Xavier, A-Rod and our teams focus
It was really difficult losing a guy like Xavier Nady. He meant a lot to us in the time he was here and contributed big-time to our success. He mixed in well with the rest of the guys in the clubhouse and he was really coming into his own on the field this season.
Looking at it from the business side, Xavier played so well that he became a valuable bargaining chip when the club really needed it. That taxicab accident, a freak thing, was a huge blow for Duaner Sanchez and the team. Happening right on deadline, our front office did a great job by bringing back Roberto Hernandez in the trade with Pittsburgh.
You can?t really replace a set-up pitcher the caliber of Sanchez. The bullpen has been one of the strengths of our team and he?s been the guy that you can count on late in a game, night after night. But Roberto?s been
here in a similar role. He?s comfortable in this atmosphere, he knows what it takes to win and he?s obviously been very successful here.
Hopefully, Roberto will be able come in, pick up where he left off and the bullpen will remain one of the team?s strengths.
That other NY third baseman
A lot of people in New York seem to think Alex Rodriguez is struggling. It?s hard to imagine having such high expectations that you can be putting up A-Rod?s numbers and still not be satisfying the critics.
I guess he?s always going to be under scrutiny because of the contract he signed, and with the payroll over there the Yankees are expected to win the World Series every year.
Plus, when things go wrong in New York, even a little bit, they tend to get magnified. The fans in New York are passionate, knowledgeable about the game and they?re going to express their emotions. They don?t hold much back, good or bad.
But Alex and everyone else in baseball knows that he?s one of the top few players in the game and he does everything exceptionally well. Alex is going to be fine. He?s a great player. It?s only a matter of time before he starts putting up those MVP-type numbers again.
When the wins start rolling in, he?s going to be right in the middle of it.
One game at a time
One of the keys the rest of the season now that we?re in August is to make sure we don?t become complacent. We have to be mindful of the things we?ve done to get the lead in our division. That means we have to keep taking it one game at a time, one series at a time. We can?t look in the rearview mirror and we can?t look ahead to October, either.
(Posted courtesy of MLB.com during the game.)