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Yankee Haters, Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game…Derek Jeter Not a Cheater

I figured since no one has decided to defend the Captain, then it was only fitting that I would step up to the plate and do it myself.

It has been three days now since Derek Jeter picked up the nickname, “Cheater Jeter,” or “Jeter the Cheater.” Either way you slice it, majority of those people either hate the New York Yankees or Jeter. He could hit a home run and people still would find a way to criticize him and his teammates.

Some people even have the audacity to say that he has diminishing skills; a has-been and a never-was. People don’t just tend to fall off the map in a year, it is normally an on going process. So call me crazy, but couldn’t it just be a bad year. I mean the guy was 35 last year and had a .334 batting average with 18 homers. He is only five RBI’s shy from tying last years numbers and already has more doubles than last year. It’s not a secret that he is having a bad year and for most anti-Jeter fans it just got worse.

Everyone has either heard about it or scene it on the news already so there is no need for me to reiterate the scenario. I’ll admit it, I am a Yankees and Jeter fan, but I am a baseball fan first.

His little dramatization of being hit was unacceptable and I won’t argue that, I will however argue the fact that the umpire simultaneously awarded him first base right as he threw his bat.

So because the umpire awarded him the base, he warranted this type of reaction from the fans and the public eye? Of course he did, because he is a Yankee. If he played on any other team or would of been a player, say like, Albert Pujols, Chase Utley or even the likes of a classy Joe Mauer, this wouldn’t even be a discussion. But because he is on one of the most hated teams in all of baseball,this little incident gets been blown out of proportion.

Quite frankly, I am sick of it but expect nothing less from the sports world. There has to be someone to pick on and a team to bash at any given moment, so that’s fine, just continue to feed the fire.

For all of those fans out there that continue to say this is cheating, get over it and find a new hobby. If you really think these actions were culpable of the word “cheating,” then I guess over 50 percent of players are guilty of cheating. That’s right, I said over 50 percent and here is why.

When an outfielder traps a ball and tries to sell it to the umpire that he caught it, that’s cheating. Or when an infielder swipes a tag but misses the runner and sells it, making the umpire call the runner out, that’s cheating. Then my favorite, when the infield attempts a double play yet they haven’t touched the base and the umpire still calls the runner out, that’s cheating. I just thought I would clarify all of that for you haters that want to call Jeter’s Oscar award winning performance, “cheating.”

News flash, it’s not cheating. None of those acts are, they are simply part of the game.

This isn’t like the high school basketball commercial where a kid runs up to his coach and says, “I touched the ball last coach. It should be their ball.” Then he runs up and tells the referee. Get real people, no one does that in any sport.

In Jeter’s words, ” What did you want me to do? Did you want me to turn around and say, sorry sir, but the ball hit the bat, can I continue my at bat now. The umpire made the call not me.” Or, “He didn’t ask me did it hit you and I said, ‘Yeah, it hit me please let me go to first base.’ It’s comical to me that this is really getting this much attention.”

He is suppose to do whatever it takes to win the game or put his team in a winning position, just like any other player does. Whether it is selling a pitch, a catch, a tag or even being hit by the pitch, you do what is needed to help your team.

The funniest part about this whole ordeal is that Jeter has seemingly never done anything wrong in his 15 year career. Never taken steroids, never been arrested, for crying out loud the partier that is David Wells defended him against the late, George “the Boss ” Steinbrenner himself.

So, people get off your high horse and stop hating just because he is a class act and a winner.

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NL Rookie of the Year Race Heats Up: Who Gets Your Vote?

With the second half of the season under way, so is the race for the NL Rookie of the Year.

So far there are plenty of worthy candidates and will probably be to close to call until the last couple of weeks in the season.

There is no clear leader, thanks to the likes of Jamie Garcia (Cardinals), Ike Davis (Mets), Stephen Strasburg (Nationals), Buster Posey (Giants) and Jason Heyward (Braves), who are all having great rookie campaigns.

Only time will tell who will end up NL Rookie of the Year.

Here are my candidates and potential winners of the award.

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Yankees Pitching Woes Continue: Where Will the Help Come From?

Pitching wins championships, or at least that is the saying.  If this is the case, then the Yankees better start looking for some more help in that department.

While CC, Pettitte, and Hughes are having great seasons thus far, that can’t be said for the rest of the staff.

When it comes to the bullpen, the only reliable pitcher has been Mr. Reliable himself, Mariano Rivera.  After him the bullpen is a crap shoot.

Today was just another example of how badly they need help in their bullpen. 

The inconsistently consistent Burnett took the mound against the Rays.  He only lasted two innings as he gave up four runs and had to leave due to lacerations on his pitching hand.

Then in came Dustin Moseley, who was recently called up from the minors.  He was shaky for the three innings he pitched.  He gave up four runs on 75 pitches through three innings.  You would think that 75 pitches would at least give you five or even four innings of work but not in this case.

Gaudin came in after him and ended up finishing the game with four innings pitched and only giving up two runs.  He came into the game sporting a hefty 6.75 ERA in 34.2 innings of work.

Joba, who is suppose to be the bridge to Rivera just hasn’t been cutting it.  No other pitcher in the bullpen has thrown in as many games or innings as Joba.  Yet, they have all struggled equally or worse than him.

The bullpen looks a little something like this:

Mariano Rivera (3-1, 35 GP, 20 Saves, 1.02 ERA)

*Sergio Mitre (0-1, 12 GP, 2.88 ERA)

*Alfredo Aceves (3-0, 10 GP, 3.00 ERA)

Boone Logan (17 GP, 3.93 ERA)

Damaso Marte (30 GP, 4.08 ERA)

David Robertson (1-3, 32 GP, 5.28 ERA)

Joba Chamberlain (1-4, 39 GP, 5.79 ERA)

Chan Ho Park (1-1, 21 GP, 6.18 ERA)

Chad Gaudin (0-3, 23 GP, 6.52 ERA)

Dustin Moseley (3 GP, 7.50 ERA)

*Currently on the DL

Do you think the Yankees need some help in the bullpen after looking at those stats?

The obvious answer is yes, they need some serious help and fast.  There is no guarantee that CC, Pettitte, and Hughes are going to have as good of a second half as they did in the first. 

They desperately need Mitre and Aceves back soon and healthy, as they are by far the next best thing to Rivera in that bullpen.

So where does the help come from?  Who do they go after before the trade deadline?

Some have mentioned George Sherrill, Scott Downs, Kevin Gregg, Jason Frasor, Octavio Dotel and highly coveted Joakim Soria.  Soria would be the likely candidate, considering they have sought him out to possibly be the replacement for Rivera when he retires.  Just how much would it cost for them to acquire him in a trade?

Regardless, they need to make something happen and do it quickly.  You can’t bet on your starters to give you seven innings every game.  Then to only turn it over to a bullpen that has struggled to hold the lead.

Pitching may win championships, but if the Yankees want a chance of winning their 28th World Series Championship, they might want to start making some moves in their bullpen.

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Five Reasons Home Field Advantage Won’t Help the NL Win the World Series

For the first time in 14 seasons, the NL finally won the All-Star game 3-1. They displayed a great show of pitching, defense, and just an all-around great performance.

It will be the first time an NL team has home field advantage since the Diamondbacks had it back in 2001. The only problem is, it’s not going to help them win the World Series this year.

The AL will reign as World Series Champions and here are five reasons why.

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Yes We McCann: Braves Catcher Brian McCann Helps Break AL Streak With a 3-1 Win

Even on a day that brought great sadness to baseball and the entire sports world, New York Yankees great, “The Boss,” George M Steinbrenner III passed away, there was still a game to be played.  That was the 81st All-Star game between the American League and the National League.

“It’s a difficult time, on a great day for baseball, the All-Star game, something everyone looks to,” Yankees and AL manager Joe Girardi said. “A great man in baseball passed. He’s meant so much to not only this organization, but to the game of baseball, and to all of us personally.”

For the past 13 seasons the American League All-Stars have dominated the National League.  Would this year be different?

The game was moving along quickly thanks to young starters David Price and Ubaldo Jiminez, each starting off the game with two smooth innings. It didn’t hurt that they received help from the tricky shadows.  The sun at Angel Stadium was scattered all over the field that created a twilight first pitch, which gave the hitters more of a problem seeing the ball out of the hand of the pitchers.

It wasn’t until the bottom of the fifth that Robison Cano hit a sac fly to knock in Evan Longoria to break a 0-0 tie, giving the AL the 1-0 lead.

As the AL pitching continued to dominate, it looked like they were headed to their eighth consecutive win over the NL and extending their unbeaten streak to 14 games against their counterpart.

Heading into the top of the seventh the American League held a 1-0 lead.  Phil Hughes, who has had a Cy Young caliber season was sent to the mound.  Joey Votto came into the game to pinch hit for Ryan Howard.  He wasted no time in grounding out to Ian Kinsler.  Next up was Scott Rolen who singled straight up the middle to center.  Matt Holliday then followed with a single to center as well, sending Rolen to third.  With one out and runners at the corners, Joe Girardi decided to bring in lefty Matt Thornton.  He would first face Chris Young, as it only took him three pitches to send him back to the dugout on a foul out to first. 

Marlon Byrd who has had an outstanding season for the Chicago Cubs thus far, came up with runners still on the corners and 2 outs.  He battled Thornton to a full count, which eventually led to a walk that would load the bases and bring Brian McCann up to the plate.  First pitch was a fast ball that McCann just missed fouling it back.  The next pitch was another fast ball that McCann didn’t miss this time, driving it down the right field line, knocking all three runs with a stand up double.

Again, the AL was in their usual position, being down in yet another all-star game.  This time though, they were facing a much better pitching staff and only had three more innings to go.  Would the rally monkey boost their chances to come from behind and win this one?

With the score 3-1 in favor of the NL they sent Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright to the hill. Nick Swisher was first up and dealt with easily.  Then John Buck hit a ball to left field that should have been caught but was bobbled and dropped by teammate Matt Holliday.  With Buck on second and Kinsler at the plate Wainwright walked him putting two men on with only one out.  Next up was Vernon Wells, who reached on a fielder’s choice to shortstop advancing Buck to third. With home field advantage in his favor, Torii Hunter wasn’t able to give the crowd something to cheer about, as he struck out to end the seventh inning.

Finally, here we were in the bottom of the ninth and it was the last chance for the AL to put together another late comeback.  The drama began for the NL as David Ortiz led of with a single to right.  Teammate Adrian Beltre came up and only saw three pitches from closer Jonathan Broxton, who struck him out on a high and tight fastball that hit 97 mph.  With one out, Buck came up yet again with a chance to tie the game.  Instead he hit a blooper to right field that just fell in at the feet of Marlon Bryd. Ortiz had to hold up as it looked like Bryd was going to make the catch but was unable to get there, however, he was still able to make a great play, throwing slow running Ortiz out at second.    The AL had one last chance when Kinsler came to the plate.  One pitch, one swing, and the final out caught by center fielder Chris Young. 

“It felt awesome for us to get the win and break the streak,” Broxton said.

It was finally over, the NL was able to break the streak and beat the AL, thanks to McCann and stellar pitching. 

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