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May 4, 2003

by Larry Mahnken

Random thoughts that fell out of my head

So now, if Rocket wins his next two starts, he'll be going for 300 at Fenway Park. Wouldn't that be perfect? (and please note that I didn't say ironic. Because it isn't, and if you think it's even close to being ironic, you're an idiot.)

The Yanks lost their first series of the season today, which is of course my fault, because I mentioned it yesterday. Their record is now 23-9, which is a bit closer to reality. The other day the YES crew was discussing the possibility that the Yankees might actually be better than they've played so far. After all, Jeter's out, Karsay's out, Rivera just came back, Giambi's in an awful slump, as is Godzilla. Well, that's all true, but it really ignores why the Yankees are 23-9. Soriano, Johnson, Williams, Posada and Mondesi all have an OPS over .969, and the starting rotation has been consistently excellent, pitching well and pitching long, keeping the bullpen from being a factor. All those things will turn around a bit, and more than counter the return of Jeter, Karsay, Rivera and return to normal of Giambi and Godzilla. And that's not even considering the relatively easy schedule the Yankees had in April. The Yankees are good, but they're not better than their record has shown.

By the way, I don't know if they corrected it on the broadcast, but the 1968 team did not start 24-6. I thought that sounded odd, too.

Soriano drew another walk today, bringing him up to 13 this season! Of course, he also went 0 for 3, bringing his average down to .345.

I saw a blurb in yesterday's New York Post about how the Yankees are thinking about trading Erick Almonte for relief help after Jeter comes back (I say why wait?). According to this blurb, several teams think that Almonte can hit well enough to play third.

Huh? He's barely hitting well enough to play shortstop. Eric's batting .272 right now, but it's a pretty empty .272. Giambi's .195 is only slightly less valuable. As for his defense...well, he's making Jeter look like a good shortstop. That's pretty bad. The only reason the Yankees should consider playing him at third next year is because it would make Henson look like less of a dropoff. If the Yankees can get a half-decent reliever for him, I'll be thrilled.

Yeah, leave it to me to always find something to complain about.