Results tagged ‘ Xavier Nady ’

After Rainout, All Things Good…

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

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

John Munson/The Star-Ledger

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

Nathan Denette/The Star-Ledger

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

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

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

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

Gary Reyes/San Jose Mercury News

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

Go Yankees! 



Hail to the Chief…

In the grand tradition of Jimmy Curran (Baseball, The Yankees, and Life…), I recognize my ranking on the Latest Leaders List for Fan Blogs at #22 and would like to give tribute.    




No, there will not be a dedication to Roger Clemens on this blog…  



Before I begin the tribute for the special Yankees player who wore #22, I do want to give special mention to the current Yankees #22, Xavier Nady 


               Chris Faytok/The Star Ledger


As you may have heard, the X Man had a MRI on his right elbow and the results were “not good”.  He’ll head to the disabled list for an extended period of time and there is speculation that he could be lost of for the season.  If that happens, it is possible that Nady has worn the pinstripes for the final time since he is a free agent at the end of the year.  So, I would like to express sadness at the news of the injury and to thank Nady for his significant contributions to the Yankees over the past year.  Whatever happens, I wish him the very best.  Hopefully, he’ll take his place in right field at the new Yankee Stadium at some point in the future, but if it is not meant to be, then I hope he’ll return as a visitor, receiving a standing ovation.  



My #22 tribute is to former Yankees pitcher Allie Reynolds or “Superchief” as he was known… 



Reynolds grew up in Oklahoma and was a quarter Creek Indian, hence the nickname.  He made his major league debut with the Cleveland Indians in 1942.  In 1946, he was traded to the Yankees in a deal for All-Star second baseman Joe Gordon.  Legend has it that the Indians wanted Gordon so badly they were willing to give up any pitcher except Bob Feller.  Yankee executive Larry MacPhail consulted with Joe DiMaggio, and Joltin’ Joe said “Take Reynolds.  I’m a fastball hitter, but he can buzz his hard one by me any time he has a mind to.”


His arrival in the Bronx coincided with the beginning of the Dynasty years.  In 1948, Reynolds headlined a starting rotation that included Vic Raschi and Eddie Lopat and that team won the first of five consecutive World Series championships. 


In 1951, he became the first American League pitcher to throw two no-hitters in a single season.  In the second no-hitter which was against the Boston Red Sox (as Julia says, ‘Eeek!’), Reynolds had to get Ted Williams for the final out twice when Yogi Berra dropped an easy foul pop.  He also won the Hickok Belt as the top professional athlete that year. 


He had a career record of 182 wins, 107 losses, and 49 saves (Yankees manager Casey Stengel once called him “two ways great” because of his ability to start and relieve).  He won 20 games once, going 20-8, with a 2.06 ERA, in 1952.


Reynolds was brilliant in the post-season.  He appeared in 15 World Series games for the Yankees, with a record of 7-2, four saves and ERA of 2.79.  In six World Series relief appearances, Reynolds recorded a win or a save each time, including the clinching games in 1950, 1952, and 1953.


Reynolds’ career ended after the 1954 season due to a back injury that was suffered when the Yankees team bus crashed into an overpass in Philadelphia. 


He died in 1994 due to complications from lymphoma and diabetes. 


His number has never been retired and he is not in the Hall of Fame, although his accomplishments would certainly seem to justify it.    




The aforementioned injury to Xavier Nady opens the door for Nick Swisher to assume a full-time position in right field.  It certainly solves the problem manager Joe Girardi had with finding a spot in the lineup for Swisher.  GM Brian Cashman is looking like a genius for not trading either Nady or Swisher during the off-season, and so far, Swisher has been an offensive success for the Yankees.  Who knows where this will lead over the course of a long summer, but I certainly feel much better about Swisher in right than I do Cody Ransom at third.  


For the record, Ramiro Pena made his second start at third base in Wednesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.  However, Ransom entered the game when Hideki Matsui pinch hit for Pena.  Word is that Ransom will be starting at third base on Thursday…unfortunately.


Nevertheless, back to the Nady situation, it is unlikely that the Yanks will recall Austin Jackson since Girardi prefers that he continues to get every day starts in center field at Scranton rather than riding the bench in the Bronx.  More than likely, Juan Miranda or Kevin Russo will be recalled when Nady is placed on the DL Thursday.


Pitcher Chien-Ming Wang altered his pitching routine between starts by facing batters while pitching from the mound at Tropicana Field rather than performing a bullpen session.  Of course, he only faced one major league hitter considering that the two batters were Melky Cabrera and Cody Ransom. 




The Yankees win!  The Yankees win!  The Yankees WIN!  


Well, in the grand scheme of things, the Tampa Bay Rays won the first battle, but the Yankees won the war in their first series of the season.  The Yankees were destroyed by the Rays, 15-5, on Monday.  They came back to win yesterday, 7-2, behind the great pitching performance by A.J. Burnett (who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning).  Today was the rubber-match, and the Yankees came through…  


Robinson Cano was one of the hitting stars, with a fourth inning homer that tied the game.  Johnny Damon hit a game-tying double in the 8th inning that scored Derek Jeter, and then in the 9th, Jeter hit what turned out to be the game-winning run-scoring double.  Mariano Rivera, in a sea of number 42 jerseys (in recognition of Jackie Robinson), easily retired three Rays batters to end the game. 



So, a series that started so poorly, ended on a strong note. 


Now, the Yankees head for the Bronx to make their long-anticipated regular season debut at the new Yankee Stadium.  CC, the lights of Broadway are upon you…


 Leroy Neiman / The Lights of Broadway



My Thanks to Julia’s Boston 2nd Graders!…

Here’s a very special note of thanks to Julia‘s second grade class.  They were working on Acrostic Poems today, and included one for me:



New York



Enormous Crowds



I am very touched by the generosity of Julia’s students to include me in their thoughts despite being their teacher’s antagonist.  I owe them a great big…



Curt Schilling was definitely an acquired taste.  He was a player you loved or you hated…nothing in between.  I will make no bones that I fell into the latter category, but I respect his accomplishments.

“You have enemies?  Good.  That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

–Winston Churchill

It was easier for me when Curt pitched for Philadelphia.  I recognized him as a quality pitcher, but he was never a threat since the Yankees were not locked in any competitive battles with the Phillies.  The Yankees were still a few years away from their championship run when Curt won the 1993 World Series with the Phillies.  But all that changed when Curt was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In 2001, Curt went 22-6 for the D-Backs and was 4-0 with a 1.12 ERA in the play-offs.  He was co-MVP with Randy Johnson in Arizona’s 7-game World Series victory over the Yankees.  I attended Games 2 and 6 in Phoenix, neither of which were enjoyable experiences for me.  I disliked Curt and the Diamondbacks prior to that World Series, but the belligerent Arizona fans ensured a lifetime of disdain. 

So, you can imagine how excited I was when Curt was traded to Boston in 2003.

 Naturally, Curt played a pivotal role in the Red Sox dramatic comeback from a three games-to-none deficit in the 2004 American League Championship Series.  Thus endeth the Curse of the Bambino.

I am not sorry to see him go, but I will tip my hat to a champion competitor…


Manager Joe Girardi has said that if the season started today, Xavier Nady would be the Yankees starting right fielder (replacing Bobby Abreu).  But even Nady recognizes that both he and Nick Swisher will see plenty of playing time.

The New York Post

Here’s hoping for a great 2009 season for the X-Man!


Don’t look now, but the Red Sox and Tim Wakefield (again?) travel to Steinbrenner Field to face the Yankees and A.J. Burnett.  The game is at 7:15 pm.

So, Julia, care to make a little wager?…

When Does the WBC Start? Not Soon Enough…

A-Rod – What else are we going to talk about?

I found it somewhat humorous Alex Rodriguez said that he will be under intense scrutiny for “the next 18 months to 24 months”.  Interesting how one can predict the exact time frame involved in the ‘post-confession’ period.  Does that mean we are guaranteed of no reference to A-Rod in March 2011?  Looking forward to it!

Personally, I don’t blame Alex for not wanting to talk about his past drug use following the press conference earlier in the week.  If he talked, he’d run the risk of contradicting his previous comments…

Wallace Matthews of Newsday wrote a great piece today about how GM Brian Cashman wanted to ‘move on’ when A-Rod opted out of his ‘drug-induced’ $250 million contract in 2007.  Cashman’s position has gone largely unnoticed until now, but he could have saved the organization from much embarrassment.  A-Rod’s return only came about when A-Rod bypassed agent Scott Boras and dealt with the Yankees and Hank Steinbrenner directly.

 A day after his 'roid-related press conference, Alex Rodriguez returned to the field Wednesday for the start of spring training.

Credit:  Altaffer/AP


It should come as a welcome relief when A-Rod joins the Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic team early next month.  Egads!  The reporters in Yankees camp will have only baseball to talk about!  Of course, there might be mention of the scandalous time that Mark Teixeira took a couple of Advil for a post-game headache…

More Yankees in the Headlines?

I have to admit that I was startled for a moment when I saw the headline about the frozen assets belonging to Johnny Damon and Xavier Nady.  Of course, it is clear that they are innocent victims.  The government’s freeze of a company affiliated with Robert Allen Stanford impacted accounts owned by Damon and Nady.

Neither Damon nor Nady invested directly with Stanford funds but rather they invested through broker dealers whose accounts were with a Stanford company.

It was reported that Damon complained of being unable to pay his bills and Nady could not put down a deposit on a New York apartment.  I find it surprising that both would wrap up their assets through a single source.  I guess diversification is not something they are concerned with.  I also find it interesting that both players are represented by agent Scott Boras.  Thanks for the sound financial advice, Scott!  And, oh by the way, Jason Varitek sends his love!

Credit:  Branimir Kvartuo/AP


The Return of Bernabe Figueroa Williams

Enjoy camp for a few days, Bernie, but don’t get used to it!

I have to admit that it was both strange and exciting to see Bernie Williams wearing Yankee gear with number 51 on his back.  However, that does not mean I would want to see him make a comeback with the team.  At this point, I’d clearly prefer Nick Swisher over Bernie.  I thought Bernie was a great Yankee but time has moved on.

Williams and Derek Jeter last played together in 2006 ...

Credit:  Antonelli/New York Daily News


Then again, Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer won a world championship at age 45, winning 16 games in 2008.  But c’mon, this guy just doesn’t age…


Bernie had begun a significant decline by 2006, and there is no chance that future years will be any better.  He played more and better than expected in 2006, but it was time to turn the page.  His presence on the roster would potentially prevent the presence of a younger player with more potential.

Upon completion of the WBC, Bernie should focus on his musical career.  His latest CD, Moving Forward, is scheduled for release on April 14, 2009. The CD includes a special live performance with Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa.



“Pressure makes diamonds”…

The title quote by General George S. Patton could be applied to the 2009 New York Yankees…




The pressure for Joe Girardi to succeed will be very intense this year given the Yankees’ significant offseason additions.  As Johnny Damon put it in a recent interview with Peter Kerasotis of Florida Today: 


We better win this year,” he said, “or else a few of us will need to find new jobs.”


I think that Girardi will rise to the challenge, and will show continued growth and development as a manager as he enters his second year at the Yankee helm.  Tony Pena will play an invaluable role in helping Girardi define himself, and this might be the year that Joe can begin to break out of Joe Torre’s shadow.  In his first year, Girardi was consistently compared with Torre in his inferior ability to handle the media and bring a “sense of calm” to the clubhouse.  But as Girardi improves in those areas, his superior ability as a statistician and strategist will become more transparent.  When it’s game time, there aren’t many managers who are better prepared than Girardi.


The Yankees recent trend of slow starts is a concern, and of course Mark Teixeira has a similar history so that won’t help.  Nevertheless, the key to the season is patience, and the Yankees’ dominant pitching staff will begin to exert its promise as the season progresses. 


As the quotes continue to circulate about Joe Torre’s new book, The Yankee Years, and how George Steinbrenner was a tyrant, I can’t help but think how much different Hal Steinbrenner is from his father.  By all appearances, he shares his father’s passion for winning and is concerned about the Steinbrenner family’s Yankee legacy, but he seems more patient and methodical in his approach.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the course of a long season with the high expectations and the inevitable bumps in the road.


For what it’s worth, Damon is okay with Torre’s book.  He mentioned that when he wrote his book, the only negatives were about himself and not others.  Although supportive of Torre, he did discuss the sanctity of the clubhouse in his interview with Peter Kerasotis:


“What happens in the clubhouse should always stay in the clubhouse, unless it’s funny or goofy. You know, harmless stuff.”


Unlike David Wells and others, Damon always has a way of putting things in the proper perspective.  I felt that way even when he played with the Red Sox. 


I am a little disappointed that Larry King didn’t ask any tough questions of Joe Torre on Friday night, but then again, it was Larry King so it was a given that the questions would be “Nerf” balls.  While I wasn’t totally convinced by Torre’s explanations, I still believe that the book must be read before any final judgments are made. 


It should be a season to remember as the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays slug it out for AL East superiority, and hopefully a trip to the World Series for the victor…




I am curious to see if something happens with Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher this week.  Later in the week, it will have been ten days since pitcher Chase Wright was designated for assignment.  Wright is too talented to pass through waivers, so I could easily see him being part of a trade involving Nady or Swisher as the Yanks attempt to recoup some prospects.  Granted, they could just deal Wright in a stand-alone trade, but I think the greater value is a package deal.   With pitchers and catchers scheduled to report in less than two weeks, I really believe that something will happen sooner rather than later.  I still have mixed feelings about trading Nady and/or Swisher, but it appears that it will most likely happen so hopefully the “return” will be worth it in the long run.


I am very anxious to see what Mark Melancon and Phil Coke can do in training camp this year…


I maintain my belief that the Steelers will be victorious later today.  If I am wrong, so be it.  I am not going to lose any sleep if the Cardinals successfully end their 61-year drought.  I grew up about 60 miles away from Kurt Warner, so it is good to see a fellow Iowan enjoy success.  Bill Bidwell has taken so many hits over the years, and he remains a villain in St. Louis, but his influence is a key reason for why the Cardinals are in Tampa today.  Over the years, the team always talked about building a team based on character.  It’s refreshing that the Super Bowl doesn’t have the likes of Terrell Owens, Adam “Pac Man” Jones, or Jeremy Shockey.  I know that Anquan Boldin made some comments this year, as has Edgerrin James, but neither is what I would consider a “bad” guy.  I am looking forward to seeing if this year’s commercials show new originality and innovation.  Last year was a disappointment…


I liked the quote in a SNL skit where the woman said that she thought the Super Bowl was a battle of Budweiser bottles (hopefully, the game itself will remain the most interesting part of the event).


I am impressed with this year’s selections for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  All of the selections were tremendous choices:  Bruce Smith, Derrick Thomas, Rod Woodson, Randall McDaniel, Bullet Bob Hayes, and Ralph Wilson.  It will be a very memorable day in Canton, Ohio this summer.


Latest Yankee Happenings…

While I think that the agreement the Yankees reached with Xavier Nady (one year for $6.65 million) was reasonable under the circumstances, Melky Cabrera’s deal is a joke.  When does a .249 season with 8 home runs and 37 RBI’s warrant more than tripling your income.  The one year $1.4 million deal that the team sealed with Cabrera is rewarding a classic underachiever for more of the same.  Melky must feel like a Lotto winner tonight considering he has done nothing to warrant the huge pay increase…

On March 3rd, Team USA will play the Yankees in an exhibition game.  It will be very strange to see Derek Jeter as an opposing player…even worse watching him flip the ball to Dustin Pedroia or throw across the infield to Kevin Youklis. 

A little more than three weeks before CC Sabathia embarks on his journey from Northern California to Tampa…

The Unveiling of Big Teix…

With the Mark Teixeira signing officially out of the way, the Yankees began their off-season rummage search with the signings of Jason Johnson and Angel Berroa.  I think I heard something about John Rodriguez too.  Granted, Berroa was a previous ROY, but I really would not have known anything about him if he had not been traded to the Dodgers last year to fill-in for Rafael Furcal (I lived in LA at the time).  I guess the Yankees are looking for bodies for Tampa next month…

As much as I love Andy Pettitte, I completely agree with the Yankees’ approach.  I really think that no organization knows when to part ways with aging players like Boston, and now is the time for the Yankees to make one of those hard decisions.  At this point in his career and given the current market, Andy is simply not a $10 million a year guy anymore.  Those resources are better served elsewhere.  With Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Alfredo Aceves, and now Jason Johnson in reserve, the Yanks should try to take a chance on someone like Ben Sheets.

Congratulations to Jason Giambi for his new deal, pending a physical, with Oakland.  He did redeem himself in my eyes with his play last season, and I think it’s fitting that he returns to his original team.  I fully expect to lose a game next year due to a ninth inning Giambino home run…

My favorite quote today was by Yankee co-chairman Hal Steinbrenner:  “If some owners are upset we invest in our team, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.”  I think Hal is proving to be a very capable leader for the organization.

Is Derek Jeter really going to 35 in June?  Wow!  Where did the years go?  It seems like he was just an 18 year old kid out of Kalamazoo…

I kind of like those rumors of Trevor Hoffman potentially going to the Dodgers.  It seems like a good fit.  He makes his home in the area, and I don’t think Joe Torre wants to hand the full-time closer’s role to Jonathan Broxton just yet. 

I saw a return of new articles reporting that Bobby Valentine would be a leading candidate for the Yankees managerial post if Girardi fails this year.  Ugh, that’s not really something I’d want to see regardless of what happens and no matter how much Bobby V may have changed…

With the Yankees luck in recent years, Carl Pavano will win 15 games for the Tribe…

Starting to see more rumors involving Xavier Nady so I suspect that he may be the odd man out.  All things considered, I’d probably rather see Nick Swisher go since I think he is better suited for first base than an outfield position as evidenced by Chicago last year.  It would be a shame for the Yankees half billion dollar investment to go array because of poor OF decisions this winter (I am sure that my Red Sox friends are losing sleep over that one!  Ha!).

Personally, I’d give a Hall of Fame Vote to Jim Rice if I could.  Regardless of what has been said, the fact remains that the guy was one of the most feared hitters of the 70’s. 

Whatever happened to Butch Hobson?…