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June 19, 2004

A Cup of Tea and Butter Pie
by Larry Mahnken

Now, I haven't been posting on weekends lately, because you haven't been showing up on weekends lately. It's a good deal, it works out well for both of us. You get the weekend off to do things other than read my silly ramblings, I get the weekend off... well, I always work on the weekends, and I have to write Rivals in Exile with Ben, so I guess I don't get the weekends off, and what with the Yankees always playing on the weekend, I'm probably missing something by not posting weekends.

But that's beside the point. You ain't coming, so I felt it was a wasted effort.

I'm writing today for a couple of reasons: the first is to write about my Dad, what with it being Father's Day and all.

I'm a lot like my Dad. We're about the same height, the same build, we've both got red hair--though he has more, damn maternal hereditary baldness gene! We're both smartasses, though I think his filter is a little better than mine, though maybe Mom will disagree with that ;-). We both love the Yankees. And while a lot of people tell me how smart I am, I know that my Dad (and my Mom) are just as smart as me, and all my brains just came from them. I love my Dad, he's about as good a friend as I've ever had.

I guess a lot of guys have semi-adversarial relationships with their dads, I never did. I took out all my teenage bitterness on my Mom. I don't get to see Dad that often, because he and Mom live in Pennsylvania right now, but I think of them all the time.

So Happy Father's Day, Dad. I love you.

The other thing I came to write about was the start by Brad Halsey yesterday (oh yeah, this is a baseball site!). He was everything I could have hoped for, and more than I could have hoped for. He doesn't have overpowering stuff, and he didn't have pinpoint control, but what he did have was confidence in himself. He wasn't afraid to throw the ball over the plate and let hitters get themselves out. Something that gets misconstrued by some people when they interpret Voros' DIPS theory is Balls in Play. Balls in Play are good, not bad, even when you're on the Yankees. As long as you don't walk people or give up home runs, you'll be an effective pitcher. Halsey doesn't do either (despite what happened with Nomo), I think he'll be a good pitcher.

Unfortunately, it probably won't be with the Yankees. With Gabe White being traded to Cincy, that leaves Felix "The Run Fairy™" Heredia as the team's only lefty in the pen (I forget which Chatterer coined that nickname, but I'm letting you know in advance that I'm using it for Monday's RiE). The Yankees obviously won't let Heredia be their only option against Trot Nixon and David Ortiz, so they'll have to get someone else.

I'd like to see them use Halsey in the role, especially because he can be an emergency starter. But with his stock high right now, I see them packaging him with Navarro and perhaps even Duncan to get Freddy Garcia and Mike Myers from Seattle, and pushing Contreras into the pen. I don't like that move, though having Freddy Garcia as the fourth starter probably settles things down a little bit. I just don't see him or Myers being anything special, and certainly not worth trading quality prospects for. They don't need either of them, and I really think Halsey can do the job.

Yanks won yesterday, though it was a fairly weak offensive effort again. But it really looks like Bernie Williams is an offensive force again, and if we can just use our psychic willpower to get Joe to DH him against righties and put Lofton in center, I'm gonna feel awfully good about things for the rest of the summer. Yeah, Giambi, A-Rod, Posada, Matsui and Sheffield are slumping a little, but they'll heat up. It happens.

Boston grabbed onto an outcropping on their fall down the cliff, and climbed back up a little, but they slipped again a little bit yesterday. Yanks spend next week with Baltimore and the Mets, while the Sox get the Phils and Twinkies, so let's hope we can kick them in the head a few times until they let go. Unlikely though it is, I'd like to put this division away early, so Rivera and Gordon can get a lot of September rest before the playoffs.