Yankees now 0-5 against Red Sox

With their 7-3 win over their hated rivals on Tuesday night, the Red Sox swept the Yankees for the second time this season and are now 5-0 against the Bombers this season. Jason Bay hit a two-run homer (his seventh of the season) off Yankees’ starter Joba Chamberlain in the first inning to spark Boston’s victory.

It’s only May, but it has to be somewhat troubling to the Yankees that they are nothing more than a .500 club at this point after spending as much as they did to fix their pitching staff in the offseason. They currently have the second worst ERA in baseball at 5.86 and opponents are currently batting .277 off them to date.

Part of the Yankees’ issues, as they’re finding out, is that they now play in Coors Field Jr. There’s a jet stream in right center at the new Yankee Stadium and opponents are hitting bombs as if the Yankees were hosting the Home Run Derby on a nightly basis. Of course, not having Alex Rodriguez in the lineup has been an issue as well, although he is set to return soon so that all could change.

But what has to be most troubling to the Yankees is that they’re just 3-7 against AL East opponents so far this season. And it’s not like they were facing the same red-hot Boston team the past couple days that rattled off 11 straight wins during the month of April; the BoSox had just been abused by Tampa entering their two-game series with New York. Opponents have largely teed off on Josh Beckett and Jon Lester so far this season, yet each had solid outings against a Yankee offense that was supposed to once again be one of the best in baseball.

Again, it’s early and once A-Fraud gets back into the lineup the Yankees’ offensive production should pick up again. Plus, they have always been relatively slow starters before picking it up around the All-Star break, but Joe Girardi and the rest of the Yankees’ brass can’t feel great that they’re sitting at 13-13 with that payroll and are now 0-5 against the Red Sox.

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10 MLB players to root for in the steroid era

When I was growing up, my friends and I used to walk down to an open field next to a church and play baseball with four rubber bases, one aluminum bat and a tennis ball.

On the way to the field, we used to have mock drafts where we pretended we were general managers picking players for our lineup. When we got to the field, we had to do our best to simulate what each player’s batting stance looked like and then hit like that player.

My favorite player growing up was Giants’ first baseman Will Clark, so after I drafted him I always had to bat lefty (which was a bit problematic since I was right handed and never mastered the art of switch hitting) and stick my right leg straight out in front of me in order to impersonate his stance. And just like “The Thrill,” I had to wear thick eye black and stick a wad of chewing tobacco (well, he had chewing tobacco, I had Big League Chew) in one of my cheeks.

Those are the memories that always make me laugh at myself as a kid. It’s also memories like those that also make me wonder what I would have done if I were a young baseball fan growing up in what should be known as “the steroid era.”

If I drafted Mark McGwire, I guess I would have had to put pillow cushions in each of my sleeves to replicate his big, steroid-enhanced arms. If I drafted Roger Clemens, I guess I would have had to mimic taking HGH before I took the mound and then subsequently pretend to give my girlfriend an injection just as the Rocket did to his wife. (And then lie about everything if I was questioned later about the allegations.)

And I guess if I had drafted Alex Rodriguez, I would have had to not only mimic the steroid use, but also tip one of my friends off about what pitch was coming so that he could pad his stats.

I feel bad for young baseball fans these days. Chances are that their favorite player is/was on the juice and therefore their sports heroes are cheating in order to gain a competitive edge. As it turns out, Will Clark was kind of a dick. But as far as we all know, he played the game the right way and never tried to gain an edge over his fellow players. And unlike A-Fraud, Clark would have rather cut off both his arms than tip an opponent to what pitch was coming.

In effort to help out the young fans across this fine nation, I’ve compiled a list of 10 MLB players (in no particular order) that people can root for as we drudge our way through the steroid era. As far as we know, none of these players have ever taken performance-enhancers, nor have they disrespected the game by playing solely for stats, money or anything else. These aren’t only good guys, but they’re also tremendous ball players that probably don’t get enough credit for staying clean in an unclean baseball fraternity.

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Curt Schilling weighs in on A-Fraud mess

Curt Schilling has been an outspoken critic of players who used steroids and HGH, and he doesn’t hold back on the revelation that A-Rod tested positive for steroids, which contradicts A-Rod’s past statements on the matter.

Schilling wants Major Leaugue Baseball to release all information on all the positive tests.

I’d be all for the 104 positives being named, and the game moving on if that is at all possible. In my opinion, if you don’t do that, then the other 600-700 players are going to be guilty by association, forever.

It’s not about good and bad people, because Mark McGwire and Jason Giambi are two of the kindest human beings ever. Andy Pettite is a fantastic person. That’s seemingly got nothing to do with anything. One hundred and four players made the wrong decision, and it appears that not only was it 104, but three of the greatest of our, or any, generation appear to be on top of this list.

And before anyone asks, I’ll make it clear: My name will not appear on any lists of positive tests. I’ve never tested positive for steroids or HGH, and I’ve never taken steroids or HGH in my life, ever. You don’t need to call the union, or an agent to verify that.

Baseball needs to address this. The story will never end, and we’re seeing more and more players whose Hall-of-Fame careers are tainted by the use of these drugs.

It’s stunning to see practically all of Jose Canseco’s allegtions turn out to be true. I heard him recently on Howard Stern, and he regrets exposing other players. He’s been reduced to boxing Danny Bonaduce, and he realizes that his vendetta against Major League Baseball has not made his life any better, despite being vindicated as the facts about steroid and HGH usage by the game’s stars have been exposed. Regardless of his motivations, Canseco has been much more honest than those he accused. Some of the most respected players in the game have been exposed as liars and cheaters, proving once again that this is a business, and money and fame can distort the ethics of many players, even those blessed with the most talent.

Should Jeter defend A-Rod?

In the wake of Joe Torre’s new book set to hit the shelves on Tuesday, Wallace Matthews of Newsday writes that Derek Jeter should step up and publicly defend Alex Rodriguez as his teammate and captain.

Alex Rodriguez & Derek JeterNo one, of course, tells Derek Jeter what to do, and I don’t presume to try. But it is my considered opinion that Jeter can hide for only so long behind his stock answer, “I haven’t read the book yet.”

The book is out Tuesday. Time to start reading. And he doesn’t even have to read it to come out and say, simply: “Alex is my teammate. Alex is our guy. Everyone in this clubhouse stands behind him.”

And that has to include the captain. Because that’s what captains do.

And it’s the captain’s job to have his teammates’ backs, every one of them, even if it means taking a stand against a former manager and mentor. Torre isn’t a Yankee anymore, but Rodriguez is. The Yankees can win without Torre but not without A-Rod. For the good of his team, Captain Jeter had better choose which side of this argument he is on in a hurry.

And there would be no better time for him to announce his position than today, when Torre comes to town to kick off a media blitz designed to sell whatever odd copies of the book haven’t already been pre-ordered.

Today would be a fine day for Jeter to make himself available’ to the media, just to let everyone – and one guy in particular – know he’s got A-Rod’s back.

I agree to a point. As a leader, Jeter should stand up and defend his teammates and back them whenever they’re publicly criticized like A-Rod was in Torre’s book. But nobody knows what has really gone on in the Yankees’ clubhouse over the years and therefore nobody has the right to tell Jeter whom he should and shouldn’t defend.

Maybe A-Rod is the ultimate prick and he has already pissed Jeter off too many times to count. Maybe Jeter has already made an effort to back the guy and it’s come back to bit him in the ass. The point is, we don’t know what happens inside a clubhouse or what Jeter’s motivation is behind backing or not backing a teammate. And Jeter is a consummate pro so I wouldn’t question his motivates either way in a situation like this.

Vaccaro: Torre ruined his legacy

Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post writes that Joe Torre has ruined his legacy in the wake of his new book, which trashes Yankee management and takes shots his former players like Alex Rodriguez.

Joe TorreThis book of yours, “The Yankee Years,” is that classy, Joe? Does it dignify what those 12 remarkable years were to baseball, to this city and, not incidentally, to your career? Was it necessary to air the fact that his teammates call Alex Rodriguez – an awfully easy target, by the way, Joe, and also a guy who won two MVPs while playing for you – “A-Fraud,” or to liken him to the crazed Jennifer Jason Leigh character in “Single White Female”?

Seriously, Joe. Did you even see “Single White Female”?

Why would you take shots at Brian Cashman? All he did during that lengthy post-2000 time, when you weren’t winning championships, was defend you exhaustively – to fans, to the press, to fellow Yankee executives, to various and sundry Steinbrenners, to your old front-office pal Randy Levine.

You never much cared to admit this, Joe, but Cashman was your boss. He could have sold you out. He didn’t.

Cashman deserved better, Joe. So did the Yankees. And, most important, so did you. You transformed yourself as a Yankee, earned yourself a certain Hall of Fame plaque.

There were lots of people who thought you were exiled wrongly in 2007, who winced when you hinted at a possible grudge with the Yankees, who figured, no, Joe is bigger than that. Joe is better than that.

Were we really that wrong, Joe? Really?

If you wanted to hurt the Yankees, Joe, understand this: Yesterday at Legends Field in Tampa, workers were manicuring the field, watering the lawn, getting ready for another spring training once the Super Bowl leaves town.

At the minor-league complex just down Dale Mabry Boulevard, kids were working out. Jorge Posada was said to have taken some swings. Derek Jeter will be here this week.

The Yankees have moved on, Joe. Isn’t it time you did, too?

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – this doesn’t seem like Joe’s style.

I haven’t read the book, but already this doesn’t seem like a classy way to go about things. No matter how wronged Torre believes he was by the Yankees, you always take the high road. Most people in New York were going to remember Joe as the World Series-winning manager in pinstripes – and they still might. But this book definitely casts a shadow over Torre’s great career. Instead of remembering how great of a manager he was in the Bronx, people are going to point to when he called Alex Rodriguez, “A-Fraud” in his book. Is that how Joe wanted to be remembered?

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