Results tagged ‘ Jered Weaver ’
The Yankees are having a rough afternoon on the bases Sunday. Three runners were thrown out on the bases in the first three innings.
Derek Jeter circled too far around first base after he singled home Eric Chavez to give the Yanks a 3-2 lead in the second inning and was out on first baseman Albert Pujols’ toss to second baseman Maicer Izturis.
In the third, the old high school play completely backfired for the Yankees and ended up in an embarrassing double play. Robinson Cano was on first base and Alex Rodriguez on third with Mark Teixeira at the plate.
With the count 2-2 on Tex, Cano wavered off first. Pitcher Jered Weaver threw over, and Cano got trapped in a rundown. He tried to avoid being tagged so Rodriguez might have a chance to score, but Izturis tagged Cano and threw home to nab A-Rod.
The only thing Mark Trumbo had to worry about Monday night after hitting a game-winning home run leading off the ninth inning against Cory Wade was to avoid the injury teammate Kendrys Morales two years ago. The Angels have toned down their walk-off celebrations since then but still greeted Trumbo jubilantly as he crossed the plate.
Technically, that was the moment the Yankees lost, 9-8, ending their five-game winning streak while the Angels continued their stretch of success to seven games and got to the .500 level (25-25) for the first time since April 9 when they were 2-2. In reality, the Yankees began losing this game in the first inning when they took a 3-0 lead and Angels starter Jered Weaver, their ace, had to come out of the game due to a lower back injury.
The Angels could have sulked their way through this one, but they jumped all over Phil Hughes for four runs and five hits to begin the see-saw battle that went on all night. Give the Yankees credit for coming back from an 8-5 deficit to tie the score with a three-run seventh, but they lost a chance to go ahead again in the ninth by stranding the bases loaded.
Russell Martin, who had doubled in the tying runs in the seventh, nearly put the Yanks ahead in the ninth with a single up the middle, but shortstop Erick Aybar made a sterling stop to keep the ball from going into the outfield that would have allowed Mark Teixeira to score rather than have to stop at second. Aybar had made a costly error in the first inning but got a game saver there. Derek Jeter ended the threat by hitting into a fielder’s choice with Aybar making another good play by gloving first baseman Albert Pujols’ high throw and tagging the bag at second just ahead of Martin.
Trumbo, who absolutely clobbered a 1-1 changeup from Wade, had a big night. He also doubled and tripled, which meant that he was a single away from the cycle, usually the easiest of the four hits to get. Trumbo’s triple was the result of Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher colliding while chasing the ball in right field. Fortunately, neither was hurt.
Granderson slugged his 15th home run, his first this year someplace other than Yankee Stadium or Camden Yards. Mark Teixeira also continued his torrid hitting with a perfect night – his ninth home run, a single and three walks. Over his past four games, Tex has 10-for-16 (.625) with three doubles, four home runs and nine RBI to take over the team lead with 30. His slugging percentage over that stretch is an ungodly 1.563. His batting average has gone from .226 to .263. That slow start of his is definitely over.
Normally when games have a twilight start on the west coast such as Monday night’s match-up between the Yankees and Angels at Anaheim (6 p.m., PDT) there is a tremendous advantage for the pitchers because the ball is difficult for hitters to pick up. Not this time. The Yankees batted around in the top of the first inning and Los Angeles came within one batter of doing the same in the bottom half.
The Yankees’ three-run first was aided a great deal by two Angels errors and the loss of starter Jered Weaver. The LA ace was forced from the game with a lower back ailment sustained after an awkward follow through on a pitch to Robinson Cano four batters in. The Yanks already had a run on the board thanks to a bobble by shortstop Erick Aybar on what might have been the start of a double play.
Righthander Bobby Cassevah came out of the bullpen for his first appearance of the season to replace Weaver, who pitched a no-hitter earlier this year and entered the game with a 6-1 mark. A sacrifice fly by Raul Ibanez got a second run home. Just when the Angels thought they would get out of the inning when Nick Swisher hit a dribbler to the left of the mound, Cassevah threw the ball wildly to first base for an error allowing another runner to cross the plate.
So despite going 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position (there is that dreaded statistic again), the Yankees had a 3-0 lead. They wished they had cashed in on some of those clutch chances when the Angels came back hard against Phil Hughes in the bottom of the inning to pull ahead, 4-3.
The Angels lashed five hits off Hughes, whose parents were in the stands. Hughes grew up in southern California and pitched at Angel Stadium in the 2010 All-Star Game. He did not look much like an All-Star Monday night. After Curtis Granderson tied the score in the second with his 15th home run, Hughes allowed the Angels to regain the lead in the third.
Granderson collided with Swisher as the pair pursued a drive to right-center by Mark Trumbo that fell between them for a triple. Howie Kendrick, who drove in two runs with a single in the first inning, scored Trumbo with a fly to right. Mike Trout’s leadoff home run in the fourth made it 10 consecutive starts from the beginning of the season that Hughes has been taken deep.
Unlike the way the Angels’ bullpen kept the team in the game after Weaver was knocked out, Hughes was not picked up by his pen. After he left the game with one out and a runner on second in the sixth, Hughes watched the Angels load the bases off Cody Eppley and get two runs on a double by Kendrys Morales off David Phelps.
It was the Yankees’ offense that came to Hughes’ rescue by taking him off the hook with three runs in the seventh to tie the score. The big hit was a bases-loaded double by Russell Martin, who has struggled at the plate all season.
Maybe the bright side for the Yankees Friday night is that they did not have to play extra innings for the third day in a row, even though going extras was their only shot at pulling out a victory after they were retired in the ninth with the score 1-1.
There were actual bright sides for the Yankees in the 2-1 loss to the Angels, but not many. The Yankees got to play in ideal weather conditions for a change in the blissful climate of Anaheim, Calif., after two long games on wet tracks in the Bronx and Baltimore.
The Elias Sports Bureau pointed out that the Yankees’ back-to-back losses to the Orioles at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night and at Camden Yards Thursday marked the second time in major-league history that a team lost in extra innings on consecutive days to the same team in different ballparks. It also occurred April 19 and 20, 1900 when the Boston Beaneaters (now the Atlanta Braves) lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, 19-17, in 10 innings at the South End Grounds in Boston and at Philadelphia’s Baker Bowl the next day, 5-4, in 11 innings.
The recent toll on the bullpen left the Yankees vulnerable as manager Joe Girardi trusted the ninth inning to Aaron Laffey and Luis Ayala. The Angels loaded the bases against them on two singles and a hit batter with none out, which allowed pinch hitter Maicer Izturis to win the game with a sacrifice fly to medium center field. Curtis Granderson didn’t even attempt a throw to combat speedy pinch runner Jeremy Moore. Curtis should have thrown home anyway. You never know; Moore might have tripped or fallen down.
Granderson’s career-high 11 assists are the most by a Yankees center fielder since 2007 when Melky Cabrera had 14. Granderson had two assists Thursday, the first Yankees center fielder to do that since Omar Moreno in 1984
The Yankees’ failure to generate any kind of offense against American League Cy Young Award candidate Jered Weaver wasted a strong pitching performance by Bartolo Colon, who remained winless in seven starts since July 30. Colon is 0-3 with four no-decisions and a 4.19 ERA during this stretch, but he was flawless Friday night allowing six hits and a walk with five strikeouts in seven innings. The only run he allowed was not earned due to a throwing error by Derek Jeter.
The shortstop’s wild throw in the fifth that proved costly when Howie Kendrick got a two-out, RBI single marked the sixth straight game in which the Yankees have committed an error. The Yankees have 11 errors in nine games in September, one more than they had in all of August (28 games).
Jesus Montero continued his sizzling September (.350 in 20 at-bats) with a long home run to left field off Weaver leading off the third inning. It was the third home run for Montero, all of which have come off right-handed pitchers. Girardi started Montero as the designated hitter against a righthander for the first time. Expect that to happen on a regular basis.
Andruw Jones, who usually is the DH against righties, played right field because Nick Swisher is down with a painful left elbow. The switch-hitter is a left-handed thrower, so the situation bears very close watching.
Montero was the only Yankees batter to get past first base against Weaver, who gave up two other hits, both singles, and two walks while striking out 11 in eight innings. He was stuck with a tough no-decision as well. The victory went to rookie closer Jordan Walden, who pitched the ninth. He walked Alex Rodriguez with one out, but the Angels guessed right on a pitchout and catcher Jeff Mathis nailed pinch runner Eduardo Nunez trying to steal second base.
The Yankees’ three-game losing streak is simultaneous with that of Boston, so their lead in the AL East remains 2 ½ games over the Red Sox, which counts as a bright spot.
The Angels sure must have a lot of faith in Garrett Richards to have him make his major-league debut Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. What a place for a young pitcher up from Double A to make his first big-league appearance.
Richards became the first pitcher to make his debut at the new Stadium. The righthander, 23, had a fastball clocked regularly in the mid-90s but had problems with command in a very shaky first inning against the Yankees. Before he could keep his heart from pounding, Richards was in a 3-0 hole after walking Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter and yielding Curtis Granderson’s 30th home run of the season on a 1-0 heater.
One out later, Robinson Cano lined a double to right-center, but the rookie settled down and got Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez out on ground balls. The Yankees don’t normally do this well in a pitcher’s first game. They had lost each of their past six games in which they faced a starting pitcher making his major-league debut. Their past victory in such a situation was May 1, 2004 against the Royals’ Eduardo Villacis, 12-4, at the Stadium.
Richards, whose contract was purchased from Double A Arkansas, was filling the place in this turn of the rotation of staff ace Jered Weaver, who is serving a six-day suspension for throwing at the head of a Tigers batter in a game last week. The Angels will get Weaver back early next week to pitch against their American League West rival Texas Rangers at Anaheim.
The Angels drafted Richards, who pitched for three seasons at the University of Oklahoma, in the first round of the 2009 first-year player draft as a compensation pick for their having lost relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez to free agency and the Mets. Richards had been lights out at Arkansas with a 12-2 record, three complete games and a 3.06 ERA in 21 starts. In one inning, however, he discovered how wide the gap is between Double A and the majors.
The Angels pulled the same maneuver 15 years ago when a pitcher named Jason Dickson made his major-league debut at the old Stadium Aug. 21, 1996. Dickson, a righthander from Canada, pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed 10 hits but only one run in a 7-1 Angels victory. The lone run Dickson gave up was on a home run by another rookie, a kid named Jeter.
That was Dickson’s only victory that year as he finished ’96 with a 1-4 record and 4.57 ERA. He pitched in parts of four seasons for the Angels and had a career mark of 26-25 with a 4.99 ERA.
Normalcy returned to Yankees Universe Saturday at Toronto. Not surprisingly, CC Sabathia was responsible for that after two games in which the Bombers were crying “O, Canada” after being outscored, 23-8, and playing some of their sloppiest baseball all year. With three errors Thursday night and two more Friday night, the Yankees had successive multi-boot games for the first time since June 27 at Anaheim and June 29 at Seattle last year when they made two errors in each.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi expressed concern before the game that the Blue Jays may have been stealing signs, which has been rumored at Rogers Centre ever since it opened in 1989 as the SkyDome, a much better name, by the way. The retractable-roofed facility is connected to a hotel which has windows facing the plate. There has been suspicion for two decades that the Jays have someone with high-power binoculars peering in at the catcher’s signals and relaying them to the Toronto bench. Yankees catcher Russell Martin, a native Canadian, was constantly changing the team’s signs during the first two games of the series.
“Sometimes we have inclinations that certain things might be happening in certain ballparks and we are aware of it and try to protect our signs,” Girardi told reporters. “If you feel it is coming from somewhere else besides a player on the field, then I do have issues. There are parks where you need to protect your signs. I don’t want to really get into it because I’m not 100 percent sure about anything.”
The only problem with that theory is that the Blue Jays have a losing record (21-23) at home this year. So what happened Saturday when the Jays scored only one run? Did the spyglasses break?
What happened was CC Sabathia for eight innings and Mariano Rivera for one. That’s a lethal combination for any team even if they think they know what pitch is coming. And in Mo’s case, everybody knows what pitch is coming; a cut fastball, but they can’t do much about it.
Sabathia certainly doesn’t seem to have any problems pitching at Rogers Centre where he now has a 6-1 record with a 2.19 ERA in 49 1/3 career innings. Overall against Toronto, CC is 11-3 with a 3.03 ERA in 101 career innings.
The Yankees had another rough game with runners in scoring position (2-for-14), but the two runs they scored in the second inning on doubles by Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner, a single by Andruw Jones and an infield out were all Sabathia would need to win his seventh straight start, a stretch in which he has a 1.68 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings. In a dozen starts since May 19, the massive lefthander is 11-1 with a 2.11 ERA in 94 innings.
The run Sabathia allowed in the first inning ended a scoreless stretch of 24 innings, the most for a Yankees starter since May 1980 when Tom Underwood did two-thirds of an inning better.
With a season record of 14-4 and a 2.64 ERA, Sabathia has put himself in the American League Cy Young Award conversation again this season, just as he was last year when he placed third to winner Felix Hernandez of the Mariners and runner-up David Price of the Rays. CC, who won the award in 2007 with the Indians, once again faces a challenge from two other quality starters, Justin Verlander of the Tigers and Jered Weaver of the Angels.
It is shaping up as another close call among three starting pitchers. At this point, Sabathia leads the AL in victories and in winning percentage (.778) and is second in innings (153 2/3), fourth in strikeouts (134) and sixth in ERA.
Verlander has the lead in innings (157) and strikeouts (153), ranks third in ERA (2.29) and has a .706 winning percentage based on a 12-5 record. He has also thrown a no-hitter among his four complete games, which has him tied with Weaver for second place in that category. Sabathia has two complete games, but unlike Verlander and Weaver CC has Rivera to finish off games.
Weaver, who was scheduled to start the second game of a doubleheader Saturday night, has a commanding lead in ERA (1.86) and is tied for fourth with a .733 winning percentage (11-4). Verlander (.192) and Weaver (.194) rank second and third, respectively, in opponents’ batting average (behind the Red Sox’ Josh Beckett’s .187), which gives them an edge over Sabathia, who is holding foes to a .239 average. Verlander and Weaver also have two shutouts apiece to CC’s one.
It may be a case once more of the number of victories (he led the AL in 2010 with 21) not being convincing enough evidence for Cy Young Award voters to lean toward Sabathia, but the value he brings to the Yankees in games such as Saturday’s 4-1 victory is immeasurable. Sabathia’s Cy Young Award candidacy is as legitimate as it gets.
The Yankees’ longest winning streak this season of four games came to an end Friday night against the Angels and Jered Weaver, who ended a personal four-game losing streak and won for the first time in seven starts since April 25.
Weaver was tested early by the Yankees, who came back from a 2-0, first-inning deficit to tie the score, but the righthander got tougher later in the game after the Angels had regained the lead at 3-2, which would be the final score. The Yankees had only two base runners after the fourth inning when they knotted matters on a two-out double by Jorge Posada, who hit the ball hard again in the seventh but the Angels’ fleet center fielder, Peter Boujos, ran the ball down.
That Weaver lasted through seven innings was impressive considering he was working with a high pitch count from the very beginning of the game. Derek Jeter led off with a 15-pitch at-bat in which he fouled off 10 consecutive pitches before flying out to center field. It might have been a case of Weaver winning the battle but the Yankees winning the war. Instead, Weaver patched up his wounds and ended up causing more casualties for the Yankees in a 119-pitch effort.
Weaver had opened the season by winning his first six starts but was 0-4 with two no-decisions in his next six starts despite pitching to a decent 3.38 ERA. Lack of run support from the Angels’ offense was a factor. For example, Weaver allowed only one run in 16 innings over his previous two starts but did not get a decision in either game.
Yankees starter Ivan Nova remained winless in three starts since May 17, but he pitched much better than his prior start when he was knocked out in the fourth inning at Seattle. Nova pitched into the seventh this time and withstood a hard line drive off his right forearm to keep the game close.
Nova hurt himself with a wild pitch in Los Angeles’ two-run first inning that put a runner in scoring position who was driven home by Bobby Abreu’s double. A passed ball by Russell Martin sent Abreu to third, and he scored an unearned run on an infield out. Martin, back in southern California where he played for five seasons with the Dodgers, atoned for his miscue with an RBI single in the second that scored Alex Rodriguez, who led off with a double. The double by Posada was the Yankees’ only other hit.
Weaver walked four batters, including Rodriguez, who scored on the Posada double that tied the score in the fourth. The Angels loaded the bases against Nova in the bottom of the inning but got only one run on a single by Boujos. Nova stopped the bleeding with a strikeout of Maicer Izturis and a flyout by Erick Aybar.
That run would have to be enough for Weaver as the Angels continued to struggle by going 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranding 10 runners. The Yankees weren’t any more successful with relievers Scott Downs in the eighth and Jordan Walden (13th save) in the ninth.
Despite the remarkable first-inning at-bat, Jeter was hitless and remained stuck on 2,984 for his career. Curtis Granderson also had a tough night (0-for-4, 3 strikeouts) as the Yankees struck out 11 times in all.
The Yankees may catch a break Saturday night in that Dan Haren (5-3, 2.29 ERA) has been scratched as the Angels’ starter due to back stiffness and replaced by Ervin Santana (3-4, 4.34 ERA) while the Bombers will have ace CC Sabathia (6-3, 2.98 ERA). However, Sabathia’s .417 winning percentage (5-7) against the Angels is his second lowest against opponents. The lowest is .111 against the Yankees based on a 1-8 record against his current club when he was with the Indians.
Dayna Varano, the Yankees’ winner of the Honorary Bat Girl Contest, will be honored Thursday night when the team concludes a three-game series against the Royals at Yankee Stadium. A cancer patient from Wayne, N.J., Dayna will be the Yankees’ on-field guest during batting practice and assist in the delivery of the lineup card to the plate prior to throwing out the game’s ceremonial first pitch.
Major League Baseball and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, announced the winners of the 2011 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, a campaign to recognize baseball fans that have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrated a commitment to fighting the disease.
Dayna is one of the 30 winners, one for each major league club, among more than 1,500 entrants that were selected by more than a half-million fan votes on http://www.HonoraryBatGirl.com, a Web site powered by MLB.com, and a panel of celebrity judges.
Among those on the panel were cancer survivors such as Yankees radio broadcaster Suzyn Waldman; Billye Aaron, Komen Global Ambassador for breast cancer and wife of Hall of Famer Hank Aaron; Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; actress Gabrielle Union and Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. Other panelists included Angels pitcher Jered Weaver, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor; Twins designated hitter Jim Thome, whose mother passed away from lung cancer, and former pitcher and MLB Network analyst Mitch Williams, whose late mother had breast cancer.
On Valentine’s Day 2007, while already battling a brain tumor, Dayna was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. Amid countless surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation, Dayna has continued her efforts in educating and counseling those affected by the disease. She is a chairperson for the Young Survival Coalition in NYC, an organization dedicated to offering resources and outreach to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Dayna has also helped collect more than 10,000 toys for children who have either lost a parent to cancer or have a surviving parent that is experiencing financial hardship.
The Honorary Bat Girl program was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative celebrated on Mother’s Day. In three years, nearly 4,000 testimonials have been submitted and more than six million fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a joint partnership between MLB, its licensed partners and Susan G. Komen for the Cure to raise awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.
On Mother’s Day this past Sunday, hundreds of players used pink bats by Louisville Slugger, the official bat of MLB, stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo and wore the symbolic pink ribbons on their uniforms along with pink wrist bands. Commemorative dugout lineup cards were also colored pink. Game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats from Mother’s Day games will be auctioned exclusively on MLB.com at a later date to raise additional funds for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which is now the world’s largest breast cancer organization and the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer with more than $1.9 billion invested to date. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.
Yankees fans have reason to be upset that CC Sabathia did not win the American League Cy Young Award that was given instead by the Baseball Writers’ Association to the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez. Heck, the big guy didn’t even finish second as the Rays’ David Price was the runner-up.
One of the arguments made last year when the Royals’ Zack Greinke won in the AL with only 16 victories and the Giants’ Tim Lincecum in the National League with merely 15 was that there were no 20-game winners, so the field was much more open.
That was not the case this year. Sabathia was 21-7 and had plenty of other good numbers, too, including a 3.18 ERA, which is not shabby for a guy pitching in the AL East and hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. That Hernandez won despite posting a record of 13-12 seems absurd until you look a bit deeper into his season and not just at the statistics that a lot of people believe are too esoteric but to which the increasing numbers-conscious are devoted.
Hernandez led the league in ERA (2.27) and innings (249 2/3) and was second in strikeouts (232), only one behind league leader Jered Weaver of the Angels. These are not intangible stats. They are pretty tangible, one might even say traditional.
Think of how Hernandez felt last year. He went 19-5 and couldn’t beat out Greinke. Hernandez said Thursday from his home in Venezuela that he did not know how to gauge this year’s balloting after what happened last year. “Are they going to tell me that I didn’t win enough games this year but that I won too many last year?” he asked me.
I told him one year to the next is different, which I still believe even though the recent voting indicates a trend may be developing. I hope not. The day when victories aren’t considered the important part of the pitching equation is the day you might as well stop keeping score. I mean, if pitching victories don’t mean anything, why are they still kept? Imagine trying to tell the Major League Players Association that pitching victories won’t be totaled any more? Good luck explaining that to the union.
It is interesting that the list of pitchers who have 300 or more career victories are all in the Hall of Fame except for those not yet eligible, whose names are Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine and Randy Johnson. It would seem that winning a lot of games is a big deal, huh?
This is all coming from someone who thought Hernandez was the best pitcher he saw this year. No knock on CC, who I probably would have voted for had I been on the committee, but look what Hernandez did in his three starts against the Yankees: 3-0, 0.35 ERA. That is not a misprint. He allowed 1 run, 16 hits and 8 walks with 31 strikeouts in 26 innings.
The only reason he did not pitch 27 innings for a third complete game against the Yankees was that Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu did not let him finish the Aug. 20 game at the Stadium while working on a four-hit shutout with 11 Ks. Writers in the press box can recall my reaction to that. I was beside myself, howling that Wakamatsu’s move was akin to grabbing the brush from Picasso before he could complete his painting. It was absolute disregard for artistic endeavor, and the manager deserved to be fired, which he eventually was.
Remember, though, that was a night Hernandez won, not one of the many games in which he pitched splendidly and either lost or got hung with a no-decision because of such scant run support by an offense that scratched out an average of 3.2 runs per game. The Mariners’ run support for Hernandez was 2.4 per game. Seattle scored two runs or fewer in 15 of his 34 starts. He was 2-10 with a 2.84 ERA in those games. In his nine no decisions, Hernandez pitched to a 1.92 ERA.
I kept in mind that in 1972 Steve Carlton won the NL Cy Young Award with a 27-10 record for a Phillies club whose overall mark was 59-97 and also averaged only 3.2 runs per game. The point of view of Sabathia supporters, of which there were three who gave him first-place approval on the ballot, came Tuesday from none other than this year’s NL winner, Roy Halladay, who had the same victory total as CC.
“Obviously, Felix’s numbers are very, very impressive,” Doc said. “But I think, ultimately, you look at how guys are able to win games. Sometimes the run support isn’t there, but you sometimes just find ways to win games. I think the guys that are winning and helping their teams deserve a strong look, regardless of how good Felix’s numbers are. It definitely could go either way; it’s going to be interesting. But I think when teams bring guys over, they want them to, ultimately at the end of the day, help them win games.”
It is hard to argue with that logic.