Saturday, April 24, 2010

MLB.TV Review (PS3)

This is an unbiased review. I am not being paid to review this product and the reviews is based on my personal opinion.

I am not only a Yankee fan but a fan of baseball. Nothing brings me more joy than sitting back and watching a baseball game. Unfortunately the Yankees are not on all day so I was really considering subscribing to my cable companies baseball package "MLB extra innings".

Earlier this week the MLB and PS3 teamed up to bring MLB.TV streaming capabilities onto the PS3. When I saw this I became very excited due to the fact MLB.TV undercut what I was going to pay my cable company by 60 dollars (it would have been 80 but I got the premium package). I jumped on ordering up MLB.TV and linking it to my PS3.

The PS3 app is very smooth. The dashboard (pictured below) provides a live scoreboard and even while you are watching a game you can click O and go back to the dashboard. All games are streamed in HD depending on your internet connection and the picture looks great. I have had a few slight pauses but I think that is just the broadcast not the service. There is one small gripe that I do have, the screen is not completely filled up. There are two small bars on either side and even thinner bars at the bottom and top. They don't really detract from the viewing experience but when it comes to HD anything I become very picky.

If you are a fan baseball in general this is for you 100%. Great picture quality, fast loading times (for me), awesome interface. If you live out of your favorite teams area this would also be a great service to pick up.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Breaking Down Vazquez's Third Start

I have been paying special attension to VazquezEven Joe Giradri said it was time for Vazquez to get a win and thankfully he did. Hopefully this will be a boost to his confidence but this wasn't exactly the start I was hoping for out of Javy. What he did adjust for this start was his delivery. His pitches were finally getting the movement that he wanted instead of just being meatballs over the plate. His velocity was improved a little as well reaching 91, which is low for him but better than last start (88-90). What Vazquez didn't do was make his pitches, throughout the game there were a few jams due to walks and then Javy would leave pitches over the plate (especially later in the game) that would be smashed for hits. He is lucky that it was only three runs and he picked up the win. His control was slightly better than his previous outings improving his strike to ball ratio from 1.5 (last start) to 2 last night. Vazquez is not back to normal yet, but this start is at least a step in the right direction. He still needs to get his velocity higher and work on executing his pitches.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

4/20- Yankees at A's: Game 20

  1. Derek Jeter SS
  2. Nick Johnson DH
  3. Mark Teixeira 1B
  4. Alex Rodriguez 3B
  5. Robinson Cano 2B
  6. Jorge Posada C
  7. Nick Swisher RF
  8. Curtis Granderson CF
  9. Brett Gardner LF

RHP Javier Vazquez (0-2, 9.82)

  1. Rajai Davis CF
  2. Daric Barton 1B
  3. Ryan Sweeney RF
  4. Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B
  5. Kurt Suzuki C
  6. Eric Chavez DH
  7. Mark Ellis 2B
  8. Travis Buck LF
  9. Cliff Pennington SS

LHP Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 3.38)

TIME/TV: 10:05 p.m./YES Network

Vazquez's Problem "Easily Fixable"

As I said in the last post highlighting the start of the Yankees season, to put it bluntly, Javy Vazquez is struggling. If you have watched any of his starts you can see he is leaving pitches over the plate, his low 90s fastball and the overall lack of confidence on the mound. Boos showered him as he exited his last start; not exactly the redeeming return to New York he was looking for. In the time since his past start Vazquez has been hard at work with Dave Eiland to correct these problems.

Vazquez says that the ball is not moving due to his rushed delivery, this is attributed to the rush that comes with being a major league starting pitcher. The flaw is "easily correctable" according to Jav and something he has dealt with his entire career. Even Jorge agrees: "Everything is flat. The ball, instead of going downhill, it stays up in the zone and that's prime hitting area". That nasty bite is what helped Vazquez achieve 238 Ks.

He is not worried about his velocity, which is down to 89-91 mph as apposed to what he says should be 91-93 and topping off at 94. "That is not cause for concern" he said because he is still building up arm strength.

Perhaps (like Swisher) he just needs a break from Yankee stadium and this west coast trip will do him right.

Everyone, including me, still has faith in Vazquez. Cashman put it nicely: "I wouldn't have traded for him if I didn't"

Photo: Antonelli/News

Social HR Software

Trying to make HR software social is a challenge. But Social HR software, or Social HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems) does exactly that, which is good for Human Resource (HR) departments. This site doesn't consider payroll software much but takes a long hard look at HR software and systems along with the market leading HR vendors such as SAP, Oracle, Workday, Infor (Lawson), Sage, ADP, Cerridian and Ultimate Software.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A (Near) Perfect Yankee Start

The Yankees have jumped out to their best start since 2003. Boasting a 9-3 record with 60 runs scored and 47 runs allowed they Yanks are looking like the finely tuned machine that won it all last year. Granderson has meshed nicely into the Yankees providing power and speed at the bottom of the order, his hitting against lefties hasn't been dreadful either (4/16 .250). Jeter is being Jeter. Cano is actually on fire, batting .340 with 4 home runs though he is still a dreadful 3 for 16 with RiSP. Like the Yankees last year C.C. also started off slow in '09; Just like the 2010 Yankees this years C.C. is in top form (2-0 2.84 ERA). A.J.'s first two starts I would classify as lucky but third he looked in complete control. Pettitte is throwing the ball like it is 1996 again. Hughes has only one start but in that start his curve was dropping hard and he picked up a nice win. I could only count around 3 of the much talked about improved change-up that he worked on in the spring. The bullpen has looked great with opposing teams only batting .236 against them.
In the title it says (Near) because as happy as Yankee fans are there are still some kinks that need to be worked out. Mark Teiexera has gotten off to the worst cold streak in his career. He showed signs of life last game belting a home run to right. Javy Vazquez who was coming off a great year with the Braves has looked flat. His stuff looks great and he is getting hitters into a lot of favorable counts. With 2 strikes this year players are hitting .346 against Vazquez. This is just a lack of closing; last year batters hit .154 with 2 strikes on them. Those stats are bolded so you can really see that this guy is just not trusting his stuff this year with 2 strikes. He is leaving pitches over the plate when he doesn't have to. I am sure that Eiland is all over this. Perhaps the shift from the easier N.L. to the big bad A.L. east shook Javy. His next start is tomorrow in the first game of the series vs the A's. Nick Swisher has been cold as ice, in contrast to his power surge last year. Batting just .200 (still sporting a good OBP of .347) and in the last 7 days Nick is 1 for 19. What is interesting to me is his numbers at Yankee Stadium. So far this year he is bating .053 at home and .333 when he is away.
In this upcoming late night series against the Athletics the Yankees who are struggling can try to bust out of their slumps. I would bet money that Nick hits over .300 in this series.
As for the standings, which are pretty meaningless at this point in the season, (if you remember last year the Jays were in first for most of April) the Yankees are a half game out of first:

Contest: See Bernie Williams Live at the Bergen PAC

Here is another Chuck Knoblog contest.

You could win 2 tickets to go see Bernie Williams play Live at the Bergen PAC on Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 8PM in Englewood, NJ!

All you have to do is answer this trivia question:

"Who is the last pitcher to throw 4 strikeouts in one inning?"

The first person to email me the answer will receive 2 tickets to see Bernie live in concert to play music from his album Moving Forward.

Englewood is just a 15 minute drive from NYC. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

4/17- Rangers at Yankees: Game 11

Yankees (7-3)
  1. Derek Jeter SS
  2. Nick Johnson DH
  3. Mark Teixeira 1B
  4. Alex Rodriguez 3B
  5. Robinson Cano 2B
  6. Jorge Posada C
  7. Curtis Granderson CF
  8. Nick Swisher RF
  9. Brett Gardner LF

RHP A.J. Burnett
Notes: Today is my first game at the stadium. I am heading out now. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

4/15- Angles at Yankees: Game 9

  1. Derek Jeter SS
  2. Nick Swisher RF
  3. Mark Teixeira 1B
  4. Alex Rodriguez 3B
  5. Robinson Cano 2B
  6. Jorge Posada C
  7. Marcus Thames DH
  8. Curtis Granderson CF
  9. Randy Winn LF
RHP Phil Hughes  
(8-3, 3.03 ERA in '09)

ANGELS (3-6)
  1. Erick Aybar SS
  2. Bobby Abreu RF
  3. Torii Hunter CF
  4. Hideki Matsui DH
  5. Kendry Morales 1B
  6. Howie Kendrick 2B
  7. Mike Napoli 2B
  8. Brandon Wood 3B
  9. Reggie Willits LF
LHP Scott Kazmir
(10-9, 4.89 ERA in '09)
(images via ESPN)

TV: My9/MLB Network
NOTES: This is Phil Hughes season debut and also the rubber game vs the Angles. All three of the Yankees series have been split to 1-1 and the Yankees have won the last game everytime so far. Hopefully they can keep it up!

What's Wrong With Javy?

People will treat Vazquez's 2nd start as a cause for panic, the flashback of 2004 are coming back sending chills down Yankee fans spines'. I however am not worried about Javy. His stuff is still good, actually it is really good. The thing that he is lacking is aggression. If you watched the game against the Angles you saw that he got a lot of pitchers in 2 strike counts. After that however he kept throwing way outside, as if he was trying to force the ball onto the corner instead of pounding hitter like he did with the Braves. I think Dave Eiland will work with Vazquez to get his confidence back. Though he velocity wasn't high it wasn't last year either. Once he gets himself right he can start helping this team win. I still think he will win around 15 games for the Yanks and I think fans just need to give him a chance. If he is still doing this in June by all means boo him off the mound but this is April. Players are still sorting themselves out. Don't boo a guy off the mound for giving up some runs in his second outing. We are classier than that, New York.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I Love Chan Ho Park (Funny Video)

Chan Ho answers his critics after his opening night blunder:

After Five!

It's only been five games, yeah I know, but this 2010 version of the Yankees seems to have the confidence of a team that knows they are going to win. I am sure if you asked any of the players they would tell you how tough it is repeating. I cannot disagree with that. But this Yankee squad went into Boston, in the opening season series, and took the series 2-1. A big deal? Not if you look at the whole season. But if you look at the psyche of the two teams it has to mean something.
A couple of items I observed. The Yankees show no fear of Josh Beckett. It fact, thy have pounded him the last couple of times. The Yankees beat Jonathon Papelbon again on Curtis Granderson's homer in the tenth. This is big for two reasons. One, Granderson gets off to a great start as a Yankee making it easier to be accepted by our fans. Two, it puts that doubt in Papelbon's mind that the Yankees got to him. A good start in Boston.
Of course in Yankee land there is always a little negative around. Javy Vasquez got off to a rough start on Friday leading some to speculate about his pitching in a Yankee uniform. I believe it's just a little early to form opinions on Vasquez. Let him get to the Stadium first. But Saturday's gem by CC. made everyone forget the night before. Acting like a true ace of the staff, Sabathia went 7-2/3 innings of no hit ball leading the Yanks to a big win over Tampa Bay. Once again, the team bounced back from a loss to set themselves up for a series win. This looks to be another fun season in the Bronx!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

4/10- Yankees at Rays: Game 5

  1. Derek Jeter SS
  2. Nick Johnson DH
  3. Mark Teixeira 1B
  4. Alex Rodriguez 3B
  5. Robinson Cano 2B
  6. Nick Swisher RF
  7. Curtis Granderson CF
  8. Brett Gardner LF
  9. Francisco Cervelli C

CC Sabathia LHP
(0-0, 8.44)
Career vs. Rays

RAYS (3-1)
  1. Jason Bartlett SS
  2. Carl Crawford LF
  3. Ben Zobrist 2B
  4. Evan Longoria 3B
  5. B.J. Upton CF
  6. Willy Aybar 1B
  7. Pat Burrell DH
  8. Kelly Shoppach C
  9. Gabe Kapler RF

RHP Wade Davis
(2-2, 3.72 in 2009)
Career vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 3:10 p.m./FOX

WEATHER: Dome Stadium. 71 and no wind.

UMPIRES: HP Wally Bell, 1B Laz Diaz, 2B Vic Carapazza, 3B James Hoye

NOTES: Tex is still hitless. Wade Davis is their 5th starter; we skipped Hughes so he could get some more work in a simulated spring training game.

Friday, April 9, 2010

4/9- Yankees at Rays: Game 4

  1. Derek Jeter SS
  2. Nick Johnson DH
  3. Mark Teixeira 1B
  4. Alex Rodriguez 3B
  5. Robinson Cano 2B
  6. Jorge Posada C
  7. Nick Swisher RF
  8. Marcus Thames LF
  9. Curtis Granderson CF

RHP Javier Vazquez


  1. Jason Bartlett SS
  2. Carl Crawford LF
  3. Ben Zobrist RF
  4. Evan Longoria 3B
  5. Carlos Pena 1B
  6. B.J. Upton CF
  7. Willy Aybar DH
  8. Dioner Navarro C
  9. Sean Rodriguez 2B

LHP David Price

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yankees Home Opener Info

This was just tweeted by the Yankees PR department:
"Yankees to hand out rings to players at home opener 4/13 vs. LAA: Kristin Chenoweth to sing anthem: B. Williams to throw out 1st pitch."

Bernie is a great first pitch choice, he defiantly won't bounce it. Kristin Chenoweth was in Wicked and Pushing Daisies and to me that is a weak choice for the home opener.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

4/7- Yankees at Red Sox: Game 3

  1. Derek Jeter SS
  2. Nick Johnson DH
  3. Mark Teixeira 1B
  4. Alex Rodriguez 3B
  5. Robinson Cano 2B
  6. Jorge Posada C
  7. Curtis Granderson CF
  8. Nick Swisher RF
  9. Brett Gardner LF
LHP Andy Pettitte
18-9, 3.74 ERA against Boston
Limited to a 100 pitch limit around.

RED SOX (1-1)
  1. Jacoby Ellsbury LF
  2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
  3. Victor Martinez C
  4. Kevin Youkilis 1B
  5. David Ortiz DH
  6. Adrian Beltre 3B
  7. J.D. Drew RF
  8. Mike Cameron CF
  9. Marco Scutaro SS
RHP John Lackey

5-8 with a 4.26 ERA in 21 appearances -- 20 starts -- versus New York.

NOTES: Yankees picked up former Padre 1B/OF Chad Huffman off of waivers and he was sent to AAA. Chan Ho Park is "sick" so he will not be available tonight (good news). Joba is available but less likely to go according to Girardi:
“I’m not afraid for him to go back-to-back at this point, but I’m not real comfortable – depending on how he feels – with him going three out of four days yet.”
It is going to be a hot 85 in Boston tonight. The difference in temperature in the 3 games is really unusual.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

ESPN is Racist?

Winn is looking a bit pasty, right?
(click for a full size look)
Found this on ESPN while browsing through the game photos. This image is not photoshopped at all besides adding the red line and the "Found by TheChuckKnoblog".

Anyway the image depicts Randy Winn, Granderson and Gardner celebrating after the win. Now ESPN's first mistake was saying Randy Winn is Marcus Thames. Then they made the humorous mistake of saying Brett Gardner is Randy Winn. I know the man is lighter but not that light.

I find it funny that the 3 new additions to the team (all african-americans) were lumped together.

I am kidding about the Racist thing but it drew you in.

4/6- Yankees at Red Sox: Game 2

Derek Jeter SS
Nick Johnson DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada C
Nick Swisher RF
Marcus Thames LF
Curtis Granderson CF

A.J. Burnett
0-0, 0.00

Red Sox (1-0)
y Ellsbury LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Victor Martinez C
Kevin Youkilis 1B
David Ortiz DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
J.D. Drew RF
Mike Cameron CFMarco Scutaro SS


Jon Lester
0-0, 0.00

TV: YES Network
Radio: 880
Notes: Marcus Thames is making his Yankee debut due to his general success against lefties. He is a career 1-2 with a long ball against the brave Jon Lester. Tonight keep an eye on the chemistry between Posada and Burnett. Though the rift was over blown by the media it is vital that these two win together. As I said in the last post Phil Hughes is with the team tonight. It seems Girardi is playing match-ups to determine who will come in from the pen. We just ask he doesn't bring in Chan Ho Park. My guess is Joba will be good to go though throwing 30 on sunday. Marte, though he looked awful, is physically fine and is able to pitch tonight.

There will be a light rain in Boston to start the game.


The Return Part 2

In an extended spring training game yesterday, Phil Hughes struck out 12 while pitching 8 and 1/3 innings. The Chuck Knoblog has been a Philiever since the start, this strong showing before his return as the Yankees 5th starter has me excited once more. During this simulated game Hughes only gave up 3 hits while throwing 70 out of his 100 pitches for strikes. He said he was "very happy" with his control. Hughes was lights out last year in the pen but had a poor postseason performance. Phil will be returning to the team today for the game against the Sox. He will make one more spring start on saturday before he makes his season debut. Mark you calendars his first start (the 2nd coming) will be April 15 against Angles. Not only are we looking forward to the 15th, Hughes wants to prove himself as well:

"I'm looking forward to the 15th. It's the first step of this year, and I'm looking forward to starting off well and keeping it going."

This could be a breakout year for Phil who spent the offseason improving his changeup to add to his arsenal of fastball cutter and that curve. He is still working on it:

"I don't think I'm done working on it, it's never a finished process. I still feel like I can mature and throw my pitches in different scenarios, different counts. Now, with four pitches, I can really pitch."

If what he did last year wasn't really pitching then this year is going to be interesting.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Don't Fuck With Dre Day

"That if you fuck with Dre nigga you're fuckin wit Death Row
And I ain't even slangin them thangs
I'm hollin' one-eight-seven with my dick in yo mouth, beeyatch"
The Sox had Dr. Dre on their side tonight. The Yankee bullpen noticed....and blew it. If you are wondering Dre and Lebron were there promoting a brand new pair of Beats headphones that would carry a Red Sox logo for an extra $100 ($400). The picture is of him after taking some batting practice after the game. I guess Veras saw it and got spooked. I am sure most of you saw the game; I will be posting more stuff about it during the off day tomorrow. There is so much baseball on ESPN tomorrow it will help fill the void left by this $5 whore of a game.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

OPENING NIGHT 4/4- Yankees at Red Sox: Game 1

Yankees (0-0)
  1. Derek Jeter SS
  2. Nick Johnson DH
  3. Mark Teixeira 1B
  4. Alex Rodriguez 3B
  5. Robinson Cano 2B
  6. Jorge Posada C
  7. Curtis Granderson CF
  8. Nick Swisher RF
  9. Brett Gardner LF
C.C. Sabathia
0-0, 0.00

Red Sox (0-0)
  1. Ellsbury LF
  2. Pedroia 2B
  3. V Mart C
  4. Youkilis 1B
  5. Ortiz DH
  6. Beltre 3B
  7. Nancy Drew RF
  8. Cameron CF
  9. Scutaro SS
Josh Beckett
0-0, 0.00