunk. However, I have enough faith in Kavin Long that if they do wind up facing him a 3rd time, this time we are prepared and can make adjustments

  171. Just call me Mr. Clutch October 5th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    AJ has the potential to match up shut down for shut down with Verlander. He can also blow chunks early. Then again, so can Verlander. You never know.

  172. Nick in SF October 5th, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    m: that must have been one of the 5% of your claims that can’t be verified. :(

  173. BigSix October 5th, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    One thing many are missing.

    If the Twins win, then Yankees won’t see Scott Baker, their best pitcher, until about Game 3 or 4.

    He’ll only pitch once in an ALDS.

  174. S.o.S. October 5th, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Nick,
    Bite your tongue. Didnt Molina get the final homerun or rbi in the Old Stadium? That has to count for something. I wonder how many fans will be able to answer that trivia question in 5 years?

  175. 100 pitches of fun... October 5th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Also a game 3 could be much more pressure than a game 2. The worst thing game 2 can bring is down by 1 game, game 3 you could be 0-2. You want to put AJ in the less pressure situation. Andy is the veteran that is used to that stuff and it will also be on the road. You don’t want AJ in that spot.

  176. BigSix October 5th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Who does everyone start in CF, Game 1?

  177. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    “It’s happened 4 times in the last 20 years.”

    Oops! I was wrong. Only three times in the last 20 years did the the team with the most wins take home the title. 2007, 1998, and 1989.

  178. mick October 5th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    andys #’s on the road are much better than home.

    aj’s #’s at home are better than the road.

    nuff said?

  179. Nick in SF October 5th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    S.o.S.: it is almost certain that Molina will get a big hit if he gets the start with AJ. He basically owns Verlander*, and that will also be a factor in Girardi’s thinking.

    *disclaimer: I have no clue what Molina’s history with Verlander actually is.

  180. Just call me Mr. Clutch October 5th, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    “Nick in SF
    October 5th, 2009 at 2:31 pm
    ““huge marginal advantage”

    Huh? Don’t they mean pretty much the opposite of each other?”

    Good sematic point. Let me use ‘marginal’ in its more traditional sense:

    Jose Molina is a marginal batter, if that, in the sense that he is close to the lower limit of qualification, acceptability, or function : barely exceeding the minimum requirements.”

    ____________________

    LOL.

    Was it reported that Molina will definitely be catching for AJ? I don’t recall reading or hearing that other than the speculation. It may be that Girardi is trying to get Molina enough ABs so he can be used that way, or it might be to limit Posada’s playing time so he could heal more. He had that neck problem, and the fingers issue, so days off could be part of it.

    I don’t think it kills the lineup to have Molina in there if it is that he is catching AJ. It isn’t great, offensively speaking, but if AJ looks like he is giving up fewer runs that should help balance things out with the offense downgrade.

  181. Bronx Jeers October 5th, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    “Jose Molina is a marginal batter, if that, in the sense that he is close to the lower limit of qualification, acceptability, or function : barely exceeding the minimum requirements.”

    You’re being way too generous Nick.

    Molina’s OPS? 49!

    Or, or marginally twice as worse than league average. :wink:

  182. Wave Your Hat October 5th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    mick-

    Andy’s pitched fine at home in the second half. And I’d rather Andy get the possible 2 starts than AJ. Plus I think Girardi’s already set up Andy to pitch game 2 – Joe won’t want Andy to have the long layoff.

  183. mick October 5th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    what i don’t understand is why posada would not dh.

    talk is matsui will dh if molina catches.

  184. randy l. October 5th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    “I think Andy gets the nod for game 2.”

    wave your hat-

    now that’d be an interesting twist on things.

    there ‘s going to be a whole lot of decisions being made tomorrow night after the game between the twins and tigers.

    the blog will be exploding.

  185. BJK October 5th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    BigSix
    October 5th, 2009 at 2:37 pm
    Who does everyone start in CF, Game 1?

    ————————————————————–

    Melky starts and will start the entire post-season unless he slumps.

    Right now the way the team is built, Gardner is more effective as a pinch runner/late game defensive replacement.

  186. m October 5th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Well, I could do a ledger:

    Okay with it:
    -Sam
    -me (I count for extra)
    -randy l (correct me if I’m wrong)
    -Olney
    -Feinsand
    -numerous others who said they’d be okay with it if it made AJ less of a headcase. :?

    Not okay with it:
    -Betsy
    -Wave Your Hat

    Okay, maybe 95% was exaggerating. :)

  187. pat October 5th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    “Who does everyone start in CF, Game 1?”

    Girardi said Melky is the starting CFer last week.

  188. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    More on 100+ win teams. Last one to win it all was the 1998 Yankees. 8 teams have won 100 or more since (Yankees x 3, Cards x 2, Seattle, Oakland, the Braves) and come up empty.

    More evidence that everyone starts October 0-0 and the best team doesn’t always win. Here’s to turning that around this month.

  189. Nick in SF October 5th, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Ok, I looked it up. In four plate appearances vs. Verlander, Jose Molina has a single — don’t ask me why he didn’t leg it out for a double, I don’t know. But that gives him a .250 BA vs. Verlander.

    Molina’s career BA is .235. So Jose Molina has a marginal advantage over Verlander compared with the rest of the league. :)

  190. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    “Girardi said Melky is the starting CFer last week.”

    On a close play at the plate, who does Melky prefer to have as his catcher?

  191. braden October 5th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    No I’m saying who was the team with the best regular season record,to win the WS. Answer 1998 Yankees ,114,(including David Wells perfect game on May 17th)WINS,PLAYING against the Padres,winning the WS.

    It could happen again,that’s all I was saying,before
    you pounced.

  192. pat October 5th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    “-me (I count for extra)”

    Girardi and Cashman are the only 2 that count for extra.

    Actually they count for 99.6% with .1% each for Eiland, AJ, Jorge and Jose. :wink:

  193. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    “It could happen again,that’s all I was saying,before
    you pounced.”

    Sorry dude, you dangled a participle or something somewhere and it left me not understanding.

    It can definitely happend again. History’s not necessarily on their side, but they are the best team.

  194. Nick in SF October 5th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    “-numerous others who said they’d be okay with it if it made AJ less of a headcase.”

    That’s my category. Unfortunately, that’s an unproven proposition and, I think, a dubious one.

  195. m October 5th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    pat,

    LOL. I knew I forgot somebody.

    I think I’ll start a new rumor. Posada’s the one insisting he won’t work with AJ.

    Anyway, nothing is etched in stone until first pitch of game 2 or 3. Girardi could be trying to foil the GTLU participants. ;)

  196. randy l. October 5th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    “Okay with it:
    -Sam
    -me (I count for extra)
    -randy l (correct me if I’m wrong)
    -Olney
    -Feinsand
    -numerous others who said they’d be okay with it if it made AJ less of a headcase. ”

    m-

    i’m okay with it for totally different reasons than most of the block heads who think podsada is a bad catcher.

    i’m ok with it simply because girardi didn’t use the regular season to get the headcase burnett in sync with the bordelrine hall of fame catcher posada.

    now that burnett is used to molina, if girardi goes that way i’m ok with it for a game.

    that probably didn’t help did it? :)

  197. m October 5th, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    randy l,

    I’ve been alone on an island in my belief that there’s a reason they couldn’t get in synch.

    I think the problems started the day that AJ was wild and full of wild pitches/passed balls.

    After that, the seed was planted. Of course that’s all on AJ, but pitchers are flawed humans, right? :P

  198. Rishi October 5th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    mel – you can add me to the OK with it list :)

  199. Erin October 5th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Has there ever been a pitcher/catcher debate as heated as AJ/Posada/Molina? LOL

    I’m fine with Molina catching AJ-Lately AJ seems to be more comfortable with him, and I think you want to keep him as calm as possible. If they win the game, no one will care that Posada wasn’t the starting catcher.

  200. Wave Your Hat October 5th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Per baseball reference Jorge has scored produced 17.4 more runs than average in 438 plate appearances, while Molina has produced 10.2 runs less than average in 155 plate appearances.

    That translates to Posada being about .105 runs per plate appearance better than Molina, or about .42 runs per game better than Molina.

    I wouldn’t give that up for some hypothetical benefit in comfort level.

  201. mick October 5th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    why would posada not dh if molina catches as was discussed today on NY talk radio?

  202. Doreen October 5th, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    betsy -

    Not everyone. :)

    First of all, it’s not been written in stone, or in ink, or even in pencil that AJ is the #2 for #3, and that Molina will be catching him. We’re all speculating – even if it is a somewhat informed speculation.

    IF Girardi chooses for Molina to catch AJ (in whatever game he chooses to do so), it will probably come down to a numbers-crunching session that gives AJ and the Yankees a slight advantage. And psychological advantages are just as valid as physical ones.

    Or maybe we are all wrong. I’m really going with the flow. I don’t care who catches AJ, I just want him to pitch like he’s been pitching. By the way, there was a cross-up the other day between Molina and AJ which resulted in the second run. So Molina is not immune to mishandling some of AJ’s pitches, just as Posada is not. It was called a passed ball, but AJ referred to it as a cross-up.

    AJ just seems to be one of those pitchers who is not necessarily easy to catch. If you happen to be the catcher on one of his bad days, good luck to ya! Fortunately, AJ seems to be doing okay these days, and I’m willing to bet he’d be fine with either one of them.

  203. m October 5th, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Rishi,

    I’ll add you along with any writers who jump on board.

    So…Olney has a new article out about his picks for season awards…

  204. Paco Dooley October 5th, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    You make a strong case for Detroit, and after the scene with Cabrera, they might have an even worse shot, especially if the team gets tough and sits him for a game or two (which I doubt they would do – they’ll let him make amends on the field I presume).

  205. Rex October 5th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    “If they win the game, no one will care that Posada wasn’t the starting catcher.”

    True, but imagine a scenario where it’s the 2nd inning and the Yankees have 2 on with one out, and batting 9th Jose Molina does what he normally does and makes a weak out somewhere. The Yankees threat is foiled and the Yankees losethe game 5-3. That night into the next day, plenty will care that Posada wasn’t the starting catcher.

  206. Rishi October 5th, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    m – will need to find that article…and with that :arrow: it’s time to move the party to the next thread

  207. S.A.--Now the real fun begins October 5th, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Does Michael Kay want us to give Pavano a round of applause or something for his performance with the twins? Is he nuts? :evil:

  208. Doreen October 5th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    One other thing. If Verlander is on, does it really matter who is in the lineup? No one hits him. :lol:

  209. haiku-man October 5th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I like how AJ looked yesterday.He gave up two taters and din’t blink.He loaded the bases but got out of it.This weekend he pitched better than CC and Pettitte.

    Last week he said this team was the reason he came to the NY Yankees.At his age it’s not money only it’s about the RING,he wants one.

    Joba said,”I would fold towels if it would help the team.”
    I hope he has a great postseason. He will help the team too,because he could redeem himself by pitching well,where ever Joe uses him in the pen.

  210. Erin October 5th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Rex, good point. I understand the risk of starting Molina, but I just think for AJ’s comfort level it’s got to be done.

  211. braden October 5th, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    -Sorry Rex
    didn’t know this was an English class,silly me I thought it was a blog. Let me be clear.
    I believe in this teams ability,if they don’t win with home field,and their line up that’s on them.
    I still believe they are hungry and motivated,and will bring it!

    In speaking with a lot of friends (fans of other teams) and reading a lot of blogs,sports news,I’ve not seen one team and or fan base say that they are hoping to play the Yankees.
    Everything I read,is they want the Yankees out,so they don’t have to face them at all.

  212. G-C October 5th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Why does everyone get so hooked on the “AJ can be as dominant as anyone” deal? How many really, really dominant starts has he had this year? I can think of two, one against Tampa in the beginning of the year and the one against Boston vs. Beckett (where he also walked 6). Despite the “stuff” AJ was more of an innings eater this year, we didn’t really see a lot of that shutout stuff. It’s not a knock on him because he’s a good pitcher, but I think people are getting carried away with the whole “he has as good of stuff as anyone in the game and and can throw a shutout at any given time yadda yadda ya” deal.

  213. randy l. October 5th, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    “I think the problems started the day that AJ was wild and full of wild pitches/passed balls.”

    m-

    posada is pretty good on balls in the dirt when he wants to be. i think the difference between the two of them on balls in the dirt is negligible. posada can sometimes get lazy when he’s over worked and molina “ole’s” ball in the dirt too much for my taste.

    i didn’t see that game, but any tipping point can start something. that’s why it’s a tipping point right?

    i’m really watching what girardi is going to do here with burnett. it’ll tell us a lot of what he’s thinking . if he simply thought molina’s overall abilities outweighed posada’s he’d have molina in there every game.

    if in fact he’s in there only with burnett, i read that to mean girardi thinks burnett is the problem and not posada.

  214. jennifer October 5th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/s.....es-another

    Good article. But check out the comments. Some idiot says what ‘aroid’ did was worse. Um I don’t think so. Miguel could have killed someone with his actions! He blew a .24 at 6am! I can’t imagine how much higher it was at his peak drinking!

  215. posada-Molina October 5th, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Is there a feeling Molina may catch a game this series? If so I think its a huge mistake caving in on this. They will need both Matsui`s and Posada`s bat in the line up. Matsui hits leftys as well as anyone. He is clutch

  216. GGBG (Magic Number: ZERO!) October 5th, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    This season has been defined by our bullpen holding down the other team and allowing our offence late inning heroics.

    That being the case, put me down for Detroit who have a much shakier bullpen than the Twins.

  217. Warning Track Power October 5th, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    I can’t decide which team I want the Yankees to play.
    Would be a great pleasure to face pavano in the playoffs wouldn’t?
    ESPN can not stop talking about the tigers starting pitching. Have to say, that puts the fear in me a bit.
    The twinkies right now are hot. Do we want to play a hot team right now? That is a question to ask yourself.

  218. John J October 5th, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Any thoughts on when first pitch will be. Does 6:07 mean the game starts at that time, or will first pitch be closer to 6:30 or 6:40?

    Also, am I correct that the yankees will likely choose Wednesday as the opener?

    Thanks

  219. saucY October 5th, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    i didn’t read any of the comments, just catching up on weekend posts.

    i’m shocked more people want(ed) to face the twins.

    talked about this with family yesterday, and we all wanted to face the tigers on the fact that the twins are on a huge roll right now. i don’t want any part of them!

  220. Heyya October 5th, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    I’d rather face the best team. So whoever wins, I’ll be happy with because they are the superior team with the better record.

  221. GiantsCauseway October 6th, 2009 at 8:17 am

    I’ll take my chances with the Twins starters thank you. Too many times this year I’ve seen a good, or even a fair starter shut the Yanks down for 6 innings. Most of the Yankees comebacks & walk-offs have come against mediocre middle relievers & closers. I can see Verlander & Jackson both going 7 innings with the lead if they have their good stuff. Give me the Twins, I think The Yankees pitchers can keep them at 4 runs which gives the Yankees a chance to win. I hate that Metrodome though.

  222. Bob October 6th, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Do the stats, such as ba, era, rbis, in todays play in game count towrad the regular season totals?

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