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New York Yankees Fans: Que Pasa, Derek Jeter?

John Lennon once sang, “New York City…back in New York City…New York City…Que pasa, New York?…Que pasa, New York?”

Lennon wrote that song in a tribute to his new hometown when he moved in September 1971 with Yoko Ono from Ole England.

It was in the same city that never sleeps where he was murdered on December 8, 1980, three weeks after releasing a comeback album, Double Fantasy.

Lennon, on his way to heaven, probably asked, “Que pasa, New York?”

It’s the same question nowadays many Yankee fans are asking.

Forget Korea, Afghanistan, President Obama and Palin. Main street news in the Big Apple is the Derek Jeter saga.

In summary, the Steinbrenner family has been very clear that Derek Jeter should take their offer of three years for $45 million or bust.

General Manager Brian Cashman, on the record, encouraged the former Yankees captain—remember, he is a free agent right now—to shop for a better deal.

For Yankee fans these days, it was supposed to be yule time that their magnificent three of Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte would have been signed and the team efforts would be in signing new faces such as Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford.

Nothing about that. The latest news from the Bronx Bombers is that they raised their ticket prices for next season and offered arbitration to hurler Javier Vazquez.

By the way, it’s very possible Vazquez will end up with the Florida Marlins, and the Yankees’ move was mainly to get free agent compensation.

The Yankees do not want to exorbitantly pay for a 36-year-old veteran shortstop who hit .270 last season with 10 home runs, 67 RBI and a declining defensive range.

Jeter feels he should get paid in respect to his status as the 16-year iconic figure with five World Series rings that is en route to becoming the first Yankee to get 3,000 hits in pinstripes.

Word is that Mariano Rivera was told that as a 41-year-old reliever, he was not going to get a two-year contract for $18 million per year. No matter, because like Jeter, he is a future all-time Yankee and Hall of Famer.

New York City was supposed to be the city of sweet dreams as Lennon once envisioned.

Jeter should ask the latest great Yankee to leave the game, Bernie Williams, what happens when the Steinbrenner clan makes their last offer on the table.

Maybe Jeter should have a good conversation with Babe Ruth in his dreams. Ruth built the old Yankee Stadium, but finished his career with the Boston Braves.

The Babe probably will tell Jeter that there are no guarantees he will end up a Yankee even though he built the new Yankee Stadium.

Very possibly, the 2010 American League Gold Glove shortstop will end up as a Yankee, but for how long and how much?

Changing Lennon’s question, now it is que pasa, Derek Jeter?  

Yankee followers hope to know before Christmas.

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Roberto Clemente: What Would Have Happened 50 Years Later ?

Fifty years ago the Pittsburgh Pirates won one of the most sensational World Series in major league baseball history.

Last month in October, some of the living former Pirates teammates from that magical 1960 squad met to live once again the vivid memories of the day that stands above all others in Buccos history.

Yes, better than the world championships of 1971 and 1979, both times against the Baltimore Orioles.

They came together last November 13 for a theater showing in Pittsburgh of a discovered film of NBC’s Game 7 telecast against the New York Yankees. A copy of which no one knew existed.

The film was made at the time for the late Bing Crosby, the famed entertainer who long owned a small share of the Pirates.

The main highlight was once again to enjoy Bill Mazeroski’s historic homer in the ninth inning that gave the underdog Pirates a 10-9 victory over the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the World Series.

A player that probably would have to come to terms with history that evening was Roberto Clemente.

In 1960 the “Cometa de Carolina” from Puerto Rico had a magnificent season hitting .314, fourth in the National League and leading his Pirates with 94 RBI.

Later, in the postseason, he continued his torrid batting, hitting safely in every game of the World Series against the Bronx Bombers, hitting .310 with three RBI.

However, history tells that Clemente after the World Series was infuriated and enraged because he felt snubbed by all the media.

Weeks later he was maddened even more when it was announced that he finished eighth in the National League Most Valuable Player voting.

He really thought he was underappreciated after a season he was a two-time All-Star and one of its main offensive lumbers.

For that Clemente never wore his 1960 championship ring.

In spite of his feeling that he was given a cold shoulder, possibly it gave him, in the long run, the spark to one of the best careers of any player in history and a path to the Hall of Fame.

Clemente, after that 1960 season, began a streak of eight consecutive seasons in which he batted no less than .312.

He won 12 consecutive Gold Gloves, went to nine consecutive Midsummer classics out of his 14 All-Star appearances and won the 1966 National League MVP accolade.

Later in 1971 the Bucs went to the World Series and Clemente hit safely once again in every game. This time he was honored with the World Series MVP trophy.

Clemente was one of the most outspoken players in baseball and first among Latinos in Major League Baseball.

If he would have been alive it would have been very interesting to listen if he would have forgiven what happened back in 1960.

Also, if he would have met new Manager Clint Hurdle, what advice would he have given to him?

What would have been Clemente’s words to the new skipper of a Pirate team that lost 105 games and has averaged 97 losses the last six seasons?

Furthermore, last season the team was next-to-last in the majors in offense and last in pitching ERA and defense fielding percentage.

The Pirates, not since 1992, have finished a season above the .500 mark. Simply, the longest streak of losing seasons in major league history.

By the way, Clemente knows about futility. Before his magnificent 1960 season he played for a Pirate club that had suffered through three straight 100-loss seasons and was the laughingstock of the sport.

What Clemente would have said: Godspeed.

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New York Yankees Have a Gold and Silver Latino Man in Robinson Cano

Latino names such as Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Carlos Gonzalez and Ubaldo Jimenez were among the headline grabbers this past 2010 season.

Always, Manny will be Manny. There was a lot in the news in a moment about David “Big Papi” Ortiz, and right after the World Series, “El Niño de Colombia” Edgar Renteria.

In Queens, most of the headlines are about Carlos Beltran. What about Angel Pagan?

Same happens in the Bronx. Among the New York Yankees, the headliners of Latino names are Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada.

The forgotten one is Robinson Cano.

There is no explanation why the native of the Dominican Republic should be the disregarded Yankee.

Cano had a great career season in 2010; a front-runner for the American League Most Valuable Player Award.

Even if his not the elected one, he already made history this season.

As the two-time All Star was honored with his second consecutive American League Silver Slugger Award, and his first American League Gold Glove Award, he became the 10th Latino in Major League history to win both in the same season.

For those history buffs, here is the list of the other Latinos in Major League history to accomplish this feat:

Roberto Alomar: Toronto 1992/Baltimore 1996/Cleveland 1999 and 2000
Ivan Rodriguez: Texas 1994-99/Detroit 2004
Rafael Palmeiro: Texas 1998 and 1999
Alex Rodriguez: Texas 2002 and 2003
Placido Polanco: Detroit 2007

Manny Trillo: Philadelphia 1981
Benito Santiago: San Diego 1988 and 1990
Edgar Renteria: St. Louis 2002 and 2003
Carlos Beltran: New York Mets 2006 and 2007

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David Price, Tampa Bay Rays: Still Have Chance to Shine in 2010

These days, baseball fans in Tampa are on uncertain and unpredictable land.

The free agent market frenzy has begun and the Rays ownership has been very clear that they will be prudent regarding who they sign this winter and will try to not pay much for any new player.

More importantly, they must try to maintain as much as they can the team core that helped them win this past season’s American League East Division pennant for the second time in three years.

The Rays know Carl Crawford and Rafael Soriano probably are gone with the budget approved by majority owner Stuart Sternberg last summer.

However, in these upcoming days, Tampa Bay fans may see some remaining glitter and brightness in their young franchise. The Rays could finally shine in history with their first Cy Young award winner.

Up to the present, the Rays and the Texas Rangers are the only two franchises in major league history without a Cy Young awardee.

Many around baseball believe hurler David Price deserves the 2011 American League Cy Young Award.

Price, 25, finished the 2010 regular season with 19-6 and 2.72 ERA record and was a first-time All-Star to the Mid-Summer Classic.

The Tennessee native already has won the Warren Spahn Award, recognizing him as  the top left-handed pitcher in the majors, and also the MLB 2010 Players Choice Award winner of Most Outstanding American League Pitcher of the Year.

His biggest rival for the award is the New York Yankees’ C.C. Sabathia.

The Rays could also see Carl Crawford selected American League Most Valuable Player. Tampa Bay has also never had a league MVP in franchise history.

Even though Crawford had a career season, the MVP award is a long-shot as the Yankees’ Robinson Cano and Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera both had resoundingly excellent offensive seasons.

Somewhere in the Tampa area, there are few that prefer to let to the good times roll one more time with good news about their franchise.

Spring training and thoughts about what the 2011 Joe Maddon Rays and low budget will bring can wait until March.

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Edwin Rodriguez, Florida Marlins: New Icon in Puerto Rico

Edwin Rodriguez is the new icon in Puerto Rico.

It does not matter he was re-signed by the Florida Marlins for only one year.

In his native Puerto Rico, all prayers by most baseball followers are already in his favor he could take the Marlins next season for its first playoff appearance since its 2003 World Championship.

Rodriguez became the first Puerto Rican manager in the major leagues when he took the job on an interim basis on June 23, replacing the fired Fredi Gonzalez.

Later on during its hometown San Juan Series against the New York Mets owner Jeffrey Loria gave him the news that he was his man to finish at the helm for the remainder of the season.

Even though he finished with a personal 46-46 record, nowadays his name is in the company of such local heroes as Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Jorge Posada and Yadier Molina.

He is as big as such local greats Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda, Roberto Alomar, Edgar Martinez and Bernie Williams

Last week his Florida Marlins shirt used in his first game as skipper was adhered in the baseball aisle of Puerto Rico’s Sports Hall of Fame Museum.

In the ceremony he mentioned he is looking to push his team to win at least 95 games next season.

Rodriguez believes if all pitching and batting goes right, the Marlins truly could be a contender in its East Division and its National League overall.

Rodriguez will really know how good will be his Marlins next April. In the mean time his enjoying his celebrity status specially in his home country.

For those history buffs these are the best of the best of Puerto Rico in history in Major League Baseball.

  • Batting Average
    Roberto Clemente              .317
    Edgar Martinez                   .312
    Roberto Alomar                  .300
    Jose Vidro                          .298
    Ivan Rodriguez                   .298
  • Hits
    Roberto Clemente              3,000
    Ivan Rodriguez                   2,817
    Roberto Alomar                  2,724
    Orlando Cepeda                 2,351
    Bernie Williams                  2,336
  • Doubles
    Ivan Rodriguez                   565
    Edgar Martinez                   514
    Roberto Alomar                  504
    Carlos Delgado                   483
    Bernie Williams                   449
  • Triples
    Roberto Clemente              166
    Jose Cruz                           94
    Roberto Alomar                   80
    Dave Martinez                     72
    Carlos Beltran                     67
  • Home Runs
    Carlos Delgado                   473
    Juan Gonzalez                    434
    Orlando Cepeda                  379
    Edgar Martinez                    309
    Ruben Sierra                       306
  • Runs Batted In
    Carlos Delgado                   1,512
    Juan Gonzalez                    1,404
    Orlando Cepeda                  1,365
    Ruben Sierra                      1,322
    Ivan Rodriguez                   1,313
  • Runs Scored
    Roberto Alomar                  1,508
    Roberto Clemente               1,416
    Bernie Williams                   1,366
    Ivan Rodriguez                    1,340
    Carlos Delgado                    1,241
  • Total Bases
    Roberto Clemente                 4,492
    Ivan Rodriguez                     4,411
    Roberto Alomar                    4,018
    Carlos Delgado                     3,976
    Orlando Cepeda                    3,959
  • Slugging Percentage
    Juan Gonzalez                      .561
    Carlos Delgado                     .546
    Edgar Martinez                     .516
    Orlando Cepeda                    .499
    Danny Tartabull                     .496
  • On-Base Percentage
    Edgar Martinez                     .418
    Carlos Delgado                     .383
    Bernie Williams                    .381
    Jorge Posada                       .377
    Roberto Alomar                    .371
  • Stolen Bases
    Roberto Alomar                    474
    Julio Cruz                            343
    Jose Cruz                            317
    Carlos Beltran                      289
    Santos Alomar                     227
  • Games Played
    Ivan Rodriguez                     2,499
    Roberto Clemente                 2,433
    Roberto Alomar                    2,379
    Jose Cruz, padre                   2,353
    Ruben Sierra                        2,186
  • Wins
    John Candelaria                  177
    Javier Vazquez                    152
    Juan Pizarro                        131
    Jaime Navarro                     116
    Joel Piñeiro                          97
  • ERA
    John Candelaria                  3.33
    Guillermo Hernandez           3.38
    Juan Pizarro                        3.43
    Roberto Hernandez              3.45
    Eduardo Figueroa                3.51
  • Saves
    Roberto Hernandez              326
    Guillermo Hernandez           147
    Edwin Nuñez                        54
    Ramon Hernandez                46
    Luis Arroyo                          44
  • Games Pitched
    Roberto Hernandez             1,010
    Guillermo Hernandez             744
    J. C. Romero                        628
    John Candelaria                    600
    Juan Agosto                         543


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Texas Rangers Nelson Cruz among Best Latinos Ever in Postseason

Texas Ranger outfielder Nelson Cruz has not stopped his torrid hitting, and with not much hoopla, he set a new postseason record in Game 3 Saturday night against the San Francisco Giants.

Cruz’s double in the second inning was his 12th extra-base hit of this postseason.

The Dominican Republic-born outfielder broke the mark of 11 extra-base hits, accomplished seven times, most recently the last one was by the New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez in 2009.

Cruz double also tied the doubles postseason record held by three other players, the most recent of whom was Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth in 2008.

Cruz among Latinos is expected, if he continues his present offense, to be selected as World Series MVP, if Texas wins the series.

For those history buffs, these are the Latino leaders in single postseason statistics:

Batting Average
Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado, 2009, .588

Albert Pujols, St. Louis, 2004, 24

Nelson Cruz, Texas, 2010, 7
Mike Lowell, Boston, 2007, 7

Mariano Duncan, Philadelphia, 1993, 3

Home Runs
Carlos Beltran, Houston, 2004, 8

Runs Batted In
David Ortiz, Boston, 2004, 19
Sandy Alomar Jr., Cleveland, 1997, 19

Runs Scored
Carlos Beltran, Houston, 2004, 21

Slugging Percentage
Juan Gonzalez, Texas, 1996, 1.375

On-Base Percentage
Manny Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers, 2008, .660

Total Bases
Carlos Beltran, Houston, 2004, 47

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Texas Rangers: Bengie Molina’s World Series Dream

This season we will have one of the most unpredictable World Series ever. The Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants.

No matter what could happen the only prediction that can be made at this moment is that Bengie Molina no matter what will get a World Series championship ring.

Molina started the season as the Giants catcher until July 1 when he was traded to Texas for reliever Chris Ray and minor league pitcher Michael Main.

However, the 36-year-old veteran really wants to win it as a Ranger, most of all because, very possibly, this will be his last major league season.

Bengie, the oldest of the Molina major league catchers, said during the Divisional Series against the Tampa Bay Rays this could be his last season. He repeated a similar comment last week to the Spanish language media during the Championship Series against the New York Yankees.

Molina in both occasions had said he will ponder his future after the Fall Classic.

Molina made his debut back in September 21, 1998 with the then-Anaheim Angels.

By the way, he got his only World Series ring up to this moment in his career back in 2002 as the Angels starter against (guess whom) the San Francisco Giants.

Back in 2002 the Angels defeated the Giants in seven games and Molina was one of their “monkey rally stars” hitting .286 with two doubles and two RBI.

Overall Molina in 38 postseason career games is hitting .281 with five doubles, five home runs and 19 RBI.

Molina jokingly said to the Spanish media when he retires he would like to see who of his brothers will have more World Series rings.

Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Molina has two World Series rings as a career backup, one with the 2002 Angels and the other with the 2009 Yankees.

St. Louis Cardinals’ Yadier Molina has only one won back in the 2006 World Series against the Detroit Tigers.

Only time will tell us if his World Series dream will come true as a Ranger. If not, anyway he will get his second ring as a Giant.

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The Top Latinos in MLB’s Championship Series

The League Championship Series are under way between the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers in the American League and the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants in the National League.

It has become customary to see Latino players every year excel in a single moment or throughout a whole series.

So far, names such as the Rangers’ Nelson Cruz and Vladimir Guerrero and Yankees’ Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguez are in full swing in support of their teams to go to the next and final round—the World Series.

In the senior circuit, names such as Philadelphia Phillies’ Placido Polanco and Carlos Ruiz and San Francisco Pablo Sandoval and Juan Uribe, are also looking for the big prize to reach the Fall Classic.

Throughout history, there have been Latinos who have distinguished themselves in the League Championship Series.

Here is the list of the Latinos’ best of the best in League Championship Series:

  • Batting Average: Eduardo Perez .464; Placido Polanco .455
  • Hits: Manny Ramirez 59; Bernie Williams 52
  • Doubles: Bernie Williams 10; Jorge Posada 8
  • Triples: Mariano Duncan 3; David Ortiz; Jose Lind; Ruben Sierra; Robinson Cano; Luis Salazar 2
  • Home Runs: Manny Ramirez 13; Bernie Williams 9
  • Runs batted in: Bernie Williams 33; Manny Ramirez 32
  • Runs scored: Bernie Williams 31; Manny Ramirez 28
  • Slugging percentage: Carlos Beltran .804; Eduardo Perez .750
  • On-base percentage: Placido Polanco .538; Eduardo Perez .500
  • Total bases: Manny Ramirez 105; Bernie Williams 89
  • Stolen bases: Roberto Alomar 11; Omar Vizquel 7
  • Games played: Manny Ramirez 49; Bernie Williams 41; Jorge Posada 39

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The Top Latinos in MLB’s Division Series

The division series are under way and stealing a Yogi Berra’s phrase, “It’s not over until you win three.”

It has become customary to see Latino players every year excel in a single moment or throughout a whole series.

So far, names such as the Texas Rangers’ Nelson Cruz and Vladimir Guerrero and the New York Yankees’ Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada are in full swing in support of their teams to go to the next round, the American League Championship Series.

Through history there have been Latinos that have distinguished themselves and carried their teams in division series since they were created in 1995.

This is my list of the most distinguished Latinos in division series:

  • Luis Alicea, Boston (1995), .600, 1 HR, 2RBI
  • Edgar Martinez, Seattle (1995), .571, 3 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI
  • Juan Gonzalez, Texas (1996), .438, 5 HR, 9 RBI
  • Bernie Williams, New York Yankees (1996), .429, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI
  • Moises Alou, Chicago Cubs (2003), .500, 1 2B, 3 RBI
  • Carlos Beltran, Houston (2004), .455, 2 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI
  • David Ortiz, Boston (2004), .545, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI
  • Albert Pujols, St. Louis (2005), .556, 2 2B, 2 RBI
  • Carlos Guillen, Detroit (2006), .571, 3 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • David Ortiz, Boston (2007), .714, 2 HR, 3 RBI
  • Bobby Abreu, Los Angeles Angels (2009), .556, 2 2B, 1 RBI
  • Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado (2009), .588, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI

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Edwin Rodriguez Deserves To Be the Marlins’ Manager in 2011

Let me be straight right off the bat.

Edwin Rodriguez should not have left Sun Life Stadium in Miami last Sunday without word as to whether he will remain at the helm of the Florida Marlins next season.

The former major leaguer that played once for the New York Yankees deserves the opportunity to be back. Period.

Rodriguez does not deserve it because he became the first Puerto Rican to manage in the major leagues.

It should be because he has demonstrated that he is capable of doing the job.

Ask any of his Marlins‘ players that played for him in the franchise’s minor league system.

Even the Marlins’ veterans, Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla, want him back on the bench.

His first-year 46-46 record probably doesn’t amaze anyone. However, he did his best with a team mostly of rookies, who gave their hearts and souls to finish third in the National League East Division.

Names such as Gaby Sanchez, Logan Morrison, and Puerto Ricans Ozzie Martinez and Mike Stanton were the core of the Marlins’ lineup the last half of the season.

On the last day of the season, English language TV and radio commentators all said that Rodriguez, if not the Marlins’ manager next season, could possibly end up at the helm of other team.

The Blue Jays, Braves Brewers, Cubs, Mets and Pirates are known to be looking for a new skipper.

The Marlins’ management is well known around baseball for their no-nonsense decisions. However, this time it makes sense to bring Rodriguez back.

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