Thursday, July 13, 2017

Yankees First Half Season Review

I haven't written about the Yankees at all this year. Hell, I've barely written about anything at all this year. But anyway, I'm here to break down the first half of the Yankees season and look towards the second half. 

The Yankees' season started with a pretty fantastic April, a mediocre May but stayed in or around first place for the most part. The beginning of June started with a 6 game winning streak. However, the June 9-11 series against the Baltimore Orioles was the last time the Yankees won a friggin series. They've gone 0-7-1 in series since that point. The worst part is they haven't even been playing great teams in that stretch, save for a 3 game set in Houston. After that series sweep against Baltimore, the Yankees were 4 games up in the AL East, and after losing 18 of their final 25 games before the All Star break, the Yankees are now 3.5 games behind Boston. So that's how the roller coaster season has gone so far for the Yanks.

The Good
Aaron. Judge. This guy is simply incredible. They had said that throughout his pro career that when he fails at one level, he conquers it the next season. Well he is certainly conquering his first full major league campaign this season. I'm just glad that the Yankees brought him up in August last year to let him play everyday for the most part, so he could come into the spring with adjustments made. And boy has he made them. Despite being on pace to strike out more than 200 times this season, he has cut down his strikeout percentage by almost 10%. He is hitting the ball to all fields, with power and for average. He is sitting at .329/.448/.691 with a 1.139 OPS, 30 HR, 66 RBI and 75 runs scored. The guy is an absolute monster and I love him. Current frontrunner for the MVP.

The young starters are carrying the Yankees right now. Luis Severino has had a very good first half. A few inconsistent starts wrapped up his all star first half, but he's still the best pitcher the Yankees have. He strikes a lot of batters out and doesn't walk very many which is a great sign. I expect him to come out firing on all cylinders after the timely all star break. The second best starter is rookie Jordan Montgomery. He earned the fifth spot in the rotation in the spring and has been very solid. An ERA in the mid-3s might just earn him second place in the rookie of the year voting (behind Judge obviously). Walks hurt Montgomery early but expect his numbers to get even better as he really starts to hone in his command at the big league level. He's a former Gamecock so it was tough to accept at first, but I love Gumby if he continues to pitch as well as he has. 

A few other bright spots. Gary Sanchez, Starlin Castro, Matt Holliday, Didi Gregorious and Aaron Hicks have all been very productive when on the field. This lineup is so deep when healthy and it's the clear strength of the team. You can't pitch around Judge every at bat when he's followed by El Gary AKA The Kraken mashing behind him. He ended the half in a slump but he still earned an all star bid while only playing a little more than 50 games. Castro has had a breakout season really putting up solid numbers and he earned an all star bid as well. Holliday is probably the best offseason free agent signing made by any team. For the amount the Yankees are paying him, the production they're getting from him isn't fair. Hicks is having a breakout season after an awful 2016. Didi is one of the best shortstops in baseball. This lineup is incredible when healthy.

The Bad
Injuries. The Yankees got hit with the injury bug in June as CC, Castro, Hicks and Holliday went down. Sanchez and Didi were out for all of April basically. Chapman missed over a month. It's tough to win a lot of games when this many impact players go down, and go down all at the same time. However the Yanks are still above .500 and should be getting Castro and Holliday back soon. Chapman seems to be returning to form after struggling a bit when coming back from the DL as well.

First base and third base, typical power positions have been just about awful for the Yankees. First base especially. Greg Bird had a fantastic spring, but lingering pain from a foul ball off his ankle hampered his start and went to the DL after 60 at bats hitting .100. He has yet to return and some are worried he won't return at all this season. We Yankees fans were lucky enough to witness Chris Carter fill in for the most part as he struck out almost every at bat, didn't live up to the power he had last year with Milwaukee, and eventually became a horrid fielder as well. Dude couldn't even catch balls right at his chest from shortstop. Chase Headley had a solid April but he has mostly flat out sucked since. He had a little hot streak for about two weeks when everyone else was sucking but that's about it. I like Chase Headley the person, but Chase the ballplayer can get off my team.

The Ugly
The bullpen. They started off fine. Betances and Chapman were dealing. Clippard seemed to be decent in the 7th. Warren was great. But then injuries to Chapman and Warren forced Clippard into bigger roles, in which he absolutely SUCKED. I want him off this team right now. He's horrible. Betances thrived as the fill in closer, but for some reason Betances ended his first half in a real funk. He went from a 0.40 ERA to a 3.29 ERA in about a week. It was embarrassing to watch. He's walking a ton of guys and he needs to figure it out. The bullpen has blown a bunch of leads during this shitty stretch and it has to stop for the Yankees to go far.

Joe Girardi's stupid fucking face.

The Second Half
I'm expecting the Yankees to make a trade for another solid bullpen arm. It just simply has to happen. The starters have been inconsistent but the bullpen needs to be lock down almost every game. It's just how the game works these days. Starters go 6 innings and then 3 arms need to shut down teams the rest of the way. Especially with Binder Joe at the helm. Some say the Yanks need to trade for another starter but I say we just call up Chance Adams. He's balling in AAA and I think he's earned his shot. Honestly, trade Michael Pineda for whatever you can get for him now because he STINKS and call up Adams. Tanaka has been horrible but you don't just have 3 fantastic seasons to start your career and then forget how to pitch. I'm confident in him figuring out whatever is making him suck and he'll be OK. CC has been a pretty surprising solid back end of the rotation guy. Sevy and Gumby are the top two right now in the rotation. As far as the offense goes, the Yankees acquired a first baseman from the Brewers today who is having a breakout season in AAA this year. I don't know what to expect from him if he gets called up but it's probably gonna be better than Ji Man Choi and Austin Romine platooning first base. Also, getting some of these guys back from injuries might as well be trades. I'm not sure what the plan is with Clint Frazier when guys come back but as far as I'm concerned, don't take him out of the line up right now because he's been one of the lone bright spots since being called up July 1st. And if the Yanks do make a trade, I'd prefer not to lose Torres, Frazier, Adams, Rutherford or Sheffield but it might be difficult to get a solid piece without giving up one of them.

I think the Yankees will win the division unless Boston makes a trade that really puts them above others. Their third base problem is worse than the Yanks so if they make a big trade for a third baseman, that will scare the shit out of me. The Yankees have the best offense in the AL behind Houston and will only get better when they get guys back. They also have a run differential in the +90s despite only being 4 games over .500 right now. That usually means the team will start winning some more games. They're losing a lot of one run games which isn't good, but they have the capability to absolutely crush teams relentlessly when they win. We've got a big 4 game series this weekend right out of the gate up in Boston. This series can go a long way in how New York feels about the rest of the second half. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Was Dan Scott the Greatest TV Character of All Time?

I just finished up One Tree Hill last night, and while I know the show ended in 2012, this was the first time I'd ever seen the show. By season 2, Dan Scott had emerged as my favorite character. Not because he was a likable guy but because he was the most over the top dickhead villain I'd ever seen. Everything he said made me crack up because it was more of an asshole comment than the previous. While his comments might make everyone else hate the guy, they made me love him. He then, of course, goes and (SPOILER) murders his brother Keith for no real reason which made me hate him for about an episode. And then he spit on his grave and the over the top dickhead villain was BACK. Not only was he out here murdering some of my other favorite characters in cold blood, but he was spitting on their graves like an absolute savage. I loved it. Missed Keith, but holy fuck did I love Dan Scott pimping all over his grave, becoming mayor, and just not giving a fuck for a while.

And then, in the greatest 180 since Tony Hawk retired, Dan Scott became a good guy. Admitted his murder, went to prison, flipped burgers for a while, saved Quinn from murdering a chick, saved Jamie's dumb ass a billion times, saved Nathan from the crazy blackmailing chick, and finally saved Nathan from his kidnappers. Sure, he stared Keith in the eyes and shot him right in the heart, but he saved so many lives after that I think he made up for it. Dude's a boss and gave some of the best asshole one liners in television history.

Unfortunately I couldn't find great highlight packages or quote lists for Danny Boy, so I'll just leave you with this gif of him saving the god damn day at the end of the series.

In short, yes it's very possible he is.

P.S. One Tree Hill is a very good show. I recommend it to anyone who hasn't watched it yet.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I'm Certain You're Insane if You Don't Think Matt Niskanen's Hit on Crosby was Premeditated Attempted Murder

Capitals down 2-0 in the series, Ovechkin looking right down the barrel of another embarrassing postseason, Penguins making the Caps look like a team of Michelle Kwans out there on the ice. Perfect time to pull off a calculated, premeditated execution of the best player in the world, Sidney Crosby. It only really makes the Capitals look more embarrassing. Can't beat em so you assassinate them. Great tactic. I don't wanna hear anything about this being accidental. The Capitals STINK in the playoffs every year and here they are again sucking it up against the Pens in 2017. Ovechkin and co. hold a team meeting and within 5 and a half minutes in game 3, Sidney Crosby is dead on the ice with a head injury, leg injury or maybe both.

PERFECT execution by the scumbag duo Ovechkin and Niskanen too. At least something they practiced went according to plan. Ovechkin smacks Crosby in the head with his stick, then trips him, sending him directly into Sid's former teammate and fuckhead Matt Niskanen for the brutal cross check to the face and the finishing touches on the murder.

People love to call Crosby soft but I don't think anyone comes back in the game after that. I'm hoping for a speedy recovery but with Crosby's history of head injuries, and with the way his leg folded underneath his body, I wouldn't be too sure of that. He was able to skate off with some help so hopefully his leg isn't too bad. I'm definitely worried about a possible concussion though, as I'm sure all Pens fans are. I'd love for him to come back this series and just bury the Capitals franchise once and for all but that might be up to the rest of his star studded teammates. That's the one positive, is that this team knows as well as any what it takes to win with an injured roster. We might be about to witness what Evgeni Malkin can do when a couple of assholes take out his best friend. I mean, we kinda already did last night when he and his teammates forced OT after being down 2-0 with a couple of minutes left. If only the momentum could have lasted a little longer in OT. Wednesday is huge though, going back to DC with a 3-1 lead is a helluva lot better than going back with a 2-2 series tie. I guarantee Mike Sullivan will have the boys ready to go so I'm pumped. Just gotta hope for the best on Sid. Fuck Matt Niskanen, fuck Alex Ovechkin, fuck Barry Trotz, fuck the entire Capitals organization, fuck the city of Washington D.C.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Album Review: Ed Sheeran's Divide

Guys, I'm no music critic but I haven't heard an album this good in a long time. Ed Sheeran is an absolute stud when it comes to putting out hits, and he did not disappoint at all with this new album. This is about as perfect an album as there can be. Not one song on here where my first reaction was "oh this isn't that great, coulda been better." Nope, just all fucking straight heat seeking missiles of volcanic fire flames. I only do song by song reviews for absolutely incredible albums -- which this is -- so here we go...

1. "Eraser": Great start to the 'bum. When it first starts you don't really have any clue that it turns into a banger by the chorus, but it does anyway and it crushes. Heat.

2. "Castle on the Hill": This was released a while ago, but it still might be my favorite song on the album. Just a song Ed wrote on the fly about growing up apparently. Said it was cliche but wanted to do it anyway. Well I'm glad he did because this song is electric. Thich Quang Durc.

3. "Dive": Ed hits you with the first inevitable heart breaking tune here in track 3. Dude is good for like 5 or 6 songs that make you wanna cry every album he tosses out. And they're all incredible. No different here. Flames

4. "Shape of You": First single off the album and it was a solid pick to be so. Upbeat, feel good song. Love it. Everyone knows this song is good af so not much else to say. Fire.

5. "Perfect": First ballad of the 'bum. I have no clue how Ed writes all these unreal love songs but he's one of the best at it, if not THE best. Lava.

6. "Galway Girl": Possibly my favorite song on the album. Just absolutely incredible sound and feel to it. Made to sound like a little Irish tune, this song is just a straight jam. Pompeii-Crushing Hot Ash.

7. "Happier": Get ready to cry again, folks. Ed's got another soul crushing break up tune for ya. Straight Napalm

8. "New Man": I love this song. Honestly pretty hilarious, and it bangs too. Scorched Earth.

9. "Hearts Don't Break Around Here": Nice little ballad again here from Ed. Guy just knows how to write amazing songs. En Fuego

10. "What Do I Know?": Ed gets a little philosophical with this tune. Love can change the world. Well I don't know about that sir, but what do I know? Dante's Inferno.

11. "How Would You Feel (Paean)": God, Eddie just cannot stop making juicy love songs, can he? You wanna know how I'd feel if you told me you loved me, Ed? I'd cum to Jupiter. Blazing Bonfire.

12. "Supermarket Flowers": Oh another song that will make you cry? Thanks Ed. This one is actually sad af though. No one can make sad songs sound so good better than Sheeran and this is just another example. Sizzling Embers.

13. "Barcelona": In love with this absolute JAM. Suuuuuch a good song. How Ed makes songs like this and Supermarket Flowers and make them so well is just beyond me. Chicago Circa October 1871.

14. "Bibia Be Ye Ye": No clue what this song means but it plays. And plays hard. Fuocco.

15. "Nancy Mulligan": I'm pretty sure this is about his grandparents. I wish I could write this good of a song about my grandparents. Would be dope. Also pretty much how I imagine every marriage before like 1970 going down. The Sun.

16. "Save Myself": Finishes it off with a slow little piece. Woulda liked a jam to round out the 'bum, but like I said...All of these songs are fantastic. Pure Scintillation.

Hands down one of the best albums I've ever listened to. Ed Sheeran gets it. Stud. Enjoy folks.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Fire Jam Friday

My man Ed Sheeran with an absolutely electric new album out this past Friday. Leads the pack of the last five Fire Jam Fridays. Not doin so hot over here at TC tho.






Weekly Top 10

Saturday, January 28, 2017

This Is the Greatest Video Ever Made

Doesn't get any better than that. That's like watching Derek Jeter career highlights right there. Just Chills City. Still can't believe the Clemson Tigers are National Champions. What a time. Thanks for the memories Deshaun. DW4EVER.

Fire Jam Friday

I'm really starting to consistently suck at doing these each week, but whatever. This blog is dead and no one reads it. That being said, great music out in the last two weeks so lets get caught up.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Fire Jam Friday

Been way too long since my last blog. Missed Top 10 albums of the year, two FJFs, and Clemson winning the god damn national championship (LET'S FUCKING GO). So here we go. At least you get a shit ton of sick music all at once.

Top 10 Albums of 2016

Fire Jam Friday 1/6

Fire Jam Friday 1/13

Weekly Top 10 of All Time Update

And just for shits and giggles here's the national championship highlights. The boys fuckin did it!