Results tagged ‘ Tim Wakefield ’

Addition by Subtraction…

 

Whew, it’s over…

On one hand, I do feel bad because there’s no denying the talent in A.J. Burnett’s arm, even if it has lost some of its zip over the past couple of seasons.  If he had the mental fortitude of his good buddy, Roy Halladay, there’s no telling what he could have done with his extraordinary gift.  But it was the mental lapses in difficult situations, magnified on the big stage in New York, that led the Yankees to make the only move they could have made.  So, it’s exit Stage Left, or I guess Stage Right in Burnett’s case, as he moves on to the Steel City.

I am hopeful that the new and less-pressurized environment will allow Burnett to pitch more like the guy he was in Toronto with the Blue Jays.  If that happens, it will be a win-win for both the Yankees and the Pirates.  Granted, the two “prospects” the Yankees acquired in the Burnett trade (pitcher Diego Moreno and outfielder Exicardo Cayones) are considered low-level, but the salary relief for the Yanks (Pirates absorbing $13 million of what’s left on Burnett’s remaining $33 contract) is a positive.  Even for the almighty Yankees.  If neither Moreno or Cayones ever develop into major league talent, it was still a good trade for the Yankees.  So, anything out of either of those players would be a bonus.

Of course, the haters will come out in full force if Phil Hughes fails to seize the opportunity and Freddy Garcia proves he overstayed his welcome by one year.  But even in that worst case scenario, I’d prefer to see the talented arms in the farm system get the audition.

The Yankees will apparently sign both third baseman Eric Chavez and outfielder Raul Ibanez once the Burnett trade is finalized.  Those are two good pieces for the 2012 squad.  I like the idea of an Ibanez-Andruw Jones tandem at DH, with occasional time for Alex Rodriguez.  Ibanez may not be the slugger he once was, but with 20 homers in Philly last year, he proved he can swing it on occasion.  For sentimental reasons, it would have been nice to see the return of either Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui, but Ibanez is clearly the better choice.

He did it the RIGHT way in more ways than one…

Pitcher Tim Wakefield has been a long-time nemesis as the member of the Yankees’ arch rival, but it was still sad to see him call it a career.  I know, it was time, and there’s always the chance the Red Sox call his number later in the season if they need help, but he leaves the game as a champion.  The city of Boston and the Red Sox organization are very privileged to have one of baseball’s most charitable and classiest individuals in the game as one of their own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both Wakefield and David Ortiz proved that anything can happen after they were both released by their previous organizations but flourished with the Red Sox in the major leagues.  It gives me hope for guys like Preston Mattingly and others.  Wakefield makes for an incredible role model, and hopefully, he’ll continue to be a fixture in baseball in some capacity.

The Los Angeles Vikings didn’t really sound very good any way…

Finally, the Minnesota Vikings have a tentative stadium deal.  Like the Burnett trade negotiations, this has been drawn out through eternity.  I know, there are still many hurdles to be cleared before actual construction begins, but at least it was the first positive move forward for the Vikings.  As a Vikings fan, there’s always been the fear in the back of one’s mind that the team would decide to move to greener pastures in Los Angeles (much like the Minneapolis Lakers did years ago).  The tentative stadium deal would keep the Vikings in Minneapolis, as opposed to a suburban area like Arden Hills.  Hopefully, this deal will get passed by the city and state, and will ensure that the Vikings are in Minnesota…and Minneapolis…for the long haul.

–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



 

 

Wanted: Slumpbuster!…

 

The Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox are winning, and the Yankees, um, not so much…

 

 


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The proverbial “bump in the road” has occurred which derailed the great start to the season.  Of course, the Yankees are just a winning streak away from corrective action.  However, the recent days have not been fun.

 

 

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Jeff Zelevansky/NY Post

 

After defeating the New York Mets on Friday night behind the brilliant, but injury-shortened, effort of Javier Vazquez, the Yankees and Phil Hughes lost on Saturday night, 5-3.  Hughes has mirrored the team play…great start followed by recent lackluster performances. 

 

 

Starting pitcher Phil Hughes

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

 

Tonight, the Yankees trail the Mets 6-0 in the top of the 7th inning.  There is still lots of time for the Yankees to rally.  But this team is definitely missing the “spark” right now.  I am not sure who’ll provide that spark, but perhaps the impending return of centerfielder Curtis Granderson will help.  While I enjoy the energy and excitement that Francisco Cervelli provides, a starting lineup that includes Cervelli, Juan Miranda, and Randy Winn/Marcus Thames/Kevin Russo definitely does not stir memories of Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Melky Cabrera. 

 

 

Nick Laham/Getty Images

 

 

Starting pitching, once a strength, is now suspect.  There was a time when the only slug in the rotation was Vazquez, and now he’s the only shining star.  CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes have all left pitching lines that they just as soon forget.  How quickly things have changed.  I recognize that this mini-slump is temporary, but so far, the Rays have not showed they are susceptible to these types of slowdowns.  Therefore, it is imperative for the Yankees to break out of this slump soon.  Otherwise, they’ll soon find themselves looking at the backs of the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox. 

 

 

Boston Globe Staff

 

 

As much as I hate to do it, I have to give a tip of the cap to the Boston Red Sox.  Not only did they beat the Philadelphia Phillies today with Tim Wakefield, they beat Roy Halladay.  It was an impressive win by Julia‘s guys…

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, the Fat Lady did sing today.  The Chicago Blackhawks swept the San Jose Sharks in the NHL Western Conference Finals.  Another disappointing finish for Joe Thornton and Company.  Good luck to the Blackhawks as they move on to the Stanley Cup Finals to face either the Montreal Canadiens or the Philadelphia Flyers.  I am left to wonder what could have been.  But then again, that’s a frequent feeling when you are a fan of the Sharks and the Minnesota Vikings…  L

 

 

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Glass Half Full to Glass Half Empty…

 

Thud!…

 

 


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The Yankees played a hard fought series in Boston, and escaped with two out of three despite their “pathetic and embarrassing”¹ play.  They had a day off and traveled to St. Petersburg, Florida to face their other primary AL East rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays. 

 

Tampa Bay Rays Franchise Fitted Baseball Cap

 

With Javier Vazquez on the mound, it looked as though the Yankees would stack up very nicely against David Price and the championship-contending Rays.  Staked to an early 2-0 lead, Vazquez promptly gave it up in the bottom half of the 4th inning.  Former Yankee Carlos Pena tied the score with a two-run homer, and Jason Bartlett had a two-run double in the 5 run inning.  Another former Yankee, Dioner Navarro, hit the single that put the Rays in the lead.  Those would be the only runs that Price would need enroute to the Rays’ third victory of the season.

 

 

Photo

AP 

 

Marcus Thames made his second start of the season in left (in place of starter Brett Gardner), and Mark Teixeira continued his traditional ice cold start.  After four games, he is 0-for-16 which matches the worst hitless start of his career.  Let’s hope that he ends the streak on Saturday.

 

 


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The weekend games will pit CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett as the rotation begins its second go-around this young season.  I am expecting a much stronger start from Sabathia than we saw in Boston, and the same with Burnett.  They’ll face Wade Davis and James Shields, respectively.

 

 

Lynne Sladky/AP

 

On the bright side, the Boston Red Sox lost too as the Kansas City Royals rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 8th to win 4-3.  It was a great start by the ageless and reliable Tim Wakefield, but once again, the bullpen was the Achilles heel for the Red Sox.

 

 

Red Sox Royals Baseball.jpg

AP

 

¹I found Umpire Joe West’s comments about the Yankees and Red Sox as “pathetic and embarrassing” to be, well, pathetic and embarrassing.  His frustration was over the slow play of the opening series between the two teams.  In my opinion, West should voice any concerns he has internally within his own organization and not air the negative comments publicly.  I am biased and if I were a San Francisco Giants fan, I’d vehemently disagree, but there’s nothing like baseball’s best rivalry, the Yankees and the Red Sox.  I am a Minnesota Vikings fan, and I dislike the Green Bay Packers.  I am a San Jose Sharks fan and I dislike the Anaheim Ducks.  I am a Los Angeles Lakers fan and I dislike the Boston Celtics.  But there is simply nothing like Yankees-Red Sox.  Right Julia?

 

 

Keith Srakocic/AP

 

Speaking of the Vikings, the wait for Brett Favre continues.  It is a given that Favre won’t make any decisions that would actually require him to show up for training camp, so this is going to be long and drawn out once again.  It’s frustrating because it is very hard for me to get excited about either Tavaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels at quarterback.  It’s rumored that the Vikings are taking a look at Tim Tebow.  However, he is a major project and many think he’ll never succeed at the pro level.  On the plus side, his former teammate Percy Harvin is on the Vikings and it would ease Tebow’s transition.  We’ll see how this plays out.  I definitely agree that the Vikings need to be thinking about the quarterback of the future regardless of what Favre may do.  I’d love for the Vikings to pick Jimmy Clausen in the NFL Draft, but he’ll be long gone by the time the Vikings select unless they can move up.

 

 

Jimmy Clausen

Joe Raymond/AP

 

Both the Sharks and the Lakers are set to play in their respective sports’ play-offs.  I am hopeful that this is the year for Joe Thornton and company.  For the Lakers, it’s ‘here we go again’ with Andrew Bynum unavailable until the play-offs due to injury.  Unfortunately, that’s an all too familiar song, but hopefully he’ll be ready to play once the play-offs do start.  If both teams could play and beat Boston, I’d be a very happy man.  Of course, that would mean championship series for both, but hey, so long as WE win, what does it matter?  ;)

 

 

 

 

The Yankees quietly picked up former San Diego Padres outfielder Chad Huffman on waivers and assigned him to AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre.  Huffman was placed on waivers to make room for Matt Stairs (hasn’t he played for like every major league club?).  I didn’t think much of the move when I first saw it, but later I saw comments about how frustrated fans were and how they saw the fingerprints of Kevin Towers all over this one.  Towers, the former Padres GM, is now a special consultant for the Yankees.  It would appear that the Padres had hoped Huffman would clear waivers for a minor league assignment but were, perhaps, thwarted by their former general manager.  I saw these comments about Huffman by Padres assistant Paul DePodesta and it makes me a little jazzed about the pickup (and not so disappointed that the Yankees had to return Rule 5 pickup Jamie Hoffmann to the Dodgers): 

“We lost the player. And, he’s a pretty good one. Chad was a 2nd round pick in 2006 out of TCU and has been a successful minor league hitter throughout his pro career, posting an OPS over .800 in each season. While crushing lefties early in his career, Chad had his most successful year yet against RHP during his first season in AAA in 2009. He always controlled the strike zone and also hit for some power–a combination we like. We think he’ll be a good Major League hitter.

“This wasn’t an easy decision, as we feel good about our 40-man roster at this point. We talked about a number of different guys and worked through various scenarios–who had the best chance to clear waivers, what depth did we have, what depth did we anticipate needing during the year, etc.

“We hate to lose good players. Additionally, we hate to lose good people, and Chad is a tremendous clubhouse guy. Getting beyond the selfish aspect, we’re excited for Chad. We truly wish him the best with the Yankees and will be rooting for him to make it to New York and contribute to the big league team.”

Works for me…  J

 

CHuffman.JPG

 

P.S.  I am headed to Arizona for the week on business so I might not have any blog updates until after I return on Saturday, April 17th.  Let’s hope the Yankees get on a roll by that time! 

 

–Scott

 

 

No. 2 Is Just Fine…

When is Number 2 quite acceptable?…

 

Number 2.JPG

 

It’s not the Boston Red Sox who move closer to clinching at least a Wild Card berth.   It’s not the Yankees who lead the American League East by 6 games.  Finally, the Yankees number 2 starter, A.J. Burnett, has successfully righted the ship…

 

Chris Carlson/AP

 

After struggling in August, A.J. turned in his second consecutive solid start by pitching into the sixth inning, giving up 7 hits but only 2 runs.  He struck out 11 batters (just one shy of his season high).   The Yankees need an effective Burnett as they move into October, and his recent performances have shown that he is up to the task.  The Yankees made a 3-run 4th inning hold up today as they defeated the Angels, 3-2.

 

Chris Carlson/AP 

 

Following Burnett were a bevy of relievers, but the most notable was Ian Kennedy.  Kennedy entered in the 8th inning to make his 2009 season debut.  Kennedy had surgery for an aneurysm in his right armpit in May.  I am not so sure that I would have gone to Kennedy in a tight situation, with the Yankees leading by 1.  However, manager Joe Girardi must have felt that he had no choice due to a depleted pen.  Kennedy made it interesting with 2 walks and a hit batter to load the bases, but he avoided any damage by getting Erick Aybar to fly out ending the inning.  Congrats to Ian for a successful return.  I have been critical of Kennedy in the past, but he has the talent to succeed.

 

Chris Carlson/AP 

Mariano Rivera came on in the 9th to close it out for his 42nd save.  With the victory, the Yankees took 2 of 3 games in Anaheim, and proved that they can win in the Angels backyard.  I was very worried about this road trip going in since the Mariners had a winning record and have historically played the Yankees very tough at Safeco Field and prior to this series, the Yankees had not won a game in Anaheim this year.  The Yankees did struggle in Seattle after Friday night’s walk-off homer by Ichiro, but the two wins in Anaheim salvaged a 3-3 record on the road trip.  All things considered, I am very happy with the result.

 

 

 

After losing ground over the weekend to the Red Sox, the Yankees were able to pick up one game during the Angel series.   Therefore, they head back to the Bronx for a weekend series against the Red Sox and a 6 game lead.  Mathematically, the Red Sox still have a chance to win the AL East, however, the odds are against them.  At some point, Red Sox manager Terry Francona will begin resting his regulars to get ready for, as Julia puts it, Soxtober.   It obviously won’t happen this weekend, but so long as the Yankees don’t get swept, I think they’ll take the AL East crown. 

 

 

The Yankees have possibly lost supersub Jerry Hairston, Jr.   Batting in the 7th inning, he felt something pop in his wrist and left the game.   He will be undergoing a MRI but it doesn’t sound good.   Ramiro Pena has quite possibly landed in the very high profile position as October approaches.  Maybe a call should be placed to Brian Doyle to be Ramiro’s private coach…

 

 

 

The Yankees have pushed CC Sabathia back by one day so that he properly aligns with the start of the play-offs.  Joba Chamberlain will take CC’s place as Friday night’s starter against the Red Sox and Jon Lester.  CC will pitch on Saturday.

 

I have to say that I get excited every time Brett Gardner gets on base.  He is simply the most exciting Yankee to watch on the base paths.  In Tuesday night’s game, he stole a base (on a pitch out) in the 9th inning and scored the winning run on Alex Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly.  Gardner, with a dirt stained jersey, is becoming common place, and he is always instrumental in making things happen.  He may not be a starter, but he is invaluable to the 2009 Yankees.   As A-Rod said, Gardner is a pain in the butt, and we wouldn’t want it any other way…

 

 

As the Boston Red Sox head for the Bronx, this weekend will pit…

I’m A Headline Guy

 

VS.

 

Julia’s Rants

We are ready to engage in our final match of the regular season.  After early season success, Julia has found the last couple of months to be very Yankee-oriented.  Let’s hope that trend continues.  Plus, Julia is just so good at writing about the Yankees.  We need to see more of the same!  J  Hey Julia, the time has arrived, Game On!

 

yankees.jpg image by Skee-Skee

 

For Julia, I am glad to see that one of her personal favorites, Tim Wakefield, will be starting next Tuesday night.  Wake has had a great season, but he has had some unfortunate setbacks health-wise that prevented this from being one of his most successful seasons.  He is a good guy, even if he plays for THAT team, and I do wish him the best for his next start.  This is a guy who was once cut by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but has carved out a tremendous career for the Red Sox.

 

AP 

So, now it’s time for the resumption of THE series.  Bring on the Red Sox.  We’re ready…

 

 

Go Yankees!

 

–Scott

No Competition for Wakefield…

 

So much for quality starting pitching to rival Boston’s staff…

 

Matthew West/Boston Herald

 

There was a time this season where you could trust the starters, but had to worry about the bullpen.  My, how times changed!   Suddenly, Joba Chamberlain has become the starting rotation’s version of Jose Veras, and Andy Pettitte is its Damaso Marte.

 


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Sunday’s game turned out well (a win), but it was Joba’s worst outing yet.  He couldn’t get out of the 4th inning, and gave up 8 runs on 9 hits and 1 walk.  Fortunately, for Joba’s ERA, only 3 of the 8 runs were earned.  But games are won or lost on runs, earned or unearned, and Joba gave up a lot of them.  He threw 86 pitches in 3 2/3 innings, and failed in his 9th try to win at the new Yankee Stadium.  To me, Joba isn’t improving each time out and he is not even forcing the “to the pen” chants to percolate, but rather he looks like is auditioning for a possible future start in Scranton/Wilkes Barre or Trenton.

 


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The Yankees have been very fortunate for Alfredo Aceves to find his niche in long relief and prove he is the guy the Yankees have been seeking for years to replace Ramiro Mendoza.  Aceves’ four innings of one-hit, scoreless relief allowed the Yanks’ comeback to stand, as they beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 10-8.  Aceves picked up his first save of the season in relief of Jonathan Albaladejo, who picked up the win.

 

William Perlman/The Star Ledger

 

All-Star starting shortstop Derek Jeter had four hits and delivered the key go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the 5th inning.

 

William Perlman/The Star Ledger

 

Monday, on the other hand, did not turn out so well.  After a solid outing in his last start, Andy returned to his inconsistent ways.  By the top of the 7th inning, the Blue Jays had built a 7-1 lead against Pettitte and Brian Bruney.  Pettitte gave up 6 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings.  He walked 3 Toronto batters.

 

Chris Faytok/The Star Ledger

 

The Yankees attempted to rally, scoring 5 runs over the final 3 innings.  However, with the tying run on first in the 9th inning, Eric Hinske struck out to end the game as the Yankees fell to the Jays, 7-6.  To Hinske’s defense, he had homered earlier in the game and also had several outstanding defensive plays in right.  So, the loss cannot be saddled on Hinske.  But Pettitte?  He gets full credit for this loss.  Well, Derek Jeter’s failed attempt to swipe third didn’t help.  Tag or no tag, it was a bad play on DJ’s part…

 

Yankees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reuters

 

I am definitely concerned about both Chamberlain and Pettitte, and both guys need to get it together.  With Chien-Ming Wang on the DL, the Yankees cannot afford for the only source of consistency to come from CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.  Plus, CC has not performed like the ace he is paid, so that places even more pressure on the back half of the rotation.

 


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When Girardi stretched Aceves out to four innings and let him close out Sunday’s game, I suspected that he was giving Aceves for length for a possible start.  Sure enough, Aceves will start on Thursday against the Minnesota Twins.  I was probably more in favor of bringing up Sergio Mitre, but if the Yankees feel that Wang will be back in a month, then perhaps Aceves is the best option.   But long-term, I’d hate to lose the long relief star. 

 

Pitcher Alfredo Aceves #91 of the New York Yankees throws against the Texas Rangers in the 9th inning on May 25, 2009 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Alfredo Aceves

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images 

 

Tonight, the Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins, 10-2.  CC finally pitched like the ace he is, and he only gave up three hits and one run in 7 innings of work.  So, the streak of poor starting pitching is over.   Hopefully, Chamberlain and Pettitte will follow CC’s lead as we move into the second half of the season…

 

Mone/AP

 

In addition to Derek Jeter, the 2009 American League All-Stars will include Mark Teixeira at first base.  Mariano Rivera was among the pitchers selected.  Congratulations to DJ, Tex and Mo!

 

Kathy Willens/AP

 

The Toronto Blue Jays have indicated that they’ll entertain offers for pitcher Roy Halladay, 32.  I’d be very surprised if the Jays dealt with either the Yankees or the Red Sox.  If they did, I am sure that the price would be significantly greater than what, say, the Philadelphia Phillies would have to pay.  But a note to Jays’ GM J.P. Ricciardi, if you receive a phone call from someone named Epstein with a 617 or 857 area code, don’t answer it.  It’s probably just an annoying sales call!  ;)

 

Getty Images

 

It sounds like Francisco Cervelli is headed back to Scranton/Wilkes Barre, possibly tomorrow, to make room for the returning Jose Molina.  Bummer, I will definitely miss Cisco’s energy and hustle.  He had definitely made his mark on the team, and hopefully, he’ll be back sooner rather than later…

 

There is no love lost as the Yankees play their final series in the Metrodome.  The Twins will move to their new home, Target Field, in downtown Minneapolis next spring.  Now, if the Vikings could only figure out a way to get out of the Metrodome…

 

 

Sorry Julia, it’s still just one game…

 

 

–Scott

A Father’s Day Wish…a Yankees win, that’s all!…

 

The roller coaster continues…

 

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Meanwhile, the Yankees have fallen 3 games back of the AL East Leaders, Boston Red Sox.  The Yankees fell to the Florida Marlins, 2-1, while the Boston Red Sox, behind Josh Beckett, beat the Atlanta Braves, 3-0.  The Braves’ Derek Lowe, like the Yankees’ A.J. Burnett, pitched well against their respective former teams…just not as good as the other team’s guy.  In the Yankees’ case, it was a solid performance by Josh Johnson that undid the Yankees.  Johnson went seven innings and gave up only 3 hits, the lone Yankee run, and 5 strikeouts. He showed why he has been one of the best pitchers in the National League this year.

 

Joel Auerbach/US Presswire

 

The Yankees had their chances but couldn’t come up with the key hits to pull out a victory.  Derek Jeter killed a potential rally in the 8th inning, failing to advance the runners and hitting into a double play grounder.  Johnny Damon followed Jeter and struck out, leaving Brett Gardner stranded at third with what would have been the tying run.  The Yankees hit into three double plays in total, including a game ending DP on a grounder by Robinson Cano after Mark Teixeira had singled in the 9th.  Jeter had also hit into an inning ending DP earlier during the 3rd inning, after A.J. Burnett had singled.

 


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In a situation that will likely be remembered at the end of the season when Johnny Damon becomes a free agent, Damon committed a brutal error in the 6th inning that allowed the Marlins to score their 2nd run.  He had his sights on a line drive hit by Jorge Cantu, but his glove missed the ball.  It almost looked like me playing softball!

 

 

 

Gary Dwight Miller/The Patriot News (Note: that’s not me, but it could be!)

 

The positives were great defensive play by catcher Jorge Posada, solid bullpen relief from the “Phil” duo (Coke and Hughes), and, of course, A.J. Burnett’s fine pitching.

 

Lynne Sladky/AP  

 

The crowd, 46,427, was the third largest in stadium history for Land Shark Stadium.  But seriously, I can’t say the name of that stadium without laughing…

 

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In Sunday’s game, the Yankees’ CC Sabathia (6-4) faces the Marlins’ Chris Volstad (4-7).  Hopefully, the Yanks will get back on track.  In Boston, the Braves will have Jair Jurrjens (5-5) on the mound versus Tim Wakefield (9-3).  The Yankees need to focus on keeping Boston’s lead to three games and perhaps pick up a game in the unlikely event that Wake loses on his home turf.

 

AP

 

Jonathan Papelbon refuted reports that he’d be willing to sign with the Yankees after his contract with Boston expires in 2011.  I think the quote was “I don’t want to go play for the (expletive) Yankees!”.   Two immediate thoughts…1) What else is he going to say after the earlier comments received so much attention, and 2) There are some Red Sox players that I’d never want on my team and the list is headlined by Papelbon.  But Julia, it doesn’t include Jason Bay!  ;)

 

 

Ron Wurzer/AP

 

In the Battle of the Weavers, former Yankee Jeff Weaver outpitched his little brother, Jered, as the Dodgers defeated the Angels, 6-4.  I was frustrated during Jeff’s time in New York, but he has always been someone that I’d like to see succeed.  He did well in St. Louis a few years back, and has re-surfaced on Joe Torre’s staff.  He’ll never reach the lofty heights that were predicted for him earlier in his career, but he is someone that I won’t root against.

 

Jeff and Jered Weaver

Christine Cotter/Los Angeles Times

 

The Weaver boys’ parents, Gail and Dave, had the right approach in attire while attending the match-up of their two sons…

 

Gail and Dave Weaver

Christine Cotter/Los Angeles Times

 

The Yankees will apparently sign top international catching prospect, 16-year-old Gary Sanchez of the Dominican Republic when he becomes eligible to sign on July 2nd.   One NL scout indicated that he is a big kid (6’2″, 210 pounds) with a big arm.  But the scout also mentioned that he doesn’t hit like Yankees catching prospect Jesus Montero, 19.  Of course, there has been much talk that Montero will be moved to a different position by the time he makes it to the majors because of his physical size.  Regardless, if the signing of Sanchez is true, the Yankees are in good shape when Jorge Posada decides to hang up the cleats.

For as well as Pedro Martinez pitched during the World Baseball Classic, teams seem to be stumbling over themselves trying to run away from him after watching him pitch in the Dominican Republic.  Even if he had pitched well, he’s not someone I’d want on my team (see earlier comment about Jonathon Papelbon), but it is starting to sound like Pedro’s career may be over unless some team decides to give him a token offer.  Time to wait for the Hall of Fame to call…

 

 

Per Peter Gammons of ESPN, Takaski Saito has emerged as the Red Sox pitcher most likely to be traded.  Dice-K’s struggles, even with John Smoltz on hand, have made it unlikely that the team will part with Brad Penny.  Gammons mentioned that the Red Sox had discussed a potential swap of Saito to the Texas Rangers for Hank Blalock, but decided that they needed to give David Ortiz more time to turn it around.  I am convinced that the Red Sox will be a stronger team on July 31st than they are today, and they are obviously pretty good right now.

 


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In my opinion, the Yankees cannot simply stand pat and hope that a lift is realized through the respective returns from injury by Xavier Nady, Jose Molina and Damaso Marte.  I still like Cleveland’s Mark DeRosa, and feel he would be an ideal player to fill the infield utility role and allow Alex Rodriguez to take more days off.  The bullpen is starting to come around, but they could still use a quality arm, like Arizona’s Chad Qualls, to take Brett Tomko’s place.

 

U.S. Presswire

 

Happy Father’s Day to all fathers on this great day!  For a Father’s Day gift, I’m easy…I’ll take a Yankees win combined with a Red Sox loss!  I know, I said at the top that a Yankees win would be sufficient.  But c’mon, a Red Sox loss would be a great dessert!  J

 

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Enjoy your day!

 

–Scott

 

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