Welcome back to The Opposing Viewpoint, the place to learn more about the Mets' opponents from the bloggers who write about them. Coming off an embarrassing series loss at home to the Nationals that culminated in a 1-0 heartbreaker and a postgame outburst by
Over the winter, the Yankees parted ways with longtime manager Joe Torre and hired Joe Girardi as his replacement. From what you have seen so far, what is the most significant difference between Girardi and Torre, and what impact do you expect the change to have going forward?
Bullpen management and in-game decisions. It's not just a coincidence the Yankees are in the Top 10 in terms of bullpen ERA. Despite the money
LaTroy Hawkinshas been making, at this point, he hasn't been in many games for the Yankees. Girardi is letting performance dictate how and when he should use guys in the bullpen, not his contract. However, there have been times I have questioned his in-game decisions. Yes, it's amazing how he interacts with his players, even physically catching Andrew Brackmanand Humberto Sancheza few days ago to see how they are recovering from Tommy John. However, from his line-up changes to some of his in-game decisions, I find myself scratching my head, trying to figure out what's going on in HIS head.
Injuries have been a big problem for the Yankees thus far in 2008. Which injury has had the biggest negative impact on the team, and why?
That's a hard one, though I will give the edge to A-Rod's injury over
Jorge Posada's injury. Reason why: his bat, even in a small way, will rejuvenate the inconsistent Yankees line-up.
For the first three years of his major-league career,
I'm not gonna pretend that I understand pitchers' mechanics. What I can understand in some ways is the mindset and maturity of a starter. Wang continues to mature as a pitcher, and in the maturity process comes the need and ability to make adjustments. With extra work on his non-sinker pitches and on his 94 mph sinker, Wang has shown the ability to fool batters as scouting on him continues to get extensive. That (among other reasons) is the reason why I believe Chien-Ming Wang is a bona fide ace and should be feared.
What has been the most pleasant surprise over the first month and a half of the season, and what has been the biggest disappointment?
Surprise: The bullpen.
Disappointment: Where to start? I'll stick with the inconsistent offense plus Hughes/Kennedy's early start.
What are your thoughts about this being the final year for the current Yankee Stadium?
After attending my eighth game at the Stadium so far this season, I will admit, I went through the cycles of feelings I had when I started going on my own three years ago. I almost choked up due to the chills I got from hearing the first few seconds of "Enter Sandman". I took so many pictures, I could be called a Bleacher Virgin, though I frequent the bleachers 9 times out of 10.
This may sound blasphemous, but Yankee Stadium has been my sanctuary away from my home church. It's been my home. I feel like myself when I'm there. From seeing people who I'll never see again to the regulars and my friends who come with, the Stadium brings us all together in a very special and supernatural way. Even though I'm 20, it feels as if a part of my childhood is being taken away from me. Because of that, no matter how much I have to spend on tickets now, I'll attend as many games as I can and even try and steal away pieces of what the City is trying to steal from me.
Bonus question: What is your favorite baseball food?
The sweet Italian sausage. However, I have stopped eating them at the Stadium on account of the Yankees having gone 0-3 when I've bought one. I don't believe in jinxes, but I am a little superstitious.