A Very Happy Birthday

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #10 – 4/16/10 – Rangers @ Yankees 

I’m three blog posts behind due to my weekend off while I celebrated my birthday, so let me begin catching up on them now.

Let’s kick it off with the game on April 16th, my Birthday Game!
The game was short and sweet, thanks to Mother Nature once again being on her cycle.
You know, this CC Sabathia kid isn’t bad, he could have a bright future ahead of him. 
What can I say about Sabathia that hasn’t already been said? He has made me forget the days where the Yankees didn’t have
a clear Ace. I just can’t get enough of this man. Luckily, there’s plenty of him to go around.
Ah, my big cuddly CC Bear.

CC Sabathia never ceases to amaze me. I’ve never seen such a large man have such athleticism. He dominates when he’s pitching, he hustles when he’s fielding, and he is a workhorse. His mechanics are absolutely perfect. They have to be, he’s a big boy with powerful pitching. If his mechanics are even the slightest bit off, there is no way he’d be able to eat innings year after year.

He always has this calm demeanor about him. He is confident in his pitching, but he isn’t cocky. He’s a hard worker, while staying efficient. He’s a true star, but you wouldn’t guess it from the way he carries himself. He is humble, but not to the point of discrediting his skills. He has truly become a Yankee, and I hope he continues to be a Yankee until the day he retires.

These are my views of CC Sabathia based on what we’ve all seen from him in his career, especially in his year with us in the Bronx. His start on Friday reaffirmed my beliefs.
His game was cut short because Mother Nature decided to rain on our parade, but she couldn’t take anything away from Sabathia’s amazing start. Yes, he had it easy with the Rangers’ hitters being as impatient at the plate as Yankees fans are with Javier Vazquez, but he still dominated the innings. He pitched through the sixth, giving up one run on three hits, and struck out nine batters before Mother Nature went to town.
He got his second win of the season, and further cemented his place as our Staff Ace. I’ve come to the conclusion that it isn’t fair to judge the Rangers’ hitters based on their performance facing Sabathia. He made them look like a Minor League team. 
I don’t know what more we could ask of CC in his first three starts of the season. He’s usually shaky in April, but he’s shown no signs of that thus far. He’s in mid-season form early in the season, and if he continues at this pace, we could see him top last year’s results. He was third in the voting for the AL Cy Young award in 2009, could he be even better in 2010? 
I know, it’s only April, and too soon to tell, but I don’t see why Sabathia would magically lose his stuff halfway through the season. At the very least, we’ll see 20 wins from him this season. Especially with our monster lineup and top-class defense behind him. He gave us 19 wins last season, despite his rough outings to start the year off. So why wouldn’t he give us at least 20 wins in 2010?
Let’s not forget that Friday’s game was a “wet” performance from CC Sabathia. It was raining, and the ball was wet, yet he still managed to dominate. If that isn’t a testament to the dominance of our Ace, I don’t know what is.
He threw 73 pitches through six innings. Had rain not ended the game early, we would have probably seen him go to the eighth, possibly even handing the ball over to our closer of the night. I don’t know if Mariano would have pitched in the ninth, that would have depended on how big our lead was by then. I doubt we would have seen more than 1.2 innings from our bullpen, which is amazing, especially since Chan Ho Park is injured. 
It’s every team’s dream to have a starting rotation of inning-gobbling pitchers, and rely as little as possible on the bullpen. CC Sabathia is like a dream come true. As always, he showed that he’s a force to be reckoned with, dominating innings, and making the batters he faces look silly along the way.
We won the game 5-1, and continued our hot start to the season.
That was my first birthday present from the Yankees on the night. My second birthday present was something I thought I’d wait longer for.
As you all know, I’m possibly Boone Logan’s number one fan. At first, the attraction to him was purely physical. Hey, I’m a woman. I don’t see why I should hide my physical attraction to our players. I’m confident enough in my knowledge of the sport to show my feminine side. I see nothing wrong with being a knowledgeable fan of baseball, while still being female. Many women think that they need to act like men to survive in a male-dominant field. Not me. Whether it’s in my career, or in my baseball obsession, I’m confident enough to find a balance between being a woman and competing in “A Man’s World”.
Like most of you, when Boone Logan was traded to the Yankees late last year, I knew nothing about him. I looked up his numbers, and they were not impressive at all. I also saw that this wasn’t the first time he was traded as part of a package with Javier Vazquez. My first thought was “Who is this loser that we’re getting?” and I was curious to find out more. Unlike most of you, however, I wasn’t satisfied with making up my own assumptions about him based on his numbers. I’m a firm believer that numbers, while important in baseball, leave a big part of the picture hidden. So, I continued to research this young left-hander, and I came across some videos of him pitching.
The boy can pitch. There is not a single knowledgeable analyst that doesn’t agree that Boone Logan has talent. This talent, however, has been very raw until now. His numbers don’t do him justice at all. He has some filthy pitches, especially that fastball of his. I’ve explained this all before in one of my Spring Training blog posts, so let me re-post an excerpt I wrote about him last month:
Boone Logan is one of those pitchers who are betrayed by their numbers. I’ve said time and time again, numbers and statistics do not come close to telling the whole story. Yes, his numbers thus far in the majors have been less than impressive, but he has good stuff. Logan’s main problem is his command of his pitches. In his years in the major leagues, he’s lacked the control necessary to avoid being lit up in some of his appearances. 

What everyone seems to forget, however, is that Boone is still young. He’s 25 years old, and as a left-handed reliever, it’s normal to have control problems at this age. The big bright spot is that he can pitch, his fastball has been clocked at around 94 MPH, and he also has a good slider, curveball and changeup. Even with his shaky command, Logan has held the lefties he’s faced to a .231 batting average. That isn’t a bad number for a pitcher who’s yet to gain full control of his pitches. During this year’s spring training, Boone Logan has shown good command of his pitches thus far. He had one rough outing, but since then he’s been great. So there’s a big improvement.

… I would love to take a risk and give Boone Logan a chance. With the rest of our arms – I like to call them the “12 Arms Of Fury” – adding Boone Logan would be a low-risk/high-reward move. Give him a chance, if he doesn’t pan out, we still have Marte, and with the other right-handed relievers that we have, losing Gaudin wouldn’t be a tragedy.
I still stand firmly behind my words. I would love to see us take a chance on Boone Logan. 
I’ll admit, I’m not 100% confident in Boone yet, but I do see a big upside to him. He’s no Damaso Marte, not now at least, but Logan would only be Marte’s backup. It’s only April, and we should look at Chan Ho Park’s injury as an opportunity to test our young arms. It’s better to test them in the beginning of the season, than to take a risk on them during the final stretch of the year when we’re in the playoff race. 
If Boone Logan doesn’t pan out, no harm, no foul. We have Marte in the bullpen as our “lefty specialist”, and Chan Ho Park’s injury isn’t season-ending. He’ll be back in no time. If Boone does live up to my personal expectations of him, then we would have yet another solid arm. I don’t know how it will work out when Park is ready to return to the bullpen, I have a feeling that Logan will be sent back down regardless of his performance. Even if he finds himself back in AAA, we would at least know whether or not we can rely on him in the second half of the season, should we need another pitcher.
Calling up Boone Logan in the middle of April is a very low risk/high reward move. Worst case scenario, he gives up a grand slam and doesn’t face another batter until Chan Ho Park comes back to us. If that happens, so what? It’s only April, and that grand slam won’t mean anything. Isn’t it better for him to make a mess of things now, when the results dont matter much in the grand scheme of things, than to do so in September?
Best case scenario, he dominates, and shows that he is a great backup lefty in the bullpen. So, the upside is much stronger than the downside. I’m happy that Boone Logan got the call-up. He now has to prove that he is worthy of the pinstripes. 
Also, I’m happy that I once again get to end my blog post with this…
Boom Boom Boone.

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com


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