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2nd Half

Well, the Yanks hope to get back into gear today, at home against the seemingly unbeatable Contreras. The Streak is up to 17 at this point, but in two of his last three starts, he's been less than stellar, left the game in position to be the LP, and had the monstrous White Sock offense bail him out. Against him will be the Big Eunuch, as my Met loving compadre likes to call him, who has been inexplicably moved back up to the top of the rotation. His numbers (10-7, 5.13) are almost laughable coming from an ace, as long as your name isn't Livan. The Mets started off well today with a solid win against the lowly Cubs, not very impressive, but, a win nevertheless. I face a very tough decision tonight as I will be forced to choose between the late innings of NYY CHI or the 2nd episode of USA's new show Psych. It's gonna be a photo finish, let's hope the game is decided early.

It's about time for the 2nd half, so here, I've letter graded each Yankee player and coach, as well as Steinbrenner and Cash. Should be fun.

This 1st segment will include only position players. Tomorrow will be pitchers, followed the next by staff.

Let's dive right in.

Johnny Damon:
I'll be the 1st to admit that I was a naysayer coming into the Johnny Damon regime, but he's managd to shut me up pretty splendidly. He's been around .300 for most of the year, now at .291, with very impressive .367 OBP, 15 points up from his career average. He leads the team in runs scored, just a good leadoff man should, and although it seems like he's been sitting out a good deal, he in fact as only not appeared in 5 Yankee games. In the field he's been adequate, throwing slightly better than Mary, and I believe he's nailed a few unsuspecting vagabonds at the plate. Impressive 1st year campaign, and an A-/B+.

Derek Jeter:
Jeter has been splendid, he ranks 2nd in the AL in batting average, above everyone's lovetoy Ichiro. .345 is nothing to shake your finger at. His power has been down but his hits have been coming, 112 in 81 games. Combine this with the fact that he is making a legitimate run at an 100 RBI season, and we could be looking at Jete's best offensive season in a long time. Unfortunately, I don't know was his FRAA is whatever the hell Schuyla insists on referring to, but I do know that he's been good in the field. He is also being agressive, already with 18 SB, and he's only been caught twice, a very impressive stat. His OPS is an obscene 1.068 against lefties, .888 over all. What does all this info mean? An A/A+.

Jason Giambi:
Jason Giambi has also been making his case for MVP of the Yanks, as although his average has now dipped to an unimpressive .260, his power stats are still off the charts. He trails only Ortiz and Thome for HR's in the AL, and is 5th in the AL in RBI's. His slugging percentage is very good at .611, which is good for 4th in the AL. With numbers like these, you have to admire the guy, as of two years ago, he was counted for dead. And of course, we couldn't write a review of Jason Giambi without mentioning his almost ridiculous eye and ability for drawing walks. OBP of .415 is amazing, and he is 3rd in the AL in walks drawn behind Kronk and Manny. All these top 5 appearances can only mean one thing. A 2nd consecutive A.

Alex Rodriguez:
Of course, everything they say about A-Rod isn't true. He's a great player who cannot live up to impossible standards, it's not his fault. But this doesn't detract from the fact that he's having an off year. While on pace for .280/35 HR/120 RBI's doesn't sound too shabby, it's not up to the pace that he's created for himself. His slugging % is down at a .505, and although he does well to get on base, he's just not the gamechanger we expected we were getting the fateful day years ago. Overall, he's useful and plays a mean 3rd, but in the end, he earns a B.
(Plus, as much as it's been blown out of proportion, he can't perform under pressure most of the time, it's just a fact.)

Gary Sheffield:
Sheff was off to a fairly impressive start until that pesky wrist got him 30 days into the season. 19 ribbies in 30 games is pretty good, and a .309 BA is also above average, but I'm gonna have to put the GP minimum at 45, about half of the games we played. Therefore, Sheff earns a N/A.

Hideki Matsui:
Hideki wasn't playing great before the injury, and he certainly wasn't living up to that little contract we gave him, but he too only played in 32 games, and he too gets a N/A.

Jorge Posada:
There's no denying that Jorge is heading downhill, but there's also no denying he's still kicking. That homer he hit to beat the Braves was as good a sign as any that Posada's still got a lot of life in him. He's a good offensive catcher who's got a subpar arm. But he's still one of the best, (in my opinion) at getting the strikes that his pitchers need. Whatever Unit has got against him, I wouldn't be surprised if a switch back to Jorge from Stinnett would result in better outings. I look at his .279/11 HR/46 RBI, and his suprising .389 OBP, good for 13th in the AL, and I give him a B-/C+

Andy Phillips/Miguel Cairo/Bubba Crosby:
Yes, they've all played in more than 45 games and yes I'm rolling these 3 role (I slay myself) players into 1. Phillips has obviously been the best of the trio, putting up some impressive numbers and being a relatively effective first base. Crosby and Cairo are a stalemate because although Cairo has been significantly more useful offensively, Crosby simply shined defensively before his untimely injury that led to the failed Terence Long experiment. They all have their purpose and they all fit their part, but none of the three have really made a case that they're a force to be reckoned with. However, they're bench players, and are held to lower standards, so they earn a C+.

Melky Cabrera: Melky has been everything to need him to be: average. Frankly, he's stepped in brilliantly in this team's time of crisis and without him, I personally believe the East would be a romp by now. Now of course he hasn't been a good player, only adequate enough to fill in, but he does play an excellent left field, almost up to par with Matsui, and his catch to rob Manny was incredible. I think about how he has performed when thrown into the fire (literally, his 1st series was against the Sawx), and his decent .358 OBP, and I give him a B.

Bernie Williams: I seem to be the only one left who loves Bernie. I loved him before the season started when everyone was making cracks about his eyes and his weak dribblers back to the pitchers. He has been good. He hasn't been great, he hasn't even been good enough to be a regular starter, I agree, but when we ask him to play, he plays, all out. I'll never forget the day he went 5-5. His fielding has been decent, he hasn't embarassed himself, but he hasn't been good either. A .282 average is nice, and his 17 2B are right up there with the leaders of the team. However, I can't allow my sentimentality to interfere with my objectivity (say that 5 times fast), and therefore Bernie gets a B-.

That's all for now, as the game is minutes from starting. A lot of high grades here today on the offensive side, but look for things to get decidedly uglier tomorrow as we move into pitching.
See ya then,

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