Sunday, May 3, 2009

The New Yankee Stadium Inspires Awe, But It Still Hosts the Same Game

Instead of taking a left at the bottom of the southbound 4 Train’s 161st Street Station stairwell, I headed to the right. The impenetrable mass of fans clad in Yankees’ paraphernalia was just as dense as it would have been last year, but it was located a block farther north.

The aura outside the recently inaugurated Yankee Stadium was that of power and intimidation. Whereas the old Yankee Stadium was a plain, ordinary building that kept its illustrious history within its walls, the new Yankee Stadium flaunted its organization’s success to pedestrians on the street. Reminiscent of the Roman Coliseum, the structure’s fa├žade was capable of daunting entering fans.

Once inside, the awe continued to develop inevitably—how could one not be inspired by the dangling banners of Yankee legends in the Great Hall? The inside of the ballpark was very similar to that of the recently opened stadiums in Philadelphia and Washington—the entrance hallway was seven stories tall and the field was visible from the rest of the hallways so that fans could watch the game during concession breaks—but, unlike the Phillies and the Nationals, the Yankees have a famous, successful history to transfer to their new home field.

The structure and the inside of the old stadium were nothing special. It was the actual field that inspired awe—fans would be left speechless when they would realize that the outfield in front of their eyes was the same outfield that Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and Joe Dimaggio all once roamed. The Yankee organization embellished the entire stadium with banners, photos, and signs to commemorate the legends and history that were made at the old park.

Now, there is nothing legendary about the new field. Jorge Posada’s walk-off single to cap off a two-inning, six-run comeback against the Angels is currently the most exciting event that has occurred on the recently planted grass.

Although the new Yankee Stadium has no history—yet—watching the Yankees play there is just like it always has been. Sure, the majority of field-level seats were vacant, the upper deck was noticeably shorter and farther away from the action, and seats went all the way around the perimeter of the field. However, once Derek Jeter led the team out for the top of the first inning and the first pitch was thrown, I realized that it was just another Yankee game.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

CC Sabathia, Nick Swisher Lead Yanks Past Royals

By the time the Kansas City Royals got on the scoreboard it was too late to make a comeback. CC Sabathia had given the Yankees seven-and-two-thirds innings of shutout baseball and Jose Veras held the shutout until Tony Pena Jr. grounded in the Royals' first and only run of the night.

Once again, the Yankees jumped on the Royals' pitching. Johnny Damon singled, Nick Swisher walked, and Jorge Posada doubled in two first-inning runs for the second straight game. In the third, the Yanks' catcher doubled in another run after Swisher tripled in captain Derek Jeter.

The Yanks did the rest of their scoring in the fifth inning when Swisher crushed a two-run jack over the left field wall.

Starting the season on the bench, Swisher has taken advantage of nearly every at-bat that Joe Girardi has bestowed upon him. In thirteen at-bats, the former Buckeye has seven hits, including two long balls and four other extra-base hits.

While the Yankee offense was putting runs on the board, Sabathia was depositing zeroes across the Royals' scoring line. There were times when Sabathia lost his control and got into trouble, but double-plays, strikeouts, or smart pitching were always there to extricate him.

The newly-acquired ace gave up six hits, hit two batters, and struck out six. Although there were a couple of innings when Sabathia struggled with his control, he finished with a quality strike-to-ball ratio of 73-to-35.

Tonight's performance probably silenced the critics on this site and throughout America that said that Sabathia was a bust and that the Yankees should be worried because of his atrocious outing on Opening Day.

Notes:

The lineup has been the Yankees' consistent stalwart, producing 31 runs through the first five games of the season. Posada, Swisher, and Robinson Cano have led the offensive charge, and everyone other than Hideki Matsui and Cody Ransom has contributed.

Matsui is slumping but, as Michael Kay said tonight, he is the kind of hitter who can really carry the team. Girardi is confident that Matsui will snap out of his cold streak.

Ransom, on the other hand, is a liability at the plate. You can't expect his average of .056 to jump anytime soon. Alex Rodriguez's return could not come any sooner for the Yankees and their fans.

Jeter started five-for-eight but has recorded only one hit in his last fourteen at-bats. It's Jeter. We all know he can hit, so there is no reason to be concerned right now.

I'm liking what I'm seeing from Brett Gardner. He may be struggling at the plate, but his speed distracts opposing pitchers to the extent where they lose their ability to throw strikes. Gardner's speed is something the Yankees have not had in ages, and we have seen early what speed on the bases can do for an offense.

The next step: enhancing Gardner's ability to reach base.

Mark Teixeira was a last-minute scratch. He hurt his left wrist and could not swing a bat from the right side of the plate. Tonight's opposing starter, Horacio Ramirez, was a lefty, so Tex would have hit from the right side. He is not sure how he agitated his wrist or how serious of a problem it is.

Joba Chamberlain will be taking the mound tomorrow against Kansas City ace Gil Meche as the Yankees look to sweep the Royals.

How to Better the NY Yankees' Pitching: Joba in 'Pen, Hughes in Rotation

Joba Chamberlain hasn't even made his first start of the season, but the Yankees are making a big mistake by keeping him in the rotation and out of the bullpen.

The Yankees' pitching rotation is stacked with three guys who could be top starters on many other teams and Andy Pettitte, who can get the job done. Joba is in the fifth slot, but the management's logic does not make sense.

The front office wants Joba to be a starter. He pitched very well in 12 starts last season and threw stuff that shouted, "potential number one starter!" But in a year when pitching was weak, Joba's dominant starts made everyone in New York forget about his incredible career in the bullpen.

In his 30 relief appearances last season, Joba allowed only nine earned runs. Only one earned run was charged to Joba in 2007. The 230-pound flamethrower is so dangerous coming out of the bullpen.

If Joba is sent back to the bullpen, the Yankees can play a six-inning game. They can let their starter go six, Phil Coke/Jose Veras/Brian Bruney go one, and then have the deadly combo of Joba and Mariano Rivera to pitch the eighth and ninth.

The Yankees' offense just needs to get a lead at any point in the game, and once the game hits the seventh inning, the dominant bullpen will be able to shutdown the opponent.

This system might make you think that Joba and Rivera would get overused and tired out, but you have to remember that, with the Yankees' consistent lineup, there will be plenty of games when Joba and Rivera won't be needed. Games like Thursday's 11-2 win against Baltimore will be when the rest of the bullpen gets their work in.

To replace Joba in the rotation, the Yankees have Phil Hughes, who was supposed to be their future ace before his appearance at the big level didn't go so well. It's time to give Hughes another chance. The kid can throw hard, his breaking ball is nasty, and it would be a waste of time and potential development to keep him in the minor leagues.

If Hughes has some bad starts, the Yankees' offense has the talent to pick him up. With the improved bullpen that the Yankees would have, Hughes could even go five strong innings before being replaced.

Think about it. Even a five-inning, three-run outing with the offense and bullpen should produce a win for the club.

Now, think about this. If Joba were to surrender three runs in five innings before being pulled, you'd be a little more hesitant to assert that the Yankees would win the game.

Why? Because Joba would not be in the bullpen.

Yanks Crush Orioles to Avoid Opening Series Sweep

After dropping the first two games of the season because of poor pitching performances, the Yankees got a solid outing from A.J. Burnett and a 'W' as the result.

It was the Orioles who struck first, as Brian Roberts singled in Felix Pie in the third inning. But, the Yankees responded with a three-run fourth, which featured a solo shot by Mark Teixeira and a two-run jack by Nick Swisher.

Burnett gave up another run in the bottom of the fourth, but it was all Bombers after that. The Yanks scored four in the sixth, two in the seventh, and two in the ninth, before Mariano Rivera made his first appearance of 2009 in a non-save situation. Rivera, who is coming off shoulder surgery, was spot on, retiring all three Orioles that he faced.

In the win, Burnett struggled with his control, throwing only 59 of his 98 pitches for strikes. If he was able to locate the plate more consistently, he would have lasted more than the five-and-a-third innings that he pitched. Burnett allowed seven hits and walked one batter, but he fanned six.

The bullpen pitched three-and-two-thirds perfect innings, striking out six Orioles.

In the field, the Yankees were perfect, committing zero errors. The defensive play of the game came in the bottom of the ninth when Ty Wigginton hit a frozen rope towards the hole between Teixeira and Robinson Cano. Moving to his right, Teixeira left the ground and extended his arm to make a beautiful catch, saving the bullpen's perfect performance.

The Yankees had a great day at the plate. Every starter except Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon reached base, and six-of-nine starters recorded base hits. Teixeira broke out of his early two-game slump with two hits in five at-bats, including his fourth-inning home run.

Robinson Cano had a big day and looks completely different from the Robinson Cano that we saw during the bulk of last season. He is more patient at the plate—he even drew a walk—and it is paying off. The second baseman got three hits and scored four runs.

Ramiro Pena, who is supposedly the best fielder in the Yankees' farm system, hit a hard one-hopper past the diving Caesar Izturis to record his first Major League hit.

While almost everyone contributed on the offensive end, the man of the day was Nick Swisher. After pinch-hitting in the first two games, Swisher went three-for-five at the plate and drove in five runs.

With the win, the Yankees can travel to Kansas City on a good note.

Andy Pettitte will take the mound tomorrow in the series opener.

Yanks' First Loss Is Disappointing, but There's Plenty of Baseball Left

If you would ask me to describe the Yankees' Opening Day loss in one word, I would say "disappointing."

CC Sabathia, the pitcher that cost the Yankees' front office $161 million, only retired 13 Orioles while allowing the same number to reach base safely. The former Brewer ace was pulled from the game during the fourth inning before he could even strike out a batter—the first time Sabathia failed to fan at least one opponent in a game since 2005.

Mark Teixeira, who was supposed to strengthen the A-Rod-less Yankee lineup, didn't get any good wood on his way to a hitless day.

The bullpen, which was strong last year and was expected to be reliable this season, surrendered four runs in just under four innings—every Yankee reliever allowed at least one hit.

Notice that I said I would describe the loss as "disappointing." I didn't say that I am concerned, not yet, at least—I only said I am disappointed.

It's always discouraging when a team that was hyped to be close to invincible shows it's just an ordinary team on Opening Day.

So, what? Is it really such a big deal that Sabathia did not live up to the standards that the media set for him? Does it really matter that Tex went 0-for-4? Do you think that Phil Coke is going to let his one mistake lead to a terrible season?

The answer to the previous three questions: Absolutely not.

That's the beauty of baseball. Barring injuries, Sabathia still has 30-plus starts, Tex has hundreds of upcoming at-bats, and the bullpen as a whole will have many more opportunities.

One game doesn't matter. If the problems persist, then the critics, who are claiming that the free agent signings were a waste and that the bullpen is not a stalwart, should be heard.

For now, let baseball's most expensive team play on.

Tomorrow is the second game of the season, and it will feature Chien-Ming Wang against the 34-year-old rookie from Japan, Koji Uehara.

Wang hates pitching versus Baltimore. The Orioles know his stuff very well, and they have been very successful against the 29-year-old Wang, hitting .319 against him. Despite allowing a high opponent's batting average and having an ERA of 5.13 against Baltimore, Wang has been picked up by the Yankees' offense during his tough starts—the Yanks' former ace posts a career 3-1 record against the O's.

Uehara is expected to be a tough opponent. Fortunately, for the Yankees, he is a righty.

Baltimore showed yesterday that its lineup is potent and shouldn't be overlooked by opposing teams. In order to win tomorrow, the Yankees will need to provide Wang with run support.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Yanks' Sabathia Leaves Down 6-1

CC Sabathia left Monday's season opener in the fifth inning after walking in his sixth earned run of the game.

Expected to strengthen the Yankees' pitching rotation, Sabathia got off to an inauspicious start. Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts singled to lead off the first. He then advanced to second on a wild pitch, and Adam Jones walked. Sabathia threw another wild pitch but got out of the inning with a little help from Cody Ransom and Derek Jeter. 

Sabathia was inconsistent and his lack of control led to his early exit--his ball-to-strike ratio was near one-to-one. In the end, Sabathia allowed 13 baserunners on eight hits and five walks without fanning an Oriole. 

Upon his departure, the Yankees trailed 6-1. 

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Yanks Head to Baltimore For Opening Day

It's still in the 50's in New York City and spring has been pretty cruel so far, teasing us with some gorgeous days, but Opening Day is quickly approaching. 

Monday's forecast in Baltimore would make baseball players across the country want to stay inside the clubhouse instead of taking the field. The Weather Channel is predicting a 60 degree day, which sounds nice, but it will be the 90 percent chance of precipitation and thunderstorms that could potentially postpone Opening Day.

Assuming that the game is played, because it will be televised on ESPN, the starting pitchers will be CC Sabathia and Baltimore's top pitcher, Jeremy Guthrie.

The Yanks are excited to see Sabathia take the mound in a Yankee uniform for the first time, but don't be surprised if Joe Girardi does not let the former Brewer pitch deep into the game if the weather is bad. The Yankees are expecting big things from Sabathia, so they won't risk anything under poor weather conditions.

You can also expect Dave Trembley to be careful with Guthrie, who led the Orioles in wins (10) and ERA (3.63) last season. Guthrie has some nasty stuff and could be a tough match for the Yankees' lineup. In three games against the Yankees last season, Guthrie went 1-2. He surrendered one run over six innings in the win and pitched well in one of the losses, but the Yankees clobbered him the third outing.

The way that the Orioles can win is if their strong batting order can get something going against Sabathia. Baltimore's lineup is not as potent as the Yankees', but, led by Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, and Aubrey Huff, the Orioles are definitely dangerous.

Even without Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees' lineup is one of the best in baseball. Other than Cody Ransom and Brett Gardner, who has hit .375 this spring and has won the starting job in center, the entire Yankees' lineup is stocked with potential .300 hitters and could give any pitcher a nightmare.

The Yankees are a pretty safe bet to start the season 1-0 behind Sabathia and one of the best lineups in baseball.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The K to Winning a Championship: Strikeouts


Much has been made of the Revamped Yankee rotation, which now features C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain, and Andy Pettitte. However, the Red Sox, who signed John Smoltz and Brad Penny, and Rays, who replaced departed Edwin Jackson with second-year phenom David Price, both upgraded their already stellar rotations as well. The AL East is going to be an absolute dog-fight this year, with the Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays all expected to win 90+ games. But us Yankee fans know it's all about playoff success in New York and this year's rotation is fit for fall baseball.

In recent years, most world series contenders boasted pitching staffs that had high strikeout rates and a legitimate ace. Just look at the 2004 Red Sox (Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez), 2005 White Sox (Jose Contreras), 2006 Tigers (Justin Verlander), 2007 Red Sox (Jon Lester, Josh Beckett), and 2008 Phillies and Rays (Matt Garza, David Price, Cole Hamels).

The Yankees have an ace in C.C. Sabathia. Say what you want about his post-season struggles, but the guy is a warrior and a proven shut-down pitcher when he is on. His awful start against the Phillies last year in the playoffs was a fluke, largely due to the heavy lifting he did down the stretch for the Brewers. His total year strikeout numbers between the Indians and Brewers last year (almost 9 so/g) were extremely impressive and his ability to eat innings (an unheard of 253 IP) is something the Yankees have sorely needed the last couple years.

Behind Sabathia in the rotation is A.J. Burnett, who, when healthy, is a terror for opposing hitters. Last year A.J struck out 231 hitters in 221 1/3 innings and his electric stuff (top flight fastball and devastating curve) translates well to the post-season. Even Chien Ming Wang, typically criticized for his inability to finish hitters off, has improved his strikeout numbers in recent years because of the improvement of his slider, which has really become a weapon late in the count. (54 SO in an injury shortened 2008). These three, coupled with the always improving and already scintillating Joba Chamberlain (118 SO in 100 1/3 IP), make up the projected Yankee postseason rotation.

Picture this: in a 5 game division series, the Yankees could potentially run out C.C. twice. If they advance, with the new (and stupid) playoff format which features days off after virtually every game, they could start C.C. 3 times in a 7 game series. Sending out your best pitcher for as many games as possible is key to post-season success and Sabathia can really dominate teams.

All four Yankee starters miss bats and go deep into ballgames (with the exception of Joba). The rotation, coupled with a deep lineup and even deeper bullpen, should lead to a successful season and even more successful post-season, culminating with a dog-pile on top of Mariano Rivera in early November.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Yanks Start Spring Off On The Right Note


The last time a Yankee led off Spring Training with a home run was in 2007 when Johnny Damon crushed the first pitch over the fence. It was only two springs ago, but it was the beginning of a season that saw the Yankees struggle in the beginning but unite for a second half run that landed them in the playoffs.

Hopefully Brett Gardner's leadoff dinger is a sign that the Yankees are off to the proper start (we'll hope that they start the 2009 season hot instead of cold, which was how they started in 2007).

Gardner's blast was more than unexpected, considering that he only reached the warning track in 127 at-bats in 2008. While this came as a pleasant surprise, the rest of the Yankees were just as satisfying.

After being booed every time his name was announced, Alex Rodriguez sent a shot over the center field fence in his second at-bat of the game. It's great to see A-Rod able to focus on hitting while the fans heckle him. A-Rod jokingly said that he enjoyed the fans so much that he'd "invite them to Fenway."

Robinson Cano's offseason workouts seem to have gotten him back in shape. The fifth year (wow, already?) second baseman lived up to the hype and doubled in one of his two at-bats.

Eighteen Yankees went up to the plate today and ten recorded hits. Ex-Red Sox Kevin Cash was the only Yank with two hits (suck on that, Boston).

Good news, Yankee fans: Eighteen year old Jesus Montero, who is the Bombers' most prized prospect, went 1-for-2.

Another touted prospect, Austin Jackson, doubled in one of his two plate appearances.

Oh, and how about those big offseason signings? Neither CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, nor Mark Teixeira entered the game today.

Even without Sabathia and Burnett, the Yankees' pitching was stellar, allowing only one run on four hits and three walks. Veteran Brett Tomko got the start and went two innings. Jose Veras, who is trying to earn the setup role, surrendered the sole run of the game but got the win, nonetheless.

Dan Geise and Kei Igawa each tossed scoreless innings.

Sure, it's only the first game of Spring Training, but I'm liking what I'm seeing so far.

The Yanks host the defending American League champs tomorrow.

Get excited.

Photo courtesy of ESPN.com

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hopes too High?


As the off-season draws to a close, the hype surrounding the 2009 New York Yankees grows larger with each passing day. Whether it is A-rod and his drug scandal, or Edwar Ramirez's possible tendinitis (hopefully he is okay), the Yankees are surrounded by negative PR; in fact the only positive news about the Yankees is their "amazing" off season signings. I have heard people all over New York City talk about the Yankees winning the world series. As a Yankee fan, there is nothing I would love more than to see the Bombers' drought end, but are CC and A.J. giving us too much hope?

Unfortunately the answer is yes.

Because Burnett has not had much practice pitching in big games during his career with the Blue Jays, how can we expect him to hold up under all of the pressure of wearing pinstripes? We all know that he has consistent numbers, but that means nothing in New York. A prime example of this is A-Rod. When he came over from the Texas Rangers in 2004, he was flying high. He had just come off of a record breaking year, and it looked as though nothing could stop him. Although in 2004 he had over 100 RBIs, he was hitting well under his career average (.286 vs. .304), and maybe even costing the Yankees in their ALCS nightmare. Will A.J. come in and pull an A-rod? How will he handle the media who will scrutinize his every move? Unfortunately, he might take it onto the mound, causing him to have a shaky start to the 2009 season.

Next we have the 161 million dollar man. After signing the biggest contract for a pitcher in MLB history, will CC prove that he is worth the $5,714.28 PER PITCH? How can a man live up to those standards especially in a big city like New York? It is my belief that CC will have a great year next year, maybe even a Cy Young year, but this year is a different story. I believe that CC will go 17-12 with a 4.00 ERA. Some of you are probably laughing at those numbers You might be thinking "no way will he have those numbers, look at what he did with the Brew Crew". I say moving from the NL to the AL is much harder than the other way around. This not only means does a pitcher actually have to face 9 hitters, but also the hitting is just all around better in the AL than it is in the NL. Sure CC had to face hitters like Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard, but now he has to face hitters like David Ortiz, Evan Longoria, Vlad Guerrero, Grady Sizemore, and many other great power hitters multiple times.

So what does all of this mean? It means that the Yankees have a spot in the playoffs for sure, but I do not believe that the Yankees will advance past the ALCS. Other AL teams are also very strong right now, and the Yankees cannot just rely on CC, A.J., and Teixeira to lead them to a World Series ring this year. They will need a full team effort, and they will need for A-rod not to be suspended.

Despite my depressing predictions, I really do hope for the best this year and will see you all from my seat in the bleachers.

LETS GO YANKEES

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Re-Vamped Rotation


During the Offseason, the New York Yankees made several front office moves to strengthen the their depleted rotation, which was a major factor in their unsuccessful 2008 season. They signed the most heralded free-agent pitcher, C.C. Sabathia, to the richest contract ever for a pitcher in baseball history. If Sabathia wasn't enough, they signed the second most wanted free-agent, A.J. Burnett, to a 5 year $80 million dollar contract. Many Yankee fans have loved this spending spree, while others think it was totally unnecessary and out of control.

In the beginning of last year, Sabathia struggled as the Cleavland Indian's ace. Before he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, Sabathia went 6-8, giving up 117 hits in 122 innings of work. These stats are not bad but they are not worthy of receiving the richest contract for a pitcher in history. As a Brewer in the N.L., Sabathia was untouchable going 11-2 with a 1.65 e.r.a. However, many attribute this to the N.L. being an easier league. Sabathia needs to perform like he did in Milwaukee in order to live up to expectations in New York.

A.J. Burnett has had a pretty consistent career but it has been filled with too many injuries and setbacks. If the Yankees want this new look rotation to perform well, they need to keep Burnett from getting injured.

To round out the rotation, Chien-Ming Wang, who is coming back from injury, has been the Yankees' ace for the past three years and Andy Pettite is back in pinstripes to become the fourth starter. However, it is questionable as to who will be the Yankee's fifth starter: Will it be Joba Chamberlain the young phenom or Phil Hughes who struggled for all of last season and got injured? Whoever it will be, the rotation will be carried by the two new free agents and Wang. Please feel free to comment on this post.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Alex Rodriguez Uses PEDs, Best Strategy For Baseball Is To Move On


Enough. I've had enough.

Steroids have usurped the offseason and I am sick of hearing about them.

Instead of having the excitement at Legends Field surround the likes of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Teixeira, it is hovering over alex Rodriguez like 200 bees swarming around a fearful two year old.

Literally... At least the first part. Two hundred reporters attended Rodriguez's press conference at Legends Field this afternoon and they all walked away satisfied. They continue to bite and sting the vulnerable Rodriguez, who has already admitted that he did something wrong. Note: he didn't just admit, but he also apologized. 

So, here's my problem: people keep crying about how the substance-abusers have ruined the game of baseball. how they have tainted the game of baseball and how their sin is irrevocable. These people cry about how baseball is forever ruined. 

Well, stop crying. You need to move on. If you don't move on, the game of baseball certainly won't.

I can't believe I'm putting these words down under my name, but David Ortiz is right. Yep, Big Papi would be a better commissioner than the incumbent Bud Selig because Selig, who has tried to ignore the Steroids Era, has been blind to the fact that he could actually crack down on abuse. 

It's as simple as Ortiz put it: Issue mandatory, not arbitrary, drug tests. Everyone gets tested multiple times in a season—I believe Ortiz said each team should be required to have about 30 drug tests per season. The punishment for abusing would be, well, a suspension of some sort. Threaten a player with a year-ban and he might consider putting down the syringe. It's really quite simple, Bud.

Now, what to do with the past, specifically A-Rod.

It's not fair. Rodriguez should not need to endure what has been thrown upon him over the last two weeks, at least not as long as the 103 other names on the list of abusers remain unscathed.
Everyone knew that players were using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, and the drug test, in which Rodriguez tested positive for two steroids, was designed as a test to determine if random drug testing was necessary. 

Rodriguez broke the rules of baseball, but his name was supposed to remain anonymous and it is not fair for him to be punished while every other player on the list remains anonymous. 

Despite coming forth, admitting, and apologizing, Rodriguez is being treated the worst of all the known PED users (Miguel Tejada, who committed perjury, only saw 10 microphones in his face upon his arrival at Houston camp).

Lay off of A-Rod!

He knows what he did was wrong, but, look, the drugs didn't even bolster his performance to a great extent. His best seasons were not those three years in Texas. He may have hit 57 home runs in 2002, but his 2007 season was better in every offensive category except for hits (187 vs. 183) and home runs (57 vs. 54). His lack of improvement with the drugs doesn't take away from the fact that he broke the law, but it should be remembered at the end of his career. 

Look, there is nothing you can do to turn back the hands of time. Rodriguez used steroids and by doing so broke the law, but we have to move on. Whether you support him or not, you need to move on. Bud Selig should act now, according to Ortiz's plan, and baseball should try to forget what happened this offseason so that it can head in to Spring Training with a positive outlook on the upcoming season.

We learn history to prevent future mistakes. Hopefully Bud Selig will use this offseason and the entire Steroids Era to learn that he needs to clean up baseball.

Photo courtesy of dailycontributor.com