April 2009

Return of the Yankees Fan…



Ahh, it feels so nice to be under the Yankees banner once again!  The restoration of my blog’s name is also a great thing.  Dirty red socks just didn’t go with my image!  😉  And what was up with Mark changing the name of my blog to ‘I’m Not A Yankee Guy’?.  Of course, I am a Yankee guy! 



Last night was the perfect evening to restore my rightful place as a die-hard Yankees fan. 

The Yankees were locked in a tense, pitching duel between Phil Hughes and the Detroit Tigers’ Edwin Jackson.  It was 0-0 after six innings, and Hughes had given up only two hits.  Given his inability to win a game in 2008, I was starting to feel that his first victory of 2009 was going to prove just as elusive.  Nevertheless, the 7th inning rolled around, and the Yanks posted a 10-spot in the inning.  By the end of the game, the Yanks had an 11-0 victory and Hughes had secured his first victory of 2009 with arguably the best Yankee pitching performance of the year.


Jeff Kowalsky/EPA 

After seeing runs scored by the litter against Chien-Ming Wang, it was great to finally see this turn in the rotation nail down a crucial win.  I am obviously hopeful that Wang finds himself in Tampa and returns as the player we saw in 2006 and 2007, but in the interim, I am more than happy to take my chances with #65. 

Of course, if Hughes continues to pitch well, the Yanks will be facing a difficult decision when Wang returns.  The never-ending Joba-to-Pen opinions have continued to circulate, and they will only be heightened if it becomes impossible to pull Hughes from the rotation.  It’s a good problem to have and I am sure that Joe Girardi will make the right decision when the time comes.

But the Yankees win was not the only bright spot of the night.  I went to bed while the Red Sox were still playing the Cleveland Indians.  At one time, the Red Sox had built 5-1 and 7-4 leads so it appeared that the winning streak was going to extend to 12 games.  But when I awoke this morning and saw the highlights of the game-tying three run homer and then the game-winning run scored by the Indians on an error, I couldn’t believe that the Red Sox had let the winning streak die on what should have been a routine inning-ending out.  Judging by the look on the faces of the players in the Boston dugout, neither could they.  Thanks Javier Lopez!

Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer

So, it was the perfect day!  A Yankees win, a Red Sox loss, and full restoration of my Yankees blog to its rightful banner and name!  Oh Betsy, it doesn’t get any better than that!



What does that mean?  It means that we will no longer see the likes of Ramiro Pena or Angel Berroa manning third base for the Yankees.  Dr. Marc Philippon has indicated that Alex Rodriguez will be able to return to the team and resume playing in about 10 days.  “He’s looking good.  Looking awesome” was how Dr. Philippon described A-Rod’s progress.

A-Rod has been batting in simulated games for the past few days, and is expected to begin playing extended spring games this week.

Reinhold Matay/The Star Ledger 

In anticipation of the 10th day, I have purchased my ticket to see the Yankees play the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on Saturday, May 9th.  My ticket is even on the third base side.  Alex, listen to your doctor! 



As part of my wager loss to Julia of Julia’s Rants last weekend (thanks to Boston’s sweep of the Yankees), I had to place Wally the Green Monster on top of Lou the Yankee Bear.  I had agreed to allow Wally to remain on his “perch” through the end of the Red Sox winning streak.  So, guess what the first thing I did when I got up this morning and saw that the Red Sox had lost?  Wally, meet your new place!


IMG_0059 sm.JPGWally didn’t like this spot so much (although he was wondering what was in the box), so he agreed to make a concession for me in order to return to his rightful place at Lou’s feet.


IMG_0060 sm.JPGWally, you look great in the new helmet!  Now, if you could only do something about that jersey!



Well, the first round of the regular season went to Julia (after a split in spring training).  But next week is a new day!  The Boston Red Sox roll into the Bronx for two games at the new Yankee Stadium on Monday and Tuesday.  A series sweep, and the loser must wear a pink version of the opposing team’s hat.  A split, and the loser is the team with the fewest total combined runs in the series. 

I am very fortunate that the Red Sox winning streak came to an end.  Otherwise, it would have been a challenge finding a hat that would fit the size of Julia’s head.


Nevertheless, I can safely say that her head swelling has gone down, so this should fit just fine…

Hey Julia, the game is so on!  Get ready!



Legend of The Little Professor…

I have long been interested in the career of former Boston Red Sox centerfielder Dom DiMaggio.  He played before my time, but I was always amazed that he was able to carve out a great career despite playing in the long shadows of his brother, Yankees centerfielder Joe DiMaggio and Boston great Ted Williams.

Dominic Paul DiMaggio was born on February 12, 1917; the ninth and youngest son of Italian immigrants Guiseppe and Rosalia (Mercurio) DiMaggio.  Brothers Vince and Joe shared the same middle name due to Guiseppe’s favorite saint, St. Paul.

Physically, Dom was smaller than his older brothers who played major league baseball.  Vince, who played for 5 National League teams, was 5’11”, 183 lbs; while Joe was the tallest at 6’2″, 193 lbs.  Dom, known as “The Little Professor” because of his glasses and his studious nature, was only 5’9″, 168 lbs.  However, it didn’t stop Dom from becoming a legitimate baseball star in his own right. 



He started his professional baseball career with the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League in 1937 (where Joe had starred a few years earlier).  After batting .361 in 1939, his contract was purchased by the Boston Red Sox. 

In his rookie season of 1940, he became part of Boston’s .300 hitting outfield trio, joining Ted Williams and Doc Cramer, with a .301 batting average.  Dom played in Boston for a couple more years, and then joined the U.S. Navy in October 1942.  He was one of many major league baseball players who saw interruptions in their major league careers due to military commitment during World War II.  I have always wondered what these players could have done in those missing years.  Of course, they served a greater cause, but it’s still tough not to wonder ‘what if’. 

Nevertheless, Dom picked up right where he left off when he returned to the Red Sox in 1946.  That year, he hit .316 and participated in his only World Series.  It was Boston’s first Series appearance in 28 years.  Dom batted third and almost became a World Series hero and could have eliminated the so-called ‘Curse of the Bambino’ in 1946 rather than allowing it to stew in the minds of fans until 2004.  In the 8th inning of Game 7 with two outs, Dom doubled home two runs to tie the score against the St. Louis Cardinals at 3-3.  As he was coming into second base, he pulled his hamstring and had to be lifted for a pinch runner.   Dom was very gifted defensively, and his presence in the Boston outfield in the 9th inning could have prevented the famed Mad Dash by the Cardinals’ Enos “Country” Slaughter.  After Dom left the game, Leon Culberson took over center. With one out and Slaughter on base, Harry Walker hit a ball into centerfield.  Culberson relayed the ball to shortstop Johnny Pesky.  Pesky hesitated (either it was a mental lapse or he thought Slaughter wouldn’t try to run home).  Slaughter ran past the stop sign at third, and scored what proved the game and series winning score, sending the Red Sox to their first World Series defeat.  There has been long speculation that had a healthy DiMaggio been in centerfield, he would have either caught the ball or his strong throwing arm would have held Slaughter at third. 

UPI/Bettman Newsphotos  

In 1948, Dom broke the AL record for most putouts in a season with 503 and most total chances with 526.  The marks stood until 1977 when they were broken by Chet Lemon of the Chicago White Sox. 

In 1949, Dom pieced together a 34-game hitting streak to set the Red Sox team record. 

Dom was generally good for about 10-15 stolen bases a year in an era that did not place much emphasis on stolen bags.  His 15 stolen bases in 1950 led the league, and it was the lowest total to lead either league. 

Another hitting streak, this time it was 27 games, followed in 1951. 

Dom retired in 1953, at a time when he could have continued to play at a high level for a few more years.  He hit .300 four times during his Boston career (lifetime batting average was .298, with an excellent OBP of .383).  Dom also led the AL in runs twice (he scored over 100 run in 6 of his 10 seasons with the Red Sox).  At the time of his retirement, his 1,338 games played in centerfield ranked 8th in AL history. 

Talk to baseball old-timers, and you’ll find more than a few who felt that Dom played the best centerfield in the DiMaggio family. 

Who hits the ball and makes it go?
Dominick DiMaggio.

Who runs the bases fast, not slow?
Dominick DiMaggio.

Who’s better than his brother Joe?
Dominick DiMaggio.

But when it comes to getting dough,
They give it all to brother Joe.

(Refrain recited by Red Sox fans in the 1940s.)

Dom was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 1995.  If he had played during the war years, I am sure that he would have found his way to Cooperstown…

Joe Gromelski/S&S (2005)


With weekend sweep of the Yankees, the Red Sox completed an undefeated 9-game home stand and their current winning streak stands at 10 games.  The streak began with an 8-2 victory over the Oakland A’s on April 15th.  If Death and Taxes are the only certainties in life, I guess a Red Sox winning streak is not far behind…




Yes Julia, Wally remains on his “perch” and will stay there until the Red Sox winning streak is over…


Lily's Visit April 2009 399 small.jpg

Lou the Bear’s Punishment…

As part of the wager loss (Yankees losing the weekend’s three game series to the Boston Red Sox), my Yankee Bear, Lou, has been moved off his perch and Wally the Green Monster has taken residence on his head…


I think Julia is enjoying this weekend way too much!  Poor Lou…



No-Show in Boston…

Just like that, the bet is ended…


Julia achieved her goal of having a terrific birthday…at my expense…

The Boston Red Sox have taken two of three games from the New York Yankees in the weekend series, and they’ll go for the sweep later today.

I will have to wear a scarlet letter thanks to the underwhelming performance by the Yankees…



It’s been a disappointing two days, and the Yankees didn’t even make the bet close. 

Brian Bruney is on the DL and it has left the Yankee  bullpen in shambles…

I got my wish about Cody Ransom, but it wasn’t the way I wanted him to go (he was placed on the 60-Day DL after feeling what felt like a knife in the thigh while attempting to steal a base on Friday night).  Angel Berroa now becomes the starting third baseman until A-Rod returns in the not-so-distant future.

I am pleased to see future closer Mark Melancon at the major league level, but again, this isn’t the way I wanted it to work out. 

Now, I get to be a Red Sox blog for a few days.  Wow, lucky me…


I have a day to count my blessings as a Yankee fan, but then I have to submerge myself in…


I wonder if I could get my toenails pulled out instead?…


Tough Loss in Beantown…

Game 1 goes to Julia of Julia’s Rants

The Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox on Friday night, 5-4, in extra innings.  The Red Sox had tied the score in the bottom of the 9th against the great Mariano Rivera, with a dramatic two-run home run by Jason Bay.  The Red Sox have hit well against Mo in recent years in certain clutch situations, and this, unfortunately, was another example.  Kevin Youklis ended it in the 11th inning with a homer off Damaso Marte…



I have been on vacation this week so unfortunately I have been unable to post my usual blogs.  I apologize for the lack of greater participation in the latest Yankees-Red Sox series.  Like who would schedule a vacation when the Yankees are playing the Red Sox?  I know, a bonehead move on my part.

Nevertheless, there are still two games to go.  A.J. Burnett will be on the mound today, and Andy Pettitte on Sunday.  Regardless of what happens, it should be a good series.

I do want to wish Julia a very Happy Birthday!


Of course, the Yankees have allowed her to start it a little too happily but hopefully there will be sone vinegar in that cake frosting by the end the day!  Sorry Julia, just kidding…

Enjoy your day!  Well, at least until the final score of today’s game… 

Go Yankees!

After Rainout, All Things Good…

The first game of the Yankees home series against the Oakland A’s was postponed due to rain, and will be made up in July.  Fortunately, there was much better weather on hand for Tuesday.

The Yankees emerged victorious, with a 5-3 victory.  Andy Pettitte (2-0) was the winning pitcher, and most notably, he did not give up any home runs.  Johnny Damon hit the day’s only home run in the ballpark which has become a launching pad in its short history due to the apparent wind tunnel.  Brian Bruney was touched for a run, but he and Mariano Rivera successfully closed out the game…as usual.

John Munson/The Star-Ledger

It was nice to see Jason Giambi do good…but not too good.  He had a hit and a run scored, but no homers or RBI’s.  Brett Gardner also made a leaping catch to take away a potential base hit.  I won’t mind seeing Giambi hit some home runs in this series, so long as the Yanks have a comfortable lead, of course.

Nathan Denette/The Star-Ledger

On the good news front, right fielder Xavier Nady has been diagnosed with a ligament strain in his elbow and he won’t need season-ending surgery after all.  He is expected to miss six weeks.  All things considered, that’s great news!

Also, the Yanks announced that pitcher Chien-Ming Wang will miss his next start and will go to Tampa to pitch in an extended spring training game.  Wow, why didn’t I think of that??!!  Too funny!  But that is the ONLY solution that I could see when Wang stunk it up the last time he pitched.  Well, the other option was to put him on waivers…which obviously was not going to happen.  Hopefully, Wang will be able to work out his mechanics in Florida.

Wang had been scheduled to open the series in Boston on Friday night.  Instead, Joba Chamberlain will get the start.  I feel much better heading into the weekend showdown with Julia of Julia’s Rants

I don’t know what to say about my San Jose Sharks.  I am disappointed that they’ve lost the first two games of their series against the Anaheim Ducks.  The Ducks were playing much better at the end of the season than an eighth seed, while the Sharks were struggling.  The playoff series has been more of the same. 

Gary Reyes/San Jose Mercury News

Game 3 is tonight in Anaheim.  Obviously, this game is huge for the Sharks and will most likely determine if they can turn this series around.  I remain hopeful of a Sharks-Bruins Stanley Cup Final, but I recognize for I am failing my part of the equation.  Rest assured Julia, it is not a sign of things to come this weekend…

Go Yankees! 



Fugetaboutit, It Was a Home Run!…

Brian Cashman, did I mention how much I appreciate the investment you made in A.J. Burnett?

The Yankees salvaged the final game of the four game series with the Cleveland Indians to settle for a split in the first series ever played at the new Yankee Stadium. Considering that the Yankees lost games of 10-2 and 22-4, taking 2 of 4 sounds like a fairly good deal.  The last time the Yankees gave up two big innings in a series like this, they were known as the New York Highlanders and it was 1907. 

Branch Rickey, who is best known as the Dodgers GM who broke the color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson, was a left fielder on the team. 

The Sporting News

Jack Chesbro, who had won 41 games three years earlier, was winding down a great career.  San Jose’s own Hal Chase was the Yankees first baseman. 

Courtesy Hal Edward Chase III

Sunday brought the return of Carl “American Idle” Pavano, and he pitched the way he should have when he wore pinstripes. He pitched six innings, gave up 4 hits and 1 walk, and struck out 4. He turned over the game to the Cleveland bullpen, with a 3-1 lead. Fortunately, the Yankees rallied against the Tribe, thanks in large part to a disputed two-run pinch hit homer by Jorge Posada. The play represented the first time the officials used the video replay, but the upon review, the homer stood. The Indians had claimed fan interference.

Posada hits controversial HR in win


A.J. Burnett had gotten into trouble earlier in the inning, when he loaded the bases with one out. A.J. struggled with his control today, walking 7 batters and throwing three wild pitches. But he kept the Yankees in the game, until he couldn’t go any further. Joe Girardi went to reliever Jonathan Albaladejo who did a great job in retiring the next two batters. Then, it was time for Posada’s heroics.

Cody Ransom (he’s still a toad) hit a three-run double in the 8th to provide the final margin of victory, 7-3. I am not quite sure why Shin-Soo Choo slowed up and let Ransom’s hit drop, but I’ll take it. Maybe the ghosts of The House That Ruth Built finally moved across the street after seeing Saturday’s debacle.

The game was closed out by the dynamic duo of Brian Bruney (8th) and Mariano Rivera (9th). It was not a save situation for Mo due to Ransom’s insurance runs. Albaladejo got the win (1-0).

A.J. Burnett may not have had his best stuff today, but again, he has proven he is a warrior and the guy knows how to pitch. I have great confidence when Burnett pitches. He may not get the decision and he might take the loss, but you know that he’s going to give it everything he’s got and clearly he’s nobody’s fool. The guy has heart, and the last guy who pitched like that in pinstripes (David Cone) had a memorable Yankees career.

David Cone after he pitched a perfect game against the Montreal Expos on July 18, 1999.


The Yankees are in second place, 2.5 games behind the AL East Leader, the surprising Toronto Blue Jays. Julia‘s Red Sox are a half-game back, tied for third with the Baltimore Orioles.

Next up at Yankee Stadium is an old friend. Jason Giambi returns to the Bronx to check out the new Stadium with his team, the Oakland A’s.

Jason Giambi Picture

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images


Nomar Garciaparra will be in tow. I think he’s played a meaningful game or two in the Bronx.

Speaking of old friends…well, maybe less emphasis on the “friends” part, congratulations to Randy Johnson for his stellar performance against his old team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. He had a no-hitter into the 7th inning before giving up a double to Augie Ojeda. Johnson stranded Ojeda at third, and left the game after 7 innings. He gave up just one hit, Ojeda’s double, and struck out 7. It was Johnson’s first victory of the season (1-2) and the 296th of his career. As one who never minds seeing the D-Backs lose, congrats to the Big Unit for the vintage performance!


I had told some Dodger friends that the Yankees would have a better record than their team by the end of week. The only problem? The Dodgers haven’t lost since. Yikes! Joe Torre and company continued their 8-game winning streak with a 14-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies. Manny Ramirez may be all that, but Matt Kemp is finally becoming the man for the Dodgers. Credit Donnie Baseball for his help in Kemp’s realization of his five-tool talent.

Getty Images

The Red Sox won. Bummer…


Just kidding, Julia! 🙂

Have a great week!


All Expense Paid Trip to Tampa…

He’s got to go…


My patience for Chien-Ming Wang to find himself effectively ended today. The Indians defeated the Yankees 22-4 in what should stand as the worst beating at the new Stadium for quite some time (or let’s hope so).



I don’t want to see Wang pitch in New York again if this is what we have to look forward to. I realize that he can’t be sent down (out of options and would have to have at least five years of service to agree to go down which he does not have).  He should be sent to the Yankees facility in Tampa for an extended spring training (if that’s possible) to work on re-establishing himself as a major league pitcher because right now he’s not one.  


Wang’s ERA now stands at 34.50…

In Pete Abraham’s LoHud Blog this morning, he said that if Wang threw three complete game shutouts, his ERA would still be over 4. No telling how many complete game shutouts it would take now.

Over the past few years, the Yankees have thrown up a few of these clunkers but this is on the heels of the Tampa debacle last Monday. Of course, the common denominator is Wang.


The Indians scored 14 runs in the second inning. Wang’s pitching line reads 11/3 innings, 8 hits and 8 runs. Anthony Claggett, called up from AAA Scranton earlier today (Juan Miranda was sent down), gave up 9 hits and 8 runs in 1 2/3 innings. Claggett now lays claim to the worst ERA on the staff at 43.20. Looking at the ERA’s of all the NY pitchers that appeared in the game is frightening. Edwar Ramirez, who gave up 4 runs in 2 innings, stands at 8.44. Jose Veras, who gave up 1 run in 3 innings, is at 8.53, and Damaso Marte, 1 run in 1 inning, is at 21.00.



I know that the Yankees have been hit hard by injuries, but I’d have to believe that Joe Girardi’s seat just got a little hotter.

Clearly, New York needs to get Wang away from the magnifying glass so that he can work on correcting himself and getting back to the pitcher we saw early last season before the foot injury in Houston.

I am ready for Phil Hughes to make his 2009 debut at the new Stadium. Phil is 2-0 in two games (11 2/3 innings) with a 2.31 ERA for AAA Scranton.


I am sure that Julia is enjoying her day…


There are a few pitchers on other teams that I like to follow. Some of my favorites are Jon Lester, Scott Kazmir, Clayton Kershaw, and Ubaldo Jimenez to name a few. Another one is Tim Lincecum. Unfortunately, Lincecum received a no-decision today despite 13 strikeouts and no runs in 8 innings (he gave up 5 hits). The Giants lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks on a 9th inning two-run double by Chris Young. Speaking of the D-Backs and Giants, Sunday’s pitching match-up is Max Scherzer against Randy Johnson. It should be interesting to see how the Unit performs against his former team…

Phillies fans said goodbye to legendary broadcaster Harry Kalas today at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. It was a beautiful day (warm with lots of sun), so it is a fitting farewell for a man who will never be forgotten…


Posted by ESPN


Well, as I so often say early this baseball season, tomorrow is a new day!  Have a great night!



Who is the Red Sox Fan talking to?…

You talkin’ to me?  You talkin’ to me?  You talkin’ to me?




Julia (of Julia’s Rants, or who I like to refer to as the one who will soon be wearing a pink Yankees hat) has called me out!  



One week from today, the Yankees will begin a three-day weekend series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.  


Boston Globe


This represents the Great Showdown III between Julia and me.  We are 1-1 counting the two games in spring training (Showdowns I and II).  


It is her birthday weekend so I suppose she can have a victory on Saturday sandwiched by Yankee victories on Friday and Sunday.  The perfect solution!  It works for me!


Courtesy New York Post


Julia detailed the stakes of our latest wager on her Friday morning blog entitled “One Week“.  Here is an excerpt:


In summary our wager is:

1.Which ever team loses the series, that blogger needs to put up a Logo from the other team for that Monday April 27th.

2. The losing blogger will also need to write a positive blog about a player from the winner’s teams.  (Much like we did for our preseason wager.)

3.  Mark Newman, our fearless leader, has sweetened the pot with the following offer:

I will offer to throw in an MLB PRO BLOG template that day to sweeten the deal so that either Julia is a Yankees Pro Blogger or Scott is a Red Sox Pro Blogger. I also will offer to create an Honorary one-person category in that next week’s Latest Leaders showing off your new blog colors to further deepen the pain. hahahaha



In 1923, the Yankees opened the original Yankee Stadium, the House that Ruth Built, with a four game series against the Red Sox.  What was the result?  A four game sweep by the Bronx Bombers!  It is now 2009 and the year of a new Stadium.  Can history repeat itself?  Absolutely!  Julia, I am sorry that you’ll be so disappointed on your birthday weekend but you’ll look great in a pink Yankees hat!  J




Speaking of being victorious, the Yankees provided the first home win at the new Yankee Stadium today with a 6-5 win over the Cleveland Indians.


One of these years, Derek Jeter is going to begin showing his age.  This is not the year.  DJ provided the winning margin with a solo home run in the 8th inning, breaking a 5-5 tie.  It was a day of Yankee solo home runs as Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira, Melky Cabrera and Robinson Cano each connected with no men on base.  


John O’Boyle/The Star-Ledger


Joba Chamberlain struggled and only made it into the 5th inning, surrendering 5 runs, with 5 walks.  He struck out four.  One of the hits was a home run by Mark DeRosa.  I am sure that all hearts in New York stopped when Joe Girardi opted to reach into the bullpen.  Fortunately, Phi Coke and Jonathan Albaladejo did their jobs before turning it over to the stellar duo of Brian Bruney (the winner, 2-0) and the great Mariano Rivera (3rd save).  The Indians did have a man in scoring position in the 9th, but Mo struck out DeRosa to end the game.


Mariano Rivera


Ah, the sweet sound of Frank Sinatra…


“Start spreadin’ the news, I’m leaving today

 I want to be part of it: New York, New York

 These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray

 Right through the very heart of it: New York, New York…”




I have purchased the ticket for my first game at the new Yankee Stadium.  I will be attending a game during the early May series versus the Los Angeles Angels.  Fortunately, the cost was only of the double digit variety.  Of course, that probably means the view won’t be great, but this trip will be all about experiencing the sights and sounds of the entire stadium.  


Fans fill up the hallway early as the gates are opened prior to the game between the Cleveland Indians and the Yankees in the home opener of the New Yankee Stadium. The Yankees got stomped 10-2 in their big loss.


I am excited and looking forward to the trip.  I have seen a number of the newer Stadiums so I am anxious to see how the new Stadium makes me feel when I first see it, breathe it, smell it, and touch it.  I distinctly remember my first trip to the old Stadium in 1987, and the chills I got as I realized I was on hallowed ground.  



I am also headed to Manhattan next week for a few days, and have successfully scored tickets to the Late Show with David Letterman.  




It should be a lot of fun!  This will be my first visit to his show (or any talk show for that matter).  Other priorities include pizza in Greenwich Village and dessert at Serendipity 3! 



Outside of Letterman, as you can tell, this trip will be about the food!  Mmmm…




  • The Yankees returned reliever David Robertson to AAA Scranton and recalled first baseman Juan Miranda as insurance for Mark Teixeira and Hideki Matsui (who has been limited to pinch-hitting due to pain in his knee).  What?  Did Joe Girardi forget how to spell Veras or Marte when he was trying to decide who to ship out?
  • Congratulations to the Seattle Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki for breaking the record for most hits by a Japanese player.  He broke Isao Harimoto’s record of 3,085 hits.  I attended a game in Seattle the year Ichiro set the single season Major League record for hits, and he was amazing to watch (you can see it on TV, but it’s more magical in person).
  • The San Jose Sharks lost Game 1 of their NHL Western Conference play-off series against the Anaheim Ducks, 2-0.  The Ducks successfully shut down the Sharks’ power play.  When Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau get only one shot, you know you’re in trouble.  It was the first time that the Sharks had been shut out at home this season.  Game 2 is Sunday.  Hopefully the Sharks will get back on track.  Don’t they know I have a showdown waiting against Julia and the Bruins?…


Have a great weekend!





Opening Daze at Yankee Stadium…

Except for the ending, it was a very majestic day in the Bronx…



The new Yankee Stadium may stand in the shadows of its namesake, but it offers modern advances and comforts the original could not.

Chuck Solomon/SI


The historical first lineup at the new Yankee Stadium was:


1-Derek Jeter, SS

2-Johnny Damon, LF

3-Mark Teixeira, 1B

4-Nick Swisher, RF

5-Jorge Posada, C

6-Robinson Cano, 2B

7-Hideki Matsui, DH

8-Cody Ransom, 3B

9-Brett Gardner, CF


SP:  CC Sabathia


Johnny Damon delivered the first hit at the new Stadium, and Jorge Posada hit the first home run. 


John Munson/The Star-Ledger


The game was very tight in the early going, as CC Sabathia was locked in a pitcher’s duel with his former Indians teammate Cliff Lee.  Sabathia departed with two outs in the sixth inning.  He gave up five hits, one run, and had four strikeouts.  He did allow five walks which had driven his pitch count up to 122, but at the time of his departure, the Yanks were tied with the Indians at 1-1.  


Enter the bullpen… 



Jose Veras began the seventh inning and walked the first batter he faced.  He then proceeded to allow consecutive doubles by Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta.  Peralta’s hit scored two runs. 


More gasoline…



Damaso Marte was brought in to replace Veras, but the floodgates had been opened.  A walk and an error loaded the bases.  A single by Kelly Shoppach scored a run. Trevor Crowe walked with the bases still loaded to bring in another run.  Grady Sizemore came to the plate and hit a grand slam to right to clear the bases.  Martinez came around in the order again, and homered to cap the inning’s scoring at nine runs (3 charged to Veras and 6 to Marte).  


In the end, the Indians had emerged with a 10-2 victory in the first game played at the new Stadium.  



As the new era begins, we will forever remember the Cathedral…


The new Yankee Stadium stands in the shadows of the original, which many consider a baseball cathedral.



The Yankees will look to Joba Chamberlain to bring the Yanks’ first home victory on Friday.  


Getty Images




  • As expected, the Yankees placed right fielder Xavier Nady on the disabled list.  I had expected a corner infielder to come up from Scranton, but the Yankees opted to recall reliever David Robertson.  Robertson pitched the final two innings of today’s game, giving up two hits, but allowing no runs with three strikeouts.
  • Alex Rodriguez participated in his first full batting practice session today.  He took a total of 49 swings, which included three home runs.   Is it May 15th yet?
  • The Massachusetts state medical examiner’s office has ruled former Tigers pitcher Mark Fidrych’s death to be accidental.  He suffocated when his clothes became entangled in the power takeoff shaft of a truck he was working on.  He is survived by his wife and daughter.
  • John Madden has called it a career.  I can’t say that I was a big Madden fan in 1977 when the Raiders thrashed my Minnesota Vikings, 32-14, in Super Bowl XI, but I’ve always enjoyed Madden the broadcaster.  When Madden and Pat Summerall were together, I felt they were the top NFL broadcasting team.  Madden has meant so much to the NFL, and his voice will be missed but I am glad that he’ll be able to spend more time with his family and pursue other interests.
  • The Texas Rangers’ second baseman Ian Kinsler had the game of a lifetime on Wednesday.  He went 6-for-6, hitting for the cycle with two singles, two doubles, a triple and a home run.  He scored 5 runs, and had 4 RBI.  The six at-bats came within the confines of a standard 9-inning game, which is unusual.  The Rangers defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 19-6, in Arlington, Texas.  Great game, Ian!  Get it out of your system before you make the trip to the Bronx!  On second thought, maybe that was just some awful O’s pitching…


Hopefully, tomorrow’s blog will be more uplifting!