Results tagged ‘ Yankee Stadium ’

None of it makes any cents…

Wells, that was not quite the answer I was looking for…

I have never been a big fan of Los Angeles Angels outfielder Vernon Wells, and was one of many who quietly laughed when the Angels took his financial albatross of a contract off the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays.  But I guess it is apparently better to have the last laugh and that would not be me.  The move allowed the Blue Jays to re-group to the point that they now have arguably the best team in the American League East.  And, as health would have it (or lack there of), the Yankees find they have the need to take what’s left of Wells off the Angels hand so that they can pay those hefty contracts belonging to Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton.  Granted, the Angels will be paying most of the freight to bring Wells to the Bronx (assuming the deal goes through as expected), but he has been the Crown Prince of Disappointment for so many years.  Yes, he’s had a good spring, but so have a lot of guys who didn’t amount to a hill of beans in the big leagues.

At first I heard that the Yankees would be paying less than $10 million on the Wells contract which has $42 million more to go until it expires following the 2014.  But the latest word has the Yankees paying up to $13 million which means it will probably be more like $15 million or more when the deal is finally announced.

With the opening day absences of Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira, the Yankees need proven production in the lineup.  Robinson Cano is only one man.  There’s question marks at every turn, but the likelihood of Curtis Granderson’s return is far better than Mark Teixeira (who some say could miss the season).  This means I would have preferred to see the Yankees allocate resources toward an alternative first baseman.  The prospect of outfielder Juan Rivera playing first on a full or part-time basis is just not very satisfying for me.

But speaking of first base, the only talk I hear is the potential acquisition of first baseman Lyle Overbay from the Boston Red Sox.  Overbay can opt out of his deal this week and that would put him at the forefront of Yankees’ attention.

None of these acquisitions will give anyone illusions of a championship.

At some point, the Yankees are going to have to just blow it up and start over…

This is the time of hard cuts.  I saw today that the Cleveland Indians cut Daisuke Matsuzaka.  Okay, I don’t consider that a hard cut, but there will be notable names mentioned in the coming days.  It is hard to believe that the Yankees will be powering up Yankee Stadium just one short week from tomorrow.  As for the Yankees, I remain hopeful that both Ben Francisco and Brennan Boesch will travel north with the club despite the apparent acquisition of Vernon Wells.  While I’ve been pulling for Boesch, I have to say that Francisco has played well enough to start at least as part of a platoon.  I seriously doubt that Travis Hafner and Kevin Youkilis will make it through the season injury-free so at some point, Wells will probably start to take the majority of the at-bats at DH.

I guess there should be plenty of drama this week as MLB teams shape up their opening day rosters.

It’s just a number…

As a Minnesota Vikings fan, I am still trying to wrap my head around Greg Jennings playing for the Vikings.  After Darren Sharper, Ryan Longwell, and Brett Favre, I should be used to this.  Jennings may not have the athleticism of departed slot receiver Percy Harvin, but if healthy, he is a weapon.  It’s interesting that he selected #15.  I can’t say that I can remember another Viking who wore the number although I am sure a few have.  Of course, #15 for me is always going to be Thurman Munson but that’s a different sport.  Greg Childs currently holds Jennings’ Packer number, #85.  After missing his first season due to injury, I can’t say that his grasp on #85 is very strong.  Perhaps Jennings is just biding his time until he can retrieve #85.  Childs’ childhood friend and lifelong teammate, Jarius Wright, is clearly the favorite to fill Harvin’s role.

Decisions…

Part of me wants the Vikings to sign former Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, but of course, the sensible part of me only wants guys that can be part of the future as the door is starting to open for the Vikings again as a play-off contender.  I would like to see the Vikings to find a way to bring Antoine Winfield back to purple and gold.  I have faith in the younger guys and GM Rick Spielman has shown that he knows a thing or two about the NFL Draft so I am sure the secondary will be addressed next month.  I am anxious to see what Josh Robinson is capable of, but it would be nice to have Winfield to help the transition.

Hey Zygi…

I like the job that Leslie Frazier has done with the Vikings and I am hopeful that it will lead to a long-term contract.

Next month is a big sports month.  Opening day in Major League Baseball and the NFL Draft.  It should be a very fun time.  And for my friends in the East and Midwest, it should mean a little less snow…

–Scott

Dreading this day…just one Mo time…

Grace and dignity…

Unfortunately, this day was inevitable.  Father Time catches up with everyone, including the greatest closer in the history of Major League Baseball.

Saturday, the great Mariano Rivera confirmed the speculation of the last few days.  The 2013 season will be his final one as the champion of the 9th inning at Yankee Stadium.

Mo has been my favorite Yankee since the time he was the “lights-out” set up guy for closer John Wetteland in the 1996 season.  Wetteland was effective, but there were always a few anxious moments.  Rivera, on the other hand, completely dominated the hitters prior to turning the ball over to Wetteland.  There were so many times that I had wished manager Joe Torre would have stayed with Rivera rather than pulling him for Wetteland.  While it was Rivera’s talent and ability that caught my attention, it was his character…full of grace, dignity, and professionalism…that has made me an enduring fan all these years.

Rivera has taught so many over the years how to forget life’s failures and how to enjoy its successes without gloating or antagonizing opponents.  He has always respected the game and never once in his career has he placed himself above the game or above others.

Relievers have had their struggles gaining acceptance into the Hall of Fame, but in my mind, Rivera should be a first ballot entry.

It was appropriate that Mo wore the number #42.  As the final active player to wear the number after it was retired league-wide, he has upheld the legacy of Jackie Robinson…perhaps better than anyone else could have.  Jackie endured far more challenges and difficulties than I’ll ever be able to fully comprehend, but he paved the path for others including Mariano Rivera to succeed.  Mo embodies the depth of character that Jackie Robinson had and it is tremendous that #42 hanging in Memorial Park will stand for two of the greatest men in baseball’s long history.

It has been a privilege to call Mo my favorite player for so many years.  As I think back upon my life as a Yankees fan, it was Jim “Catfish” Hunter who first attracted me to the Yankees when he signed as a free agent in 1974, along with my high regard for the legendary Lou Gehrig.  Once a Yankees fan, my favorite player quickly changed to the heart and soul of the team…catcher Thurman Munson.  I have always loved to see passion in doing what you enjoy, and Thurman was certainly as fiery and passionate as they come.  The 1976 World Series still stands out to me.  Although the Yankees were swept by the Cincinnati Reds, it wasn’t because of Munson, who hit over .500 in the series.  If the rest of the team could have matched Munson’s intensity that year, they would have defeated the Big Red Machine.

After Thurman’s untimely death in 1979 (a day that I will always vividly remember, like so many Yankee fans), Rich “Goose” Gossage became my favorite player.  After a few years, he had moved on to the San Diego Padres as a free agent.  But by that time, Don Mattingly had become my favorite player.  Donnie Baseball was one of the great ones and it’s unfortunate that back problems caused the premature end of his production and subsequently career.  There’s no doubt in my mind that he’d be in the Hall of Fame if he had been able to sustain his production for a few more years.  Donnie Baseball will always be a favorite and he’s the reason that I consider the Los Angeles Dodgers to be my favorite NL team.  When Mattingly retired after the 1995 play-off loss to the Seattle Mariners, I became a Mariano Rivera fan.

As I look to life beyond 2013, I cannot say that any one player stands out as a potential favorite player.  But as history has proven to me, the door will open for the next great Yankees superstar to take the stage.

None of this is meant to knock Derek Jeter.  He has been a terrific player for so many years and can match Rivera in depth and quality of character stride for stride.  He’ll be taking his place in Cooperstown one day, but for me, this day is about Mariano Rivera.  Enter the Sandman…Exit the Legend.

I look forward to watching Mo for one more season.  Regardless of the outcome, he is a champion…

–Scott

 

Who’s on First?…

Nobody was the right fielder…

I was surprised that nobody was elected to the Hall of Fame for the Class of 2013.  Count me among those who feel no consideration should have been given to the players accused or who have admitted steroid use.

There no circumstances that I would have supported putting Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens into the Hall.  From the sounds of it, it is the consensus of the HOF members.  However, I am probably not as hard line as Rich “Goose” Gossage who said “If they let these guys in ever — at any point — it’s a black eye fo rthe Hall and for baseball”.  I do believe there will be a day when Bond, Clemens and other suspected users should be given consideration.  With Barry, I realize that ‘roids changed his physique and surely powered a few homers.  However, his terrific hand-eye coordination was his own and not something derived through PED’s.

Same with Clemens.  He was a great pitcher from the start.  Maybe PED’s extended the career, but the ability to leave batters befuddled at the plate, mix up his pitches and play to the batters’ weaknesses was never drug induced.  Baseball has seen too many guys who could throw a baseball 100 mph but couldn’t harness the control to save their lives.  Clemens knew where to place his pitches and it was his natural ability that made him a star, not his suspected PED use.

I am not sure how long they should be excluded for the Hall but personally I would not want to see them allowed to enter for at least 5 years.  Admittedly, I am also in favor of Pete Rose’s entry to the Hall but I suspect that one won’t happen until Pete has met his maker.

The sad part about this entire issue is the presence of suspected and possibly undetected cheaters in the current HOF enshrinement.

As for the 2013 votes, Craig Biggio deserved to get into the Hall.  But I am not convinced he was a first ballot HOFer.  So I think 2014 will be his year as he will be enshrined at some point.

I did not believe that Bernie Williams was a legitimate Hall of Famer but it was still sad to see him make his final unsuccessful attempt.  Given the Yankees have not re-issued #51 or #21 (for Paul O’Neill), it is very likely they will be enshrined in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park.  That certainly makes for a nice consolation prize.  I still see votes for Don Mattingly.  I would absolutely love to see Donnie Baseball make the Hall but realistically I do not believe it will happen.  Yet, he continues to garner sufficient votes to remain on the ballot.  Mattingly was my favorite player and has reached the status of my favorite manager.  I hope the expectations for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the newly adorned salary champions of baseball, do not become too overwhelming for Donnie to succeed.  If given the time and support, he will win a championship.

Much ado about something?…

Back to the Yankees, I think the Yanks should aggressively pursue Michael Morse of the Washington Nationals.  His bat would fit nicely into right field.  I would be inclined to move Ichiro Suzuki to left, and move Brett Gardner for prospects.  Morse is the kind of guy that I’d love to see the Yankees pursue.

Today was cold by Northern CA standards.  Yeah, to the Cheeseheads of Wisconsin in town for the NFL play-off game between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers might beg to differ but I was shivering.  If there is a reason I left my beloved Minneapolis, this might be it.  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…….

–Scott

 

The thrill of Victory…I just wish it would happen more often…

 

Going up or going down?…

About 20 games into the season and the Yankees are barely closer to first place than they are last place.  Only two games separate the Yankees from the dismal start by the Boston Red Sox but of course the Sox are playing better as of late.  It’s only April so at this point, the standings don’t really mean too much as the superior AL East teams will begin to separate themselves from the pretenders over the course of the next couple of months.

It was nice to see the Yankees pull off a walk-off win at Yankee Stadium last night against the team that seems to terrorize them in the play-offs in recent years, the Detroit Tigers.  I am really surprised that Justin Verlander holds an 0-2 mark with 4.50 ERA for his career at the new Yankee Stadium.  When he is on the mound, it is hard not to expect bad things for the home team.  So, regardless of Verlander’s struggles at Yankee Stadium, it is still a great feeling to pick up a win on a night when he took the mound.

Cashman made the right decision…

Lately, there have been numerous columns and articles written about how disastrous the Yankees trade for Michael Pineda has become.  I realize that he’s lost for the season due to his shoulder injury, but he is still a young and talented pitcher.  I know there’s always a risk that he isn’t quite the pitcher was projected to be when he comes back, but I think it’s way too early to criticize the trade which sent talented hitter Jesus Montero to Seattle.  Pineda’s injury was suffered on the Yankees’ watch and not while he was in Seattle, and there is still a good chance that he’s a strong, contributing part of next year’s rotation.

Phil Hughes is probably the beneficiary of Pineda’s injury as I feel that Freddy Garcia will be the odd man out when Andy Pettitte returns to the Bronx.  Hughes hasn’t exactly pitched like he wants to stay, but I am not ready to see the Yankees banish him to Pittsburgh or someplace like that.  Maybe I am an eternal optimist but I still believe that Hughes can prosper in New York.

I am a bit concerned by the uneven starts provided by new Yankee Hiroki Kuroda, but I think he’ll settle in and deliver consistent performances in the coming weeks and months.  Yes, I do thank the lucky stars every day for CC Sabathia.

A sad day in the Yankees Universe…

I was saddened to hear the passing of Yankees great Bill “Moose” Skowron yesterday.  He was part of the 1961 Yankees which will always be a special team in Yankees history for the famed M&M Boys (the year Mickey Mantle hit 54 home runs, and Roger Maris hit the then record 61 homers).  But there’s no way either Mickey or Roger could have reached those heights without guys like Skowron on the roster.

Next stop, Superstardom…

Well, the Bryce Harper Show begins its maiden tour in Washington with the scheduled first start today for the ultra-hyped, super prospect National.  Given that he was called up to take the roster spot of injured 3B Ryan Zimmerman, there’s always the chance that Harper goes back down when Zimmerman returns from the DL.  But if Harper starts to hit like we know he will, it will be hard for the Nats to remove him from the roster.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  America loves superstars and Harper certainly has as much of a chance to be the best as anyone in the game today.

When Christian Ponder and Adrian Peterson are happy, so am I…

It’s only been three rounds, but I am pleased with the NFL draft selections made by the Minnesota Vikings.  Prior to the draft, my preference for the Vikings #3 pick in the first round was USC OT Matt Kalil.  There was talk that the Vikings were undecided among Kalil, CB Morris Claiborne, and WR Justin Blackmon, but in the end, it proved to be a smokescreen.  I was a bit anxious when I first heard the Vikings had traded down with the Cleveland Browns, but it was clear that the Browns were going after RB Trent Richardson so there was no risk of losing Kalil off the board.  At first, I didn’t understand the logic of the move, but clearly the Vikings (and GM Rick Spielman) had made the Browns fearful they’d trade down with another team which could potentially cost the Browns a shot at the premier running back in the draft.  The move brought three late round picks to the Vikings and it didn’t cost them anything as they were focused on Kalil from the start.

I also like the Vikings’ subsequent picks (late first round selection of S Harrison Smith and early third round choice of speedy CB Josh Robinson).  For a team that was desperate of upgrades in the secondary, they fared well. It would have been nice if Robinson were a bit taller, but his 4.33 speed at the Combines was unmatched.  I think he’s good material for the coaching staff to mold for playing at this level.  The Vikings have a plethora of selections today as Rounds 4-7 are completed, and I am sure that the defense will continue to get attention.  I also expect the Vikings to choose a wide receiver, but I have no idea who they might target.  Nevertheless, with Spielman’s decisions so far, I have no doubt that he’ll continue to bring talented playmakers to Minnesota.

As Luck would have it…

Like everyone else, I think that QB Andrew Luck has the potential to be one of the greats in the game but how much more difficult can it be to be replacing one of the greatest QB’s to play the game with added pressure of being the number one selection in the NFL Draft (along with the expectations that go with it)?  If Luck succeeds, and I do not doubt that he will, he will prove, without a doubt, that he was the right choice to replace Manning.  Luck, with a horseshoe on his helmet, seems like it was destiny.  Meanwhile, I continue to “ponder” things in Minnesota…

Today, with Yankees-Tigers on tap and the conclusion of the NFL Draft, will be a fun day.  Enjoy!

–Scott

 

Hi Hideki, It Was Great To See You But…

 

Two out of three ain’t bad!…

 

 

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The trend continues.  The Yankees have played three series so far this young season, and have won two out of three in each.  The schedule makers were very unkind to the Yankees as they pitted their top 3 foes to start the season.  Fortunately, the results have been very favorable.  I realize that there are many games to be played but given the Yankees are historically slow starters, at least in recent years; this season has gotten off to a great start.

 

 

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Tonight, despite an inability to get Hideki Matsui out, the Yankees prevailed against the Los Angeles Angels, 6-2.  The game saw the return of Angels starter Scott Kazmir (fresh off the DL) and starter-turned 8th inning setup guy-turned starter Phil Hughes.  The Yankees made it a short night for Kazmir (4 innings, 6 runs) but Hughes did struggle somewhat with his control as he gave up 5 walks and was gone in the 6th with no outs.  He did strike out 6 and only gave up 3 hits and 2 runs in picking up the win. 

 

 

Al Tielemans/SI

 

Robinson Cano was the star of the game with 2 tremendous home runs.  Derek Jeter also contributed with a homer and 2 RBI’s.  I don’t think Curtis Granderson will need an adjustment period.  He has already shown that he likes being a Yankee and his two triples tonight were fantastic.  Meanwhile, I am getting a bit tired of seeing goose eggs next to Mark Teixeira’s name but fortunately April will soon be over.  Mariano Rivera, as efficient as ever, came on to pick up his 4th save in relief of Joba Chamberlain.  I have to admit, there was some satisfaction that it was Bobby Abreu who grounded out to end the game.  A good win and a good series…

 

 

Yankees Mark Teixeira Angels

Tim Farrell/The Star Ledger

 

Now, the Yankees await the arrival of the Texas Rangers for a weekend series in the Bronx.  What can CC Sabathia do to follow up on the one-hit performance in his previous start?  All is well at 161st and River…

 

 

 

 

I will admit that Javier Vazquez has had a rough start in his reunion with the Yankees.  He is 0-2 with a 9.82 ERA.  However, I am not so sure he deserved to be booed as he walked off the mound during Wednesday’s 5-3 loss to the Angels.  I’d really like to see a few more starts before fans rush to judgment.  If you want a player to be the best that he can be, boos and cat calls are probably not the answer.  Save those for Fenway Park or Tropicana Field.  In Yankee Stadium, the fans should be united in their support of the players.  If a player is bad or ill-suited for New York so be it, but 2 games does not a season make!  Back off and give Javy some room.  He’ll be fine…

 

 

Javier Vazquez leaves in seventh inning as boo birds reign then sees Alfredo Aceves make things worse by allowing inherited runner to score.

Antonelli/News

 

 

Today was Jackie Robinson Day around Major League Baseball as players honored the late Dodgers great by wearing his jersey number (42) which was previously retired throughout baseball except for those players who wore the number at the time. 

 

 

Barton Silverman/The New York Times

 

The last player to wear 42 in either league is, of course, the great Mariano Rivera.  As Mo so eloquently put it, “It’s a privilege, an honor to be the last one to wear 42; it’s a blessing for me.  I definitely have a job to do to represent him well.”  Mo, I think you’ve succeeded.  Here’s to Jackie Robinson and how he changed baseball for the better.

 

 


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Ladies and Gentlemen…would you please rise…

 

The end of an era…

 

Bob Sheppard tells MLB.com that he's officially calling it a career after over 50 years as the public address voice of the Yankees.

Simmons/NY Daily News

 

The “Voice of God” has finally called it a career.  Bob Sheppard, 99, announced earlier today that he was finally retiring since he no longer had the stamina needed to return to his job as the PA announcer at Yankee Stadium.  Sheppard was last heard “live” at the old Yankee Stadium in 2007.

 

 

 

Health issues have kept Sheppard from returning the last couple of years, and at his age, he finally decided that he’ll never be strong enough to resume his duties.  Paul Olden, who took over for Sheppard, will continue as the Yankees PA announcer.

 

 

Sheppard began his career at Yankee Stadium on April 17, 1951.  It’s amazing how many great Yankee players have heard their names called by Sheppard.  Sheppard’s first game was the final opening day game for Yankee great Joe DiMaggio.

 

 

 

I am very thankful that I was able to hear the great voice of Bob Sheppard at many Yankee games over the years.  Derek Jeter continues to play a recording of Sheppard’s voice at each at-bat, so his voice will continue to resonate throughout the new Yankee Stadium despite never having set foot there. 

 

Yankee Stadium Inaugural Game: 1st Yankee at bat Derek Jeter - Babe Ruth's bat by skyliner72. 

 

Bob Sheppard will always be remembered as one of the Yankee Legends.  I wish him much happiness and joy in his final years.

 

Bob Sheppard

 

Shelley Duncan has joined the rank of ex-Yankees.  He refused an assignment to AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre after being dropped from the Yankees 40-man roster.  I would like to see a team give Duncan the opportunity to play at the major league level.  He has earned the right with his play and work ethic.

 

Caffalo/NY Daily News 

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

 


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Home Sweet Home…

 

This has been a long road trip…

 

 

Today was the start of a two-game series in Toronto against the Blue Jays.  On paper, it looked like the struggles from Chicago would continue north of the border.  Roy Halladay was the scheduled starter for the first game, and the Yankees counter with Sergio Mitre on Wednesday night.  So, it looked to be advantage Jays in both games.  Fortunately, Andy Pettitte continued to pitch very effectively as the Yankees downed the Jays 5-3 in the first game.  Halladay went the distance, but he gave up 10 hits and 5 runs (4 earned) as he absorbed just his 5th loss of the season (11-5).  No offense to Andy, but I didn’t expect him to go toe-to-toe to Doc.  Taking the ‘glass is half empty’ approach, I would have expected Andy to tire in the later innings.  He did, however, he only gave up 4 hits and 1 run in 6 2/3 innings.  He had 6 strikeouts, and 4 walks as he picked up his 9th win of the season (9-6).

 

Andy Pettitte #46 of the New York Yankees prepares to throw against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park April 26, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Andy Pettitte

Jim Rogash/Getty Images 

 

The A-Rod homerless streak continued, but the Yankees hit three home runs in the last two innings against Halladay (Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira in the 8th inning, and Hideki Matsui in the 9th).  Mariano Rivera, despite giving up a double that scored two runs in the 8th, earned his 31st save.  According to Peter Abraham of the LoHud Yankees Blog, it was Rivera’s 100th save in 103 chances.  I continue to be amazed every time Rivera touches the ball.  I used to wonder what it would have been like to see Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle play, but now I realize that the fans of the 30’s and 40’s probably would have loved to have seen Rivera (and Derek Jeter) play.

 

Chris Young, The Canadian Press/AP 

 

Tomorrow will tough with Mitre on the mound, but for a night, the Yanks can enjoy what has been a tough road trip.  Fortunately, the opposing guy is named  Rumpelstiltskin or something like that so hopefully the Yanks have a chance!  J

They are currently 4-4, and have a chance to emerge with a winning record if they can defeat the Jays for a second time.

 

Steve Russell/Toronto Star

 

Then, the road leads back to the Bronx as the Yankees begin a four game set against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday.  Okay, I realize that the Yankees are 0-8 against Boston this season, but it is time for a reversal of fortune.  Once again, I have accepted a wager from Julia of Julia’s Rants.  She doesn’t realize that I am a sandbagger.  The Yankees will be back with a vengeance, and I feel good about the team’s prospects in the upcoming series.  For one, Sergio Mitre won’t be pitching!  LOL! 

Here is the terms of the latest wager.  The loser must:

1.       Attach a Red Sox (Scott) or a Yankees (Julia) flag to his/her car, and take photos of the car in at least three prominent locations near our respective homes.  They should be easily recognizable by anyone (to ensure that they are locations which handle high traffic for the applicable flag viewing).

2.      Write a Top 11 List with eleven positive statements about the winning team.  This was Jimmy‘s suggestion, which I admit was a very good one.

3.       I will take it one more.  If the Yankees get swept, I will wear a Red Sox t-shirt and a pink Boston cap with the car photos.  The t-shirt would be for the player who has the biggest series against the Yankees (to be determined by Julia).  But of course, I am not going to lose so this really isn’t an option.

Since it is a four game set, there is the possibility that the team will split.  Therefore, we have set two tie-breakers.  The first tie-breaker is the most total runs scored.  The second tie-breaker is the team with the most home runs for the series.

May the best Yankees fan win!  J

 

Yankees_Country.jpg yankees country image by Ivan1818-roc-

 

Actually, it should be Yankees Universe, but who’s counting…

Okay, perhaps I wasn’t really ready to see the original Yankee Stadium fall.  I was a bit startled when I saw some photos today.  During my last trip to New York, I walked around the old stadium for old times sake.  It didn’t quite feel the same since it was closed, however, it was the place where my idol Lou Gehrig once played and it was magical to think that the field once saw the likes of Babe Ruth, Gehrig, Miller Huggins, Joe DiMaggio, Casey Stengel, Allie Reynolds, Urban Shocker (I have always loved that name!), Thurman Munson, Billy Martin, Roger Maris and many others.  Those footsteps can never be re-traced in the new Stadium.

 

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Courtesy George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)

 

Farewell to an old friend…

 

Tom Kaminsky/www.demolitionofyankeestadium.com

 

In other baseball news, the Cleveland Indians released former Yankees pitcher Jose Veras.  I am not surprised but hopefully he’ll get another chance to catch on with another big league club.

 

Cleveland Indians new relief pitcher Jose Veras pitched a scoreless ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds

 

The Red Sox lost to the Tampa Bay Rays tonight, 4-2 in 13 innings.  Ah, I’m so sad.  Um, not really!  J  Make that lead in the AL East 1 ½ games!  Life is good.  Game on, Julia!

A Jose Veras-Free Sunday…

I traveled by car…

…by train…

…and by foot to get to New York. 

 

I left the house at 6:00 a.m., and arrived at Yankee Stadium around 9:00 a.m.  Unfortunately, there was a steady downpour the entire way.  I had a feeling that the rain was the kind that was going to fall all day, but I tried to keep an open mind.  Nevertheless, in the end, the game was called.

 

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I still took advantage of the day, and walked around the old Yankee Stadium for sentimental reasons.  I did get the sense that the old Stadium was truly dead, and I am ready for its final farewell.


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Inside the new Stadium, I checked out Monument Park.  It was very impressive and it has a much better flow to it (which is more conducive for good photo ops).  I appreciate the respect that they gave Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Babe Ruth, as well as the monument for the victims of 9/11.


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I also checked out the Yankees Museum. 

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It was equally impressive, and it was cool to see actual jerseys worn by the legendary players. I give Ruth and Gehrig a lot of credit for putting up the numbers they did despite wearing those uniforms in the brutal scorching heat of July and August. 

I don’t know the story behind the autographed baseballs or how complete the set is, however, there are many (emphasis on many) signed baseballs in a center display (signed by present and past Yankees).  I recognized most, but I did have to ask myself ‘Was Bryan Little a Yankee?’…

But the one display that touched me the most was Thurman Munson’s Locker.  It had been preserved at the old Yankee Stadium, and was then moved to the museum when the new Stadium opened.  I stood there for a few moments to reflect upon The Captain and to remember how much he meant to my teenage years.  He had been my idol during that time, and like many diehard Yankee fans, I know exactly where I was on August 2, 1979.  It was great for the Yankees and the Munson family to share the locker with the fans…

Ricky Flores/The Journal News

I also ate lunch at the Stadium, and opted for a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich at Carl’s Steaks.  They billed their cheesesteaks as “better here than in Philadelphia”.  I disagree with the Philly reference, but they were quite tasty…

There is no word when the game will be re-scheduled.  The Yankees and the Angels apparently have a mutual day off on September 14th.  However, no decisions have been made and the Yankees indicated that the makeup day would not be announced today.  I will wait to see when the game is re-scheduled before deciding if I will exchange my ticket for another game or go to the re-scheduled game.  Hopefully, whenever it is, it will be much drier…

 

JULIA’S BACK!

Julia of Julia’s Rants has made it home from a successful trip to New York.  Her posts have been missed, but I am sure that she’ll make up for lost time.

The Red Sox will be in New York tomorrow to face the Yankees for two games. 


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There’s a pink hat riding on the outcome of this two-game series, so I am trusting “Mystique & Aura” to put a pink Yankees hat on Julia’s head.  I had been counting on Jane Heller’s Magic Pen, but she executed the pen following Saturday’s loss.

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Courtesy Confessions of a She-Fan

Nevertheless, I’ll take my chances with the Yankees.  I liked the t-shirt I saw today.  I don’t recall the exact words but it was something like “Hey Boston, there never was a curse.  Your teams just sucked.”  Oops, sorry Julia!

Oh, Julia, one more thing, I thought you’d like to know that Lou has befriended Wally and they are starting to watch baseball games together…

 

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I thought you’d like to know that Wally was happy and safe…and somewhat Navy blue…

Have a great week, everyone!

–Scott 

 

Mystique & Aura have a new home…

This is an impressive first look at the new Yankee Stadium, complete with CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Teixeira.  I realize that it is a virtual look, but it definitely has the “feel” of the old Yankee Stadium:  Sony MLB ’09  

Jon Heyman has indicated that the chances of the Yankees resigning Andy Pettitte are less than 50%, with retirement, the Dodgers or the Astros looming as possible alternatives.  Given the losses of Derek Lowe and Brad Penny, combined with the Astros’ budgetary constraints, I see a reunion with Joe Torre and Donnie Baseball as the most likely destination at this point.

Good luck to Justin Christian, who signed with the Baltimore Orioles today.  I’d like to see him experience success in the major leagues…well, so long as it isn’t against the Yankees.  Speaking of the Orioles, I’d also like to say good luck for former O’s player, Jay Gibbons who has signed with the Florida Marlins.  Yes, he is associated with steroids, but deserves a second chance.  I read kind words about Jay from Baltimore writer Peter *******, and while I think Jay the baseball player was earned another opportunity, Peter leads me to believe that Jay the man equally deserves…

 

Granted, I am not that familiar with the Red Sox starting rotation, but if John Smoltz is going to start, who’s the odd man out?  Assuming that Brad Penny nails a spot, and the front three (Josh Beckett, Dice-K, and especially Jon Lester) are secure, wouldn’t that leave Tim Wakefield as the odd man out?  I guess he could be the long guy or spot starter, but wow, he’s been a rock in that rotation for so long. 

I think it’s wrong that Michael Young was told to move to third base from shortstop by Texas manager Ron Washington, but all things considered, I think he should make the move and drop the request to be traded.  I just don’t see how the Rangers could get equal value in a trade given Young’s age and contract.  Elvis Andrus certainly deserves a shot at short, but this situation could have been handled much better…

The first baseball game I ever attended was at the old Busch Stadium in St. Louis on May 29, 1974  I remember that Tommy John was on the mound for the Dodgers that day, and the legendary Bob Gibson for the Cardinals.  The teams were locked in a pitchers’ duel, when I left to go to the bathroom.  Of course, while away, Ron Cey hit what would have been the first home run I’d ever seen in person.  A little dejected, I walked over the concession stand but noticed a line nearby.  I walked over to check it out, and saw an older guy in sunglasses signing autographs.  I figured that he must have been someone important if everyone was lined up to get his autograph.  I waited and finally got my turn.  I looked the guy in the eyes and shook his hand.  He proceeded to sign his autograph in a book for me, and I looked down and saw the words “Stan Musial”.  Of course, even though I was only 12, I had read about Musial (my first book of interest was about Lou Gehrig, so I had a preference for baseball autobiographies).  I was a little shocked about who I had just met, and somehow that made up for not seeing Cey hit that sixth inning home run.   As I look back, I became an Al Hrabosky fan that day and there has been no one who has pumped me up the way Al did when he did his Mad Hungarian routine before taking the mound for the next pitch.  But, startling as it was, I did not realize that the Cardinals first baseman was none other than Joe Torre.  He went 1 for 4, with a single.  The Dodgers won 5-2.  It was an incredible first game, and it set me on the path of a lifetime love for major league baseball.  You would have thought I would have become a Cardinals fan, but I guess that it was the love of baseball history I experienced through that early book about Lou Gehrig.  My favorite player at the time was A’s pitcher Jim “Catfish” Hunter.  On December 31, 1974, Hunter signed with the Yankees.  I went with him…

 

 

Al Hrabosky St. Louis Cardinals Autographed 8x10 Photograph with Mad Hungarian Inscription

Before managing the Yankees to four World Series championships, Joe Torre put together an outstanding 18-year career with four teams.

 And finally, why I am a Yankees fan…

                                                                  

Huh? Pavano said what?…

Carl Pavano said what? 

“When you’re down, you expect your organization to pick you up, not kick you when you’re down.  I’ve had to pick myself up quite a few times the last four years.”

If Carl had to pick himself up quite a few times, who’s fault was it that he was down to begin with?  Was it the Yankees fault that the guy had no heart and was susceptible to constant injuries?  What a jerk!  Did this guy really win 18 games for the Marlins a few years back?  Good luck in Cleveland…

 

 

 The new Yankee Stadium is definitely coming together:

 

 

 

Man, I am going to hate John Smoltz’s rational, sane, professional interview responses now more than ever!  Seriously, I am worried about the good job that Theo is doing toward building the 2009 Red Sox.  He has rebounded very nicely since the Teixeira saga.  I saw that they have their eye on Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero.  Assuming that Jesus Montero stays at catcher (there’s been talk of him moving to first base for physical reasons, but I think that won’t happen now that Teixeira is locked in at first), the Yankees and Red Sox could have catchers with the same last name once Jesus makes it to the bigs in the not-so-distant future. 

Mark Kotsay and Rocco Baldelli as your back up outfielders…that’s just sick!  And I mean that with the highest respect from a bitter rival.  Meanwhile, the Yankees are talking about trading Xavier Nady to put .220 hitter Nick Swisher in right, and they still haven’t figured out center field.  Johnny Damon is the only certainty in the Yankee outfield…

I read a blog today that the Yankees should try to sign Arizona’s RP Juan Cruz for the bullpen and I completely agree. They’d only have to surrender a 4th round pick since picks 1-3 are headed to the Angels, Brewers and Blue Jays for the earlier FA signings.  The guy has huge upside, and is only 30 years old.  He is #19 on ESPN’s Keith Law’s list of top free agents:

 

19

Juan Cruz

POSITION: Relief pitcher
AGE: 30 | BATS: R | THROWS: R
2008 TEAM: Arizona Diamondbacks
STATUS: Free agent
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2008 SEASON STATISTICS
GM IP W-L ERA SV BB SO
57 51.2 4-0 2.61 0 31 71

Cruz has an electric arm, but struggles with command and control have held him back in the past and limited his value to Arizona in 2008, although he showed some improvement after missing time with an oblique strain in July.

Cruz throws a 94-97 mph four-seamer with late life, and it plays up because his arm is so quick, meaning that the ball gets in on hitters quickly. He pairs it with a sharp slider, very hard and 80-84 against right-handed batters but a little slower when he’s trying to use it against left-handed hitters. It’s power stuff that misses bats, which plays in any park in either league, and he has a good chance to develop into a closer for a team looking to create one rather than give big money to K-Rod.

 

I changed the name of this blog from Fiddler on the Roof to I’m Not A Headline Guy to give it a little more originality.  But, of course, it is not original at all.  My idol is Lou Gehrig, and the name of the blog is a tribute to him.  It is a quote that Lou once made.  Lou, I didn’t live in your era, but you were a headline guy, and a class act…

Goodnight all!  For the record, baseball fans rock!  :)

 

 

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