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Importance of CC’s Victory, iPads, Kay’s Shot at the Sox, Cervelli’s Antics, Pete Rose on the Dino Costa Show



By Mike Silva ~ August 31st, 2011. Filed under: Morning Digest.

CC Sabathia was 0-4 with a 7.20 ERA going into last night’s game in Boston. This caused many to worry after the Sox beat Sabathia in early August. Are the Sox in Sabathia’s head? How can the Yankees win an ALCS against them with their best pitcher unable to win against Boston?

As I said before, the results of the regular season doesn’t matter when it comes to postseason. We have seen backup infielders take over the World Series and Cy Young Award winners unable to get anyone out.

Sweeny Murti did make a great point on WFAN that it may be more about the Sox confidence against Sabathia than Sabathia being unable to beat them. Go into the postseason 5-0 against the other team’s ace and you feel a certain level of confidence that you can beat them. I agree with Sweeny how that can become an advantage. You can’t just look at it from the Sabathia point of view.

Remember how Roger Clemens couldn’t get Mike Piazza out for a while? It almost became automatic when Piazza was at the plate. The Yankees always seemed to get to Pedro Martinez. It gives a team a lift and mental edge when they feel they could beat a pitcher regardless of how good he is throwing.

Sabathia put a stop to that with his victory last night. It was important because it tied the AL East in the loss column. It became even more important because it reminded the Red Sox they can’t beat the Yankees ace with impunity.

***

Jayson Stark wrote about how technology has impacted the game. He said “Well, we’d bet that if we polled all American baseball fans on why runs per game and batting average have dropped five seasons in a row, 99 percent of them would answer “steroids” — or the lack thereof.” Not me!

Back on May 12th I wrote how I thought technology was one of the causes for the deflated offense.  Yankees Hitting Coach, Kevin Long, joined me on the radio show a few days later and agreed with my assessment.

Finally, perhaps most to blame for the decline in offense is technology. Teams now can advance scout players using computer generated maps that can predict with accuracy where they will hit the ball. Look at how many shifts there are in the big leagues today. I know that defensive strategy was employed years ago, but it was an event when you saw it, not the daily routine of today. Any player will tell you how important positioning is on defense. Having the most up to date information will make it even harder for a batter to find that hole on the field.

The impact of technology really hit me when visiting Bloomberg headquarters this winter to review their pro data product. A player can use his iPad to review a game within 20 minutes of its conclusion. For example, a team is playing an afternoon game on a Thursday. By dinnertime Thursday night their opponent, in town for a day off, can review all the top hitters and their tendencies in his hotel room to prepare for his Friday night start. This includes video from that afternoon’s game! The information and video is so detailed the issue is more what to leave out.

Stark describes the world of baseball we live in today:

It’s a planet in which Rays manager Joe Maddon flips open his iPad in a Starbucks, sips his morning cup of tea and pores over the spray charts that dictate the funky shifts his team is about to unleash on David Ortiz that night.

It’s a planet in which Troy Tulowitzki can pedal away on his exercise bike while watching every pitch Tim Hudson has fired at him over the last five years.

It’s a planet in which it’s now easier to find a video of every changeup Ricky Romero has ever thrown with two strikes and a runner on first than it is to find a light bulb at Home Depot.

As I said, hitting a baseball as now becomes even harder than any point in big league history. Amazing how both hitters and pitchers have access to the same volume of information, but it’s the pitchers that continue to stay ahead of the curve. It’s another example about the level of skill you need to hit a baseball.

I don’t want to discount the impact of banning amphetamines, but technology has played a huge part in the pitcher catching up with the hitter.

***

Michael Kay took a swipe at the Red Sox fans leaving at the end of the eighth inning when they trailed 5-2. He admonished them for leaving the game early and gave them his trademark “see ya” going to commercial. Has Kay seen Yankee Stadium lately? The same thing has been going on there during these games. This is what happens when people, who have to work the next day, have to sit through four hour games.

The aura of Yankees-Red Sox has worn off; at least in the regular season. There is no juice from the fans over this AL East race since both teams are going to make the playoffs. I am sure this won’t be the case if they meet in the ALCS.

Hey Kay, sit down, shut up, and watch your own backyard.

***

There is juice over this series in both dugouts. Sox President Larry Luccino said “we want to win, we want home-field advantage. And by the way, if we were playing them in a Tiddlywinks match, or a checkers game, we’d get amped up. At least I would.” Joe Girardi seemed “worn out” talking to reporters after the game. Not only did he have to deal with a dubious umpiring crew- one that angered him so much he was ejected in the ninth- there was numerous tight spots throughout the late innings. Jarrod Saltalamacchia got into it with Francisco Cervelli, Lackey beaned Cervelli, and CC Sabathia let Lackey know what he thought about it.

The juice isn’t there with the fans, but it certainly is there on the field – where it matters.

***

Francisco Cervelli adds another chapter to the rivalry. We have see Pedro Martinez/Don ZimmerJason Varitek/A-Rod, Manny Ramirez/Roger Clemens, and a groundskeeper fighting the Yankees bullpen. Add Cervelli’s perceived “hot dog” antics to the list of things that crop up during this series.

I don’t think Cervelli did anything that others players are guilty of. The clap when he touched home plate touched a nerve in the Sox dugout. Remember, David Ortiz stood and admired a home run at Yankee Stadium just a couple of months ago. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

With that said, I would drill Cervelli (as I would Ortiz) for his antics. I think the way he clapped when he touched home plate was obnoxious; act like you have been there before. If Cervelli did the same clap while walking to the dugout it wouldn’t have, in my opinion, resonated with Lackey and the Sox.

Again, is Cervelli guilty of doing something others don’t? No, he is just a bit more demonstrative. There are consequences for your actions, and I don’t have issues with Boston retaliating in the seventh inning. It wound up benefitting the Yankees as they scored 2 runs as part of that rally.

Here is the video again for you to judge for yourself.

***

Dino Costa interviewed Pete Rose yesterday on Sirius. He talked about his last meeting with Bud Selig and the collision between him and Ray Fosse in the 1970 All Star Game.

A couple of great quotes worth hearing. Check it out at my new site for media analysis, Sports Media Watchdog. 

Good job by Costa. We need to hear more from Pete Rose

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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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8 Responses to Importance of CC’s Victory, iPads, Kay’s Shot at the Sox, Cervelli’s Antics, Pete Rose on the Dino Costa Show

  1. lino

    thanks for posting the cervelli clip as i missed the game last night.
    all i have to say is ….. ARE YOU JOKING!!!! PEOPLE MAKING A BIG DEAL OVER THAT!!!

    If Cervelli should be drilled over that than Ortiz should be ran over by the bullpen car (do they still exist)… GIMME A BREAK!!!

    Lackey has no one to blame but himself, that was hardly over the top.. “GEE WHIZ”

  2. Stu B

    “Hey Kay, sit down…”

    Love the characterizeration, intentional or not! And BTW, Rose and Fosse collided, they didn’t collude, lol…

  3. Rob

    Cervelli clapped. That’s it. He didn’t stare at the pitcher, he didn’t admire his shot, he didn’t do a backflip. He clapped. He didn’t even give one of his patented fist pumps. That’s the simplest and least offensive way that he could actually show that he’s excited about hitting a bomb in Fenway.

    Oh, I’m sorry, I see that your problem is that he clapped when he stepped on the plate. Why exactly does this make any sort of difference? If he had waited 3 seconds, everything would have been ok? If he had jumped on the plate, or done a somersault, or anything like that, I would agree with you. But he clapped; that is not an antic, it’s a simple celebration. Maybe Lackey should instead be pissed at himself for giving up a no doubt home run to a powerless backup catcher.

    If you honestly and truly think that clapping is no different than standing at home plate, tossing the bat, and taking 45 minutes to round the bases than I don’t even know what to say.

    And you say you also would have beaned Cervelli? Well, that gave the Yankees a baserunner that directly led to an extremely important insurance run. If your response to every single tiny action that you don’t like is to bean someone, I’d love to have you managing against the Yankees and giving them all sorts of free baserunners. Beaning people for perceived slights is stupid, especially in a close game. You never give the other team baserunners.

  4. Mike Silva

    thanks for the catch Stu- LOL, long morning to say the least. I am going to have to hire you as my editor :)

    Two historic errors, that’s in Kiner’s class!

  5. Chuck Johnson

    On a live chat during the game last night, I referenced to Cervelli “eating dirt” in his next AB after the homer.

    This was mentioned without the knowledge of his clap or anything else he may have done or said.

    Cervelli is unquestionably in the discussion as being the worst player in MLB, any pitcher worth his salt would bust him in that situation based strictly on reputation.

  6. Hot Carl

    Yeah, I’d love to see you bean Cervelli. Your 64MPH fastball would really teach him a lesson. You are such a TOOL!

  7. Mike I

    I would have hit Cervelli as well. He did not accidentally clap at home plate, he did that on purpose. You can celebrate all you want with your teammates in the dugout. The same would go if Jarrod Saltalamacchia did that.

    Kay is such a moron. A good portion of New England is still without power and some roads are still flooded. Still about 500,000 in Massachusetts and Rhode Island combined. The fact that Fenway was still sold out was pretty remarkable. After the 7th inning at most Yankee games, a decent number of fans leave to beat the traffic, especially if the home team is losing.

    Big Dino Costa fan, always gives a quality interview and is better than any NY Radio personality, because he always lets the guest talk, instead of talking over them so they get them to agree with their opinion.

  8. Juke Early

    Michael Kay may have his flaws. But he’s loyal to the team he works for. As for the deprivations in New England—the whole country has problems weather & fiscal; we all reap what we sow. The only upside of Boston fans leaving early is for the bars they patronized on their way…

    I still applaud Mike Silva’s unmatched 24/7 coverage of baseball. But his malaprops & shots at other jock sniffers are getting tedious.
    You do a great job Mike — don’t stoop. Or pander to Yankee haters. After all, this is NEW YORK Baseball Digest.

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