Mike Silva's New York Baseball Digest » Blog Archive » Bullpen Bridge, Texas vs. Detroit, Keep the Blue Uniforms, ESPN Audience Loves Yanks-Red Sox, Larry David Playing Social Assassin at Fenway Park Park, Two Unlikeable Teams Brawl

Bullpen Bridge, Texas vs. Detroit, Keep the Blue Uniforms, ESPN Audience Loves Yanks-Red Sox, Larry David Playing Social Assassin at Fenway Park Park, Two Unlikeable Teams Brawl



By Mike Silva ~ August 6th, 2011. Filed under: Morning Digest.

Back on Opening Day I wrote this:

Ultimately the game was won by their strong bullpen. Joba ChamberlainRafael Soriano, and Mariano Rivera combined for three perfect innings. If the Yankees are playing six inning ballgames this year the win projection of 92-95 might have to be upped to the 100+ range. That only happens if Chamberlain achieves the potential that teased everyone in 2007. One game doesn’t make a season, but it’s a far better start than we have seen from him in a long time.

Opening Day is the ultimate small sample size. There are 15 teams that go home happy, and in first place, after game one. Many will not even be in the Wild Card conversations come the Fourth of July. It’s ok to still dream about future possibilities even though the games are in New York instead of the serenity of Florida. Today was a blueprint victory for the Yankees. Good enough starting pitching, strong offense, and a “lights out” bullpen. Something tells me there will be many more throughout 2011. Perhaps more than what that unbeatable team up in Boston will achieve. 

The win in Boston last night was basically the late season blueprint for this team. There will be no veteran starter or ace coming to help this season. Chamberlain is long gone with an elbow injury. Boone Logan is probably going to be the LOOGY, unless J.C. Romero gives the organization some indication he can be useful in the big leagues. Soriano, Robertson, and Rivera are going to determine this team’s fate in the postseason.

You need more length than what you received from Colon (you don’t want Cory Wade getting big outs in the sixth inning of a postseason game), but overall Soriano to Robertson to Rivera is how the last three innings will play out in the postseason.

***

I wrote about how the Yankee should “beware of Justin Verlander” in a short series versus the Tigers. If you think about it, both Texas and Detroit are very dangerous teams in a five game series. I can’t see either outlasting the Yankees or Boston in a 7 game set. Neither has the depth of starting pitching to accomplish the feat. Maybe Texas has a better chance in the longer series because of their new bullpen arms (Adams, Uehera), but Neftali Feliz makes me nervous. Remember, last October the Rangers didn’t have to win many close games in the ALCS. All their victories were by 5 or more runs. The one that was (Game 1) was blown late.

Of course, the Texas offense can explode on anyone. The secondary arms like Colon, Garcia, Nova, and Hughes have their work cut out. They win games by 5 or more runs because they can bludgeon a team. The Yankees learned that the hard way last year.

I still think we are headed for a rematch of the 2004 ALCS. Right now, if the playoffs started today, the Yankees would take on Detroit, and Boston would play Texas in the first round.

***

I am not a huge fan of the Mets black uniforms. I like the traditional blue and white pinstripe home jerseys, and the gray road jersey. I would go one step further and go nameless on the back at home, just like they did in 1999.

Alternate jerseys are a reality that we must accept. The team wants to sell as many colored jersey at the ballpark as possible. Why own one David Wright jersey when you can have all three variations. With that said, I liked the dark blue and orange combination from last night. Instead of making this a “Los Mets” jersey, which was the case yesterday, think about this being an alternate uniform throughout the season. Black jerseys could still be sold in the store for fans who want some “hip hop” style, but the uniforms on the field should adhere to the traditional colors of the team. The blue and orange are NYC’s official colors, and honor the Giants and Dodgers. Black is just a marketing gimmick. Keep the gimmicks to the concession stands. The alternate blue we saw last night meets both the goals of the marketers and the traditionalist. It’s called common sense compromise.

Also, could we have someone with some sense making uniform decisions? Do you realize that disgraced former Equipment Manager Charlie Samuels, along with an employee at a California uniform company, had a great deal to do with the creation of the black uniforms?

Back in May, Paul Lukas of Uni Watch - a blog dedicated to the athletic aesthetics- wrote a piece for ESPN Page 2 where he interviewed Bob Halfacre, who worked for that California company- AIS.

Here is Halfacre’s recollection of the Mets decision making on adding black to their uniforms:

“Charlie Samuels was a very, very powerful man with that team. He had a lot of control over things there. Anyone wanted anything done, it had to go through him. At AIS, we had a sales rep who was very tight with him. They were not happy with Russell [the team's previous outfitter] at the time. They were looking for more control, and we were a fledgling little company that offered them that, so we made a deal to make their uniforms. And they were determined to get black in their uniform.”

No dialogue with the fans. No ownership intervention. No discussion. Charlie Samuels and a uniform company (with a vested interest to expand the uniform line) made this call.

Best line of the interview was how Halfacre helped Samuels make a decision on the uniform layout:

“I remember getting a yell from the office: “Come here, Charlie wants to talk to you for a minute.” So I got on the phone and he says, “I want a black jersey — what should I do, what colors should I use?” And I say, “Blue and white with an orange shadow.” And he says, “Right, OK.” It was that arbitrary. Honest to goodness, Paul, that’s how it was back then — there was no league approval needed …”

I didn’t realize that back in ’98 you didn’t need league approval to make such changes.

Somehow I don’t think this scenario would have played out with Sandy Alderson in charge. It couldn’t, with the League having its tentacles in everything.

Any chance we can add these black uniforms to Samuels charges in court?

***

The Yankees will be the ESPN Sunday Night Game of the Week tomorrow. It will bring a host of complaints from the fans about Bobby Valentine, the lateness of the game, and how much they hate ESPN. The problem is the ratings indicate the rest of the country wants to see these two teams. Newsday’s Neil Best tweeted that “over past 10 years, ESPN has averaged 3.96M viewers for Yankees-Red Sox games on Sunday nights. All other Sunday night games: 2.18M.”

Next time someone from outside the New York and Boston market complains about monthly Yankees-Red Sox ESPN games should be reminded of that fact. Shut the TV off if you don’t like it.

***

Larry David, creator of Seinfeld and star of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, was in attendance for last night’s game at Fenway. Anyone who watches Curb knows that David is a Yankees fan. As a matter of fact, he is a big Joe Pepitone fan. Remember this scene?

David said during an interview he likes to interact with Red Sox fans. Can anyone say social assassin?

***

The Phillies and Giants engaged in some extracurricular activities last night. Both teams are becoming very unlikeable. The Phillies for two things: 1) the dreadful city they represent and 2) unlikeable characters such as Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. The Phils have cleaned up their act since their “drunken sailor” days of 2007 to 2008. Winning a championship will do that for you. Also, having classy individuals such as Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee doesn’t hurt. To be fair, I don’t like the city or team, but there isn’t the same level of animosity towards the Phils that I had about four years ago.

On the other hand, San Francisco is a very annoying team. I wrote back in April they may be the worst defending champion in the history of baseball. At least their offense went from anemic to average with Carlos Beltran. Their closer hangs out with Charlie Sheen and hogs the camera through their Showtime appearances. I don’t like Tim Lincecum mouthing off about what he thinks baseball should do. Especially when I can mistake him for my neighbor’s 13 year old daughter. They are a team that thinks they are better than they really are. The fans and team are particularly whiny, especially during the Buster Posey incident.

Bob’s Blitz reports that another unlikeable character, Phils announcer Larry Andersen, called the beaning “gutless.” This is the same guy who advocated the Phillies beaning Jose Reyes back in 2008 because he didn’t appreciate Jose hitting a home run off them.

Talk about two unlikeable teams and cities.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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1 Response to Bullpen Bridge, Texas vs. Detroit, Keep the Blue Uniforms, ESPN Audience Loves Yanks-Red Sox, Larry David Playing Social Assassin at Fenway Park Park, Two Unlikeable Teams Brawl

  1. Akil El

    Yanks/Sox game: I thought Girardi had to manage that the way he did, and yes, he needs to get length out of Colon; but that’s the blueprint of any team that expects their rotation; give me at least 6 so Cory Wade doesn’t have to get you big outs.

    Mets/Braves game: This reminded me of ESPN Baseball Today, where Steve Berthiaume talked about the Mets having a nice classy look, but they were one of 5 offenders of the uniform. It was because of the black uniforms, which he felt has no business with the classic Blue and Orange. As a Mets fan, I do have a black hat, and I always felt that it’s nice for the fans to wear, but whether it’s worn during games, I always felt a disconnect to the team. Mets are Blue & Orange, and should stay to Home Whites, Road Gray’s, Alternative Blue’s, and the decision for the uniforms should be pinstripes or piping. Keep it a classic baseball uniform, for upholding NY Giants and Brooklyn Dodger tradition.

    As for the Giants, you are the champions…and you kind of earn that right to be whiny, discontent, underperforming slobs when you do win the championship. Is that what they should be doing: no, but when your flag flies that next season, I guess when you walked the walk, you talk the talk. As for Larry Anderson, he’s the reason why homeristic analysts don’t deserve a mic. Yes, Victorino was intentionally hit by Ramirez, but if Victorino goes to first instead; Ramirez, probably will still get ejected and face a suspension. Instead, now Victorino…you could be facing a suspension too, for charging the mound, and further igniting basebrawl.

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