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May 17, 2003

by Larry Mahnken

Rangers 8, Yankees 5

Thank you, Angels. Thank you, Jeff DaVanon. Thank you Adam Kennedy. Thank you for keeping the Yankees all alone in first for another day.

Today, we let Juan Acevedo lose another game for us. Why not? He seems so good at it.

Before the season, I strongly advocated two moves for the Yankees: get rid of Raul Mondesi, or at least play Juan Rivera, and get rid of Sterling Hitchcock. So far, I'm glad they've done neither. Mondesi hit another home run tonight (although the ump didn't see it or call it), and Hitchcock was great again in relief. On one hand, I really shouldn't be all that surprised by Hitchcock's recent success, as he's never been that bad a pitcher, just overpriced, but it's surprising to see someone who has been basically given up on for two seasons suddenly pitch effectively, Tuesday's game nonwithstanding. Giambi looks to me like he's ready to break out big time, but Soriano's slump continues. His numbers are starting to look a lot like last season's again, and if he doesn't get out of it quick, they could end up worse.

And of course, there was Matsui's play. Really, I like Godzilla a whole lot. He obviously has a bit of showmanship in him, his cap continually flying off Willie Mays-style. He's fantastic defensively, but much more impressive to me, he doesn't complain. He takes a close pitch for a called third strike, he just turns around and walks back to the dugout. I was shocked that he showed emotion at getting thrown out at first the other night. He's great.

But the Yankees lost, despite a good effort in coming back. One might blame Willie for this loss, as he sent two runner that he shouldn't have, but it was two great throws that got them out at the plate. I prefer to blame Acevedo, since he sucks so much, and keeps getting put in important situations, and blowing it. More proof that Saves are worthless. There's a reason that everyone passed on him, Michael Kay, it's because he's not a very good pitcher. He doesn't deserve closer money. Just because he thinks he does doesn't me you should, too.

Bill James pointed yesterday out that the Red Sox bullpen has a better ERA than the Yankees bullpen. Except that's not saying much. God, I hope Contreras can be a stopper.