We play the Yankees for the second weekend in a row, this time in a packed Rogers Centre. But this time, we are in first and they are in second. What a difference a week makes.
Neil Keefe, of Keefe to the City, and I exchange questions on our teams this afternoon, Here are his answers.
Jays fans are thrilled with the trade deadline moves that the team made. Are Yankees fans a little pissed off at the lack of moves from their team?
Yankees fans were OK with the team not making any moves and trading away their top prospects when the deadline came because the team was rolling and in first place. That changed quickly.
The last two years were marred by injuries and underachieving performances. So you could make the case the team should have been all in this year with the performances of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira and the down years for the rest of the AL East teams. But they chose to make one move and trade for the bust that is Dustin Ackley and now the front office has to live with their decision. If they don't win the division, after having an eight-game lead, a lot of people should pay the price with their job.
Ticket sales are going wild in Toronto with games being sold out all over the place, but last weekend's game in New York seemed to be fairly sparsely attended. Do Yankees fan think they will win the division and they'll go to game when the playoffs start? Or are they worried about missing the playoffs?
Yankees fans were spoiled from 1995-2012. The playoffs were a given and the regular season didn't matter. There was no such thing as a big regular-season game or series.
I actually think last week's home games against the Red Sox and Blue Jays were well attended. I was at the Stadium and it was packed. Don't go by the crowd you see behind home on TV. Those are all filled by people in suits and corporations and they either show up in the third inning or spend the entire game in the private bars and suites under the seats. Those seats aren't a good indication of the crowd.
What September call ups do you figure the Yankees will be making? Anyone you are excited to see?
Greg Bird was called up on Wednesday, Luis Severino is in the rotation and Rob Refsnyder should be the starting second baseman. Enough is enough with Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan. Refsnyder did well in his brief four-games stint, but apparently he has an attitude problem.
I have never had sources in my life or reported anything, so this is the first time, but from two people I know connected to the front office and who have relationships with veterans on the team, supposedly Refsnyder didn't make a good first impression with his teammates. I also don't care about someone's attitude if they can hit, so call him up and make him the starter.
The Yankees offense is being led by a couple of guys who really haven't had seasons like this in a long time. How surprised are you that Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixiera are doing so good?
I'm not surprised by A-Rod because he is an all-time talent and players like that don't lose their ability out of nowhere. The time off let him get healthy and now being the full-time DH, he can focus on only hitting and his 40-year-old body doesn't get the miles put on it from playingthird base.
I'm surprised with Teixeira because he is soft, often injured and didn't seem to care about playing baseball or playing it well the last few years. It's good to see him hitting for power again and playing outstanding defense, which also wasn't the case in recent years. They are almost as good of 3-4 combination as they were in 2009 and 2010 when Teixeira would hit third and A-Rod fourth.
How comfortable are you in thinking that the starting pitching can hold together enough to keep in the race and can we have a quick scouting report on the starters the Jays will face this weekend?
I think the starting pitching will do a good enough job, and it's really up to the offense. They are capable of scoring 90 runs in a week like they did a week ago or not scoring at all for a week like they did this last week.
Ivan Nova would be the team's Game 3 or 4 starter right now if the team were to make the ALDS and if Michael Pineda were healthy. He has a hard sinker and gives up a lot of hits and relies on double plays and getting out of jams. That could be a recipe for disaster against the Blue Jays.
Masahiro Tanaka is the team's ace, but he hasn't pitched like one of late. He has the ability to dominate, but has been prone to home runs, which is another issue with facing the Blue Jays. I would be happy with the performance he gave us last Sunday against them.
Luis Severino is the future. He has to be. The Yankees could have had David Price if they gave up Severino, but they didn't, so he better not become the latest version of Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy. He has allowed three earned runs in 11 innings, and I'm hoping he can keep them off balance since they haven't seen him before.
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