• WasWatching.com Is Nine Years Old Today

    Posted by on April 20th, 2014 · Comments (11)

    Yes, back on April 20th, 2005, I started writing this blog. For those scoring at home, that was 3,287 days ago. (Man, that’s alotta days!)

    In the life of this blog, it’s gone through many changes. And, the whole SNY thing seems like it happened to someone else by this time.

    When I started writing this blog, back in April of 2005, my life was so much different. My book had just published. I was 42-years old. My kids were not yet one and three years old. And, there were maybe a handful of other people seriously blogging about the Yankees.

    Now, I am 51-years old. I can’t even imagine writing an essay, much less a book. My kids are almost 10 and 12-years old. And, thanks to Twitter and other social media type things, the blog concept has sort of come, exploded, and gone…I suspect.

    Yet, here I am, nine years later – still doing this…

    It’s going to have to end, at some point. (Maybe ten years is the magic number? It seems like a nice, round, number…being a decade and all.) In any event, thanks for your interest in what I have been doing here for the last nine years. That’s been part of the fun of it, without question.

    Dock Ellis

    Posted by on April 19th, 2014 · Comments (1)

    Interesting story.

    DFA’ed? Hey, How About Some BP?

    Posted by on April 19th, 2014 · Comments (0)

    On April 12th, Sam Fuld was designated for assignment by the A’s. Three days later, he tweeted this:

    And, he ended up at an indoor cage:

    For those who do not know, Fuld is a Jewish type 1 diabetic Ivy Leaguer. Not that many players have that background. Here’s hoping he lands a spot with a MLB team soon!

    Hitting 3 Batters & Not Retiring Any In One Game

    Posted by on April 19th, 2014 · Comments (4)

    It’s one of the most rare things to ever happen in baseball history. Here’s how many times it has happened:

    Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP
    1 Cesar Cabral 2014-04-18 NYY TBR L 5-11 0.0 3 3 3 0 0 0 3
    2 Dock Ellis 1974-05-01 PIT CIN L 3-5 0.0 0 1 1 1 0 0 3
    3 Earl Moore 1914-06-17 BUF IND L 8-11 0.0 2 3 3 1 0 0 3
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 4/19/2014.

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    The Mets Ike Davis Era Is Over

    Posted by on April 18th, 2014 · Comments (0)

    Raise the Jolly Roger.

    The Baseball Belles From Cardiff

    Posted by on April 18th, 2014 · Comments (0)

    Hey, batter, batter…

    What, Robinson Cano Didn’t Make The Top Five?

    Posted by on April 18th, 2014 · Comments (7)

    He wuz robbed.

    Here Come The Judge

    Posted by on April 18th, 2014 · Comments (4)

    Yanks In 1st In A.L. East & Have 2nd Most Wins In Baseball

    Posted by on April 18th, 2014 · Comments (3)

    Facts are facts, after all.

    Winning six of their last seven, of course, has helped offset a 4-5 start.

    Can Yangervis Solarte, Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Michael Pineda, Masahiro Tanaka and Shawn Kelley keep up their great pace? Can Ivan Nova, CC Sabathia, Brian Roberts and Brian McCann pick up their pace? Will Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and David Robertson not break down?

    You tell me.

    Top 10 Logos In MLB History

    Posted by on April 18th, 2014 · Comments (0)

    Great feature.

    I always thought that old Brewers logo was genius.  And, I never knew the story behind the Expos logo.  Cool stuff.

    Detroit Wolverines, Recreation Park, ca. 1888

    Posted by on April 17th, 2014 · Comments (1)

    Love this picture. Click on the image to enlarge it.

    Wolverines

    They Don’t Make UCLs In The USA Like They Used To…

    Posted by on April 17th, 2014 · Comments (9)

    Some interesting stats via Captain America -

    Since 1977 there have been 372 documented TJ surgeries in MLB… 345 (93%) have been performed on American players while 27 (7%) have involved international players… Since 2010 there has been 124 TJ surgeries and an astonishing 83 in the last 2 years!

    How do the numbers stack up proportion wise based on the MLB player constituency? Not even close. It fluctuates daily but over the past few years when the vast majority of TJ surgeries have occurred, MLB has been comprised of roughly 60% American players and 40% International…

    I still think there’s something missing here in terms of the stats. But, assuming that it’s correct that Americans are more likely to blow out their UCL in the majors, there’s got to be a reason, right?

    Waiting To Walk

    Posted by on April 17th, 2014 · Comments (2)

    Guys this season with 45+ PA who have yet to take a walk:

    Rk Player PA BB Year Age Tm G AB H HR RBI IBB SO HBP GDP SB BA OBP SLG
    1 Juan Uribe 61 0 2014 35 LAD 15 61 23 2 6 0 15 0 4 0 .377 .377 .607
    2 Steve Lombardozzi 48 0 2014 25 BAL 12 47 14 0 2 0 7 1 1 1 .298 .313 .340
    3 Mike Zunino 47 0 2014 23 SEA 12 47 13 3 9 0 13 0 0 0 .277 .277 .532
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 4/17/2014.

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    Who will be the first of these three to accept a pass in 2014?

    Pineda & Tanaka Have Been Outstanding…

    Posted by on April 17th, 2014 · Comments (13)

    …so far. But, then again, it’s only April 17th.

    And, it’s only been 3 starts each, for them, to date this season. And, the Yankees have only played 15 games this season.

    Remember Carl Pavano in 2005 and A.J. Burnett in 2010?  This is how they did in the Yankees first 15 games in those seasons.

    Rk Player Year #Matching W L ERA GS IP ER HR BB SO
    1 Andy Pettitte 2007 4 Ind. Games 1 0 1.93 4 23.1 5 1 7 12
    2 Carl Pavano 2005 4 Ind. Games 1 2 2.86 4 22.0 7 3 3 14
    3 Mike Mussina 2006 4 Ind. Games 2 1 2.67 4 27.0 8 2 6 23
    4 Chien-Ming Wang 2008 3 Ind. Games 3 0 1.23 3 22.0 3 1 4 11
    5 Masahiro Tanaka 2014 3 Ind. Games 2 0 2.05 3 22.0 5 2 2 28
    6 CC Sabathia 2013 3 Ind. Games 3 0 1.57 3 23.0 4 1 4 19
    7 CC Sabathia 2010 3 Ind. Games 2 1 1.66 3 21.2 4 1 8 19
    8 CC Sabathia 2011 3 Ind. Games 0 1 1.45 3 18.2 3 0 7 17
    9 Michael Pineda 2014 3 Ind. Games 2 1 1.00 3 18.0 2 1 3 15
    10 Andy Pettitte 2010 3 Ind. Games 2 0 1.35 3 20.0 3 0 9 14
    11 Andy Pettitte 2009 3 Ind. Games 2 0 2.53 3 21.1 6 1 2 10
    12 Andy Pettitte 2013 3 Ind. Games 3 0 2.01 3 22.1 5 2 5 12
    13 Andy Pettitte 2008 3 Ind. Games 2 1 3.38 3 18.2 7 1 7 9
    14 Hiroki Kuroda 2013 3 Ind. Games 2 1 2.87 3 15.2 5 0 5 12
    15 Randy Johnson 2006 3 Ind. Games 2 1 2.25 3 20.0 5 1 0 16
    16 A.J. Burnett 2010 3 Ind. Games 2 0 2.37 3 19.0 5 1 6 13
    17 A.J. Burnett 2009 3 Ind. Games 2 0 3.20 3 19.2 7 3 9 17
    18 A.J. Burnett 2011 3 Ind. Games 2 0 3.86 3 16.1 7 2 8 17
    19 Kevin Brown 2004 3 Ind. Games 3 0 1.29 3 21.0 3 0 4 14
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 4/17/2014.

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    America’s First Baseball Star

    Posted by on April 16th, 2014 · Comments (0)

    Historians Restore Grave of a Pioneering Brooklyn Baseball Pitcher.

    Excelsior!

    Welcome To The World Of Phil Hughes, Twins Fans

    Posted by on April 16th, 2014 · Comments (14)

    Via FOX Sports -

    For the third time in as many starts, one inning doomed Phil Hughes.

    In his season debut, it was the fifth inning. Last week against Oakland, it was the first inning. Thursday, the sixth inning got the best of Hughes.

    The new Minnesota Twins right-hander cruised through five scoreless innings Tuesday against Toronto before it all came crashing down in a five-run sixth frame. Four of those runs were charged to Hughes as he was on the hook for the loss in the Twins’ 9-3 defeat.

    “So far, three starts, three bad innings,” Hughes said after the loss.

    After needing 74 pitches to get through five scoreless innings, Hughes simply couldn’t get anyone out in the sixth despite holding a 2-0 lead. He surrendered a leadoff double down the left-field line to Munenori Kawasaki, and followed that up with an RBI single by Jose Bautista for Toronto’s first run of the game.

    Adam Lind followed Bautista with a single to center to send Bautista to third. Edwin Encarnacion recorded the Blue Jays’ fourth consecutive hit to open the inning as he singled off Hughes to drive in Bautista and tie the game at 2.

    “It looked like the ball was still coming out of his hand, but he sure wasn’t making any pitches,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. “They hit I don’t know how many balls in a row right on the screws. He was cruising before that.”

    Piney Lazarus?

    Posted by on April 15th, 2014 · Comments (4)

    Tony Blengino thinks Michael Pineda could be on the verge of doing something historic. Then again, he’d probably be happy to see the Pineda deal come back to haunt the Mariners.

    Yankee Stadium Is Selling Nachos In A Helmet For $20

    Posted by on April 15th, 2014 · Comments (1)

    Seriously.

    Very Phunny

    Posted by on April 15th, 2014 · Comments (0)

    Classic.

    Yanks To Add Two For Tuesday

    Posted by on April 15th, 2014 · Comments (16)

    Via Newsday

    The Yankees on Monday sent pitcher Shane Greene to Triple-A Scranton / Wilkes-Barre to reduce their mound staff to 12. With Cervelli going on the DL, that means two players will be called up Tuesday, including a catcher. The Yankees are expected to call up John Ryan Murphy instead of Austin Romine, who spent a few days with the club last week.

    For the infield spot, the Yankees could add former Oakland and Detroit player Scott Sizemore. The 29-year-old played two games in the majors in the previous two seasons because of injuries, but he is batting .344 in 10 games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

    Or the Yankees could add corner infielder / outfielder Russ Canzler. The 28-year-old, who has appeared in the majors with Tampa Bay and Cleveland, is batting .276 in nine games at Triple-A.

    Infielder Corban Joseph, who appeared in two games for the Yankees last season, is another possibility. The 25-year-old is hitting .217 in seven Triple-A games.

    None of those players is on the 40-man roster. The Yankees could create room by moving infielder Brendan Ryan (back) to the 60-day DL.

    And, people thought that Slim Pickens died in 1983.

    Should Jeter Now Volunteer To Play First?

    Posted by on April 14th, 2014 · Comments (7)

    …assuming his quad is not that bad…while Tex is out?

    Or, maybe Soriano should play first?

    Cashman Excuse Machine In Mid-Season Form Already

    Posted by on April 12th, 2014 · Comments (54)

    Via Bryan Hoch -

    With first baseman Mark Teixeira and closer David Robertson on the 15-day disabled list, manager Joe Girardi has been using Kelly Johnson as the regular first baseman while leaning mostly upon Shawn Kelley to close out games in the ninth inning.

    Cashman said that after the Yankees spent hundreds of millions on free-agent imports like Masahiro Tanaka, Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, there was just not enough budgetary room to prepare for every possible scenario.

    “I think we were very open about our intentions,” Cashman said. “We wanted to fix as much as we could, but acknowledged that we couldn’t fix everything that needed to be addressed. That’s with the money we were in position to spend as well as the available talent. The better talent was really heavily in favor of the outfield rather than the infield.

    “I don’t have any regrets. We pulled down the players that we targeted and we were open with the infield and the bullpen would be unanswered questions that everyone would need to stay tuned with as a developing story. It’s the same verbiage I used in the winter time.”

    …we couldn’t fix everything that needed to be addressed…

    And, who hasn’t done their job correctly for years now, bringing cause for things needed to be fixed? ¡Ay, caramba!

    Yup

    Posted by on April 11th, 2014 · Comments (5)

    Brian MacPherson nails it -

    Years of coming up empty in the June draft — either by forfeiting picks to sign free agents or by misfiring on picks made — are starting to catch up. Since the departed Robinson Cano broke in with the Yankees in 2005, Brett Gardner and the erratic Ivan Nova are the only impact homegrown players the franchise has produced.

    The result is a roster advancing in age with little prospect of an infusion of youth.

    The only under-30 New York position player with at least 20 plate appearances this season is Yangervis Solarte, a former minor-league utilityman. Kelly Johnson is 32. Brian Roberts is 32. Sabathia is 33. Teixeira is 34. Carlos Beltran is 37. Alfonso Soriano is 38. Hiroki Kuroda is 39. Derek Jeter is 40.

    There was a time when that might have been OK. That time came to an abrupt end when baseball tightened its rules on amphetamines as well as steroids, greatly diminishing the ability of players to be productive beyond the age of 32 or so. Baseball is a young man’s game once again.

    Ten years ago, 49 hitters who were at least 32 years old slugged over .400 in at least 400 plate appearances — an all-time high. Not once in the last three seasons have even 30 players age 32 or older met those same criteria — a drop-off of almost 50 percent in a decade.

    The best way to acquire young players always has been through the June amateur draft. That’s how the Yankees landed Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada so long ago — three of the Core Four. But an entire generation’s worth of drafts has resulted mostly in whiffs for the Yankees.

    Since Jeter in 1992, the Yankees’ best first-round picks might be Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy. Even if Kennedy gets credit for being a trade chip that helped snag Curtis Granderson, those three only count for three All-Star appearances among them.

    Too many opportunities have been missed. In the first round of the 2005 draft — the historically deep draft in which the Red Sox added Clay Buchholz, Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie — the Yankees selected C.J. Henry, a shortstop who never even reached Double-A. They wound up snagging Gardner in the third round of that draft, then Doug Fister in the sixth round and Austin Jackson in the eighth. They failed to sign Fister, and they traded Jackson away in the deal that brought back Granderson.

    In the similarly deep 2011 draft, the Yankees didn’t have a pick until No. 51 because they’d forfeited their No. 31 pick to sign reliever Rafael Soriano. Among the players who still were on the board when that forfeited No. 31 pick came around were Henry Owens and Jackie Bradley Jr., whom the Red Sox took at No. 36 and No. 40, respectively.

    What the Yankees have always leveraged in their favor has been their enormous financial advantage. But every revision of the rules that govern team-building in recent years has restricted the ability of deep-pocketed teams to acquire young players — from draft-pick compensation, to allotments for bonuses in the draft and on the international market, and steep penalties for those who exceed their allotments.

    Even worse for the Yankees, with every high-profile young player who signs an extension with his current team — from the Angels’ Mike Trout and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw to the Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter and the Pirates’ Starling Marte — the pool of players at whom the Steinbrenners can throw their money is depleted. Players who once might have reached free agency at the age of 28 or 29 now are postponing free agency until their early 30s.

    Stars in their prime years, like Adam Jones and Justin Upton, might have been top targets for the Yankees last winter, just like Kershaw, Elvis Andrus, Jay Bruce and Evan Longoria might have been top targets this winter. All are great players still a year or two away from 30, still at least several years away from their inevitable downturn. All have signed lengthy extensions with their current teams that will keep them out of the Yankees’ reach until that downturn.

    Success in baseball always is cyclical. Teams that play to win now usually lose later. The Yankees spent years breaking that cycle through sheer power of finance, but even their money can’t save them anymore.

    And, this is why, for the next five years or so, the Yankees are going to struggle to win 90+ games in a season…maybe longer if they keep Cashman around.

    Pineda Tarda

    Posted by on April 10th, 2014 · Comments (27)

    Something tells me we have not heard the last of this one.

    General Joe really danced around it in the YES post-game.

    Yanks, Red Sox, Yankee Stadium…Tonight

    Posted by on April 10th, 2014 · Comments (1)

    Anyone excited?

    Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life In the Minor Leagues of Baseball

    Posted by on April 10th, 2014 · Comments (0)

    I just finished reading John Feinstein’s Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life In the Minor Leagues of Baseball.

    In this book, Feinstein focuses on the stories of eight primary real-life characters (players, managers and an umpire) during the 2012 Triple-A season. And, in doing so, he gives us an incredible window into what life is like just below the major leagues.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Feinstein is a story-teller extraordinaire. And, I highly recommend his latest work.

    Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life In the Minor Leagues of Baseball is not only one of the best baseball books of 2014, but, I would consider it as one that must be included in any “Essential Baseball Library.”  Any and every baseball fan will find it to be a page-turner that they cannot put down.

    Jones: Tanaka “Just Another Pitcher”

    Posted by on April 10th, 2014 · Comments (5)

    Via ESPN -

    Baltimore outfielder Adam Jones continued his outspoken ways during the Orioles’ just-completed series in New York.

    One day after lashing out about two fans who ran onto the field at Yankee Stadium, Jones said he wasn’t buying into the hype surrounding $155 million Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.

    “Why don’t you ask Tanaka about me? I’m the one who’s been over here in the major leagues for a while,” the Baltimore Orioles’ center fielder said Tuesday, according to Newsday. “Congratulations, he did it over there. Don’t make it like he’s the dirtiest guy in the world. He was 24-0 — in Japan.

    Jones, who struck out twice against Tanaka on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, still wasn’t impressed after the Orioles’ 5-4 victory.

    “Am I [supposed] to go home and say I faced Tanaka tonight? Just go throw a party that I faced Tanaka? It’s another pitcher,” Jones told Newsday. “Another pitcher in the rotation. Nothing special to me. It’s just another guy that we have to go through to get to where we want to be.”

    Do I sense the O’s trying to get some bad blood brewing?

    Chris Russo High Heat

    Posted by on April 10th, 2014 · Comments (0)

    I love the MLB Network. It’s heaven to me. Seriously, if I were told that I could only have one channel play in my house, and I had to choose, without hesitation, I would pick the MLB Network.

    That said, Chris Russo’s High Heat show is the absolute worst. Why they gave him a show, I dunno? I couldn’t imagine someone doing a worse job.

    I’ve tried to watch it, a few times. And, it’s actually painful.

    I really don’t have a problem with networks giving shows to stupid people. That, in itself, can be entertaining at times. (Yeah, I know, that’s why most of you read this blog!)

    But, Russo can’t even pull that off…

    This show needs to go away, and, soon.

    McCan’t?

    Posted by on April 10th, 2014 · Comments (1)

    Look at the last 889 MLB PA that Brian McCann had prior to this season.

    Over that period, he hit .242 – including the second half of 2013, where his BA/OBP/SLG line was .220/.296/.384 (in 196 PA).

    Next, look at his Spring Training BA/OBP/SLG line this season: .200/.265/.333 in 49 PA.

    Lastly, note that his BA/OBP/SLG line to start this year is .152/.176/.152 in 34 PA.

    At what point does this become worrisome?

    Yanks Next To Last In SRS So Far This Season

    Posted by on April 9th, 2014 · Comments (0)

    You can look it up:

    Rk Tm W L W-L% GB GBsum Strk R RA Rdiff SOS SRS ▾
    1 SEA 5 2 .714 W 1 5.6 3.0 2.6 1.4 4.0
    2  OAK 4 3 .571 W 2 4.0 2.9 1.1 2.6 3.8
    3  CLE 4 3 .571 W 1 4.9 5.0 -0.1 1.9 1.8
    4  CHW 4 4 .500 0.5 1.0 W 1 6.3 5.3 1.0 0.4 1.4
    5  MIN 3 4 .429 1.0 4.0 L 1 5.9 6.6 -0.7 1.9 1.2
    6 DET 4 2 .667 L 2 4.3 3.3 1.0 -0.8 0.2
    7  KCR 3 4 .429 1.0 4.0 L 1 2.9 3.1 -0.3 0.5 0.2
    Avg 3 3 .491 4.4 4.4
    8  BOS 3 5 .375 1.5 8.0 L 1 3.9 4.4 -0.5 0.4 -0.1
    9  LAA 3 5 .375 1.5 8.0 L 1 5.0 5.1 -0.1 -0.3 -0.4
    10 TBR 5 4 .556 W 1 3.8 2.6 1.2 -1.9 -0.7
    11  BAL 3 5 .375 1.5 8.0 W 1 4.5 4.8 -0.3 -1.0 -1.3
    12  TEX 4 4 .500 0.5 1.0 W 1 4.5 5.5 -1.0 -0.5 -1.5
    13  TOR 4 4 .500 0.5 1.0 W 1 3.4 4.1 -0.8 -2.6 -3.3
    14  NYY 4 4 .500 0.5 1.0 L 1 3.6 4.8 -1.1 -3.2 -4.4
    15  HOU 3 5 .375 1.5 8.0 L 2 2.9 5.1 -2.3 -2.3 -4.5
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 4/9/2014.

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    SRS combines the average margin of victory and strength of schedule to determine number of runs per game better than an average team each team is.

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