Sunday, September 30, 2007

NY newspapers preview the playoffs

“We basically lucked out when we played them,” Torre said. “At our place, they really weren’t swinging the bats very well, and at their place, they didn’t have Hafner."

That quote from Yankee manager Joe Torre about the Yankes 6-0 record against the Tribe this year can be found in every New York-area newspaper this morning.

The above version was in the New York Times.

A slightly longer version appeared in The Daily News.

We basically lucked out when we played them at our place," Joe Torre said. "And they weren't really swinging the bats very well at their place and they were without (slugging DH Travis) Hafner. We happened to have Alex on our side in the last game at our place. They play a very aggressive game."

The Daily News of course, not heeding the words of the manager, talked about the Yankees "huge advanatage" going into the series.

On paper, it'd be easy to believe the Yankees have a huge advantage, considering they outscored Cleveland 49-17, averaging 8.16 runs in the six games. They batted .348 against Cleveland and slugged 14 homers. A-Rod had six homers, Jason Giambi four. The only regular who didn't hit .300 against Cleveland is Melky Cabrera, who batted .280. The pitching staff had a 2.67 ERA.

The Yankees swept the Indians at the Stadium in April despite starting the trio of Chase Wright, Kei Igawa and Darrell Rasner. In the final game of that series, the Indians led 6-2 with their closer, Joe Borowski, on the mound but lost, 8-6. Rodriguez smashed a walk-off three-run homer.

The Yankees haven't faced lefty C.C. Sabathia, one of the Indians' two Cy Young candidates. They beat Fausto Carmona once, but Carmona also threw six strong innings against them in April.

To its credit, Newsday - the Long Island daily paper - advises its readers to look beyond the stats when evaluating the series against the Tribe. This is probably the fairest evaluation of the Tribe to be found in the New York media this morning. In particular, it mentions the quality of the Tribe pitching staff, and - with good reason - finds closer Joe Borowski to be the only chink in the pitching armor.

The Record - which covers the mostly ritzy Jersey suburbs northwest of the city - reports the Yankees, and in particular Derek Jeter, are giving the Indians their due respect.

"You can throw every number out -- all that stuff. You still have to play the games."

But the paper itself didn't seem to be listening.

Despite their wild-card status, and the potential of one fewer home game, the Yankees will be viewed as the favorite -- and Jeter will still plead that the Yanks' past performance against Cleveland doesn't make a difference.

The Star-Ledger - which is based in Newark and covers NJ suburbs and the old, gritty cities south and west of NYC - ran pretty much the same article, only with a few more quotes from a larger group of Yankees saying pretty much the same thing.

Finally, The New York Times' Murray Chass - who has been a baseball writer at the Old Gray Lady for eons - gives the Tribe credit for clawing their way to the top the hard way this season.

---
One bit of news from the Yankee camp. Hideki Matsui was sent back to New York yesterday to have fluid drained from his knee.

The Yankees say the knee has been bothering the leftfilder since July, but they are also saying he likely will be limited to DH duty.

That means Johnny Damon - who has battled nagging injuries himself for most of the season - will have to start in left and the slump-ridden Melky Cabrera is the only option in center.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

well the season is finally over - or is it just beginning ?

the tribe and NY is certainly one the more interesting series

they dont even know the NL matchups yet

boston will roll past LA - LA is a choke

does SD and colorado have a playoff game for wildcard

laffey was pretty consistent as a starter - trbie will need a LF next year

lofotn probably wont be back and guttierrez should be RF

paper said they wll pick up option on byrd = 8 million

I dont know I would dump him and spend that money on a good bat for the OF or CC

I would be willing to go with CC, fausto, westbrook, laffey

and sowers or lee or another free agent

Ron Vallo said...

I think they're going to trade lee which leaves laffey as #4 and a big hole at #5 if they don't retain byrd. he's pretty good in the back of the rotation.

they need an everyday leftfielder who can hit, which they could probably get in trade for lee and maybe a decent prospect.

or they could trade peralta for a leftfielder and move cabrera back to his natural position and barfield back to 2B.

peralta's just not my kind of player and barfield is not as bad as he was this year.

they also have choo and francisco but I don;t think you want to leave both right and left field to players who don't even have a full year in the league yet.

moose said...

lets change leagues for a minute - hats off to the rockies winnig 13 of 14 and probably going to winthe playoff tonight. hats off to charlie also and the phillies - what a slug fest phillies and rockies - reminds me of the 95 indians - does anybody have a pitcher - these will be softball scores

cubs and backs - better pitching

chokes - mets and padres

so the games are 6:30 thursday and 5:07 friday - hurry home

I may miss part of fridays game

Ron Vallo said...

for those of us who get up at 4:30, the game times for Thursday and Sunday (6:30) are more than we could ask for. no trying to function on 4 hours of sleep.

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