Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thoughts on the All-Star Game, Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, R.A. Dickey, and Tony LaRussa

It cracks me up to no end that two of John Sterling's catchprases -- "The Melkman delivers" and "The Melky Way" -- have become so identified with Melky Cabrera. And the Melkman did indeed deliver Tuesday as the MVP of the All-Star Game. I never expected that he would become the superstar he has, but I was against him being traded for Javier Vazquez from Day One. That was one of the many dumb Brian Cashman moves.

But what's up with Kevin Long feeling the need to justify the Yankees getting rid of Melky by talking about him drinking and being overweight and undisciplined as a Yankee?
“I know Melky stopped drinking completely,” Long said. “That was part of it. I’ve always said the future’s real bright for Melky, and I couldn’t be happier for where he is now. But when you lose your focus, and your lose the ability to stay in shape. “This game is a grind. To play every day, you have to be in phenomenal condition. You have to be sold out to the profession. I think in Atlanta, (Cabrera’s struggles) peaked, and after that season was over, he re-committed.’’
If Melky was so out of control, as Long is claiming, then where were the Yankees during this? At any rate, these comments are unnecessary and offensive. Let it go, Kevin.

Anyhow, Melky getting the MVP was one of two highlights for me -- the other was seeing R.A. Dickey pitch at all. I was bummed not just that the game was essentially over in the first inning, but with Tony LaRussa holding Dickey until the sixth inning. So much for his "promise" that he would pitch Dickey in the first half of the game.

It ticks me off that Dickey didn't start -- if Buster Posey is such a great catcher, then he should be able to figure out the knuckleball. LaRussa, as usual, has to be Mr. Controlling and go against what everybody else wants. Dickey's success is the top story in MLB this year, but instead of having him start the game, he doesn't get to pitch until the sixth inning, after 10 p.m., with an 8-0 score and most of America having already turned off the game. Way to go, LaRussa!

Squawker Jon and I were at Sparks Steakhouse on Monday to celebrate his birthday, so we missed the Robinson Cano Home Run Derby kerfuffle. It just goes to show, though, that Middle America has an undeserved reputation for niceness. You boo a player like he was caught running a dogfighting ring because he didn't pick Billy Butler for the HR Derby team, even though at the time Cano had to hand in his picks, Butler was not an All-Star? Ridiculous.

* * *
One other note regarding the Reggie Jackson brouhaha. Joe Torre weighed in on the subject, saying that "Reggie is still a Yankee," and that "they just asked him to step aside a while." Huh? Who is Torre to decide who is a Yankee or not? Not only did Torre disgrace the pinstripes between the way he left, and the nasty book he wrote, but he is supposed to be on MLB's payroll. He's not on the Yankee payroll anymore. It's not up for him to decide who is a Yankee or not. In fact, he's supposed to be objective in his current job. So much for that.

What do you think? Tell us about it!


Uncle Mike said...

"To play every day, you have to be in phenomenal condition." You mean like CC Sabathia, Kevin Long? How about Prince Fielder? Bobby Jenks has as many rings as you, and David Wells has 3 times as many.

LaRussa being retired is good for baseball. More than anyone else, he ruined pitching as an art. It's nice that he turned Dennis Eckersley's career around, but he made us a nation of five-man rotations and relief pitchers who can't get more than 3 outs.

Why is Dickey "the top story in MLB this year"? He's not even the top story on his own team. The Mets had a no-hitter! (Officially, anyway.) And considering that the Yankees have injuries that would wreck a franchise for a couple of years but have the best record in baseball anyway, I think it's ridiculous to say any Met has been the top story. I'm not saying Dickey's not a good story, but to call him the top story is Aristophanes-level ridiculous.

Kansas City has hated the Yankees ever since the Fifties, when the A's replaced the old Blues, and the Yanks still treated them like their top farm team. The Royals were punks and thugs in the late Seventies, the way the Red Sox would become 20 years later. (I know George Brett HAD to throw out last night's first ball, but it still burned me up to see him.) Those Royals fans are the kind of people who would cheer Sarah Palin for saying New York is not part of "the real America" when the terrorists sure thought it was. Booing Cano is stupid: The man has done nothing to offend anyone, other than wear a Yankee uniform. He could call the KC fans out like Lisa and I have. He has the right. So far, he hasn't. He's kept his mouth shut about it. Gee, maybe my man Reggie should take note...

As for who Torre is "to decide who is a Yankee or not," only the only living Yankee manager to win more than one Pennant. Seriously, Lisa, if you're going to be angry at at Yankee manager, go back 100 years and rip Hal Chase. Or even 20 years and rip Buck Showalter. Torre has done more for the Yankees than any living human -- including Jeter and Rivera, who would not be what they are without him. Nor would George Steinbrenner: He gave Joe his last chance, but Joe gave George something more important, a legacy of something more than money.

Lisa Swan said...

Joe Torre thought so much of the Yankee franchise that he wrote a book trashing them, and writing inside details about George Steinbrenner's physical and mental health. Torre is a self-serving jerk, and he is not the arbiter over who is a Yankee. Especially not given that he is working for MLB, not the Yankees.

And the Yankees did a lot for Torre -- turning a two-bit manager into a legend who thinks that his every utterance is camera-worthy.

As for Dickey, he had a best-selling book, and is kind of a big deal. All those years in the minors, all the struggles, and he's been the best pitcher in baseball in the first half? That is kind of a big deal.

Bob Grahmann said...

Hi Lisa. Back afer a long time away. I agree that Kevin Long's comments about Melky are sour grapes, but on the other hand: I went to a Yankees' game in Pittsburgh in that sad year '08, and had a good seat (becasue I could afford Pittsburgh prices :-). The Yanks lost as Melky loafed after some fly balls and waved at a few pitches for strike threes. My clear memory of that game was walking away thinking "Melky didn't come to play tonight. I wonder what's wrong?" Now we know what was wrong. I can understand Long's frustration working with a guy who had as much talent as Melky and he was wasting it.

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