Results tagged ‘ Mariners ’

No Fan of DH by Committee…

 

All I want are a few home runs…

Lately, more has been written about the potential of the Yankees signing someone like Raul Ibanez to fill the void at DH.  Given all available options, he is probably as good as any, plus he most likely would understand his role if he was offered and accepted a contract with the Yanks.  He’s still got some pop in his bat, and he could occasionally take the field when/if needed.  I am not overly enthused about a former Phillie being on the team, but Ibanez is a former teammate of A-Rod’s from their Seattle days together.

It would be preferable to see a former Yank, i.e., Hideki Matsui or Johnny Damon, if for no other reason than what they’ve already accomplished in pinstripes.  I recognize that Ibanez might be the better fit in 2012, even if he is pushing 40.

In his days with the Montreal Expos, Vladimir Guerrero was one of my favorite players but at this point, I don’t really see him as an option.

He looks great…in a different uniform…

Whatever the Yankees do, I hope they are successful in moving A.J. Burnett.  This one is tough, because I was so in favor of his signing when he first came to the Yankees.  I always admired his arm when he played for the Florida Marlins and later with the Toronto Blue Jays.  He’s largely been a disappointment since the successful 2009 voyage.  There have been flashes of brilliance, but more times than not, his performances have ended on a disappointing note.  Some guys are better served in less pressurized environment, and Burnett would probably excel in a place like San Diego.  If Burnett doesn’t make the starting rotation, I think he would be a distraction to the team in the bullpen.  Therefore, best case scenario would be to move Burnett. Of course, that means he will be accompanied by lots of cash to pay his freight, but sometimes its addition by subtraction.  Sadly for Burnett, that time is now.

“Manny being Manny”…

As for the rotation, my preference is to give Phil Hughes the opportunity to either grab hold of his place on the team or perhaps prove that it is time for him to seek employment elsewhere.  If the latter situation occurs, Dellin Betances should be ready to step in to fill the void (or Freddy Garcia, if he is kept on the roster).  Manny Banuelos will probably make noise this year, but he’ll probably not surface on the major league level until late this year.  Now, if Banuelos comes to Tampa this spring with a ‘refuse to lose’ mentality and takes the job (much like Michael Pineda did last year with the Seattle Mariners), so be it.  Banuelos is the eventual star of the rotation, with Pineda.

Striving to be regular contributors to the daily Transactions column…

I was surprised to see the Boston Red Sox trade starting shortstop Marco Scutaro to the Colorado Rockies.  It’s being said that the move was made to free payroll to sign a free agent pitcher like Roy Oswalt or Edwin Jackson.  Personally, I think it was a move to set up another move, in addition to rebuilding the rotation.  I would be surprised if the Red Sox broke camp with the tandem of Mike Aviles and Nick Punto as their starting shortstop.  I keep hearing that a trade for the Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez is out of the question, but somehow I could still see that happening.  Whatever happens, I do expect the Sox to break camp with a quality shortstop, in other words, someone not named Aviles or Punto…

The Prince of Bel Air?…

It’s too bad that the Los Angeles Dodgers are still an organization in a state of flux until new ownership can take over.  It would make so much sense for the Dodgers to go after free agent first baseman Prince Fielder, and it would be a move that would help begin the healing process for the Dodger fan base, who have suffered under the reign of Frank McCourt.  A lineup that includes Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Fielder would certainly steal some thunder from the Albert Pujols-led Angels.

Checkmate…

There’s still a lot of drama to unfold before pitchers and catchers report next month.  The Yankees and Mariners should finally be in position to announce the Jesus Montero-Michael Pineda trade early this week.  Hopefully, that will open the gridlock at DH and set the stage for other moves that will hopefully produce the 28th World Championship in franchise history.  Whatever happens, I am ready for some baseball…

–Scott

Disappointment replaced by Optimism…

 

After some thought, I’ve come around…

Now that I’ve had time to digest the Friday night whirlwind that brought pitchers Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda to the Bronx, my initial disappointment was evaporated.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the power potential of Jesus Montero, and I know full well that he’ll be as devastating against the Yankees as Jay Buhner was if not more.  But I recognize that from a position of need, a top of the rotation starter is better than a player without a position.

Ever since I first heard Jesus Montero’s name, it always included a statement that he’d eventually have to find a new position because he would outgrow catcher.  The obvious moves would be to either first base or left field, but last time I checked, both of those positions were occupied by long-term tenants.  Putting an offensive juggernaut at DH is great for offense but it does nothing to help with the defensive aspects of catching or learning a new position.  With Russell Martin in the fold for the foreseeable future, there was no way that Montero would gain the starting position at catcher.  Martin’s ability to handle the pitching staff is simply too important to the team even if his bat is nothing remotely close to Montero.

With Montero, I was always worried about the other young Yankee catchers.  Of course, there’s Francisco Cervelli on the active roster.  If Montero were to take the backup catching job, where would that leave Cervelli?  Most likely playing for the Twins, backing up oft-injured Joe Mauer or someone like that.  I like the defensive reports that I’ve heard about both Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez, but if their path was clogged by Martin and Montero, where did that leave them?  Sanchez needs more time in the minors, but Romine is nearing major league ready status.  With an injury or two, I fully expect him to get his chance to make an impression at Yankee Stadium in 2012.  The trade of Montero ensures that Romine will get his major league opportunity with the Yankees so that’s a good thing.  He doesn’t have Montero’s bat (who does?) but good defense is essential for championships.

Maybe just tell us who the Yankees haven’t talked to…

As for the DH slot, it seems like the Yankees have expressed interest in about everyone.  There have been reports they’ve spoken to the agents for Carlos Pena, Johnny Damon, and Hideki Matsui.  There are pros and cons with all three players, but whoever the Yankees bring on board will have to share time at DH with Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones, and Derek Jeter so I’d be okay with any of the three.  I’ve always liked the clutch bats of Damon and Matsui, and the swing for the fences power of Pena is nice even if the average is hovering slightly above the Mendoza line.  With all the reports that the Yankees only have a $1 million or two to spend on a DH, I half expect a report that they’ve talked to Reggie Jackson!  Okay, that might be a stretch, but I’d consider letting ‘all or nothing’ slugger Jorge Vazquez.  He does deserve a shot.  If not, the Yanks should cut him loose and let him pursue a team that will.

If Jorge Posada had embraced the DH role last year, he’d be on his way back to the Bronx for an encore performance…

Upon second thought…

As for the pitching staff, my initial prediction about the rotation order was flawed.  I recognize that Micheal Pineda is the clear #2 in the rotation.  I’ve seen Ivan Nova slotted at #4, but I’d still keep him at #3 at least until he gives reason to drop him in the order.  I think Kuroda is a great addition, but he has to adjust to the American League in the most difficult division, while moving from a pitcher’s ballpark to a park that is less forgiving.  So, I’d give Nova time for pinstripes served and put him ahead of Kuroda.  After the former Dodger, it’s anybody’s guess who will win out…Phil Hughes, my personal favorite; Freddy Garcia, probably the better choice among the pitchers in terms of consistency; and A.J. Burnett, the candidate for most likely to depart the Bronx if the Yanks can find a willing trade partner that wants Burnett…and a boatload of cash to pay that ridiculous salary.  What happens if either Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances pitches “lights out” in training camp?  This is going to be an interesting battle.

He’s really a cousin of Alcides and Kelvim Escobar?…

Back to Friday night’s trade, I was a bit dismayed when I saw that pitcher Hector Noesi had been included in the trade.  I kept hearing that his ceiling was the back end of the rotation but there was something that I liked about the pitcher.  At first, I didn’t know anything about the “other” Mariner included in the deal, Jose Campos.  But since the initial report of the trade, I’ve come to realize that he has great potential.  At 19, he’s 6’4” and throws in the mid 90’s.  He’ll more than make up for Noesi and fits a better timeline in terms of being major league ready given the high level pitching prospects already in the organization (Banuelos and Betances, for example).  The Curtis Granderson trade has been labeled as a ‘win-win-win’ for all concerned.  Hopefully, this M’s-Yankees trade will meet a similar fate.

What would I expect Bobby V to say?…

Contrary to what Bobby Valentine may think, the Yankees are a better team today than they were last Thursday.  But, I recognize the Boston Red Sox are not done yet.  They signed former Dodger pitcher Vicente Padilla today (a guy I loathe personally) and there’s rumors they could go after Roy Oswalt if they can move payroll.  I still think Boston could be a player for Cubs starter Matt Garza given Theo Epstein’s knowledge of the Red Sox minor league prospects.  Whether Ben Cherington or rather Larry Lucchino would trade with Epstein is another matter.  Still, I think there are changes to be made on both the Yankees and Red Sox between now and training camp.  Last year, I saw a Red Sox friend predict 118 or 119 wins for Boston.  Teams look great on paper, but as they say, the ‘proof is in the pudding’!

Moneyball II, starring Jorge Garcia…

It’s hard to think of the Oakland A’s signing former Yankees starter Bartolo Colon as a low-cost, high reward “Moneyball” kind of move.  At 39, I don’t think there’s really any upside to Colon at this point and in my opinion, he’s not capable of sustaining a full season of starts.  I’d rather have Gio Gonzalez or Trevor Cahill in the rotation, but I guess since those are no longer options, they have to look at the scrap heap that served the Yankees so well last season.

Yes, I know the way to San Jose!…

Speaking of Oakland, I do hope they are successful in their desire to move to San Jose.  As a former San Jose resident, I think it’s very exciting for the city and its metro area to be on the verge of landing both the A’s and the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, to go with the NHL’s Sharks.  I saw that A’s owner bought the famed Hotel Sainte Claire in downtown San Jose.  He already owns one hotel in San Jose so I guess you can’t read too much into it, but he’s definitely positioning himself for the growth and excitement that San Jose could see in the coming years.  I’d be happy with a Stanley Cup Championship this year, but that’s a little off-topic…

I really don’t forsee another 99 losses when you place character first…

I was a little surprised to see the Minnesota Twins sign former Detroit Tigers flamethrower Joel Zumaya.  He suffered his devastating arm injury at Target Field in 2010.  So, in terms of Karma, you’d think that he’d avoid Target Field like the plague.   But I read comments in this morning’s paper about how he was touched by the reception he received from the Twins fans as he left the field that fateful day.  Stories like that certainly make me feel honored to be a Minneapolis resident, but I was still surprised by Zumaya’s decision.  I wish him the best as he begins the Comeback Trail.  Hopefully he can get back to the level he was before.  For the Twins, with Joe Nathan in Texas and Matt Capps scheduled to close games, they need Zumaya as the pitcher he once was and hopefully will be again.

When it’s tough being the son of Donnie Baseball, come home to the Bronx!…

Before I go, I want to say that I am really hopeful that the Yankees organization proves to be a blessing for former Dodgers prospect Preston Mattingly.  I’ve always heard what a great athlete he is/was when he was younger.  I don’t know what happened through his time in the Dodgers and Indians organizations and I realize that he is getting a bit long in tooth for a prospect, but I really hope that he can find some level of success with the Yankees.  It would be very cool to see Mattingly make a debut at Yankee Stadium at some point in the future.  Who knows if it is in the cards, but being a late bloomer is not outside of the realm of possibility when it comes to someone with his bloodline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s hard to believe that we are just a month away from training camp.  I’m excited and looking forward to a great season.

 

–Scott

Didn’t see that one coming…

Yeah, but at what price?…

I am bummed…

After years of trade rumors involving Yankees prospect Jesus Montero, I thought he was finally home free and slated to be a member of the 2012 Yankees unless a trade for the seemingly untouchable Felix Hernandez were to materialize.  So, to hear tonight’s news that the Yankees have traded Montero to the Seattle Mariners is a shock since it did not involve the aforementioned King Felix.

I was perusing the MLB Trade Rumors tonight when I saw the blurb that the Mariners were close to acquiring an “young impact hitter”.  Of course, there aren’t too many guys that fit that description and Montero is near or at the top of the list.  I didn’t suspect a King Felix trade since there have been no signals that the Mariners are interested in trading him, so my immediate reaction was the fear of trading Montero for something else.  My fear has been justified as the word has come the Yankees traded Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi, a potential candidate for the starting rotation, to Seattle for pitcher Michael Pineda and minor league pitcher Jose Campos.  I  know nothing about Campos (whether he is a high or mid level prospect or just fodder for the lower leagues).  So, this trade was clearly about Pineda, 22, who made the All-Star Team as a fill-in for Justin Verlander last year during his rookie season.  I recognized that Pineda was a quality pitcher, and I had him on a few of my fantasy baseball teams.

But still, I bought into the hype that Montero was going to be an offensive force.  I recognized that he was a liability at catcher, and that Russell Martin and Francisco Cervelli represent the best catching tandem at the moment until Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez are ready to advance.  To ask a young player to start at DH does seem to be a poor major league decision, but I was looking forward to seeing Montero star in pinstripes.  His bat would have found a good spot in the starting lineup.  Maybe a few years down the road, this trade will look great for the Yankees if Pineda wins the Cy Young or becomes the ace of the staff.  But right now, I am just shocked.  It’s not the type of move that one can embrace or create excitement among the fan base.  I truly would have preferred a short term deal to Edwin Jackson or Roy Oswalt as opposed to giving up young, quality talent.  I also liked Noesi, and knew that he was a viable candidate for the starting rotation.

At the moment, and this could change in time, I think the advantage goes to the Seattle Mariners.  I am assuming that they have the young pitching talent, to go with Noesi, to find a suitable replacement for Pineda in the rotation.  Meanwhile, they get one of the best young bats in the game today.  This takes a little heat off first baseman Justin Smoak so perhaps now he can thrive.  Right now, I rate the Yankees rotation as CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Phil Hughes, and A.J. Burnett.  This means that Freddy Garcia is the pitcher most likely to be cut unless the Yankees can find a home for Burnett.

Maybe he missed pitching to #55…

Okay, after an off-season of solitude, Friday the 13th has just become Yankees Night.  The latest word is the Yankees have signed former Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda.  Based on recent reports, I had expected Kuroda to sign with the Boston Red Sox.  Bobby Valentine’s experience with Japanese players, in my mind, gave the Sox the clear advantage.  Regardless of what transpired and why he decided to come to New York (Russell Martin?), he’s an innings-eater and fits nicely in the back of the rotation.  So, if the news of Kuroda’s signing is accurate, I need to update my starting rotation…CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Phil Hughes, and Kuroda (although an argument could be made for why Hughes should be at the back end of the rotation).  The wild card is Hughes, so do the Yankees keep Burnett for long relief and a potential return to the starting rotation if Hughes falters or do they simply cut their losses?  I suspect that it will be the latter with Freddy Garcia held in reserve.  I also think this virtually confirms that we’ll see Dellin Betances and/or Manny Banuelos in the starting rotation at some point during the season.

My second favorite team is my National League favorite, the Los Angeles Dodgers, so I have to say that I enjoyed the starts I saw from Kuroda in his Dodger days.  He may be older, but he’s a quality pitcher.  He’s not going to shut down the opposition but he’s going to keep you in the game.  I would have preferred Edwin Jackson if no other reason than age (and Jackson’s ability to occasionally be a very dominating pitcher).  But still, it’s hard to find fault with the Kuroda signing.  I’d rather go with Kuroda over Roy Oswalt.  I’ve got to believe that the Yankees figured out the game plan for A.J. Burnett before the events of today unfolded so it’s likely that another deal is forthcoming before pitchers and catchers head for Tampa next month.

The fingerprints of Cash or Hal?…

I always wonder on these types of days if these moves were effected by GM Brian Cashman or if Hank and Hal Steinbrenner got bored and decided to take matters into their own hands.  I am not sure that there’s a move out there that could excite me at this point, but there’s no question the Yankees have a better rotation.  My primary concern still remains a quality backup third baseman for those inevitable A-Rod absences (i.e., trips to the DL).  But now, with Montero in Seattle and Posada on the beach waiting for Old Timer’s Day, who is going to be the DH?  At the moment, it’s a DH by committee with a rotation of A-Rod, Andruw Jones, and others.  It does make one believe that there is a potential acquisition for a veteran hitter in the making.  Bring back Johnny Damon?  It’s certainly within the realm of possibility.

The sleeping giant has awakened…

I know the Yankees objective is to get under $189 million in salary by 2014, but the team is always a sleeping giant.  If the Texas Rangers can come up with $51 million just to talk to Yu Darvish, you know the Yankees are capable of so much more.  It will be interesting to see how the next few weeks unfold.  After a season of inactivity, the Hot Stove League just got warmed up for the Yankees…

–Scott

Your Attention Please…A Yankee Great Remembered…

The “Voice of God” has been silenced…



Bob Sheppard Yankees

Chris Faytok/The Star Ledger

 


The voice of Yankees Stadium, Bob Sheppard, has
passed away at the age of 99.  Sheppard’s
health did not allow him to handle the PA duties at the new Yankee Stadium, so
he will forever be linked as a part of the old Yankee Stadium which ended its
run following the 2008 season. 
Sheppard’s last game was September 17, 2007.

 

Paul Olden has been the PA announcer since the team
opened the new Yankee Stadium in 2009, however, Derek Jeter has continued to
use a recorded tape of Sheppard’s voice to announce his plate appearances.  He’ll continue the practice even though
Sheppard has departed.

 

I am glad that I had the numerous opportunities to
hear Sheppard’s voice at the old Stadium. 
He will always be a huge part of Yankees history, and his voice will
live on.

 

It’s incredible to think of the players that
Sheppard announced over the course of his career.  His first game was April 17, 1951, which,
ironically, was also Mickey Mantle’s first game.  Here is the box score from the game:

 

April 17, 1951 at Yankee Stadium

New York Yankees 5, Boston Red Sox 0

Red Sox

AB

R

H

RBI

Dom DiMaggio, cf

3

0

2

0

Billy Goodman, rf

3

0

1

0

Ted Williams, lf

3

0

1

0

Vern Stephens, 3b

4

0

0

0

Walt Dropo, 1b

4

0

1

0

Bobby Doerr, 2b

4

0

0

0

Lou Boudreau, ss

4

0

1

0

Buddy Rosar, c

2

0

0

0

Bill Wight, p

2

0

0

0

   Ellis
Kinder, p

0

0

0

0

   Charlie
Maxwell, p

1

0

0

0

   Mickey
McDermott, p

0

0

0

0

Totals

30

0

6

0

 

Yankees

AB

R

H

RBI

Jackie Jensen, lf

4

2

2

2

Phil Rizzuto, ss

3

1

0

0

Mickey Mantle, rf

4

1

1

1

Joe DiMaggio, cf

4

0

1

1

Yogi Berra, c

2

0

1

1

Johnny Mize, 1b

3

0

0

0

   Joe
Collins, 1b

0

0

0

0

Billy Johnson, 3b

2

0

0

0

Jerry Coleman, 2b

3

1

2

0

Vic Raschi, p

2

0

0

0

Totals

27

5

7

5

 

Boston Red Sox

0

0

0

 

0

0

0

 

0

0

0

-

 

0

New York Yankees

0

0

2

 

0

0

3

 

0

0

x

-

 

5

 

E-Boudreau (1). 
DP-Boston 2 (Wight-Boudreau-Dropo, Boudreau-Doerr-Dropo), New York 3 (DiMaggio-Mize,
Rizzuto-Coleman-Mize, Rizzuto-Coleman-Collins).  2B-NY Jensen (1, off Wight).  HR-NY Jensen (1, 3rd inning off
Wight, 1 on 1 out).  Team LOB-7.  SH-Raschi (1, off Wight), Rizzuto (1, off
Wight).  Team-2.  U-HP-Bill McGowan, 1B-Bill McKinley, 2B-Jim
Honochick, 3B-Hank Soar.  T-2:12.  A-44,860.

 

Red Sox

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Bill Wight (L, 0-1)

5.0

7

5

5

2

1

Ellis Kinder

1.0

0

0

0

0

0

Mickey McDermott

2.0

0

0

0

0

1

Totals

8.0

7

5

5

2

2

 

Yankees

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Vic Raschi (W, 1-0)

9.0

6

0

0

4

6

Totals

9.0

6

0

0

4

6


For Bob Sheppard’s final game, the Yankees won
again to bookend his legendary career with wins.

 

September 17, 2007 at Yankee Stadium

New York Yankees 8, Baltimore Orioles 5

Orioles

AB

R

H

RBI

Brian Roberts, 2b

4

2

2

0

Tike Redman, cf

5

1

2

1

Nick Markakis, rf

5

1

2

3

Miguel Tejada, ss

2

0

0

0

   Luis
Hernandez, ph

1

0

0

0

Kevin Millar, 1b

5

0

3

0

Aubrey Huff, dh

4

0

1

1

Melvin Mora, 3b

5

0

1

0

Ramon Hernandez, c

4

0

1

0

Jay Payton, lf

4

1

1

0

   Brandon
Fahey, lf

0

0

0

0

Totals

39

5

13

5

 

Yankees

AB

R

H

RBI

Johnny Damon, cf

4

0

0

0

Derek Jeter, ss

5

1

2

0

Bobby Abreu, rf

5

0

2

2

Alex Rodriguez, 3b

3

0

1

1

Hideki Matsui, lf

5

1

1

1

Jorge Posada, c

5

1

3

0

Jason Giambi, dh

1

2

0

0

   Shelley
Duncan, pr-dh

0

0

0

0

Robinson Cano, 2b

4

1

2

1

Doug Mientkiewicz, 1b

1

1

1

2

Totals

33

8

13

8

 

Baltimore Orioles

2

0

0

 

0

0

0

 

1

0

2

-

 

5

New York Yankees

0

2

1

 

2

0

2

 

0

1

x

-

 

8

 

2B-Roberts (41, off Hughes), Markakis (41, off
Hughes), Millar (25, off Hughes), Payton (21, off Ramirez), Huff (31, off
Rivera), Cano (37, off Cabrera), Abreu (36, off Hoey), Jeter (33, off
Birkins).  HR-Matsui (24, 3rd
inning off Cabrera, 0 on 2 out). 
RBI-Markakis 3 (103), Redman (13), Huff (69), Mientkiewicz 2 (18),
Matsui (95), Cano (85), Damon (59), Abreu 2 (98), Rodriguez (142).  S-Mientkiewicz.  SF-Rodriguez.  LOB-Balt 11, NYY 12.  SB-Redman (5).  DP-NYY 1 ( Cano-Mientkiewicz).  U-HP-Jeff Kellogg, 1B-Eric Cooper, 2B-Andy
Fletcher, 3B-Mike Reilly.  T-3:54.  A-52,548.

 

Orioles

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Daniel Cabrera (L, 9-18)

5.0

8

6

6

3

5

Jim Hoey

1.1

2

1

1

1

1

Kurt Birkins

1.1

3

1

1

3

1

Radhames Liz

0.1

0

0

0

0

0

Totals

8.0

13

8

8

7

7

 

Yankees

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Phil Hughes (W, 5-3)

5.2

6

2

2

2

3

Edwar Ramirez (H, 3)

1.0

3

1

1

0

1

Luis Vizcaino (H, 13)

1.1

1

0

0

0

2

Kyle Farnsworth

0.2

2

2

2

1

0

Mariano Rivera (S, 30)

0.1

1

0

0

0

1

Totals

9.0

13

5

5

3

7

 


So long, Bob Sheppard.  Joltin’ Joe and the Mick are waiting for you
to announce their next game…

 

Hoff/NY Daily News



Saturday night, the Yankees lost a
heart-breaker.  On a night, when Cliff
Lee gave up 6 earned runs in the Baltimore Orioles’ pounding of the Texas
Rangers, 6-1, the man who was mentioned as the likely odd man out had the
Lee-to-the-Yankees trade been successful was stellar.  Javier Vazquez, who probably would have been
dealt to a National League club, went 7 innings and have up only 3 hits and no
runs.  He struck out 7 batters, while
only walking 2.  He left with a 1-0 lead,
however, his replacement, Joba Chamberlain promptly allowed a couple of hits, a
wild pitch, and an intentional pass to load the bases in the bottom of the 8th
for Jose Lopez.  Showing that the Yankees
bullpen is a much greater need for GM Brian Cashman than starting pitching,
Lopez delivered Chamberlain’s offering into the seats for a grand slam.   The Yankees tried to rally in the top of the
9th but they couldn’t come through. 
So, what should have been an awesome night for Vazquez turned into yet
another disappointing Joba performance. 



Joba Chamberlain Yankees Oakland cropped file

Kyle Terada/US Presswire

 


Fortunately, the team rebounded on Sunday to win
big, 8-2, behind CC Sabathia.  It was CC’s
12th win of the season (12-3) which matches Tampa’s David Price for
the league lead.  Sunday saw the Big 3 of
the AL East win (New York, Tampa and Boston), but the Yankees (56-32) hold a two-game
edge over the Rays.  The Red Sox are 5
games back.  I was glad to see the
Yankees end the first half on a positive note, particularly after Saturday’s
tough loss.  The second half starts off
as intensely as the first half when the Yankees welcome the Tampa Bay Rays to
Yankee Stadium on Friday night.  But for
a now, a few days off (well, at least for only about ‘half’ the team!). 



 


Well, it is time for my final “forced” spotlight on
a Boston Red Sox player (thanks to a wager loss to Julia of Julia’s
Rants
).  I thought about a paragraph for
Dice-K or John Lackey or Adrian Beltre or Victor Martinez, but I decided to go
with a player that will be a fixture in the Red Sox rotation for years to come…


 

#11      Clay
Buchholz

 


Charles Krupa/AP



Clay burst onto the major league scene in 2007 with
a no-hitter in just his second major league start.  On September 1, 2007, against the Baltimore
Orioles, he became the first Red Sox rookie to throw a no-hitter and just the
third major league pitcher to throw a no-hitter in his first and second start
since 1900. 



Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz was hoisted up by catcher Jason Varitek after Buchholz pitched a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park last night, putting the perfect touch on a 10-0 victory.

Winslow Townson/AP

 

He was born in Lumberton, Texas, on August 14, 1984,
so he’ll just be 26 when his birthday rolls around next month.

 

Clay was drafted in 2005 as a supplement pick
received as compensation for the loss of free agent pitcher Pedro
Martinez.  I guess Pedro truly was the
gift that keeps on giving to the RSN. 

 

He made his first start against the Los Angeles
Angels on August 17, 2007, and picked up the win in the Red Sox victory. 

 

His stay in the majors would be interrupted by
injury and several trips to the minors for the next couple of yeas.  He started 2009 at Pawtucket, and came up in
July and won a total of 7 games through the duration of the year. 

 

In 2010, he picked up where he left off, and was,
for a time, the leading Red Sox pitcher with 10 wins (10-4, 2.47 ERA).  He injured his hamstring running the bases in
San Francisco in late June that led to a trip to the Disabled List, but he is
expected to start in Boston’s first series following the All-Star Break.  He and Jon Lester form a very deadly duo in
the Red Sox rotation, and both should be stalwarts in the rotation for a very
long time. 

 

Here is Clay’s scouting report from
SoxProspects.com:

 

Scouting Report: Buchholz has a low-to-mid-90s four-seam fastball, a two-seam
fastball with decent movement, a slider, a hard 12-to-6 curveball, and a
changeup. His fastball typically sits around 91-94 mph, topping out at about 97
mph. However, he let loose at the end of the 2006 season, and his fastball sat
around 96 mph. His plus changeup is generally a straight change that sits
around 78-82 mph; he also throws a circle change.  His curveball, the best
in the organization, sits between 76-81 mph with a knee-buckling bite.  On
any given night, Buchholz’s curve or change can be unhittable, and he tends to
rely on whichever one is on as his out pitch throughout the game.  His
slider, while average to above average, is a bit behind his other secondary
pitches and sits in the low-to-mid-80s.  Mixes in all of his pitches
phenomenally.  Good demeanor on the mound.  Pitches well under
pressure, pitching coaches have said he has ice water running through his
veins.  Nice pick-off move.  He has struggled with consistency early
in his big-league career, but otherwise has ace makeup. Might need to add and
maintain some weight to endure a full major league season. In September
2007, in just his second career major league start, Buchholz threw a no-hitter
against the Baltimore Orioles.   In 2008, he had major struggles with
command and confidence, leading to lackluster results. Returned to form in 2009.

 

Clay’s name has been mentioned in the past with
possible trades for the likes of Roy Halladay and Adrian Gonzalez.  With consistency and good heath, Clay should
make himself ‘untouchable’ and I have no doubt he’ll reach his potential as a
future ace for the Red Sox.    



AP


Julia, with that, I am done!  :)


–Scott

Racking Up Wins, But Still Disappointed…

 

First let me get the game out of the way, yeah, we
won 3-1 behind Alex Rodriguez’s two-run single in the top of the 9th
and excellent pitching by Andy Pettitte, blah, blah, blah…

 


Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte surrenders only five hits, including two by Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki (b.), and strikes out nine batters in eight innings for his 11th win of the season.

Greule/Getty Images



Today had to be one of the most difficult days I’ve
experienced in recent memory.  I woke up
this morning to find the New York Post report that the Yankees were on the
verge of acquiring pitcher Cliff Lee from the Seattle Mariners. 

 


Cliff Lee is 8-3 with a 2.34 ERA in his first season with the Seattle Mariners.

Wenig/AP



All morning, I checked news reports and blogs to
see the progress of the trade. It sounded closer and closer.  First, it was mentioned that the Yankees
would send highly touted catcher (future first baseman?) Jesus Montero and
minor league second baseman David Adams to the Mariners.  Later, it was increased to include minor
league pitcher Zach McAllister.  As a
proponent of a Lee trade, I was in favor of the move despite the loss of top
young talent.  Montero will be a huge bat
in a future lineup regardless of where he plays.  I’ve envisioned him as Jorge Posada’s
replacement, but there are other candidates (Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez to
name a few). 

 

The Mariners really liked Adams, but he currently
has an ankle injury and this was the point of their concern.  As soon as they found out that Justin Smoak
was available, they quickly shifted direction and closed a deal with the Texas
Rangers. 

 

I was very disappointed with the final
outcome.  I really think the Yankees
should have done what it takes to close the deal.  There are no sure things in the Yankees
pitching rotation outside of CC Sabathia, so the chance to acquire a dominant
pitcher like Lee doesn’t happen very often. 
Sure, the team will be able to pursue Lee in the off-season if he doesn’t
sign a contract with the bankrupt Rangers, but they’ll pay a high price given
that Lee is a Type A free agent and he isn’t able to help them now.  With Lee, the team could have shifted Phil
Hughes to the bullpen or traded Javier Vazquez, a free agent at year end, for a
quality return.

 

Perhaps one day, Montero, Adams and/or McAllister
will make me glad this day happened the way it did, but today, I am
disappointed.  Then, of course, the
Boston Red Sox go out and blast the Toronto Blue Jays 14-3.  Not a good day…



 


Well, back to the “forced” spotlight on a Boston
Red Sox player.  Thanks to a wager loss
to Julia of Julia’s Rants, I am obligated to write about a member of the
6/26/10 Boston Red Sox roster.  The
original bet was for all 25 players, but Julia shortened my sentence to 10
players for good behavior.  So far, I’ve
written about 8 Red Sox players so just two more.  For #9, I will go with the knuckleballer…


 

#49       
Tim Wakefield

 


His vaunted knuckleball was only one weapon Tim Wakefield employed in his eight shutout innings (two hits, six strikeouts).

Duane Burleson/AP



Tim Wakefield is the senior ranking member of the
Boston Red Sox, having joined the organization in 1995.  He was one of those cuts that Boston pounced
upon to seize a quality player (ala David Ortiz).  In a Red Sox uniform, he trails only Cy Young
and Roger Clemens in wins. 

 

Wake was born 14 years to the day before Thurman
Munson was killed in a plane crash in Canton, Ohio (August 2, 1966).  Sorry, I can’t pass August 2nd
without thinking about Thurman.  It’s the
curse of a Yankees fan.  Wakefield was
drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1988. 
He started out as an infielder, but realized that his best path to the
majors was developing a pitching talent so he learned how to throw a
knuckleball.


In 1992, when Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonilla were
leading the Pirates to the play-off appearances, he went 8-1 down the stretch,
earning NL Rookie Pitcher of the Year from The Sporting News.  The Pirates would lose the NLCS to the
Atlanta Braves, but it was through no fault of Wake who went 2-0 (both were
complete games). 



scan0409.jpg image by subjectochange13

 


Thanks to control problems, Wakefield spent the
next couple of years in the minors.  On
April 20, 1995, the Pirates gave up on Wakefield and released him.  He was signed by the Red Sox six days later,
and would prove his worth immediately as he went 16-8 in helping the Red Sox
win the AL East.  He finished third in
the Cy Young voting that year, and was also named the AL Comeback Player of the
Year.

 

Over the next few years, Wake would prove to be a
valuable part of the rotation even if he did struggle at times with control.  He even found himself as the team’s closer in
1999.  He is one of the few pitchers to
record four strikeouts in one inning.  He
earned 15 saves before he was replaced by Derek Lowe as the team’s closer. 

 

Because of his versatility, he would toggle back
and forth between starting and relieving for the next few years.  He enjoyed good success against the Yankees,
but was the pitcher on the mound when Aaron Boone hit his home run to win the
2003 ALCS.  He rebounded to play a
critical part in the team’s wins against the Yankees and the St. Louis
Cardinals the next year to claim the World Championship. 

 

With his unique fast and ultra-slow fastball,
Wakefield has been a consistent part of the Red Sox rotation for 15 years.  He won 17 games in their 2007 championship
season but he didn’t get to play in the World Series due to a shoulder
injury. 

 

Even today, when he is not counted on to be a major
part of the rotation, he simply steps in and does his job in a quiet, effective
manner.  He was a terrific signing for
the Red Sox, and he’ll go down in Red Sox history as one of their all-time
greats.  Wakefield is perhaps one of the
most giving players in the game today, and the Red Sox will never be the same
when he decides to call it a career…

 

 

 Just one more to go!  Whew!  J



 

 

Feeling The Heat…

Two games in two days, but only one win to show for it…

 

 


Lonely.JPG 

 

 

The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind.  On Thursday, Alex Rodriguez won the game with an 8th inning “walk-off” home run…except there were still 3 more outs to go.  Today, despite a very strong rebound by a Dave Eiland-supported A.J. Burnett, the Yankees fell to the Toronto Blue Jays in extra innings due to a porous bullpen.

 

 

New York Yankees vs Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on July 2, 2010.

Zach Ornitz/The Star Ledger

 

In Thursday’s game, CC Sabathia was solid.  He didn’t have his best stuff, however, he was pitching a shutout into the 8th inning when he surrendered a game-tying two-run single to Russell Branyan.  In the bottom of the 8th, Alex Rodriguez homered to right with Mark Teixeira on base.  Thinking it was the 9th inning, A-Rod raised his arms and looked toward the dugout before realizing there was more baseball to be played.  Fortunately, Mariano Rivera ensured the hit was the game-winner as the Yankees defeated the Seattle Mariners, 4-2, to avoid getting swept at home.

 

 

Mark Teixeira waits at the plate to celebrate with Alex Rodgriguez after A-Rod's eighth-inning blast breaks a 2-2 tie and lifts Yankees to 4-2 win.

Sabo/NY Daily News

 

On Friday, the bats decided to take the day off even though the team was scheduled to play an afternoon game at Yankee Stadium against the Toronto Blue Jays (the offense must have thought game time was 7:05 p.m.).  With pitching coach Dave Eiland back in the fold and working to help A.J. Burnett correct the flaws in his delivery, A.J. pitched the best he has in several months.  He went 6 2/3 innings, giving up only 4 hits, 3 walks and no runs, with 6 strikeouts.  But Joba Chamberlain did what he does best in giving up the lead by allowing a run-scoring single in the 8th which tied the game.  In the 11th inning, the bullpen came undone with David Robertson and Chan Ho Park as they gave up 5 runs in the 6-1 loss.  The Yankees blew a golden opportunity in the bottom of the 3rd with the bases loaded and no outs, but couldn’t push any runs across the plate. 

 

 

New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain allows the game-tying run in the 8th inning, wasting 6-2/3 shutout innings from A.J. Burnett (below).

Sipkin/NY Daily News 

 

 

With Boston’s win tonight (3-2 over the Baltimore Orioles), the Yankees hold only a very slim ½ game lead over the injury-riddled Red Sox.

 

 

Bill Hall, left, congratulated J.D. Drew on his home run in the second inning.

Boston Globe staff

 

 

Boston keeps losing players but it hasn’t slowed them in the least.  The latest casualty is catcher Jason Varitek who was placed on the DL with a broken foot.  Since Victor Martinez is also on the DL, the team reached out to the Houston Astros to bring back former Red Sox catcher Kevin Cash (who spent time with the Yankees in 2009).

 

 

Catcher Kevin Cash of the New York Yankees runs out a hit against the Toronto Blue Jays February 25, 2009 at Dunedin Stadium in Dunedin, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Kevin Cash

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images 

 

Let’s see, for the fourth player installment of my “forced” spotlight on the Boston Red Sox, I’ll go with the first baseman of the Red Sox.  As the result of a lost wager with Julia of Julia’s Rants, I have to include a paragraph about every member of the Red Sox roster as of 6/26/10, so today the spotlight is on the player affectionately known as “Youk”. 

 

 

#20     Kevin Youkilis

 

 

 

Kevin Youkilis #20 of the Boston Red Sox discusses his strike out with home plate umpire Andy Fletcher in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles on July 2, 2010 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

 

Elsa/Getty Images

 

 

Kevin Edmund Youkilis was born on March 15, 1979 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  He is of Romanian descent despite the Greek surname.  In an interesting note of fact, he had an uncredited one-line speaking role in the movie, Milk Money, when he was just 14 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

Youk was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2001 after a solid collegiate career with the Cincinnati Bearcats.  After working his way up through the Red Sox farm system, he made his debut with the team during the championship 2004 season.  He homered in his first major league game against Pat Hentgen and the Toronto Blue Jays.  He would spend the next two years going back and forth between Boston and Pawtucket before finally landing in the majors to stay.  While he came up as a third baseman, he has been the starting first baseman since 2006.  On the roster during the 2004 World Series, he didn’t get to play but that was not the case in 2007.  While he did sit when the Series was played in Colorado (due to the loss of the DH and the move of David Ortiz to first base), Youk help the Red Sox secure their second championship in three years.

 

 

 

Youk is well known for his charitable work, and he founded Kevin Youkilis Hits For Kids, a non-profit dedicated to the health and safety of children.  Here is a link to the organization:

 

http://www.youkskids.org/

 

My frustration with Youk is that he is always in the middle of a rally.  Whether it is a hit or walk or simply his intensity and gritty play, he always seems to be in the thick of the action, making something out of nothing.  His uncanny ability to get on base is what coined the nickname “Greek God of Walks” in the best-selling book, Moneyball.  It’s never fun to see him come to the plate…unless you’re a Red Sox fan.  The Red Sox might lose players like Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Varitek, Dustin Pedroia, Victor Martinez, Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett and others to the DL, but as long as Youk is in the lineup, they’re not going away.  As Julia is always so quick to point out, “things in the mirror are much closer than they appear to be”.   Unfortunately, because of guys like Youk, she’s right…

 

Tomorrow is a new day!  Go Yankees!  :)

 

–Scott

 

 

 

A Vote For Cliff Lee…

 

The calendar is getting ready to turn the page to July so that means we’ll be on the home stretch for the trading deadline.  

 

 

 

 

Of course, there have been so many rumors about Seattle’s Cliff Lee and whether or not the Yankees will make a play.  If it meant raiding the farm system, then a deal for Lee doesn’t make sense.  He’ll be a free agent at the end of the season, so as long as he doesn’t sign a pre-trade extension with another team, he should be there for the Yankees to pursue in the off-season. 

 

 

John Angelillo/UPI

 

Now, if they can put together a package now that makes sense without sacrificing the future, they should do it.  The Yankees could easily free up a spot in the rotation by trading Javier Vazquez to a National League club, and getting Lee would be a hedge against Andy Pettitte retiring in the off-season.  Right now, the Yankees really have only one shutdown ace…CC Sabathia.  A.J. Burnett has decided to become a batting practice pitcher, Andy is always going to give up runs although he’ll keep it close, and Phil Hughes is handicapped by the innings limit placed on him by the team so there are no other guarantees in the rotation.  A rotation led by the former Indians duo of Sabathia and Lee would be very formidable.  So, here’s hoping the team can find a way, although admittedly, another bat is probably the wiser route to take.

 

The Yankees have the lead in the American League but it is by the slimmest of margins.  Entering play tonight, they were just a game ahead of the injury-decimated Boston Red Sox and three games up on the Tampa Bay Rays.  The injuries have been tough, but I’d say that the Red Sox have had it worse yet they are playing the better baseball despite a lineup of players that you may not have heard of prior to the season.   I am not sure what the Yankees should do, but complacency is not the answer.

 

 


Do Nothing.JPG 

 

 

Well, it’s time for the third installment of my lost wager with Julia of Julia’s Rants.  We bet on last Sunday’s Red Sox-Giants game, and I lost.  Being a Bay Area resident, I was pulling for the home team as if there was any question about which team a Yankee fan would pull for.  With the loss, I have to include a paragraph about every player on the Red Sox roster (as of the game day when the Giants lost). 

 

For my third player, I will go with the player who started the scoring for the Red Sox last Sunday with a deep smash to right…

 

 

#34   David Ortiz

 

 

 Jim Rogash/Getty Images

 

Over the years, there have been players released that surprised me but probably none more than when the Minnesota Twins let Ortiz go.  I was not close to the situation so I do not know the exact reasons behind his release, but the move helped ensure the end of the Curse of the Bambino.

 

David Americo Ortiz Arias was born November 18, 1975 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  He was originally drafted by the Seattle Mariners, and after spending four years in their farm system, he was traded to the Twins for Dave Hollins.  Ortiz showed glimpses of his power in Minnesota, but injuries and inconsistency held him back, ultimately leading to his release.

 

 

 

 

He signed with the Red Sox on January 22, 2003, and the Red Sox Nation has never been the same.  One of the greatest free agent signings in Boston’s history (in any team’s history), Ortiz hit .301 in 2004 with 41 home runs and 139 RBI’s in helping lead the Red Sox to their first World Championship in 86 years.  Three years later, with 35 home runs and 117 RBI’s, Ortiz would be hoisting the championship trophy over his head once again. 

 

Ortiz has started the downward descent of his career that comes with age, but he’ll forever be interlinked into the fabric of Red Sox history. 

 

I personally won’t miss those walk-off home runs when his Boston career comes to an end…

 

–Scott

Home Not So Sweet Home…

 

 

That thud you heard was just the Yankees back in the Bronx…

 

 

New York Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes suffers his first loss since May 22, surrendering seven runs and ten hits in 5 2/3 innings Tuesday to Seattle.

Sabo/NY Daily News

 

Unfortunately, like the first game in Arizona when the Yankees flew across the country, they were soundly defeated by their opponent shortly after stepping off the plane.  This time, they had an off day to buffer jet lag but alas it didn’t help. 

 

On the mound was World Series nemesis Cliff Lee, the former Philadelphia Phillie who now temporarily resides in Seattle.  Lee, the most likely to be traded by the July trading deadline, was the winner, pitching a complete game in the 7-4 victory over the Yanks.  The home team did try to make it interesting in the bottom of the 9th with two runs, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

 

 

William Perlman/The Star Ledger

 

Phil Hughes, who was skipped during his last turn in the rotation in an attempt to limit innings, had his worst outing of the season.  He allowed 10 hits and 7 runs (6 earned) in 5 2/3 innings. 

 

The only bright spot was Nick Swisher and his two home runs (giving him 13 on the season).  I have to admit that I really had my doubts about Swish going into the season.  I was fearful that he’d be closer to the player he was with the Chicago White Sox than the player who helped the Yankees win the World Series last year.  He has definitely proven me wrong, and the team was right to let Xavier Nady walk in the off-season.

 

As I write this post, the Boston Red Sox are winning big against the Tampa Bay Rays, so the Yankees will most likely find themselves only one game up on the injury-decimated Red Sox later this evening.

 

Speaking of the Red Sox, it’s time for the second installation of my lost wager.  As a result of the Red Sox victory over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, I lost a bet with Julia of Julia’s Rants and now must write about a member of the Red Sox (as of Sunday’s game).  For today’s mention, I am going to go with a player who was designated for assignment since his days with the Red Sox have come to an end.

 

#55  Fabio Castro

 

 

Castro, a left-handed reliever, was designated for assignment when the team added infielder Eric Patterson, who was acquired this weekend from the Oakland A’s.  Castro had just been called up on June 25th, but did not appear in any games.  He had been on the roster for several days in April, but also did not see any action during that time either.  Castro signed with the Red Sox in December after stints with the Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies.  He is only 25, and as a lefty, he should get another shot with some team looking for help in the bullpen if he departs the Red Sox organization. 

 

Castro was originally signed by the Chicago White Sox as a non-drafted free agent in December 2001.  He last pitched in the majors for the Phillies in September 2007. 

 

–Scott

 

 

Huh? That Wasn’t Supposed to Happen!…

A bitter taste…


Loser3.JPG 

Finally, A.J. Burnett was pitching like the guy that the Yankees expected when they signed him as a free agent in the off-season.  After a series of poor starts, he had dominating stuff last night and was in position for a win.  He went 7 innings, and gave up only 1 run on 7 hits.  He struck out 6, and walked only 3.  He was leading 2-1 at the time of his exit, and the Yankees seemed to be in control despite the close score.

 

Ted S. Warren/AP

 

The 8th saw a business-as-usual performance from Phil Hughes, with 3 up and 3 down.

 

Mariano Rivera appeared very loose in the bullpen prior to his entrance in the 9th.  The stage was set for another save on his way to Cooperstown.  Even the Seattle-based announcers made a comment that they should just waive the 5 year waiting period for Mo when he retires.  Mo easily set down the first two batters (getting the second, Mike Carp, out on his 1,000th career strikeout), but then pinch hitter Mike Sweeney stroked a double to right.  Okay, there were two outs, the Yanks were still in good shape.  Only Ichiro stood in the way of their 95th victory.  Unfortunately, it was not meant to be.  Mo tried to go inside on a cutter but left the pitch out too much, and Ichiro got a hold of it and sent it into the outfield bleachers for the game-winning home run.  The Mariners walked off with a 3-2 victory…

 

Ted S. Warren/AP

 

Mo saw his string of 36 consecutive saves snapped.  The only other time he has failed to convert a save this season was in April on a Jason Bay home run.

 

Sipkin/New York Daily News 

 

Ichiro may have been picked off twice in the game, but he clearly got the last laugh…

 

Ted S. Warren/AP

With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Red Sox shrank to 6 games.  This is definitely a tough stretch.  The Yankees are on a difficult road trip against winning teams and in cities they historically have troubles with.  Meanwhile, the Red Sox are playing the lifeless Orioles, and then move on to Kansas City for face the punchless Royals for four games.  Both the O’s and Royals stand at 87 losses prior to today’s games.  So, the Yankees’ three-game series against the Red Sox next weekend looms as the big AL East showdown.  It is very possible that the Red Sox may be in position to determine who enters the play-offs as the AL East champion and who backdoors it as the Wild Card entrant.  The Yankees’ magic number remains at 10, but their magic number for making the play-offs dropped to 3 with the Rangers’ loss to the Angels.  That one was a double-edged sword as the Angels gained a game on the Yanks for best record.  So, needless to say, Ichiro’s hit made for a very difficult night on many fronts.

 

 

Hopefully, the Yanks will show their mettle and rebound today with CC Sabathia taking the hill in search of his 18th victory.  Let’s hope it’s the Yanks’ 95th

 

 

I still can’t believe that the great Peter Abraham (who has been referred to as the “blogfather”) is leaving the LoHud Yankees Blog to go to work for the Boston Globe and write about the dreaded Red Sox…  L

 

Disbelief.JPG

 

The oldest living Yankee has passed away,  Lonny Frey, who played with the Yankees in the 1947 World Series, was a three-time All-Star with the Cincinnati Reds in the 30′s and 40′s.  Frey died on Sunday in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho at the age of 99.  He was the last surviving player to play for the Yankees, the New York Giants, and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

 

Courtesy Richard Hirschman

 

Frey’s passing leaves Tommy Henrich, 96, as the oldest living Yankee.  Henrich played his entire career with the Yankees from 1937 to 1950.  He is the last surviving member of the World Champion 1938 Yankees.

 

193820Crosetti2C20Rolfe2C20Henrich2.jpg 1938 New York Yankees image by BillBurgess

Courtesy Bill Burgess

 

Andy Pettitte is scheduled to pitch on Monday against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim.  Andy missed his last start due to a “fatigued” shoulder, and hopefully, the rest has helped him.  Andy will be a huge part of what the Yanks will try to accomplish in October.  It was good to hear that he has reached most of his incentives to allow him to nearly double his $5 million salary for the year.  He has certainly earned his pay (relatively speaking of course, because $5 mil is a heck of a lot of money any way you slice it!).

 

John Munson/The Star Ledger 

Speaking of rest, reliever David Robertson, who was shut down for elbow stiffness, appears to be on track for a return by the final week of the season.  He is another arm that will be crucial to October success.  I am glad that his visit to Dr. Andrews did not reveal more serious problems and that rest was the prescribed treatment.  Robertson has been great in the pen this year.

 

Tim Farrell/The Star Ledger

 

Today is a new day.  Let’s get back to winning…

 

 

–Scott

No Time for Sleepless in Seattle…

A well deserved day off while the Yankees head to Seattle…

 

 

Speaking of Seattle, I am always appreciative of the fact that Tom Paciorek no longer plays baseball.  For my generation, he was the original Yankee killer.  I know that there were many before him and many since, however, he was the first player that I personally witnessed as a single-handed destruction force against anything pinstripe-related.

 

paciorektom81d.jpg image by worldwideed

 

It was an interesting week.  Monday saw the Yankees defeat their nemesis, the Los Angeles Angels, in a makeup of the May 3rd rainout.

 

Bill Kostroun/AP 

 

Tuesday was a mess.  A brawl left Jorge Posada and Shelley Duncan with three-game suspensions.  Posada, who had taken exception to an earlier pitch, threw an elbow at Jays pitcher Jesse Carlson, while scoring on a double by Brett Gardner.  There were several bench clearing moments, and the latter occurred following the elbow by Posada.  Hitting coach Kevin Long and pitcher Edwar Ramirez were also fined for their involvement in the fracas.  Any way you slice it, it was an ugly representation of baseball.  The Yankees dropped the game, 10-4.

 

Kathy Willens/AP 

 

Wednesday, the teams were more amenable to each other.  The Yankees fell behind the Jays early and trailed 4-2 in the 7th inning.  I had started to become concerned that the Yanks were on the verge of their second consecutive loss, but Hideki Matsui allayed my fears with a two-run homer in the 8th to tie the game.  At that point, I had confidence that the team would mount yet another walk-off win.  I was not denied, although I was a bit surprised by the source.  I will first start by saying I love watching Brett Gardner work the base paths.  Following a lead-off single in the 9th inning, he stole second.  Derek Jeter grounded out to short, but it advanced Gardner, the winning run, to 3rd.  That brought catcher Francisco Cervelli to the plate.  His single to left scored Gardner, and the Yankees had a new recipient for the pie of the day…

 

Yankees tangle in positive way thanks to Francisco Cervelli.

Ron Antonelli/New York Daily News

 

This morning, I was looking at the AL East standings, and was surprised to see that the Red Sox were only 5 games behind the Yanks in the loss column.  Boston has been playing very well lately as evidenced by the 7-game winning streak.  Julia is quick to note that this team reminds her of the 2004 and 2007 World Championship clubs, and the way they’ve been playing, I do not necessarily disagree.  Nevertheless, I have confidence in my guys and their ‘no-quit’ determination.   Given that the Texas Rangers have performed the baseball equivalent of hara-kiri, there is no much mystery left regarding whether the Yankees and Red Sox will make the play-offs.  The only question is who will take the AL East crown, and right now, the Yankees have the advantage.  The Yankees continue their quest for the best record in the AL, but they cannot lose sight of the team in their rearview mirror.  I learned long ago not to underestimate the Red Sox.

 

 

 

The Red Sox did see the end of their 7-game winning streak tonight, as they were clipped by the Angels, 4-3.  The Yankees magic number has been reduced to 10, although the Angels were able to pick up a ½ game on the Yanks.

 

Charles Krupa/AP 

The Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees were unable to defend their International League crown.  They were swept in the finals tonight by the Durham Bulls with a 3-2 loss in the third and final game.  The Yankees did pick up championships in two other minor leagues.  Class A Tampa won the Florida State League, while the Staten Island Yankees won the New York/Penn League.  I’m thinking “three’s company”, so let’s go big league Yanks!

In a somewhat shocking announcement, Peter Abraham of the Yankees LoHud Yankees Blog announced that he will be moving to Boston to work for the Boston Globe.  His blog has long been one of my personal favorites, and I will miss his Yankees insight.  I am sure that he’ll provide Red Sox fans with the same robust and reliable information that we Yankee fans have been accustomed to, not to mention the quick wit.   Pete Abe made a comment that some will call him a traitor, but I will not.  He is a class act, and his decision was made for family reasons, which is a very admirable trait.  I would like to thank him for his work over the years, and I wish him the very best in Boston.  Of course, he’ll miss out on writing about the 2009 World Series Champions…

 

 

My fantasy football team faces a huge dilemma this weekend.  My starting QB is Tom Brady, while my defense is the Jets D.  So, I have one player working against another since the Patriots face the Jets this weekend.  Who do I pull for?  Yikes!  As an 0-1 team (thanks to LaDainian Tomlinson’s ankle), I have to hope that best case scenario plays out.

 

 

 

I will close with a photo of my pride and joy.  She has been the master of self portraits since she was very small, and has developed a great sense of humor (despite her dad)…

 

 

–Scott

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