Results tagged ‘ Lou Gehrig ’
The oldest Yankee legend has passed away…
Tommy Henrich, 96, a Yankees outfielder in the 30′s and 40′s, died yesterday in Dayton, Ohio. Henrich was part of a tremendous outfield trio in the late 40′s that included Charlie Keller and Joe DiMaggio.
In Game 1 of the 1949 World Series, Henrich hit the first game-winning home run in Series history in a 1-0 victory over Don Newcombe and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Henrich, like many of the players from his era, missed three years due to military service during World War II.
Henrich, a five time All-Star, played 11 seasons and hit 183 home runs. His career batting average was .282. He retired following the 1950 season. During his career, Henrich was part of seven World Series Championships.
He was nicknamed “Old Reliable” by the great Yankee broadcaster Mel Allen due to his knack for coming up with clutch hits in big games. On a sad note, Henrich was the final surviving teammate of the legendary Lou Gehrig and the last member of the 1938 World Champions.
An autographed picture of Henrich has long been one of my prized possessions. In Yankees history, he ranks as one of my personal favorites. I never got to meet Henrich, but he will be missed.
The Yankees did not offer arbitration to any of their free agents. So, Andy Pettitte, Johnny Damon, and Hideki Matsui are free to sign with any team without compensation to the Yanks. I understand the reasons (they couldn’t take the chance that any of the players accept arbitration), but it does feel that the bonds to the players have lessened considerably. I still think that Andy Pettitte will come back on a one year deal, but I am getting pessimistic that Damon will return. It was a given that Matsui most likely will not be back.
With the talk of Boston’s interest in Matt Holliday, it will be interesting to see if that sparks any Yankee interest in Jason Bay. If both Damon and Matsui leave, the Yankees will lose a tremendous amount of production that needs to be replaced.
Antonelli/New York Daily News
Derek Jeter was named Sport Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year. Surprisingly, he is the first Yankee to win the award in its 56 year history. It was a great year for the Yankee captain, and of course, just another noted achievement, in what is becoming a long list of achievements, for the future plaque that will be placed in Monument Park when DJ retires. Congratulations to Derek for the well-deserved honor and recognition!
The New York Jets brought in Yankees manager Joe Girardi to teach QB Mark Sanchez how to slide? Seriously?…
New York Post
All hail the Captain…
After a few games of goose eggs, Derek Jeter busted through with a 3-for-4 night to tie Lou Gehrig’s franchise hit record. Both DJ and Larrupin’ Lou stand at 2,721 hits…
Congrats to DJ for a well-deserved achievement, and of course, all his future hits will be franchise records. This adds another reason to why the Yankees need to do what’s right, and lock up Jeter for the remainder of his career. We don’t need another Brett Favre in Minnesota saga…
Tonight’s 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays was a microcosm for what’s wrong with the 2009 Rays. Great starting pitching…awful bullpen. Rookie Jeff Niemann was masterful against the Yanks tonight. In 7 innings, he did give up 8 hits, but only allowed one earned run and had 8 strikeouts. Given that the East Coast games start while I am still at work, I was constantly checking the game score on my BlackBerry. Despite a significant advantage in hits, the Yankees couldn’t seem to push any runs across the plate.
I have a good friend that is a die-hard Rays fan. For many years, Kelly has held a single season ticket to games at Tropicana Field and she is generally there without fail. She was going to Rays games when you needed binoculars to see the person sitting next to you and parking was free. After the double-header sweep on Monday, Kelly sent me an email the next day that said “I would rather lose like we did yesterday to the Yankees than to play like we did last week. We were winning the games until the late 8th or even 9th inning and then the bullpen just gives the games away. Sunday we gave up a grand Slam in the 9th to lose the game. That is just brutal. No matter what the score is when the starting pitcher leaves the game, the fans can rest assured that the bullpen will screw it up.” Unfortunately (for her), the next two games proved to be the exact formula she was hoping to avoid.
It is an unfortunate situation because I was hoping that the Tampa Bay Rays would beat out the Boston Red Sox for the Wild Card spot (sorry Julia!). Most likely, the Rays would not have beaten Boston had they retained Scott Kazmir. However, that trade just seemed to draw the life out of the Rays. He couldn’t have helped their bullpen woes, but it seemed like Rays management were throwing in the towel.
Tonight’s game had another great finish. Trailing 2-0 in the 8th inning, and unable to get any runs across despite an advantage in hits, the Yankees started their patented late inning comeback. It was an inning early but why wait if you have the bats. Alex Rodriguez ended Jeff Niemann’s night with a single. Enter Lance Cormier. Hideki Matsui singled to advance A-Rod to third. Jerry Hairston, Jr. entered the game as a pinch runner for Godzilla. Nick Swisher reached first base on a throwing error, scoring A-Rod. Hairston advanced to third. Brian Shouse relieved Cormier. The stage was set for Robby Cano to be the hero, but he promptly struck out. Next up was Jorge Posada, who batted for Brett Gardner. The Rays brought Grant Balfour in the game to face Posada, but the move failed. Jorge launched a three-run homer to right, and the Yankees had their first lead of the game, 4-2.
Brian Bruney secured the first two out of the 9th inning, and I had some choice words for Joe Girardi when he brought Phil Coke in to relieve Bruney. But Joe, showing why he is the Yankees manager and not me, watched Coke strike out Gabe Kapler to end the game.
The Red Sox also won tonight, 7-5 over the Baltimore Orioles, to stay 2 games ahead of the Texas Rangers. Sorry Julia, but I was pulling for the O’s. They tried, but couldn’t quite do it…
However, the Yankees’ magic number is still reduced to 14. Ah, Sweet Lou, those were some great years…
The Yankees are now 40-13 since the All-Star Break. I remember sitting 4 games behind the Boston Red Sox, and I told Julia that the Yankees could win 4 more games than the Red Sox by the end of the year. She thought I was talking rubbish…
This night belonged to Derek Jeter, but I will close my post with a tribute to my idol. Lou, you have been and always will be the greatest Yankee (to borrow some words from Spock). Your records may be tied and broken, but you were a lasting inspiration and there’s no doubt that had you been able to play out your career to the fullest, you would have set marks that never would have been broken. But regardless of what may happen, you will always remain the true Pride of the Yankees…
I enjoyed my evening. How about you?…
The Yankees completed a three-game series sweep over the Orioles in Baltimore with a convincing 10-2 victory on Wednesday. CC Sabathia continued his recent hot streak (hasn’t lost since July 28th), and became the AL’s first 16-game winner.
There were three games of importance tonight:
Yankees 10, Orioles 2
Rays 8, Red Sox 5
Mariners 3, Angels 0
The outcomes meant that the Yankees increased their lead in the AL East to 7 games over the Red Sox, and best record in the AL to 6 ½ games over the Angels. It’s tough to gloat at this point in the season because the thought of Gene Mauch and the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies is never too far from memory. But I am pleased with where the Yankees are at this point in the season.
Walter Iooss, Jr/SI
The latest series sweep by the Yankees was very convincing. It featured a stellar pitching performance by Andy Pettitte, whose attempt for a perfect game was disrupted on an error by third base Jerry Hairston, Jr. A.J. Burnett continued his impression of an injured Chien-Ming Wang, but Yankee homers came to the rescue. Finally, it was the combination of Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez that secured the sweep.
The Yankees are 72-33 since A-Rod returned from hip surgery, and it’s starting to look like he may not need additional surgery after the season. Tonight, he notched his 2,500th career hit, and paced the Yankees with 4 RBI’s.
In an interesting stat, Eric Hinske has only 14 hits since he joined the Yankees, but 7 of those hits have been home runs including one tonight.
Derek Jeter now stands 9 career hits behind the legendary Lou Gehrig for the most career hits with the Yankees. Larrupin’ Lou had 2,721 hits, while DJ has 2,713. Admittedly, it is bittersweet to see another Gehrig mark fall, but I am happy for Jeter. I am sure that Lou would be standing and clapping when Derek gets his 2,722nd hit.
There are reports that Mariano Rivera will miss the next few games with a slight groin injury. That hurts just to type it! Hopefully, it isn’t too serious and he’s back soon. Meanwhile, the other guys in the pen will need to step it up. Hughes, I am not talking about you!
There’s a chance that Brett Gardner will be back in uniform by the Rays’ series. His hustle and ‘all-out’ style of play have been missed despite the Yankees’ continued success.
The Yankees begin a four-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Thursday. The scheduled starter is Chad Gaudin. It is anticipated that Sergio Mitre will pitch Sunday, so I can’t say that I am overly optimistic about the upcoming series. At first pass, I’d have to say that I’ll be pleased with a split. On Monday (Labor Day), the Yankees will open a four-game set with the Scott Kazmir-less Tampa Bay Rays. They’ll play two on Labor Day to get things started. So, it isn’t going to get any easier for the next week. I am sure that my friend Julia in Boston is licking her chops…
What is it with ex-Red Sox pitchers? They stink it up in Boston, and then go to the National League and pitch lights out. John Smoltz struck out 9 batters in his first start with the St. Louis Cardinals. Tonight, Brad Penny pitched eight scoreless innings for the San Francisco Giants to defeat the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. Considering that the Giants are my team in the NL, I am pleased for the performance considering that the Giants are neck-and-neck with the Colorado Rockies for the wild card chase. I also liked the anti-Dodger comments that ex-Dodger Penny made. Given that he has made some disparaging comments about the Florida Marlins, I wonder how long before he rips into the Red Sox Nation…
Based on the Red Sox pitchers success in the National League, I guess that means Nick Green will be next year’s NL Cy Young winner! LOL!
Okay, I still can’t wrap my head around Brett Favre being my team’s starting quarterback. How do you suddenly begin cheering for a guy that you “hated” for 16 years. How many times did you think your team was going to win, only to see Favre throw a last second TD to pull out a win for the Pack? I’ll admit that I’ve embraced Johnny Damon despite his previous employer. But then again, I always liked and respected Damon. Even as a Red Sox player, he was always very classy and professional. So, I couldn’t “hate” him. I tried to think of a Red Sox player that I wouldn’t want on the Yankees roster. The first one to come to mind is Josh Beckett. But I still think of him more as a Florida Marlin, so that doesn’t really count. Maybe David Ortiz. But I can’t help but like the guy. I have no problems with Jason Bay, and he would be welcomed to left field in the Bronx with open arms. There really isn’t anyone in any sport that I can compare to how difficult it is to see a bitter rival where your team’s colors. Plus, Favre just looks kind of funny in purple. Maybe Favre should have went to play for Dallas. Watching all those Packers-Cowboys play-off and Thanksgiving games showed that Favre had an affection for throwing to the guys with a silver star on their helmets. Nevertheless, I guess I had better get used to #4. He is not going away. Not this season at least. I remain hopeful that the final Vikings roster of 53 includes John David Booty because I still think he’s the QB of the future. But I guess this season I’d better learn to enjoy eating cheese…
Chris Polydoroff/Pioneer Press
Finally, I went to see Nickelback perform last night at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in San Jose, CA. I am a huge Nickelback fan so I had high expectations. But this was easily the best concert I’ve ever attended. Chad Kroeger is a master showman, and he definitely knows how to engage a crowd. He’s the type of guy you’d love to have a beer with, except you’d never get in a word edgewise. I was thoroughly impressed, and I recommend the Dark Horse Tour for anyone who hasn’t seen it if it is coming to a city near you. Hinder was also excellent. The concert will leave you feelin’ way too damn good…
Given that his club hits record is being assaulted, I will end this blog with a call out to Lou Gehrig. Lou, you remain the Pride of the Yankees, and you are an inspiration for the world! We will never forget you…
Posted on YouTube by RUKidding05
P.S. I know that I’ve used this video before, but it remains one of my all-time favorites…
There might be something to this so-called “rest”…
Of course, we all know how well Alex Rodriguez responded to some rest and relaxation. Mark Teixeira has not had any rest, and of course, we’ve seen the results of that…
The latest recipient of rest was catcher Jorge Posada who sat out a couple of games with a bruised thumb. He was back in the lineup on Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays, and the results were, well, for the lack of a better word, very A-Rod-like. On Sunday, in the 12th inning with the game tied at 5, Mark Teixeira doubled to open the bottom of the inning. With first base open, Alex Rodriguez was intentionally walked. Robinson Cano was up next, but true to form recently with men in scoring position, he failed to advance the runners as Tex was out on a fielder’s choice. Jorge Posada came to the plate, and he ripped the third pitch to center, scoring A-Rod with the winning run.
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Posada had also homered earlier in the game, a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the 4th inning.
Sabo/NY Daily News
Chien-Ming Wang had pitched well through five innings. When the 6th inning started, Wang was nursing a 3-2 lead over Yankee killer Roy Halladay and the Jays. He had retired 10 of 11 Toronto batters at that point. With Halladay, it’s like what it used to be with Pedro Martinez when he pitched in Boston, you just want to keep it close until you can get into the other team’s bullpen and then take your chances. Unfortunately, disaster struck Wang in the 6th. Marco Scutaro led off with a double. After Aaron Hill had grounded out, Adam Lind homered to give the Jays a 4-3 lead. He threw one pitch to the next batter, Scott Rolen, but Posada knew that something was wrong. Joe Girardi and trainer Steve Donahue came out to the mound, and Wang departed the game. He was later diagnosed with a shoulder strain with bursitis, and had a MRI at a local hospital.
Mitsu Yasukawa/The Star Ledger
Wang was relieved by David Robertson. Robertson ended up walking Rolen, and subsequently walked the next batter (Lyle Overbay) too. After striking out Vernon Wells, Alex Rios singled to score Rolen. David Dellucci flied out to end the inning, but Doc Halladay and the Rays had a two-run lead.
Luc Leclerc/US Presswire
Brian Bruney, currently out as the 8th inning bridge to Mariano Rivera until he begins pitching more effectively, opened the 7th inning. The results were mixed but at least he held the Jays scoreless. The first two batters singled. A sacrifice moved the runners to second and third, and Adam Lind was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. Fortunately, Bruney retired Rolen and Overbay to end the threat.
In the bottom of the 7th, Derek Jeter singled and scored when Johnny Damon homered to tie the game. That was definitely a huge hit at a very critical time. I think I forgot to thank Julia for failing to re-sign Johnny…
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Phil Hughes pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning, and further cemented his status as the set up guy in place of Bruney. I would have liked to have seen Hughes pitch the 9th with the game still tied, but Girardi went with Mariano Rivera. The bullpen continued its stellar performance of late with two scoreless innings in the 10th and 11th by Phil ‘Coke, and then Brett Tomko put the team in position to win by retiring the three batters he faced in the 12th. Clearly, the Yankees won because of their bullpen. Back in April, games were routinely lost because of the pen. The reversal has been very dramatic and clearly the two Phils share the credit, along with the continued domination of ageless closer Mariano Rivera. It doesn’t mean that I now trust Brett Tomko, but at least there is no longer any reason to dread the arrival of a Yankees reliever into a game.
John Munson/The Star Ledger
A quick note on Robinson Cano…I am not quite sure what is wrong, but he was 0-for-6 and failed in several key spots. For some reason, he has developed an aversion to hitting with men on base. In the 12th inning, he missed a sign and bunted on a 3-0 pitch. He caught everyone off guard, including Mark Teixeira who was standing on second. He was thrown out at third by 20 feet. “Let’s just say somebody missed something,” Girardi said. “A better way to explain is he misunderstood something.” Cano left 10 men on base, 5 of whom were in scoring position. In his first 5 at-bat’s, he ended the innings, including the 9th with runners at first and second. I am starting to think that Julia swiped Robby and dropped Julio Lugo into his uniform!
The initial word is that Chien-Ming Wang is headed for the DL, and will be gone for about a month. At this point, I do not think there’s any way that Phil Hughes would be re-inserted into the starting rotation. Peter Abraham of the LoHud Yankees Blog speculated that Sergio Mitre of AAA-Scranton/Wilkes Barre might be the choice, and I agree. Mitre served a 50-game suspension earlier this season after testing positive for Androstendione (it was allegedly the result of an over the counter supplement purchased at GNC which contained an unlisted amount of the steroid). Since his return, Mitre has pitched 30.1 innings and has compiled a 2-1 record in 5 starts with 3.26 ERA. I’d definitely rather see him than Kei Igawa.
Backup catcher Jose Molina feels that he will be ready to rejoin the team on Tuesday in Minnesota.
Sunday’s match up features Joba Chamberlain (4-2) versus Brett Cecil (2-1). Cecil is a replacement for Scott Richmond, who was bumped because of a sore shoulder. To me, it’s time for Joba Chamberlain to make a statement with a solid performance.
Today, in stadiums across the country, the words of Lou Gehrig filled the air in a day of remembrance. 70 years ago today, it was Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium and the Iron Horse gave his immortal farewell speech:
“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.
“Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky.
“When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift – that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies – that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter – that’s something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body – it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed – that’s the finest I know.
“So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.”
This video is very fitting on a day when we remember Henry Louis Gehrig…
Posted on YouTube by kylethompson4
As the celebrity deaths continue, I was saddened to hear about the death of former Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair. I remember when Air McNair was being drafted from college, and I had been so hopeful that the Vikings would draft him. I can still remember the disappointment when he was drafted by the Titans. I vividly remember that it was a cloudy day as I listened to the draft. Hopefully, Steve’s killer will be found and brought to justice.
Damian Strohmeyer, SI/AP
In more uplifting news, congratulations to Serena Williams for her victory at Wimbledon over her sister, Venus. I was pulling for Serena so it was enjoyable to see her win in two sets.
Hamish Blair/Getty Images
Now, if Roger Federer can beat Andy Roddick, it will be a GREAT tennis weekend at Wimbledon!
I am in the process of relocating back to my home in Northern California so my posts in the coming days may be more sporadic than usual. But rest assured that I will be back and at full strength by August when the Yankees face the Boston Red Sox. Julia has been lulled into a false sense of security. The Red Sox dominance over the Yankees will end, and we are now just one game behind her beloved boys from Beantown. All things considered, life is good…
Happy 4th of July!
The Yankees were victorious on Friday, thanks in large part to the generosity of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees won the game, 4-2.
Without a ball leaving the infield, the Yankees broke a 1-1 tie with the Jays in the 5th inning. The first two batters (Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter) walked, and Johnny Damon hit a bunt single to load the bases. Mark Teixeira was the beneficiary of the third walk of the inning, which scored Gardner. After Alex Rodriguez hit into a fielder’s choice that took out Jeter at home, a passed ball by Jays catcher Raul Chavez allowed Damon to race home with their 2nd run of the inning.
The Jays’ Vernon Wells homered in the 6th to close the gap to 3-2, but that’s as close as they would get. A.J. Burnett fared much better in his second start against his former team, going seven innings and allowing only six hits and two runs. He walked only two batters, while striking out seven. He also hit David Dellucci with a pitch, but the walks and hit batter did not come back to haunt him. He was able to work out of difficult situations in the early innings without any damage.
Simmons/NY Daily News
By the late innings, it was over. The Phil’s took over in the 8th. Phil Coke induced the only batter he faced, Adam Lind, to fly out to left. Phil Hughes came in and, after allowing a single to Scott Rolen, got the next two batters, Lyle Overbay and Vernon Wells, to ground out. Manager Joe Girardi still insists that Brian Bruney is his 8th inning guy, but for the last couple of games, he’s gone with the hotter hands.
I am very impressed with the job that Phil Hughes has done since his conversion to the bullpen. I am still hopeful that he’ll take a starting role in 2010, but for now, it’s nice to have a reliever that can be depended upon in late innings. I personally think he should become the bridge to Mariano Rivera unless his performance dictates otherwise. Hughes’ emergence definitely relieves pressure for the Yanks to seek outside help for the pen, although I agree that it would still be an upgrade to add Houston Street or Chad Qualls (depending upon the cost).
Simmons/NY Daily News
A home run by Alex Rodriguez in the bottom of the 8th allowed him to tie Don Mattingly for ninth place on the Yankees All-Time HR List with 222. He also now stands on the Major League All-Time HR List with 567 HR’s (two behind Rafael Palmeiro).
Mariano Rivera quietly finished the Jays in the 9th. He faced only three batters, and struck out two including Raul Chavez to end the game.
Artist – John Michael Santora
The Yankees closed the gap behind the Boston Red Sox to two games. The Sox fell to the Seattle Mariners, 7-6, in eleven innings.
John Tlumacki/Boston Globe
It was an enjoyable day in baseball, but today, win or lose, promises to a very magical and special day for all baseball fans. Enjoy the day!
It was just a bad day all the way around…
The Yankees lost to the Seattle Mariners, 8-4, to end their seven game winning streak. The loss also prevented the Yankees from closing the gap on the Boston Red Sox and they fell to three games behind the AL East Leaders.
You knew it was going to be one of those days when Mark Teixeira couldn’t snare Ichiro Suzuki’s lead-off hit which bounced off Tex’s glove for a double. In the 6th, Ryan Langerhans led off with a hard grounder that Tex attempted to make a play on but missed, giving the newest Mariner a double. But the official error that ended Teixeira’s 107-game errorless streak didn’t occur until the 9th inning. He threw wide to pitcher Alfredo Aceves, who was covering first, and it allowed Ichiro to reach base safely. He would later score on Russell Branyan’s 451-foot home run to dead center. Texeira’s last error occurred August 19, 2008 while he was a member of the Los Angeles Angels. He has also gone 65 at-bat’s without a home run…
CC Sabathia was throwing in the mid-90′s, but he could not keep his fastball or his change-up down. With the pitches staying in the zone, CC gave up 10 hits and 6 runs in 5 2/3 innings of work.
William Perlman/The Star Ledger
Manager Joe Girardi said after the game, “We had been playing so well and CC was throwing well so I felt good about our chances. He showed he was human”. The only problem is the Yankees don’t pay CC to be human. Anything less than complete domination is unacceptable. Okay, I am just kidding, but you’d expect more than a win-loss record of 7-5 for $161 million.
The Yankees had their opportunities, but the clutch hits never came. In the 9th, it appeared the Yankees were getting something going when the first two batters, Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher, both singled. But fly outs by Hideki Matsui and Melky Cabrera, and a swinging strikeout by pinch hitter Jorge Posada ended the game.
Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger
It does not get any easier for the Yankees as they open the four-game holiday weekend series with the Toronto Blue Jays. A.J. Burnett will face his former teammates in tonight’s opening game. I’ve never heard of the Blue Jays starter, Brian Tallet, but it seems that’s never a good thing…
Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer
Meanwhile, the Mariners travel north to Boston to face the Red Sox. Felix Hernandez, who I am glad the Yankees missed, will open their series against 10-game winner Tim Wakefield. If anything came out of the Mariners’ win on Thursday, I hope they can use the momentum to carry them to victory over the Red Sox. I’ll borrow these words that Julia used all week, “Go Seattle!”
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
Speaking of Julia, she mentioned on her Julia’s Rants blog that it has been 70 years since Lou Gehrig gave his immortal farewell speech at Yankee Stadium. She also has some good words to say about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease as it is more commonly referred to.
ESPN Outside The Lines has a great piece on their site about final letters written by Lou Gehrig. The letters are primarily between Gehrig and a doctor in Minnesota, Dr. Paul O’Leary, who helped first diagnose Gehrig’s illness. The letters cover the final two years of Gehrig’s life. You can feel Gehrig’s hopes rise and fade through the letters, and I was surprised at how Dr. O’Leary and Eleanor Gehrig withheld the severity of the illness from him. The letters are definitely an interesting read. Saturday will mark the 70th anniversary of Lou’s farewell speech. Lou is my favorite all-time baseball player, and it will be a day to remember how truly special he was…not just as a ballplayer but as a man.
Posted on YouTube by InitialBlackNotice
In other news, the Yankees signed 16-year old catching prospect Gary Sanchez from the Dominican Republic for a signing bonus of nearly $3 million. One Latin American scout said, “He’s a big kid, with a big arm”. Sanchez is 6’2″, 210 lbs. The Yankees would seem to be set at catcher for years to come when Jorge Posada decides to call it a career. Their best catching prospect is 19-year old Jesus Montero, but there’s been some talk he may physically outgrow the position. Montero, 6’4″ and 225 lbs, was recently promoted to the Trenton Thunder (AA). The other key catching prospect in the organization is Austin Romine. Of course, Francisco Cervelli is probably wondering, ‘What about me?’ Cervelli will most likely head back to Scranton/Wilkes Barre for further development once Jose Molina completes his injury rehabilitation in the next week.
The Yankees also signed two other Dominican players, shortstop Damian Arredondo and right hander Christopher Cabrera.
Yet another all-Williams final at Wimbledon? I was really pulling for Dinara Safina, who was ranked #1. But she was a complete no-show, and Venus looked like she was practicing with a high schooler. Nevertheless, for the final, I’ll go with Serena…
Let me close with a video of what Julia must have been like as a baby. In fact, I am sure of it…
Posted on YouTube by dmccomp
Julia (of Julia’s Rants) has successfully completed her required three pro-Yankee blogs. I’ll add that she did a tremendous job with her “hat trick”!
First, she led off with the Iron Man himself…
Then, she knocked in Bobby Ray Murcer…
Rich Pilling, MLB Photos via Getty Images
Finally, she slammed one out of the park with DJ…
Three outstanding blogs! Julia’s debt is paid in full…well, at least, until we meet again in late April!
I do want to compliment Julia on her selections. It is easy to write about past Yankees, such as Gehrig or Murcer. But it takes courage for a Red Sox fan to write about Derek Jeter. She could have taken the easy road and wrote about a “safe” Yankee like Jose Molina, Xavier Nady or coach Tony Pena. She could have written about A-Rod for that matter, since there’s nothing she could say that would be more polarizing than what has already been said about him in the press. She also could have written about Johnny Damon, a player with obvious ties to Red Sox history. But she chose to write about one of the most despised Yankees in Boston, and I am very appreciative. I find Dustin Pedroia to be somewhat similar to DJ. Outwardly, it is easy to say that Dustin is your least favorite player, a lousy ballplayer, etc., but meanwhile, under your breath, what you’re really saying is ‘Man, this Pedroia kid really has some incredible skills! Too bad he’s not on my team!’. I hope the Boston fans can recognize that Derek plays the game the way it should be played, and he is always respectful of his teammates and opponents. Excellent job, Julia!
By the way, it was fun being “teammates’ for a few days…
But now, we can resume our normal relationship…
JULY 21, 1980
On this date, the Yankees lost to the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-4. Tom Underwood was the losing pitcher, and the Yankees lineup looked like this:
2B Willie Randolph
LF Lou Piniella
1B Bob Watson
RF Reggie Jackson
DH Eric Soderholm
3B Graig Nettles
C Rick Cerone
CF Ruppert Jones
SS Bucky Dent
The opposing lineup included the likes of Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Cecil Cooper, Stormin’ Gorman Thomas, Ben Oglivie, Sixto Lezcano, Don Money, Charlie Moore, and Jim Gantner. The winning pitcher was Mike Caldwell.
Nothing special about this day, right? Wrong. On July 21, 1980, in Vallejo, CA, Carsten Charles Sabathia was born.
The man destined to open the Yankees 2009 season in Baltimore on Monday, April 6th, and to throw the first official regular season pitch in the new Yankee Stadium on Thursday, April 16th (against his former team, the Cleveland Indians).
CC will always be remembered in Yankees history as the guy who opened the new Stadium.
Audrey C. Tiernan, Newsday
So, on a day that resulted in another “L” in the loss column, did the Yankees really lose? No, I’d say they won that day…
I wonder if CC could help open this for me…
Have a great weekend!
Julia (of Julia’s Rants) scored with her first pro-Yankees blog following the Yankees’ 7-1 win over the Boston Red Sox last night. She wrote about my personal all-time hero, Lou Gehrig. But then again, I’ve certainly given her enough hints about that. Let’s see if she can come up with some unexpected names for the final two pro-Yankees blogs.
I’ve mentioned the names of Catfish Hunter, Thurman Munson and Billy Martin in the past, so she’ll have to dig deeper than that. Babe Ruth is too obvious, and Donnie Baseball was a contemporary favorite so he’s out (plus, he’s temporarily a Dodger anyway). I’ll think she’ll probably just crack open The Yankee Years and write about Joe Torre…
No pressure, Julia! Surprise me!
Today was a sad day with the departure of two individuals with ties to the Yankees.
Arthur Richman, a senior adviser to George Steinbrenner, died during his sleep in New York City at age 83. Richman, a former sportswriter and Mets executive, is credited with contacting Joe Torre in 1995 about the Yankees managerial post that had been vacated by Buck Showalter. Recent books aside, I’d say that was a very good hire….
Former catcher Johnny Blanchard passed away of a heart attack in Wayzata, MN at age 76. Blanchard played with the Yankees from 1959 to 1965, and was nicknamed “Super Sub”. He had his finest year in 1961, when he was one of six Yankees who hit at least 20 home runs. The others were Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, Moose Skowron, Elston Howard and Yogi Berra. He also achieved an incredible feat that year, hitting home runs in four consecutive at-bats spanning three games from July 21st to July 26th. He just missed a fifth consecutive home run, when the ball was caught against the right field fence.
Johnny holds the Major League record with 10 World Series pinch-hit at-bats (he appeared in a total of 5 World Series).
I came across this story of when Johnny was traded to Kansas City in 1965. He was sitting in the Yankees clubhouse, sobbing. Mickey Mantle sat down next to him and tried to cheer him up.
“Don’t take it so hard, John” Mickey said. “Just think, in Kansas City, you’re going to get a chance to play.”
“Hell, I can’t play, Mick” Johnny replied. “That’s why I’m crying!”
Johnny had been looking forward to making the trip to New York to see the new Stadium.
Both men will be missed.
THE RETURN OF JR
The San Jose Sharks (48-14-10, 106 pts) are in Chicago tonight to play the Blackhawks. Jeremy Roenick, who began his career in Chicago 20 years ago, will be a game-time decision but is expected to play in what could be his final game in Chicago.
Jose Lepe/San Jose Mercury News
JR, who has missed 39 games due to two shoulder injuries, is both mentally and physically ready to play. He says that Joe Thornton has been kidding him that he can’t call this a year due to the time lost, so he has another year in the tank.
My appreciation of JR developed when I lived in Phoenix and he played for the Phoenix Coyotes. I have always admired his grit and determination, and would like to see him win the Stanley Cup as he moves into the twilight of his career.
I was forwarded this joke today, and although I don’t normally like to “forward” jokes, this was too cute to pass up…
A man was sitting on the edge of the bed, observing his wife, looking at herself in the mirror. Since her birthday was not far off he asked what she’d like to have for her birthday.
‘I’d like to be six again’, she replied, still looking in the mirror.
On the morning of her birthday, he arose early, made her a nice big bowl of Lucky Charms, and then took her to Six Flags theme park. What a day! He put her on every ride in the park; the Death Slide, the Wall of Fear, the Screaming Monster Roller Coaster, everything there was.
Five hours later they staggered out of the theme park. Her head was reeling and her stomach felt upside down.
He then took her to a McDonald’s where he ordered her a Happy Meal with extra fries and a chocolate shake.
Then it was off to a movie, popcorn, a soda pop, and her favorite candy, M&M’s. What a fabulous adventure! Finally she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into bed exhausted. He leaned over his wife with a big smile and lovingly asked, ‘Well, Dear, what was it like being six again?’
Her eyes slowly opened and her expression suddenly changed. ‘I meant my dress size, you retard!’
The moral of the story: Even when a man is listening, he is gonna’ get it wrong.
You have to check out Canuck’s (The Watercooler) blog entitled ‘For My Dad’. It is very touching, and of course, Canuck has such a great way with words. Maybe I’m a sap for father stories. I tried to get my dad to play baseball with me when I was little but he never felt well enough and passed away when I was 10. Needless to say, Canuck really hit my heart with an article about her dad…
The question has been asked on multiple blogs, but it is always very relevant and quite interesting…
Why did you become a fan of your favorite baseball team?
Often, it’s simply geography or a family’s passion that is passed from generation to generation. But other times, there are deeper, individual reasons for why we follow certain teams.
I have always been quick to say that I became a Yankees fan on December 31, 1974. That’s the day Oakland A’s free-agent pitcher Jim “Catfish” Hunter signed a 5-year, $3.75 million contract with the Yankees.
Walter Iooss Jr/SI
The early 70′s were a great time to be an A’s fan, and I was on the bandwagon like all my friends. But I was starting to get older and had gained a better awareness and understanding of baseball. After some careful thought, I decided to follow Hunter to New York in terms of my loyalty and support. I was immediately captivated by the personalities on the Yankees roster, and Billy Martin was quickly my all-time favorite manager. Thurman Munson became my idol, and I can still remember the magic and excitement when Chris Chambliss hit the game winning home run in the 1976 ALCS against the Kansas City Royals (I remember watching his foot placement in the batter’s box and feeling that something huge was about to happen).
New York Daily News
I remember my mom was getting tired of me telling her that Reggie Jackson had hit another home run in the 1977 World Series, and sadly, I remember exactly where I was on August 2, 1979.
Yet, when I think about why I was attracted to the Yankees, it really happened much earlier. When I was about 7 or 8, I read a book about Lou Gehrig.
At the time, I was just starting to become aware of Major League baseball. I was drawn to the history and aura of the game. I “discovered” pro football first, but baseball quickly passed football as my true love. Today, Lou Gehrig is my personal all-time hero, and hence, the source of the name for my blog.
“I’m not a headline guy. I know that as long as I was following Babe Ruth to the plate I could have stood on my head and no one would have known the difference.”
There are multiple meanings in this quote for me personally. Not only does it pay homage to the great class and character of Lou Gehrig, but it also recognizes that I am among greatness at MLBlogs with so many outstanding writers.
I have always been drawn to the history of the Yankees, so I think the book about Gehrig set the stage for my conversion from an A’s fan to a Yankees fan a few years later.
A very moving article to read is the “This Morning with Shirley Povich” column that appeared in the Washington Post on July 5, 1939. The Washington Senators played a double-header against the Yankees on July 4th, and Gehrig gave his immortal farewell speech between games.
Yankees manager Joe McCarthy made the following statement at the mike that day while openly crying: “Lou, what else can I say except that it was a sad day in the life of everybody who knew you when you came to my hotel room that day in Detroit and told me you were quitting as a ball player because you felt yourself a hindrance to the team. My God, man, you were never that.”
I think that quote alone can sum up why I feel that Lou Gehrig was such a special person…
The Senators won the first game, 3-2, but the Yankees came back to win the second game, 11-1, after Gehrig’s farewell.
This is an excellent tribute to Lou…
Who would have known it would set me on a collision course against Julia of Julia’s Rants?
Carl Pavano said what?
“When you’re down, you expect your organization to pick you up, not kick you when you’re down. I’ve had to pick myself up quite a few times the last four years.”
If Carl had to pick himself up quite a few times, who’s fault was it that he was down to begin with? Was it the Yankees fault that the guy had no heart and was susceptible to constant injuries? What a jerk! Did this guy really win 18 games for the Marlins a few years back? Good luck in Cleveland…
The new Yankee Stadium is definitely coming together:
Man, I am going to hate John Smoltz’s rational, sane, professional interview responses now more than ever! Seriously, I am worried about the good job that Theo is doing toward building the 2009 Red Sox. He has rebounded very nicely since the Teixeira saga. I saw that they have their eye on Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero. Assuming that Jesus Montero stays at catcher (there’s been talk of him moving to first base for physical reasons, but I think that won’t happen now that Teixeira is locked in at first), the Yankees and Red Sox could have catchers with the same last name once Jesus makes it to the bigs in the not-so-distant future.
Mark Kotsay and Rocco Baldelli as your back up outfielders…that’s just sick! And I mean that with the highest respect from a bitter rival. Meanwhile, the Yankees are talking about trading Xavier Nady to put .220 hitter Nick Swisher in right, and they still haven’t figured out center field. Johnny Damon is the only certainty in the Yankee outfield…
I read a blog today that the Yankees should try to sign Arizona’s RP Juan Cruz for the bullpen and I completely agree. They’d only have to surrender a 4th round pick since picks 1-3 are headed to the Angels, Brewers and Blue Jays for the earlier FA signings. The guy has huge upside, and is only 30 years old. He is #19 on ESPN’s Keith Law’s list of top free agents:
POSITION: Relief pitcher
Cruz has an electric arm, but struggles with command and control have held him back in the past and limited his value to Arizona in 2008, although he showed some improvement after missing time with an oblique strain in July.
Cruz throws a 94-97 mph four-seamer with late life, and it plays up because his arm is so quick, meaning that the ball gets in on hitters quickly. He pairs it with a sharp slider, very hard and 80-84 against right-handed batters but a little slower when he’s trying to use it against left-handed hitters. It’s power stuff that misses bats, which plays in any park in either league, and he has a good chance to develop into a closer for a team looking to create one rather than give big money to K-Rod.
I changed the name of this blog from Fiddler on the Roof to I’m Not A Headline Guy to give it a little more originality. But, of course, it is not original at all. My idol is Lou Gehrig, and the name of the blog is a tribute to him. It is a quote that Lou once made. Lou, I didn’t live in your era, but you were a headline guy, and a class act…
Goodnight all! For the record, baseball fans rock!